Monthly Archives

February 2012

Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Only 1 More Week!

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  • February 29, 2012

We’re exactly one week away from our Eastern European adventure! And have I started packing, yet? Nope! I’ve always been a night-before-I-leave kind of packer, and I don’t see that ever changing.

But even though we’ve procrastinated a smidge in the packing department, we DO have our itinerary set. So here’s the rundown:

March 7&8 – these will be travel days for us. We fly out on the 7th, but because of the time change and layovers we won’t actually arrive in Latvia until the 8th.

March 9 – JP, myself, my aunt and my uncle will spend the majority of the day driving to Warsaw, Poland and hopefully meeting up with the missionaries there for dinner.

March 10 – We’re going to drive down to Krakow (about a 4 hour drive) and take the Auschwitz tour. I’m really excited (is that weird to say?) to have the chance to go see this.

March 11 – We’ll spend the whole day in Warsaw.

March 12 – Spend the day driving back to Riga, Latvia.

March 13-15 – These days will be spent in Moscow.

March 15-17 – These days will be spent in St. Petersburg.

March 18 – Our final day will be spent touring Riga.

March 19&20 – More travel days. We have almost a 24 hr layover in Prague so we will get to some sight-seeing there, too!

For some people, that may seem too busy/chaotic to be a vacation..but this will most likely be our only opportunity to see these places so we wanted to squeeze in as much as possible!!

You may be thinking, “Uhh..thanks for basically word vomiting your entire life plans to me. I really couldn’t care less what you’re doing on your vacation.” But, I’ve got ulterior motives. Recently, we found out that we will be in Moscow shortly after their Presidential elections are to be held. I don’t know a lot about Russian politics, but I do know that this has been the caused quite a bit of non-violent rioting. And, naturally, that worries me just a teensy bit. SO, I’m selfishly telling all of you our itinerary so that you can keep your eyes and ears open for any new stories about two nice American tourists being abducted, and promptly call the American consulate to plead for our release.

I wouldn’t last a day in the slammer 🙂

Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

The Girl’s Got Quirk

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  • February 27, 2012

Quirk. It’s a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with the show New Girl and I could just squeeze Zooey Deschanel to pieces. Every time I watch the show, my husband looks at me like I’m crazy and says, “What is it about her that you love? I just don’t get it.” And I always answer with, “I dunno, she’s just so…quirky!” And I totally dig it. Should I say quirky again or have you had enough?

So that got me thinking about how that translates to a home. About how much I’ve been drawn lately to rooms that have that extra dose of personality injected into them. Yes, I love to look at a masterfully designed room as much as the next gal..but more and more I’m finding myself studying those rooms that AREN’T so ‘perfect’ and have an extra touch of whimsy.


Take this room, for example. This is hardly a room  that’s concerned with sticking to a certain color palette or style. But somehow it all works. I get the sense that the owner of this bedroom just picked up things that she loved over time, without being concerned over whether or not they would ‘go.’ In a situation like this, I think the white walls are a huge help. If the walls were covered in a color, this could end up just looking like a hot mess real quick.


Or this mudroom. It’s a beautiful space, no doubt. But in my opinion, the horseshoes casually placed on the stairs, along with the prize ribbons by the window and the rider’s helmet on the wall totally make the space. I immediately feel like I know this homeowner a little better.


I swear to you my heart bursts with happiness when I look at this room. I want the rooms in MY house to do that! There are so many awesome things going on here..the mix of patterns and colors, the map, the incorporation of the piano, the fun stars hanging in the corner. And the list goes on and on. This room conveys coziness to me, even through a photograph, which says a lot. Are you  starting to see what I mean my drift when I’m talking about that special ‘quirky’ or ‘whimsical’ factor? I seriously can’t get enough.


At first glance, you might think: “Whoa. There’s a lot going on here.” But when you start focusing in on each vignette, each detail, you really start to appreciate the beauty of this ‘imperfect’ room. The books in the fireplace, the canvas framed with doilies (my personal favorite), the vintage lockers used for storage. There’s so much character here, and to be truthful, it probably didn’t cost near as much as a room that’s been ‘designed’ to the hilt.

So that’s what I’m looking to inject into my home these days. I don’t care if things are perfectly styled or matched, I want people to be able to look at my home and know that it’s filled with fun, laughter, and happiness.

I’d love to hear your you prefer a room that looks professionally designed/styled, or do you like that ‘quirk’ factor?

Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Fish Foam Review

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  • February 25, 2012

If you’re anything like me, cleaning your windows is pretty much on the bottom of your to-do list. I mean, seriously, those 5 minutes could be used doing something actually important. Like catching up on Bethenny Ever After. {Sidenote: she totally cracks me up. I feel like we could totally be besties in real life. So, Bethenny if you’re reading this, give me a call.}

But when the nice people over at Fish Foam offered to send me a free sample to try, I couldn’t say no. My grandma always taught me that you NEVER pass up anything free. Even if it means you have to clean your windows.

Another thing my grandma taught me is that Windex solves pretty much everything. Yes, my grandma was very much like the Dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Windex was her secret weapon, so naturally that’s what I always used on the off chance that I actually cleaned my windows. And it always worked great. Minus the fact that if you’re too close when you spray, you have to hurry and catch the drips before they run down to the window frame. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

So when I got the Fish Foam, I immediately picked out the dirtiest window in our house, which just happens to be the one by the front door. Why is it so dirty, you ask?


It’s a good thing she’s cute.

I got to cleanin’, and I was definitely pleased with the result! And guess what?? Fish Foam works every bit as well as Windex and it doesn’t drip! I got literally inches away from the window pane and it still didn’t drip. It just foamed up (hence the name) and stayed in place.  No more racing to catch those drippies!

And the after?

Aaah, so much better! I think I’ve got a new tool in my cleaning arsenal 🙂


Best In Show

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  • February 20, 2012

Hi all..hope everyone had a spectacular weekend! We spent some time with our families and also did a little shopping for our upcoming Eastern Europe trip. We were both able to get really nice winter coats that were originally $350+ for $89 a piece! I’m tellin’ ya, end of the season shopping is the way to go for sure!

Since we were so busy running around this weekend, I didn’t get a chance to post my Best In Show. So, here ya go..a little eye candy for this wonderful Monday afternoon!

First up, a really sweet little DIY from Chelsea over on The Sweetest Occasion. Napkin rings are like the cherry on top in the dinner table world, but they can be pricey. So, naturally, I loved this idea! Chelsea also runs the blog Lovely Indeed..check it out for more great ideas!

I love, love, love, using natural elements in a room so when I saw this tree stump side table from Francesca at Restyle.Restore.Rejoice. I instantly swooned. SO pretty!

Amy at The Casablanca Transformation recently revealed the start of her master bath makeover and it looks amazing! Can’t believe she achieved such an elegant look with a little bit of tape and paint!!

Happy Monday, everyone!

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Bloggy Stuff Uncategorized

Featured: Kara Paslay Designs

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  • February 16, 2012

Big thanks to Kara from Kara Paslay Designs for featuring my aluminum foil tape wall today on her blog! Kara is SO creative and she gave me the idea to do it in the first place. I absolutely ADORE her it was a big honor to see my little ol’ blog featured!

So for anyone clicking over today from Kara Paslay Design, welcome!

Now I’ve got some REAL motivation to get that room finished!!

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Best In Show

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  • February 11, 2012

Happy Saturday to everyone! Let’s check out some of my favorite things this week from blogland!!

Still itching to do a V-Day project? There’s still time! I love this one from Kate on Design Sponge. So adorable!

I love any project that utilizes maps, so this pretty little mirror makeover from Carrie at Lovely etc. had me at hello!

And last but not least, this rolling laundry basket dresser from Beckie from Infarrantly Creative caught my eye! Great storage solution…if we had a proper laundry room, you could bet I’d be attempting this!

That’s it for this week! Have a fantastic weekend!!

DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized


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  • February 7, 2012

I was FINALLY able to make some progress in the craft room this past Saturday, which makes me a very happy woman!

First and foremost, I got all the trim painted white (which is a task in and of itself). There’s plenty of tutorials for how to do that, so I’m not gonna break it down for you..just check out this one if you’d like to know more.

Now onto the good stuff. I mean, go-oo-oo-ooood. In my opinion, anyway 🙂

When I saw this tutorial from Kara Paslay Designs, I knew I wanted to recreate it in the craft room. I love a good feature wall and I love all things shiny so this was a perfect combo!

It was relatively easy to do. The hardest part for me was picking out a design that would work and then doing all my measurements so that everything would be even and level. I won’t even tell you guys how long that measuring part took me. Math is not my strong suit, so I was riding the struggle bus for a minute…but once I got it figured out, it was smooth sailing!

This was my basic method: I put up one line of tape in place in order to make sure my design stayed as straight as possible. So using the tape as my guide, I drew my first stencil row onto the wall. I used a 12×12 piece of cardstock as my template for a diamond and then connected my diamonds with a straight line between them. As far as design goes, pick something geometric and simple. I originally had a very complex chain link pattern planned out, but quickly discovered that was going to be WAY too difficult. After I stenciled the first row, I put up a second line of tape to use as a guide for the next row, and so on.

Once I had the whole wall drawn out, I removed the painters tape and readied the only other supply I needed for this DIY: aluminum foil tape. It’s the same stuff that’s normally used for duct work.

I cut all the pieces I would need before I did any taping. One tip I have if you’re going to try something like this, cut longer than what you’ll need. You need to be able to account for corners meeting up and so on. You can always cut off excess later!

And then I got to taping. FYI: this stuff is super sticky. So I suggest to get one end stuck up on the wall, peel the backing off the rest, then slowly stick it to the wall, taking care to smooth it out as much as possible. And you should know right off the bat that this is not a treatment that will look perfect and smooth. There’s really no way to avoid getting some wrinkles and bubbles in the tape, no matter how much you smooth. So if you want something that looks picture perfect, this is probably not  for you. But, personally, I love the texture and imperfection of it!


See the bumps and wrinkles? That’s just the nature of the product.

And here’s the finished product!

Do you love it? I do, I do! I love the impact it makes..and the best part? It cost me about $7.50, the price of the roll of tape! It makes me so excited to keep working on this room and see the final product!!

Linking up at Thrifty Decor Chick and Home Stories A to Z.

Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Nerd Alert!

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  • February 6, 2012

I know a lot of you probably hosted Super Bowl parties this weekend, but we had our campus kids/young adults from church over for a different kind of party on Friday night. The theme? Nerds.

We had so much fun geekin’ out with everyone! People dressed up, we had a pop tart bar, drank Gamer Fuel (aka Mt. Dew), watched some old school Star Trek, and teamed up to create some Zombie Preparedness plans. It was hilarious!  I captured a few pictures I thought I’d share with you all.

These guys were in an INTENSE convo about a book series called “Dune.” The stuff of true nerds.

Pop Tarts, anyone? They have some seriously awesome flavors now like Cookies & Creme and Blueberry Muffin.

Like I said, we had a lot of fun and I think we’ll do themed parties more often! Cowboys, 80’s? The possibilites are endless!

Oh, and if you have a hankering for Pop Tarts, just swing by and we can give you a box. Or twelve.

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Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Curse You, Google

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  • February 1, 2012

There’s no real point to this post, other than to lament the fact that Google is taking away two things that I find instrumental to blogging: Picnik and Google Friend Connect.

I use Picnik to edit all my photos (and always found it to be user friendly), so I’m really not looking forward to having to learn and/or purchase something else. I know a lot of you other bloggers and non-bloggers alike are right there with me. So, what are some alternatives that you guys are looking into or maybe already use?

And second, in March Google is doing away with Google Friend Connect for blogs that are supported with WordPress (aka, mine). I was just barely starting to gain momentum and followers (in fact it was one of my New Year’s resolutions), and now they’re yanking the rug out from under me! Not cool, dude.
So, first off, if you follow my blog only through GFC (not e-mail or a reader of some sort) please, please, please find another way to subscribe! I don’t want to lose any of you guys. So make sure you find a way to get my posts! Now, here’s a question for those of you that blog: is there another widget or service you use to keep track of followers on your blog? I’m dying for another suggestion!
So, in conclusion: happy hump day, and Google can eat my socks.
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