Monthly Archives

June 2012

Life Uncategorized

25 Before 25 – Update

Pssst…wanna know a secret? I’ve been in Seattle and Portland over the last week! I had some training in Portland for work on Wednesday and Thursday, so JP and I snuck out to Seattle on Saturday for a few days of relaxation!! Seattle is a place he’s always wanted to visit and we figured since we were going to be so close, we should take advantage of the opportunity. It’s a beautiful, unique city with lots to see!

So since I was playing hooky this week, I thought I’d give you guys a little update on how I’m doing with my 25 by 25 list. It’s been 3 months since I issued the little challenge to myself, and my birthday is a little under 3 months away. So let’s see how productive I’ve been:

1. Learn to sew.

2. Travel internationally. {We took care of this one back in March when we visited Poland, Russia, Latvia and Prague!}

3. Have a real, bona-fide, cutesy picnic.

4. Build something.

5. Make photobooks for 2010 and 2011. {Just finished that one actually! Check it out here.}

6. Surprise JP. {I threw him a small, impromptu birthday party..but I’d still like to do something bigger.}

7. Read 10 books.

8. Learn to play a new instrument.

9. Become more physically active. {I’ve been walking Lucy more and also riding bikes with hubby.}

10. Visit some thrift stores in Indy that I’ve been wanting to go to for a while. {Finally visited, and I was underwhelmed. Boo.}

11. Paint the guest bath and guest bedroom.

12. Go to a concert.

13. Take a bike ride.

14. Teach Lucy to roll over.

15. Watch a documentary. {I’ve watched a couple actually: Being Elmo which I found totally fascinating and Best Worst Movie which is about the movie Troll 2. If you like ridiculously bad movies, Troll 2 is an absolute must.}

16. Plant a tree.

17. Watch a sunrise with JP. {This was probably the first one I checked off the list seeing as we caught several after returning home from Europe…yayy for jet lag!}

18. Blog consistently. {I would like to consistently post 2-3 times/week, which I’ve been good with in the past couple weeks. Going to try and keep it up!}

19. Do something spontaneous.

20. Find a good way to commemorate mine and JP’s travels.

21. Make our bedroom more home-y.

22. Buy more artwork that makes me smile.

23. Try Thai food.

24. Write a letter to someone (mayor? local transportation department?) about paving the back road to our neighborhood.

25. Get back to practicing piano consistently.

Hmmm, I’ve only completed 9 of 25 which means I better get cracking in these next few months!

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Bloggy Stuff Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Barn Light Electric Giveaway

Have you guys heard of Barn Light Electric? They’re an online lighting company that has some super awesome rustic and vintage lighting options. They’re hosting a giveaway right now, and 1 lucky winner is gonna get a $1000 gift certificate to use towards new lighting. Plus they’re giving away 1 $500 and 1 $250 gift certificate! Awesome, right?

If I was lucky enough to win, I might buy one of these babies for the guest bedroom.

Or maybe a pair of these over the mirror in our guest bath?

Oh yes, $1000 could go a long way in helping out with some much needed updates around the casa!

Are you interested in winning? Here’s the rundown:

  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article
  4. Once your personal post is up, you must email your blog link to: marketing@barnlightelectric.com to be qualified to win – the contest ends July 2nd, 2012
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by visiting our website or read these Official Rules

May the odds be ever in your favor! (Actually, not really, because I really want to win.)

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Life Uncategorized

Picture Perfect

Welp, I’ve found my new addiction. Making photo books. I just got our first one in the mail and, ohhhh boy, do I love it! But let me back up for a second.

I think photographs are some of my most cherished possessions. And, unfortunately, I am not the type to take photos and then get them printed. I just never remember. I usually just upload them to Facebook and then they sit in a folder on my computer until the end of time. But having them on sites like Facebook or Flickr just isn’t the same to me as physically being able to touch them. I LOVE looking through old photos and reminiscing. In my opinion, personal photos are the thing that make your home a HOME. And we don’t have enough of them around ours! So I decided the best solution was to start annually compiling our photos into a nice photo book that we can keep forever.

Our first book covers our first year of marriage; it starts on our wedding day (August 14, 2010) and ends 1 year later on our anniversary (August 14, 2011). I considered doing them all this way, but thought it might be confusing to have to run every book from August to August instead of covering 1 regular calendar year. So, book #2 will finish off the rest of 2011 and span all of 2012, and we’ll just do a yearly one each year after that.

And I seriously can’t wait for December 31st to roll around so I can get started on the second book. That’s how much fun I had making the first one! I decided to go with Shutterfly for a few reasons:

1.) My mom has made some books with them in the past, so I know they’re good quality and decently priced.
2.) They had several awesome “storytelling styles,” or book designs, to choose from, including one called “Chalkboard Chic” that I fell in love with.
3.) Their site is very user friendly and it made uploading photos and choosing layouts simple.

Ok, so you guys wanna little peek at our book? Of course you do!


I went with a 12×12 because that was the best savings and I like…big…photos and I cannot lie. Right now it’s $32.99 for a 20 page 12×12 book. And each additional page costs 90 cents (I ended up adding 10 more pages).


I really can’t say enough good things about how easy it was to make this book, and I loved all the options Shutterfly gave me for layouts and embellishments. In the end, I really felt like I had designed a book that was very “me.”


And I can’t let this post go without showing you guys my favorite photo in the whole book.

Literally cracks me up every time I see it. This is what my husband does when he’s subjected to one too many pictures.

The only thing I was disappointed with  in the whole process was the fact that I didn’t have MORE photos to put in the book. Picture me frantically searching my computer files for any and all relevant photos that could allow me to design just one more page (I may need a photo book intervention when this is all said and done). So, friends and family, here’s your official warning: plan on me being a little more trigger happy with the camera going forward!

{Sidenote: Shutterfly did not pay me for this post in anyway. They don’t even know who I am. If they would like to pay me, though, I would be down for that.}

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Best In Show Uncategorized

Best In Show

Happy Father’s Day weekend, everybody! I hope you spoil all the men in your life with lots of love and appreciation! But for now, let’s take a look at some inspiring projects from this week 🙂

Mandi at Vintage Revivals revealed her AWESOME painted concrete floors. Such a great idea, right?!

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick crafted herself up an orb pendant using embroidery hoops, and I think it looks fantastic!

Finally, Kara of Kara Paslay Designs had the brilliant idea of turning some sea glass vase filler into one-of-a-kind knobs for a vanity! Love it!

Hope you guys were inspired…and a Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful men out there, including my own amazing Dad!

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Outdoors Uncategorized

Workin’ On My Green Thumb

This post is long overdue, considering the events took place Mother’s Day weekend…but better late, than never right?!

I mentioned that when my mom was up here over Mother’s Day, that we did a little gardening so I wanted to share with you guys!

I am pretty clueless when it comes to gardening. I have a black thumb, a black hand, and a black forearm. I have no idea what flowers work best for where I live, I always forget to water them, and I never remember to pull my planters in before it freezes. But with the help of my gardening guru (my sweet mom), we were able to pick out a few nice flowers, and finally make sense of the landscaping in our front yard!

I don’t have a before picture for you guys (bad blogger, I know) but just trust that it was ugly. Picture overgrown plants and weeds EVERYWHERE. It was seriously out of control. The first thing we did was trim back the princess spirea bush that was already planted. It had basically taken over the entire section of our landscaping by our sidewalk and was choking out all the other plants that we already planted there. We trimmed it back by at least 35-40% and it still looks huge. Apparently, these things are growing monsters!

Lucy is our version of a garden gnome.

Then it was on to planting some new things! I bought two planters: one to sit on our front porch and one to put in the flower bed underneath our front window. For the one on the porch, we planted some pretty orange-y pink begonias. I’m in LOVE with the color! It makes me feel like a live in a tropical oasis 🙂

For the flower bed below our front window, we put a planter filled with purple and yellow calibrachoa right in the middle and planted two hostas on the sides. The previous owners had some other grassy plant in this spot (which hubby had totally mowed over) so we also left those in their places, hoping they would grow back into something good. And I’m happy to report that they are! I have no clue what they are, but they have these really cute lilac colored flowers on then every now and then. Happy surprise!

So here’s a few tips I picked up during my first real gardening adventure:

1) Put a layer of rocks in the bottom of your planters. It helps with drainage, and you don’t have to buy as much potting soil. Double bonus!

2) Hedge clippers are your friend. I never cut back the princess spirea bush because I was afraid I would hurt it somehow. Turns out, you really can’t hurt it! So trim away, my friends. No, seriously..trim that thing or it will take over your life.

3) Read the tags! They offer helpful tips about how to care for your flowers (how much water, partial vs. full sunlight, etc).

4) Water, water, and water some more! This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but it was always the hardest part for me. So, for the first couple weeks, I set a reminder on my phone at the same time every day to go out and water the plants. And now it’s my after-work routine!

Anyone else been doing any gardening? Do you have any more tips for this novice gardener?

{Sidenote: Big thanks to Jenny at DIYNewlyweds for featuring the art I made with our wedding photo. Hop on over and check it out!}

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Best In Show Uncategorized

Best In Show

I’m back with another edition of Best In Show! Let’s check out some awesome inspiration!!

This is quick and easy DIY from Chelsea at Lovely Indeed is so adorable! She took basic rubber erasers and carved them out to make some custom stamps! I’m totally digging the arrows trend right now, so I was definitely drawn to this!

This is one of those ideas that, as soon as I saw it, I was like, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Carmel of Our Fifth House transformed a simple pegboard into an awesome headboard for her son. Genius!

Kristin at The Hunted Interior made an awesome canopy for her daughter’s bed. What little girl doesn’t dream of something like this?!

That’s it for this week! Now, time to catch up on Design Star.. the white room challenge is one of my favorite weeks for sure!

{Disclaimer: If you want to pin these images, please follow the links to the original source to do so!}

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Before & After DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Just A Teaser

Remember a couple weeks ago when I showed you guys this picture and told you about how we had begun working JP’s office at the church?


Well, I am happy to say it is thisclose to being finished! The only major thing we have left is switching out the lighting (which we may put off for a little bit anyway). So I wanted to give you guys a few teaser shots, and hopefully I can do the full reveal for you next week!

It’s looking so good, you guys…I’m really excited to show you!

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Home Decor/ Interior Design Shopping/Thrifting/Fab Finds Uncategorized

Recent Finds

Happy Monday, lemon-droppers! Party season is officially here for the Parnell household. We had 5 to attend on Saturday alone! So it was a very busy day for us, but I did manage to sneak in a couple hours of yard sale-ing on Saturday morning and I walked away with a couple new things!

First up: two nice wooden chairs for….wait for it…6 bucks!! No, not $6/each…$6 for both! I’m a sucker for chairs, so of course I couldn’t pass these guys up! We frequently have large groups of people over so in my book, more chairs = happiness. I’m thinking of keeping these guys on our back patio..JP and I decided to spruce it up as an early anniversary present to ourselves, so be on the lookout for updates!


I think I’ll paint them white (or maybe black..oooh, that could be chic!) but dip the bottom of the legs in a bright, fun color! Now that I really think about it, there are lots of fun color combos I could try…hmmm.


I picked up this cute little floral painting for fiddy cent. I’ve been dying to bring that red/coral-y color into my house so when I locked eyes on this little beauty, I was smitten! And the gold frame? Psh. Fabulous. Methinks this will find a place on the gallery wall I mentioned doing on our staircase.

These next two things are not from yard sales..I actually picked them both up at Home Goods when we went down to Indy last weekend for Memorial Day.

Don’t mind the unruly cords and the table that desperately needs dusting. Just keepin’ it real.

I got this lovely little sea urchin lamp for $30. I’m really digging the short, squatty shape. It fits perfect on the table under our TV. Previously, I had some trouble trying to find something that was short enough not to block the TV. This little guy is just what the lamp doctor ordered!


I also picked up this wire magazine rack for $30 (it could also be a super adorable book holder in a kids room). It fits perfectly in our guest bath! So far, we haven’t done anything to that room except hang a shower curtain and throw down a rug. It may be time to fix it up!

Anyone else score some good garage sale finds this weekend? And tell me the truth, how much do you love Home Goods?

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