Monday, November 28, 2011

Advice to My Seventeen-Year Old Self

  • Don't worry about being popular. What does that mean anyway?
  • Use sunscreen.  Lots of sunscreen.  Your entire generation needs to know that having a tan does not equal happiness.
  • YOU ARE NOT FAT!  I don't care what you think the mirror and scales say.  Teenage girls are too hard on themselves.
  • Read more.  Talk on the phone less.  
  • Appreciate your teachers.  Especially Mr. Reeves.  His influence will help chart your life.
  • Your clothes look best when they are not too trendy and fit well.  You may regret wearing puffy sleeves and twisted beads, but you can never go wrong with a quality polo shirt or a string of pearls.
  • I know you think you can't wait to go to college and leave what you consider to be a small world, but one day you will recognize what a rich and precious heritage you have.
  • Hug your grandmothers.  Call them.  Write them letters.  Send them pictures.  Take lots of pictures of them.  Write down their stories.  When you buy your first video camera, take lots of footage of them.  Trust me.  You will wish you had more time with them.
  • Go ahead and major in music.  Forget that psychology stuff.  You will never be able to completely walk away from your voice and be happy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

living room 2011

Let There Be Light!

An electrician came to my house this morning to repair the lighting issues upstairs in the bonus room/guest room. Now for the first time in seven years, we can turn on the overhead light and use all the plugs in the wall. He's coming back soon to wire a new closet for lighting.  Yippee!  Then we can officially call this a four-bedroom home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pillow Love

 Love this pattern.
 Coral looks very cool and coastal.  I like a little bit of coastal.

1926 (or is that 1826?) German grain sack pillow 

"Frenchy-french" 1827 grain sack pillow

Typography pillows

I would love to have a wall of bookcases like these.  I could so see myself sitting in one of those chairs reading a favorite book.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Someday My Tile Will Come

These days I'm singing this version of the classic song, "Someday my prince tile will come..."  In the meantime I wait patiently for the money to change this square tile with rope trim...

to this simpler subway tile.

Because I'm weary of looking at this.

I'm also trying to decide between the oil-rubbed bronze hardware on the left or the brushed nickel
on the right.  What do you think?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring is here!  I'm always glad for the change of seasons.  Here's what spring looks like at my house.

The mailbox bed I built all by myself five years ago.

And last but not least....
Play ball!

E-mealz Changed My Life

When it comes to meal planning, I've been stuck in a chili, spaghetti, Little Caesar's, Sonic, and McDonalds rut for years. For a special treat, we like Chick-fil A.  Every time I tried something new in the kitchen, my boys would turn up their noses.  I NEVER cooked dinner at home for seven days straight.

I subscribed to three weeks ago and WOW!  I've cooked ALMOST every dinner at home for THREE WEEKS IN A ROW.  I can't believe it.  I work outside the home so I'm usually pretty tired at the end of the day, but I've actually been looking forward to getting home so I can cook!  Bizarre.

I know all you foodies out there are rolling your eyes.  You've been making stuff like Penne with Bacon and Spinach or Pecan Crusted Tilapia forever, but I just bought my first bottle of balsamic vinaigrette and I'm excited.

Jenny Cochran and Jane Delaney, the amazing e-mealz ladies
 The ladies at do all the planning for me.  I just select a plan based on my favorite grocery store and for $1.50 a week I get a meal plan, shopping list, and recipes for seven meals.  They have plans for Walmart, Aldi, Publix, Kroger, and others.  We're doing the Walmart Weight Watchers Points Plus plan.  Yes...they will even count your points for you.  My boys have eaten vegetables, salads, and fresh fruit.  It's amazing.

We're saving money, too.  Dave Ramsey endorses the site.  We aren't going through the drive-through four or five times a week any more.  I still love my Chick-fil A, but now I don't feel so guilty about it.  It's a real treat and not a necessity just because I couldn't/wouldn't cook.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Baby Built His Own Computer

This looks like Jim Halpert from The Office smiling smugly at the camera.
My baby turned 14 last month.  Like many last born children he is the funniest family member.  Another mom told me yesterday that her son comes home from school every day and says "Wait 'til you hear what he said today!"

He loves computers and wanted to upgrade our family computer.  He saved his money for over a year, researched all the components, ordered everything online, and with the guidance of a very smart adult (Mr. David J.), he assembled the thing himself.  Go ahead.  You can call him a genius.  I won't mind.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I grew up at the base of this mountain not very far from where this photo was taken.  I love researching my family history, imagining what life was like 100 years ago or even 200 years ago.  My ancestors were already settled here when this area became a state in the 1790s.  My parents still live in the house they built here in 1966.  It's filled with creaky floors, several decades of paint colors, the pink ceramic tile bathroom of my childhood, and lots of wonderful memories.  I think I'm homesick.  Spring break's comin' soon, and I wanna go home.  I think there's a country song in there somewhere.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Kitchen Inspiration Pics

Subway tile backsplash
Same kitchen-different view(
Love the contrast of black chairs and white cabinetry

We plan to do cabinets to the ceiling like this.

I want glass front cabinets like these on my window wall.

I love the blue accents here.  I have similar kitchen towels, but I don't think I'll use quite as much blue. 

So pretty...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Downton Abbey

Period dramas, especially English ones, are my favorite form of entertainment.  I loved the BBC series "North and South," and the 80s Sherlock Holmes episodes.  I think I have seen every single film adaptation of Jane Austen's novels.  Every. single. one.

Friday night, Fabulous Husband and I were clicking through the Netflix Watch Instantly offerings and decided to watch Masterpiece Classic "Downton Abbey."  I enjoyed it so much that we watched seven, count 'em, seven episodes.  It was 2:30 a.m. when we went to bed.  He indulged my interest and stayed up with me. Now THAT'S a Fabulous Husband. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

Ed Dobson, an evangelical Christian pastor, read The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs and was inspired to do his own experiment with biblical living. While Jacobs, a secular Jew, followed both Old and New Testament instructions very literally; Dobson chose to concentrate on the Gospel accounts of how Jesus would have navigated everyday life. 

So far in my reading, Dobson's biggest challenge is eating kosher, especially avoiding meat and dairy together.  No baked potato with butter and sour cream to accompany his steak. Bummer.  I wouldn't like that either.  I'll post regularly on my reactions as I finish the book.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kitchen Makeover in Progress


my kitchen-before

We're remodeling our kitchen, and like a lot of people, it's taking a very long time to do it.  It started when the oven died.  After replacing every appliance but the fridge, we decided to throw out the crumbling thermafoil cabinet doors and reface the cabinets and drawers with solid wood shaker doors. We have an estimate and are waiting to do that last.  We have already replaced the stained white 1996 laminate countertops with tropical brown granite. We also painted over the pastel yellow walls with Benjamin Moore Bennington Gray.  Lovely. 

My sister, a design GENIUS, made roman shades from a lovely tone-on-tone blue (of course!) stripe. I said "goodbye" to the yellow floral valance. So far, so good.  Here's a close-up of the granite, the new roman shades, and my son's chocolate cake.

Then came undercabinet lighting.  The electrician opened up the dry wall to wire the things, and now we're waiting for the moolah to repair the wall and install off-white subway tile.

forgive me for the dark photo-I'll post a new photo in natural light soon.

Here are some of my inspiration pics:

jbrodie's kitchen - gardenweb's kitchen forum

garden web kitchen forum
Thanks for looking!