First Christmas in Our New House

Our first Christmas in our house! Crazy! I didn’t do a ton of decorating, because we just don’t have a ton of stuff to decorate. But I did do the big stuff- wreath, mantle, tree. Along with a few other things like towels in the bathroom. Mama used to do stuff like that and it just made me happy. My new thing I want is Christmas china. Maybe one day.

The only thing we did outside was a wreath. Next year, we’re going to have to step up our exterior game because it looks so dark and dreary at night. But I love our live wreath and I even like the bow I made for it, although it probably needs to be bigger.

Our TV unit has this connecting piece that we’ve been procrastinating doing. Ryan didn’t think he would like it and I thought we were going to have to take everything down to put it all together. However, I knew I wanted to use it like a mantle because we don’t have a fireplace, so it forced us to do it. And it wasn’t as hard to put together as I thought and Ryan really likes it. We should have done it months ago. Oh, well.

But like I said, I’m using this as our mantle. It’s not ideal because it’s deeper than a regular mantle, but it works. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Trees are just impossible to take pictures of. They never look as pretty as they do in real life. This year, I layered regular lights with bigger, outdoor lights and I love how it turned out. I’m of a heritage that believes you can never have too many lights on a tree.

I didn’t have tags when I bought this tree, so I used post-its for now. Classy, I know. I do try to coordinate all of my wrapping. I’ve bought so much after Christmas at Target for 75% off that I’m never going to run out. And the cords are a mess, I know. Type B+ over here- lights are perfect, but the cords are a disaster.

This little vignette on the dining table is probably my favorite part of the entire house. Love the old ornaments, those tumbling Santas that were Mimi’s, that little reindeer in my Christmas cactus, the whole thing.

We hung our Christmas cards in the window of the kitchen. I love how it looks, but it’s impossible to take a picture of. And we’ve already gotten more since I took this picture. I may need to add an extra string below.

And that concludes our little house tour! Y’all come back, now, ya hear?


House Updates- Slow and Steady

A few weeks ago, Ryan braved Ikea to pick up some furniture for the house. The biggest thing was the bookcase/entertainment center for the living room. We went back and forth between the Billy set and the Hemnes set but ultimately went with the Hemnes because it’s a little nicer looking, even though it was more expensive.

You can somewhat see in this before picture to the left of the TV was the security alarm. I knew I wanted to do these bookshelves and the alarm was almost in the middle of the wall, so I had them move it to the other side of the closet door.

We just had the TV sitting on the coffee table from our apartment. You can also see the huge hole left from where the alarm was. Once the room gets painted, it will be patched, but you already can’t see it with the bookcases in front of it. I didn’t take any pictures of the building process. I generally like putting together Ikea furniture- it’s like a puzzle. There was one tiny mess-up that I made though, when I put one piece in the wrong spot and it made everything wrong. So my sweet husband took it apart and re-did it. However, I got it right on the second bookshelf. ;)

So far, we love them. There is one more piece that will go across the top to bridge the two bookcases, but we are waiting on the room to be painted before we do that.

It still needs more “styling,” but we love it so far. I also want to do some art above the whole thing and a few other funky pieces, but it’s definitely getting there.

We also picked up this buffet to go in the kitchen. It’s got some extra storage, but mostly it fills in this space. The people before us had a little breakfast table in there, but the dining room is literally two steps away, so it seemed a little silly to me to have two dining tables so close to each other, especially because our dining room is really casual.

This fills in the space perfectly. I do want to adjust the shelf to make it a little easier to put the toaster down there. (It’s just kind of wedged in there right now and two of the legs are falling through, making it crooked.) And I had to have that little tail in there. So stinkin cute. I also took down that valence the day we moved in. It’s silly. It blocked half the window and looks so much more open now.

We are slowly, but surely making some changes around here. It’s feeling like home.

Of course, having this smiling face greet us when we walk in the door makes it that much more. She’s the best.

 


The Living Room Plan

The other night, I got sick of all of the boxes and dining chairs just stacked in the living room, so I went on a frenzy and cleared them out (spurred on by this post from Modern Mrs. Darcy.) I can’t even tell you how much better I feel now about the space. And all it took was maybe 15 minutes. So here is our (my) plan for the living and dining room.

The entire room- walls, trim, ceiling- is being painted Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. It’s a soft, pretty white and it’s what the entire store is painted. So I’m keeping it simple with that and just going with something I already know I like. There are a million different whites out there and I could make myself crazy picking or I can make it easy on myself. I also decided to just change out the trim to Chantilly Lace also. It needs to be repainted anyway, so I may as well choose a new color. Because the ceiling is vaulted, we are just going to have someone come out and paint. That is currently what we are waiting on to make some other purchases for the room.

Mama bought two chairs for us at the church yard sale that we are having reupholstered. The pink and green plaid has got to go.

We are planning on redoing them in this fun floraly-paisley from House of Fabric. This fabric is our jumping off point for the entire house. I’m a primary color girl.

My original inspiration fabric was this Duralee floral from fabric.com, but it sold out before I could buy it. Happy accident, though, because I think I like the new fabric better. It is a little bit more sophisticated, anyway.

The sofa is the same one from our apartment. Comfy, but will need to be slipcovered at some point. Still debating a color, but it will definitely be solid. Maybe a blue or a different green or just a neutral linen. We’ve got some time on that, though. The side tables are just hand me downs from my parents and Mimi and Papa. We also snagged this wooden chair from Mama and Daddy. It’s actually really comfortable. Ryan has taken it over ever since the Lay-Z-Boy was sent to the basement.

 

We do need to get a pair of lamps for them. My inspiration came from these lamps that Hollywood Housewife saw while thrifting in her hometown. I love the white and brass. I’ve found several on Etsy, I just need to pull the trigger on a pair. Let’s be real- it all comes down to money. I should do a post on lighting. For me, it’s one of the most important aspects of a room and can take the room from builder-grade to custom really quickly, even if the rest of your stuff is standard Ikea or Target.

Our coffee table is from work. It’s an ottoman from Lee Industries and I love the mid-century vibe. It’s much better than our old one, that was too high for the sofa and made your legs fall asleep. Plus, it will be extra seating if we need it. We probably do need to get tray tables for when we eat dinner in front of the TV. (Hey, it happens. Although we have gotten better about it since moving into the house.) I think it might be too big for the room, but I’m hoping that the tall bookshelves on the other side of the room will help balance it out.

For the TV, we are going to get one of these bookshelves from Ikea. This one is bigger than the one we will probably be able to get. The plan is to paint the back of the shelves green or blue. It’s probably not going to be able to hold as many books as I would like, but it will work. My dream house would have had custom built-ins, but I compromised. ;)

I would love to do something like this above those bookshelves, if there is room.

For the windows, I’m planning on making these Roman shades in white. Our window is HUGE and we desperately need something to cover it besides the hideous, all different length curtains that were left by the previous owners. (I don’t feel that bad bad-mouthing them. They left the house filthy when they moved out and said they would clean it, plus they left us their nasty dog bed and a bunch of other trash to deal with. Not very happy about that.)

At first, I was potentially trimming them in this Greek key ribbon. However, I think my drapery plans have changed.

To add some color to the window, I’m going to also do a drapery panel, but I’m not 100% sure what yet. I was originally thinking this blue stripe. However, I just wasn’t feeling it. It seemed to nautical/little boy for what I wanted.

So now I’m thinking green. Green and red are my two favorite colors, so why not? The green will go more toward chartruese, so it won’t look Christmas-y.

This is an option, but I haven’t ordered a sample yet to see. I would love a chunky green and white stripe, but haven’t been able to find one yet.

 

 

For the artwork, I’m going to use the same pieces that were above the sofa in the apartment. I love them. When we were in Greensboro over the weekend, I fell in love with this old blue piece of porch architecture. I mostly just loved the color and the fact that someone had painted their house this crazy shade of blue! Ryan is adapting to it. ;) You can see it peeking out from behind the sofa in this picture. Yes, it’s the same picture, but I know I’m too lazy to scroll back up, so I assume you are too.

I do have to buy another piece of art or two for this wall. My parents had this antique washstand upstairs in our house for years and then they moved it down to the lake. I’ve always loved the tile on it and when we were there a few weeks ago, I asked Mama if I could have it and she said yes! We’ve decided to use it as a bar. It’s a little small and we need to figure out the artwork situation, but I think it’s what we needed to add some warmth to the room.

That orange chair in the corner of the picture needs to be recovered also. It was one of the first pieces of furniture I ever bought. I still love the lines of it.

I’m thinking some cool black and white photography. I’m currently obsessed with this picture of Stevie Nicks and her dog. But do I want the Welsh Witch Woman to be the first thing you see when you walk in our house? I don’t know.

So that’s about where I’m at right now. We haven’t actually made any progress yet, but the pieces are all there. Just need to get moving on them.

 

 

 

 


So… We bought a house!

Gosh, I have been about to burst over this! I’m a TERRIBLE secret keeper (of my own secrets, not of other people’s) so this has been crazy hard for me to keep quiet.

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!!

(I know. I gave it away in the title. Oh, well.)

It’s just a little ranch house, not too far from where we are now. However, it feels down right PALATIAL compared to our apartment. We spent most of yesterday moving after a busy weekend and are finishing up today. Right now, it seems a little empty, but it won’t be long before we fill it up. It doesn’t need too much work, just a lot of paint and some new lighting. And rugs and new landscaping and reupholstered furniture. I have big plans for this little lady. (Yes, this house is a girl.) But, all of that will come with time.

Right now, we’re just excited about a place to call ours.

This was after the final inspection last week. We closed on Tuesday, which was exactly one year after we got our marriage license.

Ryan, we’ve come a long way, baby. And we still have a long way to go. There’s no one I’d rather walk this road with than you.

Full story and house tour to come. :)


An Apartment Tour

A few weeks ago I realized I had never done a full apartment tour, so I snapped a few pics and thought I’d share them. This is our apartment in its “natural state.” It’s on the messier side of clean in these pictures but real life is always more interesting than perfection. No one is going to pin these on Pinterest, but hopefully our kids will look back and see this tiny little apartment we shared for the first year of our marriage.

This is our entry way. We left all of the Christmas cards we got up. I love looking at them and seeing our friends and family looking back at us. There’s a tiny closet that has coats and other random stuff stuffed in it.

I received this Georgia painting for my high school graduation and it has hung in the entry of every place I’ve lived since then, minus my parents’ house. The squirrel is one of my favorites. I learned from my mom to keep my keys hanging by the door and you’ll always know where to find them. However, I should have left room for another hook for Ryan. Oh, well. We share.

Our Georgia gallery wall. A plate we got as a wedding gift from Ryan’s old boss, a picture of Knowshon and Brandon Boykin, a print of the Arch, a poster I got for Christmas several years ago from the 80s with lots of cool people in it- The Beatles, Statue of Liberty, all the sororities and fraternities, etc, a drawing from Kylie to Ryan by the guy that doesn’t have hands downtown and draws with his mouth, a small print of lyrics from “Georgia”I got from Chance for Christmas one year and the sheet music for the fight song from Aunt Suzan for my 21st birthday.

Our kitchen. It is definitely a “one butt” kitchen. I will be so thankful when we can have all of our appliances in easy reach!

I will also be thankful when I don’t have to keep cookie sheets and skillets in the oven and I can just turn it on without hauling stuff out of it first.

Another squirrel picture and a blue and white platter. My love of blue and white is at an all time high.

I love having this bulletin board above the sink. We have pictures of our Compassion kids and different Bible verses. I love looking at them while I’m washing the dishes. Maybe it gives me a better attitude about it? I also have our calender and meal plan up on the fridge. It makes it easy to access and know what we have going on. Also, if you squint really closely, you can see the Dawn dispenser I bought. Let me just tell you. Being able to pump the soap out instead of having to turn the bottle upside down is such a life saver. Not really, but you know what I’m saying. Also, so much prettier than the Dawn bottle.

Our fridge is covered in save the dates, wedding invites, baby announcements and a picture of some of my cousins. But only on the freezer portion because the magnets don’t stick very well and they slide down.

Our living room. The sofa is one Mam bought at the Habitat for Humanity store and I gave her a hard time about it, but it is so comfortable that Chance and I are now fighting over it. The Lay-Z-Boy was bought by my parents when I was a baby and Ryan has now taken it over.

The dining table is from Ikea and we never sit at it because it’s usually covered with stuff. I painted the base and bought stain for the top, but I haven’t gotten around to actually staining it. Dave Matthews posters because I am a good wife and let Ryan keep them in the living room. (But they will be sent to the office or basement when we have a house.) The prints over the sofa are a Picasso that I bought freshman year of college and still love and the circle hung in the half-bath of my parents house for years until Mama changed things up and I stole it. The coffee table is from Mimi and Papa’s and it’s too tall to really be a coffee table.

Oh, man. Things look so much more chaotic in pictures than in real life. This is Ryan’s “pitiful” March Madness set-up. The red buffet I had painted and the bookcase is from Mimi and Papa’s. When the guys moved it into the apartment, they were super careful with it because they thought Papa had made it. He was more function than form, however.

Hopefully, this picture can give you an idea of the layout of the apartment as a whole. This is the view if you are sitting on the sofa. Kitchen to the right, bathroom and the bedroom is on the opposite side of the wall with the bookshelf and buffet.

Another picture to give you an idea of the layout.

The bedroom is pretty dang tiny, but it works for us. And yes, we sleep in a double bed. It’s funny because at my parents’ house we sleep in a queen and Ryan seems so far away! The sconces have been awesome because they don’t take up any room on our tiny nightstands. Plus, I love that they add some color and interest.

I love having all of these windows in our room. It helps me wake up in the morning. And I need all the help I can get in that department. The date art is from Ryan’s brother Michael and his wife Christie for our wedding. I love it.

I’m very hesitant to add this picture. But, this is real life. This is our closet. And yes, it is kind of a mess, but it works for us. Obviously, it could be bigger, but I guess we could both get rid of a ton of clothes and other stuff. But neither of us really have that much stuff.

Tiny, but efficient bathroom. Our dream bathroom will have two sinks, but it works because we don’t ever really get ready at the same time except for Sundays.

These are the lyrics to one of our favorite songs, written by the singer/songwriter. Yes, it’s kinda weird to have the lyrics of a song call “My Favorite Place” in the bathroom. Ryan gave me this for Christmas a few years ago.

Shower curtain from college. I still love it, but it doesn’t really work any more. I wonder if I can pick out the monogram and have it re-done.

It feels a little weird to end this on the bathroom. But, that is the end. This is the most picture-filled post I’ve had in a long time. But hopefully this gave you a good idea of our first little home. It’s ours and I love it.

But…..

 

 


Christmastime is here!

Merry Christmas from our family!

I didn’t go too crazy with Christmas decorating this year. For one, we are in a small apartment and don’t have much room or a lot of stuff to decorate with. Plus, the season is kinda short this year and Christmas is my busiest time at work. So just simple decorations were the order of the day.

This is our “front door.” The wreath reminds me of something my grandmother would have had in her house at Christmas, so that’s why I love it. It’s not perfect, but it is sentimental.

On the other side of our door, we’ve been hanging our Christmas cards as we get them. Ryan is in charge of that. (I still need to finish addressing ours! Next year, hopefully I will order before Thanksgiving. But probably not, let’s be real.) I love seeing all of these sweet faces.

This little vignette is in our “hall.” I love that we can see it from the sofa. I painted the saying last year and the glass trees are from Target after Christmas last year- 70% off!

The little red flowers are left over from our wedding. They were on pins for everyone to wear. Lots of time spent making those, but I loved it!

Annnd the living room! I just hung some felt ball garland from West Elm over our pictures to make it a little festive.

Another glass tree with a football helmet topper. (Ryan put it on there and I just left it.) More red flowers and I love the reindeer in the plant. An easy way to add some cheer without having to change out all of my regular stuff.

And the other side of the room.

Our little tinsel tree. I love how it reflects the lights on it. I’m a “real tree” person, but when I got this one out and set it up in less than 3 minutes, it sure was nice. I also just added a print from Lindsey Letters above the tv and the Noel is from Target. The little nativity beneath the tree was a gift from a friend at work.

I bought us stockings from West Elm and hung them on the book case. Ryan is not a fan, but I like the “homemade” look. I just wanted stockings and couldn’t find any that I liked very much.

These are two of my favorite ornaments.

Thanks for visiting!


A Tiny House Update

In an apartment this small (about 650 sq ft.), with two people and all of their shiny new wedding gifts, it’s hard to have a piece of furniture that doesn’t serve any purpose, other than being decorative.

So, a few weeks ago when we were cleaning out Mimi’s room, Mama asked me if I’d like to have this little chest that had more storage options. It has a few drawers and a cabinet.

It’s a little lower, so I put a picture below to fill in the space and put the lamp on a few books. I need to print out a picture from our honeymoon for the frame.

I like the color of the wood against the gray. And it’s really nice that I could take some stuff out of the kitchen cabinet and don’t have to wrestle with all of the extra pots and pans every time I want one thing out of there. It’s the little things.