Monday, November 20, 2017

Fall Weekend Getaway

We've been looking forward to our family getaway for months!  Five years ago, the fall before Abby and I both met our husbands, we "original four" stayed in one of Joe Wheeler State Park's Lakeside Cottages for a weekend.  We had an absolute blast and have longed to go back as a family of six.

So we took off Friday afternoon to get the vaca started!

This was the perfect time of year- the fall foliage was just beautiful and we saw a couple dozen deer on our drive into the park.

We had a three bed/three bath cottage right on the lake!

Unfortunately, the guys had to work later than the rest of us so they missed the sunset.

The panoramic view from our deck Saturday morning...


Here's the living room...

...and dining room...

We declared Saturday a pj day and took the assignment very seriously!  Our plan was to play games all day and play all day we did!

To make sure we had time for all the games, we drew names out of a bowl and either timed the game, or just played one round.  And we STILL didn't have time to play all we brought!

We did spend some time on the deck.  We especially liked watching the American White Pelican who stops at Joe Wheeler on it's winter migration.

According to the internet,  American White Pelicans have the second largest average wingspan of any North American bird, after the California Condor!  Their wing span averages 7-10 feet.   These pictures don't capture how big they were but the ducks swimming with them were about a quarter of their size.

Saturday night Daddy made a fire for s'mores....a fall getaway must-have!

Chris stayed traditional, but my ideal s'more is a toasty marshmallow between Hershey squares- no graham cracker!  It was gone so fast, I didn't get a pic!

We wrapped up our weekend with lunch at Stanfield's- a cute, local restaurant in Rogersville and about 10 minutes from Joe Wheeler.

Chris and I both love historical, interesting things so after lunch we drove about 10 minutes to see Wheeler Dam.  We could actually see it in the far distance from our cottage but we wanted to get closer.

This picture shows the difference in water levels on either side of the dam...

So thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the county with my great family!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Guest Room Makeover

This past weekend I finished up my last project from Adoption by Design, a fundraiser for my sister and brother-in-law's adoption.  My friend Rhega {check out her blog On the Couch Under a Throw} asked me to freshen up her guest room that also serves as her gift wrapping room.  I went to her home back in the summer to brainstorm and take some before pictures.  It's taken several months to buy all the decor and wait for a chair to be upholstered...but it was worth the wait!  Ready to see it???







The Details

We kept the room's daybed and just scooted it over a bit so the side table could fit next to it.  My inspiration for the room was the art work of Rhega's youngest daughter.  I loved how colorful it was and knew this Anthropologie quilt was the way to go!  We kept the neutral yellow walls, allowing all the accessories to take center stage.

Rhega and I chose a rich teal that matches the quilt and found an upholster to update the chair that had been in the room..  The upholster also made coordinating pillows from a striped fabric.  The key to mixing patterns is to go to for opposites in the same color palette.  A busy plaid in these same colors would compete with the floral, but the stripes just compliment.

I looked all over the place for just the right lamp for Rhega's room and eventually found it at TJ Maxx.  Because of the large scale of the room and furniture and that it would be the only piece in the corner, I really searched for a large, hefty lamp with color.  I found a lot of neutral lamps but I needed color to pop against the pale walls.  I loved that this lamp brought out the navy in the quilt and contrasted against the teal chair.  The gold accent at the base tied it in with the gold accents on the wall shelves on the other side of the room.  I also just love the stone finial too!

Above the gift wrapping station, I hung two shelves I found at Home Goods.

They are perfect for crafty bits and pieces like pens, buttons, and washi tape!

The bar at the bottom is originally intended for a towel rack, but Rhega can use it for leftover ribbon, tissue paper, etc.  Practical storage can be beautiful too!

One of the first items I started shopping for on this project was some way to hang the artwork so that it was easily changeable and fit the size of paper Rhega's artist uses.  I had seen these magnetic poster bars a few weeks before and was excited to find a project to use them on!  It's simply 4 magnetic bars that you connect at the top and bottom of the art.  They come in different sizes and we went with two sizes that accommodated both horizontal and vertical pieces.

The wall above the TV presented a problem in that it was large but oddly shaped with the TV in the middle.  I opted for an asymmetrical look, stacking the pictures to the left of the TV, allowing room for more art to be added.

 Happy to have a client like Rhega who was willing to try something unconventional!

Rhega was so much fun to work with and I loved adding so much color and personality to her guest room!  Even though Adoption by Design has ended, I'd love to help add color and personality to your home!  Click here to contact me for details.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Christmas Past}

What: Fayetteville: Host of Christmas Past

When:  Friday, November 10  |  5pm - 9pm
             Saturday, November 11  |  9am - 8pm
             Sunday, November 12  |  1pm - 5pm

Where:  Fayetteville, TN
Cost: lots of free options but some events require advanced tickets or admission

Parking: free parking in lots surrounding downtown

Weather: high 50's/low 60's

Website: click here

Chris and I went to Fayetteville last year for this event and had a really good time!  There are vendors, food trucks, live music, a luminary stroll and lots of other activities.  The whole weekend is packed with performances, home tours, carriage rides, special events for kids and craft shows.  There's even a live performance of Anne of Green Gables on Friday night!  Check out their website for a detailed schedule so you don't miss anything!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Under the Christmas Tree}

What: Under the Christmas Tree Holiday Shopping Marketplace

When:  Friday, November 3  |  10am - 7pm
             Saturday, November 4  |  10am - 6pm
             Sunday, November 5  |  12pm - 5pm

Where:  South Hall of the Von Braun Center, Huntsville, AL
Cost: $8 Daily  |  $5 Senior (60+)  |  no cost for kids under 18

Website: click here

I just love Under the Christmas Tree- it's some of the the best shopping of the season!  There's hundreds of booths selling unique, local merchandise.  If you're looking for a great place to shop for Christmas, you've found it!  If you're looking for a great place to shop for yourself, you've found it too!  Let me know what treasures you find!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Celebrating Chris

We had the family over Sunday evening to celebrate Chris's birthday which was Monday.  The birthday boy requested baked ziti and I was more than happy to make that happen!

After dinner, Chris opened his gifts...a watch from me...Nespresso pods from Abby and Nick...and a gift card to Stars and Strikes from Moma and Daddy.  

Then it was time for Chris's favorite part of the night- birthday cake!  This is the second year I've made this from-scratch Salted Caramel Apple Cake {see pics from last year here} with homemade buttercream and caramel.

The cake topper is a little gift he got from his grandmother when he was born...a little trick-or-treating ghost she put at his bassinet since he was born right before Halloween.

The first piece came out perfect!  I was glad I could make it again- I thought last year might have been a fluke!

On his actual birthday, Chris and I tried Bravo Cucina Italiana at Bridgestreet.  We loved the atmosphere and food!  We both enjoyed our entrees but it was a bit pricey and didn't "come" with salad, though you could add it for an up-charge.  Best part- the dipping oil!  Seriously the best I've tried!

Happy birthday to my favorite Birthday Boy!