Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 366

Day 366 ... you know what that means! It is really hard to believe it has already been a year since we said "I do." Our wedding day was beautiful and perfect and blessed and just so much fun! I would totally do it all again (my parents have denied that request).

After the wedding, we spent a week in Charleston recovering, drinking wine, eating shrimp and grits, and day-dreaming about filling our house on the battery with all of the fantastic antiques we saw. It was fabulous.

On Day 23, I started this blog. It took a few months for me to find my groove, but by the time 2008 rolled in, we were in full swing. Which was a good thing, because there would be plenty to document in the coming months.

After much tossing and turning on my part, on about Day 239, we moved into our first house. Boy has that been an adventure! We've done lots of unpacking, torn out one bathroom, replaced the mailbox, bought furniture, begged strangers for rugs, painted furniture, fantasized about the future, painted walls, debated about what to do with the office, and generally made due with what we've got (and what our parents gave us).

On Day 246 we adopted our Australian Shepherd pup, Maddie, and she is just a joy! She occasionally gets into trouble, but we just love her to death and she really has added so much to our first year.

Somewhere along the way, something unexpected happened: People started reading our blog! Some even decided to tell their friends, and that has just been the biggest thrill for us. We love hearing about your blogs and your lives, and we are so glad that you are a part of ours. Thanks for coming along!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 363

Doesn't blackberry iced tea sound perfect for a summer weekend? I think so!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 361's love

I really, really love the Idea House that Steven Gambrel did for Cottage Living a couple of years ago. It's just the epitome of what a summer-y house should be.

Whoops, another blue bedroom. I'm sure you're getting tired of them, but I am apparently not!

This is a totally fabulous desk that I feel like I could make (er, at least maybe Wes could). Sister, if you're reading, this is for you. It looks like a standard saw horse has been decoupaged with maps. I did some serious decoupaging in high school (and yet I still cannot spell it?!) and this makes me want to revisit my old friend Mod Podge.

And the dark window are so cool. We're thinking of painting the ones in our living room.

It's a bit difficult to see exactly what's happening in this picture, but it looks like a desk is in front of a fireplace -- what a spot to check your e-mail! I really dig the ball of twine on the mantle, too.

The combination of pale blue and red has really got me going lately, and this dining space is no exception.

Here, Gambrel proves that even everyday accessories (appliances, cookbooks, what look like gardening tools ... )can be used as display. It's also nice to see a "show house" styled with items that might actually be found in a real house. The trick, of course, is to keep it neat.

Photos by Tria Giovan for Cottage Living magazine

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 360's follow-up

Annsley McAleer by Justin Bernhaut for Domino

Today it became alarmingly clear that my obsession knows no bounds! At least I'm predictable?

T. Keller Donovan by Michael Price for House Beautiful

Suzanne Kasler as seen in House Beautiful

Laura Seydel for Domino

(I labeled this image "max_kim-bee." What does that mean?)

by Nicholas Haslam

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 359

Last week, Beach Bungalow 8 shared some of a friend's collection of vintage wire baskets. They look great filled with everyday objects (Megan suggests toilet tissue!) or something special.

I have one made of chicken wire that I picked up at a shop in Homewood. It used to sit on my desk and corral my stationery, but now it just ... sits. Inside, you'll find some remote controls and coasters, and occasionally a mail-order catalogue on its way to the trash. I've got big plans for it for Christmas, but I feel like it's not living up to its full potential 11 months out of the year.

It's a bit shallow, so it doesn't quite hold a stack of magazines like I'd love it to. What would you put in it?

And hey, Megan at A Life's Design found some great ones online!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 356's pretty

This is what my dining room table looks like today -- you can imagine my elation! And yes, they were acquired legally and no, I didn't pay and arm and a leg for them at the flower store. More details Monday!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 354's answers

Lovely Megan at A Life's Design tagged us to answer a few questions and we thought it would be fun if we both answered them. Here goes ...

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Wes: I had just finished 7th grade. I’m sure that I probably slept in quite a bit, played outside in the woods, went on some church trips, etc.

Jenn: I guess I was headed into the 9th grade, which meant several torturous weeks of band camp! That was the second and last year I was a majorette at my high school.

2. Five items on your to-do list:
Wes: 1. Paint the office 2. Finish the bathroom 3. Work on the landscaping 4. Install new light fixtures throughout the house and possible put a fan in the living room 5. Beat Tiger Woods 04 so I can justify buying Tiger Woods 08

Jenn: 1. laundry (ever-present on my list ...) 2. get everything together for a shower I'm hosting this weekend 3. start planning lake trip with my high school best friends 4. plan bachelorette weekend for my friend, Kim (lots of party planning this summer!) 5. BLOG!

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Wes: Baked Lays potato chips, Milky Way, Skittles, Starburst
Jenn: I'm really not much of a snacker ...but I really, really love a delicious hamburger and salty french fries probably more than most other things.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Wes: I would do anything that I damn well please. Think about how much money that is! It’s one thousand million dollars.

First, I would buy a bunch of stuff. A car or two, a house or two, a dog or two, a maid or two. I would actually pay to fix our current house up so that the next owner wouldn’t have to do anything. I would take at least $250,000,000 and put it into IRAs, trust funds, etc so that my kids’ kids’ kids’ kids would never have to worry about financial stability.

I’d buy a professional sports team or two. I’d split up a lot of the money between all my friends. I’d hire Tiger Woods to fix my golf game. I’d hire Lance Armstrong to ride bikes with me. I’d buy the company I work for. I’d give a bunch to Auburn so that something gets named after me. I’d buy a personal jet and pilot.

Jenn: Hmmm both of our mothers really nice cars (because neither of them will ever buy one for themselves), finish fixing up our house and sell it for cheap, cheap to a fun newlywed couple, put enough money away for us to retire (and travel, travel, travel!) and to give our kids as much education (and the best) as they desire. I would tithe to our church and find some worthy causes to give money to.

I would take my ENTIRE family on the best vacation ever somewhere on the coast of Italy. I would earmark some funds so that my sisters will never have to raise support money again and then I guess I'd buy a big, crusty old house and have it moved to some heavenly spot on a hill (that's close to a city!).

5. Places I would live:
Wes: Charleston, Charlotte, Nashville, Richmond, Lexington, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy

Jenn: I'm not so sure I would permanently move across the ocean, but ditto on Charleston (might have to wait for billionaire status for that one!), Charlotte, and Nashville.

6. Bloggers I am passing the challenge on to: Is there anyone left who hasn't answered these? Star? Have at it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 353

Our chairs are here! They are super-comfortable and look pretty great, too. I can't get quite far enough away to get a good picture of them both (I was sitting on the top of the couch to take this one), but I think you get the idea.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 352

My Notting Hill posted this image today, and I liked it so much I immediately made it the background on my computer at work (pillows on my desktop? am I that boring?!). I love the egg prints, the crusty settee and the colors of the pillows. I think this is my new inspiration for the Great Sofa Pillow Hunt 2008.

So far, so good:

Aztec pillow at Z Gallerie.

In case you are wondering, the trip to Charlotte was fabulous, but there was too much socializing to get any serious shop scouting done. We've promised the bride and groom another trip (sans a wedding!) and hopefully we'll be able to squeeze some in then.

At the reception with the lovely bride and handsome groom.

Welcome to the club, Austin (and Laura too)!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 348's apology

Whoops, I forgot to mention that we're out of town for the rest of the week and weekend. We took a little road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to see some of our dear friends (and faithful blog readers -- Hi, Walsh and Laura!) get married.

So far, its a beautiful, charming Southern city, and we are enjoying spending time with old college friends. We hear there is fabulous furniture and antique shopping, so stay tuned to hear of our conquests (unfortunately, we brought four people from Alabama in a mid-sized sedan ...).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 347's question

Did Tia Zoldan redecorate?

As photographed by Jeremy Samuelson for Cottage Living.

From her new Web site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 346's reveal

I just know that you've all been on pins and needles, so without further ado, the living room before two coats of BM "Grant Beige:"

And after:

Once again, the difference is slight, but it's enough for me. And doesn't the TV hutch-thingy look better?!

We also painted the dining room, and I hung a few of our favorite wedding pictures. Almost a year after we were married, it finally looks like it in our house.

Once our economic stimulus living room chairs come in (thanks, W!), that room will be about finished. I still need to have our architecture prints framed, but need some inspiration. It'd be nice to have some color above the sofa, so maybe colored mats? I'm at a loss ... Suggestions are welcome!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 342's pretty

Photo by Annie Schlechter for Domino magazine

This makes me want to paint my bamboo chair yellow!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 341's confession

Photo by Flickr user *Yumi*

Hydrangeas are blooming all over our neighborhood. They are, hands down, my favorite flower, and though I am really trying to "admire without the need to acquire" while on my evening walks with Maddie, seeing them all over the place makes me feel two things: Jealous, and sneaky.

Photo by Flickr user JojoDee

Jealous for obvious reasons, but sneaky because of a little operation I had going on the last summer I was in Auburn. My friend SM called it "Operation: Hydrangea." I guess I was a poor college student who desperately needed a little beauty in her life, and as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures!

Photo by Flickr user hkkb

I can't really believe I did this, but I used to drive around town, scissors in hand, looking for out-of-the-way hydrangea bushes, and come home with enough to comprise a lovely bouquet. Eventually, I had two reliable spots: One behind an empty duplex near my house, and a couple of bushes so full that they spilled into the street.

Photo by Flickr user summerbloomz

This particular yard probably had 30 or more hydrangeas, so I justified my thievery by assuming that the homeowner must have loved them as much I as I did, and would surely understand my plight if she caught me harvesting blooms from the bush on the very edge of her property. It really is a wonder that I wasn't arrested for trespassing -- or worse!

Photo by Flickr user aniika

Birmingham is not as conducive to Operation: Hydrangea as Auburn was, so for now, I'm content to buy an occassional bunch at the grocery store. I've even discovered a trick to making them last longer: Submerge the heads in water for a few hours (or overnight if they are wilted) and they come out nice and firm and will last an extra couple of days. But here's to hoping one day my backyard harvest will look a little bit like this:

Wishful thinking, for sure, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 339's weekend update

It was another busy weekend at the Newlywed house! Between visiting with friends and family of friends and seeing the Sex and the City movie (okay, that was just me), Wes and I painted the living room, the dining room and the TV cabinet (which is pictured above).

Paint colors (and colors in general, for that matter) are always a hotly-debated topic, as I am perfectly content to swim in a sea of neutrals, and Wes likes things to be a bit more, well, colorful.
In the end, we painted both rooms Benjamin Moore's Grant Beige (thanks for the suggestion, Erika!), which is a lovely taupe that leans on the gray and green sides. It's not a dramatic change from the pale yellowish-though-sometimes-bright-green that was in the room, but the subtle difference was all I was looking for. And yes, per Wes' request, I'll be spicing things up with some colorful accent pillows and such as soon as the budget allows.

Remember our ugly Wal-Mart TV cabinet? It is now sporting Valspar's Sumatra Blend on the outside, with the wall color on the inside. I think it kind of gives it the appearance of a built-in.

Aside from another lesson on the role of compromise in marriage, I think we've figured out this whole painting thing, and I thought we'd pass along some of our "knowledge."

Cover twice, paint once. Preparing a room to be painted is no fun, but it really shouldn't be skipped. No mess-ups means no touch-ups.

Speaking of tape, buy the widest painters' tape you can get your hands on. One errant stroke of the brush and you'll be glad for that extra margin for error. And if you're sans crown molding like we are, extra-wide tape on the ceiling will allow you to get right up to the top of the wall with the edge of your roller, eliminating the need to follow up with a brush -- a major time-saver!

Step it up. Our step ladder is definitely in the Top 5 Most Useful Random Things We've Bought For the House. I doubt a project has been completed without it's help, and it's sturdiness underfoot was much more comforting than one of our rickety dining chairs when I was stretching to paint as much as possible without moving.

Be a big spender. I thought I could save a buck or two by using rollers that didn't cost as much as the ones I used in the bedroom, and discovered the extra dollar or two was definitely well-spent. The cheaper rollers splattered paint to kingdom come and I was covered head to toe in speckles by Sunday night.

Live in prime time. All of the walls in our house were pretty freshly painted, so we haven't felt the need to prime them before painting. But we have primed all of the furniture we've painted, and it's definitely made a difference. No paint would have adhered to our particle-board entertainment center without a coat of oil-based Kilz underneath.

This is probably pretty obvious, but don't paint in clothes that you like. I know this, and yet I continue to wear things while painting that I would like to be able to wear in public. So if you see me at the gym with my paint-splattered (expensive!) running shorts and pink tennis shoes (from spray-painting a bed red at the lakehouse), please point and laugh so I'll learn my lesson.

Before and after pictures of the room coming as soon as I finish pulling down the painters' tape and putting it all back together!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 338's find

Jason Bernhaut for Domino magazine

Really, really love this bedroom in the June issue of Domino. Love the wall color, love the rug, love the butterflies, love the bedside table. This bed would be so great in our guest bedroom. And, oh look, it's from Target! Lots of fun colors, too: