Sunday, January 27, 2013

I'm Gonna Pop Some Tags

I have been reading John and Sherry's blog, Young House Love, for a few years now, so this weekend when I was describing my recent Goodwill finds to my sister, Erin, she instantly asked, "Did you read John and Sherry's blog today?!?"  

On Friday, John and Sherry issued a [unofficial] Macklemore Thrift Shop challenge.  I hadn't heard the song before, but once I played the video (unedited version) I was hooked on the lyrics, including the incredibly catchy chorus: "I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket...." My favorite line though is "Passin' up on those moccasins someone else's been walkin' in..."  <---- that is true, gross.

In honor of the Thrift Shop Challenge, I thought I'd post my finds here.  But a tiny bit of background first.  We have this Cherry Blossom print by Vincent van Gogh in our dining room. I've always loved the shade of blue in the painting and wanted to bring some more of the color into the room somehow.

So imagine my delight when I came across this little guy at Goodwill in the exact shade of blue.

Let's zoom in on that art work shall we?

A peacock, staring into a beautiful portrait of a man seducing a woman with a mandolin?  Yes, please.  But as "great" as the actual picture was, I knew that I'd be covering it up with chalkboard paint immediately.  So I got to work with the paint, but after finishing I remembered that my Goodwill find was actually a tray, not a hanging picture.  I headed to Lowe's for some picture hangers.

Just like that my peacock tray became a hanging chalkboard.

And now this is what you see when you walk in the front door.

This is a portion of one of my favorite quotes.  The entire quote reads:
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” 
― Mother Teresa

Much to my husband's dismay, the chalk painting became a tad addicting, so I also whipped this one up as well the same day...haha.

I have had this stinking silver tray for 4 years from another Goodwill trip and sadly am just now getting around to actually completing the project.  Oh well, better late than never.  Plus, it hides the majority of the lamp cord--so I'm marking this one in the necessary home improvements column.  

Goodwill + chalkboard paint + a catchy rap song = success. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's The Little Things......

I don't know if it's January, or if it's the fact that my client complained all morning about how upset he was that the prosecutor wouldn't agree to decreased probation time (Sorry, pal, that's what happens when you steal things....), but my attitude has been pretty bad lately.  SO, in an attempt to focus on the positive, I'm starting a new theme here on the 'ol blog.  Not sure if it counts as a theme if I'm only committing to one of these posts so far, but I'm hoping that anytime I need a pick me up, I'll take a quick sec and think of the good.

It's the little things after all........

Like finally cooking dinner for the first time in weeks (....months?).  The planning, the shopping, the preparing seem like a pain, but honestly, I always feel better after I eat a home cooked meal (and one that's semi healthy----minus the tortellini---go easy on me folks, I'm coming down from the holidays).
Recipe found here.  [Edit: I add carrots to mine and also double this reheats really well.  Also, take her advice, add the parmesan rind, trust me on this.]

I have also attempted to get out of my January slump by adopting some new house plants.  When Dustin and I moved, I filled my entire car (trunk/back seat/etc.) with our house plants, but you can never have too many.  Hey, we have no kids, I need to nurture something.  

For old "Friends" who make the task of organizing a messy room a smidge more bearable.  [I won't lie, after getting used to shows filmed like "Modern Family" and "The Office," the laugh track/stage setting did throw me a bit, but I have to say, nothing will ever replace this show.

In the spirit of health snacks-----A bowl full of clementines! 

And lastly, the show I'm about to leave you fine folks for on this lovely Tuesday evening....New Girl.  I can't get enough of this show.  I'm so happy new episodes are back on.
Wait a sec, I just realized Damon Wayans, Jr. used to be on this show...what??
"You wanna Mama Bird me the cookie?"

Like I said, it's the little thing in life!  And honestly, just writing this post has put me in a better mood! 

Monday, January 14, 2013


Right after Christmas, in the dead of winter, Dustin and I packed our bags and headed to sunny Florida with my family.    Getting there was a bit of a challenge. The day after Christmas, we experienced a blizzard (the local news named it and everything!), so our offices were closed the day before we left, leaving me to cram in quite a bit of work (left over from Christmas and in prep for leaving town for a week) into one day.  Also, poor Dustin came down with the flu the day we left, meaning the 18 hour drive through the night was going to be even more miserable.  A lovely mix of Spark [[insert Advocate advertisement here]] and Starbucks definitely made the trip possible.

But we made it to Anna Maria Island!  My pasty white skin hardly knew what to think.  The first couple days hovered in the 60s, but after that we had a great weather.  Our cute green house was called "Mojito Splash."
Headed down to the beach on the first day

At first, Neil was not impressed
....But then he got the hang of it.

Before it warmed up, we ventured out around town.  We went on a nature walk near Coquina Beach.  I had hoped that we would see Manatees, but it was too cold.  

Mojito Splash had the most amazing pool and hot tub get up. Seriously, best part of the house. 
My Dad and Tootie Bug

My sister, Mackenzie and "The Chubbs"

I joked via text with friends back home that Anna Maria Island was a legitimate wild life preserve.  Dolphins swam right near the beach into the surf, a fishermen next to us caught three hammerheads (baby ones....I kept imagining momma near by), pelicans galore, and this enormous bird. 

Just kidding, of course.  But tell me that this guy doesn't remind you of Kevin from Up!
Confession: I may or may 
not have told my niece to try and ride it.

Avery loved the beach.......
.......until she lost her legs in a horrible beach accident.
The little beach bum
Unfortunately, Neil was not such a fan and pulled this move
almost every time we tried to sit him down.
Avery and I playing one evening.  
My mom snapped this one on my iPhone if you can believe it. 
My 91 year old grandmother even made her way down to the beach!  Poor Ave, must have misplaced her shades--rookie mistake.

My sisters' significant others being good sports :)

We spent New Years' Eve on the beach lighting off fireworks.  It took us nearly 5 times to even get this close.  Just pretend you see a "3."

Anna Maria Island and Coquina Beach had some of the most beautiful shells.  During our last Florida vacation, I combed the beach for hours looking but came home mostly empty handed.  This time around I came home with bags full. I've had a Pinterest project in mind for awhile and now will hopefully have enough oomph to get it done.  Speaking of shells, my Dad found this guy one morning.  (Actually, truthfully, he found this guy three days in a row.  He was quite proud, and lucky for him, this little guy didn't move very quickly and was usually only a couple feet from where he was left the day before).

As a family, we've always gone to the beach in the summer.  But I must say, getting out of the wintery weather and spending New Years in Florida was just what the Dr. ordered.  
I miss you already, Anna Maria Island!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is It Too Late To Post About Christmas?

It's January 9th, and my Christmas decorations are still up so I'm going to post about Christmas without guilt.

We hosted an ugly Christmas Sweater party before Christmas.
Here's all the proof you need  ;)  My sister borrowed this gem from our grandma and added her own special touch by giving the sweater the old tuck-a-roo.
Dustin found his get-up at Goodwill, but I think secretly he was loving it.

Other party guests.....

Ugh. After starting to upload these, I'm realizing I didn't get a shot of everybody nor did I manage to get a group shot.  Sorry party pals.
I'm posting this picture because this punch was DELICIOUS and made my house smell great (you boil ginger and rosemary to make the sugar syrup).

And here are some scenes from around our house from Christmas, even Edward and Bella get in on the Christmas action around here.
The lovebirds :)
Honest Abe also gets a special place on the tree
One of the first ornaments I ever bought
Red vintage chair was an early Christmas gift from my mother-in-law!
Ooh, Aah, the blurry lights

Christmas Eve, presents under the tree

Then came Christmas Day!  Dustin and I always wake up and make eggs benedict for breakfast.  I attempted to be all artsy and take pictures of the process, but I was quickly shot down.  If the phrase "Are you going to be taking pictures all morning" doesn't put your camera away quick, I don't know what does.  Boo.

We headed over to my parents for a beautiful Christmas dinner.
Grandma and my sister, Erin
This picture cracks me up
These two are hard to capture at the same time

We had such a great Christmas, but it always goes by too quickly.  Sometimes I wish I could just freeze the week right before Christmas rather than have all the hustle and bustle preparing.  Each year though, it becomes more and more clear that less is more during this busy season.  I'm thankful for every face in these pictures, and thankful for a Savior who humbled himself enough to come to this Earth as a tiny baby.  (And thankful to blog readers who oblige me enough to let me blather on about Christmas well past New Years).