Monday, April 30, 2012

dear april...

Dear April,

You blew straight through the calendar... faster than the blink of an eye.  You challenged me in new and exciting ways.  You brought dinners with friends... a quiet week at the office... lakeside weddings... late nights with old college girlfriends... a much-needed beach trip... even more-needed mother/daughter time... new raised bed gardens... doctor appointments... adoption seminars... and sushi date nights.

Never a dull moment.  April, thank you for being a month of learning and growing... of patience and redirection... of stop and go.  And as quick as I can turn the calendar page to May, the craziness starts again.  Catching a flight tonight and starting it all over again.

Goodbye, April... Hello, May.


Friday, April 27, 2012

my happy, happy birthday list...

So... it's about that time people.  Thirty-one.  I will embrace it whole-heartedly next weekend.  It's not nearly as exciting as thirty was.  There's no 30 by 30 list... and instead of proudly claiming thirty, which clearly still hovers closer to the twenties... I now have to just accept the fact that I have fully entered my thirties... complete emergence into a new decade of life.


Okay... now that we've gotten that all out of the way... here's my thirty-one-year-old wish list.  I think it's a pretty rad list, if I do say so myself.  Yay... happy birthday to me:)  (Mom... hope you're reading today...)

(or kelly green if you're lucky enough to find them)

(well, except for Pride & Prejudice... already got that one:)

(kind of perfect, seeing how it is my 31st birthday and all...)

(size 8 please:)

(really love the "you are here" and "today is")

(seriously in love.)

(hmmm... and maybe the soundtrack too:)

(sooo cute, right?)

So, there you have it... the birthday list of a soon-to-be 31 year old.  Dang... thirty-flippin-one.  Crazy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Sticky notes.  Weird, I know... but I practically live off of the dang things.  Whoever invented little tiny sheets of paper with a sticky strip on the back is pure genius.  I use them to jot down grocery lists, urgent reminders, songs I want to remember, appointment times, photography info, blog post ideas, etc, etc...  If it fits on a little 3x3 square of paper, I write it down on a sticky note... don't judge.

2) Seminars.  Lance and I attended an adoption seminar this past weekend (a topic that I'm sure I will share more on later) and it was SOOOO helpful.  It was great to be able to gather huge amounts of factual information, as well as hearing several personal stories of adoption.  We came home with loads of pamphlets and pages and pages of material.... ranging from private adoption, to domestic adoption, to international adoption... and a little of everything in between.  And as an added bonus... this particular seminar was absolutely free... can't beat that.

3) Passer-by friends.  I have several stories about people that were a major part of my life for certain periods of time... whether it was a season of life (high school, college, a certain job, etc) or even if it was only for a brief moment of time.  Regardless of the time or circumstances, I am so grateful that God places special friends in my life at various times.  Some of these "passer-by friends" I haven't spoken to in years, and some I keep in touch with on a regular basis.  But one, in particular, I get to see this weekend!! 

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

new year's resolutions... in april

I recently came across a note that had my 2012 new year's resolutions scribbled on them... I was almost fearful to actually read through them... afraid to see how I've really been doing on those goals and aspirations.

Surprisingly it's not that bad.

Definitely better than last year.

I thought I would do a little "resolution review" ...kind of like a quarterly analysis.  I like the idea of revisiting my resolutions throughout the year, so I'm hoping to do this a few more times later.  So... here you go... resolution review - version 1:

1) be a better listener.
I think I'd have to say I'm doing pretty good on this one... mostly thanks to the counseling training Lance and I have been going through at our church.  I've been learning so much about the value in keeping my mouth shut sometimes... learning to love others by truly listening to them... learning to love my husband better by listening and pursuing him... learning to be still and listen to God more.

2) start journaling again.
Ehh.  I've been doing okay on this one.  I probably have one solid, lengthy journal entry per month.  I know it's not much, and I would definitely like to be writing more... but, hey- one journal entry per month is a heck of a lot more than whatever I wrote last year.

3) read a classic (or two).
I've been thinking about this one... does that count??  I even ordered The Great Gatsby from Amazon... it's on my "to-read" list.  I think The Great Gatsby has pretty much secured the number 1 spot for this resolution... any suggestions for the number 2 spot?

4) drink less soda.
Thanks to the fact that I gave up soda for Lent this year, I was able to go a solid 45 days without any soda... and that alone makes this resolution a success.

5) organize my photos.
I still have a long way to go on this one... but I'm working on it.  I have actually started ordering prints again...  Like I actually have real, physical photos... printed on paper.  This makes me happy.

6) write more real letters.
Yeah... not so great on this one.  Emails... sure, no problem.  Facebook messages... no biggie.  Care packages... yep, got it.  But this resolution is for REAL letters... handwritten sentiments... pen and paper.  You get the picture.  I'm still working on this one.

7) finish more projects.
I can count 5 finished projects right off the top of my head (map art, button monogram, letter-a-day, apothecary jar faceliftpainted dresser)... I deem that a success.  I still have plenty of unfinished projects to tackle, so not to worry... there should still be plenty of blog content for the rest of the year.

8) talk to God more.
I'm definitely talking to Him more this year... in various ways... sometimes on paper... sometimes in my car... sometimes joyful praises... sometimes pleas for help.... sometimes requests for wisdom... sometimes with my husband... and sometimes by myself.  Not only am I learning to talk to God more... but sometimes more importantly... I'm learning to listen to Him more.

9) use a planner (for the whole year).
Well, it's late April, and I'm still rockin' my Erin Condren planner... so that's gotta mean something, right?  I still love everything about it too.  Planners definitely work better if you actually use them... just an FYI.

10) pay off credit card debt.
This one has seen some major action over the past month or so.  Between the tax refund and my recent bonus, we have been able to pay off 4 credit cards.  FOUR.  Granted some were pretty small balances... but none-the-less, they are done!  We paid off our washer & dryer that we bought last year... we paid off our temperpedic mattress... we paid off a small Amazon account... and we paid off a decent size credit card balance.  This is exciting stuff people.  Making those "final payments" has got to be one of the most exhilarating feelings ever.

So. There you have it.  My first "resolution review" for 2012.  I'm going to go with a 6/10.  Not too shabby.  A little room for improvement... but there should always be a little of that, right?

What about you??  Did you make resolutions this year?  How are you doing on them?  Is a resolution review in order??  Don't worry... I won't judge...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

color my world {fabric week}

It's week 4 of the Color My World Challenge... which means it's fabric week people.  I wasn't really sure what to do for fabric week.  I didn't want to do anything too time consuming and sewing was pretty much out of the question... you know, since I don't actually own a sewing machine.

So, initially I bought a mustard yellow pillow at World Market and thought I'd call it a day.  The pillow meets all of the fabric-week-requirements, so I figured, "Hey... mustard yellow pillow... I'm good.  Done."

But then I made the mistake of going to World Market again on Sunday to look for knobs for the new mustard yellow hutch... which I found by the way, and they look great.  I also happened to find this amazingly beautiful hand painted table runner...

It has just the right amounts of mustard yellow... don't you think?  And I love the way it looks with the hutch/dresser I painted last week...

I feel like having the table runner in the dinning room makes it look like the mustard yellow hutch was more intentional.  I love the hand painted details of the runner... and the smokey blue and brown colors are just a perfect mix for the space...

And because you can never leave World Market without looking at everything.... I happened to stumble into the pillow section again too... and I might have just happened to find a friend for my lonely mustard yellow pillow that I purchased previously...

I couldn't pass this one up.  It had the perfect teal and yellow combination in a beautiful stenciled design.  Don't they just look so happy together??

I thought so too.

Be sure to visit again next Tuesday for a full review and my thoughts on mustard yellow.

What about you? Are you participating in the Color My World Challenge?  By the way... next week, we'll be hosting a super huge linky party so you can link up any of the color changes you've been making in your own home.  I can't wait to see what you you guys have been doing.  Click the links below to see my mustard yellow updates from previous weeks...

WEEK 1 {Tuesday 4.3.12}
WEEK 2 {Tuesday 4.10.12}
WEEK 3 {Tuesday 4.17.12}
WEEK 4 {Tuesday 4.24.12}
fabric... use your color in something fabric-related
WEEK 5 {Tuesday 5.1.12}
review... recap & review your color projects

Be sure to visit some of the other bloggers listed below to see what color changes they are making in their own home...

Monday, April 23, 2012

right now...

Right now, I am...

  ...enjoying lunch at my desk.

  ...listening to Sarah Bareilles on Pandora.

  ...penciling in this week's schedule in my planner.

  ...reading The Hunger Games.

  ...annoyed about Blogger's new posting format.

  ...waiting for my first load of laundry to finish.

  ...excited about community group tonight.

  ...craving a cookie (or two).

  ...thinking I should get back to work.

What about you??  What are you doing right now?

Friday, April 20, 2012

living room update

As I've been posting for the Color My World challenge over the past few weeks (week 1, week 2, week 3), I've realized that our living room has undergone some major changes that I haven't really told you all about yet. Shame on me. The last time you really heard anything about our living room was 5 months ago during the house tour. Well, a lot has changed since then people. I think it's high time for a living room update, don't you??
Here's what we were working with beforehand...
And here we are now...
Much better, right?? Some pretty major changes are taking place here... new sofa... new rug... new coffee table.
Let's talk about that sofa, shall we? Right after Christmas Lance and I got an insanely good deal on a sectional sofa. We had been sofa shopping for months at this point... looking for a sectional sofa that didn't break the bank. We found one we really liked, but it was $1,200... yeah... a little out of our budget. We were hoping to stay in the $800 range. AND THEN... then we found it. The exact.same.sofa we saw before that was originally $1,200... for $499. That's right... you heard me. It was a display. I called Lance and he immediately met me at the furniture store... I mean, this was a code-blue-sofa-emergency, was it not? Best part of all... we were able to use some Christmas gift cards for the purchase. Awesome, right?
Then there's the rug... That beautiful, glorious, colorful rug. I'm kinda-sorta-really-totally in love with it. Like, a lot. I LOVE the colors and the pattern. The whole thing just makes me super happy. We bought this bad boy at TJ Maxx... pretty much right after my 2011 bonus came in. I had been eyeing the rugs at TJ Maxx Home Goods for months, but my heart skipped a beat when I saw this beauty. The rug was also my inspiration for my color pick (mustard yellow) in the Color My World challenge.
And the coffee table... It's the Aiden Coffee Table from World Market... and was also compliments of my 2011 work bonus. (yay job:) Lance absolutely despised the old coffee table... like-secretly-hoped-it-would-break-and-shatter-into-a-bunch-of-little-pieces despised... it was a little too feminine for his liking and much too breakable. It wasn't a take-off-your-shoes-and kick-your-feet-up kind of coffee table, for sure. So, the requirements for the new coffee table were... a strong, new, manly style (for Lance) and a shelf on the bottom to hide all of the mess (for Julia)... and the Aiden coffee table met both of those requirements.
In addition to all of the new elements, we also did some rearranging. The TV is now tucked over in the corner where our bookshelves used to be. I love it here. We first tried putting it on the mantle... but that was a hot mess. Cords everywhere. And it's not like we have some super fancy wall-mounted TV that looks like it should be over a fireplace mantle... it looked pretty ridiculous there. So... we slid the table we were using for the TV previously in the corner, and it fir perfectly. The TV is way less unobtrusive there.
Just in case you need a refresher... here's what it looked like before...
So, where did the bookcase go, you ask? Why over on the opposite wall, of course!
We flanked the bookcase with the 2 chairs we already had. It's now the perfect little reading spot and great for extra seating when we have guests. Oh... and how do you like that fun new lamp shade?? 

Here's what that wall looked like before with the TV... kind of a jumbled mess, huh? I love the height that the bookcase brings to that space.

So there you have it... our updated living room! Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) My rose bush. We have this amazing rose bush in the front of our house. It was there when we moved in and I haven't killed it yet... pretty impressive, I know. I recently picked a few of the blooms for the coffee table and they make me so happy. And they smell so.flippin.good.

2) Date night. Lance and I are trying to do a better job of protecting our time together... and tonight, my friends, is date night. I'm thinking sushi and a movie at the house... yes... that sounds awesome.

3) Good friends. I had a rough day yesterday. But sometimes it's those rough days that make you realize how blessed you are. I am thankful for friends that simply just sit with you and pray for you. Thank you. (photo source)

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

party planning... and derby dreaming...

Over here in Kentucky it's officially Derby season. There are couture hats in every boutique window... Derby horses popping up all over the city... talk about Thunder... mint julep recipes swirling the internet... Yep, it's that time. During the weekend of May 5th, herds of people will dump into the city for this one spectacular weekend...

And I will be in Georgia.

And while I may not be in town for the big race this year... I am still daydreaming about how insanely awesome my Derby Party would be...

...a magical barnyard setting...

...this DIY napkin wreath...

...adorable teepees for the kiddos... elegant table runner made out of duct tape...

...derby appropriate place settings...

...the derby drink itself... mint juleps...

...or how about some mint julep cupcakes...

...a clever way to keep track of your drink... inspired utensil holders...

...pretty hanging flower arrangements...

Linking up to The Vintage Apple this week for Oh, How Pinteresting. What about you?? Have you found anything pinteresting lately? Have you been planning any parties in your head??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

color my world challenge {paint week}

Drum roll please.... and the dresser is now MUSTARD YELLOW.

That's right folks... this week is "paint week" in the "Color My World" challenge... and I went all out and painted the dresser/hutch in our dining room mustard yellow. Go big, or go home... right?

Here's a little Before/After action for ya...



I love this little functional piece of furniture... it's been a dresser... a china hutch... craft storage... entertainment cabinet... you name it. It's been around for a while too... It used to be my Nana & Pop's... then my parents inherited it... then it came home with Lance and I after we got married. I've been thinking about painting this piece for years now... and apparently I just needed a good blog challenge to finally tackle the project:)

"Paint week" was the one part of this challenge that had me on the fence about mustard yellow. When I committed to doing this challenge, I knew I would paint this piece of furniture... but mustard yellow??? I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that...

But I headed to Lowes and bought me a quart of Valspar Gala Gold paint...

Okay... here goes nothin'...

Yep... no turning back now...

Coat 1. Eeek. What have I done?!?

Coat 4. Okay, okay... it's not so bad...

A little distressing... yes... MUCH BETTER.

After it's all said and done... I LOVE THIS PIECE! Mustard yellow and all. It was a bold move for me... totally out of my comfort zone, but I'm so pleased with the results.

We still need new knobs... and I plan to tackle that soon... but I mean, how can you not smile when you pass by this happy yellow dresser?!?

What about you? Are you participating in the Color My World Challenge? Have you been making any color changes in your home? Here's the "Color My World" schedule if you're interested...

WEEK 1 {Tuesday 4.3.12}
WEEK 2 {Tuesday 4.10.12}
WEEK 3 {Tuesday 4.17.12}
paint... paint something your color
WEEK 4 {Tuesday 4.24.12}
fabric... use your color in something fabric-related
WEEK 5 {Tuesday 5.1.12}
review... recap & review your color projects

Be sure to visit some of the other bloggers listed below to see what color changes they are making in their own home...