Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kitchen Improvements

Ahh.. I am way behind in my posting! Things in life are crazy right now but are starting to settle and I am very happy to be able to share the latest improvements to our kitchen. First and foremost is our new stove!! I can't believe that we have lived here for almost a month with now stove. Especially since I said that the stove was the one thing that had to be fixed before we moved in. Well things got complicated because we had our hearts set on having a gas stove but there was no gas line in the kitchen. That meant we had to have a plumber come out and install a gas line which took time and now here it is almost the end of April and we are just now getting our stove. They came installed it this morning and I couldn't be happier, seriously, I did a little happy dance. Eric picked it out while I was out of town last weekend and I think he did a great job. Here is a picture:
We also finally got around to hanging our Ikea hanging storage system in the kitchen and it has done wonders for opening up the space and helped out a lot with our organization. I love having everything right there on the wall where I can get to it. Because our kitchen in this house is small it was really important to us to maximize our storage space. Here are some pictures of the hanging system and one of the kitchen overall.

This afternoon we were able to enjoy our first meal cooked on the new stove, massaman curry beef. This is one of our all time favorite recipes that we haven't been able to make in ages. It made me so happy to get to spend time in the kitchen cooking with Eric again. It is one of our favorite things to do together and we haven't done too much of it lately because of the lack of things to cook with. Here's a picture of the curry beef, yum yum!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Break Splurges

I have been on Spring break this week (one of the great things about being a teacher) and I did what I typically do on Spring break, shop! In my college years I would always spend Spring break shopping for clothes and while I admit that I still did a little of that most of my shopping was centered around the house this year. I went a little crazy for plants this year and bought quite a few. Here are some pictures of the new plantings around the house.

My new hanging basket, and Angel Wing Begonia

Regular old Begonia

Mint, Lemon Balm and two Red Bell Pepper plants
More pepper plants and some succulents I got for the sides of my strawberry pot
I also scored some sweet home decor items over my break. I have been looking to add some more metal to our living space to offset the warmth of all the wood. Here are two pieces I am pretty excited about.

I had been searching for some metal letter for a while and had my eye on some at Anthropologie that were just a bit more than I wanted to spend. Over break I spotted these at Urban Outfitters for 2 for $12! I love the way they look on our mantel.
Eric's parents came up this weekend and his mom brought us this awesome metal card catalog. Call me crazy but I am totally in love with industrial metal storage units, I was pretty excited about this one.

We are using it as an end table but also discovered that it is the perfect size to hold our DVD collection, it's a win win!
I'll be back to work tomorrow so new posts may be slow to come but they will be here eventually :-)

Wedding Style

It's Spring time and oh my goodness love is in there air! It seems like everyone I know is getting married or engaged lately. I guess we are just getting to that age where people are starting to want to "settle down". In honor of all you engaged girls out there and light of the fact that mine and Eric's 5 month anniversary was this week (love you baby!) I wanted to do a  wedding post and talk a bit about how wedding's reflect your personal style as a couple. I spent about a year planning our wedding (with a lot of help from my mom and a little from Eric) and it turned out so beautifully and just the way I wanted it to be. Now that my wedding is over (and believe me I wouldn't want to go through all that stress and planning again) I have really enjoyed talking to friends about their weddings, I love to see the whole thing develop over time and eventually come to fruition.

I really love weddings, I loved mine and I love going to other people's. It makes me happy to see people in love and I love to see how the couple's style and creativity comes through in their choices of decor, food and clothing for their wedding day. There are so many different ways you can approach a wedding that it can be overwhelming but we knew that we wanted ours to be warm, rustic, simple and inviting. Let me tell you it's amazing how quickly a "simple" wedding can get complicated but in the end it's about prioritizing and deciding what is really important to you. I think we succeeded in keeping things fairly low key (as far as weddings go) and we definitely reflected our rustic modern style in our wedding. Here are some pictures form our big day, I feel like it really shows bit about who we are as a couple.

** All photographs by the fabulous Raven Shutley

The dress, I searched long and hard for this one. Well, not that long and hard, it was probably the third one I tried on. I went with something simple from the department store. My main criteria was that it had to be something I could dance in easily.
My fabulously mismatched bridal party. Everyone had different clothes but all in the same color scheme and the matching yellow accent pieces really tied everything together.
our wedding sign (which can still be seen in our front yard) was purchased on etsy
Delicious cupcakes from the Atlanta Cupcake Factory featuring seasonal Fall flavors.
We decorated our venue with Christmas lights and hundreds of handmade paper butterflies (made by me, my mom and bridesmaids). The bright white decorations helped add some magic to the natural wood in the venue.
Our flowers were a mixture of Sunflowers, Viking Pom Flowers, Wheat stalks and berries. We kept it rustic and Fall-ish

We left the venue with the pathway lit up by luminaries and sparklers

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Den Vrs. Living Room

When we first purchased our home we had a lot of different thoughts on what to do with our loft space. It is basically like a second living room above our normal living room but it's open and looks down over everything. We thought about using it as a studio, a game room, an office, a library and any other number of things. Eric suggested that we use it as a den but I had no idea what a den was. In my house growing up we never had a den, just a living room. I looked it up on the internet and found this definition "A secluded room for study or relaxation."

After reading that I thought, hey, I like the sound of this. In reality it's turned out to be kind of a combination library, office and living room. We have our comfy couches up in the loft area, all our musical instruments for jamming, books to read and our computers on one wall, a TV to watch and a small gallery of some of our favorite art and family photos. The Den is rapidly becoming my favorite place in the house.

The living room is another room that I love but for different reasons. We decided to make this more of a formal entertaining space while the den is more just for us. The den is a place that we don't have to worry about keeping spic and span while the living room is a chance to really show off our style and make a good first impression so to speak.

Here are some pictures of the two spaces, I'm really happy with how they both turned out.

bookshelf in the den
Computer area in the den, still needs some cleaning up
The TV and Music shrine
Comfy couches, the love seat makes a superb reading nook and has a great view out the funky window.
Living room, in here we wanted the fireplace to be the focus of the room rather than the TV so we stuck the TV off in a corner and oriented the couches and chairs around the fireplace.
Living room bookshelf, we try to put the books that make us look smart on this one ;-P
Living room from another angle, TV tucked away behind the couch.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blooming Plants

At first I was a little disappointed by the lack of blooming plants at our new house. We didn't have any bulbs come up and I figured that maybe the previous owners didn't care about flowers. luckily a lot of things have started to open up lately and I am really starting to see that we have some beautiful things in the yard. Here are some pictures of the blooming flowers around our yard and a few of our flowering house plants as well.

Dogwood tree near our back deck
Another Dogwood, this one in the front yard.

We have beautiful Azaleas all over the yard, I'm hoping that is I fertilize them next year they will be even better
My parents kindly shared some of the Flox they have in their yard with me. My Dad dug up a few sprigs and planted them around our front garden. Hopefully they will spread out and take over.
To spite blooming the wrong time of year, my Christmas Cactus has been truly stunning this year.
I had planted a ton of daffodils at our rental back in the Fall (when I thought we would be staying there for several years). I was bummed about leaving them behind but I didn't want to go to the trouble to dig them all up when we had so much other stuff to do. On our last day at the old house I cut all the ones that were in bloom and brought them with us so we could enjoy them a little bit longer. 

Post Move Updates

The move is complete and we are spending our first real, non moving weekend in the house. Of course there is still a lot of work to be done but it's nice knowing that we can take our time a bit more and do some fun things here too. We are now official residents of Marietta having changed our address with the post office and started our trash service here. We still have no internet (right now I am using a neighbor's unprotected wireless network which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't) and we have a few other loose ends to wrap up (like the lack of stove/oven), but mostly we are all settled in. It has been really fun to decorate and organize as well as to watch the cats explore and become comfortable in their new home. I have to say that I am so in love with this house it's ridiculous. Every time I wake up here I am amazed that I get to live in such a nice house, and what makes it even better is the amount of work we put in to it to make it nice, it's very satisfying.

Here are some pictures of the cats settling in from the past week. I have a lot of posts coming up since I haven't done much because of our lack of internet. Stay tuned for more :-)

The cats enjoy having furniture again, here is Westley lounging on the living room sofa.
Bedroom, mostly put together and art on the walls. I am so happy with the color in here, it's very peaceful for a bedroom.
Dining room-cleaned up and ready to be used (if we can get the cat off the table).

Reese peeking down from the loft on her first day in the new house