November 29, 2010

Guestroom Makeover Disaster/Extravaganza of 2010

I feel like I haven't been doing a whole lot of WRITING lately - pictures seem to outnumber words on most of my latest blog posts, and that worries me.  I just love and appreciate the readers of this blog SO MUCH, and I don't want to disappoint a single one of you by not giving you what you come here for (inspiration, laughter, etc... whatever it may be)!  But of course, this blog IS about the "story of my life," and there are many aspects of that story.  So expect a great deal of variety, my friends.  One minute I might be inspiring your socks off with another little life lesson/anecdote, the next I could be boring you to death with more home decorating sh*t. 

And such is the substance of this very post (the home decorating sh*t, not the inspiration - haa!!).  Because, for some reason, I've been dying to share this with you for a couple of weeks now, but it always seemed to take a back seat to other, more pressing matters. 

So a little background before we dive into pictures. 

I've been wanting to re-do our guestroom pretty much ever since we moved in and decorated it to begin with.  I was NEVER happy with our choice of paint color or how the furniture and decor Matthew brought from his prior guestroom affected the color and mood of the room.  The problem was just that, before I became confident in my own ability to create a beautiful home and make bold choices on instinct, I always played it safe.  But after ten months of scheming up ways to make over our guestroom, I finally did it (and seriously? Only because we had guests coming from out of town. Based on the severity of my procrastinitis [which is a legit disease], it may have never gotten done otherwise).

So a couple weekends ago Matthew and I headed out to Lowe's, me with my little predetermined paint chip in hand - the one I had decided on mooooonths ago, mind you.  And when we got there, Matthew questioned me.  He said my paint choice looked too dark and too gray.  He asked if I was SURE I wanted that one. 

Now those of you who know me in real life (or have been reading this blog long enough) know that I'm pretty much NEVER sure about anything.  I'm the world's worst decision maker.  So when a shadow of doubt was cast over my previous choice, I pretty much froze up and freaked out and couldn't decide between my original color and several other similar ones. 

But in the end, we ended up getting a slightly bluer paint than my first choice.  We got it home, moved the furniture, and I set in on the painting. Cause that was part of the deal since Matthew had lots of work to do that day.  He would help move the furniture, but the painting was MY project. 

And when that first roll of paint went up on the wall, I can't say that my heart didn't sink a little.  It wasn't what I hoped it would be, but I kept telling myself it would dry differently and would also look different in the evening light.  So I painted.  And I painted and painted and painted.  Until the room was almost done, and it was dinner time.  But when we got home from dinner and I headed back upstairs, there was no denying it:  the room looked purple.  There was a hint of it in the natural light of the day, but in the evening lamp light, I kid you not: the room looked BLUEBERRY.  It was God-awful. 

So off to Lowe's I went (at 7 PM), and what did I do?  I bought my original paint choice.  Which was perfect, and everything I knew it would be when I chose it to begin with. 

So the moral of the story?  Do not allow your husband to make you second guess yourself on matters of interior design.  Unless you happen to be married to Nate Berkus, which is impossible because he's gay.  Unless you're also gay, and living in a state that allows gay marriage.

Getting off track here.  Pictures, yes!!!  There are plenty. 

Here I am at the beginning of the Guestroom Makeover Disaster/Extravaganza :

Please ignore the disgusting hairdo, but do NOT ignore the "I Love Dr. Phil" t-shirt.  Cause it's awesome.




Now that you've gained a little perspective, I will reveal the before and after photos....

(And by the way, Matthew DID help me paint the second go-round. And we knocked out in TWO HOURS what I wasn't even able to complete in SIX)

Guestroom Before...(not terrible, not GREAT)

Guestroom After...



(there are seashells all around that mirror)
Hi Cooper!

Fresh hydrangeas and old antique books on the nightstand (they are even ocean-themed!)

I got this idea from a Pottery Barn magazine (of course)
Some of the frames still need pictures though! ;)

 I got these baskets at a home decor store and filled them with tattered old books from an antique store...


And I can honestly say that the room looks even better in person!  It is super cozy and chic. 

Tell me you love it!  And if you don't love it, don't tell me!!  Cause I will cry!!!  ;) (kidding)

Until next time...

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November 27, 2010

Home Sweet, Sweet Home

Hello dearies, and how I have missed you!!!  I doubt very many of you escaped a bit of chaos this last week, but I sincerely hope that in all of the family dramas and frenzied preparations and muddled travel plans there was still plenty of thankfulness and JOY.  :)

I know MY week wasn't without incident (three hour delay at the airport, a missed connection flight, and a return trip home from HELL as I simultaneously battled a migraine AND sat directly in front of The Four Year Old Spawn of Satan Himself as he screamed, squealed, whined, wailed, kicked my seat constantly, reached forward and continuously poked me, and played his Leapster on full blast THE ENTIRE THREE HOUR FLIGHT all while his Idiot Mother sat idly by, acting as if this type of degenerate behavior was entirely normal and no one should be bothered by it). 

First thing Monday I'm scheduling Matthew's vasectomy. 

But anyway.  It WAS a wonderful and relaxing week with family, and while it turned out that it snowed very little, I still enjoyed the chilly weather and made time for plenty of fabulous pictures! 

Here's a little sampling from the week, courtesy of my delicious new camera...

Enjoy! (and remember: I am now on Twitter!  Come and follow me!!!) :) :) :)

People...
Handsome husband
Matthew's sis and her son Cameron

Matt's brother and his girlfriend
Me and Matt's Aunt Katherine (who is barely older than him!)
Me and my lil buddy!

 Matt's "real" mom - he has two moms, for those of you who may be confused!
Matt's stepdad Glenn

SNOW!!!!!!

Food...







 Photo shoot...







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November 24, 2010

It's Possible That I Might Die of Hypothermia or Gangrene...

Hello beautiful people!!!

I am coming at you live from the Frozen World of Wisconsin where the highest high this week is 36 degrees, and the lowest low is 15!!!!  What is a Texas girl to do?!?! 

Actually, I am loving it.  It's in the 70's and 80's back home, which somehow doesn't get you feeling very festive!  We're expecting some snow here in the next couple days, and you BETTER BELIEVE there will be photos taken of me licking lamposts and such. And I will be sure to share any good ones with you fine folks after I get home.

But for now, since for some reason my laptop (which contains my entire life and all the photos I've been wanting to share with you) isn't connecting to the wi-fi here (booooo), I'll just leave you with a link so you can head on over to Sarah Ann's lovely blog Bon Mot where I've been featured and interviewed as her favorite of the week!!!  Woo hoooo!!!  And then be sure and make friends with Sarah... she is super cool!!

Have a beautiful and perfect week, my friends.  I cannot wait to get home and catch up on all your blogs! I'm starting to get a little irritable as this "family time" and these "holidays" and this "vacation" is eating into my blogging time. Priorities, people. Priorities. ;)

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November 21, 2010

Wonderful Whirlwind Weekend!!!!!

WHAT A WEEKEND!!!

I have SO MUCH to say that I literally don't even know where to start... so let's begin with the obvious! My bloggy got a makeover!!!

I've been trying to decide on a blog designer for a couple months now, but when I met Lauren from Life With A Lab and found out she just started up her very own graphic design studio, I knew I'd like to support her with my business! 

And I am so glad I did!!!  Lauren is SO very kind, patient, and professional, and she did an outstanding (and FAST!) job on my design; I couldn't recommend her services more highly. Since she's just starting out, Lauren is still offering blog designs for SUPER reasonable rates, and she will work with you 'til you're 100% happy. Check her out on her personal blog, and if you're in the market for a blog makeover, visit her at Blue Lux Studio

You may notice that there is now a tab for "poetry" up at the top of my blog.  Every now and then I'll be adding an original, written-by-moi piece, so if you're into that sort of thing, DO check it out!  I decided to include my poetry on this blog because 1) it is an art form, and should be shared, and 2) I don't write nearly enough of it. So maybe having that page there will encourage me to exercise that part of my creativity more.  We shall see!  For now I'll just put up some old pieces.

Also, I just jumped on the bandwagon and created a Twitter account!  Exciting times!!!  My user name is JenniDtweets - come and follow me!!!! 

Pretty please?

Now on to other news.  As I have mentioned here before, my birthday is very soon.  And as I have also mentioned here before, I have been "in the market" for a new camera for a while now.  And by "in the market" I mean that I've known which one I wanted for quite some time, and have been incessantly nagging Matthew dropping subtle hints to Matthew that a Canon Rebel XS would be the perrrrrfect birthday gift that would also be an investment in our future as we are able to more vividly capture moments for many years to come.  

And finally, all of the nagging dropping of subtle hints paid off.  Because Friday morning, as I stumbled out of bed and drudged drearily over to my coffee pot, I was suddenly jolted wide awake by the bless-ed sight of my beloved new Canon Rebel complete with an upgrade lens and just piled up by my coffeepot (still in their boxes, of course).  Y'all, I about died.  I screamed and jumped up and down and flung myself onto my husband with sheer delight and gratitude.  He had chosen to give it to me early because he knew I'd want to use it while my friends-I-hadn't-seen-in-ten-years were in town, and also over Thanksgiving.  And maybe because he was tired of the picture messages and emails and newspaper clippings and general begging that he had been inundated with over the prior weeks.  All minor details.  

Isn't she a beauty?


So here's what you have to look forward to in upcoming posts (with a possible short hiatus over Thanksgiving, when I'll be freezing my tush off in Wisconsin): lots of beautiful photographs (especially after I really learn how to work my new camera), a before and after tale of The Great Guest Room Renovation of 2010, part one of "The Romance" (our darling little love story), and who really knows what else?? You'll just have to wait and see!!

But allow me to leave you with a couple precious photos I took over the weekend.  HAPPY MONDAY!!!




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November 18, 2010

Why I'm So Glad It's Now and Not Then (Thankful Thursday)


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 This time last year I was a hot mess.  It was my last (and hardest) semester before graduation, I was planning my wedding, searching for a new house, and the holidays were looming: not exactly a time in life I look back on with much fondness.  To be honest with you, I do NOT handle stress well - if my plate gets too full, I just want to (and sometimes DO) curl up in a ball and scream and cry and pretend like I have no responsibilities and no pressures and no deadlines.  I really try to minimize stress in my life, because I'm just not cut out to handle it well.  Stress starts to take a toll on your body in sometimes very unexpected ways - for example, this time last year, as stress for me was at it's peak, I had a horrible, disgusting, unbearably itchy rash all over my hands and part of my arms.  I kid you not, y'all, I looked like a leper whose rotting flesh might fall off at any given moment.  (You're welcome for that visual)

It was awesome.  I even had the rash on my wedding day.  Even awesomer.  

But that was just a season.  A tiny little blip on the radar of my life, which has now passed over and on to better things.  All through college, I never really got to enjoy the holidays. I SO wanted to - I wanted to do the holiday baking and really enjoy the decorating, and I wanted to send out Christmas cards and get all my shopping done BEFORE the week before Christmas, but alas: that was NEVER the case.  I was too busy being a giant freaked out stress ball to EVER really enjoy the holiday season. 

And this year, I am just so utterly grateful that, for the first time in 5 years, I am truly able to be QUIET inside and meditate on the beauty that is to come - to find true peace and joy in this season, to really ENJOY decking the halls and baking the goodies and shopping for gifts for my loved ones. 

So that is what I'm thankful for - I'm thankful for the seasons of our lives, just like the seasons of this Earth.  Because there would be no brisk and lovely autumn days without long and sweltering summer ones... no sunny, breezy spring without a cold and dreary winter. 

If you're in a sad or lonely or hard season of your life, remember that it is just a season, and "this too shall pass."  As human beings, our lives are not stagnant; they are not static - we are dynamic, moving, changing individuals, and where you are now will not be where you are in six months or a year or five years.  Be thankful for that fact.... I know I am. 


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 And just on a side note, I want to thank YOU - the wonderful people who read this blog.  You really and truly have no idea how much I adore all your funny, sweet, and encouraging comments, and how thankful I am just for the TIME it takes you to read what I have to say.  That means so, so much to me.  I really do my best to visit those of you who have blogs when I can, and it has been so fun getting to know you.  I really and truly hope each one of my readers and friends has an amazing Thanksgiving week, and I can't wait to hear all about it!

This weekend I have friends staying over whom I haven't seen in almost a decade, and I also have a wedding to attend... so things might be a little quiet around here for the next few days, but be sure and come back Monday when I'll be debuting my brand spankin cute new blog design!!! Yippeeeee!

Have a wonderful, beautiful Thursday...

J

November 16, 2010

“5 Things I Wish I Could Have Told Myself About Life 5 Years Ago” - My latest guest post!!

Good morning kids!!!

Be sure to check out my guest post over at my darling friend Jenna's lovely blog!!!  The topic: “5 Things I Wish I Could Have Told Myself About Life 5 Years Ago!”  Jenna is posting a guest blog series on this topic every day of this week, so stay tuned.  Also, be sure and peruse Jenna's blog a bit - she is amazing and has so much to offer her readers... intelligence, wit, fashion tips - before you know it, this girl will feel like your best friend.  Follow her!!!  I insist!!!

And don't forget to check out my "List of Ten Tuesday" post below!!!

Have a maaahvelous day...

November 15, 2010

Ten Things You Never Always Wished You Knew About Me (List of Ten Tuesday... On Monday.)

List of Ten Tuesday has been annoying me lately.  Mostly just the part about Tuesday.  I know, I know, I know. I'm the one who said there are NO rules to L.O.T.T., but I will admit that the simple fact that "Tuesday" is mentioned in the title has me feeling a little committed to posting my list on aforementioned day of the week. 

And I don't like rules, and I don't like expectations, and I don't like scheduling my other posts around Tuesday all the time; so from here on out, I will make no promises as to when my List Of Ten will appear.  Not that I ever really did, but I'm ESPECIALLY not NOW. 

So there.  You will have to read my blog every single day of the week to find List of Ten... day.  Sometimes it may fall on Tuesday, sometimes it may not. Alrighty?  Moving on.

My list of ten today actually involves a blogger tag I received from my dear friend Marissa!  Now to be quite honest with you, oftentimes I find these lists of questions rather dull and arduous, especially if they aren't accompanied by at least a few pictures... but then again, sometimes I also wonder if I'm a little A.D.D. and require massive amounts of visual stimulation in order to remain interested in a post for longer than 60 seconds.  But anyhoo.  I have answered the below ten questions to the best of my ability, attempting to make it somewhat interesting and providing visuals for as many items as I could.  Enjoy! ;)



List of Ten Things You Never Always Wished You Knew About Me
(but now you'll be SO glad to know them)

1) Why did you create your blog?
I've kept several blogs in the past and, in the beginning, blogging was just a way for me to creatively exercise my writing skills and keep my family and friends up to date on all of my exciting adventures (yeah, right). 



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But then when the only people who ever seemed to read my blog regularly were my Mom and Grandma (love you Mom and Grandma!), I started feeling unfulfilled by my blog.  I wanted more people to read.  I wanted to make a difference in people's lives.  I wanted to make people smile and laugh and think and be inspired.  And it wasn't enough that just a handful of people read my stuff. So that's when THIS humble little blog was born.
Because, as a writer, it's my dream to be read by hundreds or even thousands of people.  I want to, even if it's just in some small way, make a difference.    

2) What kind of blogs do you follow?
ALL KINDS.  I read everything from lifestyle blogs to fashion blogs to cooking blogs to interior design blogs to just plain weird blogs.  My favorite blogs are the ones I really feel I get something out of, especially if it's laughter, inspiration, or helpful tips of some sort.  

3) Favorite makeup brand?
Guess I don't really have one.  Almost every single piece of makeup I have is of a different brand.

4) Favorite clothing brand?

Oh J.Crew, how I love thee! But how expensive thou art!

5) Your indispensable makeup product?


This Lancome concealer. 
You see, fantastic genetics have afforded me rather frightening dark circles under my eyes, and without this concealer, I feel DISGUSTING.  Sometimes I even wear it to bed so my husband doesn't think he's sleeping with a dead woman.  It is that bad.


6) Your favorite color?
I just love COLOR in general, but my favorites are any variation of blue, aqua, turquoise, and green...



7) Your perfume?

Funny face required to make boring perfume question more interesting.
My "signature scent" has been Guess by Marciano for quite some time now, though I'm now in the market for a new perfume.

8) Your favorite film?
There's a lot that I love, but I'm a huge fan of all the comedies with guys like Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Will Farrell.
I think my all time fave is Dodgeball - I kid you not.



I wonder what this says about me?

9) What country would you like to visit and why?
That's a hard one!  I lived in Europe for three years, from ages 7 to 10, but I'd love to go back now that I'm older and would remember it/appreciate it more. 
I'd really love to go to Italy - it's one country we never visited, and I always wanted to go!

10) Write the last question and answer it yourself.
***What is your indispensable piece of clothing???***
Easy. 
Leggings.
I'm obsessed.
I almost never wear jeans anymore.
Why wear pants that cut off the circulation in your crotch when you can wear deliciously comfy leggings?!
I have no idea.

  This is not me.
Via


***************


COMMENT OF THE DAY!
(the most epic yet)

The comment below was left on last week's L.O.T.T. post by someone who is very near and dear to my heart.  We were best friends when both of us were living in Germany, and thanks to the wonderfulness of social media like Facebook, we were able to reconnect.  And she leaves EPIC comments on my blog.  I heart her very much.  The comment is split into two pictures. And you have to read last week's post or this won't make sense. Click to enlarge if needed.




 And she has a blog.  Go there.


Cheers, darlings!!

J
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