Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home Sweet Home: Dining Room

Home sweet home is just that right now - such a haven. It was not anywhere near that two years ago, as pictured below ;)


Have I mentioned the whole blood, sweat, and tears portion of a home renovation? Yes...I suppose I have. And the whole there is no real deadline for things to be done part? Hmmph. But I must say that sitting in our living room, completely relaxed, watching The Office with J while our puppies play tug-o-war with one of his socks, it was all worth it.


I know that picture is a fairly cluttered view of the dining room {dining space is probably more accurate}, but I tried to take it from the same angle as the before picture. As you can see, we took out the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and it made a huge difference in the flow of the main living area. At some point, I would like to get a larger glass top for the dining table so that we can seat more than four at the table. Buuuuuut I'm still stuck on finding the perfect snuggly sectional, and that ranks way higher than a few extra seats for supper. ;)

We got our dining table at Bombay Company for 40% off before it closed. I l.o.v.e.(d) that store, and I especially loved that something was always 40% off. That's a LOT off.

Here is a close-up of the built-in. We did our best to keep it as close to its original condition as possible, with just a few spruce-ups to hide 75 years of wear and tear.

Welp, that's it! It is a small space, but I like to think of it as cozy. ;)

If you want to check out the rest of our Home Sweet Home, click HERE and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This morning on...

I love The Today Show. Matt, Meredith, Al, and Ann - the whole gang! Yes, they are good journalists, share interesting and useful information, etc. But really I just love their dynamics. I tear up at the end of every year when they show all the funny clips and bloopers. Embarassing. I even like Kathie Lee and Hota on the fourth hour when I get to watch them. Secretly {until now ;)} I really wish they needed a correspondent pharmacist. They haven't called me, though... yet.

Yesterday morning on Today, they did a piece on the new definition of masculinity. I was skeptical of what it might entail, but I have to say that not only were they spot on, they made me super extra appreciate my husband.

Cue the bragging ;)

Do you remember when a whole bunch of people posted their "25 random things about me?" Number 1 on my list was:
I really honestly think that my husband is the best one there is. I know a lot of women think that, but they're all mistaken.

And I stand firm in that statement. No offense - I'm sure lots of you have fabulous husbands. ;)

I always tell J that I couldn't have ordered a better husband if I tried - that reads wierd in written word, but you get my drift. I love him like crazy.

The thing is, it is by NO means because either of us is perfect, or because we have a perfect relationship. {Not that you thought that...I just don't want you to think I think that :)}. One of my best friends asked me a few weeks ago if Josh and I ever fight. hahahaha. Yes. I prefer to call them intense discussions, but yes. Don't be expecting a post on those - there's a reason he refers to my red-headed personality as spicy.

I digress.

Josh is my partner. Die hard. And I am his. He is the head of our household, and I will always respect the Biblical responsibility he carries. But he is never a dictator over me, never pushes me too far, never leverages that I am to do as he says. He knows that I will but doesn't take advantage of it.

We share responsiblity outside of the home, and so we share responsibility inside the home. This weekend while I had to work, he did laundry, cleaned the floors, mowed the lawn, and installed a doggy door. I could have cried. {But I didn't, thank you very much.}

In other words, he embodies the new definition of masculine. Every bit as strong, protective, and providing as ever, but so much more secure, thoughtful, patient, and helpful.

Today, he will be at work, and I will do household chores. The more I think about it, though, the less they seem like chores and the more I think of them as thank you gifts.

{Except for getting clothes out of the's really hot and makes me sweat, so it still classifies as a chore}

Friday, September 17, 2010

Living Room and room to live

**Update: a picture and a question!**

This week Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life is featuring livings rooms. I did a post a few months ago {technically all my posts have been, at most, a few months ago ;)} of the before and after of our living room - click HERE to see it, or click HERE to see all the posts on our Home Sweet Home so far!

Here is one AFTER picture so I comply with all the Show Us Your Life rules :)

And my question is.... are sectionals in? .... because I really want one.... they are so very comfortable.... maybe I don't even care if they're in or not....

Speaking of living rooms...and the rest of our house... for a few days J and I considered renting ours out and starting on a new home project. We actually considered it all the way to the drive to make an offer, but decided at the last minute that neither of us had a peace about it.

And can I get a collective *Whew*

I honestly don't know what we were thinking. Well, I kind of do - it would be closer to my work and to one of my brothers and it was a super fun neighborhood and a seemingly good deal. But the buck stops there. That seemingly bit could have been a corker once we really started remodeling and we would have had to become landlords on top of all the responsibilities of our currently the busiest they have ever been schedules and our nights/weekends/alltimeoff would be consumed with fixing it up so we wouldn't be living in a construction zone again and I could hardly breathe when I thought about the hideous kitchen.

There I go with run-on sentences again. I just feel like they have so much more impact, and they more adequately reflect the chaos that's going on inside my head. ;)

Upside: Ever since we drove away without offering to take on the madness, I have walked around my home appreciating every. little. detail. Thank you, Lord, for protecting us from ourselves and showing us how a level floor and a dishwasher can be such significant blessings!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Southern Sweet Tea

I don't drink it. {gasp, I know} I don't like the flavor of tea in general, and I think at times my brothers thought I belonged to the milk man because I didn't share the Ponder love of my mom's sugary sweet caffeine. I prefer my sugary sweet caffeine in the form of Starbucks, and I'm not ashamed. ;)

I also didn't say y'all until I went to college four hours south of my homeland and figured out how much more efficient it is than to say "you guys." I don't cook much, and when I do cook it isn't with real butter or cream {I will most definitely eat food other people make with these ingredients, mind you}.

But I am Southern. I like being Southern. It is my region of choice, and despite a few of the quintessential Southern characteristics I don't exhibit, I will still always and forever be Southern.

Are you wondering yet where this is coming from?

Southern Living, of course {second only to the Bible according to my mom ;)}. I found a nifty new blog, Blue-Eyed Bride, and she posted a fabulous article from this month's issue about Southern stereotypes played in Hollywood. It is written by a woman named Amy Bickers, and I loved it!

Bickers explains how we have air conditioners so we shouldn't always be portrayed so sweaty, and she clears the rumor that we call all our police chiefs Big Daddy {I'm paraphrasing here}. But one of my favorite quotes has to be, "...You'd be shocked if we told you how few of us actually have verandas."

The article also reminded me that I have pictures from a fun little piece of The Ozarks {I'm thinking of The Ozarks as a subregion of The South so that my post flows...ok?} that I still need to share.

Mountain Home Berry Farm!

I've been eating these berries for years and years and have driven by the farm a countless number of times, but until earlier this summer I hadn't ever actually experienced it. It was so quaint and picturesque...better than I even anticipated from the fruits of its labor.

Just a tiny sampling of the some of the produce they grow. They'll even let you walk right up, pick, and taste. Oh, the authenticity.

The berries aren't all looks, either. They are crazy tasty. One time several years ago I was bringing a flat of strawberries to my mother-in-law on my way back from MH, and I made the mistake of keeping them in the front seat within an arm's reach of me the entire time I was driving. I ate so many strawberries that I had an allergic reaction. That wouldn't be any huge deal except that I am not allergic to strawberries. At all. {I do not know what compels me to tell embarassing stories.}

These are jams/jellies/ican'ttellthedifference made from the berries that were for sale at a tiny/delicious restaurant a few miles down the road.

And this is one of the signs that greets you as you enter the restaurant.

From Southern sweet tea to smokes. I think we've come full circle...y'all.