Test Title 1

going to look at a couch ...

round 2.

oh craigslist - please be magical this time around.



it was a winner ...

{a little preview}

... and {drumroll} only $150 buckaroos. UNBELIEVABLE! (spending a bit more on a rug doesn't seem that bad now, eh? *hint hint*)

the leather needs a little cleaning + conditioning. so i'm currently googling DIY fixes - a new project for next week. but it's exactly what we were wanting ... comfy and well-worn just like the one at restoration ... however we didn't have had to pay bucko bucks for this look! SO THRILLED.

wade and i got it into the apt last night w/ only minor back pain this am - ha! and our friend dave is going to take our old couch. so it was a smooth transition.

okay this time i really do promise that i will update you with real pics on monday. i know, i know my promises are losing merit each day that goes by. but i was up until after 1am wrapping up my halloween costume and packing. i promise pictures of our finds from last week home in IL, a thorough review of our amazing bedside lamps and pics of our latest find - the couch!

20 minute dinner: ravioli w/ sautèed zucchini

{photo courtesy of anna williams}

last night i tried one of realsimple.com's 20 20-minute meal recipes.
it was a winner both in flavor & time-saving.
so i thought i'd share:

* 1 pound cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 small zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons
* salt and pepper
* 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1) cook the ravioli according to the package directions. drain and return to the pot.
2) meanwhile ... heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
3) add the zucchini and season w/ salt and pepper. cook until just tender - 4 to 5 minutes.
4) add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
5) gently toss the zucchini mixture and ¼ cup of the parmesan w/ the ravioli to combine.
6) serve with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan.

{by sara quessenberry and kate merker, august 2008 }

it was *simply* delicious.
and now we're excited to try out a new recipe for salmon and potatoes tonight! yum!

today i am restless for 5 o'clock ...

it's absolutely beautiful outside!

unfortunately i have zero access to windows during the day (come to think of it ... i think my office is the only one in the building that doesn't have a window). but to work from home on a day like today would be a dream. our apt is filled with big windows that capture the sunlight!

which got me to daydreaming about dressing up our windows.

a couple of fantastic ideas pulled off countryliving.com:

1) instead of full window treatments, string a lace border along kitchen windows to let in more light and add vintage charm. our kitchen windows are perfect for this! it's wade's favorite room in the house - w/ perfect morning sun. i had to promise him i wouldn't obstruct the sunlight! :)

2) a salvaged gothic window is used for decoration ... while sheer floor-length drapes cover the room's actual window. especially loving the idea of something sheer for our bedroom to contrast the metal of the bookshelves, bed and new bedside lamps.

3) fashion a large, square lace doily into a handkerchief valance for a romantic setting. how much do i wish we had this bathroom!?! :) i'm not sure if it's the window cover alone that i love - or the room as a whole - clawfoot tub, basket of flowers, ornate ceiling ...

to etsy i go for inspiration and materials ... :)

let there be light ...

finally - we have bedside lamps! :)

you might remember a couple of weeks ago we were on a mission to buy lamps for our bedroom. we saw several different styles that were intriguing by either 1) not the right feel of our bedroom or 2) not the right price range. then while walking around target i found the perfect "lamp shade" ... and we decided we could make our own!

the supplies finally was delivered mid-last week but we were heading out of town for the weekend. delay. then this week has been rather mad ... cleaning up after the trip + cleaning up in general + laundry + halloween costume making + a short week at work with another trip out of town this weekend. delay.

but last night while i went to town on my halloween costume (it's crunch time!) ... wade took action.

we are so excited.

{i promise to upload non cellphone camera pics tomorrow (our camera wasn't uploading this am) plus a little list of what materials we used.}

we also found a wood 2-drawer filing cabinet yesterday on craigslist. this was one of the last pieces of "furniture" needed to pull our bedroom together. we hope to sand and stain it and the desk (maybe even next week/weekend - weather permitting?). then it's time to accessorize. :) ha! i'm thinking vintage floor length sheer curtains to contrast the harsh metals of the bookshelves and the new lamps. and a few things knickknacks for on top of the dresser. (though this will come with time!) then i'll do a tour!

promise also an update on my halloween costume and finally the resolution of my monday teaser tomorrow before we head out on our weekend adventure!

what projects are you tackling in your home?

we're getting our hairs cut ...

just called and scheduled wade and i hair appts before this wedding weekend away!

we're in a funk. i usually would JUST speak for myself ... but wade admitted he was feeling in a funk yesterday too!

for him, to beard or not to beard?

and for me, well - i'm feeling {hair}spired by fellow bloger rockstar diaries.

{photo borrowed from rockstar diaries}

but can i pull it off?!? unfortunately i'm lacking her darling freckles. i love following her blog - 1/2 bc of her adventures and 1/2 bc of all the inspiring hair styles she pulls off!

who's your {hair}spiration?

umbrella love ...

it's raining ... it's pouring!

and derek my car is back in the shop (yes again!) - so i walked to work!
(wade had some errands to run - and there was no way i was heading in @ 7.30)
i think i made it just in time ... but it's definitely time to invest in an umbrella.

a little rainy day happy list:

1) the perfect umbrella (or umbrella picture)

2) walks in the rain. {wade mentioned last week that we need to take more of these. so cute!}

3) bright colored rain boots

4) puddle jumping

5) and of course ... rainy day naps!

{all photos courtesy of we♥it}

i know, i know.

i teased yesterday about our weekend finds. and now i have left you hanging. but our monday was crazy busy. we left work early for our last pre-marital session (i guess it would now be post-marital as we've been married a whole month!). then we rushed out to bellevue to check out a couch we saw on craigslist. it was a no. :( and we finished off the night w/ dinner @ laura's. delicious! i can't wait to attempt her butternut squash recipe.

pics of our finds either tomorrow or thursday! i promise. i just want to do a little styling! :)

a quick weekend trip home ...

... to celebrate my beautiful grandmother's 82 birthday.

last week was a very challenging week for both my grandma and my mom & her sisters. they decided that it was time to move her into a nursing home because of her dementia. i've been a bit homesick, so wade and i decided it was the perfect weekend for a visit.

{side note: i have been blessed with the most patient husband. thank you God. he endured hours and hours of girl talk.}

while we were home, we decided to take advantage of the "non-nashville" antique stores (and prices). and we did ... w/ a major shopping spree at the best antique store i've ever been to tucked a way in palestine, il.

a little teaser:

honeymoon - day 1 & 2: SPAIN

i can't believe that i'm just now getting around to blogging about our honeymoon. we jumped into married life head first - but definitely don't want to forget all the sweet sweet memories shared together our first week as a married couple.

sept 26, 2010 -

we stayed at hotel preston on our wedding night. truth is ... we could have slept anywhere! we were exhausted from the festivities of the entire week before. our room was great - and the bed was ultra comfy (little did we know it was the last time we would sleep on a soft mattress for a while).

our flight was to leave at 3pm, but wade and i were up early. so we dropped off our wedding wear at our new apt and ran a couple of errands with little success. {it felt so funny - the day after our wedding - and life as usual.} we also wanted to get to the airport a bit early to see if we could get an earlier fight to ATL (our layover before our madrid flight was only 45 min).

well --- we barely made it on the earlier flight - and with delays and a nice wait on the tarmac it was no longer the "earlier" flight. they kept telling us that they for sure had room for 1 of us (uh hmm ... it was our HONEYMOON & neither of us was willing to go alone). we needed one person to miss their flight for us both to make it. and lucky for us (unfortunate for them) ... we did. we ran to our ATL gate in the nick of time just as they announced last call.

{ps - brandon - unfortunately the treats didn't work quite as well as we had hoped. we got a free glass of champagne out of it ... but not first class. ha! wishful thinking. next time.}

sept 27th, 2010 -

we arrived in madrid at 9am on september 27th. w/ a 9-hour layover, we decided to leave the airport and do some speed sight-seeing.

we stopped at an outdoor cafe for "dos paninis un cafè" and a delicious mango smoothie (i don't dare try to say that in spanish!) then we attempted to hit up the art museums including el prado ... but they were closed. poo. instead, in true munday fashion, we enjoyed the royal botanical gardens:

both were exhausted, we decided to head back to the airport a bit early! (in fact ... embarrassing moment/marriage initiation 1: i fell asleep on wade's shoulder on the metro ride back to the airport and drooled down his arm. quite entertaining, i'm sure, for the pack of men facing us on the train.)

we made it to our gate for our flight to marrakech ready to get on our way! but ... our flight was delayed 5 HOURS! seriously!?! in an effort to make the airport a "peaceful experience", they didn't announce the delay or send anyone to our gate until it finally arrived. {ironic, eh? instead of announcing delays they continuously loop "madrid is a silent airport" ... blah blah blah.}

finally ... at 12.30 we loaded the plane and were off to morocco ...

halloween after all ...

wade and i are heading to asheville, nc halloween weekend to celebrate friends keelie and eric. they have rented a cabin in the mountains w/ room enough for their wedding guests - a very intimate affair. then at dusk, we're having a little ceremony in which wade is officiating and i'm singing {... maybe we should take this show on the road!}

and that's not all - the night will end with a pirate party reincarnated from the good ol' days when keelie and wade lived in the castle on belmont. yo ho ho!

so i've been brainstorming my costume! it has to be magnificent - unfortunately i've created a halloween costume name for myself:

{2007 - the frog. a church children's department find. handmade in the 70s - i cannot take credit. but i can take credit for wooing wade w/ this bad boy. it was the second time we met!}

{2008 - the jellyfish. by far the top dog - in fact, my boss & his entire family went as a school of jellyfish the following year - and won top prize!}

{2009 - a quick day of costume ... add ray-bans, a guitar hero guitar, and a flower pot skirt - and you've got the dancing flower. come on 80s kids, you totally had one of these bad boys, right?}

and today while showering - my best brainstorming - i came up with the perfect followup! to the thrift store i must go (another quick lunch run).

if we weren't so busy unpacking ...

i would insist that we decorate for fall.
{as i've said before it's my absolute favorite.}

i would definitely want to make these candle centerpieces w/ indian corn and twine. i found them while flipping through the pottery barn catalog for ideas - but of course i could pull them off for quite a bit cheaper! besides we have rolls of extra twine sitting around from the wedding:

and what a perfect welcome ... this preserved magnolia and pomegranate wreath from restoration hardware - again something that wouldn't be too difficult to make (bonus: the giant magnolia tree in our front yard):

and of course ... fall decor would not be complete without lots and lots of pumpkins:

instead ... wade and i are brainstorming living room decor.

the bedroom is so close to finished. tonight we're installing a mirror, the desk still needs an overhaul (but that's going to have to wait), and i have a short list of things i want to pick up to complete the overall look. oh - and of course we're still waiting on supplies for the bedside lamps but that should be any day now.

the kitchen is somewhat complete also. we're considering a bigger table for 6 ... but we have my rickety old kitchen table and mismatched chairs in the meantime. and of course all of our dishes displayed - boy do i need to take some pictures, huh!!

so we're left with the living room. and we (i) have a loong loong list. ha!

1) a pie safe or some other primitive cabinet for our china.
i think i might have found the one today during a lunch antique run. i had been looking for one in robin's egg blue or another pastel (and chipping of course). but this one's pretty cute too. we would want to sand it and restain it because of the current gloss finish. and i'd want to play with the white tin a bit. but i love the white interior and the little glass knobs. what do you think??? stick with my first intentions and hold out for a painted pie safe or go for it?

{pardon my horrible cell photography!}

2) a console for under 3) a brand new flat screen tv.
we put our armoire and tv up on craigslist late last week and sold both for $300. maybe a little premature - as we're now left with wade's tv and nothing to put it on. i love the barrett media stand sold on (of course) pottery barn ...

... but heck no. we're not spending $699 on this bad boy. so i snapped a couple of dressers at the antique store today too. thoughts??? i'm sort of leaning toward the white - however with silver knobs instead of the painted white ones it currently has! and at $185 ... that's a steal! :)

4) a rug ... not just any rug ... the bird floral rug from pottery barn. i've been watching it religiously hoping for a sale. no luck yet.:

and to finish it off ... someday down the road:

5) a delicious leather couch. particularly this one from restoration hardware if someone wants to gift it to us. (can you believe they are asking between $3360 - $4270 for that bad boy?!? *dre-e-e-e-eam dream dream dream*)

so obviously ... there's little room in the budget for fall decorations at this time. ha! {there's little room in the budget for the majority of my list!}

i am {craft}ernoon overdue. so maybe i'll pull together some of the magnolia leaves and figure something out. xo.

{blog}spiration: newdressaday.com

yesterday while watching CBS' the early show, they did a segment on marissa lynch and her blog newdressaday.com. inspired by julia & julie, she not only set out to make a dress a day, but she also gave herself a budget of just $1 a day! woah.

love some of the outfits she has created:

{especially the cute little ensemble she wore for the show ... day 324}

and especially the before/after pics:

{day 324: before and after}

definitely feeling inspired ... though i'm not quite ready to commit to a dress a day. maybe a dress a week! :)

what blogs do you just love to follow?

mon-DIY: iron pipe bookshelves

HAPPY MUNDAY! it's the new running joke at work ... now that i've swapped out my old work email for my new one complete with new last name, everyone's getting in on it. "just another manic munday" "happy monday, munday". ... blah blah blah, munday. if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

what a weekend!

wade and i are feeling super accomplished. our bedroom checklist is getting very slim: still waiting on supplies for our bedside lamps and now completely inspired to sand and restain the desk his parents brought us on saturday. but we can't stop staring at our new BOOKSHELVES!

{it's a bit blurry ... i'm still working on manual focus.}

mission totally accomplished. have you ever seen anything so sexy in your entire life!?!

the final bookshelf is 8'8" wide by 7'6" tall and a little over 11" deep. {wade and i thought our ceilings were 11' tall ... well they're more like 9' ... so after purchasing supplies to build 5 shelves high we returned one shelf, 3 18" pipes, 3 8" pipes, 3 90º elbows, and 3 3-way tees. NOTE: always measure before. lesson learned.}
our {blog}spiration, the brick house, used 1/2" pluming pipe which the spray painted black. instead, we used 1/2" black iron pipe because our shelving unit needed to be super heavy duty for all of our books. this of course meant a bit more $$.
all in all we spent about $450 on the shelves. not bad considering earlier we were looking into these bad boys at 5' wide x 6' tall for $1095 on vivaterra.com.

the supply list:

15 – 90º elbows
13 – 3-way tees
6 – base flanges

15 – 18"
13 – 8"
3 – 9" (for the top flange connectors)

wood shelves:
4 – 1" thick x 12" wide x 10' long oak planks (cut down to 8′8″) ... {NOTE: this is where the bulk of our budget went}

1" hole bit
ebony minwax stain
medium grit sandpaper
dish soap + goo gone ... to clean up the pipes.
step stool
for the boards, we measured and drilled 3 holes into each plank along the front edge. we then sanded giving each board rounded edges and corners. and last stained the boards a lovely dark color. for the pipes, we cleaned all the grease off the pipes and goo gone-ed the stickers. (worst part of the whole process!)

{our fantastic work zone ... the communal front porch. it will be nice to someday have a garage!}

{and one of my lumberjack!}
everything screws together! build your base and then slide the first plank on - this secures the base so you can continue to build up. then wade secured it to the wall with some screws through the flanges. {for additional support, you can screw the base flanges into the floor as well - but that will have to wait until our apartment living days are over.}

{the before}

THE FINAL PRODUCT ... with some quick styling of the majority of our books:

we LOVE it. in fact, you might find us sitting on the bed staring at it ... ha!

and amazing there's plenty of extra space on the shelves. wade is considering extra books that he needs. and together we're going to hit up rummage sales and flea markets for knickknacks we can use as bookends.

would you believe it we accomplished quite a bit more over the weekend too!?! in an attempt to gain some photography skills, i've been following wade around with his camera. a few fun shots from the weekend:

saturday morning i fixed up some apple almond waffles from scratch. wade and i agreed "waffle saturdays" are a new family tradition. {see, mom, we are using our waffle maker after all!}

our bed all made up in new linens from pottery barn. imagine it with 2 bedside lamps ... coming this week!

and last but not least ... this fantastic find (which doubled as wedding guest book) - just $20 at an antique store. and she works beautifully. wade copied a little poem ... "the birds and the bees" by joaquin miller. ironically appropriate for a newlywed bedroom? no ... it has nothing to do with those birds and bees.
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