Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Life Updates and Such

one. I've taken another step in Operation Fill This Wall, as I've dubbed it moving forward with this awesome cotton blossom wreath. I love that it provides a bit of rustic, textural charm to the wall. Now I just need something for either side of it. I'm thinking something tall and skinny...

The other things to do are find a small chair (club chair or slipper chair) and replace the aqua lamp with something larger.

two. Have I mentioned how weary I've become of work travel? May has been a doozy for me. In the month of May I've been to New Orleans, Charleston (SC), Myrtle Beach and now Jacksonville (today and tomorrow). It doesn't seem like a lot but I'm not really much of a work traveler. I may go somewhere once or twice a year for a conference but this month has been crazy. I've not had a week where I didn't travel anywhere! Thankfully that's about to slow down...at least until the fall. :)

three. We laid my uncle Vic to rest on Sunday. My poor dad has lost 3 siblings (2 brothers and a sister) in 13 months and they've all had their funerals at the same place. It's so sad. This is a side of family that used to all get together at my grandmother's house but due to her death, several subsequent events and disagreements they don't do it anymore.  But isn't it strange how death has the ability to quiet disagreements, resolve rifts and bring healing? Everyone's family has drama and disagreements at some point, for sure, but I hope that soon the descendants of my dad's family will once again be able to all gather in one place and celebrate each other in light of these deaths. (Sorry for such a somber note!)

four. M & I are back on the car talks for me. I'm going to try and hold off until our trip to Banff to get another car. That way I can at least not have a car payment for a few more months. After being in a few different rental sedans over the last few weeks, I've pretty much decided that I don't want a sedan. I either want an SUV (like what I have now) or cute little car. Sigh.

five. Those of you dog people can probably identify. When it's totally quiet in my house and I'm reading or on the computer I absolutely love hearing the little sounds my dog Hewitt makes. They might be a sigh, or a grumble, or a groan or even when he's dreaming and closed-mouth barking. I just love those comforting little sounds. Well, except for the ones that come out of his back end. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

For Those That Won't Come Home

image via unsplash, edited by me.

This Monday, we honor those that fought the fight  for freedom and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, those that died while serving our country. This weekend, we take time to honor and remember their sacrifices. 

While we always should recognize and support those that have served, Memorial Day is uniquely different since it is set aside to memorialize those that gave it all. Those that won't come home. 

We are so thankful for their sacrifice.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Neutralizing Our Living Room

Sorry I've been a bit absent over the last few weeks. I've been traveling non-stop for work. Things will start to slow down a little more as we get in to June, thankfully!

I'd begun to grow weary of my living room...don't get me wrong I still love teal and colors, but the older I get I'm more into a neutral living space in the main areas. It's just more calming and soothing. I loved the neutral look of our bedroom, but never got around to doing that sort of palette anywhere else in our house.

Over the weekend, M and I worked to neutralize the color palette in our living room. We purchased 2 things, a new rug (we needed one anyway...our old one was too small and stained) and an old window to hang over the sofa.

Here's what we were working with before (top row) and after (bottom row).

One of the things we loved about this house when we bought it was the flooring. It's this really cool gray-toned wood and it inspired the palette for the living room. Well, that and apparently the dog too. 

I knew I wanted something old yet simple to put over the couch and I had my mind set on an old window. We went to a local antique store over the weekend and found this one for $18. I love it! It's still a little small on the gigantic wall behind the sofa, so we will continue to look for something to flank the sides. I like the idea of smaller funky window or stained glass windows..or even some sconces. I'm in no hurry to fill the wall up since we had a pretty full wall before. 

All of my art work from the gallery wall has been repurposed throughout the house. I actually look at them more now than I did when they were on the wall over the couch. 

Overall, I'm pleased with the look. It's more soothing and calming and summery to me. We moved the bookcase to the guest bedroom and are now on the hunt for a low profile slipper chair to put in the room as well. I also want to get another table lamp to replace the aqua one (which will move upstairs to the guest room). So, this gives me a fresh, new starting place. :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Banff Trip - Update

ICYMI, M and I are traveling to Banff in August. It will be my first time planning an actual vacation internationally. (Our honeymoon was international, but at an all-inclusive resort.) This trip presents a variety of new challenges for me and as an OCD trip planner, I've been trying to be as proactive as possible. 

So far we've booked our hotel, plane tickets and rental car. I've planned our itinerary (somewhat) and started working on a packing list. Finally, I've started to break in my hiking shoes! :) Here's what we've got shaped up on our itinerary so far. You'll notice I still need to figure out breakfast locations but since our hotel does a continental breakfast I may not need to. 

Phew! For those of you that do extensive trip itineraries (I'm looking at you Steph) do you often find that you veer from it or do you stick to it? I tried to space out big hiking days with days that have smaller or easier hikes but I know things may change when we get there. Do you just plan to get off the itinerary some? Or do you pretty much stick to it? Our travel days are Friday (half day) and Wednesday (we leave late morning) so I didn't plan much for those days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Currently Obsessed: Floral Midi Skirts

Maybe it's me being in Charleston, or it could be the recent Kentucky Derby...either way I'm really obsessed with floral midi skirts as of late. They are a very classic look and paired with a cardigan, wedges and a straw bag, you'd just be a bonafide Southern belle!

floral midi skirt

Would you ever rock a floral midi?

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Orleans Trip Recap

Sometimes traveling for work kind of stinks...sometimes it's okay. Sometimes it rocks.

This time was one of  the latter. I went with 3 close coworkers and a total of 10 from my company to a conference in NOLA and I had SO. MUCH. FUN.

There wasn't as much downtime as say, a vacation might have, but I still was able to squeeze in some fun while there!

Okay, overall impressions of New Orleans was that it was a fun city. Slightly dirty and pretty stinky for some reason, but it was cool nonetheless. I loved the building architecture and wrought iron balconies. They looked so old and majestic!

Another awesome part was the food. I tried beignets (of course) and alligator for the first time. Loved the beignets but the alligator...meh...I'm good with not having it anymore. But at least I tried it! I also had some delicious steaks, po-boys and the absolute best cuban po-boy I've ever had. I also got an idea for something to try at home...it was a roasted head of cauliflower and you cut off pieces and dipped into whipped goat cheese drizzled with olive oil and red pepper flakes. IT WAS AMAZING! I'd never had goat cheese before so, um, I'll be recreating this one at home for sure.

Overall I enjoyed NOLA. I would definitely go back again to see more of the stuff I wasn't able to get to like the riverfront, garden district and swampy stuff. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

NOLA Bound!

Hi friends. Today's post serves 2 purposes...

1. To inform you that I might be sort of MIA for the rest of the week because tomorrow I'm headed to NOLA for a work conference. 

2. To comment upon a few random things associated with my NOLA trip. 

Now that the first purpose has been fulfilled, would you indulge me a little as I comment upon some NOLA things? Oh, and if you're wondering, NOLA stands for New Orleans Louisiana. (LA  is the abbreviation for Louisiana)

I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to go to NOLA. It's one of my bucket list cities because it's old, Southern and home of my beloved Saints. :) 

Things I Hope To Do
  • Go on a ghost walk through the haunted French Quarter and visit one the famous cemeteries
  • Visit the French Quarter
  • Have a hurricane drink
  • Eat a beignet (or 6) at Cafe Du Monde
  • See the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (where my Drew plays)
  • Visit some of the older homes in the Garden District
  • Try bourbon

Things I'm Nervous About
  • The fact that I don't eat seafood and isn't like 90% of LA cuisine seafood?
  • The fact that I'm not a big drinker but will be expected to keep up with some younger...more tolerant coworkers
  • I also don't really eat rice...which is the other 10% of LA cuisine

So I may be MIA this week but you can always follow along with me on Instagram to stay up to date on all things NOLA.