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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Backyard Updates

As I posted a while back, we have been busy coming up with ways to liven up the backyard a bit. It's been super fun and Home Depot loves us! A few important bits of information:


Disclaimer: I in no way claim to be a DIY goddess, crafty or prone to coming up with good ideas on my own where home décor (specifically anything that requires paint or tools) is concerned. This blog was never meant for such projects. However, if you're like me and see perfect and gorgeous pictures online and KNOW that yours will never look that good then we should be friends. I figure it's worth sharing what I've learned to those who are like-minded. Together we can attempt to be DIY'ers!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tiny Living

Along with my obsession of all things coastal I am equally obsessed with the mountains, or to be specific, tiny cabin living. There are two things I am certain of that I want in this life: a beach bungalow and a tiny cabin. Some days I become insanely overwhelmed with the notion of saying "Screw it!" Packing up my family, heading to the mountains, building a sweet & amazing tiny cabin and throwing all electronics out our window on the way there. I probably scare my husband sometimes, but he seems to dig the idea for the most part. Today is such a day. Let's face it. Life is just nuts sometimes. It's too much. Wouldn't it be kind of sweet to live in a bubble of love with your family? No outside influences or distractions? (I've been watching way too much Alaska: the Last Frontier ANYWAYS....


So I thought instead of keeping it to myself it'd be fun to share with you some of my favorite "Cabin Porn". Cue the Barry White music...oooohhhh yeah!!!! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy as a Bloomin Flower...



                        

Here are just a few things that made me smile this week:


- Witnessed my first organized sport game as a parent and realized I have the makings of becoming 'that parent' one day. Really never thought I'd find such enjoyment in watching Aiden learn a sport. I surprise myself everyday.
                           
- Spring is here! Who didn't celebrate that this week? Flowers bloomed in our yard and it just looks and feels great.

                         

- French Café radio: I watched Blue Jasmine this week and it was great but I mostly just love any soundtrack that incorporates that jazzy French music ("When Harry Met Sally", "Something's Gotta Give"..heaven). No better way to compliment the feelings of Spring than to listen to this station on Pandora. It takes the edge off of spring cleaning. I felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie or walking the streets of Paris. A girl can dream no?



- Backyard projects are taking shape. The garden bed was built and other projects are coming to life. Lots of paint involved but I am really happy. Check! Feels good to stop talking about it and do it. More on that down the road.
- Art: Oh my gosh! I am not an art person AT ALL. I frame random pictures I find online and the nicest piece I've ever bought was in the Marietta Square for $60. But I can't WAIT to share with you the painting we just had done for us and the story behind it. My expectations were mild and it has blown me away. Let's just say it takes my love of all things beachy to a new level and I will stare at it every day for the rest of my life. True love. (any tips on framing a big piece of art?)




I hope that you all have a spectacular weekend. Put that phone down a little, enjoy the simplicity in small moments and roll with it! XO



      

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

JOHNNYSWIM




I've mentioned a time or ten that I just love music. I love to sing it, play it, watch it live, read lyrics, etc...
If you haven't heard of Johnnyswim then I suggest you get ready to make some purchases on iTunes. I couldn't decide which song to post because they are all amazing and beautiful and sexy. This couple just blows me away. Be sure to check out Heart Beats, Annie, and Adelina for starters.


They will be in Atlanta in May and I really hope I can go to this show. "Bonsoir" is such a hot song. I love it and hope you do too.


Who are you listening to? Happy Wednesday!





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stop. Watch. and Roll with it



I like to think of myself as an active parent. Active in this case at the playground. I like to get in there, play hide and seek, go down a slide, play with my kid until he inevitably makes friends with another kid and gives me the boot. (this is happening much more frequently now and totally depresses me) I make an effort though. I think it's important.


However, I have noticed some behavior of mine (and other parents) that just stinks. Once he is off and running with a new 'friend' for that 30 minutes we are there something almost instantaneous happens. The phone comes out annnnnd....I'm off....checking my work emails, facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc..pick your poison. It just comes natural to look at it, as natural as looking at your watch for the time.


This happened the other day, and as I looked up from my phone to see what the little guy was up to I noticed that the other parents around me were doing the same thing. I looked over at Aiden and he was very deeply involved in some make believe and was just saying and doing the cutest stuff and his little butt crack was showing and it was so cute and I almost missed that! And for what? To see where a friend of a friend was checking into for lunch? To look at another project on Pinterest that I'll likely never do, to look at a photo on instagram of someone I don't even know? To check the work email that can certainly wait until I get home in an hour? Is it worth it? NO. Of course not! I know that. Right?


Did anyone else read the study done in Boston last week on parents who were focused more on their devices than on the children at dinner? You can read it here. It's super depressing and while I don't categorize myself as one of these parents I know I'm guilty of the behavior.


Well that ends now. From now on I am putting the phone away or turning it off during certain moments or leaving it behind completely. That means no more phone during mealtime, playtime, family time,etc...because I need to watch what is happening in front of me. I need to remember these little moments and capture them in my head instead of on my phone. Let's all stop what we're doing. watch our kids and roll with it, enjoy it, take it in....I'm taking back my place at the playground. Super Present Mom!!!!  It's more important than anything my Iphone can ever tell me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tin can cozy

On a rainy and dreary day (like today in Georgia) it helps to think of a day that was AMAZING! I have really grown to appreciate a good party and every Fall I have a great one to look forward to over at Tin Can Cozy's home. It always involves my favorite things; live music, libations, fire pits and friends.
The Backyard set up just makes you feel like you got invited to a private music festival


One of my favorite pictures of Chad and I

The Hubby whipped up a batch of Lemon Drop Moonshine this year! It was delicious and GONE by the end of the evening. A later post I'm thinking... 


Ya'll....(I have to say that so you understand the level of love here) you need to check out my gal Jennifer's blog, Tin Can Cozy. She is so unique, crafty and just 'has a way' with things. Do you know a person like that? Who just makes things more awesome than you thought was possible?Things to look forward to: a backyard Chicken coop, my dream camper, awesome food, her DIY hi-fi, bouquet inspiration and ways to add those touches to life that we all need. 

This gal and I have been having fun for a couple of years now with our families; trips to breweries, Blue Ridge, Sunday Suppers, nights on the town, etc..and we've also been cooking up some blog ideas to collaborate on as well and I am so excited (can you say Marietta biscuit challenge!? No really, we have a multitude of amazing biscuit choices down here). She also happens to be one of my best gal pals here in Georgia. 


So pull up your chair, settle in and get cozy! (see what I did there?) Happy St. Pat's Day to you all.


Friday, March 14, 2014

17 Weeks

This week marks my 17th week of pregnancy. I initially hesitated to post too much about my pregnancy on the blog but when I think about it, what better way to document the progress and have something to look back on one day. So, I'll occasionally post a picture and a little update. I got the idea from a blog I've really been enjoying, Little Baby Garvin. I met Jill briefly at that super fun Tree Farm photo shoot with Waiting on Martha. I think it's such a fun idea to keep a baby log so let's go....


Weeks: 16-17
Cravings: Sweets! Sweets! Sweets! Specifically this week I am all about Key Lime Pie. I've also been really wanting a juicy burger about once a week. Not the drive thru variety...I want a real juicy, delicious burger full of amazingness! The Red Eyed Mule is calling!! (future post)


Maternity Clothes: I took the plunge and purchased a couple of dresses and a t-shirt. Frankly it just looks better with a belly and I just wanted to buy some new clothes (remember my "I want" phase..yep!) but I'm mostly in my normal clothes. Holding on as long as possible although I spent an uncomfortable hour in church last Sunday due to my attempt at wearing some capris. Yikes!


Sleep: Waking up at least once a night and then of course feeling sluggish but that is mostly due to my insomniac of a dog.


Miss anything: An ice cold Craft Beer...Allagash White? Summer Shandy? A trip to Red Hare Brewing? Oh the humanity!!! mmmm...so good! Breaks my heart.


Movement: Nothing yet.


High of the Week: Aiden kissing my belly out of nowhere. It was so cute.


Most Excited about: Finding out the gender in a few weeks. Aiden is anxious to know if he gets to share a bunk bed with someone. I'm anxious to know if my dream of tap dancing and watching Annie with a daughter will come true. Ha! Either way though it's going to be great.








Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Life That's Good!



Ever have one of those days/weeks/months in life where you find yourself 'wanting'? You want to go out to eat. You want to buy new furniture. You want to redecorate a room. You want that jacket. You want to go back to the beach. You want a beach house. You want. You want. You want. I WANT EVERYTHING!!!!!!


The last week I have been like this and simultaneously have been annoying myself because of it. Sure, I can lay blame on a few factors; wanting all new maternity clothes for my ever expanding waist (girl's gotta look good), already planning the nursery and the 'new' things I'll need for that, wanting to plan a momentous Easter since I have family coming to visit which of course means table settings, décor,etc (woohoo!)... I have oodles of things I want. But very few I actually need. At this particular moment anyways.

Oftentimes when I find myself in this place of extreme neediness it takes a song to pull me back to reality. I am a lyrics person through and through. Music is my muse in life if that even makes sense. I need that song though...to remind me of the bigger picture. Just such a song finds its way into my shuffle every time and makes me feel grounded, grateful and humble.


The song was written by Sarah Siskind and Ashley Monroe. If you watch "Nashville" then you may recall hearing it performed by the Lennon Sisters. "A Life That's Good" has that simple country harmony I love to sing along to and a message that at the end of the day we all just want a life that's good. We don't necessarily need fortune, fame, or the material items that we assume will fulfill us. "Two arms around me. Heaven to ground me. And a family that always calls me home." That's it. Everything else is well, everything else.  If we have love, family, faith, then we're doing pretty darn good! Take a listen and enjoy! What are some songs that keep you grounded and really resonate for you? I know that these three below give me what I really need.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Bird chirping weather!

Spring is a comin' in the South and I couldn't be happier. We have spent so many lovely days in the backyard lately playing, doing work, grilling and for me...daydreaming. I have been really inspired lately to fancy up our back yard and patio by adding some beautiful plants, a garden, etc... so many possibilities.


When it comes to buying things for the home or myself I used to be able to quickly just pull the trigger if I liked something. These days I prefer to contemplate whether or not something will work, look good, or if it's really worth it. Basically...do I love it so much I HAVE to have it (typically the answer is usually a resounding YES)? But when it comes to making plans for outside I am extremely indecisive. Overall, I can picture some of what I want but when you don't have a green thumb it's hard to make those things come to life. I thought maybe if I put some of the things I'm digging on my blog it would help push me into making a decision soon. Here are a few things I'm currently obsessing over.
photo courtesy of Scoutmob
Along with my obsession over shells and all things nautical and beachy...I have been having a steamy love affair with mason jars for a few years. I use them as décor, for food, we drink out of them, etc...so it is only natural I'd want to grow something in them too. I love this planter (which you can purchase on Scoutmob) but I think it'd be more satisfying to make it myself and grow some herbs. We use a ton of basil and mint over the summer so it'd be so fun to have it on the ready.

photo courtesy of Scoutmob
One of my favorite blogs is The Amore Abode. Ashleigh is always blowing me away by her creativity and ever since I read her post on making your own Hangin' plants I've been pumped to do it. I have two hooks already in place that will be ideal!


photo courtesy of Ikea
Being that we live in the South and that our house backs up to the woods, we have a few mosquitoes in the summer time (that's putting it lightly). This year I'd like to plant some 'mosquito repelling plants' in our backyard. Lemongrass seems to be a winner so I'm looking at hitting up Ikea for some of these sleek white planters. I love white. It's so crisp, clean and uniform and these won't break the bank for which I LOVE Ikea. In the spirit of harnessing my creative juices I'd like to take a couple of the white planters and add a bit of color to them. I'm thinking of something like the below (which can also be found on Scoutmob here). I'm clearly loving all things ScoutMob lately. Great site. So many amazing homemade goods!! I need to win the lottery stat!

photo courtesy of scoutmob
So on top of the herbs and big potted plants for color on the patio I REALLY want to build a raised garden bed this year. Given the critters that frequent the backyard (the squirrels ate the two tomatoes I managed to grow last year) I loved the idea of building a fence around the garden. We'd need to add something on top to keep everyone out too. Additionally, the use of a horse trough and barrels looks so nice. Now..where to find a cheap horse trough!? Hmmm....

photo courtesy of My Gardening Simple Guide
I look forward to seeing how things come to life back there. I'll be sure to post some photos of how it looks! I'm also looking for some comments/feedback. Anyone with a green thumb or lessons learned in planting a garden. I'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Help! My Puppy is an Insomniac!

I want to be cheerful and upbeat and write something so amazing and inspirational that you'll be skipping to lunch today listening to Pharrell's "Happy" on your phone. (and isn't that literally the happiest song ever?) But I have to be honest. I'm EXHAUSTED today. Not from 'pregnancy' though.

No no no. I'd take a little pregnancy sleepiness over this.

Remember this sweet and adorable puppy that I got back in December? Look at that face. Precious right?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Go. See. Do!


Photo Courtesy of Ecocamp.com

Last weekend I had the pleasure of dipping my toes in the ocean, walking on the beach and bringing home more shells to add to the already ridiculous collection I have. My home is decorated as if I'm trying to rent it out on VRBO at the beach and yet I live in Atlanta. I'm okay with it though. I love the ocean, the waves, the way my hair smells after a day at the beach. Those shells and that décor serves as a reminder of a slice of my happiness. It will be my final destination one day. Coast TBD.

This weekend I caught myself dreaming of the mountains too. I equally love spending time amongst the trees. A campfire. A hike. The sound of a stream nearby. Perhaps what it comes down to is my love of nature. Be it closer to the clouds or near the sea I am happy there. This realization about myself has really come to life of the last few years. I spent a good chunk of my 20's enjoying the city life that I didn't give much thought to leaving it behind. Now that I'm out of the city, I don't know if I could ever go back. I used to daydream about a condo overlooking Lincoln Park in Chicago but now I dream of a few acres overlooking anything BUT buildings.

The above quote captures my current state so well and the state of my spouse. We're one in the same when it comes to 'going'. We are always (and I mean always) talking about where we want to go. It's not always far or costly but the topic always sneaks its way into our conversations. On our immediate list; Charleston, Savannah, back to Blue Ridge, back to Asheville, Greenville. This is of course scratching the surface of where we will most likely end up at some point. Our big bucket list is well, big, so that will take a little more time. I'm hoping to build out my "Get Lost" section with an abundance of ideas for you of where to go and what to do (coming up...Clearwater Beach, FL). It's what we do and our son loves it too. Never have I met a 4-year old so obsessed with hotel stays. He'd be a great critic. He knows what he likes.

But we love taking him places, and I hope our newest addition wants in on that action as well. There is so much beauty out there, places to see and experience. So if you're hesitating from booking that trip, or driving to that town for the day...DON'T! Life is short. The world is grand and it is there to enjoy.

Where are some of your favorite places to go? Travel? Get away? I'd love to know. Perhaps I can add them to my list.