Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The One Home Detail You Should Always "Address"

If you know me at all, you know how much I love a good accessory. That extra pop of color, or piece of flair, to tie everything together and bring a lil "sumtin sumtin". Much like creating that perfect look for Saturday night, accessorizing your home is all about the details.

So what's the one detail that every home has, but more often than not is overlooked? 

Address numbers! 
Updating our house numbers has been on my mind since the day we moved in. As a Graphic Designer by trade, and a fully committed font nerd, I was far from satisfied with our current set. 

I toyed around with a couple solutions in Photoshop and thought to tie in the same orange from the door really polished things off. 
How cute does our porch look with all those flowers?? Gah! I can't wait to get my pots out again for Spring. 

Anywhoooo...while wandering around Lowe's, I spotted these san-serif beauties. And only $6? YAAASSS!!! They're perfect! 
Eric measured, cut, re-measured, aligned, drilled, re-aligned....you get it. Of course, he didn't do all of the work, I painted the backboard with two coats of "Crossfire" by Olympic, which also happened to be what we used on our front door. 

To help protect the wood from Mother Nature, we primed the entire board front AND back. Eric also used glue and caulk to completely seal the areas around the numbers. Unfortunately, when he finished it was 9 pm, and the sun had long set for the night. It wasn't until morning when I was able to get a proper look, and man did it make my day!
I like my numbers how I like my jewelry; BIG, BOLD, and BEAUTIFUL! Now our mail carrier has absolutely no excuse to misplace those countless Amazon packages.

Check out all of our home improvements, by visiting the OUR NEST page.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let's Put a Pin in That...Why I Never Throw Anything Away

Ever have a thought enter your brain, and no matter how much time passes, just refuse to let it go? I've personally lost track how often this has happened. I can't help it! I've got millions of plans, and thousands of ideas. When inspiration strikes, I'm overcome with this crazy urge, and have to do everything within my power to bring it to life! 

Pin all the pictures! 
Make all the lists! 
Organize all the supplies! 

Occasionally the idea dies, and that random thrift store purchase gets tossed, because reupholstering an entire chair turns out to be WAY harder than it looks. But for the most part, I'll eventually circle back to the idea, and my hoarding tendency comes in REAL handy. When I find myself rummaging around for that certain SOMETHING, I've usually got it stored away from that one time...I thought about doing that one thing...with that other thing.

Example A: Teal Hairpin Legs circa 2014. So here's the back story. While trolling Craigslist, I spotted this super basic desk for $20. My random-project-idea at the time was to find a side table for our entryway, and when I saw those legs, I figured I could build it. Weeeeelll I ended up just buying one from At Home, and sadly those legs never saw the light of day. 
But I didn't give up! Every time I went downstairs, saw them propped up in the corner just begging to be used, the creative cogs would start turning. So recently when my heart screamed "YOU NEED A PLANT STAND!", my brain calmly responded "Shhhhhh remember that desk you bought off CL three years ago?".
YES! I hustled over to Menards for a round wooden panel as the top, slapped on some white paint we had a sample of, and used the hardware already included with the desk to secure all the legs. A couple episodes of "Scandal" later, I had myself a plant stand! 
Isn't he the CUTEST?!! 

The downside is I only used three of the four, so now a single leftover leg is lying around. But what have we learned? DO NOT THROW AWAY THE THINGS! Just put a pin in it, you never know when you'll need it again.  :) 

Check out more craft projects, by visiting the GETTING CRAFTY page!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Greenery + Glam Florida Dream Home

It's only the middle of April, and technically Spring, but these random days of toasty temps have me jonesin' for Summertime SO hard core! All I can dream about is our trip to Florida this coming July. The sway of palm trees in the breeze, squishing warm sand between my toes, relaxing on a tropical paradise while sipping ice cold Mai Tais garnished with fresh pineapple...


Could you imagine actually LIVING in such a place? Never having to leave, whimper "bye bye beach...", or make the depressing journey back up North? Well thanks to Douglas Elliman, I was the given chance to imagine my little heart away!

I was recently contacted by their Florida real estate team to create my own personal dream space featuring Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year; greenery. I'm currently OBSESSED with greenery and plant-life, so in the words of Barney Stinson; "Challenge accepted!" 

Since this is Florida we're talking about, the traditional solution would be to do something with a cool "coastal" or "seaside" vibe. Well. I am anything BUT traditional, and my vibe was groovin' to the tune of GREEN and GLAM! 
Curtains | Paint | Hanging Planter (similar) | Pothos Vine (similar) | Fiddle Leaf Fig (similar) | Snake Plant (similar) | Jute Rug | Hide Rug | Sofa | Lamp | Accent Chair | Coffee Table | Side Table | Agate | White Pillow | Pink Pillow | Gold Pillow

When decorating a space, one thing to take into consideration is how to enjoy it all year long. As I was searching for the perfect wall color, I knew it had to be something light and airy. Florida isn't called "the sunshine state" for nothing, the sky is blue, the palms are green, and what color doesn't accent those two any better than PINK!? I found a beautiful tint by Benjamin Moore, and paired it with ALL OF THE PLANTS! 

Greenery is such a simple way to breath fresh life into a room, which is convenient, because palm-leaf is SUPER on trend right now. Don't have a green thumb? No sweat! These patterned curtains bring in some organic whimsy, don't need watering, and look stunning behind that blue statement sofa with it's classic lines. Jute and hide rugs provide a level of texture, along with the metal elements from the coffee table, lamp, and accent chair. Finish things up with a punch of color via a throw pillow or two, and this room is as gorgeous as the tropical beach it resides on! 
Watching a room come together is SO SATISFYING! All the elements fall into place, you take a step back, and everything just jives. PS I've been fantasizing about curling up on that couch, watching the dolphins and mermaids play in the ocean, ALL DAY LONG! But I guess that's why they call it a Florida dream home, it's just that, a dream. 

Now excuse me while I go back to my IRL home in Ohio, where there are absolutely NO mermaids, and count down the days until Summer vacation. 

For more design love, visit the DESIGN page!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Come Fly With Me, Let's Fly Let's Fly Away.


It's been awhile since we've talked. That's my bad. Recently I've been doing a LOT of traveling. Some for work, some for fun, and some that was technically for work but ended up being super fun. 

First up, Colorado! A while back, Dad asked me if I could spare a long weekend to hang out with them in the mountains over Kim's Spring break. I had just submitted my paid-time-off request for our trip to Europe, so I was timid to ask for more. Fast forward to watching all my sisters leave the house, not knowing when I'd get to hang out with them next, and I was completely wrecked. Who cares WHEN I use my PTO days? They're MINE dang it! 

A few clicks later and my tickets were booked.
Since Eric had school, I got to take this trip all by my lonesome. And you know what? It was AWESOME (not a dig at my husband...promise). I read my book, explored the airports, and tested my carry-on-only skills with our new fancy backpacks

We all arrived in Denver at different times, but once the tribe was united, we shifted gears (literally) and headed into the mountains. Up, and up, and up, we drove, until finally arriving at our destination; Copper Mountain.

This place is a snow bunny's dream. The sky is such a vibrant blue against the stark white snow, pictures don't do it NEARLY enough justice. We had beautiful weather, and the sunshine kept things toasty even while surrounded by ice. Mom and I got pretty good at cross-country skiing, while the rest of the clan tackled the big hills.
Overall a super quick trip, I left Friday morning and flew back on Monday. But every moment of late-night talking, glass-of-wine-in-hand giggling, and side-splitting laughter made it 100% worth it.

So back to work I went, doing a little "it's already Tuesday!" dance, and what do we discuss during the company meeting? The opportunity to visit our Scottsdale office, and attend a training session that very next Monday. 

Umm sunny Arizona? Sign me up! 
I couldn't leave OH until around 3pm Sunday, so by the time I arrived in AZ (with one delayed flight, a change of airplanes, and hotel switch) it was well after midnight when I got to bed. 

Since the original hotel overbooked, they arranged for me to stay at The Phoenician, which is gorgeous and made me feel like a princess. I didn't really have the opportunity to enjoy it though, since my schedule consisted of going to work, and my stay totaled just over 48 hours. Still, the view right outside my room was pretty epic. 

One of the reasons my boss invited us to a day of training, was to discuss attending the Landmark Forum. My coworker and I signed up to attend our forum in St. Louis mid April, and that's where I recently returned from!
I won't get into details about Landmark now, it's difficult to explain, and I hope to have a post about my experience in the future. As for the city of St. Louis? We totally owned it! Every free moment we had was spent exploring and taking it all in.
Of course I have a few suggestions if you plan to visit...

Taze Mediterranean Street Food - Think custom made gyros prepped like Chipotle, with a side of pita and hummus.
Mango - My first dip into Peruvian cuisine, but all it took were the sweet plantain chips to win me over.
The Drunken Fish - Located in Ballpark Village, this sushi was perfectly paired with me not-realizing the Reds were playing the Cardinals next door...oops. 
Sauce on the Side - This restaurant's calzones are huge, mouth watering, and conveniently connected to our hotel. 
Rooster - Best crepes I've ever had...well really the only crepes I've had. Nutella + bananas = sweet sweet victory.
The Mud House Coffee & Kitchen - Nestled in the middle of Cherokee Row, this cafe's cold brew is on point. Not to mention the selection of fresh lunch options, and quirky animal table markers.
Blondie's Coffee, Wine, & Dessert Bar - Here's to the ladies who brunch. If I could start every morning at Blondie's, being serenaded by classic 90's pop, I'd die a happy woman.
Bailey's Chocolate Bar - You sit down, they pour you a glass of water, and give you two mini chocolate chip cookies before you even say a word.
Mission Taco Joint - All the tacos!!!! BBQ Duck wins, hands down. 
Pappy's Smokehouse - Damn. Good. Meat. Just ask the over 2,000 reviews on Yelp. 

St. Louis Zoo - Beautiful from trunk to tail, and admission is FREE!
The Gateway Arch - Although the tram to the top is closed until late April, it's still an incredible sight to see. 
Ballpark Village - Am I a baseball fan? Not entirely. Am I a have some drinks, socialize, and enjoy the atmosphere fan? Absolutely!
Three Sixty - Even if you're not hungry or thirsty, the view alone is worth the trip up.
Cherokee Antique Row - Located in South City, this historic neighborhood is the home to almost 40 unique vendors and shops. Many of which are also the home to adorable dogs. 
City Museum - Literally the most unique place I have ever experienced, and I still have bruises from climbing everything and anything I could get my hands on. 

One of the best parts of the trip? This guy DROVE FIVE HOURS for the final night of my forum. We were encouraged to invite guests, so I did, with absolutely no anticipation of anyone coming. I mean c'mon? They're in Ohio, and I'm in Missouri. 

Well give ALL THE POINTS to the husband because he won.
I felt bad we couldn't stay longer, he didn't even get to be there an entire day. But I was able to cancel my flight, and drive back with him, so we spent a long time planning our next trip to St. Louis.

On the journey back, we stopped in this teeny-tiny town called Casey, IL. They're currently the Guinness record holder for 7 of the "world's largest" items, including a mailbox, rocking chair, wind chime, and golf tee. 
My 6ft 8in hubby can attest, bigger really is better.

After being away so often, I can't even express how excited I am for these next few weekends at home. It feels like forever since I've had a chance to do anything to the house, and it's in desperate need of a cleaning (...ew). Guess it's time to open the windows, rock out to some classic Spice Girls, and get to it!

Check out all of my misadventures and randomness, by visiting the EVERYDAY LIFE page.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Why I'm a Quitter...and a Loser...and Proud of it!

Back in July of 2015, I published an intimate post about my personal struggle with weight, and my progression to a more active and healthy lifestyle. Click HERE to read the whole piece about My Fitness Journey. It was emotionally testing to write, but all the love, support, and positive feedback I received from you guys made every sentence worth it.

Fast forward to the present, and I’m staring blankly at the white rectangle of a new word doc., surrounded by an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. I think by now I’ve begun typing, then immediately backspaced at least a dozen times. That’s how it always is though when I want to talk about weight or body image. It can be SUCH a sensitive topic, even when derived from a place of self-love and confidence. But like many of my posts, I write with the hope that someone, somewhere, is having similar thoughts run through their head. That after reading this, they realize; “Oh hey! That’s what I’m going through too!”.

So, let’s jump in, shall we?
Before explaining why I’m a quitter, we need to back it up even further to the Summer of 2011. I had just gotten engaged, landed my first real-world job, moved to Cincinnati, and was the heaviest I’d ever been. With the bonus of an actual income, plus the motivation to fit into a wedding dress, I used my first paycheck to join Weight Watchers. That moment was a key stepping stone to my journey towards a healthy routine, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the program. WW gave me the information I needed to make crucial changes to my diet, and taught me how to live a nutritious lifestyle.

That’s why I quit.

*cue screeching tires*

Let me explain. I’ve been going to meetings, tracking food, counting points, and weighing myself since day one. That’s SIX YEARS I’ve faced the scale week by week, crying in the bathroom at the bad, and jumping for joy at the good. I watched other members come and go...and some even come back again. But I walked into WW with a certain goal-weight in mind, and damn it I was going to get there no matter how long it took. The first year was consistent, and I lost almost 25 pounds. Year two was a little slower, but my grand total finally added up to 30 lbs. During years three and four I found the true definition of a “plateau”, and by year five I had to accept that maybe this weight is just where I’m meant to be.

Around that same year-five-time frame, I noticed my personal goals shifting too. No longer was my focus solely on the scale number, it was more on how I was feeling overall. Was I happy? Did I get my workout in today? Have I been drinking enough water? The importance of exercise, building muscle, giving my body nutrients, THAT was where my attention was.

At the beginning of 2017, I joined a 24-Day Challenge with my gym, to help lose some of that extra holiday padding. During that time, I started using the app MyFitnessPal to keep a better eye on my macros (protein, carbs, and fat), calories burned, and water intake. I had never tracked calories, just points, so the whole experience was new and exciting. MFP helped me realize that for the type of workouts I was doing, my body required a LOT more protein, and I wasn’t consuming enough healthy fats either. I also needed to cut back on fruit, since (while still healthy) they have a decent amount of sugar. Fruit was always zero points in Weight Watchers, and I ate it all the time, so this was a HUGE eye opener for me.
My "bootyful" team at the end of our 24-Day Challenge
After the challenge ended, I continued using MFP and the habits I’d picked up during those 24 days. It wasn’t until the end of February, when I realized I hadn’t opened my WW app in almost two months.


That’s when it hit me, it was time to let go. 

For me, Weight Watchers had become that worn out recording of an old familiar song. And although I wasn't getting lost in the rain (or a pina colada...), I WAS getting tired of walking into my meeting each week, and not accomplishing much in return. needed a new system to measure my successes, because the amount of muscle I was gaining, acted against me on the scale. My fat percentages were going down, but not my weight. I had outgrown the program, and their goals no longer matched my own.

To say I didn't cry a little, after telling my WW leader I was leaving, would be a lie. For almost six years I'd invested so much time and emotion, it felt like a giant ordeal to be walking away. But what put my mind at ease, was that ever-growing fire of confidence, that the program lit inside me long ago. 

So as of March 1st, 2017, I am officially a quitter. I am a quitter because Weight Watchers made me a loser. A loser of weight, but a gainer of knowledge to continue living a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.

And THAT is something to be proud of.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

House + Love = Home

August 2013: Eric and I purchase our first house
1 week later: we buy paint, a brush, and get to work! 
2013 - 2017: 4 years, 7 rooms, 2 bathrooms, 6 ceilings, 1 banister, 21 spindles, 15 stairs, 6 doors, 1 bed frame, and ENDLESS trim later...
Our very first paint brush has officially bit the dust.  **cue sad violin music**
The thought of just tossing it in the trash really bummed me out. This little guy has been with us during our entire home transformation. From "meh" to amazing! Frumpy to fabulous! Blah to BA-BAM! It needed to be commemorated somehow. 

So off to the thrift store I scampered, and for $5 found myself the perfect frame. To customize it further, I rooted around Eric's tool desk and pulled out boxes of nails, screws, and nuts. Laid each on the frame to create a pattern, and hot-glued everything down.
All it took was a few coats of white on the frame, silver on the back, more glue to secure the brush, and this project was DONE!
House + Love = Home

I adore this phrase. Simple, yet heartwarming. 
Only thing left to do is to find somewhere to hang it! I'm thinking right in the foyer, with maybe some hooks beneath where we can keep our keys. It'll be a nice little reminder every time we walk in, of all the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into making our house into the beautiful home it is today.
Digging through all these "before" pics, reminds me how much I need to put together another home tour. It's been a few years, and things have changed so much! Not to mention all the plans we've got hidden up our sleeves. 

Check out all of our home improvements, by visiting the OUR NEST page.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Updated Kitchen #Shelfie and a New Toy!

Hello all my beautiful readers! 

Let's give it up for the first post of 2017! The beginning of January always makes me want to cleanse and rearrange. Something about putting away all the new Christmas gifts, makes me realized how much excess stuff we have. This (insert item here) hasn't been used or seen all year? Do we really need it? The idea of sorting through the whole house is quite the daunting task. Working in small bits, by taking it one room (or even one section of a room) at a time is usually a wise choice. 

So what have we been up to??? 

Over the holidays, Eric and I both had a whole week off work. There was a lot of lying around in bed, Netflix, and trying to avoid going to the grocery store by eating the leftover party snacks. One morning, while pulling out the coffee maker from under the microwave for the umpteenth time, Eric declared he wanted to make room for it on the counter. This of course lead to a whole new counter re-configuration, an updated storage solution for our microwave, and realizing just how many coffee mugs we own.

I'd been eyeing this OMAR Shelf Unit from IKEA, and like how it's open-wire style wouldn't collect dust, while also letting in light from the window. So that night we headed to IKEA for dinner (still avoiding grocery shopping, see above) and brought home our new shelves. It only took one Disney movie to assemble, move out the old, bring in the new, and pack the shelves with goodies. 
Using s-hooks to hang our mugs was a quirky solution, and I found these (large and small) glass jars to store my baking necessities.
Chang is so absolutely refreshing, and compared to the before, much brighter too! 

You may have also noticed, these photos are a slightly higher quality than the usual run-of-the-mill iPhone pic. That's because my husband is incredible, and even though we agreed to NOT exchanging gifts this year, he went out and bought a LEGIT camera! #sobethanygotacamera 
It's a Nikon D5300, and I am in LOVE. 

My goal is to become familiar enough, so I don't have to constantly rely on the "auto" setting. I want to capture images I'm happy with entirely on "manual", so I have more control. After brushing up on my aperture and f/stop notes from a handful of college classes, it all started coming back to me. 

One of the coolest things, is that you can wirelessly sync all the pictures you take right to your phone. Easy peasy. With a push of a button, the camera becomes it's own little hot-spot, and through the app you can download a select few, or everything on your memory card. 
I may only have random things around my house to shoot at the moment, but overall I'm completely satisfied with my our new toy.  

Check out all of our home improvements, by visiting the OUR NEST page.