the past few days

So for the past 5 days, my lovely sister Natalie has been visiting! She came through town with some friends on Tuesday and was dropped off at our house. She went to work with me and got to see what it's like to be an SLP in a private practice... When we weren't working, we were doing yoga, crafting, shopping, cooking, and eating! It was so much fun. And it got even better when my mom joined us Thursday night! Friday was a big day of antiquing and thrifting. We found lots of treasures! Our first stop was to one of my favorite places, One of a Kind Shoppe. Natalie got an awesome old birdcage, and I got an amazing GIANT oil painting! It was so huge that it took up the entire trunk, and the seats in my mom's civic had to be folded down. So for the rest of the day, this is how we rode around... So dangerous, I know... but we didn't want to go back home..

Toby was extra sweet with Natalie and Mom... He loved having them here and got lots of extra attention and love!

This one cracks me up. Toby's arm on my mom's leg.. Too funny.

On Saturday, we explored an area I had never been to... We headed to Westside/Home Park and ate lunch at Star Provisions. I highly recommend it. This whole area was full of charming boutiques, home furnishing stores, and fun restaurants. Definitely a fun area to visit!

And then today, we slept in, took our time waking up, drank our coffee, ate these muffins, and sewed placemats out of fabric Natalie and I found for her new house she's moving into this fall. It was definitely a full few days, but so much fun! Brian, Toby and I were sad to see them leave!

happy anniversary to us!

An anniversary isn't complete without flowers! :)

We celebrated tonight at a new restaurant downtown- Two Urban Licks. It was a pretty cool place-they renovated an old warehouse and turned it into a modern chic restaurant with a view of a the city skyline.

I got the bronzed scallops and Brian ordered the "big ass burger," but my favorite part of the meal was the amazing salmon chips! Homemade chips topped with smoked salmon, chipolte cream cheese, capers, and red onions. Mmm.. I would be content to just have this appetizer. YUM!!

Lollipops came with the check.

And here is dessert! I made a cake similar to our wedding cake white cake with strawberry filling and butter cream icing, although I think it is way too sweet and most of it will be tossed! It was fun to reminisce on the last two years and enjoy time just the two of us.

And then we came home to our sweet little pup!


Ten years ago I stepped off a plane in Jamaica and shook hands with a guy who would become my husband eight years later. I'm thankful for all the years of friendship and especially for the past two years of marriage. Time has gone by so quickly.

more house pics

I am proud to say that I successfully sewed curtains for the first time! Here they are hanging in my bedroom. Carrie and I went to Mary Jo's Fabric in Gastonia.. It is an overwhelming place, but has a wonderful selection of fabric! So this is our room!

And this is our guest room- We got the screen behind the bed in Asheville at some shop downtown. It works perfectly as a headboard.

And the living room! I love the wall color.. "glass slipper" by Benjamin Moore. It's a blue-ish gray, but has a very neutral feel. I think I like it better in person though. The tiles on the wall are from the Eastern Market in DC.

And just because he's so handsome.... had to include this one as well. :)

the kitchen

The kitchen is mostly put together.. I would still love to find two amazing upholstered chairs for the head of the table, but for now, this bench works just fine. I grew up with an old farm table, and I love the look and casual feel. I found this one on craigslist, and I love it! It's very narrow, but it works great in our space. The green bench is from an antique shop in Marietta. It was originally too tall for the table, but my handy father-in-law cut the legs down to the right size.

For Christmas last year, I got a Kitchen Aid mixer in pistachio green! It was the inspiration for the kitchen decor. You can barely see it in the corner on the counter. I use it all the time! I am really loving minty green right now.. I would love to redo the guest room in a mint/coral combo. I mentioned that to my sister, and she told me that she's decorating her bedroom in those colors at her new house! I guess it's "in" right now. :) So I found the rug at Urban Outfitters- it was a great price and the perfect color. You can see there's a lot of color going on in here.. I guess I'm making up for the lack of wall color!

Here's the hutch again. I love all of the natural light that comes through the glass doors. I found the curtains with my sister-in-law on super clearance at Restoration Hardware.. I love the gray color. The prints hanging on the wall are from Alicia Bock's shop on etsy. I love all of her shots.

I love the story of the mirror hanging on the wall... My mom has one identical to it that was given to her by her mom before she got married 29 years ago.. Fast forward 27 years- My mom was driving around and saw this mirror frame on the side of the road, picked it up, and gave it to me before I got married! Mine wasn't in as good of shape as hers.. It was completely black and looked like it had been in a fire. I spray painted it and had the mirror put in for $40. I love it!

So I mentioned we don't have a pantry or many cabinets.. This pot rack from Crate & Barrel has been a life saver. We thought we could live without a microwave, but we were wrong. This table (from the same antique shop that I got the bench) works perfectly for our space and gives the microwave a home!

I don't ever feel like a room is ever finished.. Maybe I inherited this from my mom who is always rearranging furniture and adding new items to rooms. After looking at these pictures, I am currently heading into the kitchen to change something around.. But this gives you a good idea of what it looks like for now! Come and visit! I'll make you something tasty!!

before & after

I think I mentioned back in April that we moved out of our apartment into a rental house! Our lease was running up at the end of June, and with a 75 lb dog and two years of walking up three flights of stairs with arms full of groceries, we were ready to get OUT. We started looking for houses to rent, but we really weren't finding anything we loved (or even liked).

We were driving over to Brian's sister Joy Lynne and her husband Chris' house one night and noticed a "for rent" sign in a yard four houses down from theirs. We thought living 15 minutes away from them would be fun, but walking distance!!? Sounded too good to be true. So I called the next day and asked if it was still available. It was not. I asked what they were asking for rent, just out of curiosity.. It was only $50 more than what we were paying in our APARTMENT and $300 less per month than other houses we had seen. It was so sad.

The next day I get a call from Joy Lynne. She told me they were walking down the street and a man was in front of that same house... He randomly said, "Thought we had a renter, but they backed out!" Joy Lynne and Chris quickly responded that they know some people who might be interested! They told him about us and he sounded interested... They mentioned that we had a dog around 50-ish lbs... (Toby looks smaller than he really is). He said no dogs were allowed. They said he was well behaved and completely house trained (he did go through 3 training classes, but you'd never know it). The man caved and said, "okay!" So they walked up to the house to meet his wife and look around. They even gave Joy Lynne and Chris a key to have so we could come look at it!

Long story short, we worked out a deal with them and signed a lease. Yes, we paid 3 months double rent between the apartment and the house, but they gave us a discount on those first months, and it was totally worth it. We love living four houses down from family and take full advantage of it. We have had Sunday morning scones in the driveway with the boys and Joy Lynne (when Chris had the stomach bug), we walk down for dinners with a bottle of wine, and we even joined in on a family walk. It's so wonderful. Toby loves his yard, and we love the extra space.

I have pictures to post from the interior of the house. The exterior is a complete mess. The yard was ugly to begin with, and it's only gotten worse. This weekend is going to be devoted to yard work.

So! This was supposed to be a before & after post- The kitchen has so few cabinets and no pantry.. I found this hutch on craigslist for $100. Here it is before:

And here it is after! A lovely shade of blue-gray, and the back wall is a greenish-blue. I love the way it turned out. I primed, painted, and changed the knobs. I painted it fast too. Started at 5:00 and finished around 1am. Probably could have done a better job, but it works for now!

a weekend in the mountains

This past weekend Brian and I headed up to Mars Hill to spend a few days with his parents at their cabin! It was the perfect way to spend our 3-day weekend. Their little cabin in the woods is one of the most relaxing places. It's close enough to Asheville that we can take day trips, but far enough away from everything that you feel completely excluded from the world.

Toby got to come too! He looks so huge to me in this picture. I think he is taller than me when sitting in the car!

We spent Saturday at the Biltmore.. surprisingly, I had never been before!

Brian and Evan in front of the green house

We ate lunch at a restaurant that used to be the stables at the Biltmore. Here we are sitting in one of the actual stables! I ordered a steak and grilled peach salad that was featured in Southern Living.. yum!

My camera died, so I didn't take pictures from the rest of our trip, but it was great. We shopped in downtown Asheville and ended up in a bookstore/wine bar where we listened to live music, drank wine and munched on cheese and crackers. The next day, Susan and I went to the pool on the very top of the mountain while the boys stayed home and relaxed. We also played a lot of Boggle. :) Thanks Lloyd and Susan for a great weekend!