Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Dear Mom, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday and tell you that I love you and thank you for all that you do. I know I don't tell you that enough. I couldn't have a better role model as a mom, and I hope to be to my children what you are to me. You are my best friend and mom all rolled in to one. Even during the years when most moms and daughters are yelling and slamming doors, we never were. You have always been there to support and understand and be flat out honest when I needed it. I appreciate that because your love and honesty have gotten me where I am today.I know I tease you and laugh when you stub your toe, but I am pretty sure it's safe to say that I am already turning in to you. It is a good thing that you are pretty great, and that I have good things to look forward to! The old saying is true, like mother like daughter. Sorry for giving you gray hair when you taught me to drive a stick shift, I guess I have my own gray hair coming to me in the form of a boy named Keating.

Thank you for taking good care of my baby, and making my transition of going back to work an easy one. Even though I think Keating now likes you more than me, I appreciate everything you do to make him happy and feel loved. You are truly the best "Shonnie" he could ever ask for.

Thanks for being crazy and always up for a laugh. Thanks for teaching me the art of people watching, it is an invaluable skill. You have instilled in me things like not taking yourself too seriously and enjoying good wine.

Most importantly, you have raised me with strong Christian morals and good southern values, which come naturally from a true Southern Belle. {You had hair that even Farrah Faucet would envy... so did dad}

Happy Birthday to the best mom I could ever ask for. I love you and wish you many more wonderful birthdays!



Yesterday while painting the first coat of gray on our kitchen cabinets, Brad decided to tell me how he felt about the paint colors that I chose for our home. Let me start out by saying, that I asked him COUNTLESS times his thoughts on the colors. I sat around many a' nights surrounded by 100's of paint swatches saying "Do you like this one? How about this?" To which he had no opinions and said "Pick whatever you want."
Last night's conversation went a little like this...
Me: "I really love this color gray, it looks great with the counter tops"
Brad: "Yeah I like it, I'm just worried its going to be too dark" "I just feel like when I walk into our house, that I am on the set of Pleasantville... everything is just black, white and gray. I wish you had picked more color" I asked him people... I asked him!
Granted, right now when you walk in our house, it is very neutral. I see it is a blank canvas to enhance with colorful accessories, where we wont have to be stuck with a color until we decide to repaint. I can change out things as I feel the urge. {which happens a lot} I told him that it would be completely different once we moved our furniture and belongings in. To which he promptly reminded me that we had gray couches and recently bought a new black bedroom set. I told him to just trust me, that it would all come together. So while our house is filled with black and gray, I will be bringing color to it like the scandalously colored people of Pleasantville.

I am thinking of painting our old wood barstools a fun new color. Red is at the top of my list, but I am not deciding just yet.

Maybe pairing them with a cherry red china cabinet.

An inky blue desk could also be a fun pop of color. My old college desk is just begging for a coat of shiny paint! I recently painted a pair of kid's chairs in this color for Keating's room and they are too cute!
Speaking of Keating's room, I know it wont be lacking any color. Everything kid related is colorful. I kept his walls neutral as well, I didn't want to over do it. I plan on adding a book shelf like this on his wall, to encourage his obsession with books.
Here, a nice neutral room comes to life with easily changeable pillows.
This room could have easily been very "Pleasantville" but the bright pillows and art work really bring it to life.
I love these fun yellow chairs, not sure about the comfort level though!
All images are via Pinterest. I am sorry if I took any of your images and did not properly credit you. I cannot for the life of me figure out the pinterest embed feature. Please forgive me.


House Updates... Still in progress

Yes, we are still working on the house. We had no idea getting in to this "little" process that it would take so long. Here we are on month three, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here's a few updates for anyone that is curious what has been taking us so long!

**Pics are not good quality... sorry**

This is a view of our new ceiling that our friend Austin is installing. They are casing out all of the beams to look like solid wood beams and then he installed the planks. We are currently in the process of deciding whether to paint or do some sort of semi transparent stain on the planks. Suggestions?

This is the wall that used to be dividing the kitchen from the old formal living room. The cased openings really make the kitchen seem so much bigger. We were going to do the trim on them more traditional, but I love the way the charcoal is turning out.

This is a view from the back door.

This is the view when you walk in to our new bedroom. The door to the left is the closet, the door to the right is the bathroom.

And a view from the bathroom door.
I really need a wide angle lense and not an iphone to take these photos.
Apparently I picked the most difficult tile to install in a shower. It kept breaking and wouldnt stay put... oops! I think it looks really pretty though!

The recessed cabinet in the wall actually used to be one of the kitchen cabinets that we took down. Gotta love reusing something you already have.

Well, that is all of the poor quality photos I have for today. Hopefully I will have a finished house to show y'all soon enough!



It is that time again, where I am tired of my hair color and I want to dye it. My hair is naturally in between brown and blond, which makes it brond? But right now, its just blah. I am craving a rich brown shade like some of my favorite brunette ladies. {These photos also show my love of teen drama shows}

I plan to dye at home because this Clairol kit makes it so easy. It is also only semi- permanent so that I dont have to regret my little whim forever. Do you have an at home hair color that you love?


Favorite Things - Baby Edition

I have a few friends that are currently pregnant that have asked me what baby things that we used, what we liked, and what we didn't like. I figured that I better hurry up with this post, because the baby days are quickly fading away. Keating's soft sweet toys have been replaced with activities such as pushing a pooper scooper around the back yard. So here is a list of our favorite things before I forget!

1. Fisher Price Lamb Chair- It has a more official name, but it you google it, it should pop right up. We just called it the Lamb Chair, and this lamb chair made my son sleep. Keating slept here for the first 6ish weeks of his life. Looking back, that makes me feel like a bad mother, but it was "Whatever works!" for us as first time parents. It is wonderful, it vibrates, and plays music, although he didn't care for the music. We also never used the mobile attachment, it just got in the way. It was a great babysitter when I just needed to hop in the shower really quick and could sit him on the bathroom floor in it. This thing traveled to every room of our house, luckily it is very light weight.
2. Diapers- I had strong opinions before Keating was born that we would only use Pampers, because Pampers were supposed to be THE BEST. Well I know that what works for one parent doesn't work for another, but Pampers were awful for us. They made for disgusting blowouts and lots of ruined onesies. A few months in, we switched to cloth. My favorite cloth brand is Fuzzi Bunz because they are trim, hold in everything, and have really great colors.
When Keating wears disposable diapers, (which he has a lot recently because I am too lazy to go up two stories to wash them) He wears the Target Up and Up brand , they are fantastic and I have never ever had a leak or explosion with them. They are also cheap at $13.97 for 96 of them or .14 a piece. I also like that they dont have stupid characters on them, just polka dots.
3. Tiny Love Mobile - This thing is hardly neutral and did not match our nursery, but he loved it. A friend recommended it to me when we started having him sleep in his crib. It plays classical music and the little characters have black and white accents that really caught his attention. When he was older he learned to turn it on by himself and he would stare at it forever.

4. Bottles - I tried a lot of different brands of bottles, but he would really only take the Coddlelife bottle. I liked it because it only have 3 pieces to wash, and seemed to transition flawlessly between breast feeding and bottle feeding. The one thing I didn't like is that they have to be ordered online. We only had 4 but we made it work.

5. Babywise - I know that every method isn't for every parent, but this was a GOD SEND for us. It helped us with getting Keating on a schedule, sleeping in his own bed, and sleeping through the night. Around 8 months he regressed a bit with his sleeping and I went back to it to get back on track. I think it gave him great sleeping habits. Now he will say "night night" when he is ready to nap or go to bed. Then lays in bed and puts himself to sleep. Of course he has his off nights, but over all he is a great sleeper and I attribute it to this. Had it not been for Babywise, I think he could still be crammed into his Lamb Chair or trying to sleep with us!

6. Swaddling - If I could tell every new clueless parent {like we were} one thing to do to help their baby sleep it would be swaddle, swaddle SWADDLE!!! I knew this before having a baby, yet when we brought him home from the hospital, I came to the conclusion that he didn't like it because he fought it. If you didn't read my blog when Keating was a newborn, he was a difficult baby to say the least. He would cry for what seemed like hours, some days it would be all day. Once we used the Swaddle me he would stop crying and calm down. This also helped him sleep because his little flying arms didn't wake himself up. We stopped swaddling him when he began rolling around and could get his arms out of it.

This is all that I can think of at the moment. These were the crucial things that we really couldn't live without, the things that made life as a new mom just a little bit easier. When you are walking around smelling like spit up and you look and feel like a zombie... it is the little things that count!


Good Stuff via Pinterest

Last weekend I made these AMAZING Salted Caramel Butter Bars for the 4th of July Festivities. They were BY FAR the most amazing thing I have ever made, But I cannot take credit for them, they came from here. Do yourself a favor and make a batch! Simply amazing, but they can only appear in my house for special occasions or I would be in big trouble!

I love this arrangement with the typography artwork and photos. That table is amazing.

How awesome are these nails!? Apparently if you put rubbing alcohol on your nails and then press newspaper to them, this is the result. Who knew?!

I love gallery walls! They remind me of going to my grandparents house and looking at their hallway filled with photos of my mom and her sisters with Farrah Faucet hair. I plan to have one in our home, I am just not sure if I will do this many.

With temperatures hitting 97 degrees around here, I keep finding myself dreaming of fall. I am going to start saving my pretty pennies for these boots. If I buy just one thing for myself this year... it will be these.

What a cute idea is this? I think I am going to do this for Thanksgiving and then I could hang Christmas cards from it in December.

And since it is still summer... here is a precious swim suit that I need to find asap. I am starting to realize that my days of wearing bikinis may just be dwindling, this could have something to do with eating the Salted Caramel Butter Bars, or it could just be a fact of life... I'm not exactly a spring chicken anymore! I think this is a cute one piece without being matronly.


Boys Will Be Boys

Today when I got home from work, I could hear Keating, but I couldn't see him. When he realized that I was home he swiftly crawled though the doggie door to show me his new toys. His Shonnie bought him a prize today because she felt bad that he has a cold and is getting 4 new teeth. Does this look like the energy level of a sick, teething child?? His new toys are a set of tools that he spent the day traumatizing the dogs with. The saw and drill really move and make noise, which he thinks is awesome... the dogs, not so much. These photos aren't great quality but he was running around so fast "sawing" things that my lens couldn't keep up.
Honestly, only a little boy would enjoy a toy such as a drill. I guess it means one day he will also enjoy yard work and doing projects around the house like his dad?

Another thing that this little boy likes to do, is charm the ladies. Last weekend we had a play date at the park with Heidi and Gianna. Keating and Gigi had lots of fun playing, but when it came to flirting he saved all of that for Heidi! He kept doing things to try to get her attention, then he would look at her and bat his eyes. He's such a ham. (photos stolen from Mrs. Foreste)

Giving sweet eyes while showing off his impressive tire climbing skills.
All of that playing worked up a few little appetites. So the kids shared a "nack" (snack) and Gigi insisted on feeding each bite to Keating. She's such a sweet girl. We really miss them living close by.


Lemon trees, light reading, house sneak peek

I am the proud owner of a lemon tree! When I first decided that I wanted a lemon tree, I thought it would be small and petite like the pictures I saw online... sitting on a table. Well, this meyer lemon tree is quite large, it is as tall as me... So it wont be sitting on our table, but it is AWESOME. I was so happy that Brad got me my random request! My sister also went above and beyond and gave me a Kelly Moore camera bag. {I thought I got her a great gift with The Pioneer Woman Cooks!} It is just what I have been needing. Little compartments for all of my lenses and memory cards, its nice and deep, with plenty of room. In. Love. Wow, I am so tacky talking about my gifts. Sorry Yall!

I don't know what it is about summer and wanting to take in a good book. Maybe it was instilled in me during all of those years of excrutiating summer reading, {Animal Farm anyone??} Or maybe it is that I like to read books before they become movies, either way I am deep into The Help and it is GREAT! That Hilly Holbrook is a piece of work, she makes me so mad! I can't wait to see how it ends, then I will see the movie and be disappointed because it is usually nothing like the book. Does anyone else have any good books to recommend?

This month also marks 1 YEAR that we have been living in my parent's basement. What was supposed to be a short 3 month stay has stretched out to be much longer. We are very blessed to have been able to comfortably live here, but it would be an understatement to say that we are REALLY looking forward to getting in to our house. Fingers and toes crossed that we will be in this month. We have had a lot of hold ups with old wiring, older plumbing, and inspections. Hopefully all of that is behind us and the three week countdown we were given will soon be a reality.

Here is a little peek at the formerly heinous hall bathroom. It still has some work to go with the vanity, but it is amazing what a little paint, a new window, new lighting, new ceilings, and crown molding will do! I am still not a huge fan of the wall tile and I am thinking that it will eventually have to be replaced. Has anyone ever done anything to alter existing tile, maybe a glaze? Is it as bad as I am making it out to be?

Speaking of bathrooms, I picked out tile for our new master bathroom last week and it is currently being installed. I went with a neutral square travertine for the shower with a brick inlay accent, and a dark grey/ brown floor tile. I can't wait to see the finished result!

This weekend we will be having a playdate with Gianna and Mrs. Foreste, watching a concert and fireworks in town, and hopefully a lot of relaxing! I hope that everyone has a safe and HAPPY 4th of July!!!