Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hello Again

At the instigation inspiration of my lovely bride, I thought I would carry the torch for a night.  Duncan hasn't provided much help in the way of subject matter, but hopefully we'll be able to make it through this.  Things have been quiet around here since Meghan's school decided to boost the State of Tennessee's revenues (and, hopefully, plan a few things for the upcoming school year while they are at it).  In her absence, there have been a few ballgames watched, a few meals from circa sometime-prior-to-November 21, 2009 (no, not Krystal), and.......

[5 minutes later]

Anyway, I think I was supposed to address last week's audit.  I'm not really sure what this is supposed to look like, so I apologize in advance for what might, or might not, be said.  After all, it is rare to hear that an auditor sold out a 20,000 seat arena to entertain interested patrons.

With that said, last week's audit was a great experience.  I have enjoyed learning as much as I have the past two years.  However, admittedly, I was nervous about supervising my first audit.  I don't know if there's a Murphy's Law-type equivalent for auditing (i.e., if something weird can come up, it will), but my experience has taught me that you have to be ready for just about anything.  A new supervisor with a relatively new staff was enough to make me have doubts about the week.

However, I felt the week went really well.  The surgery center we visited was maybe a mile or two from the hotel we stayed on the Atlanta leg of this trip.  We worked with a great management team and a helpful administrative staff, who made our week much easier than it could have been.  I was really impressed with the way my team went in there and made sure the work got done.  There were a few late nights along the way, but I felt like we left with a pretty good product.  If the worst thing that happened is one of the rental cars in the audit caravan running out of gas in virtually the middle of nowhere Georgia on the way home and being stuck on the side of the road for an hour and a half until AAA could arrive to give the car a little shot of watered down 87 grade not returning to Nashville until 3:00 pm on Friday, I'd say it was a pretty good week.  Thanks to everyone for all your thoughts!

Well, Duncan and I will now proceed with bachelor life.  The past eight months or so have taught me that I'm not that fond of riding through this journey alone.  It's good to have a partner.  Duncan's not a bad one to have for a few days, but needless to say, my ears don't need a rest after a night with him.  (Okay, Meghan, if you read this, this is the one time you are actually supposed to read more into this than what I'm saying...well, maybe not the sentence right before this one.)

Hope everyone has a great night!  Meghan will return shortly with her Caldecott approach to storytelling.  I realize our audience is mature enough to require no visuals.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Flea Market Finds & Family Visits

I'll start with the Flea Market.  Honestly, it is one big sweaty blur in my mind. :)  One of my besties, Rachel, drove up to go with me and we really dressed the part.  Casual clothes, little to no makeup, and bottled water packaged in her purse (thanks Rachel!)--we luckily survived the heat.  We decided to go Friday morning around 10 to hopefully beat the worst of the heat.  We found that many of the vendors had either not yet shown up or were not coming due to the heat.  However, we still found some deals!!!

First, I found a rustic coffee table sold by an older man with very few teeth.  Even though Andy's first words were, "Why do we need another coffee table?"--he has since changed his tune.  Here was my thought process...in the bonus room, we only had room for one end table.  Therefore, guests (and Andy) have no place to put drinks, food, remotes, etc.--unless they happen to be sitting next to the one end table (which is usually where I am parked).  So, by trading out the coffee table in the living room and moving it to the bonus room--we magically create more tabletop space!  Here is how things ended up around here...

The new coffee table!

I loved the chunky, rustic design.  The size is also a bit smaller (so a bit more appropriate) for the space.  It somehow makes the jumbo couch and chair feel smaller.

It has a paneled top that I was also really drawn to.  Remember that rustic wooden TJ Maxx find that I risked my life for?  It makes that piece make even more sense in the room!


Although I hate to show you our "catch-all" bonus room, I wanted to show you the old coffee table in its new home.  It actually works much better in here...Andy even ate his dinner on this tabletop last night.  He's not so negative now!

My other Flea Market purchase was actually something I was going to ask for for my birthday...oops!  I had asked my mom for either two small shutters or one large shutter (that I could chop in half) to do a picture project with (that I have saved in my "idea" file).  Well, I happened upon these little guys...


The lady who was selling them was SO funny. I asked her how much she wanted for the pair and she replied, "Well honey, if you want 'em, I'll give 'em to you for 5 bucks."  Hello!!!  If you have been in the market for old shutters lately, many vendors jack up the price considerably.  I couldn't let a steal get away!  When I told my mom that I had bought them she replied, "Well, I guess it's socks and undies for your birthday!"  :)

Rachel also found her own little steals, but one is for her mom's upcoming birthday, so I feel like I need to keep them under wraps.  Just know she got some cute stuff!

As for the family visits, we drove down to Albany, Georgia this weekend to visit with Andy's side of the family.  We had a great time!  We don't get down there as often as we'd like because it is quite a drive, but it is always worth the effort!  We hope to see everyone again very soon. :)  Duncan also made the visit and seemed to win everyone over.  He's such a good little traveler!

Lastly, I wanted to show a couple of little things around the house that I have been meaning to show on here.  First, the rock candy lamp found a place in our home.  Andy and I really like it!


Yes, it made its home next to the infamous Craigslist chair.  It gives off a lot of light and I am really happy with it!

Next, I wanted to show you what I ended up doing with the candle holders that had held the lemons and limes that I put in the iron piece that I spray painted.  Even if you don't know what I am talking about, you can see the new decor!


I ended up finding the wooden woven balls (I'm quite sure there is a better name) at Target for 4 bucks, and my mom found the AWESOME moss balls (that I had been looking all over town for) at Dollar Tree for a dollar!  I really liked the natural feel these items brought to the candle holders.  I think I need to eventually neutralize the candles...but it is really hard to justify when these candles work just fine!

Well, I think that's all that I have.  I am set to leave for a staff retreat this afternoon, so I am hoping that the Hubster will pick up the blog while I am gone.  He honestly does have things to share!  Not to give too much away, but Andy supervised his first audit last week!!!  A really big deal for him/us.  So, please show him some love if he decides to bless you with his words.  I know it's nice to have a break from my writing. :)  Have a happy Monday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nashville Flea Market ALERT!!!

If you are interested in finding some cheap deals and steals with some of the most "interesting" people in the greater middle Tennessee area...stop on by the Flea Market.  Drive on over to the fairgrounds THIS weekend (Fri-Sun) to experience it for yourself!  If you really want to fit in, where a tank top (stained is totally fine), cut-off denim jhorts, and make sure to use words like "reckon," "y'all," and "yonder."  Make sure to bring cash or check if you plan on snatching a deal. :)  Hope to see you there!!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unusual Little Lamp...

So as I said earlier, I have been at my parents' for the past few days.  I finally discovered my mom's camera cord (she also has a Canon), so I can upload my finished tile pictures!  Here are pictures of the grouting process and the finished/cleaned tiles...

Sponging the tiles as I went...
Wedging the grout in the cracks...

So, the process of grouting took me nearly two hours.  As it turns out, perfectionists do not make the best grouters. :)  But the job was finished and I feel really good about the end result.  Now we just have to reinstall everything and we are good to go!

On to the title of the post...

As usual, my mom and I planned a Murfreesboro shopping extravaganza yesterday.  We hit up the usual hot spots--TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Old Time Pottery, Kirkland's, etc.  So fun!  Well, while shopping at Marshalls, I happened upon a little find that I had seen on previous visits.  A particularly peculiar lamp had caught my attention on two occasions prior to yesterday's visit, but it had always been priced a bit too high for me.  It is a highly unusual lamp, and I am fairly certain that Andy will think I have lost my mind when I bring it home.  I can't decide if it reminds me of rock candy or the Agro-Crag rock from the old Nickelodeon show GUTS.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you (along with my brother) have made me feel old.  I mentioned this show and Connor replied, "I have no idea what you are talking about."  I couldn't believe that I was the only person who had ever watched GUTS, so I called Andy.  I asked him if he remembered the show and he replied, "Yeah...remember...'Do you have it?!?  GUTS!!!' "  This was the theme song for the show.  Seriously, sometimes I think Andy might be slightly like Rain Man--he remembers everything!  So, I felt more validated, but have still yet to decide what the lamp actually looks like.  You can judge for yourself...

A bucket of popcorn?  Still not sure.  Anyways, as luck would have it, the original tag was still on this little find and it is made of real quartz!  Crazy. 


Close up--there are some scratches that my mom and I are going to cover with metallic paint...

Confession:  This lamp had no finial on it when I found it in the store.  I stole one from another lamp that I liked.  I know, I know.


So, as you can see from the tag, the lamp once retailed for $195.  Marshalls had it originally listed for $99.99.  Once I peeled back the sale tags, I realized it had been listed for $69, then $39, and then the $18 that I paid for it!  I'd say I got a deal!  P.S.--Special thanks to my brother for posing in this picture.  Doesn't his thumb look great?

Well, I may never decide what the lamp really looks like, but if nothing else, it is a unique little piece for the house!  Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updates...

So, the master bath was grouted as of Sunday afternoon, and the tile was scrubbed down as of yesterday morning--it looks so much better!  I was really impressed with the Bozeman team--we didn't do so bad for first-timers.:)

I would love to show you the fabulous pictures that I took of the completed tile, but I left my camera cord at the house (I am currently at my parents).  So, I know many of you are waiting on the edges of your computers to see the finished job, but you will have to wait. :)

On another note, Lil' Duncan has had a rough morning.  He had his yearly vaccinations this morning and it wore the boy out.  He was fine until the worms test (a probe up the bottom), and then the shaking started.  Three shots followed this, and other than a few short whimpers, he did fine.  I'm telling you, I don't know what I will do when I actually have a human child that has to get shots--I get torn up about a dog!  I think the worst part is that you can't explain what is going on.  For all Duncan knows, I enjoy putting him through torture once a year (I am always the one who gets to take him to the vet).  But, everything looked good and he is set to live at least 70 more years (Andy and I tell each other that he will out-live the two of us so we don't have to think about the alternative)!

Have a great day!  Shout-out to Andy--we love you!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Master bath is tiled...and we didn't kill each other!!!

Well, it was a long day, but we do have something to show for it!  Our day started with a bathroom that looked something like this...


And it ended with a bathroom that looks something like this...


Much better, right???  Here's how we got to this point...

First, we pulled the smelly potty.  Not a lot of fun!

Attempting to drain the potty as well as we could to prepare for moving it out of the bathroom.

Next, the quarter-round had to be pried off...carefully, so as not to damage it. 

Done!

Next, we ripped up the linoleum.  Bye-bye honeycomb flooring!!!  (We chose to rip the flooring up because it was loose around the tub anyway--some people can simply tile right over the existing flooring.)

Ripping up the linoleum-carpet connector piece (don't know the official term).  We had a different connctor piece to add that is made specifically for tile-to-carpet connections.

After the ripping out...lovely isn't it???

Beginning the tiling process!!!  A very messy job. :(


What is Duncan doing amidst all of this fun???  Chilling out...


Progress!

Trying to measure out pieces and cuts we need to make.  Also trying not to move the tiles around (they will slip and slide on you even after being glued down).

What is Duncan doing???  Sleeping...

A shot of the saw man at work...

A close-up...Andy is VERY particular about his saw cuts.  He was a bit slow, but very accurate. :)

Almost finished!  We had to run to Lowes for the FOURTH time to get more tile to finish this row.  Someone can't estimate tile very well!!! (ME)

The most difficult cuts came from this little area.  It felt a little like we were putting together a puzzle...one that wasn't very fun. :(

Back to where this post started...the almost-finished floors.  Tomorrow we will have to grout, but at least we are done for the day!

So proud...

So glad we were able to do this on our own!  My mom taught me well! Yes, I realize I am looking REALLY rough by the end of this process--it was a lot of work, okay?

How did Duncan celebrate???  By doing the same thing he had been doing ALL day, of course!  Yes, he is the laziest dog we know...but we love him.

More updates to come!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Leaning Tower of Bookshelf...

So a few years late, I have finally bought in to the "look" of the leaning bookshelf.  And since Andy and I still have not used up all of our Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards from the wedding (and I found a bookshelf on their website that I liked)...I decided it was time to bite the bullet.  I have so many beloved knick-knacks and framed pictures packed away in a box because I have utilized all of the good spaces in our home.  What's a girl to do?  Buy a display piece of course!  Here is our newest furniture addition...

AAAHHH!  It's empty!  As exciting as it will be to fill this piece, it is intimidating as well.  Therefore, I am going to look to bookshelves that have already been filled by people far more skilled than I am...


Okay--I LOVE this one.  Of course, they have used three of these shelves, but I love the wicker baskets, moss balls, and black frames.  I can do this (hopefully)!

I like this one as well.  What a nice transitional piece to the kitchen!  Notice the apothecary-ish jars at the bottom--so cute!


Yet again, we have the green, mossy accents.  I am also loving the white lantern.  Anyone else LOVING lanterns in decor???  A great way to house all of my cheapo candles!

So, we shall see if my "filling" skills can shine and make my bookshelf look anything at all like these.  Are there areas (bookshelves, mantles, tabletops, etc.) in your home that you need to accessorize but you feel completely intimidated to do so?  Google-Image the hoot out of that spot and see what awesome pictures you can find.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can copy, copy, copy?!?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gift from Grammy...

So, I had always said that I would NEVER be one to dress my dog.  That was before Andy and I found a dog mullet in the Halloween costume section of Target (though not really clothing, you get the idea).  And before we found the Christmas tie for dogs at Wal-Mart during the holidays.  And before Duncan was really cold this past winter and Grammy sent him up some really warm dog sweaters...

All that to say, I officially find it hilariously worthwhile to dress up Duncan the dog.  Here is Grammy's latest donation to Duncan's clothing collection.

It's a striped polo!!! HAHA!


Andy dressing poor Duncan...


Duncan going back to chewing on his bone--not bothered at all by his handsome little shirt!

We did remove the shirt for Duncan to go to bed, but we fully intend to pull this out when a special occasion comes up.  He needs to be dressed for success, right?  Thanks Grammy!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mini-Projects...

I think I got a small glimpse of what motherhood will be like some day just this morning.  I awoke to the sounds of Duncan gagging and choking, fully knowing he was about to be sick at his stomach.  Our furry friend has a VERY sensitive stomach and I have been woken by similar sounds on many occasions in the past.  Upon hearing these lovely sounds at 6-something in the morning, I jump out of bed with Duncan in arms trying to get him to the bathroom linoleum (easier cleanup).  I make it just in time to drop the pooch and grab our floor mat to pull it from the line of fire.  So, Duncan "gets sick," and after making certain that he is finished, I allow him to go back to bed while I clean it up.  After I finish the cleaning and get back into bed, Andy stirs and rolls over (still half asleep).  He follows with, "What happened?  Did Duncan get sick?"  I couldn't even muster an answer. 

  Is it just a woman thing to be more aware even while sleeping?  Maternal instincts?  Who knows.  Better question:  What will I do when we lay the new ceramic tile???  I don't want him getting sick on good flooring!  I think I need to teach Duncan to use a paper bag or the potty when he needs to "be sick." :)

On to the projects...
Disclaimer:  These projects are really not all that exciting. :)

First, I found a piece of writing that I LOVED on Etsy and purchased it to frame. 



For those of you who may not know, these are Mr. Darcy's words to Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.  Melt my heart!  I put it in our bedroom to remind Andy that he needs to attempt being romantic now and then. :)  I put it in a dressier, Victorian-ish frame from Hobby Lobby--50% off sale!  WOO-WOO! 



Now if this print was a little cheesy, you won't believe the next one.  I had filed this picture (taken from the Better After blog) away in my idea file on my computer...

There are several things that I love about this little nook--most notably the bench that was specifically featured.  I am obsessed with chunky round mirrors right now--good luck finding one cheap--and I LOVE framed chalkboards for fun words and phrases.  But if you look really closely, there is a personalized eye chart on the shelf in the picture.  I thought it was a really unique idea, so I decided to try making one of my own.  I knew I could simply design it on my computer and print it off on paper for NOTHING and then put it in a cheap frame.  Nothing better than inexpensive wall art!  This is what I came up with...


True story...I could only copy the eye chart in the picture to the word "so" before it became too small and hard to read.  So, I was left to come up with a five-letter word on my own to finish the print.  Oh, how many interesting words I could have chosen to describe love!  I decided to go with "sweet"--yes, I know, cheesy.  I then added a wee-little cupcake between our names to go with the sweet idea.  Here it is in its new home...


Yes, it ended up in the kitchen.  I am usually craving sweets when I'm in there anyway...might as well have something to remind me of that!!!

Speaking of eye charts...and since my dad NEVER reads our blog...I have a funny story.  My dad is completely lost without his glasses--can't see a thing.  No, really.  When he used to work at a plant in Paducah, they would give the employees an eye test each year or so.  However, they would make everyone take off their eyeglasses (if they wore them) prior to taking the test.  My dad has always said that when they would ask him to do this he would simply take off his glasses and say, "Well, I'm sure there is probably an "E" at the top, but I can't see it."  HAHA!  I don't know if this is even remotely funny to anyone else, but every time I see an eye chart I think of this story.  I need to say a prayer of thankfulness tonight that my eyes aren't quite that bad!

Have a great night!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Master Bath Re-Do...Here we go again!!!

The supplies have been bought...

Yes, I totally realize that the projects never seem to cease around our house...but you should know that this project has always been on the to-do list.  You know what they say--you get the largest returns on bathroom and kitchen improvements!  All of our bathrooms in the house have been found slightly lacking.  We tackled the guest bath first because it had the biggest issues.  Remember that nasty flooring and hole in the tub?  Yeah, no wonder we started with that one!  However, after completing the guest bath and seeing the transformation, it left me really itching to tackle our master bathroom.  I mean it only seemed fair for our bathroom to be at least as nice as our guests' bath, right?

So, seeing as though my precious summer is coming to a quick close, Andy and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the items we needed to get the job done.  Here are a few sneak peeks at what we got (the pendant light is not exactly what we purchased--but you get the idea)...
So, as you can see, we are going with a totally different look in our bathroom.  I had actually intended this from the beginning.  With every cabinet knob, shower curtain rod, toilet paper holder, and towel ring we replaced--I tried to keep with the oil-rubbed bronze look.  I wanted this bathroom to veer away from the typical satin nickel that we have used throughout the rest of the house.  Basically, I am trying my darnedest to give our bathroom a totally different look.  Why?  Because a master bath is SO important, and we don't have the best set up for one...



As you can see, we have a split bathroom.  We have the single sink vanity actually connected to our bedroom, and then the shower/toilet area is separate.  Some might say this isn't the best layout (I would agree).  Therefore, we need to make this re-do look really spiffy (so that maybe the layout will be slightly overlooked)!  We want it to look more dramatic--and yet, it needs to flow with the master bedroom (because there is no division).  Not easy!!!

You might also have noticed that we have to deal with many of the same issues that we dealt with in the guest bathroom...




I thought so!!!

So, knowing we had to mount a light fixture from the above-pictured box, we decided to go with pendant lighting.  We intend to hang two, and are hoping that the glass we chose will complete the "look" that we were going for.  We also purchased a large, rectangular mirror from TJ Maxx to replace this lovely one .  Has anyone else noticed their AMAZING deals on mirrors there???  The new granite vanity top will also help to complete the look (much better than the seashell), along with the awesome oil-rubbed bronze faucet we picked out!  Andy and I were both drawn to the old-school look of this particular faucet.  Hopefully it will work!

In case you were wondering, yes, the honeycomb linoleum will also be replaced with the same ceramic tile that we used in the guest bathroom.  There was a part of me that wanted to do something totally different with the flooring in this bath, but it really didn't make sense.  We are going to be able to use leftovers from the other bathroom to complete this flooring--money saver!!!

We are hoping to begin with the ceramic tile flooring this coming weekend.  Based on that project, we will decide when to deal with the other things that have to be done.  The toilet will have to be pulled for the flooring project, so we are REALLY looking forward to that. :(  It will all be worth it in the end!  I'll keep you posted as we go!

***In case you were wondering, Despicable Me is SUCH a cute movie.  How I got Andy into that movie, I am still  not sure...but we both really enjoyed it.  So if you are in the mood for a clean kiddish movie--go see it!***