Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend in Review

I had an extremely Happy Easter!
Caroline flew home from school to spend the holiday with us,
and it was a wonderful weekend.
We hit the outlets and did some shopping,
we found some treasures for my ORC while visiting some of my favorite consignment shops,
I waited until Caroline was home to celebrate my birthday so we had my birthday party,
and we went to church together and to the club for Easter brunch with my parents.
We finished off the day with my Virginia mom's traditional Easter Egg Hunt,
where the eggs are hidden so well that we are still finding them at Halloween!

 Here we are just before heading off to church...
  I'm happiest when I have all of my kids home!
 My baby is strange to have them taller than I am!
 My beautiful girls...
Half of our family!

D was in Delaware with his children visiting his mother for spring break and Easter...
and we missed them!
Hope y'all had a FABULOUS Easter too!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Three

It's week three of Linda's One Room Challenge 
and I am making great progress with my own ORC!
My painter came and did a FABULOUS job of patching the "painted over wallpaper" walls!
This is just a fraction of the amount of patching he did....
but you can NOT tell that he painted over the "painted over wallpaper"...the walls are perfect!

I cannot tell you how THRILLED I am with my paint color!!!!
Benjamin Moore Papaya
(it's not as dark as it looks in this picture)
This is a little more accurate and shows the contrast with the crown moulding.
The hardest part of the ORC for me so far has been this....
Moving into Caroline's room while my room was being painted.
I cannot stand living in clutter and having everything out of sorts!
I moved most of the "junk" out of my room and into hers.
Yes that is the infamous ceiling fan from our bedroom on her floor...
I am ready to surrender....the fan is staying.....sadly.

Once the painting was finished, 
I only moved back into our room what is staying in the room.
That left a lot of this...
Here is a pile of "junk" in our master bathroom that must find a new home,
because I am not going to clutter our new room!
I have also been playing musical furniture...
Here is my was in our bedroom,
but it's finding a new home on our third floor and has been sitting at the end of the hallway 
waiting for my boys to come home and move it.
I NEED to get all of this stuff sorted and put away what I'm keeping
and make a trip to Goodwill with everything else....
our bedroom really had become a dumping ground,
and I will have none of that now!

This past week I also did a little shopping....
New blinds, new outlet covers, and new light switches...
I moved back into our room but there aren't any blinds on the windows
since I took the old ones down before the painter came.
D won't be home for another week and a half,
so I may have to hang them myself...not my specialty but I think I can manage.
I've also been shopping for a few new accessories....
LOVE this lattice cachet pot I found at a consignment shop
and the topiary from my favorite HomeGoods!

I'm having a custom bed skirt and shams made in the Thibaut fabric,
and I've been looking for a coverlet and Euro shams in a white trellis print.
One Kings Lane had a beautiful basket weave coverlet and shams,
and they are on their way to me!
Here is the pattern up close...I ordered white and it should be here early next week!
Here is a reminder of my inspiration board....
Here is what's on my to do list for the next week...
1. shop for a green and white porcelain lamp
2. shop for botanical prints for above our bed
3. shop my house for crystal and silver accessories 
4. make honey do list for D
5. shop for an arm chair
6. shop for night stands
7. find new homes for the piles of "junk" that came out of the bedroom

Anyone have a good source for small porcelain lamps (I want a green and white one that is about 18"tall)?
Or a good source for botanical prints (similar to the ones on my inspiration board)?

Looks like it will be a week of shopping for me!
I'm so happy with the progress,
and I'm even happier with the colors and fabrics I selected!

Please remember to check out all of the fabulous ORC participants at Calling It Home,
and of course check out the ORC linking party!
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Renting the Runway for the Submarine Birthday Ball

D and I attended the Washington DC Area
114th Annual Submarine Birthday Ball on Friday night 
and we had a wonderful time!
Here we are at dinner....we were seated at D's corporate table.
My favorite part of the ball is seeing old friends....
this Lieutenant was a Junior Officer on the USS Texas back when D was the Commanding Officer,
and he and his wife have become dear friends of ours.
Here is a full length shot of my dress...which I loved!
And guess what?
I have three ballgowns that I have been re-running for about four years now,
and I wanted something new but did not want to invest in another gown.
My daughter, Caroline, encouraged me to try Rent the Runway 
and I'm so glad I did!

My hesitation in using RTR was that I did not want a dress that looked like it had been worn 1000 times,
I did not want a dress that was "cheap" and poorly made,
and I also was not 100% sure what size to order.
I am super picky and wanted a dress that was both classy and sensational!
I don't like to wear black to formal events....
I am a pink and green "bright colors" girl,
and I knew I wanted an emerald green gown for this event.

I did some research and RTR sends you two sizes when you order,
they guarantee your satisfaction and will overnight another dress 
if you don't like the one you ordered or are not satisfied,
and they have all designer in some of their gowns retail for well over $1000.
Here is the online photograph of my dress...
I loved this Halston dress but was not too hip on the amount of leg the dress shows.
The other nice thing about RTR is that they have customer reviews on most all of their dresses,
and customers also upload their own photos wearing the gowns so you can see it on a "real" person!
The reviews on this dress all said the slit was not nearly as revealing as this photo showed,
and the color of the dress is slightly darker in person than the photos on the web page.

I took the plunge and ordered!
You can rent for four days or for eight days,
and the dress will arrive the day before your event by overnight delivery.
My dresses arrived Thursday afternoon...
I ordered my regular size and a size larger as most of the reviews said this dress ran small.
Inside the box both dresses were on hangers, had a plastic garment bags over them, were gently folded,
and both dresses looked like new with no signs of wear and no wrinkles.
My dress hanging in the mancave before the ball...
And here is how I styled it...
I posted this on can actually rent jewelry too but I knew exactly what I wanted
and found the bracelet and earrings a Nordstrom.
Attached to the hanger was this tag with instructions on how to return the dresses...
it could NOT have been easier!
No dry cleaning or even hanging back on the hangers...
just place both dresses in the pre-paid envelope they provide and drop off at UPS!
It truly could not have been easier!

So my review on Rent the Runway is two thumbs up!
The selection, convenience, the price, and the quality of the dress were all excellent!
Rent the Runway has more than just ballgowns to rent,
so if you are looking for a fabulous designer cocktail dress,
or you would like to have a Chanel bag just for one event,
check them out!
Happy Birthday United States Navy Submarine Force!
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Two

It's week two of Linda's One Room Challenge Linking Party!
Click here to see week one....

A funny story....
My sweet husband follows my blog and while he knew I was doing the ORC
and decorating our bedroom,
he did not really know about any of my plans.
Well after my ORC post last week,
D confessed that he read my ORC challenge post and was a little worried.
In fact, he didn't READ the post, he looked at the photos,
and thought that the BEFORE pictures with the previous owner's furniture
was what I had decorated our room to be!
He was very worried....until he READ what I wrote and realized what he was looking at!
Now that he knows what I am doing, he loves it!

So...I have made it over my biggest hurdle in this challenge
(if you don't count selecting my fabric)
which is selecting my paint color!
I had a horrible time picking a paint color for my first ORC
and was afraid it would not go well this time around....
I decided on a beige wall color...and there are a MILLION shades of beige.
I looked at several different brands, but ended up with my old standby, Benjamin Moore.
Here was my first go around...
These colors look the same in the photograph, 
but they are Benjamin Moore Palace White and Indian White.
Fortunately they had the giant paint square samples....and I did not like them.
They look much darker in this photograph than they are in person,
and they were too blah....and too light.

I scoured Pintrest and Houzz looking at beige rooms
and reading articles about the top ten beige colors that interior designers use,
and then it was back to the paint store...
 And we have a winner!
 Benjamin Moore Papaya!
Here it is with my fabric...the color is not very accurate though!
 The color is actually much softer than this and my fabric is not brown.

While I love to paint and am pretty good at it, 
I know my limits and I truly don't have the time to paint my bedroom myself right now.
I have a fabulous painter who has painted several rooms in our home, 
and he is going to paint for me!
He inspected the walls and while he could strip the painted over wallpaper prior to painting,
he promised me that if he repaired the walls instead of stripping them,
I would not be able to tell the difference and I would save A LOT of money.
I am all about saving money.
He starts painting this week!

Next on my list was to find trim for my window treatments.
I decided on a board mounted balloon valance with tassel trim...
so I went searching and found the PERFECT thing.....
I LOVE this trim!!!!
Is it not PERFECT?????
Well it is $259 a yard...and I need seven yards....NOT happening.
Clearly I have fabulous taste, don't I?
It is a Scalamandre trim...the color was perfect,
but clearly WAY out of my price range.
As the woman at the decorating shop said...
"No one ever walks into a room and says "OMG that trims is to die for" so why break the bank on it?"
I found something very similar for MUCH less!

I am so relieved to have the paint color selected and to have the trim for the windows.
The woman who is doing my custom bedding and window treatments picked up the fabric today
and they should be done by the first part of May!!!
I feel like I'm making good progress.

Here's what is on my to do list this next week...
1. purchase new room darkening pleated shades and install
2. find a white coverlet in a lattice pattern for bed
3. shop for accessories
4. purchase new outlets and covers and new light switch and cover
5. continue search for nighstands
6. move "junk" out of the room
7. work on convincing D that we don't need a ceiling fan in our bedroom.

Don't forget to visit Linda at Calling It Home
to see her fabulous ORC participants!!!

and of course check out everyone else who is linking to the ORC!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Mom's Weekend in Kansas

Katherine and I flew out to Kansas this past weekend
to visit Caroline at the University of Kansas and participate in
her sorority Gamma Phi Beta's Mom's Weekend!

Despite mechanical difficulties, a three hour delay, a change in airline, a re-route through Dallas, 
an emergency landing at Fort Hood, tornadoes, another five hour delay, 
and a possible unexpected overnight stay in Dallas,
we made it to Kansas City at 3:11am Friday morning!

We had a fabulous time and we enjoyed meeting Caroline's friends and their mothers.
Friday night we met with Caroline's ten closest friends and their moms at a Japanese Steakhouse for dinner...
Here are Caroline and Katherine with Kansas daughter and Caroline's other BFF, M..
Adding in the moms....
Our group at dinner!
Saturday morning we headed to the sorority house for brunch...
My lovelies... 
Sweet Caroline and me... 
After a little shopping in the afternoon, 
we headed over to the cocktail party for some sisterhood!
Yes, that is me wearing a ZEBRA print....shocking, I know.
 My darling daughters...everyone thought Katherine was the older sister much to Caroline's dismay!
Two peas in a pod with their fabulous mothers!

Our time together went by FAR too quickly!
It was two days full of fun and A LOT of my girls!
The only thing that made it easier to leave 
is that Sweet Caroline will be home in ten days for Easter!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk y'all!

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New Year New Look....

My little blog turns one later this month, 
and I decided to give it a little face lift...
with the help of the fabulous Shari at Little Blue Deer.
So what do y'all think?
I have a few "tweeks" to work out 
but I am thrilled with it!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Room Challenge Week One

So excited to be linking up with Linda, from one of my favorite blogs, Calling It Home,
for another one of her One Room Challenge Linking Parties!
This is my second time to participate and this spring I am taking on our master bedroom!
I have literally not done ONE THING to our master bedroom since we moved in,
other than to take down the nasty window treatments that the previous owners left.
Here is what the room looked like when we bought our home (with the previous owner's furniture)...

It is currently painted gray....
I might add that it is PAINTED OVER WALLPAPER gray...
and the woodwork and crown molding has wallpaper paste stains all over.
There are 20 year old mini-blinds on the windows 
and the ceiling has a giant mark on it where I threw a magazine to kill a bug...
yes...I HATE bugs....and the newsprint left a lovely smear where the magazine hit.
So here is what it has looked like since we moved it...

Except for our new bed, the room is exactly as it was when we moved in.

I have a few challenges with this room...
1. I have too many pieces of dark wood furniture for the size of the room.
2. Although I have two windows, this room never gets direct sunlight and is very dark all day.
3. My desk, computer, and printer really "junk" up the room doubles as my office.
4. The walls are in very bad shape...painted over wallpaper...need I say more?
4. We have a ceiling fan.

I've been working on all of the other rooms in our home and have literally left this one untouched...
until now!
As soon as I found out Linda was doing a ORC in the spring, I started brainstorming.
I spent hours and hours trying to decided what direction to take our bedroom
because I knew I could easily use the entire six weeks just trying to make up my mind
about colors and fabrics.
Check out my post here to see where I originally thought I would go with it.
Then I got on the blue and white bandwagon...I LOVE blue and white!
I could have been very happy with a blue and white bedroom, 
but I already have a lot of blue in my home and it is really not totally "me" like pink and green is.
That being said, I was not going to subject D to a pink and green master bedroom
so for a while I was looking at doing something bright and floral but not too "girly."
Then I did a post on Laura Ashley and it brought me back to an old love....
Laura Ashley fabric in Winter Lilly
And I remembered that at one time I had wanted to decorate my room in this fabric.
It's cool and calming, as well as classic and refined looking.
Exactly the feeling I wanted for our bedroom.
I started looking for inspiration rooms....I was looking for green and creamy white bedrooms.
Here are a few that struck my fancy...
I was not sure I wanted green walls, 
but I like the idea of the cream and green so I started to scour my favorite fabric stores,
looking for the perfect fabric to use as my jumping off point.
I love the Thibaut fabrics and wallpapers, and they came through for me once again...
I fell in love with this print immediately, and knew it was "the one"
"Hydrangea" by Thibaut in the color Beige
It has a light beige background with white and cream hydrangeas,
and I love the shades of green in the foilage.
Here is a close up photo with a little more accurate depiction of the colors.
My next step was to create a mood board...
this is the FIRST mood board I have ever made...I used Photoshop Elements!
Not too bad if I say so myself....still have a lot to learn though!
I included the furniture and accessories I already have
and blended it with the furniture and accessories I hope to add.

So....down to business.
Here's my plan:
1. Repair walls, paint bedroom, trim, and ceiling
2. New blinds
3. New window treatments
4. New bedding
5. New nightstands
6. Accessorize with new art work, toparies, and green and white porcelian
7. Declutter the room
8. New register covers, light switches, and electrical outlets
9. Rearrange or remove some of the furniture.
10. Negotiate with D to get rid of the ceiling fan....not sure that will go over!
11. Stick to my budget....and I AM on a budget.

My first order of business is to select a paint color....that is what I will be working on for the next week!

Please be sure to visit Calling It Home to see Linda's fabulous ORC participates
as well as all of those who are linking!

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