July 31, 2010

So, I'm moving

I think I'd already made up my mind by the time I posed the question to my readers last week. When I mentioned the idea to Jason, his only response was, "Just do it before I come home!" Apparently the bedroom and the pub he's willing to live with in "under construction" mode. Flip-flopping the office for the loft is not. And that's what I've decided I'm calling the new room. The Loft. After I got the bee in my bonnet about it all, I started going through my inspiration folder to find some room ideas. The great thing was this room could kind of be anything! But, oh my god, this room could be anything--where do I begin?!

A few pictures caught my eye and I moved them into my main folder so I could later separate them for even further inspiration. This was the photo I ended with.

image from Decor8 on flickr

SIDE NOTE: Because I know all of us keep files on our hard drives and very rarely mark where they came from... Did you know that if you copy the name of the image from your computer (assuming you didn't change its name when you saved it) and plug it into Google images, it can usually find the source you saved it from? Instant credit giving!


Since I'm leaving the big bookcases upstairs, I loved how the picture incorporated that element. A simple chair and side table completes the tranquility of what I'd like our loft to have. We already own the Dolce Lounge chair from Target, but I'd like to find another arm chair as well. Maybe slip cover them both to make them match, but not match, kind of like our dinning room set. I'm working on revamping a coffee table to work in the room as well (more on that soon!), and the mirror I originally thought I was going to hang in our bedroom will get a new home in the loft as well.

The hard part now is actually moving everything!

July 29, 2010

And so ends the $400 Pottery Barn card

Remember when I had to take back aaaaallllll that merchandise I'd stocked up on? Originally, I thought it was around $300 but in the end it was well over four (ah, back when we had money). No, I didn't get my money back (which would have been nice) but I did get every dime back on a gift card. And hey, that's just as good!

It took me almost five months to spend all that merchandise credit, and I think I did a damn good job of it. I stretched that card for all it was worth! I could have easily blown it all on one big purchase, but I was much happier to spend it on accessories that were on clearance, or use it when I didn't have any real money to spend (ahem! like now!). Among other things, I purchased all sorts of pillow covers, table top accessories, a lantern for the pub, dishes, and last week I bought my final items--and came down to having a ¢97 balance on my card (and don't think I won't still use that on my next buy)!

I bought two more of the tiny galvanized tin buckets, like the one in our living room tray. I plan on using these as planters in the bathrooms. They make the best planters!

Then I purchased one each of their his and her enamel signs for our master bathroom. These are new in their catalogue and the minute I saw them I fell in love. I plan to replace our current hooks with something cuter and hang these above them.

And since I was in a bathroom state of mind, I whipped up this super cute "welcome" sign for the guest bathroom. I totally cannot take credit for how smart alecky it is. I got most everything (except the Marine Corps bits) from Polly at Make Mine Beautiful. So, prop prop Polly! I'm giving credit where credit is most definitely due.

As soon as I can replace our printer ink and find a cute frame I'll print it out. Of course, I'll also have to grab some little travel sized toiletries from Wal-Mart too! ;) Oh, and just for the record, it actually says "Our-Last-Name Bed & Breakfast," not just our initial.

I think I'm proud it took me so long to respend that money. Because the first time I racked up the bill in was in one fell swoop. Oh how the mighty have fallen. But, I think it's also taught me a valuable lesson: don't spend it all in one place!

July 26, 2010

It's time now for another episode of ACKHMFOJOPTD

That's "Amber Can't Keep Her Mind Focused On Just One Project These Days." I was catching up on my blog reading, as I'm wont to do these days since I can't read them as regularly as I used to. I was drooling over Rhoda's new plate wall, especially loving her little M plate.

image from Southern Hospitality

image from Southern Hospitality

I've always loved vinyl letters on white dishes, and it's a project I've been wanting to do for a while. Then I remembered: I had both things downstairs in my kitchen, just waiting to be used!

I picked up these little white saucers for only ¢10 each at a Knights of Columbus flea market back in North Carolina. Of course I picked up the tea cups that went with them, but over the years the saucers held up better than their mates. I never had the heart to toss them out and now I'm glad I didn't!

I'd ordered three little letters spelling out E-A-T from Leen the Graphics Queen probably over a month ago. My plan had been to make some Anthropologie inspired cups to hold some silverware.

The thought didn't exactly come through as planned, so I've been hanging onto the little letters, hoping that I could find another way to use them. Well...I think you know where I'm going with all of this...

I wasn't sure if having identical plates was going to look right, since most plate walls are done with a mixed assortment. But since each one of the fonts is different, I think by using matching plates it helps keep it somewhat in line. Different plates and different fonts might have looked too haphazard. I have some Disc Hangers on their way, so now all I have to do is decide where to hang them at! I might have a spot all picked out, but we'll see. When your entire downstairs is an open floor plan, hanging cute little crafts like this becomes a test of your skills.

Stay tuned!

July 25, 2010

Operation: Love Reunited

If you've never heard of Op: Love, check out their website. It's an amazing service to military families. Unfortunately, I don't know that a photographer will be available for Jason's homecoming, but I did get to do a "during-deployment" session for him about a month ago. I've been waiting for her to ship off Jason's book before sharing pictures. His book is officially on its way, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite shots with you!

Thanks for letting me share! I know that was very self indulgent. ;) I'm so happy that we're almost out of July! As of July 4, we were officially over the half way mark (imagine how happy I was when the occasion fell on such an appropriate date). Now, we're over 60% done! I love telling people that I have "more behind me than I do ahead of me." I miss Jason like crazy every day, and I thank all you so much for your well wishes, your support, and mostly your ears (er--eyes?). I don't know how many people actually read my blog (sure, I have followers, but how many of them make visits?) but knowing that a handful of you are out there reading and cheering me on makes some of my saddest and darkest days that much brighter. So thank you for the service you do for me!

July 23, 2010

Moving? Opinions needed!

No no, not us! Not anytime soon anyways. We haven't even been here a full year yet. ;) No, what I'm thinking about doing is moving our office/my sewing station to downstairs.

I know, I'm crazy right?

We have this great little room downstairs that's currently being used as had hopes of being a game room for Jason, but when the boys moved their stuff in before the deployment it became less of a game room and more of a catch-all room for junk (did I mention two other Marines are keeping their stuff here too?!). I hate that it's the first room people see when they walk in. Of course, I don't just want to move the crap around either, but right now there's not too much I can do. Military boys have military crap.

Plus, that downstairs room has a a great breeze, great light, and it's at the front of our house (whereas our office is at the back). The office also gets really warm (being upstairs with all the electronic equipment), and I think I'd like to spend more time on the first floor of our house now and then. Hm hm hm.

So would you move? I'm trying to decided what I would do up in this third bedroom if the office was relocated (nope--no nursery plans going on here, sorry!). It could still be something of a game room, except Jason never actually used the game room that way anyways. I could leave the bookcases up here and turn it into a reading room/library. Maybe get a lounger of some sort? And maybe one day another bookcase! 'Cause we can always use those!

I don't actually know if the downstairs is bigger than the upstairs, but it sure feels like it! Maybe because there's no door...

So, to move or not to move? That is the question.

July 22, 2010

The pub is underway!

On Sunday Mom, Step-dad, Brother Colton, and Colton's friend Mike came out to the coast and help set up the gazebo I picked up. Of course I shouldn't say "help" set up, because really, Mom and I watched from inside while the guys tried to sort out all the pieces!

Once all the furniture was in, they posed for a cute shot for me to send to Jason. I think I'm going to frame it--don't all pubs have little black and white photos of their laborers? ;)

It still needs a looooooot in the way of accessories. But the gazebo was $150 on clearance at Target, and all the furniture was free, minus the $50 I spent on the wicker chair Mom is sitting in, so at least I haven't gone too hog wild with spending on my foundation. I'm anxious to start playing with the arrangement of everything (side tables mostly, the seating will definitely stay where it is), finding a chippy old coffee table for the boys to set drinks and play cards on, making cushions and finding a curtain solution (buy mosquito netting? make new ones?) and really trying to bring that pub feel to it.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated and if you have a pub of your own, share! I love looking at real-life inspiration pictures.

I'm hoping by this weekend I can knock two more things off my Master Bedroom list. I have fabric coming for another pillow cover (and will debut them both soon!) and my second over-sized-euro-sham since the first attempt didn't go so well. What do you think the winning fabric will be??

July 15, 2010

Back on my feet & covered in paint!

Thank you all for you well wishes--not only with my accident but on our anniversary (which is actually when I fell). I received a clean bill of health this week, and aside from a few lingering bruises and a rug burn on my knuckle, I'm feeling pretty back to normal. Good thing to because this house has been ne-glected!

Today I woke up sweating; while most people hate that, I was thrilled because it means summer has finally hit our little beach town! As I type all my windows are open, the fans are on max power, and I have still have a bit of sweat forming along my brow. I'm in a super cute sundress from American Eagle (purchased on deep discount on July 4--woot!) and it finally feels like the typical California day. So what have I been up to? PAINTING!

I've previously mentioned this white wicker chair that I picked up for our outdoor pub that I've been slacking on working on. I picked it up for $50 at Urban Barn in Escondido. While super sweet, shabby chic doesn't exactly mesh well with Irish debauchery.

So, a quick coat with some leftover Rust-Oleum Espresso paint (seriously? I have an arsenal of this stuff--how did I amass so much?!) took some of the charm out of it.

(Forgive the chop job)

Then as I was waiting for it to dry, I realized I just might have enough flat black paint to get our old IKEA night stands converted as well for the master bedroom project. I also busted out an old shower curtain rod for a quick make-over (you'll see it in action in just a sec).

I still plan to go over the tables with a coat of a semi-gloss paint to make them a little more scratch resistant, but I learned my lesson when it comes to using glossy spray paint on flat surfaces (remember this coffee table?). So I think I'll stick to a roll on paint.

As for the shower rod...

I wanted to hang some sort of partition in our "dressing room" that connects our bedroom to our bathroom. When Jason comes home I'd like for him to start using our bathroom again instead of keeping all of his stuff in the guest bathroom. So, to allow him to actually be able to see when he's shaving at four a.m. without waking me up, I knew some curtains were in order.

(Obviously this shot is from when we were first moving in)

I'd been using some old off-white sheets as the curtains, but I just wasn't feeling them. Lacking any motivation until today I just let them hang there until I remembered some amazing faux-silk panels I'd retired to the Goodwill bag in our garage. Thankful that I hadn't actually made it over there recently, I dug them out of the bag and immediately hung them on the newly painted rod. Yes, they're a little short on top, but I don't think it's going to matter any.

The rich chocolate color up against our white walls is stunning (waaaaay better than the off-white sheets), and I love that I was able to use them again--I had loved them so much in our home back in North Carolina. Here they are acting as window panels on our front door.

They matched our accent wall in the living room to a tee!

(Maybe this is why I still have a ton of espresso paint--leftover loves??)

So, that's what I've finally gotten around to doing! I'm thinking I might swing by Home Depot today or tomorrow for some headboard materials. I've been tossing the original plan back and forth and have a feeling the bed may change a bit. I'd like to do something a little more romantic-modern than farmhouse-meets-bed-and-breakfast. I'm trying to keep the idea fairly simple because I'm attempting to talk Jason into upgrading to a king sized bed when he gets home (!!), which means I don't want to do anything too permanent structurally-wise.

Sunday Mom and Step-Dad are coming over to help set up the gazebo. I'm so antsy to get the furniture out of the garage and into the backyard! I can't wait!

So good to be back...

I'm linking up to:
Fresh Coat Fridays @ Life in the Fun Lane

July 10, 2010

There was a bit of an accident...

I fell down my stairs head first a few days ago and wound up in the ER like this:

They sent me for a CT scan and I've had to wear a neck brace for the past few days, as well as take a very fabulous muscle relaxer. As you can imagine, there hasn't been a lot of machine operating going on in The Nut Shell. But, I'm up and around again, slowly but surely trying to get back to normal. I won't hear anything on my scan results until Monday-ish, but please know that should anything pop up, I will share with my readers.

Hope you're all doing better than I am! =)

July 7, 2010

Happy anniversary

I know--again?! Jason and I celebrate two wedding anniversaries. Our first and legal wedding was held February 19, 2006 before he reenlisted into the Marines. Our second and formal wedding was held July 7, 2007 (yep, we were one of those couples)--three years ago today! I was lucky enough to have him for our February anniversary this year, so I'm stuck alone on this one (boo). I thought I'd share a few of our wedding pictures though! Hopefully you'll think they're as pretty as I do!

There was him.

There was me.

And my girls.

And his boys.

There were lots of Scottish and Irish touches, like the Tartan and pin...

A Celtic handfasting ritual...

And a bagpiper.

There were the little details, like Freedom roses...

And hand applying sequins to letters...

And vintage-style photography...

And a little something blue...

And a little something lacy.

There was lots and lots of kissing.

There were friends and family...

And tons of bubbles.

But in the end, there was just us.

Wedding info for San Diego Brides
The Admiral Kidd Club, Naval Base Point Loma
San Diego Wholesale Florist
Larry Samuels
Patti Patterson Photography