Friday, August 31, 2012

#994 Birthday Day 2.

For day 2 of the birthday extravaganza, I had a date with Mitter at Tabella, home of the world's most delicious house salad:

And then he showed me what my big present is going to be... A swinging porch bed!
I've wanted one for as long as I can remember and he's been sneakily building one little by little on the weekends in my daddy's shop with leftover boards from my parents' old back porch. He wrote a letter on the backside of this printout with all the details of it, the size (twin), the color (natural wood stained to match the front door), the ropes that will suspend it (500 lb. test manilla rope), and he told me it will be my special place for reading when it cools off this fall and in the spring. I could just die. I can't wait to see it finished!

We were contacted by a magazine this week and got word that they would like to feature our house in their fall 2013 issue, and are sending their photographer and stylist for a 2-day photo shoot sometime in October to be sure they get the pumpkins and wreaths and lanterns and everything else that fall brings. I hope hope hope this beautiful porch bed will be hanging in its place, all cozied up with pillows when they come!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

#993 My 27th Year.

Today I turned 27 years old. Per usual, Ben saw to make it more special than the average birthday (see here and here).

He snuck out of bed before the sun came up, but I knew he was up to something so I kept sleeping while the rain fell for the 3rd nonstop day. That's the best kind of sleep and I didn't want to miss out. A while later, I woke up to him creeping in in the dark fully dressed. He held me tight, obviously so excited to get the birthday started, kept me in a bear hug kissing my face all over and telling me, "wake up, birthday girl! get dressed cause we've got company coming!" I held onto him tight and felt a rush of happiness and an awareness of the blessings God sends us every single day. No one needs this much happiness.

I rushed to get a shower and get dressed and came in to the dining room, as Ben was pinning a 'birthday girl' ribbon on my dress, he and Jesse and Jim sang (more like howled) happy birthday. Mallorie had to go in to work and take care of some things in case the weather got bad and we lost power, so I'll forgive her.

There's a zebra print 'happy birthday' banner strung across the doors, Ben said, "because I know how much you love zebra print things."
We were having buttermilk biscuits with strawberry jam, cane syrup, sausage and bacon when the doorbell rang. Ben's brother Sam, our sister-in-law Lyn, and their sweet kiddos were there for the party on their way to Newton to see Ben's parents. I was tickled to see them! Before long they were back on the road, and I had to do some work for a couple hours. Fast forward to this afternoon, and it was finally gift-opening time.

2 of my gifts were ordered online and haven't made it here yet, but one of them was ready for giving. He said there was a theme to the gift that required music. I sat in the office while Jesse came in to start the appropriate soundtrack.

Tubthumpin. Which required dancing.

Cause it's a 90s themed gift.

So I opened it.

One of those Baja blanket sweaters. You know what I'm talking about. I've been talking about how I'm gonna bring it back, and he wanted to make sure I was equipped.

It's too big and it's a sorta weird color, so we're exchanging. But I'm pumped. We're bringing back the 90s.

When we saw a break in the rain for a quick minute, we leashed up the dogs to finally go for a walk for the first time in 2 days without torrential rain. Ben wanted them to be a part of the festivities too, so naturally we tied balloons to their tails and then went for the walk.

Chevy wasn't into it. In fact, he was certain that the red ball following him was going to kill him.

Then we were on to dinner at my parents' for my favorite meal in the world, mama's lasagna!

She (and daddy cause I know he helped pick it out... right) gave me the Park Hill sweet tea candle that I've been wanting from the antique mall and I couldn't stop breathing it in. Mmmmmm... She also gave me an oversized mercury glass candle holder that's going to be gorgeous on our bookcase.

Now we're home and Ben tells me he's also been building something for my birthday, but it's not finished yet. He says he's going to show me a photo of what it will be tomorrow, because my birthday will last through the weekend.

Let me tell you something, sweet readers. When you have love like I've got, it doesn't matter if you never get another gift the rest of your life. I couldn't think of one thing I want in this whole world.

I can't wait to see what my 27th year will hold.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

#992 Hurricane Day 2.

Today we got the actual brunt of the storm, though it wasn't severe at all, just rain and strong winds that made the air feel cooler.
I spent a few minutes sitting on the sofa watching the weather. The house was silent inside and the wind made a haunting "hoooooooo" whipping around the corners of the house and down the chimney. It was a singularly comforting feeling that few experiences give.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#991 "Hurricane" Party.

Man. It got severe out there tonight y'all.

It rained for a minute around 3 today. And not a drop since. But we had a real big time waiting on it to hit.

Monday, August 27, 2012

#990 Hurricane Prep.

If you know me, you know how much I love having a list of things to do and checking them off. When I got home from work Ben was just heading out the door to play basketball and had finished mowing the grass. Hurricane Isaac is supposed to hit tomorrow night so he wanted to get the yard just so before floods come and make the grass grow even faster. When he left I set about getting the house secured in the event it actually does get severe, even though it's not likely. I brought in everything from the porch that might blow away or be broken, vacuumed the workshop floors for the pups so they'll have a nice, non-sawdusty place to hunker down when the first thunder rolls, I took out all the trash from inside, brought in the wreath, and then weeded the flower beds, washed the dishes, swept the laundry room and did the laundry because I finished everything else I wanted to do. It feels good to take care of your home in an old-fasioned sort of way. I wish we had those functional storm shutters to latch over the windows just in case. Well, just because they look cool.

Also, have you heard about Spokeo? It's a little creepy, but also fascinating.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#989 Late Night TV Time.

I've been struggling with a rough cold or sinus infection this week, and I'm feeling particularly sluggish and lazy. So after an episode of Felicity with brudder (season 1, of course), we turned off the DVD player and turned on network TV for the first time in months and I was both entertained (at first) then shocked by the next show—I can't believe what they put on TV for teenagers to watch these days.

Regardless, it felt so good to be irresponsible and not get anything done around the house and just watch TV for a minute. It's definitely not going to be a daily occurrence for me, but just this once... It was just what the doctor ordered.

Especially since if this hurricane hits us, there will be no cozy lazy time, just power outages and canned food. I'll say an extra good prayer tonight that you'll be reading a post here on Wednesday night and all will be safe and sound.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

#988 Finished Guest Bath.

We finished the guest bath today:

And my favorite thing about it are these beautiful letterpress prints that were gifts from our friend Cassie. One is of our loft apartment (our first home), and the other is London and Big Ben is front and center. Get it?

Now anyone who stays overnight with us will see her work, but we'll parade day visitors upstairs to see them too. Thank you so very much, sweet girl!

Friday, August 24, 2012

#987 Upstairs Paint, Part 1.

Today with Jesse's help, we painted the big upstairs bedroom Dover White like the rest of the house. Before, it was a really perfect sage green, but I have issues with continuity and couldn't live with one color out of the ordinary:


This room isn't finished, it still needs artwork and more furniture, but for now I'm happy with it. It's a nice sunny room for our guests with a comfortable bed.

We also painted the upstairs bathroom Nantucket Gray, like the downstairs hallway, and hung a pretty floral shower curtain I found at Dirt Cheap for a couple bucks. The room was formerly a pretty rust color, but that makes it difficult to put on makeup for our girl guests.


We've still got a little work to do in the bathroom, putting in oil rubbed bronze hardware and a new light fixture to match, but I like where it's headed!

There's another sage green bedroom upstairs that's next on the list and I hope we can finish it up before supper club on September 4. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

#986 Downstairs House Tour.

A few days ago there was a post here about our finished house tour, but we're under consideration for a magazine feature and the publisher asked us to take down the photos until the magazine is released. I will repost this blog eventually, but thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#985 Champ.

In the 1970s, my daddy had a dove hunting dog that he loved dearly. His name was Champ. When Champ died, he had an artist do an oil portrait of him.

You can't make that junk up.

So I stole it out of his man haven cabin in the country and relocated it to my dining room. We're sort of collecting all things Americana for that room and Champ just makes sense.

I thought daddy would be hesitant to let it go, but instead he said, "You think it's cool? I think it's real cool. I'd love to see it hanging your house. Yeah!" So, here we are.

Welcome to 7th Street, Champ!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#984 Sconce Lamps.

Alright here's what happened.

A month or so ago, we were in Lowe's and I spotted these two beat up boxes on the bottom shelf that contained THE greatest wall sconce lamps I've ever seen in my life. They looked antique, oil-rubbed bronze with a white linen shade. Best of all, they were on sale for $34.99 so I snatched up 2 of them with plans of putting them on either side of our bed, thus eliminating the nightstand lamps and making more room for book piles. I ran up to the checkout counter like a maniac, so excited and expecting them to be excited with me.

They tried scanning the boxes, and they rang up 'not for sale.' Apparently there had been some recall on that particular style and they couldn't sell them. I asked to speak to a manager and told him I'd pay whatever it took to take them home with me. He wouldn't have it. Wouldn't consider it. Said those lamps would be going in the back storage room indefinitely, and he was sorry. I literally tried to bribe him. Nope, not selling them. And then I pouted for 2 hours and began scouring the internet for something similar. What I found were cheap, ugly wall sconces without cord covers that were outrageously expensive (we're talking around $200 a piece for a PLUG IN wall lamp). I found some that were all right from Pottery Barn, but still paled in comparison to the ones at Lowes on the sale rack. Ben told me not to rush into it, to be patient and one day we'd find the perfect lamps. And I pouted for a month.

Tonight we went to Lowes to pick up a gallon of Dover White, and I idly thought about checking the lighting aisle just in case they were inexplicably back on the shelves, as I've been doing every visit since that night. And by some miracle... There they were. Back on the shelves for the same price. 2 of them, on the very tip top shelf this time.

I walked out of there with my dream sconce lamps and can't get over it. I'm tickled to death. Isn't that the lamest thing you ever heard? Well, they're real pretty so I don't care if it is lame. It made our bedroom into the very kind of cozy, simple, light filled room I've been hoping it would be. It's finally living up to its potential. Way to go, Lowes.

Now I hope they weren't recalled for a reason. Maybe the house won't go up in flames tonight.

Monday, August 20, 2012

#983 Simple Supper + Cool Walk.

I want to cook more, but I just hate the time it requires to buy the groceries, cook the food, then clean it all up. We both wanted to eat home without really cooking much so we decided on a simple supper: rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (we got the first one out of the roaster, what what!), sauteed vegetables and salad. I don't care how you cook a squash, it's going to be good.
Also, did you know if you light candles, a regular ole supper becomes a romantic date? Truth.

But what's way more romantic than that is going on a walk at eleven pm because it's 70 degrees outside. That doesn't often happen in August and we couldn't stand to sit inside knowing it was cool enough for a sleeve out there.

Also, have you read the 48 things that will make you feel old? If you're in your late 20s or early 30s, this junk is devastating.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#982 Fall Daydreaming.

Been wasting a little time on Pinterest today, thinking about:

I do this every year, but I think having this house to decorate is really ramping up my autumn adoration.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

#981 Creamy Pimiento & Cheese.

Tonight I was craving pimiento and cheese so I made up a new version of it that's so delicious I don't think I'll ever make it any other way ever again. I've got to share it with you!
1 jar diced pimientos
1 large block of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 small block of white Vermont sharp cheddar
1 8 oz. package of reduced fat neufchâtel cheese (beside the cream cheese)
big dollop of mayonnaise
garlic salt
onion powder
garlic powder
toasted salted chopped pecans (optional)

You've obviously got to grate the cheese yourself, combine with softened neufchâtel and other ingredients, add garlic salt to taste, and the pecans are a nice addition only if you like them. I served it tonight with (reduced fat) Wheat Thins, sliced red bell peppers, and red grapes. Such a great meal when it's hot outside, and this pimiento and cheese is creamier, more spreadable and less mayo-ish.

I might need to get one more taste before bedtime...
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