Saturday, July 30, 2011

last birthday post. i promise.

this post is just to show you what i did on my birthday. then i will stop talking about my birthday. and dragging it on. and on. : )

i woke up to this:

yep, that's chick fil a breakfast and 2 dozen roses all over the apartment. and an origami dog haha : ) i have the best husband. for real. this is not debatable. 

then after i ate i watched this for awhile

i love this show. i was awake early. hate me if you want, but this was a good birthday morning for me : )

then my sister came over and we went to the mall. if you have ever heard of/ever been to the store charming charlie you can understand why this is a big deal. if you don't know what it is, let me enlighten you. you know those stores like claire's and the icing in the mall? they are like, itty bitty and they have jewelry and purses, but everything is semi cheap looking and they are kind of kid-ish stores? well, charming charlie is an accessory store like that, but about 7 bagillion times better. it is the. best. store. just listen. they have only what can be called "stations" all over a huuuge store. it's basically a big table with shelves underneath. and let me tell you, every spot and shelf is filled with something. and they are all divided by, get this, color. so if you think, eh i need a blue necklace. you go to the blue table and they have about 50 of the cutest blue necklaces you have ever seen. i should have taken a picture. it is such an adorable girly store. you can buy purses, jewelry, shoes and even clothes there. all divided by color and genre. you know, there is the "prom" table and the "rocker chick" table.. stuff like that. it. is. awesome. and of course there are about 50 crystal chandeliers lighting the store. shut. up. just, seriously. find out if you have one nearby and go. greatest invention for a girl i've seen yet.

so i bought a cute shirt for my evening endeavors and my sister bought my 2 pairs of earrings. it was so hard to choose. seriously, that's the only downside of this store. there are so many choices and you canNOT stop looking around for a minute to focus. everything is just begging you to look at it. man it's fun.

then my sister took me to tropical joe's smoothie place. so. yummy. i got a chocolate and peanut butter smoothie. to die for. shut right up. go get one. you'll thank me later.

then the BEST PART. my husband and sister took me to (get ready for this...) RASCAL FLATTS!! i have been dying to go to one of their concerts for aaaages. for real. my sister has gone 5 times now and i had never even gone once. and i got jealous every time she got to go. well. not this time friends. : )

here we are, waiting for flatts!! this is my beautiful sister rebecca : ) it was hot. like, hot beyond what is necessary. and we were on the lawn. in the sun. but we still had so. much. fun!!

me and phil!! and this is my cute shirt i got from charming charlie by the way : ) oh, and the earrings too! (go there.)

so we were so hot that i was just like, Lord for real please do something about this. it was way too hot for my liking. so guess what happened. it rained : ) it was sort of a heavy rain for a little bit, then it just sprinkled on us until the sun went down. nobody seemed to mind and it was nice because we were all cooled off. although it left us looking like this

photo courtesy of melissa : )
i know, my sister still looks perfect. that's why we hate her. : )

see? you can tell we really were pretty wet. my sister is just annoyingly cute and still looks like normal.
this photo also courtesy of melissa : )

melissa also still looks super cute. annoying. : )

here they are. the flatts themselves : ) this is also melissa's picture. i was poor at taking pictures post-rain. i guess i was just having too much fun to think about it. it was so great!

so that's what i did on my birthday. that's the end. it was a pretty good day. now i'm 25! yikes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a quarter of a century.

tomorrow is my birthday! i know, you're all happy because that means the birthday announcements will finally come to an end. but there is a purpose this time! my husband already let me have my birthday present which, as you know from this post was a shopping trip to IKEA!! oh my gosh, it was so fun. i think that makes it the 4th time i've been to this atlanta IKEA and it was the absolute fastest i have ever gone through that place. it was a little sad to just run through it and not really look at everything again since that's half the fun, but i was paranoid that the things i wanted would be gone by the time i got to the "shopping" part. i know, crazy right? they have about a million of everything, but i knew i wouldn't feel better until i had everything i wanted in my hands.

so then of course, as soon as we got home everything got put in its "place". i'm talking, we walked in, set our stuff down, pat the head of a cat or two and i ripped into my stuff. about 30 minutes later everything was as it should be : ) here's what i got!!!

this is what my living room looked like before IKEA

and after!!
i apologize for the picture quality in these photos.. it's difficult to take a picture of a room with little light facing a big window. trust me.

i bought:
a blanket
2 pillow covers
1 feather cushion
coffee table
2 plants
2 plant pots
2 trays
1 set of 17 pieces of storage containers

all for the low price of $125. i know, IKEA is amazing. for real. and they aren't even paying me to say this. that is a whooole lotta stuff for that price. it was awesome. i felt like just adding the lack coffee table (for $20!!!) changed my apartment completely. and now i have somewhere for my feet to sit when i type up my blog while sitting on my sofa : ) you know what else i love about IKEA? their stuff is good quality. look at this stuff

adorable good quality stuff, right? i know!! i don't think i've ever made that amount of money stretch so far. geesh i love that place. i need to go back. like, 7 more times. there is still so much stuff i want there! i know what you're thinking, how could there be anything else left? but that's the beauty of it. it's so huge and there is so much stuff, there is always something more to want to bring home. best. place. ever.

seriously, if you have one nearby, go. that's all i have to say on the matter : )

Monday, July 25, 2011

3 years. : )

today is the third anniversary of the day i married my husband. 3 years ago we stood in a garden in downtown atlanta and promised to be married to each other. i promised to respect him as the head of the home as Jesus is the head of the church. he promised to love me as Christ loves his church. well, he is doing a much better job keeping his promise. there are times i admit that i want to be in charge. i want to decide things because i think i know better. there have been times i've gone running down a path hoping for phil to catch up because i just "know" that this is where we should be going. it doesn't matter if we're going in the right direction or not, when i do that i lose my protection. phil is the head of the home, and he stands as my protector.. he is a covering over me to keep me safe. i try to remember that now, so i don't take off running without him. i need to remember my place in the home and my promise to respect him and his place. when we are in the places God made for us, we can't go wrong.

phil has pretty much kept his promise perfectly. i have no doubt that he loves me. he listens to me, he does activities that he would consider boring just because i like them, he supports me in everything, he provides for our little family, he never complains about the fact that i stay at home, he helps me around the home even though he works and i stay home and never complains about that either, he lets me paint everything we have and then says things like "it looks cool" instead of calling me crazy, he trusts me to take some risks around the home and no matter what i do he tries to like it, he trusts me when i hear from the Lord about something and he doesn't question me.. and the thing i think i appreciate the most is that this past year when i just felt God telling me to stay at home and just be phil's wife during this time, phil never questioned it and never ever pressured me to get a job. even when things looked pretty bad and i questioned myself and thought, "did God really say that to me?" (which by the way is what the devil asked eve in the garden, so this has been his tool forever.. so watch out when you hear this in your head. just sayin.) and i started looking around for a job again (and one never came), phil never ever put pressure on me to do that. and when i told him that i don't think my blog will ever be one that brings in money he said, "i just want you to do what you love and i don't care if it never makes a cent," which still brings tears to my eyes that he loves me that much so he just wants me to be happy and do what i love, no matter what. and hopefully sometime in the not so distant future he will support me in my greatest passion and desire, which is to be a mother. he is already supporting me in this of course, but i just mean when i am in that actual role as the mother of his children, i know he will be my greatest support and will be our provider and protector (besides the Lord of course).

there is no doubt in my mind that i chose the best man for the job of being my husband. he is the best at loving me and -bonus- he is great at dealing with my crazy : ). mostly that means he lets me be a little crazy, but then he is like okay jessica, reeeeign it in girl. but somehow i feel supported even when he is helping me reign myself back in.. he is the best husband. happy anniversary phil!!! : )

3 years married and still dancing at weddings : )

Thursday, July 21, 2011

shopping vs diy'ing.

do you ever get the urge to just go shop and spend money? i mean, within reason people. okay, without reason too haha. sometimes i just get this urge that i want to go shopping, buy new things and spend just a little money. obviously we are in general pretty careful with our money. that's what this blog is all about. i find ways to decorate super cheap so everybody in this household is happy : ) but occasionally the diy bug leaves and the shopping bug seriously takes over. i have a couple little projects i could do around here, but mostly i don't want to do them. i want to just go buy some things, you know?

i don't like to be irresponsivle with my money. i like to save it and be a good steward. i like to give money away, and to be able to do that we are careful about our spending habits of course. but every once in a while i just get the urge to go on a shopping spree. i want to buy new things just for the thrill of buying new things, and the excitement of bringing them home, and then the even greater excitement of realizing "ohmygoshitlookssogoodthere!!!"... you know what i mean?

well, lucky for me... MY BIRTHDAY IS IN A WEEK! wahoooo! (that may be the first time in my life i have said "wahoo". i like it.) sooo for my birthday, guess what i asked my husband for. just guess. have i told you guys this already? i don't remember... well too bad if i did, i asked for a trip to the atlanta IKEA. yessssssssssss : ) so he is letting me go on a teeny tiny little shopping spree, which is great since their products are so lovely and cheap as well! which reminds me, as i type this i realize i had a nightmare last night that they were closing IKEAs and raising prices because they weren't making enough money. thank God it was just a dream, right? (yes, you may laugh that my nightmares are about home stores closing, go ahead.)

so anyway, as i was saying i am going to IKEA to spend a little money. i think it's necessary for all girls who love to shop to be able to spend a little money doing so every once in awhile. it's therapeutic. and some people may think, but that takes the fun out of the present because you are buying it instead of your husband. not so, my friend. the present is the very shopping experience with the added bonus of being able to buy some things. yay!! i have been scoping out the IKEA situation online (you think if i mention the name enough they will see this and sponsor another shopping spree for me? yah, me neither.) and i have made a list of things i want to buy. in fact i have pinned them to my pinterest page. but i will show you what i have my eye on : )

the OFELIA blanket is $19.99. i am in love with it, it's so cute! i need this.

one of these plants and this adorable little planter for it. less than $10 for the pair. i want it for the guest bath. so cute!

listen. this LACK coffee table is $20. that's all. i have some ideas in my head of how to make it way more awesome. i got my inspiration from bhg's catalog this month

aren't those awesome? IKEA LACK side tables. i know, right? i want to do something like this, but i have to figure out where to get nailhead trim because i don't think the nails will hammer into the table nicely..

this little adorable feather cushion is $14.99. i love it! i want it for the sofa. so. adorable.!

 there are just a couple other little things i want also, but these are my favorites. i am so happy my birthday is coming. usually i am not this crazy about my birthday, but we spend money so infrequently that i am just looking forward to a day when i can spend a little and not feel guilty at all. who doesn't want a good excuse to go shopping??! that's right, nobody doesn't want a good excuse to go shopping.... there are probably better ways to say that.... : )

Monday, July 18, 2011

making coffee filter flowers.

this is kind of an exciting day. at least in the decor side of my brain. i have finally sort of kind of maybe pinpointed a favorite style! yikes! i feel hesitant to pick one style because i don't want to get boxed into one kind of style and never be able to find my way out... you know what i mean. but holy cow listen to me. you must click this link and check out this style i have realized i am totally in love with. seriously. click it, then come back. i mean it. you won't be sorry.

see what i mean? oh. my. goodness. gracious! so i have realized i looove the style of mixing rustic and romantic pieces together. i mean, some exposed beams with a crystal chandelier is like heaven to me. i just love the two opposites working together to balance each other out. i think it's pretty close to french country style, which makes sense. but it's kind of exciting because i thought i just liked what i liked and didn't really have a sense of direction. now i have one and it's nice. not that i'm going to run right out and make my entire home "fit" this style, but i just like having a favorite, you know?

so this being the case i thought i should go about mixing some romance with some rustic-ness (no, i couldn't think of a better word, sorry) to celebrate my new found love for this style. recently i collected these from outside when i de-red-ified our living room

i mean, let's be honest. this is already pretty feminine but i wanted a little bit more. so i decided to make flowers for a few of the sticks. i am sure you have all seen at least one of the gazillion pictures out there of tissue poms. that is where i got my inspiration for this project. i thought of cutting the tissue paper down smaller and making tiny poms to go on the sticks, but then i remembered i had a bunch of coffee filters. they are already small and have scalloped edges which look more flower-like so i realized it meant much less work. always a plus. so here is what i did.

first i gathered everything i would need

yup. that's it.

then i took 2 coffee filters

stack them together and fold them in half

then fold it in half twice more

then glue along the bottom with glue and fold it over to make it all stay together

don't fold over too much or you won't be able to spread the flower out as much

then just fan it out like you would a tissue pom

then since my sticks are against a wall i just glued the flower to the front of the stick intead of facing toward the ceiling so i would see only the pretty part

if you wanted it to sit as a centerpiece or something you could just make another flower for the other side and glue the backs together so you wouldn't see the folded and glued ugly part

i made 3 big flowers and 1 small one. i made the small one by cutting the tops off of 2 filters and rolling them into a little rosette. simple.

hobbes like to help me whenever i am crafting on the floor.

see how cute and pretty? so easy. and i love it! it makes a big difference to me.

now my only challenge is to keep my style from getting too girly so my husband still feels at home... i'm sure he'll help keep me in check : )

Thursday, July 14, 2011


this is a serious problem here. i need help deciding about a color. i know, always the dilemma for a decorator. but for real, i am kinda stumped here! (no this isn't about my new stump i just got).

okay i have these side tables in my bedroom, right?

well i decided i wanted to put glass on the top to make it a little more formal looking... or something.. i don't know exactly the term i was going for, i just know the look i was going for. well, one day i was thinking in the shower (this is where a lot of my good ideas hit me) and i thought about how i don't want to get glass cut especially for the table because hello, expensive. so i thought i could buy some wood boards and spray them with some really shiny silver paint and that would add the bit of reflectiveness and formality (or whatever) that i want there.

oh, and i forgot to mention my hairy cat hobbes likes to sit on the tables. i have NO idea why. he sits there and gets fur all over the table cloths. crazy cat.. so i figured with glass or something, i could just dust it and it would be easier than getting the hair off the fabric.

so i went to home depot and bought two wooden boards for $5 a piece. they cut them for me right there to the exact size i needed. i bought some krylon metallic silver paint, and i sanded and painted the boards. i didn't buy finish yet, so maybe it'll be better once i put some finish on them. but here they are

you can see the wood grain, which i think is actually kinda cool. i'm just not sure about the color though. i have a lot of brown in that room and i wonder if i should have gone with some sort of bronze-y kind of paint. or was this a bad idea and i should just find something else to do with these guys and stick to the original plan of glass? will adding finish change it a lot? see, i just don't know these things and i need some advice. i will be putting finish on them anyway since hobbes still enjoys sitting up there and i don't want his little claws ruining them.

so what do y'all think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a small look outside.

so i promised i would be back some time soon with a project. i am making good on that promise right now. also i just now i realized i start a lot of sentences (and proably blog posts) with the word "so". i guess i feel like i'm just in the middle of a conversation and i'm bringing up a new subject.. who knows. well anyway, i have done a few projects around here and i have to say, it was hard to choose which one i should show first. well, since it's summer and all i have decided to show a little of the outside progress on our little balcony. first i must show this

my stump!

yep. i got a stump! i am sure you have seen the stumps popping up all over blog world. the nester inspired me awhile back with her stump table post. i was so inspired by this picture

which originally came from karen at the art of doing stuff in this post. i was also beyond inspired by this picture

from alicia's post over at thrifty and chic. i loooove the rustic stumps painted glossy white. i also love the stained version with the lovely legs and shine. well, luckily my stump is big enough so that i don't have to choose! i am making two tables out of that guy. one will be stained and finished to go outside, and the other will be painted white to come inside. i've had it for about a week or so and it was very nicely suggested that the stump stay outside for about a month to dry out. i've been peeling bark off in hopes it will dry faster, but mostly i just don't want bugs in the house. also it's so super hot here this week that i wouldn't mess with going outside to work on that stump anyway.

oh and i just realized i forgot to tell you the good story of how i got it! well last week men came to cut down trees around the apartment complex. the one in front of my bedroom window that was blocking all the sunlight from coming in was one of the unlucky few chosen. so after they chopped it i told my husband something like, "oh i wish i could have a stump from that tree..." and phil, being the greatest husband ever put his shoes on and went right down there to ask if they would cut us a piece off the tree. i am not even sure what kind of tree it was. i looked up trees with very peel-y bark (technical term, don't worry about it) and it looked like it might be a river birch. but who really knows. i don't care. it's pretty and it's gonna be even prettier once it's dry in a few weeks. yessss : )

so now onto an actual project. since i got this stump i thought, hmm maybe i should put some seating outside so i will have something next to my table. yah i did it backwards. so i took the coffee table-turned bench out of my bedroom. i was sooo happy to do this by the way. it was taking up like, gallons of space. i know, space isn't measured in gallons but it seemed the only appropriate way to describe it. but i mean, really look at this

this is an old picture taken around when we first moved in, so you'll have to get past that to see that this bench takes up all kinds of room. seriously. gallons. it just made the room feel smaller and too cramped. so i wanted to move it outside. but i wanted a different fabric for it so i thought i might have to wait until i can buy fabric. nope! thanks to my new shower cutain i now had a big piece of nice fabric. it's called the old shower curtain.

yep. this pretty blue one in the background : )

so here is what i did. i yanked my bench out of the bedroom (seriously. it's heavy and large and awkward) and pulled it outside to make sure i liked it there first. i did. so i brought it back in to cover it. i also found some ugly pillows that came with our sofa to cover and put with the bench to make it more homey.

seriously lane furniture? why, oh why would you put those hideous pillows on my gorgeous sofa? who gave you that advice? i would never listen to that person again. for real.

first i had to cute all the loop-y things off the pillows

i like to call these mexican crazy strings.

after that was all done i was left with quite the pile of strings

i didn't take any pictures of the process because it's pretty easy and there are about a gazillion tutorials to choose from, so i will spare you. basically i just laid the shower curtain on the bench, lined it up how i wanted, then i just went around stapling it to the under side of the table top. then i just cut off the excess fabric. super easy. it took me like, 10 minutes at the most. then i made covers for the pillows out of the extra that was cut off. at this stage i realized i didn't have enough fabric for two large pillows, so i went and got one of our smaller sized pillows and forgot to take a picture of it. anyway, awhile later i was left with a covered bench and 2 pillows.

tah-dah!! isn't it pretty? i like it waaayyy better now. and the shower curtain is pretty water resistant, so i think it'll do well outside. i'll let you know after a little while.

pretty! i just love it!

soon that stump will be cut down and turned into a lovely table next to that bench. yay!

i have done a couple things out here since, but it's not ready for that reveal yet. mostly because i've been peeling the bark off the stump and it's just all over the little balcony. so it's a mess. one i don't feel like cleaning up to take a picture. but soon i'm gonna add curtains and a few other things, then it'll be ready for the full reveal. 

in the mean time, does anybody feel like peeling the bark off my stump in the 100 degree weather? anyone? yah, me neither.