Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Table

We have a section off our back hallway that just screamed for an entry table. It needed exact dimensions, which made it hard to find. Searching on craigslist led me to Paul Nooks, who builds custom furniture. I emailed him a picture of a table I liked from Crate and Barrel, and he built one to the dimensions I needed. Highly recommend him, if you live in the Atlanta area and need furniture. Or, even if there is something at pottery barn or another store you really like, he may be able to build something similar.
Without further is the table.

We like it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wrestling matches

I'm posting at Planted again today. What do you wrestle with?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The finished product

The result of the chandelier adventure.

Aaron gets husband of the year for being the "professional installation" as well as unwrapping and unpacking the 216 glass links. They were amazingly easy to hang. (my contribution.)
I love it.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 21, 2011

The other half

While a lot of the "decorating" decisions around our house are mine, I don't want you to think my husband has no input or contributions. He does! I'm concerned with the appearance of things, he's concerned with how well it actually functions. Thanks to him, our house "works".

We recently cancelled our cable so we could save money and spend less time watching junk just because we could. We now have Apple TV, which let's you purchase the shows/movies you want in iTunes and then watch them on your TV. Aaron found Apple TV, researched the actual amount we would probably spend on shows we already like, and did the math to decide if it was worth it. Also, once we got rid of the bulky DVR, all our cables were showing and it looked a mess. So, he spent several hours finding shorter, cheaper cords one night. The result is a much neater media system! Not to mention it's thanks to him that we have the user friendly media system we have. Our technology makes our lives easier, not more complicated. That is all due to him!

Most of our picturesque old books are his.

This is not so picturesque, but it's my favorite. These sticky notes are just stuck on the wall in our guest room by the desk. It's Aaron's outline for the bible study "Tapestry" he's currently writing and teaching. The greatest contribution Aaron makes to our home is his willingness to serve and follow the Lord. My home and life would be considerably emptier without him.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where to find me

I'm posting over here today. Come drop by and say hello!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Practically since we moved in, I've wanted to change out my chandelier in the dining room. It's not awful, but just not my style. I couldn't find anything I loved to replace it. My number one decorating rule is if you don't love it, don't buy it. I found this one this past fall I think.

I thought about it, and thought about it, and dreamed of it. It was a pretty up there price point- but I finally decided, after searching and searching and finding nothing even close to it's equal- I bit the bullet and bought it.
After thinking about it for so long you can imagine that I was waiting in anxious anticipation for it to arrive. It was supposed to arrive today. We got home from dinner and there it was! I couldn't wait to open the box. I knew we couldn't hang it today, but I just wanted to see it in all it's beautiful glory in person.
You can imagine my surprise when this was what I found.

Yes, those are the individual glass links for the chandelier. There are 216. The point on the website that says "some assembly required" doesn't quite cover it. In their defense, since the links pretty much just hang on one another and the frame, there really was no other way to ship it. I guess I was just thinking they were somehow attached to each other....silly me right?
Mom, to answer your question, to dust/clean it I will simply pull off all the links and put them in the dishwasher. There you go.
So, to enjoy my chandelier I'll have to just wait a little longer. Pictures to come when it's (ahem) "assembled". Plans are for Friday. Meanwhile, Tabby thinks it's pretty cool the way it is. Boxes and tape are two of her favorite things.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Working on it

The creative juices have been flowing lately and I'm so glad. It seemed like they were kind of dry for awhile. There is a peace and joy that comes from doing God's will that spills over into the rest of life. I mentioned that the last year was rough, and it was. But, I don't want you to think that it was all THAT bad. Really, it wasn't compared to what so many other people have gone through. But God used last year to "winnow" me and refine me, and that hurts sometimes. In a good way. And by no means is that process over. Homegirl is SO far from perfect is isn't funny. But God sees fit to call and use me anyway, and for that I'm so thankful.
Around Thanksgiving this past year, God planted the idea in my heart for this. It's coming to fruition, and I can't wait to see what He does. You can get on board too! It's gonna be fun!
The creative juices are flowing around the house too, and I've got multiple projects in the works. Can't wait to show you what's going on. I've had a couple of people ask me how I do certain things- like choose paint colors, figure out what to keep and what to throw away and how to orgainze. So much of that is intuitive to me, I don't really know my process. So, I'm going to try and work on that- and crystalizing some other fuzzy thoughts I've had. So- to sum up, I've got some ideas for the blog this year and what I want it to be. I'm planning on trying to improve my writing skills and communicating some things in a more useful way for you.
On another note: we had ice and snow this WEEK. Yes, it fell Sunday night and is still hanging around on Friday. I've never seen it stick around this long. Needless to say- its been yucky.
Mom and I braved the ice to go to Atlanta yesterday for her late birthday gift- seeing "Beauty and the Beast" at the Fox. We had a great time. Thanks for being such a great mom, Mom. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Filing System

The morning of January 1, 2009 my bleary eyed husband found me sitting in the floor of our den (which was kind of an empty room at that point) surrounded by stacks of papers- filing them. I don't know how many of you choose to spend your holidays filing- but I think if you do or don't you'll like this post.
Has anyone else noted that adulthood comes with an awful lot of paperwork? Leases, a car loan, titles, utilities, bills, licenses, insurance paperwork, resumes, job applications...we'd had all that since we got married. Now we had home loan paperwork, homeowners insurance paperwork, manuals on appliances, was multiplying at an alarming rate. And somehow when you own the home, the paperwork seems that much more valuable. It seemed like whenever we needed something we couldn't find it. I would spend hours going through it and then a couple of months later we still had stacks of paper sitting around we didn't have a place for. Needless to say I was overwhelmed. It had gotten to the point that checking the mail stressed me out. I "resolved" to find a solution, so I googled filing systems. I found this one, loved it, but didn't think I really needed to pay all that money for it. So, I'm sharing my adaptation. We've had this for two years now, and it has been all that it promised in the beginning. I found all my supplies at either Wal-Mart or Office Max.

You will need:
A file drawer or filing boxes.
Hanging file folders:
24 green
About 5 yellow
9 Blue
About 10 Red
(If you can't find different colored file folders you could just use different colored labels)

1. Label your green folders by month- and even and odd year. (January Even Year, February Even Year so on through December and then January odd year and February odd year and so on.) 2010 is an even year, 2011 is an odd year. These are your "Non-permanent files". The green folders hold any paperwork that comes into your home in the month listed on the file. Bills, receipts, quotes, school papers, bank statements etc. Unless the paperwork fits into another file- which we'll discuss later. You file it and forget it. If you need it, you go back and find it- but you should have a good idea where it should be. After you've had the system for two years, these folders will all be full. (I just got to this point.) This is the beauty of this system. If at any time, you have to go back and get papers from one of these folders, move those papers to the folder of the month you are in at the time you needed them. Then, when you get to January Odd year for the second time, all those papers in that folder you will not have used or needed in the past two years. It's pretty safe to say you don't need them anymore. So, you throw them out and now January Odd year is ready to use. Easy as that!
Because of this system- you will always have things from the past two years, giving you time to figure out if certain papers are important or not, and cleaning out the files is a cinch!
File any existing papers that fit into these folders as appropriate.

2. Label your yellow folders based on your needs. The yellow folders are your "Important but not permanent files" that you probably rotate out on a yearly basis. The labels I have on mine are "Benefits," "Auto Insurance," "Homeowners Insurance," "Retirement," and "Utility Contracts." If you change health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance- just rotate the papers out.
File any papers you have that fit into these categories as appropriate.

3. Label the Blue folders as follows: "Taxes Even Year," "Taxes Odd Year," "Tax Year 1," through "Tax Year 7."

File any tax paperwork for this year (2011) in "Taxes Even Year"- because it is related to Taxes for 2010. The tax paperwork you used to file last year would go in "Taxes Odd Year" because it related to 2009. Any tax paperwork you have from years before that file into "Tax Year 1-7" as appropriate. Our tax paperwork from 2008 is now in the "Tax year 1" folder. 2007 is in "Tax year 2" and so on and so forth. They rotate back as the years progress. Every year you can get rid of your "Tax year seven" folder with confidence because the IRS can't audit you past seven years. (And it's really nine years, because you have the most recent two years in Taxes Even and Odd Year folders.) If you would feel more comfortable, you could always extend your number of years out to ten if needed. That's a personal preference.
Any tax paperwork you get in the mail file in the "Taxes Even Year" folder, and pull it out when you're ready to file. It's all in one place. And you know where to find any from years back!

4. Label your red files as you need for "Permanent" files. There is a file labeled "Home," I have a file named "Natalie," Aaron has a file named "Aaron", each of our cars has a file and our cats both have files. We keep health information, tune up records, vet visits, voter cards, my nursing license information, etc in those files. File papers into those files as appropriate.
We also have an additional file box labeled "Manuals"- and it's where we keep the manuals on computers, phones, appliances, electronics etc. If you throw out an appliance or get rid of electronics, just go through the files and pull out what goes with whatever you're getting rid of. The labels I have are: "Small Appliances," "Large appliances," "Computers and Accessories," "Phones," and "TV and video."

Finally, the number one rule for a successful filing system:
Touch each piece of paper that comes into the house only once. Immediately either throw it out, file it, or put it in a "To Do" bin. Don't let too much time go by before cleaning out your "To Do" bin.

I hope this helps you conquer your paper anxieties! Happy Filing!

(My white file boxes were about $12.00 apiece at Wal-Mart. They are stored on this.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Food, Friends and Photos...

A bonus with my job at the hospital is that, while I have to work three twelve hour shifts a week, I have four days a week off. Now on the days I work, that's pretty much all I do. You don't have much energy left after 12 hours of caring for sick people. But my days off...I get a whole day! The result is I have time to actually cook. Not just fix something to eat but really get in the kitchen and cook. Which I did tonight for Aaron, myself, and a couple from church who will be celebrating their one year anniversary tomorrow. Again, many thanks to Ina for her wonderful recipes. You can find our menu here. Note: if you do make the steak, make sure you have a really large pan or either small steaks. Our steaks were huge, and I didn't have time to cook them in batches in my less than large enough pan. So, I put them in the oven to finish- and while they still tasted good (the bernaise sauce was amazing!) they lost the crispy outside you kind of want with a steak even though I braised them. Oh well.

And, in the process of uploading those photos of the food off my phone I realized I had a ton of photos I hadn't uploaded in a while. I thought I'd share! This past October we took a weekend trip to Savannah to with some friends to see a comedian we like. Of course we took some time to shop. If you ever visit Savannah do two things. Eat at "The Lady and Sons" (best dining experience I've had) and visit "The Paris Market." It's an antique store (sort of) in downtown Savannah. I could have moved in.

Necklaces made from old sorority pins and other things...ADORABLE.
Yes, that is a mercury glass skull. I don't know. Aaron is channeling his inner Hamlet. But notice the very cool lamp behind him.
Just an incredibly cool display. The whole store was like this...major eye candy.
Who would have thought that a bunch of old flashlights could be so picturesque? Seriously, you have to go.

We finally got the back hallway painted and new doors hung on the utility closet and laundry. Both sets of doors were dark wood with slats. Now the hallway is a lovely off white with bright white doors on both places. I bought these to dress it up some. Aaron and I found the mirror in Elijay, GA on our trip to see fall leaves. I ordered the print off line. I'm going to have to try and remember the store. I'll post pictures of the finished hallway when its done. I've got a few things left to finish up.

I sewed this cape for my nephew Nathan for Christmas. Sewing isn't my favorite thing usually, but this was kind of fun to do. He had a great time running around in it shooting his Uncle Aaron with a Nerf gun.

And finally a few shots of sweet kitty cats napping in comfy places. I'm feeling the vibe and heading to my own comfy place to sleep. Good night!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Clean and Fresh

What is it about this time of year? I literally want to throw out everything nonessential in my home. I want clean and spare. I think it may possibly be a rebound effect from Christmas decor...I may not put as much up next year. We'll see. At any rate, I would love to move in here. And it also has me thinking about my priorities in life. I don't want to be consumed with "having". Scripture says "Godliness with contentment is great gain". I want to be content with what I've been given. And I want to be able to enjoy what I have. This article says it much better than I ever could. You know...I'd move into her house too. :) Currently, I'm practicing being content-with a sweet kitty helping me post!

Tabi thinks it would be a good idea if I spent more time napping. You know-she may be right.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A year in Pictures

The Christmas Tree- with lights only.
Aaron's car decked out for "trunk or treat"
Our trip to the beautiful north Georgia mountains this fall
Some photos from a photo shoot with the talented Jessica Villemain

At the Aquarium with my sis-in-law and nephew and niece
still at the this photo.
The clan at the farm.
My niece at the farm this summer
Doing some local mission work with friends from Church

New Year...renewed interest.

Wow. It's been almost a whole year since I've posted. I hate that. But, I stopped because I was going through some rough things. 201o has not been the best year. And, honestly, I didn't trust myself to put a whole lot of my thoughts out there to be "published". But, I'm also sad I didn't post because we did have some good times and creative ideas that I wish I could have shared with everyone. We made more progress on our house. All that's left is the kitchen and our master bathroom. Those require more than just a coat of paint and some pretty things. I have high hopes. 2011 is a new year. I'm so thankful God gave us the changing of seasons and passage of time to help us refocus and renew. It's such a blessing. I also have a new job. No longer am I a school nurse. I went back to my roots in the ICU. I'm loving it. It was a good change. I do miss the kids and many of my coworkers at the school, but they are just a visit away!
So, to begin the year, not only do I want to restart this blog, but I'm beginning to start a new one with some ladies at my church. Check out the inspiration and purpose of it at
Come follow us and read through the Bible in a year with us! We'd love to have you! And, stay tuned around here for the projects and cooking adventures of 2011. First up...dinner with some friends this Friday. It's their anniversary. I'm thinking something special and romantic...
Happy New Year.