Sunday, March 15, 2015

Decorating from Zero

Six months into this whole suburbanite home owner thing, and we are still so, so, so happy with life these days. It's been a never-ending adventure. Sure, we are battling weeds in a yard and weird bumps in the night that never used to be an issue in our one-bedroom condo. But, it's been such a fun adventure!! One of the biggest things I have loved about being in our new home is that we can make it ours. From paint to furniture and wall decor, we are starting from a blank slate.

Well, maybe not a totally blank slate. Take, for example, the lovely recessed ceiling wallpaper border and dual-color paint job that came with the house in the dining room:

I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of the window treatments that were also in this room when we bought it. They were poofy and pleated, and didn't match either of the paint colors OR the trim. Tearing those things down was the very. first. thing I did when we walked in after the closing, I think even before we poured that celebratory first glass of champagne!

The laundry room has some similar earth tones going on, this time in pea green. See photo at left below. So clean and cheery, right? And the upstairs guest bath, the photo on the right? I can't even. Thankfully, it at least matches our shower curtain and towels, although I would have preferred a happy moss green to this shade of ... brown. This room in particular is on the short term weekend to-do list, no doubt.

No home is without its decorating challenges, and while some might be overwhelmed by it, I take it as a challenge (say that with a nice Eurpean accent, "shall-ange"). I have been scouring home decor magazines for inspiration, and I know that a coat of paint and something on the walls can make a huge difference without spending a lot of dollars.

What to put on the walls is a statement in itself. In our kitchen, we have two large canvas photo prints from our honeymoon. Upstairs, we have our monogram "guest book" above the bed in our room, signed by all the wedding guests. I have boxed up the rest of our old black-and-white gallery wall for now (and may resurface the art in new frames soon) while keeping an eye out for other artwork to freshen up our space.

Have any of you tried out Minted before? It's an online marketplace of independent designers. It has the feeling of a boutique shop with the resourcing of an established big online store. What I love is that everything can come pre-framed, and they offer up a ton of frames to match your decor. So, if you are like me and loving the more rustic dark wood frames right now, they have you covered. Take this Georgia photo artwork for example:

Or this foil-pressed map. I love foil-pressed things for a subtle shine and some local personality. This one is of Atlanta's downtown streets. They have a large variety of other cities and states to pick from, too. I like how the gold pops against the "distressed cottage white" frame.

For rooms like my laundry room, I know I am going to be looking for something light and fresh to liven up the space, since there are no windows in there. Prints like this cheerful flower are right up my alley, and would look cute paired with another similar one, maybe like these pretty ones, once we repaint with a new color (I am thinking something very close to white).

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Minted's stationery line. Minted has gorgeous cards and invites for all occasions. They have a brand new Save the Date collection for all of you brides-to-be (or party throwers extraordinaire, for that matter). I am loving so many of these cards. This one comes in a variety of colors, but then you can custom pick a color, too! This would be so fun for a fun event of any kind, not just a wedding.

I love the phrasing of this one. It's not just "a" date, it's "your" date and you should make it yours!

I think what I love the most about their cards is the use of cursive or loopy handwriting fonts (my fav), and so many foil-pressed options! They all look so chic. And, the focus on photography in the cards is fab. For those of you with some killer engagement shots, this site has you covered so that you can focus on the image, vs. the copy. This one is a good example, where the copy doesn't take away from the shot:

So, whether you are home decor shopping, like me, or planning the next big event, go check out Minted! Let me know what you find! Have you shopped Minted before? What did you buy?
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Minted, but all opinions are my own! I was already shopping their site to begin with, too :) 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Out with the Old, and the Excess

What a whirlwind year it has been, friends. I don’t know about you, but I feel like as I get older each year, the time speeds by even faster. This year was a busy one, from work to home. There was a lot of travel for business …

And some for fun!

We sold one house …

And bought (and have been working on) another!

We skipped out on full-blown season passes in exchange for buying things for the house, but made sure to hit up some big games when we could: 

Had laughs with friends and family alike …

And ate really well: 

Whew! It’s only mid-way through another holiday season, and I have already had to put myself in check on health matters. All of that "good eating" has added up, especially when my new work commute has limited my options for workouts. By good eating, I don't always mean "good" as in "healthy!" The scale hasn’t moved too much, but I have not. felt. good. I have been straight up dragging, and spending my upcoming PTO time on the couch in recovery mode just isn’t going to work. I just don't have that kind of time and would rather make the most of my vacays. 

So, starting this week, I threw myself back into Weight Watchers with all of my might. Yes, my office might be giving away free breakfasts and lunches. Yes, the social events have snacks and drinks and sweets out the wazoo. But if I am already feeling like I usually do on January 1, over-spent on food and under-spent on energy, I need to kick some serious Katherine booty, like, now. Otherwise, I am not going to enjoy the rest of the season at all.

Maybe I am taking this space as an opportunity to cyber-guilt myself, sure. But, I am pretty sure a number of you are in the same boat, and I thought that there might be strength in numbers, without the excess. The cookies from this past weekend’s exchange were delicious – but now they are in the freezer, ready for enjoyment at a later date, one at a time. Our kitchen is stocked and our meals are planned. Freebies at work, I am ignoring you. Instead of a daily Chai, I am going to treat myself to maybe one each week. 

What are you doing to moderate yourself this season? 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Feeling Famous in the Hall of Fame

With the holiday break right around the corner, most of us are planning out what we can do when our loved ones come to visit us. Sure, there's the inevitable shopping trips and family meals, but what do you do when the food is all cleaned up, and the Big Game isn't on TV yet? 

Last weekend, my cousin came into town for the annual Georgia Tech-Clemson bout, and I was faced with the same question and wanted to make sure she had a great time on her visit. Luckily, I had earmarked a page from the paper from months ago, about the new College Football Hall of Fame, so we were set with a fun place to go!

Located in downtown Atlanta right by Phillips and the Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame relocated from South Bend and our beloved Fighting Irish back in August, and the new location just couldn't be cooler. It's an entirely interactive experience, anchored around the "all access" badge you receive when you walk in. Pick your team, and go explore! 

The entrance hall is pretty awesome alone. The helmets on the walls light up with a blue light as you pick your team. I picked Georgia Tech, Brad picked Auburn, and Erin picked Clemson. Then, as you walk through the museum, the badge is automatically picked up by the displays, and you get served up custom college content. Here's Brad checking out the interactive screen of Auburn videos and photos: 

And then right down the way on the same big screen, a section lit up to show me some Georgia Tech content. My favorite was watching the Ramblin' Wreck enter the stadium with the team :)

This museum is super-connected. If you participate in any of the interactive demos, the video and photos are tracked on your badge, and everything gets sent to your email address when you leave. So, in case you are wondering, YES, you can re-live that moment when you accidentally signed up for Fight Song Karaoke in front of the entire. freaking. room. of. people. and then had to sing and clap. Yep.


Goodness. Gracious. But if I can do it, so can you. #GoJackets #noshame #sorryimnotsorry What team would you sing a fight song for aloud, no questions asked? :)

In addition to the interactive content, there is just SO much to read and explore on your own in over two floors of museum displays. History, legends and traditions in college towns across the nation. Spotting your favorite college throughout is pretty easy, since most big NCAA schools seemed to be represented.

One last BB tip: GO SEE THE MOVIE. It is, in one word, AMAZING. I got chills and nearly teared up. If you are a sports fan, you are going to love it.

Happy Holidays, all, enjoy your Thanksgiving! And, Go Jackets, and War Eagle! 

Disclosure: I didn't receive any compensation from the CFB Hall of Fame for this post. We just had an amazing time, and I wanted to share this with you all!