"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dining Room Evolution

Hi! I thought I'd jump back in to blaaaahging by sharing some rooms in our home.  
Don't really know why. Doing it anyway.
We live in a cozy Craftsman that most days feels big enough for the four of us. 
A big part of why our ~1300 sq ft works is because of the ways we use it.  Over the next few days I'm going to share some things that help us maximize our 3 bedroom, 2 bath in the 'burbs.
(Bear with me on the photos... some of these are old and interior photos/ artificial lighting can throw colors off.)

2008 right after we first moved in:
-"Burnt Plum" walls (not this dark in person but they were very very saturated.  And yes, I picked the color and it took 3 coats)
-mini-blinds that came with the house
-no window treatments
-craigslist table and chairs purchased for $100 (I think)
-tiny little wine buffet/rack in the corner (you can barely see)

2009 or 10
-"Pebble Courtyard" walls (Better known as Caucasian around my house.  We decided at the last minute to have the plum painted over while we were out of town for the weekend and I literally walked into Home Depot, picked up a swatch, and bought the paint.  I have no idea they would be so peachy-pink-white-person and hated it for a while.)
-New 2" blinds we installed throughout the house
-Curtains chosen to compliment the Seinfeld-esque wall color. (I wasn't changing it so I might as well work with it.)  I would have preferred them to be hung higher but these were a standard length that I could buy at Target.  I was looking at twice the price if I decided to do all my curtains at the longer length.)
-Benches for the table to replace the chairs since we broke one (or two?), bought at JC Penney's online outlet

-New bar-height table bought at the Home Comfort outlet.  We saw it in the showroom and it was a little more than we wanted to spend.  The outlet had the exact same table and chairs for several hundred dollars cheaper due to a few superficial scratches.  With two small children those are inevitable, so we were thrilled! (sorry this is the only pic I have of the table in the dining room.)

Family office (I will show you where the table now lives another day)
Bad lighting-- black and white looks better, but you get the picture... ha.

-Four glass-topped tables from Ikea.  The surface can be written on with a dry-erase marker.
-Two white (again, bad lighting-- they are bright white in person and the office is the brightest room in the house) rolling desk chairs from Ikea for the kids.
-Two comfy brown leather desk chairs from Office Depot for adults.  I originally wanted them all to match and not be "office-y" but function had to win when you are talking about doing real amounts of work from a seated position.  With J's job and my online classes, a nice cushy chair was a must.
-Semi-sheer white curtains with whimsical botanical print from Ikea.  
-Pictures in frames I threw up at the last minute before guests arrived one time.

My desk: lots of natural light which I love/need, especially during Winter months.  I'm facing the front door and living room.

Katie's table for coloring, etc. is right next to mine.
I like how the aqua glass table top works with the rest of my furnishings.

I really wanted something more than just the all-white curtains I originally had, but still wanted to let in as much light as possible.  These quirky drawings of trees, leaves of birds seemed to suit a family office that is right in the middle of a house. :)

My view from my chair:  
I can see what the kids are watching if I'm on the computer.

As soon as I can find another one in this pattern at Target, I'm buying an organizer for my desk.  That way I will have a place for my textbook/iPad/bills.

BigBoy and J's side:
J has his monitor mounted because he's tall.  

Also, he has it rigged so he sits his closed laptop on the little rack in the back (used to store electronics), pop a connector in real quick, and use the keyboard/track pad/ monitor instead.
(I should mention that he knows how to run cables and cords neatly so we can accommodate such a clean space.)

The circular pink thing is an old iPod dock that we use as a speaker since his monitor does not have built-in speakers.  The guys like to play computer games together and I love that I can keep an eye on him and be available to help with homework while cooking dinner and walking around the house.

BigBoy has room to do his homework by tucking away his keyboard and mouse in the organizer when they aren't in use.   It also provides space for an iPad, pencils, math workbooks, etc.

So that's the evolution of our dining room and we are thrilled with it's current incarnation.

What do you think?  Thoughts? Questions?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Workouts

Well look at that, I still know how to type!

I haven't blaaaaaahged in FOR-EVER but I know you know that.  At first it was because life was fun and busy and I was more interested in living it than writing about it.

Not that any of that has changed now, but it was my initial reason for a break.

Also, I had my college course.  But it ended.  Then I decided I was going to focus on writing my book and writing my blog would be a distraction.

But I forgot that writing my blog posts and taking photos for them was like the Zumba classes I do between hard (for me) runs. They are the fun workouts that help keep me in shape for my bigger, more difficult tasks at hand -- like preparing for a 10k or actually composing chapters of a book I've always dreamed of writing.
So blogging is my creative mind's Zumba.

Sure, let's go with that.  (Hey, I'm still on migraine meds at the moment. Cut me some slack...)

If you're on facebook, many of these pics are going to be repeats.  I'm just going to pull random pics that represent the past several months in our lives and hopefully fill in some details over the next week. But for now, it's great to be back.
Even if no one is left out there to read this, it's good to get a little creative cardio in for day! :)


P.S. It looks like 99.9% of these are iphone shots, so sorry. Also, they are really more just random photos of the kids.  At least the grandparents are happy.  :)  Like I said, I need to get my creative mind back in shape!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

(*Sorry but I'm reusing an old post from two years ago.  I haven't taken many non-iPhone photos lately, but I plan to remedy that soon.  Also, the pics were taken in my hometown in Tennessee.)  

Whether you are in the city or the country,

Surrounded by Spring's finest,

Or blooms only a child can love...

May you embrace your abundant blessings,

And have a Happy Easter!

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
-- John 11:25-26

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grandparents, cookies, and snow.

What more could a kid want, right?
Recently our family met my parents in the mountains of North Carolina. (Banner Elk area)

We had a much shorter drive, but Gramps and Granny were still happy to make the 6-hour drive to come see 50% of their grandbabies.  (Luckily the other half lives a little closer to them now.)

 It snowed a couple of the days we were there, resulting in a perfect winter view out every window in the house. This is the view from the living room.

This was also the view from the living room -- an outdoor thermometer perched just above the couch so you could easily glance and check the temp.  Some days it was only in the teens, but we were nice and cozy on the couch with the faux-fur blanket.

Occasionally we would bundle up and head out for some snow ball fights, sledding, and snow angels.

 We didn't have any fun at all. ;)

(Trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue)

Luckily we have a Jeep Wrangler now so we were able to climb the driveway and maneuver the roads. My parents didn't make it up to the house on their own until the day we left to go home!

After a while we'd get rosy-cheeked and head inside for more Hallmark-movie-inspiring fun.

We played lots of Mexican Train Dominoes. (BigBoy was a bit obsessed)  BabyCakes pretty much carried her toys upstairs then downstairs, and over and over again, with occasional breaks for dancing to the Disney music we had playing on the TV.

 Oh and there were cookies.  Um... dozens.  Yep, dozens. (This is NOT a "WW Wednesday" post!)

We all left happy and rested, without a negative word to say about anything.  We had a really, really great time in the cozy little home in the mountains!

Next time we just need a bigger house and the rest of the family. 
(Molly and Sally, Thanksgiving 2013? I'll bring the turkey... and the cookies.  :)  )