Monday, July 29, 2013

An unexpected purchase

Well... long story short, we bought a new car last week! Last Sunday was the beginning of a stress-filled week trying to figure out the best thing to do with one of our cars, but it all worked out for the best.  Kevin's car bit the dust a little earlier than we expected. We had been hoping it would last us until next summer, but some costly repairs made it blatantly obvious that it no longer made sense to keep putting money into it.
Kevin with his car on our last day with it!
Being a huge planner, I had already researched cars and figured out what we would probably buy next year and how much we wanted to spend... so even though this was pretty unexpected, we really just had to fast-forward our plan, and thankfully, we were able to make it work!  We bought a new 2013 Toyota Highlander SE in Magnetic Gray Metallic, and we're so happy with our purchase.
After we bought our new car!
The Highlander is perfect for us, because it is a crossover SUV that is built on an Avalon/Camry frame, it drives like a car (I like that!).  But it's better than a car because we can fit 7 people in it and it has lots of cargo room, when the seats are folded down.

We did get a few special features that we really liked while looking at them on the lot. We picked black leather interior and upgraded navigation and sound system. Kevin is loving being able to control his iPhone via controls on the steering wheel and access apps and music in the car. Well, since pictures are better than words, here it is in our driveway!

We are so excited, now we just need to make sure that it lasts us a very long time... which I know it will!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Media Room Gallery Wall

Long time no see! Things have been super busy around here, I'll post about that soon ;)

I finally got around to working some more on the decor in our media room. I knew that I wanted to incorporate a gallery wall into the design somewhere, but I couldn't figure out where exactly.  Well, I decided to use the dead space above the couch and came up with something pretty cool.

I've been collecting frames and items for the wall for a long time. It takes a lot more stuff than you would think to fill space well.  Plus, I wanted a varied look, with different color frames and shapes.
One of my favorite things in the gallery wall is this frame with old passports in it. These are passports of members of Kevin's family that we found and decided to put on display.  The one on the left is from Britain around 1920 and the others are mid 1900's US passports. This really goes with the world travel theme that I'm trying to pull in. 
I added a small floating shelf to the gallery wall to showcase our sentimental champagne cork collection. I've been debating for a while over what to do with the corks that we save from our anniversaries, and this seemed like the best option (better than stuffed away in a box, for sure!).  You will notice that a lot of the frames don't have real pictures in them yet. I went ahead and put the gallery wall up without finalizing everything. But, my plan is for these to be travel-themed, with maps or landscape pictures of places that are special to us, and pictures from our actual travels.
I got a new lampshade at Target to go on the floor lamp that I have in the corner. This made a big difference, I like the shape and linen texture of the shade. 
Oh, and I'm also currently working on accessorizing a bar cart-like shelf that will hang out in the back of the room. I think this will be both pretty and functional.  I can't wait to get this completed and show you! Here is some of the inspiration for that space:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Weekend Recap

Yes, I realize I'm late and it's almost time for the next weekend... but better late than never.  We had a great 4th of July!
Thursday we spent time at home relaxing and grilled out for dinner, with s'more after for dessert! :)
Then, we went downtown to watch the fireworks. We went with Kelsey and Brandon and sat on the roof of the building he works in. It was a fun night and nice spot to get away from all of the craziness downtown.
On Friday, we drove to the beach and spent the weekend with my family. We took the dogs out on the beach Friday night. They loved it! Rory was afraid of the waves, but he loved digging in the sand!
Saturday was spent out on the beach and cooked shrimp and grits for dinner! Then, we went back to the beach to take some family pictures. It was windy!!
Sunday we drove home in all of the traffic (yuck) and had a relaxing evening. Hope you had a fun, safe and relaxing holiday weekend!

P.S. This was 5 years ago today... we got engaged! It's crazy how time flies!!
The night we got engaged - 7/11/2008

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July

Happy (early) 4th of July! In case you're planning a party or get together with friends and family, I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas for the holiday.

Two years ago we threw a 4th of July party/cookout right after we moved into our house. It was a lot of fun. I made bunting from scrapbook paper and ribbon and painted terracotta pots to hold festive flowers on the deck. I also made a red, white and blue layer cake... yum! And of course, dressing up the dogs is always fun on a holiday. A red, white, and blue bandanna looks super cute!

Here are some other great ideas from Pinterest. Click the picture to take you to the source. 
4th of JulyRed Velvet Strawberry Shortcake.
4th of July straws... cute!cute idea for a centerpiece
yum, fruit pizza would be perfectBuckets with drinks and an attached bottle opener
Fourth Of July ice cubes4th of July Fashion Inspiration #vfbestdressed
LISA: This was a cute decor piece for maybe the entrance by the side gate? Or by the stairs on the patio?Happy Birthday America 4th of July Picnic
4th of July Decor4th of July Sangria
Patriotic sangria - combining two of my favorite things: 4th of July and sangria!!4th of July Menudiy 4th of july decorations | Inspiration : 4th Of July decor!  From Martha Stewart Magazinefestive pancakes for 4th of JulyRed, White, and Blueberry Salad.  This quick and easy blueberry caprese salad makes for a great summer bbq side dish!4th of july

Aren't those some awesome ideas? Happy 4th of July!!
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