Happy little … succulent

Get it? Happy little trees? Succulent? Just me?

I have not been shy about my lack of ability with photography. I just don’t have it in me. BUT! Last week I upgraded my phone to an iPhone, and you guys, that camera is like magic. I feel like my pictures are a lot better! I’m not too embarrassed to share some of them now. ;)

During my little day of freedom on Monday, I stopped by a newish Goodwill and found some fantastic goodies. For $7 I found a working brass desk lamp (looks kind of like this one), a set of cute teaspoons for a little idea I have, a small, braided hanging basket, and a little porcelain rabbit (I sprayed painted it with a bright, glossy blue exterior spray paint and he lives in the bushes now). 4 DIY projects for 7 bucks? I was super excited. I was most excited about the brass lamp because I have wanted one for.ever. and the little hanging basket.

When we moved into our house, one of the things I loved most was this little hexagonal window at the bottom of the steps that looks out onto the front porch. Apparently the previous owners had something hanging in the corner where the window was because a little hook was left behind in the ceiling. I always thought a plant would look cute there, but just hadn’t made that project a priority. $1 basket to the rescue!

Before

I wanted to try the dip paint that is so popular right now. I really like it, but I don’t know that I would love it in a big piece. So, a little hanging basket was the perfect opportunity for me to try this out. I gathered my basket, test pot of paint from Lowes, and a brush and headed outside. I was going to tape off the line where I wanted to paint, but that wasn’t working out so I just used one of the braids as a guide.

During

After I painted the bottom 1/3 of the basket I decided that I needed to paint the bottom as well since it would be hanging high up and we could see the bottom of it.

Chris and I picked up a succulent at Lowes to add to the basket. I wanted something that wouldn’t need a ton of water and since I have a black thumb, something low maintenance was a must. I love the little plant we got – it’s called Donkey Tail and I think it will get flowers on it later this summer. I will admit the name was a pretty convincing sell, too. It made me chuckle.

Plant

Then, I hit a little snag. It’s pretty obvious even from the picture that my pot was too big for the basket! I kind of knew that when I bought it, but thought I would chance it because I loved the Donkey Tail so much.

Oops!

Oops!

I don’t have any pictures of how I fixed this because it involved a lot of cutting of the plastic pot, seeing if I cut it down small enough and then sticking it all back together. The basket is lined with a protective fabric, but I just wanted some additional security that water or soil wouldn’t leak out. Eventually I got the pot jammed down in there and you can’t see it – so alls well that ends well!

I was so excited to hang up my little basket! It makes for such a happy corner.

Finished

It’s just so darling! It makes me smile when I come inside, go upstairs, and come back down. I love that it’s not too bulky and that the plant is big enough to drape over the sides a little. Eek! I am so pleased. For $11 ($1 basket, $10 plant) – I totally think it’s worth it.

This corner is behind the front door, before you go up the stairs. So, we see it a lot. Right now I have a mini-gallery with a couple photos from our wedding and other pictures of us. Eventually I want to paint that yellow the same color as the rest of the downstairs (Balsam, by Olympic) but figuring out how to paint the tall wall on the steps has me befuddled (and scared of heights). I think the basket really punches up an otherwise kind of boeing and simply functional corner.

These projects are my favorite! The simple ones that are kind of unexpected. And it’s not bad when they turn out better than you planned! Isn’t it so satisfying when something turns out so wonderfully? It happens rarely for me (usually I have a lot of roadblocks in my projects!); what about y’all?

Mid-Week Round Up 2

Happy Wednesday afternoon, y’all! I hope you have something fun planned to break up the work week. Wednesdays are actually the day I end up not working, so I’m able to clean up the house (it’s especially bad after Chris packs to head to work) and spend some time on fun projects.

Here are some of our favorite links from the past week!

Bonnie

1. Today I’m wearing this shirt ….

halter1

2. And I made these scones.

scones

I added a capful of almond extract to the recipe, my Mom’s secret ingredient, because they are for her very special birthday. I also sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and they turned out lovely. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Mom and I, circa Christmas 1985.

Mom and I, circa Christmas 1985.

 Mary Kate

1. I spotted this cookbook while we were visiting Chris’s sister a couple weeks ago. I ordered it from Amazon for a whopping 8 bucks and I am in love with it! I was feeling in a bit of a cooking rut, but this has already got me working on new recipes.

2. My sisterneighbor, Kathryn, snagged me this J. Crew necklace from our outlet for my birthday. I had a hard time finding outfits that worked with it during the colder months, but now that we’re into spring and summer, I see myself wearing this a lot for date nights, to dress up a casual t-shirt, etc.

JCrew Bubble Necklace

3. Um, can we talk about this room for a minute? Crisp kitchen, comfy chic sectional (nearly impossible to find! I’ve been on the lookout for months!), beautiful blues, fresh flowers, AND Corgis?! Y’all. Really.

living room

Mid-week Round Up!

Hi there! Here’s what MK and I are up to when we aren’t blogging, teaching, or otherwise being fabulous:

From MK:

This picture was inspiration for the menus at the baby shower I held last weekend. More details to come next week!

This looks like heaven. Corgis? Beach? 140+ corgis?

I’m trying a white chicken chili recipe tonight. I’ll let you know how this recipe comes out. Looks delicious to me! Gluten free to boot!


My favorite shirts. I already have the “Blue Ridge” one, but this Appalachia one is en route to my house! The Old Try, ftw!

 

Bonnie:

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Todd and I are constantly challenging one another on the Disney themed quizzes, but the trivia games on Sporcle are addictive regardless of your interest or expertise!

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Better Homes & Gardens has long been a reliable source for style advice, but it was somehow only last year that I took a second glance at the other part of their name. This morning, I just finished the garden that BHG planned for me using the Garden Plan Finder, and I am super pleased! (Pictures to come as soon as the sun cooperates!)

Tonight, we’re having one of our favorite meals – chicken fried rice from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats! Always yummy, and delightfully easy!

What are you up to this week, dear reader?

Vision Quest

The show Happy Endings is one of my favorites – check out reruns on ABC.com. Apparently, it’s in danger of getting the axe based on traditional statistical television viewing analyses (I don’t know either), but here’s a fantastic article that describes how it’s different from the other six attractive friends in an urban setting sitcoms that have sprung up since the success of Friends.

One character (Jane Kirkovich) is super organized and intentional about every. single. thing. she. does. She’s always trying to get her friends to be the same way (last week she tried to make over the friendly slob, Max). In the episode that inspired my post today, she tries to help Penny decide to happen to life, instead of having life happen to her.

So, it’s a silly sitcom, but I watched it at a time in my own life when I was trying to articulate just that idea. Thanks to Pinterest, I was quickly and easily able to assemble my own vision board of sorts. I named it “The Jane,” in honor of the character who inspired me.

Most of my own board appears to have become positivity central (Sidebar: does anyone else have Pinterest load only random parts of their boards occasionally?). I have also pinned visualizations I particularly liked that indicated, for me, what home is about, or career ideas, along with some very special role models. A few of the highlights that are cooperating at this time:

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The key component of an effective vision board is that it gives you a visual shorthand to feel inspired. Not in the way that window shopping or Pinterest does – this is not about having a to-do list. This is about feeling out what your life looks like when the to-do list becomes a been-done list.

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Bonnie’s 5 Favorite Spots at Home

Back Yard

This jungle-ish corner of our back yard is the first place in our home I got to really test my green thumb. It’s overstuffed with boxwoods, knockout roses, and various wild fauna.

Gallery Wall

This is the gallery wall in our dining room, over our breakfast nook. It features our parents, grandparents, Harker and us! It also features a sweet graphic that Todd gave me for Christmas last year that is going to feature heavily in a future update I’m planning…

Hark's Room

I adore sitting in Harker’s room, in his comfy glider, snuggling up with him to read, or watching him play with his Mega Blocks. This is the happiest room in the whole house!

Pegboard2

I adore this part of the kitchen – all of the color, the light clutter, and the easy utility.

Rose

Harker & Todd gave me six yellow rose bushes for my first Mother’s Day. I planted them along the front of the house, and they are a big part of what makes coming home so welcoming!

 

MK’s 5 Coziest Spots

Bonnie and I were talking about all the things we have in common and got onto the topic of how having a home that feels lived in and loved is important to both of us. Thus, the topic for this post and Bonnie’s corresponding one was born.

Chris and I moved into our house just over a year ago. In the 3 years before that, I had moved 7 times and never stayed in the same place for very long. The life of a college student turned newlywed pioneer, y’all. To say that I was desperate for some roots was an understatement. When you factor in that Chris travels all the time for work and it’s just me and the fuzzballs holding down the fort – well, I just spend a lot of time at my house.

In the past 14 months I feel like Chris and I have taken our house from builder basic with questionable paint colors, to something that I love coming home to every night. Even when Chris is gone, our house feels like my home and I really love that feeling. It’s not even that we’ve upgraded a thousand things or spent a lot of money on big purchases. Rather, we’ve been on the lookout for unique pieces that fit our homey, lived-in, casual-but-still-intentional style.

I’m just going to to ahead and be upfront, folks. I. suck. at. photography. I wish I could take better pictures and I want to keep practicing! But, right now I’m using the iPad and usually the cover of night to take my photos. So, it’s not a winning combination for a novice like me. I hope we see improvement as this blog goes on.

When I looked at the 5 spots I chose, I realized that I was somehow emotionally tied to all of them. There are also a lot of other fun parts of my home that I want to share, buuuuuut, the photos for those are still too embarrassing.

My dad built this table for us this past Christmas. I can see my children using this table and so many memories from meals around it.

My dad built this table for us this past Christmas. I can see my children using this table and so many memories from meals around it.

 

This is our guest room. Chris and I built the wooden headboard and I painted the word on it. The guest room is m favorite room in the house!

This is our guest room. Chris and I built the wooden headboard and I painted the word on it. The guest room is m favorite room in the house!

 

This little spot is just so quintessentially "me" A little bit of everything I love, right out where I can see it everyday

This little spot is just so quintessentially “me” A little bit of everything I love, right out where I can see it everyday

 

This little shelf has my little collection of miniatures. Kind of bizarre, but I try to find a pig from every new place that I visit. They are all housed here along with my vintage spy camera.

This little shelf has my little collection of miniatures. Kind of bizarre, but I try to find a pig from every new place that I visit. They are all housed here along with my vintage spy camera.

 

This antique tray sits on our island in the kitchen. My grandpa brought it back from England and I like playing around with the styling.

This antique tray sits on our island in the kitchen. My grandpa brought it back from England and I like playing around with the styling.

Are there spots in your home that make you smile when you see them? I love that satisfying feeling.