Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm perfectly positive that this is not the first time I've posted this quotation.
There's something simplistic yet profound in this reminder. 
Laugh when you don't feel like it. Laugh when you can do nothing else. Laugh just to laugh.

Life hasn't exactly dealt me a lemon-y deck, but I have found myself feeling extra tart this week.
Maybe it's because there's no more pumpkin pie in my fridge (um, my fault). Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones. Maybe it's because I miss my mamma more than I can bear. Maybe the distance between friends feels extra long these days. 

I'd really like to believe that we are all responsible for our responses to life, lemons or no. So today, I'm going to try to throw my head back and laugh like hell... because really, I can't do anything else about it.

And Her Name Is...

Monday, October 28, 2013

To celebrate officially being in my third trimester, we've decided to disclose our Baby Girl's name. Her daddy named her, which I absolutely adore (the name and the guy who picked it). 

When we told my family what we had decided to name our daughter, we made them guess. This could have gone terribly, terribly wrong. I've since heard horror stories, so I don't exactly recommend it. However, it did make for some pretty entertaining guesses...

"It starts with an S," I said.
"Think of the show, Lost," Grahm added. 
(Please note: Baby Girl is definitely not named for a character in the show that I simply don't understand the phenomenon behind. They're on an island, people. Big whoop.)
After a few seconds of contemplation, my father said, "Sayid?!"

Yes, Dad. That's our daughter's name, Sayid. Makes perfect sense. Eventually we had to tell them because clearly... they're not excellent guessers.
We'll be pronouncing her name exactly how it's spelled, Saw-yer. Not Soy-yer. But I promise to not have a stick up my buns if you get it "wrong." Just don't call my kid Roach, and I think we'll be okay.

My middle name is also Marie. I'm named after my father's mother, Dovie Marie Carper. I'm especially close to this grandmother, and it was really important to me to name one of my children after her. Sawyer is the lucky lady who will share the name of her incredibly wise, loving, and gracious great-grandmother.

So there ya have it, friends. Be kind and remember this post.

We can't wait to meet Sawyer Marie in January only 90 days away!

Don't Cry Over Wasted Paint

Friday, October 25, 2013

We all make mistakes, right? Some of us eat two bowls of ice cream in one night and call it dinner (ahem), and others paint our furniture the entirely wrong color. Both of those are me, in case you were wondering. 

I bought this old dresser on Craigslist months and months ago. The legs and the drawers sold me. I love the uniqueness of the frame and the story I felt this old piece of furniture told. After some sanding, it was practically begging me to paint it.
The only question was, what color? For some reason, I decided to paint this dresser blue. I cut Annie Sloane Napoleonic Blue with Old White so it wouldn't be the exact shade as the buffet table I painted.
This is me realizing that I had just made a huge mistake. Sure, the blue was pretty. But I knew almost instantly that it wasn't going to work in our dining room. We would have been swimming in fifty shades of blue.
After a few weeks of crying (this was real pain, people) over my error in judgment, I repainted the dresser in Annie Sloan Old White. We also took the wheels off of the bottom because one of us (Grahm) is a little paranoid about our hardwood floors.

It looked so much better.
I especially love the old drawer pulls.
The drawers are perfect for storing some fancy pants dinnerware. Now someone just needs to buy us some!
I painted an old window frame in the blue I originally used for the dresser and hung a wreath I made on it. I think it does a nice job of pulling in other colors from the dining room.

Moral of the story: Paint is paint, and you can always redo. But first you obviously need to drown your sorrows in ice cream. Stop by next week to see our full dining room reveal, where I finally get to show off the fabulous table Grahm made!

Living With a Boy, Part Two

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Men are like clockwork, completely and utterly predictable in their strange, grizzwaldo habits. Over a year ago, I wrote this post. My little self had been living with my new husband for six months, and I was just discovering all of the "marvels" of living with a man. That was only the beginning, let me tell you.

Since then, I've happened upon some more interesting habits from my main homeslice. Someday I will let him write a post about all of my weird quirks for revenge, but until then... let's examine.
1. Shaving. Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of the clean shaven face. No one likes to brush up against the bristle and thistle of unruly man hair. I just never knew this could be such a production until I got married. You'd think Chewbacca just got a buzz cut because my sinks are in complete disarray afterward.

2. Unresponsive texts. If I go more than three hours without responding to your text, I'm either dead or ignoring you. Grahm, however, could go all day without looking at his phone. At the end of his day, he'll see that his needy wife has texted/called at least 5 times. Does he then respond and turn his phone off of silent? Oh no. Sheeshkabobs. I'm tempted to "lose" his phone for him and pocket the $80 bucks we pay a month. Waste, I tell ya.

3. Poop Time. I know I covered this in my last post. However, this habit has and will always astound me. Yeah, yeah. It's necessary. But last time I checked, dropping it like it's hot only requires two maybe three minutes. TOPS. Boys love to drag that process out. Why? I'll never know. It's not a long ordeal, guys.

Now Grahm and I have come a long way since our first two weeks of marriage when we lived in this 400 sq. ft. apartment and had to have poop music to drown out the splitter splatter any time either of us needed to get down to business. ("Push It," anyone?)

Now we have three royal thrones for his majesty to choose from. Without fail, he always picks my guest bath. Can't ya just drop your drawers upstairs in the comfort of our own bathroom? It's also amazing the timing of these epic adventures. Somehow boys always have the urge to purge after the porcelain pots have been scrubbed to perfection, or when we need them to do something. "Yeah, babe... just give me a couple minutes and I'll be right there."

4. Oblivion. This one is my favorite. We've been in our house almost a year. I know this place like the crook of my elbow fat. But Grahm? It's like the kid just moved in yesterday. Earlier this week we had stovetop pizza, and he asked where the oven-mitts are... Same place they've always been, dear. The drawer right next to the oven. Sigh. He'd be literally lost without me, folks.
Good thing our men are cute, right?

OklaHOME for the Weekend

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Oklahoma weekend was absolutely wonderful. We got to see so many people that we love, making the exhausting 20 hours in the car worth it. (You can ask Grahm if he feels the same, since I drove approximately zero minutes the entire trip.)
On Saturday night, we went to a fun wedding in Oklahoma City. The bride was beautiful. The day was lovely. And I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of fall. (Get your act together, San Antonio!)
Sunday before my shower, we got to have lunch with one of my dearest friends and her fiance. Katie, my sweet friend of over 12 years, asked me to be a bridesmaid, and I could not have been more thrilled.
Sunday afternoon was my first baby shower. It was absolutely perfect. My wonderful friend Molly was such a gracious host and designed everything to perfection. It was all pink and gray and elephant-themed, aka adorable.
Obviously :)
Molly designed this beautiful artwork for the nursery. I love the quote so much.
Grahm is now convinced that he should have a little pink bathtub too.
This is a quilt my grandmother gave me. Her great-grandmother made it long ago. Such a treasure for Baby Girl to have.
All my bridesmaids were there to celebrate Baby Girl. So thankful they could all be apart of the day.
The soon-to-be great grandmas and the soon-to-be grandmas. Notice our adorable badges that Molly made.
The aunties.
And the wonderful hostess, who made it all happen. 

So incredibly thankful for all the wonderful women in our lives, who spent their afternoon showering us with love and gifts. Baby Girl is already so loved, and I can't tell you how much that means to us.

For even more fabulous shower details and to meet the wonderful hostess herself, check out her blog!

Linking up with Sami!

Surprise Hates

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When you move into a house, there are certain things you know you hate.  For us, it was the heinous paint choices this couple made. Puke green, really?

But there are always some things, let's call them surprise hates, that you may not have noticed when you first moved in... but a couple of weeks of dwelling in your new abode and they become that zit on your chin that you just can't ignore. They've got to go.
For me, this chandelier became that zit. I absolutely hate(d) it. Unfortunately, my chandelier taste is pretty extravagant. Since Grahm would rather send Baby Girl to college than have an amazing lighting feature in the dining room (poor choice, I know), we decided to make our own. And by we, I mean Grahm. This project only required a trip to Pottery Barn for yours truly, which I was entirely okay with.

You'll Need:
Pottery Barn XL Burlap Tapered Lampshade in Natural -- $80
Pendant Fitter (Aged Bronze Finish) -- $15
Candelabra Sockets -- $2
2 Crossbar Kits -- $2 
Electrical Tape/Wingnuts -- Already Had

The first thing you'll need to do is splice your pendant fitter into three lights. We wanted the maximum light output for our dining room since we didn't want our guests to feel like Smeagol in his cave

You'll splice the pendant fitter using the crossbar kits and candelabra sockets. Grahm used his Drimmel tool (he said you could also hack saw it) to cut the crossbar in half (image on left) before he attached it to each side. The candelabra sockets can now be attached once the crossbars are in place.
The pendant fitter should look like this once properly spliced.
Now to take care of all those wires. First, cut your wires to length. Strip the wires. Take all the white wires and wingnut (that ugly orange cone thingamabob) them together. Secure with electrical tape. Do the same for all four black wires. Now it's ready to hang!
Repeat the wire process above. White goes with white, black goes with black. Lots of electrical tape and a couple of wingnuts... or at least that's what I was told.
He was so excited it worked that we didn't realize we needed to add the lampshade BEFORE connecting the wires. Oopsies. The genius is allowed one teeny mistake though, yes? :)
Not bad for less than $100 bucks, right? And you can definitely save by not getting the PB lampshade, but that's the one my little heart was set on... so what can ya do? :)

Game Changer

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pregnancy changes a lot of things. Your mentality. Your emotional stability. Your bra size. But maybe nothing so much as your shopping capabilities.

Yesterday since Pearson decided to give us the most random holiday off (thanks, Columbus) and my parents were no longer visiting us in San Antonio (whale face), I decided a little retail therapy was in order. Unfortunately, after almost three hours in the mall I found myself in need of actual therapy. (Grahm said this post could also been named #firstworldproblems.)

1. First of all, you tire easier. Sifting through racks and racks of clothes used to be your jam, but now you only want to be parked on the couch sifting through channels while some kind soul spoon feeds you ice cream. Seriously though. Never before have you contemplated not buying something simply because you didn't want to carry it from Macy's all the way back to Dillard's. You've also never considered asking the guy in the go-cart to be your personal chauffeur for the day. Apparently that's frowned upon...

2. Your favorite stores suddenly become obsolete. All the teeny bopper stores you used to thrive in no longer hold the key to your retail-therapy heart. You feel lost and alone and scared of all the string bean high schoolers who seem to be seriously judging you for daring to set foot in Forever 21. On the brink of sheer desperation and panic, you find yourself wandering into places you would normally only visit with your grandma like Talbots or Coldwater Creek. All to no avail.

3. Tissues are now a necessity. Waterworks happen in each and every store. Many times, you'll forget your current state. With blinding optimism you grab a colorful dress off the rack. It looks amazing on the size zero mannequin and probably would have been stellar on your pre-pregnancy bod. For a fleeting moment, you revert back to your pre-stretch mark days and try to wiggle into said garment. Suddenly, reality rears her ugly head and you're stuck in an extra small lace dress begging the poor girl in the changing room to help you make an escape.

4.  You can easily walk away with nothing. An all day shopping trip and I leave the mall empty handed? That, my friends, would have been impossible not too long ago (much to Grahm's chagrin). Now, I'm lucky if I step out of a store with something other than granny panties or another set of spanx.

5. And, of course, there are about 1.5 million things you now have to consider when choosing a dress. Normally, I think two things: Does this color look good/How much does it cost? Now, I have an encyclopedia-esque list to ponder when I trying things on. (Excuse me a minute while I get all outline on you.)

               a. Belly Button. It's a very weird thing to ask yourself "Will my belly button be visible?" when you're trying on a potential outfit. The answer? Always. I could be layered with every cardigan from here to Calcutta and that thing would still demand to be seen. Such a diva.

               b. Side zipper. Never in my life have I prayed that a dress wouldn't have the insufferable contraption on the side. It's hard enough to wiggle your round self into the slim jim of a dress without worrying about zipping.

               c. Form fitting. This is tricky. You're walking a dangerous line between potato sack and bachelorette party tight. You want to draw attention to your stomach so no one is guessing if that's yesterday's lunch or a baby, but not so much attention that they think your water is gonna drop it like it's hot at any given moment.

Moral of the story: The next baby shower you attend, compliment the bananas out of her dress. It may be the most foul chicken garment you've ever laid eyes on, but I guarantee you she spent more time hunting down a dress that was somewhat flattering than she did studying for her ACTs. (Sorry, Mom and Dad.)

Console Table

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Until recently, Grahm and I have had a pretty sad entry way. I purchased one of those storage cubes from Target when we were in the apartment because a) we were poor and b) we needed more storage space. Cubby holders, anyone? I would have taken a picture but was too embarrassed by the heinousness. Foul chicken, my friends. Needless to say, it wasn't warm or welcoming...two things every entry way should be, according to yours truly.

The past few months I've been on the hunt for the perfect console table to renovate. Entry way tables are tricky, especially when I'm an extra picky Craigslister/everyone selling wants a zillion dollars for their "antique" crap. I needed a table that wasn't wider than 20 inches so it wouldn't block the walkway and not higher than 26 inches so it wouldn't go past our chair rail. Easier said than done.

For this DIY, you'll need:
Table to Beautify
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
I bought this little guy on Craigslist for $40. It was a little more than I wanted to pay, but it had the perfect dimensions. I love the detail on the legs, even if this lady ruined them by slapping on some streaky poop-colored paint.
The first step was to strip the top. Early on, we decided that we wanted the table to be two-tone similar to the desk I painted. Instead of paint, however, we wanted a nice wood finish. Grahm took the orbital sander and went to town. (Go ahead and judge our ridiculous garage now, but just know that I have organizational panic attacks every time I go into Grahm's domain.)
I then painted the bottom with two coats of Annie Sloan Old White. Every time I use her paint, I fall more in love with it. No prep work is like music to my ears. We didn't sand or strip the bottom at all; I just painted and called it groovy.

Once the paint dried, we added some Minwax Prestain to condition the wood. This allows the grain to open up, so you won't have a streaky, blotchy stain. We let that dry for two hours before applying the actual stain.
Using some shop towels (heavy-duty paper towels), Grahm applied the stain to the table top. We used the small Minwax Special Walnut (with tons left over!) because we didn't have a big surface area. You'll want to be sure to be as even and thorough as possible during your application, going with the grain of the wood.
After the stain dried, we topped it with some polyurethane for a protective finish. And voila!
Our entry way still isn't perfect, but it sure beats a cubby holder from Target. And who wouldn't want to enter a home when sparkly pumpkins are there to welcome you? ;)