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Friday, April 18, 2014

What I Wore: Pattern Mixing Top and Skirt

The day after I posted my Pattern Mixing What I Wore, we had a bit of a cold snap here in NC. I used that as a chance to pattern mix a top and bottom (since before I had mixed a dress and a cardigan) and a chance to wear my big polka dot sweater one more time until the fall/winter. If I have to have a cold day when it should be nice and Springy in mid-April then I might as well get to look cute right?

Here is the other post with the sweater.

Blue polka dot sweater: Banana Republic Outlet, similar, I could only find one in blue but found some other colors: black, ivory, coral, black and white, gray
Black and white skirt: Loft Outlet, similar, similar - really cheap, similar - polka dot, similar, similar, similar
Black leggings: Nordstrom, similar
Cognac boots: Born, similar, similar, similar
Cobalt earrings: Towne and Reese, similar

Linking up to: What I Wore Wednesday, What I Wore to Work, Because Shanna Said So, Tucker Up, PTMT Get Pin-spired, Tip Junkie

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Visitors from Delaware

Last month, we our friends Tyler and Whitney came to visit for the weekend from Delaware and brought their sweet 9 month old son, James, with them. Keith and Megan came up for the weekend too. The 6 of us usually get together once a year like when we went to Louisville one year, Gatlinburg one year, Asheville one year or last year Johnson City for the baby shower. But this was the first time it was the 7 of us and we were all so excited to meet James.

We picked them up from the airport Friday morning and came back to the house to all hang out for the afternoon. We spent a good amount of time at our neighborhood playground and I was able to capture overwhelm James with my picture taking. He is pretty much paparazzi ready now.

His favorite part of the playground was this tunnel. Here is a play by play of what I think James must have been thinking during tunnel time. "Hey dad, what are you doing in here? This tunnel is for kids."

"Your big head is blocking my view of the windows over here. Time to move"

"Alright then, I'll just climb over you. Your hair makes for a nice grip!"

"Now I have the tunnel all to myself"  I just love his cute static hair!

"Who is this guy with a strange smile holding me"

Even though this was not the best time of day for picture taking due to the super bright sun and he didn't want to look at the camera, I still attempted to get a few photos of James playing in the mulch. He really loved that stuff and it was all over him in a matter of minutes.

Such a sweet family of 3

On the walk back to the house, James decided he liked Eric better without his hat so he could feel his hair.

After he got cleaned up he played in the exersaucer. Our amazing neighbors lent us a pack n play, high chair, stroller and exersaucer for James. The exersaucer was great especially because James had started pulling himself up and walking a few steps so you had to keep a very close eye on him unless he was in the exersaucer.

That evening we went to Food Truck Friday. We got there pretty early so there wouldn't be much of a wait and so we could be back before James bedtime. After he went to sleep we enjoyed cupcakes, champagne and played games.

Saturday after lunch at the house we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the Whitewater Center. James took a wonderful nap while we were there too. Yes Florida was playing basketball this day and won (too bad their streak didn't continue them all the way).

When he woke up he really enjoyed hanging out in the picnic table area.

Saturday night we had tacos at the house with Crock Pot Shredded Chicken and we played games again. Sunday was a really lazy day since it was rainy and cool all day. We all hung around the house and played with James and watched lots of basketball (this weekend was during March madness after all). We got take out Thai takeout for dinner.
I used the tripod and captured the best picture of the 7 of us that was possible on such a gloomy day indoors before Keith and Megan left to go home. 

The fellas

Monday morning Eric drove our visitors to the airport to fly home. We really enjoyed a fun weekend and meeting James and cannot wait to visit them sometime in Delaware!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Wore: Pattern Mixing

When I first started seeing pattern mixing, I was excited to try it. I have worn mixed patterns before but mostly in an accessory like a floral scarf with a striped dress. This is the boldest example of pattern mixing so far. The key I have found is in varying the size and type of the prints (much like you would mix patterns in pillows on a couch or bed). With this outfit, the dress has a bigger aztec pattern and the cardigan has a small dot pattern. A dot pattern the same size as the aztec pattern or a different aztec pattern in the cardigan would not make for great pattern mixing.

If you want to start out easy pair a patterned top or dress with a striped or dot cardigan/blazer/scarf or vice-versa! I haven't tried patterned pants with a patterned top yet but maybe I'll get brave and do that soon.

I continue to love this Francesca's dress! I styled it a few different ways on our Europe trip here and with a blazer and flats here.

Aztec dress: Francesca's, similar, similar, similar
Orange polka dot cardigan: Target, similar, exact in blue, similar in red
Cognac belt: Old Navy, similar, similar
Black leggings: Nordstrom, similar
Cognac boots: Born, similar, similar, similar
Purple pom pom necklace: made by me, tutorial here
Purple earrings: shop in Clemson that is now closed, similar

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayWhat I Wore to WorkBecause Shanna Said SoTucker UpPTMT Get Pin-spiredTip Junkie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shades of Gray Paint: Medium Gray

I'm back with another dining room update! You can see the chandelier we installed and the old sideboard we purchased. I decided I wanted to keep with the gray palette of the family room/kitchen and foyer which are all very open and close to the dining room but I wanted a medium shade of gray instead of a light gray. Since the dining room is so open, has lots of white molding and we don't spend time in there every day, I knew it could handle a darker color.

Here is the before with builder beige and the after with Sherwin Williams Gray Matters.

Now, here is how we arrived at the lovely Gray Matters paint color. As I explained in Shades of Gray Paint for light gray, before painting any room we get a ton of paint chips and tape them up on the wall. We look at them in various lights/times of day etc. You don't want your paint color to only look great in natural light.

You also want your paint color to go well with other paint colors nearby so I included that paint chip among the ones I was deciding on (it is the X in the photo below). Of course paint on the wall will look different (sometimes slightly different and sometimes very different) from paint chips. So we select several we that we like (usually 3-5) and get paint samples and paint those on the wall and look at them in different lights/times of day again. We chose Gray Matters, Classic French Gray (which was my favorite on the chip), Cityscape (one shade darker than Gray Matters) and Gray Shingle. They are all numbered below and you can click on the photo to make it larger.

After seeing a few photos on Pinterest, I wanted to also paint the inside rectangles of the coffered ceiling so we tested the colors out there too. Eric w as hesitant about this look so we agreed during painting we would just paint 1 out of the 4 rectangles to ensure we liked it before painting the rest.

We pretty quickly ruled out 2 and 3 for being too dark so then it was down to 1 and 4. Gray Shingle (4) seemed to have a purple or brown undertones depending on the lighting. Since Front Porch, our light gray, was a true gray we liked the idea of more of a true medium gray too so Gray Matters seemed to fit that perfectly and looked great with Front Porch in the adjoining areas as far as we could tell.

So we spent a Saturday painting! We used Gray Matters in flat no-VOC paint. We left the bottom part of the wall under the chair-rail with the picture frame trim all white. We liked the way the painted coffered ceiling looked so we did all 4 rectangles.

There are still a few places to touch-up but other than that we really love the newly painted dining room. Gray Matters was the perfect medium gray paint color for this room.

Here where you see Sherwin Williams Gray Matters in the Dining Room you can also see Sherwin Williams Front Porch in the foyer and how well they flow.

Hooray another builder beige room bites the dust! Anyone else been working on painting projects?

Linking up with: Power of PaintTip Junkie, Inspire Me Monday
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