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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guest Post: Be Our Guest {Guest Room Makeover}

I'm sure some of you remember my mom who did the famous (well famous in craft land) burlap wreath tutorial. Well she is back again with another guest post below of their guest room redo. Apparently she was growing tired of my pink/coral comforter I had as a teen :)  I just love a before and after.

Our guest room was looking a little tired. This room was Emily's childhood room and nothing much had been done to it since she left for college. Her wicker bedroom furniture moved with her to her first apartment in Charlotte. So a combination of our old queen bed (we've graduated to a king) and part of another set took up residence in there. We hung a few pictures and used the same linens, but not much else changed.

The sweetheart chair came from my family and has been recovered several times.


As you can see, the room was in dire need of a make-over.

Now for the AFTER

Because the walls are blue, I wanted to go with a blue and yellow theme.

I had been looking for a yellow and white patterned duvet cover for months. The only ones that I could find had gray on them (gray is BIG this year). I could always make one from a sheet, but I was really trying to avoid that. Emily did some searching and helped me find a duvet cover and sham set from Sierra Trading Company. I hadn't ordered from them before so I wasn't sure what the quality would be like, but it was just what I had pictured. You know that picture in your head that you will "know it when you see it". Yeah, that one. The set was just over $100 and not a bad price. The set was exactly right, so now it was time to take care of the rest of the room. I bought a duvet from Marshall's for $60. 

I ended up going to Calico Corner for the chair fabric. I wanted something nice, but not too busy or fancy. We took the chair to a nearby prison that has a work program. They reupholster, refinish, and even build furniture there. The price and workmanship can't be beat. The price to have the chair reupholstered was just $65! Amazing, right? I decided to have them change the skirt from gathered to pleated and I love the clean look.

The lamp was found on the clearance aisle at Home Goods for $25. The little plate also came from HG and was a whopping $5. I bought the picture over the bed and the wooden plaque from Target. They were priced at $40 and $22.50. I used my Target card for an extra 5% off.  The sun print picture hanging under the plate was a freebie. It was originally a burgundy flower with a hunter green mat and gold frame (sorry I don't have a before picture). I painted the frame to compliment the wooden plaque, painted the mat a yellow to match the duvet cover (I just used regular craft paint for that), and printed the picture from Vintage Printable (I think).

I switched out the luggage stand with one from another bedroom. The wooden toolbox was a $12 purchase from Vintage Warehouse.

The throw pillows were added just this week. I used two pieces of fabric that I had on hand and bought the yellow fabric at Walmart. I made the pillow forms myself to save money. After putting the tucks on the yellow pillow fronts, I layed them on the bed. Even though it matched, the fabric was WAY too bright for the duvet. I really didn't want to have to go buy more fabric, so I resewed the tucks on the back side of the fabric. It's much more subdued. You really wouldn't know that it's the wrong side of the fabric. Oops, I guess that cat is out of the bag!

 I added a few knick-knacks that I had on hand, and the room is finished. In total, I spent around $350. I love the lighter brighter look of it.

I think my favorite part is that the redo was so affordable. And the prison really does an awesome job with furniture, etc. My mom has taken multiple things there to be redone/refinished/reupholstered. I just love the look of the room now! Although it was preeeetty awesome with Leo and Joshua Jackson poster everywhere when that was previously my room.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2 baby showers in 1 weekend: Baby Miller

The beginning of last month I attended two baby showers in one weekend in two different states... how often does that happen?

First up was a shower for our friends Tyler and Whitney who live in Louisville expecting a baby boy in June. The shower was in Tennessee where they grew up and also where Eric spent his childhood and formed a lifelong friendship with Tyler.

We left Friday after work for TN and met their family and Keith and Megan for dinner at a ridiculously slow local restaurant. I suppose I could have used the spare time to take some photos but I did not.

We stayed with Tyler's brother Brad and the others were at Tyler's parents house. Saturday we got ready for the shower and headed over to the Tyler's parents church where the shower was in the gym.

Karen, Tyler's mom planned the shower and did a wonderful job with the pirate theme and decorations and really went all out. I do love a well decorated shower!

It was a clever that many of the decorations can also be used in their themed nursery.

Mom to be with Megan and I.

If there was ever a question if the twins were alike in their mannerisms...

The shower was around lunch time and there was plenty of food for everyone.

Striped straws and glass jars are really a party must-have in my opinion :)

There was a big tiered tower of homemade cupcakes in various flavors like chocolate fudge, oreo, carmel, lemon and funfetti. Yes funfetti... say no more, I'm there.

As a "game" we wrote messages for them on diapers to give them a laugh when they are exhausted new parents. It was a little hard to write on diapers so hopefully they can read them!

 They received lots of wonderful gifts for baby James... things off the registry and some very nice handmade items like a quilt. As part of our gift I made Whitney a nursing cover and a little boy appliqued fish outfit that I will post about soon.

That evening we all had dinner with the parents to be and their extended family at Outback unfortunately there are not a of lot of food options for a crowd in Johnson City.

Tyler's brother and his wife had a baby boy back in the fall and he was such a trooper all weekend minus a few blood-curtailing screams. That kid can really strike a note but how cute is that smile :)

Then we went back to Tyler's parents to hang out and eat more cupcakes :)

We had a great time visiting friends in TN and are so excited for the arrival of James!

Early Sunday morning we were on the road enroute to the 2nd baby shower of the weekend... stay tuned for the shower for Baby Jaynes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I Wore

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Yes we were in the process of packing when I took these self photos. Oh and this is another what I wore to work outfit since it loosely passed as business casual (I could have easily dressed it up more with heels too) but I have since worn it to a baby shower with my cowboy boots instead and it would look great with flats or sandals for going to dinner.

Navy graphic dress: Julie's Boutique in Charlotte but also saw it in other boutiques and online at Ruche
Orchid pink cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet
Metallic belt: Loft Outlet, very recent
Tan boots: BCBG
Hot pink earrings: Pick your plum

Oh and you couldn't tell due to the cardigan but the dress sleeves are three quarter length or a tad longer than that.

AND don't forget that since Google Reader is going away you can follow me with Bloglovin - it's a great tool for reading all your blogs.

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Linking Up With: What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Follow with Bloglovin

Since I've been assured there are more readers of this little blog than just my mom (thanks mom!), some of you may use Google Reader. Well you probably have heard but Google Reader is going away July 1st. Almost every blogger I know I read is making the switch to Bloglovin which I have heard good things about. I added a button to my sidebar above the Google Friend Followers that will let you easily subscribe to my blog using bloglovin and the button is below in this post too.  When you sign up, you can go to and you can import all of your Google Reader blogs straight into your Bloglovin feed so you can read all your favorite blogs in one place.

Or you can manually add blogs to Bloglovin.

Click on this to follow my blog:

Follow on Bloglovin

So go ahead and sign up :)  I know there are also some alternatives to Bloglovin that you can google so whatever you choose just make sure we stay connected... you sure wouldn't want to miss a single post haha! My sidebar also has links at the top to subscribe via email, follow me on Pinterest, etc.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I Wore

This particular outfit post could also be called What I Wore to Work. Normal work attire is business casual but for important meetings or big group meetings like in this case our All Hands Meetings, (I'm sure those of you in Corporate America know what those are) I make sure to dress in more business attire like a suit or a dress with a blazer or jacket.

Aztec print dress: Francesca's
Black belt: skinny belt off another dress
Black Blazer/Jacket: Ivy & Leo Boutique; similarsimilarsimilar but with collar similar but with collar these are great affordable classic blazers
Black Tights: Target Merona
Black Flats: Anne Klein iflex bam bam, also have seen at Marshall's

Linking Up With: What I Wore Wednesday

Monday, May 13, 2013

Austin Trip

Warning: this is gonna be a longer post but it's very informative especially if you are thinking about visiting.

As mentioned here, the 2nd weekend in March we travelled to Austin, TX! We had always wanted to visit Austin because we have heard many times that its a fun young city and people who live there just love their city, much like Charlotte. And my very dear friend and college roommate Vickie lives there with her boyfriend Kelly! Here is a recap of our visit - with a mix of photos from my camera and phone.

We picked this weekend because Eric was attending part of South by Southwest a.k.a. SXSW (a huge interactive, film and music conference) for work during the day (the interactive part) which gave me great girl time with Vickie and then every evening the four of us got to hang out. Since there were so many extra people in town for the conference and all the hotel prices were jacked up we stayed about 15 minutes north of downtown in a Drury Inn. It wasn't anything fancy but it was fine and had free internet (which I needed to work remotely from the hotel on Friday and Monday), a mini fridge, microwave and free breakfast.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and took a taxi to the hotel and then made a quick trip to the nearby Walmart to grab a few items like snacks and stuff for dinner that night. We knew we would be eating out a ton so that first night we got some healthy choice dinners that we could microwave and they weren't half bad.

On Friday, Eric was off to his first day of SXSW stuff (there was a shuttle that stopped at many hotels and took the participants to the convention center downtown) and I worked from the hotel room. Vickie picked me up after she got out of work and we headed to her and Kelly's apt downtown. We all walked about 10 minutes and met Eric at our dinner spot, Easy Tiger.

It's a bakery and beer garden. We had a delicious homemade sampler appetizer of pretzels, beer cheese, chex mix and beef jerky. In the photo the beef jerky looks a little like fruit roll up but it was all delicious. They also had yummy and large sandwiches. Eric and I split the turkey and avocado.

After that we headed out to do a little bar hopping in the Rainey St. district. We went to Lustre Pearl, Icenhauers and Texas Craft Pride. Icenhauers has a drink called "Emily" which is apparently awesome but it has strawberries in it so that was a no-no for me. Luckily they had fantastic Sangria served in a giant mason jar!

Aren't these two cute?

Vickie is a planner like me (she plans our Clemson roommate reunion every year) so she had our whole weekend planned out with Austin's must-see places and eateries. I didn't even have to do any trip research!

On Saturday Vickie picked me up at the hotel (Eric was at SXSW). The weather was nasty out... drizzly and gloomy and it was that way ALL day unfortunately despite the fact that it doesn't rain often there. We prevailed and went to Zilker park and walked along a little trail and saw the lake. We did a little more sightseeing by car.

This one bridge in Austin is know for.... wait for it.... bats! I know right? So even though it was too early in the year for them (they migrate to Mexico in the winter and don't come back until like May) Vickie took me by the bridge area and we got to read about them on these information boards nearby. They like to hang in the area with the vertical concrete separations.

We had lunch at this delicious Tex Mex place, Takoba . The quesadilla was fabulous as were the chips. And they had really cheap mimosas, not that I feel a mimosa should ever be pricey... its just OJ and Champagne.

After lunch we were supposed to go to practice for a SXSW flash mob that Vickie signed us up for that afternoon (she had done one for a previous SXSW) but on the way to practice we got an email saying the flash mob was cancelled. BOO. I was so pumped about it and it's on my bucket list but I guess it'll have to wait. So then naturally we needed some retail therapy. Actually my only request for Vickie was time for cowboy boot shopping.

We first went to a store at the South Congress area. We didn't find what we were looking for there (they had a lot of  more expensive boots) but we did go across the street to Hey Cupcake, a well-known cupcake "food truck".

We got the mini sampler which was perfect for us to be able to sample different flavors and easier to eat. I love mini cupcakes because usually they have a normal amount of icing... I'm not a fan of anything loaded with icing although I know for many people icing is their favorite part. I know this might sound crazy to all you chocolate lovers but I loved the Carrot Cake one the most! Don't hate me. And we thought the others were yummy too.

Gotta love their quote.

So then we went to this other bigger boot store with more affordable options. I'm not about to shell out hundreds of dollars on shoes I'm not going to wear all the time... gotta think about that price per wear! But I also wanted ones that would last a long time and fit my annoyingly narrow feet. Vickie was great at advising me on what type of boot sole was good for dancing vs. heavy walking/riding and that they aren't supposed to feel as snug as other shoes.

I found a winner in an Abilene brown pair that had a nice soft leather. Abilene was one of the brands the store recommended for narrow feet. I am normally a 6.5 but I took a 6 in these and noticed in all the boots I tried on that I needed to size down. I love them! I've already worn them some and they need just a little breaking in.

After that we went back to Vickie's place to relax a bit. Kelly had already headed downtown and and met up with Eric and a few of their friends. We decided to do a CarToGo to get downtown since where we were going for dinner was a little further but it probably would have been faster to walk with how hard it was to find a place to leave the CarToGo. We finally made it over to this food truck area where we were doing dinner. There was a variety of food for everyone to choose from. Eric and I decided to eat at East Side King, the food truck run by Paul Qui, Top Chef Season 9 Winner. We even saw him in the truck.

I don't know how to describe the food... Asian fusion maybe with other specials thrown in (like pork sliders). I had this veggie noodle dish and Eric had something similar with fried chicken in his. It took awhile to get the food but it was really good especially for not really knowing what we were ordering. The names on the board were not descriptive.

After eating we wandered around the city a bit and walked through the convention center mainly to get out of the wind and drizzle. We decided to go to this .... party outside under white tents. You had to download their app to get in and they gave everyone 2 drink tickets for beer. I am not typically a beer drinker but it was amusing watching people scramble to pick up the dropped or purposely discarded in my case drink tickets on the ground.

Next we went to a country bar with a live band. This looked just like what you would expect a Texas band to look like and they were great although we wished they had played longer. Their wives helped them pack up their gear afterwards - it was really cute. After they finished, a DJ played hip hop and pop music.

After a quite difficult time hailing a cab to go to our hotel we missed a torrential downpour by a matter of minutes. Phew!

After a late night on Saturday, we started off Sunday a little later. Not to mention this was the first day of "spring forward" where we lost an hour but at least that meant later sunset.

Vickie picked me up and we went to Tacodeli near Zilker Park. They have many different tacos to choose from and you order "by the taco" kinda like by the slice pizza. We devoured cheese dip and tacos while sitting outside in the sunshine! Finally some Texas sunshine!

You can walk to this greenbelt trail just yards away from Tacodeli (all part of the Zilker Park area).

Then we went close to downtown to take some skyline pictures. We did get a Car2Go for our sightseeing the rest of the afternoon and it was a great choice since we easily found parking for it.

Of course now we were ready for some ice cream so we popped over to Amy's on South Congress to have some of their famous ice cream.

On the way to our next destination we were driving through the downtown area and saw people just riding horses down the street so I snapped this quickly with my phone. Only in Texas!

Up next was a trip over to the Texas State Capitol building. We did the highlights. Tour guide Vickie had done the tour a few times with visitors so she knew all the basic facts and they don't do official tours on Sunday's anyway.

Yes these are gold door hinges!

Then we drove through the UT campus.

Of course we had to make a stop in front on the Alpha Chi house.

Next we picked up Kelly and Eric who was finished for the day and headed to Mt. Bonnell. This is Vickie's favorite spot to watch the sunset. With the time change we were there before sunset but still got some great pics.

Hubby is sporting the company shirt there. Good thing they spelled out Skookum Digital Works since the response from anyone when you say Skookum is "what?".

At this point we were getting hangry so we headed to dinner nearby. The plan was to go to Hula Hut but the wait was going to be over an hour so we went next door to Abel's On the Lake. The food was pretty good and there wasn't a wait. We were able to sit out near the water, Lake Austin, but it was still shielded some from the cool evening air.

We had quite an eventful sightseeing day so after dinner we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. Monday I worked from the hotel while Eric was at his last conference day of SXSW and then Tuesday morning we flew back to Charlotte. We had such a great time in Austin and we cannot wait to visit again (especially since Eric didn't get to see as many sights this time)... I can definitely see why Austinites love their city! Thank you tour guide Vickie!

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