Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

Christmas 2010 January 4, 2011

It was so nice to spend Christmas in our new house this year.  Last year, we were still painting and trying to get moved during Christmas, so we didn’t get to have Christmas here. We ended up eating at my mama and daddy’s house (we bucked tradition and grilled hamburgers last year – I can’t even tell you how cold that was!). This year, Jamie wanted me to go all out and make our house what we call a “Christmas house,” a house that seems warm and inviting and truly Christmasy, the kind of house you see in magazines or on movies. Well, that is just what I did. It really helped that we bought the mantle earlier this year to go around our fireplace. It really added to the Christmas atmosphere. I love the firescreen Jamie bought us for Christmas. Also, I decided to decorate my tree in traditional colors but with a whimsical flair. It turned out beautifully! I found garland on sale at Lowe’s and found red mesh at Walmart to decorate with. I could tell Jamie was impressed, and that made me so happy! I wanted to give him the best Christmas possible before his deployment.

We usually go to our friends’ house, the Carlisles, and have a pot luck party food supper and some fun near Christmas. This year, the Carlisles had a sweet little newborn girl to take care of and decided not to have their party. Jamie and I had wanted to have a party here this year anyway, so most everyone came over here. I really enjoyed decorating the house a little more and preparing party food. We had a great time. We played a few party games that were pretty fun. We missed a few of our favorite couples, but we added a few others into the mix this year, too. Our dog Jake even stayed in the living room to entertain our guests during most of the party.

Saturday morning, we invited our parents over for the traditional Christmas dinner. When I got up that morning, it was snowing! This is a big deal in Mississippi. I had to trek through the snow to cut pine boughs for our napkins. I loved decorating the table for the meal. We had a great time opening presents, talking, and drinking warm caramel apple cider. I surprised Jamie with a hibachi grill for Christmas, which he really liked. I loved seeing his expression when it finally dawned on him what it actually was. He has been so excited about setting it up and learning to use it since then. We even went shopping today for an outdoor cabinet to put beside it for the accessories and such.

Sorry I don’t have pics of either party or the Christmas morning snow! I only took video for some reason! I did think to snap some pics of the table before anyone showed up on Christmas morning, though. I used that awesome red mesh all over the house! :o)

Like the little centerpiece I made here? The candy canes worked perfectly to hide the stems of the decorations I used in this crystal vase.

My big gift this year was the Garmin Forerunner 110 that Jamie gave me on Christmas Eve. I have really enjoyed using it the past couple of weeks. It has gotten me out on the road on cold days that I previously would have hidden from inside my warm house. I can upload the run data to Garmin Connect, an online software, and see all kinds of stats, graphs, and maps. I can also compare workouts and even set goals to work towards, such as a mileage goal or a calorie burn goal. It has a heart rate monitor, so I’ve also been using it for inside workouts to check out my calorie burn on those exercises. It is a pretty awesome device for someone who loves to look at the numbers!

We had a wonderful Christmas spending time with family and friends. Having Christmas here made me appreciate our new house even more. We love living here. I look forward to having many more happy Christmases here with the people I love. We have been truly blessed.


fireplace mantle September 1, 2010

Filed under: decorating — dragonfly180 @ 8:35 pm
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so i’ve been promising house decorating updates and haven’t delivered much, have i? well, here is a BIG change we made to our living room in the past few weeks. we have gas logs in our fireplace, and we previously had just this long mantle board over it. kinda boring. we’d been looking for a mantle since we moved in, knowing that we definitely wanted to make the area look more interesting. we looked and looked and looked some more. we found this mantle in an antique store on the Canton square months ago but didn’t buy it since it was pricey. we kept looking. finally, we came back to the store and still really really loved this one, so we plunged in and bought it. it is circa 1930s and is made of Tiger Oak. it’s just beautiful and still in pretty good condition to be so old.

our fireplace BEFORE:

our fireplace AFTER:

the lady at the antique store gave me a beautiful pie server as a little gift with our purchase. she also handed me a bag of cucumbers from her garden, i guess as a thank you for being her big sale for the day. i love the south. southern people are so thoughtful.

if you look at the before pic, you can see the color i painted the walls (called autumn surprise, of which i put a color swatch up on the blog previously). i promise to get more house pics up soon!


decorating update July 8, 2010

Filed under: decorating — dragonfly180 @ 11:44 am

we’re finally getting stuff done to the house again. work really messes up my time, but i can get stuff done during the summer, at least. i’m painting the hallway now, and we finally got cute curtains up in the living room. i hope to finally paint my bathroom next week. we’ve also fixed up our back porch and gotten furniture out there. i promise to post pics soon!


House Progress Update December 21, 2009

Jamie and I have moved a few furniture items and appliances into the new house. We spent a couple of hours Thursday evening removing wallpaper border. It was surprisingly easy. It just took us a while because there was so much of it. It was in nearly every room and all down the hallway.

In case you ever need to know how to do it, these are the steps:
1. Peel back a piece from top or bottom and yank it off the wall. This will only bring the top layer off (the part that has the design on it), which is what you want.
2. Once that’s gone, you take a water bottle and add about a teaspoonful of fabric softener and fill it up with water. Saturate what’s left on the wall and let it sit for a few minutes.
3. Using a plastic scraper, scrape up and the paper will just fall away.
4. When you are finished with an area, use a wet sponge to wipe away the excess water/fabric softener and the remaining small amount of glue that’s still on the wall.

Caveat: Don’t let the old saturated wallpaper sit on your floor and dry. It still has glue on it and will be a mess to clean up. It’s best to have a plastic bag or something with you and pick it up as it drops.

Today, I painted most of the dining room. This is the color (Autumn Surprise):

I know that it is whoa-dark, but it is beautiful on the wall. We loved Autumn Surprise so much, we’re painting the living room this color also. It makes the house look so warm and cozy. We have white tiled floors and a white hearth, and I’m leaving the doors white. Plus, our rugs will be a muted gold color, so there’ll be plenty of lighter colors in the living room and dining area. The only other dark colors are our couch and chairs, which are garnet with dark wood. The only problem with this color is that I had to put like 3 coats on, and I still need to touch up in a few spots. It took me 5 hours to do one and a half walls. It will be Christmas by the time I finish that living room, if I’m lucky! I’ll post some pics when I’m done.


Changing Architecture December 6, 2009

Filed under: decorating — dragonfly180 @ 6:59 pm

Ranch-style houses that have a flat front are very boring to me. When Jamie and I began looking for a new house, that was the type of house I knew I didn’t want. It’s what we have now, after all. The strange thing about Mississippi is that these plain ranch-style houses are EVERYWHERE! I guess because they are so cheap to build. And what did we find and decide to buy? A flat front Ranch-style house.

I like the Bungalow/Craftsman style most in American home architecture, although my tastes are pretty diverse. Most importantly, I like an interesting front and entrance. I don’t like hidden entranceways, boring entranceways, entranceways overwhelmed by big, ugly garages, etc.

This is a picture of the house we bought that we haven’t moved into yet. It’s a little dark, but you can see that it has a pretty plain front.

We plan on adding more prominent columns, possibly some shutters, and painting the trim. We have even toyed with the idea of enclosing the carport and making an extra bedroom. I had suggested that if we enclosed the carport, we could add a bay window to give the flat front a little visual interest.

Today, I had a crazy idea that Jamie actually liked and agreed with. We are thinking of adding a pergola at the front door to enhance the entranceway. This could add visual interest to the front of the house without having to change the roof and do major remodeling. It would run about 10 feet across the front of the house (from about the column from the left of the door to about midways of the double window on the right side of the front door) and be set into a concrete slab of the same length. I could grow jasmine up the columns, since they are evergreens and will stay pretty all year long.

Have we lost our minds? What do you think about adding a pergola to the front of the house? We looked around on the internet today to try to find a picture of something like that. The only thing I could find is where people add them to the back of the house, like this:

I did find one instance of where someone used a pergola as a front entrance, but this obviously looks nothing like our house. :o) And the pic was taken at a weird angle, so you can’t get it’s full effect, but you get the idea, though.


Bathroom Decorating November 28, 2009

Filed under: decorating — dragonfly180 @ 12:43 pm
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I have had a kokopeli/south pacific theme with turquoise and beige in my bathroom for the past 5 years. I need a change. I have decided to paint the walls of my new bathroom the same color that is in my current dining room, because I love the color and will miss it when I move. It is called fava bean and looks very similar to this:

I think fava bean has more of a brown/yellow undertone than this does, but you get the idea.

The shower curtain I have ordered is a gray and black modern print. Reviews say that the gray is more of a taupe color, which will probably coordinate with my fava bean nicely. I think the black pattern will set a bold statement against the pale green.

I also want to add in a few bright pink accents. I found a print that I might get, or I may just do a black, white, and pink painting to go in there.

So what do you think of the colors/patterns? I’ve picked out some white bathroom accessories and a pink soap dish. I don’t want pink to be an overwhelming color in the bathroom, just a little accent here and there.
Do you think design style and colors should flow throughout the house? I tend to think that each room is a new opportunity for design and color. My living room flows into my dining room (no dividing wall) so I’ll probably have similar colors there, but I think my bedrooms and bathrooms are fair game to play with different colors and ideas. For instance, we will have mostly red and gold in our bedroom, but the spare bedroom will be light blue and dark brown. I also plan to use mostly blues in my kitchen, even though my kitchen is open to my dining area.