Monday, March 24, 2014

Last Monday I took a day off work. I was so excited for a three-day weekend and at the possibility of accomplishing so many things around the house. I had plans (the most important one was to not go to work).

Clean the kitchen. Take out the trash. Get a colorful rug for our entryway. Pick up, vacuum and rearrange the living room. Do laundry AND put it all away (lofty goal). Work in a run. Replace the Winter Wonderland mantle décor with something springy and colorful. Enjoy a beer on the deck at some point during the supposed 50-degree day. Write a blog. Yes, all in one day. It would be equally restful and productive. I threw in a load of laundry, folded some towels and did some time on the treadmill. After cleaning up, I was ready to cross something bigger off the list. And, wow, it was already 10 a.m.

Channeling a new season sounded like the way to go. I mean, the first day of spring was right around the corner, and after the late-season frigid temps and snow, it was time to officially kick winter to the curb.

I bubble-wrapped and boxed up my fragile white woodland creatures, penguins and glittery trees, then rummaged through still unpacked boxes of décor in the basement to determine whether I could incorporate any items into the plan. There were a few possibilities. I had my color inspiration and some general ideas from previous online and in-store shopping adventures at Pier 1 and Target, so off I went to make things happen.

Scoring a gorgeous teal vase on sale at Target was the beginning of something great. I thought I would want a larger, rounded cerulean blue version, but when I saw the bold color and the teardrop shape, it just had to be mine. And then the vision in my head began to fall into place.

My next hunt was for some budding branches and colorful blooms. A logical pairing with the teal vase was yellow, and I knew I wanted anywhere from three to five billy balls loosely arranged in the vase. After traveling to three different craft stores, I came up empty handed. Seriously? I didn't think artificial billy balls would be such a rarity, and at this point I was too frustrated and entirely unmotivated to look for the components to DIY them. On top of that, I didn't find any branch options that I liked, except for maybe one at Hobby Lobby.

I took some time to think it over in the clearance home accent corner of the store. It's usually hit or miss, but over the years I've scored a few great finds among the damaged-yet-overpriced merchandise. In the third aisle, I saw it. It would be perfect for our office. It certainly wasn't at all what I had set out to find this day (although it fit the color scheme I was seeking), but I wanted it.

As far as wall art goes, the $50 price tag was looking pretty good, but I was on the fence. I looked it over pretty carefully and noticed no significant damage. That made the price look even more reasonable. I've been know to impulse buy when it comes to home decor, so I snapped a photo and texted it to my husband, awaiting a positive response and the green light to whisk it away.

Several minutes passed. I finished my rounds through all the other clearance aisles and returned to find another lady eying my canvas. I glared at her as I casually slipped by and waited for her to leave.

Devin! Look at your phone!

I felt so awkward patrolling the aisle while I waited for my phone to chime. There was one more place down the street to check for flowers, so I walked out the door and left it up to fate. I would maybe return the next day after work to see if it was still there, if Dev thought we could make it work.

Michaels was my last hope for billy balls, but there was nothing to be found. I was frustrated and hungry (because it was almost 2 and I had overlooked a lunch break), so I settled on a strange little yellow cluster of styrofoam there for about $1. It was a good deal--one of the more promising things I had come across all day--and I was pretty much out of options otherwise.

Then I got a text from Devin. He loved the art, so I scooted on back to Hobby Lobby to commit to the purchase. It was still there! I proudly snatched it up and marched it to the registers. The store employee raved over it, further confirming my fabulous taste and how great of a find it was. Despite that win, I got back in my car feeling less than successful and pretty unhappy that I had wasted my whole day trying to achieve an impossible vision for my mantle. I still had Pier 1 though.

I had pinned a sweet lovebird figurine, which I thought was the perfect spring decor item, and a silver heart sculpture, which I noticed was no longer available online. I searched everywhere in the store, through every inch of spring decor. No lovebirds to be found. Seriously?

Then I spotted my heart sculpture on a shelf--the only one left! I couldn't believe it. I had passed this up for weeks! I snatched it up without question, not caring that it was still full price. It was mine. Finally after several more minutes I saw small boxes of little white figurines, one of which was my lovebirds. They were so tiny! Not at all what I was anticipating. I failed to notice the roughly 2"x1" dimensions online. What a disappointment!

Right next to them though was a slightly larger figurine of love bunnies! The ultimate spring creature! I somehow convinced myself that it was more worth the money, and made my purchase. Who could pass up this cuteness?

When I walked in the door at home, I poured myself a beer--one of the many I failed to drink on my day off. The temperature wasn't warm enough to actually enjoy it outside like I wanted, but I didn't have time for that anyway. It was close enough to cross off my list. I began removing price tags and stickers from my finds and planning out how I would fill the space above the fireplace.

Although it's incomplete, since I have yet to commit to seasonal branches to add some height, I think it's a good start to a simple pop of color against our cookie-cutter beige walls. I can't wait until we paint those.

I also can't wait to see how we incorporate our new-found typewriter wall art. I think when we really set up our office, it will be a great addition.

Here's to nesting and great finds when you least expect them. *Cheers*

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Giving a little love

I really don't get into holidays much. I don't have boxes of decorations for all seasons that I unload out at the most precise times of year. Maybe now that I'm a homeowner, I'll eventually start collecting and decorating...if my husband will let me.

We had some holiday spirit at work for Valentine's Day. I'm part of the company's art department. We're creative types, so for the second year, we decided to exchange DIY Valentines.

Last year, I used porcelain pens and made personalized XOXO heart mugs for all the girls. The best part is they all use them still, some daily for their coffee or tea. So my challenge this year was to come up with a gift that was equally original and still useful. I struggled for a few days until I remembered a pin I had come across during wedding planning.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fuel me up

It's no secret that I'm a fan of coffee. I probably started out earlier than I should have. Grandma and Grandpa brewed a pot every morning for breakfast and every afternoon for 3:00 lunch. My dad and Grandpa would dip their cookies and sandwiches in it, drink it down and then head back out for more chores. When I got curious enough, maybe around age 12, I would wait to see what was left over, pour a cup, heat it up and dip Rice Krispie bars in it. Something about the marshmallow and coffee really worked, and I that's how I began to love coffee. Seriously.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Carpe diem

It's January. In Nebraska. And guess what? This past weekend it was 65 degrees. Hey-O! So, we did what any sane couple would do: fire up the grill.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sipping on the sidelines

One day I had a craving (says every woman).

I had wanted tacos for a meal for probably a good week and a half. Fish tacos, specifically. But with the new house and summer activities, Devin and I just didn't have time for a detailed dinner. Finally we had an available evening, and Devin whipped up some yumminess. You just wait and see.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


It started with an innocent look. Devin saw "model homes" signs on his way back from work one day. We decided to take a look, just for fun. They were small, split level houses that were nice but not suitable for us. The agent in the office suggested that we visit another model location close by to check out a few models that had more to offer.

While Devin grabbed a brochure outside, I walked right in the first house. I immediately fell in love with the space, motioning excitedly for Devin to catch up to me. He turned the corner, saw the kitchen and open layout, and immediately talk went from "This is nice" to "This is what we could do for this room."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Plans are falling into place

How amazing is it outside? Fall has to be my favorite season, despite the allergies that naturally tag along with it.

I'm incredibly excited about today and not just because it's Friday. In just one year Devin and I will be getting all spiffed up for our wedding. Oh, yes, we're engaged, remember?