Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Styled & Pretty!

Well, it was like Christmas morning today as the post about our White Wedding went live on Style Me Pretty Blog.  For those of you who don't constantly live in the world of weddings, they are probably "the ultimate" wedding blog.  That is, in fact, what they call themselves.  The creator started blogging on weddings in 2006 and is now a multimillionaire.  If you're interested follow this link to watch a (tangent!) video on blogging as a career, with an interview with Abby Larson (creator of SMP).

When I first started visiting their page regularly they were posting 5 weddings a day.  That was a year ago in May.  Now they post 10 weddings a day and that's only on their "main blog."  They have grown so quickly and receive so many submissions (400 a week) that in only one year they have also added "local blogs" for each state and now categorize by major cities as well.  We were featured on the Style Me Pretty: Texas Weddings local blog, categorized by Austin (my choice), and while they only shared a snippet of what I spent hours writing.... well, there it is in all its glory!

I'm very proud.  Of everyone!  Sure I submitted it, but it isn't just MY wedding.  Our wedding was created and participated in by so many unique and creative people.  Credit is due all around.  But since pride is a sin, I will probably have to ask for forgiveness and start anew tomorrow.

And tomorrow brings new and wonderful things for the wedding business!  I'm meeting with a new client who is having a November (love that month!) wedding at a beautiful location in San Antonio.  Can't wait to see what we scheme up together, but I'm thrilled and excited to get started.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A War to Remember

Do you ever forget we are at war?  I do.  All the time.

War is just not a part of my life.  That sounds selfish, but I think I am not alone in this.  I have no close friends or family in the military.  (My new brother-in-law was in Iraq for a year, but he is home safely.)  I have lost no friends or family to this war.  I do not watch the news.... too depressing.  This war is just not an every day part of my life.  I don't wake up and think about the thousands of men and women serving our country.  I don't really even notice all the stickers on people's cars anymore.  I have managed to be so far removed from the war that days go by without me thinking about the people suffering, the people dying. This war, the war we are fighting right now, is just not my war. 

However, I do have time for stupid TV shows, interestingly.  In fact, one of those that I'm pretty dedicated to is So You Think You Can Dance.  It's stupid, but it's not nearly as stupid as, say, the Bachelorette or Dancing with the Stars.  This show actually shows talent and its producers stick to a fairly high standard in terms of keeping the petty drama to a minimum.  As far as reality TV is concerned, this one should rate pretty highly.  Not to mention the dancers, if you like that type of thing, are tremendous.  So I save time in my life every Wednesday and Thursday evenings to see which of my favorite dancers are going to get the boot.  I'm a little bit sad we they go, but by the next week I'm ready for the competition again.  Sometimes the dances are even so good that I watch them more than once (thanks to all the episodes being online).

How many times has a news report on the war been so entertaining that you DVR'd it so you could watch it several times?

I'd guess Never.

Well, this last week I just wanted to say KUDOS, SYTYCD for this really special dance routine that brought certainly national, possibly international, and definitely MY attention back to where it belongs.  

Oh, what the ARTS can do to move people . . .

Thank you for the reminder that there are actual people out there dying.  For me.  It's not a happy thought, but it shouldn't be a forgotten one.

Just thought I'd share.

Wedding 26.2: a Marathon

Ah, me!  One summer wedding down.  I'll have a photo infested wedding recap from this past weekend as soon as I get some from Greenleaf Images, but till then my commentary will have to do.

The wedding was held at the groom's parent's house, complete with covered patio and lovely pool and rolling lawn.  I loved the set up, except for what it meant for me: up and down stairs and hilly grass all night long.  Everyone enjoyed themselves, and aside from the fact that the flower girls walked so slowly that the Bride, escorted by her mother, passed them up, everything went off flawlessly.

Now we're two days later and my legs and feet still haven't recovered....I feel like a walked a marathon.  BUT, it was worth it!  I had fabulous help from the Honey and Carisa, who took initiative wherever they saw it was needed and probably made a lot of things happen I will never know about!  They were a great team to have my back and I could not have done it without them.  We were all royally sweaty by the end of the evening, I felt like I had melted (so much for spending 45 minutes on my hair), but we did our jobs to the highest degree (pun intended).

There was so much reward to sending a bride and groom off at the end of the evening, about to push them out the front door to make their exit, and have them both stop to hug and thank me for making everything happen.  That was the surprise in the evening for me.  I hadn't stopped to think about what I was doing in that way for them, all day long (Well, I hadn't really stopped PERIOD), and it was very rewarding.  I knew that's why I wanted to help people with their "big days," but I hadn't prepared myself for their appreciation.  Sounds RE-diculous, but it made every sore muscle and drop of sweat worth it to see them married and happy and on their way.

My favorite part of the whole day was getting to stand with the wedding party before the processional and watched them do a "go team" huddle and then send them out one by one.  There was, of course, a pause before I sent the bride and her mother off down the aisle, and I .loved. getting to be there for that moment.  To see the nerves and excitement mixed together on the bride's face, and the mother's strength and reassurance in her grip on her daughter's arm, and get to say "Take a deep breath and smile!"

Okay.... weddingness aside.  DESIGN *SPONGE has a book coming out and it's available for presale NOW!!  Go and order it.  You will not be disappointed.  Here is the book trailer.  Grace Bonney is just too adorable for words.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweet as {Sugar} Cane

Lately I've been featuring more of what I LIKE rather than what I do. I know, I know, no fun!

I'm always talking about what you can find on Craigslist if you look hard enough. Craigslist is not for the faint of heart, though. You have to be okay with the fact that someone else's butt has been sitting in your chair, because it was their chair first. Or that any number of things could have taken place on that hand-me-down sofa, or a worse thought ... the dining table. (So I keep the clorox wipes handy because any time I bring something off Craigslist home, it's the first thing I do.) Not to mention, you often have to go to someone's house or IN their house to acquire these pieces. However valuable they might end up being to you... I still have some issues with that. Nevertheless, if you have the courage, you can get great pieces of furniture for very little cash. And that's another thing... they always want cash. That's OKAY, I would, too.

You might remember a past post on things I found on Craigslist when I was hunting down wicker for our back deck.  On that post I featured this set of wicker chairs.

Well, thanks to Poppa White (the FIL) I was gifted them for my birthday back in May.  And now they have since moved multiple times from front porch, to living room, to deck.  It was an $80.00 that was truly well-spent as wicker is expensive and these were lightly worn (I like to think of that as "having character") and had never been outdoors.

Yesterday was the day of chair acquisitions.... in the morning we went to pick up this fantastic $120 mid-century tufted leather wingbacked armchair.  Yes, that's a mouthful.  Try saying it several times quickly.  I had posted the picture on Facebook asking opinions about the price for the age/quality and I got back a resounding YES, BUY IT.  Wasn't that fun for all of you who participated?  I listened and now here it is replacing the wicker in our living room for now (future location plans are for Tim's office).

In the afternoon we drove to south Austin to pick up two chairs for $15 which had cane backs and cushioned seats.  They had been used in some office probably in the 80's and had been in storage ever since.  I liked the cane backing and had every intention of recovering them with some schweet material for a fresh look, and they were in solid condition and the wood didn't even need refinishing of any kind so it seemed like a great deal. That is a good thing because we have acquired far too many pieces of furniture lately that are going to require a lot of "love."  This was the listing:

a bit dusty from being in storage, so they could use a banging with a tennis racket or a little vacuuming.  had these in my office, but no room for them now.  both for $15!

I love that she suggests banging them with a tennis racket.  Yup, that was my first thought: I should bang those with a tennis racket!  Hmmmm.  Oh Austin people!

Anyway, so we get to this person's duplex and meet her mother and see the chairs.  I handle them a bit and Tim and I both try them out (never be afraid to really examine what you're buying -- learned that the hard way!).  They felt nice and sturdy and were quite comfortable to sit in.  The cane backing was complete and didn't have any tears or loose strands.  So I was about to say yes when I thought to flip them over.  What the heck!  There was cane on the bottom, too!  Someone had screwed a mauve (of all colors) chair pad over this beautiful cane.  Stupid them, lucky me.  What they did was basically preserve the cane seat bottom for me to uncover and relish.  My intention to recover the cushions went flying out the window and now they look like this...

My point is this: $15 + 10 minutes with a drill and I have fabulous "new" chairs.  

Who else can say that today?   Nanny nanny boo boo.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stealing Beauty

I am guilty.  Why yes, I am a thief.

{and no, I'm not talking about the nail polish that I accidentally forgot I zipped up in the makeup bag I was also buying from Target a few weeks ago and walked out with it FREE}

I steal ideas.  And I'm not afraid to say it.

Hell, I'm blogging about it, so clearly I'm not self-conscious about it.  Isn't it amusing, how most people are eager to have an idea first.? Have you noticed how competitive we are?  Sure, that's always nice (to be first)... and to the Einsteins of the world... I hate you.  Rarely do I have brilliant ideas first, but I'm sure brilliant at hunting them down!

Thanks to Pinterest we're all thieves.  I mean, Pinterest just took the idea of copyright and threw it straight out of the window.  Now when I see works of art or people's homes or beautiful photographs, I have no idea who made them, built them, or took them.  But am I gonna use them?  Yup.  In fact, Pinterest is just about the best pick-me-up in the world.  After only 10 minutes I'm feeling so inspired by all the beauty and possibilities for my home, garden, and wardrobe that I'm really quite beside myself.

I think it's quite possible to become OVERSTIMULATED by Pinterest.  I get so many ideas for DIY projects and crafts or events I want to plan, that I really can't do anything but run in circles.  So I started a RainyDayResource board to give me ideas on those days when I really have nothing better to do.  Here are some finds for this week:

Great idea for how to save cards and letters in an organized manner.

This is someone's innovative (and green!) form of a fence.  A stock tank on wheels.

Herb markers that won't fade and blend in nicely.

Source: None via Laurel on Pinterest

Binder clips repurposed....What can I say except: BRILLIANT.

Bacon, Egg, and Toast cups....Yes please!

I'm working on this....

I think if Tim saw this there would be no turning back.

Who needs a rainy day? Monkey Bread NOW!

And just as a side note... I can always tell, thanks to Pinterest, who is bored at work.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bright + White

Just because I'm kind and generous and I know none of you have anything else you need to be doing, I thought I might share with you my latest blog addiction.  This is for all you home design lovers:  The Style Files

It's a little eclectic for my tastes sometimes, but most of the rooms and houses featured are so airy, sparse and bright that it immediately makes me want to pack my bags and head for the Netherlands, or the south of France, or wherever that home might be.

Modern Rustic Kitchen

Holiday Home in the South West of France

Mexican Kitchen

Paris Living Room

See what I mean?  Aren't you just drawn into these rooms?  One thing they all seem to have in common is beautiful natural light.  Living in an older home is making me appreciate how newer houses are almost all built to let in as much light as possible.  And why wouldn't you?  I've never understood people who could live with their blinds down all the time.  I feel physically ill if I don't see daylight for 80% of the day.  The only way I survived at a desk job when I had one was that it was a) part time and b) near a window.  And while we're on the subject of light... have you noticed the trend towards WHITE homes? I'm loving it!  Talk about playing up your natural of the fastest ways to brighten up a room is a fresh coat of white or neutral paint.

More from the Style Files . . .

I just want to know how you keep a space like this clean?

They even painted the wooden beams white and it looks so rustic and pretty with the natural floors.

Notice here those four unpainted beams in the center of the ceiling, 
and the little pop of color the mirror adds, bottom right.

And this one is from Pinterest . . . 

                                                            Source: via Laurel on Pinterest

By the time we have the funds and the work ethic to build our own home or buy and renovate an old one, I wonder if my tastes will have changed?  I told Tim earlier today, "It's white walls, concrete floors, and no clutter for this girl!"  We'll see.  I do have a thing for color...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Honesty is my Policy

This is the problem with blogging.  You shouldn't blog unless you have something interesting and worthy of writing about.  If you don't blog, however, you lose your audience.  Which is why a lot of bloggers end up blogging about really dumb stuff.  Read on for examples.

A few days ago I got into my steaming, sweltering hot car to run an errand.  Then I proceeded to put up the windshield sunscreen to protect myself from the blazing sun, only to realize . . .  well, it's awfully hard to drive like that.  Later, I tangled myself up in 100 feet of clothesline that I was trying to hang in our back yard, all the while praying my neighbors were employed for regular work hours and weren't at home to watch my ridiculousness.  Yesterday, I returned the Netflix movies to the post office, completely forgot I had mailed them, suggested watching one to Tim that evening, and then didn't realize I'd made the trip until I couldn't find them anywhere.

Do you ever feel like the older you get, the more stupid you become?

I distinctly remember a time when I FELT SMART.  Of course, it was in college.  I was studying my booty off and learning new vocab words and raising my hand to answer questions.  Now most of the time when someone asks me a question I'm not paying attention the first time, and when they repeat themselves I often don't understand them, so I have to ask for a third chance.  I've gotten really amazing at giving the blank stare.  Sometimes I even tell people I'm hard of hearing, so they take pity on me.

Really the only thing I have going for me anymore is honesty.  I'm not afraid to tell people I'm pretty stupid.  Do I use my iPhone for simple math?  Yes.  Do I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence?  Sure do.  But . . . I can make your house look real pretty!  I can plan your wedding to a "T"!  Hire Me!  Honesty is my policy!

Hopefully by tomorrow morning I will have forgotten I wrote this post at all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cute As A Button Baby Shower Theme

Happy Sunday!  I'll share a secret . . . today I might be going to the Bridal Extravaganza here in Austin!  If I do, don't worry local Brides, I'll be sure to share the deets.  Meanwhile, apparently it is the week for collages.  This is for all my expecting & mommy friends.  I'm sure you get sick of me talking weddings, so I opted for something a little more "button" oriented for today's post.  See you Monday!

{cute as a button baby shower theme}

all photos @

Aren't those little shoes and silver button necklace adorable?  Great shower gifts.  I thought this shower would be the perfect time for a craft project, like maybe creating a button clock to take home?  And that framed letter A made from buttons is pretty easy for an expecting mom to make for her baby's nursery and looks delightful.  The button-rose bush centerpieces can be color coordinated to your theme colors!

One last thing . . .

Didn't your grandmother ever tell you that you were "cute as a button"?  Well, maybe YOU weren't, but I sure was!  Just take a look at my over-abundant cuteness, including my "Little Sister" t-shirt with my own handprints on it.  

Can you deny it?  Too bad it wore off.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The People's Purple

Have you noticed this lovely little subtle Lavender color popping up everywhere?  Maybe it's the shabby-chic and vintage trend that has brought it back into the color flow, but whatever the cause I think we can all agree on its loveliness. 

People are so afraid of purple.  Maybe this is one shade that is for everyone.  The People's Purple. :)

Those who follow me on Pinterest probably had a heads up what was coming for this afternoon's post.  Did you?


You can see other Purple Pins on my Lovely Lavender board . . . Happy Pinning!

Etsy Finds for a {perfectly Rustic wedding}

Happy Weekend!  Time for some online shopping . . . could very easily be my best friend.  No where was more kind to me when shopping for Christmas gifts or gathering wedding inspiration.  You avoid crowds, no one gets irritable when you stand in the aisle debating for long minutes, and who doesn't love getting packages in the mail?  Not to mention, I just plain LOVE supporting craftsmen&women and getting homemade goodies.

If I were planning a rustic wedding, Etsy is the first place I'd go.  There are so many stylish pretty little things that can take your special day from bland to BOOM.  It's all in the details, folks.  Here are some things on Etsy right now I think would look amazing in a field, in a barn, in a little chapel, or on you, if your day has a rustic theme.

Etsy seller: SigneNjustJewellery / rosecut diamond ring, 18 karat gold

Wedding on a budget?  This gorgeous little diamond ring fits the simple and unique trend.

Etsy seller: CathodeBlue / vintage digital numbers

These cute little digital numbers would look really nifty used as table numbers.

Etsy seller: sewnnatural / felt handsewn hanging hearts

You could dangle these from a tree, off the pew or chairs, or purchase a whole bunch and get married under a hundred miniature hearts hanging over head.

Etsy seller: sofiartTOYS / all natural + organic soap wedding favors 

Maybe I'm the only sucker for soap, but I do love it and I would be a very happy wedding guest if you sent me home with one of these.  Plus they are just so darn cute. 

Etsy seller: the dainty woods / woodland chalkboard

Let's face it: everyone and their dog is using chalkboards at their weddings!  I did it and I get why - you can reuse them afterward.  However, this one takes the cake with its rustic twist, and I love even after the festivities you can hang it like so and write little love notes to one another.

 Etsy seller: GoRustic / Card Box

Set out a personalized box like this one for guests to drop their cards to you.  Then later store wedding mementos in it.  Or better yet, going as a guest?  Give this as a gift!

Etsy seller: vintagegreenlimited / centerpiece or cake topper

I am not a big fan of birds, but this set I quickly warmed up to.  Look at those little heart feet!  Perfect as cake or table topper or to mark your guest book.

Etsy seller: FigsandGinger / boy+girl keepsake bunting wood cake topper

Speaking of cake toppers, this one is cute and definitely a keepsake.

Etsy seller: savagesalvage / tangled decayed upcycled pearl bib necklace

The seller calls this "Mermaid Farts."  I can see why, but I wouldn't tell anyone that if you decided to wear it on your wedding day!  It's so pretty though, how could you not?

Etsy seller: Sunday Hatch / wooden cake plates

My friend Danielle & her husband make these cute wooden cake plates.  These are so popular right now and look adorable with a pretty white cake perched on top.  Also make great centerpieces!

Etsy seller: NutfieldWeaver / khaki burlap pew cone

Whether a row of chairs or a wooden chapel pew or a plank bench, this burlap pew cone filled with lavender would be a pretty and romantic touch.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Down on one knee . . .

So many couples are planning themed engagement sessions with costumes and a lot of creative hullabaloo.  I'm all for that and they can be incredibly fun, but every once in a while, it's really nice to just see a very simple marriage proposal like this one.

I love how he says "I fumbled and I couldn't find the right words, but the important thing is I was down on one knee."  It's always funny to me how guys hone in on that one element like it's what every girl has dreamed about, when really, once they get around to popping the question, we probably wouldn't care if they were hanging upside down from a tree!

How fun will this be for them to show their kids one day?

Registering for the {Deep Blue Sea}

Playing house is nearly as great as a honeymoon.  Nearly.  But when we're talking about Greece as your destination, I don't think anything compares.

Yesterday, I was on my google reader getting my fill of Design*Sponge (one of my favorite design blogs) and Grace posted about a book titled Greece on My Wheels by Edward Enfield.  

Edward narrates his travels by bicycle throughout Greece and the Greek Islands.  Well, with the blazing heat here in central Texas my plants are even wilting INDOORS, so a vacation to the clear blue Mediterranean is sounding pretty schweeeet right about now.  I jumped on Amazon and ordered that sucker, because it's about time Timothy and I start planning our Honeymoon.

We used this nifty little website called Honeymoon Wishes to register for a honeymoon rather than wedding presents.  I know, awesome, huh?  Actually registries (like weddings themselves) are no longer stuck to traditional restrictions.  So many couples are now getting married at the average age of 27-28, and many of them have lived together previously and some of them already have children.  That means they already have all the toasters and blenders and dishes they need, so why ask for more?  Instead, with all these new online registries they now can register for everything from a down payment on a house to donations towards a new family vehicle.  Tim and I jumped on that bandwagon with zero second thoughts.  [ note: we did also register for traditional home goods and gift items for people who did not feel comfortable giving money or who preferred to bring a gift.  Most people choose to do the easy thing and pull out their plastic, but many people gave us gifts as well and they were all appreciated!  It was nice for a bit of variety, too.  ]

So for our registry we created little activities for our honeymoon in Greece, like scooter rentals (whoopee!) and snorkeling, and items like a hotel suite upgrade or breakfast in bed.  Every gift item was allotted a certain amount of money and then guests could select what gift they wanted to give based on how much money they wanted to spend.  Most people had a lot of fun with it.  All the money goes into your account with the registry and then on a selected date they issue you a check for the amount that's been donated.
We did really well with our registry and our loved ones were so kind and generous towards us.  And while we are appreciating all the home goods gifts that we got right NOW (like our fabulous toaster oven, Kitchen Aid mixer, Pyrex glassware & Acai salad bowl sets, etc), we have that reserved fund in our bank account to spend on our honeymoon one day in the future!

Many people wondered why we didn't go to Greece immediately after our wedding, like "normal people do."  Well, I've wanted to go to Greece for a very, very long time.  My standards for what I NEED to accomplish while we are there are extremely high.  I am not much of a "mosey-er."  I walk a lot and I see a lot and I am pretty darn annoying with a camera.  Plus, when it comes to Greece, I love the history, the culture, the food, and of course, the birthplace of theatre!  I knew how exhausted I would be after three months straight of designing and planning our wedding, and the thought of climbing on a plane and trekking all over a country for two weeks after that just wasn't thrilling to me.  Especially when I knew all I would want to do was sleep and eat.  I didn't want to waste our trip to Greece sleeping in our hotel room!  And Tim?  Well, he agreed with me.  Plus I think he thought that if I tried to plan an extended overseas trip at the SAME TIME as the wedding that things might just end up badly.  So we opted to save the money and use it at a later date.

But I digress . . .  

I should mention that we did take a Mini-Moon to Marfa, TX, following the wedding (and you can see pictures here), and it was a lot of fun.  This is a great idea of couples in our situation or one similar.  Resorts will book you a honeymoon whenever you tell them you are on your honeymoon - they don't care if that's two days after your wedding or two years!  A mini-moon at least gives a couple some time to recoup after the wedding and enjoy a few days just being newlyweds.

What we ended up concluding was that since the best time of year to go to Greece is really May, before it gets too hot (but still warm enough to enjoy the sea) and before all the summer tourists arrive, we'd make that trip our oneyearhoneyanniversarymooning in 2012!

And this . . .

And this . . .

Can't wait.

*  *  *

Registries to check out if you're looking for something different on your Wedding Day:

Honeymoon Wishes - this is the site we registered on, there are hundreds out there, but I though this one was simple and easy to use.

Down Payment Dreams & Hatch My House - both provide a place to register for a downpayment, mortgage, or renovation fund.

GreenWish - contributions to any large scale gift or project in your community, primarily focusing on local & green organizations.

The Big Day - here you not only can register for a honeymoon fund, but also to have people pay for certain aspects of your wedding day itself (the limo ride, your first glass of champagne, fireworks, etc).

Don't forget you can always have people donate to any charity or your alma mater online, if that's more up your alley.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

AT home in ATX


Wow.  I can not express how exciting it is for us to finally be in our new home.  It is an amazing feeling to open the door to a little house that has our names written all over it.  [ In fact, Tim was so enthusiastic he insisted on carrying me over the door step.  I wasn't in the mood, so he just grabbed me under the arms and lifted me over about two inches off the ground. ]

There are a lot of "firsts" here for us.  For one, we've never made a permanent move.  By permanent, I mean moved somewhere with the intention of staying for 3+ years at least.  I think we thought that about Washington, D.C. but quickly changed our minds after living there a bit.  We never felt at home in the District.  We loved so many things about it, we thoroughly enjoyed the years we spent living there and all the wonderful people we met, we had some really great experiences, and it holds many happy memories for us.  Mostly this is what I miss . . . we just don't get fall here in Texas, and unfortunately for me, it's my favorite season.

But it never felt like home.

Of course, this idea of "Home" means different things to different people.  For Tim and I, Home isn't just a house that we live in.  It's a city that we feel fits our nature and personalities, celebrates its culture, and takes responsibility for the environment.  It's surrounding ourselves with diverse, yet like-minded people: a type of people who not only are good citizens, but also appreciate hospitality, community, and peaceful living.  And yes, it is definitely having a home to come home to.

This time it's a house.  That's another first.  We've never lived in an actual house together before, ever.  We welcome the new responsibility of caring for a lawn, planning landscaped areas, gardening, pruning, weeding, and enjoying the fruits (hopefully) of our labors.  We like having to get out a hammer every now and then to fix something.  We like having multiple living spaces!  You think I'm joking . . . . [ You mean we can cook in one room and dine in another?  Sleep in a bedroom and watch TV elsewhere?  Have an actual office space?  All luxuries Austin has to offer us for less than the cost of a one room apartment in central D.C. that doesn't even accept pets. ]  We like this domestic life that we have never had the pleasure of experiencing.  This morning was one of our two days a week we could water outdoors.  We set up the oscillating sprinklers and just sat there and watched them go baaaaack and forth.  We are ridiculous.  But it was a pleasant morning, still cool and early, and our porch just felt so cozy.

We knew we would love Austin people, and we were right.  This morning our next door neighbor came over to meet Mr. Dog.  He returned the gesture by peeing on her tomato plants and sunbathing on her lawn.  She was A-OK with both of those things.  Just this evening I was saying goodbye to a friend on our front sidewalk (we have a sidewalk!) and two neighbors walking their dog stopped to introduce themselves.  They noticed we'd been moving in and wanted to know our dog's name.  I was thrilled . . . even though the gentleman was holding a steaming bag of dog poop in his hand as I went to shake it.

Oscar sunbathed with me.
Then he wanted to be wrapped up in his beach towel to nap on the sofa.

Our location couldn't be more convenient or feel more safe.  We're not on a busy street, clearly we have loyal and friendly neighbors, and people watch out for each other.  We're less than a minute drive (10 minute walk) from cafes, bakery, coffee shops, grocery, a reputable theater, and gym.  Really, what more could you ask for?

Tim went out for about four hours yesterday afternoon and while he was gone I did some rearranging and some little bits of decorating.  These are just some "trial runs" if you will.  I'm a full believer that you have to live in a house for a while to understand how you will truly "live" in it.  That means that furniture moves around quite a bit, the cabinets get reorganized multiple times, and we just plain experiment before we settle in.  Here are some sneak peeks of things I'm tossing around.  Don't judge.  They are incomplete!

Dining table. Chairs from our wedding in Mint Green.

Cake plate courtesy Sunday Hatch : )

My old dresser - this will be a "redo" project this fall!

So happy to have our bed back! (so is Mr. Dog)

(I couldn't help myself... he's just so gosh darned cute!)

I probably moved furniture around in the living - dining room 12 times or so.  
First this corner by the front door looked like this . . .

But ended up like this . . .

 And in case you were wondering, this is what I'm reading these days . . . 

The Greece travel guide is the same that Tim proposed with and the "help books" are from the Mama-in-Law.
We haven't quite situated the sofa and we're still missing our antique buffet which will go next to the wicker chair you see in the picture above.  And we love our antique theater seats on permanent loan from Circle Arts Theatre that you see under the window by the front door!  So far ZERO progress on our office area, or the bathroom.  I sort of wince every time I go in to use the toilet -- there's so much to be done!  And the spare bedroom still looks like this . . . EEK!

 We seriously just cleared a little pathway through the room, otherwise you cannot move in there.

And this is a complete tangent, but some of you know I quit drinking milk about three years ago.  I'm not lactose intolerant (that I know of), but decided after a bit of reading and some documentaries to try erasing it from my diet.  Part of this was because of the questionable nature of milk these days - especially anything that's not organically processed or from grass-fed cows.  I love milk, but even when I was drinking the best of the best, it still made me feel sluggish, bloated, and full. (TMI?)  I tried Coconut, Soy, and Rice milk before fearing I'd never find a substitute I could tolerate.  Then a friend suggested Almond milk and I gave it a try yesterday.  SUPER!  I can do this!  So if you're looking for an alternative, this is what I now endorse.  The plain flavor is pretty much tasteless, but still creamy like a good milk should be, and it doesn't leave a sweet aftertaste like so many of the other substitutes do.

And paired with Oreos to celebrate yesterday's first-day-in-the-house?

(don't my new bowls from Anthropologie look cute?)
. . .  doubly delightful!

*  *  *
Well, at 2:00am this morning Tim left for Bonnaroo music festival in Nashville TN.  He'll be gone for four days.  The first time we've been apart since marriage.  I plan on getting a lot done while he's off having fun, but since he was leaving I decided to forgive him forgetting to call the gas company before we moved in to have them turn our gas on.  Two days and counting with no hot water.  Gotta love the man!  Plus, Madeleine Peyroux was on Austin City Limits last night and, cold shower or no, probably no other sound could make me feel as forgiving . . . .