August 20, 2014

Beach House | Summer #2

We've officially been in the house over a year! It seems like yesterday we were near death moving the fridge up the stairs.... There's been lots of updates since then, but I thought I'd catch them all up here.... *Yes, we are still renting the house* PS: Ignore the foul stitching of these images, some of them are a little wonky after stitching multiple images together! We've been holding out on purchasing a sofa for the loft since its not a space we use a lot. We found one we liked in April and ordered it, it was delivered in May and we still love it!loft Another item we held out purchasing were barstools. We kept thinking we would purchase something directors-chair-esque, but when these stumbled across my computer, I was sold! I'm part of a Facebook group called Re-Lilly, where you can buy & sell new or used Lilly Pulitzer items. The page administrator got wind that the Lilly Pulitzer Home line manufacturer was going under, and all the remaining inventory was being sent to the Charlotte Re-Store! This included their bar-stools! I snatched them up at about a 75% discount. They also came in white, and while that would normally be my go-to, I decided to add a little sunshine to the kitchen instead. kitchenkitchenkitchenkitchen with yellow stools After a year of waiting, Jeremy finally got my tv hung over the tub in the master bath. There's been lots of bubbly soaking-wine drinking-HGTV-watching going on since! (note the wall still needs patching... grr!)master bathroom sideboard buffet vanity A chandelier debocle landed us with this one from World Market (no longer online). The wiring is a little funky, so we need to fix it and shorten the chain (you can't see in the photo here, but we have it hooked up) - but it's a vast improvement over the light-bulb hanging out of the ceiling (which we still have in the guest room....)  booth I finally finished the "curtains" for the loft beds (they're actually thin blankets from Ikea.... same as the ones on the bed) and got them up (although Jeremy didn't secure the rods to the brackets and they came crashing down this past weekend.... add that to the to-do list!) We also still need to add the handles to the bed beds A few more... I want to find prints to hang above the bed, and I have these sconces picked out to hang above the nightstands.master bedroom The mirror needs to be hung in the guest bath... but that involves moving the light higher.... boothguest bath
June 3, 2014

House Update | Finishes

navy sofaOne of big ticket items we held out to purchase was furniture for the loft. Since it's the least used space we figured we could wait a little longer (and save up) to furnish it. About 2 months ago I stopped in Furnitureland South to see the Klaussner sofas that I was told they carried. It's a huge place, so I asked where to find them so I didn't waste any time. I spotted the Fuller sofa, and knew it was pretty perfect. I took Jeremy back the next weekend and he agreed. We went up to the ordering floor and picked out the fabric and made our order! Then we waited.... about 6 long weeks before hearing it was done and ready for delivery.  I didn't particularly love their delivery scheduling, they initially call and give you a certain one week window and you let them know what days would work within that window. Then they call back with the exact date and time.... if it doesn't work, you have to wait until their next round. (this may be different for local deliveries, but not for the coast). I don't know how to improve this process though. After attempting to reschedule and it not working out, I raced to the beach on Friday afternoon to meet the truck by 6. The delivery guys were awesome and were in and out in less than 30 minutes! It's super cozy and lounge-y... I love it!! house-8 I'm now on the hunt for a sofa table, since there's not really room for a coffee table. I've seen one I like at Homegoods, now to track one down! We also need some kind of tv stand or something. ......Ignore the stack of outdoor cushions behind the sofa navy brown white livingroom A few other updates: After a chandelier debacle, we ended up with this awesome World Market one (don't worry, we'll tend to that extra wire eventually), I finally got the 2nd chair's slipcover made (and it looks way better than the first one, eh) and my Kate Spade lucite tray found a home on our media console! blue living room beach house Over the late winter/early spring I made a pair of pinch pleat drapes for the living room. I'm pretty proud of them! I had planned to do 2 panels on each window, but then realized that might look a little heavy right next to the tv (and the in-wall speakers are there too) so we opted to just do single panels and I really like them. I want bamboo blinds for these windows, but they are an odd size, so we need to have some specially made.... read $$$! They look a little gray here, but have a blue undertone and a blue stripe in them.plaid pinch pleat curtains blueAnd finally, these little guys are back for the summer! They camp out in the guest room and kennel shutters! house-13  
May 15, 2014

Personal | The Hallway

aruba honeymoon photographerI spent the better part of 2011 & 2012 photographing everything that came my way. We were a single income house hold during most of that time and desperately trying to pay off things and save for the beach house. While working full time at the Grange, I managed to photograph over 20 weddings during each of those years. That's half my Saturday's wiped out just with weddings.... don't forget about all those portrait sessions too. I'm a firm believer you must love weddings in order to shoot them for an extended period of time. They wear on your body, your mind, your time and your relationships. I'm beyond thankful I have a husband who supports and embraces this life, and has joined me through it. 2013 was strange, and hard in many ways. I'm sure outsiders looking in saw a young couple, with a shiny, new, vacation home. Happy, happy, happy. What you didn't see was the illness, the struggling business and all the emotion with it. On the outside, it looked like one of the happiest years ever. There were many wonderful times though, don't think their weren't.  Building a custom vacation home is a dream, one that many don't achieve. I know we are blessed beyond explanation. During the start of 2013 I found myself nauseated....we would be riding down the road, and it would hit me... freezing temps and all, I would roll down the window and do my best to breathe. I never once got sick, but I sure felt like I should have. April arrived and we decided it was time to start a family. The house was nearing completion and it was the next step for us as a family. I excitedly quit taking birth control. I thought for sure by the end of the summer, I'd be pregnant. August came and went with no sign of a baby. I was feeling worse than ever, but found it difficult to go to the doctor and say "um, I just don't feel good"... I felt like they would stare at me wanting more idea of where to start looking for answers. So, it wasn't until it was September and my cycle had gone haywire and I was still not pregnant that sent me to my doctor. A round of blood work later didn't show too much so she sent me to an OBGYN, where I was told my thyroid levels were borderline high (nothing crazy) but she was going to put me on thyroid meds to get my number down, and start me on clomid to force me to ovulate (I'd taken those ovulation tests, and never got a positive).... now... I'm never good at taking meds.... but I knew the clomid was going to be important to take correctly, so I did. With the little "importance" that seemed the thyroid issue, I didn't do well taking that pill (I took it about 3 weeks and kind of quit). Well, needless to say, I didn't get pregnant that month. I also experienced a panic attack for the first time. This was so incredibly scary, and I was sure that it was because of the clomid/thyroid medication they had me on.... so even stronger than before I wanted far away from meds... so I looked to alternate methods and did some acupuncture treatments. Christmas came, and my sister knew something was wrong, thankfully my she talked me into going back to the doctor. They retested my thyroid and it was higher than ever. She immediately doubled my dose, this time I listened.... and tried to educate myself on hypothyroid issues. I've learned so much. I've learned that it effects your circulatory system (my feet & hands were always freezing), your digestive system (hence the nausea), your reproductive system (no baby) and your mental health (panic attack). All things I had experienced now were making sense. In the middle of all this revelation, I found myself pregnant. I found myself pregnant and very likely miscarrying all within 24 hours. I've always heard that emotions run off the chart when babies are growing inside, but never really knew what that meant. Now I know that it means you'll mentally prepare yourself for something, and when it actually happens that preparedness goes out the window. You'll cry your eyes out at the nurse who comes to check your blood pressure. You'll shut down with anxiety when you mind isn't "busy". So for many people who have contacted me regarding their weddings and I was "unavailable"... it wasn't because I was booked solid and couldn't take on one more (quite the polar opposite, actually) it's because I need some me time. I need time to heal, in order to get back to being the busy-bee personality I had been before last year. I'm so very thankful that 2013 was a "slow" wedding year for me, the Lord knew I would be struggling and needed time. The frustration was all because I didn't believe in His plan. I wanted my own plan to work out. I am by no means stepping away from weddings, I love them just as much (or more... I cannot wait for a wedding this weekend in Pawley's Island!) than I ever have, but please know that my health, marriage and family come first. Dates are marked off my calendar for family time this year and I'm so flipping excited. I'm sorry to all those July brides who I've turned away, that month will be spent basking int he sunshine as much as possible. I've found it difficult to share all of this publicly (and to be honest, many of my friends and family don't even know about all this) but I'm thankful that I've found some answer to why I've felt so terrible and know that there may be someone else struggling with thyroid issues and not know it. Baby or no baby, I'll still be shooting weddings and loving every moment, I'll just be more purposeful about what & how I spend my time. I feel like this "in between" we are experiencing is halting us from living. We make decisions based on the life we think we want or our supposed to live, instead of living the life we have. When I was in my early 20's I had no qualms about picking up and going. Anywhere. Being a responsible adult & wife has hindered us a little from spontaneous-for-no-reason-fun. Hence, the sudden decision to island hop to Aruba this fall. I feel like we are sitting in limbo (probably many of you do), with so many things. We don't know where the Lord will take our jobs, family or life.... but we're in. I saw a quote this morning on Instagram that I thought was fitting....  "Be all in, or get out of the way, there is no hallway"

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January 14, 2014

A Laundry List…. aka: things we want to do at the beach house

So, like normal.... technology is a little challenging these last few days (other blogs planned, and not working out quite right at the moment).... so, since we've made it 14 days into the new year without a post, perhaps we should jump on the resolution-esque blog post. Since dreaming of, building, and moving in the beach house we've had a list of things we want to complete at the house. I made a list a few days ago and thought I'd share! Can't believe it's been since September since I did a house update?! See previous beach house posts:  Labor Day & Move In, Trim

beach house projectsTo do ASAP.....

1. Hem living room curtains (I sewed them, pleated them, and we hung them.... now they just need a good hem!)

2. Fix & hang guest room curtains: I found 4 perfect, silk panels at the restore months and months ago.... I only need 2 for the guest room, and these are too short, so I am ripping the 2 I don't need apart and adding length to the ones I am going to use.

3. Hang light in guest room: found this one at West Elm about 2 years ago for like 70% off!

4. Finish & hang light over dining table: We picked out this one and got it from my Dad for Christmas.... I'm wrapping it in rope! It's about 80% done.

5. Hang these dog prints in kennel

6. Fix coffee table: needs some supports built in

7. Hang tv in bathroom: it goes where those boxes are uncovered over the tub.

8. Recover chair in living room: I got 1 done.... and have been dragging my feet on the 2nd one :-/

8. Buy & hang hooks in master bath: I want the same ones we hung in the entry-nook-area

9. Hang 3rd print in living room: 2 of the 3 are hung.... but we needed more hardware for the 3rd one.

10. Fix cables in living room & hook up speakers: we got in-wall speakers for Christmas, and we hope to have them installed soon

11. Print some 4x6 images for frames.... ya know cobblers children have no shoes.


By July

1. Redo mats in kitchen & hang prints: I'm going to try very hard to remember to bring these home and run them by Michael's to have new mats cut!

2. Hang bamboo blinds in living room & kitchen

3. Paint master bath ceiling: been strongly considering painting the ceiling in here a coordinating blue tone!?!

4. Make organizer for silverware drawer.... oh I don't have a picture of the chaos of this drawer for a reason.

5. Hang shelves in pantry.... yeah our microwave is about 6 feet in the air on the only shelf hung.....


By the end of 2014

1. Buy new TV for living room: Jer has his heart set on a 55"

2. Buy sofa for loft: after lots of debate, reading and cost options: I think we're going Ikea. I'm not thrilled about it, but I'll live.

3. Have dresser for master painted & take to the beach..... yeah.

4. Build dining table: Make sure you ask Jeremy about this to keep it on his mind :-) He said months ago he wanted to build one.... I'm holding him to it.

Things I am pleased to report:

We finally got a rug! Our living room has been in serious need of some cushy.... found a deal on this on through It should arrive next week!

I also hit Target with a vengeance this week.... finding this bar cart 70% off (to be used as my night stand), this end table (for the living room) and 2 of these poufs for the living room! Thank you Cartwheel app & Target debit card for the savings!