November 7, 2013

This is a we thing.

That's what's engraved on the inside of our wedding bands. Over the last 14 months 3 of my closest friends have tied the knot. Unlike Jeremy, most of my friends are single, or not married yet... until those last 14 months. On the way back from one of their bachelorette weekends away two of them were in the car with me. They sincerely asked, does anything change when you get married? "Yes & No" was my response. Below is my married-gal thoughts on what changes when you get married. 1. You both live in the house, make sure it looks like it. I'll never forget the look on Jeremy's moms face when he told her we were moving in together (ahem, not engaged or married yet). We moved in. We didn't tell my dad, but he gave me some explicit advice for our "home"..... I don't remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of- this is both of your homes, make sure you both make decisions about it. He had previously been married to women who made 99% of the decisions regarding their home (decor-wise). And while is mustard-colored pleather recliner was an eyesore, my mother knew it was his (and that it was going to live in the farthest corner of our den!). We make sure each of us approves all the furniture purchases, paint colors, and art :-) 2. Figure out how to share your money This kinda came naturally to us, and I know that is a blessing. When I bought our house (before we were engaged), I made sure everything was in my name. There was no reason to financially tie us together. If we ever parted ways, it would be a much easier split than if we both had our names on the deed and loan. I actually freaked out on Jeremy about 5 months prior when he wanted me to put him on my cell phone plan! ha! After moving in, we opened a joint checking account so that we could each put money in for the mortgage and bills, while maintaining our own private accounts. This evolved over time, and eventually it became too cumbersome to shuffle money back and forth, so we combined everything, except the photography accounts- those have always been separate. 3. Agree on where your money is going on a day-to-day basis This is probably the biggest thing I told the girls that day in the car. Unless you have unlimited money, you each need to know what's going where. Food tends to be our biggest enemy (and I'm sure many of you agree). It's easy to drop $25 a few times a week at places like Panera or Salsaritas, but that adds up so fast. We used to have a $300 a month food budget, and it would quickly get blown by those places.  It's sickening to think that if we had Panera one night and pizza another, then that's $50 a week, or $200 a month! Along with this comes, who pays what? Even if it's coming out of a joint account, who's actually in charge of mailing the check or paying it online? A few occasions I came home to our power cut off because we both thought the other one paid the bill (.... or I forgot!) We have a pretty good system using Google Calendar, all our bills are listed a few days before they are due, and if they are for Jeremy (his credit cards, student loans) he pays them, and I pay mine. The Google Calendar helps me keep up with what bills come out of what money.... ie: Jeremy gets paid every 2 weeks, while I am paid monthly- so by looking ahead to the 2 weeks between Jeremy's checks we can see where the money is going. 4. Agree on your financial goals & what it will take to get there We talk long-term dreams and we talk short term victories. Before the beach house was built, we would spend what free weekends we had sitting by the pool, talking about the money coming in and where it was going. We were able to watch our savings grow and start on the beach house sooner than expected. Sometimes these dreams sound crazy, but that's OK. The summer after Jeremy was laid off (2010), we were at the beach and thought, wouldn't it be great if we owned a home here? We started researching, and realized it wasn't so crazy and we could do it!   You'll get into a grove with who washes the dishes, cuts the grass and does the laundry- but money can cause lots of stress. Just because you live together first doesn't mean you're truly invested, everything must become a "we thing". charlotte nc marriage advice      
September 30, 2013

Beach House | Projects

We spent the weekend soaking up the last of the summer sun and working on a few small projects.... It's funny how small projects turn into giant ones, huh? About 5 weeks ago I stopped by Mary Jo's to hunt for some good drape martial, and came home with 4 yards of one that I just loved. I knew I would use it either in the living room or master bath, but wasn't sure yet which. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't gust go ahead and get 7-8 yards, so I would have enough for both panels! I decided I wanted to use it in the master bath and made it a point to pick up more yards a few weeks ago. Over the weekend I finally got around to sewing the panels and getting them hung (only a 2 month process to hem 8 sides, and hang a curtain rod!) I also picked up this painting on the right.... thoughts? Is it too small for the spot? The curtain fabric is Lorton by Kravet. I purchased it for $20 a yard at Mary Jo's bath curtainsMy anchor pillowcases from Garnet Hill arrived... Love them! .... What would you hang above these beds? It's not on my immediate to-do list.... but I'd love some input! guest Back over the 4th, one of our island pendants bit the dust (literally fell out and shattered all over the room!), I had to scramble to find another on eBay (they're discontinued) and paid a small fortune for it... but it arrived and the threads on the globe needed some glue... we've only had it about 2 months, and finally bought some super glue to fix it and get it hung! I also picked up these food-related prints (they're actually greeting cards from Southern Weddings!) and framed them up. They will eventually hang over where you see all the mugs (but of course, they didn't get hung either!)kitchen living
September 3, 2013

Personal | Beach House, First Labor Day!

beach house coffee tableSince moving into the beach house in mid June, we've been back four times..... each time we accomplish new things and each time new people come to visit. We got down to the house late Thursday evening and even though I was feeling awful, I still managed to unpack the car and assemble some new lights (which we returned.. boo!). We arrived late Thursday to find our smoke alarms "chirping"..... not what you want to deal with at midnight.... and we then realized the horrific placement of 2 of the alarms.... at the top of the vaulted ceiling! Thankfully, the one in our bedroom wasn't going off.... I have no clue how we would have reached it.... but to get the one in the loft down.... we had to take our kitchen table upstairs and put a bar stool on top.... yeah.... we bought a ladder this weekend. We also picked up some hooks for the "entry nook" so when you arrive there's a nice, neat spot to hang your purse/jacket/beach bag/etc. navy white stripe settee orb hooks monogram tote I also got my 3rd frame replaced..... last time, when we arrived I was framing my prints we had done with Jonathan Canlas and discovered broken glass..... I'm happy to report they replaced my frame free of charge :-) These prints will actually hang on the wall behind the sofa, but are on the ledge out of the way for now. These are 11x14 prints in 22x28 frames. navy mats gold frames Last time we brought one of the chairs I recovered with a drop cloth slipcover. This time I brought the blanket (Lands End) and pillows (I made). The dogs have taken it over. dropcloth slipcover chair There was lots of lounging on the porch too!porch dogs   Hope you had an awesome, relaxing weekend!!!!
June 10, 2013

Beach House | Move In!!!

703 texas ave carolina beach house rental We have patiently awaited the day we could rent a moving truck and tote all our treasures down to Carolina Beach (trust me, we've had our spare fridge sitting in our dining room since last August!). Last Wednesday we got the official word that we were good to move in on Friday, so we reserved a truck for Thursday evening, and had all our mattresses shipped to a local store for pickup on Thursday night. A minor (major?) hiccup occurred when the Budget Truck rental location was closed at 5:05PM when Jeremy arrived (the website said they close at 5:30!) Thankfully, some very nice people at UHaul provided us a bigger truck for the same price just down the street.... whew! Crisis averted! We headed to Original Mattress to pick up our new beds. We then headed home to fill the truck and my car with the rest of our goods. With all the excitement, I don't think Jeremy or I slept much that night and we were up early to head out. Jeremy left first in the truck to hit his parents home for our patio furniture, and I made my way to my dad's for our bed. We met up at my dad's where we had to do minor rearranging in the truck (in the rain!), then we were off to the beach! We arrived about 4PM and met our builder at the house to be shown around, and go over a few minor things that his crew still needed to fix and take care of. When he left, the exhausting work began of moving everything off the truck and up the stairs (thank God for wide staircases!). Prior to dinner, we decided to tackle moving the fridge in- the one thing Jeremy was nervous about.... and rightfully so. He was above it pulling with a hand truck and I was under it (yes, UNDER).... I have no idea how long it took us to get it upstairs, but we were both beyond thankful that we made it in without death or serious injury to either of us! When we arrived back from dinner, all the mattresses were left.... we mustered the energy to get them into the kitchen, put our bed together and crash for the night. Saturday, we took the truck back to UHaul and ran a few errands... Lowe's twice, Best Buy and Homegoods. Jeremy's parents came down and brought our last few pieces of patio furniture that didn't fit in the UHaul, and had dinner with us. We unpacked the kitchen and called it a night. Sunday brought the tedious task of assembling furniture.... 2 beds and all the patio furniture.....  We finished everything and cleaned up in time to head home about 6PM. carolina beach bass built new house carolina beach move in Moved in & cleaned! There will eventually be 4 different bar stools at the counter (like these?) Our pendants haven't been hung over the island or sink yet. This one goes over the sink and 2 of these go over the island.carolina beach nc wedding photographer The light over the table actually goes in the stairwell (it's Shades of Light, YHL collection)... and that table is temporary. We have a 4th chair & the table will likely be a farmhouse table. Chairs are Serena & Lilly, coffee table & end tables are from the ReStore, sofa is Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams (outlet) great room carolina beach house KITCHEN ACCESSORIES The kitchen is pretty well furnished, but we still have plates & silverware to buy.... all the glassware is from the Target $1 spot! Navy cake plate & pitcher are both from Homegoods. White bowl is Pottery Barn outlet and clear jars (for sugar & flour) are from Karen's wedding. Anchor dishtowel was a gift. bass built home carolina beach nc Master bedroom- My parents bought me this bed when I was in the 9th grade, and since I left for college my dad has been storing using it. I think it's perfect for the room! Navy sheets (maker?), and navy duvet (Ralph Lauren) are from TJMaxx... The navy's don't match, I've got a little more work to do on these linens. The turtle blanket on the sofa is from Hawaii. navy brown white master bedroom Our master bath... I'm obsessed. The buffet looks amazing as the vanity and the mirrors are the perfect size. They aren't hung yet, because we are painting the frames black. The shower is  awesome... the Delta shower head is rain-shower-esque... but still puts out plenty of pressure to get the soap out. The tub is great too.... had an inaugural bath this weekend.... it will be even better when the tv is hung up (yes, there are connections for the tv, you can see them if you look close!) The faucet wall for the tub backs up to our master closet, where the dvd player and electronics will be housed. Towels are Nate Burkus for Target. custom master bath sideboard buffet vanity Guest room.... I love all the color in here! The headboards are from Joss & Main, side table is from Jeremy's family, lamp is Ralph Lauren from TJMaxx, orange tray is from West Elm, rug is Dwell Studio from Rosenberry Rooms. The bottom right photos are the fabric choices for this room. I'll be making pillows and things from these. Gray blankets are Tahari, and blue sheets are Ralph Lauren- both from TJMaxx.guest room navy joss main headboard dwell rug Guest bath....  (to match the above bedroom)... the builder mirror here is temporary, we have this one to hang. Soap dispenser is Threshold for Target and the jar (for Q-Tips) is from Goodwill.guest bath blue vanity Deck.... excuse the hazy photos... it was SO humid on Sunday and I didn't have the patience for my camera lens to un-fog! The part of the deck with the 2 club chairs & coffee table will be screened in. Club chairs, coffee table, dining set are all Smith & Hawkin Windsor Collection for Target (2 years ago). The loungers are from Big Lots about 15 years ago... my mom bought them for our deck at the house I grew up in! Sail & anchor pillows are from TJ Maxx. porch furniture carolina beach The loft beds & bathroom. All the linens will be the same, I just have one set right now. loft beds built in ship style