Spring Has Sprung

Spring is here at Bright Little House! We’ve started planning our landscape and we are soo excited!
We are going to be adding retaining walls around the front and we will finally be adding much needed shrubs and flowers to the front yard. The backyard will be cleaned up and hopefully we can purchase some patio furniture.
I am going to be searching Craigslist.com and yard-sales for deals on the furniture.

Here are some retaining walls, we used these for ideas:

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Of course I wish our walls will look like this, all grown in and lush:


And these are some of the flower/shrub ideas we’ve had:


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I dream:


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So here’s a look at where we began:

The Before:

The During, (last year):

This week:

(unfortunately those bushes we transplanted from elsewhere didn’t live once the Georgia sun started to get summer hot…so we’ll have to buy more bushes for the front.)
Next up….The beautiful AFTER…


Hanging Up

We’ve finally have blinds! Yay. We knew we would buy nice wooden blinds eventually, but since we still have to replace all the windows in the house, we decided buying expensive blinds first wouldn’t be the best choice for us. We know we are widening a few of them so they wouldn’t be the same size.
But, we needed something up for privacy and to let the light in since the curtains darken the rooms and I can’t stand it. I like light! A lot!

So, Adam had a great idea, while at Home Depot he noticed temporary blinds on sale for .10 cents.

(Temporary blinds are the blinds the store gives you to put up while you wait for your order of custom blinds to come in. They are a vinyl like material and they stick to your wall, like a sticker.)
He bought a bunch of them. One or two for each window.
Temp blinds look very nice (compared to sheets :-D) and they filter light beautifully. Best cheap idea yet. We love them and I’m so happy Adam bought them. It really helped our house feel more complete. We were both getting sick of the multitude of curtains. I think curtains should be for beauty and a little function, but not the only thing on the window. It gets to be too much. We felt like we were living in a cave enshrouded with fabric. If we wanted to open a window we had to dig through layers of fabric.

It is very simple to install temporary blinds. You just measure your window, then measure your blinds and cut off any remaining length:

Then you stick-em to the wall.
After we installed the blinds in the kitchen we both stepped back and found that it didn’t look right.
I had the idea that perhaps they should be hung higher up, like to the ceiling and it worked! The blinds looked better.
Then the next thing on our list was to hang the Target frames that I saved up for, but never found the time to hang. I fell in love with these simple white frames and I knew just where I wanted them.
We taped the paper backing to the wall first for placement (to make sure it was where we wanted them before we put holes in the wall):
Then after we hung the frames, I filled them with artwork from school. I still have to receive another piece of artwork from school to fill the bottom frame in the picture below, so in this picture it is just the cardboard back to the frame showing:
After learning that it might be awhile before I get my artwork back (it is on display in the hallways at school) I decided to put something pretty in its place. I then cut a piece of fabric to fit inside the frame and hung it up:
I actually LOVE it! I just might have to hang it up else where when I have my artwork back.
In this picture below I have switched the bottom and top frames, so the fabric is on the top:

I really love this wallpaper from Anthropologie, but I can only take small doses of so much color, so I’m thinking about hanging some of the wallpaper here behind the shelves (once we get around to adding them..so far we only have one shelf up!) for a pop of color. You can see a sample of it here on the wall behind the cookbooks:

ANDwe finally hung up the diningroom mirror. Although it isn’t as big as I had hoped it would be, I’ll find some way to fill in around it. Maybe I’ll hang two giant black frames on either side of the gilded mirror? We’ll see…

Dining Room Chair Makeover

When we first bought Bright Little House we didn’t have any furniture, so anything anyone could give us was a BIG help. Fortunately our parents gave us a dining room table as a housewarming present. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any chairs. I don’t know if you know this, but chairs are ex-pennn-sive and our budget was F-R-E-E. So, we went yard sale-ing as soon as we could. We hit the jack pot and bought a grandma’s whole garage full of stuff for about $75.00. That included a sofa and love seat, two reclining wing-back chairs, 6 dining room chairs, 6 kitchen table chairs, a mid-century modern night stand, and a mid-century modern sofa table. The dining room chairs were a match for the table, but they weren’t a match for our taste and they really needed a makeover!

Thanks to Jo Ann Fabrics‘ coupon in the mail, we headed to get some new fabric for 20% off any purchase.

(Well, it was more like, I went to the mail box, saw the coupon, had a light bulb moment, and proceeded to plan till Adam got home from work; then begged tried to persuade Adam that it was what HE really wanted while jumping up and down with coupon in my sweaty fists.)

We knew we wanted to paint the chairs white and we weren’t sure yet on any particular color scheme for the house. So, we decided a neutral color that would go with any color would be the best decision.
Once we were there we headed to the Clearance section and pulled out anything that looked good, then we eliminated any fabrics that were too thin (which left us with all the higher priced ‘Home Decor‘ fabrics). We couldn’t decide on our favorite two fabrics. One was a tan linen and the other was a very pale grey (more like a grey-white). Since we were pretty sure we wanted to paint the walls grey we went with the light white-grey fabric. Turns out that the other fabric didn’t have enough yards for our project anyway, so the grey was a no-brainer in the end (once we got it home we saw that it actually almost matched the white-painted chairs. Which made a beautiful monochrome look; which we liked better than what we thought the grey would look like.)

Since the fabric was on clearance and we had a 20% discount thanks to our mail coupon, we were able to afford this little makeover. Yay!
So, with roll of fabric in hand we headed off to Home Depot to buy a few cans of High Gloss white spray paint. Which was free thanks to Adam’s gift card.
Thank you baby for spending it on me and my crazy spur of the moment ideas.

So, without further ado…

Here are BEFORE shots (from Halloween):
Alex Kitty
Here are shots of the cleaning process:
I used an old bucket filled with warm water, a drop of dish soap, as well as, a tiny sprinkle of OxiClean (for good measure). To scrub, I had old car cleaning brushes and I scrubbed the heck outta those chairs. ( I needed to be gentle around the rattan parts because they are delicate and warped a little when wet but they straightened back out when they dried)

Adam removed the old fabric from the seats and stretched and stapled the new fabric on.

There was three layers of old fabric under those chairs, the last one was lime green crushed velvet..it was pretty yuckie.

After painting white:
With re-upholstered fabric:
With the gold napkin rings:
The dining room is still in progress..we will paint the walls (again, that color was oops paint bought at Home Depot just in time for our Thanksgiving guests), buy a buffet table, rug, lamps, hang the mirror and some art, and well, we want to eventually get new carpet. We originally wanted wood floors, but since we will rent this house out in a few years while we’re away in college in another city, we decided carpet is the easiest to replace if the renters ruin the floor.
* The napkin rings are from Pier 1, the table-cloth were bought at Home Goods (the packaging said Badgley Mishka), the napkins are Target, the glasses are Wal-mart (water glasses) as well as the gravy bowl, and the dishes were bought at Goodwill, but they say Thomson Pottery on the bottoms.

This Is Whats Wrong With Me

So it has been a long time since I’ve blogged.. poop! I stink at this. Well, it makes sense actually, I never could keep a journal or diary. I always wanted to be one of those people that kept a journal. I thought that if I just tried harder I would do it. I have shelves of journals I’ve started and lost interest in along the way. I just can’t keep myself focused on writing everyday. At least I can remember to brush my teeth every morning and night. My mother did a good job of drilling that into my head very early on.

I actually spend a lot of time reading other people’s blogs. It’s an obsession! I actually lay in bed in the morning after my alarm goes off and spend a few minutes surfing the web. I watch YouTube videos or scroll through beloved blogs. I tell my husband it ‘wakes’ me up in the morning, but in actuality it is just a time waster, the shower is what actually wakes me up in the morning. But I am not going to give up my morning routine. It is my equivalent to reading the newspaper.
I have an ever fluctuating schedule with school and work. Every three months it changes. So I don’t know if I will always be able to enjoy the luxury of laying in bed in the morning. Next quarter (March) I will have 8am classes, which means I will be getting up at 6am… No doubt I won’t be laying in bed those days, I’ll fall back asleep if I do!
Right now my schedule is perfect. I have two days where my class starts at 10am and two days where my classes are 6-11pm. Which is great for Adam and I, he works nights and this gives me time with him when he comes home. I will be in bed way before Adam gets home next quarter. (So sad)

The other morning I came across a blog post from Megan at Sorta Crunchy that really spoke to me. I’ve never come across her blog before (I love when I find new blogs), but I was so moved by her post I had to print it up and tape it to my sketchbook/Journal.
The post basically was about her personality type and how she feels she needs a warning label.

Here is a part of her post..(Well, Basically it is the majority of her post):

I think the reason I find such comfort in understanding my personality type is that I struggle with feeling like I am defective … As much as I have grown into my skin, grown into who I was created to be as my 30s have unfolded, I still can’t shake a perpetual belief that deep, deep down, I am broken.
And so when I read assessments that pretty much perfectly describe how I function in this world, I can’t help but to feel better.  It’s not just me.
People with my personality type tend to live by a strict internal code.  When my outward actions don’t match my inward idealistic standards, I am miserable.  And yet … I am prone to just thinking about how I am unable to do what I know I need to do instead of acting on what I need to do.
I truly do feel like I need a warning label:
WARNING: The person you are meeting, speaking to, reading, or emailing is most often experienced by others as flaky.
She operates in the world of The Big Picture, and therefore details often fall off of her radar screen. 
She will most likely:
1) Read your email and need to think on a response.  She will then forget to email you the response, even though she has spent a good deal of time thinking about it.
2) Hear your prayer concern and feel a great deal of empathy for you and your situation.  She will probably think about you for days, praying for you often as you come to mind.  She will, however, neglect to tell you this.
3) Recognize that you are going through a difficult time and think of no less than a dozen elaborate and thoughtful ways to minister to you in your need.  She will probably act on none of these ideas, even though she has given them all a great deal of thought.
4) Be your biggest supporter and cheerleader at the beginning of a project.  Her enthusiasm will eventually fizzle.  She is distracted easily by shiny things.  Going the distance is not her strong suit.
5) Agree to read and review your newest book or project.  Weeks will pass before a review is finally published.  This does not mean that she did not love your project; on the contrary, she probably loved it so much that she feels her review of your work must be absolutely perfect before she can publish it.  She is often crushed by the weight of her own standards which propels her directly into inaction accompanied by guilt.
6) Interrupt you.  Her mind is constantly making connections, often at a speed which outpaces human speech and good manners.
7) Astound you with her incredible clumsiness.  This may or may not be related to her personality type, but you should have fair warning nonetheless.
8) Start a multitude of projects and finish few.
9) Not take criticism well.  She is keenly aware of her shortcomings and imperfections, always hyper-aware of the ways her outward actions don’t meet her inner standards.  When those imperfections are recognized by others, it can be crippling.
10) Personify capriciousness, fickleness, moodiness, and procrastination.  She is also prone to being driven by her feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings.  
If you have the great misfortune of partnering with her on a project or serving as her editor, please know that she will accomplish absolutely nothing without a deadline.  Be assured, however, that she rarely misses deadlines altogether as she is capable of intense micro-focus and dedicated energy as a deadline approaches. 
Finally, if you are counting on her to take an action of some sort, she will probably disappoint you.  And even if you aren’t actually disappointed with her, she probably thinks that you are.
Do you think I could have that printed up on business cards to hand to people I meet? 
This is all very true about me, but I’m not telling you to garner any sympathy or to have you respond with warm fuzzies. In fact, I’m closing comments on this.  And I’m not sobbing at the keyboard as I write, either.  In fact, I amused myself quite a bit as I thought of all of the ways people should be warned about me.
These are just some things I thought you should know.  Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing with you the other side of the shiny coin that is moi.
(Ohhhhhhh, shiny . . . )  <- (Adam found this funny..Apparently I’m drawn to sparkles and glittery things.. )
I feel the same way, I most definitely need a warning label.

I hope that it gives me hope and inspiration to overcome my personality obstacles and to sooth my heart when I feel like a failure at being the best I can be.
I am making resolutions (not the new years kind, just personal ones) to try to make an effort to sketch in my sketchbook, to write down things of importance in my journal, and to post more here on my blog. We will see how I do at this for the next few months. I should update the blog with what has happened since the last time I posted. (not a whole lot…)

Snow Day!!

We had a surprising amount of snow today here in Atlanta. The most I’ve ever seen here since I was little. We had a few blizzards here when I was in elementary school. We didn’t have nearly as much this time, but it was still exciting and enough to shut the whole town down.

Here is a photo of Bright Little House with her pretty white dress on:

We only had 5 inches here at the house which is not a lot to northerners, but here in the south we are not used to more than an inch.
We don’t prepare for snow. We don’t have snow plows, snow tires, or window scrapers and salt for our driveways. We haven’t enough experience with driving on ice and slush. Most of us don’t have any snow gloves or boots.
The snow ended up shutting down all the schools for a week! The neighborhood kids had a blast sliding up and down the road we live on.

To those who have snow- I hope you had fun playing in it today! We did. 🙂

Wedding Post

Well I promised you I’d tell you all about our story of how we met and married, so here I go.

Adam and I met while working at a restaurant, he was a Sou Chef and I was a food runner. He asked me out through the food window. It was really embarrassing! I had never been asked on a date before and I didn’t know how to be nice and also let someone down. I wasn’t interested in him that way and I just wanted to be friends. Luckily for me he was very persistent and agreed to be my friend. We started hanging out everyday and talked on the phone till late in the night (he used to play DJ for me and played songs for me on the phone, I’d fall asleep listening.) and after a few weeks we became very close and I started falling for him. We talked about marriage, kids, the future and after a while we realized we were perfect for each other. He proposed to me on the 4th of July while we were out with my family. Right when the fireworks went off. It was really sweet.

We then started planning our wedding. I didn’t want to have a big to do and I wanted to keep it casual. I wanted it at my parents house and I wanted just my immediate family and close friends. I did have three requirements though: One, that I would have a beautiful gown; Two, I LOVE flowers and I wanted to have beautiful bouquets; and Three, I wanted to hire someone to take photos so I’d always have the memories in photos for all of prosperity.

Adam had only one requirement: that we would only spend 2,000-4,000 dollars. We succeeded at frugality and brought it in around 2,000. We used all local small businesses and grabbed some great deals. We let our bridesmaids choose what color they wanted and then let them buy whatever dress they wanted in that color. Two of them already had gold dresses so they saved even more money!

I even got to wear TWO beautiful gowns since I found a shop that was donating designer gowns to charity. They had gone around and collected last season sample dresses from top designers and sold them for $50!!!! Most of them still had original price tags on them and the one I bought had been priced around $2,000. Boy did I hit the jackpot right?!! Since they were so cheap and it was for charity I went back and bought another.

Anyway, here are some photos….

Getting my hair done.
Adam getting our get away car loaded up with our suitcases and Kleenex apparently….


HAHAHA Rick cracks us up! He’s so silly. I love it.
My mommie!
Adam and ‘his’ Rick.
The Best man and the Groom.
Me and my Daddy.

Happy Holidays!

I thought I’d give you all a glimpse of our tree! I love Christmas trees, they look so sparkly and mesmerizing. I love laying on the couch late at night just staring at it.
This Christmas season is just flying by. We’ve been to busy to enjoy it, it’s really a shame. Next year we’ll do better. We promise. 😉

Hopefully everyone else is having a great Christmas season!