Thursday, January 31, 2013

{We're Getting Tiled!}

As I shared here, one of the items we have been wanting to tackle for years is installing a back splash tile in our kitchen! 

And we're finally following through...woo hoo! 

We picked out two different tiles...

This one...

The glass and stone mix gal!
And this one...

The all glass modern beaut! 

Now let's chat a moment. I adore both of these...and feel they would both look amazing in our kitchen. But I am thinking about two things...

1. What will a future owner think? The realization is that we might not be in this house forever! So we need to make sure that we aren't picking a trendy option, but something classic. 

2. How will the tile clean? We cook a lot! And we need to make sure that we can keep this back splash clean and beautiful! 

So for clean-ability...the second option would be the way to go. All tile is much easier to clean and the stone in the first option could possibly change in bueno! If we're going for classic...the first option would be the way to go. All glass tile is not for's more modern and trendy. 

I have my personal favorite, but I decided to take it to Instagram to see what ya'll think! 

And it was overwhelming...the right option was the winner...

And it's so obvious!! 

So we're going with the right option!! Option one above! Woo hoo!! 

It's bright, fresh, classic, with a pop of pizzazz! And I love how the white in the stone brings out the white in our cabinets. 

We had Lowes come and measure, and on Wednesday we went and picked out the grout! 

Now why are we hiring this out instead of DIYing? 

Well there are a few reasons...

1. Enough people have told us horror stories to make us scared to death of DIYing! 

2. The materials cost a decent amount, and we would hate to mess it up and have to spend even more on materials and perhaps end up hiring it out anyways 

3. We're just not brave enough to tackle it on our own! 

I know a lot of people have done it successfully! But this tile is a glass and stone mixture which means more delicate cutting and complicated measuring! The stone tile cracks so easily and we just didn't want to take the chance! 

Plus, we had a bunch of gift cards {like the check out lady just kept swiping and swiping and swiping...poor girl!} 

So yeah...there you have it! Can.not.wait to show the end result! Eeeee!! 

Any exciting projects going on in your world? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

{A Nashville New Years}

So Wendel and I had the most incredible New Years with his family in Nashville! 

His parents took us, and Alex's sister and her husband to The Orpyland Hotel for a few nights of relaxing fun! 

This was the view from our balcony...

Our first night we had dinner in the hotel and walking around to take in the festive awesomeness! 

A tad blurry...but hello lights! 

So this Christmas tree was insane...and Wendel might have tried to get inside it...I pretended not to know him :) 

I like him...a lot! 

We headed outside for about three seconds {it was freezing} to check out the lights... 


Another from our balcony...

One morning, we headed out to the Pancake Pantry...and waited in the cold for one hour! 

Don't was delicious and so worth it! 

That night, we headed to the Pub in the Opryland for dinner...we also played Battle of The Sexes...if you haven't seen this game...go to Target and buy it! It's hilarious and so much fun to play with couples! 

New Years Eve day we headed downtown to do a bit of shopping! 

Then I found a hat shop...a precious vintage hat shop! And I fell in love! Everything was on sale...and I could have bought a dozen! I'll admit...I'm a hat person but have a hard time finding places to wear them. So I've decided to just do it! I bought one fancy hat {it's in that amazing hat BOX and you'll see it soon in a fashion post!} and then I went back and bought this cute little hat for our trip to Ireland this summer! 

It was pretty rainy, but people were already getting there for the evening festivities...that's commitment! 

That night we went for a fancy steak dinner! I got to wear a sparkly skirt {both shirt and skirt from Loft} and eat an amazing dinner with my beyond fabulous family! I have been so blessed to marry into this family! I have to pinch myself sometimes! 

We are going to Ireland as a family this August, so we decided to ring in the New Year at the Irish pub! It was perfect, and we were so sad to go home! But I'm excited for the year 2013...a lot of fun things will be happening this year!! 

I hope everyone had a great New Years {a month later} 

Monday, January 28, 2013

{Meal Planning: Week 1}

So I love finding new recipes on Pinterst and adore seeing what people are cooking on Instagram. Then  I thought that maybe ya'll would enjoy seeing what the Wendels are cooking up in our house! 

So I'm going to try to start posting our weekly menus...feel free to ignore :) 

Now as I've mentioned, I am a detail person, and love me a list! So I'm sure you're not surprised that I plan out all of our meals on Sundays so we're ready for the week. We typically do our shopping on Sunday or Monday...

I make our lunches {typically turkey sandwiches, salads, cottage cheese and fruit, or my favorite PB&J} 

But for dinners, we like to experiment! And since Wendel gets home at 3:30, we cook dinner together pretty much every night...which I adore! 

So here's what we've got cooking this week! 

Monday: Lasagna Soup...beyond delicious and it's Weight Watchers friendly
Tuesday: Penne with Mushrooms and Spinach {this recipe has shrimp, but we didn't pick any up so we're just going all veggie with this dish!}
Wednesday: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps {I've never tried this recipe..hopefully it's delicious!}
Thursday: Left Overs {we used to not have a left overs night and would throw away so much food! So we're starting to in hopes to be less wasteful!}
Friday: Pizza and Movie Date Night {we do this pretty often...we either order pizza or make it...I think this week we'll order it because I think we have a free pizza from Papa Johns...woo hoo!}
Saturday: We're taking my niece and mom our for a Sushi date night at Dancing Wasabi in Hyde Park! 
Sunday: Family dinner which we all usually throw together at some point on Sunday! 

So that's what we're up to this week in terms of eating! 

Does anyone have any amazing recipes we need to try? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

{The Rest Of Our Advent Calendar}

A really long time ago...I shared with you our advent calendar and what we've been up to during the month of December! 

Well I still haven't shared the rest of our here's what we were able to fit in during the Holiday craziness! 

Day 15: We started our day by dropping off Christmas Presents through Angel Tree at church! Then we headed for a little Christmas brunch at one of my favorite Christmas eateries...The BonBonerie! Then we did a little last minute shopping! 

That evening we headed downtown for a romantic dinner overlooking skaters on Fountain Square at Palamino! Such an amazing meal! Adored it! 

Day 16: My brother and sister-in-law hosted a Christmas tea at their house with the whole family! A fun excuse to get a little dressed up and have some yummy treats! Then my mom and I headed to my high school for the Christmas choral concert! 

Day 17: A Christmas movie by the fire and Christmas tree! Everything I ever imagined! 

Day 18: Our first Christmas themed dinner {which you can read about here} where we ate a yummy dinner, decorated a gingerbread house, and sipped on Grinch juice {lime sorbet with sprite and green sprinkles} while watching our favorite Christmas movie!  

Day 19: After a busy day, we came home to an extra special cut of hot coco complete with gingerbread peep {which actually tasted like gingerbread} and my best friend...our space heater!  

Day 20: Our second themed dinner...warm soup on a very chilly evening! 

Day 21: Our last Christmas themed dinner! Homemade pizza {we attempted to make a Christmas was a bust!} and an evening of Christmas cookie-ing! 

Day 22: Alex's family's big Christmas party...still waiting on a picture, but once I get it I'll add it to this post! 

Day 23: Dinner with Alex's grandparent's then we went to see The Christmas Carrol at Playhouse in the Park! 

Day 24: Christmas with my family! Love these two cuties...our two sweet, precious nieces! 

Day 25: We spent the night at Wendel's parents house and did Christmas morning there...and it was magical...seriously! They do Christmas morning right!!! 

And then Christmas dinner with Wendel's family!  

This Christmas was perfect...even though I was a little sick {ear infection and killer sore throat} I loved every second of it!! 

Then a few days later we headed to Nashville with Wendel's family to ring in the New Year at The Opryland! More on that soon!! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{Our Goals for 2013: Another List To Half Way Tackle}

{Ya'll I'm so sorry!! I've had this post ready for quite a while and keep forgetting to post it!! Here she is!! }

As we discussed recently, we didn't do all that well at checking things off our To-Do list for 2012. 

But...we did accomplish some rather large things, like our gorgeous desk, painting pretty much the entire top floor of our home, and re-doing our hardwood floors

This year will be a year of small, minor changes that will make some big-time impact! Nothing that is going to seriously break the bank {you can take a sigh of relief Wendel} but things that will really help our home to feel more like ours! 

So here's what our list looks like for 2013! 

1. Build a New Railing In The Entry

This was on our list for 2012, and I really can't wait to get this baby taken care of. For a few random reasons. Number 1: it's horrible ugly and I've loathed it since the moment was first laid eyes on this biggie right? Number 2: Since our home was owned previously by chain smokers {no bueno} we have a lot of nicotine drips on random parts of the house {gross right...mainly on doors for some reason} but this railing for some reason is constantly dripping with yellow nicotine stains. I clean them with TSP and they show up soon after. PLEASE PEOPLE...DON'T SMOKE PERIOD BUT FOR SURE NOT IN YOUR HOME!  

Anyhoo..this really shouldn't be a complicated project, but something to take a Saturday figuring out and doing. 

Here's the look we're going for though! 

I love the white spindles and dark stained railing...gorgeous! 

2. Install a Tile Backslash in The Kitchen

Yes...this was on our 2012 list too...and we will accomplish this!! We had picked out tile about a year ago, bought it, and let it sit in a closet for a year. Then we decided we weren't in love with that tile anymore {and by we I mean me...opps} So we returned it and found these two samples that we're currently picking from!

This one...
And this one...
I also kind of love the idea of some very simple white subway tile...oh the decisions  But we'll give you updates when we actually make some decisions!!

3. Help Out Our Deck a Bit

We are looking for a way to make our deck less hot for the kiddos when they're over playing in the pool. We're researching a few ideas that we can do ourselves. One in material that you brush on over top of your current deck almost like a stain, but it makes it textured. The hope is that it wouldn't just be a flat piece of wood, but a textured surface that might not make the deck like lava. We'll see, and of course let you know how we feel about it! 

4. Build a Pergola on The Top Deck

We spend a lot of time on our top deck in the spring/summer because it has a nice big tree that helps shade it. But we would love to build an amazing pergola to help bring more shade {and let's face it...awesomeness} to the backyard. I just picture giant white lights hanging from the top, a glass of wine, and a summers night...mmm..summer! Here are some inspiration that makes me drool with excitement! 

5. Install a New Front Door

So remember that time we painted our door bright blue, and then got in a wreck and I broke my hip? we were driving away for our date that night, we said "wow...that color has to change!" Well a wreck, and 9 weeks of no walking meant that got pushed to the back burner, and still is blue. But all of this to say, that door is horrible! The ugly side window is annoying as all get out, not to mention it's styrofoam on the inside {yes you heard me right!} But I think we'll end up buying a whole new door...and we're thinking are some inspirations! 

I mean...hello, right? 

While I don't think we want a door with so many windows, I still love this type of door!  

Even though this is an inside shot, I love how simple yet detailed this door is! 

And I'll still always try to convince Wendel that we need a colored love love! 

6. Jazz Up Our Cutting Garden

So this summer, we started a cutting garden in the garden on the side of our house that had nothing in it. We started a few things, but this year I really plan to do some amazing planting so we can have fresh flowers all summer long! I've started my research, so I'll let you know when I have some solid ideas!! Here are some gorgeous cutting gardens from Pinterest that I can aspire to someday! 

7. Add an Popping Detail in Our Bedroom

So while I love our room right now...the walls are boring! And that's never a good we're going to change that soon! 

Loving this striped accent wall! 

And this Ombre Wall, but I think this is too much for Wendel...

And I still love this with I Heart Organizing 

8. Re-Stain Our Bedroom Furniture

We were super blessed to get all of Wendel's bedroom furniture from his room, but man that furniture has been through it with him. I swear Wendel throughout time: lightly tapped a sludge hammer on parts of the dressers, took a lighter to the bed side tables, and keyed the tops of the dressers. He still defends that he didn't...but we need to work on them! 

I know that a light sanding and a fresh new stain will make them look good as new! Add some fun knobs and I might just have a new obsession! 

We'll keep you updated! 

9. Make Our Basement More Livable 

We've done quite a bit to our basement since the orange dungeon that we moved into...

Horrid, right?

Like re-painting the fireplace/walls and putting new carpet in...

But we still have big dreams of things to do to make this basement a more livable space! Here are some things on our list:

- Make some built-ins to flank the fireplace

- Pull down the paneling on the walls {not a huge fan} and put up drywall.

- De-horrify the ceiling

- Have the couch and chairs re-upholstered

- Perhaps make that little alcove into another bedroom by building a wall to cut it off from the rest of the room and add french doors to make it still feel open

-Make this bar more awesome by adding a super amazing backslash, taking down that thing on the top, adding an amazing light fixture and getting a new countertop

So yeah that's a lot for one area of our house...but this is one of those bigger projects that will happen gradually over the next few years. We're saving our pennies for this puppy and can't wait to have this place ready for football and award show parties!

Here are some inspiration shots for you!

Love these colors and how livable this space is!

We have storage under the steps, and it would be so fun to blow that out and make a little reading or storage nook! 

Love the storage flanking the fireplace...

Would love a rock or metal backslash for the bar! 

Don't know exactly what I love about this, but I love it! 

Love these shelves! Would love to have these on both sides of the fireplace maybe with mirror in the back! 

All inspiration photos via Pinterst

10. Enjoy Our Pool More 

We tend to get ourselves busy in the summer and we don't enjoy our pool enough! So this year we have decided to commit to spend most of our weekends {safely} enjoying our pool while loading up on SPF!

So that's what we have going on this year? Let's be honest, we're get side tracked and do other things...but for now that is what we're thinking about working on this year!!

What are your plans for this year? Any fun DIY projects on your lists? I'd love to hear about them!!