Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gallery Wall Update

Gallery walls have been huge in home decor this year! I took my first stab at a Gallery Wall awhile ago, and our wall has been like that since but now it's time for a change. I mean look at the amazing gallery wall in Shelley's House of Smith's home. With those as inspiration, mine needed to be revamped big time.

For my birthday my lovely sister-in-law bought me the amazing pictures I wanted for the guest bedroom revamp, and instead of using them for the guest bedroom I decided they were just TOO good looking to keep in that room! I mean come on....look at them again!

So with that, I decided to make a different gallery wall type thing for our living room. I wouldn't really call it a gallery wall per se, I think it has too much symmetry and is only 5 frames but I still like it.

On the hunt for inexpensive frames I was on my way to TJMaxx but stopped by Garden Ridge just to check it out. I don't go to Garden Ridge typically....actually, I never go there. But for some reason I had a hunch to stop by & Jiminey Crickets I'm stoked I did! I found four silver frames that were perfect for the 5x7 pictures for $5 each; but I took the photos that were suppose to be in the guest bedroom. So now I am going to use the left over frames/photos from the gallery wall in that room {another post}.

This is in our entry way!

In addition to sending the four 5x7 photographs, the seller also sent two 4x6 photographs. I used those in a frame for our entry way, so I can seem them each time I walk in the house. :) So what do you think? I'm pretty happy with it but it takes some getting use to since the previous one had TONS of photos to look at. But I think the new and improved wall has prettier photos!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stylin & Profilin'

I have spent an inordinate amount of time stalking fashion blogs these last few weeks. It started while I was stuck in the house during Hurricane Sandy, then it became a crutch when I was drugged up on cold medicine. Regardless, I'm hooked.

So you know my love for Pinterest right? {I've shared this love affair many times on the blog} Well, while pinning some apparel options I found a pin from Audrey at Putting Me Together and decided to visit her site. What started as an innocent pin turned into hours of sifting through her blog. I've been looking at my wardrobe lately thinking of pieces I need to purchase to be "trendy" or look more professional for work (at Homes.com we have tons of good lookin' ladies who make our department feel more like a fashion runway then a marketing department).

But Audrey has helped me look at my wardrobe with a new set of eyes. Her series on building a remixible wardrobe is brilliant! It helped me develop a whole new appreciation for the current pieces I have and ways to rework them with others in my closet.

While her tips seem pretty basic, I just didn't think to look at my shirts and say 'oh, I can take this blouse and make you fit with these pants, plus add a belt!' Please don't tell me I'm alone on this one. Audrey is solely responsible for me waking up one morning and spending an hour on the floor in my closet jotting down 50+ different ideas with my current clothes. Okay...so maybe I am alone on this portion. ;)

The next person I've been spending WAY TOO MUCH time stalking is Kendi from Kendi Everyday. This is a wicked talented lady who snaps photos of her stylish attire each day (yup, each day) on her blog. She's also a boutique owner of Bloom in Texas, a speaker, photographer and all around great gal {listen to me, like we're besties or something}. Her style is pretty quirky which is something I've been accused of (I have friends who say 'oh, that is a Gill outfit'. So clearly I have a distinct style.), so I really enjoy the items she pairs together.

Both of these fine ladies have definitely helped bring new life to my wardrobe, which isn't actually all that stellar, but have challenged me to make it work with what I've got. My husband appreciates their inspiration completely! ;) So bottom line, I'll be sharing a couple of my new and improved outfit ideas on this blog. I'm not at all a fashion person, although I secretly hope to be as stylish as these ladies, but I do get a sense of joy when I've put together an outfit I'm especially proud of. May not come from a mannequin at any store I've ever seen, but it'll put a smile on my face which is just as awesome!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Entertainment Stand Revamp

While I totally love my decision to re-do the dresser turned entertainment stand for our living room, I have since questioned my decision to paint it the way I did. And while I was evaluating our living room for the pallet wall fail, I kept looking at the entertainment stand over and over again questioning it more. So what would a DIYer do when she's questioning something in her home? Revamp it! ;)

So that's what I did and boy am I glad I did!! I have some left over paint from my guest bedroom revamp {updates on that soon} so I used the same paint on our entertainment stand. Here's the before...

And here's the after!

Wasn't super tough, but it has been a decision I was struggling with because everyone else liked the green. For me though, with our green couches, curtains and green/blue focus wall {previously the fireplace wall} it seemed like too much green. And with my wonderul iKEA coffee table, the white goes very well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


So this post was suppose to go out last week, but it didn't. I'm LAME! Been a little MIA lately, in case you couldn't tell. With Hurricane Sandy coming through the East Coast (no major damage on our end), me coming down will a killer flu (out for 7 days) and a death in the family, I just haven't been able to visit the blog. Sad face.

Luckily I'm starting to come out of my fog and just wanted to share with everyone how grateful I am. I've been watching on the news how devastating Hurricane Sandy has been to other areas and I'm really grateful that we did not see that side of her. There are many who are without homes, without power and/or can't contact their loved ones because of that. It's really scary to think so many are struggling right now.

Even with me being sick this past week, our refrigerator deciding to stop working and other stuff, I'm really grateful for the family and friends I do have. I'm really grateful for the roof over my head and the ability to feed my family. I am grateful for my relationship with God who always looks over me. I saw this sign the other day on Pinterest and I really hit home...

I have contemplated buying (or creating) something like this and putting it in a prominent place in my home. That way it'll always serve as a reminder that each day I need to remember what I have and be grateful. What are you grateful for?

Photo source: Crafty Scrappy Happy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dallas Cowboys Football Game

As you may recall, Ryan and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! WHOO HOO! ;) My gift for him was football tickets to the Dallas Cowboys football game in Baltimore on October 14th. Yup, that's right it was this past weekend.

We've never been to a NFL football game before, but it was SO MUCH FUN! I'm not sure if you saw the game or not, but it was an amazing game to watch. Although Dallas lost 31-29, it was a action packed and we were fighting to the VERY end.

Half time

2nd half kick-off

So if you didn't watch, the Cowboys were losing 31 to 23 and at the two minute mark they were in the Ravens end zone. After several third downs, we finally scored a touchdown to make it 29 to 31. Then, in an effort to get the two point conversion, Tony Romo threw the ball to a reciever who caught it but the ball slipped out of his hands! AHHH! Cowboys then kicked an on-side kick & recovered the ball. WHAT? That's right, they got possession AGAIN. They moved a couple yards, but time was ticking down so they decided to bring on their fieldgoal kicker......alas, they missed the field goal. Urgh! But the last two minutes of the game was action packed. No one knew if Dallas was going to tie it up or end up winning!

TailgateFever from Homes.com & ForRent.com

I had an absolute blast with the hubby. The stadium was packed with 71,000+ fans in the stands. I couldn't believe how many people were there (I'm such a newbie). ;) I really want to try and do this again sometime-even though I'm not much of a football watcher, I appreciated the sport by being there and becoming a part of the game.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Closet Organization Solutions

Lately I've been stalking someone. Have you heard of Jen from I Heart Organizing? Her blog is amazing! Chalk full of home organization solutions. I am so jealous by her creativity for organization. I use to really pride myself on organization when I was younger. I was actually pretty anal with my organization. Several years and a husband later that is NOT the case anymore.

So the other day I was on Jen's blog and it struck a nerve. I needed to get my lazy butt up & get organized! I looked around my bedroom and immediately found a couple areas I could improve. The first on the list was our master closet!

Our master closet isn't very big. It's a decent size for a starter home, but nothing to brag about. That being said, with two adults it gets pretty full of stuff and isn't super organized. That's about to change! At a recent trip to Garden Ridge and Lowe's, I picked up a few things to help me get started. For less than $20 I was able to get something organized and easier to access.

1. Purse storage: I've always heard that when you  have storage problems you need to "go up" and use wall space. I've also heard to make sure to use every space possible, including doors! So with that, I bought a couple decorative hooks from Lowe's and attached them to the back of the door to hold my purses. Easy to do and so nice when I want to quickly change my purse for the day! Total cost for this solution was $6.

2. Hat storage: In our office I bought a hat rack for Ryan so all of his baseball hats had a home {not that he puts them there that often}; but for my hats, I like them upstairs when I'm getting dressed. Mostly I use them when I exercise and I'm getting dressed upstairs for that. With that, I bought some Command Strips and placed them on the wall for each hat to be hung. I think I spent a total of $5 for this solution.

 3. Belt Storage:

4. Scarf storage:

 5. Sweater storage:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pallet Wall FAIL

The other day I saw a picture onFacebook from Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl. She posted a blog, and photo, of her AMAZING pallet wall. Here's the pix:

As you can see, totally cute and something that would absolutely appeal to me-right? We have a wooden wall in our house, remember our home was built in the 70s, so this seemed like an easy thing I could put inside my home. I already had green paint from our kitchen, the blue color from our fireplace wall, and white paint for the guest bedroom, so I thought I'd take a stab at recreating this for our home {Ryan was even okay with it, which meant I needed to HOP on it QUICK!}

So I went to labeling some of the wood pieces for the colors I wanted. I thought it would be easier to start painting once I had a game plan of where the colors would go.

Once I did that, I started with the green paint from the kitchen. I got about half way done with the green paint when I stepped back and looked at the whole space.

And that's when I decided the pallet wall was a major FAIL! See, while I LOVE the idea of a pallet wall and the colors, asthetics work perfectly with the home and my style, it just didn't work well with the other patterns inside the space. Given that we have open concept with our living room and dining room next to one another, that means the dining room needs to play nice with the living room.

These are our curtains, slight pattern.

The entertainment stand I painted a while ago.

Rug on top of our carpet.

You might think I'm crazy {and if you do, and strongly believe I made the wrong decision please let me know! I could be airing on the side of caution when I made the choice, but can easily be talked out of it!} but I just didn't think the pallet wall would complement the other pattens in the space. The curtains aren't too crazy, but they do have stripes at the bottom. The entertainment stand has a pattern as well with the green and white on select locations and finally, the rug; which I actually think would complement the pallet wall if it didn't have the other elements.

I don't know....I struggle with mixing patterns and fabrics together in home decor. In apperal I'm all over it but in home decor I doubt myself and decide to opt out. Maybe I'll attempt it again when I'm feeling more confident. Today I'm going to consider it a FAIL! LOL.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Treats

Pinterest is a dangerous place...I always have the urge to make something after just 5 minutes on the site!

This is another Pinterest creation, like my pin wheels; I saw this one morning and just had to make them the same day! So I saw this pin for mini croissants filled with pumpkin {have I declared my love of pumpkin yet? Another blog...} so my interest was peaked. After looking at the super easy recipe on Shaken Together, I decided to get the necessary ingredients while at the store.

So you start off with all the ingredients: 2 rolls of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (I used the reduced fat kind), Pumpkin Spice, Sugar, 1 can of Canned Pumpkin and 4 oz. cream cheese (I used Weight Watchers to reduce some calories).

I first started by mixing the filling first; I've noticed with the Pillsbury Crescent rolls lately that if they sit at room temp for too long they are incredibly hard to pull apart. So I mixed half of the can I bought (there are smaller cans at the store), 4 oz of cream cheese, 5-6 tablespoons of sugar (the original recipe called for 3-4 but I tasted it and it needed a little more sugar. Add as you see fit.) and 2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin spice.

Mix until you get a fluffy mixture with this kind of consistency....

Now here's the tricky part. You'll need to cut the crescent rolls in half, so there will be a total of 36 mini crescent rolls. Then you will need to put some of the pumpkin mixture on each crescent roll and roll them up. Be prepared to get messy, as the pumpkin mix will squish out!! The recipe called for you to roll the mini crescent rolls in the left over sugar and pumpkin spice, but I just took a spoon and poured it over the crescent rolls. {After cooking, I now see why the recipe recommended rolling in the extra ingredients. I will be doing this step next time, adds a great crunch!}

You then bake them at 375 degrees for about 17 minutes. And them come out nice and warm! Even Ryan, who's not a big pumpkin fan, enjoyed these guys!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bloggy Conference

As you can tell I've been a little MIA on the blog these last couple weeks. I'm going to blame it on one thing....the Bloggy Conference. If you're not familiar with this conference, it's another blogger conference like the Haven Conference I attended earlier in the year. The Bloggy Conference, however, was located in Cincinnati, OH. It was hosted by Tiffany Noth from Bloggy Moms. After several months talking to her via email, it was really nice meeting her in person. She is such a sweet & talented person!

Anywho, so two weeks ago I traveled there for work as Homes.com was sponsoring. Several weeks of preparation getting the brand ready to be represented to this network and it was finally here! As soon as I landed at the airport, I was a busy bee getting everything set-up with my co-workers. When I wasn't doing things for the conference, I was working remotely so things kept moving in my absence.

Don't get me wrong though, I was able to play while working! One night the three of us went to this steakhouse Jimmy G's and it was AMAZING. Had some delicious wine, a fantastic steak and we all split the side items family style.

The following days were whirlwind of meeting new people, sitting in on education sessions and having fun! Our booth was busy with people eager to meet with us and stop by our super fun photo booth. Check out some fun photos from the event!

There are more on Facebook also.

It went by so fast and even though I tried keeping up with work while there, I had some catching up to do with budget season. So this past week was extremely busy and I was mentally done by Wednesday! LOL. Since my week didn't end then, I pushed through till Friday.

So there you have it.....my reason for being out of touch, but now I'm baaaccckkkk! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

5 Year Wedding Anniversary

This past weekend the hubby and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! Wow, time has flown by..... I can still remember that day like it was yesterday.

What did we do to celebrate?

Well, we both slept in pretty late, which was awesome! Then the hubby woke up and made me breakfast in bed. :) Yup, I'm pretty spoiled. We spent a couple hours in bed watching a television series we just started, called Happy Endings (super funny). And after that we started getting hungry, but it was only 3:30pm. So we just decided to do what old couples do....made dinner reservations for 4:30pm at a very nice restaurant!

We went to Sonoma Wine Bar in Virginia Beach. It's located in Town Center, aka Downtown VA Beach, and it was such a nice day so we decided to walk around down there. When we arrived the very nice staff sat us and helped us select our anniversary meal. I had a smooth, light white wine to complement my pasta and Ryan had an oaky, dry red wine to complement his pork chop. Appetizers and dessert were a must!

And those lovely people at the restaurant even paid for our desserts, "on the house", since we were celebrating a momentous occasion. :) It was cool too, because we saw a bride and groom taking pictures right outside the restaurant by the fountain. They have the same anniversary as us!

And I have to say, both Ryan and I did a bang up job picking out gifts for one another. He bought me a gorgous sapphire and diamond band to complement my bridal set and I bought him tickets for the Dallas Cowboys & Baltimore Ravens football game October 14th and a gift card to buy a new jersey so he could represent our Cowboys in style!

It was a fantastic day and truly special spending it with the love of my life {gushy, I know}. I am so blessed to have him as my best friend. I'm looking forward to 50 more years with this man!

I love you babe!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Holy Stripes Batman

Like that? We're talking stripes today! Oh what fun. ;)

Continuing on the guest bedroom revamp, I'm showing off the wonderful (yes tooting my own horn) stripes on the feature wall. As you saw on the before photos I've painted a stripe before in this room, but doing multiple stripes on one wall I've not done before. That requires a bit more calculations and measuring to make sure each stripe is equal distance a part. Not that it's hard, it's not, just a bit more time consuming.

So I used our measuring tape and with a pencil calculated the entire wall surface from the base board. Then I divided it based on the amount of stripes I wanted, four, and marked each spot for the middle of each stripe. It worked out because the wall was a total of 96 inches. Divided into 8, four stripes need a top and a bottom line which makes it 8, and you get about 12 inches in between each stripe. Yup, that's right I was good at math in school. LOL

And after two coats of the stripes and a couple hours later, I finally finished the wall!! Taking a blanket that we had from downstairs, the bed now has a softer color. I'm not in love with the blanket but I'll need to hunt for a replacement one.

I'm not in love with the space yet. The paint and stripes certainly make a huge differnence, in a good way, but I need more color and some art work for the room. That will help to make it more of the relaxing oasis I want it to be. And I'm searching craigslist for a dresser so I can paint that the coral color! Whoo hoo. And in case you didn't notice, the curtain is a reuse from the laundry room makeover. That's another DIY project in the future. ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Inside a Blogger's Purse

I really love the blogger purse series on the @SNAPConf blog. I think it gives you a great insight into each blogger and a little bit of their personal life. And while no one is banging down my door to see what's in my purse, I thought I'd show off what's in my purse none-the-less! ;)

As you can see I have a couple things that are typical and some that are totally fitting for a blogger, marketer and home/DIY enthusiast!

  1. Brown Michael Kors purse: Love this bag! It's perfect for storing so many things. The hubby bought it for me last Christmas. <3 it.
  2. Wallet: An obvious, of course, but one given as a Chirstmas gift by my best friend Megan.
  3. Cell phone: DUH! Need this at all times. I feel so naked without my cell phone. Don't you?
  4. iPad: I just recently got an iPad from work and I love having it. It's so easy to just turn on and off versus my laptop. Plus I can quickly search things, update social networks, check email, etc. I've never had an Apple product before, but I'm digging this one.
  5. Business Card Holder: This was a gift from my friend Amanda. Don't you just love the color orange! Never hurts to have your business cards on you at all times. Never know when a networking opportunity will present itself.
  6. Paint Samples: I love going to Lowe's and picking out paint samples. It makes me inspired for a new DIY project. These samples are left over from picking out colors for the guest bedroom revamp. The green color samples are a potential for another room (ah...another blog). ;)
  7. Ear phones are a must. Not only for me to grab when I go for a run, but for work. In a cubicle situation it can sometimes get loud-so having ear phones to listen to music is a must!
  8. Misc Items: Tissues, pens, chapstick, lint roller, ID badge and car keys are regular things typically located in many women's purses.

There you go! A look inside my purse today. I don't always carry all this stuff around, you just caught me on a good day. ;) If you feel inclined to share the contents inside your bag be sure to comment and let me know so I can visit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Rocked The 1/2 Marathon!

A few months ago I convinced a very eager {sarcasm} friend of mine Missy to sign up and train for her first 1/2 marathon! She had finished the Wicked 10K here in Virginia Beach a few months ago, and still had the "bug" to continue running. Mwuahahaha! {Insert running friend willing to take advantage!}

So all summer we've been training for the race to take place September 2nd, Labor Day weekend. Each Saturday on our 'long run' it was record temps with a lovely breeze and slight overcast. Ideal running weather! The day of the race? Not to much. It was HOT and humid (90% humidity). Urgh....

We started off strong, had a great pace but the heat was tough to bare. That, combined with her ear buds not working {and any runners can tell you that's a HUGE disadvantage} and legs that feel severed makes for a hard run. But my friend persevered and finished her first 1/2 marathon!

I'm so proud of her. Running 13.1 miles is quite an accomplishment and something she can hang her hat on forever!