Saturday, June 30, 2012

Home Office Reveal

So it's been awhile since I announced that our home office was getting a makeover. And trust me there were MANY steps to get it finally finished. But I'm pleased to report that it's finally done!

If you don't remember, this project started with that trip to iKEA when we randomly decided to purchase the desks and wall storage unit. Then having my FIL and dad help build Ryan's desk, my desk and the ultimate wall storage unit really helped make this space the best it could be.

Here's a look at the before to REALLY showcase the improvement of the after photos!

Ready to see the finished result??? Here it is!

Since Ryan picked out the black and wood desks, so NOT the color I wanted, I picked out the office accessories which added pops of color and a lot of organization for the random things which call our office home. :)  Here are those accessories on display in the beloved wall unit!

I'm telling you that unit was a smart purchase. It holds SO much stuff without taking up too much space. Genius! Anywho, that's the final reveal of the office. I'm really in love with the functionality of the space for two people who are on their computers a lot. Obviously not a huge makeover with paint, wall coverings or even new light fixtures but I think the space has transformed. Yay!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Style Guide Goes Pink

I was feeling particularly stylish the other day and it appears that others took note. And as I posted about my orange outfit, when I pair vibrant summer type colors I want to post about it {especially when it's so well received}. :) So here it pink style.

The shirt is from Talbots, the pants from Target and the nude pumps from Nine West.

I actually bought these pink capris a while ago with Ryan, but I wasn't sure how I felt about them. They were a little bright for me, so I was uneasy. But once I got this pink top from my mom {yes, my mom still buys me cute little outfits from time to time. LOVE YOU MOM!} I knew I was going to keep them. Paired together, these items rocked. Not gunna lie, I didn't feel like styling my hair so a side sweep and bun was voted best. But it worked with the cowneck top.

So what do you think? Digging the pink outfit? Talbots is a little outside my area of comfort zone so I was a little uncertain but the slightly more mature look suits me... ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Calling All Haven Mavens

Last week I had the pleasure of attending one of the most anticipated blogger conferences of the year…Haven! For those of you who don’t know what the Haven Conference is, it’s the first of its kind specifically targeted at DIY/home bloggers/enthusiasts.  Imagine that, having one location housing people who share the same level {if not more} enthusiasm for everything HOMES! We’re talking home d├ęcor, design, renovations, DIY projects, crafts and more. I was in PIG HEAVEN!

I happened to be traveling for work {I know right, lucky me} and we sponsored the event. I knew I was in for a treat, but I had no clue what kind of treat. Immediately after getting off the Marta, I had one of the craziest experiences. I literally, no joke, got caught in the gate exiting the train station. Walking half way through the gate with two luggage totes and a backpack on my back, the gate closed on me! NO LIE. Half of my body was through the door and the other half was not. My arms were stuck and I couldn’t get the backpack off. I don’t think I can stress how crazy I looked mid-way through this gate. It took two guys to free me from its grasp and about 5 minutes of people looking me like I was insane.  Crazy right? I can’t even say I was humiliated because through the entire time of the gentleman were helping, I was laughing. ONLY ME! 
Any who, immediately after getting off the Marta I met two of the cutest people. Jamie from Creating Really Awesome Things for Free and Beth from Free Stylin.  Of course I was not wearing any make-up so I looked super awesome {sarcasm} but they were so friendly and I loved talking to them throughout the conference!
Right, adorable, like I said. :)

After arriving at the hotel I got to meet all sorts of wonderful people that I have been following online for awhile, including Kim from Sand & Sisal, Pamela from PB&J Stories, Kerry from House Talk N, and so many more wonderful ladies! Two buddies I’ve spoken to via email quite a bit and FINALLY got to meet them in person is Tauni from the SNAP conference and Stacy from Not Just a Housewife. These ladies are pretty fantastic. I LOVED meeting them in person and they are all that encompasses #popsizzle. ;)

Jamielyn from I Heart Naptime, Heather from WhipperBerry & Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous

Kerry and me...this girl is HILARIOUS! :)

Our #popsizzle buds Stacy & Tauni. <3 you gals!!

Wednesday night at the networking party I got to meet the cutest couple {who I stalk lovingly online}, John, Sherry & Clara from Young House Love.  Take a look at our photo!

Such a beautiful family, inside & out!
The entire conference was so much fun working at the booth. All of the bloggers kept coming up and chit chatting with us about working with our company. I consider myself lucky to have been able to not only attend this event but met such a wonderful group of women. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the education sessions, including Mr. Goodwill Hunting, Chris from Just a Girl and Marian from Mrs. Mustard Seed. They were informative and tons of fun with good doses of humor! The planning committee did a fantastic job, HUGE thanks to them for a wonderful event. :)

Beth from Home Stories A to Z helped plan such a fantastic event!
The last night I happened to go to dinner with an old friend of mine. She moved to Atlanta a few years ago and I was able to get together with her while traveling for work. {Here’s a picture of us girls hanging out}

Talk about dinner. While traveling I had a LOT of delicious food. Isn’t that always the case? You do so well while you’re at home, eating right and exercising. Then you travel and bam! All ambition goes out the window. LOL. Even though I still did work out while I was there, delicious meals at Ray’s on the River, a delicious Mexican restaurant and so much treats did not do so well for the figure! URGH! HA HA 
Even though I had a wonderful time at the Haven Conference in Atlanta, I was very happy to go home and see my hubby & puppy. I will take the memories and friendships I made at the Haven Conference with a smile and look forward to working with these amazing bloggers! Till next year…..Haven Maven & proud. ;)

Linked up to Southern Hospitality 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heading to the Haven Conference

I haven't had a chance to post about this yet, but please don't let that take away from my level of excitement for this event. Tomorrow I will be flying to Atlanta to attend the Haven Conference, a conference dedicated to DIY, home decorating, renovating enthusiasts. I am absolutely, positively delighted to be attending this conference!

I'll be going on behalf of my company,, as we are a sponsor of the event.  How cool is that? I get to go to this DIY blogger conference, meet some amazing ladies who I stalk admirably online, learn painting & stain techniques, home decor tips, etc. and it's a part of my JOB?! Yup, I'm pretty lucky {insert fake puking face with finger in mouth now} ;)

The conference will be taking place at Crowne Plaza in Atlanta and we have a jam packed schedule with some amazing speakers {including a keynote from the amazingly talented John & Sherry from Young House Love, giggles}.

What I'm Packing:
As I said earlier, I'm going on behalf of my employer The main color for our company is orange, which happens to be in style this summer. So at the Haven Conference I'll be rocking some serious orange!!

Here's an outfit I already shared with you guys and beside it is another outfit I got {Disclaimer: I will not be blinding you all with wearing the jacket and capri together, sorry to disappoint. These will be warn as separates and no, the tank top was not purchased.}

During the day I'll be rocking the branded orange polo (getting the theme here) but the clothes above will be brought out during the evening festivities. Vibrant colors are really "in" this summer and orange fits the bill. So if you're looking for me, I'll be the one in the extra "pop" of color. ;)

People I'm super excited to meet:
Julie from Hooked On Houses
Rhoda from Southern Hospitality (lots of emails with this classy lady, but never met her in person!)
Kate from Centsational Girl
Traci from Beneath My Heart (she seems so friendly and down to earth)
Kerry from HouseTalkN (this girl has an awesome since of humor)
Pam from PBJ Stories (she lives in the Hampton Roads area, but I'll be meeting her in Atlanta LOL)
Staci from Not Just a Housewife (a co-worker met her at SNAP & said she's they sweetest darn thing)
Kim from Sand and Sisal (work with her sister, if she's as cool as Beth we're going to have a good time!)
Alison from House of Hepworths
Gail from My Repurposed Life (follow her on Facebook, this girl is like a MACHINE)
Layla (and maybe Kevin) from The Lettered Cottage
Tauni from the SNAP Conference (this gal is just super awesome & I can't wait to meet her in person)
and so many, many more!!

If you're going, be sure and stop by the booth or seek me out at the sessions. I'll be the one sporting orange & typing fast and furious on my iPad so I can absorb all the goodness! ;)

Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Activities

Did everyone have a good Father's Day today?

Over at the Luce household we certainly did. My in-laws were once again in town and we celebrated with the entire family. Since Ryan and I have been hit by a couple of financial issues {pests & medical bills} I tried to get a little creative with something nice but inexpensive. That being said, I saw this cute little Father's Day printable from Amanda's Parties and thought 'PERFECT!' It was great for father's day because it encompasses the #1 gift bought for fathers...neck-ties. :) Take a look...

The printable had a tie banner that you can cut out and hang, like I did so here over our dining room table. We were suppose to have dinner at our house to celebrate, but we did not. So instead, we had dessert at our house. My FIL and dad really like German Chocolate cake, so that's what I decided to make. Luckily the printable by Amanda's Parties also had tiny ties for cupcakes! Too skin' cute...

I did a German Chocolate cupcake with the normal coconut frosting and another batch with whipped cream cheese frosting. They were a huge hit with the dads {and other guests} which makes me super happy!

But in addition to decorating for a small Father's Day gathering, I was still feeling a little crafty. So when we went out for brunch, I asked myself what else I could do? Here's what I came up with...

This is my pops, Scott! :)

And this is my father-in-law Mike.

That's pretty much what we did on this beautiful Sunday. How about you?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Office Makeover: Ryan's Desk

Been awhile since I've posted about our office makeover, but never fear we are still at work! :)

Next up on the agenda for our office makeover series is Ryan's desk. Remember, he had a smaller desk which was lacking in any kind of storage for his Magic cards [yes, my husband is a nerd]. The cards all over the place was very annoying to me, he could care less; that being the case, it of course had to change! ;) So here's a look at the before...

This is super embarrassing, so promise NOT to judge me! LOL

When we went to iKea a couple weeks ago they had this display of an office. Ryan immediately sat down at a desk and said he liked how big it was. JUMPING {literally I think I attacked him full force} at the opportunity to get him a desk new, i.e. better storage, I said we should buy it immediately-no matter the price (anyone who knows me can tell you I must have wanted him to have a new desk BADLY to say 'no matter the price'). After spending an hour, I kid you not, looking at desk options between the color of the top (I wanted apple green, he said no) and the legs/storage cubes (again, I wanted apple green, he said no) we selected on a black top and black storage cubes as the "legs".

I was very eager to get his old desk outta here that I woke up before 7am to begin working on the storage cubes. Thank goodness for iKea's simple directions because I was able to put it together with ease. :)

The pieces to create the cubes, doesn't seem so easy at first!

Luckily Bailey is willing to help. ;)

Please ignore the messy hair & polka dot pjs, told you I woke up eager to get started! LOL

First portion down.

Its smooth sailing, I'm starting to feel like a pro.

Who's awesome? That's right, I am! Only took 30 mins. LOL

The second storage cube took much less time.

The desk is a piece of plywood on top of the side storage cubes. I've seen these kinds of desks before on HGTV type shows. They really are that easy to assemble and perfect for customizing what you want out of a desk. Here's the final result with plenty of storage options for my husband's cards! :)

Look how clean it is!

Bought these containers for spices but works perfectly in the office!

Another angle of the desk. Plenty of room for him!

Storage to spare!

Here's a side by side comparison to show the awesome transformation:

I couldn't be more pleased with the result of his desk and Ryan has even admitted that he likes having the extra space for his stuff. Apparently he felt claustrophobic as well, even though he would never admit it to me before! ;) One happy wife + one happy husband=one happy household!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Once in a Lifetime Adventures

At least, that's what I hope anyways...

It's been awhile since I've checked off something from my 30 Before 30 list but I've recently taken a trip which allows me to check off number 19. What is number 19?

Yup, that's right. This city girl went camping for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I did Girl Scouts as a child and went to a cabin in the woods; but my friend & her husband go hiking and camping all the time. So I asked to tag along. I've been hiking with them this past December {boy, oh boy was that a cold trip} but this time we went hiking and camping off Skyline Drive. Why is this a once in a lifetime adventure? Stay tuned....

Here are some of the amazing views I got to see while driving on Skyline Drive...

Oh what? You don't think those are amazing views? That's right, they aren't. When my friend told me people drive Skyline Drive for the views, I was like 'what views?' LOL. The fog was so insane on our drive up there that I couldn't see a single thing {not great for driving}! So anyways, here are the real views I saw on our way home...

My favorite picture from the trip...

Unfortunately it rained on our hike {nope, not the unfortunate part of our adventure} so I wasn't able to take any pictures of the amazing waterfalls we saw. And I do mean AMAZING! The kind you see in magazines. Although it rained, the temperature was actually pretty nice during the hike. Plus we were moving around a lot {duh} which kept us warm. Here's the happy hikers all decked out in our gear! :)

So are you ready for the terrible part in our adventure? The thing that makes it a once in a lifetime type thing? Okay, so I mentioned it rained. I'm okay with rain as long as it's warm. Luckily it was during the day, but at night that was a completely different story. We're talking dropping at least 20-30 degrees, rain and a crazy howling wind. Given that it was suppose to be warmer, we were not prepared for the drop in temps. Let me walk you through it. After a long hike, we head back to the camp ground to set up our tent. And then BAM, cold washes over our trip. Chills running down every part of your body, teeth chattering and rapid breathing commences. We try playing cards but the wind doesn't allow for it. Setting a fire seemed premature at first, but then the rain eliminates all possibility of warming up by the fire. We quickly cook up dinner with a small grill, powered by gas, and decide to turn into the tent {figuring at least we'd be out of the wind and rain}.

We go to bed early; we're chilly, but able to manage. After mid-night the rain stops but its like a light was switched. The temperatures dropped even more. I put my clothes on from the hike that day, hoping the extra layers would help, but it didn't. I wish I had pictures to show how wrapped up I was inside my blanket. I looked like Bailey curled up in a little ball. I woke up every hour trying to find a new position that would help keep me warm. And if that wasn't enough, my air mattress had a slow leak. So I spent most of the night with my a$$ on the floor. Urgh....

My soaking wet toes after the hike...eek! :(

Trying to warm up we woke up really early, talking 4 AM, to start a fire and warm ourselves up. It helped a little bit, but not too much. So we hoped in the car and drove along Skyline Drive. The butt warmer in the car was pretty nifty! ;) I got to see a nice deer...

And use a real restroom! Going to the bathroom outside is no picnic. I really don't enjoying baring my pale white bottom to all the creatures of the woods. We were suppose to go hiking the second day, but the cold weather didn't let up. So we just headed back home.

We had a great time hiking and I'm glad I got the check camping off my list. Looking forward to the next trip which will blow this one time experience up!! :) Anyone else have a camping adventure they'd like to share??

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Office Makeover: Wall Unit

So next up on the office makeover series is this ginormous wall storage system. Unfortunately I don't have too many pictures of the building process, as admittedly I was not home when it was complete (big thanks to the fathers & Ryan for putting together) but I have plenty of pictures displaying all the wonderful things I've been able to organize as a result of this mac-daddy unit!

This is the before picture of the office. I really want to showcase how terrible the storage situation is. As you can see there are tons of stuff all over the floor. Admittedly its not all Ryan's stuff which means we needed a solution badly!

I'm always searching blogs and seeing wonderful storage solutions like these....

From Beth at HomeStoriesAtoZ

From Shelley at The House of Smiths

Jen from Tatertots & Jello

and I'm like why can't I think of that! So when my brother and his wife bought a similar shelving unit from iKea for their two boys, which offered them tons of storage, I knew it would look great in our office as well. And when we went on our trip to Maryland this was actually the one & ONLY thing I went into iKea thinking I was going to buy (see how that turned out?). LOL Several hours and a couple hundred dollars later I still came home with this shelving unit which looks phenomenal in the space. Check it out:

Need Kleenex in this space if I'm going to be spending time here (allergy queen).

My beautiful green storage containers I put together!

All the books we read can now be put on display! Bet you can tell which are my books & which are Ry's! ;)

Here's a before and after to show the side by side comparison of the transformation of no storage and then storage heaven:

No storage on the left, plenty of storage on the right! BAM! ;)

For anyone looking to increase the storage in there home, I really recommend this shelving unit. It's perfect on the wall and is offered in birch (what we have), black and white {I know, no apple green}. I am so happy as it offers us so much room for storage. I have a bunch of random things (i.e. crafts, painting supplies, etc) that don't really have a home. This unit allows all of those random things to have one location for easy access. That makes me a happy person! What do you think?