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!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Root Beer Themed Party Idea

In honor of my dad's birthday I decided to throw him a little root beer themed party! Who says adults are too old for themed birthday parties? ;)

I wanted to get inspiration for the party, so where did I go? Pinterest of course. And I found a couple cute ideas, but the one that stuck out the most was this printable from Rachel at Family Ever After for a Dad's Root Beer Stache party. She did it for Father's Day but I totally reused for my dad's birthday instead.

Remeber the pin wheel craft I did earlier? Yup, those are making a small appearance in this party as well.

I printed out the mustaches and attached them to popsicle sticks with a glue gun. I thought it would be fun to have a couple pictures of the family with mustaches!

Aside from the decor of the party, Ryan thought it would be cool to have the food match the theme. So we did just that! Ryan found this recipe for pulled pork with a root beer barbecue sauce for the main dish. It was pretty easy to put together. You brown the pork in a skillet before putting it in the crock-pot. Then inside the crock-pot you put the pork, a cup of root beer and two onions cut up in small wedges. About 30 mins before the meat is done you make the spicy root beer sauce-sound weird? It's not! Ryan happened to have made the sauce a little spicer than probably intended, but its a good thing we have a family that enjoys spice! ;)

And from a recipe we saw in our Taste of Home Magazine, I baked Root Beeer Cupcakes for dessert. You start with a boxed cake mix and add root beer concentrate {which we found at Walmart}. Then the frosting is simply Cool Whip with some root beer concentrate whipped together. Simple, easy & tasted frothy just like root beer. 

With all that root beer goodness, how did the party turn out? Glad you asked! Here are a couple photos from the blessed event.

The party was a HUGE HIT! My dad really enjoyed the theme and the time with family. YAY.  :o)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pin Wheel Craftiness

I see so many funny ecards about Pinterest that just crack me up-because they're SO TRUE! Take this one for example...

I mean how true is that statement? ;) So the other day I was feeling rather crafty after exploring Pinterest for a couple hours (can I get an AMEN). I saw these instructions for how-to make pin wheels and thought 'I could do that!' It's really very easy and since I have a new craft space in my office I took a stab immediately.

  1. Basically, to get started you need to cut a 4-inch x 4-inch square out of a piece of paper (I used a 6-inch x 6-inch square since that's the card stock I had).
  2. You should draw diagonal lines across the square to join up the corners. Then, mark the center of the square with a dot, and draw an additional dot at each of the corners. (You can see from the picture above for an example)
  3. Using scissors cut along the diagonal lines. Then, use a hole punch or pin to punch a hole through each of your dots.
  4. Line the dots on the outer edge of your pinwheel up with the dot in the center. Push a tack (like the patterned one I used above) through the dots to hold everything together.  

You can attach the pinwheel to a pencil eraser or straw; then it's ready to use! So what do you think? I plan on incorporating these for future parties given how super easy is it to make.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest Bedroom Revamp

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my guest bedroom is desperately in need of a change. So with that, I took to Pinterest and pinned a couple images to get some ideas started.

I really want this room to be have a relaxing feeling. It's a space that my husband doesn't care about so I don't have to take his feedback into consideration (which is awesome) so I can do whatever I'd like. I'm giddy with excitement. ;)

So first I went to Lowe's, my home improvement store of choice, to pick out some paint samples. I want something like and airy, so I immediately went to the creams and light biege colors. I picked out Valspar Honeymilk as the main paint color for all the walls and Valspar Vanilla Steam for the stripes on the feature wall.

Here are a couple before photos of the room:

Now I'm geared up and ready to get this project going! ;)

And here are a couple after photos with all of the walls now a blank slate!

I'm actually very tired from painting two coats on all of those walls (negative with the husband not caring about the guest bedroom? I don't get his help. BOO!). So the stripes will be coming up soon! ;)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Man with A Baby

Is a man with a baby the cutest darn thing? I always love seeing my husband, Ryan, with my cute little puppy. They are my two boys and they both hold my heart. That being said, seeing my hubby holding my precious little nephew Camden certainly pulls on the heart strings!

Are they not the cutest darn thing? I wonder how much of me giving them that title is because I know and love the both of them, or whether it really is the 'man & a baby' thing where women are drawn to men holding a baby. I think it has something to do with seeing their, men, facial expressions and demeanors as a way to see how they will embrace children and potentially our kid(s). And I'm sure you can tell that Ryan certainly seems to be "okay" with Camden. I really love the bottom right photo because it shows Ryan's mischevious smile which is totally kid-like itself. ;)

Oh, and just so my other nephew doesn't feel left out, I also want to show my big boy nephew Aiden. He started Pre-K a few weeks ago. I can't believe how big he's getting!!!

I'm so blessed with the best & most beautiful family.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Time For a Change's that time again. Time for a change in good ole Luce household. This time my eyes have set their sight on the guest bedroom!

I'm not sure I've ever talked about the guest bedroom before. When we first moved into our home 4 years ago, my sister-in-law was living with us and it was her bedroom. So she picked out the paint and decor to make her style. It's been several years since she's moved out and we've just had the rules hold our futon and other junk items when my in-laws come to stay (which is actually quite frequent).

So with that in mind and my need to change something up, I've made a board on Pinterest to get some inspiring ideas!!

As you can see, I'm trying for a light color scheme for paint but adding some personality with accent colors. This is the room where my first DIY chair is located which is an apple green color which is why green is showcased in this board. But I also LOVE blues-I mean have you seen my house-so I know that'll be incorporated. But there's something about the stripes that draw me in. So I think I'd like to try my hand at that on a feature wall.

These gorgeous photos of the beach have stolen my  heart!! I really want to get them (although they are a little pricey on the Etsy shop) because they are so beautiful and encompass everything I want this room to feel. Calm, relaxing and just plain beautiful!

But I'm curious whether I can have a piece of furniture that is coral to go with these photos, when I already have blue and green going on? If not a piece of furtniture, I am certainly going to do like knobs on a dresser or something. How cool would that be?!

I've never done this before, but I love how my girl Shelley from House of Smiths does stenciling in closets/pantries. So I think I might take one weekend and accomplish this. I mean how cool is this!?!

And the other thing I totally want to do is another gallery wall, but include some family portraits with a vibrant background & maybe have Bailey's picture span into two frames like the cat below.

I'm super excited about redoing this space. Not necessarily for my in-laws, but because I want a space I can be proud of and currently it's not that space. Plus, eventually it'll be a nursery and I think having some neutral colors on the wall with a few pops of color will work perfect when it comes to decorating a space for little baby Luce. :) Stay tuned for more updates on this space!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I LOVE Homes!

That statement is two fold; one, I totally love my home and all things home and two, I love my job at!

This year has gone by wicked fast and it's because we've had no shortage of things going on. If someone would have told me last year all the amazing things we've done this year I would have said they are CRAZY. It would seem impossible, but that's exactly what's happened-the impossible.

I don't typically talk about my work accomplishments on this blog, this blog is usually for personal stuff and my home/diy projects, but since I have done some pretty great things I felt like taking a moment to do so! (So sue me) ;)

  1. In February we launched a Pin it If You Love It Pinterest contest. It was the first one we ever launched and the first in our space. It was hugely successful and I wrote a Pinterest whitepaper as a result. This contest & whitepaper landed me an interview with Ragan Communications and
  2. In March we launched a new consumer blog. The design and organization is unlike a WordPress blog I've worked on before. It looks like it's own micro-site. LOVE IT!
  3. In May we launched a Spring Into the Dream Pinterest contest. Unlike the first one, this was specifically for the bloggers network we've build relationships with and it was SO much fun. I had never participated in a contest like this and it was wildly successful. Even landing us in Social Media Exaiminer.
  4. The Red, White & BBQ campaign this past July comprised of our first ever Instagram contest, Twitter chats, partnership with the lovely Courtney Dial from, and our first ebook on outdoor barbecues. It was a fully integrated campaign that surpassed everyone's expectations and help launch some content strategies we'll be implementing for future campaigns!
  5. Featured in Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine's Blog on an article referencing the top 3 kitchen trends for 2012.
  6. Gave a presentation to Dominion Enterprises employees on blogger outreach. This accomplishment is pretty dear to my heart because I feel like Homes has really worked hard to bring bloggers into our current marketing mix; so it was especially rewarding to discuss this topic in front of other Dominion businesses on our success. Plus, I just genuinely love the bloggers we've built relationships with so it gave me an opportunity to sing their prases! ;)

This list is not all inclusive. There are tons more we've worked on that's helped us do more this year, but these are some highlights.

Again, this might seem like a boring post but I have been a little busy bee at work and home and I have a feeling that it won't stop the rest of 2012 and into 2013! Goodness gracious.