Maggie Valley, NC

 We took Daisy on her very first road trip! She did really well!

 Before we spent a day at the beach, we headed down to Maggie Valley, NC to visit Jason’s aunt and cousins. His parents drove down too and his grandma and her husband drove up from Florida. It was like a little family reunion and it was nice to see people that we don’t get to see very often!

We received a warm welcome when we arrived.

Jason’s Aunt Joann owns a resturant and cabins just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Jason, Daisy and I had our own 1 bedroom cabin. The cabin was cute, but the view was breathtaking!

Right outside our front door!

Besides having one of the best views in Maggie Valley, the resturant is just a walk up the hill! What more could you ask for?

Beach Bums

We went on a little vacation last week! First, we visited Jason’s family in NC. His aunt owns an adorable restaurant and cabins and we got to spend a few days with everyone (post coming soon!).

Sunday afternoon we left and headed to Myrtle Beach, SC!

Are we there yet??

 We didn’t get there until dark, but still headed to the beach!

First time at the beach!

It was very, very windy so I couldn’t really get any good pictures. Most of them had salt and sand flying everywhere, so I put my camera away and we headed off to bed. There were some serious thunderstorm all night. I was worried it would be rainy for our only day at the beach, but the next working we awoke to sunny skies!
It was time to officially introduce Daisy to some waves!
 
 
She wasn’t too sure about going in at first, but once Jason went in there was no stopping her! She loves her daddy! He even took her out into the waves.
 

Here comes a wave!

 
 We spent the morning enjoying the sunshine!

LOVE ❤

Unfortunately, soon it was time to head back to the room and get ready to go home.
 

Once we got back to the room, we gave Daisy a bath and she took a much-needed nap while I packed things up.

zzzzzzzz…….

There you have Daisy’s first beach experience! We can’t wait to take her back again some time when we can stay longer! 

I took a lot hundreds of pictures so here is a recap of some of my favorites! Enjoy!
 
 
 
Stay tuned for more of our vacation!

Anniversary Surprise!

Our anniversary was August 17th! Jason and I have been married nine years! Nine whole years! It seems a bit surreal when I think about it.  I don’t even feel like someone who is even old enough to be married 9 years. (I did get married before I was old enough to drink, so I guess that isn’t exactly the norm.).

8/17/2002 (I took a picture of a picture, so sorry about the quality! )

Jason and I really aren’t big on gifts. We pretty much just spend the day together and try to go on a little trip for a day or two.

NC Road trip 2011

This year I had a surprise up my sleeve.  Jason is always saying how we don’t have enough art in our house (actually we have no art). I agree, but I just have a hard time finding the right things to display in our house. I want something modern, but not too modern, maybe landscapes, but not too old and stuffy. Anyhow, we were at Bed Bath and Beyond and J showed me a painting he liked. I snapped a few pics of it.  A few days later I went to the craft store and picked up a canvas, some paints and paintbrushes. I started by drawling the outline of the guitar.

took a few tries

Then, using the pictures on my IPhone as a guide, I replicated the painting in my own way.

 

 It turned out better than I could have imagined! I have no paining, or drawing talent at all so I was super impressed! I added a “9” on the guitar for our 9 years together and that blue blob in the bottom corner is Daisy’s footprint.

9 years together!

 

I wanted to hide it and give it to him on our actual anniversary, but I was way too excited to show him it. I told him I had a surprise for him in the basement when he got home. Once he saw it, he was so surprised and happy! He even asked me if I had started with a blank canvas. He told me he loved it more than anything that we could ever buy. He hung it up right that second. He even took a picture and put it on Facebook, which he doesn’t even get on very often. I am so happy with how it turned out. Jason even showed it to a friend who asked if it was paint by number. Is that a compliment?

  Either way, I am so glad that Jason liked it. It makes me want to have more personal art like that throughout our home! I have a few ton of ideas floating around in my head right now, I can’t wait to get started!  

Do you have any art in your home with a personal meaning?

I heart flowers!

I really love flowers, but I love flowers from my own garden most of all. I get great joy from stepping out into my own yard and cutting fresh flowers to decorate my home. 

Endless Summer

I love the bluish purple hydrangea we have in our front and back flower beds. They are called “Endless Summer”. They really live up to their name. They start blooming as early as May and keep blooming until Fall. A great thing about hydrangeas is that they make awesome cut flowers. They will last at least a week in water. I have had some last even longer. Another cool thing that I’ve read about hydrangeas is that if you bury part of the stem (not a cut stem) it will take root and then when you cut it loose from the mother plant you have a whole new plant! Something I’m definitely going to try! I am also thinking of drying them out this year and having beautiful flowers all winter.

Along with the hydrangeas we also have bright yellow daylillies and purple salvia. These plants do not have nearly the blooms of the hydrangeas so I generally leave them alone, but yesterday I thought the daylillies had a few flowers to spare. I made this cute little arrangement to go in my favorite chihuahua planter. Ok, so it’s my only chihuahua planter, but isn’t it a cute one?

I am not exactly sure what those pretty pink flowers are called. I bought a plant at Walmart for $5 on clearance, and oh my has it flourished! It’s popping out pretty flowers like crazy! It didn’t come with a tag, so I guess I have to do some investigating to find out what it is. It’s still in the pot, but it’s overflowing so I have to plant it soon. I think I might give it a permanent home down by the pond. 

 This has been an extremely wonderful summer for plants. Just the right amount of sunshine and rain. 

Happy Summer!

What plants did you plant this summer? What are your favorite flowers to display in  your home?

Sunshine

Some of my favorite things about summer are sunshine and soft summer breezes. We turned off the air conditioning today and opened our windows.

Hello Beautiful Day!

As I worked, I could hear the breeze whisper along with all the other romantic sounds of summer. It really made me feel at peace.

I love nature. I always have. I am definitely an earthy person. I think there is something magical  about the way the sun sparkles across grass, water and treetops. I think it’s adorable when my cats roll around and fall fast sleep in sunny spots.

Sunkissed

zzzzzzzz

Something as simple as sunshine makes their day spectacular. It makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things get and how dark and stormy life becomes, sunlight always finds a way to persevere and shine.

Summer Secrets

I just finished this book:

Can You Keep a Secret?

 by Sophie Kinsella

 If you love the Shopaholic books (like I do!), then you will love this one!

The book starts out when the main character, Emma, coming home from a horrible business trip and her plane starts experiencing some wild turbulence. Emma, who has a huge fear of flying, is convinced the plane is going to crash and she blurts out all her secrets to the handsome  man sitting next to her.

Loveable Emma’s plane doesn’t crash, obviously, and she shakes off the incident telling herself that she will never see the stranger again.

A few days later her office is buzzing about a special visitor coming to the office. Soon, Emma realizes that the stranger she shared her secrets with on the plane is, in fact, Jack Harper, CEO and co-founder of the company she works for.  Emma was hoping for a promotion, and now she’s sure she is going to lose her job.  Emma’s in for a surprise, however, when she realizes that the man she spilled all her most personal secrets to, has a few of his own. She starts to realize that things aren’t always as “perfect” as they seem.

Kinsella does a great job of making Emma a likeable character. The reader feels like they really know her and think of her a friend. I was cheering for Emma through all the disasters she encountered. 

This is an awesome book to take and read by the pool, at the beach, or out on your deck (like I did!).  It’s a very easy, light read.  I finished it in one day.  I literally laughed out loud at during some of crazy things that happened to poor Emma.  Although it was somewhat predictable, there are some slight twists that keep it interesting.

In the spirit of this book, I figured it would be fun to share some secrets of mine:

I sneak apple sauce in recipes instead of sugar (don’t tell Jason)

If Jason’s piles of Sport’s Illustrated get too high some of them find their way into the recycle bin.

I really, truly think Daisy is the cutest dog ever

This is my first ever book review and I was really nervous when I hit “publish”!

 

Any Secrets you would care to share??

Be our Guest!

Since our friend, Mike, is driving to Ohio this weekend and staying in our newly decorated guest room, I thought I’d share it with you!

sneak peek!

First off, let me say that I am super embarrassed that we have lived in our house for nearly 5 years and did not have a proper guest room. Sad, but true. Most of the time visitors would have to sleep on the couch  or the lovely air mattress on the floor. The air mattress even tried to eat my sister-in-law. The nerve! Obviously, something had to be done.

Dumping ground

Dumping ground

My parents were nice enough to give us an old Queen size bed they weren’t using anymore. That was step one! But It really just became a place for Sammy to snooze.

Sammy's "nest"

A few weeks months later I was ready to transform Sam’s bedroom the guest room, and headed over to Kohl’s. I  picked up a cute sheet and comforter set in fun teal and green colors.

Then it was on to Target for the limey colored curtains and the glass ball curtain rod. I also picked up a cute little side table. The headboard we already owned.

Once I got home, I found a place for all of the misfit winter clothes that hadn’t been put away since May. I really need to do a better job of keeping up with things!

why put things away? We will need them soon enough...

Once everything that didn’t belong was out of the room I found I made up the bed and hung this starburst mirror on the wall.

I bought this gorgeous mirror to use in the little reading nook off of our bedroom, but haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet. I figured it was too cute to just be sitting in a closet and not being able to show off! When I’m done repainting the nook, I will either get something new for the guest room, or something new for the nook. Either way it will include shopping. Which is always a plus. 😉

I heart starburst mirrors!

Green goodness

I can tell your future in this thing!

I moved the old bedside table to the front of the bed to use as a TV stand. I filled it with some extra blankets.

A new little nightstand from Target for under $20 filled the empty spot. I added a lamp, clock and some fresh Hydrangeas from the front flower beds.

 

All put together!

Although I am super happy with the guest room’s progress, I think it’s far from finished. I want to definitely put some more artwork up. I also want to try to thrift an old chair and reupholster it with some fun and funky new fabric!

The closet needs some cleaning and organizing too…

Oh, and don’t feel bad for Sammy, he found a new place to sleep. 🙂

So there you have it! Our fun, inviting, spruced up guest room! Now we are just waiting for our guest.

Let the weekend begin!

Question for today:  Do you have any fun and exciting plans for this weekend??

My weekend is sure to include some time on the boat, some time by a bonfire and maybe even a little gambling!