Simple Spring Wreath

After two weekends in a row of lovely weather in the 60s I think it’s safe to say it’s springtime in Richmond! We still have a few cold days in the forecast, but it’s 50-50 so I’m calling it spring! Plus it’s National Craft Month, so I’ve got to make sure I get my craft on! In fact, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is offering a coupon for $5 off when you spend $25 or more and they’ve got an awesome site full of spring crafting inspiration!

With all the warm weather I was starting to feel embarrased that I still had my Valentine’s wreath on the door, so I made a trip to Jo-Ann, opened all the windows when I got home and got to work making a wreath for spring.simple spring wreath

To make a similar wreath you’ll need:
-1 roll of floral ribbon
-1 roll of regular ribbon
-1 fake rose
-Small wooden initial
-White craft paint
-hot glue gunspring wreath 2014

 

First, paint your little wooden initial (if you use one) white (or whatever color) and set it aside to dry while you make your wreath.

Start by wrapping your wreath with the floral ribbon. You’ll want to use a dab of hot glue to hold the ribbon in place. I also like to use a little glue as I wrap to keep things nice and tight. spring floral wreath 2014To attach my rose I started by taking out the little Styrofoam piece inside. You get it out by unwrapping the rose from around it, you may need to snip a few petals. Mine tore open fairly easy and then I just pushed the little acorn-looking piece out. This made my rose lie flat on the wreath rather than poke out and look wonky. I then glued the leaves from the rose stem and two strands of purple ribbon behind the rose. rose on wreathAfter my flower was done I made a loop with the purple ribbon, measuring how far down I wanted my wreath to hang down the door. I usually don’t attach my hanging ribbon to my wreaths, but since I really wanted the rose to be in the lower right side I hot glued the hanging ribbon in place so things wouldn’t slide around. I then hot glued my R right over the ribbon.initial wreathThen hang it up and enjoy your beautiful creation! anniversary spring wreath

I love this wreath, not just because it was super simple to make and is adorable, but also because purple and green were Jesse and I’s wedding colors. I always get sentimental about our wedding in the spring because our anniversary is in April.

Has it started warming up where you are yet? Have you started decorating for spring? Do you have season/month where you feel a little more sentimental and sappy than others? I’ve got a few other crafts coming for National Craft Month! Can’t wait to share!

*This post is part of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores National Craft Month campaign. I was provided with a gift card to purchase my supplies, but all opinions and ideas are my own.*

Why I Participate in Lent

I’m going to get a little personal today in honor of the first day of Lent. I’m not Catholic so my reasons for celebrating Lent aren’t religious, though I think it is kind of spiritual. To me it is a time of self betterment. The things that I choose to “give up” are things that I really shouldn’t be doing, or eating, as often as I am. If it takes 30 days to make a habit, than 40 should be more than enough to break one.

The first time I celebrated Lent was 3 years ago when I started working at my current job. Two of my fellow employees (there were only 6 of us at the time) were Catholic and celebrating Lent. To show solidarity we all decided to give something up for 40 days. We made a list of our commitments and hung it in the office and encouraged, sometimes tortured each other until Easter. The Monday after Easter we all went out to eat to indulge in what we had given up and to celebrate our victories.

That first year I gave up fast food. My metabolism was slowing down, but I was still eating like a college kid. I would skip making a lunch every day and instead spend all of my fun money on McDonald’s, Burger King or Taco Bell. So not only was I gaining weight, but I was also broke. That year Lent also fell around the same time that we were moving into our new house, a time when we were constantly going out to eat because our life was in boxes. Me not being able to eat fast food really made us think about our food choices and really changed our eating habits. It’s three years later and I rarely ever eat fast food, it actually makes me sick now. Now I do indulge in the occasional McDonald’s $1 burger, probably 2-3 times a year, and Chickfila is a must every few months, but it’s nothing like it used to be. Now I do eat Chipotle like it’s my job, but I don’t think that counts as “fast food.” fast foods

Last year’s Lent wasn’t as life changing. I gave up soda and it was pure torture. I didn’t realize, until I gave it up, how much Coke I actually drink on a weekly basis. I also wasn’t drinking coffee at the time, so I was giving up caffeine as well. To be honest, this is when my coffee addiction really began because I needed the caffeine. I cheated at least 3 times and bought Cokes and when Lent was over I went right back to my old habits. The times that I cheated I did become more aware of how acidic Coke actually is, but I didn’t care. I was hoping for a huge transformation, like with fast food, and to cut down to only 2 or 3 sodas a month but I failed.

That brings me to this year. I’m drinking at least 4 or 5 sodas a week and it is ridiculous. I have coffee every morning and then a soda in the afternoons and it needs to stop, so this year I’m giving up soda again. I’m also going to try to limit my caffeine intake down to 1 cup of coffee a day. With all of the cyst stuff that happened in January, and is just now ending, I haven’t really worked out at all. I took some “time off” from exercising during the holidays and then never returned, and it’s really starting to show. I feel less in shape and I’ve gained almost 10 lbs. since November, so instead of replacing soda with sugary, high calorie juice I’m just switching to water. I’ll still drink the occasional glass of OJ, I just don’t want to replace one vice with another.cokes

Which leads to part two of what I’m giving up, wine. I love me some wine. It is delicious and wonderful and so full of calories. Since this year’s Lent is all about cutting out/cutting back on bad beverages I’m also giving up wine. I know myself and I know that if I cut out one indulgence, I’ll just move to another. I will still be able to drink the occasional beer or cider, I like some beers but it’s not really my jam, and most mixed drinks are out because they involve soda. The fitness gurus always say not to drink your calories, so I’m hoping wise beverage choices will help with wiser eating choices and help me get back in summer shape. I will make two exceptions to the wine thing though, one is Passover because wine is a very important aspect of Passover dinner and the other is our anniversary because we’ve been saving our last bottle of wine from Paris specifically for that day. You still have to live a little. ;) wines

There are so many reasons people celebrate Lent and choose to give things up, but for me it’s about thinking about what I can do to be a better version of myself. Being healthier leads to so many other positive changes, so that is usually my #1 goal. When I feel healthy I feel happy, energetic, and just all around better.

Are you participating in Lent this year? If so, what have you decided to give up for the next 40 days?

Curry Quinoa Salad

I think I’m giving up on the weather. Yesterday it was a gorgeous 70 degrees! Jesse and I did some work in the garage and on the yard and rode around with the windows down. Today I’m at home in my pjs because there is a freaking BLIZZARD happening! Obviously Mother Nature didn’t get the hint with my spring mantel. Or maybe she’s my new BFF and knew that I didn’t want to go to work today. Either way I’ve decided not to complain, too much, about it.

Since it was so nice this Jesse and I decided to take a trip Downtown to Farm Fresh and to gather some ingredients for a few recipes from their website. A few weeks ago Farm Fresh released a Food Trends Forecast, which outlined what kind of foods people are going to be buy and eating this spring/summer season:

  • “Real” Food. Local, sustainable and farm-to-table options that have a healthy aspect to them will be among the most significant trends, experts predicted.
  • Small Is the New Big. Expect that more people will forego formal dinner parties for more casual affairs with small-plate options and tasting menus replacing the more traditional multicourse meals.
  • Tango with Mango. When it comes to produce, mangoes, avocados, micro/local greens and dark greens were among the hottest produce trends predicted.
  • Viva la Veggie. Consumers looking to eat healthier will also start to look for more unusual vegetables such as kohlrabi, turnips and different types of radishes.
  • Less Is More. People will seek out more products with a limited number of ingredients and easy-to-identify ingredients.
  • Grain Brain. Ancient grains, such as quinoa, farro and wheatberries, will grow in popularity among Virginia cooks as the national healthy ingredient, healthy eating boom expands.
  • Chips to Nuts. Healthier snack options will gain in popularity. Kale chips will give way to seaweed chips, and we’ll see more nut-based snacks as a result of recent studies showing their nutritional benefits.
  • Healthier, DIY Foods for Kids. People will also turn to healthier foods for kids, and they’ll get kids more involved in food preparation with fun, simple, do-it-yourself recipes.
  • Fermentation Nation. Pickling will be the home food preparation trend of the year, experts say, as people experiment with different fruits, foods and methods to create unique, interesting additions to their table fare.
  • Cultural Cravings. Asian ingredients and foods will populate the food scene. Local experts point to growth in an array of cuisines and flavors, including Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian and Japanese. Interest in South American cuisine also is expected to rise.
  • Breakfast for Lunch. Or Dinner. Breakfast food for any meal was among the most notable predictions. Eggs, fresh fruit and fruit with yogurt or Greek yogurt will be top breakfast choices.

I’ve definitely noticed a lot of these trends kicking in, Farmer’s Markets and the like were HUGE last summer and people are really embracing veggies. One thing that we haven’t really messed around with a lot are the grains, like quinoa. Jesse occasionally makes a Mediterranean style quinoa and I’ve had noodles and breads made from quinoa flower at my mother-in-law’s house because she is gluten-free, but I’ve never really cooked with it. So when Farm Fresh contacted us about trying out one of their recipes based on these food trends for 2014, I totally jumped on the quinoa band wagon and we decided to make the Curry Quinoa SaladCurry Quinoa Salad - Pin

Ingredients 
*Farm Fresh is a VA/NC grocery store chain, so I used their Essential Everyday brand because I prefer saving money with store brands, but of course any brand of these ingredients will work.*
- 1 cup white Quinoa
- 1 (5 oz.) package Sweetened Dried Cranberries
- 4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
- 1/4 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 large crisp apple, diced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup walnut halves/pieces, toasted
- 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese Crumbles
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

curry quinoa salad ingredientsNaturally, my chef was helping me in the kitchen (aka doing most of the work). I was busy supervising and taking pictures. It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s just that I am really slow and it takes me twice as long to chop and prep. Just look at those knife skillz.apple slicing - curry quinoa

 

Let’s Get Cookin’
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, prepare your quinoa according to the package directions with the cranberries and 3 teaspoons of curry powder. Cool completely. We like to put ours in another pan and stick it in the freezer for awhile to speed things along.cooling the curry- In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder; salt and pepper to taste if you want.
- Add the cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients to the yogurt mixture. Toss until it’s well combined and stick it in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.Curry Quinoa Salad

Now, to be 100% honest, I HATE curry. Like with a burning passion hate it. I actually wanted to leave it out for this recipe, but Jesse insisted that we at least needed to try it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think the sweetness of the cranberries, apples and honey really balance out the flavor of the curry and I really liked it. We took it to a friend’s house this weekend for a party and people ate it on it’s own and also as a dip, so it’s a pretty versatile dish. You can find a printable version of the recipe, complete with Nutritional Info here.

Have you noticed any of the food trends affecting your cooking lately? How do you feel about curry? Love it? Hate it? I’d also love to see more curry recipes if you have them!

* I was not paid for this post. Farm Fresh supplied me with a gift card to purchase my ingredients, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

February Recap

I absolutely cannot believe that February is over and that tomorrow is March! Even though the first day of Spring isn’t until March 20th, I feel like it’s Spring once March begins. Spring means so many exciting things, warmer weather, flowers in bloom, new projects and so many other amazing possibilities! Ok, I think I’ve officially been cold for too long. I’ve gone a little delusional… I’m excited for February to be over, but let’s pay the month of love a little… um… love.

February 2014 Recap

-My husband has been selling his childhood toys and Legos on eBay, making a butt-load of money and a huge mess in my dining room.

-I shared a few ideas for men’s Valentine’s Day gifts, including my genius idea of beerloons.

-After years of denial, I finally got into decorating for Valentine’s Day and made an adorable ribbon wreath.

-My mantel also got a dose of Valentine’s love with this adorable typography cut-out.

-The house actually got a dose of holiday lovin’ all over and we spent Valentine’s Day snowed in and Jesse showered me in gifts of the food variety.

-The Humble Penguin held a giveaway here for an adorable bow clutch, my readers also get 15% off (code:AAD2014) for one more week.

-Jesse and I finally found the sectional of our dreams at Haverty’s. It will be here in a few weeks!

-I also attended a Haverty’s Home Fashion Workshop this month. It was a great learning tool!

How was your February? Are you ready to get out of the winter rut too?

Spring It Up

The weather has been such a tease lately here in Virginia! Over the weekend we had gorgeous, sunny weather with temps in the upper 60′s, it was absolute bliss! I even pulled out a maxi skirt to wear for the day on Sunday. And now we’re in the 30′s and it’s back to boots and coats. I’m just ready for warm Spring weather. I want our yard to come back to life, and most of all I want spray paint/project weather!cherry blossom tree

Since decorating my mantel with snowflakes worked so well in January (we got 3 snow days!) I figured brightening things up and decorating for Spring could possibly help move Mother Nature along. You know, because the weather is decided by what decorations I have on my mantel. I’m a kind of a big deal. Spring Mantel 2014I think I’ve got a growing obsession with birds. Every time I see little bird figurines I just HAVE to have them. Especially if the price is right. This little bird is from Garden Ridge and I snagged him for $2 last weekend. I think he goes great with the teal birdhouse I got at HomeGoods last spring, plus he’s adorable. Birdhouse spring mantelThe owl is another Home Goods find. He’s my second owl in the growing bird collection, but he isn’t as “fall-ish” (totally a word) as my other owl. Plus owls are special in my family. My grandfather had an owl collection in his barber shop, so it’s nice to have something up that makes me think of him. My other grandfather has an animal that makes me think of him too, which is kind of funny to me. I wonder if I will have a spirit animal to my own grandkids… Bird themed spring mantelThe candle in the center of the mantel is in a votive with wine corks. These corks are mostly saved from special events, from our engagement party to our anniversaries to our trip to Europe. I really should start writing dates and things on the corks so I remember each one a little better. Candle with sentimental wine corksI also decorated the trunk in our living room with a little spring vignette, though it wont be up for long because the this is where our new sectional will live in a few weeks! I haven’t decided where the trunk will live after the couch comes, but I’ll deal with that later! I think the poinsettia has bit the dust for the most part too, so I’m hoping to get some other type of plant to replace it soon. It’s nice to have a living plant in the house. Spring vignette 2014I still have our wedding photo out, because I like it, and because we got married in the spring. I’ve also really gotten into the whole teal and red thing for the spring. I’ve always wanted those to be the accent colors in the living room, but they don’t really work with our current couch. They will go great with the new couch though, so I’m excited to bring in more pillows and accessories in those colors in the near future. Teal and red accessoriesI seriously am SO excited to get our new furniture in this room! I already have most of what I want to do planned out and I’ll be making a trip to Ikea sometime in March to pick up a few finishing touches! It will be so nice to have the space where we spend the most time finished (for the most part) and really a reflection of me us and my our style.Spring 2014 mantelAre you ready for spring? Have you done any decorating for it yet?

Home Fashion Workshop & Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend! Mine was good, not as productive as I had hoped it would be, but still good. We had dinner with friends on Friday and then on Saturday morning I did a little shopping at HomeGoods, Garden Ridge, JoAnn Fabric and Target for some new spring/living room decor. I fell in love with a gorgeous chair at HomeGoods, which I think would be perfect for the ends of our dining room table.HomeGoods chair

However, I’m holding off on buying anything non-living room related since our new sectional will need pillows and other styling items. Speaking of our sectional on Saturday morning I also made a trip to Haverty’s to attend a Home Fashion Workshop. These workshops are held every two months and each one has a different topic. This month’s topic was organization. We basically perused the store looking at different pieces that over great storage solutions. One collection that really caught my eye was the Avondale. The pieces have the weathered, rustic look, similar to some things I’ve seen in Pottery Barn lately, like this desk with chunky legs and oil rubbed bronze pulls. Also the chairs in this collection are gorgeous!Avondale deskI also loved the versatility of this collection. These gorgeous china cabinets are actually two separate pieces, but they can be joined together if you wanted a larger piece with more storage. The molding at the top is easily removed or added to create a seamless look. And again, look at that gorgeous hardware.Avondale China CabinetMy favorite piece in this collection had to be the hutch/entertainment center though. The shelves and center piece actually detach from the upper half to fit a tv. How neat is that?! The door fronts are also interchangeable, so you can pick whether you’d like glass front doors or if you want to hide the clutter and use wood front doors. (The Avondale is a really new collection and not on the website yet.)Avondale Entertainment CenterAnother piece that caught my eye was the Prescott curio cabinet. The door actually slides, which I thought was a cool feature. Prescott CurioWhile we were looking at the Prescott, we also talked a bit about styling a piece like this, or a bookshelf. The folks at Haverty’s had a few fun acronyms to remember when styling area of your home. My favorite was CAP, which stands for Color – using neutrals and then one or two key colors to promote unity in a vignette, Arrangement – mix up the placement of your objects to create visual interest and Proportion – using size and the number of objects to create balance. I take all of these into consideration when setting up a vignette in my house, but it’s kind of fun to have a little acronym to refer to. Plus, it makes me really sound like I know what I’m doing instead of just saying “Arrange it until it looks good.” PrescottSpeaking of vignettes, there was also a brief demonstration for how to style a side table along a blank wall or corner in your house. The various staff just grabbed different pieces to layer into the look. The blanket on the back of the chair was kind of the icing on the cake for me. I always forget to add things like that when I style things for blog pictures. Haverty's vignetteOverall it was a nice, brief, workshop that definitely taught me a few things and gave me a little inspiration for how I want to organize and style our living room once we get our new sectional. Speaking of sectional, I couldn’t help but snag a picture of the floor model of our new sofa! I also may have pet it and told it how much I couldn’t wait to have it in my house.Amalfi sectional - in storeI also took a picture of a chair that is the charcoal gray fabric that we chose. I think it will look really good in the living room, especially with some fun colorful pillows and curtains to balance out all of the neutral grays in the room. Charcoal microfiberIf you’re interested in attending one of these Haverty’s workshops here’s a list of dates for the rest of the year. I definitely put a few of these on my calendar! (You may want to check with your local Haverty’s for times for these workshops).

April 12 – Staycation
June 14 – Decorating ABC’s
August – Fan Cave
October 18 – Style vs. Trendy
November 22 – Rooms: Blah to Beautiful

Even though I’m not in the market to buy any more furniture for a long while it was helpful to hear different ideas and see different pieces. It definitely inspired me a bit and got my design, and even DIY, wheels turning!

For more information on these workshops you can visit the Haverty’s blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

For locals: The Haverty’s that I have been raving about is off of Midlothian Turnpike, across from Chesterfield Towne Center, and my super awesome salesman’s name is Jason. If you go, tell him I sent you! ;)

Also the Humble Penguin giveaway ended last night! And the winner was:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget that all Attempts at Domestication readers will receive 15% off their orders for the next two weeks using the promo code AAD2014.

How was your weekend? Do anything productive or was it all about relaxing?

*I was not compensated by Haverty’s for this post in any way. I was told about the workshop by my salesman (Jason) and decided to go after my great experience with them last weekend and thought it was worth sharing with you all.*

Motivated on a Friday

I can definitely say that I am beyond thrilled that today is Friday! We have plans for a casual dinner with good friends tonight, and I’m going to an event Saturday morning (I’ll share more on Monday!) I also have a long list of projects that I’d like to get started on, and hopefully finish a few, this weekend. I’m kind of going to be all over the place, but I’m also hoping it’s a relaxing weekend because I am tired!

Number one on my to-do list is to finish sewing the pillows that I started on last weekend. I really want to try my hand at cording a pillow (I think that’s what it’s called). I have a super cute idea in mind and I really can’t wait to try it out. This is what I looked like for most of Sunday night last weekend:sewing Sunday

I also want to work on more decorations for Spring. I’m over winter and the cold, so I’m hoping I can influence Mother Nature again by decorating everything with green and flowers. It worked so well with my snow themed mantel in January! Winter mantle 2014

Also it seems like so many people are working on their pantries lately, so naturally I want to give mine a face-lift. My pal Jessica at Four Generations One Roof recently repurposed a closet into a pantry and the result is amazing! I’m thinking mine could use some white shelves to brighten things up and a fresh coat of paint to look pretty fabulous. Hopefully I can get a chunk of this done this weekend, but I’m not going to pressure myself too much.FGOR Kitchen-Pantry-1

I’m so excited about warmer weather! I feel like it’s refreshing and inspiring. I have so many ideas and things I want to accomplish around the house this spring/summer! There’s more furniture building plans in the works, our new couch will be here so it will need pillows and accessories, our bedroom is really close to being “finished”, plus I’m saved up and buying a Haven ticket next week! Bring it on 2014, bring it on!

Have a great weekend! Anyone have any fun or productive plans?

Sectional Shopping

This past Saturday Jesse and I celebrated 2 years of living in our house! We signed all of the paperwork on February 15, 2012 and then went out after for a belated Valentine’s dinner/OMG we bought a house celebration. This year we had planned to go out the day before Valentine’s Day, but the snow ruined our plans so we ended up, for the 3rd time, going out the day after to celebrate dual occasions. We even bought the house ourselves a little gift, a new sectional!Amalfi Sectional

If you’ve been following this blog since we bought our house, then you know that I have been DYING to have a sectional pretty much since Day 1. The living room practically asks for it on a daily basis. talking living roomOur current couch and armchair are hand-me-downs from my parents and they are about 15 years old. My siblings and I spilled so much stuff on that couch, it makes me gag just thinking about it. So what better way to celebrate having a house for two years than to finally buy our own, nice, adult furniture. Then in a few years our own children can spill food, puke, and jump on it. I’d also like to point out that in the past two years the only real piece of furniture we have purchased was our mattress, everything else is hand-me-down or we built it ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love our kitchen table, nightstands and headboard, BUT sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself and pay for something that’s brand new.

Ago, on to the tale of how couch shopping went down. Saturday morning we sat down with our morning coffee and mapped out our battle plan for the day. We started with Ashley Furniture, which was a lovely store but where we didn’t find a sectional we liked. Not a single one. Since things weren’t working out in the sectional department Jesse decided to explore other options and became obsessed with a sofa and love seat combination. I was so mad at him for taking his eyes off the sectional prize and that he wasn’t sticking to our original plan. That’s when I tweeted about stabbing him. In a loving way of course.furniture tweet

After our first store we decided to hit up Chipotle for lunch before heading to our next stop. We were both hangry and a little hateful. After lunch we went to Haverty’s where we had a great experience with our salesperson and the store in general. It was a relaxing and clean atmosphere, which meant a lot after going to other stores. We found a sectional that we both really liked and were tempted to buy right on the spot, but we decided to stick to our game plan and visit two other stores.

After Haverty’s was a local shop called Sofa Design. This is actually the same place that my parents purchased the couch and chair we currently have, so we knew they had good quality stuff. The fun part about this place is that everything is custom. You pick your couch model, the fabric for it, the finish of any wooden legs or visible framing, and even the pillow sizes and fabric! I fell in love with a gorgeous Charcoal linen and a set of teal Greek key pillows, but we couldn’t find a model that we liked. Things either looked like they belonged in my parent house or they were too modern for our tastes. We were specifically looking for something with wooden legs and clean lines, but a higher back since Jesse is really tall and likes the back support. Custom also meant more expensive, so the couches that we did like were WAY out of our price range. Bummer.

We then went to Hayne’s, which was a nightmare. The salesperson that grabbed us when we walked in the door acted like he’d had way too much caffeine that day and was all over the place. He was like “Sit here, no? How about this? Want leather? But how about this leather one? This sectional has cup holders! CUP HOLDERS!” We literally speed-walked around the entire store in about 20 minutes. We also were unimpressed with the atmosphere. It may have been the particular location, but there were cracks in the walls and most of the ceiling tiles had extreme water damage. On top of all of that, all of the sectionals we were even slightly interested in were two to three times the prices of the other places. No thank you.

So battered and exhausted we headed back to Haverty’s and went with the couch we had almost bought a few hours earlier. The Amalfi sectional in Charcoal.Amalfi Sectional

It has the higher back Jesse was looking for, exposed wooden legs and clean lines, quality fabric (it’s microfiber with a slight pattern and texture) and it just looks so good! Now unfortunately for us none of the Haverty’s in our area had this model in Charcoal in stock, so we have to wait almost two months for it to come in. I’m bummed about that, but also so freaking excited for it to come! I also can talk enough about how please we were with Haverty’s and our shopping experience there. The store was so nice, and so were the people. Definitely sticking with them for future furniture needs! Of course after the sectional gets here I’ll let you know how we feel about using the couch itself everyday, how it holds up to daily use and all of that good stuff.

Another exciting thing about our new sectional is that we snagged a President’s Day deal and got $100 off, which put us under budget by almost $300! Which means money for building sofa tables, new lamps, pillows and other tchotchkes! Can I get a woop woop?!presidents day meme

We then went to dinner to celebrate, and for our belated Valentine’s date. We went to Galley in Forest Hill, and it was phenomenal. This was our second time being here and we have been more than pleased both times. Jesse got a roast pork dish and I got shrimp and crab Alfredo. Amazing. The food at Galley is seriously the first time that we have been impressed with a restaurant since getting back from Europe, so if you are local GO! GO NOW!Galley

After dinner we met up with friends downtown for some drinks and then we went back to their house to watch a movie. Somehow we ended up deciding to watch The Rescuers Down Under, one of my favorite childhood movies. It was the perfect ending to a great day.

Any fun furniture shopping stories out there? If so, I want to hear it! 

*Don’t forget to enter the Humble Penguin giveaway for the chance to win an adorable bow clutch! Winner will be announced on Monday!*

Humble Penguin Giveaway!

Happy Monday guys! Jesse and I had a fabulous weekend and I hope you did too! To top off a great weekend I’m hoping to start everyone’s Monday on a great note with a super awesome giveaway!

My friend Ash, yep another Ashley, is the owner of an awesome Etsy shop called The Humble Penguin. She is a seamstress extraordinaire and sells all sorts of adorable handmade wallets, clutches and camera strap covers. Her shop started after she made bow clutches for her bridesmaids to use at her wedding in September 2012. Several people asked where they could get a similar bag and that’s when she realized that she wanted to be the one to design bow clutches for them! :)  In January 2013, The Humble Penguin was relaunched with a whole new name, new products, and a new philosophy – to dream big! She is constantly coming up with new product ideas, and adding to her fabric collection – which means there will be no shortage of stylish, funky and whimsical accessories to choose from. The Humble Penguin shop

Ash recently sent me a camera strap cover for my camera and I’m in love! She picked the colors herself to surprise me and I think she did an excellent job! I love me some pink and polka dots! Humble Penguin camera strap coverOne of my favorite features has to be the nifty little pocket to put your lens cap in. Gone are the days of sticking it in my pocket or setting it down somewhere are forgetting about it! Humble Penguin camera strap with pocketAnd because Ash is the best ever, she volunteered to do a giveaway for you guys! One of you lucky ducks can win a bow clutch from her shop! Humble Penguin Bow Clutch

*Bow Clutch collage created by Mailbox Journey*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you don’t win, you can still get a discount of 15% at The Humble Penguin using the code AAD2014 for the next 3 weeks!

Good luck and happy Monday!

Happy Valentine’s Day

*Sorry for my absence the past two days. I was planning an all week Valentine’s Day extravaganza, but I was in a ton of pain from my cyst and I couldn’t even get off the couch. I’m feeling much better today, but still a little doped on pain killers (so forgive the photo quality), so let’s squeeze all the V-Day fun into one last post, shall we?*

On Tuesday I shared my fun “LOVE” cut-out and and my Valentine’s Day mantel. Valentine's Mantel 2014The vase says AMORE, I picked it up at a thrift store a few years ago and thought it was perfect for a V-Day vignette. I chose the books just because they are red and white, but the top red book is actually very special. It was my first Valentine’s Day gift from Jesse, yep he wrote me a book. The book is the story of how Jesse and I met and fell in love from his perspective. It warms my heart and is one of my favorite possessions. And to tie it all together is a picture of us together on our wedding day.Valentine's mantel detailsMy other vignette is on the hope chest next to the couch. I went really simple with everything. Valentine's vignetteThe felt hearts are leftover from the heart bunting on the mantel, just arranged inside the metal tray. Valentine's hearts vignetteSince I haven’t killed my poinsettia yet, and it’s a gorgeous red, I wanted to incorporate it into my decorations. It looks good with the silver frame, housing yet another picture of us together. I swear I’m not usually this vain in my vignettes, it’s just Valentine’s Day so I love seeing all the lovey dovey pictures around the house. I’ll put most of them away when I redecorate, maybe.Valentine's poinsettaJesse and I were supposed to go out to dinner last night to celebrate, but with the snow and sleet coming down and me not feeling well, we stayed at home instead. We’ll probably go out this weekend or something. But we still exchanged gifts yesterday. I got Jesse the Family Guy Star Wars parody Something Something Dark Side. It’s based on Empire Strikes Back, which is our favorite of the original trilogy. Plus it’s Blu-ray and I’m working on expanding his Blu-ray collection since I got him a Blu-ray player for his birthday. I also plan on picking up some beer and balloons to make beer-loons for him on my way home today.Jesse V-Day giftJesse went the typical flowers and candy route, but in a more creative way. Since my favorite flowers are tulips he got me some living tulips so they will last longer. I already had 3 new blooms this morning!photoAnd for the “candy” I got a giant size Hershey bar, along with my favorite soda and a giant bag of Dill Pickle potato chips. He also braved the snow to pick up Chipotle for lunch. What can I say, I’m a girl that loves her food!photo (1)And last, but not least, I want to wish my forever Valentine and amazing husband a happy happy Valentine’s Day. This is our 7th Valentine’s together and they keep getting better each year, even though we seem to get less into it as time passes. He treats me like a princess every single day, and I am the luckiest girl in the world. So here’s 6 yrs. worth of Valentine’s pictures! VDay Collage

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And have a great weekend! 

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