Me, Stylish!?! If you say so.

My great friend Noelle at Gray Paint Decor blessed me with this little goodie.

I don't think I have ever been thought of as stylish in my life.  Seriously, I was voted least likely to pose for a low rise jean ad by my sorority sisters.  Although, I must say my style has improved since I stopped living with my mother (bless her heart, she has no clue).  Love you mom!

So here is where I tell you random facts about myself and then give you a list of other stylish bloggers to go visit.

1.  I have a minor in Mathematics.  I was a math major until I had a nervous breakdown while taking a theory class and decided that if I wanted to graduate I needed to change my major.  I still love math and am a huge fan of algebra.  I have a friend who is getting her degree online and had to take two algebra classes and I asked if I could do them for her for fun.  I know, I'm a nerd.

2.  I married a jock.  Chris played football, basketball, baseball, track, golf and whatever else in high school.  He was even voted athlete of the year his junior and senior year.  I was in the band and played doubles tennis so I wouldn't have to run as much.

3.  I would rather watch a movie that I found on tv than watch that same movie on a dvd.  Finding a good movie on tv is like striking gold plus it has built in potty and snack breaks.

4.  I refuse to use a GPS for directions.  The thing always gets me lost and is constantly yelling at me.  I just can't drive with that kind of pressure.  Typically it goes something like this: gps - turn left, Turn Left, TURN LEFT (in annoying woman voice).  Me - I can't turn left you stupid piece of (insert explative)!  It's a one way street!  Are you trying to get me killed!

5.  I hate the color red.  I can appreciate it, I can respect it but I don't have to like it, use it or recommend it.  So there.

6.  I'm an only child.  I hate/hated it.  It's bad enough that I never had anyone to play with growing up when all of my friends were grounded but now if something happens to my mother I'm stuck taking care of her.  I have no one to rock, paper, scissors for it which is just not fair.  I love my mother but if I ever have to live with her again I will kill her.

7.  I'm pregnant.  Yes people, you read me right, baby #2 will be arriving sometime around Halloween.  This is part of the reason I have been so scattered around here lately.  It takes every ounce of energy just to get through the day so I haven't had motivation to do much of anything else.

And now for some other great blogs worthy of a read...

Ravings of a Mad Housewife (not a design blog but really funny)
Home Ec 101 (again not a design blog but one I like)

Well my friends, I'm out.  Off to the beach for a fun-filled Easter with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  There will be lots of food, lots of yelling and some Claire cuteness while hunting eggs.

~ Andrea


My Job

This time last year I had just left my full-time job to become a full-time mom.  It was the scariest and biggest decision I have ever made in my life.  I didn't know if it was the right thing to do.  I didn't know if it would really make me happy but I was miserable and something had to change.

Fast forward a year and I can't imagine going back to work.  While those first free days were filled with projects that I never had time for like spray painting my patio furniture and wallpapering my laundry room, Claire and I quickly settled into a rhythm and our days are now more laid back.  We have a routine but not a schedule.  Everything gets done eventually and if not today then there is always tomorrow.  The stress in my life had been decreased significantly which, in turn, has made everyone else in my house happier.

So now my days are filled with tea parties, picnics on the front porch, playing in the sprinkler, sidewalk chalks in the driveway, trips to the library and the park and computer games on Disney junior.  It may not be exciting but it is definitely more enjoyable than angry customers, angry installers, unrealistic deadlines and pressure to bring in customers to keep the business open.

The only part I really enjoyed about my old job was the creativity I got to use every once in a while.  So after quiting I decided to start this blog, just for fun, to put my ideas out there and possibly make a little money on the side.  Unfortunately, it is a lot more work than I had expected and sometimes feels like a full-time job in itself.  While I like blogging, I don't want to feel like I have to if I don't want to and lately I haven't felt like doing much of anything.  When it comes down to it my job is Mom.  I have spent too many years spreading myself too thin and right now I want to focus on my baby and enjoy the time I have with her.

So if my posts become fewer and far between don't worry.  I'm still here.  I'm just enjoying simpler things and doing what I want to do for once in my life.

Claire last Easter at the Jacksonville Zoo

~ Andrea


Design Files - Naomi's Foyer

Naomi was one of the winners of my design giveaway a few months ago.  She asked for help finishing her foyer.  I love foyers!  A simple space that can make a huge difference and really sets the tone for the rest of your home.

Naomi has a traditional style with a casual feel.  She loves warm earth tones and Pottery Barn (who doesn't).  So the goal was to give her the feel, without having it look like she picked it out of a catalog, and to keep everything in her budget of $200.

Here are the pictures she sent me to work from

I took my inspiration from her dining room which really reflects her style and has a great color palette.  It is also the largest space that connects to the foyer so logically the two should flow style wise.

Rug :: Mirror :: Basket :: Frame :: Lamp

The plan is to take the focus away from the hallway and bring it to the main foyer area.  This way instead of feeling spread out and disconnected the one space will be finished.  I suggested that she move the existing console down a few feet into the main area.  The rug will add warmth and define the space.  A longer mirror will bring visual weight and a curvier lamp will work better with the style of the console.  A bone frame will add a personal touch and the market basket is one of those accessories that you can use anywhere, even if it sits empty.

Since she is working with a budget, I told her to look for a comparable picture frame at TJ Maxx (or some place similar) and scope out her local thrift stores for a similar lamp.  I also thought that if she found a lamp that was the right shape but the wrong finish she could simply spray paint it the lovely blue color to make it work.

I had so much fun putting this together that I also did a little board for her dining room too.  I'll post that next week.  As for Naomi, she loved the design!  When she emailed me back she told me that she was so excited that she had a plan and could now shop with a purpose.  What a compliment!  I can't wait to see her after pictures.

~ Andrea 

In need of some design inspiration for your home?  Contact me so we can get started!


Carpet Tiles - Yea or Nay?

I've been looking everywhere for a rug to replace the one in my living room.  I think I have finally found something that might work.

It's a FLOR tile called Shiny Happy Stripe in Silver/Cream.

I've ordered samples but since I've never used this product before I was hoping to get a little feed back.  Do you like it?  Have any of you used Flor before?  If so, is it great or does it look cheap?

Opinions please!

~ Andrea


Floor Plan Friday - Cove Cottage

2757 sf :: 4 bedrooms :: 3 baths

Thought I would throw you something a little different today.  While this house has a look I love, it is really big.  If you are looking for something that has a room for each kid, plus an office, plus a craft room/whatever else you want, it definitely has the space.  This house has really cute curb appeal and a nice open living space.  I'm not a fan of such open floor plans but a lot of people are and they are a huge selling point.  My favorite parts are the sunroom and covered porch.  From there it all goes downhill for me.

The problem you always encounter with large homes is useless wasted space.  The part I hate most is the master bed and bath.  It is a ridiculously small bedroom and if you tried to layout furniture I don't think you could add enough storage to make up for the tiny closet.  The bathroom is just sad.  With this much square footage I would at least expect a tub or at least a bigger shower.  I wish the living room had a fireplace and that many doors is dumb.  Turn them into windows.  As for the massive playroom upstairs, it's not really a selling point for me.  Even if it was filled with the coolest toys in the world, I'm pretty sure that Claire would not play in it unless I was in there with her so what's the point.

Personally, I think it is a pretty picture but the rest falls short.  What do you think?

~ Andrea


Strawberry Fields Forever

We love strawberries!  Actually, that is a bit of an understatement.  As soon as they come in season, Claire starts begging for them and we can easily go through two containers a week.  My favorite time is when the u-pick field near our house opens and we can go pick a gallon of berries for only $7.  That gallon lasts us 2 weeks so it is well worth it.  Plus, it is super fun.

Saturday was our first trip out to the field this season.  We all went, we were the only ones there and it was fabulous.  Claire only wanted to pick the "littlest one" but other than that we got some really nice berries.

Got them home, rinsed them off and left them to dry on the counter.

Later, I walk into the living room and find this.

I assumed Chris had changed her shirt and given her a snack while he went fishing out back.  Well, I was half right.  He did change her shirt but she had pulled a chair up to the counter, got a bowl and filled it with strawberries then went and turned on cartoons and went to enjoying her snack.

Crazy kid.  Lesson learned - never underestimate a toddler.

~ Andrea

ps - Aunt Meg, Lilly P is on sale at Rue la la.


Work in Progress

I've spent the past few weeks painting, rearranging and accessorising my living room.  Here is a little peek of one side.

But first, lets remember what it looked like before. 

 A beige box with potential but no personality.

Enter one Saturday morning worth of painting and a shopping trip to Atlanta.

I am in love with my white walls and even my mother was impressed.  As you can tell I'm a sucker for symmetry (it makes my little ocd heart super happy).  This is still a work in progress but I'm excited to finally have a starting point and something to work from versus it looking like we just moved in and are still unpacking.

You might be wondering about the empty frames?  Well I have a project planned for them so they won't stay empty forever but I had to get them hung on the wall so I could see how everything looked.

Well, must dash.  Claire is insisting I put that computer away so that we can play hide-n-seek, which consists of her hiding in plain sight and giggling the entire time.

~ Andrea


Floor Plan Friday - The Taylor

1963 sf :: 3 bedroom :: 2.5 bath

This house is just cute!  I love the wrap-around porch and the detached garage with the breezeway.  It has formal appeal with the large foyer and separate dining room but is family friendly with the large living room that opens to the kitchen.  The spaces flow and there is very little wasted space.  This plan has a lot of potential, inside and out. 

~ Andrea