Monthly Archives

June 2015


Our Wedding…One Year Later

As of this upcoming Sunday, Ethan and I will have been married for one year. One whole entire year! I feel like our wedding day was just yesterday, and yet I feel like I’ve been married five years. Cliché, I know. In light of the anniversary of our wedding, I thought I would share some wedding photos and share a few things I’ve learned this past year.

We got married in Western New York, where I’m from, even though we were both living in Texas by that time. We had our wedding at a local heritage museum, or as I like to call it, an “outside old buildings museum.” Either way, it was the perfect way to blend a church wedding with an outdoor wedding. We had the ceremony directly in front of a 19th century chapel, and the reception on the main lawns and gazebo of the museum. Things were far from perfect that day, but it’s in the past. It’s funny how at the end of the day, those little details I was freaking out about didn’t matter at all.




I wanted all the details to be laid back and “pretty.” I wanted everything to feel fresh and simple.


I loved these little window frames we used to hold childhood photos of Ethan and me. And I just love looking at baby Ethan pictures.


Our centerpieces were simple; a collection of books, mason jars, candles, and Baby’s Breath.


The gorgeous cake. It was delicious as it is beautiful. A woman from the church I grew up in made it, and I cannot tell you how much I adored this cake. It was everything I ever wanted!


Our reception was directly in front of the chapel. We had lights strung above the dance floor, and night fell at a perfect time.


My bridesmaids each picked out their own dresses. I absolutely loved the cohesive look.


So here I am, (almost) a year later still trying to figure out what it means to be married. Because sometimes I’m still convinced that the past year has gone by without me even realizing it. Have I really been married for a whole year? That’s crazy! There have a few things though that I’ve learned, despite how fast this year has flown by.

God has blessed us immeasurably.

We both had real grown up jobs before the wedding (I hadn’t officially started yet, but I’d been hired as a teacher starting about a month after we were married). We had a place to live, furniture in our house, food on our table, and a newly-purchased bed to sleep on. Sure, there have been late nights when all we could ask ourselves was what the heck are we going to do?  Of course there have been those moments. When I measure those moments against all the victories we’ve faced in our marriage, I cannot deny that God has been there for us through and through. We haven’t had to struggle overmuch, and for that I am grateful.

Marriage is work.

Duh. As if anyone assumed otherwise. What I mean is that we’ve learned best by supporting each other, by being there for each other. At the end of the day, I listen (and I mean actually listen) to Ethan as he tells me about his day, and I know he’ll do the same for me. When Ethan has to work late (and I’m frustrated enough because I don’t get to see him all day), I have to remind myself that bringing him a hot meal at work will show him that I love him. Even if I really don’t feel like cooking, my husband is working hard to provide for us, and cooking some food and driving it to him is hardly a big deal. In my (way super limited) experience, love is actively doing something to serve my husband, knowing it means something to him.

I am not a perfect wife.

Another duh. While engaged, I had envisioned myself working hard each day, coming home to cook a full three course meal (which would be served at the table the moment Ethan returned from work), with dessert in the oven, all with an immaculate home. Big surprise! I was wrong! There are times that the clean clothes are on the bedroom floor for way longer than I’d like to admit, waiting to be put away. Sometimes I go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. And, gasp! There are days the bed goes unmade. I’m learning that I really don’t have to have it all together. I’m pretty sure nobody does anyway.

I have to pray. All the time. Seriously.

I thank God for my husband daily. I ask to God show me ways to demonstrate my love to my husband. How can I be a wife of noble character? How can I bring honor to my husband? I can support Ethan in prayer. I pray that his dreams come to fruition, and that I may have the wisdom to support him. I pray for our future, for guidance in situations that have yet to arise. I pray that Ethan will be able to lead me and our future children in the direction of Christ. I pray that we continue to serve Him in whatever He may ask us to do. Without prayer, I think marriage would be a bit more frustrating, and quite meaningless. I’m thankful for a God who has given us the gift of marriage, because that’s what it is, really. A sweet, precious, heavenly gift.

So overall, there may be a couple of things I’ve learned. I’m just glad I can keep on learning how this marriage thing works as we go.  Thanks for letting me get a little personal today. I appreciate y’all. That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends.

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

Coffee Table Makeover

Hello all! Happy Monday from me to you! I hope you’re having a fantastic morning. Are you drinking your coffee as you’re reading this? I hope so!

Summer is in full swing for me here. I’m a teacher, and even though my summer break started a few weeks back, I spent the first bit of that away from home visiting different family members. I didn’t feel like my summer break had fully begun until this last week. I don’t have any kiddos to keep me busy (that is definitely not a complaint), so my days range between mindlessly watching Netflix for an embarrassing number of hours and finding odd projects around the house to keep me busy.

This week these old tables we have in our living room became the object of choice (I swear, nothing is safe from the paintbrush in this house. Except for the walls, because, landlords). These two tables were my husband, Ethan’s from his bachelor days. Who knows how old they are or where in the world they came from. Classic newlyweds, amiright?


I painted the bases white when we first got married, and that was good for a while. But you can see how scratched and janky (I can use that word right?) they are. They weren’t looking so hot.


So obviously I had to do something about it (which if you’re reading this and you still haven’t figured out that I am about to paint this table, then I’m sorry I ruined the surprise for you).

The first thing I did was put a fresh coat of Annie Sloan Old White over both tables. I’ve written previously more details about using this paint, which you can find here.


Don’t mind this background of this picture. It’s our totally-unfinished-not-fully-furnished-guestroom/paint studio. We all have that one room we don’t want anyone to see. Except you just saw mine. Don’t judge me, please keep reading.


I wanted to go for a “farmhouse style” look, so I wanted to paint a grainsack stripe on each of the tables. I spaced a four inch wide line in the center, and a one inch wide line on either side.


I then painted in the areas I had taped off. The color is Pencil Sketch by Behr. I bought a sample jar of it at Home Depot in a flat finish and had plenty left over. The paintbrush is the 2″ Wooster Shortcut. This is the first time using this brush and I can tell you that I absolutely loved it! It’s inexpensive and easy to use.


After painting my stripes, I got around to distressing lightly the edges of my table. I also sanded down over the gray stripes so that a bit of the white would show through. I wanted to give the stripes a bit of a worn look.

After distressing, removing tape, adding a finishing wax, and making a huge mess, my tables were done!





They make the room so much brighter, which I absolutely love. I also am really digging the rustic vibe they have. The best part about this project is that I had everything on hand except for the $3 paint sample I bought. That’s what I call a thrifty project! My favorite kind! That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!


Home Decor

My Go-To Styling Accessories

Happy Monday y’all! If you’ve been reading for a bit, you know that my husband and I don’t own our home. Which is a good thing, because our home is U-G-L-Y not cute. We’re still newlyweds, paying our dues in a rental before buying our first home. Because we’re renters, I can’t rely on changing the wall color or ripping out the carpet (through I’d love to). When I’m decorating, I have to be intentional about what I bring in the room. In the last year that we’ve lived in this house, I’ve realized that the accessories I bring in are the most important. The “shell” of the room (flooring, wall color, lighting fixtures) are unchangeable for us, so the accessories matter.

Today I want to share with you the four things I use most often to create vignettes in my home. The staple pieces, if you will. These are my favorite things to decorate with, and can be seen everywhere in my home. If you’re a renter like me (or even if you’re not), these are some things you can use to cozy things up without making any major changes.


1. Books

I use books everywhere! They are great for adding height to smaller items, for making different levels. Styling accessories takes a bit of practice (which I’m still learning), but stacked books can add another dimension to whatever it is that you’re displaying.  I absolutely love old versions of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. They come in a variety of colors, and the patterns are beautiful. I find them at thrift stores and garage sales usually for $1 each or less. With something so inexpensive, you really can’t go wring!


2. Candles

I love to use candles not only for decor, but for practical purposes as well. They provide a soft light, warmth, and a certain coziness to a space. I usually will have one scented candle burning at a time, along with other white unscented candles. I buy candles from IKEA. They are sold in sets, usually a few dollars for several candles.


3. Trays

Trays are great because they are like an anchor for pieces you want to display. They work especially well for areas like coffee tables, where the space is versatile. I like to have pieces on my coffee table, but it can be a pan to move things constantly. Having your accessories displayed on a tray makes moving things easy! This is especially helpful if you have little ones around (or so I’m told).


4. Flowers

My favorite thing of all! I always have them around somewhere! Whether you’re using faux or fresh (I use both, though I’m partial to fresh), flowers can make a huge impact. Each week when I’m doing my grocery shopping, I stop by the floral section and pick up an inexpensive bunch or two. Fresh flowers add a nice scent (obviously), and an element of thoughtfulness to a room.

So there you have it, friends. These are the things that I use in my home to add dimension. If I’m in a pinch, these are my go-to pieces. I use them all most frequently when I’m styling (or restyling, then restyling again) a room. I hope you’ve found this helpful! Do you use these in your home too? I’d love to hear about it! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Tutorials

My Experience with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a marvelous weekend, I know I have! I am in New York visiting some family, but I wanted to take a few minutes and make sure I wasn’t neglecting the old blog. 🙂

So last week I blogged about my new dining room table. If you haven’t checked that out, go ahead and do so. It’s cool, I’ll wait. I want you to have a frame of reference when reading this post. Okay, you read it? Cool, let’s continue.

I painted the table and chairs using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. If you haven’t heard of this paint before, you are really missing out. Seriously, this stuff is awesome! It’s called chalk paint not because it creates a chalkboard finish, but because of its matte look. It has a “chalky” feel to it when the paint dries. There is no sanding or prep work required with this paint (can I get an amen?!), and it will adhere to most any surface. Did I mention it has no VOCs? Pretty cool stuff.

Annie Sloan is a company based in Britain, so while you can order online, there are only limited stockists in the United States. You can click here to find a stockist near you. I got mine from Nest, a cute little store in Mansfield, TX. It is suggested that you take a workshop to learn about the paint before tackling any big projects, but being the rebel that I am (mostly I’m just cheap), I opted to just try it for myself. I did do some internet research, and Lauren over at The Thinking Closet has a great tutorial on this topic as well. I referenced her post several times during my project.

So let’s get down to it, shall we? First off, I chose my color, Old White.


This color is a not-quite-cream-not-quite-pure-white color that’s perfect for my space, so I went with it. The actual application of the paint is easy-peasy. I’m assuming you know how to dip a paintbrush in a can and slap it on something. I won’t insult your intelligence.

While the can states that one coat will be sufficient, I found this not to be true. Pardon the HORRIBLE lighting, but you can see here with just one coat, there were still visible areas. Now, these chairs are not solid wood, so that may be why it took more paint, I’m not sure.


Overall, I did two complete coats, with a third coat over some small areas. If you look closely in this picture, you can see the defining line between one coat and two coats of paint.


This paint dries quickly and is very easy to distress, if that’s the look you’re going for. If so, you would simply sand down the edges you want distressed and be done with it.

After your paint is fully dry and distressed, it’s time for the wax. I applied the wax the next day. This is the part that is unique to this type of paint, and the main reason a workshop is suggested. I however, did not attend a workshop and didn’t have any problems.


There are suggested brushes for applying the wax. I used a regular old cheap brush from Home Depot. You will want to make sure the paintbrush you use will be solely for wax. You won’t want to mix your brushes used for paint with your brushes used for wax.

You will want to apply a small amount of wax to your brush, brush it onto your piece, and then immediately rub the wax into the piece using a dry cloth. This allows the piece to have the wax fully worked in. It also removes any excess wax. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If you have too much wax, it will leave a tacky residue on your finished project and that’s just no good.

It didn’t take me long to completely abandon the paint brush (this is not the professional way to do this, but it worked for me). I would dip the cloth into the wax, and apply directly from the cloth.


In my opinion, this was much easier than using a brush, since I applied and worked in the wax in one cohesive step. It also eliminated brush strokes in the wax.

Wax During

By the time I was done, my cloth was pretty oily, so I took a clena cloth and wiped down the entire surface once more. I did not have any issues with tacky wax after drying. I waited another day after applying the wax to place my furniture back in my dining room.


I am totally a novice with this product, but I’d say I had a pretty easy experience with great results. I would definitely recommend doing a little research, but if you’ve been hesitant to try it, DON’T BE! I had a really good experience with it, and I know you can too!

Annie paint text

That’s all for today! If you have any questions, please let me know, and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. Have a fabulous day, friends!