Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coming Soon

I know I have been MIA this month but that is because Justin and I have been working on creating a new blog. Well Justin has been creating it and I have been giving my opinion and trying to be patient while he finishes it. Because a new blog is coming I haven't wanted to post anything on this one. But don't worry!!! The new Justin and Sally blog is just about ready. Once it is up a running I will blog about it and send out the new link. So until then.... happy blogging!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Brass free - Part 2

One of our resolutions this year is to replace all of brass that is currently in our home. We started by changing out our door knobs. Read about that here.

Since we are working on redecorating our bedroom, we knew we would be replacing the old ceiling fan with some new, thus getting rid of more brass.

While on one of our recent trips to Lowe's I dragged Justin to the lighting department to look at what they had. I had no intentions of really finding anything - I just wanted to see what they had to offer. I personally thought that we would have to look online for something, but I was surprised to find a nice looking ceiling fan that I liked and Justin loved the price too. We didn't purchase it at the time but we both agreed when we were ready to make the purchase this would be the one we took home. 

The other weekend I took a short weekend trip to my parents with my brother and sister-in-law. Justin was planning on coming up Friday after work but thought he should stay home and get some much needed things done around the house. We missed him at my parents but I think I might go out of town more often...Justin did so much stuff around the house in only two days! One of those was surprising me with the new ceiling fan. When I came home (to a very clean house), I walked into our room and noticed that the room was so bright. Our old light only had one bulb but this new one has four. It makes such a big difference in the room. 

I was so excited that Justin had not only replaced the old ceiling fan but in so doing also taken one more step towards updating our bedroom. I have a great husband! 

I am so grateful that Justin worked so hard to get the light up before I got home. If you have every put up a light or a ceiling fan you know just how hard that can be but to do alone  He is just so great!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Peeping Tom's

Before you starting thinking that we actually had someone peeping into our windows, let me go ahead and set your mind at ease: we have not had anyone peeping into our windows. But if someone wanted to, it would have been really easy since we have not have any window covering on our front two kitchen windows since some time last year.

When we started updating our kitchen over a year ago we never thought it would have taken so long to complete. To see our kitchen updates from start to finish click here, here, here, here and here. Once the work was all completed (well...we would love to get new flooring, counter tops, and back splash...the list never really ends), we took down the old flimsy binds with the plan on putting new blinds and some curtains up to add more color to the kitchen. After spending hours looking at Pinterest and other online decorating idea books, I decided to skip blinds and go with Roman shades.

With the decision made I went on the search for some fabric. Since I am not a big fan of buying fabric online I thought I would be limited to the few fabric stores we have around here and got a little frustrated. I had head about this great fabric store in Brookhaven, so one Saturday Justin and I made the trip and found some great fabric. The sad part about all of this is how long the fabric sat in our closet waiting for us to make the shades. Our newly painted and partly decorated kitchen sat like this for almost 7 months.

I knew I was going to have to get someone else to make the shades for me since I don't know to use a sewing machine, but it took much longer than I thought. After looking around for someone to make the shades I was disappointed to learn that professionals charge almost $500 for two shades. I know that some of you are thinking, "I didn't pay that much for mine!" Don't worry Justin would never allow us to spend that much money either. Crossing professional made curtains off the list was easy, but now I was back to square one. I was talking to some friends one night and told them my struggles. One friend said she would be happy to help me with the curtains. This friend just happened to be an excellent seamstress and very crafty. Check our her blog Designing Emily!

After getting her all the materials she started working on the shades. At first we were working on them together. Really, she would work and I would take pictures. We soon realized that she could finish them up a lot faster if she didn't have to wait on our schedules to line up. Within a few weeks she had the shades finished. They look great and really complete the breakfast table area. They really did turn out just like I imagined. I am very happy with them!

Now Justin and I don't have to worry about people looking into our kitchen window anymore. I love that we are now able to close the curtains at night. I know this is silly, but I feel much safer at night knowing that people walking or driving by can't see into our house.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Symmetry in the Bedroom

When we decided it was time to redo our room I was over the moon with excitement. I took out my notebook of home/life inspiration and started showing Justin everything I liked. I think I might have overwhelmed him just a little. I also went a little over the top by researching everything I wanted for the room. Almost everyday I would show Justin something I thought would look good in our room. He was nice enough to appease me and say that he liked whatever it was that I was showing him or he would in the nicest way possible say that he really didn't like it. I think he is over it now because when I show him something he just says "I am not sure, let's just wait a little longer."

I thought we should pick everything we wanted for the room, save, and get it one piece of furniture at a time. It made sense to me, but Justin thinks differently. He felt and still does feel that we should get one thing at a time and see what it looks like in our room and then move on to something else. I have come to agree with him but not after a lot persuading on Justin's part.

Now on to the symmetry of the our room. When it came time to make our next purchased Justin and I both agreed the next thing we should get was nightstands. Our old ones just weren't cutting it anymore. You can't really see our nightstand in the picture but you can see that they are two different sizes and shapes.

When we first started talking about the nightstands we decided that we didn't want our dressers and nightstands to match. It would have been easier to just get a whole new bedroom suite, but we wanted to mix things up. So I started my search. I came across many nightstands that I liked but none that I loved. Then one day I found these. Justin approved and we ordered! It was just that easy!!

I never told Justin, but I was a little nervous about the color. It is always a gamble when you order something online. However all that changed when I saw this at my door.

I quickly tore open the boxes and left this mess for Justin to clean up. I was so excited to get the old nightstands out of the room and get our new ones in place.

The color is perfect and they look great in our room. My old nightstand had a really small drawer and Justin's had two big drawer. This drawer is deep and is great for storing books, chapstick, a book light, notebooks, and pens. I love the shelf for my puzzles. I know I'm a dork who likes to do puzzles before going to sleep.

Finally, a full shot of the symmetry in our room (which has been five years in the making!). I love how the nightstands look in the room. I can't wait to keep going with the room.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cutest Nephew Ever!

A few weeks ago Justin and I made the trip to Rayville to visiting John Hayden. I know I am a litte obsessed but I am not going to apologize for it.

This was the first time we have seen John Hayden since at the hospital when he was born. When he was born I couldn't really tell if he looked more like Abe or Lindsay, but now I definitely see some of Abe in his face.

John Hayden loves reading!

I just want everyone to know that this was my mom's idea. She got this handprint kit for JH. It has three tins for you to make handprints of your baby during their first year of life. JH did a great job and Lindsay was able to get a good handprint.

Making faces at the camera.

John Hayden is growing so fast. Be watching for another post about John Hayden's first trip to Aunt Sally and Uncle Justin's!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 Reading list - January & February

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love reading. A while back, I even wrote few book reviews but after only two reviews I realized that I love reading books more than I do writing about them.

Still wanting to share the books I have read, I thought instead of writing a review of all the books I read I would post every two months and share all the books I have read during that time. This would not only allow me to share what I'm reading but it will also hold me accountable to read at least 24 books this year.

So this is how it's going to work: Every two months (hopefully) I will post all the books I have read and a few thoughts I had about each book. My goal is only to share what I have been reading, not to sway anyone into or out of reading any book. I know that everyone has different tastes in books so I don't expect everyone to agree with my choice in books.

Here are the four books I have read so far:

I got this book a few years ago at the MC Book Bazaar. Click here for see the full list of books I purchased at that book sale. I liked this book for the most part. There was a part in it that I could have done with out, but for the most part it was a good book.

The Graduate
I got this book while on vacation last year. I had been wanting to read it ever since I saw the movie "Rumor Has It." In the movie they referenced the book and many of the characters so I thought it would be a good read. It was an easy read and would be perfect to take to the beach this summer.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This book has been on the best sellers list for a while. It has been on my list for about a year but with over 20 books on my bookshelf I kept putting it off. I finally checked this book out and decided it was time to read it. First, I have to say that this book is a little graphic (not sure I'm going to watch the movie) but has so many twists and
turns. Most books I read are very predictable but this one kept me guessing.

The Christmas Wedding
This was a cute book. I checked this out at the library on a Saturday and finished it the next day. I'm not a fast reader but this book kept me interested. It's about a women who lost her husband three years before and is now ready to get married. She has been asked by three different men to marry them. She decides that she will not tell anyone who she is marrying until she walks down the aisle. I guess I kept reading to find out who she would end up marrying. It was a fun book.

I hope you've enjoyed this post. I'm always open for recommendations. If you have read or are reading a book that you can't put down please let me know.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brass Free 2012, Part 1

Here is a little update we did a few weekends ago. It's nothing big - just something we have wanted to do for a long time but just gotten around to getting it done.

In January, when Justin and I were thinking of some things that we wanted to accomplish in 2012, we decided to set a goal of removing all the brass from our house by the end of the year. We don't have a lot of brass in our house - just some door knobs, a few light fixtures and the fireplace cover...oh, and our shower door, but that's a whole other project in itself.

We have take the first step toward brass freedom by replacing all brass door knobs in our house. I know it doesn't make a huge difference in the overall look of the house, and I'm sure most people won't even notice the change, but it's just a small detail that helps our home look more up-to-date. Just look at this can see the scratches, and it just looks old.

Like I said, this isn't a big change but I think they make the doors look a lot better. What do you think? Next time you come to our house, make sure you take note the new knobs!

We will keep you updated on project Brass Free 2012.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

He has ARRIVED!!!

Let me introduce the world to the cutest baby boy, John Hayden Hodges!!!
This was taken just about an hour after he was born.

He arrived on Friday, January 27th at 3:19 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and was 20 inches long. Let me back up just a little. John Hayden was scheduled to arrive on Monday but he just wasn't quite ready to make his grand appearance, so we all waited...and waited...and waited. Thursday morning my brother and sister-in-law put in a call to their doctor to schedule an induction. When the doctor called them back much later in the afternoon she told them to come to the hospital around 12 that night. They didn't expect this response, but began getting ready.

Around 6:00 Friday morning Abe texted me and said we should start getting ready and head their way. Thinking we had lots of time we got up and leisurely got ready. Around 8:00-ish he texted me back and told us that the nurse was thinking that Hayden would arrive around 12:00. Then, we got a another text just shortly after saying it might be 10:30. We went right into super speed mode and got ready in record time. I think we got to the hospital around 10:30 and ran to the room because we thought Hayden was already here. If we would have known he was still not ready to come and meet all of us, we would have taken our time getting ready!

Lindsay was a champ. She was uncomfortable, but she never complained. About an hour before Hayden was born we were told it was time for us to head to the waiting room to do just a little more waiting. We settled in thinking it would be another few hours before we would be formally introduced to Hayden. Well, those few hours really ended up being only one hour. During that one hour, I made many trips to the gift shop and cafeteria, trying to make the time go by faster. During one of my trips I found this awesome button.

Thinking we would have lots of time Justin and I went back to the gift shop to get Abe a bubble gum cigar. As I was paying, I got a text from my mom saying Hayden had arrived. Justin and I ran back to the waiting room. I could have hit myself for not being there, but at least we got Abe a bubble gum cigar.

This is the proud Daddy coming to tell us that we could come back to the room to meet Hayden. When Abe walked into the waiting room he had the biggest smile on his face. He was most definitely a new proud daddy.

Here my parents are meeting Hayden for the first time. Look at the smile on Lindsay's face. I don't think I would be smiling after almost 15 hours of labor but like I said, Lindsay is a champ.

We had to wait forever for them to bring Hayden back to the room. I think I spent most of that time waiting by the nursery window trying to catch glimpses of Hayden. They had to give him shots, run tests, give him a bath, and whatever else they do in the nursery.

FINALLY!!! I got to hold Hayden!! I think he is just the cutest and best baby ever!!

Here are few pictures of Hayden's nursery. Lindsay did a great job putting everything together. I know Hayden is going to love his room.

I think we are planning on going to visit Hayden this weekend , so stay tuned for a lot more pictures of him.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bedroom Makeover...Finally!

Over the past few years, Justin and I have been updating our house room by room. We have finally decided its time to work on our master bedroom. If you listen hard enough you will be able to hear me say THANK YOU! Everything in our bedroom is either from our high school/college days or given to us by someone. About a year ago, I started looking online trying to find ideas for the room, but we put the room on the back burner when we started updating our kitchen. The kitchen is done and now its time to revisit my ideas for our room.

I didn't take any pictures of our room before we purchased our bed and bedding, so you missed out on seeing just how drab our room looked for the past two and half years. This is what our rooms looks like right now. Don't let this picture fool you - yes, the bed looks great but as a whole the room is still a bit drab and needs some love.

We found our bed at a local home decor store and got it at a great price. It's very similar to the bed in the picture below from Restoration Hardware (which I loved), but at a much better price. Our bedding was purchased a few months later while we were visiting NYC. We kept our old pillows and added a couple of new ones. Still not sure if we will keep all them when its all said and done but for now we are keeping the pillows as is.

We're hoping to replace pretty much everything in our room except for the bed and bedding. Since almost everything is leaving we can go in any direction. The hard part now is knowing what to do next. But now let me show you around the room. Do we need new dressers or what? This dresser was given to us just after we got married, and while it serves its purpose, it's very big and heavy. The mirror above the dresser was a cheap one we found at Home Goods. We when first got married we didn't want to spend money on furniture or decorations for the apartment because I was afraid that it would be a waste of money and wouldn't work in our home (once we brought one). I will get to the blinds and curtains a little later.

I got this tall dressers when I was in junior high. It is a solid piece of furniture but its small and I am not a big fan of the color. I am not sure if we will reuse it somewhere else around the house or if we will get rid of it. But I do know that this dresser has served me for a long time and has been's just time to update.

In the view below you can see just how small the dressers really is. If you look closely you will see a small mirror leaning again the wall just next to our bed. This mirror came with the dresser but had a really ugly frame around it. We had great intentions to re-frame the mirror but never got around to it. Plus it really isn't a full length mirror. So we are adding a new floor mirror to our list.

Here is a better view of the poor mirror. Its a little embarrassing. Yes, that is tape on the floor around my current nightstand. We have been looking for new nightstands and I wanted to see how much bigger some of the nightstand would be compared to my current one.

Now on to the curtains: The curtains we are currently using in our room are the curtains that we used in our room in our apartment. They are a neutral color and might work somewhere else in our house but just not in our room. In our apartment we had one window so we only needed two curtain panels. Now that we have two windows in our room we need four panels. Its time to retire the two panels and update to four. The bamboo blinds came with the house and will be gone soon also. We have never liked them but have not gotten around to changing them.

As you can see here we have a brown rod and brushed nickel rings. I am not a big fan of mixing the two finishes but these, like everything else in our room, are from our apartment.

When we moved into the house we just used things from our apartment instead of buying new stuff. We wanted to give thought to all of our purchases and make sure we wouldn't regret buying anything. So now we are going to fix all these problems and soon we will have a room that we are more happy with.

As you have seen we have a lot to do in our room. I have been looking online for pillows, rugs, curtains, and furniture, anything that would caught my eye. I have found lots of stuff but I am taking it slow to make sure that we love everything that goes into our room. At the end of the day we want a room with lots of patterns, a natural color palette with some pops of color, a reading nook, and a relaxing peaceful place to begin and end each day.

Here is a list of some things that we need/want.

  • New nightstands
  • Dresser and chest
  • A reading nook
  • Full length mirror
  • Art work
  • Curtains
  • Rug
  • Chair
  • Pillows
  • Lamps
We will keep you updated on the improvements we make to the room.