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.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Hodges/Garcia Christmas

I, like most people, love Christmas. Who doesn't love spending time with family, eating lots of good food, getting some time off work, decorating your house with lots of red and green, and driving around looking at Christmas lights? This year for Christmas my whole family was able to get together for a few days at my parent's house. We had lots of fun hanging out, seeing family, and just relaxing. One thing my mom always does is decorate the house for Christmas. Here are some of her decorations.
These are my baby shoes on her tree. She also has a pair of Stan's and Abe's baby shoes.

When I was little my mom made everything special and over the top. We had a wreath that had huge jingle bells on it that would hang on the back door. Any time you touched the wreath (or even the door for that matter) you would hear the bells. Some, how every Christmas Eve, Santa would come to the house to make sure we were being good and would take the bells and hide them somewhere around our house. Who ever found them the next day would win a prize (candy). When I was really little I loved this. When I got a little older this terrified me. I never let on that I was scared but inside I would cringe with I saw the wreath gone. You might be asking yourself why I was so scared. Well, wouldn't you be terrified that Santa could come into your house without anyone seeing him in the middle of the day. By the 4th grade I grew out of the scared stage, just in time to find out the truth about Santa. I have to give my mom credit for coming up with wonderful ideas for making every holiday special and memorable .

But back to this Christmas: We all spent most of our time in the kitchen. Stan, the chef in our family, made four wonderful meals. When I say four, I mean he made two dishes with shrimp and made me and Lindsay our own meals since we don't eat shrimp. Not only did he make four meals but everything was from scratch. I hope one day I can cook as good as Stan.

While Stan and Justin slaved over dinner we made sugar cookies. Well, Lindsay made them and I just helped to decorate them. We had so much fun and the cookies were delicious.

For as long as I can remember our family has had a contest to see who could be the first person to say "Christmas Eve gift" to my Mom on Christmas Eve. If you happened to be the first to say it to mom, you got the Christmas Eve gift. This year I won!!!! It has been a long time since I have won. Needless to say I was very happy. I set my alarm for 12:00 but thought my mom would not like it if I woke her up. So I waited until 6:30. The best part of winning is when your brother or dad thinks he beat you to it and you are able to hold up to gift and say "I already won!!"

While driving to my grandparents house on Christmas Eve we had to entertain Justin with bubbles.
This is my cousins sweet baby!!! He was so fun to play with and watch open gifts.
This year we went a less traditional route with our Christmas dinner and had steak and chicken. Again, this was another meal that Stan with the help us Justin made. It was wonderful!!!!

Christmas morning was fun, like always!!! We all still get excited to see what Santa has brought us. This year I was the first one up and ran around the house waking everyone up. Since we have gotten older we no longer open our presents right away. Now we all drink some coffee, start making breakfast (monkey bread), and then divide up the gifts. Once breakfast is in the oven we all head into the living room and see what Santa has brought us. Here is some of the loot Justin and I got this year.

We had a great time with our family and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas next year with John Hayden, who is expected to make his appearance on January 23rd. For those who don't know my older bother and his wife are having a baby in less than 3 weeks!

Celebrating 5 years with Mr. Right!!

On December 16, 2011 Justin and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. About a month before our anniversary, I started thinking about surprising Justin with a weekend trip to Point Clear, Alabama. The reason I wanted to surprise Justin with this trip was not only becuase it was our anniversary (that was the main reason) but also to congratulate Justin with the launch of the new MC website. You might be wondering why I chose Point Clear. Well, we stayed at the Grand Marriott in Point Clear the first night of our honeymoon 5 years before. At the time we lived in Marietta, Georgia but got married in Ocean Springs and didn't want to drive back to Atlanta on our wedding day, so Justin planned for us to stay at the Grand Marriott. We both loved our room and the few parts of the hotel we were able to see. Unfortunately, we were only at the hotel for about 12 hours.

My plan was to get Justin to take off a half day on Friday (our anniversary) by telling him that I planned for us to do some things around Jackson for his birthday, which was the day before. He had agreed to take the time off earlier in the week. So my plan was coming along very nicely...until a few days before our anniversary. Here is how the conversation went.

J: So I thought about surprising you with something for our anniversary but I thought we should talk about instead.
S: What are you talking about?? (Trying to play it cool)
J: I was thinking we could do one of three things; stay the night in a hotel in Jackson, do what we had planned just dinner and maybe a movie, or go to Point Clear for the weekend.

Well, I couldn't hide my smile and I did think about telling him we should just stay home a just do dinner and still try and surprise him, but I decided I should tell him that I was already planning a weekend trip to Point Clear. I still got to see the surprise on his face it just wasn't quite the way I wanted to tell him!

I was able to book the same room we stayed in the first time we went. About five minutes after we got to our room, there was a knock at the door. When Justin opened the door the person gave Justin a gift for our anniversary. We both thought it was a special touch and we have a great keepsake from the hotel.

While in Point Clear, we rested, walked around the hotel grounds, shopped the cute town of Fairhope, made our way to the outlets in Foley to do some shopping, ate at some good restaurants, and went to Bellingrath Gardens to see the Christmas lights. It was a great anniversary weekend I hope one day we will be able to visit the hotel again. Maybe when we are celebrating our 10th anniversary.

Here are some pictures of our weekend. While waiting almost an hour in the car at Bellingrath Gardens, Justin and I got creative or...well lets face it...bored!

These are just a few of my favorite pictures from Bellingrath Gardens. This 65 acre garden transforms into a beautiful light exhibit during Christmas. If you ever find yourself in the Mobile, Alabama area during the holidays you should make a point to visit Bellingrath Gardens.

Here a some pictures from the hotel. We loved how everything was decorated for Christmas. We even got to see Santa getting our of his...van?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Party Garcia Style

Sometime back in June Justin asked me if we could host a Christmas party. Of course I would not pass up a opportunity to host a party. Fast forward a few months and Justin still wanted to host the party, but didn't want to plan anything about the party except that he wanted to have hot chocolate and apple cider. In September we set the date of the party and I started working on the menu. It was so fun planning everything. I'm thinking this might be an annual thing.

I did have help in the form of a Christmas elf, that goes by the name Katie Boles. I could not have planned and cooked everything for the party without her help. The day of the party Justin did help me clean up the house but not before he forgot about his marketing final exam (which is an entirely separate story in itself). Needless to say, when he realized he had missed his exam he emailed the professor, she was nice enough to let him take it later in the day. Good for Justin...bad for me since he would be gone. That is when my Christmas elf came and saved the day. Katie got to the house around 10:30 and stayed until after midnight. Katie you are the best!!

I can only speak for Justin and myself, but we had a great time and thought the party went well. Here are some of our party guests and the delicious spread we served.

We had an ornament making station set up in the office.

Justin's must have - Hot Chocolate Bar

Katie my wonderful Christmas elf (and Jack)!! We couldn't have done this without her.