Updated Dressing Room/Closet Room

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Ray has been busy!  I am so happy with the closet space and added the vanity that was in the bedroom.  I still need to get window treatments and we plan on eventually adding in an overhead lighting fixture. That requires a lot of work, wiring, cutting into the ceiling etc…. That will have to wait.  So here are some pictures of this GLORIOUS room.

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dressing room vanity closet room

What do you think?  I can’t wait to get nicer window treatments, I am still torn on what to choose.  I don’t have to keep this rug, but I did buy it in Morocco so I need to use it somewhere!  This is an ‘in between picture’

Dressing room closet room rug

Real pictures, lots of mess, hey I am human!  I look forward to posting more updates to the house.  We have been working diligently on the back yard but it is taking FOREVER.  I wish we had the money to just pay some landscapers, I mean this yard needs a total overhaul…  I just don’t think it is bad enough to warrant a popular show coming in and doing it for us on t.v.! HAHA!  Although, that would be amazing… A girl can dream.  We did get vines off the one pergola, took 2 days of cutting!  Here is one pic of it almost all gone, and my next post will be updates on the yard! Have a great rest of the week!

Backyard reno remodel

Things I <3

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As I complete the finishing touches to the closet room (I hope to post pictures this weekend), I wanted to write about things I am loving right now.  I was inspired by Drew Barrymore’s book “Find it in Everything” where she collected photographs that had things in the shape of a heart (like a straw wrapper, a scallion in miso soup, etc…).  Most importantly, it is about finding the beauty in everything.  Of course I have bad days at work, feel tired, barely get to check off things on my to do list.  However, it is nice to stop and appreciate the things we do have in life that make us happy.  It happens so often, that we forget to cherish the good things around us, especially those that we love.  I take pleasure in the little things that can distract me from everyday hustle and bustle, so I can sit and relax.

My Favorite T.V. show(s): Right now it is The Walking Dead.  The season premiere is this Sunday!  I waited a while to board the TWD train, but I eventually had time to binge watch 3 seasons on Netflix last summer and caught up this season.  I am so happy my husband got hooked too, so we can watch it together (hey it counts as spending time together, right?).  We watch quite a few shows together like How I Met Your Mother (almost over!), Two Broke Girls, New Girl, The Middle, Modern Family, Suburgatory and Big Bang Theory.  Game of Thrones starts up soon (April 6th).  As soon as House of Cards Season 2 came out, we were finished in a weekend.  We are looking forward to the next season of Orange is the New Black!  I also have my personal guilty pleasures that I have to DVR and watch when Ray is out, like Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Nashville, The Bachelor/ette, and Big Brother.

My Favorite Blogs: I have to read other blogs to help keep up with the blogosphere, get some ideas for home decor, and for fun!  I love The Curtis Casa and Bliss at Home. Their styles are so unique, and give me great ideas for my own home!

My Favorite Music: I can’t get the Cold Play song out of my head “Magic.”  I also find myself singing Black Keys, Young and The Giant, Foster the People, lots of good stuff!

My Favorite Recent Movies: We watched Gravity and American Hustle.  They were good, but the best one we have watched this past month was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I can’t wait for the next one!

Of course when I think about the things and people I appreciate, I have my husband, my dog, my grandmother, and my close friends and family.  I even appreciate some of my co-workers, they keep me sane on a day to day basis!  I am so grateful to finally own a home with my husband. I have to say I am pretty happy, even when there are little things bothering me, I have to be thankful for what I do have.  What are you grateful for?

Dog

How can you not love that face?!?!

Taking a Challenge

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So we BOUGHT some of the closet pieces, but we still need one more piece that was not in store…  We hope to go again next weekend so we will have the complete set and get it installed. 

In the mean time, I am going to post about a new challenge I entered to help get me back to my pre-wedding weight!  I did the Jamie Eason Live Fit program before the wedding and lost 33 pounds!  It really was an amazing outcome and I am so glad I did it, and know that I can do it again.  The reason I gained back the weight was because after the wedding I decided I wanted to eat unhealthy again, stopped working out, and knew it would eventually add up.  Jamie Eason recently posted about a new challenge on her Facebook page via Labrada Nutrition called “The Lean Body Challenge.”  I will spare most of the details (you can click on the link for the resources), but I was excited to give myself a goal and hold myself accountable for my actions.  I had to take a couple before pictures, and once the 12 weeks is up, take after pictures and mail in a packet with some essay questions.  The sign up ended February 17th, but another one starts sometime this summer. 

There is a Facebook page where all the women participants can post questions and results (they have a separate one for the males).  It is great support and motivation.  The women post pictures of their progress and it is so helpful for everyone to see the progress potential.  The grand prize is awarded to one woman and one male, and the other winners are decided by age group.  Isn’t it fun to actually have something to look forward to?  Even if I don’t win I still get a t-shirt and a completion certificate :-)

Is anyone else doing a challenge or making a lifestyle change?  I feel so much better, less bloated, and just all around healthier by exercising and eating clean.  I can’t wait to share my progress down the line!  Hopefully I will be back to this physique!

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Closet / Dressing Room

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I was hoping to have this room finished before I posted pictures, but a partial room will have to do!  Because of all the snow, we have not been able to get the other parts of the closet shelving to go in the other corner.  I really can’t wait to finish this room!  So here are before and after pics to show you the ‘beginning.’  Basically a blank wall, and the closet system!  We used the Martha Stewart Deluxe Starter Closet Kit in Espresso.  I love it!  And now I can see all my clothes when I am getting ready!

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Sorry for the terrible lighting, we finished late and only have one lamp in this room.  We plan to put in ceiling lighting, and buy some new drapes.  We are going shopping this weekend so I hope we can buy all the necessary stuff to finish the closet!  See ya next time!

Coffee table, rug, and foyer

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I am so happy we found a rug we like, and it doesn’t clash with the tile.  I love the very subtle hint of green that gives us an accent color to tie into our decorations.  We liked the pattern so much, that we got a runner for the foyer as well!

family room foyerview

Here are a couple more views of the coffee table and rug. table rug rugtable

And our foyer console table is still a work in progress.  I keep changing the pictures and the vase, and decorations.  It will just be an ongoing project in progress!

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I had to incorporate Penn State! Ray had this gnome from way before we met, he is there to greet you at the door!

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And this picture is extra special since it includes two of the people I love and miss the most, my mother and my Poppop.  If you don’t know me personally, you wouldn’t know that I lost my mom in August of last year (2013) and my grandfather in February 2011.  This picture is a reminder every day that they will always be holding my hand and guiding me through life.  This was on the Wildwood, NJ boardwalk, a frequent vacationing spot for my family.

momandpoppop

Whew, ok sorry for the tear jerker!  I can’t wait to share the closet room (once we are finished).  I would like to have it completed next weekend, and since things don’t always go as planned, I am keeping my fingers crossed!  Have a great weekend, and hopefully no one gets buried in too much snow!

Fireplace, “Mantel,” and Clock, Oh My!

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I took a little hiatus since we were having friends over this past weekend, we have been busy putting stuff away, organizing, putting together some new furniture, and shoveling all this darn snow we have been getting!

Ray found the PERFECT floating shelf to act as our ‘mantel’ and the clock looks so cool right above!!  While researching the average mantel height, I found the norm is between 54 and 64 inches.  Our fireplace is only about 44.5 inches high (where the tile ends), we did not want to put it too much higher than the 54 inches.  The fireplace itself is only at 32 inches (stops under the tile).  My friend suggested to cut out cardboard/paper and tape it to the wall to get an idea of where to place everything.  This is the picture with our cardboard rendering lol.

Fireplace clock and shelf test

At first I felt there was a lot of space between the shelf and the clock, but when I put things on the shelf, it looked much better.  The shelf has about a 10 inch depth, so that also makes a difference in the spacing between the tile and the shelf.  This picture was taken from sitting on the couch looking up a little.  After Ray hung the clock and the shelf, I was ready to decorate the ‘mantel!’

Our first fire!

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We bought the last two pieces from Burlington Coat Factory, we had a gift card and they have a nice little home section!  It is not matchy matchy, but I think the pieces look nice around each other.  I purchased the wheat and curly sticks in the vases from Michaels. The one thing I didn’t take a close up picture of is the vase with limes inside (my husband actually picked this out in Target)!  We have a green stripe in our rug and we want to use that as an accent color in the room.  Did you notice something different in the full picture?  We also got a new t.v. stand!  We have been using the old tan one, that doesn’t really go with the room, look at the difference!

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New:

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I am really loving all the black furniture (shelf, coffee table, tv stand, mantel shelf).  It is all coming together!

In my next post I will be posting pictures of the coffee table on the new rug, that matches the runner in the hallway and our ‘foyer’ console table update.  And as soon as we are finished with the closet/dressing room, that will be in the following post!  We already have the one wall done and we just have to purchase the corner shelves for the other wall and another section with some shelves and a little more hanging area.  I would like to organize my clothes by type or season, something like that, I just don’t even know where to start!!  Thanks for reading, and I will be posting again soon!

Purchases and Preparations

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We had a wonderful weekend with family, so glad to see some of my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad’s side.  We celebrated my dad’s sister’s birthday and a lot of our family from Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Florida all met up in Toms River, NJ to celebrate.  Now on to more house preparations!

We previously ordered a rug, and didn’t like it, sending it back and ordered another one (fingers crossed it fits better).  We also ordered a bunch of other furniture and decor, I am really excited to share!

I think this is my favorite purchase so far, it is one of the coolest clocks I have seen in our search!  I am really excited to hang it above the fireplace!  I used Amazon for most things since I got the Prime account with free 2 day shipping on tons of items.  This is called the IMAX Hotel Wall Clock.

clock

This is the coffee table we ordered.  Ray and I had a lot of deciding to do because we like very different things, but we came to an agreement on this one.  I do like the funky angles, and I am glad the picture is in front of a gray couch, so we could see the color combo we will have.  Finley rectangular coffee table

coffee table

The rugs we ordered are way different than anything we originally looked at.  I think we both like this design because of the colors, and for some reason we are liking the more contemporary/modern patterns.  The runner will go in the foyer which is connected to the kitchen, so it won’t be in the same room as the family room, but I like the idea of tying in the same pattern and using the colors from the rug to decorate. Sorry for the screen shots, I was having issues saving them on my laptop.

Safavieh Porcello Grey Indoor Rug Safavieh Porcello Grey Rug Runner

We ordered a plant stand for our lamp that will go next to the couch.  The cushions come up really high so we need something a little taller than a traditional end table.  Coaster square plant stand.

plant stand

I ordered this lamp for the night stand next to the bed.  I thought it came with two, but no… just one (they are similar to ones I found at Bed Bath and Beyond but they were sold out).  I will have to order another one to even it out.  Versailles Touch lamp

versailles touch lamp

So many exciting things going on!  We will be purchasing the closet equipment this coming weekend.  Using the Martha Stewart closet organizing systems at Home Depot.  Measuring is all done, pieces are chosen, now we just need to purchase and install!  I will be posting pictures after we receive the items and get them in the house!

Happy 2014!

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It is bittersweet to say goodbye to 2013, but I am happy to have a fresh year, start anew, and plan everything out.  Some things we would like to do in the house are finish the closet/dressing room, maybe replace the tile with hardwood in the family room (if time/money permits), change out the gold sliding blinds in the family room, and get up window treatments in the rest of the house.  For 2014 events we have my cousin’s wedding in April in Oklahoma, so we plan on doing a vacation around that.  We might possibly go to Texas first to visit friends and somehow end up back in Delaware.  We would like to do either the Hamptons or Cape Cod this summer to visit family (we didn’t get to go last year because it was the year of 5 weddings – including our own).  September 20th is Ray’s 30th birthday, which I still have to plan (any ideas?).  I wouldn’t mind doing holidays at our house since we don’t have a large immediate family, so we will see how that goes, in 10ish months haha!

For my personal goals, I would like get back to healthier eating and working out more often. I just have to stick to it. I WILL search for an elliptical machine that we can put in the basement to go along with the home gym.  I will start a workout schedule and hold myself accountable.  I purchased a month of healthy frozen dinners from an Amazon deal, hoping it will make eating a little more convenient.  I hate planning and cooking multiple meals.  Usually we just do a ton of chicken on the Foreman and microwaved chicken just tastes weird to me.

We got a lot of snow Friday, which made for beautiful pictures.  Ralphie has a blast playing in it and I was lucky enough to work from home and not have to drive in it!  Ray still had to work with a 2 hour delay, which helped because he had A LOT of shoveling to do.  My car is still not cleaned off, didn’t really need to do it, so it shall stay that way until at least tomorrow haha (Ray’s car stays in the garage since he leaves first in the morning, lucky).

dog in the snow

snow storm

We had a wonderful New Year’s celebration at a friend’s house.  We played Cards Against Humanity, until it got a little more crowded.  Then played Left, Right, Center, which was a really fun dice/gambling game (that is more fun when you win haha).  I am glad we were able to celebrate somewhere other than home, like the last few years!  Next year I think we want to go out, pay some money, do an open bar, dress up, only if we can find friends that want to do the same!  This was Ray and I’s 6th New Year’s celebration and we have never done the open bar experience, so we hope there will be some interest next year!

New Year's 2014

I hope everyone is having a good start to their year! I am excited for what is to come, and I will be productive! (being optimistic by not just saying I can be, but I WILL be!)

New Kitchen Table and Christmas Pictures

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We had a wonderful Christmas!  I must say, I nailed my purchases for others, at least that was the reaction I got lol.  And my husband did an AMAZING job!  Here is our tree on Christmas morning with all of the presents underneath.

christmas morning 2013

I needed a new purse, so Ray drove about an hour and a half down to the Rehobeth Beach outlets (about a week before Christmas) to get me this coach purse and clutch/wallet to match (he has great taste!). And a whole lot of charms for my bracelet! (look at the cute reindeer!) He had bought the bracelet for my 30th birthday in April with the “H” charm, then the wedding couple charm for our wedding day.  The paw charm next to the wedding charm is from my Pollyanna gift, the rest he bought. Also a bottle of wine, Starbucks gift card, some candy, lottery ticket, and small silicone bracelet stoppers.

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Can you tell everyone knew I wanted dog charms? :-)

Ray’s parents bought us this kitchen table (we picked out previously and they dropped it off Christmas Eve!) It fits PERFECTLY in this space. They also bought us multiple gift cards (P.F. Changs, Home Depot, & Applebee”s score!), and a couple bottles of wine.

kitchen

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This is Ray’s Husky toolbox I bought him, had to leave it in the garage, was too big to bring inside! I also bought him a Dewalt drill, 2 sets of drill bits, Google Chromecast, Old Spice Fiji gift set, a sweater, Wild Turkey American Honey with shot tap, and a plethora of beef jerky (he loves it).

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This is me wearing my apron for the first time ever while cooking Christmas dinner! (Of course Ralphie had to photo bomb)

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This was my grandmother peeling potatoes for the mashed potatoes. She is so darn cute, and was so excited to help with cooking! The stools were not supportive enough for her to sit on comfortably (I do not recommend them for older people).  We just set up her up with a dining room chair and tray table.

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This is everyone eating dinner at the table (I took the picture so my seat is empty).

Christmas dinner

This was the frosty ice cream cake that Ray’s parents bought (and it was yummy! Yes that is a knife sticking in frosty’s head, Ray was about to cut it and I said wait! I have to take a picture! So, this is how he staged the photo…)

frosty ice creak cake

All in all we had a wonderful first Christmas in the new house.  I am so excited to make more memories in our home.  I am so anxious to complete more projects and share them here with friends and family.  We finally feel complete owning our own home, and it really makes a difference on our emotional state (because we hated the apartment we lived in).  We are so much happier and in better spirits, excited to wake up and plan out our projects and have people over.

I hope everyone had a good holiday, next up, New Year’s Eve!  Cheers to a happy and healthy 2014 :-)

New Couch! and Christmas Table Scape

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We FINALLY got our new couch! YAY!  Now to plan everything that goes around it :-)

zella couch

We are looking for a rug this weekend.  There was one that matched the pillows but I am not too fond of it…

And here is my Christmas Table Scape!  I started with a small set up to get an idea of the look:

Christmas Table Scape

Then after Ray helped me put in the table extenders, I had 8 place settings!  We are hosting my husband’s family, my grandmom, and possibly my step dad on Christmas Day. I used another table cloth for the runner.  I already had the red place mats from a previous purchase.  And I used 2 black place mats on each end.  The black folding chairs are from Target, I bought 4 ($19.99 each, they are similar to this one on the Target website but I couldn’t find it in black).

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I bought the napkin rings at Rite Aid, their Christmas decor was 50% off.  I got 2 four packs for $2.99 each!  I sort of did a fan fold, folded in the middle and put the napkin ring on them and fanned them out a little.  The little tree and ornaments are from Walmart. The silver platter was from my grandmother’s collection.  The small glass bowl is from my trip to Italy in 2004 from the glass blowing company in Venice.  You can’t really see the design, but it is painted light and dark blue, so it really fits the theme!  The china set is from my grandmother, as well as the tall wine glasses.  The two stemless wine glasses are Ridel, a wedding gift from a friend. I think it turned out really well, I hope the family likes it!

A couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure:  One of my Pollyanna gifts included a toy for Ralphie and he loves it! (Thanks Pollyanna!)

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And my coworker decorated our desk/cubicle area, so it is a nice festive atmosphere!

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I hope everyone has a great holiday break!  Unfortunately I work every weekday other than Christmas day :-/  I did get to take off New Year’s Eve day, so yay!  I will be posting more pictures of our front living room once I get all the Christmas stuff put away.  See you after the holiday!

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