Come Find Me!

Peeps. The blog world is ending. Not really... but I'm sure you've all heard by now that Google Reader is disappearing. I'm totally old school and read my favorite blogs simply by clicking down my "Blogs I Love" tab. There's just something I love about visiting each of your beautiful blogs, admiring your lay outs and pretending like I'm sitting in your living room sipping on a cocktail with you. Is that weird? Probably. Simmer down, Michelle. Stop inviting yourself over to stranger's houses.

On the other hand, some of you are super high tech and use feed readers like Google Reader to check in on your favorite blogs. But el Google Readero is going adios.

Lucky, there are smarter people out there in the blog world who have saved the day to help you transfer your feeds from Google Reader to a few other awesome feed readers. Check out the awesome post detailing step-by-step how to move your feeds by Cassie over at Hi Sugarplum. She done it up right.

While you're switching all of your blog reading around, don't forget to follow Ten June!

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And, as always, you can also have my posts email to you just by entering your email address in the handy little "Follow By Email" box in my sidebar.  Holla at your girl!

Can I Have a Handsome Hillside Home Too, Please?

Waddup, friends. Hope y'all are all having a great week. It's been oneofthose weeks at work for me, meaning no creative free time. Psh, I've barely had time to shower this week! HDawg is teething like woah, which has meant some restless nights lately. But if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I went to bed at 8 PM on Tuesday night. Glory, hallelujiah that was nice.

Anyways, no creative free time means that I'm chomping at the bit to get some fun projects done. I shamefully still haven't completed our nightstand makeover so that's certainly a priority. My new rug came in yesterday, so I'm super excited to use that to start my outdoor space makeover. And thanks to Pinterest, I have seven hundred other really fun projects in the que that I can't wait to share.

Until then, I have to share the beautimous work of others. And no doubt, there is one particular beautimous project that has recently stood out to me. I have been drooling over this Traditional Home house tour I read in my magazine last month. Like, gone back to it multiple times and maybe even had a few dreams about it. Okay not really. But really. Friends, meet the "Handsome Hillside Home."

That kitchen dining space makes my heart stop. Did you see the Dutch door in the background?? Gulp. Even the hallways and foyer make me melt. And there's definitely more of where that stunning interior design loveliness came from right here in the article. Guys, I think I need a handsome hillside home. Pretty please?

Sprucing Up Our Outdoor Patio

Hi friends! Hope y'all had a great weekend. It was another one for the "perfect summer weekend" books around our house. David and I played hooky and took a vacation day from work on Friday. We spent the day sharing a date with roller coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia. It was so much fun! We spent Saturday at the lake with dear friends and Sunday lazing around and getting stuff done around the house. It really doesn't get much better than that!

One thing we have had so much fun doing lately is spending time on our back patio. We bought a new grill last month and spend most of our nights grilling supper and hanging out in the back yard unwinding. At our old house, we had such a great outdoor entertaining space- the covered screened-in porch, the patio and fire pit and, of course, the swimming pool! Our digs aren't quite as nice here in our rental house, but we are trying to create a space for outdoor entertaining that is just as fun and inviting.

To get the party started, I just bought this new outdoor rug from Lulu & Georgia. Don't you love it?! I'll share more about it once I get it in the next few weeks.

I also just bought some new outdoor lights at Target. They fit under our table umbrella and create such a romantic, starry vibe! I'd say it was $10 well spent!

Of course, once I start adding a few new items into the mix, my brain starts going crazy with other ways I can spruce up our outdoor space. It's kind of like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Except my cookie is a rug. A crazy hawt red toned bad$$ rug! So, I decided to throw together an inspiration board with some of my ideas.
Outdoor SpacePottery Barn Rope Outdoor Dinnerware, Terra Cotta / Pottery Barn Live Herb Garden / 9' Orange Chevron Umbrella / Multi Stripe Chevron Tray / Driftwood Hurricane Candleholders / Twisted Driftwood Hurricane Candleholders / Tangiers Kelim Reversible Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Flame / Pottery Barn Hanging Mason Jar

Ohhh yeah. I think I want it all. What's interesting and fun about this design board is that it's... red! I never use red in my decor, although I love it. For some reason, in my home, I tend to use grays and blues and whites, etc. I'm glad I'm finally throwing in a dash of fun red, even if it is outdoors!

On my list: colorful outdoor dinner and serving ware, a new umbrella (LOVE this chevron version which is on sale right now!), a collection of sea-inspired candle holders and some greenery like this herb box. That's not too bad, right? Only a few fun things and, hello, we've got a party on my back porch. Bring it on, summer!
Speaking of fun outdoor parties, my girl Cassie recently took part in a Pottery Barn challenge. She set up a fabulous Mexican fiesta outdoor party as part of the challenge, which also happens to be a fun competition between other bloggers. Go check out her adorable set up and then cast your vote for her here!
Have you updated your outdoor space lately? Got any fun sources? Do share!

{DIY} Vintage Varsity Restaurant Trash Art

Also known as that one time I framed trash and hung it on my wall.

This past weekend, we visited an Atlanta restaurant icon- the Varsity. The Varsity is a diner-style restaurant that's famous for its chili dogs, paper hats and servers who yell out whaddyahave???

Over the weekend, I was sitting at the Varsity enjoying my dessert (whaaaat? isn't a meal of two chili hotdogs and a plate of onion rings typically followed by a deep fried dessert?) when I realized how adorable my apple pie dessert packaging was. It was whimsical, vintage and sort of a sentimental/ special thing since David and I both grew up eating at the Varsity. Wouldn't it be cute to reprint this vintage logo and hang it as art? I thought to myself.

Then I said, self... why don't you just hang this wrapper as art? Trash... as art. Always fun to try new DIY things, right? Right? Riiiiight?

Don't worry, my sweet hubs stood in line for me and sweet-talked the server into giving us not just one, but TWO empty, clean (ie. not covered in fried pie grease) wrappers. And all of a sudden, peach and apple pie just became a whole lot cooler.

Ta da! Trash as art. Don't mind the ridic glares on the photos.

I simply hung the wrappers in Ikea Ribba white frames with some scrap denim fabric as backing. I found this scrap denim fabric in my stash. About a year ago when I was finishing up HDawg's nursery (crazy that was a year ago!), I had cut up this fabric to use as backing for the multi-colored fabric pennant in his room. Then I decided I was just way too pregnant to finish that sewing project, so the cut denim squares have been sitting in my fabric pile since then.

 Anyways, I originally wished that I had full pieces of the denim to use as backing for the wrappers instead of the cut pieces... but I kind of like the rough, piecey look of the scraps. It adds to the vintage aspect, in my opinion.

I hung the prints in our dining room above HDawg's high chair. The pie wrappers clearly go by the kid who is cute as pie, duh. The new frames brighten up his little corner!

Here's a full room shot, ie. the current state of our dining room.

Yeah, it pretty much looks the same since the last time you saw it! We haven't even hung the big ol' chalkboard menu our friends passed down to us from their restaurant. We need to get on it!

Mom moment: forget flowers or fruit or anything pretty, my centerpiece = baby toys. #keepingitreal

I'm totally down with our new trashy art. You can't beat vintage + sentimental + free. I know you expect all kinds of ridiculous DIY projects from me, but I bet you never guessed I would hang trash on the wall, right?! I'm a baller like that.

Selling Our House: A Not So Exciting Update

Hola! Hope y'all had a great weekend and had a chance to celebrate all of the fathers in your life. Between a visit to the lake, family dinners and the pool with friends, I'd say we had the perfect weekend!

Alright, so I'm here today with an update on selling our old house. Although, it's not really an update... we're still at status quo. Womp womp. I know, right? There's really not much to share, but so many of you are so sweet to check in to ask what's going on and whether or not we've sold the house, so I wanted to update y'all on the dealy-o.

Here's a quick timeline recap of our house selling journey:

February 2012: David accepts his dream job, which just so happens to be 75 miles away. 

April 2012: After a few quick updates (like repainting the exterior, making over our guest bathroom and tidying up our laundry room), we put the house on the market. It was a tough decision to list the house, since we thought we'd be in the house for at least ten or fifteen years. But that 75 mile commute was pretty miserable already, although absolutely doable while we waited for the house to sell. We started showing the house (here are a few of my tips for showing) full speed ahead.

June 2012: We had the house under contract. The buyer was concerned about the age of the HVAC and heating system and backed out during the due diligence period. It is true that they are older units, but they are in perfect working order now so there is no current need to replace them. We were frustrated, but... oh, well.

July 2012: We took the house off the market since I was about to pop pregnant.

October 2012: We put the house back on the market with a new realtor. I somehow managed to keep the house clean and ready to show with a newborn. David was still driving 150 miles a day... with a newborn. And without a lot of help (friends or family) in the town we lived in, life was, uh, well, stressful.

December 2012: My best friend visited from New York, saw how chaotic our life was and suggested that we rent a small house in the city while we continued to sell the house. David would be closer to work, HDawg could start the corporate daycare (it would have been too far for him to make the drive with David every day and we really didn't want to lose our spot on the waiting list because it's an amazing program!) and we wouldn't have to worry about showings. Hmmm. We immediately started crunching the numbers and realized that, with gas savings, it would only be several hundred dollars more out of pocket each month.

January 2013: We furiously visited rental houses in Atlanta to see what was available.

February 2013: We found "the rental house." David and I started packing up our house and we moved at the end of the month.

March 2013: David and I quickly realized a few things: a) how much we love living in the city, b) how important it was to be closer to his work/HDawg's day care and c) how happy we were with the move!

April 2013: The house went under contract again. We had a very picky buyer who asked us to fix a bunch of things (some electrical work in the attic, etc.) and we obliged. Even after we shelled out the dough for her requested repairs, she backed out of the contract during the due diligence period, deciding that she wasn't interested in an older home at all. Sigh. David and I start to wonder if all buyers in this market really just want a brand new home? Why doesn't anyone else see the charm and character in our sixty year old home? Sure, investing in an older home means that you have to spend money to keep the older parts functioning, but by no means is our mostly renovated home a money pit. WHAT is going on?

May 2013: The house went under contract again. Third time's a charm, right? A wonderful couple with three small children fell in love with the home, old parts and all. They were pleased with the inspection, understood the long-term investments they may have to make in an older home and were excited to buy. This was it. And then their financing fell through. David and I were, seriously, heart-broken. We thought it was a match made in heaven, like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Clearly, it was not.

That gets you up to speed as to where we are today in this house selling saga. About a year-and-a-half on the market, three contracts and no sale. Which, yes, means a mortgage payment and a rent payment for us each month right now. I'm not going to lie, it's a tough situation to be in. Clearly, this is a hard financial decision. Obviously, David and I wouldn't put ourselves at risk financially, but the decision to move has crunched us a bit. It also doesn't help that we miss our beloved old home. It's crazy to us that it's sitting there, empty, with no pool parties this summer and no one enjoying that spa-like master bathroom. Thinking about it that way really makes us question our decision.




I am 100% certain that moving to the city and renting while we continue to wait for the house to sell is the right decision for us. David is so happy at work. And without four hours in the car to and from work every day, he is so much happier at home. HDawg is so happy at his daycare. And I'm so happy going to work every day (PS. my commute is shorter, too!) knowing that my boys are in the right place. David's company is a blessing to us, that's for sure.

And aside from all of that work jazz, we love it in the city. We have monopolized on every festival, park and restaurant in the vicinity. We're so much closer to friends, family... it's amazing. Yesterday morning, David, HDawg and I met my brother-in-law for a sort of spur-of-the-moment run at Piedmont Park. It was incredible- the park, the family time, all of it. And I savor every minute of it.

For those of you wondering about why our house hasn't sold, your guess is as good as ours.  We are certain it's priced right (it shows ALL the time), we have made repairs and updates to sell and we really think it's a beautiful house. I honestly think there are so few people in this market who are looking for an older home... people want a turn-key builder spec home because it's easy. Clearly, that's not our jam, but we just have to wait until the perfect buyer comes along who agrees.

Soooo, this is a super long post with no new news. Sorry about that. I just know that some of you out there are in the same boat, trying to sell in this tough buyers market and knowing that so many aspects of your life are on hold as a result. So I wanted to share what has worked for us. Hopefully I will be back with an update that our house has sold in the near future.

Until then, thank you for keeping us and our house selling process in your thoughts and prayers! We're just holding tight, knowing that there's a plan going on by the big man upstairs. One day it will all pay off and we just have to have faith in that!

My Living Room Built-In Bookshelves Are Styled... Almost

Hi friends! Hope y'all are having a great week so far.

When we first moved into our rental house, I shared that I was having trouble decorating the built-in bookshelves in our living room. Besides the Expedit in our office, I've never had a big shelving unit to decorate. It's a little daunting, that's for sure. And since we're renters, we're left without options like painting or papering the back of the shelves.

After a couple of months of pulling inspiration from Pinterest, all of you and some of my favorite decor magazines, I decided last weekend that it was high time I stock up those empty shelves. 

Here's what I've got so far. I can't say that I'm thrilled with it, but I know it's an evolving process depending on the season, my whim and whatever new decor I whip out. Want some detail shots?

I like this side of the built-in because the other side has an uneven shelf. My Type A self prefers the symmetry of the right side... ahh.

See what I mean? For some reason, it looks like they took a shelf out of the left side. It's wonky! And hard to decorate. Basically I had to pull a plant in to help fill up the space so it didn't look so awkward! If we weren't renters, I would permanently hang something in the back of this shelf instead of just leaning it up against the shelving. That would look super cute! But for us renters, it will just be Mr. Plant to the rescue.

I think I love the little chicken + mirror shelf the best. Simple and sweet. The mirror is a vintage piece passed down from David's grandfather. Don't you love it?! And before you think I've gone all country kitsch on you, we've got a personal thing for chickens around our house, so we tend to decorate with them here and there : )

I'm so in love with that rustic wooden vase I picked up from Target awhile back. I think it really contrasts well against the pretty floral china, don't you? At least that was the thought!

I tried to ground the unit with lots of pops of black, balanced throughout the shelves.

Like I said, I'm not in love with what I've done so far, but I know it's a start. I think I just need to keep adding junk to the shelves, don't you? Weigh in with any advice you have in the comments, por favor! Goodness knows I need it.

Nightstand Saga Update

Awww, yeah. Momma finally got some new nightstands. As y'all know, I've been on the hunt for some new nightstands for our master bedroom. For the last three years, we've been using these little blue guys and, while I love them, they just aren't doing the trick functionally.

I've been searching high and low for awhile now and along the way, I've found some great thrifted pieces that I could make over. But nothing has really screamed out "I'm the one!" Yes, I clearly have high expectations of my nightstands... they must talk to me.

Finally, Pinterest got the best of me and I decided to join the rest of the world by attempting some Ikea Rast hacks. For $35 a pop for the dressers, plus paint and hardware, I can make over two solid wood nightstands for under $100... yeah, I'd say it's worth a shot.

The nightstands are up already and we are loving them so far. I mean, our previous nightstands held, like, a cup. Now I can put all kinds of mommy things (burp cloths, pacis, video monitor, etc.) up on the Rast and still have room for my gossip mags. Boo yah.

But here's the question now... what color should I paint these little beauties? Since we're in a rental house and would like to redo our master bedroom one we're in a permanent house, I think something neutral is the way to go. We could eventually repaint them something bright and colorful once we decided on a more permanent bedroom scheme.

There's the obvious blogger favorite- stain + white.

I've also thought about recreating our DIY master bathroom vanity from the old house with the Cement Gray paint and glass knobs.

I love this plain white version, but I'm not sure we're up for adding all of the trim like they did.

I'm also contemplating a possible stain + paint patterned finish.

Or maybe I should just stick with all white and dress it up with some fun knobs?

So many options! What's your vote? Any suggestions?!

Look for Less: A Simple White House Beautiful Entryway

I know, right? I am ga-ga over this simple, yet fabulous, House Beautiful entry vignette.
And guess whaaaaat? I've recreated this look on the cheap. Fo shizzle.

HB Entry

the source list:

West Elm lacquer tray / World Market basket / Nate Berkus for Target tortise shell / IKEA faux fig leaf plant / IKEA vase / IKEA white pot / West Elm wool dhurrie rug / abstract art by HangThisWearThat on Etsy / IKEA Lack shelf / IKEA Succulent

You can recreate the entire House Beautiful entry look for under $600. And about half of that is the art budget for the awesome abstract piece (created by my girl Chassity over at LLL!).

I pulled a classic white paint color- Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White- for the walls and trim. You could use the same color in an eggshell for the walls and spruce it up in a semi-gloss finish for the trim. Creates the perfect blank slate to decorate!

And, hello, a fake fig tree from Ikea? Perfect for those of us you with black thumbs.

I'm seriously psyched to recreate this awesome vignette in my house eventually. But first you have to get me to stop saying "psyched." I mean, c'mon, Michelle.

Check out some of my previous Look for Less posts for more inspiration.

Our Rental House: The Nursery Tour

Hey guys. Hope you had a great weekend. Thanks so much for your sweet, supporting words about my perspective on balancing life. I know it's a topic most of us struggle with, so I really enjoy sharing my experience with all of you!

Today I'm popping in to share some pictures of HDawg's nursery here in our rental house. Although it's one of the last rooms that I'm sharing pictures of from this house, it was actually one of the first rooms that we completely decorated when we moved in. I wanted baby H to feel right at home as quickly as possible. He made a great transition and didn't seem to bat an eye at his new surroundings!

I basically transplanted most of the furniture and design elements from his first nursery to the rental house. Even though I so, so miss his sweet baby blue walls, we decided not to repaint the walls of the rental house nursery. I think the khaki tan color (and yes, this is the color on the walls of the rest of the house!) will work for the temporary time being.

Okay, enough with the chatter. Onto some pictures!

I decided to keep the crib wall pretty simple for a few reasons. HDawg is all over the place now, pulling up and getting into everything. So I left it easy with a small family photo above the light switch (out of his reach entirely) and the mobile above the crib.

You can also see that we added a corner shelf (a kit from Home Depot) for his video monitor and noise maker. I was kind of over the crib skirt we used in the other house, so I left it off and simly shoved a basket of toys and some floor pillows (Ikea pillow covers) under the crib for easy access.

The wall next to the crib is the toy play area. I hung his quilt scrap/burlap banner from his old room (yes, yes, I blocked out his name again... sorry y'all!) above the new chevron book shelf I painted for him a few weeks ago. It still needs to be bolted to the wall with some furniture straps... actually, we need to get on a lot of baby-proofing around our house still! I also set up his sweet color-blocked rocking chair, which he loves to sit in. It's precious!

While I loved the family frame gallery wall in his old nursery, it wasn't realistic for us to put that many holes in the wall here in the rental house. So I created a new gallery wall above the dresser with some easier-to-hang (some pieces are up with just Command strips!) art.

My favorite pieces are the gentleman print I purchased from Etsy, his baby Toms shoes in the shadowbox and my DIY Atlanta art. He loves all of the colors in the gallery!

This room is actually a little bit bigger than his room at our old house, so we have a nice little rocking/reading cove on the other side of the room.

I hung his newborn Shutteryfly print above the chair. It makes me so happy to see itty bitty H newborn every day : ) I am still LOVING my DIY ottoman cover. Definitely the best sewing project I've ever done. Or maybe it's the DIY black out curtains? Either of them, especially in that sweet navy blue gingham print, are my favs!

Needless to say, I love the little bambino's room. We spend a lot of time in here so it was important to David and I that the room be cheerful and happy for little H to get his sleep and play on. 

For more information and a full source list about most of the items in the room, head over here.

Babies + Business + Blogging: Balancing Life

 photo of my sweet family by Hugghins Photography

I get emails from y'all on a pretty regular basis asking me how in the world? I manage having a career, a baby, a husband, a blog, a house, etc. You guys ask me what advice? I have to help balance everything. How do I manage my time so well? Every time I get one of those emails, I laugh. And then proceed to write back furiously in all caps- UMMM, I PROMISE, I DON'T BALANCE IT ALL VERY WELL. MOST SOME DAYS I FEEL LIKE MY LIFE IS A HOT MESS! Seriously, though, I don't have it all together. But I do have perspective on balancing life, so I can certainly share that. I don't want anyone out there to think I have it all together... to my fellow crazy, hectic life livers- you are not alone!

Warning: this is a very lengthy, verbose post. Grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and your reading glasses, I've got a lot to say!

It is true, I have a lot on my plate. I am the mom of a nine month old. I'm also an attorney, a job which can be, at times, quite demanding. I'm very blessed that I have been gifted with a flexible schedule where I can sometimes work from home. But I'm still working about thirty to forty hours a week. And a lot of that happens to be night time hearings which means I miss seeing my little man to sleep. Luckily, HDawg has an amazing daycare at David's office. It literally makes my heart sing to drop him off and see him so happy with his teachers, school and classmates. And he's got an awesome daddy. David is a rockstar pops and manages little H at 200% effort when I'm not available. And sometimes not available = sitting on the couch watching Real Housewives. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Since my schedule can be flexible for work, I try to turn any free time I have into quality time with my family. My love language is most certainly "quality time," so it's important to me to have really good time with my little man. And with David. So if that means keeping H home with me in the morning and taking him to daycare late since I have a night time hearing, that's what I'll do. Anything to get those extra snuggles in. Unfortunately, that means that I'm oftentimes giving up my free time for house work, exercising or "me" time. See! I don't have it all figured out. It's really not cool that I don't make time for myself to exercise or relax. Those things are important!! So that's something I'm still working on. I need to learn how to get forty hours in the day, is what I really need. ; )

 And for those of you without kids, it may be something else. I totally recognize that kids aren't the only thing that suck up your free time! I have so many friends who are managing crazy things like a demanding job, graduate school classes, acting as caretaker for sick loved ones... we all have a lot on our plate. Managing life can be hectic, right?!

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't mentioned blogging yet. Because it's my passion, a hobby I adore, I consider it "me" time. And, as I explained, that's been neglected lately. I love blogging. I really do. I miss blogging! I miss having time to read your blogs, to find new blogs, to blog myself... I truly do miss it so much. I'm sure you've noticed that I'm not exactly up to speed on the el-bloggo lately. I've had to swallow a bitter pill and realize that, right now, I'm not able to produce five awesomesauce, original content posts a week. But that's ok. As I mentioned, I'm still learning how to adapt to fit personal time into my days as a new mom. And blogging is a huge part of that.

It also doesn't help that I've had to cool my jets on projects since we're in a rental house now. Don't worry, I have a few fun things in the works. But it's nothing like the major bathroom renovations and other big-time projects we did at our old house. Speaking of... I owe y'all an update on the old house, don't I? Soon, I promise.

So anyways, this is kind of a random post to let y'all know that a) I wish I could give you life balance advice, but I most certainly do not have the baby-business-blogging balance thing worked out. I'm certainly no super-hero! One of those things oftentimes has to suffer and since HDawg is the cutest thing that ever lived and I have to work to help put food on my family's table, it's usually my personal time (ie. blogging, projects, etc.) that oftentime suffers. Also, b) I hate that I've been so absent on the blog lately, but just bear with me. I am still here, still drooling over all things interior design, still clutching my list of DIY projects a mile wide... I'm just tackling them at a much slower pace.

To sum up this super long post, life is crazy hectic. But you know what the best part is? That life is crazy hectic. Seriously. How blessed are we to have all of these things going on in our life? The good and the bad. It's life! Every day, I try to remember to stop and thank God for all of the blessings he's given me. I'm thankful for my life, even if it's in the moment of a blow-out diaper while I'm on a conference call with a big client as Tucker is barking at the UPS guy ringing the door bell. I love it all. So maybe that's my advice... just take a little moment to yourself throughout your crazy day to remember to love all of your moments, even the crazy ones. 
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