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Archive for October, 2011

Living paycheck to paycheck is awesome. Being a 20 something in this economy has given me some lifelong skills, and some great daily affirmations. Insert Stuart Smalley quotes here.

I am…

1. Thrifty with my expenses

2. Creative with my color schemes

3. Ambitious with my weekend to-do-lists

I can…

1. Repurpose stuff that just needs some love

2. Rearrange furniture and art (even when its extremely heavy)

3. Resourcefully hoard items I know I can use later (don’t worry Mom, I don’t have a problem)

I wanted to finish my boyfriends horribly unfinished bedroom. So while said boyfriend was doing this…Pete Lempesis and Charleston FirebreathersBiscuit, Turk and I were doing this…

Primer and a dog

note: this is HALFWAY through the project. NOT FINISHED. And Turk is clearly not happy about the progress we have (or have not) made. Or maybe he is angry that he is priming instead of running, or chasing, or swimming, or barking.

3 months ago, the room looked like this: Bedroom: BeforeThen we installed laminate wood floors (not free, but ch ch cheap…real hardwoods will come when we are real adults)

Laminate floors in bedroomLooks pretty nice, ehh? So then we threw all of Pete’s stuff in the room.

Boring bedroomThe only thing wonderful about this room is the box of Wheat Thins on the bed, which I happily devoured after taking this photo.

Then, I started painting…Painting prep

When I painted the walls brown, the gray comforter looked HIDEOUS. So I brought out my dingy duvet from college,¬† gave it a new, clean life with Tide and Clorox and covered the drab gray…

White, fresh comforterGray, drab comforter

…room looks better already, right!

White duvet over gray comforter

Then I realized that side table just wasn’t working …

  • Can’t access anything from sleeping position on the bed
  • Isn’t sturdy enough to hold a lamp, or a glass of water
  • It matches the floor, blah.
  • Its a dark piece, and the walls are already dark. Let there be light.

So I painted it white.

Priming bedside tableAfter I speckled the brown wall with primer, I moved back to the walls…and that nasty cream trim…Finishing up the paintingSee that? That’s a finished wall, being cut in WITHOUT tape. I should be a surgeon with my steady hand.

Then I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to move all the furniture back, by myself, without scratching the floors.

Almost finished, redecorated bedroomI brought in the 4 tiered shelf from the 3rd bedroom of the house that is currently serving as the storage space for all the “furniture and accessories and things I know will be of use someday, somehow”…also known as the Hoarding Nook.

I finished painting the wobbly shelf, and is now being used as an accent piece, to lighten the space.

Accent furniture repurposedFish plant holder repurposedOh that’s a cute piece of pottery! Its not pottery, its a plant holder…that was keeping our beloved money tree safe on the adorable front porch at Pete’s old house. Fish plant holder and the money treeI didn’t want to touch the dresser because it is a great (and by great I mean expensive) piece that I was way too nervous to attempt a painting makeover on. It is a dark piece though, so I really needed to bring out the light wood accents on the knobs and top surface.

To do this, I brought in another Nancy special…yet another blanket in my linen closet (and by linen closet I mean the wicker chest I put everything I don’t know what to do with in…broken laptop, tank tops from summer, old dog toys and this wonderful gold blanket)

Focus on light accentsRemember that cute little sailboat on his wobbly bedside table? His grandfather built and painted that, so it needed a spot where he can always see it.

Sailboat in a windowPainted toy sailboatSo…to recap:

  • Painted the walls and trim (with paint we already had) – $0
  • Painted the shelf/old bedside table with the trim paint – $0
  • Covered the drab comforter with a fresh white duvet – $0
  • Added my gold blanket to bring out the light wood on the dresser – $0
  • Brought in the 4 tiered, sturdy shelf and a LAMP! (from the hoarding nook) – $0
  • Moved the old bedside table to the entrance of the room, creating an accent piece – $0
  • Brought in Mr. Fishman that had been outside – $0
  • Gave the sailboat a more prominent resting place – $0
  • Added accent pillows from the living room – $0
  • Removed the dining room table chair and replaced it with a canvas director’s chair he had in the office – $0
  • Covered the quasi computer desk (made of massive, broken speakers) with a white sheet – $0

Room makeover: AfterNow…onto items I WANT to spend money on:

  • A new rug. This one
  • Square white frames, 9 of them, to be hung above the computer with black and white abstract photos. Similar to this look
  • White Plantation shutters
  • A real desk, or…even better…a wall mount for that beautiful imac!

Other things I worked on this past weekend that are not ready for presentation, but will make the blog soon enough:

  • Laundry Room
  • His bathroom
  • Living Room
  • Office

And with that, I’m out. This blog post almost took as long as the room makeover!

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So I really fell off this wagon. I have missed the past 4 weeks. 4 WEEKS! 1 MONTH. Unacceptable! Anyway, lets just pretend the month of September didn’t exist and that I’m on track with this project!

Goal for the next month: Take more photos of people. I really need to work on my portraiture. So there, I’ve told everyone and now you can hold me accountable next week if my three65 post shows up human beingless.

Happy Project 365! Happy Foto Friday! And happy deliciously beautiful Fall weekend in Charleston!

Red shoes on a dockHeffron PathPaddling PupObservation DeckSunrise in the southPuffy CloudsHide and Seek

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Charleston was voted the Top City in the United States by the 2011 Cond√© Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards! Congrats Charleston!

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Sullivans Island is a special place…especially for dogs.

Before noon, the beach belongs to dogs. Allowed off leash, the shoreline morphs into a puppy paradise…the mother of all bark parks…an endless tract of territory unmarked. They are free to run, and swim, and dig. All shapes, colors and sizes are welcome…at sunrise, it’s a dog’s beach. Sullivans Island is for dogsIt is Saturday mornings on Sullivans Island when my soul is at ease, and Biscuits’ too. There is something intangibly good about a dog at play. The happiness a dog feels at the beach is contagious. I know this because it is on these mornings when I have met some of the nicest people in the city. And I am convinced it is because our dogs bring out the goodness in our hearts.

Man's Best Friend

So next Saturday, change it up a little. Go for a jog or sip your morning coffee on Sullivans. You and your dog will be equally grateful. (Just make sure to read up on Sullivans Island beach rules before you go…yes, you will get a hefty ticket if you break them.)

Below are photos I took this weekend at the beach with Biscuit. Prepare for utter cuteness.

Yellow Lab on Sullivans Island beachAnxious Yellow Lab patiently awaits beach time!

Beach Dog ParkHappy dogs…happy humans.

Digging DogDigging for fiddlers

Walking golden retrieverA Golden Retriever walks loyally with owner

Happy Biscuit in the surfHappy Biscuit

Pensive Biscuit on the beachPensive Biscuit

Maltese getting warm!

Maltese Dog at the beachA cute Maltese named JJ tries to warm up in owners arms!

Golden Retriever chasing ball in waterMission: Retrieve

Retriever doing her jobJob well done!

Biscuit Portrait 1Biscuit Portrait 2Biscuit Portrait 3Biscuit Closeups

Fast terriors runningCharge!

Exercise class with dogsExercising dogs in a pack

Spaniel on Sullivans IslandDog Rules for Sullivans IslandBiscuit loves Sullivans.

But she is beginning to tire.

Leaving the beachSo it’s time for her mid-morning snooze.

Until next time…


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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit D.C for a few days before heading further north for a wedding in upstate New York. Our first stop was Arlington Cemetery. Spanning 624 acres of rolling Virginian hillside, this massive landscape is the final resting ground for over 300,000 military personnel. 27-30 funerals are performed here each day. The numbers are so large, it’s easy to think of Arlington only as a memorial for all who protect our freedom. Personnel – such an empty word until I stood on the grounds, and saw the rows of endless white gravestones.

Arlington Cemetery, VirginiaArlington Cemetery gravesChanging of the guardChanging of the guardChanging of the guardArchitecture at Arlington CemeteryArchitecture at Arlington CemeteryArlington Cemetery AmpitheaterArlington CemeteryWashington Monument and Lincoln Memorial from Arlington

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Now playing on the porch: Home To You by The Peasall Sisters

Favorite new folk artists! These girls are phenomenal. 10 years ago – when they were 7, 10 and 13 years old – they broke into the national music scene by recording tracks for the infamous Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? film. Since then, they have performed at Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Grand Ole Opry, to name a few venues. Their 2nd album, Home To You, shares with the world their beautiful voices, reminiscent of Alison Krauss and Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek). Listen, love, and then thank a rural Tennessee town for producing such a talent!

There is something about folk music that seems to welcome cooler weather and changing leaves. I can imagine these girls playing at Saturday farmer’s markets and October pumpkin patches.

So Fall, I give you the talented Peasall Sisters!

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