i married a crazy. who also happens to be wonderful.

The setting: Thursday night, our living room. The conversation:

Zach (sitting in front of the computer): I just bought a car

Me: You what?

Annd scene.

Yep. That’s how things go around here. Now, before you start worrying about our lack of communication skills, let me assure you that this isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to buying cars…not first, or second…or like fiftieth. No, my husband is pretty skilled when it comes to the used car business and, as a result, I’m usually pretty trusting. Usually.

Did I mention this car was on ebay? We are totally Craigslist people. Did I also mention that it was in Connecticut? You know, Connecticut that one that’s in the Northeast? You know, the Northeast that currently has so much snow that it’s basically a giant igloo? Did I mention this car (SUV actually- a Lincoln Navigator) is two-wheel drive. Trust may or may not have given way to a minor inner panic attack.

Nevertheless, I dropped off Zachary J at the airport at 4:30 the next morning…and prayed the whole way home that he would survive. Thankfully, he did.

My husband is a crazy.

Now for part II.

Saturday morning phone call:

Zach: I bet you’ll never guess where I am.

Me: Me either?

Zach: Ikea. I was going to surprise you and get those chairs you’ve been wanting, but I couldn’t remember the name.

Me: You are the greatest husband alive. I’m not really sure because I’m not at home and Ikea has crazy names, but I think it was Majby?

Annd scene. My husband is wonderful.

I mean, seriously, who does that? A) Remembers silly chairs that I talked about forever ago and B) Just decides to get such a crazy awesome present on a whim? Amazing, I tell you.

The first time I spotted these guys in the Ikea catalogue, I knew they fit the bill for what I was going for in the dining room. Then, seeing Sarah Richardson use them in this amazing dining room basically sent me over the top. (source: hgtv.com)

Here are the chairs happily enjoying their new home in the dining room:

Of course, after my onslaught of, “What do you think? Do you like them?”, he hit me with, “Yeah, I really do. I especially like how the cushions match the covers on those other chairs.” Sigh. So nice to have a husband that speaks my love language- decorating.

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it pays to eat your veggies

Maybe I’m the only one, but there have been times when I’ve thought “I would probably be more healthy if someone paid me.” Or at least, in theory. Thankfully, this year, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, our school’s healthcare provider, has given us an opportunity to test this little idea.  Our representative recently introduced us to a great program called BluePoints. Basically, it’s an online program that allows you to track healthy habits like getting a physical, eating fruits and veggies, and exercising. Each time you do one of these things, you earn points to be redeemed for gift cards to fun places!

Ok, so it may have taken a while, but I finally earned enough to get my first gift card! Of course, the lovely PB was at the top of my list. I’m a Pottery Barn fan, but my wallet (and, if I’m honest, my common sense) is not. Take, for example, my beloved Emma dishes. I love that we put them on our registry, and they’re still some of my favorite things in our house. Even so, I have a really hard time justifying forking over the cash it would take to fill in some of the pieces missing from our set.

Thankfully, with my BluePoints card and leftovers from a gift card I had gotten earlier in the year, I was able to scoop up this little beauty:

image via Pottery Barn

Even though it’s a little pricey, using gift cards feels like fun “free money”, and I was excited to get to add it to our collection.

In other news, we had this for dinner last night. I love that it was absolutely delicious, and that it’s another small step in helping me make friends with my CrockPot. That thing is amazing!

this weekend i watched my husband fly a helicopter

Please meet my husband. Aka the hardest person to buy for on the planet. Something I love about him is that he isn’t really into getting new stuff and is really into saving money, but sheesh does it make it hard to get him a present he’s genuinely excited about. Probably why I got him a puppy for our first Christmas together. It was an act of desperation.

This year I was still pretty much at a loss until the wonderful Groupon came to my rescue. 40% off a helicopter flight lesson? The very thing my husband has talked about wanting to do for.ev.er? Yes, please!

Needless to say, he was super excited. So, on Saturday, we traveled to Louisburg for a flight lesson and 30-minute flight. I sat through the lesson with Zach and all I kept thinking was 1) I’m so glad it’s not me that’s supposed to be understanding all this and 2) this instructor will be in the air with him and he wouldn’t let himself die…would he? Seriously…I am not a flight person.

Of course, the instructor did do most of the flying (those things are crazy complicated!), but Zach was able to control a few things and practice a few manuevers, and look pretty cute doing it.

They even flew in crazy close so I could take pictures and wave like a goofball.

When Zach saw this next picture he laughed really hard and said, “Look at your face!” Yes, I know. I always dreamt of my husband saying that to me. In my defense, it was FREEZING.

i may or may not have…

While I was hard at work writing assessments letting my ADD shine through the other day, I came across these cuties:

Image via Anthropologie

I can remember oohing and aaahing over them when I first saw them, but the $10 price tag? Umm no. So, it definitely put a little pep into my “I’m not sure how much longer I can look at this computer screen” afternoon stupor when I saw that they had been marked down to $2.95. That’s like…Home Depot prices! So I may or may not have bought a handful for a renovation project that we don’t currently have going on. I know. I’m crazy like that.

Before you start signing me up for Hoarders, please know that at the rate projects seem to come our way, I’m pretty confident we’ll be putting these little guys to use in the near future. So that makes it a little less nutso, right?

I wouldn’t be able to end this post without highlighting a few of the other amazing hardware pieces that Anthropologie has to offer. Please feast your eyes upon:

Image via Anthropologie

These little guys are my favorite favorites. I pretty much would like to put them all over my house.

Image via Anthropologie

If our powder room had a Christmas list, this would be on it.

Image via Anthropologie

These would be so cute on an entertainment center.

Image via Anthropologie

You run the risk of overkill with too many of these, but just a few to highlight a piece of furniture? Juuust right.

Of course, there are plenty more to choose from here. Happy browsing!

oh, hello outside world

With early release, a snow day, and a 2-hour delay last week, you would think that things have been easy and breezy around here. Yep. You would think that. In reality, they’ve looked more like this:

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am so thankful for my job, and I love being at our school. That being said, assessment (narrative report card) season is not exactly fun. Thankfully, I’ve finally managed to dig my way out of the mountain of papers that was taking over the couch, and am looking forward to knocking out some of the things that have been put on the back burner lately.

But tonight, Zach and I are having a “We finally finished!” celebration with this:

Whole Foods deliciousness. Other big plans include going for a walk, catching up on laundry, leftover ice cream cake, and generally enjoying not working. Have a great night!

PS- Can I just note that I spell checked this and deliciousness didn’t come up as wrong? Deliciousness is a word? Like a real one? Weird.

aww thanks, wake county- you shouldn’t have

Yesterday I officially hit the big 2-6 and enjoyed a fantastic day starting with the powers that be announcing that school would be closing 2.5 hours early, sending me home at…wait for it…12:30. Punch my fist. (side note: when Zach used to say that in college, I always thought it was pump my fist. Then I tried to say it annnnd…well let’s just say if you know my husband, you know I didn’t get away with it without some serious ridicule.) But seriously. Is there much better than getting to go to school, getting sweet gifts from students and coworkers (flowers, hot chocolate, black licorice, and gift cards to two of my favorite stores), then getting to leave and not having to make up the day? Wake County sure is thoughtful that way.

Right after carpool, we quickly headed a few blocks away to meet my dad for lunch at the Pit, a local barbecue restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It has been featured in several places including Southern Living and the Food Network, so we were anxious to give it a whirl. The verdict: unbelievable. Totally worthy of a birthday lunch. I got a Pulled Pork plate so I could put my own sauce on (I’m a tomato-based girl, but they have both tomato and vinegar-based sauces on the table, both which are scrumptious) with fries, potato salad, and sweet tea. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The prices were definitely reasonable (I hear it’s much better to go for lunch than dinner), and the upscale barbecue decor was kind of perfect. Loved it.

photo credit: NY Times

 After lunch, we had plans to head to a local mall to walk around and later eat dinner, but we ended up postponing due to lots of media hype about the impending ice doom. Thankfully, I was so full from lunch that I was happy to save my birthday dinner for later, and we were able to spend the night vegging out and enjoying this:

Goodberry’s vanilla Oreo concrete cake. Oh. Yum.

My husband totally knocked it out of the park on the presents this year. For Christmas/my birthday, he got me season tickets to Broadway Series South at the DPAC. Because of that, I wasn’t really expecting much. Little did I know:

Scarf compliments of Mr. Stylish. Also, despite the fact that I hadn’t mentioned them since a little while after this post, he also managed to get me a few crafty books I had my eye on.

His secret? I had been looking at these a few months ago on Amazon, and I guessed they stayed up in my cart. When he saw them, he sneakily hit the order button and has been hiding them in the closet ever since. He’s good, I tell you.

To make things even better, Wake County decided to outdo themselves and cancelled school for the day. So we started the morning off with waffles, and have been hanging out around the house ever since. 26 is looking pretty good.

House Tour: Master Bedroom

To start off a new year of blogging (even though it may be a day late…I was busy trying to wrap my head around a new year of school), I thought I’d introduce you to a space that hasn’t been featured yet.
 
Admittedly, our master bedroom is one of my favorite parts of our house. Our former master bedroom was adequate, but the two feet of walking space around the bed (and the fact that Zach had to use the closet in the guest room) wasn’t exactly what I pictured in my dream home.
 
Here’s what we had to work with:

Ugly stains on the walls and precarious-looking ceiling fan aside, we were pretty pumped about the room we would have to breathe and relax in our master suite.
 
After getting to work, here’s what it looks like now:

Source List:
wall paint: equal parts Knitting Needles (Behr) and Dover Gray (Valspar)
trim paint: Westhighland White (Sherwin Williams) colormatched in Valspar
bed and dressers: Craigslist
nightstands: Craigslist (painted with Westhighland White by my dad)
chair: auction
duvet cover: Pottery Barn tuxedo bedding (via Ebay)
gray coverlet and shams: Target
white cable knit pillows: Nate Berkus for Linens N’ Things
A and Z: Barnes and Noble
milkglass vase: yard sale
frames on nightstands: Wal-Mart
 
Inspiration:
To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure why I chose gray as one of the central colors of the room, other than the fact that I just like it. I chose the duvet cover because, as I’ve mentioned before, bleachable options really appeal to my clean-freak (sometimes germaphobic) tendencies. So far, I’m really happy with the decision. I love being able to throw it in the wash every so often and have it come out sparkly white.

Confession:
This wall color was named “Butchy Gray” by my husband in honor of….me. Yes, that’s right. The sweet nickname that my dad has called me since childhood is Butchy. Not exactly what every little girl dreams of being called, but it’s been a part of my life for so long that it makes me happy to have a custom color with such a nostalgic name attached.
 
Things that Were on Our To-Do List:
Scraping popcorn ceilings
Having the ceilings and trim painted
Painting the walls
Having the carpet replaced
Switching out door hardware
Reupholstering the chair in the corner
 
Things that are Still on our To-Do List:
I’m happy to report that we don’t have any significant projects on the horizon for this room. As the place that we come to to collapse after the end of a crazy day, this room was at the top of our priority list. By that I mean that this room was painted and set up while the rest of the house was…chaos. For major makeover projects, I definitely recommend tackling the bedroom first. We were so thankful to have a place to get away from paint cans and wallpaper scraps! The windows could certainly benefit from some curtains to soften that side of the room, but they’re not essential. We recently found a black side table at a yard sale for $3, which is the perfect place to rest a mug of hot chocolate while curled up in the chair. There will always be little things that we might tweak, but for now we’re enjoying our roomy retreat!