April 22, 2011

May We Never Forget

I have noticed how much more I have been inundated with talk about Earth Day and all of the specials and freebies being provided in celebration of it. It is nice to have Earth Day, but there is something so much more important to be celebrated today. Good Friday.

I can thank God for all that has happened in my life, and may we never forget the day when He gave His only Son for us.

Mother Earth may be important, but even more important and most sovereign is our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ.

April 19, 2011

Third Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life! So far, we have shared three incredible years together, and I am looking forward to each and every year to come. We have shared all kinds of ups and downs, laughter and tears, trials and tribulations, and we will get through everything else life has to offer us with an awesome spirit of togetherness. I thank God for you every single day! He definitely knows what He is doing and He knew exactly what I needed in a husband!

All photos created by Rodney Mickle.

April 15, 2011

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

This has been my second least favorite part of my house, following closely after my dining area debacle. Considering that this is the wall I look at the most, what with the television being there to stare back at me, you would think this wall would have been made pretty much earlier. I can not even classify this as any design, even with my cute/somewhat ghetto little DIY project.

I have had a set of mirrors packed away in a box for several years and have been hemming and hawing about taking them to my local consignment shop, never having the guts to part with them. Several weeks ago, I brought them downstairs to get ready to take them to the consignment shop, but stalled. I unpacked a few to get another good look at them, and then came to the realization that they would totally fit around my television. Following the 'hang paper on the wall in the shape of your hangings' trick that I have seen on several different blogs, I suddenly became excited about using the mirrors once again. I needed something nice to look at besides a blank wall with one frame on it! Below is the arrangement I finally decided on.

And here is the final product!

The rabbit ears, ugly foldable crate, and baskets definitely don't add to the finished look, but at least it is better than what it was before. And because our living room is small, narrow, and sometimes dark, the mirrors really add light and depth that was previously lacking. I can now sit happily across from this wall!

Now if only I could paint...

April 14, 2011

Creating a Multi-Functional Space

What a mess! This is just complete mayhem! Mr. M has taken to using our dining table as his office, which rarely ever gets straightened up. Combining that with all of the extra 'stuff' sitting around on the floor, this part of the house is definitely my least favorite.

After some brainstorming and re-arranging, I came up with a furniture arrangement that does not seem to be as chaotic. For visual effect, I have not moved Mr. M's paperwork, and it still appears a little more tidy than the before picture.

Since I have taken this picture, a 3-tier black mesh paper organizer was hung to the right of the small shadowbox on my gallery wall. It seems to balance everything out and provides Mr. M with a little more storage space. In our home, he officially has the upstairs office/storage room, two baskets in our living room, and a basket, file folder holder, and mesh basket in the kitchen to contain his business stuff. Now there will be no excuse to leave papers strewn all over our dining table. Well, at least if I can help it!

Does anybody have any great storage ideas for limited budgets and limited space? I will take any and all ideas I can get! This whole business organization thing is definitely a work in progress!

April 13, 2011

Any Takers?

So, I have this listed on eBay right now, but if it doesn't sell there, I am going to start taking offers. Within reason, of course. Interested?

Sketch 42 is hosting a fabulous blogger tag sale! Click the image below to see more fabulous items for sale by bloggers.

April 8, 2011

What a Difference a Drape Makes

Something had been bugging me recently in both my living room and bedroom. Something just was not sitting well with me and I really couldn't put my finger on it.

Last Friday, I took the day off. A much needed day off to just do things I had been wanting to do amidst a bit of relaxation. I decided to poke around a few local stores and eventually found myself in Target. I always end up there somehow. Anyway, I was poking around their curtain aisle when I came across the cutest curtains that would go in our bedroom. I brought them home and promptly hung them up in my bedroom in hopes that they would be that fix I needed.

Closeup of print on curtains.
I have been hoping to have a calm mix of colors (blue, brown, and a hint of rust/gold) in our bedroom. I know I have a decent start (although I hate that I can't paint, dang rental), and the new curtains made me so much happier after they were hung.

Below is the before picture. The curtains were okay, but were gradually growing blah on me. And it seemed to just drag everything down.

And here's the after picture. They really lighten things up, especially with the dark furniture and brown duvet. And the curtains were much cheaper than buying a new duvet or quilt, so I am pretty happy for now.

So, what did I do with the curtains I had in the bedroom?

I switched them out with the curtains I previously had hanging in the living room! It was a much needed change, too! The red sheers, as pictured below, seemed to make the living room feel drab. We have darker furniture in there, too, and the darker curtains were getting rather depressing. Plus, they made my recliner seem way too yellowish/goldish.

I'm lazy and didn't bother moving Mr. M's shoe or sign. That's how I roll.
So, what do you think? I think it is a welcome change! And the chair is a bit more toned down, too. And don't worry, I had Mr. M raise the curtain rod promptly. I just didn't get a picture after it was raised.

I'm lazy and didn't bother moving Mr. M's sign or shoe, along with the old curtains. That's how I roll.

April 7, 2011

Success Does Not Come Easy

That is something Mr. M is learning as he progresses with his business. The trials and tribulations of being a small business owner sometimes seem to outweigh the successes, no matter how big or small they are. At times, it can be very overwhelming for Mr. M and myself. I have to be the constant cheerleader, but also the one that has to talk some sense at times. The business is very demanding for both of us, although I do not play a direct part in the usual day-to-day stuff.

Being in the blog world, I have the chance to read blogs written by others that also have their own businesses. At times, I feel envious of them, as they always seem to never really have any problems, at least on the surface. I have been a long-time follower of Jess, of both her blog and her business. And she posted today what is now one of my all-time favorite posts. I love her transparency about herself and her business!

April 5, 2011

Early Anniversary Trip - Part 2

Every year for our anniversary we try to stay at a bed and breakfast. We stayed at one for the very first time on our honeymoon and were instantly hooked by the whole environment. The hospitality, so far, has always been incredible, as well as the food. And the same went for our latest bed and breakfast stay at the Peaches and Dreams B&B in Cordova, MD, just north of Easton.

On our way. The countryside was a nice escape from the hustle-bustle of the city.

Upon checking in, we were greeted by Margie Pfister, one of the owners of the B&B. One of the first things we got to do before bringing in our bags was choose what we wanted for breakfast the next morning. This was really unique to us because normally you do not really have a choice of what you will be eating for breakfast at a B&B. After we made our choices, Margie led us to our wing of the house where we were greeted by a gorgeous room with a very inviting king-sized bed (sleep number, too!). I mentioned our wing of the house because we literally had our own wing upstairs and we were the only guests for the night. If you stay at Peaches and Dreams, you are the only guests. So fun!

Ignore our stuff plopped on the couch.

I have to mention how fresh our room smelled, too! Normally, I do not come across such a freshness when I stay somewhere else. It reminded me of being at my grandparents' house just after my grandma brought sheets in from off the clothesline. It was so nice!

View of the pool from one of the many windows in our room. There was also a hot tub that we could have used for an extra fee.
Typical man stuff. We don't have cable at home, so Mr. M takes advantage of it when he can.

I could not believe the attention to detail that was put into this place! There were nice, little luxuries everywhere you turned, from the medicine cabinet full of toiletries, the spa tub, shower with multiple shower heads, fuzzy slippers, fluffly robes, individually-heated mattress pads, and water stocked in a mini-fridge.

Such great attention to detail!

That medicine cabinet was chock full of little toiletries in case you forgot something! You can also see some sitting in the basket on top of the toilet.

We already had a bottle of wine just chilling out. The chest contained fuzzy slippers!
Another view from the bed. That little closet had fluffy white robes.

The next morning, we had the pleasure of meeting Margie's husband, Michael. He was the breakfast chef and very personable. We noticed right away the wonderful dynamic that Margie and Michael had between them. It really showed in everything they did that morning. Especially when they got as excited as school children after hearing that Mr. M used to play professional baseball. They were both huge baseball fans and it was nice to hear them go back and forth with Mr. M about all kinds of stories.

So, you are probably wondering how our breakfast was by now. That is, we did stay in a bed AND breakfast after all. I must say that out of the three different B&B's we have stayed at during our married life, Mr. M and I both agreed that this was, by far, the best! And the breakfast was included in that decision! We both had a huge plate of fresh fruit (sliced pears and strawberries with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries), pancakes (blueberry for Mr. M and strawberry for me) with the fruit both IN the pancakes as well as topping them, and chocolate chip scones. All of the food was so, so wonderful! There was a lot of it, too. And the setting was really nice. Their dining area was filled with various collections of china, cobalt vases, etc. and they had our place settings set to the hilt, including a crystal knife rest for each of us. We didn't know what they were so we pretended they were mini-dumbbells.

After breakfast, we had a bit of time to just relax before we hit the road, so we took full advantage of it. Mr. M watched some television and I read a few magazines while taking advantage of the heated mattress pad. I did not want to go home! 

But, alas, we had to. But, not before Margie gifted us with a bag filled with more chocolate chip scones, chocolate for Mr. M, two little bottles of lotion for me, plum jam, strawberry jam, and apple butter! We were so delighted! And we could tell that Margie was incredibly delighted to give it to us. 

We exchanged money and hugs, headed home, and indulged in chocolate chip scones and jam later that evening. Our weekend could not have ended any better!
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