Sunday, May 23, 2010

Packing "How To"

I asked my sweet friend, The Dishy Decorator, to share her packing how to's ... and like the sweet Southern girl that she is, she kindly obliged!

You can find the post here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LIGHTS .... CAMERA .. NO, just lights!

SO if you know me in real life, you know I am quite a bargain shopper - on ALMOST everything. If I really want something that's expensive, then I'll wait until it goes on sale - VERY rarely will I buy something full price, unless it's a pair of shoes .... but we won't go there .... anyway, when we bought our house in Atlanta, we negotiated a stellar price {trust me, it helps lessen the sting whenever we decide to sell our house here in Florida .. we bought at a high price} but part of that stellar price was us providing our own lighting. The builder provided a $3500 lighting allowance - which really sounds like a TON - however we just offered a price that had that allowance taken off because I KNEW I could get lights for the ENTIRE house for less than $1000. Yes, you read right -- now, in my defense, we do have 2 ceiling fans that we are bringing from our home in Florida because they are just too nice to leave behind - BUT - all the rest, I purchased at L@we's, except for a few rooms, and spent $350, and that INCLUDED our foyer light! I still had few rooms to buy for and really wanted something unique in our kitchen. One of my friends on Twitter suggested I try - so I logged on and within 10 minutes, found my beautiful kitchen lights. Now, the best part is they were CHEAPER than what I found at Direct Buy {yes, we have a membership} and I didn't have to pay shipping and wait 6 weeks! SO while I was on there, I decided to look for a couple other lights I needed and ended up purchasing 8 lights, all for under $400! I'm serious.

This one is going in my master bedroom - center stage! We have a vaulted ceiling in there and it's going to look stunning!

This is for the outside entryway - I believe this light was under $60 AND it's Savoy House - which is a name brand that is normally pretty pricey. I also got the matching outdoor wall light to put by the garage - also under $50!

My kitchen light - I love the black and the bronze together. My furniture is black and we have bronze handles, etc. I love it and it matches the French Country decor' I have in my home.

These are the pendant lights that match the mini-chandelier and will hang over my island. My countertops have black, bronze, tan running thru them so I think it's going to look beautiful! I wanted something unique but not overly trendy. I think these fit the bill perfectly!!

I also bought 2 Kichler lights for Princess's bathroom, since the ones I originally purchased had parts missing and they are now DISCONTINUED! SO I'll return those and keep the ones I bought! They're prettier!! is part of the network of stores and they pretty much have anything and everything you need for your home if you are updating, renovating or building!

And no, they didn't pay me or send me anything to write this post - just thought it would be good to post because I got such a FANTASTIC deal and wanted to pass on the information!

And if you don't like my lights, please don't tell me ... I am fragile right now {kidding - kinda}. Can't wait to show y'all once they are installed!

All images courtesy of

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Packing ....

Where have I been? Packing ... packing ... and more packing!! We move in just about a week. I can not even believe it's here! We do not have the luxury of having a moving company come in, pack us up, and move us, so it's Brock and Brock Movers taking over this one - and I have to say we're doing a great job! I made a schedule and got an amazing 'tip list' from my IRL friend, The Dishy Decorator. I have pretty much only 2 more rooms to pack and we've got a week to go! Although I'm not doing much of the packing myself, I am doing a great job of telling people what to pack and what to toss!

We purged QUITE a bit of stuff and I must say, I'm a little aggravated I waited 5 yrs to get THIS organized! We also gave the kids a box and told them to fill it with the toys they wanted, and once it was full, everything else was going to charity. Yes, I'd love to have a garage sale, but there's really no time left for that.

As for our 'issue' I posted about a couple weeks ago, it looks as it's being resolved, although we have a couple hurdles still to jump through. If you pray, please keep our family in prayer. Yes, it is a financial situation - which is my achilles heel and it's being tested greatly. Big Daddy and I WILL pass this test though and we are standing firm against the enemy. God has already won this battle for us, it's just how we choose to respond. Every night, when I go to bed, I thank God for having enough for that day. We are beyond blessed, even with the situation at hand, and even when it seems like nothing but despair, I can still raise my hand, and thank God for SOMETHING. We are going to be OK - no matter what.

I have been going to the dr since my car accident for close to 4 mths now, 2-3x/week and today, for the first time, I noticed a plaque over the doorway in his office. It had the verse Jer 29:11 on it and let me tell you, I looked at it, and then did a double take ... and then burst into tears. All this time I've never noticed it, yet on the day I need to see it the most, there it is! Hmmm, God is awesome, isn't He?

Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I promise, no more Debbie Downer posts, but I'm just keeping it real. Life happens, this is somewhat of a 'therapy' for me, writing it down and getting it out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chicago ....

When my sister and I attended a wedding last May in Memphis, we decided every year, we would take a 'sisters trip' and had pretty much decided right then and there, we wanted to go to Chicago. I have always wanted to go there IN THE SPRING and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. We invited our friend, Amber, whom we have known for nearly 25 yrs.

We stayed downtown at the Homestead Suites on Grand. I HIGHLY recommend this hotel. The staff was very friendly and their complimentary breakfast was wonderful!

Friday night we went to eat at Hugo's Frog - it was SO good!! We had a nightcap at The Signature Room in the John Hancock Building. It was crazy because a storm was definitely rolling in and within 5 minutes, you could not see ANYTHING. NOTHING. Then 5 minutes later, you could see all of Chicago again, then 5 min later, again, nothing. It was crazy.

We also went on an architectural boat tour of the city - if you are EVER in Chicago - I HIGHLY recommend this!! Seriously - it was wonderful and I enjoyed it so much {except for the crazy lady that wouldn't leave us alone. Bless her heart, she would just barge in and start asking us bizarro questions while the 3 of us were in the middle of a conversation and kept following us around the boat - then she asked where we were staying and where we were going for dinner that night - God forgive me, but I might not have told her the truth!}.

Sat morning we got up bright and early and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot on Michigan Avenue amongst all the tulips! Oh it was SO beautiful!!

Then we went to the Sears Tower and decided to venture out on to "The Deck". It was so weird being that high up, look down and be able to see 101 stories down. I couldn't comprehend HOW we were standing on Plexi-glass (I'm sure it's not plexi-glass, but it sure looked like plexi-glass) and the thing wasn't breaking off. SO neat - Jenn and I were getting our picture taken by other people, I guess maybe they've never seen twins before? VERY AWKWARD, but hey, whatever. Hopefully we don't end up on some mail-order bride catalog or billboard in China!

We spent the rest of the day shopping and sight-seeing, then met up with LegallyFab and Daisy, JD for some more shopping. Daisy, JD filled us in on lots of neat facts about Chicago - it was very nice having the 2 of them there to show us around. Yes, we met on "Twitter" but I consider these girls in real life friends now! Don't ever let the power of social networking fool you - it is POWERFUL! I have met some of the most amazing women thru Twitter and blogging -- but I digree.

Saturday night we went out to celebrate LegallyFab's birthday and had dinner at Epic and then went to The Underground. It is a pretty popular hot spot and has won tons of awards. It was great fun, even though all I could think about was the place catching on fire and where on earth I would make my exit.

Sunday morning we woke up early to head back home and get back to normal. I was so sad to hear about the flooding in Nashville - this was my home for only 3 short years, but home to Big Daddy for 15 yrs. He is devastated about the losses many of his friends suffered and the devastation to the city he loves so much.

Now for pictures:

** Top of the Sears Tower out on The Ledge**
If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see below!

Michigan Avenue tulips w/Amber

The Navy Pier

The famous "Chicago" sign

The view from the bathroom in The Signature Room

Sears Tower from the boat

Amber and me at Hugo's Frog

In front of the Sears Tower {now the Willis Tower, but everyone refuses to call it that}.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Worth Sharing ...

Yes, I owe you all a Chicago trip post - let me just tell you, I now have an unhealthy love affair with that city ~ we had an ABSOLUTE blast.

However, when I returned home, Monday evening, I was met with something that would literally take my breath away, and NOT in a good way.

While I can't share on the blog - yet - I will though, because let me tell you, WE WILL BE A TESTIMONY. We have surrendered our uncontrollable circumstances to our Heavenly Father and we are RELYING and TRUSTING in Him to get us through. Period. We had church tonight and I did not praise Jesus any differently when we were celebrating all of the exciting things happening in our life. I would even venture to say I was more passionate in my worship, KNOWING I had to surrender, COMPLETELY - and yes, I cried like a baby, and I was singing on stage. GAH! BUT whatever ....

Anyway, one of my sweet friends sent me this email, not even KNOWING what had happened. I thought it was totally worth sharing because YOU might be going through something too and needing to hear this, so here goes:

When Your Hut's On Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.
He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him.
Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky.

He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost.
He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger.
He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island!
It had come to rescue him!
'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers.
'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.

Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground.
It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

So if you are going thru a difficult time, trust. Surrender. We don't know why God allowed this to happen, but we are seeing it as an opportunity to trust in Him deeper than we already do. One of our friends told us tonight, "It takes a mess to get a miracle" ... AMEN!