Friday, January 20, 2012

Impulse Buy

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that last weekend we stumbled upon our local Restoration Hardware going out of business. While I'm not a fan of the dark, depressing look they've got going on in their stores these days, I still really like their bedding and furnishings.

Everything was 60% off original prices and we ended up walking out with a new king bedding set.


Now, you might be thinking "but you don't have a king bed!" And you would be right. But allow me to explain.

When we did our bedroom makeover two years ago, we decided to stick with the furniture we already had. Namely, the queen bed and mattress I had bought for my first "grown up" apartment. "We don't need a king bed!" we said. "We sleep fine in a queen bed, and it's more cozy!" we said. Plus, we didn't want to spend the money.

Fast forward two years. I'm not sure what has changed, but we just don't sleep as good in our bed any more. Elbows are knocking and every toss and turn wakes the other person up. And then there was that one time that Lee smacked me in the face in the middle of the night -- so hard that I cried -- because he said he was dreaming he was catching a baseball.

So we've been scheming on a king bed for a while now. But the main thing holding me back? I invested a lot of money in our queen bedding (also from Restoration Hardware) and couldn't stomach the thought of doing that again.

Cue the going out of business sale! Sucks for them, good for us.

We just couldn't pass up the opportunity to score a king duvet and shams at 60% off. WAY less than we'd paid for our queen bedding, and probably even less than what we'd pay for a lesser-quality, don't-love-it-as-much set from Bed Bath & Beyond or a department store. Plus, we got the coverlet as well, which I'd always wanted for our current bed but couldn't justify the price. At 60% off, I could!

The bedding is not the exact same as what we have now, but it's similar. I'm good with that because a.) I love our current bedding (it's good quality and I love how it looks in our room) and b.) I'm just looking to upgrade the bed, not have to redecorate the room (the current paint and curtains will work nicely, as well as the bathroom).

Our plan is to tuck our finds away for now and slowly build up all the other items we still need (king sheets, comforter to go in the duvet, king pillows, etc.). And eventually pull the trigger on a mattress set and bed.

The one thing that's always bothered me about our bedroom is that the furniture is so matchy-matchy. So I definitely want to take this opportunity to go a different route with the bed. I've fallen in love with this headboard from Pottery Barn:



It's even named the Raleigh and is made in NC! But with a mattress purchase coming up, I doubt I can justify the price. There are lots of upholstered headboard DIYs floating around out there, so we might try our hand at that.

I'll be sure to keep you updated as things progress!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Random Thoughts at Week's End

  • Lee gave me Apple TV for Christmas. I didn't know that I wanted it, but we've been enjoying it so far. Paired with Netflix Streaming (can you believe we've never had Netflix before?), he's been watching obscure documentaries to his heart's content.
  • Downton Abbey was another motivation to sign up for Netflix. I've watched an episode a night from the first season every night this week and I'm hooked. I'm devastated now that I've run out and I have to watch Season 2 one episode a week along with everyone else.
  • Up next on Netflix? The Tudors. This could be dangerous.
  • I suck at keeping resolutions. But at least you got one post out of me this week!
  • Maybe the TV is the reason I can't get motivated to accomplish anything around the house lately? Or blog?
  • I need to read a book.
  • I smashed my Kindle over Christmas and had to pay "a small replacement fee of $65" to get it replaced. I need to get back to reading to justify that decision.
  • My excuse is that I'm waiting for the ebooks I have on hold through the library to become available. Seems like I've been "patron #3 out of 100+" forever.
  • My sister is coming to see me this weekend! We're going to shop and eat good food and watch Hannah Hardy Dawson's best friend (Miss North Carolina Hailey Best) in Miss America Saturday night. Go Hailey!
  • I hope you enjoy the long weekend! (I hope you get a long weekend.) See you here next week (if I can resist the powers of the television, that is.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Holiday Dinner Party

We had a few friends over for our annual Christmas dinner party (this year it was an after-Christmas dinner party). We waited until the last minute to come up with our menu but I loved how everything turned out.

My favorite part was putting the "Cheers" bar to good use.





We filled Lee's decanter with bourbon, set out some other bottles we had on hand and chilled a bottle of champagne (I improvised and repurposed a decorative flower pot as an ice bucket). I also made this winter white sangria (subbing pomegranate seeds for cranberries).

We snacked on a beautiful cheese plate thanks to the new "W" monogrammed cutting board/cheese tray my mom gave us for Christmas.


For our salad course, I made wedge salads with iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, crumbled bacon, gorgonzola cheese and ranch dressing. I can tell you this: it did not suck. Wedge salads are totally underrated (or maybe just forgotten?).



Main course was twice baked potatoes, stuffed mushrooms and chicken cordon bleu. This picture doesn't really do it justice but yum-to-the-um.



After lots of chatting, some gift-opening and a little board game action, we served up a chocolate chip cookie skillet topped with ice cream. It was devoured before I could even think to take a picture.

It was a fun night and we can't wait for our next get-together. (Although Cammi probably can.)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Few Christmas Photos

I cut myself some slack when it came to taking pictures over Christmas. Partly because it felt nice not to be tied to the camera, and partly because our Christmas was really laid back, so who needs tons of pics of me and my sister watching movies in our PJs all day?

I did take a few to share with you though.

To kick off Christmas break we roasted oysters at the dairy barn on our family farm.

Heith roasting the oysters on the wood-burning stove:


The oyster-eaters chowing down (you won't find me eating any oysters!):


Sugar relaxing:


Our Christmas Eve with the Wades involved shooting down mistletoe:



And a big plate of fried chicken (and ham and chicken pastry and 47 sides):


Sugar immediately sniffed out which stocking was hers at Granny's. She took the items out one by one and examined them, because she thinks she's a human.


We wrapped things up with a pig pickin' on New Year's Eve Eve.



Our Christmas also involved lots of eating, baking, relaxing, time with family, good meals, napping and more eating. And we must have been on the Nice list this year, because Santa was very good to us and brought us nearly everything on our wish lists (and then some!).

I hope your Christmas was amazing as well. Was Santa good to you too?

Tomorrow I'll be back to share pictures from the Christmas dinner party we hosted.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hiya 2012

We had a fabulous Christmas (I hope you did too). I had 16 straight days off work and it was heavenly, but that makes getting back into the swing of things all the more difficult. My body (and mind) still isn't used to not being able to eat and nap every two hours.

I'll be back later this week with a few Christmas wrap-up posts, but first I wanted to wish you a happy new year and talk a bit about resolutions.

Last year I laid out my goals for 2011 at the beginning of the year and then did a check-in halfway through. Sadly, I don't have much more to report since my check-in in August (but I'm chalking that up to having made so much progress in the first 7 months of the year!).

I did continue my movie streak (if you're interested -- Aug: The Help, Sept: Contagion, Oct: Moneyball, Nov: Breaking Dawn Part 1) but didn't make it to the movies in December (which is ironic because that's usually the time of year we go at least once or twice). I did watch Love Actually, Clueless, Bridesmaids and Super 8 from the comfort of my sister's couch though, so that works.

I continued on my quest to recycle more and squeezed in our third vacation of the year. I didn't take any more classes but I DID sign up for an Intermediate Photography class at the end of January, so that counts right?

The big fat fail for the year? Running a 5k. I didn't get close, and didn't even really try. And you know what? I'm ok with that. I'm just not a fan of running and as long as there's a zumba, spinning or kickboxing class available to me, I'll choose it over running any day.

So now that there's a bright shiny new year staring us in the face, what are my new goals? The truth is, I don't really know yet. I'm thinking this is going to be a make-and-achieve-goals-as-we-go kind of year. The two that I do know so far:

1. Continue to grow my photography and Photoshop skills. It's a hobby that I love and I've just started to scratch the surface on all there is to learn.

2. Be a better blogger. I'm not trying to be the next Dooce or Pioneer Woman or make a living blogging. But I do enjoy it and I want to be more consistent about posting. My 12 Days of Christmas series was so challenging to me since I wasn't used to posting every day, but I loved the feedback I received and in the end it was worth it. I'm not under any illusion that I'll be posting everyday, but at least 3 times a week is what I'm thinking of shooting for. And if I'm going to be taking the time to post, I might as well try to grow my audience so there are more of you out there following along.

So, have you made any resolutions or set any goals for 2012? If so I'd love to hear them.

2011 was overall a great year for us. Although there were definitely low points, we really can't complain. But I'm so excited to see what 2012 is going to bring.
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