Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday: Deals and Steals

Happy Friday everyone! Ok, we all know that everyone and their brother are going to town with Friends and Family Sales right now. Since I am on a "no spending on myself budget" because of the new house, I have to share some picks from around the web. I mean, there are so many great sales it's crazy! 

I actually did purchase these back when we were in Charleston, in coral and ivory. I love them. They have the dressiness factor of a button down, but the ease of a cotton shirt (no ironing thank you very much). I have loved wearing them for a quick, easy outfit. At checkout, you receive 25% off.

If these aren't the cutest flip flops for beach season, I don't know what are. Use code FRNFAM at checkout for 25% off! Making them $36!

I think this is the perfect dress for wedding season! Milly always makes beautiful dresses, and this one is a classic. Since they are pricey, now is the time to snatch one up. Use code FRNFAM at check out for 25% off!

I love incorporating more skirts in my wardrobe these days. I love this one that you could dress up with a wedge and tank for date night, or wear flats and a denim button down for daytime. Take an additional 25% off at Factory with SALE25 at check out.

These are really, really, really hard to pass up. I wish they could magically appear on my doorstep. Might be my favorite sandal I've seen all year. Now 25% off with code FRIENDLY at checkout. 


Linking up with darci, april, christina + natasha for Five on Friday! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Southern Garden

The Southern Garden

One thing is for sure, at the new house we have so much room, it's actually hard to decide where to plant things. There are so many more options than in our current yard, which is full sun, making it a brutal summer for most of our plants. By July, everything is struggling. With this new found shade, I am excited to plant some old favorites and also plant some new ones. Here are just a few of my favorites! 

Top left, hostas. I love these for planting around the bases of trees. In the summer I use their leaves for simple arrangements. Top right, my all time fave, hydrangeas. Our yard is going to be filled with them! Make sure you choose the endless summer variety if you want blooms all summer. We have several of those, but we also choose varieties that just bloom one time. For the best luck, try planting yours with morning sun and afternoon shade. And water them generously. Bottom left- lantana. I never knew what lantana was until I lived at the beach. It is great for sun and easy little pops of color. Sometimes it comes back the next year, occasionally they do not. Bottom right- coleus. I love all varieties for pots and shade gardens. I will definitely have more of it this year with the shade in the new yard! 

Is anyone interested in this but me? I would love to share more of my faves if so!

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Home Tour

Thank you all so much, so much for your sweet comments on our big move! It is so exciting for us, but it makes me even more excited when readers are excited for us as well. It means a lot, so thank you! As promised, I am here to deliver a home tour! Everyone agreed to do the full thing first and then update room by room, so thank you for your input on that! I really hope y'all are just as excited about the new digs after seeing the tour- I promise we are not cray-cray. There is ample work to do but this house has great bones. My favorite features are the crown molding throughout and lots of wood paneling that will all be painted white. One thing to mention- this bad boy had popcorn ceilings and those are being removed as we speak. There was no question about it. So here we go!

The kitchen is an L-shaped heavily wooded, needing some loving kinda kitchen. It is actually a fairly nice size, with a pantry {not shown} and space for a dinette over a bay window {not shown}. Immediate plans include painting the cabinets, painting the tile, replacing the dishwasher and refrigerator, new lighting, countertops and new hardware. I should also mention that the floors are being replaced to hickory hardwoods throughout the entire house, with the exception of the bedrooms.

Here is a close up of the tile. I mean really? Were the decorative tiles necessary? I would love to eventually switch over to subways like my current kitchen, but I'm willing to paint for the time being. The sink is a nice porcelain with a filtered water dispenser as well. We will switch out the faucet also.

Here is a closeup of the cabinets. The uppers are original {1973} and the lowers are actually new, furniture quality Kraftmaids. I am torn on painting the lowers but I know that it I will be happier with them painted. Also note, the makeshift under cabinet lighting. That will be replaced as well. The previous owner loved tinkering with electrical things as we have learned! 


Off the kitchen is the dining room {picture is from different perspective}. It is a great size, larger than our current dining room. Tucker is standing where the kitchen leads to. Across from him is one window. New lighting and wood floors are on the list here.


Here we are standing in the dining room looking across the living room and entryway. Lets talk about the sunken living room floor. At first I wasn't too hyped about it, but I'm starting to really like it. In fact, we have had several neighbors tell us how much they love our house, just because the sunken living room! We have plans to either beef up the railings by adding columns to the ceiling or even create a more divided space with walls. It is semi important on the to-do list right now. 

Let's discuss my love for the dental molding on the fireplace. Ok. Love it!


Here we are looking at the front door and entryway. For now, the slate floor is staying. 


On the backside of the house is the den. Possibly my favorite room! You can enter the den through the kitchen or through the entryway {as seen above}. I am obsessed with many things here. The exposed brick wall {to be painted white}, the ceiling beams, the paneling and built ins {to be painted white}, and the general coziness of the room. I mean, I cannot wait to see this room come together! 

This is taken from the opposite perspective. You can see into the kitchen through the doorway.

There is a fireplace with a wood burning unit attached right now. The owners originally wanted to take that and we happily agreed, but that fell through. So now we have a fireplace insert that will be sold really soon.


The only room upstairs is a space we will be using for desk space for each of us, and probably a daybed or pull out sofa for extra sleeping room. I cannot wait to refinish the stairs! There are hardwoods underneath the fancy carpet {ha} and I think we will paint them and attach a runner. All wood paneling will be painted.

First rule of thumb when buying an old house- rip out the carpets and check to see if you have hardwoods hiding underneath! No such luck here. We did find some really awesome linoleum straight out of 1973. This upstairs room will be newly carpeted. 

There are two alcoves that Stephen and I will each get to house our respective belongings with a desk, shelving etc. 



This will be used as a guest bedroom. Awesome, large room that previously held a king sized bed. Plans include painting and new carpet.

Here is my little man's room with the best view in the house! He can see the water from his window and I love that. It is also bigger than his current room. Plans include painting and new carpet.


Our room is also larger than our current with two windows, walk in closet and adjoining bath. Plans include paint and new carpet.

The bathroom is definitely in need of updating. I have some fun ideas in mind, but they will probably be later on in the updating process. There is also a nice size linen closet that currently holds the washer and dryer.

The decorative tile makes another appearance. Can't wait to paint over that.


The other bathroom needs lots of updating as well. We will probably start small with your basic fixtures and paint, but I want this bathroom to be amazing! 

How about these gold fixtures? They just dont make them like that anymore! 

Lots of storage in a floor to ceiling cabinet unit.


The last room is the mudroom! This is off the back entry and words cannot describe how excited I am about this room. Since there is not enough room for a washer/dryer right now, we are planning to extend into an exterior storage room for just enough space for the washer and dryer to go. Right now the room has a wagon wheel light, more wood cabinets and a storage closet. Cannot wait to fix her up!!

We would be lying if we said we weren't over the moon for our new yard. Complete with live oak trees {with a swing!!} and so much mature landscaping. Gardeners paradise. 

We have already started adding our personal touch {tons of hydrangeas!} and started the yard cleanup. There is also a rock pond as seen below.

While we do not have a garage, we do have a carport and a shed. I've already been pinning away on ideas to fix up the shed. 

Whew! That was a long one. Thanks for bearing with me if you made it to the end! 
 I hope you enjoyed and can't wait to begin showing you some updates already! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our New Home

As some of you already know- we have big news in the form of a new house! I'm still a little shocked myself since it happened so fast. Stephen is in real estate and we are constantly bouncing emails back and forth on homes in the area- what we like, what we want 10 years from now, etc. We had only slightly, slightly began to explore the idea of starting to scout around for a bigger house. Not for extra bedroom purposes {in case anyone is wondering!} but just because we felt like we were in tight quarters in our home. We love our home, but we really needed a little more space. 

Once I saw our new house, I fell in love. I mean, hard. It has a water view {gasp! something I never thought we would have!}, a traditional floor plan {my favorite}, a large yard with plenty of mature landscaping {major}, and plenty of character. We took one look and suddenly we were head first in the real estate game, looking to buy and looking to sell. Things have lined up rather perfectly as well, so I'm getting the feeling that it was simply meant to be. It's crazy to think this house has been in our future all along...God knew exactly what he was doing! Our offer was accepted after a little back and forth, and then after putting our house on the market the next week- it sold in 9 days. So things are going to be changing a lot around here! While I love the bones of the house, it has plenty- and I mean plenty- of upgrading to do. I will give a more detailed recap soon. I am wondering if you would like to see a full tour or work on it room by room? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. And keep in mind, there ain't much inside right now but some blue carpet and 70's bead board! Thank you for all of your sweet comments on instagram (@missdixie30) yesterday. 
We feel so blessed for this new home for our family. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chinese Snowball Viburnum

I'm going to pretend to be a really good gardener for a minute here. Most people my age are not obsessed with having a yard full of pretty blooms like me, but that's fine. Since owning our home for almost five years now, we have added tons of money into the landscaping and I've grown to appreciate plants and gardens more than ever. One of my favorites each Spring is this Chinese Snowball Viburnum. Don't be fooled- these are not hydrangea blooms. The viburnum is a leafy shrub/tree that can get to be enormous (like 10 feet tall). And each Spring that enormous tree gives you tons and tons of snowball like blooms- starting lime green and turning white. If you are a bloom lover like me, you just have to have one of these in your yard! They also bloom again in the fall, added bonus. 

This year I'm taking full advantage of cutting lots of blooms.

I also scored this pretty vase at TJ Maxx last week. There were several others so check your local store if you're interested. 

I love having these before anything else has really popped out for Spring! 

Go ahead and tell me your favorite Spring bloom...and if I've sold you on the snowball viburnum :)

Happy Monday y'all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sunday Dinners

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on our Charleston trip. We really, really enjoyed it and it's the perfect weekend trip for a couple. I completely forgot to mention our hotel! We stayed at the Renaissance and were so pleased with the stay. It was just shy of being on King Street which gave us the advantage of not being in the hustle and bustle, but being so close to the main attractions. It was also on a quieter side street which was nice to return to each evening. The hotel staff was great and it was wonderful hotel quality for a smaller, boutique size hotel. 

Anyway, back to our Sunday dinners. We love making something good on Sunday, especially something hearty or that can cook late in the afternoon. That is the best! I know once it warms up for good we will be spending our time grilling instead, so it's nice to enjoy these kinds of meals right now. The good news is- even though these are typically hearty dinners - they are light versions. It just so happens we made italian two weeks in a row. That usually doesn't happen, but I'm happy to have new things for a dinner rotation. PS- Sorry ahead of time for really bad iphone pics.

First up, Turkey Meatballs. The sauce recipe literally blew my mind. Are you ready for this? Ok, it is one bottle of ketchup and one beer. That. is. it. I mean, I am still not over that. I was a little scared but so intrigued, so we made it and it was really...pretty good. How crazy!? Good to know. You cook your turkey meatballs in the sauce though, so it does have a nice flavor. I froze half of the uncooked meatballs to make another time which is always so nice. We used egg noodles {find them in the freezer section} and were so good. 

Next up, cauliflower pizza! My sister recommended this version by Paula Deen and it is a keeper. We fancied it up and did Fig/Prosciutto on one side and margerita on the other. No guilt from pizza on this night! 

Do y'all do it up big for Sunday dinners?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Our Charleston Trip

A few weeks ago we planned a rather last minute trip to Charleston for a celebration ahead of our fourth Anniversary. With a full schedule ahead this Spring and Summer with weddings and parties we knew this might be our last weekend to getaway. Since it was so last minute, we didn't have a ton of time to plan ahead with dinner reservations, but that was okay. We really just wanted some good food and to be low key and go about our day with no real plan. 

Stephen and I have a knack for planning trips for rainy vacations. Specifically, it was cloudy on our honeymoon in Ocho Rios several days, rained the entire time in the Bahamas two years ago, and when we arrived in Charleston...what did we see? Rainy, gray skies. No surprise. 

Before those skies opened up I convinced Stephen to hit up King Street for some shopping {just in case there was incapable shopping conditions for the rest of our trip}. We lucked out and I got the warning that we were approaching 5:00 {at 4:15} and it was time for happy hour. I obliged. And we headed for Charleston Place as it started to rain! 

Everyone was a happy camper after happy hour in the Thoroughbred Club. 

Like I said, we were a little late on making dinner reservations but we managed to get into a few places I was really excited about. Our first night, we dined at Fish, which proved to be excellent. I feel like a seafood snob when dining out of town because we really are just so spoiled here with great, fresh seafood. Fish did not disappoint though, it was delish. They start you with some amazing sweet rolls with a spicy sauce- the combination is divine! 


I ordered the triggerfish with kale and goat cheese dumplings- real good y'all.

The next day we enjoyed being a Mom and Dad on vacation and had room service and a late morning. And when I say room service, I mean the hubs hitting up the breakfast buffet and bringing it back to the room. Same thing, right?

After relaxing all morning, we headed to the Palmetto Cafe after hearing rave reviews on the burger and fries. This was my favorite though, the Shrimp Poke. Pretty much avocado, shrimp, a salsa and wontons. So, so good. The french fries were not to miss as well!

As the day went on, the fog wore off and the sun eventually came out. We made our way from King Street to Waterfront Park up and down East Bay Street.

That night we took a bike taxi as our means of transportation. It was so much fun to ride down King Street on one of those. I loved it. 

We first stopped at Bin 152 for wine and cheese.
I love a place that keeps it simple with two of my favorite things :)

That night, we opted for Italian at a place called Indaco which we had heard was getting great reviews. We ended up loving it, even if we did keep it fairly simple with splitting a wood fired pizza- one of our faves. 

And the gelato sampler for dessert- amazing. It was devoured.


Sunday morning we woke up early for breakfast {not in bed this time} and then walked down to the Battery and circled around to City Market, then back to our hotel to relax before lunch. I loved having my Fitbit to see how much we were really walking! 

Okay, so this was hilarious. We saw a huge family of kids sitting on this tree and I of course wanted to copy and get a picture. I asked a nice couple walking by and they patiently waited while we tried to get on this tree branch that was actually wayyy higher than what we anticipated. Stephen had to hoist me up and then we were so scared with him jumping up that he would either knock me off or over shoot it and fall off backwards. Those kids were like monkeys on that so much. 

I was so excited for our lunch at Husk. It proved to be nothing short of amazing- it was even Stephen's favorite of the trip. Pictured below are the "Johnnie Cakes" which are pretty much cornmeal pancakes with pimiento cheese with bacon shreds on top.


Our last night we enjoyed a beverage at the hotel bar and headed to dinner at Blossom.

Shopping in Charleston:

We had great luck on King Street. Some of my favorites?
Anthropologie, which of course has the best displays. Sugar Snap Pea is a sweet children's boutique as well as Kids on King. Stephen loved Grady Ervin and I had a ball in C. Wonder. Stephen also treated me to a necklace by Vanessa Mooney in Luna. I also loved the jewelry and accessories in The Finicky Filly.

It was such a great trip but I could not stand another minute with out my baby! He decided while we were away that he loves Cheetos and I am totally okay with that.
Go ahead and judge away!

Whew- what a recap! Sorry for the insanely long post. We have been busier than ever and I might have some exciting news to share soon! Hope y'all are well!