Thursday, October 29, 2015

ORC Week 4...Bookcases and Another New Rug

Welcome back for Week Four of the One Room Challenge! If you are just joining me, we are making over our living room into a more functional, tidy, yet family friendly space. The links below can catch you up to speed!

We are inching are way towards the finish line but have so much more to do! In fact, I feel like this is the point in time where the list seems like it is branching off into more little lists with a mind of it's own. This week we focused mainly on our...drumroll...custom bookcases! No, we are not pretending to be carpenters, thank you very much, but we {as in Stephen} is doing a fine job creating the perfect book cases for our space. He is consulting me every day about the next step and the next decision {i.e. shelf placement, molding, chair rail etc} to make sure it is all what I am envisioning. Biggest round of applause for him for taking on this project. The hardest part about it was the plan. In our pinterest-age-era we are so used to being able to do a quick search to crank out a new project. I have learned book cases do not fall into this category. Yes, there are tutorials out there, but you are most likely going to have to grab a tip from one source then google another one to make yours work. There are so many variations that go into your custom project that it's pretty much impossible to follow ONE tutorial. This is why you pay big bucks for a custom bookcase! I think we are on our way to getting it done unless they just fall to the ground in shambles...I'm determined at this point! 

{this is very much in progress, seen below}

There will be one on each side of the fireplace and they will be anchored to the wall but not connected to the fireplace. I really liked our fireplace the way it is and did not want to mess with it at all. The case on the left will be fitted for our TV, and the right case will be strictly bookcases. When I saw the living room below by Honey and Fitz, I got inspired for this concept. 

They are primed and will still need at least two coats of trim paint after all of the building is done. Stephen will also have to reattach base boards, toe kicks and chair rail back to the walls to complete the project. 

In other news, we have another new rug! Yes, things change quickly around here! Remember last week when I said I will keep the wool hooked rug until I can afford a Karastan? Well, funny story. The rug below pops up on the feed of a local consignment shop and it caught Stephen's eye. He sort of ran it by me but when I saw it online I really didn't like the colors for our room. However, my Mom and I decided to run in the store on Saturday just to check it out. Turns out I loved it and it is beautiful in person. I know this rug will stand the test of time with our busy family and crazy dogs and I am really relieved about this. It was a deal I couldn't pass up, in great shape and it's a vintage Karastan! And, don't forget, it is actually soooo much prettier in person. The red tones are more of a pinkish red. Stephen just dropped it off to have it steam cleaned and we will have it back next week! Stay tuned for where my -other- new rug is headed next!

{Also, try and remove that lime green table from your line of sight!}

I also ordered some blue and white lamps. I am seeing blue and white as almost a neutral these days in my home. Almost every room has a touch of it and it sort of ties it all together. I ordered them through the shop I work for and I'm hoping they are a quick ship! 

Also, making some headway in the throw pillows department. I'm a tad hesitant to order them with out having the rug back yet but it is now crunch time. Wish me the best of luck in this department! 

Here is the master plan:
More throw pillows {always nice to list the easiest and fun things first} working on it!
Add toy storage
Fix ottoman situation
Decide on shelving to the left and right of the fireplace {should it match?!}  in progress
New lamps / Decide about painting end tables  ordered!
Switch out sofa
Switch out drapes and rods
Add paneling detail over fireplace
Update fireplace surround?! May not be an option {its gone!}
Find a new rug  did this twice!
Style and photograph!

Make sure to check out the other lovelies that are taking on this task: here and the guest participants here.

And for fun, see my other One Room Challenges here: DEN and HALL BATHROOM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Your Fall Boot Guide!

fall boot guide

My birthday is coming up at the end of next month and I think its time for another investment in a quality pair of boots. I am partial to a cognac color, for some reason I am much more likely to reach for that warm, rich tone over black. But, I did throw a few black pairs in for the days you need your feet to be warm and match up with your black attire. What would be your favorite? I already own the Melissa Button {three years going strong} and the Lucinda short bootie, so I'm looking to fill the gaps in between. While I love the Melissa button boot, they are seeming a little more casual with their wear over time. Would love you to weigh in :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Travels: Favorite Restaurants + Americas Mart in Atlanta

Last weekend I travelled to Atlanta for one of our market buying trips at America's Mart. I assist in purchasing merchandise for a gift and book store, which sells a huge variety of things: a curated selection of gifts, tabletop, books, women's clothing and accessories, and children's clothing and even children's toys. We are almost like a mini department store with so many categories and two stories of building to fill. With all of those categories, it makes in necessary for several buying trips throughout the year. Most of our trips are back and forth between Atlanta now, and we average 2-3 trips there a year.

Since I have visited Atlanta for the past 6 years frequently, we have really nailed down some of the best restaurants to dine at! We tend to stick to the downtown to midtown area since we usually are staying downtown near America's Mart. Here is a mini recap of my last trip:

We had an early flight out of Raleigh which allowed just enough time to breeze through the airport Starbucks. This was a first for me with a new spelling of "Katie"....I've never had one of these funny incidents occur until now, but I rarely treat myself to Starbucks :)

Lunch while we are in Atlanta is usually served in the showrooms. During gift shows, a lot of the big showrooms will cater a nice big lunch from a good restaurant and you can usually find something decent there. This was clothing market and those showrooms don't have quite as much selection. If we aren't in a good spot for lunch we will swing by a cafe spot or Chic-fil-a located throughout the three giant buildings.

This is what I wore all day long the first day, then changed out of flats into heeled booties for dinner. It was the first true cold weather I have felt this fall and I was freezing ALL day long, this poncho was a life saver for me. I couldn't find the exact one but it is so cozy and I cannot wait to wear it again on another cold day. This is very similar. 

The flowers at market are always a breath of fresh air when you are stuck in buildings all day. Aren't they gorgeous?

My view from my hotel room! I'm always amazed how different the night sky is in the city vs. my little beach town. 

This photo was taken on our last day and we are about to head home! I ended up catching a cold {probably on the plane, ughhh} and remained freezing the entire rest of the trip. Thank goodness my mother-in-law packed an extra cashmere sweater I borrowed and layered on a scarf from our shop. Jeans are old  J Brand but these are similar. As you can see, I keep it pretty casual on these trips {nothing too exciting but I thought you might be interested in what I would wear on these long days!}

So, here is my recap on restaurants in Atlanta: We feel very strongly about treating yourself to a nice, sit down dinner to recover from the day. Market sounds like fun {and it is!} but it is really taxing too. You are making big decisions for your business, trying to remember what the heck you need, trying to plan ahead and you are on your feet all day. It really is exhausting! We usually call it quits in time to run back to our rooms, catch up with family on the phone, rest our feet for a few- then head to dinner!

These are my faves:

This restaurant is on our favorite list and we have eaten there once each market trip since they opened about three years ago. I love Mexican food and this place does not disappoint! It is a step and above your typical Mexican restaurant. Everything is very authentic with a fresh twist on your typical dishes, throwing in a variety of flavors you would not expect. For instance, we ordered the fried chihuahua cheese and it came out as a brick of cheese fried, in a piping hot bowl of salsa verde. At the table, you can mix your cheese into the salsa and serve it as you wish with chips or tortillas. So amazing {and hot}. For dinner, I always order the fried avocado tacos. They are so darn good and better explained as noted from the menu: "Crispy queso cotija, poblano pesto, roasted tomato, corn tortillas" If you go, I would highly recommend them!

This was our second trip to Poor Calvins and it was just as good as the first time. This restaurant offers thai fusion with touches of southern cuisine. You really can't go wrong with the appetizer menu: fried goat cheese, lobster wontons, steamed pork and chicken dumplings, or lobster macaroni and cheese, to name a few. For dinner, I had the Crispy Beef which is just out of this world good! The entree is angus beef prepared with soy glaze over rice and greens. They also offer free Uber service which I thought was such a nice treat! This time around we treated ourselves to dessert because practically everyone in the restaurant was doing the same and we didn't want to miss out! This was a giant piece of cake we could barely make a dent in, but was oh-so-good.

We stumbled through many Italian restaurants before finding this gem! This one is located in the Virginia Highlands area {so cute} and offers the best authentic Italian with homemade pastas and really tasty combinations. It's a small restaurant and off the beaten path, but very well worth it. It definitely seems like the place the locals flock to that live in the quaint area. Love this place!

If you are looking for a fabulous steak and seafood restaurant, this is your place! I have actually only tried the steak entrees but seafood is flown in daily for ensured freshness {this is a must people!} and the restaurant is really well known for it. It is a fun, upbeat environment too without being too formal. Excellent option. 

If you are looking for your Southern food staple meals, this is a great option. To name a few: fried green tomatoes, pimiento cheese, fried buttermilk chicken, shrimp and grits, collards, beef short rib...does that sound good or what? Definitely head here when you need some comfort food. 

So, those are my favorite restaurants so far in Atlanta! I would love to hear if any local Atlanta readers or frequent visitors have more recommendations for our next trip...although it will be hard to peel me away from my favorites above!! 

Also, I might mention that you can follow along with our store on instagram @deegeesnc... and, exciting news- we are working on our website so we can finally reach our customers far and away that only get to visit us during the busy summer season. This store is over 80 years old and I am so proud to be a part of it! Please do follow along for more updates, I promise there is something cute for everyone!! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week Three/New Rug

Welcome back to the One Room Challenge, already at Week Three! If you are just joining me, I am Katie...a wife and mom that loves renovating and styling our home. For this challenge, we are making over our living room. This is where we spend most of our relaxation time in the needs to be functional for our family yet I am so ready for it to be tidy and presentable.

You can catch up easily here:

And, see my other One Room Challenges here: DEN and HALL BATHROOM.

Last week was definitely a more productive week than this one! We both were out of town for the majority of it, which left little time for much progress. We did figure a few things out though, so here we go.

First up, we got a rug! Rugs always give me a hard time and what I need is a tall order. It has to be large, affordable, able to be professionally cleaned, fairly light in color {to match our golden retrievers copious amounts of hair} and comfortable under foot! I decided on this one and it got delivered at the end of last week.

So far, so good. I like the amount of cushioning/pile. The only downfall is that I can already see a few minor snags {likely from the dogs} because it a wool hooked rug. Until I can afford a Karastan this is pretty much my best option and I am happy with it.

The other thing we figured out is our toy storage issue! While I am still set on adding some bookcases into the living room, we {as in Stephen} made some changes in the adjoining room and den. It's a long post but let's just leave it at we will now have some more toy storage making it not necessary for the living room. I'm very excited about this and hope to have the room pulled together so you can see that part next week as well.

Luckily, we have a weekend at home and are hoping to knock more things off of our to-do list! 
Here is the master plan:
More throw pillows {always nice to list the easiest and fun things first}
Add toy storage
Fix ottoman situation
Decide on shelving to the left and right of the fireplace {should it match?!}
New lamps / Decide about painting end tables
Switch out sofa
Switch out drapes and rods
Add paneling detail over fireplace
Update fireplace surround?! May not be an option {its gone!}
Find a new rug

Now, head on over to see everyone's progress in the One Room Challenge here and here!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Love

Happy Fall Y'all! 
We are finally getting to temperatures that -somewhat- resemble fall here. I really love the in between seasons with the mild temps- spring and fall are my faves! And since we are half way through October it is so nice to be able to wear jeans and long sleeve shirts with out sweating your way to a heat stroke! #southprobs

My Next Cookie...
So I tried my hand at "healthy cookies" this week. My first and last experience! They looked sooo good and perfect in the recipe post I followed...then there were mine. I won't link the recipe and I certainly will spare you a photo of my sad cookies. However, they tasted overall really good. I just can't see myself spending the time to make them again. So, these are next on my list for when I feel the urge to make cookies again! Any recipe with the words "Neiman Marcus" in it is ok in my book:)

The fair is here! I know I went a ton as a kid but my most fond memories of the fair are actually from my adult years! Almost every year since I have known Stephen, we take a trip to the fair mainly for the food. This all is because his sweet, adorable late Grandma used to make the biscuits for the Apex Lions Club {community volunteer, not a carnival person!} She and her friend Monty would make thousands of biscuits a day and we would go see her hard at work...and since then, my favorite stop has always been to get one of their ham biscuits. They aren't the same since she is no longer with us, but still...gotta go get one. Make sure you go by the Lions Club for me if you go! Stephen's favorite stop is the Wisconsin Fried Cheese, so go get some of that too! Oh, and if you have a minute...check out this sweet video on Stephen's Grandma...

State Fair 2013- Weeks' First!

One Room Challenge...
If you missed it, we are participating again in a fabulous One Room Challenge! Last week we marked a few things off our list, but we are still a long way from done. Catch up here and indulge in reading about so many other rooms that are being made over! 

Design Love...
I am obsessed with this dining room. I may or may not be scheming my next project after the ORC is finished up. Stay tuned because that is going to be a lengthy post!

Linking up to Five on Friday and Friday Favorites at Meet At The Barre! I'll be traveling this weekend so follow along on instagram to see what I'm up to! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week Two + How To Add Fireplace Trim

Welcome back to the One Room Challenge over here! If you are just joining me, I am Katie...a wife and mom that loves renovating and styling our home. For this challenge, we are making over our living room. This is where we spend most of our relaxation time in the needs to be functional for our family yet I am aching for it to be tidy and presentable.

You can catch up easily here:

And, see my other One Room Challenges here: DEN and HALL BATHROOM.

 We were busy bees this weekend working on various projects all at once. Here is a quick outline of what we worked on {most of the house was turned upside down for days!}
-Added Trim to Fireplace
-Switched out sofa
-Switched out drapes

So let's catch up!

It was a little tricky figuring out how we could add the trim above the fireplace. Hopefully this will make sense as I explain our predicament! We already had crown molding and the husband put his foot down with not removing it to add the trim. It would have been a pain...point taken. Most moldings and trims are a thicker piece of wood than what is at the base of the crown, so none of those would have matched up and looked appropriate. Basically, we needed something about 1/4" thick that could blend with bottom ledge of the crown. We almost threw in the towel after looking at trims for an hour and as we were walking out of Lowes, we came up with a game plan. We found pre-cut strips of poplar that were 4 feet long that we could piece together to make our fireplace trim. Once we got home, Stephen cut them down into the exact lengths we needed. Here is what it looks like now:

Here is Stephen using the nail gun to attach the trim...

I made this graphic so you could easily see the order of how the trim went up. Stephen made really precise measurements to make sure the pieces met up as accurately as possible and they really fit like a glove. I think the order was key in making it fit as tightly as possible. Note: Pieces 3 and 6 are wider than all other pieces to add some weight to the design.

How To Add Trim Above Fireplace

Here it is after the wood was all up:

I caulked every edge {huge believer in the power of caulk, especially in an old house}...Then I filled the joints and the nail holes with wood putty and sanded once dry. 

And primed...

And gave it two coats of semi-gloss trim paint. Here is a close up of the wall. I still have to touch up the wall paint, as you can see.

OH. And did you notice anything else?! The old brass fireplace surround is gone. Done. It was in terrible shape and was just a big old eyesore. Huge difference! Stephen said it came out pretty painlessly with removing several screws.

We joked around that the trim project was almost too easy...or maybe we are just getting smarter with our DIY's! ;)

Next up, we took the old sofa that had seen better days to the consignment shop and took down the drapes and rods. I really lucked out because my parents are currently building a new beach house and they are not using some of the furniture from the old house. They had three, beautiful sets of heavy linen drapes and also a wonderful slipcovered sofa that they were not going to be using. I was practically jumping up and down to have a new sofa. The old one had many mishaps, too many spills, a candle soot incident, and endless pet stains from a certain puggle that insists on stretching out on it. I've pretty much come to the conclusion we need to be a slipcover only family for the time being! I'm loving the the layered neutrals with subtle textures!!

I washed the slipcovers to get them really clean, let them air dry, and it is as good as new.
 I'm over the moon.

That is all for me this week! Feeling good about what we have accomplished but we have plenty more on our list before this room is complete. 

Here is the master plan:
More throw pillows {always nice to list the easiest and fun things first}
Add toy storage
Fix ottoman situation
Decide on shelving to the left and right of the fireplace {should it match?!}
New lamps / Decide about painting end tables
Switch out sofa
Switch out drapes and rods
Add paneling detail over fireplace
Update fireplace surround?! May not be an option {its gone!}
Find a new rug

Make sure to check out the ORC here, and the linking participants here. Thanks for reading along!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bootie Favorites + Classic Nude Pump

In case you didn't hear the exciting news, Shopbop is hosting their annual 25% off sale {on everything!} which is pretty exciting. Everyone is in a frenzy over it since it is such an amazing deal! Since I am really in need of new boots or booties, I did a little round up of my favorites. With the discount you can get a nice, quality pair of shoes for a decent price.

Also worth mentioning: I searched high and low for the perfect pair of nude pumps for my brother's wedding. I had gone to one too many weddings with an uncomfortable pair of shoes and I did not feel like dealing with that issue again. Not only are these adorable, they are comfortable given the height and versatile enough for so many other occasions!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dare I Say...Another One Room Challenge

Ok, I have gone back and forth on this umpteen times since I saw Linda's announcement that it was already time for another One Room Challenge. I feel like I am just now recovered from pulling our hall bath together {it was a doozie}! If you haven't heard of the One Room Challenge before, it is a six week challenge to transform a room from top to bottom. If you are new to Miss Dixie, I am a wife, Mom and design/diy/home lover! I have transformed two spaces with the One Room Challenge so far- the den and the hall bathroom.

If you have been reading a while you know my fits over my living room and are probably tired of hearing me talk about how I really want this room to come together {yet I never do anything about it}! Well, I decided I'm going to give it an honest shot and see what happens. Instead of cleaning this room up and making the photos look decent, I left it in it's natural state....sorry in advance.

Here is where things get out of hand: the toys. Must find toy storage. That ottoman is really not ideal to be there, we actually have two of them that came with our chairs. Ottomans are great but we don't have space for these oversized versions. And, I know you love my 80's fireplace surround. Don't be jealous.

Our TV is to the left of the fireplace. I feel like the room would be more balanced if it was over the fireplace, but then again do I want that? I know it would be complicated with running wires to boxes and whatnot. I also love having a mantel that is pretty instead of a TV. What do you think? And the shelving here is looking way out of proportion, too small.

This is the wall to the right of the fireplace...empty.

This is looking at the entryway, which I will tie in with this room. I started it's makeover this summer and its essentially almost done...

Whoa, way too much clutter for my little mind!

Here is the basic plan:
More throw pillows {always nice to list the easiest and fun things first}
Add toy storage
Fix ottoman situation
Decide on shelving to the left and right of the fireplace {should it match?!}
New lamps / Decide about painting end tables
Switch out sofa
Switch out drapes and rods
Add paneling detail over fireplace
Update fireplace surround?! May not be an option 

Should be fun right? Hope you will follow along and check out everyone else as well here and here. Most addictive time of the year!

Xo, Katie

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A New Look

I realized recently it was time for a new look here on the blog...I was craving something fresh, clean and streamlined. I also know how my tastes tend to change {sometimes quickly!} so I went with this design that was affordable, yet chic and fresh. I wanted a design that would show off my posts rather than the all the other things going on around it and I am really happy with it so far. I am still tweaking things and doing a little bit of re-organization to get it just right where I want it.

I thought this was a decent time to re-introduce myself again and give you a little peek into my background. I am married to Stephen- my best friend and true love...we have one sweet, adorable son, Weeks who is 2.5 years old {how is that possible!} and we also have two dogs: Dixie, a puggle, and Tucker, our golden retriever. We live on the coast of North Carolina and are one year into a fixer upper home that was in desperate need of renovating. I mostly blog about our home projects, interior design, recipes that I love, our family, fashion and anything that inspires me! You will notice on my sidebar those categories are tabbed for easy access. Blogs and interests and life just changes over time and this is no exception. After years of blogging I'm still really trying to figure out where I fit in! Anything else you all want to see on here? What do you think about the new design?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Simple Fall Tablescape

Today I am sharing a really simple fall tablescape I put together for our dining room. I actually started out with something much more elaborate and after looking at it for a day or two, I realized it was way too fussy and I paired it down and added some natural elements instead. I think my favorite part is the bright fall colors popping against the white and blue. Lesson learned for me- don't over think it!

I love a reason to pull out my Tobacco Leaf plates!

I covered few books with some fabric for a little pattern and trimmed some fresh magnolia from the yard..

The only thing I did to our bar cart was organize it! 

I keep the Welsh love spoon on our bar cart from my dear friend's wedding...

I tried to keep clear and green bottles on the top shelf and yellow/gold tones on the bottom. It looks so much better organized.

I can easily put this together again if I need to since it was so simple!

I keep tassels on the lamps- they are not pulls but they just hang on the switch.

Hope you all are inspired for something easy, fresh and cheery for Fall!