Image Map

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Las Vegas Light

When Michael's sister moved out to Las Vegas last August, we were sad to send her off to such a far away place but we also thought... Score! An awesome excuse to go on a Vegas Vacation!

But here's a fact that probably won't surprise you: Vegas has never been high on our list of places we have wanted to go.   But, guess what?  We loved it! So let me tell you about how we did Vegas, Blough Style...We'll call it Las Vegas Light. 

We are super thankful for having Jenelle and Junior host us for the week.  They were gracious hosts for allowing us to stay at their apartment and show us around their new stompin' grounds.

The nicest part about this vacation was it was was super chill.  We only had about three things that we absolutely wanted to do and see: See Jenelle's classroom, go to the Hoover Dam, and see the Las Vegas Strip.  So it was really great to spend 5 days doing those things and then casually deciding how else we were going to spend our time in Vegas.

The first full day of the trip we went to the Hoover Dam. Guess whose idea that was?  Yep! The other half of this blog's name: the nerd.

But it's not like I was against it! We had heard so many people say good things about the Hoover Dam, we just had to check it out.

It's only about an hour from Vegas so it is an easy day trip to make.  We highly recommend the extended tour.  You get to go deep inside the dam and the tour guide we had was fantastic! Well worth the $30 per person - especially if you are someone interested in engineering or American history.  Or if you are just a person. You'd probably like it too.  It was really good.
Although, I don't know if we can give quite the same blanket rave reviews about the museum that they have before you go on the tour.  It was hit or miss.

 Nerd Approved. 
Non-nerd not-so-approved. 

On Monday we went to Jenelle's classroom.  She teaches the 4th grade.  She won most creative for her "magic tree house" door decorations! Congrat's girl! I'm sure Ball State will be calling soon to film you and your door for one of those Education Redefined commercials.  Better keep the line open.

But seriously.  I love the ladder.  
It was really fun to see her classroom and hear about her kids.  It sounded like she has learned a lot this first year as a teacher.  The picture on the right is Jenelle and some of her reading buddies that she has for the kids to use during reading time.  Have you guys ever heard of Skippyjon Jones?  Neither had we but there may or may not have been an impromptu reading time in the classroom where we were introduced to him (the actual 4th graders were on spring break, it was just us).  I like him....for being a cat, or was he a chihuahua?  I'm still a little confused about that. 

Another thing we did was hit up some thrift stores in Vegas.  You know me, I love a good thrift store but it was a bit frustrating when the only thing feasible for me to buy needed to be able to fit in my suitcase.

But boundaries are probably a good thing to be added to my life so... I bought this scarf.  Because, you know, I have only, like, a couple (or 10) scarves.  Boundaries.  And wouldn't you know we just didn't have room in the suitcase for Michael to buy this shirt he found.  Darn suitcase weight restrictions! 

Ain't no boundary high enough or far enough to keep me from a ReStore! And look at this one we found in Las Vegas! And oh the things I would have purchased if I could have fit them on the plane!...
So. Much. Good. Stuff. SO MUCH! If you live in Las Vegas, would you do me a favor and go buy all the photo'd items.  The varying shades of sea glass tiles, the adorable coffee mugs, the lockers, the coolest headboards, this mirror, a $150 west elm pebble rug, this storage ottoman, and these tufted stools.  *Sigh* I have to move on now because I'm getting sad...

One night we went to Old Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street.  The cool thing about Fremont Street is that several blocks of the street are covered in a canopy of light bulbs that produce a dazzling light show.

The bad part about Fremont Street was that there were a lot of other "shows" going on (not pictured), if you know what I mean.  Was Downtown Las Vegas cool to see? Yes.  Would I go back next time I'm in Las Vegas?  No.  Not really our scene.

The next place we went was much more up our alley.  It was my favorite part of the trip.

Jenelle casually mentioned, "oh yeah.  There is this place called Red Rock Canyon that some people recommended.  They said there is a scenic drive that is really pretty.  I think it will only take about an hour once we get there.  Then we'll head to The Strip for the rest of the day."

"Ok!" we all agreed. 

Well none of us were expecting this.
This beautiful mountainous, desert-ous park! Oh if only we had packed our hiking shoes!!
Nevertheless, we made the most of what we were able to do!

 Can you tell we were blissfully unprepared for our surroundings.  

Red Rock Canyon?... We WILL be back WITH our hiking shoes.

Five hours later,on our last night in Vegas, we finally ended up on the Las Vegas Strip.   The first thing we did was hit up Madam Tussauds's Wax Museum.
Wax Museums = taking ridiculous pictures= our idea of a good time.
There were just too many so I had to pick my favorites. Because this blog post is getting out of hand.
After we were all cheesed out, we hit the strip.  We saw the volcano show at the Mirage.  We ate gelato at the Venetian.  We stood in awe of the beautiful hotels and their gleaming chandeliers.
I had to pull my one dollar bill out of a kiwi that some street magician had magically placed there. Wish we had gotten a picture of that! We saw Caesar's palace and all the anatomically correct statues. 
And we finally ended up at the Bellagio's fountain show.  We did not see all of the strip because we were exhausted, thirsty, and frankly, getting a little h-angry.
So we stopped at the stand-out restaurant from the whole week. Lola's - A Louisiana Restaurant.  We sat outside and we did what I always love to do when a vacation is coming to an end.  We played the favorites game.  Favorite activity, favorite thing you saw, favorite food, favorite hilarious moment. It helps to seal the memories, I think. 

Have you ever been to Vegas?  To the Hoover Dam? Red Rock Canyon?  How do you seal up your memories at the end of a trip? 

Don't miss a beat.  
{Follow this blog on Bloglovin'}

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Come to the River.

 Peach Bud 2014 Update: I keep forgetting to pass on the bad news about the peaches.  Sorry guys, those little peach buds are toast.  Thanks a lot mother nature. 

If you don't know what that means, read this post.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Today, I thought I would share the special art project Michael and I have been working on for the dining room.

I will post the tutorial later (lots of funny things) but I wanted to talk about the meaning behind this today, on Easter.

The words are from a song by the Rhett Walker Band, here is the music video.

If you can't see the video, here is the link

It's a song I heard for the first time our church awhile back and just loved it.  What a perfect message and fitting theme for our home...since, after all, we are on the river.

But, as you can probably guess, the meaning is a bit deeper than that...

The word Fulfillment became a keyword for me in college. One of the biggest questions I had during this time was "Where in my life do I find fulfillment?" Reflecting on this question, I didn't find the answer in my school work, or my job, or the things I had, or my friendships, or even in Michael.  There was really only one answer I could find that left every want and desire of my heart filled. 

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

So this little plaque on the wall? It is there as a reminder, that when I drink from the cup of Christ, I will thirst no more for the things that cannot truly fulfill me. Because only He is enough to quench the truest desires of my heart.
Praise be to the One that died for us and Hallelujah because He is risen!

Happy Easter.

Don't miss a beat.  
{Follow this blog on Bloglovin'}

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Finding a Vision

So I had a couple of different ideas about this week's blog post.  But then I got this question from Ashley:

"I was going to ask you how you come up with a vision for a room. I've started keeping a folder of ideas, but I'm not sure where one goes from there. Did you draw your plans up? Did it come together gradually as you went?"
What an awesome question! And thanks for asking it Ashley! I would say yes, as you guys who have been following this blog for a while now know, it definitely comes together gradually. 
I'm no interior designer, and I also don't think you have to be one or have to have one to have a beautiful home.  What you do have to have is a vision.  Here's how I get mine...


1. Devour images.  

This one is a no-brainer (and one you are already doing Ashley!).  Ever since I was little I remember loving houses. I had a house plan catalog that I looked through over and over again picking out my dream homes.  I used to -still do sometimes- steal my mom's Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living magazines and claim them as my own.  But now, I mainly get my inspirational images from Pinterest, Houzz, and blogs (Young House Love, Hooked on Houses, The Lettered Cottage, and View Along the Way just to name some of my favorites). 

2. Like what you like. 

The nice thing about pinterest is that you can save any image that strikes you.  For me, I have a board for every room/area of the house: kitchen, bath, bedroom, living room, dining room, basement, entry/mudroom, laundry/craft.  Not to mention a board for furniture/lighting and fabric/paint/tile.  So as I have accumulated images that I like on these boards, I am "pin" pointing my style.  I can go in, look at the collection of images and look for repeating elements of things that have caught my eye.  A good example of this is my bathroom pinterest board.  I have pinned a whole lot of white subway tile, a whole lot of white beadboard wainscoting, and a whole lot of old farmhouse touches.  A girl likes what she likes.  And by creating a pinterest board that is focused on one room, I was able to narrow in on elements (subway tile, bead board, and farmhouse touches) of the room that I am really drawn to - these are the things I incorporated into the room. 

3.  Use your words. 

 If you look at my living room pinterest board, you might notice that it does not have a nicely organized theme like the bathroom board does.  So what's a girl to do if she pins away and doesn't find a good direction?  Ask yourself how you want the room to make you feel? How do you want others to feel in the room? My answer:  I want it to be casual, comfortable, light.  With those words in mind, I move forward.  We needed furniture?  We bought a slipcover sofa and love seat because, well, it doesn't get much more comfortable and casual than slip covered furniture.  We did buy the charcoal-ish grey color, which is not so much light as it is dark, but we can balance it out with light colored pillows, a light rug, and a lighter wall color, not to mention plenty of lighting - natural and otherwise. 

4. Know the room.  

Every room of our house comes with it's own challenges and quirks. To help me find a direction for our living room, I have to know the room - focal points, strengths, weaknesses.  Knowing these things about the living room allows me to come up with a game plan for highlighting the strengths and remedying/hiding the weaknesses.

Focal point: Front window view of the river, TV (cringe.), and fireplace.  We arranged the furniture in such a way that allows you to enjoy any of the focal points.

Strengths: Open to the kitchen and dining room - great for entertaining.  Pretty molding around openings and window.  Fireplace. Great view.  We will be coordinating the color schemes with the kitchen and dining room to ensure the rooms feel connected and congruent.  We definitely plan to paint the walls -this will make the molding pop!  We also enhanced the fireplace mantel to give it more presence.

Weaknesses: Slightly narrow. Difficult to find a place for the TV.  No storage.  

Since the room is slightly narrow, we purchased fairly petite furniture to save on space.  I have been fighting the idea of putting the TV directly above the fireplace, but to maintain symmetry, I'm afraid I have no choice.  Some day we plan to build book shelves on both sides of the fireplace to increase storage.  I also like the idea of storage ottomans and some type of console to store things in.  Then of course there are decorative boxes and baskets that help too.  I'm on the hunt....

5.  Find a jumping off point for color. 

The one that does it best is Sarah Richardson.  She's my favorite designer.  She has an HGTV show called Sarah's House.  Have you seen it?  Oh I've watched each season probably three times.  At the beginning stage of designing a room she, and her sidekick Tommy, will find one fabric and then work the whole room around that.  Many times, my first instinct is to pick out my paint color first.  Don't do it Laura, you'll just regret it girl. So this time, with the living room, I didn't.  I went neutral with the furniture to start with and then I've been searching for something to inspire me.  I looked at fabric for window treatments but have been coming up short.  Then, the other day, I found pillows on at a shop called Pillow Fight. The great thing about this pillow is, is that it has awesome colors that can be pulled out in other ways - my jumping off point.

6. Texture, pattern, shine, fun.

Furniture and color do not make a room.  To me, a truly interesting room has a mixture of patterns, textures, and finishes.  And lets not forget to add something fun that makes people know it's yours!

I love the beadboard texture intermixed  throughout our home. The pattern in our dining room curtains makes me smile.The mixture of the oil rubbed bronze, stainless steal, and copper finishes that are in our dining room and kitchen bring a nice shine.  And the fun?... well, I'm working on that. 

So I hope that helps Ashley! I would say those are my basic processes for going about decorating a room and finding a vision.

What are your tips for finding a vision for a room?  What is usually your jumping off point?  What are three words that you'd like to use to describe your home? 

Don't miss a beat.  
{Follow this blog on Bloglovin'}