Our first home // Inspiration

she’s a beaut!

We close on our new house TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! Crazy to think that in just the two months since we’ve been married, we have moved in together, put our money together, I’ve changed my name, and we’ve gone through the home buying process to move in to our first house.

I love to decorate and search online for home decor ideas – of course I have several lists of what needs to be done in each room, what items I’d like to buy, or at least the look and feeling I’m going for. The new house has 4 bedrooms, so we have plenty to work with! The downstairs is all completely open concept with a covered back porch and a big back yard for the doggies. We already have a lot of items and furniture, but when you think about filling a house, it helps to take it room by room to try to figure everything out.

The big change will be our living room! Like I said, the downstairs is open concept, so it’s the living room/dining area/kitchen all in one. I love it, but I do want to try to make sure it feels like there are different spaces, which I think we can do. We already have a kitchen table with bench chairs and a rug to go under it to kind of divide the space, so that part is done. But we are purchasing basically a whole new living room, which is SO exciting! The couch and chair that we have now have been handed down and are very old, the dogs have lived on them, several different people and houses have had them, and I’ve had them for about 5 years now! So we are getting a new L-shaped sectional with a chaise lounge (yay!!!), all new coffee tables and end tables, and a TV stand that all match. We also got a recliner that looks really nice and comfy, and a large ivory shag rug to put on the wood floor underneath all of that, so that part can feel like a completed room! I can’t wait to get everything in there and see how it all looks!

I really love a cozy room with everything in its place – I am a little bit of an organization freak so when I think about decorating a room, I am also considering functionality in addition to comfort and visual appeal! I guess I would classify my decor style as industrial farmhouse or modern farmhouse – I love the comfort and softness of the farmhouse style, but I like to bring in a little edge with metal and wood accents for things like side tables, wall decor, lamps, or other accessories.

So without further ado, here are my inspiration ideas for our new home! I also had to google it to make sure it wasn’t “further adieu” rather than “ado,” but it turns out I was right. Feeling pretty good about that.

coffee table/end table set with tv stand, couch, recliner, table lamp, plant, floor lamp, mirror

The coffee table set is currently out of stock but Wayfair offers similar styles underneath it! We got it on super sale. Furniture is expensive! But these pieces are sturdy and will last a long time with any type of decor. The couch has wonderful reviews and was a GREAT price. I did a LOT of research on items and prices and compared before making any decisions, so I hope this couch is all it was cracked up to be! We also got a shag rug from Amazon for the space, and the cream sectioned mirror (or something similar) will go above our fireplace! Love the gold lamps and plant, but haven’t pulled the trigger on those yet.

lamp base + shade, bench with storage, standing mirror, dresser, plant, map

We already have a set of furniture for the bedroom, but if we need an extra dresser, the white one pictured is affordable and looks similar (from IKEA). Our bed is a navy upholstered platform bed like the one pictured, and we already have a floor standing mirror from the wedding that we’ll use! We want a storage bench but I know Home Goods has them all the time so it may be less expensive there.

rose chair, cube storage

I LOVE this rose chair and first saw it when Lauren Bown posted it to her blog. I’ve been obsessed ever since! We have a gift card to World Market from the wedding, so if it’s okay with Andrew I really want to use it for this chair! I can just see a cute little pillow on it with a blanket tossed carelessly meticulously¬†across. I already have a white desk and chair almost exactly like the picture, and we already have the white cube storage, too. And it will be nice to finally have a functional space to have my white filing cabinet so I can do some real adulting ūüôā

side tables, bench, lamp, mirror, plant, wall sconce

I LOVE the feeling of all of these items together. The dresser in the picture is VERY expensive, but we will paint a dresser we already have that was my grandmama’s. I think we’ll paint it a similar minty color, which will be much less money with the same vibe! I am loving the round mirror for above the dresser, and the gold accent tables and accessories will be a nice contrast to Andrew’s wooden bed frame we have that his great grandfather built! So our guest room will have items from both sides of our family ūüôā I like this neutral gauzy bedding¬†because it looks clean and cozy. I put a lot of thought into making the guest room somewhere that I would love to stay, with any needs covered. Our family and friends will be staying here – people we love the most – so I want to make sure it is a cozy retreat with storage for all of their things and the comforts of home.

So those are some of my ideas! Obviously it will take time, and that’s ¬† r ¬†e ¬†a ¬†l ¬†l ¬†y ¬† hard for me because I really ¬†just want everything to be done immediately. We have a lot of work to do on the yard, we will have to decorate all of the walls, etc. and then little things need to come into place like the guest bathroom and downstairs bathroom, garage and laundry room and pantry storage‚Ķthe list goes on! But I cannot wait to be settled into our new home and working on all of these projects!

School days + Friyay feels

I say it every year, but I cannot BELIEVE we are already back to another new school year! The summer flew by and we have had so much going on that I feel like this school year came out of nowhere and is already knocking me on my butt. BUT (see what I did there?) I am so excited to get back into a regular routine and tackle some major goals this year!

This year, I am going for my National Board certification! I have 2 friends at school doing it with me, and 1 friend in another county who will be going through the process, as well. I am anxious and scared but excited for the challenge. In addition to that huge undertaking, I will have a student teacher this year for the first time ever! I am incredibly excited about that because I had the most wonderful cooperating teacher when I was in college, and I hope that I will be able to give some meaningful experience, advice, and confidence to another future educator. Lord knows we need them! All that on top of being Department Chair again, leading a club, and serving on a few other teams/committees for the school and county. It’s a lot! I got this dress from Old Navy for the first day of school and I am excited to pair it with some blush suede heels that Whitney let me borrow! I got the dress in black floral. I’m sure I’ll also rock my wedding date bar necklace because it’s one of my favorite daily accessories!

In other news, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! Well, we haven’t bought it¬†yet, I guess – but we will close at the end of September. Just in time for my birthday! I am ELATED to be able to finally have our own HOME with a big back yard with a fence for the doggies to run around in. More details to come on the house later, as things progress and as we navigate all the extreme adulting that needs to occur between now and having it finished and ready for living in! I can’t wait to decorate and start making everything cozy! I know Andrew is dreaming of all the things he can do with the yard.

our little slice of heaven ūüôā

Another exciting piece of information this week is that one of my favorite bloggers of all time who I have been following for FOREVER is opening an online shop on Monday! I cannot WAIT to be able to stalk check it out! Her style is so classic and easy and I can’t wait to check out all the everyday goodies coming my way for an AFFORDABLE price!

That’s about it for me! There’s a football game tonight so I’ll go watch our school play and Andrew coach (he’s QB coach this year and will continue to coach JV baseball in the spring). Saturday my sister will be in town (!!!) and that’s fun since I haven’t seen her since she moved to Charlotte! Then going to Whitney’s for some girl time and yummy food cooked by her talented husband Romain. Hopefully a lazy and relaxed Sunday!

I will be in school/life/marriage/football coach wife/house buying/decorating mode for the next little bit, so things are going to be crazy‚ĶI think maybe we’re at the point in our lives where things just are continually crazy and you just keep saying how crazy they are and asking yourself if this is what life is like as an adult?! Haha! But all good things ūüôā Happy Friday, happy weekend, and happy first day of school to all my teacher friends starting up a new year on Monday!

Apartment tour // our little patio!

One of my favorite things about our new apartment (besides our coffee bar) is our outdoor patio! I got spoiled with a huge patio at my last apartment, and the patio at my new apartment doesn’t disappoint! I love the way everything came together.

The idea for our patio “feeling” came from this little corner unit my sister had…

before

We couldn’t find a place for the little corner unit. We didn’t have a lot of corners to put it in that weren’t already crowded. It was also dark brown and just didn’t really go with the idea we wanted for our home. My sister Emily suggested painting it like we did the coffee bar, and we finally came up with what you see here! We just wanted some little succulents and a few herbs, and the cacti were an added bonus when we started shopping – clearly we are hopping on this trend here.

We went to Home Depot and grabbed some more of the Seaside spray paint that we used for the coffee bar project, a tarp, some gold spray paint, and all of our plants!

little buddies

When we got home, we laid out the tarp and got to spraying!¬†I am an absolute baby when it comes to the summer heat here in NC. Like, I literally just can’t get over it even after almost 30 years. You don’t want to catch me when I’m getting ready and start sweating in hair & makeup. But these little DIY projects were SO worth it! We sprayed two coats, letting it dry between each one. Then, my sister used the gold spray paint and a paint brush and hand brushed some spots on the plant stand to add some flair.

my beautiful and talented sister emily

We ordered two sets of these planters on Amazon and one set of these, and the gray planters came from Home Depot! After transferring all of our plants to their new homes, we set everything up on our plant stand in the corner of our patio where they will get some great indirect sunlight!

my absolute favorite thing about the patio!

The market lights, love seat, coffee table, and decorative tray were from my old apartment, so we didn’t have to buy anything new for our patio except for paint and plants. Emily also had the bistro table set from her old place in D.C. and we re-stained and treated that to be an outdoor set.

I am loving this little spot already, but I know we will get a ton of use out of this outdoor space when the weather cools off a little bit in the fall!

thanks to my handsome fella andrew for hanging lights for me again

Apartment tour // bedroom

I love the feel of a mostly white bedroom. It just feels so calming and peaceful. The only issue is that I have 2 dogs that I can’t stand love having on my bed. So I usually bleach my comforter once a week to keep it looking nice and white! It’s also important to me to have a cozy, fluffy, inviting bed. That’s where I spend a lot of my time working on the blog, relaxing, and sleeping, so it has to be a happy place!

i always like to have a book or my kindle by the bed

that picture on the left is from way back in college…look at that white hair!

i’ve had that candle for so many years. i probably should have used a new one for this picture, but this is real life, people. you’re getting the real me who has a burned up old candle by the bed.

i used to have a matching lamp on both sides…but oliver ate the cord to one of them. literally ate it.

Since I’m not made of money, I couldn’t really afford a whole new bedroom decor look for the new apartment, so I just had to use what I had and switch things around. I’m happy with the way things came out, and as I can add little new pieces in here and there, I will!

when i accepted the smaller room, i didn’t realize there was no ceiling fan. i bought that standing fan from amazon and it has been a life saver this summer!

i shut the door to take pictures of the bookshelf and oliver got his feelings hurt. the corgi print on the¬†wall is from my best friend’s¬†fianc√©,¬†romain. he’s a keeper!

more candles i’ve had forever + favorite books (my old adviser wrote the teen life textbook and gave it to me as a gift when i graduated!)

all my yoga books from teacher training/gifts, coffee books from when i wanted to start a coffee shop, and all my notebooks for allllll the lists. goals and dreams, man.

My sister had the white bookshelf from IKEA in her old apartment. It doesn’t really fit anywhere else in our apartment now (our living room is awkwardly shaped and my couch is way too big for the space at the moment), so I stuck it behind my bedroom door and I’ve been happy with it! It has a mix of mine and my sister’s books and it gave me some extra space for my laptop, notebooks, and a couple of decor items.

eventually i’ll beg andrew to mount my tv, but for now, this works.

pretty little things (always a nice touch to have chocolates lying around!)

my rustic corner! shelves from target, picture frame was a gift from andrew (the picture is from the first time he helped me move! what a guy.) the j is from my friend kelly (i think target), and the leap quote you can read about here. 

just rounding everything out and coming full circle with a picture of the doggies on my bed!

As mentioned in my last apartment tour from the old apartment, all of my bedroom furniture is from Ashley Furniture (except for the IKEA bookshelf).

So that’s my room! Finally (mostly) complete. Not pictured: ¬†The corner of my down comforter Bruno chewed and I held together with a binder clip until I could sew it. Also not pictured: ¬†The corners of every pillow case and the corners of my sheets that are chewed off.¬†I’m starting to sense a pattern here…

Apartment tour // bathroom

shower curtain & bath mats from Marshall’s, rolling cart from IKEA

Moving in to my new apartment with my sister was really exciting except for one small issue: ¬†the bathroom connected to my bedroom has very little storage. I knew I’d have to get clever.

I started searching for a rolling storage cart. I felt like that could be cute and affordable without being clunky like a cabinet or a unit with drawers. I went to my usual hangouts – Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx. I found a few, especially a mint colored one that I loved, but couldn’t believe the prices! We are talking $80 and up for a 3-tier metal cart with wheels. I couldn’t justify it.¬†I started looking online and found this IKEA rolling storage cart. I scooped it up – it was the perfect solution! I was able to order it online, it was much less than the ones I had seen at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, and it was easy to put together (although I have to admit, Andrew put it together for me. I’m sure I was busy doing something very important, like petting the doggies). I also love this mint colored one from Michael’s, that of course I’m just finding now, months later, when I already purchased my beige one. No hard feelings or anything, of course.

I rolled up some towels on the bottom tier of the rolling cart – my other towels are on a shelf in my closet, but these are there when I need them or if I have guests. I also made sure my bath items were easily accessible, because I do have a big garden tub perfect for soaks! I love Dr. Teal’s bubble bath and epsom salt soak. I keep a pretty good stash of toilet paper in my bathroom, too. I don’t have the space for it under my sink, so I had to find a way to make it look nice just sitting out. At least a guest will never have to panic when the toilet paper runs out! Finally, on the top rack of the rolling cart, I have my daily faves and things that I use constantly when getting ready or getting out of the shower: ¬†My favorite lotion, nighttime skin care cream, deodorant, lip balm, brush/comb, argan oil for my hair, q-tips, makeup brushes, and hair ties/bobby pins.¬†The beat up old vanity chair was my Nana’s. One day I might re-cover it, but I kind of love the cracked seat and aged look; it reminds me of being a little girl at my Nana’s house, dreaming of sitting and doing my hair and makeup like a grown up one day.

At my sink area, I like to keep things pretty clean and simple. I just have a tray on the edge of the counter with my perfumes and a small tea light candle. The vase is old from anthropologie and it holds the first rose Andrew ever got me! My perfumes are Kate Spade Walk on Air, Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs, and Lolita Lempicka, which I have worn on and off since college, maybe even high school. The soap container I have is from Marshall’s a long time ago, but I love the way it looks and I love the fact that I can just refill it and it looks nicer than a regular old soap bottle.

In my under sink storage (not pictured), I have stacked storage on metal racks from the dollar store. It is a lot of bins:  All of my cleaning supplies, my travel supplies and makeup bags, all of my nail polish colors and manicure/pedicure tools, etc. I have a long rectangular bin that holds all of my hair supplies Рflat iron, hair dryer, curling iron and curling wands, hair spray, mousse, etc. Then I have my two drawers full of extra shower gels, sunscreens, lotions, toothbrushes, and my makeup.

my daily face + all my other makeup

And I can’t forget my favorite bathroom item, Bruno! He loves to lay down on the cold floor and watch me get ready wait until I’m not looking so he can chew the corners of my bath mats.

not as innocent as he looks

That’s it! Both hanging items on the walls were gifts, and the long white shelf and picture frame are from Target. I’m so happy with the bright shower curtain and pops of white!

Apartment tour // My happy place

If you know me, you know I ¬†¬†l ¬†o ¬†v ¬†e ¬†¬†coffee. I have been drinking it regularly ever since I was in high school, and even remember being a little girl and having my parents or nana pour me some “coffee” like theirs – which was mostly milk and sugar with a splash of coffee. As an adult I feel tricked, but I get it. Coffee isn’t for children.

My sister and I have been working on making our apartment decorated and homey. I decided to post some apartment tours of my favorite spaces in our new place, so here is the first of many! My favorite project we have taken on so far is our coffee bar. I just love the way it turned out. It feels so¬†right. Coffee is so good.¬†Making coffee in the morning is one of my favorite rituals in the summertime. During the school year I’m usually splashing coffee down my shirt as I race out the door to get to school by 6:45am. In the summer, I can sit and enjoy a cup while I watch a show or make breakfast (or work on my blog!). My sister is a coffee lover, too, so it made sense to have a dedicated space for ours.

For our coffee bar, we used an old dresser that our mom gave us (it was our grandmother’s!). We knew we wanted storage for extra coffee k-cups, ground coffee bags, coffee mugs, etc. Why not stick our coffee mugs in a cabinet like normal people, you might ask? Because the truth is two of those drawers are full of coffee mugs, and we still have more in the cabinets. I have a slight problem, okay?!

Unfortunately, we forgot to get a before picture, so imagine a dark brown, not-so-good-looking dresser with tarnishing retro silver drawer pulls. We spray painted the dresser and distressed it a little bit to make it look worn in. Our color is Seaside – we got 2 cans at Home Depot and will use some on another project (coming soon)!¬†We ordered these drawer pulls to replace the retro silver ones that were already on the dresser. Then we recruited my boo thang to hang the shelves. The shelving and storage cube unit are from Target (duh). I’m so happy to have a place to display my Poole’s Diner cookbook! (PLEASE go there if you live in the Raleigh area and haven’t yet.)

the original drawer pulls 

the new ones!

Our coffee and cookbook area is my favorite wall in our whole apartment so far. It’s organized, right by the window, and full of happy and bright colors. The only thing missing is the small patch we missed in spray painting on the two lower legs of the coffee bar (you’re looking now, aren’t you? I cropped it out for the sake of the picture. Can’t ruin the ambiance, people!). BUT, you know‚Ķwe’re all human.

Here’s to lots of coffee drinking and finally getting set up in our new home!

 

My new digs // 2

Hello! ¬†Today I’m sharing a few more images of the new place and how we have decorated it! ¬†I can’t wait to own a house someday and turn it into a home, but right now in my life, it’s nice to have my landscaping taken care of, a pool I can go to in the summer, and maintenance issues that get handled as part of my rent cost. ¬†For now, I am happy to be in this two bedroom apartment with Lauryn and our crew (she has two cats + my corgis Bruno and Oliver!).

Here is a peek into Lauryn’s room! She always has the cutest things (and the best makeup – but that’s for another post)! Her “Bushel & a peck” wall is from her grandmother singing the song to her when she was a little girl!

All of Lauryn’s decorative items come from Steinmart, Kirkland’s, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx – and her furniture is from IKEA.¬†

Here is my bedroom! ¬†It took a lot of elbow grease to move all the furniture up the stairs, but we got it all in, and Andrew put up all my shelves and put my whole room apartment¬†together for me – such a gem! ¬†All of my furniture is from Ashley Furniture, and I don’t mean to brag, but my mattress is e v e r y t h i n g.¬†My odds and ends are mostly from – you’ll never guess it – Target, and the rest of my things are gifts from friends or bought at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Home Goods.

My bathroom is smaller than at my last apartment, but I still have plenty of space to organize all of my things.

My closet is where I keep all of my jewelry, and even though I don’t have a lot of room for activities in it, I do like to keep it feeling homey like the rest of my space. ¬†I spend plenty of time in there deliberating back and forth on what to wear and which jewelry or shoes to pair with it (I’m a libra, after all).

That’s the tour! ¬†I’m sure we’ll continue to change things up and add items as time goes on, but for now, this really feels like home!

Pictures by Whitney at J Parker Photography

My new digs // 1

View More: http://jparkerphotography.pass.us/julia-apartment-blog
Home sweet home!

If you ask me, moving is¬†one of¬†the worst things. ¬†EVER. ¬†I guess I’m “good” at moving since my type A brain won’t let a box go unlabeled or packed nicely and neatly…but it’s still a task I dread. ¬†I have moved so many times since college and beyond, and I’ve found a few tips over the years to make it easier, and even a few ways to look at the bright side of things!

With a new place to live comes the opportunity to get a few new things to spruce up the place and make it unique, comfortable, and feel like home.  However, one of my absolute favorite things about a move is that you get the chance to really de-clutter, clean out your closets, drawers, and cabinets Рand donate items to someone who may need them.

About three weeks ago, my mom, her best friend since 9th grade, and my sweet boyfriend came for the weekend to help me move out of my one bedroom apartment and into a two bedroom. ¬†We. ¬†Worked. ¬†So. Hard. ¬†So hard.¬†¬†But we did it! ¬†The new place is perfect. ¬†My boyfriend deserves a huge medal for all the work he put in…it’s so nice to have someone help with the heavy stuff (up two flights of stairs!), hang all your shelves, pictures, and wall decor, and make sure everything is level when you’re too tired and just want it finished.

IMG_2428
Enjoying some food after a long, nasty day of work! Super sweaty and looking really good.
FullSizeRender
Aunt Judi (left) and Mom (right) – typical!

My new roommate is my dear,¬†d e a r¬†friend Lauryn from college (Meredith College girls represent! ¬†She’s also a teacher!). ¬†We both need to save a few bucks, and this way we can have a permanent sleepover. ¬†We are both a little anal when it comes to having things finished right away, so we were completely moved and unpacked in one long weekend. ¬†It had to be done. ¬†But we’re loving the new place! ¬†It overlooks the pool, has a screened-in porch, updated appliances, and it is full of natural light. ¬†Here are some pictures of the common living areas (click to see them in full size) – more to come in the¬†next apartment post!

As you can see, Bruno and Oliver are adjusting well, too ūüôā ¬†They LOVE the porch and enjoy checking out all the people at the pool. ¬†That’s Oliver on the right with my roomie Lauryn!

Stay tuned for the next post on the apartment – our bedrooms! ¬†J Parker Photography¬†took so many beautiful pictures, I wanted to use as many as I could¬†ūüôā ¬†I already feel like I broke the internet with this post!