Project Dream Home - Intro

This house was meant to be. But that doesn't mean it didn't come without its problems, charms, and everything in between. 

IMG_8731.JPG

It all started when I got a new job and then out of sheer luck my husband got a job with me. While I was hesitant to house hunt since we owned my childhood home I knew it was time to move on(and closer). Our market was limited on options in our price range and it felt like I had looked at every single one of them. Nothing was perfect but we found one we liked and we're very close to being tied in. Then it happened. My dream home that I'd been staring at since I started this job...with a for sale sign in the yard. We didn't take that route home often. My heart jumped when I saw it because I had been telling Blain I wished it was for sale every time we passed it. I told him to look it up because there was no way we could afford it, wouldn't you know it was the same exact price as the house we had an offer on. And it all worked out from there. Since then we've updated something in basically every room. It all started with a fresh coat of paint and new floors and has spiraled from there. 

IMG_8770.JPG

Kitchen - paint, refinished cabinets, updated hardware, new granite, relocating the stovetop, shiplap backsplash, and vent hood. 

Living Room - paint, refinished cabinets and mantle, decor

Office - paint, new light fixture, gallery wall, curtains

Studio - paint, striped wall, curtains, workspace, swings

Master Bedroom - Paint, light fixture, sitting area

Master Bath - paint, retile floor, tile and shiplap shower, refinish light fixture, refinish cabinets, hardware, faucets, vessel sinks, lights, new granite

Stay tuned for updates on these projects, then it's on to the basement!

Amber & Ryan

I am in love with these pictures! Me and this girl have been through so much together so to have to hand her off to a guy - it's not easy. Luckily Ryan is amazing and their chemistry together really shows in these pictures. From someone who knows, she is not always easy to deal with, it takes a special person to love her as much as Ryan does! I cannot wait for the big day and I wish you guys the most amazing life together.

Baby R

I got a call asking if I would be interested in doing C-Section photos. I told Victoria that I had never done it before but if she was okay with that I would be happy to jump on board. This little guy just had the whole world stop for him because baby had to come out and so many things had to fall into place to make this happen. He came out perfect! Meeting this sweet family and the love that they have for him and what they have been through to get to this point was honestly life changing. 

Spontaneous Road Trip - Elberta, AL

This weekend Blain and I took a spontaneous road trip to visit my parents. They live in the cutest area and are living the dream with their boat in their back yard, on the canal, where they are frequently visited by dolphins and otters. We hit traffic on the way and were running late...I of course made us later by making Blain stop to take some quick pics and I may have also utilized the sun roof.

Kelly with Pogo Hair

This has been one of my favorite(and most stressful) jobs to date. Kelly contacted me a couple of weeks ago about doing this video with her and I was so excited. I don't normally get to do long video, just short promos and things like that. We had a blast making this as her Redken Artist Audition Video. The best part? Within two hours of submitting the video they called her for an interview! Fingers crossed, good luck girl!

Update: She got it, congrats Kelly!

BVI Trip

This year for Christmas my family took an amazing trip to the British Virgin Islands. It was amazing. The color of the water, how soft the sand is, and the size of the fish. It's unbelievable. So I thought I would share a little taste of that.

Also this is my first time using my new FUJIXT2 and let me say, it was wonderful. For the first time on vacation it wasn't a hassle to carry my camera(and an extra lens) around. Mirrorless is the way to go. There are a few shameless selfies and iPhone pics thrown in.

Stitch Fix Take 3

For those of you who don't know, Stitch Fix is a personal style subscription box. You can get it monthly or schedule as needed. Super fun way to try different styles and let someone else do the work for you. It has also been a great way to find new brands I love that I've never seen before(I don't have time to get out and shop much). They send you 5 items for a $20 styling fee which is applied to the total of anything you keep. You can try on in the comfort of your own home, you have 3 days to decide(no impulse shopping!), and you can send back anything you don't like. After setting up a style profile and linking to your pinterest, you let them know the fix frequency and wait on your package to arrive! 

I didn't post a review of my last experience, because I'll be honest...it was terrible. I liked one shirt kind of but it didn't fit well. Everything else was so not my style, didn't fit well, and really boxy. I let them know my disappointment because I had ordered it for my birthday and was bummed. They were quick to remedy, asked me to try one more time as it takes time for your stylist to get to know you, and sent a discount code for my next box.

It took me a while to try again because I wasn't sure if it would be worth it. I finally did since there was no risk this time with the $20 styling fee and let me tell you it was a much better experience.

So when you first open the box you'll see a note from your stylist, a style card with outfits including the pieces in your box, the price sheet, and of course the clothes!

Here's a little preview of the app that you can use to rate the items and tell them what you liked/hated(also how you check out). My first item was these booties and can I just say.....WOW the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, and with a heel?! I mean come on. I'll be honest this was so hard to send back and I almost didn't. Cloud didn't want me to let them go either. Here's why though: 1. I have a pair of boots that looks almost identical to these and 2. The price. Although I'll be honest it would almost be worth it but there's just no way I could justify that. Returned but keeping this brand in mind.

Item 2 was this sweater. It was so comfortable, so soft, and such good quality. I loved it. I wore it around for a little bit to see if it was going to be one of those sweaters that gets too hot, but no it was perfect. One thing I noticed though was that the fit wasn't quite right, I'm not sure what it was but it just wasn't sitting the way I wanted it too. Very close again but ultimately, the price and fit weren't perfect. Returned.

In my note I said I really liked plaid and stripes and my stylist listened. She included this super cute and a little different plaid blouse. I love a good plaid flannel but this was really cute. The price wasn't really that bad but I didn't feel like the quality was really good enough for the price tag. I also have another shirt that is pretty similar. Returned.

I really didn't like these pants at first. They're button fly, the ends are frayed, and I'm not sure how I feel about high waisted. They're a very soft jean though which is nice for those comfy days. I tried them on just to say I did it. And again. And again. I kept coming back to them. They were so comfortable and the perfect length on me. They won me over, loving this brand. I wear these all the time now. Kept.

This sweater was so comfortable, my stylist is really getting me now. I loved the color, the shape, the fit, and the back detail with the bow. Too cute! The price wasn't too bad but not what I would normally pay for something like this. I was going to keep it... but then I went to put it in my closet and saw that I had something almost exactly like it but just slightly darker. It doesn't have the bow detail but to be honest my hair is so long it covers that up. So I talked myself out of it. Returned.

You're probably thinking You returned 4/5 items...obviously you don't like it. Honestly I forgot I had scheduled this fix and it just wasn't in the budget to keep everything. Had the shoes not been so much I would have kept 5/5 to get the 25% off discount. 

Sugru Review

Guys, this stuff is genius. If you haven't heard of Sugru, look it up. It basically play dough that fixes stuff. Watch out duct tape!

As many of you know, I'm a huge dog lover. We have 3 pups ruling our house currently.

Cadburry(German Spitz), Cloud(Siberian Husky), and Pluto(Lovable Mut)

Cadburry(German Spitz), Cloud(Siberian Husky), and Pluto(Lovable Mut)

One of these monsters(looking at you Cloud and Pluto) destroyed a pair of my boots and one of Blain's Vans. If you know anything about Blain, he loves his shoes more than I love my boots. And I love boots a lot.

I thought about just throwing them away, but the boots were relatively knew and I hate wasted money so I held onto them in hopes of having them repaired. I found this website called My Shoe Hospital which looked very promising. After a consultation I found out to fix the shoes the heels would have to be shortened which I didn't want. 

I thought about finding colored hot glue but my boots were a weird color. So I found Sugru. It's a moldable glue that dries as rubber. It comes in several different colors and you are able to mix your own colors using their color guide. 

So it's not flawless, it's not perfect, but it certainly looks MUCH better. You have 30 minutes to mold it. Since the boots were such an odd color it took me a while to match it and once it was molded I wasn't able to imprint the pattern like I wanted because it was sticking. I used my fingernail to give it that lined texture.

Again, this wasn't a flawless fix...but it definitely made it wearable again and once it dries he'll be able to clean them up to match better. The imprinting of the texture was much easier on these. 

SheIn

The Story: Recently while browsing pinterest I saw the cutest sweater. I thought to myself(as with most of my clothes) "That looks SO comfy". But still stylish and put together enough where I could probably wear it to work.

Of course when I click on it the link isn't helpful at all and I think "Great, I'll never find it". I of course try to anyways. After painstakingly scouring the web I find several similar sweaters, but they just aren't that same adorable quilted fabric I was looking for.

I debated getting one of these because I still love the look and they would be almost as good, but after one final attempt using a reverse google image site I found a couple last resorts to try. Now I can't say for certain if this is where the sweater originated from but I was hesitant to order. They all looked like sketch fast-fashion coming from China clothes. Mixed reviews on all of my options, but the pricing couldn't be beat so I went for it. I decided to use the one I found on http://us.shein.com/

The Review: On your first order they give you a 40% off code. There was also a "huge sale"(hint: I think there is always a huge sale). The sweater I wanted was on sale for under $18, for this price I had to try it. Upon checking out I found out you get free express shipping(3-7 days) on orders over $29. I'm a sucker for these deals so I found a second sweater/shirt on sale for around the same price. Here's where it gets tricky. The 40% off is off of the full price, since everything was on sale it all stayed the same price. I did question this since it didn't state that on the website. Customer service got back to me pretty quickly to explain. The other issue I had, which I think also needs better explanation on their website, is the processing/shipping time dilemma. I got the shipping confirmation once my payment was processed but it was just to say the label had been created and it sat in limbo for a few days. Once it did ship however it arrived much faster than anticipated.

White Eyelet Lace Up Striped Embossed Sweatshirt $16.99(on sale)

White Eyelet Lace Up Striped Embossed Sweatshirt $16.99(on sale)

Sweater 1: Upon first glance it is exactly what I was looking for, almost exactly as pictured, and I am very happy. A few minor faults which were to be expected for the price.

Contrast Striped Keyhole Front Peplum Blouse $17.99(on sale)

Contrast Striped Keyhole Front Peplum Blouse $17.99(on sale)

Sweater/Shirt 2: This I bought because I thought it was really cute and if it was good material then it would make a great top. I was impressed with the sweater material on top, it was not t shirt material as I expected. The "leather" detail fabric was unfinished on the edges but that doesn't really bother me.

All in all for what it was I am impressed. The quality could be better but is honestly better than I expected based off of my last sketchy buy. Would order again for something fun I didn't expect/need to last long! And they have lots of unique pieces.

Mermaid Tail Blanket

CUTE ALERT!!!

So recently it was my sister-in-laws 6th birthday. Happy Birthday precious girl! I was having the hardest time coming up with something special to get her. Then I remembered this video I showed her of a girl swimming with a mermaid tail and how amazed she was. Momma was NOT happy about this idea. I took the safer route and went with this adorable mermaid tail blanket. I ordered on amazon and I chose this one because the reviews were really good. I promise it will not disappoint. Great quality and very cozy! Perfect idea for the mermaid loving princesses out there!

I wrapped it up with a mermaid sticker book and her favorite candy tied up with Happy Birthday mardi gras beads. (Sorry forgot to take a pic) But I think she liked it.

grid.jpg

Canarm Warren Light Fixture

We just finished redoing our master closet(YAY one project off the list!) and as soon as we did POOF! our light stopped working. We were wanting to change it anyways, so it kind of worked out. Off to Amazon it was because you can't beat prime 2 day shipping to save you a trip to the store!

Canarm Warren $55

Canarm Warren $55

We chose this gem. It's a chrome, 3 light, semi-flush mount. A little bit of glam but still simple. Perfect for the master closet! A steal for only $55.

If you light a little more bling they have a version with crystal chandelier.

Canarm Piera $115

Canarm Piera $115

I'm totally in love with mine and can't wait to get more of the house done so I can order some of the others I've had my eye on!

Amber & Ryan

That moment when you almost ruin your best friends engagement by passing her on the road but then you play it cool and she doesn't notice so you get to snipe the whole thing. Ryan was so sweet and wanted to include their rescue dog they adopted together. He took her to the dog park after work where he showed her this really sweet website he had made for her with memories and pictures and a heartfelt letter!

Stitch Fix Review

I have been wanting to try Stitch Fix for a long time now and finally decided to give it a shot. I have to admit I got a little bit nervous as it was getting very close to my delivery date and I hadn't received any shipping notifications yet. The "delivered by" date is not completely accurate. I believer it should say "expected delivery date". Mine was supposed to come on Friday the 25, but did not arrive until Monday the 28th. I spoke with a very helpful rep about it and it wasn't that big of a deal.

A quick overview of how the service works: You pick a date to have a box delivered to you. You fill out a style profile which is fun and can even link up to your pinterest to give your stylist inspiration. As the date approaches, your stylist will select five items for you based on your note or requests. Once the package arrives, you will have 3 days to try on your outfits in the comfort of your own home(which I loved) and return what you don't like. They will provide a prelabeled package to return any items you don't wish to keep. You can check out on their app or their website and it will ask you to rate each item to help with future fixes. There is a $20 styling fee for each fix, which is applied as a credit to any purchase you make. If you keep all 5 items you get 25% off your total. Which is a good deal because I compared prices to other stores and they are the same as what you would pay in the store.

I came home from work on Monday excited to see my package sitting on the steps. First of all, I LOVE the packaging. Cute branding, not to mention my favorite color.

Inside of the box there will be a personalized note from your stylist, outfit inspiration cards, and the price list of your items.

Item 1: Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats

Item 1: Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats

Item 1: Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats

Item 1: Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats

$79 In this fix I had requested some flats that I could wear to my new job. I'm on my feet a lot so the requirements were cute and comfortable. These fit the bill. Unfortunately they were just slightly too big and there was something I just didn't love about them. I don't typically spend that much on shoes unless they are a great quality boot. Returned.

Item 2: Daniel Rainn Minal Sleeveless V-Neck Blouse & Item 3: Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant

Item 2: Daniel Rainn Minal Sleeveless V-Neck Blouse & Item 3: Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant

$64 I'll start with the top, LOVE. The color is my favorite. The shape was good. Of course I love v-necks. It's a great basic that adds some flare to a simple outfit without too much effort. And the buttons <3. A little more than I would normally spend on a simple top, but I really loved it. Kept.

$78 The pants. These were what I refer to as a "dressy legging". They have everything you would want from pants: pockets, a zipper, and a button made from a great stretch fabric. The thing I didn't love about these was the waist. It was a little too high and didn't sit quite right on me. For this style/material I felt like the price was a little high. Returned.

Item 3: Tart Blithe Chevron Knit Blazer

Item 3: Tart Blithe Chevron Knit Blazer

$128 I adored this blazer. Everything about it. It was super cute, a fun pattern, great colors. What I didn't love was the price. I'm trying to start buying quality pieces that can last me for years. Had I been keeping everything in this fix and been getting the 25% off I probably would have kept it. After wearing it around for a while to decide if it was worth the price I also noticed it was a little too large in the shoulder area. Returned.

Item 5: Skies are Blue Karla Cutout Neckline Blouse

Item 5: Skies are Blue Karla Cutout Neckline Blouse

$48 This top had fun cut outs, a great color, and a super flattering cut. It was just slightly too small in some areas and I already have a similar style top in this color. While this top was my favorite price wise, I'm trying to have less pieces to make outfits not more just to have them. Returned.

Overall I had a great first Stitch Fix experience. While I only kept 1/5 items I think my stylist did a great job understanding what I was looking for and I will definitely do again to continue building my "grown up" wardrobe.

Pros

  • Letting someone pick out pieces for me that I may not normally choose for myself.
  • Not having to go to the store and getting to try on clothes at home.
  • Finding new brands that I don't regularly shop.
  • It's fun, even if you don't love all of the pieces. The anticipation of getting a package where you have no idea what you're going to get is great.
  • You can set up a fix with special requests for any upcoming events.

    Cons
  • The prices are a little higher than what I normally pay for clothes, but I am trying to build a wardrobe of quality pieces that I can keep for years.
  • Waiting on the package.
  • Not being able to try on multiple sizes if something doesn't fit right.
  • Lack of control over what is being chosen.
  • You may request an item that they don't currently have in stock

Would I do it again? Absolutely! And I will.

Disclaimer: This is a review of a subscription service. The opinion is entirely my own and I have received no compensation for this posting.