Monday, July 21, 2014

Where am I

Guess what? I wrote this post on Saturday and hopeful today while you guys are reading this, I will be arriving in Germany while my hubby is holding down the fort at home.

This summer is passing so so fast. It's pretty much a whirlwind.

The next couple of weeks will be spent with my family and if I don't reply to your questions or comment on other blogs as much as I usually do, then you know why.

Meanwhile I want to share my past Germany posts with you. Simply click on the title links to see the posts.

(I want my parents front door)

2012 posts:

my brother's old place part 1 and part 2

So that's it for today. Hopefully talk to you on Wednesday. I have a sudden death to deal with in our family in Germany and it's knocked the wind out of my sails. I'm not sure how my posts will be for the upcoming weeks because plans have been derailed. I will have a pet post for you for sure on Friday though and also some more house updates with stuff that I got down before leaving for our trip.



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Friday, July 18, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: Simple Stylings

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to someone I actually had the chance to meet last week in Atlanta after only talking to her online for months.
Please meet Summer from Simple Stylings and her adorable little family. I have to tell you that Summer really as gorgeous in person as she appears on photos and I really wish we would have had more time to chat last weekend because I have the feeling we could get into all kinds of trouble together. She is "that" kind of girl.
She is also very stylish and talented. Did you see her patio for the One Room Challenge (click HERE) or one of my favorites, her pallet desk (click HERE to see).

Hello Julia's readers! 
I'm so thrilled to be here to hang out with you guys and the ultimate animal lover herself,  Cuckoo 4 Design!
So let me introduce you to our crew: Sunny and Furby,  the very best of friends.

Sunny our Labradoodle is eight years old and Furby,  a Bichon and Lhasa Apso mix,  is 13. Since they've been with us so long I only have my hands on a few of their baby pics that I had printed out. So imagine Sunny looked just like this:

{image via}

And Furby looked like this:

{image via Pinterest}

 Cute right? I miss those puppy days! Not the potty training part but the sweet puppy smell and playfulness.
I got Furby when I was just out of college and I was dying for a pup of my own. Other than her all I cared about was paying my bills and spending the rest of my money having fun hanging out with my friends.
Inevitably Furby went everywhere with me. Road trips to the beach,  friends houses,  shopping when we could,  everywhere! She was my companion and walked with me through so many different times in my life.

Fast forward five years and I decided it was time for her to have a companion. I was more settled now and had a normal job where I was working all day and I thought Furby could use a friend. We were so used to being together that I thought she would be lonely. So along came Sunny…

Sunny pretending to sleep, Well,  remember that thing I said at the beginning about them being best of friends....NOT!
I brought Sunny home to introduce her into to our little family and Furby was mad. I mean,  not eating,  hiding from us,  wanted nothing to do with Sunny at all,  kind of mad.

I was so upset and didn't know what to do. I researched and talked to people about how to get them used to one another but nothing worked. It went on for weeks and Furby still wasn't eating well so I started to freak out., About the third or fourth week of it I realized that it wasn't going to work and I just couldn't put Furby through it anymore. The very next day I put an ad in the paper to find a good home for Sunny. I still couldn't believe that I was doing it. I had several people call right away and I agreed to let a lady meet her.

I was devastated. I cried and prayed but went to meet her anyway. I watched the lady play with her and if I remember correctly she was going to surprise her kids with a puppy. But a feeling came over me and I knew I couldn't do it. I couldn't let her go.
Determined to find some way to make it work I headed home with my sweet pup. I don't know what happened,  God must have answered my prayers,  but a day or two later everything changed. Something finally clicked and ever since then Sunny and Furby have been inseparable.

Although Furby rules our roost (Sunny never had a chance) they love being together. They love swimming in the lake and especially going for boat rides.

The next twist to the story was bringing my son home! I was a little (a lot) worried about how these two would take to a kid given the last experience but they welcomed him right away,  his protectors really. They are actually both great with small children so that was a huge weight off my shoulders too.

I would be lying though if I said it wasn't hard to be a single mommy with two dogs and a house to take care of but I wouldn't change anything...other than Sunny's constant barking :), I love watching my little man play with the them. He's so funny! I hear him talk to them as if he forgets they are dogs. And he LOVES walking Sunny and is so proud of himself when he's able to hold her leash!, Poor Furby :)

You can see where we all usually end up in the morning...on mom's bed. Sorry for some of the iPhone pics but that is the ONLY way to capture two dogs and a bouncing 6 year old :)

Now that Sunny and Furby are "seniors" they do a lot of chilling out and snuggling with us. Furby can't hear anymore and I can see some signs of her aging but for the most part she is still as sassy as ever.
It's really hard to think about what life will be like with out her one day so I just force myself not to think about it right now.

So this is us. Most of the time I don't feel very "pretty",  usually the house is one huge mess,  but I know that these two sure make our lives a whole lot prettier!

It's such a treat to be here today! Thanks so much for having me Julia! I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

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To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

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Such cuties, the entire family! You can also read her son's sweet adoption story by clicking HERE, which just proves once again how sweet and amazing Summer is.
So head on over to Simple Stylings and pay Summer a visit. You won't regret it, I promise.

(Psssst hey, my next post will be from Germany)



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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Atlanta Haven Conference 2014

What did I learn at Haven besides that DIY bloggers can shake it like nobody else, that I should be careful when buying shamrock shirts at Lucky Brand, not to change dirty diapers after a night of dancing, that it is sometimes ok to sleep in the same bed with strangers that you met on the internet, that I have a sudden need to get eyelash extensions, that fart apps are useful in crowded elevators, that it's ok to have girl crushes and that I love waiters and bar tenders in Atlanta?


All insider jokes aside. I was overwhelmed by and thrilled to meet so many amazing like-minded women (and maybe 3 men) in person. It was without a doubt the best part of visiting my first conference. Why have I never visited one before? Well I hate to leave my kids and usually the dates get in the way with our other yearly trips but I'm sure glad that I did get a chance to finally attend Haven.

I also think I came across as slightly (or mostly) crazed and all over the place which pretty much sums it up because I would have loved to clone myself during the parties and speaker sessions. So many people I didn't get to meet and so many people I barely got to speak with.

I didn't think I could love Mandi any more than I already do but it's possible. She's amazing!

I attended some great classes. Amazing talent was everywhere (sorry for the crappy cellphone pictures):

I learned some valuable things from Kristin (Hunted Interior) and Lucy (Craftberry Bush) in their photo styling class. Diane (In My Own Style who is also a great traveling buddy), Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl) and Mandi (Vintage Revivals) opened up some insights on working with brands. 
I enjoyed attending Jennifer Stagg's (withHeart) video lecture or Kirsten (6th Street Design School) and Danielle Oakey's tips.
Kelly's husband taught us a lot as well.
My head is kind of spinning actually and I wish I would have more photos to share of the classes but the lighting wasn't made for great photos.

I saw my projects at the HomeDepot DIY hall of fame:

With Jennifer (The Chronicles of Home),
Kelly (View Along the Way) and Ashley (Domestic Imperfection)

Hang out with all my friends:

My roomies Sarah (The Thriftress), Cassie (Primitive and Proper),
not my roomies but still awesome: Michelle (Decor and the Dog without Ike unfortunately), and Amber (Wills Casa)

Maria (DIY Magazine) and Emily (Go Haus Go)

Jesse (Scout&Nimble) and Shavonda (A Home Full of Color)

{2 images via Katja - ShiftCtrlArt}
Caitlin (Desert Domicile) and Gretchen (Boxy Colonial)

left to right: Jennifer (Dimples and Tangles)Jesse (Scout&Nimble), Jennifer (The Chronicles of Home), Lindsay (The White Buffalo Styling Company), me (stripes really aren't flattering sometimes), Kristin (Bliss at Home), Bethany (Dwellings by Devore), Emily (Eleven Gables)

Two really funny girls!
from left to right but I hate to start with myself so I won't:
Shavonda (A Home Full of Color), 
 Jennifer (The Chronicles of Home),  
Kelly (View Along the Way), Kristin (Bliss at Home), Bethany (Dwellings by Devore), Jennifer (Dimples and Tangles), Katja (ShiftCtrlArt), Emily (Eleven Gables), Cassie (Primitive and Proper) and Ashley (Domestic Imperfection)

My bed-mate Carrie from Lovely Etc.
and Katja from ShiftCtrlArt with her amazing photography skills.

Jesse (Scout&Nimble) and Aniko (A Place of My Taste)

Getting tribal with Cassie, Amber, Brynne (The Gathered Home),
Emily, Michelle, Kelly and Katja

By the way, swag towels do come in handy at dance parties 
when you happen to lose your clothes during the evening! 
And I didn't mention gorgeous Summer (Simple Stylings) yet who is the first on the left.

I got to admire Ballard Designs' beautiful furniture:

And participate in their coffee table style challenge (with Christy - Our Southern Home, Vidya - What's Your Home Story, Jennifer - The Chronicles of Home and Cassie - Primitive and Proper ,  where we almost won the $100 gift card. So close and so upsetting!

A shot of us plotting to win this.

I truly think that every one of the ladies mentioned and shown above are special, amazing and incredibly talented and there were so many more that I didn't take photos of. Can you believe that there were 350 attendees? Crazy atmosphere I tell ya!

I had a wonderful time and I'm hoping to get the chance to do it again in the future.



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