Friday, March 30, 2012

Shealy's BBQ

Have you ever been introduced to something and you knew you’d never be the same? I have these heavenly moments with food. I had one the first time I went to Olive Garden and the first time I had a Bo-berry biscuit (I’m not exactly a high-end foodie).

This will be Ryan & me one day with our giant box of bo-berry biscuits.

I had another one of those moments last week when we were invited to eat at Shealy’s BBQ in Leesville, SC. The only thing I knew about Leesville, SC was the fact that it was connected to a town called Batesburg and their high school football team always kicked our butts. If I’m honest, most teams usually did.

Ryan was unusually excited to eat here and even called his Dad on the way to brag about it. I had no idea why, but I’d soon find out. John and Kelly White, who also own a State Farm close by, and have a son that played baseball in college with Ryan, invited us to eat with them Lucky for us, Shealy’s was half way between, so we decided to meet there.

Holy awesomeness. The gods of BBQ rained down that Thursday night and I found myself knuckle deep in sawmill gravy. My first trip to the buffet resulted in a plate piled way too high for me, but I wanted to try out everything. My second trip produced an entire plate of rice & the most incredible gravy I’d ever tasted. I’m debating taking Tupperware next time & sneaking some out.

We topped off our gluttony feast with banana pudding and other delectable desserts. Enough said. I need a nap just rehashing this.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend in Review

Hang tight with me. We had a fantastic weekend & I wanted to make sure you were able to enjoy it as much as we did! We found out a couple of weeks ago that neither of my parents had ever seen "The Sandlot." Crazy, right? We thought so, so when we arrived at my parents' Saturday morning at 10:00, we popped it right in. Dad watched most of it, but it was interrupted by the normal family time & Mom trying to make lunch for all of us. I guess Jake enjoyed the parts he saw b/c he wanted to play with this bat the whole time. I don't think he enjoyed it at all...


Here's one of my sweet sister & me.

Mom made some delicious chicken fingers (recipe to come later), mashed potatoes & other stuff for lunch. Katie & I would always split the beaters once Mom had the potatoes made, but Jake & I started our own tradition!

Even Poly tried to get in on the action! Napoleon (Poly) is the dog/child that replaced my sister & I when we both got married.

Saturday night we got to go to Calhoun Falls, SC for the most beautiful wedding I've ever been to. This wedding looked like something straight out of Pinterest. I'll do a whole post on it when her photographer posts her pictures, but for now, here's what you get!

My best friend, Jamie.

And because we can never have enough pictures together...

Here's a sneak peak of the wedding. The bride & her parents collected old church pews for months before the wedding. All of the guests sat on old church pews or old vintage chairs. Look for more breath taking pictures to come!

Monday, March 26, 2012


We have been incredibly busy this past week, so here's just a sneak preview of what's to come. II think I'll be able to tell you about our super awesome weekend tomorrow, but for now, here's what you get...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Side Table Makeover

We were working in Ryan's office this past weekend when I spotted this little gem. It's a really nice, heavy piece by Lane, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It holds the coffee & coffee supplies in the office so it's front and center when clients come into the office.

After we spruced up the office I headed to Home Depot (I could easily spend my life savings here) and made a b-line to the paint department. I swear by Behr paint + primer to paint furniture. This stuff covers in one coat every time. Don't tell the elders, but I worked on this table last Sunday afternoon... with the garage door open. I'm sure someone called me a heathen.

I used 220 grit sandpaper to take off the top coat of polyurethane.

I chose Behr's Classic Silver for the color to give it a French grey with a modern twist. Once it was dry and I realized it wouldn't need another coat, I first did a happy dance, then I took a piece of leftover sandpaper & distressed the edges & legs a little bit.

Here's a close-up of the distressing.

Here's the finished product. Who wouldn't want to have coffee on this baby?

I'll make sure to take a picture of the table in the office soon.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Have I mentioned that I'm absolutely head-over-heals in love with my nephew? Some days you'll get the most beautiful, blonde baby boy in a gingham john john and other days you get this...

I totally prefer this. Jake is all boy, all the time and will be 2 years old in July. I cannot believe how fast time has flown and I know I'm only going to love him more as he grows!

By the way - he was headed out to chase ducks at a local park when this was taken. I doubt the ducks ever saw it coming.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ryan's Office

I recently realized I hadn't blogged about the most consuming thing in our lives right now - the true reason we moved to Lexington. Ryan is opening a State Farm agency! Well, technically, he's taking over an existing agency because the previous agent moved into a corporate position, but none the less, my husband is Lexington's newest insurance agent (and he's darn good too!)

Ryan's parents came up for the weekend to help us with some projects in the office (stay tuned for those!) We couldn't have done it without them! Here's a pic of Ryan & his dad getting ready to paint.

I am so proud of this guy and excited about this new adventure. It's going to be such a crazy ride, but I wouldn't want to experience it with anyone else!

Notice the orange? I wear more Clemson gear here than I ever did in the Upstate! I just want to make sure there's no mistaking who I love.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Skeeterz & Pollen

I knew some things would be different when we moved to the Midlands, but holy bugs and holy pollen. I have more mosquito bites on my legs than I did when I was seven, and just last week when I stepped out on our back porch it looked like someone had splattered neon yellow paint all over everything. I was horrified and thought Ryan had gone insane with a can of spray paint. I wish he had because that would’ve been easier to get rid of.

Ryan had warned me that bugs were worse the further south you go, but I had to witness it for myself. I think I’ve swallowed 10-12. (We’ve gone running on the dam 3times. I swallow an average of 3 on each run and twice I’ve found a little guy stuck in my chap stick.) I hear bugs are full of protein… or someone else’s blood… oh well, I just eat them because it would be rude to spit in front of everyone. This might be the prissiest thing I’ve ever done, but I took it upon myself to research this insect issue. Who knew you could actually make a living getting rid of mosquitos? Well, these people did: the MosquitoSquad.

Special offer!!!
$39 One Time Introductory Mosquito Barrier Spray

This may go into next month’s budget.

And the pollen. Don’t even get me started. My sister & I were those kids who had to take allergy shots twice a week, every week. It’s a walking snot-fest this time every year. Wish me luck!

I wanted to share this incredibly adorable picture of my nephew from this week. I can’t get enough of this cool dude!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Living Room Update

The living room & kitchen are the heart of every home. Unfortunately, these are our two least favorite rooms right now. They both need so much work and it's going to be a while before we can update them. I've decided to make small, inexpensive changes for now so we can live with the spaces until we can save up to do what we really want to do. We had a cute living room at the old house, but everything looked so dingy in the new house next to the really light carpet. I decided to bring in cooler colors in an attempt to make it all work without buying new furniture. We still have the mocha sectional, chocolate brown recliner & light tan accent chair. I'd love to bring in some strong silver accents (lamps) to give the blues & greys a pop. I bought these pillows & some dark grey ones last night from Target & I love them with our furniture.

I'm a firm believer that curtains make a house a home. I love the idea of patterned curtains b/c the only pattern in the entire room are these small pillows. I have a feeling I'm going to by several different ones and return many of them before I find ones I love in the room. Here are three of my favorites from Target.

I hope I can pull it all together soon & create a cool, calming and fun living room!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dining Room Redo

This past Saturday my mom made the drive to Lexington to help me tackle our first home reno project - the dining room. I thought I'd start out with a simple room that didn't require too much work. Plus, it's the first room someone sees when they come in the house. I knew I wanted a dark, dramatic color because this room already gets plenty of natural light. This is the room I picked as my inspiration:

Dining Room traditional dining room

Here's the dining room before:

My sweet Mama!

I'm a master at cutting in!

Here's the after!
It's a little darker than the pictures depict.
I can't wait to finish this room. I've already purchased the curtains, but I still need the rods, pictures and rug. Thanks, Mom for all of your help!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Caging the Beasts

They seem innocent enough, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

In 5 days my dogs (actually, just Baker) managed to wreak more havoc on my basement than a tornado could. I swear to you – I don’t know how one 60-pound lab can do such things. The good news is that they’re finally outside! We found a local fence company who took pity on us and quickly put up our new fence. (All of the other companies quoted 2-4 weeks). At our old house we fenced in our entire back yard and the dogs had free reign. After 3 years of stepping over/on giant piles of free fertilizer, we learned our lesson. Our precious (and yes, I use that term lightly right now) dogs finally have their new home. We’ll still have part of the yard to ourselves & they have a big enough area to play.

On to more exciting things, {clearly}, I’ve been on Ramen noodle diet. 4 out of 5 lunches this week have been a pack of chicken flavored noodles & a banana. We’ve discussed my cheapness before, but this takes it to a whole new level. I eat lunch for just $.20 a day. That’s crazy, and even I know that. Plus, the amount of sodium in these little packets has made me retain enough water to make a camel jealous. I’m going to have to cut back to one pack every week or two so my body doesn’t retaliate against itself.

The best part of this post, besides the fact that it’s Friday… my parents are visiting tomorrow!! We’re going to get some painting knocked out. I’m so ready to make this house a home! Stay tuned for home update pics!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moving Day

I can hardly keep my eyes open as I type this. It’s only 8:15 and I want nothing more than to crawl in the bed. But, I can’t. At 10:00 we have to take our dogs out again to “potty.” They’re in our basement in the chain-linked kennel. They got banned to the kennel this afternoon when they broke the top and chewed off the handle of the basement toilet. We thought they were mature enough to handle their urges, but apparently they aren’t. Ryan made sure to close the basement blinds so our neighbors wouldn’t see the cage inside and think we kidnapped a child.

On to more exciting things… we finally moved! The movers showed up at our Easley house at 10:00 Friday morning. Since Ryan had to work & I had to be in Lexington to sign the papers on our new house, Ryan’s dad graciously agreed to drive all the way up to Easley to be there with the movers. They boxed up our lives and in six hours had my house completely empty. For a few minutes I sat in the middle of the living room floor astonished at the empty house. How could we leave the house we (and our parents) had put so much work into? We knew it would be hard to leave our first home, but closing the door for the last time was almost more than I could bare. I spent Friday night at my parents’ house and Ryan was with his dad at our hotel in Lexington.

HAPPY DAY! On Saturday morning dad & I headed to Lexington at 7:00 a.m. Armed with biscuits & coffee we made the two-hour drive (thanks so slow pokes & lots of rain) and finally arrived at our new house just in time to see the rain-soaked movers hauling in the first load. Thankfully the rain stopped around 11 and we were able to work the rest of the day until we crashed. Here are some pictures from the day…

The man loves his new yard.

EVERY piece of furniture & every box contains a little orange sticker. We have to examine everything before we remove those stickers to make sure they're okay from the move.

Here's the final result. The faces of pure exhaustion.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I have a love/hate relationship with hotels. I love to stay in them. I hate to leave them. Seriously, I know I sound messed up the in head, but I love staying in a new place where people make my bed, clean my toilet & make me breakfast. What's not to love? Oh, that tiny room you're confined to? No such problem exists in my mind. I always wanted to live in NYC, so when I'm in hotels, I feel like I'm experiencing a little bit of what it would be like ot live in a condo. Please don't burst my bubble.

For the past 3 weeks we've been living in a FANTASTIC hotel in Lexington, the Comfort Suites.

I almost hate to leave today, but we get to close on our new home tomorrow, so it's totally worth it. This hotel has treated us like royalty. We've been served ahot breakfast every morning, there's a gym & indoor pool, and every night from 5:30-7 we go to the Manager's Reception. A different restaurant brings in appetizers every night & we have free reign over the buffet + free drinks. It's a cheap person's dream We don't have to pay for supper if we don't want to! When it comes down to it, this is probably the real reason I've been so happy at this hotel.

Our Room

I eat hot waffles every morning!

It's been pretty awesome living the life of a rock star for the past 3 weeks, but I'm ready for normal life again, if you can consider diving into a full house renovation "normal." Oh well, here we go!