Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

2012 has been my best year yet! Looking back,  it feels like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year at Danny's house. On that night, I had no clue that so many things in my life would be quickly changing in the upcoming year.

While I doubt that 2013 can top this past year, my only wish is for good health and happiness for me and my family.

I wish good health and happiness for you and your family, too!

2012 Highlights

There was lots and lots of baking!
I found out I did not get accepted into UNC Dental School. Ugh! All of those hours studying Organic Chemistry and Biology now seemed like somewhat of a waste. I was definitely disappointed, but it is what it is! I pouted for a day, and then I picked up and moved on with my life.

February: My book club was going full swing
I celebrated Valentine's Day with Brian
Enjoyed lots of Duke Basketball

March: Our annual trip to the Florida Keys!

April: We're getting a puppy!.
The next 8 weeks are the slowest weeks of my life...

On April 24, we celebrated 30 years of Brian Strawberry :-) I thank God every day that Brian was born - my life would be empty without him!

May: Brian and I celebrated my 25th birthday at Vinnie's Steakhouse. We got to pick out our puppy (or should I say "Brian got to pick out our puppy")!

We went to Annapolis for Memorial Day weekend with Ben & Lindsay.

June: On June 1st, 2012 we got to bring Otis home! 

Otis is the light of our life.

July: I started my new role at Duke and could not be happier!

We also celebrated 3 years of dating with dinner at the Angus Barn.

August: We celebrated Marykathryn and Blake's wedding.

Viva Las Vegas....
Brian played in a pool tournament while we were there. I relaxed by the pool drinking daiquiris. We won lots of money. We lost lots more money. Overall, we had a great time!

September: We went to Annapolis for Labor Day.
We also found our new house!

October: We went under contract for the new house and discovered our lives would soon be crazy busy! From here on out, the year is a WHIRLWIND. We had to get property managers to manage the condo and find people to rent it out. We had to do a million things to get ready and prepare to move.

We celebrated the marriage of Ben and Lindsay!

Bill and Barbara came down to Raleigh for the weekend and we announced our plan to get married..."Oh, by the way, we are getting married in two weeks...Surprise!"

We went to Annapolis the following weekend. It was our last trip as boyfriend and girlfriend.

November: On November 3rd, 2012, Brian and I got married.

Now he is officially stuck with me!!!

On November 6th, Obama won the election....Total bummer!

On November 14th, we closed on our new house.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Durham.

December: We started all of our house projects and began to get settled. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.

Goodbye 2012!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hello. Just Checking In.

We had an awesome Christmas. Brian and I were seriously spoiled beyond belief! We are truly blessed with wonderful family.

We went to Annapolis for a few days to visit Brian's family, which I always enjoy. We even got a little snow while we were there!

 Last night we got to have a Christmas dinner and gift exchange with my family. It was a great day (new pool table for Brian) and a great night!

I had so many awesome gifts this year - it was OVERWHELMING, to say the least. A family heirloom from Brian's grandma was so special. I am also in love with my new Pottery Barn doormat.  :-) The list goes on and on.

Needless to say, I've got to step up my game next year and get more creative with the gifts that I give. With so much going on in our life, I only went shopping at one store and did a few things online. Last year, I remember I had this whole 12 days of gifts for Brian and wrote a little poem for each day. This year, I only bought him one gift and then told him what it was before he opened it. Ha!

Let's face it. I under-gifted this year.

For instance, my sister gave Brian and me a really really generous gift from Pottery Barn....

I sorta had this reaction....

And then I handed her the Hunger Games DVD I had purchased for her.


But hey, it was the 2-disc Digital/Blu-Ray combo. That's gotta count for something. ;-)

Yesterday I got a chance to load a few pictures on Facebook. I have literally hundreds of photos from the past couple months, but have gotten so behind on sharing them on the blog/Facebook.

I got a few good pictures of the Strawberrys' hunting trophies. I didn't realize it until now, but I don't think I have ever taken pictures of their Annapolis house. It's crazy to think, but you really get used to being surrounded by all the animals. I don't even think twice about a mountain lion pouncing on a Christmas tree.

It's always fun to tell people about Brian's parent's house.

So many good conversation pieces!

And never a better opportunity to use the expression "the elephant in the room."

We also have a lot of projects going on at our house, which is still a work in progress. I've been trying to take lots of pictures. The hardest part is finding time to blog about it!

I am so excited about the New Year. It definitely presents a nice opportunity to make some new goals for next year. I have three more days to be lazy and make excuses, but starting January 1st....

I'll blog every day. And exercise. And keep my nails perfectly polished.


I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Are you one of the five people that received our Christmas card? If so, you probably either trashed the card or it's currently consuming your entire fridge. Our Christmas card was more like an 8x10 poster. It's a huge dose of Brian and Kelly, for which I apologize.

If you didn't receive the Brian and Kelly Christmas Card in the mail, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I only mailed five of them. Shutterfly only sent me 5 envelopes. I immediately ran out of envelopes and never got around to calling the company to send me more envelopes. It's not like the stores sell 8x10 envelopes, so I couldn't just go out an buy more envelopes.

Do you say in-velopes or on-velopes?

I say onvelopes.

If only I had more onvelopes!

2013 will totally be my year.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coffee Date

If we were on a coffee date right now, here's what we could discuss.....

Last Friday, I had the day off work and I was looking forward to a day of Christmas shopping. There was a change of plans because we ended up having a plumber and a painter coming to the house to do work, so I actually had to stay home and forgo the shopping. At about 10am, I sat down on the couch with my laptop and saw the breaking news that there had been a school shooting in Connecticut. I didn't think much about it, and I was busy meeting with the plumber and the painter. As the hour went on, I kept refreshing the website, and the news kept getting worse.

I kept watching the terror unfold throughout the day via the internet. At times like these, I'm reminded that it's a blessing NOT to have cable. I can live without watching all the television coverage of this horrific tragedy.

I don't really have any overall comments or thoughts about what happened at Sandy Hook. I don't really have any strong opinions about gun control or mental healthcare. I think it's pretty obvious, even before this particular school shooting, that we live in a broken world. Evil people are everywhere. While I have so many worries and fears and doubts and concerns, I have to thank God for giving me Brian. He definitely keeps me grounded, as I have a tendency to dwell on all the horrible things that are happening, but Brian has this amazing way of being so relaxed and carefree.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Do

I got my haircut today as a Christmas present from Brian :-)

Once we got married and joined all of our accounts, I couldn't really think of anything I wanted Brian to get for me for Christmas (since it would be like spending my own money). I decided that a haircut is something I would never splurge on, so he made me an appointment with our friend Theresa at Blo.

Theresa is awesome and I would highly recommend her to anyone. That being said, I doubt I will spend this much money on a haircut ever again. It was painfully expensive (this coming from someone who usually spends $12 on a haircut).

I took some BEFORE and AFTER photos. Bathroom mirror pics...ha!!

Here is my hair BEFORE (ie same haircut I've had for 23 years!)

Here is the AFTER (of course, if you know me, you know I would never do anything drastic!) It looks pretty much the same :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Tis the Season

It feels like I've been going non-stop for the past few weeks.

I just now got around to wrapping my first Christmas presents tonight. In my head, I envisioned a pleasant evening spent drinking wine, wrapping gifts, and listening to Christmas music. In reality, I quickly wrapped presents while an electrician was working in our house and Otis was eating my wrapping paper. There was no wine at the house (huge letdown) and I ate a frozen dinner while standing by the sink in the kitchen. Welcome to my life! :-)

Brian has his pool league playoffs tonight.

Anyways, I've sadly had to cut back on the blogging since I've been so busy, but I decided tonight that I could tackle a few small blog posts at a time. For the rest of the week, I'm going to just post small updates.

A new light in the kitchen was installed today. Brian and I picked out this lighting fixture together and it was a miracle that we both agreed!

You can't see this in the picture, but it hangs by a chain, which adds to its rustic feel.

My favorite feature about the new light is the EDISON BULB! I think these are pretty popular now from what I've seen in the blogging world, and I've also seen similar bulbs in Pottery Barn.

In order to get this next picture, I had to snap the picture as I turned off the light, otherwise it just looked like one huge glow.

Hope everyone is having a great week! More updates tomorrow!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crazy Holidays

I took today off of work. Yay! It was truly needed.

I originally intended for this to be a day of Christmas shopping, but right now there is a painter painting the house, a plumber on the way over, and a load of laundry in the washer.

These past couple weeks have been slammed busy for Brian and me. Christmas parties and events literally every night this week, and a billion other things going on. It's been chaotic!

I thought I might miss out on the Christmas Spirit this year, since I am not going to decorate AT ALL and I have yet to wrap a single present, but I actually feel pretty excited about the holidays.

Here's a random Otis picture:

Lately, I feel a little bad for Brian because Otis clearly has a favorite. :-) It must be all those peanut butter treats I make for him!

Here's Otis laying by my feet last night as I was getting ready for Brian's work party:

That dog never leaves my side!!!

This will be a busy weekend. Lots of cooking, baking, eating, and partying!

The plumber is now here, so I gotta run...More updates soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Burlap Table Runner

Sorry to bore you with another blog post about my house decor, but lately it's been my main focus.

Brian and I wanted a table runner for our dining room. When we first moved into the house, there was a piece of leftover fabric from the original dining room chairs laying on the table. For the past few weeks, this fabric scrap has been our table runner:

I searched high and low for a table runner, but had no luck. Our table is over 9ft, which made it difficult to find a runner that would be long enough. Pottery Barn, Pier 1, World Market, Amazon, etc. only had table runners up to 7ft long.

I found a few runners for sale that were over 120" but they were also over $100.

My favorite runners were the burlap ones that I saw on Etsy. Instead of paying $58 for a burlap table runner, I paid $60 for an entire bundle of burlap (30 yards) at the fabric store. I now have more burlap than I could ever need!!

Brian and I made the table runner yesterday afternoon and it was fairly simple. It was just a matter of cutting the fabric and then pulling out some additional strands to fray the edges.

Take a look at the outcome:

Right now I have a Christmas centerpiece, but I'll soon have to figure out a different arrangement. I've had a lot of ideas, but have not yet finalized my plans. Luckily, the dining room is going to be painted on Friday, so no more of that pinkish-orange color!

Let me know what you think of the burlap table runner. I was a little bit nervous making my own, but it definitely beats spending a ton of money.

By the way, this project is twofold.

Not only did I make a new table runner, I also made Otis a new dog bed. Burlap dog beds are so easy to make. You just throw a piece of burlap onto the floor and then you're done.

 Otis loved it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reupholstered Dining Room Chairs

Brian looked skeptical when I first told him I was reupholstering the dining room chairs.
Rightfully so, I may add. (I don't have any experience in reupholstery).

Here are some BEFORE photos:

Brian actually liked the fabric that was originally on the chairs.
That was my first clue.
This fabric had to go.

So, I watched four or five YouTube videos on reupholstering chairs and then went to town. Overall, the task was surprisingly easy.

My completed job looks good, although I can't exactly say it's of professional quality. I lack this thing called Upper Body Strength, which is needed when trying to use a staple gun while holding fabric taut.

My staples are only stapled about half way into the chair.

If you were to flip over the chairs and really analyze 'em, you would likely think my reupholstery job looked shitty.

But who will ever flip over and analyze my dining room chairs, and then point out all the flaws?

But who, other than Brian, will ever flip over and analyze my dining room chairs, and then point out all the flaws?

Exactly. No one.

So I'm proud of my work. Even if it's not professional quality.

The new chairs are green and white (see below).

OK, that's the end of this post.

If you like the old chairs better than my new reupholstered chairs, just leave me a comment so that I can be sure to defriend you on Facebook and loathe you forever.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guest Bathroom Makeover

When we first moved into the house, the guest bathroom looked like this:

There was not even a shower rod for the bathtub.

For the first week, I just put a few of the items that were in my old bathroom into this guest bath; however, you can tell from this next picture that it didn't look too great:

When I started thinking about how I was going to decorate, I realized that my favorite item in the bathroom was my toiletry basket and my Strawberry soap. 

 I decided to stick with a deep red accent color, which I think pairs well with the bronze finish on the mirror and sink.

After a quick trip to Lowe's, I installed a shower rod. It was a tension rod, which was fairly simple. Brian had to assist me with hanging up a hand towel ring and he did a great job. Drilling into walls is somewhat intimidating for me, although I'm hoping to eventually get better at these DIY projects.

 I later went to Target to buy new accessories, shower curtain, and bath rug.

I think the guest bathroom is pretty much complete!

Here are my AFTER pictures: