3.31.2011

.Photo Award.

Just a quick little post today before the big giveaway post tomorrow.

Last night Tracy from, Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures, informed me I won her Candlelight and Nighttime Photo Party. Before I toot my own horn, I need to share there were only 7 entries :) BUT I am still proud of the nighttime photos I captured. Do you remember them? You probably saw them here.

This is my cute award, thank you Tracy! Check out her blog for next week's party: angled photos. A certain girl you all know and love will be the judge, wink wink!
That's all for today! Check back tomorrow for the Little Things Giveaway :)

3.30.2011

.Little Things GIVEAWAY.

I hosted my first giveaway when I reached 100 followers. Well, only a few short weeks later, and I am now at 214 followers! I want each of you to know this truly energizes me and motivates me to keep blogging--your comments really make my day, each and every one! Just ask my husband--I have been much happier and fulfilled because of my little blog. I am enjoying getting to know all of you better and checking out your blogs. You all are so creative and have beautiful homes and of course--babies! Thank you for liking me ;)


All of that to say its another GIVEAWAY!


I was recently inspired by a blogger I admire named Danyelle and her post about her 30 favorite things in honor of her 30th birthday. You can see the full post here. I know you will instantly fall in love with Danyelle, her family, and the wonderful things she designs!


Now let's get to it! My husband is working late tonight which means I get to do some shopping! This time it is not for me, or my little house, or my incredibly cute dog {insert wink face here} but FOR YOU! I will be purchasing my 24 favorite little things to give away to one of you, my loyal readers and followers. I chose 24 things because, you guessed it--I am 24 years old. I will be posting pictures of all my favorite little things at some point during the week. This is just a small shout out to say GIVEAWAY COMING SOON!


How do you enter? Details coming soon, just be on the look out! If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to become a follower, I do apologize, my "follower" box is hidden..please scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF MY BLOG and poof, it will appear. A new template is in the future but not the near future ;)


Happy..what day is it?..


Happy Wednesday!

.Little Things Bring Smiles Part 5.

The name of my blog is

Little Things Bring Smiles.

I chose this title because it is so important to remember the little things in life and to rejoice in them. My reason for blogging is to share my life, all parts of it including the good, the bad, and the ugly, along with some of the little crafts I make. Each month I want to focus on a few little things that brought smiles to my family. I would love for you to share your little things and see if they bring a smile to me, or another reader :)

 Here are a few of our little things:

- Taking long walks with Colden
- Watching robins pick worms in our yard
- Seeing a bumblebee
- Cooking fish for Adam
- Sharing in conversation with good friends
- Enjoying a fire out back
- Having my parents visit for a weekend
- Buying new makeup
- Trying a Mocha for the first time (yum!)
- Using a new facial cleanser
- Getting a good night's sleep!
- Finding the perfect owl lamp
- Seeing the lake water ripple from the blowing wind
- Spending long periods in prayer
- Thinking about sandals
- Planning a trip with friends
- Meeting new people
- Watching Colden play with our neighbors German Shepard
{And one, kinda big thing}
- Looking for houses!

Now it's your turn. Always remember,
Little Things Bring Smiles!

3.29.2011

.Meet our new BIG bed.

Adam and I need a name for our new love.

Meet our bed.

Our very big bed.

The kind of BIG that fills up an entire room.
After a little shopping spree to Target, my home away from home, our new bed is ready for us! 
Adam was teasing me and comparing me to the mouse from "If you give a mouse a cookie." Just like that cute lil mouse, when one gets a cookie {or in my case, buys a king size bed}, they need a glass of milk {or a few new items.} 
They need new:
-sheets
-comforter
-pillow cases
-bedskirt
-king size pillows to fit new shams

When one has all new bedding, they need new:
-decorative pillows
-curtain rod
-curtains

Okay, okay I will admit..we did not need all of these things BUT both parties are enjoying them and our bank account is still alive ;) {Thank you Target!}

Here is the current status of our bedroom makeover. I took these last night before we all dove in for bed, pup included.
So..what do you think? 
Our goal for moving rooms was to 
A. use our new big bed 
B. freshen things up in our duplex after 2 yrs of the same thing
C. spend as little money as possible 
D. reuse as much furniture as we could
E. pick a color scheme to match walls and carpet
F. ALL OF THE ABOVE! 

I am happy to report Adam is as happy as I am about moving rooms and getting new bedding and curtains! We are hoping these were the only purchases necessary and that we can use what we have to decorate our new room. Fingers crossed ;) 

House status: Still Happy and Still Looking

Guess what?--I'm HAPPY today! God is so good to us!

3.28.2011

.What we've been up to.

Adam and I have been busy, a "good" busy.

We have been:
-looking at houses {FUN!}
-making new purchases
-moving furniture

Curious about the last one or all of them? Well, first let me clarify a few things: 

NO. We did not buy a house. (although we have our eye on one after going to an open house)

Adam and I have upgraded our lifestyle however..in a very "big, soft" kind of way..We bought ourselves a new BED! A king sized Tempur-Pedic to be exact.

I know. 

We are ridiculous BUT we had a good reason. To make a long story short, our first mattress we bought a year ago from {insert store name here} turned out to be defected and we were left with a store credit. Instead of purchasing a similar mattress, we decided to invest in a really good bed, one that will not kill our backs..one that will last for 20+ years..a King size Tempur-Pedic. 


Sounds amazing right? Well..we did not exactly measure the bed or our bedroom before we made the purchase.

Whoops.

Remember the moving furniture part from earlier? Yep, we had to switch rooms in our little duplex to make our new bed work. We are now settling in our guest room and attempting to turn it into our bedroom. 


Need a visual? Let's begin with the moving furniture part.
Have you ever seen a bedroom that is wall to wall BED?! Have you thought to yourselves, "Wow, really guys? This is a tad silly don't ya think?"

Welcome to our new room! Pictures coming in next post, prepare yourselves for a good chuckle!

We simply laugh. Adam and I are now sporting a bedroom that is ALL BED. The silliest part? WE LOVE IT! When your bed is as comfy as ours, who cares about anything else right?!

:)

Stay tuned for more of our bedroom move. I'll end this post with pictures of my boys resting after a night of heavy lifting, enjoy!
Colden is so excited for his new room ;)

3.27.2011

.Last Night vs.This Morning.

Last Night: 


Friends + Pizza + Soda + Cookies + Coffee + Lights + Blankets + FIRE = 


Bliss.

This Morning:


Cold + Dreary + Sleeting + SNOWING + Wool Socks + Hubs + Warm House =


Pajama Day.
Virgina's weather can be described in one word: 


FICKLE. 


I must say, I rather like it..it keeps me on my toes :)


Overall it's been a fabulous weekend. 


New Week here we come!

3.24.2011

.Are we C R A Z Y.

Here are some "stats" to help you answer the above question:

Adam: Age 25
Katie: Age 24
Married: Almost 2 Years
Pets: 1 Dog
Kids: 0
Properties Owned: 0
Current Residence: 1 Rental Property
Questioning Status: Should we BUY A HOUSE?
Experience in this department: 0, Zilch, Nada!
C R A Z Y ? {I think so!}

Adam and I recently met with a good friend who is a financial advisor. We found out some really good (well GREAT) news--WE CAN BUY A HOUSE! It certainly will not be our dream house BUT it can be a house..a house we will actually own! This thought alone gives us butterflies in our stomachs and headaches all at the same time. 

We have so many thoughts..

How long do we plan to stay in VA?
Will Adam's business be around in 5, 10 years?
Do I want to finally become a teacher or keep the job I have now?
How far do we want to commute to work?
Is it better for our monthly payments to go towards an investment vs. our landlord's pocket?
Should we start a family first or buy a house first?
What's more important to us..the property the house is situated on or the quality of the interior of the home?
Mountain view vs. wooded setting vs. 1950's neighborhood?
Lynchburg or Forest VA?
Can we even pay for the down payment?
How would we furnish an entire house?
Should we only look at houses with a fenced in yard or is this something we can afford to install ourselves?
Is it smarter to buy a cheap, fixer-upper or spend the money we would potentially put towards renovations on a home completely move-in-ready?
Bi-level or ranch?
Country living or downtown city area?
What counties have better public school systems?
Do we want to send our kids to private or public?
How close is "too close" to my in-laws?
Should we really give up our amazing rental..our first home together..with so many of our precious memories?
Are we too young to be responsible for a house?
How can we better educate ourselves on the taxes owning a house would require..and the insurance we would need?!
Is it wiser to continue renting and keep saving saving saving?
If we buy a "starter home"...can we sell it in 5 years or get stuck?
Do we have enough money to replace a roof and all windows of a house?
Can we fit a second dog in this home as well as a baby?
Are we C R A Z Y ?

YES I THINK WE ARE. 

Friends, this list was typed out in less than 5 minutes. Do I have more questions, concerns, and thoughts--HECK YES! Did I want to bore you with every single one of those--NO WAY! I will simply state that the current "If, And, or But" list in my head goes "To infinity and BEYOND!"

 It is impossible to have answers to all of these questions. One thing Adam and I know for sure is to bring everything to the Lord. We need to pray about a house. That's it. God always sends us an answer..sometimes it is almost immediate, other times it takes years. Adam and I have to be patient and pray and keep God the number one priority in our home. We know the market for buying homes is awesome right now..we know..is it the right time for us? Only God knows. We look at our parents as examples and see my folks rented for 10 years before purchasing their first home..the home they still live in today. How did they know this would be the location they would have their children raised in and be content in as they grow older? I think it was a leap of faith. Can anyone really know a house is the perfect match for them in the perfect town/county/state to live and grow old in together? Maybe. Do I have that answer at the age of 24--NOT EVEN CLOSE! Faith. Prayer. It will happen..all in God's timing. Is it sometimes hard to wait for His timing--YES! We are human, it's only natural. Marriage is such a unique bond as well and there is never a dull moment! Adam has his "likes" and "dislikes" about a home and I have mine. Luckily for us, most of ours match but not all. Who should give in on their wants? When should you stand firm on your opinion? Friends, all I can say is I am so thankful to have God in my life and in my husband's life to help us with these decisions. Adam and I have had a really fun time checking out the local listings on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, and Yahoo--it really has been a WOOHOO experience :) Will this process always be fun?--PROBABLY NOT. It's a scary thing and the BIGGEST commitment Adam and I will make together..well, besides the whole marriage thing even though that decision was the easiest in the world to make! 

I hope you do not mind my ramblings. I am on cup #2 of my delicious Eight O'Clock Hazelnut coffee and with every sip, I feel my mind racing faster and my fingers typing more rapidly. As I look up from my laptop, I see my dog sleeping curled up in a ball on the couch and I see two of the most sweetest girls sound sleeping all cuddled with blankets and pillows on an air mattress I have in my living room. My life at this very moment is peaceful and I am truly blessed. Am I just minutes away from checking out more houses online?--OH YES! And I am happy to report it's with a big smile on my face.

Now comes the part where I need you..yes, you, the one reading these very words. I am curious to know if you are currently in my shoes with the whole "should we buy a house?" and what some of your thoughts are on the matter. I would also LOVE to hear from those of you who have purchased a home..or two, or three! Any advice you can give Adam and I? Encouragement is always welcomed with open arms ;) If you have any input to give, I would love to read it. Your comments are so dear to me and I look forward to each and every one.

I will leave you with this question to ponder..

Are we C R A Z Y ?

3.22.2011

.I think I'll go for a walk outside now.

Today at exactly 5:05pm I kidnapped my husband from work because..

"..the summer sun's calling my name, I hear ya now, 
I just can't stay inside all day,
 I gotta get out get me some of those rays!"

{Picture this.}
Adam + I holding hands walking.
Adam's other hand is holding his camera.
My other hand is holding our dog Colden.
{We are a happy family!}

Two hours later, the three of us arrived back home from our Spring adventure.
The mission of our adventure you wonder? 
Attempting to capture God's beautiful creation
 while enjoying some husband and wife time! 


This is what we saw.
This is what we did.
 
"I'm just sitting on the dock of the bay
wasting time."
.Happy Living.

3.21.2011

.A Time for Everything.


A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

  a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
  a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
  a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

With each changing of the Seasons, I think back to these verses and praise God not only for his creation, but the guidance He provides for us in our own "Seasons" of life. Please enjoy these images Adam and I captured on our walk this afternoon.

Spring time is such a fascinating time of year. Life is happening all around us thanks to our Heavenly father! Adam and I had a truly wonderful time and are simply in awe of God's work in our relationship and of course, the beauty which surrounds us. Find peace in Him no matter the "Season" of life you are going through..remember, Seasons change.

Happy Spring!

.Parents Weekend.

This past weekend Adam and I spent some good old quality time with my folks who traveled 
all
the
way
down
 from 
 NJ. 

We are still not sure if they were happier to see us or happier to relax in the beautiful Spring weather ;) Let's just say NJ is still sporting a "White Christmas" in March!!!

The forecast from this past weekend in VA:
Friday high of 83
Saturday high of 79
Sunday high of 70 with a few light sprinkles
Monday high of 72

Everyone took full advantage of this and spent all day Saturday outside. The two men did some major "Spring Cleaning" to our rented property while Mom and I..{what's the word?}..oh yeah, RELAXED! Adam made a fire out back later in the evening and it felt good, so very good! 

On Sunday, despite the few sprinkles of rain, we all explored downtown Lynchburg and spent some time in this place:
Adam and I have lived in the Lynchburg/Forest area since '05-'06 and today we acted like touristsIt was fun.

Even though the camera came along for the ride, we sadly only captured a few shots from the weekend..we were too busy having a good time :)



Sunday night was fun and special because the Millers and Morrows got together! We had my father-in-law join us for dinner and dessert. The evening went great but we all missed my mother-in-law who is in MN visiting baby Lucy.

This morning we all had a delicious breakfast at our local diner, The Blue Dahlia. After we finished, we said our goodbyes and all headed off in different directions in different cars. Adam went on his way to work, my parents headed up North, and I enjoyed my ride to pick the girls up from school with all windows down and some Florence + the Machine blasting. It was good.

We miss having my parents here and appreciate the time and energy they put forth to visit us. Looking forward to our next visit..NJ style!

Love you Mom and Dad, thank you for a wonderful weekend and 
HAPPY 29TH ANNIVERSARY!

3.17.2011

.Kiss Me I'm Irish.

I am happy to report the above statement is TRUE
I am looking forward to many kisses from my hubs today :)

H A P P Y 
S T . P A T R I C K ' S D A Y ! 

3.16.2011

.Practice.

When I woke this morning I never would have guessed what the day would bring..

It was a "normal" morning and early afternoon.
Woke up at 10am.
Showered.
Took pup out.
Left to pick up the girls.
1150am arrived at school to get girls.
Came home.
Made lunch.
Craft time.
Put girls down for naptime.
Brought girls home at 4pm.
Chiropractor til 5pm.

This is where the day takes a turn for the worse.
Home to find Colden acting "funny."
Nervously checked the house.
I found something.
It was a roach poison packet.
It used to be tucked away in our pantry.
Now..
Now it was torn open and all contents eaten.
Colden Colden Colden.
He ate the poison.
He ate part of the plastic packaging.
UGH.

I called Adam quickly to explain what happened and he called the Vet right away. We were thinking Colden would be fine..maybe with a little diarrhea. 
We were wrong.
The Vet informed us we needed to immediately make Colden vomit.
How does one do this to a dog?
A teaspoon of Hydrogen Peroxide. 
Adam was not home from work but I decided to take matters in my own hands and make my pup puke. Colden let me open his mouth wide enough to dump the Peroxide down the back of his throat.
Boy, was he angry with me.
I then had to sit and listen as his stomach made disgusting noises and watch him gag and franticly run in circles in my tiny bathroom. Within two minutes, Colden began vomiting..about five minutes later, he was finally finished. 
I felt terrible.
I did this to my dog.
It was so sad.
I now love my dog even more because after I caused him to vomit, he came to my lap and simply laid down. 
He chose me after all of that. 
Adam came home in time to smell the goodness that came out of Colden at all ends! We decided to place pup right in the tub and give him a good bath.
For the first time ever, Colden did not fight us. 
He was exhausted.
After his bath, Adam brought him downstairs so I could finish cleaning the bathroom floor. All of a sudden I hear Adam let out a yelp.
We were right.
Colden did have diarrhea and picked our one and only rug to leave it.
It then happened again.
Adam and I both just shrugged our shoulders and quickly began cleaning. Adam gagged and I chuckled at him. 
Then I gagged and he laughed right back. 
We both continued gagging and laughing as we finished cleaning. We were both grateful for Colden's size. 
He is only 30lbs. 
We were grateful for our little guy and would never wish this upon any dog and their owners, especially big dogs with big stomachs.
By the time we finished cleaning up after Colden, the house was just begging us to keep pushing through and finish what we started.
We worked together and finished cleaning..a good "Spring" cleaning.
Then, at 830pm, we sat down.
We ate pizza and enjoyed our movie and the fresh aroma of our house.
Colden barked at us to play with him.
He is just fine.

Practice.
This entire afternoon and evening has been excellent Mommy and Daddy practice.
Our dog was sick and literally oozing everywhere.
One day it will be a kid.
Then kids.
Yes, this was excellent practice..props to all the parents reading this!

The day is now over and our bed sounds so good.

3.15.2011

.I've got me some BUTTONS.

Buttons.

Blog Buttons.

SillySmart?

Who really knows :)

My hubs made me not one, but TWO BUTTONS.

I love them.

I now "fit in" with the rest of Blog World.

It feels good.

Introducing:


One button says, "featured on..--this means I will be sharing 
some beautiful creations from Blog World!

I am excited.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to post my new buttons on my blog 
with the code accessible for you, my followers..sounds easy, right?

Oh dear.

If you are new to my blog and would like to become a follower, 
my follower box is kind of hidden, sorry!

Scroll down.

Keep going.

You'll find it!

{It's all the way on the bottom}

Wish me luck on the 
BUTTONS ;)