Gotta Love a Good Vacay!

Yep, I've gone and done it again! I have gone far too long without blogging. But this time is different; this time I have a reasonable excuse. For the last week, I've been vacationing at Myrtle Beach with the people I love!

Last week Kevin and I headed to the beach with his family for their annual July vacation. As usual the trip was a blast. We shared lots of laughs with the whole crew and made lots of memories! And as always this trip was also filled with interesting events.For instance, this year Kevin and I shared a bed with Kevin's brother and his girlfriend. Yes, you've got it...four people were sleeping in the same bed! It was something to say the least but we made do! I also got sun poisoning on our trip which was extremely weird. I've spent my whole summer in the sun and haven't burnt once. Yet, by our second day at the beach, I developed sun poisoning without even having a sunburn! I've never had it before and I hope to never have it again. That stuff is no joke! I've never itched so much in my life! Thank the Lord for the makers of Benadryl!

All in all, it was probably one of the best vacations that we've all taken as a family. While on vacation we soaked up some sun, floated the lazy river, played putt putt, took in a movie, celebrated the hubby's 29th birthday, had dinner out each night at some of our favorite restaurants, went ziplining, played bingo, did a little shopping, spoiled our niece absolutely rotten, and overall just enjoyed ourselves! I mean can it get any better than that?

And of course you guys know I'll leave you with some pictures (:

Me & my birthday boy (:

The brother in law and his 2 pound hamburger! No joke!

Dinner oceanside! (: It was sooo romantic!

Aunt Brooke with Samantha! Is she not a doll baby?! One proud auntie right here!

Pool day!

The hubby ziplining across Barefoot Landing!

The gorgeous sunset on the way home! Don't you just love God's masterpieces!


Milk Jug #2

A few weeks ago, I restored an old milk jug that had been in my family since before my birth. You can see the post about it here. I was completely unsure of how it would turn out but in the end it was perfect and I love looking out on my back porch in the morning and seeing it sit between my two rockers. After getting so many compliments on my handiwork, I decided I wanted to restore another milk jug to sit on my front porch. The problem however was that my parents only had one jug! So I set out to find another one...

To my luck, my cousin and brother in law work for DH Griffin, a large salvage company located within our state. (Side note: They took down the Twin Towers after 911! How cool is that?!). So one day a few weeks ago, I shot Daniel an email and asked if they ever get milk jugs at the salvage yard. To my happiness, he replied that people bring them in every day! I asked what it would cost for me to purchase one and he figured a few bucks. So I asked him to look for one in good condition and told him if he found one to get it for me and I'd pay him back. Within about five minutes, he sent me an email saying he'd found one, sent me a picture of it, and asked if I wanted it! And needless to say...of course I did!

That night he brought it home to me and I wanted to start on it right away! Unfortunately, one thing after the other has occurred since that Friday night several weeks ago and I am just now having time to work on it. But thanks to my patience, it turned out pretty perfect as well!

Here is the jug prior to working on it!

 I love that you can see the "New England Dairies" label

After using a steel buffer, sanding it, and placing 3 layers of paint on it...here it is!
I just love how it turned out. 

Before & After!

Because it's going to sit on my front porch as a planter, I decided to place our address numbers on it! I thought it would add the perfect little touch. What do you think?



... hired a LANDSCAPER!

When Kevin and I purchased our home in the summer of 2010, our yard was immaculate; no other word could describe it. When Kevin came across our house on an MLS listing site, the yard is what first caught his attention and is essentially what lead us to purchase our home. The owner at the time did not work and she spent the majority of her day making sure the flowers were watered, that no weeds had snuck up in the flower beds, and that the sprinklers were on to keep the yard watered and looking green. In essence, she made sure the yard was perfect...and it was! 

Here are some of the photos of the yard that were taken and placed on the MLS site when our house first went up for sale...

This is what it looks like two years later. As you can tell...it's far from perfect, beautiful, and immaculate!
*Sorry I didn't get pictures of the front yard before he started!*

And this is what it looks like now after James, our handy landscaper, took care of the place for us (: It looks amazing again!
*Sorry for the poor coloring...it's been a rainy week!*

Ahh I love it! James did such a good job and I'd highly recommend him to anyone in the area!

What do you think?!


{Recipes}: "Crack" Bread

Last week I came across this recipe for cheddar bacon ranch pulls. I love all things cheddar, bacon, & ranch so I thought..."shoot, I'll try this!" And so I did and it was delicious. Here you go ladies, enjoy! FYI, It's called crack bread for a reason; after the first bite you're hooked!

What You'll Need:
-Loaf of sourdough bread
-Shredded cheese
-Real bacon bits
-Ranch dressing mix
-One stick of butter

Step One: Slice bread loaf in both directions but do not cut through the bottom of the loaf!

Step Two: Stuff shredded cheese & bacon bits in between slices

Step Three: Melt a stick of butter in the microwave. The mix together a half a packet of ranch dressing mix with butter. Pour over top of bread loaf.

Step Four: Wrap loaf in tin foil and place in oven on 350 for 15 minutes.

Step Five: After 15 minutes, remove tin foil from top of loaf and return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Voila! It's finished. Now eat and enjoy every.single.bite!


The Milk Jug

When I was a little girl, my parents had an old metal milk jug that sat on our front porch. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a picture of an old metal milk jug on pinterest and the thought of my family's popped into my mind. Immediately I emailed my mom at work and asked her if we still had it. A short time later she wrote back and said she thought we did but told me I'd have to ask Dad what in the world he had done with it. So last week as I was over at the parents house having a Daddy/daughter day, I remembered the jug and asked Dad where it was. To my surprise, he walked right to the corner of the garage and there it sat! I was ecstatic! I asked if I could have it and of course, he was happy to get rid of it. It had sat in that corner for years because as always, Mom didn't want to get rid of anything because "You never know! Someone might want it one day!" Well this time, Mom was right! As soon as I got it in my hands, I set out to work on my newest project.

To begin with the jug was painted red! Here it is in it's original form when Andrew and I were mere toddlers!

At some point throughout the years, Mom and Dad repainted it this greenish color to match what used to be the color of our shutters. This is how I inherited it!

After taking a drill with a steel buffer, a paint scraper, and sand paper to it, I got the jug stripped down to it's original metal. 

Then I coated it with a can of Rustoleum semi-gloss paint

And after a few hours, I added another!

And voila, it was finished! It fits perfectly between the two rocking chairs that I also saved from a life of seclusion in my parents garage! 

I am in love with how it turned out! What do you think!?


My First Trip to IKEA

This past Monday, Alyson and I decided to make the hour and a half drive to Charlotte, NC and hit up Concord Mills and check out IKEA. We started at the mall first. They had some amazing deals going on and I purchased an adorable black blazer with striped cuffs for $24 and 3 t-shirts for $10 at Papaya! (Made the trip so worth while as I've looked everywhere for a cute black blazer!!!). After shopping for ourselves, we headed to Education Express to purchase some things for our classrooms. Speaking of which, Alyson was just hired as a 2nd grade teacher in Guilford County! I am super proud of her!!

After spending an hour in Education Express, we decided to head out to IKEA. Neither of us had ever been and had no idea what to expect. Lord knows we weren't expecting to see what we saw. When we pulled into the parking lot, we were both amazed! The place was HUGE; it was like Sam's Club & Walmart combined! The place took up a whole block and on top of that...it was two stories!

When we headed inside we didn't even know where to start. We grabbed a buggy and made the decision to go down every single aisle! We thought it would take an hour to do so...HA..try three! We were overwhelmed. As we walked down aisle after aisle we couldn't believe how cheap everything was! We grabbed item after item and threw them into our buggies!

The main floor was filled with decorative items and the essentials. The top floor was the showroom. After spending forever downstairs, we made our way to the showroom to check out all of the furniture. As we walked around browsing, we took note of all of the cute rooms they had put together. I fell in love with all of the closet showrooms! You guys know I'm a sucker for giant closets..especially organized ones! And then when we stumbled upon the bedroom showroom, there sat the bedroom suite that I had looked for for the past year and hadn't been able to find anywhere! Have any of you ladies done that? In your mind you know what you're looking for but you just don't actually know where to find it?! Well it had happened to me!

For the past year Kevin and I have been looking for a new bedroom suite but everything I found, I found something wrong with it. It wasn't the right color; it didn't have enough drawers in the dresser; the headboard was ugly; the dresser was ugly; I didn't like the hardware/handles; and on and on the flaws went. And when I saw the Hemnes collection, it was perfect! Better yet, it cost half and even a fourth of the price of some of the bedroom sets we had looked at! I was in heaven. I snapped a picture of that bad boy and sent it to the hubby! As usual the response I get..."I'm not good at picking out that stuff. Whatever you like babe. If you want it get it!" Ha I love him!  Unfortunately, we didn't drive a truck down there so I had no way of getting it home. So that secured me another trip back to this little shopping heaven! Yayyyyy!

In the end, Alyson and I left with two buggies packed to the top full of items purchased from Ikea. I wish I'd have snapped pictures. In the end those two buggies combined only costed us $130! Whoaaaaa! Where else can you go and do that?! Ahhh I can't wait to go back! I actually even dreamed of the place Monday night...is that bad?! haha

Oh well ladies, if you haven't been before...GO! Just be prepared to take all day to do it! Like I said, we thought we'd be there for an hour. It took us three! 

And before I go, let me show you a picture I found via pinterest of the fabulous bedroom set...Needless to say though, we'll be needing more pieces! But you get the gist! Now to just decide which additional pieces I'd like and if I want it in this color or the dark brown... but I'll leave all that for another post!

Happy shopping ladies!