‘Falling for’ Fridays & #HELPZOE

This edition of ‘Falling for’ Fridays is dedicated to a sweet little girl named Zoe Tipping.

Matt and I belonged to Midtown Fellowship church when we lived in Columbia, SC.  We loved the family & community we had there and still miss it greatly.

A  couple of weeks ago at my sister-in-law’s wedding we ran into a friend who still attends Midtown and he told Matt of some terrible news.

Our former pastor Allen Tipping & his wife Courtney’s three-year old little girl Zoe has cancer.  Specifically Wilm’s tumor, an embryonic kidney cancer.  Zoe’s cancer is stage four and has spread to her lungs.

Read her story here.

I can’t tell you how much my heart has ached over sweet Zoe these past few weeks.  Life isn’t fair, not when a precious little girl has to suffer like this.  Not when a wonderful family who has been through so much pain has to endure so much more.  But in the same breath I am reminded that although not fair, life is a gift, and a gift we neither earn nor deserve.  As the Tippings say: “Zoe means life, and life is exactly what we are begging God for.”

Visit helpzoe.com  for more information and on how you can #helpzoe.


Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

My youngest ‘girl’ turned one this week 🙂  She is a giant sweetheart who loves unconditionally and cracks us up daily with her funny personality…

She greets us after our showers in the mornings…



Sits like a human…



Hates baths but is always getting into messes…



Falls asleep in the weirdest positions…






LOVES snuggling her big sister :)…




And brings such joy into our lives.  We got her this big ol’ ball for her birthday….



And I think she likes it 🙂






We love you Chloe!  Happy Birthday!



For better or worse?

Have you ever been to the eye doctor and had them flip the little lenses back and forth in front of your eyes while staring at the alphabet chart?  They ask you “which is better, lens A or lens B?”  Half the time there is a minuscule difference in clarity and I honestly don’t know which one to pick (um…B?  Maybe?).   Occasionally I suffer from the inability to pick the ‘better lens’ in my design choices too.

Which is where a fresh set of eyes comes in handy (aka yours)!

This particular dilemma is about a rug.  Actually a couple of rugs.  I bought these right when we moved into the house and promptly had to put them into storage thanks to a certain non-housebroken pup.  Now that she’s over that phase (yay!)  I felt it was time to break them out again.  Only thing is I can’t decide where to put them… help!

So do you like A…


or B?



Again, A…


or B?



And just to complicate it more here is are some alternate placements for both rugs…


So A…


or back to B?



And another A…


or B?



What do you think?  Do you love or hate any of the placements?  Should I start the hunt over with all new rugs?  Give up on rugs altogether and just have the bare floors?

Thank for the advice!


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‘Falling for’ Fridays

Just a little look into the things I’m ‘falling for’ these days…

#1: This swimming girl…


Sophie is a champion swimmer.  From the day she decided that water wasn’t scary it has been hard to keep her out of it.  And although it’s pretty unusual for Bostons to like water we always hoped Chloe would follow in Soph’s footsteps.  The first couple times we took her it seemed pretty unlikely… when put in the water it was clear she could swim but it didn’t seem that she would ever want to.  Well this week we went over to my sister’s place to try again.  She has a pond on the property where she lives and the girls love to go visit.  Sophie immediately jumped in to retrieve her swim toy and a few seconds later… plop!  Chloe got in by herself and swam around like a little otter!   It took her a few tries to grab the swim toy without drowning herself but she got the hang of it!  So proud of my baby girl! 🙂


#2.  This recipe…


I love finding recipes that are quick, easy, and delicious for a weeknight meal and this hit all three!   I served it over brown rice and also added steamed broccoli.  Matt and I couldn’t stop exclaiming how delicious this was and we both seriously looked forward to the leftovers (fatties, haha).  I found it on pinterest but the link to the original blog post can be found here.


#3:  This duvet set…


I’ve been wanting something lighter and brighter for our master bedroom and this set really caught my eye.  It is the Lombard Signature from Crane & Canopy.  I’ve never bought anything from them before but discovered them on The Happy Housie’s bedroom makeover post.  It’s the exact style that I’ve been looking for and much more reasonable than most bed sets I’ve seen.  I would love for the Lombard set to come live with me someday soon (hint hint Matt).


#4: This patio makeover…

Outdoor patio redesign: new deck on top of concrete slab

Matt and I have a boring ol’ slab of concrete that serves as our backyard patio.  Functionally it’s great, but it’s not so pretty on the eyes.  Since our house is built on a slab we really didn’t think we could do much in the way of a deck (and we’re not very builder-knowledgeable people).  When I stumbled upon this post by the View Along The Way I knew we had found our answer.  Pretty backyard deck here we come!


#5:  This face…

Puppy Enjoying a Popsicle

SERIOUSLY how cute is that?!?!  Sure, this is not my dog, nor do I have any idea whose dog this is, BUT it’s a squishy faced pup loving him some Popsicle.  I’ve had a rough week at work and sometimes you just need a fuzzy-pick-me-up.  You’re welcome 🙂


So that’s what I’m falling for this week!  What are some of the things you’re falling for?

Dining Room Diva

We have a new addition to our family…

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Isn’t she gorgeous?!?!


Matt and I have a track record of being ‘fast shoppers’.   When it comes time for us to make big purchases we typically make them the same day we go shopping  ‘just to look’.  This happened with our mattress, car, couch, and now our dining table.  In our defense we do a lot of online shopping/reading reviews before hand and we never allow ourselves to get serious about it until we have the money in our pockets.  I guess it’ just when we fall, we fall hard 🙂  I received a nice bonus this year at work and Matt told me I got to pick exactly what I wanted to spend it on.  I chose a new dining set and the hunt was on.

We knew we wanted a farmhouse-style table with lots of seating.  Since we don’t have a formal dining room it didn’t make sense to get a formal-style table but we still wanted something large enough to host a lot of people.  After a lot of internet searching we found this Champagne Dining Set at Macy’s of all places… and best of all it was SUPER on sale thanks to it being Memorial Day.  (Note: if you need to make a big furniture purchase and can wait until the next holiday, do it!  Most places have killer sales for things like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc.).

Luckily our local Macy’s had this one in stock so we could look at it in person (I am wary of buying things online sometimes, colors in pictures can be so deceiving).  And I was glad we went because even though the color online looked a little brown/tan, in real-life the wood had a lot more red in it which perfectly matched the floors/cabinets in the kitchen.  Matt actually made us walk around to a few more stores just to make sure we weren’t ‘rushing into things’… but we ended up back at Macy’s that night to place our order!

Fast forward a few days and they delivered and put the table together for me.  I had never ordered anything from Macy’s before but they had good service and I would recommend them to anyone.  One thing the sales lady told me was that by ordering in-store your money goes back into the local community (rather than online where it just goes to corporate) which was a cool factor for us.


It really is the perfect color for the space, you can see how well it goes with the cabinets in this shot.  The table, bench, and chairs are all solid acacia wood.



I only had four place-mats from the old table so I’m going to move those to the patio table outside (they’re woven plastic).  I found these gorgeous Moroccan-style printed ones at World Market after shopping around.



Matt’s sister got married this past weekend and my mother-in-law brought some of the flowers to me afterwards.  Aren’t they beautiful?  Sarah was a gorgeous bride, the wedding was truly beautiful, and we are so happy to officially welcome her husband Andrew to the family!



More wedding flowers


So that’s a short little update for this week.. We had a lot of Matt’s family in town for the wedding and already got to host a big breakfast at our table and it’s perfect!


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Choosing Paint Colors

Picking paint colors for our new house was one of the few things that brought me to tears when it came to choosing all the details.  I know, I know, that seems dramatic but I was really overwhelmed when trying to decide.  We hired a friend of ours who was a contract painter to paint almost all of the downstairs the  week between closing & moving in.  Firstly I knew we had a limited window for painting and secondly I didn’t want to do was regret a color and have a DIY-paint job over a pro-paint job we had already paid for.   And there are literally THOUSANDS of colors out there so even just walking into a paint department can be paralyzing.
So how do you choose?  I hope to share a few of the things that helped me in the hopes that they can help you too (and maybe save you some tears!)
The first thing I did was look at my Pinterest boards to see what colors I liked in the rooms/designs I had pinned.  If you don’t have a Pinterest account to look over you can do the same thing with house/design magazines or even browse online at a place like Houzz (they have thousands of room images!).  When you’ve found a bunch of rooms you like I bet you’ll find a color theme running through them as well.  I found I was drawn to soft coastal colors: blues, greens, grays, and whites.
Secondly I narrowed it down by what I knew I didn’t like.  I enjoy color so I knew I didn’t want anything too neutral (ie no beige/tan)  but I also knew I wanted something calming, light, & airy (ie no strong saturation/bright colors).
Thirdly I went to Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, Ace Hardware, etc. and picked up some paint chips.  I stayed within my blue/green/gray color family and chose lighter more neutral tones.  Then when I brought them home I laid them against things like our comforter & furniture that we would be keeping.  This helped narrow down my chips to a few per room that worked well with the things we already had.  For example I have an apple green (think yellow undertones) mixer in our kitchen and that helped me eliminate colors that had clashing undertones (like blue or red).  You don’t necessarily want to match the color perfectly but you certainly want everything to work together.
Fourth once I had my few colors picked I googled them all to see a real-life picture of a room with each paint.  Granted photos on a computer screen aren’t exactly like real-life but it does let you see certain things.  For example “wow that color appears a lot darker than I imagined” or “this color looks great with all the red accessories in the photo”.  Seeing ‘live’ colors really helped me feel confidence that I could trust what the colors would look like on my own walls.
Lastly, I made sure to consult Matt on what he wanted to see in his house  (since it is his house too :-)).  I knew he didn’t care much about the color choices but I did run everything I liked past him to make sure he liked them too.  He actually had a request for a green room (didn’t care which one lol) and so that’s how I settled on a green hue for the kitchen.  It’s not in-your-face green, but a really neutral khaki green that changes beautifully with the light at different times of day.
Our House hues (so far):
Living room & hallway:
Sherwin Williams Rainwashed
Master Bathroom:
Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Master Bedroom:
Sherwin Williams Silvermist
Kitchen & Dinning area:
Benjamin Moore Dune Grass



dune grass


I hope these tips help you pick our your own colors without the fear of indecision!  And on a side note we have lived with these colors for over six months now and I absolutely LOVE them, so there must be some method to my madness 😉


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Mountain Weekend

We spent the weekend in the North Carolina Mountains near Highlands, NC with our community group from church.

The house where we stayed belonged to friends of our group leaders who generously let us come up and crash for a few days.  It was such a cool mountain house with really great décor and beautiful views.  Even though I forgot my good camera I managed to snag some pictures on my phone to share!


The house as you drive up (and up and up and UP.  This really was a mountain top location!).



I want one of these trees 🙂



View from the front porch…


and view from the back porch!


You walk inside to these high lofted ceilings…


and a two-story fireplace.  I loved the old ladder as décor!


View of the living area from the loft.


This back porch swing was awesome.


A bunch of fun details from around the house:




We also drove into Highlands and did some shopping/sightseeing.


I forgot to take many pictures thanks to being distracted with car-sickness but I did manage to get this one of a mason jar ‘tree’ in a cool home shop there.


On the drive home we stopped to check out Dry Falls… which was actually very wet.


Love him 🙂


You can see the tiny-looking people in the right of this shot; the waterfall is huge!



The coolest thing about this waterfall is you can walk behind it.

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Our community group leaders


It was so good to get away to the mountains and spend some time in creation and hanging out with a great group of people.  I hope your weekend was equally wonderful, if not, I highly recommend checking this place out!