Friday, October 10, 2014

Type Table

I was recently in an antique store with my mom in our little town and I came across this gem.  A vintage typewriter table was not what I was looking for, but let's get real. Does anyone ever really go into an antique store looking for anything in particular?

It reminded me so much of my granmom's gun metal table just like it that I knew it had to have it.  My brother had my granmom's and since industrial design is such a popular style right now it could go anywhere in my house.
When I first got it home I'm pretty sure it sat in at least four different places.  I like where it is now, but my concern was that I was going to run into it leaving the kitchen going into the rest of the house.  So after leaving it there for a few days under the sweet tea sign I decided to dress it up a bit.
So what did I dress this beauty with?  Well of course I had to get some new frames, because of course nothing I previously had would do...  and Target did not fail.  My mom and dad humored me and we stood in the frame aisle for about ten minutes as I walked up and down and up and down and I must say I am thrilled with my choices.  I even brought a little chevron in, which is a first for me.  I filled the frames with wonderful memories from this summer.  The lower left is my mom, dad and I on the beach in England this summer.  There were kite surfers and it was beautiful, and I swear I have never been so cold.  The top left is lavender at a lavender farm in England with a bee on it.  And the other photo is my amazing home group at church.  

The other pieces, some Jones soda bottles and a Welch's Grape soda bottle with fun drip candles.  The box is a tin from Nice, France filled with photos from my wonderful trips to Nice and Monaco.  My favorites pieces are my granmom and grandfather's ruler and scale.  I love having those piece of them close, especially when a scale is something I use everyday.  

This table was a pleasant surprise in an unlikely place, but I am so thrilled to have it in my home.  Another place to show off my memories and pictures of the ones I love with the ones I love.

What are some of your favorite antique finds?  Any surprising finds?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Earlier this year over Valentine's weekend Katie and I loaded up on a Thursday night and headed for Oklahoma City for the weekend.  Our goal for the weekend was to enjoy some girl time and to get away for a while but we honestly never expected to have such a wonderful weekend.  I will tell you all about that wonderful weekend in another post to come soon, but for today it is all about the beautiful Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

Having grown up so close to Oklahoma and remembering when the bombing happened we knew that we could not spend the weekend in OKC without spending some time there.  Having grown up in a family that traveled and stopped at every museum we passed I have some experience with these sort of things.  Some are great, some are satisfactory, and some like Pearl Harbor just blow you away.  Katie and I went to Pearl Harbor together and we will both tell you that after experiencing it the Oklahoma City National Memorial is just as spectacular.  They are very different in magnitude and landscape, but never-the-less both breath taking and so well done.
We started our time at the memorial in the museum and toured the many floors of the exhibit.  It was so well done from the moment you stepped in the building and it truly made you feel like you were there to experience the bombing.  That was both chilling and sobering at the same time.

After touring the museum, watching many videos and even meeting a friend of one of the children that passed in the bombing we headed out to the outdoor memorial.  I had heard about how breath taking it was from friends, but still I was not prepared for it.  We walked around for quite some time, enjoyed the sun and got some great shots of the chairs and reflection pool.  Each end of the pool represents the times of that morning that truly changed that city forever.
Each chair represents someone that passed away in the bombing.  There are 168 chairs and 9 rows to represent the floors of the building.  They will literally stop you in your tracks when you see the names and the smaller chairs for the children.  

Katie and I headed back later that night after a wonderful day in the city for some more shots of the beautiful outdoor memorial.  I had seen pictures before and heard all about it, and even after seeing it that morning I was not prepared for the beauty of the soft glow of the chairs and he moon shinning above.  If you even get the privilege of visiting the memorial you MUST go at night.  You will not regret it. 

This memorial was one of the best I have ever visited and I am truly humbled to have been able to spent some quality time there.  My recommendation to anyone visiting Oklahoma City is that you must schedule plenty of time to both walk through the museum, the outdoor memorial and visit it at night.  For some, April 19th is just a day, but for others it is a day that forever changed their lives.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Heirlooms: Ethan Allen

Transitional Design is a term I have heard mentioned a lot lately and I like to think that my home encompasses a lot of qualities that this movement embodies. I love the idea of the term and what it stands for, what it implies, and the unknowns of it. A few key words and phrases about this design upon a quick Google search make me love it even more.

-Mix between traditional and contemporary
-Updated classic
-Clean lines
-Heirlooms along side new
My favorite part of transitional design is the old world charm of tradition with contemporary glass and chrome. It is a beautiful mixture of styles and in this case describes my home.  When I moved into my home after renovating it there were actually very few pieces I had to buy because I had heirlooms stashed away just ready to be moved in. Two of my pieces that make this house a home are my two Ethan Allen pieces. One was my granny's on my mom's side and the other my granmom's on my dad's side. Both of these furniture piece previous lives were in completely different homes but put together in mine they make the perfect room.
The dining table and chairs were some of the pieces I was most excited to bring into my home when I moved in. Since my grandfather's passing in 2006 the dinning table had been stored under my bed in many pieces at my parents house to protect the finish and the chairs in my grandad's shop. Not only was I ready to move in so I could quit stubbing my toe on it under my bed, but putting it back in the exact same house and place it was originally bought for put me over the moon. This table was quite the splurge for my depression era grandparents and the hope of eating around the same table I have so many childhood memories from meant the world to me. I knew that when my granny's heirloom dinning table was placed on my shinny new hardwood floors and underneath my new contemporary chandelier this home was going to come together.

The other beautiful piece in my dinning area is my granmom's credenza or server. It sat in her dinning room in Denton, Texas on sea foam green carpet with a large mirror above it next to her formal tea service as long as I can remember. There were always the most beautiful arrangements on it and it was present at every family gathering in her house over the years. My parents recently gave it to me and I never expected it to complement the table so well. From the looks of things you would think my grandmothers bought these pieces together.

While unpacking some boxes of my granny's I came across this catalog and sales add for her dinning table and chairs. The add was from 1983 and has her handwriting saying "our table and chairs" but she actually bought it in 1972 when they built the house.  Much to my surprise the picture that my granny marked in the catalog had the very credenza that my other grandmother bought.  In case you were wondering, that is just crazy.  What are the odds that both of these beautiful pieces of furniture were on the very same page.
These two pieces are so versatile and can carry the design of both traditional and contemporary, which is perfect for me. It is amazing to me how they can hold things like my great grandmother's burlap table runner, granny's crystal cake stand and my father's vintage fan. Now if that's not transitional design I don't know what is.
How have you incorporated transitional design into your own home? What family heirlooms do you have?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas

Last weekend my parents, cousin Janis and I headed to Houston for a quick trip.  From our parts of DFW it took us bout four and a half hours to get there.  We headed out first thing Saturday morning and our objective for the weekend was to see the Rangers play some baseball at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros.  None of us had ever been to the ballpark and really Houston. so we were excited to check it out.

We arrived early afternoon and after checking into our beautiful hotel, Hilton Americas- Houston, we headed out and grabbed some lunch.  We walked around Discovery Park and could not get over how great the weather actually was.  After hanging out at the hotel some we finally headed to the ballpark to check it out before the game.  
When my parents first asked me if I wanted to join them on the trip I could not believe they were thinking about going to Houston in August, but since the ballpark has a closed roof it was very comfortable.  Actually, I was quite chilly for our first game.  At our first game of the weekend we sat on the second 'Club' level and had a great view.  We could see everything from there and really enjoyed the night game. 

On Sunday we enjoyed the morning at the hotel since it was raining and had a lovely breakfast at the hotel.  We packed our bags and once again headed to the ballpark a bit early.  Our seats this time around were wonderful and we loved being so close to the field.  My dad admitted that he had looked at so many tickets while planning that he was even surprised that our seats were so good.  Thanks, dad!
Even though the Rangers didn't win while we were there it was still a wonderful trip.  I cannot say enough about our great hotel and the wonderful ballpark.  We all decided that this trip needs to be a yearly thing, so expect this same post next year.  We are hoping to get to spend more time in the city next time, so I'll be sure to ask for suggestions when we get around to planning the next one.

At the end of the day, we got to see some great baseball and ultimately my favorite part was some great family time.  Go Rangers!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finish this... the curls.

When I saw that this weeks prompts were all about the hair I had to get in on the fun.  My curls are my life, so it only makes since for them to be a talking point on this blog of mine.

My daily hair routine consists of... lots of curls.  My father likes to refer to my morning hair as Sigourney Weaver hair from Ghostbusters, so as you can imagine there is some work to be done in the mornings.  My routine truly starts after I shower each night with spray leave-in conditioner and curly hair gel.  I scrunch it in and let it air dry, so in the mornings I never know what I am going to wake up to.  After stumbling to the mirror in the mornings with my coffee I pin back my bangs and turn on the water.  I just went my hands and run my fingers through my hair to calm down the curls, straighten my bangs and top it all off with some hairspray.  It is really rather easy.

The best hair advice I have received... is to get it cut often and not neglect the curls.

My hair idol is... Abbie from M is for Mama.  Two months before I met her in person I literally took her picture into Keeley's salon and said 'let's do this'.  So of course when I met her not only was I thrilled because Abbie is awesome, but we were also able to have the instant bond of curls.

Once again, many thanks to Nicole, Becky, Jen and Lisa for hosting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Apparently I have a blog.

Not quite sure where to start today since it has been quite a while since I last came to you all with my heart on my sleeve and a few words to share.  To summarize the last few months. sometimes life is not made out for blogging.

Happily a really good life has been what has been getting in the way of blogging and I cannot complain.  Not one bit.  Friends, family, relationships. traveling, work and much more have caused me to put down the laptop and just enjoy life.  If you follow me on The Gram, then you have been seeing my life in color and I'm pretty happy with the way it has been lately.
The Cliffs of Dover outside Dover, England
This Texas summer has been heavenly.  The weather has been out of this world and there seriously not words to describe to you how wonderful it has been unless you have been living in it yourself.  Seriously, I was wearing a sweater on a Friday night just a month ago.  I tell you, heavenly.  

Work has been work.  Truthfully I got a bit burned out at the beginning of the summer with some long hours and some tough moments with my team.  But, over the last few weeks I have been reminded why I love design and with an awesome open house on a project that was in construction for over 14 months my love for design has been renewed.

Wanderlust struck once again and after two and a half weeks in England and Scotland I am happy to say that my heart is happy for a while.  There will be many posts in the near future to share all of our many adventures.  It is hard to believe that we saw as much as we did in two weeks and that trip was definitely part of what helped rejuvenate my spirits for going back to work.

There will be more updated to come in the upcoming weeks, but for now know that I am happy to be back in the blogging community and have missed you all something fierce!  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Monaco Grand Prix: Three Years Later

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
Yep, standing on the soon to be race track!
As of this coming weekend it will officially be three years since I had one of the best weekends of my life and attended the Monaco Grand Prix.  Two days after graduating college I headed to Nice, France for a week long mission trip and extended my stay with my friend Christeen after the group went home to see the sights for another week and attend the grand prix.

Since those two weeks and my two trips to Nice the Monaco Grand Prix has had a special place in my heart.  I love to follow the Formula 1 circuit and have had fun looking through my photos from that memorable weekend, so I thought I would share them with you all along with my stories from that 'Bucket List Item' weekend.

While my team was still in Nice we took the train to Monaco one afternoon to walk around and see the preparations for the upcoming race.  I had been there the year before, but saw it in a totally different light then because I knew that the next time I got off the train it would be for the Saturday practice sessions for THE Grand Prix!
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Above are a few pictures from that day walking around with my mission team and let me just tell you we walked and walked that day!  We knew our way around pretty well from being there the year before and well because Monaco is tiny, but there were barricades and grand stands every where so we had quite the challenge getting around.  

We eventually ended up across from the castle and the bay and little did I know but in those pictures were our seats for the next week.  We didn't have glamorous seats but they sure did have a view, as you will see later, and that hillside covered in trees in the top left picture would be where we would find ourselves just a few days later.  
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
First glimpse of THE Event!
Fast forward one week and on an extremely early morning Christeen and I found ourselves stepping off the train in Monaco for the practice rounds.  The night before and weeks leading up to this day I had studies the maps and read reviews after reviews and had a pretty good idea where our seats were and what to expect.  We were sitting in the Sector Rocher and it was basically a free for all on a hillside.  

Knowing this we got up as early as possible to catch the first train to Monaco and truly had no idea what the day had in store for us.  After following the signs we got to our gate and got our tickets swiped and program bought.  From there you could literally sit anywhere in the area.  So we wandered around and found ourselves fairly close to the top of the hillside just off the road and a grassy area.  

Soon after we got settled we realized we were in the midst of a group that had been coming to the grand prix and sitting in the same areas for years.  They were from all over Europe and had a common bond of Formula 1.  The ring leader of the group was Billy and he would entertain us for the next two days while we waited for the main event.  They welcomed us into their group and when they found out we were from Texas they loved us!  That group is part of the reason that we had such a memorable experience.  They made us laugh, looked out for us, and helped us embrace the 'Bucket List' weekend that much more.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, and Mark Weber

Even though we were on a hillside we had the best seats in the house for many reasons.  We were under a shade tree, could see the track in seven different places, looked right down pit lane, and the walking bridge that all the drivers walked across was directly in front of us.  During our two days each time a driver would walk across Billy would get his mega phone and yell their names and inevitably they would stop and give us a wave.  Honestly, it was a bit unreal.  We saw legends, we saw rookies, and even a few celebrities.  
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
The day of the race we showed up around the same time and greeted our new friends.  We got settled and excited because the big day had finally arrived.  The two pictures above are from the Formula Renault 3.5 race which happened before all the Formula 1 festivities.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
A little after noon the Drivers Parade happened and it was so cool to see all the drivers at once.  Many of them were interviewed as they rode around and we got to watch the interviews on the big screens.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
After the parade the Principality of Monaco made a lap around and next thing we knew the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix was underway.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix

Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
As you can see, we had unbelievable "seats" and they view was spectacular.  We could see the track from many different views and watching down pit lane was probably my favorite.  Towards the end of the race they had to stop because of an accident.  During the stop all the mechanics raced toward the starting line to work on the cars.  My favorite thing from that break was the single mechanic that you see in the photo above on the right running as fast as he could carrying a front wing.  Maybe it's just me, but that is funny.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
On the last lap Sebastian Vettel was the clear winner so his pit crew raced across pit lane to wave at him(above picture) as he approached his last few turns.  
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
And there he is, Vettel coming down to finish his last lap(above picture on the left).  His pit crew was all to the left in pit lane and as soon as he passed they all took off for the finish line(above picture on the right).
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand PrixEnjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
The presentation ceremony was a lot of fun to watch and the music was blaring through out the hole thing which made it even better.  We thought the cars were loud, then the music started and we reconsidered our previous thoughts.
Enjoying the Journey - Monaco Grand Prix
That amazing weekend was and will forever be one of the most amazing weekends of my life.  Yes I got to see an amazing race with Vettel making history and seeing other history makers like Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, and  Jenson Button, but the true experience was the excitement of the crowd.  The excitement and joy when a Ferrari would pass someone and gain on the leader.  The excitement when a driver would take just a few seconds to stop and wave at us.  And most importantly the excitement of the racing history in that small country.