Thursday, July 21, 2011

Simple, Southern Design

Ryan and I bought a house (finally!) about 2 months ago.  It is really cute- just a classic one story with a basement, expansive front porch, and 4.5 acres.   

It took nearly a month to paint (we painted 8 rooms--everything but the basement) and I'm not near being done decorating.  Picking out pictures, pillows, and accessories has been fun and...expensive.  I try to be thrifty, but that's really not my specialty.  

While I am not yet ready to post any pictures of our house (give me another month or so to collect more odds and ends) I do want to post some pictures that inspire me and well frankly, make me jealous.  There is a house down the road from us that I run by everyday, and everyday I think that if I owned that house, I would decorate it very similar to some of these pictures.

I love our house, and I am happy with what we've done with it so far, but for now, enjoy these gorgeous pictures of truly simple and Southern homes.

 I love the classic yellow and gray look.  This decorator did a wonderful job pulling both colors back into each other.  He/She obviously watches HGTV ;)  The other thing I love about this is, it seems to maybe be a setup in a hallway or tucked into a corner of a room.  Great idea for a small space.

Hello dream kitchen.  This kitchen embodies all that a Southern kitchen should, from its creamy off white to the yellow accents, big windows, and airy feel.  The colors are similar to those in my mom's kitchen, and I really envy her kitchen.  I love the use of the bar stools to maximize seating while not taking up a lot of room.  The chairs are simple and understated yet would compliment any color scheme.  One more thing to point out, this person did not go all out on the details.  If you notice, all that she is using for accents are lemons, plain lamps, a beautiful flower, a unique towel rack, and a black and white photo.  Very simple, very Southern-love it!

One day I hope to have a guest room similar to this.  The blues, yellows, and greens compliment each other well and create a feeling of total calm in this room.  I feel as though I could lay on that bed and just be at peace.  There is a lot of detail going on this picture.  Each pillow has a different design and the comforter has an intricate, colorful design; even the headboard has a pattern.  The simplicity of the chandelier, curtains, and the beige blanket pull the chaos of the different patterns together to create a beautiful room.

This kitchen intrigues me.  I have no idea what the backstory is, but I am thinking it originally was a very small, rectangular kitchen that had an amazing transformation to maximize space.  I could be wrong, though.  As with the above kitchen, the simplicity is gorgeous.  This designer stuck with grayish blue, crisp white, and yellow accents.  I particularly like these bar stools because they look similar to the color of our kitchen chairs.  The one thing I don't love in this kitchen but could live with, is the floor.  I feel like this kitchen is screaming for hardwood, but nevertheless, it is a beautiful space.

Don't you feel like you just stepped into a Nantucket cottage?  This room is perfect; its airy, adorable, and it gives the feeling of cleanliness.  It is very plain with some wonderful details such as the chandelier and design of the bedframe.  I would be in Heaven if I got to stay in this room for even just one night (can you imagine how I'd be if this was my house?!?) 

This has got to be one of my favorite ideas yet.  The bathroom door is a huge wooden sliding door.  So cool.  And not only that, but look at how the yellow and gray flow into the bathroom and create a bigger feeling space.  There is nothing too fancy about these rooms (except that tub) yet it feels elaborate and very welcoming. Hats off to this person, can I please hire you?

Can you tell that I really love yellow?  This looks to be an attic guest room and I love every detail of it down to the doorknob.  The headboards are almost exactly what I envisioned my kids having one day (I mean if they're girls...) or putting into a guest room.  The scalloped bedspreads are to die for; they are so simple but so elegant.  And I love the way the red in the flowers adds a pop of color to the room!

I like the picture mostly for the pillows.  I think they are so neat and I love the ribbons that surround each one.  I like that each pillow is unique; they remind me of Lilly. I'd love to jazz up our beige sofa like this.

The concept in this room is what I like the most: airy and comfortable.  The exposed, painted, beams on the ceiling give the area a bit of a rustic look while the furniture gives an air of sophistication.  The blue glass lamp is beautiful, I especially like that it has a simple shade.  The large windows open up what is probably a smaller room.  I could sit there and read all day.

Don't you wish you owned each of these rooms?! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Favorite Youtubes

Admit it, you like youtube.  We all do, mostly due in part to the amount of really stupid videos there are on it.  I love stupid Youtube videos; they are like those really stupid movies (aka: Anchorman, Zoolander, Master of Disguise) that I can't get enough of.  Youtube, along with every other website in the world, is blocked at school. Typical. So unlike the rest of the working world, I can't watch the videos on my break.  Sad.  Certain friends are always sending me the latest, and stupidest, find.  After seeing them, perhaps its better that Youtube is blocked- I just never know when some child will wander back into my classroom because they forgot their lib books.

So here they are, my favs!

1. Top 60 Ghetto Names.  Now, you HAVE to watch this one all the way through; I promise you won't be disappointed. Fri'chikenisha.

2. Kick his ask. This one is also my mom's favorite.  That woman gets a real good laugh out of this.  You prob will, too.  When a little girl is asked about a monster...

3. Charlie Bit Me.  This one is just too cute to leave out.  These two little boys are so precious. I love their accents. Charlie

4. Pearl the Landlord.  Omg I love this.  I think Will Ferrel is hilar.  Its funny that someone actually takes the time to make things like this one. You scare me, you're an alcoholic

5. David After Dentist.  This kid is the funniest.  He just had some kind of dental surgery and he's really confused.  Hehe.  Is this real life?

6. You Can Vote However You Like.  My friend Whitney showed me this gem.  These kids are from the Ron Clark Academy and made this before the 2008 elections.  Its awesome.  Obama on the left, McCain on the right

7. The End of The World.  Rayray and I discovered this one way back when in 2003. I know right, I can't even remember that far back.  Its amazing.  Its another one of those made by someone who has a little too much time on their hands...and is very high.  And the Australians are like, wtf mate

8. Paris Hilton. I am by no means a Paris Hilton fan.  She's a little lame.  However, her rebuttal to John McCain's campaign video is really funny.  I'm just hot

I know there a millions more just like these that I've left off, if you know of a really stupid one, send it my way- you know I love it ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Courtney Lately

Lately I have been...busy.  Every day from 7:30-4:30 I babysit two darling little angels.  To me, babysitting 7:30-4:30 makes for a looong day.  Interestingly enough, I work from 7:15-4:30 (at least) every day during the school year.  So what makes babysitting two kids so much longer seeming than babysitting and teaching 25 kids? idk. i really dk.  

S, E, and I have been on the go.  We swim almost every day.  We have a few choices that we switch between: pool in their yard, Green Hills, or the local redneck swimming holes (our personal fav).  We don't just swim, flip, and do handstands; we play categories. And we play categories every single day.  These girls can't get enough of that game.  I'm pretty sure we have covered every category on earth; I mean my most recent one was "items you buy at target"...I was getting desperate.

We've gone hiking; saw a really terrible movie: Monte Carlo; went to the most amazing book fair where I bought an unfortunate amount of books in my classroom (if anyone would like to donate some bookshelves...hint hint); we saw a cool reptile show; and today we saw Jonathan the Juggler--weirdest little man on earth.

Next week they are on vacay, which=vacay for Courtney.  Except not really, I plan to be in my classroom every day. Sad face.

Here are a few things from my life, lately.

Waterfall we hiked to. I was asked several times if we could please go to the top and slide down it. Really?

Casual stroll around the most beautiful neighborhood. nbd.

Fat boy sunning himself.  I can't get enough of this lil piggy.  Ok ok, this big piggy.  Doesn't he just look like he's in heaven?! 

Found these in my hanging fern.  Aren't they pretty?! Don't worry all you wildlife enthusiasts, I didn't touch anything; I hung the fern right back up and momma bird came back to her nest.

...and they turned out be the ugliest little things.  I hope they live in my fern forever so I can watch them transform into something worth looking at; although, the nest does sort of get in the way of my watering.

And last, my two favorite things.  I saw both of these when I was with my little girls; they didn't understand- they thought I was soooo weird for taking the pictures.  They'll get it one day.

I am so sad that this one is so far away.  The up-close picture is blurry.  This is the man: Robert E. Lee.  The caption reads: THE Virginia Gentleman.  Now, can we just get a Confederate flag on the other side of the plate??  just kidding.  sort of.

This one doesn't require explanation.  I recommend anything from Barboursville.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rocky Mountain High

This past week I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Colorado.  Man, what a beautiful state! Obvi I have seen pictures of the Rocky Mountains before, but there is nothing like seeing it in person.

Over the second half of the school year, I participated in a grant called America on the World Stage: Teaching American History.  It is a grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, for teachers k-12 that teach all or some aspect of American history.  After putting in long hours of researching and creating an "instructional kit" (I won't even go into the details of the bajillion things that had to be included in the kit), my project was accepted and published.  Check out all of the kits here (the kits from the module I was in have not been posted as of 7/1/2011; however, check out past ones! They are great!) Reward: free trip to Colorado.  

Now, this trip was not a vacation.  I accidentally called it a vacay when we were there (anything that gets me out of my house is a vacay to me) and boy, did I get the evil eye... ;)  But really, it was a professional development opportunity in which we explored the western perspective of westward movement and industrialization.  We learned the impact that mining and toursim had on the West.  We hiked 5, sometimes grueling, miles in the Rockies.  We explored the Aspen Historical Society (while simultaneously keeping an eye out for celebs).  We went 1,000 feet underground into a goldmine.  And, we rode a train through deserted "ghost towns."  I learned so many new things about the West on this trip; my eyes were truly opened to a different perspective of what we perceive to be "the West" and the impacts this area has had on the rest of our country.  Below are pictures of some highlights from the trip.  

ummm YUM!! Sadly, I didn't eat either of these, but boy, I bet I would have liked it!

This hotel, The Stanley, was the inspiration for the movie "The Shining." Super creeeeepy.

Gorgeous hike in the Rockies.

We hiked 4.6 miles to Cub Lake. Beautiful views.
There were several inches of snow still on the ground.

Molly Kathleen Gold Mine.  We explored the mine with a guide, learning how the mining process worked.

This building was part of an old mining town.  Very few buildings remain from this town.

Camp Hale: home of the 10th Mountain Division.  Fascinating story behind this camp and the division.

Aspen! Gorgeous town.