Monday, July 22, 2013

A Day Off

Today, I had the day off work and I dedicated almost all of my day to revamping, reorganizing, and adding my new decorations to my house. 

On Saturday, Charlie and I ventured to Atlanta to meet up with our newlywed friends who were soon moving to Alaska. Of course we had to make a trip to my most favorite store in the world - IKEA!
I love Ikea. I always love walking through and imagining all of the things I would buy when I own my home one day. There are so many possibilities and the kitchen section is my favorite!

Well, since I don't own my home... I look through all of the random things that I can add to my house. I love decorating!! Sometimes I wish I would have been an interior designer. While shopping at Ikea, I wanted to get something for my spices. Previously, my spices were stacked into a cabinet and very difficult to find the one I needed. I have been searching for a spice rack for several months, and with no luck I decided to be innovative.

I really like how this turned out -- 
It fits almost all of my spices and I even was able to hang up my oven mitts! 
It adds a new dimension to my kitchen :)

My living room also needed something new. The curtains I had on my windows were very simple - green and white sheer curtains. I love bright colors and I love unique things, so my curtains needed to help show off more of my personality and brighten up the room. I recently recovered my ottoman in bright yellow chevron fabric (read about that here), I wanted curtains that would look well with the pattern and the color.

And I found these beauties...

I loved them instantly and knew they would make the room pop 
and go great with the yellow chevron!

(Molly knew I was taking pictures, so she decided to pose and be the center of attention. HA!)

Next, I have been searching for something to be my centerpiece for my dining table. I have tried several things and I haven't been completely satisfied. I wasn't really looking for something for my dining table while in Ikea, but come on.. those who have been to Ikea know that you can find almost anything there to be inspired by! So I found a Lazy Susan and my mind started wondering what I could do with it. I first thought I could put it in my kitchen cabinet, but then I thought about my dining table...

So I carried it around with me and then I found this sweet lantern!

I knew I would do something cool with them for my table. Once I got home I remembered about my awesome find during my trip to the thrift store last week...

This awesome OWL napkin holder -- $.79!!!
It was very dirty. The paint was chipping. But, I loved it anyway.
I am a bit obsessed with owls!

After a nice scrubbing, it was a good as new!! 
I was so glad the paint came off of the eyes because it makes it look more vintage

Now, I couldn't wait to put everything together! I also remembered that my mom had bought me a really nice, large pepper mill that would be the perfect addition for the Lazy Susan. 

This is probably my most favorite piece in my whole house right now. 
I love how it turned out and came together. 
I am going to search for a fun salt shaker that I can add to it and it will be complete :)

By the way, these flowers were given to me from Charlie - 3 weeks ago and they still look good!! 
How does that even happen?!

I can't wait to recover my dining cushions in a fun new fabric in the near future!

I love all of my new additions. Adding new things always makes it feel even more like home :) My day off was very well spent. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bright Yellow Chevron!

Several weeks ago I was out thrift shopping and ran into an awesome piece of furniture - a storage ottoman! It wasn't pretty, actually, it was gross - but I quickly saw its potential. The original price of the ottoman was $10.99, great price right? Well, being the bargainer that I am and not being for certain if I could get it cleaned enough to even recover it, I asked if they could do any less. The guy said "$5.99" and I didn't even hesitate to say YES! I figured, if I couldn't make the smell go away and get it sanitized and clean enough, then I wouldn't be losing as much money.

So here is the starting piece -- yes, I know -- 
Why are earth even take a second look while walking through the Goodwill?

I had been searching for an ottoman that I could make into a coffee table in my living room. I bought a storage ottoman the day after Thanksgiving last year, but it turned out to be way too small for the job. So when I came across this, I fell in love with its potential. People walking around were looking at me like I was crazy for even considering purchasing it. One lady who kept staring at me ended up being in line behind me as I was checking out and she said "I think you just wasted your money on that purchase, there is no way you will get those stains out". I sure wish I could show her the finished product now. 

So, I came home, gathered my rubber gloves, scrub brush, and cleaning supplies and got to work! I used almost an entire bottle of Mean Green cleaning solution. But, after an hour or so of scrubbing, it was looking pretty nice! :) 

The smell was an issue and I thought I may have to strip the entire thing down and start with just the wood. Luckily the cleaning solution, some fabric softener to freshen it up and leaving it outside for 3 days to let it air out (within that time, a rainy day helped to give it a good rinse) did the trick. I was still a little scared that as soon as I put it in my house that the smell would still be lingering, but to my surprise it was completely gone. I was so happy that I would only need to recover it instead of completely starting from scratch!!

Well, it took me quite awhile to find the time to do it and find the perfect fabric. I had searched a few fabric stores in the area and shopped around at but couldn't find the right one. My friend Mitch told me to check out Hancock Fabrics, I don't know why I forgot about them! I wonder around for only a few minutes and I see it, the most beautiful fabric --- BRIGHT YELLOW CHEVRON!! I immediately know that I want this fabric, but I needed to find a color for the bottom. I decided to go with gray. 

I've always loved gray and yellow together 
so I thought this would look great as an accent piece for my living room!
I was so excited to get home and begin my project!

First, I detached the lid for the chevron fabric and laid it across my dining table.

The hardest part turned out to be the corners of the lid. 

 I wasn't sure how to fold them at first, but I figured it out

Once the lid was complete, it was time to work on the bottom. The bottom was also very simple and turned out well! 

No, those are not holes that I just randomly cut. Those are the hinges for the lid :)

Now, the finished product!!! I am so happy with how it turned out! 
I'm debating on painting the legs white but for now, I love it :) 

This project only cost me $26 +tax! I am very pleased with my first re-upholstering job! :)
It has inspired me to want to recover many other things in my house!! 

I love how the ottoman, the catch-all basket, and my new couch look together :)
Eventually, I will recover the 4 pillows that came with the couch in some funky colors & patterns.

Next, I am going to work on recovering my dining chair cushions, which I foresee as being a little bit more difficult because it will involve needle and thread! But, I am up for the challenge!

I now give many things a second look while out thrifting, you never know what you may find!

Happy Thrifting! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This weekend I celebrated my 26th birthday! I can not believe that I am twenty-six! I don't even know where the time has gone!! I love birthdays and I love celebrating my birthday! This year, it seems like I've been celebrating for a couple of weeks! I loved that our Mother's Day cruise (I will share about that soon) happened so close to my birthday, so mom was able to stay until the day before my birthday!

The last night of the cruise, our dinner friends found out that my birthday was the next week, so they had the dinner staff sing happy birthday to me. 

I loved that I was able to spend a part of my birthday with mom and dad, and living in a different state - that doesn't always happen. Mom, Dad, Charlie, and I went to lunch at City Cafe on Saturday and had a very good meal and of course CAKE! City Cafe has the best cake I have ever tasted and the slices are HUGE!! Mom and dad love going to City Cafe when they are visiting :)

My Slice - Red Velvet Cheesecake!

Now onto my stories ---

So, on Friday, Dad came to Chattanooga and brought me a lawn mower - I have had the worst luck with the lawn mower I bought last year, but it was only $75 so I didn't expect it to last too long!
Then, on Saturday morning mom, dad and I went shopping for me another dryer - I also had bad luck with that purchase as well. LOL! So, I thought that the lawn mower and dryer were my birthday presents. I even said to them "You know you are officially an adult when you start getting dryers and lawn mowers for your birthday, and are thankful for them!" Little did I know, dad had planned to buy me a bike -- not just any bike, a CRUISER RETRO bike!! Mom and dad stopped and picked up the bike before they left for North Carolina, then brought it to my house and left it for me to see when I got home later that evening from work. Mom also bought me a sweet hammock while we were in Mexico for my birthday! Once I have it hung up, I will take pictures - I'm positive hanging it up will be quite the adventure.

This is totally the coolest bike I have ever seen!! 
I am so glad it is sunny today so I can go outside and give it a try!

Now, Charlie isn't a huge planner, so I wasn't sure what he had in mind for us to do on Sunday. Somehow, my birthday came out of no where this year! I am usually very prepared and asking what our plans will be or making plans (I'm a bit of a planner). But, this year is just going by so quickly! Anyway, Charlie had coordinated with Rebecca about our Sunday plans because she wanted to have us over to their house for my birthday -- so sweet! I work for the best people anyone could ever ask for!   

After lunch, Charlie and I made a stop by Sweet Frog for dessert - I have an addiction to this place!

Next, now this is where the very sweet factor comes in about Charlie... 
We get to the car and he says "where would you like to go: Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, or TJ Maxx?" I say "TJ Maxx". I thought we were just going to go kill time before our next activity, but we walk in and Charlie says to me, "okay, pick out whatever you want"! WHAT?! I love shopping, but the one time I am taken into a store and told to pick out anything, I was overwhelmed! Let's just say, it took forever for me to find the perfect gift(s)! 

Below are my TJ Maxx gifts :)

I love owls and Charlie said he had been wanting to get me an owl coffee mug, but wasn't able to find one and this was the only one in the store -- completely meant to be!! 

 This is kind of random, but again, I love Owls! I'm not sure where I am going to put him just yet, 
but I will find the perfect place! 

 After purchasing my new ottoman (that is yet to be re-upholstered), I needed something that I could use to make it feel more like a coffee-table. 
So I found this huge shallow basket and knew this would be perfect! 

After spending quite some time in TJ Maxx, Charlie said we had to leave to make it to our next stop - the movies :) I love going to the movies, if I could go to the movies everyday I totally would! He had already picked the movie and everything - The Big Wedding! This was such a good movie! Chick flicks are my favorite movies, and I had been wanting to see this one. We were both laughing throughout the whole movie. Charlie even said he enjoyed it as well. I recommend going to see it! :)

After the movie, Charlie said I still needed to pick out more birthday gifts, so he suggested Target. If you notice I didn't pick out any clothing items while at TJ Maxx, it is because I would rather buy things to decorate my house than clothes. I'm gonna need a bigger house soon! LOL! 
Anyway, we went to Target and I perused through all of the home decorating section and had picked up several items, but eventually put them all back. I wanted to get a chalkboard for my kitchen, but I can easily make one of those for much cheaper. I also wanted to get a new mirror with a colorful frame, but again, I can also make one of those. 

**Like I've said before, I go into stores and see things and think "I can make that" which leads me to rarely buying anything and having a to-do list that is miles long!** 

So, after searching for a while, I decide to look elsewhere in the store and I make my way back to the electronics section and instantly see "Safe Haven" on blu-ray and I don't think twice to pick that up! It is my favorite movie right now and if you haven't seen it -- you need to!!! After that, I think we are ready to leave, but Charlie says "you can pick out one more thing". I look at him with a confused look because it took me forever to find the other things he bought and I was content with everything that I had chosen! So I tell him that he should pick out my last gift on his own. We wonder around for a short time and we make our way to the jewelry section, where he picks out the most beautiful watch! 

I have been wanting a watch like this, but I had forgotten about it - but he didn't :) 

To end our evening, we went to Provinos - the best Italian restaurant in Chattanooga. 
What makes Provinos even better? You get a free meal on your birthday, HECK YES! :) I love coming here for my birthday, it is pretty much the only time of the year that we go and that makes it more special. 

OH! And before I forget about this special birthday present, Charlie also got me a precious kitten! I have been wanting a kitten for quite some time, but I searched shelters and things and just couldn't find the right one. Charlie had been planning to get me this kitten since April or so and she happened to be ready to leave her mama the week of my birthday! :)

Meet Mercy, she's 8 weeks old and I am already in love!

Now, I thought all of my birthday celebrations were over... I mean, I had an excellent birthday already! However, Charlie had just one more thing up his sleeve. He had told me yesterday that we were going to go downtown to pick up a package at the post office and then get ice cream. Little did I know that he had planned a sweet surprise birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants! :) He's precious! 
We get downtown and he was like "Oh, the post office is closed... want to eat at Taco Mamacita since we are here?" (The post office is across the street from Taco Mama). 
So we walk in and I see some of my awesome friends! I was so excited and surprised! I am not an easy one to surprise, but he sure did pull it off :) While we were sitting at the table Jackson looks at me and says "Telisha, I thought we celebrated your birthday with you yesterday." I simply told him, I like to celebrate a lot. ;) ---- The worst part? I get in the car and realize I forgot to snap a picture!! Boo!!

Basically, I had the best birthday and I was able to share it with some really awesome people in my life who mean the world to me!! :) 

Monday, March 18, 2013

My trip to Chicago - Part One!

I guess it is finally time for me to share about my fabulous trip to Chicago. It's been almost exactly one month, but gee it feels like so much longer! I planned to blog as soon as I returned from my trip, but having a week away from my courseroom, my classes were in major need of some hard core dedication. Well, and being back I had to catch up on sleep, school work, house work (although Charlie had cleaned my whole house for me), my pups, Charlie, the Js... yeah, you get the point. I have been busy, but now I have 3 weeks until my next quarter starts so who knows, I may just post all kinds of fun blogs :)

Where to begin... I was so super anxious about traveling by myself for the first time and I played all of the "what if" scenarios through my head and then just prayed I would be safe and return safe.

But guess who lost her boarding pass at the Atlanta airport --- ME! Of all things, and I had been there for like thirty minutes!! I called mom in a panic and she told me to find a TSA agent (duh! why didn't I think of that?). So I go up to a nice gentleman -- picture this, a 25 year old woman almost in tears, trying to explain that she had misplaced her boarding pass. I swear he must have thought I was 16 because he said "oh sweetie, it's okay they can print you out another one at your gate". Luckily, I knew my gate number and got that taken care of quickly.
That was pretty much the only bad thing that happened all week! Haha!

Once I landed, I see the thing I've been anticipating most about my Chicago trip --- SNOW! I was sad that it wasn't a ton like I had always imagined, but I had no idea what was to come later that evening :)

The Chicago airport was so fancy! They had the coolest toilets I had ever seen (yes, I took a picture).

After riding the hotel shuttle, I arrive at my hotel - my goodness it was so nice!! 

I walk in and see this:
I just thought it was so neat that we had our own banner, I mean we would be there for a week, but still :) Being in an online program, you often loose sight that you are actually in school with other human beings and this week helped to bring that to more of a reality... starting with the cool banner :)

Next I go to my room and tour the hotel:

This was on the TV screen!!

I had planned to do some sight-seeing when I arrived, but I was so tired and it was starting to snow, so instead I decided to take a nice nap! 
I love naps after traveling! :)
2 hours later.... I woke up....
To all of this:

And stood on my balcony to take some pictures ;) 

I was so excited so I went outside to look at all of the snow, the doorman asked if I was waiting for a cab and when I replied, "no, just came to see the snow" he laughed and said, "everyone else is rushing to get out of the snow and you're the only person I've seen rush to go out in it!" 
Well... I love snow! :)

So while traveling to Chicago, I didn't know anyone. However, I did have my roommate that I had connected with several weeks before the trip, so once she arrived on Friday, we immediately bonded and ventured into the city together for a day of sight-seeing. Walking from the hotel to the train station was probably the creepiest part of the day - except for the people on the train. LOL

                                      It was so cold!!!

Having never been to Chicago, I was unfamiliar with the train system & my roommate was as well, but we figured it out. There was a blue line, a green, red, pink, purple, orange (okay, I'm probably making up those last colors but it was very confusing) I just knew we would end up lost at some point during the day. But guess what? We discovered that we were pretty sweet navigators and we never got lost!! 

 The three things I wanted to do while in Chicago was visit the famous Bean Statue, eat Chicago deep-dish pizza, and visit the Willis Tower... and thankfully, I accomplished all three :)

Me and My Roommate, Cordtney

The pizza place that we visited was called Giordano's and it was amazing!!!

The rest of the photos are random shots from the city :) Enjoy!

 I loved my time in the city - I love traveling :)

Wow!! I sure had a lot to share and this was just from two days of being in Chicago! 
Stay tuned... I will post about my Residency and the awesome people I met while being there and that experience next! :)