Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our First Christmas

Christmas at the ol' Downton Blabby was really special. Although we were booked up working and unpacking until Christmas Eve, we did get some Christmas decorations up and we've made great progress on finishing regular decor. Can't wait to show you the "regular" stuff, but I'll save that for another post.

Most importantly, it SNOWED on Christmas Day! I'll never get over the wonder of a white Christmas. Growing up in San Antonio, it snowed once in my life, and i was 8 months old. This is the second or third Christmas since I've moved here that it's snowed, and it was beautiful. We were away from the house most of the day, so this is a photo from this evening.

It was a treat to get to put up Christmas decor. Our tree we inherited from my Grandma last year got ruined thanks to a leak in our storage (I don't want to talk about my childhood stuffed animals, prom dress and FAVORITE BOOKS that also got ruined. :-( ) so we were without a tree. We got a really beautiful tree at Garden Ridge for not too much. I love it. We've never had a mantel before, so it was really fun to put together decorations and hang our stockings from an honest to goodness mantel. I also made a Christmas card tree. I got the idea from Martha Stewart and we ended up getting like 30 cards, so it got really full. It's like getting presents every day when Christmas cards from friends showed up in the mail box. Speaking of mail...

This is our ridiculous Christmas card. We had so much fun with it! I can't say the same for the pets...

Zach's Elf moment

Pierre has a love for shoes. Even Christian Louboutin Christnmas ornament shoes. This is my favorite photo ever of Pierre and it's the wallpaper on my phone. He's a cat after my own heart.

Alfred and his ornament. He hates being held. :-)

Ellie was scared of the fires in the fireplace at first, but when the fire dies down, she thinks the crackling is a bug or something and she's obsessed.

We don't have any Christmas lights yet--hopefully for next year--but we do have some decorations. I love poinsettias, so I put the bright (fake) flowers around the front door.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is one Zach and I started when we got married. I got these special mugs (starbucks) and we do Christmas Eve morning together. We have stockings for us and the pets and a little gift each. This year was made even better with a fireplace too.

Christmas Eve, Zach's parents and siblings stopped by for a bit before we went to other festivities. It was neat to have everyone over for the holiday, even just for a little while.

We spent  Christmas Eve with the Boatwright side of Zach's family. Lots of fun with the famous White Elephant exchange. We spent Christmas Day at Zach's parent's house in Cedar Hill and his Aunt Jan and Uncle Tom's house in the evening. We rented Jan and Tom's home for a few months until we got our house, so it was kinda cool to go back. Christmas was wonderful. I think the snow made everything magical!

Dad and David came up for Christmas, and it was a first White Christmas for both of them.

We'll be celebrating Christmas with my side of the family soon. But for now, Merry Christmas y'all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fabulous Fall

This tree is in our backyard! Spectacular!

Hello all! It's been a busy few weeks since I last posted. I'm going to combine several topics into one post. :-) We moved in, got our furniture put in the right places and I went to Florida and College Station almost immediately for a week. I've been back for a bit and we're slowly getting everything set up. We don't have decor put on the walls, books on shelves or the garage cleared out, but we're making good progress and it's really starting to feel like home.

I've even been able to put up some fall decor. Michael's had some great sales, so I was able to get some things without much investment. Here's a sampling:

I've had those pumpkins for a few years. The peacock was a recent gift. The leaf garland and wheat in the vase are my new additions.

A friend made a centerpiece like this recently and I copied the idea. The coffee beans in the bowl smell great!

I am really proud of this wreath. I was appalled at the price tags of pre-made ones, so I picked up a grapevine wreath, leaf garland, artificial flowers, pine cones and pumpkins and made my own for half the price. I love the color!

We finally got all the pieces for our new bed and set it up. It's super super comfy and I really like the colors. We're planning to use that teal throughout the house, and you can already see it here and there!

Bed is from Restoration Hardware (Originally), bedding is Barbara Barry (Bed, Bath & Beyond), the teal throw is from BB&B, purple pillow is DKNY and the teal pillows are from Ross. I made the lamps myself in welding class in college. :-)

Though I never would have thought it would work with my style, we decided to use some of my mom's furniture in our bedroom. It's all solid oak. Our bed is also oak, so they work well together. We may refinish them someday, and we'll probably get new handles, but for now, we have a really nice bedroom set up. I'll show you the rest once we get our decor up.

I've also been doing quite a bit of cooking. It's wonderful to have the kitchen all set up with all my favorite things! We recently had a gathering with our Supper Club at the house and I got to try out some new recipes.

My first time to roast a chicken. It turned out REALLY good.

I was so proud of my roasted chicken :-)

I made butternut squash soup too, and it was awesome. New favorite meal right here.

got to use my wedding gift champagne glasses!

Our first fire in the fireplace. My brother-in-law made it a roaring one.

We also made s'mores. Super yum.


Drew and Ellie
Pierre will only let Jason do this to him.

Our party was a sleepover before our 5K Foam Race, so we also had breakfast, courtesy of Grant and Zach.


We've been doing some gardening as well. Zach has been hard at work making our yard look great. We seeded the bare spots with fescue. Can't wait to see how it sprouts up!

the bare part of the backyard after Z got it ready for grass seed

evidence of Zach's industriousness

grass will go here.

grass will go here

grow little fescue, grow!

Hard at work
We got the bougainvillea hung up too!

I'm very excited about the two trees we're planting. I really wanted something with pretty fall color. Lucky for us, one of the trees in the backyard has gorgeous yellow leaves. We just planted a "Fire Dragon" Shantung Maple in the front yard today. This is what it's supposed to look like--IN TEXAS:

"Fire Dragon" Shantung Maple (the red one)  and regular Shantung Maple

It came in a box!

I can't wait to see how it grows. I'm already in love with the leaves!

tiny tree :-)

tree in our front yard--Total To Kill a Mockingbird moment :-)

I also got some acorns from the one and only CENTURY TREE from Texas A&M. It's a huge tree on campus and the tradition goes, if you walk under it with your true love, you'll stay in love forever. It's such a special tree to Aggies. Thanks to my friend Jana, I have acorns from it... so I planted them. It'll take a while to grow, but that's ok. We'll be here for a while. :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where's Mr. Carson when you need him??

A little Downton Abbey humor for ya :-)

This Keep Calm pic seemed appropriate today. We moved in Wednesday and Thursday and spent our first night in our home Thursday. The place was such a disaster, but we at least made our bed and I tried out the jacuzzi tub. Friday my brother and his girlfriend stayed with us, so we spent the day picking up things at our teeny Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. We also put all our furniture in the right places and even set up the upstairs areas. A couple of footmen and a valet would have been nice, but we're not Downton Abbey so we definitely got a workout. My feet are still recovering. I'm pretty excited to have rooms ready for guests, and all my favorite bathroom stuff got to go in the guest bathroom. :-)

Zach was overjoyed to discover some bedding I've had since college. He giddily made me put it on the bed where my super-conservative, straight-laced Army brother Jonathan would be sleeping. Here's the bed. Please note that I don't plan to have the guest room looking like a shoutout to my 12-year-old self all the time.

Note the My Little Pony pillowcase!
Zach has this running joke with Jonathan about pink everything. He's nearly convinced some family members that pink is Jon's favorite color. 

So we gave Jon and Holly a tour of the house, and showed Jonathan the room. At midnight, because they got in late and the comforter was taking forever to dry. Jon is such a good sport--his face was priceless.

So funny

Zach loved it too :-)

We had a great weekend at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas and hanging in Fort Worth for dinner with Holly and Jon. They even got us a wonderful housewarming gift that is perfect for the direction we want to go decor-wise. 

Sunday was the day we *really* needed Mr. Carson to fix our lives. I was in the master bedroom closet while the shower upstairs was being used, and noticed water spitting out of the A/C vent in the ceiling. That's going to need to be fixed ASAP...

Then I tried to do laundry to get ready for a work trip tomorrow and after three loads in our dryer of 48 hours, the "check exhaust" error message came on. My mother-in-law suggested looking for the dryer vent. It looks like it goes up two stories out the roof. That seems a bit far from the dryer on the first floor... so, on top of the big list of maintenance/improvements we're going to be making... these two items top the chart. 

Where's my darjeeling Mr. Carson??!?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkins and Shoes

Yesterday we went to Supper Club with some friends and carved pumpkins. I was so excited to put SOMETHING on our porch. I also brought in a load of my important stuff... basically, my shoes. :-) tomorrow we're starting the moving process. I have zero boxes packed so... Tonight will be fun!