Happy Halloween!!!

Seth and I really got into the spirit this year! What a gorgeous Halloween day...sunny, 70 degrees, beautiful!

ghosts in the trees

Seth made a pathway for our trick-or-treaters

making jack-o-lanterns

front yard...or grave yard?

Ruby in her bat cape, making friends with Michael Myers


I'm off to watch Halloween. Normally I don't watch scary movies because they give me nightmares, but since Michael Myers is in our front yard and it IS Halloween, I'm making an exception. I already made Seth promise to take Ruby out when its dark for the next week because I know I'll be too scared :)

Seth and I (aka. Michael Myers and Twiggy) at Todd and Xembra's awesome Halloween party last weekend



Seth, Ruby and I were in Morristown this past weekend and we stopped at Evergreen Cove at Cherokee Lake on the way home. It felt surreal how crisp and colorful everything was. Being there surrounded by all that beauty was just incredible...talk about a mood booster!


There are some downsides to my new work schedule (like being in this cube for 10 hours at a time), but one of the cool things is that I get to see a gorgeous sunrise every morning. Here's the one I got today:

Not a whole lot new to report these days. Its finally Fall, which means its pretty and crisp outside but its also really cold in the mornings. As usual, I'm not having the best reaction to the cold weather. I'm hoping that this will be the year that I magically don't fall into a 4 month cold weather funk, but we'll see. I've been cooking a LOT...almost every night...and I think its helping a little. Cooking is relaxing to me, plus I like trying new recipes/ingredients, so I'm hoping that it'll help keep my spirits up for the next several months.

Another thing that gets my spirits up is when people I love come to visit! Al came to town last weekend, and we had a really fun and relaxing time together. We went to the Smokey Mountains to see the fall leaves, ate yummy food in Market Square, and watched a great movie and some good football. Here are some pictures from the mountains:
Al, thanks so much for coming to visit...I miss you already!

Dining room chalkboard

I've wanted to put a chalkboard on the dining room wall (just outside the kitchen) ever since we moved into the house 1 year ago. For awhile I thought I'd just find a really big, framed picture for cheap at a thrift store and paint the glass with chalkboard paint. But what I discovered is that thrift stores aren't cheap anymore...they all sell the most hideous framed "art" for at least $25. Even the ones with the really cheap plastic frames! So my plan B was to buy one on Ebay, but the only ones I could find that were as big as I wanted were at least $75.

So, I moved onto plan C - make a chalkboard myself! This turned out to be the best plan because I could make the chalkboard the exact size I wanted, plus it only cost me $16.

Here's the step-by-step:
  1. Cut leftover board from metal art mounting project to size (I used a utility knife and sanded down the rough edges).
  2. Prime, 2 coats
  3. Paint with chalkboard paint ($12), 2 coats
  4. Drill a hole in each corner
  5. Mount to wall using mirror rosettes ($4)
I'm so excited about it!! Now I can keep a grocery list, leave notes/reminders, and most importantly, Seth and I can let each other know if Ruby has been out and fed.

Sorry Rube...you can't trick us anymore! :)

A new addition to the house

Last weekend Seth and I went to our 4th annual Titans game with my parents (they just went 5-0 today!!), and while we were there we picked up their old couch to go in our living room. Our $22.50 couch has worked great for the past 2 years, but it was really getting worn out and more uncomfortable every day. Plus, with the brown rug and the brown coffee table, that area just felt too dingy and brown. Here's the old couch:

And here's the new couch!!

The couch was my Grandma Grace's couch, and its about 50 years old. I wasn't sure how the print was going to go in our living room (my parents had it recovered when I was a kid), but it ended up working really well I think.

It really brightens up the room! Plus its quite a bit bigger than the couch we had, so its more proportionate to the size of the room. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Another addition to the house is in the kitchen. I've been trying to figure out what to put over the stove since we moved in, and nothing seemed right. I didn't want to just stick something up there for the sake of filling the space. I wanted it to be functional in some way...ideally as something to hold recipes while I cook. At one point I'd thought about covering a mini clipboard with fabric or paper and hanging that up there, but I'm glad I didn't do that because I like this so much better:

Its a vintage metal tray that I got on Ebay, and its magnetic so I can use it to post recipes! I wish I could take credit for this great idea, but I can't - I saw it in blogger Rachel Denbow's kitchen on this post by sfgirlbybay. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was just what I needed above the stove. It adds some color and fills the space but its also totally practical.

I just love decorating with things that not only look good, but are also functional or have sentimental value (or both!). I hope everyone is having a great weekend and enjoying the beautiful October weather!

Transition time

Seems like so many things are in transition right now...the seasons, the economy, and then of course there's the upcoming presidential election. Everyone seems to be a little uneasy these days because of one or all of the things I just mentioned, and I'm one of them. The weather getting colder is hard enough as it is, but adding the election and the economy situation on top of that is just too much at one time. So I find myself taking a Scarlet O'Hara approach these days and I'm choosing not to think about that stuff (at least some of the time)...its just too overwhelming, esp. if its about something that I can't do anything about anyway.

So...here are some lighter things! Like adorable animals at the Nashville Zoo (Seth and I went to Nashville last weekend for our 4th annual Titans game with my parents):

Do you see the 2 monkeys in that tree? According to Seth (he read all the informational plaques at each exhibit and reported to my mom and I), if humans arms were proportionately as long as these monkeys' arms, they would be to the ground. I just love this shot of them up in the air...you should have seen how fast they climbed up that tree. This next one is the best (click on it to see it bigger):

Isn't that sweet?? When I came around the corner and saw these two, I couldn't believe it! I've never seen tigers like that together, and I love how they are a mirror image of each other but just different colors. Here's some other zoo pics:

That's all for right now. I've got a couple house projects in the works, plus a new-to-us piece of furniture in the living room that makes a world of difference. I'll write about that stuff soon...maybe tomorrow! Here's one more animal before I sign off:

She looks about how I feel right now. I'm off to crash on the couch. Later!