Back After a Long Hiatus!

Whew! What an eventful past couple of months it has been! Between starting a new job, beginning the framework on our new house, and traveling to Alabama, Texas, and Hilton Head, time for writing has been scarce! I recently started a position as a PA in the urgent care setting, so along with that has come LOTS of studying and updating myself on current treatment recommendations for a VERY wide variety of acute care complaints and illnesses. So far, the position has been a BIG challenge, but it is SO satisfying, because I am required to use basically all elements of knowledge we covered in our training. I am so excited for the career adventure to come!

I traveled to Austin, Texas, in August for one of my best friends’ bachelorette party. Austin is a super cool city, and we had a blast (which is always the norm when the 5 of us girls get together)!

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                             We stayed at the J.W. Marriott Austin – it comes HIGHLY recommended!

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Carey and I also celebrated our TWO YEAR wedding anniversary in September. It seems like time has flown by since we said our vows! I am so happy to have him by my side for this life adventure. He inspires me every day to work harder and set my goals higher. He is also the eternal optimist, and I owe our amazing homebuilding adventure all to him! He is much more of a risk taker than I am – and his boldness has resulted in many rewards for us so far in our marriage. We spent a weekend at the Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, and it was the relaxing kind of staycation that we definitely needed.

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                                                       Drinks at the Beach Club at Sea Pines Resort
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                                                                                                   So pretty
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                                                                           Salty Dogs at the Salty Dog
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                                                J Cuvee – a tradition from our Sonoma trip last year
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Complimentary tiramisu at Vine (Such an amazing meal – do not miss if you visit HHI)

The LAST thing to update on is the progress on our home! It took a long time for the framing of the bottom floor to begin, however things are rolling along at a nice pace now! Here are some updated photos:

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The last picture is one that Carey took from the first level height, where our back porch will be. It gives me chills to know that one day we’ll be sitting up on that porch looking at that view together. We can’t wait to finally be up there, laughing with friends and family, eating oysters and drinking champagne <3.

I promise this will get more interesting once the framing moves along! These beginning phases take a LOT of patience and imagination. Happy Thursday, everyone!

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Life Lately

The past week has been a busy one! Unfortunately, the most stand-out event of last week was the heinous crime that was committed at Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church where a gunman shot and killed 9 church members during Wednesday night’s service. I feel like everyone in Charleston experienced the numbing shock of the event, and at some point or another asked God the ultimate question of- why? The Charleston community’s response to the tragedy has been overwhelming and inspiring – with thousands of people of all races and ethnic backgrounds coming together and lifting up one another in this time of sadness. I am amazed at the outpouring of love shown by members of the community. Our hearts go out to those directly affected by the events and we pray that God will provide comfort to them during this time.

The weather this past week has been blazing hot with high humidity – the lowcountry special! – so we have been spending most of our free time boating, swimming, and fishing on the dock where the marsh breezes are plentiful! We went out this past Saturday with a crew of friends for the first time – one being a seasoned boater in the area – and made the journey across the harbor from the Wappoo Cut around the side of Fort Sumter to anchor at Morris Island (see below) – party central of the Ashley River side of Charleston harbor! It was a great day on the water, and we are so thankful for the friends we have made in our 2.5 years here.

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                                                       Morris Island Party Time
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                                                  Amateur fishing off our neighborhood dock
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                                                    A little champagne for an evening cruise
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                                         The view from my seat
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                                                             The little ducklings cooling off
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                                                            The view from my other seat
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                                                                                  The Battery!
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                                                           Arthur Ravenel, Jr. and Carey

Have a great weekend!

The Easiest Throw Pillows You’ll Ever Make

New pillows - yay!
                                                                                          New pillows – yay!

Changing up throw pillows is one of the easiest thing to do to freshen up the look of a room, however, buying new throw pillows can be a little pricey, and sometimes it can be hard to find exactly what you want! When Carey and I first moved to Charleston a couple of years ago, I stumbled across some fabric that I loved, so of course left the store with a couple of yards. However, while I can use a sewing machine, I don’t have my own here in Charleston, and must admit that my skills aren’t really up to par! After some research on the internet I found a tutorial for what is literally the EASIEST way to make your own throw pillows – without any sewing involved. Here is all you need to get going:

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1. Fabric of your choice (1 yard is often enough for two 20×20 pillows- depends on the fabric cut – you just have to measure very carefully!)
2. Pillow inserts (I used these from Ikea. Down-filled, fluffy, and affordable!)
3. Measuring tape
4. Scissors
5. Fabric Glue (I used this one – just make sure you use it in a well-ventilated space!)

And here is the tutorial.

Finished product!
                                                                                           Finished product!

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Happy pillow-making! Fluffing up the finished product is oh-so-satisfying 🙂

Turning Ideas into Reality

When we first began talking about the house project, I was incredibly overwhelmed. SO much to think about, especially when starting from scratch! They say that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time – so I decided to make a notebook to organize all of our ideas and to get all of our plans and estimates into one place. Here’s the recipe for my binder:

  • A 2″ 3-ring binder
  • Colored divider tabs with pockets (I used one for each room in the house, one for estimates, and one for miscellaneous)
  • Plastic sheet protectors

And here’s mine in action: image2 In each room section I have the floorplan of the room printed out along with white sheets of construction paper with inspiration pictures printed from pinterest and magazine cut-outs, etc. I also have printed out info documents on sourced plumbing fixtures, lighting, etc. so that we may compare prices on items when it is time to make final decisions! In the ‘Estimates’ section, I have included each invoice or quote received from contractors/subcontractors, etc. The ‘Miscellaneous’ tab holds everything else! I can’t tell you the amount of stress it has taken off of me just to have all my ‘stuff’ in one place! The binder also comes VERY much in handy when meeting with folks at the appliance, lighting, plumbing, cabinet stores, etc. because it is a quick reference to allow everyone to get on the same page. Do you have any particular tips for home planning/organization?

A little place that makes planning a little easier
A little place that makes planning a little easier
SO much inspo from this magazine
SO much inspo from this magazine

The Complexity of …Bathroom Decor?

Via Lonny
Via Lonny

As Carey and I count the days until ‘breaking ground’ on our new home project, my days seem to be filled with daydreaming about tile, countertops, and plumbing fixtures…who knew?! Most rooms in the house are fairly easy to plan as far as picking lighting and room color goes.  We also have our kitchen plan almost totally planned out (I’ll be sharing that later!), but I’m having the hardest time with – you guessed it – bathrooms!

When designing a bathroom, there are many things to think about: floor tile, shower/tub tile, wall color, cabinet color, countertops, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures… the list goes on! Finding ways to coordinate all of the aforementioned items is quite the daunting task. Below are some rooms of inspiration I am using so far.

http://www.beneathmyheart.net/2012/07/masterbath-faucet-tile/
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http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2014/02/jules-duffy-designs.html
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http://thecabindo.blogspot.com/2013/07/master-bathroom-flooring-redo.html
Via
http://www.traditionalhome.com/design_decorating/howwelive/before-after-remodeled-home_ss21.html
Via

As you can see, the styles are pretty varied! I think the overall feel I’m going for though would be ‘Coastal Modern’… i.e. shiplap walls, hexagonal Carrara marble and gleaming subway tile, rustic nautical lighting with smart plumbing fixtures. Here is a picture of some of the tile samples I got today at Lowe’s and Home Depot. You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

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Maiden Voyage

Happy to be on the water!
Happy to be on the water!

Carey and I were so excited to finally get the boat out on the water Friday for the first time! Carey owned a boat in the past, but it was a lake boat with an inboard motor, and the Mako we have now is an outboard motor (which is evidently much different)! Growing up in Alabama, we both spent lots of time out on the lake…but now with being in the Lowcountry, the changes in tides, “pluff mud,” oyster beds, and seagrass are some new obstacles to learn to handle while on the water!

We put in at the boat launch in our new neighborhood, and traveled up the Stono River. I made ‘pressed’ sandwiches using this recipe, and they held up great in the Yeti (I highly recommend them for boating or beach picnics)! It was a beautiful day. I also learned a thing or two about driving the boat trailer which will definitely be a work in progress from my end…!

I can’t explain the feeling of satisfaction it gives me to experience these new things with the hubby. Life in the Lowcountry continues to be an amazing adventure. Any particular recommendations for boating routes to take, or tips on boating in general are certainly welcomed! Happy Sunday, everyone.

The Captain
The Captain