Blog Background

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dream Closets

Do you have files stored on your computer of rooms you would love to have in your dream home?

I do.

Is that weird???

As I read, blog, browse the web, etc. I save photos I come across that make my heart sing. You know, the rooms that you instantly fall in love with.

Today I am going to show you some of the "dream" closet photos I've saved. I'm showing you these because my darling husband and I constantly have the following conversation.

Judd: Baby, when you get something out please put it away.

Abby: What are you talking about this time??? (Obviously said in my most pleasant tone.)

Judd: (In a thick south Alabama drawl) You are gonna kill me one night by leaving your shoes out. I'm gonna trip over them. If you get a pair out, put them up when you're finished.

Abby: I would if I had more room to store them. This house is just too small. We need more closet space. I'll try to keep them out of your way. Love you with a cherry on top. {grin}

And so our saga continues about once a week.

So, back to the point of this whole post. Sorry for the rant. A girl needs a place to put her shoes and clothes. Perhaps if I had a closet like the ones below in a dream house, putting my shoes away would be a pleasure. Ha.

None of this is to say that I am ungrateful for what we do have. Having even one pair of shoes to protect our feet is a blessing. Having a safe, warm, comfortable home to live in is another one. Furthermore, being in a loving and committed marriage with a handsome, talented, faithful husband is the biggest blessing of all. We are so thankful for all the things we do have.

It is fun to dream though.

Feast your eyes on these...

Yeah, this could work.

Mariah Carey's shoe closet

Mariah's clothing side of the closet

I wish I could cite this photo. I saved it a long time ago and I don't remember where it came from. It's lovely though. If I had a teenage daughter she'd have this closet in our dream house for sure. :)

This one was featured in elle decor. It's lovely. I adore that rolling ladder.

All of the ones below are a little more my style. How about this shoe closet by James Radin?

Rabaut Design Associates

This is the closet from the movie Something's Gotta Give. I love the clean look of this one with the french doors covering the closet sections.

Something's Gotta Give

Or maybe if Judd had a closet like the one below he would be in there so much he wouldn't even notice if I left my shoes out anyway. Ha. I wish I could give him a closet like this. He deserves it. This image was from a home featured on Cote de Texas.

Which one do you like best? Do you think bigger closet equals cleaner house? Or does bigger closet mean more stuff to fill it with (i.e. more clutter)?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Auburn War Eagle

Disclaimer: This post may only apply to a small number of readers. If you don't want to learn more about Auburn University or if you are not already a part of the Auburn family you could probably care less about what I am about to say...err....write.

I received a link to this incredible website via email last week (Thanks Teresa). The website is called Auburn War Eagle. When I say incredible I mean amazingly well put together, beautiful, fun to read...well...just incredible. I don't know any other way to say it.

I think it was used in recruiting which may be one reason why we had such an amazing recruiting class this year.

The intro begins with something all Auburn men and women hold dear--The Auburn Creed. If you are unfamiliar with the creed you can read it below. This was a copy I made and kept on my desk when I worked at the University of Pennsylvania. I thought it was a great reminder for me and my colleagues about the things that matter in life and the way we should live it. I wish I could put it on my desk now, but working in the (rival) University of Alabama System, I know better. :)

Auburn Creed

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men. I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all. I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

- George Petrie (1945)

This creed is just one of the reasons Auburn fans and alumni consider each other family. We all share belief in these things.
You can access the website by clicking below or you can find it under our list of "favorites" on the right side of our blog.

The site is interactive and may take a moment to load.

Click this link to view: Auburn War Eagle

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brenna and Colby's Engagement Pictures

My handy brother-in-law, Colby, and his sweet fiance, Brenna, recently had their engagement pictures taken. The photographer did a great job! Her name is Julie Cottrell. She resides in Opelika, AL. Although, like me, she married a Brewton, AL native and didn't mind to make the drive down there to photograph the happy couple.

Below are just a few of the shots they took the other day. To see more photos of Brenna and Colby or to contact Julie click here. You will be directed to her blog.
Also, her formal website can be found by clicking the link below.

Here goes...
Colby is a fireman. This is one of my favorite shots of them at the Brewton Fire Department

Colby, this is not exactly how you should carry your bride over the threshold. wink

This photo was taken on the front porch of the house formerly known as "rent". I documented the renovation process a while back. You can read about it here, here, here, and here . This is where Brenna and Colby will live once they are married. Colby is living there alone now, but you can certainly tell Brenna has already put her special touch on the place.

Ok, I just thought this was sweet and funny. This is a doormat we gave to Colby when he first moved in. I'm so glad it made it into the photos. Ha.

(all pictures courtesy: Julie Cottrell Photography)

You can see more engagement shots of Brenna and Colby on Brenna's blog. Click here

Adventures of Colando

Here is the second installment of our wacky spin on Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and Where's Waldo.

You can see the first one here.

I just received this in my inbox. Donde es Colando?

Colando's studying hard in our dinning room.

Bridesmaid Baby Cakes

Photo: William Dickey / Styling: Cari South

Southern Living has solved all my problems. Well, maybe not all of them (not that I really have that many anyways), but certainly it has solved my dilemma about what kind of place cards to use at Brenna's bridesmaids' luncheon posted about here. Now I can use this great idea for place cards and as dessert! Whoopee!!!

Thanks Southern Living. You really are the southern woman's survival guide.

This recipe is from the SL website:

"Bridesmaid Baby Cakes can be personalized with each attendant's initials. The batter is the same one used in the larger wedding cake, but Jan baked the Poppy Seed Cake in a jellyroll pan and cut it into flower shapes. For a formal affair, use white-on-white frosting or monochromatic hues. Experiment with contrasting colors for a casual look."

Prep: 1 day.
Yield: Makes about 1 dozen (3-inch) cakes

2 recipes Poppy Seed Cake
1/2 recipe Buttercream Frosting
2 recipes Poured Fondant
Food coloring paste (optional)

1. Prepare cake, 1 recipe at a time, using 2 jellyroll pans; bake as directed.

2. Cut out 24 cake layers, using a 3-inch scalloped cutter.

3. Sandwich together 2 layers with a small amount of Buttercream Frosting; repeat with remaining layers. Place each cake on a wire rack over a shallow bowl or pan.

4. Prepare Poured Fondant, 1 recipe at a time; tint with food coloring paste, if desired. Quickly pour fondant over cakes, completely covering tops and sides. Reheat excess fondant, if necessary. Continue until cakes are evenly coated. Let dry before decorating.

5. Insert a coupler into a large decorating bag. Fit coupler with metal tip #1, and fill bag with remaining frosting. Pipe bridesmaids' initials on center of cakes, if desired. Pipe a shell border with metal tip #16 around top and bottom edges of cakes.

Courtesy: Southern Living, JUNE 2008

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Donde es Colando?

Do you remember that 90's tv show--Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? If so, then you might actually understand this post and not think that we are total loons. Or you might just think we are total loons anyway. It's ok. Life's too short not to have a little fun right?

Last week Judd broke down, joined the 21st century, and purchased an iphone. We've had a blast with it so far. Did I just say that? It was purchased so he could work right?

Yesterday, I was telling Judd about a fun game that my friend, Susan, (one of the fab fourteen) plays with her family. They take random pictures on their iphones and send them to each other. The recipient has to guess from the photo where the picture taker is located.

Well, Judd started his own version of this game with me today. Instead of "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?," he calls our version "Donde es Colando?"

I literally just laughed out loud when I opened the email from him at work. Colando is our dog, Cole's, stuffed baby that looks just like him.

I'm pretty sure Judd got the name Colondo from Conan O'Brien's "Conando." Any body? Any Body? It was one of those things that was so stupid it was funny. It always made us giggle.

Bahahahaha. I'm dying. I think we've just created a new section for our blog.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Are you thinking green today? No, I don't mean green as in environmentally conscious. I mean green as in St. Patrick's Day.

I've got my green on today. Do you? PINCH

Down south, other than Savannah, GA., St. Paddy's day is just not that big of a deal. Up north, however, it is a rather large occasion.

When we lived in center city Philadelphia, PA Judd and I personally witnessed all of the hoopla. It was a fun time of year.

The photo below is of the fountain at Love Park which was right outside of our apartment. Notice that the city dyed it green.

Philly is also home to the second oldest St. Pat's Parade. New York City was the first. The parade route ran in front of our apartment. Man, did we luck out on where we chose to live or what?

I remember fondly walking back from lunch and standing out in the cold to watch the Irish dance teams, bagpipe players, and other organizations march by us. It was great!

How will you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Are you going out for a green beer?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Weather Outside is...Delightful?

Ok, so maybe this post is a couple of weeks overdue. The weather outside is more on the delightful side these days.

When we took these pictures, however, the snow was falling and "the weather outside was frightful."

Are you singing yet?

The snow fell on the Friday of Valentine's Day weekend. Because I work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), which has a medical school and hospital, we did not close for this weather. Those of you who are from Alabama will recognize that this was more than enough snow to cancel work and school everywhere else.

I worked as it fell, periodically glancing out the window at the winter wonderland. My darling husband was off that day and asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch.

He climbed in his big four-wheel drive truck and braved the elements for our lunch date. When I opened the car door in front of my office where he picked me up I was greeted by a beautiful bouquet of roses and a sweet Valentine's card.

I know, I know, so thoughtful right???

It gets better.

Then he drove me to Mountain Brook Village (which looked more like Dickens Village because of the heavy snow fall) to have lunch at our "special" place--Olexa's.

This is the place that made our wedding cakes. They were both delicious and BEAUTIFUL! It was such a treat to have a lovely and romantic lunch by the snowy window and then to get to recreate our wedding by eating the exact cake served on our special day. YUMMY.

After lunch I went back to work. I ended up leaving around 2pm because of the hazardous road conditions. (I know that if you are from anywhere besides Alabama you might scoff at this. But hey, we don't get snow often. We have no idea how to drive in it. And that's our story and we're sticking to it.)

When I arrived at home I quickly ran to our bedroom and changed into some snow clothes. We played until sundown in the beautiful white fluffy stuff.

Cole went out first. Since he had already had one introduction to snow this year he knew what to expect and was ready to play.


He led the way to the backyard.

I immediately started building a snowman.

I had a hard time getting that hat to stay on his big cold head.

Judd found the perfect stick to use as a pipe.

Bloggers meet snowman. Snowman meet bloggers.

After building him we followed Cole over to his ice cave. Ooops, I mean kennel.

He had a real snow covered igloo and everything.

Then, being the jealous dog that he his, he ran over to snowman and pulled his carrot nose off.

Slurp, mmm, delicious.

He thought it was really funny.

Then I made a snow angel. What fun!

I then ran into the kitchen and grabbed some food coloring. I wanted to make snow cakes as posted about here.
Ok, so mine wasn't nearly as cute, but it was fun to make.
Then I felt something hit my back and turned around to find this.

That meant war.

We played like children for about half an hour. It was great. Then we decided to take Cole for a walk around the block. We took pictures all along the way.
The neighborhood kids were making the world's largest snow ball in front of our across the street neighbor's house. Impressive huh? It lasted for about 3 days after all of the other snow had melted.
After talking with the kids for a while we turned down the street to this beautiful view.

We decided to take the greenway to the elementary school behind our house. I love this picture of Judd and Cole walking side by side.
We stopped at the playground and let Cole run around. I had to get this picture of his snow beard before we let him off the leash.
This is a gate that was in the alley way as we walked back towards our house. Isn't it majestic?
A view of the streetscape as we rounded the corner.
Our walk was beautiful. It made our neighborhood look like a real winter wonderland. We decided to take a breather by swinging on our front porch with a cup of cocoa in hand. This was our view from the porch.

This snow day turned out to be one of the best I remember. Thanks Jack Frost you did your part. Now go away so we can finally have our usual warm and sunny Alabama spring.