weekend warriors

recently my mom spent a couple of her final summer days at the condo with me before getting back to the school year grind at omhs.  while in town, she was kind enough to help us out with some home improvement chores that have been on the list a while but sometimes always seem to bump down in priority as the days come and go.  as a result, phillip and i rode her wave of can-do inspiration and completed a couple other projects on our own!

first up was the shower stall in my bathroom.  now, when you think about showering, you likely are getting in and out and moving on with your life.  naturally you probably don’t think twice about the condition of your shower unless it really is in despair.  for the perfect example, take my shower.  off the bat nothing appears glaringly wrong.  however, it had now come time that the bad grout job done by the previous homeowner be rectified.  enter phillip, me, a very sharp blade, and some very affordable sealant.

before we could apply the good stuff, we first had to get rid of the grody gunk that was already lining the corners of the stall.  thank goodness i have a strong live-in fiance for times just like this one!

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wooh!  i think i just broke a mental sweat watching phillip – good work, honey!  the next part was the more fun part, which was watching our quick weekend improvement come to life.  with a little elbow grease the shower was looking like brand new with some fresh grout from top to bottom in those corners.  now, we weren’t exactly going for perfection, but to the naked eye, things look much better.  i think i feel cleaner already!

with one bathroom marked off the list, we kept the good mojo going and took on our next project in phillip’s bathroom.  a pretty small space to start with, my mom commented that getting rid of this floor-sitting shelf and adding some shelves on the wall would help make the bathroom feel larger.  although it looks pretty compact and out of the way, we didn’t realize until we were done how much more open everything now feels in there.

so, i was off to ikea to find us some wall shelves to replace these shelves.  i wasn’t quite sure of what i wanted but then, out of nowhere, i spotted exactly what i must have.  before i got too excited, i made sure to double-check the shelf size against the wall measurements i’d written when i was at home and…it would work!  even though this new shelf was much longer, only one certainly wouldn’t do.  and, since when decorating things often work better in sets of three, three new shelves are exactly what i took home with me.  i even got lucky and found a very similar shelf being used in one of their many display spaces in the store.  instant inspiration!

i barged in the condo door and was bouncing with excitement about my fortunate finds.  “we must complete this project right away!” i hollered at phillip.  and, like any loving partner, he gladly obliged.  in our case, we were literally working with a blank space just above the lovely yellow tile and the toilet.  doesn’t it just look like it was meant for something more than being a white wall?  i couldn’t agree more!

after very carefully reading the instructions and inspecting the parts and hardware we would need, we got to work.  i was phillip’s trusty assistant and photographer for most of the afternoon, not wanting to miss a beat of the action or a moment of the fun.

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as phillip was putting up the final shelf, i was too overcome with excitement and energy and had to turn away until it was complete.  once ready i opened my eyes and hey, what do you know!  they look perfect!

a big hug and quick kiss later, i shooed phillip out of the bathroom, eager to give these shelves the finishing touch.  after shuffling things around quite a bit and then shuffling them around some more, i finally ushered him back in so that we could stand back and admire our work.  i’ll say, there’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment, even for something as “small” as new shelves and a spruced up shower stall, so i’ll take that joy any day.  what’s next, you wonder?  well, it’s your turn to get out there and go all hgtv – we know you can do it!

carrollton girls’ weekend

last weekend i cruised west of atlanta to visit my dear friend sarah over in carrollton.  we were long overdue for some girls’ time, and since phillip was occupied for a couple days, i insisted i come into town.

the quick drive on i-20 led me to a few more turns and a relaxing whirl through her stomping grounds.  i pulled up to her humble abode and nearly jumped out of my car, i was so excited to see sarah and her home!  she came answering when i came knocking, gave me a quick tour of the house, and tried to keep her sweet pup maggie from attacking me with kisses.  i can’t say i minded the last one at all; everyone knows i’m a dog lover!

now, this visit wasn’t just about sarah and me catching up – it also was about getting to see her family.  her parents and siblings just have hearts of gold, and it wouldn’t be a complete visit to west georgia without seeing them, too.  so, sarah and i met up with her mom, dad, sister jenny, and other sister katie at a local antique shop.  hugs and stories were exchanged among us all as we perused the aisles and shelves in search of a hidden treasure.  although there were plenty of refurbished dressers and chairs i would love to have had, i knew phillip would kill me if i came home with another piece of furniture!  the condo and our storage unit are at maximum capacity!  i couldn’t leave the store without a souvenir from the weekend, though, so i found a lovely little rosemary mint candle from a darling little shop called uncommon scents.  the smell is subtle and relaxing and perfect to light for an hour or so before hopping in bed.

we all piled up and after shopping through another antique store and a local book shop, we met up at little hawaiian right near downtown carrollton for some dinner.

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this is how we do

hardly a dull moment passes by these days, and this past weekend was no exception.  our friend ashley was getting married on sunday at historic smithonia farm, so a getaway to athens was a must!  after grabbing a grande java chip frappuccino from disco starbucks, i hit the open road.  the drive east on 316 was easy and relaxing, and soon enough i found myself in little five points with garth, al, and kari to eat some food and watch some football.

grindhouse killer burgers has a new location here, and it was the perfect spot to gather.  although the game was in rain delay (apparently there was lightning…?), we let our pregaming begin.  i am warning you now that we drank our fill that afternoon, and as a result, there are oodles of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

we supplemented our liquid diets that afternoon with plenty of food as well.  i started with an order of french fries topped with bacon and bleu cheese sauce.  ooh, girl, you would think i had died and gone to heaven.  the crinkle fries were the perfect choice for the bacon and bleu cheese, and i am telling you now, if you do not like bleu cheese, these fries are not for you.  i could have gone for a quick swim in that tiny little boat of starchy, salty goodness.

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the game finally started, and all the other dawg fans with us were optimistic as the skies cleared and the players took the field.  it’s just the gamecocks.  surely we will defeat them!  oh wait, we’re losing?  it’s the end of the second quarter and we’re still losing?  those feelings look like this, hopeful and brokenhearted all at the same time.

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halftime arrived, and we decided to distract ourselves from the looming misery that would become the uga loss to south carolina.  how better to distract ourselves than hopping on tinder!  kari and i took over al and garth’s accounts and got to swiping.  ah, tinder, the epitome of people judging.  my fingers are crossed that we found them a match.  i mean, who wouldn’t be interested in these two handsome fellas?  these gents are single and ready to mingle!

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well, we made it through the game, some how, some way, and headed over to mercy’s.  we know mercy from the redcoat band during our college days at uga, and she is now back in athens for work.  she just moved into her adorable home recently and was hosting a housewarming party.  of course we just had to be there!

first things first, mercy adopted the sweetest little corgi pup honey, who is a lively 14 weeks old.  i saw that little face when we were ushered inside, and i was done.  i think it’s fair to say that half the night we were consumed with her.  i also think it is fair to say that we wore her out!  there’s almost nothing cuter than a pooped pup, especially when it is a corgi.

sarah & honey & garth.

sarah & honey & garth.

the evening was full of laughs as old friends caught up over snacks and drinks.  athens is a place that will always have a piece of my heart, and having been back several times recently, i realize just how much i love that town.  so many memories of my college days, but now new memories to create as we all grow up and tread into adulthood.  they say that time goes by more quickly the older you get, and from just my few years of experience, i agree and am afraid i do not like it at all…

we all slumbered soundly that night and woke sunday morning ready for a new day.  kari was off to do wedding things, so garth, al, and i grabbed breakfast at the five points waffle house.  what better way to begin the late morning/afternoon than with cheese and hashbrowns and waffles and gravy as far as the eye can see?  not much, young lady, not much.

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oh, also, it was terribly cold inside this waffle house, and from what i’ve been told, that’s actually the norm for this location.  well, now we know…

since we were in little five points, i insisted we hop across milledge to jittery joe’s.  i worked at jitt joe’s for a couple years in college, and it was indescribably fun.  i loved being a barista at school, and if i could make a steady five figures serving coffee to folks throughout the week, you can bet i’d be trading in my laptop for an apron in a heartbeat.  ah, i suppose a girl can dream…

ah, look at the time!  we’ve got a wedding to get to!  we headed back to al’s place and got all spruced up for the big event.  ashley and jonathan met while working together at the wesley foundation on campus, and out of respect for the day and the event, they wanted a dry reception.  well, that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t still party.  1, 2, 3…#soberfun!

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the ceremony was beautiful and big; there were over 200 guests!  the groom and his men were very humble up there, and the bride and her ladies were just gorgeous.  this wedding was my fourth this year, but i never cease to be amazed at just how much love there is at an event such as this one.  it makes my heart want to burst with joy.  ashley and jonathan clearly adore each other, and that feeling is something you cannot hide.

kari, me, ashley, & mercy.

kari, me, ashley, & mercy.

after appetizer hour, we headed back inside for dinner.  mama’s boy, a local athens institution nearly, was catering the event, just as they had for sam and nathan’s wedding back in july.  after that meal a couple of months ago, we were stoked to have some of that good ole’ southern cookin’.  fried chicken and mac’n’cheese and homemade biscuits, oh my!

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folks wrapped up their meals, and since we had some time before the dance hour began, we decided to have a little photo shoot.  ladies first!

and now, i give you, the boys:  al and daniel.

we danced into the evening, tried to catch the bouquet and garter, ate some unforgettable cake, and sent the newlyweds off in style with grade a sparklers.  it was a delightful evening that reminded me how sweet and precious our time is here.  love those closest to you with all your heart and let them love you in return.