Thursday, September 30, 2010

Show Us Where You Live ~ Dining Room

Welcome to our dining room, pull up a chair and stay a while! I'm joining Kelly's "Show Us Where You Live" tour again this week. The dining room is the first room you see when you enter our house. We love this room and I've enjoyed decorating it little by little over the past couple of years - we've made a lot of changes from the very plain room it started out as.

The first and best improvement was the diamond wall. My dearest friend, Carianne was the mastermind behind this idea. It involved a lot of measuring, grid drawing and careful painting, but I couldn't be more pleased with the result. It was a lot of work, but we had fun doing it and it turned out awesome. Thanks again, Carianne! We get so many compliments on it - some have even asked if it is wall paper. It definitely is an attention getter when you walk in the door.

The china cabinet in the corner was my Grandmother's and I'm so pleased to have it. My grandparents collected bells and they would keep some of them in here. I remember growing up and wanting to have it in my home someday and now I do. I don't have any china in it, but several crystal pieces, special glasses, a cake plate, candle sticks and a punch bowl just to name a few items. Also on the bottom shelf is something very special - my Grammy and Flash's silverware set. Grammy also wrote me a note when she gave it to me and I keep it in there to read when I open it. On the top shelf, I have a tea cup from both my grandmother's and Grammy's china sets - what treasures!

I did want to point out the picture on top of the china cabinet in the black frame - this is something I just did about 2-3 weeks ago. I subscribe to "Southern Living" magazine (a wonderful magazine to celebrate life in the South) and they recently had an article with pictures about the "25 Secrets to Being Southern" and there were several pages filled with short paragraphs and photos detailing things from "making the perfect pie crust" to "pickled okra"... "writing a thank you note" to "bring back old-fashioned story-telling" and many others. The final one (#25) was "Count Your Blessings". I loved what the article said about this and even more I loved the black and white picture. It was classic and reminded me of a simpler time, of family, of being together around the dinner table - it seems like such a lost art. What happened to "saying grace" and sitting down to eat as a family at the dining table? I know it's because of this insanely busy and fast paced world we live in, but I don't like it. Okay, off my soap box, but I loved the picture so much, I wanted to display it in our dining room. I cut out the pages very carefully with an Exacto knife. I pieced them back together with a good ol' Elmer's glue stick and put the magazine pages in a frame that I had bought from Target. It's not an easel back frame, so I have it sitting on an easel.

The buffet table, vinyl wall quote and mirror are the newest editions. That wall was an empty space a few months ago. I wanted more storage for kitchen/dining/serving items and so we wanted to add a buffet table. There are a few things in it, but I need to go through some cabinets in the kitchen and move some items into the buffet table. We also wanted a place to serve food or snacks when we have family or friends over - which isn't too often, but we'll be ready for visitors!

It's just John and I (and cute Calvin) in our home, but we have a table and chairs to seat eight people. It may be overkill for everyday life, but I guess the "old fashioned girl" in me wanted a dining room to be ready for guests at any time. We've had family, friends and a church group over so it's worked out well to have this space. In this room there have been meals and desserts eaten, bills paid, scrapbooks worked on and looked through, Thanksgiving dinner served, weekly marriage devotional time with John and I, board games played, Halloween candy passed out from, newspapers read, crossword puzzles worked on, coffee sipped and lots of visiting and laughing.

Lots of memories made in this room and as the quote on the wall says "The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table"...

Thanks for stopping by ~ Happy Weekend!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome Back, Fall!

Oh how I love this time of year - Fall is my FAVORITE! The weather is starting to turn cooler - hooray! The past few mornings have felt so nice and crisp. John and I cleaned out our closet and have gotten rid of all the "stuff" we don't need and have our clothes ready for the cooler months ahead. This is the time of year for football, soups and chili, yummy baking, snuggly blankets, warm clothes, apple cider, pumpkins, smells of cinnamon, candles burning, changing of the colors and the anticipation of the holiday season - Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've put out a few fall decorations throughout the house and hope to add some touches of Halloween this weekend with October almost upon us. Hopefully, I can post all of those pictures soon. Then I have a few Thanksgiving decorations that will replace all of the Halloween stuff once October is over. Just a few things here and there throughout the house make it feel so warm and cozy and really get you in the spirit of the season and holidays and to come.

So Welcome Back, Fall - stay as long as you want!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Show Us Where You Live ~ Master Bedroom

Welcome to the Master Bedroom of Mr. & Mrs. Ussery! I am joining the "Show Us Where you Live" tour with Kelly. Some of these bedroom pictures were taken a year or so ago, but there have been a few changes. We have different bedding right now, but I didn't take a new picture because we change out the bedding from time to time. We have several sets of sheets and 2-3 comforters - all in the "jungle" theme. One of the pictures of our entertainment center (the first one) is an old one. You can see by the second picture that we have a new TV, changed up the decor on top of the entertainment center and added a basket of toys for Calvin beside it. Calvin is our sweet beagle. The items on the dresser have changed some too. The first picture of our dresser that you'll see is what it looks like now except I have added a carmel colored Scentsy warmer on there. The other dresser pictures are older, but we haven't changed it too much. We've also added a picture of the two of us on the wall that is shared with the bedroom and bathroom. The final 2-3 pictures show that wall. The first two are how it used to look and then the final picture shows where we hung the picture of us. It's a really pretty bronze frame and we printed a picture of us in sepia. In the other opening on the frame, beside our picture, is the words to the song "When God Made You". It's a beautiful song talking about how God knowing exactly what we will need in a spouse who is perfect for and picked just for us. There's a line that says "When God made you, he must have been thinking about me" - how powerful!


Enjoy...

Thanks for stopping by - have a fabulous weekend!
Until we meet again...

Riley

Friday, September 17, 2010

Show Us Where You Live ~ LIVING ROOM

Welcome to the USSERY Living Room! I am joining the "Show Us Where You Live" tour with Kelly. We did this last year, but there have been a few small changes throughout the house. Our living room is open to the kitchen, which we really like for conversation and being able to see the television while cooking and hanging out in the kitchen. The living room is on the back of our house so the door in our living room goes out to the back patio/backyard. Labor Day weekend, we got a beautiful picture at Mardel for above the TV, but we want to add a metal decor piece on either side so we're on the lookout for that. That'll elimate the big blank spots on either side of the picture. Hobby Lobby here we come! I put a few fall decorations out last weekend so you'll notice a few items here and there. We are a football family - which explains why it's on the TV in all of the pictures!

Enjoy your visit...
Thanks for stopping by - have a wonderful weekend!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCOTTIE!

We want to wish our sweet nephew Scottie a very HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY!! We hope you have a wonderful day and we love you very much!

Aunt Riley & Uncle John

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?


WE ARE!

Hooray - it's beginning to look a lot like FOOTBALL. High school football is underway (our Bronchos are 1-1) and college football started last weekend. It felt so good to watch and keep up with a few college games over the Labor Day weekend. We had our Fantasy Football draft two weeks ago so the "Champion Cougars" and "Pernicious Pixies" are ready for another fun and exciting year of keeping up with our Fantasy teams.

And tonight the NFL season kicks off with a game between the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. We will be getting pizza for dinner and watching the game in the comfort of our living room. We are BEYOND pumped for the NFL season to begin.

Let it begin!

Until we meet again...
Riley



Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School

School is back in session! Every year we love to go school supply shopping for our nieces and nephews for a couple of items they can add to their collection of supplies at school or things they can use at home. I try to find their actual school supply list online, since they are in various school districts, so we are buying exactly what they need. For the older ones, that don't have a supply list, we give them a gift card to pick out a couple of things they may need. It was lots of fun. We wrote them each a little note and gave them their gifts last month. Here are a couple of the sets of supplies... Some big "Back to School" news in our house is that John is going back to school starting tomorrow! He will be taking online classes through Central Baptist College located in Conway, Arkansas. He is studying for a Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Ministry degree. It should take him around three years to complete this degree. This is something he's been thinking about, wrestling with and praying about for a long time. He finally came to the conclusion to give it a try this fall. After a 2 week orientation class, he will start his first two courses, "Isaiah" and "New Testament Survey". As to what he will do with this degree, that's still in the Lord's hands and something we will continue to pray about over the next couple of years - for His guidance and direction. John is really excited about starting this new chapter of his life. I could not be more proud of him for doing this. I'm so happy for you, John! We have talked and prayed about all of the aspects of him going back to school in regards to our life and we are both confident that this is what he wants and needs to do at this time. He might try to do some of this school stuff during the day as time allows or over the weekend if need be, but we've also decided we'll have occasional "Dining Table Dates" when he needs to study, read, work on a paper or do research on an evening during the week. I have plenty of things to do or projects I can work on while we sit at the dining table together.

We've had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, but sad to see it come to an end. We are thankful though for this 3-day weekend spent together!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things to Be Happy About ~ July & August Edition

Well July got away from me and now August is in the rear view mirror - WOW! That being said, I have double the "things to be happy about" since I never got around to posting for July. If you are new to this, I received a bright yellow, page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas last year and it sits on my desk at work. Each day the page lists various things to be happy about. Throughout the month I keep up with my favorite things the pages list and blog about them at the end of the month explaining why it makes me happy. I'm definitely a person who finds happiness in the littlest of things and so many things excite me. I'm easily pleased. If you want to read about the previous months, click here. That will take you to the June Edition and there are links to the other months in that post.

Here are my July and August things to be happy about...
  • Sheets of Cookies ~ A cookie sheet full of warm cookies, so simple and devine
  • Food Cooked Outdoors ~ Ahhh, the smell of a grill! We probably cookout at least once a week. John's the grill master and cooks all sorts of great food. We have a charcoal/gas/smoker grill and it's awesome
  • Pancakes & Bacon ~ Okay, I promise all of these aren't about food, but this one of my favorite breakfasts
  • Having a Facial ~ I had my first facial back in the spring thanks to my sweet boy and it was amazing. I like to give myself faux-facials at home from time to time too
  • Pumpkin Patches ~ These scream "FALL", which I am very READY for. John and I went to a pumpkin patch a few years back and it was so much fun, but need to go again. I love driving by them and seeing a sea of pumpkins
  • Playing Yahtzee ~ We have played a lot of Yahtzee in our 7+ years together - such a classic and fun game
  • Natural Light ~ I really like opening the blinds throughout the house, letting the sun in and watching what's going on outside
  • Inexpensive Decorating ~ I enjoy decorating our house and seem to always be adding things, changing things or moving things around. I actually did this last weekend. I love putting out decor items for the various seasons and holidays too. Nevertheless, it really pleases me to decorate cheaply without looking cheap. There are all sorts of bargains and sale items throughout our house (several dollar store items too) and no one knows the difference!
  • Scented Candles ~ Oh the aroma and they make your house feel warm and cozy
  • Getting a Good Night's Sleep ~ It feels great! I think this makes everyone happy, especially as busy as the world seems today
  • Ping Pong in the Basement ~ This makes me happy because it reminds me of fun times playing ping-pong in my in-laws basement
  • Tex-Mex Food ~ I know I said this isn't ALL about food, but there are several "food" references. This is one of my favorite cuisines - mmm!
  • Listening to the Rain ~ Relaxing and peaceful
  • A Star Named for You ~ A special gift indeed from John
  • Daisies in the Breeze ~ Daisies are my favorite flower - such a friendly flower
  • Opening Birthday Presents & Cards ~ I know I may change my tune with time, but I think I will always love birthdays. It makes me happy to celebrate my birthday and to open wonderful cards and gifts from family and friends
  • Hanging out with Kids ~ We don't have any kids of our own, but we have lots of nieces and nephews that are a joy to play with and just be big kids with
  • A Root Beer float ~ Something I don't have THAT often, but one of my favorite treats when I decide to indulge
  • Scratch & Sniff stickers ~ I think these are a thing of the past and frankly, that's just sad. What excitement it brought to scratch a cherry and smell a cherry. Whoever came up with that was a genius
  • Food Made from Scratch ~ I LOVE to cook! I've been blessed with a lot of people in my life that love to cook and I have learned from them all. I'm old-fashioned in lots of ways, but I really prefer making things from scratch, even if it takes more time. It's enjoyable and that much tastier
  • Licking the Beaters ~ A must after preparing batter or dough for baking...I know this makes Johnny Boy very happy
  • Miniature Golf ~ Such a fun activity, but sadly there seems to be less and less mini golf courses
  • Baked Potatoes, Cotton Candy, Onion Rings, Saltwater Taffy and Filet Mignon ~ So those were all on separate days, but I decided to group them together as one big "DELICIOUS THINGS I LOVE TO EAT" list! This post really makes me sound like a pig, but I promise I don't consume all of these things at once or all the time
  • Finding the Cereal Box prize ~ I don't eat "kids" cereal as much as I used to, but I still do from time to time, but it seems to me these are disappearing as well or is it just me? There was nothing more exciting as a child than getting the toy out of the cereal box OR picking a cereal based on the prize inside...those were the days
  • An Open Sunroof ~ I have one on my car and it goes back to the "natural light" topic I guess. I like the sun coming in above me and the days it's cool enough to open it and let the outside air in
  • School Supply Stock ~ It's no secret - I am obsessed with school/office supplies and yes I have a stock at home and yes I'm always looking for more fun stuff and make any excuse to buy. School supplies are starting to go on clearance with school now underway, perfect time for me to get some bargains. I never know when I might need more pens or post-it notes (yeah right!)
  • Flowers on Your Desk ~ John has blessed me with several flower arrangements or bouquets over the course of my 4 years at my current job - it adds so much to my desk and brings tons of cheer (especially while working)
  • Sizzle of a Frying Pan ~ The sweet sound which lets you know that something in being cooked in grease - I'm thinking of bacon
  • Family Reunions ~ Always a good time to gather together once a year or so and have fun, talk, play games and eat with your extended family - especially those you don't see or talk to but at that time. We just went to one a couple of weeks ago and I still need to share pictures
  • Tying on an Apron ~ Continuing with my love for the kitchen, we have aprons hanging in ours and once one is tied on it's time to dive into some serious cooking and/or baking. Aprons also remind me of a simpler time!
  • Banana Seat Bicycles ~ Do they still make these? Please tell me they do! I remember getting one from Santa Claus and learning to ride it in my Grandpa & Grandmother's front yard - sweet memories
  • Home Canning ~ Fruits and vegetables from gardens and trees that are canned in a home are THE best you can have. So fresh and tasty! I don't have any experience actually doing this, but I've eaten the fruits of other peoples labor and am always satisfied. However, John has decided to become a vegetable gardener (he has some experience) next year and we both want to learn how to can our vegetables. So this time next year we may have canned green beans, corn, pickles...plus fresh tomatoes, squash and we shall see what else Farmer John grows
  • Having Exact Change ~ I am an "exact change" kind of girl. If I can give the exact amount to a cashier, I am thrilled. Or if I can at least give $10.55 for something that's $7.55 and get 3 whole dollars back - whoo hoo! I need help. John LOVES this about me (haha - I think he would beg to differ)
  • A Good Night Kiss ~ John tucks me in every night and gives me three kissed every.single.night ~ bliss
Well, as you can tell I tend to get WAY too excited over the smallest of things, but that's me and I think it's important to let anything possibly make you happy - big or small!

Have a GREAT Labor Day weekend - 3 days off makes me super happy!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!

Here are a few things I'm loving today...

I'm loving my Mom and Armando and today is their 9th Anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - may God bless the many wonderful years ahead. We love you both!
I'm loving our sweet nephew Noah, who is turning 2 tomorrow - HAPPY BIRTHDAY - we love you Noah and your gift is on the way!
I'm loving that it's now SEPTEMBER which means FALL is right around the corner - our favorite time of year! These next four months make me so happy for so many reasons. I'll soon be getting out our fall decorations - hooray!I'm loving that we had our Fantasy Football draft last weekend - it was FUN! College football starts this weekend and then NFL season kicks off September 9th with more games to follow that weekend. Be still my heart...I can smell the pigskin in the air.

I'm loving that Labor Day weekend is coming up soon - hello 3-day weekend. It's going to be great!

I'm loving that I get to go to Michaels (one of my favorite stores) after work today and look for some crafty things and then meet my sweet husband for a quick bite at Chick-fil-a before he goes to Men's group at church - yum!
I'm loving that John is going back to school next week (more to come on that later -probably next week) and I'm so excited for him!

I'm loving the fact that The Office will be starting again in just a couple of weeks, but I'm not loving the fact that Steve Carrell is calling it quits after this season. Boo!
I'm loving that the Rangers are looking good for the post-season. Keep up the good work guys - we want to see you in the playoffs!

Those are just a few things I'm loving THIS Wednesday! And as always, I'm loving John!

Until we meet again...
Riley