Monday, January 24, 2011

Laundry Room Makeover

One of the projects on my unending to do list was to "Paint & Redecorate Laundry Room". Well, mission accomplished this weekend. Yippee ~ one project crossed off the list!! We worked last week emptying out the laundry room (which is also our pantry and storage area for all of our paper products and cleaning supplies). Our guest room became the temporary home for everthing in our laundry room for a few days while we worked in the laundry room. Most of Saturday afternoon was spent painting and it was a team effort! I would cut in the walls and John would roll the rest in. Once the room was painted, we took a break for a date night which included dinner, board games and dessert. John had to work Saturday night from 10pm - 1 am (which turned into 2am), so I took advantage of that time to deep clean the empty laundry room, put things back in place and do a little decorating. It made for a fun Saturday night into Sunday morning. We put in a new light fixture and finished it up yesterday afternoon and presto chango...a new laundry room!

The color is called "Tantalizing Teal" and we matched it with good ol' black for the decorating and accents. You will notice a cute little metal sign above the light switch. It doesn't really match the colors, but I had to get it because it has an adorable little beagle on it that looks like Calvin did as a puppy. The "wash" and "dry" magnets on the washer and dryer are ones that I made with some scrapbooking paper and magnet sheets. I also made the wall hanging with the same scrapbook paper and framed it in a 12x12 frame.

I included a few old pictures of the laundry room (taken over a year ago) to serve as the "BEFORE" pictures and then of course the "AFTER" pictures will follow...

I LOVE the way it turned out!! It's so bright and cheerful. I will enjoy using this room much more now - it's not so drab and blah. Doesn't a cozy room (especially a nicely painted and/or decorated room) makes doing things in it more enjoyable? I guess it's psychological or perhaps it's just me, but this will be a cute room to do our laundry in, gather our supplies for cleaning house and getting our food out of for cooking and baking. It makes me smile!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day ~ until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things to Be Happy About ~ December Edition

We're almost halfway through January 2011, but I still haven't posted my "things to be happy about" from December 2010.

If you are new to this, I received a bright yellow, page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas in December 2009 and it sat on my desk at work all year in 2010. Each day the calendar page listed various things to be happy about. Throughout the month, I would keep up with my favorite things the pages listed and blog about them at the end of the month explaining why they made me happy.

I try to find happiness in the littlest of things and so many things excite me very easily. If you want to catch up, I started this in January 2010 so you can always look through my archive to catch up. I'll miss this activity that I did all of last year, but I look forward doing other new and different things in my life this year.

Here are my December things to be happy about...
  • All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go ~ It's always fun to get all dressed up for a night out or special occasion. I love to get dressed up!
  • Meaningful Tree Ornaments ~ I ADORE all of our tree ornaments because except for a couple of generic ones, and there are just a few of those, all of our ornaments hold special meaning or have their own story. One of my favorite things to do each year is to go through all of our ornaments one by one as we decorate the tree and re-live their stories and talk about why they are special.
  • Frank Sinatra Singing ~ His music makes me smile - it takes me back to a simpler time and I love it! Simply classic...
  • Telling Someone Your Middle Name ~ I love my middle name - it's Bess. Bess was my Mamaw's first name (my Mom's grandmother's name). It's unique, just like my first name. Several people near and dear to me will call me Riley Bess from time to time.
  • Homemade Christmas Ornaments ~ We have a few on our tree that I made and then our parent's have some on their trees that we made as children. Ornaments children make are such treasures - hold onto them.
  • Warm Feet Under the Covers ~ Ahh, what a feeling! Being warm and snuggly under a blanket is one of my favorite things.
  • A Kind Spouse ~ I'm thankful for mine! Honestly, John is such a kind person and has such a sweet heart. He is always kind and never mean to me - not all wives can say that. He is a perfect gentleman (which is a lost art in my opinion).
  • Warm Winter Meals ~ Soup, Chili, Chowder, Choup...mmm, does a cold body good!
  • The Relief of a Sneeze ~ I know this is so weird, but a good sneeze is so underrated.
  • Slice & Bake Cookies ~ I prefer my good ol' from scratch cookies, but these are good for a fast treat and eating just the dough is yummy too.
  • A Twosome Sitting Close ~ I love sitting close to my John, but I also enjoy seeing any two lovebirds side by side. Love is wonderful!
  • Decorating for the Holidays ~ FUN FUN FUN! We had such a good time doing this complete with lots of snacks and Christmas music. It's a bid deal in our house and we have A LOT of decorations.
  • Spanish Rice & Refried Beans ~ Delish! Mexican food is the best and we these appear on on our menu often.
  • "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Claymation Film ~ A Christmas favorite. I watched this when I was a little girl and have watched it all my life. Everyone loves it - John does too!
  • Your 18th Birthday ~ I had a surprise birthday party when I turned 18 and boy was I surprised - it was a blast!
  • Wearing a New Outfit ~ Hooray for new clothes. I haven't gotten any in a while, but it's always nice to sport some new duds.
  • Holiday Carols ~ Christmas music makes me very happy. I love to listen to it on the radio and on CDs at home, plus there's something about singing them at church during Advent.
  • Magazine recipes ~ Boy do I have so many of these! I do have them organized though (would you expect any less?). I have gotten so many wonderful recipes out of magazines that have become some of our favorites.
  • Cookies Baking ~ Not only is this one of the best smells ever, but once they are done baking, you get to eat them!
  • Relaxing at the Holidays ~ It was SO nice to have a few extra days off of work for the Christmas and New Year's holidays just to chill out and do a lot of nothing! It's really nice how the world kind of slows down some between Christmas and the new year.
  • Saying Grace ~ We pray before our meals - both at home and out at restaurants. We haven't always done it, but it's something we made a priority a long while back and I'm so glad we did. Check this post out here to read more about a picture in our dining room that illustrates "saying grace" beautifully.
  • Using your Christmas Presents ~ Now that Christmas is over and we are into January, I'm really enjoying getting to use all of my Christmas presents - or find places for them in our home.
  • Stovetop Popcorn ~ One of our favorite snacks in The Ussery house (Calvin loves when we make popcorn too). We always make our popcorn on the stove. We've made it this way before we were even married. When we were engaged, we spent many nights eating stove top popcorn and watching Friends...awww memories!!
Now on my desk I have "The Power of the Praying Wife" daily calendar. It makes me happy too! I love to pray for John and for our marriage. I always desire a closer relationship with our awesome God and my awesome husband.

I'm also SO HAPPY that it's the weekend - bring it on!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, January 3, 2011

So Much To Blog About, So Little Time

Well, I'm two days shy of it being two weeks since I last blogged. Just like everyone, we've had various Christmas and New Year's festivities and activities going on over the last two weeks as well as a few other things in between.

We took a trip to Arkansas and have a trip planned this weekend to Odessa (west Texas) to visit my family. John and I had our Christmas together this past weekend, which was wonderful. We had tons of fun over the 3-day weekend as well as were very productive around the house. With the holidays and time off of work, I have spent very little time on the computer. It's been nice! I love our blog, but it's nice to be away from all that is "technology" from time to time.

We've taken lots of pictures that I want to post soon. I may have to do a HUGE Christmas post since we've had a couple of "Christmases". I never did get our Christmas decorations posted either, so those may appear as well (better late than never). There are also a couple of non-Christmas topics I want to do write about. That being said, as time allows, I will eventually get all caught up. As anxious as I am, I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself to get our blog up to date, but to work on it as I can. We are busy people, but in good ways!

We always welcome a new year - a fresh start! A time to reflect on the previous year and look forward to what is to come in the new year. Over the weekend, we packed up all of our Christmas decorations and did a lot of cleaning and some rearranging. It was sad to see all of the lights and decorations go, but the house feels nice...again, like a fresh start. Hooray for new calendars and a new daily planner, a filing cabinet being cleaned out and prepared for 2011, a reworking of the monthly budget, healthier eating and exercising again and many other things to start anew and help transition back to normalcy. We don't really have "resolutions", but we have been talking and praying about things in general we'd like to do this year and changes to make both individually and together. I have a mental list, but I'm sure that will turn into a "to do list" or "project list" or "changes to make" list with good ol' paper and pen.

All of this to say, we are alive and well, just lots going on and enjoying life! Going from the holiday season into a new year and back to reality. Stay tuned - we will keep you up to date on everything going on with the Usserys as we are able to.

Until then - wishing you a fabulous 2011!
Riley