Memphis: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

When we learned of the Orpheum Theater, we knew we had to go to a show! We were lucky to catch the last showing of Mary Poppins, and it was phenomenal!

This was the first broadway show that we’d ever been to, so we were both blown away. The sets and costumes were so elaborate, and the talent was amazing. Matt worked behind the scenes at a few productions at Louisiana Tech, so he found the sets to be particular interesting. I was just amazed by all of the movement and how the scenes switched so seamlessly without the audience even hardly noticing. Plus, bright colors, singing/dancing, and flashing lights are plenty to keep a girl entertained!

My handsome hubby wore a bow tie and suspenders (which I loved!), and I wore one of this winter’s dresses from Salt & Pepper. I seize any opportunity to get all dressed up! I planned on taking more pictures, but we just didn’t get around to it.

Bow Tie & Suspenders

These aren't very good pics, but they're all I had, so I decided to post nonetheless. Forgive me.
These aren’t very good pics, but they’re all I had, so I decided to post nonetheless. Forgive me.

It wasn’t just the production that was amazing though. The theater itself was a sight to see. It was like stepping back in time to a theater from the early 1900’s. Everything was so intricate and detailed. I didn’t get to take any pictures, but you can check out their website  for a peek. (I’m not one of those people who will stop the movement of a crowd in order to snap a few pictures. In this case, I “took them with my mind” as Matt says.) If you go to their site, be sure to read the history. It’s such a fascinating place!

Mary Poppins
Again, not a good picture, but it’ll do…

If you’re ever in Memphis, make a point to see a show there. I just can’t describe how beautiful it is. Have you ever been to a broadway show? What was your experience like?

Update: Read about how our trip started here. We also hung out on Beale Street. Ate a lot and shopped!

Memphis: Rockin’ on Beale Street

One of the top things we were looking forward to for this trip was dinner at BB King’s and a night down on Beale Street. We arrived just in time to check in and get a little fancied up. (We didn’t take the first picture, and I’m majorly disappointed. Matt always says, “Take a picture with your mind,” when I’m fussing over wanting pictures. Can someone help me explain to him that’s just not the same thing?!) I digress.

We ate at BB King’s in Las Vegas and had a great time, so it was a definite on the agenda for our Memphis getaway. We’d been talking about their sausage and cheese platter since we started planning this trip! (Seriously, you must try it!)

Dinner was delicious as we expected, and the live band was awesome. It was one of those bands that had everybody dancing in their seats without even noticing it. Matt & I both love a live band. We could have stayed here the whole night but decided to go walk around a bit instead.

After scoping out the sights on Beale Street, we picked a cool, old horse and buggy to give us a tour and take us back to our hotel. We enjoyed cuddling up and seeing downtown the old fashioned way. You can see some of the details from the carriage ride here. Nothing beats getting cozy under a nice warm blanket and riding around in a horse-drawn carriage with your love.

Downtown Carriage RideDo you have a carriage ride story that sticks out in your mind? Tell me about it! This was our first one together, so I’m sure I’ll always remember it.

Update: Read more about Memphis here, here, here, and here

A Match Made in Memphis

Ok, so this match wasn’t really made in Memphis, but that’s a cute title right?! This trip was especially exciting because it was our first non-work related trip together. I’m going to post about some detailed experiences later, but here’s a little overview.

Our original plan was to go somewhere in East Tennessee, but we decided to go somewhere not so far from home so we’d have less travel time and more play time.

This is my favorite pic of Downtown. I just love how the rainy streets look!
This is my favorite pic of Downtown. I just love how the rainy streets look!

Here’s what we did:
BB King’s on Beale Street
Carriage ride/Tour of Downtown Memphis
Lunch at Aldo’s Pizza Pies
Mary Poppins at the Orpheum Theatre – our first ever broadway show!
Bryant’s Breakfast
Shopping!!
Dinner at Texas de Bazil
Central BBQ

As you can see, we skipped some of the typical things like Graceland, etc. For this trip, we wanted a simple & easy getaway. Matt’s been pretty busy with school and work, so relaxation was the goal.

Some of my favorite things about Memphis are obviously the food and live music, but I absolutely love the brick sidewalks and trolleys of downtown. In my opinion, brick and trolleys make the perfect downtown setting. What more do you need?? We were told that the trolleys are actually the original ones. I don’t know how true that is, but they looked old!

IMG_1090

It's a tad blurry...silly trolley wanted to go when I started taking a pic!
It’s a tad blurry…silly trolley wanted to go when I started taking a pic!

Downtown is so cozy and well maintained. I could walk around for hours with no actual purpose.

Speaking of walking around, we started in this cool park next to our hotel. (Memphis is FULL of various parks and river walks…another cool feature). We cruised through here on our carriage ride where the driver told us that this park had been in place since before the Civil War, 1819 to be exact. Wow! He said the stone work was original, which was even more impressive. This staircase was simply stunning…especially to think it had been there since the 1800s!

Old Stone Staircase

I had to take a picture of these cannons because our driver said these were “what they liked to call replica cannons,” as if the word replica only applied to those cannons and couldn’t be used in other contexts. We got quite a kick out of this. Seriously, I think it’ll be a running joke from now on. Feel free to join in!

Replica CannonsWe ended up walking several miles through different parks, along the river, and through some gorgeous neighborhoods. The parks and green areas are full of various commissioned art, benches, etc. It was nice to see all of the small touches placed here and there.

Pardon the crazy hair...it was rather windy!Overall, we had a great time exploring the area. I can’t wait to post more details, but for now I have laundry to catch up on…that dreaded, unavoidable post-trip task.

Have you ever been to Memphis? What were your favorite parts? We might go back again sometime, so please share!

Update: Read more about Memphis – Beale Street, Mary Poppins, shopping & eating. 

Travel Journal

I stumbled upon the idea of a Travel Journal somewhere online and thought it was a great idea! Matt & I both love to travel & explore new places, and I decided this was a perfect way to keep up with & document our experiences.

I spent a few weeks searching for the perfect book to use. I finally stumbled upon this one at Hobby Lobby. I bought some stickers to decorate the front & headed home to get started!Travel Journal (3)

The reason I chose this book was because of the page layout. I love the lines for jotting down notes and the framed boxes for trip location/date. It also has sporadic photo pages and pockets for keeping other mementoes. (The black page is the pocket…it didn’t show up too well in the picture.)Travel Journal (2)Travel Journal (4)

So….here’s my finished cover! Matt & I couldn’t agree on whether to put words on the front or not, but I like how it turned out.Travel Journal (1)

I have to get us caught up on the trips that we’ve already taken so I can be ready to include our upcoming trip to Memphis. I’ve already started adding things, so I’ll post about my journal progress soon!

Who loves mopping??

I just finished mopping and I loved it!! (No, Mom, you’re not dreaming…)

Anybody who knows me knows that I HATE to mop. It’s by far my most absolute dreaded household task. I have been known to put it off (sometimes indefinitely) & try anything to find an “easy” way. This morning I tried a new mop and a new method, and I’m sold! Mopping (3)

When my mother-in-law told me that she uses a spray bottle with a vinegar/water solution to mop, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about that! A spray bottle?? That’s GENIUS!! (I’m sure some of you have already thought of this, but I’m still learning & this post is for the rest of you who haven’t had this revelation yet.)

I’ve started trying a vinegar/water solution to clean other areas of my home, so I already had a spray bottle ready. My MIL says she uses about a 4-1 solution, but mine was probably a little more vinegar-heavy.  No matter what solution you use, put it in a spray bottle. I’ve never had an easier time mopping…just spray a small area, mop, and move on! (If your bottle has a long stream like mine, be careful where you spray. I may have coated a wall or two and the end of the couch…oops!)

Now let’s talk about the mop. On my last make-mopping-easy attempt, a friend told me about a microfiber flip mop from Wal-Mart. Today was my first time to use it, but she’s on to something.

This is the O-Cedar Microfiber Flip Mop, and I LOVE it! I preface this by saying that I’ve tried practically every type of mop known to man in an attempt to find something I didn’t hate. Why do I love this one? I’ll break it down for you.

It doesn’t have to be rung, twisted, hung to dry…none of that. It also doesn’t leave pieces or string or sponge everywhere. Instead, once you use it, you just remove the microfiber cover and toss it in the washer. With the spray bottle, you just spray and mop. (No dipping or squirting a Wet Jet that soaks the pad and eventually tears it.) The microfiber stays wet enough to clean but dry enough to not make an even bigger mess than you started with.

When one side gets dirty, you just flip it over and use the other! I bought an extra cover so that if I wanted to mop and hadn’t washed the other one, I’d have a backup. (Like that’ll ever happen!)

The handle swivels, so you can spin it around to fit in small spaces. The only problem I had with the mop is that the handle will come unscrewed from the mop head. Once I realized this though, I just swiveled it the opposite direction and was careful to tighten it back up every now and then.Mopping (2)

My favorite thing about this mop is how thin it is. This means it will slide under practically anything…including my dining table where nothing will fit under! You can easily slide it under cabinets, under the couch, and even under a closed door!Mopping (1)

When I say that I love this mop…I’m not exaggerating. I should probably contact O-Cedar and get a commission for this awesome review! Seriously though, this mop and spray bottle technique may have changed my hatred for mopping. We’ll have to see if I’m as excited about it next time, but maybe…just maybe, I won’t dread this chore anymore!

Don’t Die!

“Many people die at 25, but aren’t buried until they’re 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

I think this quote is all about having purpose. When real life hits, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the mundane and literally die inside. I think this feeling is sort of inevitable. But what do you do about it when it happens?

I have a bad habit of “waiting” to do things that I want to do. Waiting until I have more time, more money, less “work” to do. Well here’s the deal with waiting…you’ll never have more time or money, and you’re always going to have a million other things you should be doing. My husband says you have to balance work with play. He opts to do a few things he has to do and then do something he wants to do. This theory has opened a whole new world for me. Lets face it…if I waited until all the baseboards were clean and fan blades dusted, I’d certainly never have time to do anything for myself.

So here’s my challenge to you: do several things that you have to do today, but make room for something you want to do as well. Play with your kids. Make a craft project. Read a book. No matter what it is, make time to do something to free your mind. Reward yourself for all the work you’ve done.

Even taking a few seconds to appreciate a flower as you walk by can severely improve your day. I’ve walked by this tree every day for weeks without really stopping to look at these flowers. Stop. It only takes a few seconds and can give you that breathe of fresh air that you need.

Stop & smell the flowers.
Stop & smell the flowers.

I think Mr. Franklin was really on to something with this statement. If you don’t make time for yourself and do things to keep you alive inside, you’ll end up dead at 25 and not be buried until you’re 75.

I have several projects up my sleeve that I want to do will do (including this blog). What are YOU going to do??

Little Girl’s Dresser Project

I spent last weekend helping my friend set up her little girl’s “big-girl room.” (We have a new baby on the way that’s going to need the nursery!) Priority #1 was finding a dresser. This post is written to show you to think outside the box…it could save you some cash!

The dresser we found was going to cost $300, but we checked the sale section and found a similar white dresser for just $125! It needed knobs/handles and a good wipe down, but other than that it worked perfectly! (There was also a small scuff on the back, but no one would see it anyway.) So of course, we bought this one and headed off to find hardware!

She just needs a little TLC!
She just needs a little TLC!

I learned a valuable lesson about handles that day. The pre-drilled holes were only 1 ½ inch apart, which turns out to be a very difficult size to find! My friend started to get a little nervous about our purchase, but if there’s anything my Mama taught me, it is to “make it work.”

We found some gorgeous coordinating pink knobs and handles at Hobby Lobby (for ½ price!) and headed home to “make it work.” Figured out how I solved the problem yet? The handles we bought had 2 inch plates behind them, so I just drilled an additional hole in the drawers, and the plates covered the original, predrilled holes!

Break our your power tools!
Break our your power tools! The two outside holes were the original ones, & I drilled the one in the middle.
Dresser (5)
Isn’t she perfect for a little girl’s room?!

Our other steal for the day was this oh-so-pretty canvas print that ties together the purple & pink of the room perfectly. It was priced at $89.99 and on sale for ½ price. It gets even better! One of the wooden flowers on this particular canvas had fallen off, so we got an additional 10% off and just glued that puppy back on when we got home! All in all, we bought the dresser, hardware, canvas, laundry basket, and other wall art…all for the price of the original dresser!

They look great together!
They look great together!

What’s the moral of this story? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. A little DIY project can save you lots of cash and turn out even more perfect in the end. I have another project for little Aubrey’s room up my sleeve, so I’m sure you’ll see more from her room soon!

P.S. I apologize that these photos are a little dark. We were doing these projects at 10pm with a sleeping little girl in the next room.

$1 Valentine’s Day Project

ValentinesTake a look at my quick, easy, and CHEAP Valentine’s Day décor. By cheap I mean it only cost me $1!

I picked up this garland heart at the Dollar Tree. When I got home I used some red tulle and cream ribbon to tie a bow on the top. Then, I tied a little loop of tulle through the back of the bow to use as a hanger.

I would have probably used a printed or white ribbon, but these were items that I already had. If you have to buy ribbon, this project would cost more than $1, but not more than $5!

I bought this for my front door, but it was a tad smaller than I’d like. It would be great for hanging on a cabinet door, wall, etc. Next year I’ll probably do something more creative with this heart, but with limited time right now, I’ll take this as a quick, easy, and completed project!

Finding pieces like these at the Dollar Tree and expanding upon them, is a great way to have inexpensive holiday décor. What do you think??

Bathroom Makeover

I’m finally getting around to posting pics of our bathroom makeover. With the busy holiday season approaching at Salt & Pepper, I’m sure my posts are going to be few and far between for a bit.

Before: Yuck!

Nonetheless, here it is…our amazing bathroom transformation! They say that bathrooms and kitchens sell houses. Well, that just wasn’t the case in our rent house. (I won’t even talk about the dreadful  kitchen today.) And as you can see, the bathroom is the size of a small closet. The awesome master bedroom, gorgeous hardwood floors, and PERFECT location are what sold us on this house…definitely NOT the bathroom or kitchen.

I will never understand what made someone chose this dreadful green color for the bathroom. It was the color of toothpaste! To make matters worse,

Love this shower curtain!

someone patched the walls (poorly) with the wrong color paint, which really made it look like a child smeared old toothpaste all over the place. In this case, a can of paint really made a huge difference.

Since the room is so small, I decided to paint it stark white. I also thought it would be a good contrast to this FABULOUS shower curtain.

We switched out all of the towel racks to our awesome, new branch-looking ones. (Thanks, Mom, for all of the new bathroom goodies. She hooked us up with a new bathroom as part of our wedding present.) We changed the knobs on the doors. Two doors had old, dreadful silver knobs, and the other two had porcelain white ones with monkeys on them…no joke. (Notice the new knobs match the shower curtain rings that I already had. Total accident, but I loved it!)

Possibly my favorite part of the new bathroom is this cool ladder shelf. I bought this ladder to use as a night stand, but it was too short. It makes a perfect holder for these baskets! Matt & I each have one for our toothbrushes, etc. (The baskets were also a wedding present.)

My favorite part!

Other bathroom details: My mom bought me the rug as a housewarming present when I moved here, and it covers up a large chunk of that ugly floor. The bird containers were also a wedding present from my mom. (I’ve since broken one of them, so now the center serves as a candle holder. I was so mad!) I already had the wall sconces, curtain hook, and rod from my very first town house. The curtain was originally my sisters. My mom used it for a bit at her house. Then, we used it as a table cloth at one of our wedding celebrations, and now it’s my bathroom curtain! Also, Matt hates the light fixtures, but I happen to love them! I think they compliment the decor nicely, and of course, I love anything vintage!

Well, there ya have it…our Sunday afternoon bathroom makeover. I’ll post the living room decor next, but in the meantime, let me know what you think of the bathroom! I love seeing everyone’s thoughts and comments!

After: Much Better!
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