Tag Archives: art

Deck the Halls

Deck the HallsChristmas is in full swing at the Petrus household, and I only barely got the Christmas decor up before the madness of the season arrived. Christmas tends to be a little hectic for us with so many places to be and things to do, but I love every minute of it.

Themed TreeHodgepodge Christmas Tree Hodgepodge Christmas Tree Vintage Santa PRESENTS!For the past couple of years, I’ve put up two Christmas trees and since the new house has more space, it was even easier to do this year! The big tree is my “themed” tree. Everything matches, and it’s more decorative. (Shout out to my sister for making me that “P.”) The second tree is more of a hodgepodge of old, sentimental ornaments…most of which were made by my mother. I also put my retro Santa with this tree that I’ve had since I was a little girl and used my Grandmother’s quilt as the tree skirt.

Vase with Mini OrnamentsI snagged those Southern Living books at the Nashville Flea Market. Long live the 80s! The jar sitting on top was given to me by my mother-in-law and is filled with mini ornaments that were my grandmothers. I loved finding a way to incorporate those into the decor this year. That vase was something Matthew and I picked up on our trip to Memphis, and he surprised me with those flowers (and strawberry shortcake!) when I got home from a work trip recently. Using the vase here gives me a good excuse to keep fresh flowers through the season!

Deck the Halls (9) MantleIt took me what feels like forever to decide on mantle decor that I was somewhat happy with. I just couldn’t quite get it right. Those stars are from the same flea market as the books. Thanks to my sister (again) for the “Noel.” I really do hate that my sweet niece got the flu, but I certainly don’t mind all of the handmade decor I ended up with from my sister being trapped at home. Let’s call that a silver lining.

Our Christmas Cards Christmas Cards Galore I wish I would have had a little more time to decorate this year because I would have loved to go “all out” for our first Christmas here. No worries though…I’m still happy with the decor that I was able to do and it’s plenty to enjoy while I drink all of the hot chocolate. (Seriously, check out my Instagram feed. I’m literally drinking all of the hot chocolate.)

Chalkboard TreeI hope your Christmas season is off to a wonderful start! And remember, be sure that you don’t get too caught up in the hustle and bustle…it’s time to enjoy this magical season!

P. S. If you’re looking for fun Christmas things to do around the Monroe-West Monroe area, be sure to check out the Christmas on the River website.There’s still a ton of fun Christmas events on the agenda. Oh, and shop local when you can!


Nashville in November

Nashville in November (21)Matthew and I try to make it to Nashville to visit his family there at least a couple of times year. We’ve already made lots of great memories there, and this trip was no different. It just so happened that my friend Amanda was going to Nashville for a work event the same week as us, so we decided to carpool. I promise that Amanda was with us even if this photo looks like she was photo-shopped in!

Nashville in November (18)

As you’ve probably noticed, one of our main focuses during our travels is food. (Don’t judge.) This trip was no exception. We recently learned that Nashville is known for what they call “hot chicken,” sort of like Memphis is known for BBQ. We’d never had hot chicken before, so we made it a point to try some! After doing some research, we settled on a location called Pepperfire. We were told to order down two levels of spice from what we normally do, and I’m glad we heeded their advice. This was a very cool to-go style environment, and I loved that they text you when your order is ready. Also, the potato salad was phenomenal!

PepperfirePepperfirePepperfirePepperfireWe also met Amanda for dinner at our favorite, Puckett’s Grocery. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll stop by Puckett’s every time we’re in Nashville. Unfortunately, the scheduled artist didn’t show up, so “Zach the Server” stepped in to provide a show. I was very impressed!

Puckett's Grocery Puckett's GroceryDowntown NashvilleIn other food news, we stumbled upon a quaint little chocolate shop while walking around the Gulch. After chatting with the clerk at Colt’s Chocolates, we realized the shop was owned by a former Hee Haw cast member, which quickly gained my interest! I have the fondest memories of watching that show as a little girl. (The clerk had also worked in Monroe for a bit, which was cool.) The best part about this shop was that they had little tasting bowls in front of each item. After tasting them, we started filling a basket! FYI: The salted caramel butter bites are to. die. for. Also, you can order online…so dangerous.

Colt's ChocolateColt's ChocolateWe did quite a bit of shopping this trip, (Thank you, Matthew!) and one of my favorite stops was the Nashville Flea Market. I literally could have loaded up two truckloads of stuff! I made some tough decisions and only purchased smaller items that I couldn’t live without, including these stars. This resulted in me leaving behind several amazing finds, including two doors that I think would have made great sliding doors in our dining room and master bath. Sad face.

Nashville Flea MarketAnother favorite from this trip was a visit to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside the center, but it was beautiful! The building was the old post office and was filled with art deco architecture and the original wood floors (which were cut ends of 2x4s). It was so pretty! We also thoroughly enjoyed the make-your-own-art section of the center and left with lots of new masterpieces. If you’re ever in Nashville, I definitely recommend stopping here for a bit!

FRISC Art Center

Before heading home, we made a quick stop in Downtown Franklin, which is always lovely. It was especially nice to see things decorated for Christmas and feel the holiday vibe there. We grabbed brunch at 55 South and did a bit of shopping before hitting the road. I could spend hours downtown!

Downtown FranklinFor the first part of the journey home, we drove down the Natchez Trace. We hadn’t been on this end of the trace before, and it was nice to see some new scenery. Eventually, we hope to travel the entire route. We made a few stops along the way to see a waterfall and the burial site of Meriwether Lewis (Lewis & Clark). The history along this route is rather interesting. Before we hopped on the Natchez Trace, we stopped for gas (and a bathroom break…I’m a joy to travel with) at another cute little general store. This one had raw woods floors and a very homey vibe. You can read my post about the gem of a general store we found on the begging of the trip here. It looks as if my new goal might be to find all of the cool general stores, and I’m totally ok with that.General Storegeneral store floorsNatchez TraceNatchez TraceNatchez TraceWe had a great time on this trip and can’t wait for the next one. If you’d like to see more from our travels, check out the travel category. You can see more of our trips to Nashville here. And if you still haven’t had enough of reading about my thrilling life, the posts from our trip to Memphis are good ones. Hopefully you’re planning some good trips for 2015. We certainly are. There’s an entire world out there waiting to be seen and explored!


One Wonderful Year.

Obviously, this post is more than a tad late. Please forgive me?? Matthew and I celebrated our one year anniversary on July 28, 2013. Yay!! I wanted to be sure that such a special occasion didn’t pass without celebrating, but it was such a busy time for the both of us, so we had to get creative.Our original plan was to go out of town for the weekend or maybe to the family’s lake house, but we ultimately decided to stay home.When trying to think of ways to celebrate locally, we decided to spend a day touring our town. “Tour your town” initiatives are nothing new, but we haven’t had a chance to do a lot of these things together. I’m pretty familiar with our local landscape from my time at the Convention & Visitors Bureau, but I haven’t been to many places recently, and Matthew is new to many of them.

The hubby and I

Since we decided to stay in town, we took the weekend off and spent Saturday hitting up some of our local gems. Matthew grilled us the most delicious BBQ chicken for lunch, and then we began our day at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. We frequent the gardens for the Moonlit Garden events,  but I hadn’t had a chance to take Matthew through the Coke Museum or to tour the Biedenharn home. I think he really enjoyed learning some of the history. Plus, a stroll hand-in-hand through those beautiful gardens is always nice. It was my favorite soda jerk’s last day at the museum, so I was thrilled to get to see him “perform” one last time. (By the way, that’s not a derogatory term…that’s what they’re called!)
Coke truckSoda JerkNext, we went down the street to the Masur Museum of Art. The current exhibit was on computer aided art, which was fascinating. There was even a section on video games with a station to play for a bit. Playing video games in an art museum? Of course! There were videos, recordings, printouts, framed java script, and all sorts of computer generated art. My favorite from this collection was huge quilts with blocks of hundreds and hundreds and quotes from researchers. I found it fascinating! I loved how it drew light to the possible invalidity of things media credit to unattributed “experts.” “Experts say, Pamela Petrus is the most talented and amazing woman in the world.” See how this works? Although, I do like where these experts were headed. 🙂

Masur Museum of Art

Experts say...After the museum, I begged to go to the zoo. Matthew wasn’t quite as excited about this idea, but he obliged. We stumbled upon an abandoned wheelchair, and my comedian husband exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” I’m laughing now just thinking about it again. He’s a funny one, Mr. Petrus.
flamingosWe ended the day by grabbing some Johnny’s pizza and heading to the Downtown Cinema for an outdoor showing of Star Wars: The Emperor Strikes Back…complete with snow cones, of course! To most, this probably sounds like a boring, uneventful anniversary, but to two more-than-busy individuals, this laid back Saturday together was amazing. We seldom have time to spend an easy going, unscheduled day together, so this anniversary weekend was more than welcomed.
johnny's pizzasnow cones - yum!In other anniversary news: year-old, frozen cake is disgusting!  I don’t know who created this tradition,  but I wish it could have been a more tasty experience! Matthew said all along that it was a little silly, but I insisted we try. Needless to say, we settled with celebratory ice cream instead.What sorts of things have you done to celebrate an anniversary? Please share!

Read about our story here: meeting in a hardware store and the proposal.

The Phone Photography Project

Day 1: From Where I Stand
Day 1: From Where I Stand – a photo of your feet showing where you’re at that day

Here’s a little secret. I hate to take photos. I hate to be the subject of photos, just as much as I don’t like actually taking them. This presents a little problem for this online space, because photos are such a big and important part of having a successful blog. It’s no secret that I love the writing aspect, but not so much the photography part. On top of that, photos are important for sustaining memories and documenting the adventures of everyday life. Even though I don’t particularly like it, I have been making a sincere effort to take more (and better) photos of our experiences.

Day 2: Monogram Collage
Day 2: Monogram Collage – capture a photo of yourself and your initials
Day 3: Summer Projects
Day 3: Summer Projects – a collage of items you’re working on this summer. I plan on going on more walks with my husband!

I came across the online Phone Photography Project on one of my favorite blogs and signed up earlier this summer. I take practically all of my photos with the camera on my iPhone 5. Being that I already don’t like taking photos, hauling around a hefty camera just isn’t for me…not at this point anyway. So, if I can get some tips for making better use of my phone camera, then maybe…just maybe…I might learn to not despise the process quite so much.

Day 4: Summer Harvest
Day 4: Summer Harvest – photos of your food as you prepare it

Here’s how it works. Everyday, they post a new photo challenge with instructions and reviews of their favorite apps. You go out and capture what that challenge is asking for and upload it to the classroom gallery and to Instagram with the #bpcphonephotographyproject hashtag. (My apologies to those who follow me on Instagram and have been confused by the random photos.) In an ideal world, I would have more time to search out interesting shots for each of the photos, but the real estate world has me pretty busy right now. Nonetheless, I’ve already learned a ton and I’m slowly starting to develop a more loving relationship towards photography.

Day 5: Family
Day 5: Family – non-staged, impromptu photos of your family
Day 6: Hometown Tourist
Day 6: Hometown Tourist – a photo of something cool from your town…something that isn’t usually photographed

What have I learned so far? As of today, I’m 12 days in to the project. (It lasts the entire month of July.) The first thing I’ve learned is that it can be tough to search out photos to fit a certain theme if you’re a busy girl. I’m sure photos don’t have to be posted on the exact day that the challenge is issued, but I just can’t deviate from that way of thinking. So everyday, I snag whatever spare minute I can and try to capture that day’s photo. For example, I ran out of daylight night before last and had to take that day’s photo at night. It wasn’t ideal, but like Tim Gun says, I “made it work.”

Day 7: Sunrise/Sunset - photos showing the light at different times of the day. My photos were taken within 10 minutes of each other.
Day 7: Sunrise/Sunset – photos showing the light at different times of the day. My photos were taken within 10 minutes of each other.
Day 8: Summer Colors
Day 8: Summer Colors – a full frame photo of bright colors

The second thing I’ve learned is the value of editing. Other than slapping on a filter in Instagram, I’ve never been one to really edit my photos. However, the reviews of all of the wonderful apps have forced me to download and try some of my options. I’m still not an expert, but doing a few minor edits have proved to make a huge difference in the quality of my photos. I know this is a mute point to all of you photographers out there, but I always maintained that I “didn’t have time” to edit photos. However, with some of the new apps I’ve been exposed to, I can see that it doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process and makes such a big difference. Here’s to me learning how to edit!

Day 9: Jump
Day 9: Jump – an interesting photo of someone jumping
Day 10: Clouds
Day 10: Clouds – a photo focusing on the sky

I’m happy to share my photos of the project so far. We also completed a photo scavenger hunt, in addition to the daily projects, that I’ll try to share soon. You can see the daily tasks by following me on Instagram!

Day 11: Perspective
Day 11: Perspective – taking a photo from a different angle than you normally would

Also, here’s a special thank you to my husband for being willing to be the subject of my “jump” photo. I love that he doesn’t even ask many questions when I say, “Hey, will you come outside and jump so I can take a photo?” Thanks for being such a good sport, honey!

Let me know your thoughts of my progress so far by leaving a comment below!