July 22, 2017

Pupdate: A Year of Stella

Prepare yourself for a ridiculous dog mom post with possibly too many photos.
It's so crazy to think that Stella has been in our lives for a whole year! She's still the insanely demanding and adorable pup we adopted a year ago, just a bit bigger and more clever.
She's still extremely energetic and if you leave the door open, you better believe she's going to make a break for it. She likes to run to each of our neighbors' houses usually ending across the street where her corgi friend lives. While she looks lanky and maybe even weak, walking her is next to impossible because of her strength. She pulls at the leash until her eyes and ears are bright red and she's aggressively panting. She's broken five collars in under a year, but thankfully our neighbors or we have been able to catch her every time she breaks out. We're definitely planning on fencing part of the yard in the near future so we don't have the risk of her running into traffic.
 Her curiosity and intelligence usually gets the best of her and gets her into trouble. She learned how to open the trash cabinet, and if we leave her out when we run errands without taking out the trash, she sees it as an all-you-can-eat buffet. She always knows she's in trouble when we come home to the mess and tries to plead her case before reluctantly going into her cage.
Since our house is only a four minute drive from school, I occasionally come home for lunch which tends to be a bit tough for Stella, the stage five clinger. I showed my students photos and videos of her regularly and they asked what kind of trouble she was getting into almost daily. On the senior's last day, I went home for lunch and brought Stella in for the last two periods of the day. Needless to say, this people-obsessed pittie was on cloud nine. She got endless attention and the kids snuck her a few treats when they thought I wasn't looking.
Now for a quick walk down memory lane.
 Oh my goodness I miss her stubby legs and rolls of extra skin!
She used to sleep with her tongue out all the time and it killed me! I love when I catch her doing it now.
I have this photo on my desk at work so I get to see her sweet face. The dopey look was totally unprovoked, I just came home from work one day and she sat there staring at me like this for a solid five minutes. 😭
She's the only dog I know who HAS to sleep under the covers when we first go to bed. She nuzzles her way between us and heads to the bottom of the bed where she then sprawls out or curls up between my legs. 
It's really difficult for me to put into words just how much I love this doggo, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves and I'm sure your heart will melt almost as much as mine has. Unless you don't like dogs, in which case I have to ask, WHAT?! Are you crazy?!  I digress.
While she can be a bit overwhelmingly strong-willed, and intentionally disobedient, we love our Stella (Stelly, Stellman doggo depending on the day) and can't imagine life without her.
Want to see more of this face? You can follow along on Stella's adventures on Instagram.

July 21, 2017

#AptCharp: Dining Room

I've burnt myself out a little bit with home projects and have been dreaming of the day when things are actually decorated. I thought in the mean time I would (finally) share another room from #AptCharp, the dining room. It's crazy to me that we haven't lived there for eight months now. It feels like we've been in this house for a while, but it also feels like I was just at the apartment last week. Anyway, I snapped these quickly before I started packing to move and I really didn't have time to wait for a good lighting day, so please excuse the strange color casts and the grain. 
That washi tape arch design was a totally impulsive project, but I loved the splash of color it added to an otherwise boring space. I'm really not sure if it took longer to install or remove, but I would 100% do it again.
I saw these plates on Instagram and had to have them. My mom and I spent months searching every TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods and she found them all for me. At the time, there were only three large plates but after we moved she found me a fourth one. If you give my mom something to search for she will find it.
Broken blinds courtesy of Stella's intense "bird-watching" sessions. 😒
The apartment had the biggest, loudest, ugliest vent in the dining room. I covered the top portion that didn't have any vents with a rug my mom pulled out of the cedar chest. Don't quote me, but I want to say my dad bought it on a trip to Arizona (?). Wherever it's from, I absolutely love that woven beauty.
There was a long empty wall right outside of the bedroom in the dining room. It was too narrow for a console table or shelves, but that blank wall drove me nuts. After months of searching for something cute and functional, I found this shelf and it was love at first sight. I threw Stella's bed over there in hopes that she'd lay in it while we ate, wishful thinking.

You can see my other #AptCharp room tour here

July 20, 2017

PJs for Days

One of my favorite things this summer has been waking up and seeing Stella sunning herself in the light streaming in from the skylight every morning. She just looks so happy and makes me want to stay in bed and cuddle with her all day!
Contrary to last summer where I lived in pajamas on the couch binging countless series on Netflix, actually I've been getting dressed and leaving the house a couple times a week to run errands. That's not to say I don't still love lazy days at home in my coziest pjs. Some of my pajamas have seen so much wear over the last couple of summers that I think it may be time to invest in some new ones. I love a good night gown, but there's just something so satisfying about matching sets in fun colors and patterns. 
I've rounded up some of my favorites under $100 below.

July 11, 2017

CHKMHome: Update

We've checked off a few things on our to-do list since my last update. Progress is slow, but summer is a real blessing. We replaced the upstairs toilet so we no longer need to stack books on the tank to prevent it pouring out water all over the place.🙌   My dad and Kyle put in some more outlets in the living room, because for whatever reason when the barn was converted into a house they only put one outlet in most rooms, none of which were in a convenient, logical place. We also replaced the blinds that Stella decided to break for a more direct view of the neighbor's corgi with much nicer cordless, faux wood ones from Blindster. The only downside is that since the one window is 72", the valance is a little too heavy and scares the crap out of us every time it falls. It actually fell right before I took the photo below and I've been too scared to put it back up since. 
Right before school ended, we removed the floor to ceiling wallpaper in the dining room and began painting the bottom half of the room and some of the trim. I'm currently looking for some super fun (removable) wallpaper for the top half. I'm pretty much set on a banana leaf paper, similar to the Beverly Hills Hotel but at a more affordable price point. 

Upstairs, there are identical windows on opposite sides of the house, one in the master and one in the hallway outside of the cloffice, that have pine jambs. They looked unfinished (probably because they were) so I painted them black to add some contrast. I love the impact a little bit of paint can have on a space. 
The cloffice is the only room that's almost finished, if a room can ever really be considered finished, with painting the door being the last thing that needs to be done. It's the room I post the most of on Instagram, but I can't wait to photograph all of it and share.
It's been so satisfying to see things coming together. I've been loving every minute of planning, shopping and decorating this home. I'm hoping to have the upstairs hallway, dining room, living room, kitchen, sun room, and stair gallery wall finished by mid-August so I should probably get back to work instead of binging every TV show I find 😬.  Just a reminder, you can view some progress shots on Instagram by following #CHKMHome
Thanks for stopping by! xo

June 30, 2017

Rug Romance

I've had this post written for so many months, I'm not sure why I never hit publish. I've been out of the groove of writing posts for a while, but now that summer is in full swing, I think it's time to get back to it.
When we were looking for a house, one of my "must haves" was hardwood floors. I've never been a huge fan of carpeting. After my experience with my apartment that reeked of cigarettes and consequentially made all of my clothes and furniture also smell of cigarettes, I didn't want to take any chances moving into a carpeted home. We were fortunate enough to find a home with no carpeting and a variety of different tiling, hardwoods and faux hardwood (the name is escaping me at the moment). While I love having such easy to clean surfaces, the floors don't maintain much heat and aren't very soft on your feet so I love being able to pick out fun rugs to soften the space and add some character.   
Cow Hide // I originally bought this to put under the dining room table, but when it arrived I was so excited I laid it in front of the record player and it's been living there ever since. I've since found a fun indoor/outdoor jute rug at Target that I plan on using in the dining room instead.
Linear Shag // Since Kyle doesn't share my same love of color, I'm sticking with a more neutral palette in the master bedroom. I love the simple pattern and soft texture, I'm just hoping it comes back in stock in one of the larger sizes soon. I bought the runner in the mean time so we have a soft place to step at the top of the stairs.
Rainbow // I was obsessed with this rug but couldn't see myself putting it outside since it's not exactly Kyle's style 😜.  I had to have it though so I bought it as a mat for under Stella's food bowls instead.
Flawless // I love this statement bath mat for the upstairs bathroom. Urban has so many fun pop culture references to playful shapes and patterns right now, it's hard to choose. 
Geometric Shag // I'm absolutely in love with this rug. I love the pop of color and design. I had my eye on this guy for the living room, but we needed such a large size I ended up going with this fun rug instead. With these colors, there's so many places it will fit in the house so I'm sure you'll see it around sooner or later
Faux Zebra Hide // The rug I bought for the cloffice isn't quite large enough for the space, so I wanted to layer a whimsical rug to increase the floor coverage and fun in the space. I actually ended up buying this one because I loved the soft, shaggy look. Stella is convinced it's her new bed.
Maraschino Gramercy // I was over the moon when I found this rug for a steal at HomeGoods. Even though it didn't match my planned color scheme at all I knew I had to have it. I have it in the cloffice and it adds such a warm contrast to the Valspar Gentle Wave (think Kate Spade light blue) walls.

Thanks for stopping by! xo 

April 5, 2017

#CHKMHome Before

I mentioned back in November, Kyle and I bought a house.  Then I went silent for a (long) while on here and forgot to share the before photos. It's kind of crazy how different the house looks already. We still have quite a bit of work to do-patching drywall, removing wallpaper, painting, retiling- before we can begin really getting into decorating. It's so exciting to have a space where we can renovate and decorate to meet our needs and personal style.  Without further ado, here are the photos from the real estate listing. 
The only bedroom photographed in the listing was the master bedroom. It's almost unrecognizable to these photos now with a closet behind the bed and across the room where the rocking chair was.
I can't wait to share updated home photos once we get things a little more decorated and presentable. After a few months of deliberation, I've finally settled on a home hashtag #CHKMHome (our initials) so you'll be able to follow along on social media in the mean time.

Thanks for stopping by! xo

February 2, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

It's that pink and red, candy, hearts and flowers time of year again. I'm not sure what it is but I've been really obsessed with pink and red lately, so much so that I bought this rug for my cloffice. Anyway, I've been trying to plan for this Valentine's day and thought I'd do a roundup of some fun gifts for girlfriends, sisters and mom. Why not show yourself a little love too? I won't judge since I personally bought a few of these things (the pins, sunnies, and perfume) for myself already .🙊  I had to make sure they make good gifts first, right?

Beaded Tassel Earrings // Roses Perfume (one of my personal favorites) // Glitter Sneaks

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with candy and flowers though, am I right? 

February 1, 2017

Life Lately

As I'm sure you've noticed, it's been a while since I've posted anything here. My Instagram and additional social medias have also been lacking. I always have good intentions of pulling myself together and making myself get out of the house with one of my forced photographers (i.e. Kyle or my sister if I'm at my parents) and create content. But then I make a list of excuses or stay in bed just a bit too long and I don't follow through. Maybe it's the "stress" of a new (to us) home that needs a bit of a personal touch makeover and keeps sprouting new repairs (looking at you, toilet that suddenly started pouring out water unless you pile books in precisely the right place on the tank. Oh and you, furnace that quacks like a duck & squeaks on and slams off 14-16 times in a row as I try to fall asleep 😒 ). Maybe it's because I let my grading pile up again at the end of the semester and totally let the thought of a new semester overwhelm me for no reason. Maybe it's because it's either freezing cold or raining on the days Kyle is home during daylight. But mostly, I think it has just been a combination of the aforementioned and a total lack of inspiration and motivation. For heaven sakes, it's taken me almost three weeks just to formulate this post!
So I decided to take some time off from overthinking what I'm going to wear everyday, shopping for clothes I really didn't need, and trying to force myself to create a post just for the sake of posting. I took to Pinterest, many, many Instagrams and blogs to gather all sorts of inspiration I had been lacking. I looked up new recipes to try to break out of the usual pasta/rice/spaghetti squash with some sort of meat (let's be honest, usually chicken) routine that I had grown so tired of making and eating. I failed at making some of those recipes and was half decent at others. I began thinking about renovations that need to be done along with some that I would like to be done and  actually worked on making some of them come to fruition. But most importantly, I spent some time really thinking about what makes me happy and how I can reflect those things in what I'm sharing here. The more I mulled over it, the more I realized I shouldn't let myself stress about these silly little things like the house still being a mess or "OMG it's too dark to photograph what I wore to work today" or "crap, haven't I shared this work outfit already?". Suddenly motivation flooded back into me and all the things I was letting myself get worked up over, that ultimately made me shut down and stop creating, started to come naturally again and I'm finally ready to get back in the groove.
Sorry for the boring rambling with only one photo, I'm working on some colorful posts and hoping to share some home photos (besides the above photo of our dollhouse bathroom) soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! xo
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