Christmas Blessings

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love and family time.  This Christmas was truly a blessing for me.  In all honesty the past two Christmases were hard.  With my mom's cancer diagnosis we all feared that it might be our last together as a family.  There was very little shopping, baking and holiday fun.  Our days were instead filled with doctors appointments, trips to Mexico for my mom's treatment,  and many tears.
My mom has been cancer free for almost a year, and the joy surrounding this Christmas was such a blessing.  It makes me a little teary just thinking about how far my mom has come in the past two years;  from being given the worst possible diagnosis to being cancer free two years later.  Only God could do that!!!
Some funny highlights of this Christmas with my mom:

  • Shopping with my mom.  This might not seem like a big deal but she literally shopped one day last Christmas and none the year before.  I have always loved shopping with her and finding all of the perfect gifts, and this year she was back to shopping almost everyday the week before Christmas.  I would drop everything I was doing just to walk around the mall with her and all the other crazies.
  • Baking homemade cinnamon rolls with mom on Christmas eve at midnight.  We were delirious but hey turned out sooooo good! 
  • Two hours spent trying to find the perfect boots for my sister in one store....we probably tried on 30 pairs of boots.
And a few pictures:
{Christmas Eve sunrise on the beach}
{Love these ladies}
{Christmas Eve}
{Doesn't my mom look fantastic?}

{She even looks great in her leopard pajamas at 8am...dont kill me for putting this up} 
{Christmas Pups}

{Our little family}

{Bailey and Christine on Christmas morning}
I will be back tomorrow with an adorable gender reveal party!


Open House and Some Pictures

Like I mentioned last post, we get ALOT done when we decide to have a party or host a holiday meal. So naturally we have decided to have an open house this Saturday.  I always think that houses look best at Christmas, so I am excited to share our home and all of the work we have done with everyone during the holiday season.  If you live in Jacksonville and would like to swing by on Saturday between 4pm & 7pm send an email to juliannecarrierkelly@gmail.com and I will send you my address.  (I am a little weary of putting my address on here.)  Between my etsy shop and trying to finish things up around the house things have been extremely busy, which leaves little time for posting on the blog, but here is my life via my iPhone & instagram.  
{Christmas Decorations}
{My newest employee}
{Etched glass dessert plates are now on etsy}
{our adorable neighbor and Bailey are best buds...they were "helping" Michael}
{the beginnings of our barn doors...ekkk}
Alright, back to organizing, painting, building, and etching.  Hope to see you on Saturday! 



Our Dining Room & a Thanksgiving Craft

We are hosting Thanksgiving!!! Yes you read that right...and we decided to host last Friday.  It has been a mad dash to finish a few things up and the first thing on my list was a new chandelier.   Remember this ugly brass & wood chandelier and that dark ceiling?  Well so much has changed & I am extremely excited to reveal the dining room.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.



And just to keep myself grounded this massive pile of junk tools were sitting all over the floor.  I am happy to say they are now all in the shed.

So, like I mentioned we decided to host Thanksgiving last Friday, and our new chandelier was hung by Saturday evening.  I had been going back and forth & I finally just went with this chandelier  from Ballard Designs.  I had a 20% off coupon which helped in the decision.  I love the jute rope and the antiqued finish.  It makes me so happy to go into the dining room and turn on a light that actually looks beautiful and functions perfectly.  

Another item on my to-do list was to make a wreath for the front door.  I LOVE burlap and when I saw this gold polka-dot burlap at JoAnn's I knew it would be the perfect touch for Thanksgiving and on through the holidays.

Bailey loves to craft and I think she loves burlap as much as I do.  Like mother like...dog.

The finished wreath...

If you follow me on instagram you already saw a sneak peek of the wreath, and I have had a ton of questions on how I made it.  I wish I could take credit for the design, but I actually followed this tutorial from Today's Fabulous Finds.  The only variation that I made was the way I hung it on the door.  Instead of using a large ribbon I looped some ribbon and pinned it to the back of the wreath form.  I then hung it on a nail in the door.  

If I could do it again I would also consider wrapping the wreath form in burlap.  I would probably just use a plain burlap instead of using the polka-dot burlap, because plain burlap is about $3/yd and the polka-dot is $14.99/yd.  

Well, that is all for now, but I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for this little house that we are turning into a home & my amazing husband who encourages my creativity and love for design.


Home Update: Back Patio

Like I mentioned in the last home update we have started working on the outside.  Our paint job is still not completely finished, but I will reveal it soon.  It is about halfway done & our neighbor asked "Are you going to paint the trim?"  My response was "Yes we are painting the trim, making new shutters, painting the front door, replacing all the lights and so on."  He looked a little surprised but lets be honest, this house needs a big facelift.  We found out that it has been a rental for over 10 YEARS.  It is definitely evident in the yard.  Weeds are everywhere, piles of leaves, overgrown bushes, dead trees and the list keeps going.  After clearing most of the dead and overgrown out we began our back patio.  We knew we wanted a large patio for entertaining, but we did not want to spend a fortune on pavers.  We originally considered stamping concrete, but I was not completely sold on the idea.  About a week after we began considering what to use on the patio we were given LOTS of old clay bricks.  They matched the style of the home perfectly and I was so excited to begin this project.  Most of our back yard was dirt before, so anytime someone came in from outside we had dirt trails through the entire house.  It made it really hard to keep the house clean especially once we got Bailey.
So on to the process...
The first step was getting all 1200 bricks to our house.  Michael might disagree, but for me this was the hardest and most grueling part of the process.  I thought my fingers were going to just stop working.  Next, we drew out the general area for the patio and removed all of the grass weeds.

We then raked the dirt so that it was level.  Next we did a layer of screening, which is a fine crushed concrete and sand mixture, and then used a compactor to pack everything down.  We then began laying the bricks in a subway pattern going out from the house.

Once all of the bricks were laid, we filled the cracks with a sand and mortar mixture and swept off all of the excess.

In order to activate the mortar we used water to spray off the entire deck

Before (just so you don't have to scroll back up):


Since the day we bought the house I have been planning to plant hydrangeas under the oak tree.  I think the bed along the fence is going to bee the perfect place.  Oh and that beautiful table you see...Michael MADE it!!! It was a surprise for our anniversary.  Now we just need some chairs.  
Have a wonderful weekend!


Ready, Set, Random

Where has time gone? Is Thanksgiving really next week? I apologize for my lack of posts, but life has been a little bit crazy.  A little bit of good crazy and a little bit of bad crazy.

This is going to be random, but here is a little update on life via my iPhone pictures...

My little Etsy venture has been going well & I made my first sale over a month ago (along with many others since then).  If you are looking for a great christmas gift, or the perfect hostess gift for all those holiday parties head over to J.KellyEvents

{Adding some fun fabric to the back and then it will be posted on the etsy site}
We have some new lighting additions in the house.  The Ikea Ottava Pendant has been sitting on our living room floor for about three months and it is now hanging above the sink.  At the amazing price of $29.99 we could not pass it up & it really adds a nice design element to the kitchen.  It has a little bit of a restoration hardware feel.  I am considering putting an eddison bulb in it, but have not gotten around to it yet.

We found this amazing lantern from an antique store just down the road.  Just a little bit of rewiring and it will be good as new.

For a dose of cuteness this little pup is growing wayyyy to fast.  I swore I would never let my dogs get  in bed with me, but she is just the best little snuggle pup.  

{She takes over Michael's side of the bed when he gets up}
We've had some beautiful weather, and it was absolutely perfect for the Blue Angels show a few weeks back.

We had our first fire and Bailey was thoroughly amused.  She sat and stared the entire night, and only tried to walk into it a few times once.         

We are still getting things put away around here, but I am loving our "new to us" oriental rug.  The round room has proven challenging in finding the perfect furniture layout.  I like everything to be squared and in a round room that is a little difficult.  I am planning on selling the flax colored sofa and replacing it with two chairs and an ottoman.  

We have also been extremely busy in the yard.  The guys that pick up our yard trash must think we have a forest in the back yard because this is about the 5th massive pile that we have left them.  We are hoping to do some planting this weekend.  Yay for new bushes and flowers! 
{Bailey is a lover of leaves and sticks, so she was in heaven}
I Hope I did not loose too many of you in that random post!  Happy Tuesday! 


A Weekend Trip: Part 2

On the second part of our weekend trip we ventured to Memphis, TN and Oxford, MS.  Michael has always wanted to experience The Grove tailgating experience at Ole Miss and I must say, these people know how to tailgate.  The Grove goes on forever, the tents are outfitted with custom curtains, chandeliers, professional flower arrangements, lace table cloths, silver serving dishes and pinterest inspired decor.  Someone could make a killing creating custom tailgate decor for Ole Miss fans.  Here are just a few pictures I snapped.
{silver & candlesticks}
{custom chevron curtains for a pop-up tent}
{Beautiful tablecloth & matching lamps}
{a peek at the grove} 
{adorable burlap pennant sign}
{in the grove}
We stayed in Memphis over the weekend and experienced Beal Street and some amazing BBQ at Central BBQ.  If you are ever in Memphis I highly recommend it.  
{delicious food} 
{fun tie-dye cups} 
{exploring Memphis with our friends JP & Caroline}

Happy Hump Day!