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Friday, December 30, 2011

commemora[tion] - Happy New Year!

I didn't want 2011 to end without one more blog post!

Thought it might be fun to look back at some of the highlights of the past year... the most important being that we moved into our new house! And we also adopted 2 kittens!

We lived with that dumpster in the yard for a couple of months...
The day we brought them home...
Highlights of the year in review...

JANUARY.
- finished the shed - included re-siding, painting, moving front wall back, new roof
- house renovation - included  installing cabinetry & countertops,  refinishing hardwoods

FEBRUARY
- house renovation - included slate floor in kitchen, carpet in bedroom, new windows in bedroom, painting all the rooms, tub refinished
- MOVED out of Enston Homes & into our new home!

MARCH
- Brian turned 36
- window treatments and art on the walls

APRIL
- new television!
- Allison & Brad and Charles & Veronica came to town for the Cooper River Bridge Run!
- new bedroom furniture!
- Jennifer turned 36
- the dumpster is gone
- hosted first party at the new house... a baby shower for Jennifer C.
- Easter in Monroe
- painted porch ceilings

MAY
- Mom's 60th birthday celebration in Spartanburg
- blogged Before & After photos
- Charles & Veronica came to visit and go sailing
- Jack C. was born

JUNE
- continued the Before & After photos
- farewell to our friend Nick who moved to China
- visited Penfield with the family in Georgia
- discovered Pinterest!

JULY
- Mom, Carol, & Julie came to visit
- front porch make-over
- Brian built & installed the built-in wine rack in the kitchen
- started my "Charleston adora[tion]" series on Friday's for the blog
- organized desk space in kitchen
- installed vanity in Master Suite
- family beach trip with the Wetmores, Sumerels, and Sharpes

AUGUST
- Porsche convention in Savannah
- Dad went to Peru
- celebrated our 1 year anniversary of purchasing the house
- adopted kittens
- baseball games & hurricanes

SEPTEMBER
- William & Kathryn came to visit
- Clemson/Auburn game
- Labor Day at Lake Murray & zoo
- Jen & Mansel got married

OCTOBER
- trip to Monroe - first car trip for the cats
- Beaux Arts Ball
- first oyster roast of the season
- concerts
- Halloween decor & pumpkin carving

NOVEMBER
- Clemson/UNC game
- Master Bedroom make-over with stenciling project
- Thanksgiving in Penfield

DECEMBER
- Christmas decor
- 2nd wedding anniversary
- holiday cards
- trip to Monroe pre-Christmas
- Christmas in Spartanburg/Santee/Boone

And since you know our love of music, just thought I'd recap the concerts we saw this year...

Prince
Jason Isbell (twice)
JJ Grey & Mofro
The Greyhounds
Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
The Felice Brothers
Lucinda Williams
Deer Tick
The Flaming Lips
Chris Robinson & his Brotherhood

By far my favorite was the Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings show at the Music Hall...




Although tied for a close 2nd is Lucinda Williams or The Flaming Lips...






Last New Year's Eve, we had a low-key night that started at Bowen's Island with all-you-can-eat oysters, and ended at Jeff & Katie's house. Here's our first photo of 2011...


We'll be bringing in the New Year in a different location for 2012! Stay tuned...

Friday, December 23, 2011

holiday saluta[tion]s

There it is folks, our Christmas (post)card for the year! Notice the cats in the window, you'll recall that not only did we move into the house this year, but we also added kittens Rudy & Theo to the family!

And on the back, what we'd like to wish you all...


Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

explora[tion]

Random image for the day...

The Silhouette Building, Atlanta

We were in Atlanta over the weekend, which was awesome. We passed this building on Peachtree Street, and Brian snapped a photo with his phone out the car window. Very cool.

Our main destination was a party at Matt & Heather's new house, where they were having a holiday "Open House" to show family and friends the final product of all the hard work they've done this past year, and their house looks great! You can check it out over on their blog Notes from the Nelsens.


But, on our way there, we stopped by CB2, which I love! I've only ever seen their catalogs, so it was so awesome to be able to walk around through all their displays and sit in the chairs and hold the items in your hand! When we walked through the door, they handed Brian and I each a key, and they had a game set up in the middle of the store, where you would 'unlock' a locker an it would reveal on a computer screen if you had won or not... $10 to $100. We each won $10, as did everyone who happened to be doing it around the same time as us, so I just assumed that everyone won! But when I went to redeem the gift card, and this guy approached the desk to get his 'second chance' voucher, and then he came back and asked for the Facebook code. That means he tried three times to unlock his prize and didn't win anything. Poor guy! So with the 2 $10 gift cards and a $5-off coupon, we escaped with a ton of stuff for less than $15!

Here's a sampler of some of the awesome things we bought (all images from CB2.com). You'll notice a Christmas theme, mixed with a candle theme.

green elf candle holder

igloo chair ornament

reed chair ornament

numi candleholders (1 of each)

And the creme de la creme... the tree ring holder that goes with our birch tree forest we have in our bedroom!


We had lunch/brunch at Gilbert's in Midtown, and it was delicious! Anyone out there had that experience, where you feel like you are walking through your favorite catalog or magazine? It was quite surreal!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas celebra[tion] #1 - Georgia

 
As mentioned in the previous post, we went to Georgia this past weekend to celebrate Christmas with Brian's family. Veronica and Charles hosted the whole family at their house, and we all enjoyed a cocktail hour with appetizers of artichoke dip, 'pizza' dip, crackers, and nuts. And then for the entree that she had prepared of beef tenderloin, butternut squash stuffed pasta, green beans, etc.

Christmas Village

After dinner, we all opened our gifts and spent time together.


And then came the dessert... which I honestly have no idea of all the ingredients, but it included pound cake, strawberries, and whipped cream, and it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Also, some peanut butter cups that were delicious. Served with coffee and another helping of fun conversation, that mostly included excitement for our upcoming trip to Keystone!


All of us, including Charles & Veronica, Kathryn & William and there 3 children, Tora & John and their 2 girls, Gretchen & Jeremy and their 2 boys, and Heather & Matt (and us) are all going to Colorado for Charles' 70th birthday! Looking forward to it!


What are your holiday plans? Have you already celebrated with some of your family? What are you most looking forward to?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

transac[tion]

You may recall in the Thanksgiving post, that we celebrated that holiday with Brian's family, and we'll be heading to Colorado with them in a few weeks to ski for Brian's dad Charles' 70th birthday celebration! Therefore, we'll be spending Christmas with my family (yay!). However, we squeezed in an early Christmas in Georgia this past weekend with his family and although I'll get to that post, I wanted to share another event that we had while in Georgia as well!

YARD SALE! Brian's sisters had planned a huge yard sale (to help raise funds for the Colorado trip and...) to clean out their houses for the new year. Brian and I took a few things that we too were looking to get rid of, in hopes of making a little cash, but also to just spend the day with the Chapman's and Lucas'!


Here I am saying "please don't leave without taking all this stuff!". At least that's what I was saying in my head!


As it turns out, Brian and I didn't make nearly the cash that the other families did, but we had a lot less stuff. Some of which made the trip home with us for another yard sale that we hope to have in the Spring. I'm hoping that sometime in early 2012 that I can finally clean my things out of my sister's attic. It's been there for years, so it's about time! As well as anything in my mom's attic, my own attic, and our storage unit. There's a lot out there, in random places, and we need to gather it, and sell it!

Springtime in Charleston should be nice, so that's the goal.

More on our Christmas in Georgia celebration in the next post!

Monday, December 19, 2011

pet infec[tion]

(Dad, you may not care to read this one)

I have several things I want to tell you about, but I'll start with this, since I'll be mentioning it in the next post. So here goes...

It all starts with last Tuesday (a week ago tomorrow), when we noticed that our little girl kitten, Rudy, was favoring cleaning herself in one particular spot. Well, we didn't really pay much attention until we got home from work that night, and she was still working on the same spot. So we decided to investigate and found a nasty black hole of a wound on her hind leg. Well, by this time it was about 7pm, so no veterinarians would be open at this hour, except the Emergency Vet, which is exactly where we ended up.

A long car ride to Mt Pleasant with lots of meowing, two shots, a prescription for an antibiotic, a shaved backside, and an e-collar later, we were on our way home with this...


You can see the excitement in her eyes!

The doctor thinks that she was probably bitten by another cat in the neighborhood. We had let them outside on Sunday to play, and I'm assuming that's when it probably happened. She has to have her medication both morning and night, and wears the collar full-time. At first we had to keep the cats separated, but after a few days it just became exhausting, so we are back to having them share a room.

All in all, she's done well, but she despises her medicine (which is injected into her mouth via syringe), and the past few mornings we've found her with one arm through the neck of the collar, and she's hobbling around all excited for the semi-freedom. Hopefully, we'll be back to normal by the end of this week. Fingers-crossed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

participa[tion] - Christmas tree

Sarah over at Thrify Decor Chick is hosting a holiday link party for trees... check it out! I linked our 'ornamenta[tion]'  post.



Monday, December 12, 2011

2nd Anniversary Celebra[tion]

Brian and I got married on December 12, 2009 at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston, surrounded by friends and family, with the town dressed in all of it's holiday cheer. Aside from the rain, it was a beautiful weekend, that in my memory was perfect!

© Juliet Elizabeth Photography

I have always loved this time of year, which is why it is so exciting to celebrate our love around the holidays! And this year confirmed that.

The plans for Saturday evening were a surprise (for me), so we spent Saturday morning like most, doing stuff around the house, still unpacking boxes, putting things in the attic, cleaning, etc. But around 5pm or so, we sat in front of the tree with my gift to Brian, which stuck with the traditional 'cotton' gift idea. I decided that in order to jump start our sideyard renovation (big plans of a fence and little oasis from the world) by buying a 'cotton' hammock! I've asked Santa for a hammock stand, so we'll see if that works out! Otherwise we are looking forward to relaxing in it come Spring!

img from www.worldmarket.com

As for Brian, he had tucked an envelope into the tree, and upon opening the card, which shared a very special and sentimental message, two tickets to The Nutcracker fell out! He informed me that we had 6pm dinner reservations and that I would need to pack an overnight bag!

Dinner was at FIG, one of the most delicious dinners I've had in Charleston (not to mention the awesome server that we had)! FIG stands for 'Food Is Good', and boy was it! Their menu is seasonal, so it changes frequently. After ordering a bottle of red wine, we started the meal with pumpkin soup, then moved on to our entrees... Brian had the Caw Caw Creek SUCKLING PIG CONFIT with roasted beets and sautéed mustard greens, while I had the RED PORGY (a light, white fish) with the skin crisped and served over pureed cauliflower and mustard greens. I honestly cannot decide which was better! So good!

From there, we walked briskly to the Gaillard Auditorium for the Charleston Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. It was so good, and we were even inspired to buy our own nutcracker to commemorate the night.


Afterwards, we headed to the Embassy Suites downtown, where Brian had booked a room for the evening. Once we checked out the room, we headed down to Marion Square to stroll through the Christmas lights and then headed back to the room for the evening. I think we are beyond the hard partying phase of life, we've become a boring married couple for sure.

Here are a few shots from inside the hotel, which was the original Citadel Military College back in the day. It has since been restored and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.


Marion Square always looks beautiful this time of year, with white lights in all the trees, and a giant colored light tree in the middle.  Here's a photo of me inside the tree, as well as the view when you look up...


And an overall shot...


Here's a view of some of the other trees with the gorgeous church lit up in the background...


The Palmetto tree with the lights is my favorite, and we couldn't resist the shot with the full moon.


Sunday morning we slept in, but were still early enough to get the continental breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we walked through the Holiday Farmer's Market in Marion Square.


It was also the second Sunday of the month, which means that King Street is closed off to vehicular traffic. What a great concept.... King Street as pedestrian only! It was great to stroll down the middle of the street, with tables from all the restaurants out in the road, as well as all sorts of musicians, from violinists, guitarists, cello, and bluegrass. It was also a chance for us to finish up our Christmas shopping!

 
 

And we got a few things for ourselves. ;)  Like another reindeer...


Happy 2nd Anniversary Brian! Looking forward to spending forever with you...

This would be the perfect
spot for a photo of the two of
us from this weekend, however, 
they all turned out TERRIBLE. 

Maybe Monday will hold a better 
photo for us!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

participa[tion] - merry mantels

Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality is hosting a "merry mantels" link party if you'd like to check it out! I linked up our mantle post as well. 


Happy holidays, y'all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas decora[tion]s - exterior

Since we had a weekend at home, we were able to focus our attention outside. To the decorating at least... otherwise our yard isn't looking so great, but it's winter, right?

I had grand visions of lining the eaves of the house with little white lights, and a candle in 17 windows (including the 2 in the attic), but in reality it just wasn't worth it. What we have is borderline tackiness already, so probably best that we skipped the extra frills. Anyway, it's not like we are throwing some big holiday party, or even that we'll be around for Christmas!

I'm satisfied with the fewer candles, a couple of wreaths, and garland draping the front porch. Even the poinsettias that I bought for the front planter boxes are remaining in their pots on the front porch. It's probably best that way! Do I really want to dig up the dead mums to replace them with flowers that will be dead too in a month? Not really.

So here she is, our lovely house in all her holiday glory. As a joke, Brian peeked out the window as I was snapping the shot, and since it's the best picture I got, he's in there! Joke's on him, I guess!


Here's a shot of the back door too, since it's clearly visible from the cross-street we decided to get a smaller wreath for that entry. We debated putting it on the shed, but I kind of like where it is. Maybe next year will get an extra one.


And of course a few close-ups on the front porch.

another reindeer!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas decora[tion]s - interior

I promised the rest of our interior Christmas decorations, so here goes!

Here are a few shots of the dining room...

 

And the kitchen...


I should also share that have a thing for reindeer! My mom collects Santas, my sister collects snowmen, and I am a reindeer fan! They are everywhere...


And more than I can count on the tree!


Speaking of the tree, here's one more shot (albeit a little over-exposed)!