London Themed Bathroom

Ever since David and I discussed the possibility of moving, I wanted some part of the house to be decorated with a “London” theme. My obsession with the city began when I studied abroad there during the month of January in 2010. It was a life-changing trip, and I am saving my pennies to go back one day with David since he has never been. There is something so magical about London. Luckily, as one peruses the aisles of stores like Target and TJMaxx, London monuments are everywhere! On home décor, on clothes and much more. I love it.

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Some of my fellow study abroad friends at the tower of London.

I went back and forth between decorating our entire guest bedroom as a London themed room, but realized I would have to buy a lot of décor. To keep things on the frugal side, I decided on making our downstairs half bathroom the “London bathroom”. It’s funny because that name stuck….we always call it the “London bathroom” instead of the “downstairs bathroom”.

I found the large sparkly telephone booth canvas at Ross for $19.99! It was the only one there, so you better believe I snatched that thing up so fast when I first laid eyes on it. When I got in line to pay, a woman stopped me and asked if there were any more left. She was so bummed when I told her no. Not even five minutes later I was walking through the parking lot, and a woman jumps out of her car to ask where I bought the picture. David told me I should have auctioned it off, haha. It fits perfectly over the toilet now.

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Here is the view before walking into the London bathroom.

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These photos are terrible, but I don’t have the time to edit them. You can see how the canvas fits perfectly! The wall goes up much higher than the photo shows. Oh and the photo was taken at an angle. I promise the canvas is not crooked.

As for the big wall, I really wanted to print and frame some photos I took while studying in London. I am NOT a photographer, so these are not professional by any means, but I love them because I took them instead of some random person. The flag photo was taken on a random street in London—I wish I wrote down which street it was.

Here is the wall upon entering with the three photos I took while in London.

Here is the wall upon entering with the three photos I took while in London. Should I add more?

I took the Tower of London photo during a rare sun appearance and the photo of Big Ben was taken while at the top of the London Eye. Since the Big Ben photo was taken through glass, you can unfortunately see some smudges and the photo is a bit fuzzy. I may change it out with one of the other 300 photos I have from that trip, but it’s just fine for now. Should I add anything else?

A fuzzy close-up of the three photos.

A fuzzy close-up of the three photos.

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Here is a view of all of them.

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There is a small portion of wall space to the right of the mirror, but this portion faces the wall with the three photos. It is pretty much right across from where the towel is. Should I put another photo there?

 I bought the super cheap frames from Target for like $4 each. I thought about finding fancier frames, but I didn’t want a nice frame to take away from the beautiful London monuments…and we are talking about a bathroom here, not a living room. There is a small portion of wall space to the right of the sink, directly across from where the towel is, and I haven’t decided if I should place another photo there. What do you guys think? Would it be too much to put another photo there? Should I leave it blank? Or should I find something else London-themed to go there? I am a bad blogger and did not get the appropriate photo of that piece of wall. HELP! I am new at this whole home décor thing!

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Throwback Thursday: How David & I Met

I love the Throwback Thursday hashtag that goes around Facebook every week. I love seeing everyone’s photos from way back when, and I love participating as well. It is so much fun to go through old photos and share them with friends to get a good laugh. Earlier, I was thinking about what I wanted to blog about, and decided to go the Throwback Thursday route and write about how David and I met. It is not one of those stories where we were friends all through childhood, started dating when we were 18 and got married. We sort of have a fast track story, but we love it and could not be happier! Here goes.

Graduating from college was kind of a scary time for me. Yes, I finally had my Bachelor’s degree, but I graduated during a time where the economy was not doing too well and jobs were difficult to find. Needless to say, I did not have a job lined up even after job searching for several months and I did not have a future husband to depend on like a lot of Samford girls did. Literally everybody at Samford University, my alma mater, partners up and gets married the summer after graduation. That meant that the only option I had was to move back into my parent’s house and continue the job search. It was so hard to see everyone marrying off, moving into their first homes and starting new jobs while I was sitting at my parent’s house, jobless. I am very grateful for my parent’s support during that time, but it was still hard. I eventually found a job, so all was well!

I will never forget the summer of 2010, the summer after I graduated from college. My mom planned for our family (my mom, dad, brother and me) to travel to Guatemala on a mission trip with Perimeter Church. I had never been on a mission trip before, so I really had no clue what to expect. It was life-changing! Towards the end of the trip, the Guatemalan pastor/doctor (yes, he is superman), Dr. Alb was giving a devotional and wrapped up with a prayer. Various people would approach him and ask him to pray over them. I always felt sort of awkward about this, but something told me to go talk to him. I remember telling Dr. Alb to pray for my future husband. I do not remember everything he said in the prayer, but I do remember him saying something about preparing my heart to be a wife one day as well as my future husband, whoever he may be.

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My family and me in Guatemala

A few days after returning home, I received a call from one of my best friends, Paige. She told me that her fiancé, Daniel, and a bunch of his friends were throwing a 4th of July cookout/party that following Saturday. My other best friend, Christine had agreed to go with us as well.

When we first arrived in Athens, GA where all the guys were living at the time (except Daniel…he had already moved to Atlanta), we went in their apartment and started preparing some snacks and an American flag cake. I remember as I was working in the kitchen, David walked in. David is Daniel’s brother…and Daniel is married to my friend Paige who invited me to the cookout. At the time, Daniel and Paige were newly engaged. I already knew who David was, since he was Daniel’s older brother…I may or may not had already Facebook stalked him and called dibs. I was immediately smitten after meeting him in person. I didn’t even know him and I already had a huge crush.

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I had only known David for ONE HOUR when this photo was taken. Crazy!

Throughout the day, we spent time getting to know each other and realized we had a lot in common….and it was all history from there. That night, David messaged me and asked if I wanted to hang out again. Of course I said yes. The next weekend we went CAVING. Yes, our first date was a day trip to some caves that we crawled through. No worries, the next time we saw each other after caving was a real date to a nice Thai restaurant.

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Proof that crawling through caves happened.

After three months or so, we were already very serious. We spent every moment we could together and had already gotten to know each other’s families. David considered taking a job with the Department of State and asked me what I thought about getting married in case he were to get a job that required relocating. That is one of the reasons we moved so fast into marriage…besides the fact that we loved each other and really did want to get married. He ended up not getting that job, but we still moved forward with our marriage plans.

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He proposed at the Sundial in Atlanta. Daniel and Paige were there, secretly filming and taking photos.

Basically, we dated for six months until David proposed on December 28, 2010. Yes, he talked to my parents and they were totally on board with everything. We were engaged for exactly five months—our wedding day was May 28,2011….best day ever!

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That day was pure magic.

Yes, we moved fast, but we both truly knew that we were ready to be married. The prayer that was said while I was in Guatemala was answered—crazy to think I met my husband exactly ONE WEEK after Dr. Alb said that prayer over me. I still get chills every time I think about that.

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On our amazing Carnival cruise, celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary.

Wish List

Here are a few items I’ve been eyeing….hopefully they will make it under the Christmas tree this year! I know that gifts isn’t what Christmas is all about, but it’s still fun, as long as it isn’t excessive. Here goes!

Patagonia Woman’s Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece Pullover

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This fleece looks so warm and cozy. I also love the subtle gray color. I have a bright pink North Face fleece that I love, so it would be nice to have that one as well as a more muted one. Plus, gray goes with everything!

Nike Shoes

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I love the gray, purple and light blue combo! So pretty.

Wild Horses Riding Boots- Chocolate

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I have some brown boots that are getting very worn out since they are several years old, so I am in need of a new pair. Love the dark brown.

The North Face Women’s Horizon Hat- Marker Blue

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Love the royal blue color of this hat. I wear hats to the gym a lot to conceal my bed head and puffy eyes since I usually work out first thing in the morning.

The North Face Hudson Scarf- Sequoia Red

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This scarf looks so warm and cozy. I also love the pop of color it will add to any winter outfit.

Can y’all tell I love clothes and apparel over everything else?! What is on your Christmas list?

My Favorite Healthy Cookie Recipe

I thought I’d share a recipe from my friends over at He & She Eat Clean. Those guys have some of the most delicious and healthy recipes. Be sure to check them out! I discovered this recipe when my sweet teeth tooth was in full force, but I didn’t want to indulge in anything too sugary. To me, peanut butter and chocolate is a match made in heaven. This simple cookie recipe contains both of those magnificent ingredients which makes them a winner in my book. Thanks to He & She Eat Clean for this amazing recipe that I make at least twice a week. David and I usually finish off the entire batch in two days or less. Pair one of these cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert. I took the photo below from their website because I can never remember to take a photo of these.

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(Healthy) Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
¼ cup oats (I like to use the quick cook kind)
¼ cup sucanat sugar (I use baking stevia)
1 large egg
1 capful pure vanilla extract (this is my own addition)
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt Chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Place mounds of cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or pizza stone (the pizza stone keeps my cookies soft). I like bigger cookies, so I use a regular spoon to scoop my dough, which makes about 10-12 servings. You can always make them smaller. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, if you’re patient. Transfer to a wire rack to allow the cookies to continue to cool if you want. I usually eat them hot out of the oven because they are so good and I have a hard time waiting for them to cool. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

The Switch From Cop Life To Information Technology Life

For those of you who do not know, David received a new IT job in September. It was a huge shock to me when he started talking about switching careers only a few months prior to receiving his new job because he has been so passionate about his career in law enforcement. He had recently been promoted to Sergeant and said that he loved the adrenaline that came with being a cop. That always made me cringe when he talked about the dangerous drug dealers, drunk people and car chases he dealt with on a regular basis, but he really enjoyed what he did and was very happy.

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Myself and David at our last Hero’s Ball….well, not for me because I work for a newspaper and will need to be there to cover it next year, haha.

At the beginning of 2014, we started having regular discussions about the possibility of moving and other large life changes that would occur further down the road, and realized that a lot of those things would only be possible with a career change. When David first told me he was applying to IT/computer science jobs (he has a BS in Computer Science from UGA), I was honestly shocked. I NEVER thought he would even consider leaving law enforcement. Selfishly, I was very happy because being a cop’s wife was not easy. We were both prepared for this career switch process to take longer than a year, but we were pleasantly surprised when it only took a few months for David to land a job at a great company. Side note: David also received a job offer with the Secret Service, but turned it down because we did not want to relocate. Plus I could not handle the crazy hours and danger that comes with that type of job.

Even though I was ecstatic for his new job opportunity, I was very emotional about the switch. I was so surprised that I felt that way, but I did. I mean, for the entire time I’ve known David, he has been a cop. Being a cop was not just a job, it became part of his identity. I became so accustomed to him not worrying about speed limit signs, him being separated from regular citizens, having no problem carrying his guns wherever he went, and much more. I am so proud of everything that he accomplished as a cop, even though it may have seemed like I hated being a cop’s wife. I didn’t necessarily hate it, it was just very difficult. There were so many proud and awesome moments, but a lot of scary and frustrating ones as well. I knew that he loved being a cop SO MUCH and it made me sad that he was not going to do it anymore. He kept reassuring me that he was excited to start his new career and would not make the switch if he did not want to, so that made me feel better. David mentioned that if he could clone himself, he would do both careers because he really does love each one of them, but unfortunately that is not possible. I am so glad that he is happy where he is now in his career and that he has almost six years of amazing memories and experience in law enforcement! This new job will open a lot of doors for us and our future family.

So much has changed since David is now part of corporate America. We moved away from a very rural area and into a populated area of metro Atlanta, we sold a lot of our stuff that we needed for “country living”, David wears suits and button down shirts to work instead of all-black uniforms, and we are getting used to having human neighbors instead of woodland creatures as neighbors and sometimes house guests. David is also home every night, every weekend and will be home for every holiday. I never thought this day would come! I am so excited! We love this new chapter and are grateful for the opportunities that have been given to us. I cannot wait to see where this new journey takes us.

Has anyone else experienced a big career change or has a spouse/significant other who has?

25 Things You May Not Know

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1. I’m happiest when… I’m on a beach.

2. …Especially if it… is breezy and warm.

3. I’ve always wanted to… take a road trip up USA’s east coast or a road trip out west.

4. My family and I… like to cut up and laugh together

5. I was a terrible… math student. I never understood how to do anything and didn’t have the motivation to even try to understand it. I hate math!

6. My first job was… babysitting! Best job ever.

7. I could probably eat pizzeria pizza with lots of toppings everyday.

8. I stole… I can’t think of anything! Maybe clothes from my mom, HA!

9. I was born on the same day as… I don’t know!

10. My all-time favorite film is… It’s Complicated and Remember The Titans… oh and Eat, Pray, Love

11. I do a pretty mean… Pancake stack.

12. I’m still mad… I wasn’t more “into” my sorority. I always went to the formals and fun stuff, I remember ALWAYS complaining about going to meetings, but now, as an adult, I miss being around so many friends all the time.

13. I met my husband… At a July 4th cookout. I realized he was mine the moment I laid eyes on him!

14. I always knew I wanted… to get married in my early 20’s. It’s given us time to enjoy being married before kids come.

15. I’m not afraid to… scuba dive with sharks, barracudas, sting rays, and other “dangerous” sea creatures.

16. I make the best… pancakes, lasagna and soup. I never use recipes, I just throw in whatever I have in the kitchen. That’s when meals are the most delicious.

17. I have almost no… political knowledge. I need to get better about that.

18. I always cry when… when my favorite characters die in movies/shows. I hate that! The good characters always need to live on 🙂

19. I’m (now) an adult, but I will always be a teenager at heart!

20. I spent 12 years… going to school and I’m so glad I survived!

21. I wish my folks… Lived next door to me. 20 minutes away is too far! Haha.

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with _____ and ______. Um, at 5?? Probably playing with my stuffed animals and hanging out with my cousins.

23. I believe if everyone practiced a little more kindness and appreciation, the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… When people don’t look me in the eye/ignore me when I talk to them. Biggest pet peeve!

25. Whenever cooking shows are on, I’ll watch it.

 

Moved In

We are finally getting settled into our new place! I have had so much fun picking out décor and other things for the house, which is a first for me. I’ve never really been into home décor since I never really had a reason to decorate. Our old house was semi-decorated, but most of our stuff was hand-me-downs from family members that were mismatched. Now that we have a fresh, new place that is like a blank slate, I have literally been at Target and HomeGoods every day picking up this and that. I am not really into super expensive stuff, so I just stick to the bargain stores because their stuff is beautiful and affordable. It is so strange that I walk right past all the racks of clothing and head straight to the home section…this is so unlike me! I like it though. I am so excited to decorate for Christmas, I cannot stand it!

With all the moving craziness, I have not been cooking much, but I want that to change soon. We have been making a lot of heat and eat meals as well as scrambled eggs for dinner, so I really need to get back on the cooking bandwagon. Does anyone have any good fall recipe ideas? I am so sick of the same grilled chicken dinners.