Monthly Archives: January 2017

01/25/17

Living Room Reveal

This room is the room I live in.

It’s the room where friends and family gather around the coffee table. Swap stories. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Participate in undeniably contagious laughter.

It’s where epic, solo Netflix marathons go down.

It’s home to new pieces of furniture, old pieces of furniture, family heirlooms, hand-me-downs, a Smart TV (eventually if I ever figure out how to mount it to the wall properly), unique pieces of art, and even my collection of Broadway Musical Play bills! I mean, some people place plates on plate-stands on shelves, but me?!?… I prop playbills.

It’s my house and it’s my prerogative.

This room is perfectly eclectic, perfectly functional, and perfectly me!

{View from my front door looking in…}

{View looking in from my Dining Room, at the opposite end of the living room…}

Upon first walk-through, my new neighbor said “It doesn’t really match, but everything somehow goes!” And the more I thought about the comment, the more I thought that I couldn’t agree with them more! And I decided to take that as a high compliment.

Room Basics…

Sofa: Manchester Sofa from Ballard Designs, comes in a variety of colors and finishes. Mine is a deep shade of Blue Velvet called “Ink.”

Throw Pillows: Eden Pillows  by Ballard Designs in Animal Print/Gray & Lavender

Large White Arm Chair: Toulon Chair by Ballard Designs, also comes with available ottoman (which I am currently saving for) in Rubbed White with Blanc cushions.

Lamps: Assorted, from TJ Maxx HomeGoods

Sometimes your favorite part of certain rooms turns out to be something you never, ever planned.

I bought this piece from the Ballard Outlet several months ago thinking I would mount it to the wall in my dining room and use it as a China Cabinet and proudly display some of Nana’s Blue Willow dish collection. But, this piece had another purpose… as an Entertainment Center!

And I think it’s just fabulous!

The artwork over the sofa is the main statement in the room and it’s an eye-catcher made even bolder by hanging it from black gross-grain ribbon. Not an idea that I can take credit for, but I think it looks great and covers even more the wall.

In art, like a great pair of earrings, the bigger, the better. At least for me anyway.

Different pieces speak of different parts of my life. Adventures. Trips. Memories.

For instance, that glass hurricane full of shells are shells that my family members and I collected on the shores of Ormond Beach, FL, my DatDat and Nana’s longtime 2nd home. I literally grew up on that beach and my childhood summers were spent almost entirely on its shores.

And that white chair? It’s where I live. Sit and read and think and write and call my girlfriends. I love that cozy little white chair. Chances are, when yous visit, you will find me there.

This picture was taken this past Saturday morning curled up in it for some quiet time with my hot tea. Furry slippers not too far away!

This little corner is the home to a few great artifacts as well. A signed oil painting I purchased on the streets of Venice, Italy when I was 17 years old. The trip was my High School graduation celebration and it contains some of our most treasured family memories- just the 3 of us exploring some of the most beautiful and breathtaking parts of God’s creation.

I absolutely love the painting and transports me back to Venice’s sights and sounds each time I glance its way.

And that blue and white ginger jar that you spy? It was my Nana’s and it sat high on a bookshelf to the right of the Encyclopedia Brittanica volumes off their living area. I have always loved it and mentioned to Mom that I wanted to pepper in more colors into my living space- specifically white and blue- and she came up with this treasure.

It is one of my single favorite accents in the room.

And speaking of accents and flourishes…Did you also spy these antique corbels?

These were a Scott’s Antique Market find and were pulled from an old historical mansion, now sadly in ruins, from Eufala, AL.Now, they have a new home! And they are such a conversation starter and attention-getter. Inevitably, someone always asks about them.

So, there you have it, another room revealed. It’s really all coming together and it really, really feels like home.

xoxo…

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01/22/17

Looking for Lovely : Collecting Moments that Matter, Vol 1

I recently completed Annie F. Downs’ sensational little book, Looking for Lovely: Collecting The Moments That Matter.

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And it has completely changed my outlook on everyday living.

Her gut-wrenchingly, honest portrayal of everyday life- life that is hard and messy and sin-filled and selfish and anything but beautiful- but there is also those moments that we collect, that we all should collect & savor, of when He makes himself so evident in the everyday. And suddenly the mundane becomes ordained.

Annie shares moments of meeting the Lord over a platter of sushi, so perfectly organized, colorful, bright and delicious, to walking with him through trails in her favorite park in Nashville, TN. Her heart and her story was so captivating to me that I started writing down little moments I wanted to collect and savor and share so that I remember He is in everything. And so, every once in a while, here on my living and breathing online journal, I will share with you some of my Lovely Moments when I feel His tug on my heart and feel His presence just a little more keenly.

There truly is lovely in the every day.

Like, for instance, one day last week, one of my precious coworkers forgot her shoes.

Now, now, I know what you are thinking- how do you leave the house without your shoes? Well, it’s for one very specific (and good) reason.

She is an extremely motivated person and was showing all of the rest of us up on a Tuesday morning and came in early dressed in her workout clothes to workout in the gym before work. The only issue was, she only had her tennis shoes. Which didn’t exactly complete the outfit she had in mind for the day- a very nice black and white tweed dress with a magenta button-down cardigan. And so she left on her socks and shoes, fixed her hair, touched up her make up, and came upstairs. Her tennis shoes squeak as she exits the elevator and we can all hear her approach to which is further confirmed when she says rounds the corner and greets us, “Good morning! I forgot my shoes.” with a wistful smile.

She is one to never take things too seriously and is always lighthearted and cheerful; one of the many qualities I admire in her.

My neighboring cubicle partner replies with, “what size do you wear?” and they quickly determine that the 2 of them are within a 1/2 size of one another and agree to “share” the shoes for the day when the other needs the shoes for various meetings or hosting guests from outside our offices.

I sat back and just marveled at the ease in which this conversation took place and the hilarity of it all throughout the day as they came back to our corner of cubicles and swapped out those little nude ballet flats. Because, you see, the Lord had ordained this day, and these people to work together in the closeness and proximity in which we function. These people to my left and right are like family- in fact, I see them more than I do my own family! We conquer challenges together, we plan, set goals, we fail together and we rise together, celebrate each other’s life accomplishments, and when life gets difficult and there are bumps and losses along the way, we are there for each other. In an absolute heartbeat. We are a family, in our own way.

And the shoe swapping was His way of reminding me of just that.

That when I feel overwhelmed and less Jamie-like, that I have a group that girds me up, that encourages me, that are my consummate cheerleaders, and that wants me to succeed.  And they will help, if I will only open up and let them.

So, celebrate and be grateful for the people around you today that are your unconventional family members and treasure those moments that make you remember their unique contribution to making you a more full You.

And don’t forget to pack your shoes when working out before work. Life lessons.

xoxo….

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