Wednesday, September 28

:: New Home & New Products ::

I've been MIA from the blog world for the past week moving and getting settled in our new home (which I am in love with, btw!) Moving is always so much harder than you remember it being the time before...probably because with each move there is more STUFF! It's been good to clean out and organize, but it just takes a while. The main living area is pretty much settled, but the bedrooms and playroom are still very much a work in progress.

Here are some pictures of the kitchen. The cabinets were dark wood before we painted them and I wanted to lighten them up, so I used Benjamin Moore Fieldstone paint on the bottom cabinets and island and then chose a lighter, blue tinted white for the top called Benjamin Moore Moonshine. I was worried that the cooler cabinet color choice wouldn't mix well with the warm granite countertops so I chose chunky antique brass hardware to pull the warmth of the countertops onto the cabinets.

Cannon hung the art deco pendants we picked up on a trip to Mobile above the kitchen sink and they pull the whole thing together. My kitchen just makes me happy when I walk in the door.
And here are my new bar stools. The only furniture we had to purchase for this house were new barstools and a new couch (it's on order). I really need a tall skinny china cabinet for the dining room, so if anyone runs across anything I need to know about, please let me know! Anyway, the barstools came from the Alabama Furniture Market in Calera and are the "Julia" barstool by Four Hands. I am so smitten with them. I love the lines, the tufted backs, the oatmeal fabric and the antique brass hardware. CC used several cans of scotch guard on them so maybe they'll stay this pretty for a while anyway! :)
I hung natural colored grasscloth wallpaper in the sunroom/office where I am sitting and typing this post. I love looking out the huge windows at the birds eating at the feeder I hung just out the windows. This house feels like a tree house nestled in the woods and I couldn't feel more at home. I love this room because of all the natural light and it's proximity to the rest of the main floor and porch. I saw the idea to hang pictures from you window trim in a magazine a while ago and decided my office was the perfect place to try it and I love how it turned out.

Cannon and Grandaddy "E" just had to laugh and roll their eyes at me when I told them I bought a light fixture with European wiring. Thankfully E knows a thing or two about electricity and was able to come light it on Monday. It's one of the first things you see when you walk in our front door and so worth all the extra work (at least I think so anyway!)

The half bath was red before we hung the grasscloth wallpaper and my favorite framed coral. When I was working for Southern Beauty Magazine they sent Cannon and I on a yoga retreat in St John, USVI. While we were there we met the nicest older lady named Ann who said we reminded her of her and her husband at our age. I told her I was on the look out for some coral on the beach that trip and to my surprise, when we got back to Birmingham there was a package waiting on us from her containing gorgeous coral fans that she and her husband found on a trip to Turks and Caicos years earlier. I had two of them framed in shadow boxes and they will always be a special reminder of Ann and that great adventure. The frames are dark brown so I had the mirror, trim and doors in the 1/2 bath painted to match them and the ceiling painted the same BM Wythe Blue of our porch ceilings.

Now that I've shown you some pretty pictures of the parts of my house that are unpacked, in the interest of keeping it real I thought it only fair to show you what the rest of the rooms in my house look like right now....
Yep, they're piled high with boxes and packing paper and stacked with artwork and pictures I'm trying to decide what to do with...just taking it one step at a time! A neighbor reminded me yesterday that we all rush to get it settled and then are disappointed when all the decorating is done, so I am enjoying the process and taking my time. The laundry/mud room is almost done and I'm excited about the fun ideas I have to share with you, so I'll post pictures of that soon.

Ceiling Tin Square $65 each with shipping or $50 in Birmingham

I feel like I've neglected Olivia Charles Antiques during this move, but I'm gearing back up to get the website live and FB and etsy shop updated with our new items for fall, some of which I've pictured above.

We're now offering antique tin ceiling tiles that have been fastened to 22" square wooden frames. I'm planning to hang a few on the exterior wall of my house under my screened porch but they also look great above a mantle or on a feature wall. We have different colors and metal finishes. I love the idea of grouping 4 of the same ceiling tile in 4 different finishes together. These are currently for sale in our etsy shop - shopoliviacharles.
Porch Bed Swing $895 with shipping or $650 with pick-up in Birmingham

And my most favorite new item for fall?? This fantastic porch bed swing that fits a standard crib mattress! The red one pictured here is on our front porch and it's fast becoming our family's favorite spot. Parrish read books there yesterday listening to the rain and at the end of the day I love to sit and swing and have a glass of wine to wind down. We'll have a peacock blue swing for sale at the Preserve and Mt Laurel fall festivals the next two weekends, but we can also have any color custom made for you and then shipped, so just shoot me an email if you're interested!

Also, please remember to pray for the families that have the prayer pagers and then dial 1-800-684-0998.

Thursday, September 15

:: Moving Day Ahead ::

So for weeks I have been staring at paint chips, light fixtures, color wheels, wallpaper samples, and furniture I already own trying to figure out the puzzle of a new house-will this fit there, and if it does, will it look good and allow enough of a walkway?
I want chalkboard paint, but I don't want black or green, I want Britannia Blue. Thank goodness for the Benjamin Moore man who knows anything and everything about paint and is special ordering me something that can be tinted and used as a chalkboard paint even though that's not technically what it's made for!
These are the colors I finally went with for my kitchen cabinets-the darker blue/gray color on the island and bottom cabinets and the lighter color on the top cabinets and window trim. The gold thing is for the art deco light fixtures above the sink, and I got a great deal on some fabulous Restoration Hardware cabinet pulls-in case anyone is interested, they have 50% off most of their antique brass hardware right now.
I went with the Duluth pulls (only mine are in 6" instead of the 3" pictured here) and am installing them vertically on the doors and horizontally on the drawers. I am so excited about seeing it all come together.
Another thing I'm really excited about are the silhouettes I had cut from In the past I used these silhouettes for stationery and calling cards, but this time I am having them cut white wall decals silhouettes with names underneath to put in the mudroom area between the mudroom bench and shelf/hooks to mark each person's spot. I have one of Parrish water skiing that is my favorite but don't have a jpg of it to post here. I will have to post pictures of this project when it's all done at the new house.

Our moving day is next Thursday, Sept 22nd! So in addition to staring at design stuff, I've been staring at boxes all over the house as well. It really hasn't been bad packing since we were already half way done from the previous would-have-been "move." Nothing like living off paper plates and plastic "weekend waterford" glasses for 2 months! I would go to the grocery store and get ingredients to cook something only to realize I didn't have the right pot or pan, so I've had to be very inventive. It really is amazing how little you need to survive-this might just prompt me to get rid of a lot of my kitchen stuff in an effort to live more simply in a smaller kitchen.

We have already tackled the very sad task of packing Olivia's nursery. As usual, for me the anticipation of the task was actually worse than the task itself. I spent the day before in her rocker, listening to her aquarium and of course balling my eyes out. As we were packing, Cannon reminded me that we are taking her with us. She will always be wherever we are. She's not in this house. She is in our hearts. It is only with this knowledge that we can make this move. Olivia will have a room in our new house with her rocker where I can go and think about her, miss her and listen to her favorite aquarium music.
These last days and weeks of packing I have become increasingly more thankful for family and friends. Britney kept Parrish for me while we were packing Olivia's room and it was such a weight off my shoulders to know we could take our time and know that he was happy and safe playing with his buddy Kaden. Terri kept him for me while I went to a long doctor's appointment this week. Then last night I read this verse:

No one has seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:12 (NLT)

I see God in the people He has sent to love on us and help us during this sad time.

Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. Psalm 4:1 (KJV)

This verse rings so true. He has enlarged our souls and our eternal perspective through this trial. In knowing him more fully I have a greater understanding of the vastness that separates us because of sin and am keenly aware of the cross we've been given to carry-a cross so difficult that most days it seems impossible. If not for the support of friends and family and the love of God, it would be impossible.

So with this thought I'm off to play Zingo! with Parrish on this rainy, lazy day.

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Wednesday, September 7

:: 1st Day of School 2011 ::

This little guy started his last year of preschool today (sniff! sniff!) I know people say this all the time, but I really, honestly, truly, do not know where the time has gone. It's like I blinked and 4 years went by in a flash and standing before me is an almost school-aged little boy.
Drop off was uneventful (meaning no tears), which always makes the first day more bearable! This year he is an energetic elephant (an aptly named class, for sure!) and he is so excited about his class.
Last night I stitched a felt heart for him to put in his pocket on the first day of school. I got the idea from this precious blog. She calls them pocket hearts and even sells them on etsy. Mine is certainly not as professional looking as hers, but it served it purpose anyway! I let Parrish pick out the felt and thread colors and while I worked on it last night I kept putting kisses inside along with the cotton stuffing. (I used a cotton ball instead of buying poly fill for such a tiny project) When Cannon asked Parrish about it, Parrish said I was sewing the project so he could, "always have my heart." Oh, from the mouths of babes. Couldn't be more true! These would be precious in lunchboxes, on valentine's, or any day you want your little guy/girl to remember they always have your heart.
And this little girl (on the first day of school last year) has my heart all the way up in heaven. Love you, my precious little Livy!

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Monday, September 5

:: Birthday Banter ::

A Day that starts with breakfast in bed is not a bad day at all! My boys treated me to pancakes and bacon in bed this morning and I shamelessly stayed in bed most of the morning catching up on my Bravo shows. It was a rainy day, so we stayed in our jammies and played pirateopoly and super hero chutes and ladders. When the rain slowed I went on a run, which I've decided I really love. The wind was cool and the drizzling rain was just enough to be refreshing. We took Parrish to see Spy Kids 2 after lunch and he was enthralled.
After the movie we stopped by CC's house to have a slice of the yummy lemon birthday cake she and Parrish made me while we were in Atlanta. He was pretty excited about the forrest-fire inducing amount of candles he got to decorate the cake with.
I sat in the exact same chair at CC's this time last year with my precious baby girl there to help me blow out the candles. I spent most of the day wishing I could turn 31 again so I could see this smiling face...
I ended the day with a fun girl's dinner at Chuy's. Thanks for a great celebration, girls!! Can't wait to be neighbors!

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Saturday, September 3

:: Hot-Lanta & The Rolling Thunder ::

Just walking in the door from an overnight trip to Hot-lanta (as in scorching!) with the hubby. Sweet man that he is took me there to do some new house shopping for my bday. Our current sofa would take up the entire living space in the new house, as would my desk, so we're on the look-out for replacements. The good news is that we're pretty much going to be able to furnish the whole river cabin with stuff we can't use anymore, so at least it's going to good use.

Most of my friends would not believe this, but I actually shopped for two days in Atlanta and didn't buy a single thing. Not even one "trinket" as my Nannie would have said.

Although not much luck on the shopping front, the company was fabulous. We got to lunch on Friday in Roswell at Salt (their pulled pork tacos and 7 onion soup are the stuff of dreams, by the way) with our friends Courtney and Chet. Courtney and I worked together at Southern Living Magazine and the four of us became fast friends and have stayed that way, even though they sadly relocated to Atlanta several years ago. It was so much fun to reminisce about old times and catch up on current life. And, she got me the most thoughtful gift...she remembered that I like to collect a house Christmas ornament each time we move to personalize with the year and our new address, and this time I won't have to because she already did it for us. Thanks, Court!!
In addition to antiquing in Roswell, I got to go and check out a store I read about in Elle Decor this month called "Pieces" and I am in love. The store appeals to my orderly side-color coded shelves and displays, lots of gilt and lucite, Jonathan Adler, and painted white floors.

I read a blog post about Chamblee, GA's Antique Row while we were there and decided it was worth checking out. In all honesty, I'm pretty sure I would have purchased something if any of the stores had any air conditioning! When sweat is dripping down my back it's hard to find the enthusiasm to dig for treasure. Note to self-try again in November!

Our favorite store had the entire Simpson family on the front lawn in addition to an old McDonald's slide complete with Ronald on top. I really think Cannon would have brought it home if I hadn't intervened. He stood in awe at the bottom of the slide until I reminded him (gently, of course) that the thing would take up our whole yard.

Although we didn't find anything on our trip to Atlanta, just before we left I bought a chandelier I am in LOVE with from etsy. Check it out....
Isn't she pretty? Happy Birthday to me! I'm pretty sure Cannon never thought I'd WANT a chandelier with deer heads on it. Goes to show you never know what you might find and fall in love with!

Cannon took me to my all-time favorite ATL restaurant-Bistro Niko-for my bday dinner Friday night. I love this place mainly for their Gruyere cheese puffs below...

Half the basket was eaten before I remembered to snap a picture. I could have eaten the whole basket myself, but I did manage to share. Everything on their menu is delicious and their patio is in my opinion one of the best people-watching perches in town.

We started soccer practice with Parrish a few weeks ago and guess who the "Thunder" team coaches are?!? Cannon and Gentry! This is funny on many levels, but mostly because neither one of them played much soccer themselves.
I think a copy of Coaching Soccer for Dummies was actually purchased before the first practice (major Daddy points!). I'm pretty sure Cannon agreed to it only so he could blow the coaching whistle when the ball goes out of bounds.

Parrish and Kaden are pretty proud that their daddies are the coaches and the kids are having fun. If they can teach them not to touch the ball and which goal they're supposed to kick it in I think that will be a HUGE success! Last year the entire game would grind to a halt if a plane flew overhead bc the whole team would stop, stare up at the sky, and point!

Let's go, team Thunder!!!