Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Carols

Are you sick of hearing Christmas music yet? Want to know a secret? I don't think I could ever get tired of hearing my favorite Christmas carols. 

I just love Christmas music. Below I've compiled a list of my favorite holiday songs for your listening pleasure. 




I could write a book on how much I love O Holy Night. It is my absolute favorite Christmas song. Just take a look at these lyrics.


and my favorite part


"Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains He shall break for the slave is our brother. And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Just thinking of those lines give me chills. 

O Holy Night really captures everything I love about Christmas; the birth of Christ, His purpose for coming here, and the reverence of that night. 

One of my favorite versions is done by The David Crowder*Band (link above). They end the song with the chorus of "Hallelujah", which is a song I'm not usually crazy about, but ever since hearing Cloverton's cover, I can't get it off my mind. 

Usually, I'm thumbing my way through my Christmas Pandora station, but I can put these albums on and listen to them all the way through. My favorite Christmas albums:



In other news, my parents bought new a new front door, and I'm absolutely in love with it. (You can read how I feel about my front door here.) I love how the tree is standing back there all majestically. Sometimes, it's the little things. 




Micah and I also had the opportunity to once again be apart of the church's Christmas parade float. How happy do I look here?




Stay classy,

Jessie

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Hang a Wreath (Mobile Home Edition)

Living in a mobile home has it's challenges. Mostly, I just have to deal with dated aesthetics (die, popcorn ceiling, die), but sometimes, (currently) unchangeable hardware just gets in the way of "normal" living.

Take our front door for example. It's windowless, textured, and I have no idea what material it's trying to pass as. Not.A.Clue. When I found a wreath hanger at Wal-Mart for under $3, I was elated. When I tried to hang it on our door, I was not. There's an extra ledge on top of our door. My only logical guess it's there to help with keeping the air inside the house. Whatever its reason for being there, it was keeping me from hanging a Christmas wreath.

But, where's a will, there's a way....

Ba-Bam!


I had all but abandoned the idea of a wreath, when during a glare down of the back of the door, I had an idea. Our door has one of those creepy peepholes. (Why??) Of course ours isn't flush with the door, and I had the simple idea of cutting a hole in ribbon and threading it around the peephole.

First, I picked out a ribbon that I thought would be able to hold the wreath's weight.

I thought this blue coordinated nicely without being too matchy matchy. It's also a nice width, and it doesn't look like it's struggling beneath the load of holding up the wreath. 

Next, I cut a hole in both pieces of ribbon, and threaded them behind the peephole. 

Please excuse the iPhone quality of these two photos. My camera was just not having the poor lighting. Also I left my SD card at the office.

I then tied a bow with the remaining ribbon (Yep! That was all the ribbon on the spool.) into a sad-looking bow (my signature bow) to cover up the peephole. (Not really pictured.)

Ta-Da!
Don't judge, it works.


I couldn't be happier with how the wreath turned out. 



Do you have your wreath up yet?

Stay classy, 

Jessie

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tis the Season for Bad Giving

Photo Cred: Miss A 

Are you notoriously known for something? I am. I am notoriously known for giving horrible gifts. I don't know what's wrong with me. I could say I cave during Christmas chaos. I could (and do) say I get frustrated because everyone just buys what they want because their in better financial standings than myself (read: I'm poor). Truthfully, when I see the displays of cheap, holiday crap gifts (TV remote organizer, anyone?) a wave of anxiety rushes over me. I stand there- with too many people crowding my personal space- and I silently give in to the paralyzing anxiety of picking an acceptable gift that will not get me banned from future family gatherings.

For Christmas, I have given the worst gifts imaginable. Remember that generic remote caddy I mentioned earlier? Yeah, I bought Micah that for Christmas one year. I have given oven mitts. (The cheap Walmart kind, not a monogramed pair of Calphalons from Bed Bath & Beyond.) I have given $1 body wash that was more than likely made of glitter that felt more like slimy sandpaper. I have given nail polish samples, and plain votive candle holders. In short, I have given some bad gifts. The worst part is, I know I am no good at giving gifts. It's not even a sin of ignorance! After two years of poor gift-giving, I decided enough was enough, and it was time for a change.




But, not this year. Oh, no. I put my kitten game face on with determination to give better gifts. I started buying Christmas presents months ago. In fact, I only have a few left to buy. I'm not going to lie, some blood, sweat, and tears went into making this just-short-of-a-miracle event happen. (And I've not officially pulled it off yet, so fingers crossed.) I took inspiration from Amy Poehler's character, Leslie Knope on Park and Recreation. Leslie knows what just to give people. She gives things that people didn't even know they wanted. She is the ultimate gift-giver. 


 First, I came up with a strategy. Throughout the year, if I saw something and thought, "Hey, ______ would appreciate the humor in this.", I went ahead and logged it away for Christmas. I stalked FaceBook profiles. I made mental (and shamefully enough, actual pen and paper) notes of what individuals were drawn to, what they talked about, what they pinned, and what made their eyes light up in conversation. I studied the past. What did this person go to school to study? What is their favorite pop culture icon? What is the one thing so and so would like, but would never buy for themselves? (I'm pretty sure I now have the prerequisites to become a private investigator.)

Did I find each individual person THE perfect gift? No. Admittedly, I bought someone a Chia Pet. (If you're reading this, I'm sorry. It had to be done.) I'm not sure I've ever met someone excited to receive a Chia Pet, but I felt compelled to buy it. There is another gift, I'm plan on returning in favor of something else entirely. There's one gift I'm not entirely sure they person will like. (But, of course this person will graciously receive it and thank me because they are kind like that.) 

 The point I want to convey to everyone that receives a gift from me is this: Hey, I saw this, and it made me think of you. I love you. Merry Christmas. Pass the pie, please. Thanks. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dining Room Inspiration

As I mentioned before, I have been wanting to compile some of my main dining room ideas into a post. This is the post, y'all. :)

There's not too many ideas represented here, because truthfully, I'm not entirely sure what I want. (Typical Jessie.) There's a few definite traits I want to stick with like gray walls (I've come to realize I have an obsession with gray paint, and I'm okay with that), and a rectangle table.

Below are some pins that give me some inspiration.


 It's not that I don't have access to power tools, I just don't feel confident enough using them. Of course DH has all those power tool skills that it seems all southern men seem to be born with, but I hate to drag him into my crazy projects. 



As far as color, I definitely want to stick with the gray color pallet I'm putting throughout the house. The color pictured here is Simple Gray by Valspar (the only paint I use), and I absolutely love it. Also it has similar wainscoting as the my inspiration photo. I also love the table, chandelier, etc.
 Can I just have this dining room?


I'm still not entirely settled on draperies I originally thought of having three sets and making my lonely window look as if it had friends. (That is, three windows instead of just the one.) I'm also throwing around the idea of a roman shade and no curtains, or a roman shade by itself. If I do go with curtains, I would love to incorporate some floral print with blues like these pictured. Also liking that wall color and the wainscoting. :)

Urban Sunrise
Another color I considered was Urban Sunrise. Decisions, decisions. 


I love that simple dark wood table. This dining area is set up similar to mine. No "back" wall, and entrance to the kitchen on the right. I would love to seat 6 people as well. 


I've also been entraining the thoughts of putting bench like seating on the left wall. It's my "problem" wall. DH has been asking about putting a china cabinet there, so it's all just in theory, currently. 


Maybe a bench like this? But what if you're the person in the middle? What if that middle person has to make an emergency bathroom trip? Am I the only one who thinks about stuff like this?

To see some additional home inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board, Bloom. 

Stay classy,

Jessie

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Updating The Dining Area

Have I ever mentioned how having so many projects going on that I can't focus on any single one of them makes me happy? Because, it totally does. My theory is that if I get bored of one project, I can work on another, and so on and so forth until my life (and home) is filled with half finished projects. 

While other residence in the house are not thrilled to have multiple projects going on at the same time(and my other residence, I mean Micah and the cats), I started another while waiting on Gypsy to be declawed so I could begin the upholstery project.  (You can read about that project HERE.)

Behold: The ongoing dining area project

I don't know when those little strips placed in all mobile homes (battens) started bothering me, but boy do they bother me. One evening, in a panic of not doing anything with my life (other 20 somethings, do you have these fits, or is it just me?), I started ripping these strips down. With a butter knife. Because nothing says "crazy quarter life crisis" like attacking your walls with a butter knife. 

Soon, all the offending strips were taken down and I was left with a dining room with tons of gaps in the wall. I have big plans for this dining room. (Idea post soon to be posted.) But, to start, I knew the batten strips needed to be taken down and the gaps filled. 

WARNING: The photos you are about to see are in fact so horrible, so horrendous that it's recommend you do not view them if you have any heart condition. 


Somewhere, I have "decent" before photos taken in lovely afternoon light. However, for the time being those photos seem to have disappeared. So I give you the photos I've taken partially through this project, late at night, with questionable overhead lighting. You're welcome.


The gap on far left as been the most difficult to deal with. The walls are not actually even(!), and thus I had to go over the majority of it many times. Also, ignore the broken window screen chilling next to the dining room table. Thanks. 



Here's an example of (partially) sanded vs. not sanded at all. This stuff makes all the difference for sure. Also, mold. Because God forbid I have a refrigerator against the wall with a window for a week. 


As an added bonus, all the walls in our home have these lovely little nail (staple) holes in every.single.room. In the master bedroom, I didn't notice these weird holes until I painted. They definitely stick out afterwards. I have so many questions about these holes. Like, who put them there? Why? How did there get to be so many? We're the first residence, so I have to believe this happened during construction. But, why?


Here we have the right side of the dining area. You see that masking tape on the window? It was holding up a shower curtain I was using as a curtain (pictured crumpled up on the floor directly beneath window). Because sometimes to gain class, you need to lose it completely. You may also noticed how the original red curtain (and blinds) were left crumpled on the floor. I like to leave things in the floor just to make sure we're all paying attention at all times. 

Though this project is not what I would classify as difficult, it is extremely tedious and time consuming as I have to wait for each coat of filler to dry completely. You also cannot apply it if there's a chance of rain within the next 24 hours, or if the humidity is a certain percent. Awesome. 



Stay classy, 

Jessie
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