Spring Cleaning

When you have PTO to burn before the end of the fiscal year, the best day to use it is Monday.

What a wonderful weekend + 1 I've had.

Basketball. Lots of basketball. But in this UK-loving household, basketball-watching was bliss.

Final Four for the Wildcats!

And while we watched, Charlie snoozed, dreaming of destruction. He prefers to have his head pillow-propped, like a human. This diva pup was quite annoyed by the paparazzi.

Weekends mean the sound of grinding coffee, first-thing. It's not a pretty sound, but oh, the aroma! I've sworn off pre-ground coffee. I'm far from a barista, but the fresh stuff is where it's at. While during the week we drink black coffee, on weekends, we splurge and splash a little creamer in our mugs. (International Delight Almond Joy for Kyle, Coffee-Mate Peppermint Mocha for me.)

P.S. My nail polish is dark purple. Not black. Just so that's clear.

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Speaking of coffee, all our brewing accessories have a new home! I found this gem at a local antique warehouse (which is a very creepy place to be, alone, 20 minutes before closing). It took some Dr. Bronners soap (truly magical) to get rid of the grime, but she fits right in. Previously, our coffee-making supplies were scattered about the kitchen. This cart brought them together and freed up counter space (which is a big deal in a shoebox apartment like ours).

We kicked off the weekend with these lemon-glazed blueberry scones. I made these suckers sans singeing, smoke alarms, or 50 calls to mom {recipe link here}. I lacked confidence in my scone-making abilities when I saw the dough, though. Scone dough is nothing like cookie dough - it falls apart. But, it turns out, that's a good thing! It makes for crumbly, biscuit-like baked triangles. YUM.

Late-March is for jellybeans. 

Late-March is also for cleaning. And for the past two weekends, we've given this nest of ours deep clean after deep clean. We're coming out of hibernation, shaking off the cobwebs, and welcoming SPRING!

Recently, we were made aware that we accidentally signed a year lease last October instead of the intended six-monther. (I know, I know. HOW does that happen?!) Which is unfortunate, because we're really outgrowing this space (no, I'm not pregnant).

Regardless, two weeks ago, when we found out we wouldn't be leaving in March, we decided to make the most of our stay by hanging flags, chalkboards, and frames where they belong. Might as well settle in, right? Vintage Americana is kind of our thing, if you couldn't tell. 

Side note: if you know of a good house available to rent October 2014, let us know! Location? Well... Kyle would say Seattle.

I say, happy wife = Indiana life.

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I'm not one for mirror shots, which is probably why my eyes are cut out of the frame. (I mean, really, where are you supposed to look? Away? At the camera? At yourself?)

But I had to be real. I could never be a fashion blogger. Never, ever, ever.

This is my "I-just-cleaned-up-dog-puke-after-church" look. And washed Friday night's dishes, and swept the floors (wood floors = constant dust bunnies), and cleaned cleaned up dog puke. Again. 

Charlie must have gotten into the jellybeans.

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Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.
— Country Living-featured homeowner and designer, Erin Flett

We definitely shape our home around that quote. Those botanical prints? They came home with us after our trip to Virginia last spring. We saw one of the original versions of this collection in its entirety (one for every month) hung in the George Wythe house at Colonial Williamsburg.  We love all things Colonial, so we decided to buy and frame October (our anniversary month), July (my birthday month), and September (Kyle's birthday month) - all for less than $10. Each time I look at them, I think of my Virginia family, of history, of us.

Other people may not "get" what we put together, but Pier 1 Imports and Pottery Barn displays just don't speak to us. We want to be intentional about how we fill (or don't fill) our living space - be us - and collect treasures of significance, not stuff. That's home.

Check out one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers, Tiffany Ruda. She's fabulously simple, and good at recognizing treasures.

Cleaning, rearranging furniture, picking, organizing. Oh, how I wish I could spend all day, every day doing those things for people. Since I can't, I save it for weekends (especially those rare weekend +1 occasions). 

Do you have an all-over-the-place attic? A sad spare room? A cumbersome closet? The first step is recognition. The second step? Purge. Stuff is just that - stuff. Only keep the treasures, and start from scratch. You'll be able to breathe. And breathing is important.

-Maggie (the journaler)