Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ye Olde Country Dresser

Due to all the Holiday crazyness and finishing up client orders it feels like it has been ages since I have shared much WhiteBerry with you! Yet again my memory failed me when it came time to start work on this guy a few weeks back and so I lack the photographic evidence as to the unbelievable original condition.

When a dresser is as beat up as this one was you really don't have the luxury of just doing a nice, crisp coat of paint so I went with the usual distressing. But even after that was done I just didn't think it felt believable, so I whipped up a brown glaze to get into all the nooks and crannies and dents and dings. Immediately I knew that it was the right call and that she was ready to come in~

I don't like going too crazy with the glaze so it is pretty subtle in areas, but it does give the dresser a little added character along edges of drawers and doors.

And on a very exciting note, my WhiteBerry laptop is back up in action after it needed some open heart surgery recently! So I can finally update the site~

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have to thank my Parents sooooo much for one of my favorite gifts this holiday. I can hardly believe I hadn't already caved and bought it, but under their Christmas tree this fantastic book was waiting to come home with me.

For years and years I loved the look of old, aged things. Long before I ever heard the name Rachel Ashwell or the words "Shabby Chic" I was hunting for things that had character and history. In fact when I was in 6th grade my parents wanted to buy me a gift for graduating up to Junior Highschool, my decision? An antique wood bed. I still have that 100+ year old bed and probably will hold onto it for years to come, I could hardly say the same for most of the other things I had when I was 12.

Then one day out of the blue I stumbled onto one of Ms. Ashwell TV specials and wow! was I in love. It was like everything I ever loved finally had a name and face. Several months later I scooped up one of her books and I have been hooked ever since.

Over the years I have loved watching both my style as well as Rachel's style change and evolve. But one thing always seems to be constant: our love of white, clean lines, and comfort.

Flipping through her new book I was mesmerized, inspired and awestruck by how beautiful simplicity can be. If you have already read it then you know how magical her own home is with it's one of a kind treasures, calming colors and attention to detail.

all images from Rachel's Blog

I usually like to put my own "stamp" on things, but every single image in this book is just perfect with no room for improvement.

One thing it really had me questioning was the chracoal wall in our bedroom. I had wanted to do it forever, but after seeing it I immediately second guessed myself (which never happens to me!). I decided to live with it and see if I came around. And until reading Rachel's book I didn't think about it too much, but now I feel rejuvenated and refreshed with ideas and inspiration. The insight it gave me was that the wall has to go. It's just not "us".

I have no idea what will replace it, or when but THANK YOU to both R.A. and my parents for setting me back on track with this book~

And I can't wait to share a new WhiteBerry dresser tomorrow, so see you then!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Possible New Year's Outfit?

I have no idea how, but I managed to score the Juicy Couture 'Locke' riding boots this weekend (I know that the amazing Brittany of It's exhausting being this Juicy will be proud!). I have been drooling over them for a few months now, but not only have they been sold out but a little hard to justify the price. When I stumbled across a pair that just so happened to be in my size and on sale I nearly went gaga. So they are the center of my New Year's outfit plans. Now I just have to decide to wear them with!

I really like the mixture of riding boots and really girly tops or dresses so that is my general direction.

And since I spent up a holiday gift card to score the boots the rest of the outfit needs to stay on budget.

I really like the following items, all for less than $35 at Forever21.
Which one is your favorite?

I tend to find that you really need to see forever21 items in-store to get a good feel for whether they will flatter your or look cheap so I think a trip to the mall (ughhh!) will have to happen tomorrow or Wednesday...
What are you wearing for the big countdown?
My good intentions to find time to blog before Christmas just didn't work out. But we are now back in business!

The 23rd had us celebrating my 26th Birthday! We made a trip to the mall to do some last minute shopping right before dinner and then met up with the family for dinner.
Wren was on her best behaviour, but did enjoy walking around the restaurant with her Grandpa.

And sharing cookies with Dad.

When we got back to my Parents' house my Sister and her boyfriend gave me a really cute card and a gc to Anthropologie. Pretty much the best gift ever!

Wren (and I) loved the singing Christmas card my old co-workers sent home with my Dad!

Wren has definitely got this gift unwrapping thing down pat!

Between her party and mine Wren is now addicted to icing.
I had a little shopping spree at Anthro before dinner, but of all my purchases this pillow is my favorite! I just love the chunky knit, colors and design. Several knobs, a new set of dishes and side plate, candles galore and another pillow also came home with me that night.

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed spending time with Sean's Family, while Wren really enjoyed her Grandma's cookies!

Before dinner we hit the skating rink!

Sean was forced to borrow my fingerless gloves after forgetting his own... That's hot!

Wren had fun skating with Dad, while Mom sat on the sidelines.

Christmas morning was a VERY fun time for this little girl!
The first thing she went for? A bottle of lotion in my stocking.

Santa had left some pretty exciting things and she was just realizing that they were for her.

"These are all mine? Cool!"

We hope you all had a wonderful Holiday as well! I am eager to see your updated blogs and what Santa left you~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Tree! (finally)

Today it was a peaceful, sunny winter's day. Don't let the bright blue sky fool you! It is 2o below zero outside.

And since we obviously weren't going to trek out and try out our new sled I thought I would take some pictures of our tree~ I wish I would have done this sooner because most ornaments have been moved, raised or completely removed by little hands then big hands. Better late than never though.

I have no idea where half of my lovely ripped up linen ribbons I made last year ended up in the basement, but they definitely weren't with the ornaments. So I think I will make a few more next year.

We got a sparkly new glitter glass star this year which was very exciting to place at the top!

With the exception of a handful of glass ornaments and the initial ornaments our collection is a steadily growing number of antique handblown ornaments in shades of blue and pink. Here are a few of my favorites:

I like to sprinkle in a handful of glitter glass items from the incredible Wendy Addison as well.

Our latest additions were 6 of these mercury glass ornaments that we found at HomeSense for $5 each! I love the color and huge scale.

After the holidays I think I may have to round up a few more of these huge globe lights I bought at Restoration Hardware. I think an entire tree covered in these would just glow!
Someone waiting to see if she is on the "nice list" (I think she just might be...)

I know most of blog land is on holidays tomorrow, but we will be here sharing some birthday pics and hopefully part 2 to our post below~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: Our First Year as Parents (Part 1)

Whew! What a year 2009 has been. We had a bit of a rough end to 2008 with Wren being born prematurely, but even that went as well as possible. I wanted to take the time to sit down and document this year for us so that someday Wren can look back and see what a special time of life it was for us all.

The Beginning:
Sean and I have discussed this many times. How crazy it was, and how very easily life can change in the blink of an eye. We are both convinced that had we lived in another time or even another part of the world I would not have the blessing to sit here and write this all out. The miracle of modern medicine is the single reason I am alive, and no matter how hard I fought I could not have won on my own. This is definitely a major reason in why we are fairly certain that Wren will be our one and only baby (yet another reason to document as much of this time as possible!).

4 days old:
Who knew that 4 lbs, 9oz could change so much, huh? These photos were taken exactly 1 year ago, on my 25th birthday. Wren was definitely one of those "be careful what you wish for" birthday presents! She couldn't even really cry at this point but life was a-changing.

5 Days Old:
Already, Dad was wrapped around her frighteningly small finger. And surprisingly she actually had more hair than she does today!

1 Week Old:
Our first milestone! That felt like both the longest week of my life, and the craziest. Days blur into one another and yet when you have time to lay down and sleep you are still so excited, high on adrenaline that it is an impossibility. No one really tells you about that first week....

2 Weeks Old:
It is bizarre how fast your "old" life fades from view. Those 14 days pretty much erase any real concept of what it feels like to sleep through the night or prepare a full meal. After running on 15 minutes of combined sleep and living off a couple boxes of Fudgeos I was pretty much inches from a full mental breakdown. Yet somehow life seemed a lot fuller and our house sure started to feel like home.

1 Month Old:
Life had to go on, primarily in the form of a full bathroom renovation. It is so funny to look back at the chaos that Wren started her little life in, but it was obvious from the start she was our baby! Nail guns and the pounding of tile chippers didn't phase her at all.
2 Months:
At this point I think we had completely forgotten what life without Wren was even like. She was beginning to really feel like a "baby". Lifting her head, looking at the world around her, so much new to learn.

This is also where the fun really started to kick in! We would find ourselves giggling over the simplest things. One funny look could have us hysterical.

3 Months Old:
And so it began... Wren was an independant girl from the get go but this was when she really found her stride. It also gave me 15 minutes of peace to enjoy a warm shower when I could watch her jump in the doorway through the glass door. THANK YOU to whomever created the jumper!

4 Months Old:
Apparently it is already embarassing to be simutaniously kissed by both parents. Too bad! Those cheeks only became more and more enticing as they filled out.

5 Months Old:
Funny faces, rolling over, laughing, these are just a few of the highlights of each day.

Life was still hectic in the this house of renovations, but baby seemed to love it all! However, the carseat was definitely starting to become heavy and we could see her little personality growing as she did.

6 Months Old:
Hello Teeth! This is really when it started to become more fun and less work. Who can complain with a little face like this looking up at you?

We made so many memories those first 6 months, but what we really made was a family. Laughing about the same things, watching someone turn into a person, creating a home, starting a business. We had many milestones and I never want to forget any of them. But most importantly I never want to forget that it wasn't easy. I had to work at it, learn things and even ask for help (which is usually pretty hard for me!). These are not things you can be ready or prepared for when you step into this job, but I think it is better that way. I would rather learn by working at it because that is when it means more.
It is impossible to sum up 6 months of life in a few pictures and a couple paragraphs, but it is better than nothing! Tomorrow I turn 26 and I look forward to spending the day looking forward to my next 6 months, year and beyond. And jotting down a few more memories from my 25th year.
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