Funny, (or not so funny) Dining Room Update

For those of you who have been following the progression of my dining room, here is a funny (or maybe not so funny) short story… As you may know, I just got back from a trip to the beach with my family yesterday. We had someone to take dogs, but asked Alyssa, a friend of mine’s teenage daughter to  come by daily to water the flowers and feed our two cats Beanie and Angel – whom I should add are our very adorable cats.

Beanie, pictured Below, is known for his outdoor hunting, but was kept inside with Angel all week.

Angel was adopted from the SPCA and has always been afraid of her own shadow. As angelic as she is though…she did traumatize Ashley a few years ago by leaving a mouse on her pillow.












  Yesterday, we walked in the door after of an 11 hour drive home from Florida, and of course after saying hello to our beloved cats, I had to sneak a peek a at my newly decorated dining room. I about had a heart attack when I saw over a hundred black spots on my brand new carpet spread from one corner of the room to the next. From far away it looked like this…

Close up it looked like this…

Do you remember when Granny would leave and Sylvester would go after Tweety Bird and feathers would Fly? Well, in this story, right smack in the middle of the feathers was a dead Tweety. I’ll kindly spare you that picture. We’ll never really know what happened, but I’m thinking that the poor little bird came in through the chimney, and flew to the dining room (the ceiling is sky blue!) only to be foiled by the protectors of our home – Beanie and Angel. Thankfully, Alyssa never saw it – she would have never come back! I can tell you, I will never look at that room in quite the same way.

My Books at the Beach this Week

Every summer that I can remember, I have spent a week at the beach. This year is no different as we packed up last weekend and headed to Florida with the kids and my parents. Several years ago, I started bringing along Anne Morrow’s Gift From the Sea. It’s my favorite book to read at the beach. Each time I find something different to inspire me and I am still amazed that it was written over 50 years ago. I was even more in awe of Anne Morrow when I discovered that she was Anne Morrow Lindbergh; mother of the baby that was so tragically kidnapped and killed years before. If you are looking for one book to take to the beach – this is always my pick.

This year though, I decided to bring three different books. All three motivational, all three pretty wonderful. Here are my thoughts so far…

To kick off the trip last Friday, I began with The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. It’s a book that everyone should read. Give it to someone as a graduation gift, share it with a friend, and make sure your kids read it. I really do believe that I am a glass is half full kind of gal, I take things in stride, and am overall a pretty happy person – but I was humbled by this book and truly inspired to live a little more aware of the moment. On Friday I heard that Randy passed away and my only thought at the moment is that because of his life, the world became a better place. It’s a must read.

On Tuesday I began The Winners Manual by Jim Tressel, head coach of The Ohio State Football Team. I have to admit that I’m a little biased – that I already knew I would love it. I got to page 7 of the prologue and had tears in my eyes. Why? Because as I read, I realized how truly blessed my son is to be able to spend 5 years of his life learning from this great man as an OSU Football player. You may not be an OSU football fan. You may love to hate the Buckeyes, but the Winners Manual is really not about winning a football game, but leading a winning life. Coach Tressel has been collecting for years stories of faith, family, and principles that he believes are important to becoming a winner. Every year he shares an updated collection with his players. Here he shares the people and stories that inspired him along with tons of great quotes. I’d tell you more, but my father stole the book right out from under me and being the nice daughter that I am, I moved on to my third book. I’ll get back to the Winners Manual on the way home. So far though, I think it’s also a must read and apparently alot of other people agree as it just hit #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Inspirational books.

The book that I’m reading now is Tony Dungy’s Quiet Strength. At this point you would probably assume that I am a huge football fan, and you would be correct, but I’ve actually never read a book about football. I’m really not reading about football this week either. All three books are about life, success, love, family, inspiration, and more. Two of them just happen to involve football. Well, actually all three do if add Randy Pauch’s dream of playing in the NFL. Even if you are not a big football fan, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy these last two books.

Tony Dungy interests me on several levels. Initially, he intrigued be because I think the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning are a really fun team to watch. Secondly, I saw Tony Dungy on the tonight show after they won the Super Bowl and I found him to be humble, interesting and inspiring. The third reason is really a mom thing. When anyone says my son is undersized for a linebacker, all I have to do is refer them to the Colt’s roster. I appreciate that he chooses players based on talent and heart rather than numbers. 

I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far it is really very good. Tony Dungy is a man with a strong christian foundation who loves God, his family and the game of football. He writes an honest account of the role that they have all played in his life to date along with the people and events that have influenced his path in life. Yes, it’s a story thats written around football, but again, it’s not really about football as much as it’s about faith, honor, integrity, inspiration and life.

My thought is you just can’t go wrong with any of these books. I’d recommend all three. Even if you don’t love football I think you’ll walk away with a sense of renewal and energized to strive to do great things with your life.

My Dining Room Makeover – Part III

If you have been following my Dining Room Makeover, I am sooooo happy to tell you that it is 90% done! I painted into the wee hours a few weeks back after work and shopped in record time to find the final things I needed to at least have it 90% done for the graduation party. Sorry it took so long to get you more details, but I have been really busy getting a new product out. I’ll tell you about that soon! I’ll have more pictures in a week or so, but here’s a sneak preview.

Since my last post I have finished the paint, found carpet and had it installed, purchased really beautiful fabric for the chairs (for $39.00 I might add!),  decided on draperies (which are bought and hung) and found a perfect oversized picture to pull it all together.

I still need to re-upholster my chairs, purchase a chandelier, hang the medalion, and take some more pictures. I’ll give you more details too! In the mean time…here’s a sneak preview.

The carpet is a cut/loop combination in gold with a diamond pattern. Since the room is monochromatic (one color with varios shades of it) I made sure to pull in lots of patterns and texture for interest. The silk drapes are ready made from linens and things in a large plaid pattern of ivory and gold. They were $89.00 a panel, 96 inches long and fully lined – not a bad deal!

Above you can also see the reversible fabric for the dining room chairs. Of course our beloved Beanie had to get in the picture. He’s a cat that my son brought home from college one day that somehow became ours. My new neighbors actually asked me the other day if our invisible fence would work for beanie. Apparently, he is quite social  thing and greets their indoor cats at their window every morning. He’s even left a few moles at their doorstep, which anyone who has cats knows tha it’s his way of saying welcome to the neighborhood. Tell me, how can you not love him back? Anyway, back to the dining room.

My last picture for the day is one of the painting I found at Linens and Things as well. I actually saw it first at Kirklands and couldn’t decide on it, then saw it when buying the draperies and decided to try it. It’s huge, in fact it wouldn’t fit in my car and my husband had to pick it up in his truck on the day of graduation. It turned out to be quite perfect with shades of creme and gold. I really like that it is oversized and pulls together the room. I know you probably want to see the whole room, but I can’t stand to give you a final shot without the chandelier and new seats. I’ll try to get that done soon!

Oh, and here’s the graduation girl – hooray for Ashley…my first college graduate! Isn’t she fabulous 🙂