Happy Birthday to my 8 year old niece, Ellie!

Happy Birthday darling Ellie! I can't believe you are turning 8, it seems like yesterday that your older sister was turning the same age. I love you Ellie!


Happy Birthday to my 6 year old nephew, Corbin!

Happy Birthday sweet boy! You are my only favorite nephew :) I love you Corbin!


Happy Birthday to my 2 year old niece, Sophia!

That grin makes me smile every time I see it - which is not often enough. I love you darling Sophia!


Hawaiian Entry #5 | Pearl Harbor Benches

While we were walking around Pearl Harbor's brand new museum (seriously opened only 1 week before we visited), I noticed these really cool benches they had around the park area. It got me thinking that these babies were built to last! They might have cost a little more than traditional outdoor furniture, but they aren't going anywhere since they are built out of concrete... and they are quite comfortable!


Wedding Entry #1 | Guest Book

I have had some friends ask me to write a book about how I created such a custom wedding on such a low budget and I would love to do that, but blogging will have to do for now!

I was able to have the wedding of my dreams in Charleston on a $15,000 budget… granted, I did win our photographer in an essay contest, but I will share any tips I have and all advice I can over the next few wedding posts with you!

Above is a painting that I made for our wedding. It also served as a guest book and those who attended wrote their names and a note with paint pens left out for them. We now hang this piece of art with such kind words on it in our hallway - it serves as a daily reminder to keep love and laughter in our marriage and household.


Hawaiian Entry #4 | Woven Bowl

Living in Charleston you get used to seeing a lot of woven handicrafts around the outdoor markets and stores. Sweetgrass baskets, also known as traditional Gullah "sweetgrass baskets," are coil straw baskets made by the descendants of slaves in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is “the” item to buy if you are touring the area, however pricey they may be.

Young boys also make what is known as the “Palmetto Rose” from palm fronds around the city. I actually used the palmetto rose as boutonnieres for the men in my wedding! They were a big hit.

While walking around Hawaii (namely Maui and then again in Kona) we saw baskets woven from palm fronds. They were beautiful, and the seller assured me they could be taken home quite easily as he demonstrated packing it in my suitcase. I had to buy one considering they were a good hybrid mix of what you see in Charleston.

The green basket above is what I bought and it has since turned dry and more gray in color, but it is one of my favorite souvenirs from our Hawaii trip!


Hooray! A reason to be Happy...

Marked in purple is my normal route to work which takes me about 35-40 minutes in the morning... marked in red is the proposed alternate to work since all the area bridges are closed due to ice... I am going to give you a guess as to how long THIS would take me?!?

There is absolutely no way (or reason for that matter) for me to go to work today. And this will make one of only three days I have either gotten off early or went in late to work in almost 6 years. That is what happens when you live in an area with usually fabulous weather!

I used to miss snow days but today, minus a couple hours of work I do have to get done, will be my first snow day in Charleston! :)

P.S. I can't wait for spring... only another two months or so! ;)


iPad Cover - decisions, decisions...

So I took what seemed like FOREVER to choose a cover for my iPad that I got for Christmas from our company. I am usually quick at making decisions and this time I wanted to do a little research, i.e. scope out the cases that my coworkers got and judge ;)

I thought that designing my own case, an option on www.zazzle.com, would be the way to go, but advice from my husband suggested that I would need more padding around it and definitely a sleeve or flap to cover the front. The case on zazzle that you can design is more like a skin and my husband said to me, "It isn't a phone, Jo." So, I took his advice [shocker!] and thought about it some more.

Above are designs I was playing around with until I decided I needed one with a keypad and found that white beauty above. I LOVE it! It is a white leather folio with bluetooth keyboard by TsirTech. The style and feel of it is really slick and I got used to the keyboard rather quickly. For some reason I LOVE to take meeting minutes now!?!


Oh, Sonic, how I love thee...

Not the best idea to eat this everyday... but a fantastic idea to try it once
[or twice!]! :)

You are looking at a limited time red velvet/cheesecake ice cream treat from Sonic Drive-In.
So amazing!


House Design

I want a new house!

Now that I have finished complaining, I will tell you why:

1. We just have no room.
We live in the house that Steven bought before we even met, and I also owned a condo before we met, and this is the larger of the two. Since he works from home, there goes one bedroom, and then of course I basically have enough stuff for my DIYness that I need a whole room/ guest room, and then we need to sleep in another room, 3 bedrooms gone.

2. Better location.
I drive 35 minutes to work each way on a good day. That may not sound like a lot to some, but this is one of my huge hangups of life - not wasting time commuting. Don't get me wrong, I love a road trip, but I hate that my day starts 45 minutes earlier and ends almost 1.5 hours later (because the commute is a hell of a lot worse if I leave at 5 than if I leave at 6.) Up at dark, home at dark. 12 hours a week wasted on average, makes 624 hours, or 26 days... wait, that can't be right, oh god, it is. See?

3. I'm an architect.
There will always be something wrong with a house I buy in my eyes, and even if I renovated it to perfection, I really just want to design my own house. I posted pictures above of houses that I have come across over the last couple years that I just love. I spend a lot of my time researching neighborhoods, areas of Charleston, affordability, location, etc. I would love to be able to build my own house on a piece of land in a great location. It will happen someday and if I knew that it could happen in the next 5 years, I would actually consider staying in our current location during this time.

Home ownership is the American dream. Unless in an economic turndown you own two homes, neither of which you want to live in, like us. Thank God for our good jobs. We are so very fortunate... something I hope I realize more with the new year. Not a new year's resolution, but a life resolution so to speak. Happy New Year Everyone!
From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)