September 3, 2016

Dream Kitchen Come True! (Part 1)

So, I have had this dream of a beautiful quartz countertop in my kitchen for years now. Our last house had a tan formica situation happening that I had saved up to replace a couple of times but something always came up and we would divert the money to another cause before it could happen. It’s probably for the best anyways since we would have apparently moved to Nashville pretty quick after it would have been installed and wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy it much before moving.

Anyways, our Nashville kitchen had a better option as far as quality goes (black granite rather than formica) but the black felt so heavy in the space and sucked up a lot of the light that the one small window brings in (you can see the “before the before” photos here). What you see above is actually the “midway” point that we’ve been living in for the past year. I replaced the original black narrow peninsula countertop with a white tiled DIY option to brighten up the space a bit, and while that helped a lot, it was still a placeholder solution since we had other issues to fix as well. One of the issues with the above setup is that we had a severe pantry shortage in this kitchen (as in there wasn’t really one to begin with) so we wanted to add much larger “L” shaped cabinets to replace the 12″ deep peninsula where all our food was stacked 4 rows high. It was the “shove the food in there and close the door quick situation” if you know what I mean. Since I couldn’t find a custom person to replicate the existing 60’s cabinet door situation on the other side of the kitchen, I decided to go with a flat front door on the new cabinets to compliment rather that copy the original design. Even though I knew I would have a few week gap of cabinets with no counter, I was still over the moon when the cabinets were installed. Space for all my food!! Slide out drawers! Lazy Susan, I missed you, you big sloth! I also chose a pull-out double trash so we could do trash in the front bin and recycling in the back bin. I’ve been piling up the recycling on the floor until the pile got too big so that second bin is a pretty big deal to me! We left the cabinet top open for a week until we finally used large pieces of cardboard as a makeshift counter (although I did miss that easy access to snacks, you could just reach right in the top! #SNACCESS). We also had the existing backsplash tile that I painted removed so we could replace the backsplash and add a garbage disposal at the same time we replaced the countertop. I have to say that I didn’t grow up with a disposal in the sink, but once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back to not having one! As you can see in the last picture, the tile and counters are removed and ready to be replaced with a gorgeous marble-veined quartz that I’ll show you soon!! SO EXCITED!!!signature2 copy

August 26, 2016
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Win a Trip to Nashville with Grogan’s Gala Giveaway!

 photo IMG_6349_zpsqlaervtt.jpgI can totally confess to being one of those girls that would occasionally walk into diamond stores and ask to try on their biggest diamond rings just to see how they looked on my finger (extra points for pink or yellow diamonds). Since I don’t mind being surrounded by a little extra bling, I was happy to partner with Grogan Jewelers by Lon to give you guys a behind the scene look at the photoshoot for Nashville Lifestyles magazine’s “25 Most Beautiful People” issue on Instagram Stories last week. As you can see below there were whole tables of beautiful jewelry available for the honorees to wear at the shoot and while I can’t tell you who the featured Nashvillians are, you may get to discover the secret in person by winning an all expenses paid trip to Nashville to attend the big reveal party yourself! Not only will the winner get a shopping trip and a makeover, but they will also get to wear some beautiful Grogan’s jewelry to the event as well. I don’t know about you, but all I can picture is the scene from “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” where Kate Hudson is wearing that giant canary diamond necklace named “Isadora”…count me in! All you have to do is submit a photo of yourself from a time when you felt #goals and submit it at the contest entry below! If it was me, I would use the above pic of our big date night in Paris last year. How could I not feel good in an all-feather miniskirt?

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 photo 0I0B0779_zps9e5dmmjy.jpgApparently I’m wearing almost 1 million $$ in jewels in the photo above—so beautiful!! To cover yourself in some of these fabulous gems, even if just for a night, enter below! Good luck!!

#GrogansGirl Nashville VIP Fashion Gala Giveaway

August 23, 2016

Snaps From Home

Hi All! Just wanted to share a few snapshots from home lately as we settle back into a more “regular” life for a bit. It’s always an adjustment to go from living alone to being a household with 2 adults all of the sudden, but we’ll figure it out! We’ve been trying to read more lately and Todd’s been into this amazing coffee table book about Wes Anderson’s movies that I got him last year. It’s got so many beautiful behind the scenes photos, drawings, and inspirations for all his films—it’s a really fun read and kind of a must for any WA fan. On my end I’ve been wanting to read the Blue Zone book for years about the areas of the world where people live the longest and I’m about halfway through at the moment. It’s not quite as power-packed with information as I thought it would be based on all the hype, but it’s still an interesting read for sure and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it.
Also, we recently had the house painted (!!) andI didn’t tell Todd I was actually having it done while he was on tour so he came home after tour to a very different looking house! You can see a bit of the before and after here…After a bit of a backyard makeover we’ve been extra excited to hang out outside and catch a bit of whatever is left of the summer. Side by side lawn chairs and a good book isn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday, let me tell you…Charlie is so happy her favorite guy is home!Anyways, nothing too crazy going on here but after this touring year so far, that’s the way I like it!signature2 copy

August 19, 2016

Hooray! The Summer Tour Ends in New York

Hallelujah!! I thought it may never come but we finally reached the end of the MUTEMATH summer tour season. After 46 shows the buses rolled into Nashville for a show and a quick rest before heading up to New York for back to back nights at Madison Square Garden. Since I didn’t get a chance to go to one of the other coolest venues of the tour, Red Rocks in CO, and because I was obviously pretty desperate for some quality Todd time at this point, I decided to come along for the trip and soak up as much of the city as I could in just 2 days. We were here with the band back in November for the release of their record and a Seth Myers taping, but the schedule was so full we didn’t really get to do anything off the schedule and this time seemed like a chance to get out in the city a bit more.Traveling on the bus is generally a little easier than this trip because I’m usually sleeping while the bus is rolling on to the next location at night, but since we were driving during the day this trip I got to discover how incredibly terrible my balance apparently is. I mean, it’s not that easy to walk around, use the bathroom, make food, etc. while the whole room is swaying back and forth (especially in the area where the bunks are because it’s completely dark in there). I had to crawl on my hands and knees to the bunk one night because I thought I was going to fall into someone else’s on the way if I didn’t!Anyways, we made good use of our time on the way up by watching the entire season of Stranger Things in the back lounge. A little dark and creepy for sure, but I’m the worst at being a scaredy cat and it was totally worth it. Just maybe don’t watch it alone at night. Always with a friend.
Our first day in New York had a bit of rain, but it passed on through and gave us plenty of time to go shopping at a few stores near the Empire State building (ZARA!!) and we checked out the Ace Hotel nearby that has a really cute old-timey photo booth and a Stumptown coffee at the front of the building. Can’t resist a photo booth on a trip!

The show that night was really exciting since it was the first time that Todd has gotten to play MSG so I was really happy to be there and see him play a venue that’s a pretty big milestone for a lot of people. You can tell above he really appreciated my presence and would be lost without my support.The next day we decided to take the subway and walk through a bit of Central Park to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which I’ve never gotten to go to before. I was an art major in college and my Mom was an art teacher so I’ll go to just about any art museum I can get to. Except for some modern art museams…I’ve been to a few of those that just didn’t do anything for me. Even through all my art history classes I’ve always preferred artistic technique to more concept art, but that’s a debate for another time. Like most museum experiences, I spent the most time in the European Impressionist wing but I also love to see all the giant portrait paintings that rich people commissioned. How they paint all that delicate floppy lace and velvet and taffeta fabric is so beyond my comprehension!!Since our mini stroll through Central Park on the way to the Met was so pretty we decided to walk the entire length of the park on the way back and just Uber back to the bus once we got to the other side. Even though Todd has been to NYC a lot more than I have, he’s never been to the park either and we were both so impressed with the area. It was such a pretty and peaceful place to spend an afternoon although I also couldn’t stop thinking about all the Law & Order SVU episodes that take place there as well. I kept half expecting Ice Tea to pop up from behind a rock, but he never did…
One of the best parts of touring with other bands is that the guys get to make new friends over the season, but so do us wives as well! I got to know Jenna and Caroline of the Twenty-One Pilots gang a little bit this summer and they are both so sweet and contributed to some much needed girl chats along the way! They are just too cute!
In case you didn’t know, the last night of tour is generally the “prank night” of the tour since it’s the last time everyone will be together. Darren (the MUTEMATH drummer) got this amazing dinosaur costume to wear during a segment of the Twenty-One Pilots show where the opening bands come out and play cover songs with the TOP guys, and he was somehow not only able to dance in the costume, but perform all his drumming duties as well. YES!!

The last show was a little sad in some ways to say goodbye (or at least “see you later”) to some people that we like, but after 49 shows in 2 1/2 months, well, everyone is ready for a break!!Overall, it was a relatively short trip but one that I was definitely glad to be a part of. Now we get to ease back into “normal” life for a bit and remember what it’s like to live together again (always an adjustment, amiright??). After all the time we’ve spent apart this summer, normal never sounded so good!signature2 copy

August 9, 2016

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Paint, Paint Again…

If I have learned one thing from being on my second house renovation it’s that you don’t always get it right the first time. Sometimes things don’t turn out how you planned or maybe you just don’t like it once you get what you thought you wanted. I couldn’t wait to paint our bathroom when we first moved into this house but I rushed picking the color and ended up with a grey that looked really purple in sunlight and I just wasn’t happy with it. I think I left it for so long because I was tired of painting (we were painting the whole house at the time) and I just felt too tired to think up a new vision for the master bath. Fast forward about 8 months later and Dutch Boy Paint contacted me to see if I would like to partner with them for a room makeover featuring their Refresh® Paint + Primer with Arm & Hammer® Odor Eliminating Technology. When they asked me if I had a certain room in mind to paint, all I could think was, “boy, do I ever!”Dutch Boy makes the painting process smoother with their easy to open Twist & Pour container (the built in spout and handle are also great for pouring). When it comes to painting tools, an angled brush like Purdy’s Clearcut Glide is a must for me when cutting in a room. The brush has sharp edges for a smooth cut and helps make the job so much easier. To paint the walls, I used Purdy’s Revolution Frame and White Dove Roller Cover. This roller releases the paint evenly for an even smooth finish so you avoid any weird streaky lines or bare spots.

I still wanted a really light color to keep the small bathroom feeling bright and as spacious as possible, so I picked this really pretty light mint called Dutch Boy Aqua Quartz (DW53) as the new shade.
The nice thing about Refresh paint is that it actually reduces household odors and has a mildew resistant property, so that seemed perfect for painting a bathroom. Also, I definitely noticed that the “paint fumes” smell was not as strong as usual and by the time I went to bed I couldn’t even smell the paint anymore (which is great since the bathroom is right by my bed!). It’s also GREENGUARD® Gold Certified for Indoor Air Quality which goes along with my current regiment of trying to keep our indoor air as clean as possible—yay!

Such a soothing color, isn’t it? The super soft mint was just what I needed to inspire me to switch out a few other decorative items and finally add this room to the “finished column.” Now it feels beachy and calming and is a beautiful place to start and end my day. Have you ever immediately regretted a design choice? Hope you got a chance to correct it like I did!signature2 copy