Thursday, June 30, 2011

Current Favorites

Here's what's been going on, which happens to be some of current favorites...

1 I The Voice

NBC's The Voice really has become my favorite reality show competition. For so many reasons. The coaches. The 4 finalists (and some who didn't make it all the way). The connection b/t the coaches and their singers. The performances. The blind auditions. The battle rounds. I could go on and on. My only non-favorite part about it: Christina Aguilera's wardrobe. And occasionally her attitude.

2 I Dinners/Random late-nights at Home

Baby Zeke!

Jonathan, Ashley, Rich, and J

3 I The Teels' transplant to "Atlanta"
(well, Alpharetta, but closer!)

Dinner at LaFonda with some of my closest friends from college

4 I Homemade

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Peach Pie, from this month's Southern Living
Definitely recommend!

Was feeling beachy one night, so I tried these strawberry daquiris

5 I Scout

Too tired to stand up and drink

Playing in the ice and mud at J's softball game

6 I Vacation

Pictures to come, but tonight we're heading to Cashiers
for the annual Allen family 4th of July vacation! Happy
day, America...hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5:15am Wake Up Call

Today was "bring a friend to bootcamp" day for a co-worker of mine, and since we'd talked so frequently about my interest in it, I decided to give it a try.

Turns out....I loved it!

Granted, this was obviously my first day. I'm not sore yet. It's the only day in 6 months (maybe even a year!) that I've gotten up so early - 5:15am was my wake-up call. That's definitely doable. 4 days a week...I just don't know.

However, there has always been such a tug in me that has known that if I could wake up at 5am or so, I would have my kind of ideal morning. Today was it. I worked out hard (plus I got an early morning city view at Piedmont Park, where it's hosted). Treated myself to Starbucks. Spent some time in the Word. And even had time to eat breakfast with my husband. All before work!

Plus, I love the idea behind the specific bootcamp I participated in. It's called Bootcamp 4a Cause. These guys donate almost 100% of their profit to a local charity, including Piedmont Park Conservancy (giving back to the place they spend so much time in!).

They invited friends back tomorrow, and I think I might just give it another shot. Next session starts next week, and I'm really tempted to try it for a month. Anybody with me??!! Please?! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bachelor/Bachelorette News

I'm totally sucked in, and I know it's pathetic.

The Good
Sweet Chris, 2nd runner up from Ali's season, is engaged! Yay for him.

The Bad
Poor Ames had to go to the Thai hospital this past week, after getting knocked pretty hard during some terrible date idea that Ashley had. I think Ames is my favorite. I mean, check out his resume...

The Ugly
Bentley's back next week. Seriously. I know Ashley is kicking herself now that she knows what he's been saying about her. Poor Cozy (for being his daughter, and for being named Cozy). If she mentions his name one more time after next week...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Scout wanted to make Jamie a Father's Day card...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DIY: Fabric Headboard

Another project that we've had in mind for a long time was to make a head board for our master bedroom. My mom had generously offered to give us yards and yards of some burlap fabric that she had bought, but didn't need. So, we used some for our bed skirt (huge shout out to my amazingly talented Aunt Kathy who made it), and had plenty left over.

While it took us a while to complete, I think the headboard totally makes the room!



Making our own headboard saved us at least $300 (more, if we had decided to purchase from somewhere like Ballards), and it was a fun project.

Step 1: We had the folks at Home Depot cut out a piece of plywood to the measurements that we wanted.

Step 2: We started with foam (from JoAnn's), to provide some cushion, rolled it out, and cut it into strips. (We measured the foam to the exact size of the plywood, then wrapped it in batting. We also doubled up on the foam to make it hardier.)

Step 3: We used some spray adhesive to help keep the foam in place, before wrapping it with batting.

Step 4: (This is when we took the project outside!) Wrap the foam in batting, pulling tightly while keeping everything lined up, and staple the batting to the back side of the plywood.

Note: We used a professional grade staple gun (powered by an air compressor...thank you, Gavin!), which made the process bearable. I don't know that we would have completed it with a regular staple gun, as I imagine we used over 1,000 staples total.

Step 5: Wrap the fabric around the batting, pull tightly, and staple away...again.

Step 5: Hang! This was one of the more complicated parts, because we wanted to be thorough. We used a track and slide wall hanger. Measuring, leveling, measuring, leveling...but we only had to do it once!

Below is a close-up side shot. We actually had to have a seamstress add fabric, because our project was too wide. But I like the seam it created on both sides.

Now I just need to invest in some bigger pillows. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home Grown

One of my favorite things about summer is the produce. Jamie and I planted our garden again, and although we've got lots of tomato plants (and herbs!), that was about as far as we ventured with veggies this year. But I'm thinking next year we're going to need to try out some more options! Thankfully our next-door neighbors have a bountiful crop, and are eager to share (yes, these are the same guys who share their eggs too!).

Tomatoes from our porch, and a cucumber from the Bergers

A little S + P, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and basil later.
Yummy afternoon snack, and it'll go on our fish tonight!

And just because I'm sure you can't get enough of him....

Scout cuddling with his dad (although he's not normally allowed
on the couch....but he's injured)

And Scout curling up on his new bed

Scout update: He's healing just fine, but we let him play a little this weekend, and he was back to limping. So, he's on strict crate-rest, which he is so not loving. If only he could understand that it's because we love him so. :)

Up next...the headboard and shipping palate shelves! Promise.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Day

Yesterday was a big day for our little family!

To start things off, Scout was playing hard with some of his puppy friends at work, having a good ole' time. And suddenly he started yelping and limping, and then he laid down and didn't want to get up. I know he's just my dog, but, y'all, it hurt my heart. Thankfully our vet also happens to be our neighbor, so I called him up and he said to bring him in. Scout spent most of his day at the vet, until they could see him, and the verdict is that it must just be a pulled muscled or strain.

My poor lil' guy on his way home.

We went over to see Aunt Kelly at her new place, and it just so happens that she was in the pool (yes, they have a's a great house!). Scout was doing some sniffing, got a little close to the edge, and fell in! (Mind you, I'd just gotten strict instructions to make sure he takes it easy...oops.) Thankfully Kelly helped him out, and he was just so pathetic. I wrapped him in a towel and put him in my lap, and he was content the rest of the night.

Not dramatic at all.

In other news....I bit the bullet and got an iPhone! For those of you who know me well, this was a big step for me.

I mean,
I went from this

to this

Guess this means I'm officially connected. Anybody have any apps to share that I can't live without?

In a few hours, Scout and I will head up to Cashiers, NC to join mom, dad, and Jamie. The latter two are playing in a golf tournament this weekend, and word on the street is that they played pretty well yesterday. Wish me well as I try to keep our lil' man on bedrest. He is not enjoying it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DIY: moss-covered letter

As I've mentioned before, Jamie and I have an on-going list of projects that we're working to complete (and then we keep adding to the list!). We love our home, it's just the nature of being a homeowner, I guess!

One area that was further down our list for completion is the back porch. We love it and use it a lot, but being that it's not covered and it's seasonal, we've taken our time with it.

A few months ago, I spotted these moss-covered letters in the Pottery Barn catalogue. I love most all things moss-related, but the price tag ($79!) was way more than I would ever imagine spending on a letter (or even a pair of shoes, if we're being honest)! So, I figured I could totally do this myself. See below...

Step 1: I knew I wanted a large "H", so I bought two sheets of green styrofoam from Michaels. I had been tipped on the green color, so that you didn't have to layer the moss on quite as heavy. Hot glue the two sheets together.

Step 2: Draw the letter first. Then cut out, using a serrated knife.
(This took me forever, but that's because I'm a perfectionist. And I free-handed. If you don't feel comfortable free-handing, you can print out and use that as a stencil.)

Step 3: Lay down a generous layer of hot glue, and then lay down a layer of moss. I bought the sheet moss, and it worked wonders, so that I could do a big chunk at a time and so that it didn't turn out too stringy. Keep in mind, this is a patient process!

The completed look!
Below is an updated photo of where we hung it. The only bummer of the project is that it's been sun stained, and it has gone through all of the storms (and WIND!) of the past two months. I need to patch it up in a few spots, and I might try spray painting it if I can find a color that won't look like it's been spray painted. We'll see!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

bentley = tool

Don't let his curly hair and cute smile fool you. This man is a jerk.

Yes, I'm giving away the fact that I've once again allowed myself to get pulled in by the cheesiest dating show on reality tv.

But I just think it needs to be said, Bentley Williams is the sleaziest man I've met/watched/heard about/etc.

I felt really sorry for Ashley last night, as she watched the show for the first time, hearing Bentley's commentary. What a #@%#*@%*$! (Use your imagination.)

I'm really glad, for Emily's sake, that she wasn't the bachelorette, since he kept saying things might have turned out differently with her. And I feel really terrible for his daughter, who has such an a$* for a dad.

Monday, June 6, 2011

DIY: diaper cake

I've got a whole slew of DIY projects coming your way. Some were completed months ago (like the one I'm sharing today!) that I've just forgotten to post, and others were completed this past (productive) weekend.'s the diaper cake that I know all (3) of you are dying to hear about.

Obviously, this is one of those do-it-yourselves that is pretty easy for anyone to accomplish, without instructions. But, I'm sharing anyway! I have mixed feelings about diaper cakes...some people consider them super cheesy, yet I think they're a pretty practical gift. And the diaper cake fit the theme that we were going with perfectly. My best friend from when we were in diapers (ha...get it...) is having a baby! Unfortunately, Kathryn lives 5+ hours away, so planning a baby shower was a bit of a feat, working around her schedule of trips home. Finally, we decided that we'd settle on a super low key, fun, girls night at one of our favorite restaurants, Luigi's. Maybe it wasn't an official shower, but it needed to be known that we were celebrating. The diaper cake would be the centerpiece.

I'm a big believer that if you can do something yourself, you need to. So, here are the steps to completion...

Step 1: Find a base for your diaper cake. Start rolling diapers, placing them in a circular shape. I used an elastic rubberband to keep my diapers in the position that I wanted, working the additional diapers into the group in the shape I wanted. I also made sure to turn the colorful part of the diapers to the inside, to keep my cake white. Once the base layer was completed, I tied it off with twine (in case the rubberband busted).

*One thing to note: I checked Kathryn's registry and purchased the diapers that she wanted. That's important to do if you actually want them to use the diapers and not be a waste!

Step 2: This was when I realized that I needed a "backbone" for the cake to keep the layers from sliding. I simply took out the middle diaper, and replaced it with a cardboard tube.

Repeat step 1, with a few less diapers, to make the second layer as large/small as you'd like.

Step 3: Once again, repeat step 1, using even few diapers to make this layer even smaller.

Step 4: Finish off with some ribbon, a bow, and possibly a monogram. Whatever floats your boat!
I also made some votives out of baby food jars (that were emptied and cleaned), filled with jelly beans and a tea light, wrapped in ribbon. Unfortunately, I didn't get a great picture of that, so you'll have to use your imagination. The best part...Kathryn was craving jelly beans that night. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011


Lil' sister turns 27 tomorrow! She'll be celebrating in Pascagoula, MS because she's always wanted to visit. Kidding. (Not that people can't vacation in Pascagoula...) She'll be celebrating her bday at an engagement party for some close friends. So, I took her out when she came through ATL.

Happy Birthday, RA! I can't imagine life without so many ways! :)

Also in big news this of my best friends got engaged! Shellie met Jose almost one year ago, and they are getting married in October. I don't know if I'm speaking for everyone, but once you're married, it makes watching your friends fall in love that much greater. I really think so. God is good! Or, thank you, Jesus, as the Cochran ladies would say.

Friends and family celebrating at Tijuana Joe's

And, finally, this has nothing to do with celebrating, but just because he's the cutest pup in the world. Here's Mr. Scout.

Don't you love how he's got the whole smoky eye look going on?!

One of my favorite things about him...his white eyelashes!! Can you see them?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Howell Mill Food Truck Park

The West Side has gotten even cooler. On Tuesday nights during the summer, you'll see food trucks galore in the newly deemed Howell Mill Food Truck Park.

Apparently, every Tuesday this summer, the food trucks will arrive at this spot, and eager consumers will gather for some yummy food and plenty of options. There's quite the variety of trucks, which means I anticipate trying out all of them by the time this thing wraps up!

The event was within walking distance for us, which was fortunate as parking seemed a bit of a nightmare. Scout decided to join us, and he was so over-stimulated that I'm not sure he knew what to think. He walked around eating everyone's dropped bits of tacos, BBQ, and even a raspberry lime popsicle! Good thing for us that he's got a strong stomach.

The combo of fun neighbors (+ some ppl who aren't quite neighbors), live music, and some seriously good food, we had so much fun.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures, but I nabbed a few from one of the unofficial write-ups, Dr. Princess' Blog.