DIY :: Entryway Mail Holder & Coat Rack

Remember that post, oh about 6 months ago, when I was in search of shutters and window frames? Well between not finding exactly what I was looking for, work travel during the fall and then the holidays... it's finally finished.

Quick recap.  We live in a tiny apartment and have a real issue with staying organized in our small space with one of those issues being our shoes, coats and more importantly the mail. We've been in desperate need for some sort of entryway catch all to help reduce the clutter.

Over the summer while we were back in Atlanta, my mom and sister and I took a trip down to Scott's Antique Market to see what kinds of goodies we could find.  If you're ever in Atlanta when they are having it, I highly suggest you go.  We ended up having a pretty successful trip but definitely left wanting to go back again.  It's a pretty amazing place y'all.  So many beautiful items, and if you are patient enough to browse through a lot of it, you can find some really great steals.

I didn't find any window frames in my price range to hang behind the couch (no worries, I ended up hanging old mirrors I had forgot we had in storage) and I actually didn't find any shutters either... BUT I found something way better. 

I'm not exactly sure what to call it but the best way to describe it is that it looks like a metal pegboard you'd find in a garage, but with only 2 columns of holes instead of the entire board being covered with holes and so much prettier. Makes sense so far? Maybe?

We found it literally right as we were getting ready to leave and it was love at first sight.  Frances Domingues is the dealer who sells these beauties and told us how she hand painted them all herself.  Who knew you could paint metal like that?!  She sells them with metal wire hanging across it to hang things off of.  We also met a fascinating man selling old ammunition boxes which my sister bought me as a late birthday gift for us to use to store shoes.  It was a very successful trip!

In addition to the items we found at the antique market, I also found a wire basket to use to hold mail in from World Market and a couple of sets of hooks for our keys and coats.



The details:

Wire Basket from World Market

Key Hooks from Hobby Lobby

Mini clips came from Joann's Fabrics.

Coat Hook from Hobby Lobby.
Ammunition Box from Scott's Antique Market.


New Look!

Thanks to Moe at Five Sixteenths Design Shoppe for giving this space of mine a pretty little makeover. I am in love and giddy with excitement over it! You know that feeling when you redecorate or paint a room in your home? That's basically how I feel about this new blog design!

Not only are Moe's designs amazing, and she is so incredibly nice and extremely helpful! The process of working with her was quick and painless.  Within five days of me contacting her, she created everything I needed just how I pictured it, all I had to do was install.  Once she sent me all my files, I learned quickly why people additionally pay to have their design installed. Talk about time consuming.    Needless to say, I'm a little tired today. :)

There are a couple of new goodies around here.

New Labels. I am still tweaking a few things with these, so they may not work properly right now but hang with me! I've been fixing them as I work my way through the older posts that have lost their pictures (which is like a full time job) so they should be working correctly soon...hopefully.  It's been a little draining having to go through all our pictures and my posts to find everything but I'm getting there.

Social Media & Contact Icons. You can now go through my blog to find me on all the social media networks and follow along if you'd like. I always like finding all my blog friends outside of our blog world on there!

Blog Button. If you're up for trading, just message me or send me an email! I'd love to swap! My html info is at the bottom of the left-hand column below the picture.  ;)

Writing on this blog is something I really enjoying doing in my free time {when I can find some}.  I hope that in sharing glimpses into our life with you {the blessings, hard times, lessons learned, projects, recipes, etc.}, that all of it would point back to our Savior.  We have been created by Him, for His glory and it is His gift to us to enjoy it and display it in our lives, for all to see. So, thanks for sticking around and letting me share life with you!


High Five For Friday

I'm changing things up a bit this Friday and linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk. The idea is to post about your top 5 favorite things from this week but the first thing that comes to mind for me is actually giving a high-five to the fact that it's Friday. Anyone else? Yes?... No?.. maybe it's just me.

Either way, the thought of highlighting positive moments from the week, even if it's been on of "those" weeks (which for me it kind of has), is what got me interested.  Not to mention I have a tendency to go a little over board in the sarcasm department which at times can lead to me just being flat out negative, so what a great way to combat that right? No one wants a Negative Nancy around, Positive Penny's only please.

So here they are.

1. Spending the weekend in Chicago with Bobby. I had never been and I loved it. There is just something about city living that inspires me.  All the people, crazy tall buildings, thousands of things to do all crammed into one place; it just oozes with energy and I eat it up.

2. Deciding to let go of my fears and be more open and honest on this little space here I've called my own. It was a refreshing and liberating feeling hitting the publish button on that post.

3. Game night with our young life team is always a highlight for me.  Such a fun night, even if the girls lose every. single. time... dang it.
4. Finally dealing with my commitment issues and submitted my order for a new blog design. Whoop whoop! And, all the missing pictures should finally be back this weekend too (insert huge sigh of relief).
5. After playing phone tag for what feels like months, I got to chat with my sister who is now only 2 weeks away from her due date with babe #2.  A pregnancy/life update, quick chat with my little buddy on the phone and receiving the cutest video ever of him wearing his back pack around the house babbling away made.my.day. Talk about a happy heart.

And, before I leave.. a very very very Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Casey! Things like this make me wish we lived just a little bit closer!! I hope you have the most wonderfully special Friday-Birthday you've ever had Case! ;) Love you!!

Have an awesome weekend friends!


Fearlessly Faithful

Bobby and I have been having a lot of conversations lately about our family goals for the year and as those conversations continued to deepen, the words fearless and faithful came to mind which we are making as the theme for us for this year.

Fearlessly Faithful.

I hesitated in my mind as I started to type out the word plan as I began this post because I know myself and I know that I can hold real tightly to those so-called plans; not allowing myself to be flexible to changes that come and holding to my (usually unrealistic) expectations which eventually lets me down.  Maybe you can relate.  I can be really flexible (i.e. lazy) in other areas of my life, but when it comes to life planning I have the tendency to go overboard trying to control every detail which not only ends up producing mounds of stress for me, it more importantly always affects my relationship with God in a negative way.  In going along with our Fearlessly Faithful theme, I am eliminating the "p" word from my vocabulary and instead looking ahead with hopes, desires and prayers so that in doing so I may let go of the control freak inside, listen to the desires God is laying on my heart, and cling to the many promises we have in Him.

That said, here are my top 3 hopes, desires and prayers for this year {in no particular order}:

To be real, genuine and authentic. There is so much that goes on in my heart and our life I don't share on here.  It's not that everything on here up until this point has been fake, I've just been very conservative with the depth of what I share which, frankly, has been out of fear and insecurity. Scared of being too transparent out here in the blogosphere..  God has been revealing to me a lot lately about the importance of sharing my heart with others and that is a really hard thing for me to do, even with my husband sometimes! From this, a desire has been stirring inside of me for more of my true heart and faith to pour out into my life and this blog.  No, I won't stop sharing what we've been up to, places we visited, or crafts that I've attempted and never finished. Those things are all part of life too and I enjoy looking back at those times like I did this past year and reliving all the fun things God allowed us to do as a family. My hope however, is that through faithfully following Him and learning how to lay down my fears and insecurities, I can be more comfortable being myself and a lot more real on the blog in my relationships.

Daily quiet time with Lord.  It took me a really long time to realize that daily time spent in the Word and in prayer looks different for everyone and definitely looks different throughout the seasons of life.  I have always heard that the best time for quiet time is first thing in the morning which totally makes sense. How wonderful it is for our hearts to start our day falling in love with our Savior all over again, right?  It's been such a struggle for me to do this day in a day out and I always end up feeling defeated after falling off track but I know that it isn't the timing of our quiet time that is important, it is the quality.  It is not something to just be checked off the list.  What is more important is that I am intentionally carving out time to spend with the Lord each and every day.  The more of Him I have in my day (even if it is not first thing in the morning), the easier it is to let go of myself (my selfish desires, etc).  With a 5am wake up call right now, the morning is just not ideal, and I am OK with that. What has been ideal for me right now is setting aside that time before I go to bed.  One of the things I do to start off and to stay consistent in getting into the Word are daily devotionals.  I feel like they help give me a little direction and once I'm submerged in the Word with those devotionals, it makes it so much easier to stay there and just be.  Currently I am reading through a devotional called Soul Detox (found on You Version).  It's amazing and God has moved mountains in my heart through it.  This devotional is about learning to identify what fears and toxic thoughts or influences are getting in the way of becoming the person God has created us to be and learning through scripture what God's says about how to let go of these toxicities.  One of the biggest things I've learned to be very careful with what I'm allowing into my heart.  Things like the type of radio I listen to (like clock work I turn on The Bert Show in the mornings driving to work), TV shows (Bravo... E!... you know what I'm talking about.. trash TV.), websites and apps (Facebook, twitter, etc.).  No, I am not against anything secular, but if I am being honest with myself I know that too much of some of those things can be really bad for my heart. So I know that I need to be cautious and on guard when it comes to those kind of things.

Continuing our Financial Peace Journey.  At the end of December, we paid off the last of our debt (so freeing!), but, it doesn't stop there.  Through the program we have learned how to put a name to each dollar in our bank and have a designated spot for each and every one in our budget.  We are now at a point where we can look months and years ahead to set our family's financial goals instead of focusing on just the current month.  God has done a lot of work in us through this process, and it has been hard...and it hasn't been fun...but we are so thankful for it!

Peru.  This is a topic that has been discussed constantly over the last year.  Bobby has a family he lived with for a few months in Peru years ago that is still near and dear to his heart and we have always talked about going back together and do whatever we can to share the Good News while we are there. Now that we are out of debt we are praying for this to become a reality this year.   Now I just need to learn Spanish...

The most important hope and prayer I have, above everything else listed thus far is that as we pursue the desires God is placing on our hearts, that is mark of the Holy Spirit is evident every step of the way.   I hope that through our fearless faith in Him, the light of Lord would shine so brightly through us that it will be all you can see.  I know this isn't going to be easy, and this isn't to say we'll never be afraid, but when we are, and in those trying times, it is my hope that we turn right back to our Father, putting our trust in Him.

But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in  you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should 
I be afraid?
Psalms 56: 3-4

The same day I started writing out this post, a fellow Young Life leader posted on Instagram a page from "Dangerous Wonder" and these lines seemed to jump off the screen at me:

"Following [Jesus], it turns out, is not a one time, spectacular act of faith, but a one-day-at-a-time, ordinary, unspectacular following act of fearlessness that takes us through the most frightening and rugged terrain to a place of peace, joy, and abandon."

Amen to that! And amen to God reaching out to us in the neatest and sometimes smallest of ways. I love that about Him.

I hope to look back at the end of 2013 and see the fruit of the Spirit pouring out of us.  I pray to see His name, His word and His truth proclaimed through everything we do.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, 
do it all for the 
of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31


Free glasses? Yes please.

I know I'm not the only one out there who has noticed how popular thick black framed glasses have become, and hopefully I'm not the only one who secretly wished they could pull them off too.  Who's with me so far?

No one wants to waste their money on some popular pair of expensive glasses they hope doesn't look ridiculous.  Same here. I always get the same type the optometrist says "fits my face well"... whatever that means. I play it safe and go with it.

Thanks to Firmoo, I finally got my chance to tryout of pair of fun glasses I've always wanted to own. You know... the really big and really thick square frames that automatically add points to your IQ... those.  

Firmoo is an online optical store that you can purchase prescription, non-prescription glasses and sun glasses from at a pretty reasonable price.  They reached out to see if I'd be interested in trying a free pair of their glasses in exchange for blogging my opinion on them. Um, yes.  

Like I was saying, I decided to branch out and good for a pair of large framed glasses I knew I could never convince myself to buy otherwise and I must say, I'm not disappointed.  The glasses were shipped promptly (they arrived in about a week) and the quality is pretty great.  After a few hours of wearing them, I usually have small red marks left on the sides of my nose, but I get that with the glasses I've gotten at the eye doctor too. I'm pretty sure it's just from there not being any nose padding on plastic frames.  It was also really easy to put all my prescription information in while I was placing my order.  

Here are a few pics of the pair I ordered (CP6080). Apparently the manufacturer is phasing this pair out but there are a lot of similar styles on the website. 

Over all, I had a great experience with Firmoo, love my glasses and would probably buy from them again before buy from my eye doctor.  Here's some information from their site about their first free pair program if you might be interested in getting a pair of your own:

"The old opinion that glasses are only necessities for people with vision problems has already gone. Glasses are increasingly becoming a fad and must-have accessories for  celebs and fashionistas. Everyday we can spot millions of non prescription glasses wearers and we are constantly fascinated by many noted film stars’ signature non prescription glasses.They instantly upgrade your look of modern,sexy, vintage or geek by wearing different styles of frames.
Any hot glasses/sunglasses /goggles frames you want can be found on Firmoo, and all are available for both prescription lenses and non-prescription lenses. Are you desperate to have a new look? Now here is the chance, Firmoo has launched a First Pair Free Program to people  worldwide. You will absolutely fall in love with the excellent quality, affordable prices, fashionable designs, fast delivery and the good service after trying them with paying shipping only! You even can get a refund/exchange if you are not satisfied with them. It's totally Risk free, so why not have a try? "

If this sparked any interest, head on over to their website and check it out! 


Taking a look back...

Well, I'm a little late with this post (actually it's been hanging out half finished in my drafts..). I just like to do things in my own time.. you know?

Anyway, one of things Bobby and I like to do as the year ends is take a look back to recount all the craziness that went on over the last 12 months, praise God for His blessings and provision, and laugh at some of the moments that may not have been so laughable at the time.

It does my heart good to sit with the many seasons the Lord has taken me through since January.  It is a reminder for me that no matter what, my Savior has me wrapped up in his arms and that whether times are sweet or tough, it is all for His glory and I need not worry.

So lets rewind all the way back to the beginning of 2012 my friends.

January brought many of our friends in town for SEYA's {South Eastern Young Alumni Association} annual Affair to Care, marked the start of our journey to become debt free through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Program and also brought a bang cut I probably could have done without {see below}.


February and March were filled with birthday celebrations for Bobby and I, a debutante ball for his youngest sister and a wedding shower for one of my sweet friends.

Linds' shower!

Bobby's parents came to visit for our birthdays!

Senior Presents for Bobby's Sister!

April. Y'all. April was nuts.  We ran our first half marathon {ever} and moved homes all in the same weekend.  The weekend prior we weren't even in town being productive. We were back in Atlanta celebrating the marriage of one of Bobby's best friends.

Posts in May were scarce.  There was a lot of unpacking going on and selling half of our belongings on craigslist... and no Internet.  At the end of the month we traveled back to Atlanta to see the last of the Cool's graduate from Centennial High School.

June & July.

We were maybe home for 2 weekends out of the whole summer.  June and July flew by with 2 weddings, a huge family reunion, and a vacation on Long Island. But my highlight was most definitely camp with our Young Life kids.  God moved mountains that week. It was amazing.

Windy Gap!

The Meyers!

Family photo from Buckley Family Weekend

In August, Bobby's sister left for college, my brother started his last year of high school and my best friend got married.

The Richards! 

I like to call September and October "Insanity".  I did a massive amount of traveling for work, Bobby's sister got married (and I never blogged about it.. fail.), we went to weekend camp with our Young Life group, and  my little sister turned 21 which made me feel way older than I should.  I'm pretty sure a lot more happened but those two months are a pretty big blur for me.

The Callahan's!

It took me the entire month of November to settle back into a routine at home after being traveling for so long.  This is the "letters" month.  Every post from that month is a Friday's Letters post.  There was a lot of soaking in time at home going on and very little of anything else. We headed home at the end of November for Thanksgiving with our families, and got to spend time with my sweet little nephew.  Here a few of my favorites:

He loved his cowboy boots!! Just couldn't figure out how to walk in them...

no words.

cheesin' it with Nona

yes. they are all with my nephew. #ICantHelpIt

To be honest with y'all, December was a tough month for me.  I was in the Word a lot, praying a lot  but still felt this overwhelming feeling of sadness.  I actually thought maybe I going through a bout of depression but what I am learning is that it was sadness from my eyes being open to see the true state of my heart and becoming more honest with myself about how truly broken I am. The Lord has been doing a major work in me through this and for that I am thankful. More on that another day.

Christmas was celebrated back in Atlanta, as always. The day before Christmas Bobby played his annual Christmas show which was awesome, Christmas Eve was spent at my parents house eating the Feast of the 7 Fish for hours on end (which is actually up to like 9 fish now..), and Christmas Day we spent at Bobby's parents house.

Bobby's Christmas Show! I like this picture best because it looks like he just yelling really loud into the mic. :)
Me and the baby sis. Always checking herself before a picture..

Frying up all the fish Christmas Eve!


Christmas morning!

Cool's + Wrights + Callahan

We had a nice long weekend home this year for New Years.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time since we've been married that we have spent longer than 3 days off from work at home.. usually it is around the holidays so we are back in Atlanta. Not this year. I was sick as a dog, so there was a lot of couch cuddling happening over the 4 day weekend and even though I was sick, it was glorious.

Oh, and we ended the year with our final loan payment going through. How's that for starting the new year off with a bang? Woohoo!

about to make the payment...

payment submitted.
So long 2012 and hello 2013!

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