Friday, March 22, 2013


I know all natural and organic is completely the rage these days, and I'm not one to lean too granola, but I can't help to love any beautifully designed, wooden toy. I know that most of them aren't as vivid and playful as the typical children's toy, but I guess I have too much of an appreciation for design aesthetic.  Well, I have been keeping a list of my favorite ones to eventually consider for Baby Owens and I wanted to share some of my favorites! What is your opinion on wooden toys? Love 'em or hate 'em?
ONE: These wooden cameras are too cute! I love all the fun color options - they even have a faux instagram camera, ha! 
TWO: How adorable is this zebra cart!? Makes learning to walk seem exciting, huh!? Kidding. Be sure and check out their outdoor grill and kitchen for all your little chefs! 
THREE: If you are a designer of any sort, then you will appreciate the stylish nature of these lowercase blocks! Nothing like an embossed, pretty font to make your day.
FOUR: This birch wood IKEA baby gym is easy on the eyes and bank account. I wish I had a trip to Ikea planned ...
FIVE: I am obsessed with these animal wood figures and definitely have all pictured on Baby Owens' wish list! I wish I could have them all, but at $10 a pop I may have to settle for a few. 
SIX: I had these Dwell Studio blocks on my Baby Owens board, but just recently found them for half price at our BuyBuy Baby - #winning! I have them on display they are so colorful and fun.
SEVEN: These wooden cars are officially all natural and can be used as toys, rattles, and competitive fun! 
EIGHT: With Brandon in the road construction business, I can't help but gravitate towards any type of construction paraphernalia - jammies, toys, hats, shoes, etc. - so, these construction trucks would be ideal for Baby Owens to start getting used to! 

Friday, March 15, 2013


I guess with my nesting and spring cleaning in the air, the hubs and I have been in full force organizing around the house (my idea, not his). I love for things to be orderly and organized - I believe everything should have a "place". Sometimes that item may not always live in its place, but I like to know it belongs somewhere in Melrose. Otherwise, it is outta there! I try to eliminate all clutter and get rid of any knick knack random items that don't serve a purpose. That is just me. And I definitely try to donate all those items - I'm sure somebody sees them as serving a purpose! 

Well, the main organization project has been in the basement. Living in an older house, we do not have much closet storage space. Luckily, we have a handy, unfinished basement for the overflow. It mostly consists of cinder blocks, concrete floors, plywood walls, and dust. In a dream world, I would love to finish off the space and design a combination of these photos -

But that is not going to happen! It may one day be a rough play room, but until then it just serves as our laundry room, tool shed, and storage space. I have been able to organize it enough to have a work space for my craft and design projects, so that is nice. In the next week or two, we are hanging a peg board above the work table so Brandon can have somewhere to hang his tools. I hate having a work bench covered in tools so you can't use it! Here are some basement photos that I found and have been referring to while this project takes place - 
 I love plastic bins. And I love for them all to match. Call me crazy. I buy the same color/brand and store all our extra linens, party supplies, christmas decorations, seasonal decorations, and anything else we have a collection of in these. I also have pretty labels for them!

 I don't think I'll take our peg board as far as monogramming it, but this is super cute.
 This would be an ideal laundry area for our basement, but we just don't have the time, patience, or bank account to make it work. Although, hanging the curtains to disguise the cinder block walls are not a bad idea. 
Floor to ceiling peg board walls would be awesome. I like how everything is able to be hung so there is no clutter on the floor. 

What is your spring cleaning routine? Do you get excited over organizing a cluttered space, or do you dread it? I'm sure I'll be back at it this weekend getting ready for Baby Owens! So much to do, so little time! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DESIGN WORK: bids for bridges

Here is a quick post with a recent poster I designed for a local organization raising money to support the Camp Bridges Foundation. Every year they host a wine tasting and silent auction to help support camps and programs for children with heart, liver, and kidney issues. Here is a snippet from the foundation with more information -

Camp BRIDGES Foundation provides camps and programs at no cost for pre and post transplant children, teens, young adults and their families from Alabama and neighboring states.

We create a fun and educational environment for heart, kidney, liver, and lung transplant recipients that encourages positive self image and healthy transplant living.

Those served receive and provide peer support and form lasting friendships to better cope with the unique challenges of transplantation.

It is a fabulous fundraiser and I was thrilled to help out with this event. This year they wanted to update their look and promote the new name of the event, Bids for Bridges. Here is the poster I designed -

If you are interested in custom design services, please feel free to contact me

Monday, March 11, 2013


Hi all! This post is over 2 weeks late, but what can I say - I'm struggling finding time to post in between planning for Baby Owens, decorating the nursery, design projects, spring cleaning, and simply life. Oh well! 

I really wanted to take the time to do a special post to highlight the amazing Blackberry Farm that we visited for our anniversary/baby moon. I could not of been happier with our choice for the weekend. The entire property is beautiful and so serene. It provided the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing and care free getaway. The service was spectacular - from the moment we arrived, the staff addressed us by name and knew every little detail of our weekend. We were constantly flooded with "Happy Anniversary" and it made the stay so special. They truly cater to your every request and that is not something you find at every resort. And it is all very genuine and sincere so you don't feel like you are being treated like a tourist. 

Besides the amazing service, the food was beyond delicious. I will admit, if you don't love food and are not willing to try new things, this place is not for you. Since the meals are included in your rental, you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most unique combinations that you wouldn't find at other restaurants. I truly enjoy the whole experience of a "meal" so I thought it was fantastic that you were served a 7 course dinner over the span of 2 hours. The staff can explain each dish down to every little seasoning in case you get confused - which we did quite often! 

We stayed at the main house which resembles a bed and breakfast and our room was decorated to a 't'. Breakfast and lunch are served here with dinner at the barn down the road. The main house has several cozy spots to kick your feet up and relax - from the sofa and fireplace in the den, to the patio overlooking the Smokies, to the always burning fire pit. 

Here are some pictures (apologies for the iphone quality) from the weekend - 

we stayed in MAYAPPLE
Check out the beautiful fabric wallpaper! I wish I had taken a picture of the bathroom because it was black and white gorgeous-ness. 
our view of the Great Smokies from MAYAPPLE's window

The game room -  this room was open to all guests for lounging and entertaining. There is also a workout room downstairs. 
before dinner - 26 weeks preggers!
the largest guest house for rental on the left and the barn on the right
The barn - dinner is typically served here every night, but there was a wedding Saturday and they had it rented for the reception. What a beautiful, dream spot for a wedding! 
our dinner setting - obsessed with this china
our after dinner surprise! 
The pond and boat house  - open to guests for fishing, canoeing, or just lounging
Brandon decided to try his luck at fishing ... hopeful!

The spa - within the next year they are building a new, fancier spa and this will be a guest house. We enjoyed a couples massage and it was fabulous. Brandon isn't too fond of massages but he gave in since I agreed to go skeet shooing with him! 
Brandon posing at the fly fishing shop while we enjoyed a cruise on one of their complimentary golf carts. 

 just a little afternoon of skeet shooting - don't worry, I didn't shoot much, jk
and afterwards a little cocktail, and mock tail for me, on the patio before dinner
this may have been one of my favorite things - a basket stocked with smores goodies at the fire pit - couldn't resist! 

That about captures our entire weekend! I know personal pictures aren't considered as fun as adoring a beautiful home or a fabulous DIY project to some, but I love reviews and recommendations - so for anyone out there looking for a five star getaway spot, this is the place! It won't disappoint.