Monday, April 14, 2014

simply sweet melissa

I'm kicking off my guest posts while I'm gone for spring break with the sweetest Melissa. She is an absolute doll! Her blog is filled with fun Friday favorites, pictures of her sweet pup, Miller, and outings she & her boyfriend share. Ya'll will love her blog, so go say hello! I am so honored to have her share here at sweet pea's today. 


Hey everyone, I'm Melissa and I blog over at Simply Sweet Melissa! I am so excited that Katie asked me to take over her blog today (insert lot's of excitement because I adore this girl) while she is enjoying herself over Spring Break in POLAND! How cool is that?! I may be a tad jealous and can't imagine how beautiful it must be there... So Katie, I really hope you take a ton of photos that you'll be able to share with us all when you return ;)

In honor of Katie's trip, I thought I would write a post on all things travel! Seems pretty fitting right? Well one fun fact about me is I LOVE to travel. Period. I'll always say YES to a weekend road trip and you can count me in on any semi-unplanned adventure. It's all just so exciting to me. Life is an adventure after why not get out an explore all that God has created?

As I look back and wander down "memory lane", I have to stop and remind myself of how lucky I have been thus far in my life because of all the opportunities I've had that have allowed me to experience different cultures, customs, dialects, beliefs, family values, etc. I feel so lucky and excited to share with y'all some places I've been, both near and far, and would love to hear of some of your favorite vacation spots, hidden gems you've discovered, and future travel plans you might have!

Charleston, SC (read my full post here)

Charleston is one of the most charming places I have ever been too. From the cobblestone roads, historic churches and gardens galore, to the extremely friendly people and mouth watering good southern food, Charleston is a must for anyone looking to experience a romantic trip. It's hard not to be thankful for all you have while you are wondering down Rainbow Row or relaxing in Battery Park in my opinion. And for those located in North Carolina, it's only a few hours of a drive and well worth it.

Asheville, NC (read my full post here)

My boyfriend Will and I have been to Asheville, NC twice. The first time we went for a few days and ran in the New Year. The second time we to on a tour of The Biltmore Estate, imaging what it would have been like when The Vanderbilt's lived there. Asheville is such a neat place. There are so many great restaurants to check out, tons of events going on, live concerts every weekend and hundreds of things to do for families and couples alike. And no matter what the weather might be like, you will always find something fun to do!

Greece (read my full post here)

Goodness, I don't even know where to begin telling you all about Greece! I studied Art Appreciation in College and was able to travel around Greece while studying abroad there. It was amazing. The weather always seemed perfect. Every photo I took always seemed to turn out perfect. It was like experiencing a fairy tale but in real life. Greece is THAT gorgeous. The artifacts, the culture, all of your surroundings are something I hope each and every one of you gets to experience in real life one day! This is defiantly a place that I could see myself never growing tired of visiting ;)

Ireland (read my full post here)

Ireland...where the grass is always greener and the weather always unpredictable. My senior year of High School my youth group took a Mission's Trip to Ireland for about a week and while there, had the opportunity to go sightseeing, chase sheep walk through castles and hear legends from all the locals. This was such a magical trip. The experience of going to Ireland brought me so much closer to God and left me wanting to travel the world and get to experience being a tourist, all while spending lots of time with locals and helping those who are in need.

And so sweet readers, those are some of my favorite travel spots! I've had fun getting to reminisce on these past trips and already have a list of places I can't wait to check out in the near future! Next stop...Savannah, GA!

Friday, April 11, 2014

the guest room

I am so excited that this upcoming week, I have two very special ladies who will be guest posting here while I'm off in Poland. They are such dolls, have written such meaningful posts, and I know all ya'll will absolutely adore them.

Before I go, I wanted to share a room that has come a long way for me, but still has quite a ways to go. The back story is that when we first moved to Nellis AFB, Austen & I went out shopping for house stuff with my best friend one night. When we moved here, we had our bedroom set, the guest bedroom mattress, and some kitchen dishes. That was it. We needed bedding for our guest room and bathroom finishes. I love my best friend, Jessica, and go figure, we both picked out matching bathroom and bedroom sets. Hers went into their master bedroom while ours went into our guest room.

I decided that while I loved the fullness of the comforter, I wanted a quilt on every bed, so I put it into the closet, as well as the matching shams. I'm keeping with cooler colors, which I usually don't do, and absolutely love it.

We need new Euro shams and eventually ((like when we move)) a new bedskirt, but I really like the way it's coming together! Especially the mix of throw pillows on the bed. I am completely still swooning over the turquoise Hawaiian snowflake pillow and matching knitted throw. That said, the African safari picture probably won't stay forever, but we needed something big on that wall. Yes, it also needs to be rehung higher. Things I know, I just haven't gotten around to.

double Irish chain quilt ((handmade)) / knitted throw ((thrifted))

I wanted this room to come together a little bit more and feel more like our style. We have family coming out to visit this summer and autumn, so I want to have the room pretty much set so that I can decorate other places. Like our sewing room/someday nursery. I am seriously at a loss for making a sewing room and nursery coincide in peace together.

Thank goodness for the guest room I like it too much to get rid of it and make it my sewing room. ;)

Monday, April 7, 2014

a wool blanket

My mind is all over the place this week, with Poland just a few days away, things at work are in the "push comes to shove" mode, and lots of great stuff happening up with our place in Utah. Due to the latter, I thought I would share a little wife trick today ((as Austen calls these sorts of things)).  

Over a year ago, when we first signed our lease on the condo, I went shopping at the thrift store for some items. I got some kitchen pots that are precious in red and green, and a wool blanket. The hubs hated it. He hated it so much, we used it for a few months as a dog bed, folded up by the wood burning stove. It came home to Vegas and hung out on the floor in our laundry for a while, too. Finally, I decided I liked the traditional tulip pattern and colors too much for it to go to waste. 

So I searched for how to soften wool. 

As strange as this might sound, what I found that worked was to "wash" it with hair conditioner. No joke! I did this twice, since ours was really rough and it worked like a charm. We use the wool blanket as a middle layer on our bed in Utah between a flat sheet and a quilt and it is soft enough that Austen didn't realize he was sleeping with a wool blanket until I told him. 

please excuse the crappy iPhone photo! oh, and the dog bones just in the background...

A word to the wise, though, is that wool will continue to shrink every time you wash it. We don't wash ours often, now that we have it to the softness we want it at. Just a heads up!

So there ya'll have it. A crazy simple way to soften wool. I can check that off of my "Little Wife 101" classes needed, according to the hubs... 

Friday, April 4, 2014

goals for april

This month, ya'll. I can already tell it will be busy, refreshing, and hopefully crazy bunches of exciting. I am so ready for spring. New life is everywhere and it is just what my heart needs. 

Here's a look back at March's goals:

1. Finish reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist.
2. Start working on my wintery X quilt, and continue working on learning quilting with paper piecing.
3. Master counting to 10 and the ABCs in Polish.
4. Declutter our master bedroom from anything that we don't use or has no meaning to us.
5. Celebrate the heck out of my 25th birthday!

Honest to goodness, here's how it went...

1. Nope. I wish I had time to read for pleasure this past month, but it just didn't happen. I'm looking forward to long flights and layovers to get it finished. I love the book, just haven't made time to finish reading it.
2. Yes, and it is challenging but so precious! I also worked on a few paper pieced stars that I love. Ya'll can read up on that here. 
3. Um, no. I've watched parts of Beauty & the Beast in Polish though, so I can walk around singing in Polish jibberish through the streets of Krakow. Because that's going to get me far... 
4. We didn't get to our master bedroom, but instead decluttered the office. It was a much bigger undertaking and I am so thankful that it's done. There are few things left to craigslist or donate, but I am happy to actually walk around in the room now! 
5. Ya'll can read up on that here

So for April, I don't want to be ambitious, just honest. Here's what my goals for April look like:

1. Teaching stuff. I'm going to leave it at that until more can be said.
2. Take lots of gorgeous pictures in Poland! Also, will be on the lookout for some Polish pottery, Easter pysanky eggs, Disney DVDs, and children's books. 
3. Finish reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and maybe start some of my Beth Moore books I downloaded ((my first experience with downloadable books...not sure what I think yet! do any of ya'll prefer downloadable books to the real deal?))
4. Change out some artwork in the house. 
5. Get the hubs to go through his clothes! There are shirts from elementary school in there... 

I am really looking forward to all this month holds. There is something so contagious and wonderful about spring time. I'm also really hoping our monsoon season hurries up. This sweet pea needs some rain!! 
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