Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Apartment Decorating Inspiration

I told you I was probably going to overload you with new apartment decor! Today I'm sharing just a few pics/items for inspiration for each room in the new place. These items I either found on Pinterest or plan on purchasing (mostly from Target/Walmart/Ikea). I will just let the photos do the talking for now! Enjoy!

Living Room:











Master Bath:





Guest Bath:












Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Apartment Tour

This post is bittersweet as we are officially moving out of our first apartment/home this Saturday. I have enjoyed making this little 700 sq ft., 1 bed/1 bath square in Raleigh our home for the last 2.5 years. Funny enough, every time I cleaned I always told myself I should get my good camera out and snap a few pics. Of course, I never got around to actually doing it and I so regret it now! I want to remember all of the cute decor and the cozy little space that was our first home as a married couple. So bear with me as I put together a hodgepodge of photos to try and capture this sweet little space!


Welcome to Apartment #306! 

I loved this door mat that said "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" from Hobby Lobby a few years back.


The cutest customized monogram for our door. {Groopdealz}

And if you're wondering whether this caused any damage or fading, nope! We just took it off and you can't tell any difference at all.


This captures our living room the first couple of weeks in the apartment. 

The curtains are from Walmart and I've gotten so many compliments on them. I'm thinking of purchasing them in a couple of other colors/patterns for our new master and guest bedroom in the Florida apartment. The blue geometric pattern lamp shades are from Target. Quartrefoil black tray is from Hobby Lobby.


This is the picture of our Kitchen less than 48 hours after we moved in. We didn't mess around getting everything out of the box (everything was new and still in the box from wedding gifts) and put away. I am actually looking forward to this process in the new apartment as we hired packers to get it all there (that's the hard part)!


We had a large blank wall in the kitchen which was the perfect area for this cute little gallery of metal signs (most from Hobby Lobby), clock, and key decor. I love the sign in the middle that says "I like hugs...I like kisses...but what I love most is help with the dishes."


I hung this little red chalkboard (Hobby Lobby) in the kitchen area to post our weekly menu/schedule. I went with a red theme in the kitchen...mostly based around my most prized possession...my red KitchenAid Mixer, of course! I am adding pops of turquoise now to brighten it up!


Here's another view into the kitchen from the living room, which is all open. You're looking at the island (under the cake/gifts) and we have two bar stools there (no kitchen table/dining area). It is so funny that the kitchen in our new apartment is almost identical to this one as far as the cabinets, counters, and the exact same appliances. But, the new kitchen is twice the size and even more open. The island is huge and will give us more area to entertain and have friends/family over.


On that large wall in the kitchen, we made Tucker his own little dining spot ;)

This cute little sign is perfect with the little rug (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and red bowls.


This is the opposite wall in our living room (from the couch). Don't mind the Christmas tree and decorations! That is usually where Tucker's crate and basket of toys stays. At the end of this wall is a built in desk/nook area with a cute little chalkboard and desk chair from Target. 

I love the art above the TV. Travis gave it to me our first Christmas married. It says, "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you." It had such meaning as we got married, moved 8 hours from home, and started new careers/my PhD all in less than a month. Now, as we embark on another similar journey, it means that much more.
I love decorating our little entertainment center/fireplace for the holidays (even though the new TV is taking over). 


This is the wall above the couch. My Mom and I picked this frame set out at Kohls before I got married. A year later, and I finally had our wedding pictures printed and framed and hung up. I'm hoping to add a few other items to this wall in the new apartment to mix it up and bring in some variety and color.


This is a little sneak peek into our bedroom. The furniture set is very nice but also heavy and dark and huge. At the time, I was in love with this red/gold bedding set. But, in the new apartment I want light and bright to offset the dark furniture. 


Another view. I love the wall art from Hobby Lobby that hangs above our bed. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." You can sort of see the dark red and gold curtains hanging and the key wall art opposite the wall. 


We have a very nice patio (from the 3rd floor) that over looks the pool which makes it feel like resort living during the spring/summer months. The husband surprised me with this cute little patio set while I was gone on a trip to England our first few months here. It is perfect and we can't wait to use it in Florida! We love to share dinners out here from the grill.

In the bathroom, I had a matching red and gold damask shower curtain with cute red and gold sign gallery art. I took the red and gold bedding, curtains, shower curtain, and wall art and donated it this week. 

We are in the midst of moving craziness but are anxiously looking forward to settling into our new apartment in Florida! I promise a full tour coming soon of that. You will probably be sick of all of the new apartment posts! *You can follow along daily on Snapchat: mer_laine

Monday, July 18, 2016

PhD Graduation Party

 I recapped our 4th of July trip home last week but I wanted to share a few more details and photos from the fun graduation party my parents so generously put together and threw for me. Mom and I decided on a black, white, and gold theme. I lucked up with most of the high school graduation party decor items being on clearance since my party wasn't until the end of June. 


These "PHD" balloons were from Party City! I told my Mom the only thing I wanted as far as decor went were these super cute gold balloons as a photo backdrop. The huge white balloons with tassel garland came from Target. I scored them on clearance in the graduation party section for $5 a piece. They are supposed to float and the tassels hang down to the ground BUT...we didn't have a helium tank. So my AWESOME husband blew these up for me because he is too good to me! They wouldn't float so we improvised and hung them as a garland and they were perfect.


I had also mentioned to my sweet Mom that I had been looking for a sign that said, "She believed she could so she did." She surprised me by making this one with her Silhouette and gold glitter vinyl. She is the best! Can't wait to hang this in my office. And how gorgeous are those flowers and gold mercury glass vase?


The Dessert Table! 

The yummy cupcakes were from a local bakery (Sweets by Cindy).  The assortment of pies were from Burke's Bakery (also a local favorite).


I found these cute napkins at TJ Maxx and Home Goods that said "HOORAY!" and "Congrats Grad" in the black and gold theme.


We found gold cups for the sweet tea and lemonade and I picked up these cute black and gold straws and gold tin in the Target dollar spot. I found this "Love what you do" sign at Tuesday Morning on clearance. 


Travis does so much for me and is my rock through everything! I wanted to do a little something for him to let him know how much I appreciate him and also make him laugh.


I saw this idea on Pinterest and my Mom made it for him using her Silhouette and iron-on vinyl. Jury's still out if he will ever wear this in public. #probablynot



My sweet parents!

For the centerpieces, I purchased 8 glass mason jars at the Dollar Tree and spray painted them gold in different patterns. I did a few in solid gold, some just halfway up the jar, and others with wide stripes. I'll try to take pics of them soon as I plan to use them for decorative storage in our bathroom, closet, etc. It was such an inexpensive, easy, and cute DIY!

 We had white and black balloons blown up and placed them in the mason jars. We finished off the tables with gold tablecloths and white and gold circle centerpieces to go under the jars, We kept it simple and cute!


The party was hoppin'! What started as an idea to have a small cookout of close family turned into 70+ family and friends. I am so glad my parents went all out because we would never have been able to see everyone in the short amount of time we have when we come home. It was sooo good for my heart to see friends we haven't had the chance to catch up with in years! 

Also, an ironic/funny story. My parents rented the local volunteer fire station for the party. My Master's and PhD (aka the last 6 years of my life) were spent researching firefighter turnout gear! The irony of that didn't even hit me until we arrived to start setting up for the party and the total nerd in me had to scope out their turnout gear! ;)


Travis' Family


Our old small group family (minus a few and plus a few more since then)!


Can you say BABY FEVER?!?! #toocute


FRAMILY! These Friends are definitely Family!


He's always a good sport!


My face in this picture...LOL! It perfectly sums up how much fun we had at the party and also the next chapter of our lives. 

We are excited and also anxious for the big move and changes ahead. But I know that God has a plan and purpose for us and He is leading us to Tallahassee. So, we will follow, faithfully, and lean on him for comfort and peace as we step way outside of our comfort zone again.

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