Monday, October 14, 2013

COME ON IN!!!

It has been long enough, so I thought I would invited you into my apartment.  I have decorated and added to my furniture collection and think I have finally become comfortable and am ready for my sister to come and visit next weekend!!!  The only thing I have left is to get some mums and pumpkins for the back porch and my home will fill like a home.  

The first thing you will come to is my front door.  Now when it is not a holiday I have this cute Welcome Mat and Welcome Wreath!  So fun and happy!  However, right now my Welcome Owl is on the front door.  My cousin Janet will be happy about that Owl!  But every Game Day (whether it's Equestrian or Football) - my Game Day Gamecock is on the door!  Talk about Grassroots Marketing.  

Below are some Before and After pictures... let me know what you think!! When I first got to Columbia I was super frustrated.  In fact, when my mom was here I kind of went off on her because I was so frustrated.  I think all in all my home has turned out lovely.  I have decorated with roosters (or Gamecocks depending on where you are from).  I guess I am kind of like my mom in that regard.  If you have ever been in my mom's house she has rooster's everywhere!  Like mother like daughter, or so I've heard.  When I first got in the apartment the living room was so large.  It is a 16' by 20' room and so overwhelming to decorate when you first walk in.  I think the most intimidating part was that my living room and my kitchen are one area and there is no break.  As you can see from the picture (bottom left) I tried different rugs.  It was really hard to figure out which direction to go.  I ended up starting with my red couch and my brown pillows.  From there I decided to bring in some gold and off-white tones.  The lazy-boy was my mom's that I brought from her house and I have since added a buffet (that my tv stands on) and my two side-tables and my coffee table - both which I got from Ashley's.  The thing I like about Ashley's is that they deliver and it is put together!  YAY!
Boy my red couch sure does have a lot of memories.  From Oxford Park in Waco to Austin Avenue Flats and now to The Gates in Columbia SC!  Baylor hair is all over it - but I love this couch and many a night have we shared.  Many times I am so exhausted after a game, instead of being smart and going to bed, I lay on this couch with my little cuddle bunny and we fall asleep until I get too uncomfortable - man growing up really stinks!  (You can't sleep anywhere).  This, to the right, is my favorite piece - my buffet.  even though it is supposed to hold wine - it holds my TV!  It's the perfect piece for right there!  

This is my corner area in the living room (above it is where that ladder looking thing is).  It started out slow but thanks to Target, Big Lots, Lowe's, and Pier One I think it has come together nicely.  Please excuse the witches I have already begun to decorate for Halloween!!  My red chair is from Ashley's and I got that several years ago when I moved to Baylor.  If you can see the picture in the back on the wall.  That is a painting/collage that Molly Anne made me!  She is so talented and it says "Love the Person you are today." It is great!  


One of the reasons that I got a 2 bedroom apartment is so that if I needed I could host friends at my place.  I am hoping that in my time here in South Carolina I have several visitors.  My first visitor (besides mom and dad coming earlier) is Molly Anne!  She is bringing 3 of her friends and I have already sent her a gift box of goodies to get them ready for the ride here!  I am so thrilled they are coming.  It has also been a big motivator to decorate my home.  So here it is my guest bedroom before and after.  The bedroom is a blue/green/grey -ish color tone and the bed is a silver iron cast bed.  I like this room because I was able to use a lot of my shabby chic furniture from my apartment at Baylor in this room, including the white buffet which was home to my tv in my living room in Texas.  You can see that I have carried the rooster theme into this bedroom with the blue iron rooster.  Then I have a blue peacock type plate and candelabra on the other side of the TV.  If I had a boy I would mount the TV on the wall and put some books or a couple of boxes under it.  But for now I think it is okay.  Above the bed I have added 2 iron ceiling tiles that are blue.  I thought I would need 3 - but 2 seemed to work great!  There is more I would like to do with this room, but I don't have enough $$$ for that haha.




This is what is on one of the walls in the Guest Room. Over in the back corner is a picture of the Old Mill in North Little Rock. GrandMolly gave that to me when I graduated from Grad School.  I am so glad that I have a piece of history of my hometown in my apartment in South Carolina.  I am also shocked how much of this color scheme I had in my decorations box.  I guess deep down I like blues and browns?  Who knew?!?!


The next picture is the picture of the Guest Bathroom and the bathroom that is used by guests when they come over.  This is what my mom helped me on and I was so overwhelmed I could hardly stand it!  Mom was so patient with me though.  I love her so much.  Is the curtain not so cute!??!  That was all her idea and the cute brown and blue towel set above the toilet... ALL HER! Cute huh?  I get so many complements on it.  
Last but not least - my guest bathroom "Come Visit Me" closet!  I am ready for Molly Anne and anyone else that wants to come visit!

Next is my entry table.  I really like how it turned out!  A lot of the stuff is from Kirklands and Pier One.  I like how it is just enough to take up space but not bulky!  I hate bulky!  And do you spot it?  The Rooster in the back is a chalk rooster and I can write things on it - right now it says Welcome Friends!  And it's crowded on the table because of my Halloween stuff but usually it's quite simple.


Speaking of Halloween stuff - GrandMolly got my started with Witches a few years ago when I started living in my own place.  And I have added a few things this year... Including the candy tray!  My Candy Tray has bananas in it - yes I am trying to stay healthy :) I have named my witches and so those are the names next to my witches and what I call them!  



Last but not least is my bedroom!  My bedroom is massive so it doesn't look very complete but trust me I am only in there to sleep so it is fine with me.  I will show you my bathroom first.  I wasn't quite sure how I liked the his and hers sinks (kind of sad - and you all know how badly I want a his in my life) lol.






As you can see I was a mess when I first moved in.  And now I have stuck with my browns and reds and have decorated nicely.  The red beads on the sticks kind of get in the way in front of the sinks... but I like the center piece to much to care.  My favorite part of my bathroom is probably the decorative towels I got at World Market.  Are they not the cutest design?  I mean seriously I can use them with any tone - purples, reds, blues, greens, and especially brown!!!  I love the brown!  I am not super crazy about the shower/tub combo, the tub is really tall so it is always a slippery balancing act getting in and out.  Oh well!


This is my bedroom.  I haven't really done anything with my decorations besides the lamps - those are new.  But this is my same set up that I have had for the past several years and I am completely happy with it.  I guess the familiarity of it is comforting. The pillows, the colors, the side tables, I love all of it.  And so does Baylor :)  I am trying to show you how big my room is with all of the different angles.  My curtains are from Pier One and are a cute red/orange/yellow mix and so they match perfectly!  Over in the back corner is my mirror that holds my jewelry - or some of it.
This is my my desk/work area which never gets used because by the time I get home - I want to do nothing.  NOTHING.  I really sit and play with Baylor - there is no part of my that wants to work or even look at a computer.  Oh and I just added that chair from Target!  I found a 40% off coupon of one item - so I bought the $150 chair that matches my yellow pillows!  It just looks great and complements everything in the room.  This is my closet - Yes I know it is huge and I am even embarrassed to show you because, it is no where near organized.  I have added several shelving units.  I will say that it was so big I actually fit my chest in there!  WOW! So big.  
  
So there it is: my apartment.  DONT ASK ME ABOUT THAT TABLE!!! IT IS THE DEATH OF ME.  I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of the apartment and where I spend the few hours that I am not at the office or an athletic event!  If you want to come visit - just say the word!  


Oh and this is my favorite rooster:


And you can't have Halloween without Ghost Cookies.  And if you are single and live alone and like to host people - you need this miniature cake/cookie pan.  I got it for $15 at Pier One!  Its so cute and the PERFECT SIZE!!!!
Abby

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I am back!!!!




I feel like I say this all too often.  But. I am back.  I have actually been putting this off because I know that I have a lot to catch you up on.  Less then a week after I posted my last post my grandfather, who had been battling ill health for the past several months went to be with Jesus.  I know that he is so happy and he had such a healthy and full life, but I still find myself thinking about him or looking at pictures of him only to remember that this Thanksgiving and this Christmas he won't be with us.  That is the hard part.  Never again will I be able to hear him tell us stories of growing up in the city I grew up in, or funny stories about my mom as a little girl, but something I am blessed about - I knew my Papa Doc for 24 years and in those 24 years I saw how he fathered his kids, how he loved children, and how he led his family with the Lord in the center.  I pray that my husband is a Papa Doc one day.  That he has all of the characteristics that my papa had.  I love him very much and miss him still.

The reunion of my family was a great way to celebrate my papa's passing, but the 12 hour drive was looming in front of me the next day.  Thankfully, I have the BEST mom ever and she drove with me.  We stopped at my uncle's favorite stop in Birmingham, Milo's.  I don't see the point of the gross onion burger - but my mom wanted to try it.  When we finally got to Columbia I had the Monday off to get things settled in my apartment.  It was so much fun to have my mom there with me for two days.  I started work on that Tuesday and before I went to work I had to take mom to the airport at 5 am.  She is such a great mom because I know she was exhausted at this point.  (What is even better is Laura Leigh, my little sister, started school that Monday and she started her junior year without her mommy there.. best little sister ever)

I remember dropping my mom off and for the next 3 hours until I got to work, I balled like a little baby.  I mean balled.  I couldn't even put my make up on because tears were streaming down my face.  It was so hard to leave my mom, know that I was moving thousands of miles away, and that I might not see her again for months.  WOW.  I was so lonely in that moment.

Thankfully, God gave me an awesome place to work so that lonely feeling was filled with Gamecocks and sports and lots of work.  Not to mention I have the cutest puppy ever who was not happy about his new outfit (see below).

After being here a month - I absolutely love my job!  Holy Cow... How have I not been here doing this forever my entire life.  It's great.  I work 12+ hour days and I can not imagine NOT doing this.  Right now I am trying to juggle work, Baylor, and maintaining all of my friendships from Arkansas and Texas.  Being intentional in texting, calling, contacting, and loving those friends is important and I need to do better especially since those relationships have helped get me to this point.


Most people have asked me what my job consists of, so I want to try and answer that question with a few pictures.

My day starts around 5 am when I get up and work out (usually running with Baylor can't wait for the CrossFit gym to open down the road from me!).  After that I get to work around 8:30 and usually have staff meetings at 9.  Every other Wednesday/Thursday we do our Grassroots marketing efforts and go out to Greene Street (the main street that runs through campus).  On Greene Street we give out everything from posters to sunglasses to koozies and of course flyers with the upcoming events on them.

Back at the office I am in charge of what we call Student Reward Points.  Students get points for going to every athletic event and it is my job to put it all into a spreadsheet and send it to Ticketmaster to update the student's accounts.  The more points they have the better their seats will be at Football games, in fact only the top third of students (with points) get tickets to football games and you have about 24 hours to request tickets or you can't get them either.  Athletics has introduced another reward aspect this year.  Instead of just getting football seats - you can also rack up reward points for Under Armour Gear.  We are giving out Water Bottles, fleece pants, duffle bags, jackets, and polos... all donated by Under Armour!

Most of the time in the office, when I am not working on a sport or something for a game, I am working on Student Rewards.  I make sure all of our social media stays informative and up to date.  In fact, you should follow "us" (me) @GamecockRewards on Twitter and Instagram and our Page is Gamecock Student Rewards.  This is so much fun and I love being able to attach my name to something.

At first on Greene Street all we had was a table, but then we decided to add a huge stand behind frame!  You can see in the picture this is what he designed.  Students flood our table for the 4 hours we are out there - we don't even have a chance to sit down, go to the bathroom, or grab lunch or something to drink.

At our games, the marketing staff does everything.  We basically run the games.  You could almost refer to us as the directors of the game.  We run the video board, on field presentations, national anthem, half-time, contests, and all pa announcements (we write the script).

It is so much fun.  I have really bonded with the two girls that I work with as Marketing Assistants, Amber and Heather.  Heather actually played Volleyball at Arkansas and is from the Dallas area and small world, she knows several of my friends from Arkansas.  Then Amber is from Maryland and is so funny - we get each other into trouble a lot because we laugh at everything and we both get so tickled.  Amber is also my kind of girl, we go to the nail salon alot! (she likes to get her nails done quite regularly) I have found that I can pay $10 for a hot water soak and a 10 minute foot/leg rub.  While she does her nails I get my legs rubbed... haha it's the MOST relaxing thing ever!

This is a picture of us at the first football game of the season.  We were so happy/pumped/excited/stoked to be working a Gamecock Football game.  The scripts, on-field presentations, etc.. were just so much fun and so high-energy!

We had such a fun time, and we are all so great together and really work as a team and help each other out as it comes along because we are all learning the ropes together.  The picture to the top left is a picture from the field of our first game.  It was College Gameday and Lou Holtz was there... like right in front of us!  It was incredible.

We had an off week the weekend after our UNC game, so Heather and I went over to Athens on the staff bus, yes!  that's right the staff bus.  We just walked up to these people's tent and started tailgating when we got there.  It was a blast!  Even though we didn't win it was a great memory and a wonderful bonding opportunity for my new friend Heather and I.
Sorry some of these pictures are poor quality!  Just trying to get all of my thoughts down so that I can maybe go back and look through them some day.  And maybe I'll get better at keeping up with this thing. Haha here is to hoping. 
A lot more has happened, but I am currently trying to watch Nashville and type up my thoughts and it is getting kind of difficult.  So I will stop right here and let you know that I am alive, having a great time in Columbia, and at some point soon will put up pictures of my cute little bungalow!  
Hope you enjoyed hearing about my first several weeks in Columbia!  
Abby

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Porch Potty

When I move to South Carolina later this week - I will be moving to the fourth floor.  You might be thinking wow!  that will be a hassle.  And I did to, until I learned that there was a four story parking garage and my parking spot was near my apartment, so I am in fact going to be going less distance then if I were on the first floor.  The only bad part?  Baylor will need to go to the bathroom and that IS a hassle.  So I decided to build a porch potty for mornings that I am just running too behind to take Baylor 4 floors down to use the potty.  I think Baylor really liked it and I hope that it will work.

I went to Lowe's to get all of my materials and the most expensive part was making sure I had the correct equipment.  I met the nicest Lowe's employee, Anthony, and he helped me with everything!  I told him that I didn't know anything and he became my personal shopper.  I built everything in my storage unit, which was the best decision I could have ever made.  At the end of the project, I took my porch potty with me, swept the floor, and was done with it.

Not that ANY of you are interested in the porch potty... but I thought I would share with you my experience anyways if you are ever interested in building one.  This is my shopping cart before I bought the wood... nice fact to know about Lowe's - they WILL saw your wood down to the correct size.  This is a nice aspect because a good saw can become quite expensive.  As you can see I bought a staple gun (love this thing! A drill, and you definitely get what you pay for, mine was the cheapest $29 Black and Decker drill and it charged overnight and held the charge for maybe 30 minutes of continuous drilling.  BLAH.  So frustrating!  I also got a wood stain, a paintbrush, and a finish.

This was my shopping list as you can see everything that I needed.  They ended up cutting the fake grass, plywood, and vinyl matting.  You will see that my list includes bread crates - this was used in the original plans I was looking at, but decided to use stiff chicken wire instead.  The point of this layer was to create a gap between the grass and the vinyl matting so the potty stuff doesn't just sit on the vinyl and begin to stink.  We will see if this really works.  I am a little skeptical.  The stain I got is Rust-Oleum and is a oil based stain that is dark walnut.  I almost got mahogany, but they had too much purple/red in it for me.  There was definitely a need for the stain - it just completed the project and now I have it for the table I am working on.  I will give you a little hint:  the paint will not just come out of the brush by itself with water, you MUST USE ACETONE.  The acetone breaks up the oil and allows the brush to separate from the paint.

Okay here it goes the list of things to do:

1.  If you didn't get them to cut your wood.  Cut the wood in the dimensions you want.  I wanted to do a two square foot box.  Well I shouldn't have cut 4 2 foot boards because then they didn't all fit. So I ended up having to go back and cut the plywood, but it was a learning experience :)













2. After I cut the wood and nailed it together, I cut 4 scrap pieces of wood and nailed them into the wood so that when I put the plywood into the box it landed on an angle.  (it's on an angle so the potty stuff will drain out)






3. After I put the plywood in I cut the vinyl and stuck that through.  As you can see the vinyl fit through the hole at the low end of the box.  The board at the low end was cut in half so that 'everything' could drain out and I just stapled those in with my fancy smancy new staple gun.


4. Next you are going to cut the wire of your choice (just make sure it is sturdy enough to raise the grass off of the vinyl), the length and width of your box.  I chose chicken wire and folded it in half and stapled it in, the stable gun makes things so easy to place and put together.  I love it!  
5. Lastly, before you stain the wood (which I might do before next time so you don't stain the grass...), cut the fake grass and place it in the box.  I cut my a little longer on all sides, stapled it in, and then used my box cutter to cut the extra on all of the edges.  
6. Finally, I stained it - just once and I didn't put a varnish or coating on it.  By this point I was just ready to be finished with it!  I put Baylor on it and he stayed just long enough to smile and take a picture, but he wasn't too fond of it.  It will be something he needs to get used to... I might even go by a couple of squares of real grass to set on top of it??  Not sure, but I will be glad to have it, I am sure.  

Abby

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Favorite App

I have just recently bought an iPad Mini.  I heard a lot of reviews and for the most part I heard DO NOT GET IT.  But I was determined to get it, take it with me everywhere, take notes on it, and read books.  If you know anything about me - you know that when I am determined... I am determined.  I bought it and began immediately downloading apps in order to make the most out of my purchase.  I also bought this nifty portfolio thing that has a keyboard installed in it sot hat I can type on my iPad mini and on the other side of the portfolio it has a legal pad.  I took it with me to my conference in June and loved using it.

Then I began reading books off of my iPad Mini. That is a blog for another day... but my count is up to 3!  And I began another one yesterday - they just go by so fast.


The best part of my iPad Mini though is this new app that I found, and maybe y'all have found it too, but it is new to me.  Powered by Feedly.com, it is called NEWSIFY.  I got on my computer, because it was easy to maneuver and add blogs that way, but I never get on the website anymore... solely just my app.  So I began adding all of these blogs to my reading list (another perk - it uses the blogs you already follow if you are a blogger on blogspot), and putting them into categories.  Because I am moving to South Carolina, I have been following several news and local blogs from Columbia, which I obviously put in the Columbia category.  Side note:  One of the blogs, I believe it is powered by the Visitor's Center in Columbia, but every Wednesday the blogs about the top 5 things to do in Columbia the next weekend.  Let's just say that I can NOT wait to get to Columbia, man it's like a cookie jar, I can't wait to try some of these things that are going on there.










Here are some bullet points of the app:


  • Front page has both content, pictures, and title
  • After you read the story - it turns grey to show that you have already read that blog
  • It is the perfect collaboration between Google Reader and Flipboard
  • At the bottom of each blog page there are arrows, so that you can skip and go to the next story, a star so you can star the blog, a share button that connects you with different social media outlets on your device, and an unread/read button to mark each blog manually if you want.  
  • It automatically syncs when you load the page and I have not had any trouble with it.  









When I first downloaded apps to try for blog reading, I tried Feedly, Google Reader, and Flipboard.  None were as user friendly and as compatible with what I was looking for as Newsify is.  With NEWSIFY's home page, I can scan for topics that I really want to read and it is easy!  There are so many items that can fit on one page (much like my walls at home, I can fit so many different pictures and decor on them :)  I like a lot going on, it's "creative" to me.  This snapshot on the left is from my friend Kati's blog over at Kati's Get Away.  I love reading all of her stuff and I love most of all seeing these pictures.  As you can see, her blog is in my "favorites" group, much like all of you are!  If you click on her title - it opens in Safari and will take you to the actual blog page.  This is definitely the greatest app ever.  Oh and one more thing, it's kind of like mail, or messaging, it has the number of new blog posts that you follow as it updates.  As of 20 minutes ago, I had 153!  AHHH Thank the Lord for skimming and the "Mark as Read" button.  I urge all of the bloggers out there to get to know the NEWSFIY app!  You won't regret it.



I HATE NEW HAIR STYLISTS

I have a hair stylist in Conway, Arkansas that I love.  Her name is Robin Moore at Harrington and Co off of Oak Street.  If you are in Conway - use her.  If you are in Little Rock, use her.  and If you are in South Carolina... use her ( I know I will!)  I have tried, several times in several locations, to try and find a new hair stylist - each time... I end up calling Robin and setting up an immediate appointment to fix my hair catastrophes.  Today... is the worst by far.  


I have gotten perty darn good at knowing exactly what I need/want.  I like my hair more platinum, but not white - usually a 10 (with a purple or blue base) works wonders to break my base.  I NEVER have other people hi light my hair, just because my hair is so light anyway a base breaker is usually all I need.  Well home girl today didn't know what she was doing and this is what happened.  Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  My hair is lemon yellow.  Her excuse, well you said you didn't want it white.  Well, I didn't say I wanted it yellow.  Who wants yellow hair?  I looked like one of those crazy high schoolers who is trying to get Barbie hair and uses an at home kit, and it comes out looking like too much lemon juice.  Gosh it was terrible.  She has fixed it a little - Now it just looks like I have Strawberry Blonde hair which totally messes with my whole skin tone and coloration, but on Wednesday night (yes on my way to South Carolina), I will be stopping in Conway to get this hair fixed.  "A'int nobody got time for dis!"



I thought I would leave you with my little nugget of joy.  My sweet Baylor will be 2 years old on Thursday.  I can't believe this little one has had my heart for 2 years already.  I love him so much, I don't know what I am going to do with a kids one day, let a lone a husband (if that ever happens). haha

Oh and I am looking for some fun link-ups to do.  So if any of you have some to recommend, I would love the advice.  
Thanks!

Abby