Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick Lamp Redo

After sharing the below picture of our craigslist armoire in its new habitat, I thought maybe I would introduce you to another occupant of our living room.

For some time I had been lazily looking for a lamp for the living room end table.  By "lazily looking," I mean I was hopeful that thinking about a lamp would make one appear on my doorstep.  Would you believe my passive strategy actually panned out?  Well, close enough.  Last Fall, Matt's Grannye offered us some lamps that she no longer needed.  I was pumped!  One of the lamps was chunky and perfect and just the shape I wanted to round out our living room light show... except that it had a pink and green floral pattern on the base that didn't fit into our color scheme.

Enter jute and hot glue gun...


So, for a quick and thrifty lamp redo idea just wrap twine/jute/rope/cording of choice tightly around the base of a lamp.  I did some hot gluing as I went.

I have seen rope trending all over the place--clothing, hair and jewelry accessories, home decor--and I recently spotted twine bling on Pinterest, used to dress up jars and even wrapped around tin-cans-turned-charming-storage.

Quick, easy, and the price is right!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Craigslist Score

I have had visions of an entertainment armoire for our living room since we moved into our home; however, for 5+ years Matt and I have patiently loved on this stowaway from my college apartment days:

pictured here in current home

 Its history: When my college roommates and I moved out of “22,” we split some pieces of (under $100) furniture that we purchased with our modest earnings from our gig as the model unit in the apartment complex.  The entertainment piece was my inheritance from the “estate,” and has been a perfect fit for our complementary loot from Matt’s college days—a big tube TV, which we have also used for our entire married life… You know the kind… boxy, with more depth than width or height, and weighs about 3 tons.  Recently, Matt & I decided to enter modern technological times (after the old tube got zapped by lightning!) and we purchased our first flat screen TV—for a good deal, of course. :)

First, we decided we would cut out the three shelves on the left of our current piece to fit the new 42” television, while we started casually watching Craigslist for (hopefully!) an armoire.  The plan:


After a comical shelf-removing process, we realized the TV was not, in fact, going to fit.  So instead of our brilliant and thrifty furniture makeover, we ended up with the enchanting set-up depicted below:

 I wish I had a picture of the real deal as it graced our living room, cord waterfall and all. :)  As you can imagine, we kicked our furniture search up a notch once plan A fell through.  The problem with searching for entertainment armoires on Craiglist, though, is that only the newer models are built wide enough to fit newer (wider) TVs.  Against the odds, I quickly came across an ad for a potential armoire and contacted the seller about the dimensions to found out that we had a match!  So, the newest addition to our living room is this beautiful Hekman armoire that we scored for only $100!!  Sweet!


 And this is what it looks like open:

I still need to rearrange the storage spaces and drawers.  I want to find a good organizing/storage solution to move DVDs into the lower opening(s) of the cabinet part (below TV), as I am thinking that I want toy storage in the left drawer and diapering supplies in the right drawer.  That way, everything media-related will be contained inside the large cabinet doors, and we will not need to open the armoire for the other purposes.

I know this post is getting long about a simple Craigslist transaction, but I really want to share how the armoire actually came to be in our living room!  The next morning after I contacted the seller about coming to view the piece was Matt’s Dad’s accident, and the last thing on our minds during a week that turned our hearts and lives upside down was our craigslist find.  A few days later, my friend Kelly came over to watch Reed so that I could be with Matt and his family for the day.  She saw our not-so-subtle TV set-up (the rendering above), and we laughed as I explained our failed attempt at an DIY upcycle for our entertainment piece.  I told her we had actually found a piece on Craiglist and that, now that I think of it, I should ask the lady to hold it for us.  Kelly immediately insisted on taking the lady’s number and calling her for me, not just to hold the armoire but to schedule to pick it up and bring it to our house!  Long story short(ish), Kelly and friends tracked down our Craigslist find and delivered it into our home.  And let me tell you, that could not have been an easy feat; the thing is a beast.  I’m loving the armoire- not just because I always wanted an armoire and it is a great fit and find, but mostly because every time we sit in our living room with it we will be reminded of dear friends who went SO far above and beyond in loving on us!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Little Man Vintage (& a Recipe)

Some friends and I recently hosted a baby shower for a sweet momma to be, Becca, who is adding a little boy to her family.  Finding inspiration all over the crafty corners of the internet and bloggy world, we decided to go with a vintage “little man” theme—complete with mustaches, paper airplanes, and bow ties.  The shower theme turned out so cute and fun that I really wanted to share some of the pictures and ideas!  (Photos shown here are by photographer Emily Morgan, and I should also say that Emily (my sister-in-law!) is crazy-crafty and responsible for carrying out a large percentage of the cuteness featured here). ;)

The hand-stamped invitations set the “homemade” tone for our little man vintage vibe.

Emily (crafter extraordinaire) and Becca (the baby mama) sporting some chocolate ‘staches.  Love them!

For beverages, we served sweet tea, water, and lemonade presented in carafes/pitchers.  I loved the berries in the lemonade, and the mason jars with “bling” (vintage candy sticks in shower colors).  The paper airplane banner was strung over the beverage table.

Lately I have seen a lot of clotheslines used at showers as décor-meets-gift-from-hostess.  I love the idea as well as the look.  Emily incorporated “BOY” letters into the little man digs that we hung for Becca/Baby Caden.  Note that the clothesline also ties in with the stamp used on the invites!  Score.

The food table was kind of the decorative focal point of the shindig.  The centerpiece was an antique baby scale balancing mason jars of blue hydrangeas, and flanked by more mason jars, (some holding redvines licorice), and a few vintage toys.  The image above on the right shows one of my culinary contributions, m&m pretzels.  (I included the recipe instructions at the end of the post!)  In keeping with our color scheme, I used only brown blue and red m&ms.  The colors turned out a little bit too bright, I thought, but serving them in the galvanized metal tin tamed the overall ‘pop’ some. :)  I am sure there are candy choices to tie in lots of various color schemes.

And, of course, I brought home a chocolate mustache for my own handsome little man! :)
(photo by Abbey Mac)

Festive Pretzels Treats
You will need:
Miniature pretzels (waffles or twists)
Hershey’s Hugs and or Kisses
M&Ms or other candy

Heat oven to 250F.  Place pretzels on baking sheet, and top each pretzel with an (unwrapped!) Hershey’s chocolate.  Bake for about 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and quickly press an M&M (or other candy) into each Hershey’s candy.  Allow treats to cool, then place entire cookie sheet (or transfer to plate) into refrigerator to set.  If transferring to a party (like maybe a baby shower in the summer!), I would even store them in the freezer overnight to prevent melting en route.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011


I've been thinking about some "little graces," in the midst of the ache of losing Matt's father.  I just want to share a couple that have been on my heart.

Matt's parents took the entire family on vacation to the beach this summer, just a few weeks before the accident.  This was the first time we had done a trip all together like that, and we had a wonderful, wonderful time.  While it brings tears to my eyes to think about not being able to do it again, I am also so grateful that God allowed us to experience such a memorable time together.

I also thought about how thankful I am to have spent Sunday evening (the night before the accident) with Matt's family.  We had all been busy settling back in after our beach trip, and somehow a few weeks had passed since Matt & I had gotten together with Bryan and Julie.  On Sunday afternoon, Bryan called Matt and invited us over to hang out and eat dinner.  I am so glad that we decided to take them up on their invitation, even though Matt had preached that morning and was just waking up from a Sunday nap.  We spent time with Bryan, Julie, and Jonathan playing, swimming at the pool, and then out to an enjoyable dinner.  I even brought my camera for whatever reason, so we have these pictures from July 3, 2011:

Snack Time with Pops!

Julie, Jonathan, Reed, and Bryan- July 3, 2011

At the memorial service, Matt's sister Katie shared a quote from an email her Dad had written to her about grief (in the context of Katie graduating and leaving college).  He encouraged her to grieve well, saying that grief is a sign of a rich life.  That is certainly true of Bryan's life.  And that in itself is a gift and a grace...

Matt's Daddy
Meeting Matt's family - 2004 - Going for a motorcycle ride with Bryan!
UGA Graduation, 2005
Our Wedding, 2006
Murder Mystery Dinner, 2007... haha
Bryan's Bday 2008, explaining a mini, midi, and maxi at dinner :)
Christmas Eve Basketball 2008
lunch at Swallow in the Hollow, 2009
Proud Pops - 3 Generations - Bryan, Matt, and Reed
Boys Battling
Fun at Gavin's Bday, July 2011

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Loss and Legacy

I’ve been away from my blog for the past few weeks…  At the beginning of this month, we experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy; my husband's Dad was hit and killed by a car during his morning bike ride on July 4th.  I will never ever forget that day, and words cannot begin to describe the loss of such a wonderful man.  Our hearts ache with grief, and I know that we, along with many others, will continue to miss his presence in our lives each day that we walk this earth.

The caring bridge website has many touching tributes to Bryan, if you would like to visit and read.  Below is the obituary that Matt wrote for his Dad:

Bryan Morgan, 52, of Marietta, died July 4, 2011 as a result of a bicycling accident.  To Bryan, a morning bike ride was the perfect start to any holiday.

Bryan was born in Jackson, Mississippi on December 19, 1958 and grew up in Mississippi, California, and Pennsylvania before attending Drexel University in Philadelphia.  He has lived in North Atlanta for the past 30 years, and his business career has involved several stops including C&S Bank, Async, Interserv, Self Test Software, and Certiport.  Always one who loved a challenge, Bryan was involved in multiple start-up ventures that required him to wear many hats.  He often said that he was a “jack of all trades and master of none,” but anyone who interacted with him knew that he was a master of people.  Bryan’s incredible gift to make others laugh and ease an uncomfortable situation drew people to himself; his genuine care and concern were always evident.  The relationships that were most important to Bryan, a true family man, were with the love of his life, Julie, and with his children and grandchildren. 

Bryan’s greatest love was for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  His life’s goal was to glorify God through his actions, words, and deeds.  He talked often of Heaven and the incredible experience it would be to one day see his Savior face to face.  Bryan’s life was focused on living in such a way as to make the greatest impact on eternity.

Bryan is survived by his wife, Julie; son Matthew and daughter-in-law, Danielle; son, Andrew and daughter-in-law, Emily; daughter, Katie; son, Zach; son, Jonathan; mother, Betty Morgan; sister, Edith Ann Morgan; and four grandchildren.

Bryan was preceded in death by his father, Richard Bryan Morgan, Jr.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 9th at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia.  Details can be found at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Beltline Bicycle Shop, a ministry to Atlanta’s at-risk urban youth.  750 Glenwood Avenue, SE Atlanta, GA 30316.

We spent the week following the accident in a blur of shock and grief as we all came together as a family to grieve, receive friends and family, and walk through logistics of planning the memorial service and accompanying details.  We were blown away by the many acts of kindness as friends surrounded and supported our family with meals, errands, childcare, prayers, and loving words.  Matt and I have commented to one another on several occasions that we have a whole new understanding of what it means to walk beside people in crisis as a result of the ways we have been so well-loved through this time.  We are deeply grateful.

Bryan’s Memorial service was an amazing celebration of his life, and of the Savior he staked his life upon.  We worshipped with a few of his favorite songs, clapping loudly as we sang because that is what Bryan would have done.  My brother-in-law, Zach, sang a beautiful song in accompaniment to a slideshow of Bryan’s (his Dad’s) life.  Bryan’s friends delivered moving and heartfelt tributes to him, and then his children spoke in powerful testimony of their Dad, each telling of how he loved and lived well.  We ended the tributes with a standing ovation, cheering for Bryan’s life—a race well run in pursuit of Jesus Christ.  The service lasted for three hours, but it seems that the time was considered well-spent for those who attended.  Our dear friend Lauren wrote a beautiful blog about my father-in-law’s memorial service, “A life Well Lived.”  Friends have commented that the celebration of Bryan’s life was “unbelievable,” and even “life-changing.”  Several men have told Matt that his Father’s legacy has inspired them to alter the way they live and parent.  That is a true tribute, which I know means the world to Matt and his family.

This is the worship song that concluded the memorial, “Revelation Song.”  It is a powerful song, which looks to and celebrates our eternal worship of the “Only Wise King, who was and is and is to come…”

Husband of 30 years to Julie.
Dad to Matthew, Andrew, Katie, Zach, and Jonathan.
…and to “daughters-in-love” Danielle and Emily.
Son of Dick and Betty Morgan.
Brother to Edith Ann.
“Pops” to Cole, Gavin, Reed, and Kendall.
Friend to many.
Devoted Christ-follower, who ran a good race…
And finished well…
Bryan Morgan

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come.” – Hebrews 13:14

We miss you and love you, “Pops.”