Operation: Love My Home

This is such a random post… please bear with me…

Lately, I have really been trying to work on being content.

I’ve really been struggling with this, especially with it comes to houses. I am SO ready to have a bigger house.

You might be wondering what is wrong with our current house.  Nothing! Nothing is wrong with it other than the usual wear and tear that comes with owning a home (the carpet isn’t as white, places around the molding need to be recaulked, etc.).

Anyway, it hit me the other day that instead of hating my house, I needed to focus on all of the good points.  It really is a good home with plenty of room for Jeff and me.  Yes, one day it might be tight if we have kids, but for just the two of us, it is perfect.

So enter Operation: Love My Home.

The first step of this was to purge a bunch of the junk, which I pretty much accomplished last week.

The next step is organizing the house.  We really want to get our office set up so that it is more functional, which means we are looking for some furniture (particularly a couple of desks).

Last weekend, we went to The Ivy Cottage, a nice consignment store here in town, to look for those desks.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck in that department but I did find these awesome jars!

DSC_0506 I picked up some cute labels from Staples, which I think added the perfect touch.  I knew if I didn’t label them, I would get them mixed up eventually.

I love that they don’t take up a lot of counter space, but it gives me so much more space in my cabinets, which was definitely needed.

This might’ve been a small thing, but it made a big difference for me and I think it’s a good step towards loving my home.

What is something that you’ve done around your house that you just really loved? I am definitely going to need more ideas!

Varnam Family Vacation: Part 2

After the craziness of the first day of our vacation, the rest of the trip went off without a hitch.

The next day, we got the A/C fixed then got on to doing all the “tourist-y” things.


DSC_0281 DSC_0448 Some of the things we did included some shopping in Gatlinburg and the outlets, the Forbidden Caverns, Ober Gatlinburg, and The Island.

DSC_0475 DSC_0481 We also just enjoyed some family time. It was the first trip we have taken all together since our nephew was born 6 years ago.  Travelling with kids is a whole new adventure, but it was totally worth it! And as you can see, getting a family picture is an adventure in itself.

Have you been to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area? If so, what was one of your favorite attractions?

Varnam Family Vaca: Part 1

I’m going to have to break this up over a few days, so here is Day 1…

Over the Fourth of July week, Jeff and I headed to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge TN to meet Jeff’s family for a few days of fun in the mountains.

We left about 9 am that morning and were making great time, even with a pit stop to some outlets outside of Raleigh.

photo1 (2) I’ve never seen an outlet mall so empty.  It was fabulous!

Unfortunately, things went downhill a couple of hours later as Stella’s [my trusty Honda CR-V] a/c went out right outside of Asheville.  And if you live in North Carolina, you know a/c is a must in the summer time!

So we looked up the closest Honda dealership— how did people survive before GPS?!?— and stopped to have them check it out. They were able to narrow down that it was the compressor.

The good news: there was an extended warranty on the compressor so it wouldn’t cost us anything to fix!

The bad news: the Asheville Honda was just about to close and they couldn’t get it fixed that day.

They said they could fix it the next day, but we didn’t want to stay in Asheville for the night and pay for a hotel room.  We decided to go ahead and drive the rest of the way to Pigeon Forge.  We figured we could find a dealership near there the next day and get it fixed.

So we got some dinner and cooled down at a restaurant nearby before getting back on the road. Thankfully by this point, it was late in the afternoon, so it was starting to cool down.

photo2 (2) I’m not sure if it was the craziness of the day or what, but this was one of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

Having the windows down while traveling on I-40 is not the most fun, but in the grand scheme of things, not having a/c is pretty trivial, so I can’t complain too much.

We finally arrived at the cabin Jeff’s family had rented for the week.  We pretty much showered and crashed right away.

The next day, we got up early and I called a dealership that I had found.  We took the car over there and they fixed it in just under 2 hours! Woohoo!

Now we could really get on with our vacation!