Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Little Word, Trust.

Trust: noun firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

This year I am inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Elise Blaha, and am going to begin 2014 with One Little Word that will resonate throughout this new year. The word I picked for 2014 is TRUST. Without knowing it, I picked the word BRAVE last year as I mentioned in this post. This year, TRUST is something that I know I am going to need as I am now almost two years out of college, newly married, and starting my career. Often times it is easy to get overwhelmed by the craziness of life, but I am going to focus on letting things happen and "Trusting" or learning to TRUST my purpose. I will continue to use this word for different posts throughout the year exploring what it means to really TRUST both personally and spiritually. Don't worry my blog will always have DIY projects and the like but I would also like to use my outlet to its full capacity and I hope it inspires you as well in some form or another to look within yourself. Here are some of the things I have brainstormed for my One Little Word.

trust in myself. 
trust in my plan and purpose.
trust that I am exactly where I need to be to go where I am supposed to go.
trust in my abilities as a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. 
trust in my skills in my profession.
trust in my faith.
trust in my husband to look out for me so I don't need to be so independent. 
trust my choices.
trust my instincts.
trust my creative talents. 
trust in who I am and who I am becoming. 
trust others. 
trust that all things will work out in the end. 
trust in my marriage. 
trust my ability to love and be loved. 
trust in the adventures to come. 
trust in the timing of all things. 
trust in the good of the world. 

Hope you'll enjoy this new adventure with me!


Smell Yah Later, 2013. A Year in Review.

Bought our Home March 2013

Image: Jamie Brant Photography

Got Married 09.28.2013 Fort Mill, SC

Mini-Moon in Southport, NC October 2013

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2013:

Hous.Love.Dog.Blog Total Pageviews 2013:

Most Pinned Hous.Love.Dog.Blog. Pin:
LOVE Upcycled Wine Cork Letters : 33 Repins!! 5 Likes!!

To Pin this Image (or any others on my blog): Either hover over the picture with your mouse and click the "Pin it" Button that appears or click here
Also, follow me on Pinterest here

This year has been crazy, fantastic, exhausting, exciting, and overwhelming. While this blog is a place I want to share the things that bring me joy, I never want to come across as if I have it all together, because frankly, like all humans, I do not. I would love to say that all of the things I accomplished this year have been easy. To me, being me, it was one of the toughest years for me personally. I really had to go deep within myself to be BRAVE (my One Little Word for 2013 that I did not realized until the end of the year) and put my game face on to all of the obstacles and challenges that were in my way. Granted, I got through them all, but it was not without some/ many very emotional breakdowns. 

I took on a lot this year. The rewards have been so large and fantastic but at the same time they came with so much more responsibility and being me, second thoughts. For some, on the outside, this year may have seemed so "over the top," so full of benefits being reaped; but, in fact, it was quite the inner and sometimes outer struggle all at once that really challenged who I am at my core. Yes, I planned a wedding, bought a beautiful house, had a loving and understanding partner along the way (I thank God for him every day), got through two mentally and physically grueling academies, started what may be a career for me, got married, and started this blog. In all honesty, (and I am not by any means being ungrateful or unappreciative because I am all of those things as well) as the person going through it all with my family at a distance and scarce girl friends in the area to help me at my lowest points, I felt like I was at times so undeserving of such amazing things and, very honestly, fearful that I could not live up to the responsibilities that they each require. Who am I at age 23 to be entrusted with such things that quite frankly, I am so unknowledgeable at taking care of (ie. home ownership and repairs)? 

Being BRAVE took on so many facets in my life this year. I had to step up to the plate and try to assume the role of someone who is BRAVE when in reality I am quite the cowardish girl, or so I feel, on the inside. I had to stand up as a leader ( I was voluntold to be our Assistant Class Leader) in my academies next to my peers who were often times older, much more seasoned, and the majority of whom were of the male gender. I was often times looked at as the "one to beat" when inside I felt that I had no idea how to accomplish the task at hand and would much rather have been a follower in such circumstances if given the opportunity. In the work force, I was challenged as a strong (seeming) female to squash my feminist views and try and conform or fit into a male dominated field while obviously having the emotional highs and lows of a typical female. At home, I was molding before my own eyes and beyond my control into a (slightly) domesticated housewife, making lists and requiring chores that I never even witnessed in a "two parent" home, seeing as I am the child of a divorce at an early age. Never mind the fact that on top of all of the male populated activities I was involved in through my training, I was trying to put my feminine and creative touches on our wedding, all while my inner divorced child mind kept whispering fallacies that marriages are destructible, impossible, and damaging to my future (very future!) children's psyche. 

Oh sure, this year was beyond fantastic in its own rite, but you see there was so much more going on under the surface resulting in many boiling over emotional breakdowns that my poor optimistic future (now current) husband had to bring me back down to reality from. I am deeply grateful for the courage I have cultivated this year, but again if I am being entirely honest, I am so looking forward to the calm after the storm. Yes, I have been BRAVE this year when instinct told me I was not enough or capable, but I look forward to 2014 when I am going to learn to take a step back, step down from my over-thinking/ second guessing tendencies and just TRUST (my One Little Word for 2014) that I am where I need to be to go where I am supposed to go. Cheers to 2014! 

Smell yah later 2013! Happy New Year! 


P.S. Sharing honest thoughts is very difficult in such a public forum, but I believe that being honest with my friends and readers is much better than faking that life is all DIY and no real challenges along the way. I look forward to 2014 and the journey that Hous.Love.Dog.Blog is embarking on! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Holiday Home Tour

Welcome to our home all dolled up for the season! Cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate or in my case a Caramel Brulee Iced Latte and enjoy the mass amount of pictures that are about to ensue on this eve of Christmas. 

This wreath was a last minute decision when I found the lighted wreath for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I just picked up the wood letter "F" and spray painted it gold and threw a bow on and that was it! Simple and Festive! Sorry about the green cord. Thankfully from far away it isn't too noticeable. 

I grabbed this Stag mat from World Market before Thanksgiving because I knew it would get picked over. I think it's one of my favorite things I got this year!

Once inside the door, you see my prized possession, the A Christmas Story leg lamp that Brandon got me this year (after a whole lot of coaxing I might add). How hilarious is it?! I giggled like a school girl the whole time I was setting it up. I mean A Christmas Story is my favorite Christmas movie after all! "Fragiiiile, it must be italian!" 

 This year we got our first real Christmas Tree! I was super excited that we found a family farm nearby where we could pick out our own tree. It was extra special. I even was able to take the bottom slice of the tree home and I plan on making an ornament out of it soon! 

For decorating, I personally like a classic tree with simple silver ball ornaments and a good mix of personal ones so we kept it old school this year. I did have to do a lot of shopping around to get a classic looking tree skirt. I ended up finding this one at Kohl's for about 40% off way before Thanksgiving. It is crazy how early you have to look for Christmas stuff to get it before it's picked over!! I am debating getting it embroidered with our last name before next Christmas. 

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments this year. Top right and bottom right were personalized at a mall kiosk last year. I got the leg lamp ornament this year at Hallmark (with a coupon!) because of my obvious obsession with A Christmas Story. And the flamingo was from World Market and I just think it's adorable. I also love the mix of six ornaments that came directly from my Ma and Pa's Christmas tree, including the angel one below that my Ma gave us individually wrapped as a wedding present. They were one of our most personal and precious wedding gifts by far! 

On to the rest of the living room... 

I had a huge obsession with stags/ deer this year so of course I picked up those white ceramic deer at Target and I'm sure you remember the DIY Anthropologie Inspired Mason Jar Snow Globes that I made earlier. 

I got our stockings with the tree skirt at Kohl's. Again, I was going for a classic look so we won't have to replace them with any fads each year. By the way, how about those grey horizontal striped curtains?! I made them!! I'll be sharing them soon but if you follow me on Instagram I'm sure you saw them in progress.

Can't forget Rhiley's stocking too! It's on the bookshelf on the other side. And look at the good girlie below posing for a picture while I was snapping away trying to finish this post [literally] right before Christmas!

I warmed up the living room with some comfy throws from Target and Ikea, along with that fuax sheepskin on the back of the couch that was only $10 at Ikea! What a steal! I also got that cute knitted pillow at Homegoods.

Before entering the kitchen there is a fun glitter deer canvas I made hanging below a wedding picture I finally got around to framing.

On into the kitchen, I ended up turning our bar into a "hot chocolate bar" with some marshmallows and dark chocolate. If only it were actually cold out and not 70 degrees so I could actually feel like a hot drink! Oh well, we can just pretend. Sorry northern friends! 

Above the sink (and all throughout the downstairs), I fashioned some simple pom pom garland with some textured yarn and hot glue that I used in all of the  "un-festive" corners of the house. 

Love, love, love all of our Christmas greetings from friends and family near and far! 

I updated all of the chalkboards throughout the house with Christmas-y sayings and lyrics. I am actually getting better at making the quotes look more like art and less like a hot mess. Woo, some progress is better than none right? 

And since I could not find mistletoe for the life of me (literally checked at like 5 different stores!) I just drew some onto the top of the chalkboard wall to deck it out completely. How about that little Rudolph at the bottom too? 

I re-purposed our tree slice cake stand from the wedding into a centerpiece stand which makes the kitchen really warm and a little like a cabin. 

Can't forget our decked out vintage aluminum tree in the kitchen! This baby is literally the epitome of retro at its finest! It's from my other Grandma's house and even though we got a real tree this year, I just had to set this little guy up too because I always loved its charm and it reminds me of my Grandma who passed away last year. 

Welp, Rhiley the Reindeer has retired her antlers, so I guess it's time to wrap this Christmas tour up! 

But not before sharing a little bit of our outside lights!! We didn't put a ton of lights up this year but just enough to make it look a little special. One year at a time I suppose! 

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year if I don't get to blogging again before the 1st. Can't believe it's already 2014! 

Peace and joy!
Allison and the Fitz's 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky: A Thanksgiving Recap

This holiday recap is almost a month late I know. But better late than never right?! Over Thanksgiving, Brandon and I traveled to Lexington, KY for our annual Housholder celebration. Over the last 5 years I am not going to lie, Thanksgiving has basically become my favorite holiday. Yes, even more so than Christmas. Why, you may ask? Who wouldn't love a holiday based solely around food, family, and shopping all in one weekend?! Am I right? Okay I am a little biased. My extended family is a blast to hang out with. This year we had some exciting bonuses as well. 

Our first stop was Asheville, NC where we met up with my dad and road tripped the rest of the way together. We were also able to stop and see my brother who lives in Asheville. He wasn't able to come up to KY with us so it was nice to see him right before the holiday. He also showed us some of his Hous Furniture line that just has been released at Uncle Junebug's General Store. If you're ever in Asheville, NC check it out! (My brother also made that rustic shelf for our wedding if you recall.)

How awesome is this rustic recovered wood headboard by Hous?? If only I could have him on hand for our house updates right? 

Once in Lexington, KY we enjoyed a huge Thanksgiving meal chock full of all of my favorites; turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole. Yum! My mouth is watering all over again. 

I went a little Instagram crazy as you can tell but we don't have this many photo worthy events when we're at home. Friday night we went to downtown Lexington to see the tree lighting and got a really nice family photo with my dad, sister, and her boyfriend **soon to be fiance, hence some of the extra excitement from the weekend.** 

We had a very solid inkling that he was going to pop the question all weekend, so obviously I had my camera attached to my hand at all times of the day all weekend long. Can you blame me?! Every girl wants pictures of the big question these days. Below is one of those "This has got to be it!!" moments where I was trying to inconspicuously take pictures of them having a "moment" that just ended up being only that. Oh well, it's still a super cute picture of them. 

Here's most of the 16 of us who were all in town for the weekend. Quite a good looking bunch of Housholders, eh? 

On Saturday, my cousin who was hosting us surprised us by renting a 15 passenger van to tour us around all of the sights to see in Lexington. It was an awesome day! And we thought we could never top using an RV to go black Friday shopping with 10 of us piled in... but she did this year! 

First stop was Claiborne Farms where we got a tour of the stables, got a little too much information relating to horse mating, and saw the stable where Secretariat was housed. We also got to pet Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner from last year! Most of the horses cost between 10-14 million dollars each on the farm which is crazy to think about! 

The whole gang's here! 

Next up, we went to my cousins agricultural school where we got to see baby calves, donkeys, and more horses. The kids even got to retrieve some of the freshly laid eggs from the chicken coop. This calf below had a perfect heart on her head! How cute!! 

Finally at the very last second (literally right before they left to head home!), Nick asked all of us family to head into the living room and take a seat. Lindsay, my sister, who had just gone to the bathroom thinking they were about to leave came into the room upset that no one was standing to say goodbye to them. Nick smoothly began by asking for Ma's permission to marry her granddaughter. Then, he walked over to Lindsay got down on one knee and asked her to MARRY HIM!! It was so sweet and heartwarming and I'm so glad I got to be there to see her face light up with excitement. So precious!! Congratulations Lindsay and Nick! We love you and can't wait to celebrate your marriage in the upcoming year. 

Ironically (and I'm pretty sure he planned it), Nick's shirt said "Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky." Touche. Below is my beautiful, newly engaged sister and my soon to be brother in law with their pups, Mugsy (the bigger one) and Lucy, their new Pomapoo who is the cutest ball of fluff ever. 

If that wasn't a weekend to remember I dunno what is! We definitely Got Lucky in Kentucky. Kudos to my cousin Kari for her awesome planning and a great weekend with family. 

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday as well. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...