a colorful life list: meet more bloggers!

Happy happy Friday! I thought today I’d share the first official update on the colorful life list I implemented last month. Plus, I feel like Fridays are the perfect day of the week to share something fun!

Since, I’ve been getting really into blogging lately (because I’ve actually admitted to myself that it’s my dream and why the hell shouldn’t it be?), one of the things I was most excited about on my list was meeting more bloggers in person. This is way harder than it  sounds, but I just knew that there have to be more awesome DIY/home bloggers in the Dallas area than just me.

So, last Saturday was my first blogger date with Savannah of Savannah Smiled.

meet-more-bloggers-savannah-smiled-2

In a sort of weirdo twist of fate, we actually kind of knew each other already. Not only did we both attend the same college at the same time, but our husband’s are in the same teaching program (and both math teachers!). While, Montell (her man) was over at our apartment working on a project with Josh, I recognized him from her blog and put the pieces together. I probably also really freaked him out when I barged into our office and said “YOUR FIANCE IS SAVANNAH”.

So, we met for coffee. Amazing, delicious coffee at Cafe Brazil. I had a raspberry latte and she ordered the rocky road latte.

Seriously people, we talked for four hours without so much as an awkward pause. We chatted up blogs, diy projects, husbands, teaching, and even IKEA. She is the sweetest and I’m pretty sure there will be more coffee dates in our future!

Have you ever met any fellow bloggers in real life? Are you a Dallas blogger too? I’d love to meet more kindred spirits!!

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this isn’t your grandma’s coat

Alright, y’all. Today we’re doing the unofficial Mackelmore Thrift Shop challenge with Young House Love! (If you haven’t heard this song, you need to. It’s hilarious! You can find the cleaned up version here.) The rules are simple! Go thrift shopping, $20.00 in yo’ pocket, find something awesome, and document said awesome-ness with gratuitous photos of your ‘ghetto’ face.

So, last Saturday, I headed to “Thrift Town” which is right down the road for me and set out for greatness. Oh boy did I find it.

thrift-shopping-challenge-1For those of you who might not know, “greatness” can often come in the form of acid washed denim jackets. I know it’s not part of the song, but I really think Mackelmore himself would be proud to don this!

thrift-shopping-challenge-7-copy

Really though, I found this awesome desk lamp with a pop of bright green. The first thing I thought of when I saw it was Emily Henderson. I could totally see this beauty being worked into one of her amazing rooms. It was only $9.99 and in great shape, but I resisted the temptation. Truth be told, I don’t need another lamp and after a solid 5-7 minutes of pacing around it, carefully balancing the pros and cons of stylish lighting, I backed away slowly.

thrift-shopping-challenge (8)

Luckily, I was distracted by fate. My greatest find was this gorgeous, vintage pink pitcher for just $4.99!! Not a scratch, dent, or ding on it and now, it’s all mine! It’s smaller than a standard picture but I think it would be perfect for summer cocktails for two on our patio, as a vase for fresh flower, or it might even live in our bedroom to save us late nite trips to the kitchen for a glass of water. It’s the only thing I purchased with my $20 bones but I am mighty proud!thrift-shopping-challenge-3

And, I just couldn’t resist giving it a little fashion show after I got it home and cleaned up.

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A stack of books, a flower, my  pitcher, and some fun fabric all in pink just makes my day!! Plus, on this first day of February, it is quite appropriate! (PS. You’ll also be seeing this fabric come back into play with an upcoming project!!)

Did you participate in the thrift shop challenge? Or do you just have any awesome/hilariously un-awesome thrifting finds to share? Let’s hear it!!

an ornament storybook for your special decorations!

Well, it’s finally the Friday before Christmas and I’m just in time to share the final project on our Christmas To Do list: creating a story book for our special ornaments.

Ornament Book Promo

We try to add at least one ornament to our collection every year that has a significant meaning or connection to our little family. Sure, sometimes I buy little random ones like an owl and these cute metal drink glasses from Crate & Barrel to fill out our tree, but my favorites are the ones that have a story behind them.

So, I fired up photoshop and created a template for each page going inside the book. Even though I really loved the idea of having an actual book made for this, I wanted to make sure it could be easily updated with new ornaments, so I chose a red mini binder from staples and also picked up some page protectors to keep my pages looking pristine from year to year.

Ornament Book - Solemateys

I chose deep jewel tones for the pages to keep it on the traditional side but still a little unique. I grabbed a cute free font from dafont.com (this one is Learning Curve) and typed up a little explanation of the ornament and the year we got it for each one.

Ornament Book - Golden Snitch(Yes, I’m an adult and I love Harry Potter. We both do actually! It’s amazing and awesome and I’m not afraid to admit it!)

I still need to create a nice cover page, but I am so in love with how it turned out and I can’t wait to keep adding to it every year. It will be really neat to share with our future kiddos and maybe even pass down.

Book Photo (3) copy

Do you have a way to remember your special ornaments and decorations? I’d love to hear about them!

get out your party hats, it’s a blog birthday!

Three years blogging today. That’s right, three years! And we’re just getting started.

TLC Birthdayadorable dino candle

Three years ago, I started a blog by the name of Are We Wed Yet to chronicle our DIY wedding adventures. Then in 2010, the wedding was over and my focus shifted from weddings to home design and living a fun life with my new hubby. So, we switched it up and now here we are with Two Live Colorfully.

Up until recently, I’ve approached blogging with a very loose structure, blogging when I wanted and about whatever I wanted. But I feel like I’m finally embracing the direction of this blogging and am ready to move towards something bigger and better. I want TLC to grow from my own personal musings and occasional project to a true source of inspiration for people trying to create and embrace a colorful living space.

So here’s to the next year. To more projects, more styling, more color, and more fun with Two Live Colorfully.

thanks!

Thanksgiving is mere hours away and I wanted to take a step away from the kitchen (where I’m cooking a 100% from scratch feast for four!) and reflect on the things I couldn’t live without. In all honesty, I have a wonderful and very fortunate life with a great husband, nice apartment, a job and though I take these things for granted all the time, I will always take this time of year to reflect on how lucky I am to be me.

image via

My husband, obviously. Without whom, I would be a very unbalanced individual. Josh is great at a lot of things. He’s a super analytical-thinker but he also has an amazing creative side. He broadens my scope to include things that I normally wouldn’t care about but should, like politics and how to pack things in the most efficient way. He also saves me from myself a lot. There is so much I want to do in life. I have about a million projects on an ever-lengthening to do list; I want to grow this blog, open a business, make our apartment perfect and so many times, I try to do these things all at once and burn out. Josh is amazing at reminding me that it takes time to do these things and that the people I admire in these areas didn’t become a success over-night. He’s my soul-matey and I don’t know where I’d be without him… but my best guess in institutionalized.

My family. It almost feels a little generic to just write “my family” but I think it’s important to take some time to reflect on the impact they’ve had on my life. Like my mom, she is one of the most hilarious people I know and she works so hard to be an amazing parent. My grandpa has been one of the biggest motivational forces in my life. He’s always pushing for me to reach my full potential. One of the reasons I always knew I was going to attend college is because he talked it up all my life. My Uncle Scott and Aunt Brandi are the most amazing family model. I was a flower girl at their wedding in 1995 and I’ve never seen anything but love emanating from their relationship. They got married young, they’ve taken chances, and, together, they built this amazing life. I have so many wonderful family members, each as unique and amazing as the next. Though I probably don’t call as much as I should, I love them all.

This blog. An ever-growing, never ending, creative project that I love working on. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and I’ve recently decided to really commit and try to turn Two Live Colorfully into something awesome. This means more frequent posts, more DIY projects and tutorials, better interaction with the blogging community, and a lot more. I’m in the perfect time in my life to pursue something like becoming a professional blogger so why shouldn’t I? It’s something that I love doing and I’m going for it.

It would take me forever to write out everything I’m thankful for (because there is a whole lot!) but these are the big three. What are you thankful for this holiday season?

YHL day + west elm window shopping!

This past Saturday was awesome! I have been such a giggly admirer of Young House Love for years and this weekend, I met John and Sherry! They were at the Dallas West Elm promoting their new book (which I ordered weeks ago) and I am just pleased as punch to have finally met them in person. Seriously, it’s like I’ve been getting ready for a huge date all week. I had lists and wardrobe choices planned, scheduling and directions pre-printed and entered into my phone. I was on a mission.

And you know what? They are actually nicer (and more awesome) in person than on their blog, which I didn’t even know was possible.


(Yes, I took not one, but several, stalker-y, from a distance photos like these and I’m not afraid to admit it.)

We arrived at West Elm around 10:20, enjoyed the cocoa and cookies, and reached the front of the line just after 1:00pm. But the wait was really worth it.

After hours of meeting an endless line of people, John and Sherry were genuinely excited to see us and I was just trying cover the crazy and act normal. They signed my book, I gave them some holiday trail mix and cute, colorful magnets for Clara (which I’ll be sharing on the blog soon!), and we squeezed in for a picture.

It has fantastic and, although the wait was long, I would definitely do it again!

After that, Josh and I took some time to peruse the West Elm (since we hadn’t actually been to one yet) and I thought I’d share some fun window shopping pictures of things that I loved!!

First up, these gilded, honeycomb wine and champagne glasses. How glamorous would these be at a holiday party? Especially New Years Eve!

I also really loved this paper flower wreath. Perfect for a neutral holiday scheme. The West Elm version is a tad on the pricey side, but I found a tutorial for a similar one here!

These colorful presents caught my eye right away. I’m a huge fan of pretty packaging and these are super simple but still so festive! Just grab some solid wrapping paper and coordinating satin ribbon. You could easily mix it up to fit your favorite holiday colors. I, for one, am really digging the brighter, more un-traditional colors that seem to be super trendy this year. Who says you have to stick to red and green? Get creative!

And lastly, this gorgeous dining table called my name. We’ve been contemplating springing for a new table and finally retiring the super tiny, folding card table we’ve used ever since we first moved in together. This one is fantastic because it’s super solid and simple with just a hint of interesting design at the legs. We decided to pass for now, in favor of saving money and going on a trip next spring, but this table still looms in my mind. Maybe one day it will be mine.

It was such a fun Saturday and I feel so lucky to have met two heroes of mine who are wonderful and so deserving of the amazing things happening for them. We also got to explore a store that sells a great mix of things that fit both Josh’s and my style, which can be a tricky middle ground to find. So, all in all, I’d put November 17, 2012 down in the books as a pretty rad day!

and the lame blogger award goes to…

It’s me! Good golly gracious, it has been over a month since my last post! Ridiculous? Yes. Warranted? Maybe. The jury is still out.

But either way, August turned out to be a crazy month in the Willis household. Mostly because Josh officially started teaching high school algebra! All of a sudden, it’s like we’re adults or something. He’s been dedicating most of his time to school and my mission has been to be a sort of safety net while we’re in transition (keeping the apartment clean, making lunches, and such).

Of course, I’m still on the job hunt myself, but it seems as though some progress is being made.

The weather here in Texas has been amazing this past week. Mid-to-high 80’s, with clear skies and breezes that I refuse to interpret as anything other than the start of fall (my favorite season, without a doubt). I even saw pumpkins pop up on my most recent grocery trip!

So, of course, I couldn’t leave the store without getting a fall scented candle and some candy corn. I’ve been stalking the holiday category on Pinterest looking for inspiration for the upcoming months. It. will. be. awesome!

But, in the spirit of getting this blog back on track, I thought I’d share my one-line-per-day journal entries for the month of August to let you know what I’ve been up to:

1. A joint workout then lake trip prep.
2. J & I left for my family lake trip.
3. Boating & swimming all day.
4. More fun at the lake, s’mores with Tabetha.
5. Home from the lake.
6. Back to routine. Grocery shopping & awesome workout.
7. Feeling a little sick but got in a workout.
8. Interview at Sugar Bee Sweets.
9. Poolside dinner & evening swim with J.
10. Watched documentary “The Business of Being Born”
11. White board making & school shopping with Josh.
12. Five loads of laundry & a workout.
13. Started Josh’s classroom makeover
14. More painting & celebratory dinner @ El Ranchito.
15. More work on J’s class & interview.
16. Laptop is caput, but new big idea in the works.
17. J bought me an amazing touch screen computer!
18. Goal: getting organized.
19. Perfect weather & a foot dip in the pool.
20. Blueberry & plum cobbler w/ homemade whipped cream.
21. A quick visit with Mom, Dad, & Rachel.
22. Day trip to Commerce to get Rachel moved into her dorm.
23. Whipped up some awesome posters for J’s class.
24. Brainstorm ideas for an etsy shop.
25. J’s classroom is done & awesome.
26. Enjoying the calm before the school year.
27. J’s first day teaching & a funfetti cake to celebrate.
28. We posed as sexists to post a joke review of a ridiculous product.
29. Inspired by ShayCarl
30. House & baby talk with Josh
31. Dinner @ Country Burger & organizing J’s class.

And now we’re in September! We have a lot of fun things to share on TLC this month, like the reveal of Josh’s bright classroom, holiday prep, and lots of organization madness. I joined the Home Organization 101 14 week challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons, so stay tuned for updates on that!