Posted by: Bethany Davis | November 12, 2012

Vera’s Toy Nook

It seems every house with kids has this dilemma — Where do we store the toys?! We wanted Vera to have access to some toys in an area that we also liked to spend time. Yet, we didn’t want our living room taken over by kids stuff. The solution was to get another Ikea expedit, so Vera could access her toys and be able to put them away herself (a very important detail!).

The bins at IKEA were $5 and unfortunately come in only a few colors. So, I happened to see some at Kroger go on sale for $2 each in a lovely lime green/yellow color. (Side note: I’d like to get a little rug in go infront of the expedit, but I’m still on the hunt.)

Notice the “masterpieces” hanging from a piece of wire? (And, no, Vera didn’t color these, that would be my dear husband) The wire was an Ikea inspiration, but the official “DEKA” cost $7, whereas mine was done for free with materials on hand.

As we installed our Ikea shelf, we left the top screws out a little bit so we could wrap some wire around them. Then finished screwing them in to secure the wire. I had some mini, yellow, plastic close pins in my craft stash, too.

The framed art (actual masterpieces!) were a Christmas gift from my college friend, Janna, now an artist in NYC.

The safari-looking mug and the zebra were a gift to Vera from my college roommate, Catherine, who was in Africa last year. (And, is getting ready to go back in a few days!)

We’re happy with the result of what was once an area exploding with toys. So for, its been easy to maintain and adds a little color between our kitchen and living room.

Posted by: Bethany Davis | November 11, 2012

Smyrna Food Truck Nite

We finally made it out to Taylor-Brawner Park where the food trucks gather every Tuesday night. Lots of kids, food, and live music. Thankfully there is a playground, so one of us could stand in line while the other played with our very active child.

We decided on Mix’d up, which had some killer fries and different types of burgers. I chose the lamb burger topped with tzatziki… yum!

Here’s a few pictures from our night out together…

we support our local artists


Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 18, 2012

Our DIY curtain rods


We counted 9 windows in our house that needed some kind of window treatment. When you calculate the cost of curtains and curtain rods – it adds up! We did some brainstorming to come up with the cheapest possible option. On average, curtain rods cost about $20, depending on the size of the window and how fancy you want the finials.

We were able to outfit nine windows for an average of $4.11 a window. The total cost us $37 – where store bought ones would have totaled $180!

How’d we do it? We found this blog with some fairly easy how-to directions. Here’s the supplies we bought:

  • 1/2 inch EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit cut to length
  • 1/2 inch conduit straps
  • 2.5 inch L brackets
  • Nut and bolt to attach conduit strap to L bracket
  • Spray paint, optional
  • Screws and wall anchors (we had these on hand)

The trip to Home Depot took a little while (especially with an animal-cracker-eating-16-month-old in the cart!). But we finally got the EMT cut to our measurements and picked out some white spray paint for some of the rooms.

Brian did a great job installing each of the sets, and I’ve been trying to find the right curtains for each room. I’m thinking of making some burlap chevron ones for the craft room… I will let you know when I get to it!



Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 17, 2012

tomato pickin’ with mom

sitting with the best “mayo” picker around 🙂

One mega perk about our rental house is the amazing garden. We have fruit trees (apple, asian pear, fig), berries (blueberries, strawberries, snozzberries (jk!), asparagus, leeks, oregano, LOTS of tomatoes (cherry & heirloom, and lots of collards. Yum! I hope we can continue the planting next year, too.

What a blessing to reap the harvest. In the garden and also in this season of life. Galations 5 talks about “the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (5:8-9. NIV) Sometimes the only “reaping” it seems I see is knowing that I’ve been obedient to the Lord through a difficult time. And believe me — God is enough! But, sometimes we reap things in this life after a season of waiting. Looking out at our garden reminds me of that — we are in a season of reaping the Lord’s blessings.

Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 16, 2012

Haley + Alexander’s Alabama wedding

We love IMPACT360 weddings, especially when it turns into a reunion with other alums. We traveled to Fort Payne, Alabama, to see Haley wed Alexander on Saturday. Haley was a honorary bridesmaid in our wedding and HUGE help generating ideas and helping pull them off. It was a joy to be present at her big day, too. If you have two minutes, check out their super cute save the date video. Don’t you just love their style? 🙂

We arrived on Friday night in time for a late supper at our hosts- friends of Haley’s family. We enjoyed getting to see a bit of Fort Payne on Saturday before the wedding. Brian took Vera to the playground in town and I picked out a gift for the couple off their registry at a local antique shop, Myrtle Janes.

The Saturday night wedding was simply lovely — the ceremony was at barn and the reception was outside on Haley’s parents property.

Vera did okay at the ceremony – except for saying “eyeball” repeatedly as she pointed at Brian’s eyes. And, between eating goldfish, she was sticking them under Brian’s suit jacket lapel and saying, “bye, bye!” to each one. That’s what you want as the background music during your wedding, right?




Haley’s dress was hand-made and the bridesmaids all wore similar, but unique vintage-looking dresses. It’s fun to go to weddings and comment how much the event resembles the bridge and groom – this wedding was definitely one of those! Check back here for their professional wedding pictures (and note that Heather Hester Photography took the couples shot above!)

The reception was a smorgasbord of food and laughter. We loved catching up with I360 people who live all across the nation. The cake spread was impressive and we loved the homemade jam in tiny mason jars as thank you favors. Vera and Brian danced their first daddy-daughter dance together. 🙂 so cute!

Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 14, 2012

Goodbye icky wood paneling

Confession: I have a thing against wood paneling. I feel claustrophobic. can’t. breathe. want to get out.

And, it makes me think of the 60s. A good era, nonetheless, but the design doesn’t always jive with my modern/vintage vibe. The retro stove in our kitchen? Rockin. The wood paneling room? Not cool.

One condition I had about moving forward with our rental house was painting over the wood. Thankfully, the owners agreed it was hideous. (well, they didn’t exactly use that word, but they were eager to let us do all work to paint it).

I asked for some advice on facebook – What’s the best way to paint over wood paneling? I got some great responses! In the end, we chose to put the extra effort in and sand the walls before painting them. I think this was a wise decision, even though it was a long 2 hours of both of us sanding. I walked away with blisters. ouch.

We used the same paint the owners had used on the other walls – a Behr paint and primer in one. It was expensive to buy the extra gallons, but it went on super smooth. And, we were thankful for friends Phil and Heidi, who let us highjack our evening with them and devote it to painting til 10pm. true friends, right there!

We also had to do something about the wagon wheel nights. They came down when we painted and were replaced with some Ikea track lighting.

The room is still a work in progress, but much more livable and bright with the walls painted and lights updated. My stained glass piece also fits well in the window to the sunroom.

Here’s some other purchases we made:

– a desk at goodwill for $15
– 2×3 rug from Family Dollar for $6
– turquoise curtain panels from Ross for $6/piece

We were able to reuse our barn wood shelves that we made for the Brumby. I’m still looking for a little bench or chair to go by the door to the sunroom and maybe a little table or something for another corner. But, I’m happy the room has come this far! The room has gone for being a storage room (at best) to our master bedroom. Success!

Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 13, 2012

Blue Ridge Lake House Vacation

I’m so thankful we had a few days to sneak away before Brian started as operator. We went to one of the most relaxing places we could think of — Brian’s grandparent’s lakehouse in north Georgia We left after church on Sunday, and snapped a few pictures in a dress Nancy H. made for Vera. We think she’s pretty stinkin’ cute in it!

It was the perfect rainy weekend to stay inside and snuggle up with a cup of tea. We were able to do some fiction reading, play board games, watch Elmo’s world, rent some DVDs for when Vera went to bed, and color some pictures.

The only time we left the house was when we did some geocaching (in between rain showers) nearby. It was a pretty successful day – we found 3 of 3! Vera did get into a little mischief being cooped up in the house… see below!

Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 12, 2012

Taste of Smyrna

Taste of Smyrna was the perfect way to test out the local food joints. We found a few we want to go back to, and a few that we will be staying away from. And… don’t judge… We came hungry and just couldn’t pass up the Deep Fried Brownie stand… 😉

Vera enjoyed the live music and spent her time dancing in the grass and pointed out all the dogs and balloons that wandered by. We tried a little Cowlicks frozen yogurt – and I think Vera had more than I did!

The food was fun, but we really enjoyed spending a leisurely Saturday afternoon together. We’re so thankful to be grounded here in Smryna!

Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 11, 2012

Lofted Bed renovations

our original bed design in 2009

After getting married and moving into the Brumby Lofts, we had a crazy idea to make our own lofted bed. With around 700 sq feet of space, we needed as much storage as we could get! (Read the 2009 blog post here and see the final product here).

Even though we loved the bed, we always had the same issue — no where to keep our phones, alarm clocks, etc… at night. We tried building some tall night stands (what the lights are resting on in the picture) with a ledge behind them. But, they were wobbly and just not right fit.

the new re-designed shelf

Brian had a stroke of genius when we decided to reassemble our bed here in our new rental home. (Although we thought we’d be saying good bye forever when we packing it up and put it in storage!) Brian cut another piece of barn wood and attached it to the top of the frame behind our pillows. Now we have a perfect place to put our bendy reading lights (inspired by the ones at the Excellence, where we stayed on our honeymoon, as pictured here next to the pillows).

It’s fun to have our bed back new and improved – with a ledge and a new mattress and low-profile box springs! (and ps – this the former wood paneling room… now a lovely white! more to come on that renovation as well) 🙂


Posted by: Bethany Davis | October 10, 2012

The Smyrna Top Ten List

Even though we use to live 15 minutes away from Smyrna, we knew little about it’s hidden gems. So far, we like what we see! Smyrna is  known as the “Jonquil City,” and I also learned that Julia Roberts grew up here and went to Campbell High School- wow!

We’ve met a lot of people in our demographic (young married with kids) and found some fun family friendly activities. After Brian’s CFA graduation, we made our first visit to the Smyrna Village. Along with my parents we ate at the Corner Taqueria.

During our travels in the Interim Manager Program, we always made our top ten list of things we wanted to do before moving onto our next location. Although we are here indefinitely, it seemed fitting to carry on the tradition.


1 take an overnight trip on silver comet trail. (we right on the Silver Comet extension, meaning we can bike from our house straight to Alabama!)

2 start a geocache on the Silver Comet Extension.

3 visit passion city church

4 visit charles stanley’s church

5 go to the world of coke. (Brian’s been before, but I haven’t!)

6 check out the margaret mitchell house

7 go to the smyrna library & eat at the market village

food truck night on Tuesdays at Taylor-Brawner park

9 drink a latte at rev coffee (only 1/2 a mile from us!)

10 run in the atlanta half marathon on March 17th.

Foodie Bonus: Go to Pappasitos Wednesday 1/2 price fajitas and enjoy some frozen yogurt at Cowlicks.

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