Category Archives: Real Life


So this happened…. tim-has-a-new-ride Yep, on a whim one day Tim decided he was ready for an upgrade from his Benz to a DIY dream machine.  We had been talking about it ever since we had to rent a truck to build our planters.  Then really started throwing the idea around once we declared a more active lifestyle.  The last straw was falling head over heels for one too many “that won’t fit in the car” pieces at estate sales.

When we realized the payment would be the exact same, insurance would be cheaper, and we could officially do all the things we want to….we were sold.  Techy Tim even got to keep all the fancy features he loved about his sedan.  Warm-bottom toaster seats, bluetooth, and get this…the navigation tells you the current speed limit.

Now I say we need a big project and a road trip!  If you are in the area, and in need of a fancy new ride….be sure to give Barreth Chrysler in Washington, MO a chance.  They were beyond friendly and made the whole experience (dare I say it) fun.  They didn’t give us any “mention us” discounts or anything….we just loved them enough to want to jump on our little mountain molehill and shout it out to the locals.

What do you drive?
Does anyone else have a storage shed just for estate sale projects?
Got a kayak we can borrow?

Written by Christina and Tim


Posted by Christina // 2 Replies

Often times I use Fridays to showcase all the things that have inspired me all week.

Today will be no different, except that it won’t be personified animals.

Last year I was very involved in the United Way Campaign at my full-time job.  This year, as much as I wanted to be, it didn’t seem feasible with the new position.  So instead I threw out one idea.  A simple idea.  An idea that I wanted in my heart for so long.

Ignite people’s fires.  Give them passion about our brand.  Show them the bigger picture.  Get them invested in the story.  Ok, so technically that’s a couple ideas….but the main idea was allow people to come tour the corporate office.  Introduce them to the “big-wigs” and teach them about our business.  They went for it.

Last night was one of the most inspiring moments I have had in my career.  There was a small turnout, and towards the end of the tour there she was.  The most successful person in our company.  One of only 18 female CEO’s on the Fortune 500 list.  Someone who started at entry-level, and now has the best view in the building.

Then the most amazing thing happened.  She talked to us.  She spent over an hour showing us historical artifacts, storytelling, foreshadowing, and answering our questions.  She gave us a tour of the boardroom, and let us sit on her über comfy sofa.  I am so lucky to work for a company where the CEO will take an hour out of her day to talk to employees she has never met.  Her words were inspiring, and now my only goal in life is to have an office with a shower in it.

So you want to know what inspired me this week?  My company.  My CEO.  My refound ambition.  And a quote that my current manager uses quite often. get-inspired I hope you take that with you.

Do you work in the corporate world?
How do you define success?
Are you old when you get starstruck by a CEO?

Written by Christina and Tim

remember that time...

Posted by Christina // 6 Replies

Remember when I told you, oh I don’t know…seven days ago, that I wanted to take a moment to be thankful.  Well, that “moment” stretched out its lengthy little arms and wrapped a whole week up in laziness.

I hope that no one got worried, or sent out a bat signal or missing person alert or something.  I was just holed up trying to find my appreciation for all the good in our lives.  Like butterflies.  Or lemon flavored things.  Or the fact that even though we don’t have hardwood floors our house is still the only home I would want to live in.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the blogosphere’s shining beauty that I forget all the lovely things I have around me.  The last seven days I just wanted to breathe it all in.

Sorry for our absence.  I wish I could tell you we were working on all sorts of cool projects, but really we were just working on ourselves…I will save that for another day.

Written by Christina and Tim

Confession:  I am not a very good secret-keeper.

So when I decided to try and throw a surprise anniversary party for my parents I got a little nervous about my loose lips.  I don’t need any sunken ships on my watch, I have enough problems.

I started planning back in April.  I considered making our Fourth of July celebration a super secret surprise party for them, but decided they needed their own day.  The seed of an idea grew into a real life party, the kind with more people coming than can fit in our backyard.  I shifted my attention to a no clean-up option, because that is so my style, and enlisted a few helpers (hi Aunt Joyce, hi Aunt Janet, hi Leika).

We decided on a local Mexican restaurant that my parents visit on the regular, nothing suspicious here folks…just your average taquito dinner.  I am not a newcomer to the fiesta themed parties, remember Katie’s baby shower?  Nachos and margaritas seemed like a thirty year necessity, hope that’s remembered for our thirtieth.

Once the plans were made and the invitations were out, the hard part came over me like a tsunami.  Talking to family, being sneaky, and keeping it from everyone….even you.  Can I openly admit that it was harder not to tell you all about my exciting surprise than it was to keep it from my parents.  Supposedly they read this little blog, so I thought I ought not post any sneak peaks no matter how bad I wanted to

While I was brewing up an idea to get my parents to the restaurant unsuspectingly while not sporting sweatpants, Tim popped the question.  Eureka!  We now had a plan, let’s have an (insert oversized air quotes here) “engagement party”.  Genius, I think I will keep that boy.

Then mass chaos hit.  We got engaged.  I got a new job.  I decided to go to Haven, thereby deciding to take the leap into redesignville.  So those cute favors and custom menus…well they went out the window along with sleep.  I did snag some giant balloons though, so I don’t think anyone noticed. happy-thirtieth-anniversary-to-my-parents great-friends-and-family-at-the-party I would apologize for the photo overload, but I feel like those 300 words above it even it out a little.  Sorry I’m not sorry.  When we got to the restaurant and headed to the back room, my mom peeked in the doors and mumbled, “what in the world…Christina that’s a room full of people”.  Indeed mother, indeed.

Then the doors flew open, “Surprise!” flew out, and the faces my parents made forever engrained themselves into my memory.  Priceless.  They were absolutely surprised, since this party was over a month before their anniversary they were not suspecting anything.  My mom even smacked my dad thinking he was in on it.

Y’all my heart swelled seeing all the love in that room.  There were so many special people there to celebrate, many that I haven’t seen in years.  Just looking at those photos could bring me to tears.  I hope everyone who came knows how much it meant to my mom and dad, and even me.  Whew, need to wrap this up before the tissue box calls my name….it was beyond great.  The end.

Have you ever thrown a surprise party?
Are you a good secret keeper?
Do you want giant number balloons just hanging around for photo-ops?

Written by Christina and Tim

During our crazy makeover, we took a blogging hiatus of sorts.

We planned on stock piling projects, getting crafty, and over-preparing for our return.

What did we do instead…..

Christina came down with the plague.  Stayed in bed for a full week.
Tim watched the baby shark grow in its egglet.
Ignored the fact that we can’t afford the tile we want for our bathroom remodel.
Tim made a “sick kit” for his feverish fiance…but ate all the Ludens.
Christina went to three wedding shows, even while sick.  Determined little bride.
Planned and executed a SURPRISE anniversary party.  Holy awesome.
Christina started a brand new management job.  Yikes.
Tim turned our backyard into a little paradise, minus the sand.
Started a diet….quit said diet.  Ate lots of ice cream.
Went to two weddings, took notes, and started planning our own.
Actually finished a book, got our hairs done, and went to bed early.
Never once cooked a meal….head is hung low in shame.

two week hiatus

In all that time, I never managed to plan a post.  Or complete a DIY photo shoot.  Or even start a new project.  I did glance at the Frame wall, then decided that until the bathroom is finished it’s best not to put a bunch of pretty frames on the opposite side of the wall.  Patience, grasshopper, patience.  Where can I get a second helping of patience?  Make it a “heaping” helping please.

Can’t wait to share more about the projects we did squeeze in.  Especially that surprise party, I was dying to tell you but for obvious reasons I zipped my lips.  Ain’t nothing better than a good surprise.

Did you catch the summer cold?
Ever gone two weeks without cooking?
Which above tidbit are you most excited to hear about?

Written by Christina and Tim

My twenty-seventh birthday will go down in history.

All I asked for was a duck.

Instead, my boyfriend gave me the gift of knowing that I get to kiss him everyday for the rest of our lives. he asked and i said yes I get to marry my best friend.

I have smiled the biggest, glowy, cheese ball smile for the last two days.  Let me tell you all about it.

Christina’s story:  Talk about a surprise.  Sweet Tim knew that I would not be suspicious of a romantic night out if it was for my birthday.  He took me out for my favorite dinner and even let me order the dang lobster dinner.  He pacified me as I talked about the newest Kardashian and laughed at me when I burned all my taste buds off.  He was so cool, calm and collected I never gave any thought to this being anything more than a birthday dinner.  Tim knows me, he knows that I don’t do terribly well with surprises and I pretty much despise being in the limelight.  This was not the place.

Tim had a plan, a cute duck with a ring around its neck.  Who knew ducks would be so hard to come by this time of year.  So then he considered Asti and quickly decided a vet X-ray would not be a very romantic proposal.  Plan B was a lovely fire and a bottle of wine.  Then it poured.  St. Louis was under flash flood warning and even though he tried to convince me that “he could totally make a fire with swamp wood”.  I just stood over him drinking my wine and commenting on all the projects we need to tackle this weekend.  While staring DIY in the eye he decided we needed to take the party inside.

This is where my obliviousness comes into play.  Tim begged me to let him make a fire.  We could curl up by the fireplace and finish our wine and stare into each others eyes or something.  I should have seen where it was going…instead I convinced him that he would be all dirty and it probably wouldn’t even start and I mean it is summer so we really shouldn’t be heating our house.  Oblivious.  Instead I drag him onto our couch and beg him for presents, because that’s just the kind of gal I am.

This is where I tell you how awesome T is for getting me the phone case I wanted.  He is awesome.  Playing it so cool.  I am still hopelessly clueless re-charging my phone.  Then he starts teasing me.  “Asti, mama has another gift huh?” he says.  “Should we give her the other gift, I’m not sure she will like this one” he says.  “Wanna watch some TV?” he says.  Fast forward to me on hands and knees begging for another present, keeping my fingers crossed for that little chirping snugglebun.

In strolls Timothy.  Hands behind his back.  “Put your hands out” is all he says.  I listen intently for chirping, got nothing….then I fear the worst….he got me worms.  After a small panic attack, I refuse and he simply says, “then just turn around”.  I always do as I am told.  When I turned back around that little ninja had taken a knee.  Right about here my mind goes blank.  I can’t remember a thing.  I am told I made a funny hand gesture that led T to believe I was saying “no”.

He had a spiel, but apparently I jumped in his arms so fast that all he got out was “Christina Renee, you are the love” and tackled.  Then there were lots of kisses and smiles and “oh myyyy gosh”s.  Then it happened, then he told me the story. the ring This ring, this beautiful ring, was the ring that Tim’s grandpa gave his grandma after returning from WWII.  When Tim and I met, we had some major bonding over the love we had for our grandparents so I know how important and special this is to him.  I have never had anything so precious to me in my life, a little treasure.  Cue the tears.  Yes, there was lots and lots of ugly crying.  The kind that chokes your airway off and snot bubbles become a real possibility.  Why does this guy want to marry me again?  I’m stumped.

After a good thirty minutes of tears and kissing, I composed myself for this gem. we are excited Pure happiness.

Tim’s story:  I asked, she said yes.  Thank goodness.

Now the real fun begins!  Any tips?  Advice?  Please don’t tell Tim to run.

Written by Christina and Tim