Here we go…

August 12, 2010

Back on Track!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 2:06 pm

I’m back on track with the renovations!  I have been churning with ideas about the baby’s nursery, and even more on the things I want to get done before the baby comes.  #1 on the priority list is renovating the bathrooms.  We will do the hallway first and then the master bath.  Kyle called the builder (Matt) to ask when he could get started.  I was thinking we’d hear “oh i guess in a month or so?”  but he said “NEXT WEEK!”  as in, a few days from now!  I went into major butt kicking mode of trying to get everything designed and pulled together, and have actually made what I think is going to be a pretty great, timeless room.  I want one that is indicative of the era of the house- Mid-Century Modern, but still look like us.  This is what I put together!

A.  I ordered the vanity from Overstock!  I tell you- that site is a beauty!  I have gotten so much from there for our house, and it always is in great quality, delivers promptly, and is significantly cheaper than other stores.

B.  The faucet is also from Overstock!  How funky is it??   I am so excited.  The whole point of this room is to combine modern elements with traditional, and this one definitely gives it a modern, updated look!

C.  Drooooooooooooooool.  Since I was a little girl, I have wanted a claw foot tub!  I love them.  Absolutely love them.  This is a “new” one from Rejuvination, but has all the bells and whistles of the old ones.  It is cast iron with ceramic coating like the old ones.

D.  The hardware set for the tub was like looking for a needle in a haystack!  I finally found a good one at Overstock!  I cannot believe how expensive they are from most places.  I chose to get the shower adaption kit so that we’ll have a shower head and an oval shower curtain ring above.

E.  Pottery Barn tuxedo shower curtain!!  Yay!  Love the simplicity but the beautiful pleating at the top.  Its all about the details!

F.  Beadboard (painted white) on the bottom half of the walls will add another traditional element.

G.  I fell in love with this wallpaper from Graham and Brown!  I really really love it.  I am getting samples of 4 patters, but all are in this general color family.  I’m all about wallpaper being back in style- cool wallpaper… not ducks or chickens or toy bears or anything.  This site is loaded with great options!

H.  This storage unit from will be primarily for towels, toiletries, etc.  I plan on ripping out the entire closet from the bathroom b/c it is positioned so terribly, and also because it makes the room so narrow.  It is important for me to have room for wheelchair clearance, and this will allow it!


July 1, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 1:22 pm

I have not posted in a very long time.  I have a great excuse though!  Kyle and I found out we are going to be having a baby!  I’m due in mid-January.  Due to this huge news, I have been sleeping a LOT, and doing everything I can to manage the nausea.  Im sure lots of you can relate  to the first trimester craziness!  Every day that I am sick is far outweighed, however, by the excitement!  I could not be more excited.  Scared, yes.  Intimidated, oh gosh yes.  Anxious about life changing so much, absolutely!  I’m so ready though!  Kyle has been amazing during all of this, and I cannot wait to see him in full out dad mode because even in “i’m gonna be a dad mode” he’s been great and hilarious and awesome.  More to come!

Below is the first pic I have let anyone take of me!  The “baby bump” is beginning to change into an actual “i look pregnant bump” from the “oh gosh, i’m packing on the pounds bump.”  In the pic i’m 11 weeks.

Since this is a home renovation blog- you know what comes next!!!  NURSERY!!!!  The room that is going to be the nursery is currently a full blown storage room.  Any of you who have been to our house can attest to the fact that we have a long way to go!  I’m hoping my 2nd trimester gives me a boost of energy to get going on this project!

May 1, 2010

Welcome, May!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 4:58 am

Some really fun things happen in May!  First and foremost- CRAWFISH!  Also, our anniversary is May 3- TWO YEARS!!  My birthday is May 25! Vianne is taking swimming lessons which will in part take our July beach trip to a whole new level!  We are going to New York for a fun trip which will include some stops at some design stores for me and a yankees/red sox game for kyle (and of course me too!), maybe a trip to Mesa Grill, and hopefully we will see Wicked!  Mostly, im just excited to be in New York.  I love that city.  We are staying in Murray Hill which will be a new experience!

Until then, we have approximately 4 minutes left in April.  So…….  drumroll….. some pretty springy pics to get you inspired to declutter and get that house in shape!  They most definitely insprie me!

April 30, 2010

A day for JOY (and an announcement)!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 4:36 pm

My friend, Amanda, a very talented photographer and web guru, helped me walk through the steps of setting up a new website.  This will be an interior design blog that is not just about the renovation.  Ranch Dressings will still be going strong but will be connected to a larger website that is all about interior design!  This is exciting for me because I have struggled about where to put all the fun things I come across and want to share.  I’ll be announcing the website address soon!  We are also getting a new home computer so look forward to better images, easier navigation, and more frequent posts!

On an unrelated note, this would have been my little sister Joy’s 30th birthday!  Her life was nothing but a celebration of love and friendship and fun, so I hope you are able to do some of that today in her honor.  Nothing would make me happier!  Her self-proclaimed life moto was “LIVE! LOVE! LAUGH!” (even with the exclamation points!), so try and do some of each of the three today.  A friend of mine send me a basket of goodies to work today!  She had no idea what the occasion was, but just did it as a random act of love.  She made all of these jellies and relishes herself!  My favorite is the kiwi preserves because believe it or not- kiwi was Joy’s favorite thing in the world!

April 23, 2010

Taking A Breath

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 10:11 pm

I’m not doing anything on the house this weekend. I’m posting this to make it official! It’s going to rain and I’m gonna rest. And by rest I mean I’ll be hosting a party, attending an out of town party, and spending half of Sunday at church with people I love! It will be half recharging with friends and half recharging alone. Perfect!

I stopped by LSU to check out the ceramics department sale and bought these:

April 21, 2010

I love Succulents!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 1:42 pm

I love succulent plants!  I also like their ridiculous name!  They are anything but sucky 🙂  According to Wikipedia, “Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climate or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leavesstems and/or roots. Geophytes survive unfavourable periods by dying back to underground storage organs (tuberous roots, corms, bulbs, and rhizomes). They can be regarded as succulents. Some plants are succulent geophytes. The storage of water often gives succulent plants a more swollen or fleshy appearance than other plants, also known as succulence. In addition to succulence, succulent plants variously have other water-saving features.”  Basically they are the camels of the plant kingdom!  I think they are quirky and fun and just such a great addition to your home either indoors or out.  I saw some succulent terrariums and I think that I may tackle one of those soon.

Yesterday I met my sis and her family at Harb’s Oasis (love that place!) to pick out a fountain for their home.  Being the sucker for plants that I am, of course I had to buy something for our house!  I decided on this red planter (40% off and thank the lord b/c planters are SO expensive!) and these cute little succulent plants.  They are by the back door which is the one we use every time we come  and go from the  house.  I’m excited and hopefully will keep them alive.  I have never had succulent plants so if you have any tips, please comment them!

April 19, 2010

Painting Continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 5:36 pm

Friday after work I rushed home because I was bound and determined to finish painting the wood siding under our carport.  The way our house is situated, you see this A LOT- even more than the front of the house for visitors.  It has been half painted for 2 weeks.  Originally this wood siding was mint green (yep) but thankfully Kyle’s mother got so sick of seeing that when she stopped by the house that she got someone to paint it white.  The white was not offensive but it really just stood out a lot for some reason!  Aside from showing every single spider web and every piece of dirt, it just looked really really bright under the carport and drew attention.  The color I am using is Benjamin Moore “Texas Leather” as seen in a previous post.  I am going to replace both the front door and this side door with a dark wood door with a large window to have some transparency, but for now I just painted it to match the wall and frame so that it would look cohesive and clean.  I still have my Saints wreath on the door!  Cant get the Southern Living wreaths out of me- even though I like pretty modern things- i love me a wreath!

Now on to the front of the house.  My friend, Erin made a comment that I should put a picture of our door mat on the blog because she loved that it was more of a rug than a door mat!  I bought this from World Market, and it is an outdoor rug.  I love it more than I would have loved a door mat for the front door.

As you can see in the pic above, the door is pretty ratty and black.  You can also see the old storm door frame that is there without its matching door!  i took that off (thanks for the help kyle b/c all the screws were stripped!) and paint both the door and the frame “Texas Leather.”  It looks WAYYYYYYY better and will hold me over until we get the wood one.  Notice our cute little house numbers!  I smudged out the first and last so that I do not have any internet stalkers showing up on the door step or random blog stalker drive-by’s 🙂  The mailbox is GREAT and I just got a little inexpensive stainless light fixture from Lowes.

April 14, 2010

The Joy of Exfoliating Your Possessions AND Getting Credit on Your Taxes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 2:58 pm

I stumbled across a blog several months ago that has greatly inspired me to “exfoliate” my possessions!  Makeunder My Life is one of those reminders that half of the things we own and hold on to for years and years just end up clogging up the space that we live in.  Each week she features a “End of the week Exfoliation” that encourages readers to get rid of a few things each week.  I would not consider myself a pack rat but I am very unorganized so sometimes I hold on to things because I am waiting to find a place to put them!  Check out this site and I’m sure you will be encouraged to let go of things such as the shoes that have a broken heel that you have been meaning to take to the repair shop for 2 years, the 25 Danielle Steel novels that you’ve read over the past 10 years of beach trips, and the stack of t-shirts that you have been meaning to take to Goodwill since last summer.

I know that it is hard getting rid of things.  Doing so, however, is the ONLY way to end up with a neat, peaceful, perfectly edited space.  Your breaths will be easier and your evenings much less stressful and chaotic.  That wonderful feeling of stepping into a hotel room and only having the things you need for a good night’s rest is not as far away as you think.  Just LET IT GO!!!  You will never need half of the things you think you need.  RESIST the urge to box it up and put it in the attic!!  I promise- just say no!  Check out these pictures for examples of de-cluttered, beautifully edited rooms.  They are all taken from the latest issue of Lonny Magazine.

Speaking of Goodwill- I have a cool iPhone app that will help you in keeping track of the things that you donate.  With taxes as high as they are, and every little bit more you make and every bit you save, unfortunately you will be paying more and more of them.  I am a big fan of itemizing deductions, so rather than having to estimate your donations, etc. this handly little app helps you keep track of them all year!  Believe it or not, you will come out WAY further ahead than having a garage sale if you needs are not immediate cash.  If you need the cash, then garage sales make sense, but this really can drop your adjusted gross income by thousands if used consistently.  Last night I went through the spare bedroom/storage room and collected over $500 worth of things to donate!   Now they are stored safely within my phone with approximate values provided by the IRS.  idonatedit

April 8, 2010

Beautiful Eye Candy for Home Landscaping

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 8:24 pm

I have never seen such beautiful, contemporary, clean landscaping in all my life!  How beautiful are these images???  It is very hard to find landscaping images and ideas that go well with the ranch style.  In the south we are much more accustomed to the cottage style landscaping that really is sort of a hodge podge of everything all in the same beds.  I actually love cottage landscaping, but for our new home, it is not exactly the best way to accent the cool things about a ranch.  Anyway, I was drooling over these pics and had to share.  For our house, we want to really utilize the outdoors.  We are both very outdoorsy people, and as of now, it is just pretty bad.  Thankfully, Kyle’s grandfather planted some beautiful camelia trees that will definitely be remaining for multiple reasons- 2 being their beauty and the fact that his grandfather planted them!  This will be a process- even more so than the inside just becuase of how long it takes and how long plants take to be established and settled in.

These images sum up what I love about the outdoors- such a great mix of landscaping and hardscaping, such a great blend of being outside yet still being in a “room” and just a nice place for Belle and Harley to live and not be able to destroy because so much of it is rock.  Ha!  Both Kyle and I really like pavers that have grass or some kind of ground cover growing between them.  Many ground covers do not grow tall enough to ever need mowing, but still soften the edges of the concrete squares.  I’m sure some of those will find their way into our landscaping plans!  I also love gravel and the “zen” feel that it gives to a landscape.  It is also great for pets as well as for cutting down on dust and mowing.  I am still on the fringes of knowing and planning the landscaping, but these are images I’m sure I will come back to regularly!

All of the images and designs are by Spirit Level Designs in Australia.  Of course its Australia- Australians have the BEST style!!

April 7, 2010

Sleepless in the Ranch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 9:00 am

So I have poison ivy. I never remember having this before but my gosh it’s been horendous! Maybe I got it in our yard? A better guess is that I got it in the park at our church Easter egg hunt helping Vianne find the GOLDEN egg!!! (as a very loving aunt I can say it was not worth it!!). That being said, I’m wide awake at 4am and have been since 2am. Thanks steroids!!! You little pills have almost completely gotten rid of this junk and being wide awake is totally worth it!!!

I have had alot of house thought lately (as usual) and wanted to share a few.

1. Backsplash. I realized I love the actual marble way more than the pattern of the tiles. So… Probably going to do large marble tiles (12×12) and install with a very tight joint and matching grout to make it more of a slab look. The tiles are 1/4 the cost of the slab so I’m feeling good about that.

2. We have set up a little office area with a great little metal desk and file cabinet from and this has been so great! Kyle works and reads alot from home, as do I, and now we don’t have to do that at the dining table! Computer has a home 🙂

3. The outside paint makes me happy daily. The thought of only being 1/4 finished does not, however I will be finished eventually!

4. Other outside thoughts are that I love the yellow adairondak chairs! We sat out there tonight until dark and plotted how we are going to stop Belle and Harley from digging huge holes all around the back patio- the advice from my father in law vet is to burry their poo there! Uh! Seriously. So, let the fun begin! That may be a gas mask job. If it works, I’ll do it! Haha. Yes, this is ridiculous and true.

5. I have selected new exterior lights- a wall sconce at each of the three entries. I also chose some cute little brushed nickel motion sensor lights that will also add a nice little security feature! All exterior accessories are in the brushed nickel/ stainless family.

6. I’m on the hunt for the perfect front door. It’s one of the hardest things to find! I want one with glass in it and something contemporary and simple- leaning toward a dark wood stain rather than paint as of now… don’t know why! I found one I love that can only be ordered and shipped from the UK and one from California that costs $6500. Haha. Nope! Maybe I’ll see about having someone here build one for me.

7. I love Kyle so much and could never undertake something like this without him constantly bringing me back to earth and making me rest and laugh. He just is simple and content and that’s contagious (more than poison ivy). I have that as a perfect balance to my “I gotta get it all finished now” ness! The whole experience has been fun & so much of that is bc he is just fun and easy going about it all. Just a little shout out to my husband!!!

More pics soon…

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