Currently

I’ve mentioned a time or two that Iowa Girl Eats is my go-to for recipes. She’s all about the gluten free life but for those of us who consume all the gluten, her recipes are easy to normalize with traditional pantry staples. Anywho. She does a feature on her blog called Currently. In light of my recent efforts to return to front porch style blogging, I’m following her lead today. And so, without further ado, here’s what’s happening, currently.

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Awaiting: IKEA spice jars. Before we left Arizona I decided that in our new house we would create an organized and aesthetically-pleasing spice cabinet. IKEA’s Rajtan squat little glass jars were right in line with my budget at about $1 per jar. I grabbed twenty of them from the IKEA in Phoenix but once we arrived in Alabama and started actually going through the spices, I discovered I had seriously underestimated how many spices we have that need storing. Thankfully,  the Rajtan jars are one of the products IKEA ships. We ordered twenty more and are currently awaiting their arrival at the doorstep. Of course, we had to label our spices, too. I searched Pinterest for ideas and came across some ridiculously cute options. But…since I neither own nor am willing to invest in a fancy die cutting machine, I was back at square one. Undeterred, I headed to Walmart and picked up a set of Avery 2″ diameter glossy white circle labels and designed my own. I think they turned out pretty cute. (I plan to post a printable template of these soon, if you’d like to organize your own spice rack).

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Experiencing: a torrential downpour. One of the things we thought we’d miss about living in Tucson was monsoon season. It offered such sweet relief to desert dwellers with its cool rain (and the added bonus of a light show in the sky). We’ve found, though, that afternoon thunderstorms are fairly regular to north Alabama, too, so it turns out we don’t have to miss monsoon. Mexican food, though? That we miss.

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Anticipating: the kids arriving! They’re joining us for a week-long beach vacation. We rented a house on Seagrove Beach for a week. We rented bikes and standup paddleboards. I’ve got a grocery list that overflows with junk food (cereal from a box and Costco muffins and deli meat!!). We’re taking a carload of family board games. You can bet there will be wine. Everyone is limited to one small bag because, for reals, all eight of us are squeezing into the van and roadtripping it. I cannot wait to have all of my people beneath one roof–even if it is only for one week.

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Working on: my vows. We wrote our own vows when we got married. Three or four sentences into his, Jeff got so choked up he couldn’t speak. And then even when he composed himself it was only barely. It was the sweetest thing. As I mentioned, we’re renewing our vows at Seagrove Beach in just a short while. It’s nothing fancy. The kids will be there. And a photographer, charged with telling the story of that event in photos for the staircase wall in our new home. I can’t wait. I love the simplicity of it being just us. There is nothing official about it. Just a boy and a girl renewing promises at sunset.

Listening to: Forever in Blue Jeans Radio on Pandora. Seriously, it’s the best mix of slow, comfortable sing-right-along songs. And when it’s not that, it’s Like Two Sparrows in a Hurricane Radio on Pandora because it plays all the songs from when country was good.

Loving: Belgian Flax Linen sheets. We totally splurged on this linen sheet set from Pottery Barn when we bought bedding for the new house. Let me just tell you that this is one splurge I would do over and over again. Have you ever slept on linen sheets? They’re amazing. They’re warm when it’s chilly and cool when it’s not. They’re every bit as comfortable as your favorite pair of beach pants, too. I am so charmed by these. We bought them last year on Black Friday when all PB bedding was 30% off. I’m so totally buying another set (more likely, two sets) this year when that sale comes back around.

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Binge-watching: Friday Night Lights on Netflix. It’s been awhile since we devoured every last episode of the last series we loved (see next entry below) and we were on the hunt for awhile for something that might come close to filling its shoes. We tried several shows but never made it past the first episode of most of them and definitely never made it past two episodes of anything, until Friday Night Lights. It has its drawbacks (teen sex that is both flippant and rampant, actors that don’t look like high schoolers, etc) but all in all, it’s a good find. We love shows that tell good stories and this one does that.

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Missing: Poldark. We devoured this series. Loved, loved, LOVED it. If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you’ll like this. Downton Abbey exposed me to historical dramas–a genre I never thought I’d enjoy. Man was I wrong. The thing with Poldark, though, is that you’ve got to stick with it for a bit. The first few episodes have some really terrible acting and cheesy scenes of a stoic and handsome Ross Poldark galloping along a steep coastline on his trusty steed. Really, they must have filmed him riding one direction and then turning around and riding the other direction in a variety of overcoats and then used those shots countless times in the editing booth. But if you can get past that, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful storytelling. I know that Jeff and I must be getting old because one of the things we look for in a good series is the conspicuous absence of foul language and gratuitous, blatant sex/nudity. PBS is a trusted source for wholesome viewing. In the wake of Poldark, we also really enjoyed Mercy Street.

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Seeking: table legs. It sounds like a weird thing to be seeking, I know. But we finally received our custom-made (and ridiculously gorgeous) chunky farmhouse table for the dining room and I’m trying to figure out how to dress the main wall in that room. I went junkin’ and found a huge tobacco basket at a local antique store that I had planned to hang front and center on the wall and call it done. Unfortunately, even as large as it is, the wall sort of swallows it up. It needed something more. So I started playing around with some ideas on Photoshop and the picture below depicts what I’m planning to do. The word GATHER will be on a wooden background that Jeff will whip up for me. I would love to find some vintage table legs at an antique store but I’m not having much luck with that. If I can’t find them soon, we’ll probably just buy some new ones and make them look old.

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Dreading: car shopping. We bought Jeff’s car in 2007. It was a brand-spanking new Chevy Aveo (see also: buttcrack of cars) that cost us a whopping 10k, including a handy GMAC discount that my mom was able to help us score as an employee. Anyway, the car was bottom-of-the-line and was really only meant to be a reliable commuter car at a time when we didn’t have much of a budget. We’ve been both surprised and delighted that it has lasted as long as it has. The bad news is that it’s quickly falling apart at the seams. The AC kicked out some time ago and just this week it started something new: some sort of mechanical failure that prevents it from exceeding twenty miles an hour. We’re heading out today to shop for something new. We’re leaning heavily towards the Honda Civic. I just hate car shopping, so wish me luck.

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Miles

Last night we packed a cold pasta salad and drove down the street, pool noodles and towels in hand. We keyed in, chose a table and spooned dinner onto paper plates. And then we bowed our heads, giving thanks for the food but also for more. Nine months ago things were different. Nine months ago the sky was that eerie green and the heat pressed down, wet. There was just the stir of a wind. … Continue reading Miles

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Lately

When I started Such the Spot in 2008, blogs looked a lot different. They were more like front porches and less like storefronts. I liked the porches better than I like the storefronts. I’m totally guilty of going storefront–not that I have anything to sell but for a time now I’ve published with more concern for ad/affiliate revenue and partnership opportunities than for storytelling. The problem with the storefront blog–for me, at least–is the lack … Continue reading Lately

Farmhouse style great room | Such the Spot

Farmhouse inspired great room tour

It has been nearly three months since we closed on this house. These three months have been packed solidly full of hustle and bustle. Not only are trying to get the rooms of our home put together, but we’re trying to do so while simultaneously contending with school schedules, soccer schedules and, oh yeah, the first job outside of the house I’ve held in 18+ years. No biggie, right? Wrong. Finally, though, I have a … Continue reading Farmhouse inspired great room tour

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Color of a dream

His fingers inch across the space between until they find the small of my back. Like playing keys on a piano he presses and soothes–muscles stiff from sleep. Hazy gray light is heavy in our bedroom, and after nearly two months spent waiting for the window coverings to arrive, we’re thankful for the lingering dark on so lazy a Saturday morning. It’s the color of a dream in here, he says, in his scratchy, first-morning … Continue reading Color of a dream

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First peek at the new house

Wow. What a month it has been. There’s nothing quite like a cross-country relocation and the subsequent settling into a new home to remind one of one’s age. Thirty-eight isn’t old but it feels that way when it wakes up after three long days of hauling boxes and furniture up and down three flights of stairs. There were a good few mornings there on which I woke up and could have sworn I’d been run … Continue reading First peek at the new house

On the road to our sweet Alabama home

Last Saturday morning we piled the kids into the minivan and pulled out of Tucson to head east. During our five days in the car we crossed through a total of six states. We covered over 1600 miles. We ate more than our fair share of restaurant meals and road snacks. We sang countless choruses of Paul Simon songs. We passed mile after mile on Interstates 10, 20, 30 and 40. In Little Rock, we … Continue reading On the road to our sweet Alabama home

Farmhouse-style great room ideas and inspiration

Farmhouse-style great room inspiration and ideas

We just returned from another trip to Huntsville during which we got to see the construction progress on our home there. This was an exciting visit for me because several of the design aspects I was most looking forward to seeing had been installed. For starters, the lights are up! Here are a few of my favorites. This is a hallway off the kitchen. The doorways you see lead to the utility room, pantry, mudroom … Continue reading Farmhouse-style great room inspiration and ideas

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