Late to the Party...

Should I be amused or offended by the number of my friends who tagged me when they pinned this?

(Oh, and it's only partially true, since I am downright obnoxious when it comes to cleaning. Ask my husband, who is constantly followed around with a dishrag and vacuum cleaner to remove any crumbs or spills he may possibly leave behind.) And I can cook, I just didn't do it very often until recently.

But... I have a little confession to make. I feel like I've only recently (as in, the past 2 weeks) entered the realm of "housewifery" (why I'm so amused by that word, I'm not sure). If that sounds terrible, it is... our 2-year anniversary approacheth (on the 23rd, if you care). Ever since the move, I have been mysteriously motivated to cook, clean, organize, and decorate (gasp... more on that momentarily) than ever before. Let's discuss this phenomenon, shall we? (Of course we shall!)

When I got married, I had absolutely no very little interest in decorating my house. I know, that's sooo lame of me. However, I had never seen our apartment until we got back from our honeymoon and since my mom and mother-in-law fixed up almost everything while we were gone, I was lazy more than happy to leave things as they were when I arrived. Within just a few weeks, I had resumed my life as a full-time student (only now adding a 2-hour commute... oh, and a husband. No big deal.) And while some girls (not me) might have laid aside U.S. History notes or Teaching English lesson plans for Better Homes and Gardens, I remained obnoxiouly loyal to my GPA. Then I graduated and began teaching for the first time (STRESS ALERT) and, again, other things (grading, bulleting boards) shoved my sweet little house to the back burner (or possibly off the stove.) Shameful, really, especially consisdering how I grew up in a house that was always magazine-worthy in the decor department. Not that I wasn't interested in making our house "homey", but that just wasn't my "thing".  Plus, our apartment was very small, we weren't really allowed to paint/mount anything, and basically I was just not motivated to add to the itsy-bitsy collection of decor we received as wedding gifts. (Hence, I didn't hang curtains for the entirety of the 22-month period we lived in Goldsboro.) So, between the time we moved in and the time we moved out, I purchased maybe 4-5 items for our home, and those were mostly seasonal.

I know. I'm not winning any Suzy Homemaker awards over here. (Although, an award for Laziest Housewife would be mine, hands down. Don't be jealous. I've had 2 years to work on my acceptance speech.)

Anyway, when we finally nailed down our new space, I knew some changes were in order. And, while it seems that I have gone a little Martha Stewart here lately (decorative Martha, not convicted felon Martha), I must remind you (as I have frequently reminded my dear, sweet husband) that if all my purchases were spread out over our 2 years of marriage, they would seem nearly insignificant. (A pillow here, a knick-knack there, and boom! Fully decorated space!) Instead, I've accumluated probably 75% of our decor in the last 6 months. Why the change of heart, hmm???

 Honestly, a lot of my inspiration (pathetic, I know...) was Pinterest. I mean, how can you not become just a teensy bit interested in home decor when it's constantly bombarding your pin boards? Next, it helped that for the past several months Target has had 2 or 3 collections of home stuff that already coordinated with my meager pile of decor and was exactly what I'd pictured all along. Clearance-stalking (aka making multiple trips to Target each week until what you're too cheap to pay full price for goes on clearance... and yes I made that up) has totally made my purchases possible.

Then there's Ikea. Oh, Ikea... have you ever been? It's SO cool. Awesome furniture, fixtures, art, storage... everything you can think of and SUPER affordable. We spent about 3 hours at the one in Atlanta and I racked up on everything from shelves to my crazy cool candlesticks to my music throw pillow, one of my favorite things in the house. Love that place.

(The gush-session for Ikea is over. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

And in case you're wondering (as I'm sure you are), I have not gone on a wild spending spree or anything resembling one. Nearly every item we've bought has been very much reduced (usually 50-75% off, except for a few very recent purchases that I "had to have" and were filed under "anniversary present to myself"). The only thing we paid big bucks for was our new couch and loveseat (which I adore), but I figured since our first living room furniture was a garage sale find that still faintly smells of smoke (despite bottles of Febreze) that we were deserving of something not "pre-owned" now. =)

I should probably go ahead and address the real reason that I've finally started decorating, or at least decided it was worth the money. Don't get the impression that I was a poor little newlywed without even enough money to purchase a new picture frame now and then. What is Ashley's favorite activity? Yes, you there with the raised hand. *Shopping??* Yes, you bright and intellegent student. You know me so well. While other newlyweds were regularly scouring the local shops for super "finds' for the house, I was scouring Old Navy for "finds' for me. (Yes, I am the Queen of Selfish Materialism.) Finally, I realized that, indeed, my new shirts could not be used as curtains and that while my closet is certainly a contender for the 8th Wonder of the World, it didn't exactly scream "lovely home". (It did, however, scream "Please stop adding to me! I DON'T NEED ANYTHING ELSE!!!!" Or maybe that was just Jonathan, aka my Jiminy Cricket.)

So, I realize that the appropriate ending to this post (which is inappropriately lengthy) would be some pictures of all my "stuff", but I haven't gotten around to taking any that are not of the hideous, iPad-quality variety. I did upload about a million of the house on Instagram the other day (stricly for Mamaw's benefit) so if you're on the 'gram feel free to peruse them at your leisure.

The moral of the story? It's best to spread out multiple purchases over a long time-span so as not to attract unwanted attention of your husband/financial taskmaster. Just kidding... there is no moral. Except maybe that I am finally learning that "housewifery" is actually kinda fun. Plus, since nearly everything is new I am definitely more motivated to keep things clean and my own appearance near-perfect.  In fact, I am typing this wearing a freshly pressed dress, pearls, and kitten heels with my ankles crossed demurely beneath me, a-la-June Cleaver. (I'm really in sweats, but that's hardly exciting, is it?)

I'm definitely no pro here... totally a newbie at the whole home decor thing! And even if I'm late to the party, I'm glad I decided to join. (Although this punch could use a little help.)



  1. Ashley, you may be clean, but I know about that secret dirt stash behind the couch...
    Your house really did look nice. Martha would be proud!

    1. Shh... no one can know about my hiding place for crumbs I am too lazy to carry to the trash can! lol

      Thanks, dear... please come back sometime. =)

    2. We will. Bryan and I have decided that living in either one of the Carolinas would be to find a church.


I love reading and responding to your comments. Just make sure I am able to do that by linking your email address to your profile! Thank you for stopping by!