Jonathan . Mallory . Duke . Calvin

Its our life, and we love it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rocks and Rockstars

I am so lucky to have something that nobody else does.

Yes, him.


That big rock.

Just a short post about love and marriage.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I blame websites like Design*Sponge, Knock Off Wood, Etsy, and Young House Love for my ridiculous Justin Bieber (Never Say Never) attitude. I look at these sites and see all the amazing things people can do with the piece of trash chair they found in the dumpster behind Goodwill, or the 2x4's and 4x4s they find at Home Deopt, or the piece of art they made with barn wood, and I think, I can do that.

I'm here to tell all of you who think "Woah, that (fill in the blank) is so talented, I wish I could be as creative as (her/him/it)." You can do it.

Start small. Recover a pillow. Or skip that nonsense and rip apart your dress, only to put it back together a different way. However you do it, just don't limit yourself. You can do all these things. Sometimes it takes a little practice. Sometimes it comes naturally. Sometimes you're creative enough to think of these things all by yourself. Other times you'll copy take inspiration from a blog, a Pottery Barn catalog, a movie.

And sometimes, you will do something amazing. Like this.

With as much blog stalking lovin as I do, I often come across a Before & After so inspiring that I just have to oogle for a few minutes. Today was one those days. A Before & After day on Design*Sponge. It took me a minute to convince myself that this really was the same piece. Alexandra Becket Before & After-ed her whole Craftsman house. The transformation was gorgeous. But I still can't get over these two images.

I hope when you see pictures like this you don't get down on yourself. Don't think "I will never be able to do something like that." Instead, pull up your big girl High Self Esteem (HSE) pants and say, "I can do better." Because even if you can't, wouldn't you settle for doing as well as Alexandra did? It's like that saying about shooting the moon, and stars, and aiming. 

I hope I don't sound to high horsey (man I am on a roll with my verbiage today!) with this post. I'm not trying to show off my HSE. I'm just trying to let you see a little how I view things. I have so many people tell me "I wish I was as crafty as you are!" but what they don't know is the secret I just let you in on. I don't know what I'm doing, I just do it.

Anyone of your blog readers already know that secret?? Or care to share any more crafty/HSE secrets?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And Something With Mittens...

For some people, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens work. Others may be happier with chocolate chip cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Others still may need diamonds and rubies. And while I wouldn't say no to those whiskers on kittens, or a good chocolate chip cookie, today we will talk about a few of my favorite things.

And when I say favorite things, I really just mean things I can't live without. Things I use every day. Everyday items you will find scattered around my house. We all have em. Those things we can't live without. These are mine (in no specific order):

Tennis shoes. There is not a day that goes by where these puppies don't get out of the closet and go for a little ride. Don't believe me? Smell them. I go through running shoes quicker than the average bear, but when you're a runner, that is just the price you pay (literally) if you don't want to end up at the physical therapists office. So therefore, I take good care of these girls.

How does one live without ChapStick brand medicated light blue chapstick? The answer is, one doesn't. Perhaps your flavor of choice is different, but admit it, you use it. A world without chapstick is no world at all. I think Einstein said that.

Hair pins are a girls best friend. Especially when that girl got a really bad hair cut in OCTOBER. And it still is trying to grow back out. I'm not kidding. One day I'll share the butchering that happened on my head. One day I may also be brave enough to get my hair cut again. But until that day, I continue to keep hair pins in my pockets, my desk, my bathroom, my purse, my kitchen, and my husbands pockets (he just doesn't know it).

I will be honest, I hate cell phones. Now, one might ask, why then, Mallory, do you have an iPhone? The answer is this: while I hate cell phones, I love my iPhone. When you work from home, and like to go to the gym, an iPhone can be a lifesaver. It's a camera, access to email, a direct link to the internet, a GPS, and it tells me the temperature. And I can watch Sarah's House on it. How much better can you get?

Good old H20. This girl drinks a lot of it. I have water next to me at all times. In bed. At my desk. On a stationary bike at the gym. With me in front of the tv. I really don't drink much but water. And when you drink that much water, it's handy to have a reusable glass/cup/bottle with a lid. Believe me, the lid is the most important part. I have many that I switch between.

Have you ever heard of WoodWick candles? They are amazing. They sound like a little fireplace crackling away, and they smell amazing. The wick is made of wood, so it makes the soothing sound of a crackling fire. I have these guys all over my house. Office, bedroom, entryway, living room. I love them.

Aside from the obvious (husband, cat, dog, bed, food, and gym) these are a few of my favorite, every day, ordinary things. Things I have all over my house. Things that follow me room to room. One day I will do a post on my favorite things that I don't own. That will be fun. But for now, I'd like to just let you in to the mundane. You're seeing straight into my everyday with this post. Your welcome.

What are your favorite things?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Blogoversary

Here is the post that was supposed to go out last Thursday (our first blogoversary).

Can you believe R. Simple Life is one whole year old today? Yep. One year ago, I announced to the world that not only were we moving to Oklahoma, but we have entered the blogging world. And oh how things have changed.

I do not write a Christmas letter to send out with our Christmas cards. I find that when you don't have kids, people aren't as interested in your letter. Plus, I just don't have the time. Not around Christmas, at least. And to be honest, I really don't have the time today to think back to a year ago (I was a nanny in Fort Collins, Jon's busiest class was Golf) and update you on our lives from that day forward.

And that is why I keep a blog. It's a great way to spread our love, cheer, and news, weekly, instead of yearly. It takes time everyday, and if I add all the time it takes me in one year to keep this blog going, I would realize it is much more time efficient to write a Christmas letter, but I love blogging. It's a little window into our lives that I love to share with you every day.

Sometimes I miss days. Sometimes I get ambitious and post all week long. Either way, it is a great way for you to see what R. Simple Life is all about.

And to celebrate this first blogaversary, I would like to share a few of my favorite posts from the previous year. Just so you can remember some of the milestones, and see just how far we (and my writing) have come. And because no post is okay without pictures, I'll give you a few of my favorite pictures from the year.

Happy Blogoversary!

.. the first post
..colorado lovin'
..welcome, Calvin
..the first DIY post
..the beginning of wedding week
..the most popular post to date
..marathon me pretty


So there you have it! Most of you have already read all of these posts (thanks Grandma!) but I figured I'd share anyway. These are my favorite posts of the last year; the posts that I feel represent the year the best. It's been a wonderful year for blogging, and I can't wait to start the next year tomorrow! Thank you all for reading my disconnected thoughts, random ramblings, and HSE loaded posts.

Here's to another year!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Air Force Family

Yesterday was our blogoversary. One year of blogging. I had a great post written, looking back on some of my favorite posts from the year, and featuring some of my favorite memories.

I did not post yesterday because my neighbors are facing something no family should ever have to face. I stayed with two of the little girls all night Wednesday and all day yesterday. I am so emotionally tired, I can't even tell you.

I want to respect the family's privacy so I am not going to go into detail about anything that happened here. Just know that there is a family who needs prayers, good thoughts, love, hugs, and anything else you can send their way.

That being said, I have seen the beauty that is the Air Force family. We come together whenever someone needs us, and we are strong. There is so much support in this family. As horrible as what this family is going through, I am so glad they have the entire Air Force family to help them. It will never be easy, and they will never fully heal from this, but they have the love of so many people, probably more than they realize.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Since I know some of you may not have appreciated the last post like the rest of us, I'm double posting today! Cue excitement. Yes, you're more excited than you actually know right now.

And because the last two posts have been pretty much dedicated to mushy, ooey, gooey, love...this post is dedicated to destruction. Intergalactic domination. For those of you who know this, I am relieved that I do not have to admit it to you again. For those of you who do not already know this, please don't judge. We all have our nerdy moments.

I love Star Wars. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day growing up and marrying Han Solo. I had a Star Wars themed birthday party when I was 10. We went to see the re-release of A New Hope. I have two light sabers in my house right now. And they are foam. So we can really hit each other hard. Real light saber fights.

Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now, as much as a Star Wars dweeb I am, my husband is about 10x worse. He has a Yoda key chain. He has Star Wars t-shirts. He owns all 6 episodes on VHS, DVD, and is counting down to the Blue Ray release. He has CDs. And listens to them daily. He even listens to the Star Wars NPR radio show every night before bed.

And he plays with Legos.

I've just realized that I have catered to two specific crowds in my double posts today. Hopefully something in one of these two posts entertained you.

Anyway. I love when I find these little Lego guys in different spots than they were before. If it looks deliberate, I know it was my sweet little Star Wars obsessed husband who was playing. If it looks a little more haphazard, I know it was the sinister Darth Calvin...

Yes. We have passed on our love for things that happened in a galaxy far, far away to our "children." We've lost a stormtrooper helmet already. The other day I caught the cat trying to take another helmet to wherever he hid the first one. Our cat loves playing Star Wars Legos.


I try not to do this. You have to put up with wedding mush galore for a WEEK before our anniversary every year. And even though I love to look at weddings, I know you may not. You do not work for Style Me Pretty. You do not know when all the Spring and Fall collections come out. You do not volunteer your time and creativity to help other people (often complete strangers) make their weddings perfect. You do not call you sister every time you think of a new idea for "her" wedding.

And if you cared, you have probably already seen this.

For those of you who don't care about weddings, we will return to your scheduled blogging tomorrow. I'm sorry. I have to.

Anthropologie has launched a bridal line. Yep. Bridal. B H L D N.

I loved my dress. I still love my dress. I want to dye it red and wear it again. I don't want to have another wedding. I don't want to wear another dress (well at least not outside of the dressing room). But when I heard Anthropologie was adding a bridal collection... you better believe I added the release to my calendar.

And that was Monday. Valentines Day. The wedding world had waited long enough and we now have our B H L D N. We were so happy.

And, I will say it again, I loved my wedding. I would not change it for the world. Seriously. I'm not just saying that to convince myself. I really, truly loved it. But, just for today, we're going to play a game. I'm going to design my wedding fashion, a la B H L D N.

The dress:

The Shoes:

The "veil":

The Bridesmaid:

Now, I know we will all look at these and know this is very current. Trendy. As in, not me.

But today, this is a wedding I want to see. When I shopped for my own wedding, my mission was a timeless look. Something that will always look nice. No poofy sleaves, no cowboy hat veils (I may or may not be talking about a few female relatives of mine who got married in the 80s). And while my wedding might not always been in Vogue (I don't even know if it would have been considered in Vogue in 2009), it will at least be the simple, beautiful, and elegant affair I will always remember.

Nothing like what my wedding would be if these were the fashions. But you can't stone me for loving everything B H L D N has to offer right now.

All images courtesy of B H L D N.

 I do hope no one took offense by this post. I think it is obvious how in love I am by everything in the B H L D N line. I find it all beautiful. How do you all feel?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I LOVE Love!

Well, I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day. I did. My husband got home early (think 7:35pm) and we enjoyed a hot dish of stir fried veggies and fish with rice and split J's V Day gift from me... Coke in a glass bottle.

I don't know if its the blog world I've emersed myself into, or if its the industry in which I work, but I was a bit more excited for the love day than usual this year. I'm usually of the "If you love someone, everyday should be a Valentines Day" boat, but this year the thought of spending time making cookies from scratch, picking out that perfect bottle of Coca Cola, and cuddling up with my husband was exciting for me.

Because yes, if you love someone, you should show them that you do every single day. Why would you save all your love for one day? But sometimes it's nice to have that one day to dedicate to love. Because no matter how much we say it, it's always nice to hear.

I'm not saying you have to break the bank. Shoot, I bought my husband two $1 bottles of pop. There are so many ways to celebrate love than spending money. Sometimes it's just nice to know there is love in the world. So I wore red yesterday in honor of love.

PS I love all of you loyal readers for reading my droning on about love, and other things. If this post was just another Valentines Day mush to you, Happy 364 Full Days Without Valentines Day to you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Magical Growing Rooms

As you know, we like to work on a minimal budget. And by minimal, I really mean free. If you talk a walk through our house, you will find furniture we have found on the side of the road, some we bought from thrift stores, and others we have made ourselves. Our artwork is usually free/under ten dollars. I like to hunt for a bargain. I like to wait until I find the best deals.

That being said, it takes a while to finish a room at this pace. The office is slowly but surely becoming the room I want it to be, but we still have leaps and bounds before we're anywhere near "finished." The rest of the house is coming along very slowly, if at all.

A week ago, before J left for New Mexico, our guest room consisted of a bed, a dog bed, a dining room chair, and a tub filled with bedding. With the exception of the tub, which is now put away in the closet, it's still the same. But it's bigger. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have discovered the secret of making ordinary rooms grow.

Now, I did not take any before pictures for you, so I cannot really prove I expanded the room with nothing more than my own muscles. The problem was, my brain and hands were moving my quicker than my camera. It was not a planned extension; the idea actually hopped into my head as I was washing my hands in the bathroom across the hall, so I walked right into that room and made some magic. Forgot to take a picture. Whoops.

If you're really interested in seeing a before, you can revisit this home tour of yore, and skip ahead to 1 minute and 35 seconds in. It looked a little something like that. Plus a tub and a chair. Please feel free to mute me.

Now, while this room is no closer to being finished, it is bigger. I swear it. Check it out.

As these pictures were loading, I suddenly got embarrassed. This room is nowhere near done. I can't believe I'm showing it to you in this state. Technically, all it is is a bed and a chair. How lame is that?

But then I remembered that this blog is about our life. And our life is not always perfect. It is not always finished. It's far from where we want to be. So this is like a metaphor for our life. Take it or leave it.

Things I still need to do for this room (besides everything): make a headboard out of the door we found on the side of a house that was being torn down, make curtains, get a dresser (and probably make it pretty, because any dresser we can afford probably won't be pretty), stretch and hang some paintings I have in the closet, find a real side table, get a lamp, maybe a desk? (non-dining room) chair? armoir?, figure out the artwork situation (aside from the aforementioned canvases that need stretching), new bedding (new sheets, new comforter, possibly borrow the duvet from our bedroom, and get a quilt for our room), aaaand break down Duke's cage and move it out to the garage.

Not bad. Lets bring this post back to the positive... I can grow rooms! Don't you agree the room is so much bigger now than when we first moved in? It is, I measured. Its at least 10 feet longer. At least. 

Also, I would like to add a disclaimer that the reason for new bedding is that we are using a big chenille blanket with a quilt over top it. Not that I don't love the quilt. The quilt was handmade for us for our wedding, and I love it. It's just a little too small for that bed. I usually use it while watching movies on the couch. The chenille blanket on the other hand, I do not like. Thus, new bedding.

Here is a closeup of that awesome quilt. Side note, does my guest bedroom look like a prison cell to anyone else? If someone is going to come visit me, it will give me a reason to fix this room. Just saying...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

iPhone: Week 6

Caption Contest.
Whoever leaves the best caption for this picture
(taken 9 February)
in the comments of this post
wins 2,000 points.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Six Lions and a Peacoat

White. Mountains of white. Blowing around. Reflecting the sun. Making it hard for Duke to find somewhere in the backyard to do his thing, if you catch my drift. And there are lots of drifts. HUGE drifts. Looking out the window to the front of the house right now, I see a car buried, a patio table heaped halfway to the tip of the umbrella, and a tree that must have strong limbs. I cannot, however, see my shoveling husband, due to the large pile he has created on the side of the driveway.

Yep, snow. We got more snow. Oklahoma is very confused. They don't know what to do. This time, however, I agree with the snow day J is enjoying. There is no way we could have gotten out of our garage, let alone our driveway this morning. And if we got that far, there is no way the streets would have permitted us to get anywhere.

Duke is loving it (well he was loving it, until he had to come inside because there was another dog outside that he just needed to play with. So now, he is under my desk crying. Thus the blog writing, instead of working. Don't really think I need to make a phone call to a photographer with a crying puppy in the background).

J is loving it. And shoveling it. :)

I am loving it. From inside for now, but later we'll head over to the park for the whining, crying puppy.

And it just so happens that I was ready for this. Oh yes, blog readers, I am prepared. Let me tell you what my husband told me when all the stores were having great sales on winter coats last year at the end of the season...

       "Don't buy a new winter coat, you won't need it where we're going. Everywhere we could possibly go does not get snow."

Ha. Good thing I'm a coat hoarder. And I still have my coats from high school. Who cares if they are a little big and old? Well actually, I do, so I fixed one. Check out this before.

Yes, I left the dog/cat hair on that coat to make a more dramatic before & after.

It's not horrible. It's not. I wear it, and its fine. It's just a little boring like that. Don't you think? So imagine my excitement when I received a package full of these in the mail last week:

Gorgeous! I'm in love with buttons! That lion even looks a little bit like the lion in the Recor family crest. If only it had two tails. So with a pair of scissors,  a needle and some thread, I preformed a little coat makeover. Are you ready for this??

Okay, its not super dramatic, I know. And the coat is still too big for me, which really just means I can wear a shirt, sweater, and a sweatshirt under it to stay warm. But its a bit updated. A bit more Mallory circa 2011, rather than American Eagle circa 2004. Who doesn't love a little bit of gold and navy? Almost as good as navy and white...

So whose running to the fabric store on the way home from work to pick up some buttons? Really, it was an awesome (read:cheap) way to update my coat. To take a coat I had and turn it into a coat I wanted. And it was very, very simple. Maybe not precise, but I'm the only one who will be wearing it, so who cares. Thoughts?
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