June 23, 2012

What Ally Wore.

I've seen a few people do this on their blogs and I am always getting asked where I get my clothes and if I can post some tips or tricks to certain hairstyles or outfits. I wanted to show you what I wore yesterday because I loved the outfit! I felt very Florida-esc. 

Excuse my faces, Ryan was taking my pictures...and I always laugh at him trying to work my camera. He gets in "photographer" mode... and it cracks me up!

So here's the run down on the outfit.

Jacket is from Old Navy. You can find it here. I want the white one too! And Old Navy is having a 15% off sale right now so it'd be a good time to buy it!

I'm just wearing a plain white tank I think I got from Target. You can essentially get that anywhere.

I got the skirt from Target as well. You can find it here. I got mine on sale for $12.48. Winning. It has a cute little belt on the top too but Ryan isn't very good at getting details of the outfit. 

Here's a close up of my shoes. They are also from Old Navy. You can find them here. I got mine on sale for $10 in store...but again, they are having a 15% sale so now would be the time to get them! I also have them in white and silver! I think they are so cute!

I'd also pair these sandals with any basic white tee or gray tee....for that extra pop of color.

I always see the ballerina bun on Pinterest and wanted to try it. It was the  best I could do with the length of hair that I have. Did I mention how BAD I need color done?

So what do y'all think about doing some random blog posts about what I wore? I think it's fun and a bit different. I really think my best accessory was my wiener dog by far! Winston is the cutest!

Thanks for listening!


June 21, 2012

Giveaway from A Pretty Shoppe!

Home by Ally 
is now hosting a giveaway from 
"A Pretty Shoppe!" 

You can find "A Pretty Shoppe" actually shop online here. 

"A Pretty Shoppe"
 has been nice enough to host a giveaway to ONE lucky winner to receive a custom pair of earrings AND a custom set of bobby pins made with love especially for you! How awesome is she?

Here's some background for you on A Pretty Shoppe from Kirah, the owner.

Me: How did A Pretty Shoppe begin?

A Pretty Shoppe came about after lots of wishing, dreaming, and praying. I established A Pretty Shoppe after Mr. Handsome and I lost our first child in January 2011. I knew through the grief, I needed to put my energy and emotions into something so I started creating & healing. After a lot of prayer and encouragement from family and 
friends, A Pretty Shoppe was born, as my creating and healing became a passion & love.

Me: What do you enjoy most about your shoppe?

The thing I enjoy most about my shoppe is making pretty things! – how FUN is that!? It’s amazing! I spend hours a day looking for inspiration, reading magazines & books, praying, listening to music, etc. And then I go to my pretty studio and start making my dreams and ideas come to life. I also love all the sweet notes and comments I get from my customers - they encourage me and remind me why I make pretty things. 

Me: What are four random things you want us to know?

1. I am slightly addicted to Sweet Tea. {I drink it daily.}
2. I wanted to be a Librarian when I grew up. I love books! In fact, I would line my dolls up along the wall and glue library cards on the inside of my books and check books out to my dolls.{I never thought I would own my own company.}
3. When I was little I used to tell people I was related to the founder of the Campbell’s Soup Co. because my last name is Campbell. {I know, I know, lying isn’t good – I was like 5, gimme a break.}
4. Giggle is my favorite word. How can you not giggle when hear & say it?

Me: Where do you see yourself & your business in 10 years?

For myself- I want to continue to grow in my walk with God. After that, I want to be a good wife to my Mr. Handsome, and a mom to a healthy, happy child {or 2 or 3}. I want to watch my children grow up, I want to be an example to my children of what walking with God and following your dreams looks like.For my business – I hope & pray that my shoppe will continue to flourish just as my family will flourish.

Me: What are some of your favorite handmade shops?

My favorite handmade shops are:
Jumping Jax Designs www.jumpingjaxdesigns.com
JessicaNdesigns http://www.etsy.com/shop/jessicandesigns{isn’t her stuff gorgeous?!}
Love Stitched http://www.etsy.com/shop/lovestitched

Me: If you could give one powerful piece of advice to someone trying to start a business, what would it be?
BE YOURSELF! There’s a quote that I absolutely love and I think it is so important for new & existing business owners to remember. 
I have a framed copy of this quote on my desk and I see it daily. It is a constant reminder to be myself.

“Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you!” – Dr. Seuss

Isn't she awesome?

Here's some earrings out of "A Pretty Shoppe." Are they not the prettiest things you have ever seen? I LOVE this shop and all it has to offer! I personally have orders COUNTLESS numbers of pretties and have loved every single pair! Kirah, the owner of "A Pretty Shoppe" makes these pretties by hand. There are so many colors that can match so many fabulous outfits! The possibilities are endless!

(Photo credit to Evie & Jr. Photography)

Look at how cute this ring is! I am so in LOVE with everything that this shoppe makes! 

(Photo Credit to Christina Block Photography)

Can this stuff get any more cute? And her prices are amazing! I have absolutely no complaints! 
You'll just keep coming back for more! Look at these cute bobby pins with the flower accents. How cute would these be on a little girl or even as an accent in your hair for date night? Like I said before, the possibilities are endless!

(Photo Credit to Christina Block Photography)

I love these deep blue earrings. They are so classy and elegant.

Isn't the packaging cute too?

Ok! So are you excited yet?
 "A Pretty Shoppe
will be giving away to ONE lucky winner a FREE pair of pretty earrings as well as a FREE set of hair pretties (bobby pin pretties)  shown below!

This is a great giveaway and I hope y'all share this with you and yours! Kirah is one talented girl over at "A Pretty Shoppe" and I am so honored that she is hosting a giveaway  Thank you so much Kirah!

Here’s how to enter the GIVEAWAY:

1. LIKE Home by Ally on Facebook (Leave a comment here on the blog that you did so) = 1 Entry

2. LIKE A Pretty Shoppe on Facebook (leave a comment here on the blog that you did so) = 1 Entry

3. Leave a comment on Home by Ally's wall letting her know that you're a new fan from A Pretty Shoppe = 1 Entry

4. Leave a comment on A Pretty Shoppe’s wall letting her know you’re a new fan from 
Home By Ally = 1 Entry

5. Share the giveaway on Facebook using the following (leave a comment here that you did so):
“I would love to win PRETTIES from @a pretty shoppe over at @Home By Ally!” = 1 Entry

6. Tweet the following with a link to this post:
“I would love to win PRETTIES from @aprettyshoppe over at @Home By Ally!” = 1 Entry

That's it! Get to sharing! Contest is LIVE now! Contest ends Friday, June 29th at 9:00pm central time!

If you didn't already know, I love to take pictures just as much as I like to repurpose furniture! I had a weekend of mini sessions a few weeks back and I would like to share a few of the photographs!

What do you think? We leave on Monday morning and I will be taking sessions in NC until we arrive in FL! Can't wait to hear from y'all! Head on over to Home by Ally to hear about an awesome little giveaway tonight! Until tonight... talk to you soon!


June 20, 2012

Supporting our Military

Tonight's post is not going to be about what piece of furniture I re did or how to "do it yourself." It's not going to be about moving or my favorite decorating tips. Tonight this post is about something that is very near and dear to my heart


Being a military wife is by to this day, this hardest thing I have ever had to do. It has been choice before and after I got married. I not only married a military man but I married the Air Force. I married the 16 hour days, the deployments, the days without phone calls, the dinners at 12:00AM, tears on Skype, 3 holidays together in 5 years... you name it, we've done it.

You see, I didn't know what I was getting myself into whenever I married a military man, not Ryan. I knew that Ryan was the most loving man I had ever met. I knew that Ryan could make me laugh when the only thing I wanted to do was cry. I knew that the man I loved was the same man that a little Ally had a crush on in middle school. The man I loved came from the same kind of family I did, who held morals and values that I cherished and still do. I knew that Ryan was the man for me because I didn't have to think twice about marrying him. I didn't have to question if I was doing the right thing, I just knew it. They say "when you know, you know" and I never understood it. Quite frankly, I thought it was stupid until Ryan asked me to marry him. And then I knew. When he asks, I didn't think about it. And let's face it, if you know me... you know I'm a thinker. I just knew.

I said yes.

Ryan and I have known each other since middle school. We started dating during my senior year of high school. All together, we have been dating (and married) together for almost 5 years. Before we arrived in Minot, Ryan and I had spent a total of 3 months together and not all at once. 

Ryan's first base was Korea. We started dating when he first got to Korea. He was there a year...we hoped for a stateside base but he got Germany next. After he finished Korea, he came home for only 1 month and the whirlwind began. He left for Germany and was there a total of almost 2 years. Ryan was in Germany for about 6 months and received orders to Iraq. We broke up before he left for Iraq because I was scared...and tired of doing the "long distance" thing. I'd heard over and over that it would never work and believed it. Little did I know, it would be the best mistake of my life.

 After dating other people for a bit... one Skype call changed my world forever. Everyone kept telling me I was still in love with that boy...but I didn't believe it until one email and one Skype call. We got back together over Skype, yes. That's how us military folk do it ;) Here's a rough photo of our first time seeing each other since Ryan came home from Korea. I was a mess to say the least and could barely get my feet to move... hints why Ryan is smiling and laughing at me.

After one month of being together after Iraq, Ryan had to go back to Germany... for another 6-8 months.  But before he did that, he did one important thing. PROPOSED! Here's me right after it happened! I had other pictures right after of the two of us but silly me... deleted the pictures accidentally :(

I had to finish my Pharmacy Technician program so could not go over...until he had about 3 months left. And then, I did. I traveled across the world for someone I loved. Who can say that? Ryan came home for another month after that...and soon we had orders to MINOT, ND. YIPPEE. I cried actually. But what are ya going to do? You have to make the best out of every situation.

You see military is a choice only made by a select few and it's definitely not for everyone. But my husband made that choice and I have the upmost respect for him for doing so. My husband has fought for you. And so has his father. And his grandfather. 

I was never part of the military before Ryan. We were considered civilians and knew NOTHING of the military. We had no affiliation what so ever so I can honestly say I didn't really think twice about the people in the military. I appreciate them for fighting for our freedom but I didn't realize the lifestyle and what the families go through until we started dating and even more when we got married.

So, I just want to set this record straight. I won't be saying any names or even getting into the personal experience that I had about this because it's not needed. I always ask everyone to support our military whether it's a donation, a prayer or just a thank you.. they appreciate it. WE appreciate it. 

This is a piece of what was said to me...and to think I've never met this person in my life. They only know me through someone else. That's it. And to think that she owns a photography business in NC and has had tons of military clients! (We are from Jacksonville, NC home to one of the largest Marine Corps duty stations.)
"I am not as privileged as you to just. Sit around a be a house wife, a repurposer, a photographer, a dog mommy and what ever else you do! I have to work a full time job as well. And to be honest it keeps me humble. It makes me realize that I have to work extra hard for what I do and it makes me feel awesome knowing that I just don't get things handed to me on a silver platter. I won't worry what you think but only about what God thinks. Most women marry into the military so they don't have to work!! Then they become photographers and repurposers. From a very young age I have learned that if I want something I MUST work for it. I don't call it a sorry excuse for an American or  even a photographer I call it living the American dream. You're just a military wife who thinks she is doing something for her country. But get this. Your not. I bet you wouldn't have even gotten the job you have now if you didn't marry into the military. (notice I said marry, and not joined.) your husband did. So please what are you doing for your country!! Oh yeah!! Nothing. Get it! "

 This person is right. 
I am privileged. Privileged to be a military wife. I've got the best damn job and hardest there is. 
We are the forgotten ones as they say...because we put up with just as much as they do...
I do have a full time job. I have always had a job. And so do most other military wives. Whether they are a photographer, work at the commissary or are a stay at home mom. Work is work.
I do take pictures. And I do repurpose furniture. Ryan works 16-18 hour days and sometimes doesn't have a day off for two weeks straight. You'd keep busy too. Plus, I enjoy both. Independence is something you learn early on in the relationship.
I do work extra hard for everything I do. Including moving every couple of years. And keeping in touch with my family who are about 2000 miles away. I do work extra hard to make new friends every new place we go and work extra hard to keep in touch with the old ones. Can you imagine the families with kids? I pray for them every night.
I didn't get the job I did because Ryan was military. I got my job because I wanted to work and I work hard. I got my job because I do a good job and want to be the best. Period. 

You see everyone... if you haven't ever thought about this, please think about it now. It is the ultimate sacrifice being in the military. But do not forget about the wives, children and families as well. Because they pay just as much of a sacrifices as the men and women in uniform do. While you get to eat dinner with your spouse every night, they just wait for a phone call. In the world we live in today, we truly could do more, even if you just find one person and let them know you are praying for them... it could make such a big difference. While you complain about your husband being gone for one week, hers has been gone for 9 months and still has 3 months left. So before you go telling someone they don't do anything but live off their husband or their wife (who serves) think twice. You'll have an army to face afterwards. 

And I think she needs Jesus.

Edited Jan 2015 : I still think she needs Jesus. And I did pray for this girl a lot. My heart softens like so many others over time and I can only hope that she has more respect, not for me but for others who are not capable of speaking up for themselves or their beliefs. I hope she has softened and I hope her heart is good. We all need to be good to each other. Life is hard enough.

June 18, 2012

My Favorite Cleaning Products

Since our stuff is all packed up and our house is empty, we have started to thoroughly clean it. Our final inspection for our home is this Thursday and we are set to depart Minot Monday morning at 9am. I can't believe it's really here! 

Now for my reviews! I wish I could take real photos for you but I don't have my desktop right now (it's traveling to FL) and that's where I edit all my photos. Review time!

Windex Multi Surface

I LURVE this stuff. I use it on literally EVERYTHING. My mama always told me that water and vinegar was the best cleaning solution and essentially that is what you have right here. I use it on walls, on my counter tops, in the shower, on floors, etc. It is the bomb dot com.  But seriously, it's my go-to cleaning product. I always have like 3 bottles under my sink, I am seriously obsessed. Have you checked out Windex's multiple products and their help hints for cleaning? You can find all that here.

Goof Off

I discovered "Goof Off" through my former boss. He warned me not to use because at times it can be too strong of a cleaning supply and can eat away at certain kinds of surfaces that you use it on. I, of course did not listen and tried it anyways. My main concern was our hardwood floors. Our current house was built in the early 70's so dated is an under statement. We have a pink kitchen people!  So beyond ready for a new house!  So, whenever we moved in... I wanted to make it feel like "home" as much as I could...so we painted our dining room and an accent wall in the living room. Whenever it came to painting our home back, my husband Ryan decided to be the awesome husband that he is and started painting back for me. WITH NO DROP CLOTH. I could have killed him! Needless to say, we had a lot of tiny white spots ALL OVER our hardwood floors. But this stuff worked like a charm!!!! I took a putty knife like this one here -------------------------------------------------------> I sprayed "Goof Off" on the damaged area, let sit for about 10-15 seconds and started scraping with the grain of our hardwood floors... PLEASE be aware that I do NOT recommend anyone doing this to your hardwoods. The only reason this worked for ours was because of the age of our home PLUS we do not have a  SEAL  on our floors so I wouldn't hurt anything! This stuff WILL take off the seal so pleaseeeeeee DO NOT use it if you do have a seal! It also works like a charm on grease stains, upholstery, etc. BUT please remember that it does work VERY well and is very STRONG!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Mr. Clean is cute isn't he? These are awesome! We had lots of marks on our walls from someone moving furniture all the time... I wonder who that was? I used this eraser on all the walls and it took everything off immediately. 

Have you ever used any of these products? How did you like them? Have you written a review lately? Just thought I'd share a few of my favorites. 

Talk to y'all soon enough!!


June 11, 2012

Master Bedroom Furniture REDO

Hey y'all! I have been moving our stuff downstairs all day and getting things ready for our movers to get here in 2 days! They start packing on Wednesday and take everything away on Friday! I can't believe it's came this fast! Where has the time gone? My last day of my job is this Friday and it's so bittersweet. I've loved working with the people I have and I hope the person who replaces me really appreciates everything my job and the people have to offer....

Now on to the blogpost! So, I was bored with our bedroom set oh I don't know about 6 months ago! It was a beautiful wood color but had been through a few moves and it showed. I wanted to give it a facelift so of course I painted it WHITE!

This is the only picture I could find of the before... Sorry it's blurry but ya get the idea!

And drum roll please....gosh I love WHITE!

There's my DIY rustic mirror... didn't get to read that post? You can find it here.

I love how the mirror turned out. It's a such a pretty contrast against all the white. And my change mason of course. The lamps are from Walmart! CUTE! And cheap!

Keep in mind that we don't really have this room decorated anymore because we are moving! I can't wait to show you our new house.... Totally can't wait!!!

Here are my favorite bedside reads....

"1,001 Things Every Married Couple Should Know" by Harry H. Harrison Jr
"Married for Life" Lessons From Couples Who Have Been Together For 50+ Years by Bill Morelan
"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson, Ph. D.
"Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz
And of course...
"Exposed" by Jasmine Star

Your master should be a retreat and a place to enjoy each other. We had and usually do have a TV in here but I'm enjoying actually not having it. At least until a new House Hunters comes on.

And here's another after shot from the door again walking into our master. It's tiny but cozy none the less. And I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Let me know what you think and wish us luck with our move! I may be blogging inbetween the trip in the hotels! We are offically at 12 days and wake up!

Night y'all!


June 5, 2012

DIY: Rustic Mirror

It's Tuesday! Which is day closer to our new adventure! 19 days and a wake up today :) I am so excited and ready! Our house is pure chaos right now so excuse the bad pictures :(

 I started this project with two other friends that wanted to do it also. shanty-2-chic.com did this first and we wanted to re-create the look... and give instructions on how we did it as well!

Here's my mirror! I LOVE it! And can't wait to hang it in our new house! I have SO MANY ideas for a project like this! You could do any color for the mirror, any size... Menards had a ton of mirrors in different shapes and sizes to choose from! I plan to build another similiar this but more in a square shape and put chicken wire behind it...and build yet another earring holder :) You could also buy hooks and drill them into the sides or horizontal bottom and have a great entryway key or coat holder. So many possibilities people!

Ok, so first things first... your supplies. Here's what you will need.

Staple Gun: (Your nearest Hardware store)(Hobby Lobby has them too)
Gorilla Glue: (Menards)
Paint Brushes (Menards)
Stain or Paint (Which ever you prefer)
Not pictured: Liquid Nails
Mirror: Walmart (without edge)
Wood: Menards
Optional: Clamp (This helps secure something you're trying to hold together. Ask your hardware store associate)

**TIP: If you want to hang this on the wall, rememeber to consult an employee at the store where you are purchasing your supplies. You will need brackets for hanging the mirror on the wall.**

Ok! So let me first start by saying this project didn't cost me $15. I wish it would have but sadly, no! The mirror itself was $15 but that was the cheapest one that our Walmart had PLUS I didn't have to remove the edge so even better ;) I already had most of the materials on hand... so that did save me some money. I did have pictures from our adventure to Menards but sadly, I accidently deleted them earlier :( I know, I am so sad. A sad, sad panda.

Here's the measurements that you need for the wood but this is ONLY dependent upon buying this exact mirror from Walmart! I bought my wood at Menards and we had the guy cut it there to save money. Sad panda in me knows that I don't think he got my measurements right :( Such a sad panda about this but it's still super cute so it'll be a - ok!

Each piece needs to be cut at a 45 degree angle... they probably won't be perfect. But most things that aren't perfect are more beautiful because of that. So yes, I am going to keep telling myself that.

It does not matter what type of wood you use for this, either. I recommend asking an associate at whatever store you may be visiting and search for a cheap alternative  like I did. Mine was pine and cost me $3.69 per board. So that's $7.38 for two.

The mirror is  4 foot tall by 1 foot wide that I purchased. Yours may be different.

{2} 1x4's at 10ft long each

Cut one board into {2} pieces at 4ft 4 inches each. (Long point to long point)
Cut the other board into {2}pieces at 1ft 6 inches each. (Long point to long point)

You will also need to have each end of each board cut to a 45 degree angle. MAKE SURE when you cut these they line up. I had a huge problem with trying to get them to line up! This is the best picture I have to show you. (Remember I accidentally deleted mine).

After all your wood is cut, I first stained mine to get that out of the way. I laid it on the ground just like shown in the picture up there ^. Remember to stain the inside of wood and outsides. You will see both! I used Minwax stain in a darker tone. They have many to choose from! I am going to do another mirror like this one but next time, I plan to paint it white and distress it. Then, go over it with stain and wipe clean. It creates a very pretty cream, old fashioned look.

Ok! So you've stained all your wood and you have it lined up like the picture up there. ^

Next, you will need your staple gun and your gorilla glue.

I know you really can't tell but have no fear, this is Gorilla Glue inbetween those two corners! I'd recommend doing this on pavement you don't mind getting the glue on! IF NOT, put a scrape piece of wood or something underneath this! I put Gorilla Glue between these two end points and held together so the glue could secure. I held that for about one minute and then got my staple gun out. Proceeding to tightly keep the two corners together, I also stapled every corner like seen in the picture.

Next, I didn't want to get Liquid Nails on the front of my mirror so I put the Liquid Nails on the BACK outer rim of the mirror on every side. Top, bottom and all sides, the edges closest to the middle.  Alittle goes along way.

All together and only because I had some supplies laying around and I used other materials.... it cost me under $40. Still not bad considering it's custom! And real wood! Something like this could easily be $100+ at Pottery Barn, etc. 

And simply let it dry. I also used a clamp on each corner to ensure that it was held tightly and wouldn't come apart...and drum roll please...........

What do you think of my mirror? I love it! Are you going to try to do your own?
Let me know what you think! And I would love for you to keep pinning me and let me know you did so! Thanks so much for the continued support!

You can follow me on Facebook HERE.
You can follow my photography on Facebook HERE.



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