Moving On Up

Family, interior design, organization

We’ve officially been in our new apartment for about 3 weeks, and it’s really starting to feel like home. Many boxes are unpacked, we’ve started getting some art up on the wall, and the place looks a little less like a fire hazard. 

What’s your first priority when you move in somewhere? For us it was clothes and the kitchen. Those we had up and away in a hot minute. I gotta admit, I just unpacked the majority of our bathroom stuff today. Why do we own so many products when we only use a few? Life’s questions. 

Here’s a few photos of what we started out with. I can’t wait to share what we do with this place long term. 




I love all the windows in this place. The gray brings a calming effect and some instant atmosphere that we adore. It feels like home already.

It’s time for the Honeymoon: Year 2!

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Holiday Cards are here!!!!

Christmas, Crafts, Family, holidays

Happy Thanksgiving Week! I’m excited to say that Moqqup Studios is ready to launch this year’s holiday cards and we can’t wait to show you!

We have created 5×7″ Holiday Cards featuring 6 different hand-painted watercolor designs that have been digitally reproduced on high quality linen paper stock so that no detail is lost. Each card is blank on the inside, making them ideal for your personalized holiday message.

The six designs include a Wreath, 2 types of Holiday Ornaments, a Holly Branch, a Snowman, and a fabulous Christmas Tree.

If you are interested please check out here!

 

Finally Friday

Family, Relaxation

This week’s post is going to deviate slightly from the typical. Half the coast is hunkering down in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, half my state united this week in support of a little boy who wanted to be a superhero. It’s been inspiring to watch so many people from so many walks of life unite. 

It feels trivial to post about art and design when so many powerful things are happening out there. Maybe that’s what people need though. Sometimes, the constant social media posts can get very overwhelming and it’s easy to get bogged down. It’s important to remember to take a break once in awhile and do something just for yourself, just to bring a little joy into the world. 

So shut your phone, turn off your tv. Go for a walk. Hug your dog. Do some yoga. 

And enjoy your weekend!

Friday Five

Family, Finally Friday, interior design, organization

Another week has gone by and it just doesn’t seem real that September is halfway over. Is fall here yet? It surely doesn’t feel like it. 

1) I have a public service announcement for y’all. From me to you. When painting, be very, very careful to not mix up your drink with your paint water. Share to save a life. And keep your tongue from turning blue. Labels save lives people. 

2)  This week we actually stayed near 80 degrees for awhile. It was like the briefest glimpse of respite, to be snatched away oh so quickly. I’ve never gotten used to the idea that the leaves can change while you can still roast an egg on the sidewalk. Madness.

3) I spent a lot of time this week planning and plotting for things for Moqqup Studios and I am so excited for what’s coming. However, with that excitement also comes intimidation and maybe some panic. Who says we can do this? What if our plans don’t go through? When I shared my thoughts with my sister, she sent me this and I have to say, one of my favorite reads this year. I love this. I encourage you all to read this post by Bower Power Blog and remember that there is no such thing as a picture perfect life and that yes, dust is a real thing.

4) Speaking of perfect spaces and potential, I am in full house hunting mode. Does Trulia suck anyone else in on a routine basis? Just me? Oops. That’s been my stress relief this week. Comes highly recommended.

5) I have never seen a puppy so devoted to someone as our dog is to my husband. The sun rises and sets on this man to her. He went out to run errands this week and Bella lay by the doorway pretty much the whole time waiting on him to come back to her. It was cute and sad all at one time. 

Do you know how many photos we have of Bella waiting on Chris to come home? Countless. Bless her.

Devotion in its truest form



She brought her blanket to this one.


How can you say ‘no’ to those eyes? I’m honestly not sure how he leaves the house. I’m weak.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

It’s Finally Friday!

Family, interior design, organization, planning

Finally Friday and I’m just oh so excited! My day is going to be spent catching up on life before a busy weekend starts. 

Here’s my five takeaways from this week:

1) This Sunday I got to visit my niece. She is still adorable, in case you wondered and is a champion sleeper. 

Can’t even handle the cuteness


2) Last week I lopped off and donate 12″ of hair. While I originally intended to use Wigs For Kids, upon further examination they don’t accept colored hair. We decided instead to use Children With Hair Loss

I have to say the change definitely keeps striking me at random times. My hair hasn’t been this short in at least 5 years, possibly ever. My entire hair styling world is thrown for a loop. 

How is it that hair feels so much more cooperative when it’s not attached to your head anymore?

3) I killed my plant. This wasn’t the exciting part; I’m actually fairly disappointed that I am such a black thumb. BUT I did already get a new, supposedly hardy option that I’m hoping will be just fabulous and make me feel like I am a master gardener. We’ll see how long that lasts!

Ignore our classy baggies to catch excess water. We need to hit Home Depot to grab more trays

4) Instagram and I have really been bonding lately. I’ve recently started exploring all the different designers and bloggers in that world and I am beyond excited to immerse myself in this world. 

5) I’m extremely grateful for empty days on the calendar. It feels like the past few weeks have been nonstop from every angle. As I type, I’m mentally prepping to spend the next three hours doing art. Do you know how long it’s been since this was a thing? Far too long. Eek! I can’t wait to share some of the results. 

Happy Friday, friends! May your day be filled with joy, laughter, and lots of productivity.

Finally Friday… Kinda. Well it used to be.

artwork, Baby, Family, Finally Friday

This week’s Friday post got such a late start that it’s happening on Saturday! Because that’s how we roll here in the shire. 

1) I’ve been a busy bee in the studio working on some paintings commissioned for a little one’s nursery. Here’s a sneak peak of the series in progress:

Artwork by Mollie Quarles of Moqqup Studios


2) My fabulous husband has been very supportive and understanding recently of my crazy schedule. This week, he surprised me with some fabulous new mixing bowls from Costco. How gorgeous are these?

Now we just have to figure out where to store them…


3) We belatedly celebrated my birthday with my family and I got these beauties. Don’t you just want pet them? I’ve been in the market for a new wallet for quite awhile. 


4) Look at this little nugget. I didn’t get to visit her this week but she makes excellent faces for the camera that I get to enjoy. 

She was asked, “are you ready for bed?” Nope.

Game face on!

Getting her Saturday morning nap in

Ok I’ll stop. For now. Maybe. 

Y’all enjoy your weekend! We’ll be here, splattering paint on our clothes and cooing over baby antics. 

Whale-come to the Nursery

Baby, Children, Family, interior design, planning, styling

It’s feel like 2016 is just zipping right by. It’s a year of changes for my family and friends. My sister is expecting her first child, a baby girl. To say everyone is thrilled is an understatement.

Most of this summer has revolved around preparing for the upcoming baby, in one way or another. Recently, I spent a weekend at my sister’s home plotting and shopping for baby. Starting with a blank slate, we came up with ideas for a theme and started creating a nursery.

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So many options

Rebecca wanted a nursery that was fairly gender neutral  and would grow along with the child
(and any future children). We talked about a variety of themes, but landed on whales and the ocean. Whales are popular right now, would be easy to find and aren’t specific to a baby girl or boy.

We put together a mood board with ideas of how she pictures the nursery and tried to break it down into specific shopping elements.

Who wouldn’t want this nursery?

Furniture wise, the goal was traditional. Rebecca chose to reuse the changing table from when we were kids. It needed a little love though. The drawers were painted a deep blue, the base was its natural maple and the knobs are little baseballs, from my brothers childhood bedroom. For my niece, we updated a bit. My brother in law painted the base white and used an ombré effect on the drawers. We’re still on the hunt for some fun knobs; really, the options are endless!

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I am just in love with this updated look 

They chose a traditional crib in the Jenny Lind style and wanted a comfy rocker to settle into for late night feedings. Other than a bookshelf and a lamp, that covered layout  covered, furniture-wise. Now for the fun stuff: accessories and storage. We trolled brick-and-mortar stores as well as the Internet to find inspiration.

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So many options


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So many options


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So many options

We found so many adorable ideas it was hard to narrow it down. Some I can’t even publish yet because I would hate to spoil surprises. More photos to come showing all projects for baby.

I can’t wait to share how this nautical nursery turns out!

Family

It’s officially been one month since the wedding (closer to two actually), and I think C and I can finally breathe for a second. Whew! The past few months have revolved entirely around the wedding, with a dash of getting moved into a new apartment thrown in just for spice. It’s been an absolutely crazy time, but I feel like I can speak for both of us when I say that we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Littenberg Wedding-441

Fabulous photography courtesy of Mary DeCrescenzio with Southern Jewel Photography

I had certain ideas loosely formed about my perfect wedding before the planning process started. I think that’s true of most girls actually. I’ve been watching shows like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ for years, long before I had a potential fiancé (and later, with Chris, who was delighted to watch every time, I’m sure. Sorry dear).  I’m a girly girl, no denying. I love flowers and jewelry and everything about weddings. I think I have cried at every wedding I’ve ever attended. But for my own, I was a little more lost when it came to the details.

I had vague ideas on my dress and on my style. Beyond that, I had Pinterest. I think the biggest launching point for the themes of the wedding came from going through my boards. I hadn’t been pinning things specifically before the engagement, but I did have a whole bevy of posts saved about paper flowers. I was obsessed. I love flowers and I loved the idea of making our own centerpieces. Who wouldn’t love roses made of your favorite novel? But would that be enough color for me? That led me to think on Theme Number 2, which comes with backstory…

Chris proposed with hand drawn splash comics that he and a friend collaborated on. We got back from a comic convention and he had the proposals set out on a fabulous new drafting table that he’d snuck into my parents living room. We walked in, Bam! He was kneeling down behind me. They’re currently framed and hanging in our hallway. The drafting table is in the loft upstairs.

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The proposals displayed at the entryway to the wedding. Photography by Mary DeCrescenzio of Southern Jewel Photography

Comics are a big part of Chris’s life. He has hundreds, possibly thousands and can tell you all sorts of tidbits about all sorts of universes. We’ve gone to Heroescon in Charlotte every year of our relationship and I’ve slowly learned more about ‘that world.’ I don’t claim to read comics now, I usually wait for the movie to come out, but it speaks to me and my love of books.  I started thinking about doing bouquets that combined my love of books with his love of comics.

I showed all my paper flower pins to Chris and we started throwing around the idea. They’d have color, they’d tell a story and they fit US!  No one who knows us can claim we are not extremely geeky. The biggest doubt came from how time consuming they would be. Each flower takes roughly ten minutes to make, give or take. They must be traced, cut, curled, and then glued. Multiply that by the hundreds and you’ve got a major undertaking. Chris swore to help, and we made a couple of test flowers. We were hooked. They were super budget friendly, and carried the added bonus of being something that could be done completely beforehand. I am the crafty one of my family, no one wanted me to be running around trying to arrange flowers and tables two hours before the ceremony. (Here I insert major props to my now-husband, our wedding planner, and our family and friends: our wedding day was fabulous and you all did a wonderful job of keeping me out of the details. Bless you all. I was absolutely in bride-land).

So there you have it: we had a theme of sorts: vintage geek. The romance of times gone by with the quirky touches of all of our favorite things. Our wedding truly had a bit of every facet of our personalities: old time vintage meets Star Wars and Harry Potter.

And now, I get to share some of the fabulous photos our photographer, Mary DeCrescenzio of Southern Jewel Photography captured of our special day. It truly wouldn’t have been the same without her!

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Crafts, Family, organization

As a wedding speeds towards us and the start of a new chapter coming, my beloved and I have been looking at different rental properties. With both houses and apartments are on the options list, we’ve picked up some valuable tidbits about each other left and right.

For starters, I don’t play hardball so well. I love everything, as long as it’s clean. I am a sucker. I’ve also learned that I’m fairly cheap. I’ve gotten really used to not paying rent. I am not looking forward to changing that. ‘C’ is more prepared for that and thinks I’m hilarious and slightly ridiculous when I panic every hour or so. He is not wrong.

Secondly, I am extremely optimistic about our lifestyle. Glass half full is an excellent way to describe me. Whether it’s a ridiculously small living space or completely dysfunctional kitchen, I have a slightly manic “we can do it!” attitude. We don’t have that much stuff right? We can make that work, easy. I’m fairly certain this stems from the differences in our last living situations. The last apartment I lived in was beyond tiny. You could fit a twin sized bed in the bedroom, but not much else. There wasn’t even room in that apartment for a stove. We made do with a camp stove. My other half, however, was last in a two bedroom, two bath 1,100 square foot space with decent amenities. And he wants the same or better for the new place.  Who could blame him?

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One of us is clearly more selective than the other. Clearly I need to raise my standards a bit.

In this case, I’m glad my fiance is more discerning than me. We can design and DIY our way through a lot of things, but I’m glad he realizes the things that I will pitch fits about later, even when I pretend I’ll be fine. Instead, I’ve moved straight into nesting. I may not want to work on any of my other current projects or work on my To Do list, but antiquing for furniture for a home we don’t have yet? Sign me up. I have ideas overflowing and bulletin boards that reflect that, both real and online. I can’t wait to begin.

How do you react to a house hunt? Anyone else love everything they see? Let us know in the comments below.