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My post is a bit lengthy, but, hopefully, you will bear with me. Here goes...
Exactly ten years ago today, I was a twelve year old boy left in tears. I had just showered and was struggling to fix my hair. It didn't matter if I put gel in my hair or not, it still looked like a dang buzz cut. I thought my world was ending. I had been trying to grow my hair out a bit, but the night before, dad had gotten mom to cut it short. Against my better judgement, I agreed. My dad really liked it better that way. It was just like his. Well that morning, he had walked into their bathroom where mom, Reagan, and I were getting dressed for school and work. (We all had our own bathrooms, not sure why we all got dressed in that one bathroom). He laughed and joked with me saying that it looked good, and that I looked just like him. I remember saying, "I'm almost a teenager, I don't want to look like my dad." He quickly reminded me of his teenage years and what a stud he was. Yes, I knew this. I wasn't happy about the situation at all. He was about to leave to go fishing for the day, so he started telling us all bye. When he came over to me, he said, "I really do like the haircut; give me a hug." I gave him a hug and assured him I would not be cutting my hair like that again. He said "love you" to each one of us, kissed mom and headed out to his boat and truck (we could see it from the bathroom window). We assumed he had already left, but a few minutes later he walked back in. Mom said, "I thought you were gone?" He replied, "I'm leaving now, just wanted to tell y'all that I love you and have a great day." A little while later, we saw his truck out on the road. He had slowed down and honked, so we all went to the bathroom window and waved bye to him. We usually always tell each other, "bye" or "love you", but never that many times in one morning. Little did we know, that would be the last time we would see him.
Mom had just talked to him a few minutes before it happened. He was supposed to be at the house to get me and Reagan off the bus, so Mom couldn't believe he was still at the lake. He assured her he was headed back to the dock and would never miss getting us off of the bus. Dad had even told her not to worry about dinner because we would go to BBQ West that night before church. Soon after they hung up, while on his way back to the dock, his boat hit a floating log and he was thrown out. That was the afternoon our world, as we knew it, fell apart.
Today, I think back to all the memories we made. There are so many. However, the one memory that sticks out to me is how many times before bed he would have me and Reagan come lay on their bed and, as a family, he would read to us a story from the Bible. We would then sit around and discuss it. That sums up what kind of dad and husband he was. I remember so many trips to the hunting camp where we would have long talks about school, church, girls, and life in general. One thing he always drilled in us was to keep God first and go after Him with our whole hearts, and everything else would fall into place. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think of some conversation we had... or that night I killed my first deer. I'm pretty sure he was more excited than I was. Today, I would give it all to go hunting with him one more time or to play a game of horse with him and Reagan.
It's been ten years. To be honest, it has kind of flown by. On the flip-side, it feels like forever since I've seen him. Life has taken us so many places. After praying aloud every night to where I made sure my mom could hear me, God answered my prayers. My mom found happiness again and remarried an amazing guy! He makes her so happy and has been a great dad to me and Reagan. Not only that, but he and Mom had a baby. Hadley is now six years old and brings so much joy to all of our lives. Reagan is in her senior year of high school. She will graduate with honors and a 4.0 GPA. I could go on and on about her million accomplishments. I can only think of how proud Dad would be of his little girl. She is perfect in my eyes. As for me, I'm doing alright. I live in West Monroe and am a creative director for a company that's based in Ruston. I would say I am still trying to figure life out.
I hope I didn't bore you all too badly. I wanted to tell you a story that hasn't been told, and I wanted to give you an update on where we are ten years later. Life has kept us busy, but we will never forget him. Love you, dad!
We did it y'all! We made it to Friday! The weekend is upon us, and I can't wait. It's been a ridiculously cold and gloomy week here. I'm longing for those long summer days of wearing shorts and flip-flops. But until then I will sport my favorite Frye boots and chunky knit sweaters. Since I have been indoors most of the week, I have had more time than usual to read my favorite blogs. Today I am going to share with you my three favorite posts from this week! They are all from blogs I read on a daily basis. Check them out!
1. Bright. Bazaar Book! Blogger Will Taylor's first book will be available April 29th, you can order it here. The Bright. Bazaar blog has thousands of readers daily. I couldn't be more excited about this book. Sometimes I am afraid of color, so this book will help me step out of my comfort zone. Click here for Will's post on the book.
2. Kara Paslay's Deconstructed Dresser B & A (w/ Cottage Paint!)! I have followed this DIY Queen for a couple of years now, and she still amazes me weekly! When I lived in Tulsa a friend told me about her blog, and that she was the Visual Manager at our local Anthropologie. Since I was and still am today obsessed with Anthro's creative windows, I was so excited to find out about Kara's blog. You guys have got to see what she did with this dresser this week. Isn't she cool?
3. Scout Sixteen's post Olive & Maroon, I read a lot of design blogs and a few fashion blogs. Justin Livingston is my favorite person to follow in the men's fashion world. He is a lifestyle blogger from the South that moved to NYC to find adventure. The dude has incredible style! His blog is such an inspiration to me. I will be ordering a pair of these Hickies today. I can't wait to get a pair. Check out Justin's blog Scout Sixteen, you won't regret it!
Hope you all have a great Superbowl weekend. I will be skipping Monday, but I have something special to share with you on Tuesday. See ya'll later!
Good news, we are on the downhill of this work week! It's felt like the longest week ever. I personally think the frigid temperatures and gloomy days are to blame. Anyhow, let's get to today's post.
For the past few months I have been itching to change my bedroom up a bit. I decided this time I was going to wait it out until I found the perfect pieces. Lately I have been using this strategy, and it's turned out pretty good for me. Usually, I'm the person who decided to buy something and have it by that afternoon. Today I am going to share a few pieces that I have found that will be making there way into my bedroom in the next month or so. I have created a mood board so I can get an idea of what will work and what pieces may not make the cut.
You will see that I am really into navy right now. From the stripes on the Steven Alan quilt, to the honeycomb wallpaper; it's definitely my color crush. Nature has always inspired me and still does to this day. I'm basically obsessed with the Papier-Mâché animal heads from West Elm and the whale bookends from Woodstock Furniture Revival. What are your thoughts? Loving it, or not so much? I would love your feedback!
See ya Friday,
Happy Monday folks! Hope your weekend was spectacular! My weekend was pretty laid back. I spent time with family and friends, watched (and live-tweeted) the Grammys, and worked on my home office. I will post later this week about some of my favorite Grammy moments. For now, I want to show you the progress I've made with my office.
When I moved into my apartment about six months ago, I knew I wanted to make my extra room into a office/creative space. I needed a space that was organized and had a good desk/work table. The desk/work table was made by my friend Jonathan. All I had to do was order the hairpin legs and attach them. It turned out great in my opinion. I will say, I ordered the legs a little tall. It made the desk a little high, but I actually love it because I can pull up a bar-stool when creating things. Today I just wanted to share some of the pictures with you. It's not completed, but it's workable. I will probably take the linen chair out and recover it for my bedroom. I also need to find a cool desk chair (any suggestions would be great!) What do you guys think?
Happy Friday folks! Sorry I've been a bit MIA this week on the blog. It's just been one of those weeks. Am I the only one ready for the weekend?
Last weekend as you know I spent the weekend in Dallas. Here lately it feels like I am there every other week, but I'm not complaining. Dallas is one of my favorite places to be. I always leave feeling inspired and motivated. I am from a small town, so every chance I get to visit the big city in the south, I take it! Usually my weekends are packed full of things to do, but since I have been going so often, I really didn't have that many plans. I visited some cool areas that I usually don't get a chance to visit.
Lower Greenville has to be one of my absolute favorite parts of Dallas. It's this really cool (Hipster) area with tons of unique shops. A friend of mine that lives in that area first introduced me to Mudsmith Coffee. One mocha and I was hooked. Sometimes, I think about driving four hours just to have one. The weather was amazing for sitting outside on their patio and for doing a little work while sipping on my mocha. Another really cool place I visited was Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Not only is the design of the building great, the chocolate is out of this world. I highly recommend paying these fine folks a visit if you're in the area. Since I had already eaten lunch, I didn't get to try any of the cool restaurants (for sure next time). Oh, and for all you Trader Joe's fans out there, you're in luck! It was my first time visiting one and I have to say, I love it. The prices are so reasonable, and the selection is great! Here are a few pics I snapped!
Hope ya'll have a great weekend! Anyone doing anything fun? I have to finish up my office, and I have a design appointment! I can't wait to show you guys the office. It is finally coming together! See you back here on Monday!
Hey y'all! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I decided not to post yesterday because I had a special post for today:) Hope you guys enjoy!
I believe in giving credit where credit is due; that is what today's post is. People always ask where I get my creativity. My answer is always the same, "My mom." She is one of the most creative people I know. Growing up my room was probably redesigned fifteen times, and that is not an exaggerated number. She has a great eye and executes it well. Her home always looks like a page torn out of Southern Living. I am lucky that I have a smidgen of her creativity and work ethic. When my dad died almost ten years ago, she was left a single parent for a while. Her world had caved in around her, but she was determined to be the best single mom she could possibly be. Putting her hurt aside, she tried to give me and Reagan everything we needed to make our world feel like it had not just been turned upside-down. My mom is one of the strongest ladies I know. One of her best qualities is that she is a Godly woman. Just this past week it was her idea to have our family write scriptures on the frame of the new house. I am thankful for a godly mother who helps my dad pastor a church and makes sure her family is on the right path. So you can probably tell by now my mom is so much more than just a mother; she is my mentor, and one of my best friends! Happy Birthday Mom, I love you!
I have some exciting things to share with you all very soon! Stay tuned!
It's finally Friday folks-
This past Sunday after church I headed to my parents for lunch. It's not very often that my mom cooks lunch on Sunday. They pastor a church and she attends both services. When you get out at 1p it's easier for us to just go out for lunch. After a delicious meal, we decided to ride out to where they are building a new house. It's about thirty minutes from where I live, so I haven't been out there lately. They had concrete, a whole lot of dirt, and the bottom floor was framed up.
Mom thought it would be a great idea if we would all write our favorite scriptures around the house. I asked to write lyrics to a song or a quote, but she didn't go for it! Ha. I thought it was so cool as a family that we all did this. I am so thankful for Godly parents; parents that brought me up in church, and still to this day are building their family (and house) on the word of God. We will be doing some more things like this soon. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted.
I'm off to my favorite city in the south, Dallas for the weekend. See y'all on Monday!
It's hump day!! Just found out I will be going to Dallas on Friday for work, so this feels like Thursday to me:) Here lately I have grown sick of winter. I thought I liked the cold months, maybe I have changed in my old age of twenty-two. I have been itching to go for a walk in the park, plant some flowers, and grill some burgers out back.. Who's with me? It has me thinking, I need to bring in some of my favorite parts of Spring/Summer into my apartment.
This past weekend, the Louisiana blizzard left, and winter as we know it returned! Finally it was sixty-four degrees and sunny! It was just what I needed. I took that walk I had been longing to take, planted up some of my succulents I had gotten at West Elm Dallas, and went to the local flower shop to pick up some eucalyptus. I am determined to bring the sights and smells of spring into my apartment, even in the dead of winter. Now my apartment is full of succulents, planted in some of my favorite items I had laying around. I have fresh eucalyptus in vases and jars in my living room and bedroom, even hung some in my shower- it smells amazing. Are you like me and can't wait for Spring to get here?
See y'all right back here on Friday!
I just experienced my first weekend in years. Yep, you heard it right. Many of you know I landed a new job as a Creative Director for a wholesale company. Since I was eighteen or so I had been on staff at a church. It's a very rewarding job, but on the flip-side, you don't really get a weekend. At COTM the motto was "We work for the weekend!" That couldn't be more true.. Saturday is spent preparing everything for Sunday. Sunday starts really early in the morning and ends after lunch. By that time you are just ready for a nap. This was my first weekend not to be on staff at a church. Last weekend I was in Dallas with a non-stop schedule so we won't count that. I was determined to fill this weekend with everything I love! It might bore you, but here are a few pics of my weekend.
See ya'll on Wednesday!
Steven Alan is an American fashion designer who is known for creating great shirts and now a collaborator with my favorite home design store West Elm. Something uniquely amazing always happens when fashion and interior design cross paths. We all know that the two worlds go hand in hand, and each of them inspire the other. When my friend told me a few weeks ago about the new spring line for West Elm, I couldn't wait to see some of the pieces. Beautifully woven materials, color block pillows, and modern-organic stripped linens are what I found. I have been seeing all the West Elm stores post pictures on Instagram this week as they work on their Spring floor sets. It's almost tempting to head back to Dallas for the weekend. Here are a few pictures I pulled off of WestElm.com. What pieces will you be adding to your home this Spring/Summer? I am adding pieces to my shopping cart now. Have a great weekend friends! I will see ya'll back here on Monday!
It's freezing y'all! Around these parts if the temperature gets below twenty degrees you will be lucky if Walmart and I-Hop stay open! Okay, not really, but everyone does go into hibernation mode. The roads won't have nearly as many cars on them, the bread and canned goods aisle at the local market are empty, and everyone you know has a screenshot of the temperature posted on Facebook. Yep folks, that's the South when it freezes. Since I have also been somewhat in hibernation mode, it's given me a chance to look over projects I have completed the last few months. Back in November, I was asked to create a Christmas- wintery window display for the new Kelly Moore Bag store that had just opened in Ruston. I was beyond excited that she gave me the opportunity.
I've know Kelly for a few years. She is actually my best friend, Miranda's aunt. I have followed her photography, camera bag line, and blog for the last few years. Kelly is one of the most creative gals I know. When I need inspiration, I always go visit her blog. (KellyMooreBag.com/blog) I knew that Kelly had renovated an old building in the downtown area. It had a lot of exposed brick, tons of white, and the coolest lighting and fixtures for the bags I have ever seen.
I wanted to do something simple, something that would complement her store. She had two windows that needed to be designed. One of which had a cool graphic with white, and gold in it. There would be one focal window for design and the other would just compliment the graphic. Kelly really liked Anthro's display they had done with marshmallows. I had done a display like this before, and I knew it was time consuming. The marshmallows seemed to be the best choice! I am a "Less is more kinda guy." Kelly on the other hand is a "Moore is Moore kinda gal" (Hence the name) She wanted more than just marshmallows in the window! We decided to make some giant-sphere snowballs! Here is how I did it:
Stringing thousands of marshmallows is quiet a task. Lucky for me, my friend Max and Kelly's mom helped with this part. Many people think you would thread your fishing line through the marshmallows, as did I the first time I did this display. You actually tie your fishing line in a double-knot around each marshmallow, drop down a few inches and do it again. You have to pull the fishing line all the way through each time you tie a knot, so it is easier to work with 6-8 foot at a time. You can always tie multiple strings together to make them long enough!
Next we wanted to make some huge spheres for the focal point. I went to my local craft store and bought three different sizes of the white styrofoam spheres. I took those home and modge podged some silver, white, and gold glitter on them to make them stand out. After that I took about 200 dow rods, cut them at different lengths, and painted them white. Once they were painted I used some spray adhesive to cover them in white glitter.
It was finally time for the install! Making all this stuff was one thing, installing it without tangling up all the fishing line was a completely different story. It was probably the most time consuming part. Overall the window turned out great! I was happy with it and so was Kelly. Another cool thing, the town of Ruston judges their Christmas windows in the downtown stores each year. The display won first place! What do you guys think? Also, check out Kellymoorebag.com for the most amazing camera bags! Whether you are a photog, student, mom, or just love a great bag like me- you will love them! I kind of have an addiction with buying them:)
Stay warm folks,
Hope everyone had a great weekend, and stayed warm! I spent this weekend in the great, southern city of Dallas! It's my home-away-from-home! I had a few things to accomplish this weekend, but the whole reason I went was for a Dallas Photographer Meet-up. A few weeks back, my friend Sam invited me to this event. It was the first one he had put together, and I was excited to be invited! I am no photographer, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to network with photographers! I am all about networking, meeting creative folks, and learning something new.
We started the morning at Mudsmith Coffee Shop. I had a mocha, and it was absolutely amazing. Not to mention, it was the coolest coffee shop I've ever been in. Once everyone was there, we headed to the location. A short drive, and we were in the middle of nature. Photography or not, I love a walk/hike through the woods. Here are a few shots I took of our model, and some cool photographers, "doing what they do!"
It was an absolutely amazing weekend! I really enjoyed such a beautiful morning in nature with some really cool folks. I will blog later about the rest of my weekend in Dallas, but for now.. I've got to get to work! Hope you all have a great Monday, I will see you back here on Wednesday!
I'm so pumped you have stopped by! No really, I'm seriously excited! I can't wait for ya'll to follow this crazy, southern life of mine! Anyhow, lets get to the blog, shall we?
Christmas night was the night I dreaded the whole Christmas season. I knew soon after the celebrations were over, my mom would be taking down our Christmas decorations. I love Christmas, probably more than most kids. I've always had this fascination with Christmas trees and still do today! I knew that when I grew up, I would leave my Christmas decorations up until March if I wanted. Well things change, and I am just like my mother. Christmas night, the Christmas decor is coming down. Most of the time, it still leaves me feeling bummed out. However, I have found the perfect remedy for that! This seems to be the perfect time to change a few things up around the house, and add a few new items! It gives me something to look forward to! Today I am going to share a few things with you that I have added to my home in the last few days! It's no total redesign, but a few new things can change up a space tremendously!
1. Rewined Candle available at West Elm Dallas, or westelm.com -During the holiday season, my home is always filled with the scents of Christmas! This is the perfect candle to add to my home! They come in many scents and a really cool reclaimed wine bottle.
2. The Southerner's Handbook available on Amazon.com -This book was a Christmas gift from some of my coolest friends. I love a good book, for my coffee table of course. I sometimes think I have a problem. I like to buy books to sit around, but rarely read them. Anyone else have this problem?
3. Nate Berkus Tray available at Target -You will soon learn I am a huge Nate Berkus fan. He is someone I really look up to in the design world! His line at Target is always is full of the coolest pieces. I always say, everything looks better on a tray or in a basket. Maybe that's just me being OCD, or maybe it's great design advice? I'll let you be the judge of that!
4. Papier-mâché Moose from West Elm Dallas -What more can I say? It's a really cool animal from my favorite store. I will have this and two others above my bed soon! This was a Christmas gift from my best friend, Miranda! Thanks Samuel for helping me pick it out! To say I'm obsessed with this, is a complete understatemnet!
5. "IT IS WHAT IT IS" print by Jake Dugard -When I saw this print, I had to have it. I have many of Jake's prints in my home, and was excited to add this to my collection! Jake is one talented fella! Jake's prints are available at Makers Union in Ruston, La.
The best part is, I'm doing a giveaway! You can enter to win items 1,2, and 5! You can enter once daily on each social media site. Make sure you follow me on IG (taylorbennett__) and comment on this post! I will announce the winner Monday, Jan. 6th!
Have a great weekend, y'all!
Well folks, it’s officially a new year! There is something that excites me about January 1st! It’s like an empty room, with white walls, just waiting to be filled with things you love, memories, and great design! The best part is, you are the designer. You get to decide what you fill this new year with. Just like in design, there will be unexpected finds, some good, and some not so good. Although I love the unexpected, I’m a planner at heart. I like to have a list everyday with my goals on it. Today, I’m making some pretty big goals for 2K14. I love what fashion blogger, Courtney Kerr said, “If the dreams you have for yourself don’t scare you a little bit, they probably aren’t big enough.” 2K14 is a year for us to dream big and make those dreams our realities. Let’s get this list started, shall we?
-My number one goal this year is to redefine my relationship with God, and drawer closer to him.
-I want to launch this blog! I want it to not only be successful, but to inspire others!
-I’ve always loved to travel. This year I want to travel to a foreign country; see their culture, architecture, and of course the food.
-Now for my mainstream goal, I plan to live a healthier lifestyle; by that I mean, cut out a few fast-food meals, and frequent the gym.
This is my toast to 2K14: Here’s to the ones who wish us well, may all the others go to _____! (I’ll let you fill in the rest!)
See ya’ll on Friday!
It's Monday Folks! Hope you're weekend was great, because it was the last one for 2K13! I'm headed to Dallas this morning to setup for Market! Today is my first official day as the Creative Director for BOPS! (I will blog about this later) I'm not driving, so I have a little time on my hands to reflect on 2K13! It's been an amazing year, I give all the thanks to God! This year has been filled with family, opportunities, and great design! Before I start making my New Years Resolution, or my goals, I thought I would reflect on a few big moments from 2K13!
1. NYC at Christmas! I was lucky enough to travel to NYC a few weeks back! Since I was a child, I've dreamed about traveling to this magical city. I saw the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, shopped in Soho, and made many memories with great friends!
2. I had the opportunity to create a Christmas window display for the Kelly Moore Bag Store! Most who know me, know that I'm a huge Kelly Moore fan. I may not be a photographer, but I love a great bag to keep all the random things I may need throughout my day in. I was so excited when I was given the opportunity to design Kelly's Window at her new store in Ruston La. I will be blogging the Window and Kelly's new store in the near future!
3. Landed a Creative Director position at BOPS. I'm so blessed to have a job where I'm encouraged to be creative, think outside the box, and work with some pretty great folks!
These are a few big moments that have made my 2K13 one of the best years yet! I know all these are work related, but that's my life right now, and I love it!
Until next year,
It's been forever since I have changed up the design of my bedroom. (When I say forever, I mean like a year) I have been looking through blogs, magazines, and my favorite stores to find something to inspire me. A few weeks back I was in Dallas at my favorite store, West Elm. Everything in the store always inspires me, but this is where I found my "Inspiration Piece" for my bedroom. Different designers have different methods to designing a room. (I am no pro designer) I like to find an item that inspires me, rather that item is something in nature, in my travels, or an item at my favorite store. I love the outdoors, but I wanted something more. I needed something to make it different, more textures, colors, and maybe even some metallics. Here is the piece that has inspired the redesign of my room. Yes.. It's a pillow. I will be blogging the redesign of my room- so stay tuned.
As many of you know, I just returned from my first trip to NYC. It was everything I dreamed it would be. Since a young boy, I've always dreamed of visiting NYC during the Christmas Season. For years I've watched the tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza, so to actually stand next to that tree was amazing. The whole city has such an energy about it. I have to be honest, Time Square isn't my favorite place. It's magical, but also very overcrowded. I was more drawn to Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Chelsea. I loved strolling the streets with the locals, seeing where they grab their morning latte, and where they shop. I could defiantly see myself living there. My favorite picture and memory of NYC are the Christmas Trees that line the streets. I could picture myself walking down the street to one of the tree stands to pick out my Christmas tree. The smell of the fresh Fir's fill the air, the lights strung above, made for the perfect memory. I may be a little different, but that is me! Check back soon for some posts about NYC!
Have a great day y'all,