Sorry for my last blogging hiatus everyone…as usual life has been chaotic, but I really should make the time to do the things that I enjoy and share them with you!

Jay and I decided to just spend the day together at home and do various Halloween activities.  We have bowling league every Sunday night and on or around holidays the association plans parties.  Last week we were told to come in costume and that everyone would bring in a “pot-luck” style tricks and treats.

I spent the morning baking brownie bites with Halloween colors and sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles in various themed shapes and sizes.  Jay loves when I bake mainly because I feed him anything that doesn’t meet my visual standards which happens a lot.

After lunch, we carved pumpkins for our trick or treating pumpkin patch.  We knew we would be at the bowling alley during trick or treating hours so we set up a little candy station on our porch.

We plan on staying in this apartment for a considerable amount of time and there’s just no room for an abundance of decorations for various holidays but that doesn’t mean we can’t decorate! Pumpkins have a shelf life, my orange mums are in the final bloom of their season,  and our coffee table is a chalk board! …and my fiance is an artist 😉

Jay and I really like dressing up for Halloween and chose famous movie characters for this years costumes.  He was James Bond (very simple costume – he manages a tux shop!)

And I was Audry from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Believe it or not, I already had the majority of this costume which made it really easy not to mention inexpensive to assemble and neither of our costumes will take up any more room in our little apartment!  Ps. For those of you who know the movie well, Charlie is my “Cat” …aka the no-name-slob! 😉

Bowling was a blast.  There were so many goodies and amazing costumes.

It’s feels really nice as we start to feel connected to our community especially during the holidays.  Christmas will be a lot of fun in that regard this year because I’ll be singing in a holiday concert with The Longmont Chorale! 🙂

Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!

Thank you, Ladies

August 23, 2010

Last week, I received a beautiful card from a wonderful friend.  Inside, was a note more valuable to me than anything else I can imagine.  It brought me peace and a lasting smile.  What more can you really ask for…? Inside, she thanked me for having been there for her when things were difficult in her life.  She thanked me for being who I am which was a reassurance I’ll admit… I really needed right now.

I immediately responded and mailed out a Thank You for her Thank You.  This actually isn’t the first time this has happened to me.  A friend from work left me a similar note on my desk the week before we all left for college.  I’ll never forget certain parts of that letter and the feeling it left me with… the feeling of having touched someone’s life without really knowing it.

I was lucky enough to have women in my life that shared this with me, but it makes me think:  If we all were able to realize the impact that we have on the lives of others, would it change how we view ourselves?  With all the turmoil we deal with on a daily basis, if your smile, laughter, and kindness can benefit others I’m willing to bet things might just feel better on the home-front as well.

I’m dealing with a lot of things I can’t necessary control right now.  It comforts me to know that someone’s thinking of me fondly and remembering how much I love them.  I wanted to do the same this week so here’s my next DIY project.

You will need:

  • 5 or more Thank You cards
  • 5 or more stamps
  • And a lot of love in your heart/pen.
  • Post its + Sharpie for Operation Beautiful notes!

I’m choosing to write thank you notes to five women who have touched my life and made me a better person simply having been in their presence.  I encourage you to do the same.  🙂

Free sounds good to me! :)

August 10, 2010

Behold the return of the $10 Table.  In Texas, we furnished our entire apartment with items we were able to acquire for free from friends, craigslist, etc.  Recycling second-hand items really helped us to feel like we could still make a home even if we couldn’t go on a shopping spree at the local Ikea.  Not only that, it’s so much fun to put a part of yourself into something and work hard to style your living space while you make it your own.

One of my favorite projects was our dining room table.  A couple in Austin posted on craigslist and gave us this entire set for free when they decided to buy new furniture.  It’s clearly a child of the 80’s with nylon seat covers and gold metal trim, but we were able to use our imagination, graciously accept the table and chairs, and made plans to update + reupholster.  Here are the before and after shots!

A can of spray paint, clearance fabric from Walmart, and a Saturday night was all we needed to have a great table and the empty space in the dining room was no more.  We enjoyed that table on our own and with guests.  It was good to us, and when it came time to move on and follow the money (Jay’s promotion + transfer offer) we actually sold this table for $60 which helped fund our move to Colorado!  (Side note: I literally had people fighting over this table and the girl we decided to sell it to loved it almost as much as we did)

Our new apartment is about 1/2 the size of our apartment in Texas so we don’t have room for a dining table, but we do have a coffee table that was in dire need of sprucing.  We got it for free from our temporary apartment that we stayed in for the first month in Colorado.  We had initially planned on just painting it black to match the futon cover, but I thought it would be more fun to paint it “chalkboard” and display chalk in the first part of our remote container.

Kind of like a piece of art that can always change.  And, needless to say…the cost of this table is equal to the cost of a small can of paint and a morning on the porch.

No detailed How – to – Guide necessary for this project because it was SO incredibly easy!

  • Start with your fabulously free piece of tired furniture – rest assured it will be looking brand new and adorable in a few hours 🙂

    • Cover project area (I saved the tarp we used to cover our mattress and various items stored on the top of the car during our last move).  You will need a sheet of sand paper, a very small can of paint – in this case chalkboard paint, and something to stir the paint with.

    • Use sand paper to get the table’s surface down to the original texture (I usually need help with this part of any project…I hate the sound/feel of it and Jay’s muscles get the job done in a more timely fashion).

    • Mix paint (who needs to buy tools to stir the paint when nature provides branches!?).
    • Paint away my loves.
    • Give your masterpiece of a first coat a few hours to dry,  go ahead and touch up some rough spots, and then make sure to give the flat surfaces a solid second coat.

    • From this step on, I brought it inside to keep it safe from weather.com’s rain predictions, and kept the furbabies in different rooms to keep it safe from their little paw prints.
    • The directions say to give it 24ish hours to fully dry before attempting any art work.  It was difficult but I helped Jay to wait until the following morning before attempting his first crayola chalk masterpiece.

    I think it’s important to note here that this was the first of our many projects that I came up with and executed all by myself!  I’ve really started to LOVE diy projects and even if I had the money to go out and buy things new, I don’t think I would.  My bestie thinks this project in particular has potential for a business idea.  I think she might be on to something… silly sort-of grown ups like us aside, chalkboard furniture would probably appeal to a lot of new parents out there, right? Definitely something to think about…I mean kids find a way to draw on walls/furniture/etc anyway…might be nice if it were erasable and not punishable 😉

    Have you started any DIY projects recently? -OR- Share your favorite!

      Home Improvement <3

      July 26, 2010

      So I woke up this morning and felt like nesting.  Can’t really describe it, but it’s been a while since we’ve done anything to get settled into our new apartment.  I think we’ve been putting certain projects off assuming that they would cost too much money, but what I realized was that if we do them in pieces it will help us feel more at home an the expense would be minimal.

      We still have SEVERAL things to do in our little apartment, but today we tacked our DIY entertainment center (including our wall mount, and shelf for the speakers and Jay’s computer).  We also put together our “open-box-clearance” Ikea platform bed.

      We have had the wall mount for the tv for a very long time dating back to the days of Circuit City.  It was such a great purchase back when we had Jay’s discount and has saved us a ton on entertainment center furniture.  It’s easy to move, and easy to mount, and it doesn’t take up ANY space (which is helpful in a 500 square ft apartment)!  I’ve always thought having a TV above a fire place would create the coziest environment for a living room.  I’m really excited for the fall + winter where I can curl up with a movie and a little fire going.

      In terms of the bed situation… We never had one in Texas but when we sold all of our “free” furniture pre-move to Colorado, we decided to shop Ikea for a futon that was on sale so we’d have something to crash on once we arrived.  We ended up finding a great platform bed on supah clearance in the open box section.  We haven’t put it together in the three months we’ve been here because we needed “slat’s which we assumed would be pricey.  You know what they say about assuming….. lol

      Home Depot has clearance wood…. yes.

      We had them slice up a few planks for us for a great price and we were on our way toward a great nights sleep!  I’ve been sleeping on the floor for the better part of a year and I think I finally snapped and I’m glad! We have a Bob-0-Pedic so there’s no need for a box spring…..aka we were literally inches away from the floor every night.

      I am SO looking forward to cuddling up in my new bed tonight and I’m sure my Jason is going to pass out the second his head hits the pillow after all his hard work today!

      We still have a few adjustments to make on both projects both including paint.  We are going to paint the shelf under the tv to match the couch and eventually the coffee table which also needs to be painted and we are planning on sanding and painting the bed to match my white vanity.  This may have been another deterrent to these projects, but like I said there’s nothing wrong with doing part of project NOW if it means you can enjoy it NOW.  We’ll make everything match eventually, but at least it gives me more space in the living room and a bed to sleep it at night!

      Even though we still have a long way to go, it feels good to be at home little by little nesting my way into a Colorado life.

      As far as the rest of day off #1 goes, we’re going to finish up some cleaning post-project messes, make some din, and bring our pup to the doggy park down the street.

      Until next time my loves, try to appreciate the little things today.

      Ps. my two projects today have created quite the dilemma.  Do I a.) Cuddle up in the living room and enjoy the new local of the TV or b.) utilize the new comfy bed and tackle a few more chapters of Breaking Dawn which has become increasingly more interesting since this morning.  What are your thoughts? 🙂

      Wow, I certainly fell off the blogging train there for a few days… sorry about that! Things got very busy so I thought I’d just catch you up to speed now that the dust has temporarily settled.

      Errands can be boring, so I won’t bore you with the details, however we are now both able to communicate with the rest of the world via cell phones, wash our clothes (full disclosure here people…it’s not easy being poor!), and worry a little less about getting gas in the car.  It’s been difficult with my job requiring so much driving because I won’t get paid until August 1st and even then it will only cover the first two weeks.  I get reimbursed for gas as well (more than I probably use), but as of right now it’s almost as if I still don’t have a job AND we’re spending MORE!

      Not an easy task as we were struggling before I started working, but obviously come August 1st we’ll be able to play a game of catch up!

      Last night we were in dire need of a break and decided to make the most of a night IN.  Call me a home-body, but I LOVE spending the night at home curled up on the couch, “whatevaa I do what I want!” -that little gem was for pretty much every college friend that I have… 😉

      We already had grocery shopping and laundry planned for the night so we decided to pick up some popcorn and ice cream while we were out and kick started the Netflix Watch Instantly section when we got home.

      We watched some silly 80’s comedy and I fell asleep on Jay’s lap post ice cream cone and popcorn inhalation. It was a great time.

      This morning, I’m going to continue the laundry process (as I probably will every morning until our outrageous amount of laundry is complete), sip on my incredible coffee, and make breakfast.  I’m thinking about surprising my sleeping beauty with some eggMCmuffins…..I’m making them myself, but for some reason still feel the need to add the “MC” to the title!

      Today will be a double-post day for sure, because we have some pretty exciting day off events going on including a humane society fundraiser, and perhaps our mini waterpark!

      Hope you all enjoy your Sunday Funday as much as I intend to 🙂