Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Then & Now: Kitchen/Dining Room

It's finally time for the big unveiling! Since we purchased our home in April 2010, we've tackled our big "must-do" projects every few months or so. Our latest project was to finish our kitchen, more or less. The entryway, laundry room and kitchen had this horrible laminate flooring... which lead into white carpet in our dining room, hallway and living room. As I'm sure everyone has heard before, I HATE that white carpet. Over the 8 months, Miss Zora has created quite a worn, dirty path from the sliding door to the living room windows. Thank God it's finally gone!

Without further ado... the first installment of our home improvement project!

I really wish we had a mud room or at least a little more space in our entryway, but this is what we have to work with. For organization, I purchased one of those cloth wall hanging pockets for the inside of the coat closet and this cork/white board for our lil family command center.

Major changes in the kitchen/dining room area include:
  • Solid vinyl tile flooring
  • Repainted all the walls and ceiling
  • Added wallpaper below the chair rail and soffits
  • Two new light fixtures
  • Painted the hutch black (from it's original green)
  • Refinished the dining room table and chairs
  • Removed all the tiny dowels from the top of the cupboards
  • Added valances over both windows
  • New silver doorknobs, handles and hinges
  • Four sets of speakers installed in the ceiling throughout the house

Can't find a curtain rod that will fix a space the way you want it? A couple of tension rods work great! A huge thank you to my mom for making my valances! 

When we purchased our home, there was the ugly, plastic strip underneath our cabinets. With our new floor, my husband made these really nice looking kickplates with the leftover vinyl tiles!

Pier 1 had these handy lil wine glass holders that fit nicely underneath the upper portion of the hutch.

After we knocked out the old people dowels above our cabinets, we inlayed some white Christmas lights down in the groove. Fortunately, there was already an outlet in one of the upper cupboards... so all it took was a small hole to feet the plug through. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Apple Crisp recipe

Since our upstairs remodel has taken a little longer than expected and I'm waiting until the very end to show before and after pictures, I needed something else to blog about. Tonight I decided to make my mom's apple crisp for dessert since the apples in the fridge had lost their crunch. Random weird issue moment: I hate warm fruit. Hate it. Doesn't matter if it's coming straight out of the oven or is room temperature... I think it's disgusting. However, for some unknown reason, I recently started eating apple crisp. Who knew?! Since I think it's pretty awesome, I figured I'd share it with the rest of you.

  • 5-6 peeled & sliced apples
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 C. oatmeal
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 C. brown sugar
  • 2 sticks margarine

Put apples in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the fruit with lemon juice. Sprinkle 1/2 C. sugar over fruit. Combine flour, cinnamon, oatmeal and brown sugar. Cut butter into dry ingredients mixture. Crumble on top of fruit and sugar in pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.

OPTIONAL: Serve topped with vanilla ice cream. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tis the season of Lent

Lent: the time of year when non-Catholics insult your beliefs and try to tell you that giving up chocolate is hardly equivalent to Jesus fasting in the desert and dying for our sins. Well, no shit poop. I love how Lent brings out the best in the people who do not share the same beliefs as me. I don't believe in shoving my religion down your throat, so please don't feel that you have the right to tell me that what I'm doing for Lent is wrong. Besides, when's the last time you've practiced any religion or stepped foot in a church?

Sorry, Lent stirs up a little bit of anger and resentment. A couple years ago, I had someone come up to me after the Ash Wednesday mass, shove his finger in my face and say, "Do you know what I think about that? (the ashes) F@#%ing stupid." Yeah. Peace be with you too buddy. Such haters.

:End rant:

In year's past, I've given up sweets... and by sweets I mean cookies, candy, cakes, brownies, pies... ya know, baked goods. I've decided to change it up a bit this year for two reasons: 1) Giving up those things has gotten easier for me over the years, and 2) I'm trying desperately to make a lifestyle change where I'm eating healthier anyways. For Lent this year, I've decided to [try really hard to] give up swearing. I have a mouth like a trucker and sometimes it gets me in trouble... especially around little sponge kids who are taking in everything I say. Oops.

So... if you happen to hear me swear, probably just punch me in the face. It's going to take that kind of reminder to get me through this season. Wish me luck!

What have you decided to give up for Lent?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

DIY: Football onesie

Awhile back, my best friend was expecting her first child. After a brief conversation about nervous husbands, newborns and holding them like footballs, I just had to make this onesie. Her husband is also a football coach, so it was even more perfect.

For those of you who didn't know, Hobby Lobby carries onesies. (Who knew?!) They have like 6-8 colors in a variety of sizes. I found this brown one there for $4.99 (plus their usual 40% coupon). I also purchased white belting at Hobby Lobby for a few bucks. Any sort of white fabric will work just fine, but I chose this belting to avoid having to cut and hem fabric and it was a bit more sturdy. Your choice.

Instructions are pretty self explanatory. Take brown onesie. Sew white fabric on to make it look like football laces. Done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A new kind of baby book

There are sentimental things at this point in my life that I wish I would have documented from the beginning. Things like a scrapbook of every vacation, collecting sand from all the exotic beaches I've visited, take significant photos on the same day every year... things like that. However, when I think about just starting up now, my OCD starts to tremble and quietly whispers, "yeah that's great, but your collection will never be complete because you didn't think of these things in the beginning." Stupid reason, but that's seriously what goes through my brain.

In the spirit of documenting exciting life occurrences, I figure if I can't start over on my life, I'm going to document a few things about my future child's life. Sure, I have a baby book as do most people, but I've been especially inspired with the awesome ways people are starting to record their pregnancy, child's first year, etc. Check out these awesome keepsakes that I'm sure will be a great thing to look back on someday:

I made cards similar to these for my wedding. It's so great to look back on them now and read everyone's marriage advice and what they thought about our special day. What a great idea for a baby shower! 

Baby Space

Hanna Mac

Simply Bloom Photography + unknown

I love the idea (in book or picture form) of keeping track of things during your pregnancy. Things like what food you were craving the most, how big your baby was, when you announced it to everyone, etc. And chalkboard art is always way cool.
Interviewing your child with the same questions on their birthday every year could become an awesome little book to give them someday. Ask them things like what their favorite food, show, toy is and who's their best friend, etc.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"My name's Clay, wanna mold me?"

Many moons ago, I played club volleyball with (my now sister-in-law) Abbey. Discouraged by the lack of male height at Mona Shores, I asked Abbey is there were any good-looking, tall guys at her high school. She gave me the screen name (yes, this was back in the AOL days) of her friend Bobby. I chatted online with Bobby and few times and we eventually suggested a group date. Bobby had also given my screen name to his buddy Clay (who I had never met before despite knowing his parents and sister through volleyball). We also chatted a few times online. Probably very intellectual conversations considering we were very mature 15 and 16 year olds. (Riiight.)

Anywho, Bobby and I decided to attempt this so-called "group date." I brought along a few of my girl friends and Bobby with his friends (Clay included). Clay brought along his cheerleader date. Back up... I had mentioned to him during one of our chats that I didn't care much for cheerleading... didn't consider it a sport. So what does Clay do? Goes, "Hi, I'm Clay. Tell my date what you think of cheerleaders!" Charming, isn't he? He also spent the entire movie throwing pieces of candy at me. Girls, do you remember back in elementary school if a boy picked on you, that meant he liked you? Apparently Clay hadn't grown out of that stage.

To make a long story short, I went to Bobby's house, Clay informed my parents that Bobby's parents weren't home, my dad storms over, tells me to get my ass in the car, yells at Bobby and that was about the end of that "relationship." As you can imagine, calling me out about my dislike of cheerleaders, throwing things at me and then embarrassing me to no end by calling my dad.... I did not care for Mr. Clayton one bit. Hell, if I remember right, I believe I first described him to people as this arrogant prick.

Then... for some unknown reason... Clay stopped his childish flirting (including his awesome pickup line), won me over and we started dating. He asked me to be his girlfriend on February 16, 2002. Ten years later, he's my husband but still is a 16 year old boy at heart. I don't even remember what life was like before Clay and am so blessed to have him by my side. We've been through ever major milestone in life together, good times and bad, and I can't wait to take on what's next with him.

Lop eared, I love you.

These are all photos taken of us on our "anniversary" every year... xoxo

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Available for Adoption: Siberian Huskies

Tonight's featured breed, my other first love... Siberian Huskies. My family rescued Miss Zayla after she was found roaming our neighborhood. We contact the owner via microchip and they came to pick her up and took her directly to the pound. Why? No clue. We visited her at the pound every day until the week long waiting period was over. She's been a permanent fixture in my parent's house ever since.

AVALANCHE: Male Siberian Husky

KATIYANA: Female Siberian Husky

SARGE: Male Siberian Husky

SELENA: Female Siberian Husky

SPARK: Male Siberian Husky

SPARKY (SNOWBIE): Male Siberian Husky

All of these dog are available for adoption. Click on the photo for more information.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Zora!

Happy 1st birthday to my favorite long-legged ball of fur! We adopted Miss Zora when she was only 4 months old... I can't believe time has already gone THAT fast. We're so thankful she's part of our lives and are so pleased with what an amazing dog she is!

These are all pictures taken of Zora before we adopted her
Her first night with us!
My favorite picture of her
Her CRAZY ears!
Always eating... just like her momma.
We swapped bandanas and were each other for Halloween!
New Year's Eve

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Giraffes + babies

For some odd reason, giraffes hold a special lil place in my heart (right next to doggies). I think it's because I've had so many nicknames associated with giraffes and have been compared to them so many times in my life... it just sort of stuck. For example, my high school volleyball coach told me my senior year of high school that the first time he saw me play (back in 6th grade), he thought I looked like a baby giraffe on ice skates. Embarrassing, I know.

Anyways, I saw this nursery on Pinterest awhile back and I just knew... without a doubt in my mind... that I was going to paint my future nursery like that. No joke. Love at first sight.

Behold! Giraffe baby Mecca!

Pinterest must have read my mind too because all this adorable baby-related giraffe stuff kept popping up. Couldn't resist putting together a little collage of all it's adorableness.

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