Thursday, March 31, 2011

the nester is at it again.

this lovely lady inspires me pretty much every day. i was going through archives of hers (i know, i think i may need a doctor if she ever stops blogging) and she had an entry about rearranging furniture. this is something i desperately wanted to do in my apartment. when i bought my enormous gorgeous sofa that i am completely in love with they brought it in and we quickly discovered it was way too giant for my space... or so we thought! so after much moving around we thought the only good option was this one:

ignore the fact that the chair in the sunroom is moved around daily.

the sofa pushed against the wall in what is "supposed" to be the dining room, the biggest tv in creation in the middle of the room practically and nowhere to sit other than the couch. yep, it was a problem. i hated it like this. the huge tv seemed to be right in the middle of the apartment and i thought the only solution was to get a new (flat screen for heavens sake) tv. not. so. this is where the nester comes in!

here the nester talks about being an optimist and just knowing there has to be a perfect solution for every family for every space. i was nervous to try this little game of moving furniture because 1) i THOUGHT it was already in the best position so i was thinking i was just setting myself up for failure and 2) our tv weighs more than the earth i am pretty sure. so every time we move it (which has been quite a few times since we've moved here.. poor husband!) we have to lift this thing onto a rolly chair and push it to its new spot.. yah, we are pretty much just asking for our tv to fall and smash on the ground. so i thought, "oh sheesh phil is going to have a heart attack that i want to move things again.." but thankfully i have a wonderful husband who has more patience than Jesus (i realize this is impossible, it's just an expression people) and willingly helped me move the furniture even though i thought it would likely be a fail.. well what do you guys think?


ignore the strategically placed cat furniture.. i have issues with certain little guys scratching my sofa..
    pre- chair covering catastrophe followed by major success : )

i think i like this situation much better. even though mister sofa is right in the middle of everything, i am so glad mister tv isn't. truth be told, my sofa is wayyy prettier than my tv (sorry tv, it's the truth). besides, the nester inspired me by saying it doesn't matter if other people like it/think it's the weirdest thing they have ever seen in their lives, what matters is that it works for you and your family. this works way better than the tv blocking the walkway and the kitchen look-out thingy (i'm not an architect, ok? i don't know what they call those hole cut out things!) and having a big black cord wrapping around the corner to the nearest outlet since that little nook was not MEANT to have a tv in front of it (no outlet). this little arrangement makes me much happier so i call it a success!! well done us (my husband, me and of course my favorite nester for not letting me settle and letting my furniture make me unhappy)!!  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


i have struggled with cooking since i got married. i hate it. i thought i was lazy or a bad wife until i started all this work on my apartment. a lazy person does not paint 3 pieces of furniture in a day. or take on an entire room to paint by herself. or spend 4 hours at a table "crafting". that's when it hit me, i am not lazy. i just HATE cooking. i hate making the kitchen messy. i hate my tiny little counter space. i hate standing there for an hour just chopping stuff. then what i really really hate is the whole clean-up afterwards. ugh. no thank you. i mean, would you want to cook in here?

yah, there's not much space on the opposite counter either. i do half my chopping on the stove for crying out loud. sheesh.

now, i realize i am a wife of a hard working man. so i get past my aversion to cooking so i make sure phil is usually coming home to some good food. i want to show my appreciation for his hard work supporting our family. so i get around my hatred of cooking by making things that i think are just so yummy. if i know one of my favorite meals is coming at the end of all this, then it makes it easier somehow to overcome. which brings me to one of my favorite favorite favorite meals. it can be found here. holy cow this is the best salad ever. the only thing i do differently is that i marinate the chicken all day and we don't have a grill, so i just dump italian dressing in a pan and cook the chicken in that. there is a review a person left that says something like if you've ever craved something and didn't know what you were craving, it is probably this salad. that is so true! it's so weird! the salad is cold and hot, sweet, crisp, creamy, cheesy.... oh. my. gosh. it's so good. so when i know i am making this, it's much easier to force myself to chop and chop because i know at the end i will have this:
yummy yummy yummy!

seriously try this salad. it's the best summer salad i've had. you will not regret it. : )

and this is just one more way that working on my space has given me freedom. i thought i was a lazy bad wife for not feeling like cooking every day. then i realized i just don't like it.. which has somehow made it easier for me to do. i don't feel like i am overcoming laziness, but just a dislike for being in the kitchen. it takes all the guilt away for not wanting to cook! who would have thought decorating would teach me so much about myself and give me so much freedom? it is so. awesome. : )

Monday, March 28, 2011

ohhhh, pottery barn.

who doesn't love pottery barn? for real. if you do not love it, i want to know because i think there is not a person alive who doesn't love that place. i have only been to the actual store a few times in my life, but i study their catalogs and websites. yes, i even get pottery barn kids catalog and i have 0 kids. but for me, pottery barn is about dreaming. and inspiration. mostly because i can't afford anything they are selling. and even if i can afford it, i know i can find a cheaper version at marshalls or somewhere, or create my own cheaper version. this does not mean, however, that i don't want anything with a pottery barn lable on it. i still wanted to own SOME things from there since i adore it to the bottom of my soul.

well now i can say i DO own something from pottery barn!! : ) my wonderful husband put a gift card in my stocking worth $20. well i held on to this thing for months which is sooo not like me. i can't help myself, when i get a gift card i want to buy something like, NOW. none of this fooling around, holding onto it until the best possible purchase can be made.. oh no. if i can spend free money, well i will do it and i will do it now. (which explains why all my other gift cards were spent by week 2 of january..) but i never spent money at pottery barn so i wanted to get the best possible purchase. something i LOVED and something i really needed. so when we decided to add another "orange-y pink-y terra cotta-y" color to our room i wanted something that color. and i saw this:

it had free shipping, the color i needed, and i just loved it. so i finally spent my gift card. it was sad and exciting all at once! then a couple days later it was dropped off at my door. and so now it is sitting so beautifully in my room and i am so happy to say that i actually OWN something from pottery barn!!!!

  yessssssssss. : )

Saturday, March 26, 2011

my brother is in town!!

yesterday my sister and i drove all day to get this kid:

yep, this is my "baby" brother. and this was even taken a couple years ago at my wedding. so he is even older now! sad. he is a freshman in college and we decided to kidnap him for the weekend and bring him home. it's been so fun! just driving in the car with this guy is good fun. he is the entertainer around these parts... *sigh* i just love family time!! : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

getting back on the horse.

after my miserable fail at covering an ugly chair, i was more than a little reluctant to try to cover another chair. in fact i thought i was crazy. super crazy. but i knew if i didn't try, i would be worried about failing again forever. so i tackled another chair. this chair:

this started because i painted that little white table black. then i didn't like the red pillow with it. so i covered the pillow. then the chair looked too gold-y red, so now i needed to cover the chair. sheesh. little did i know painting that little table would cause this huge decor-chain-of-reaction. so, like a good little decorator who sees colors clashing, i had to solve the problem. cheaply. so i took white fabric i had (please don't cringe when i say that it used to be a table cloth!!) and some decorative nail heads (my new bffs) and that's all i needed! (plus some scissors... but i mean.. that's obvious, right?) and here she sits in all her glory in my little baby "sunroom" :
otis the cat loves her too

oh my. i think she's lovely : ) sure she's not perfect but who is? and guess how much this cost me? $1.75 for the nails. yep. not. too. shabby. : ) thank goodness i got back on the horse!

**i am linking this up with the shabby nest's frugal friday because well, i got almost a new chair for less than $2!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

terrible awful no good really bad evening.

**linking up with the nester's take a risk day because i had never done anything like this before... maybe with good reason...

to start with on my sad evening, i had to run out to a few stores and buy some supplies. well when i returned i found a HUGE HOLE in my bathroom ceiling!! from what? i do not know. maintenance was called, hopefully they will be around today. sheesh. then i attempted some projects. really. ATTEMPTED. they went so terribly wrong. the first project was trying to cover the ugly blue office chair that i HATE.
it was pretty low risk.. i had white fabric, the chair was free and all i purchased for this project was $1.75 worth of decorative nail tacks. i thought, eh, it'll be easy. nope. it started easy enough. all i did was lay the fabric over the chair and cut out the shape i needed.

then i just went about stapling the fabric to the bottom of the seat of the chair, starting in the front, doing one side, then the other, then the back.
until it looked like this:

it was pretty painless up to this point. for the top of the chair, i just cut out the shape i wanted for the front, leaving extra fabric to pull around back to staple to the back of the chair. then i tried to cover that by cutting out fabric for the back, leaving extra so i could fold it over so there wouldn't be any frayed edges, then i just put the decorative nails in so it would just look like studs going around the edge of the chair. easy, right? oh no, because i neglected to leave enough fabric in numerous places around the top of the chair, so i was left pulling and struggling with this fabric. then i couldn't get any part of it to lay smoothly.. oh i can't even think of all the things that went wrong. notice there are no pictures of this process? yah. i was in no mood. it just looked crazy to me by the end. i liked it until i put the fabric on the back. this is what my sad attempt at a project looks like: (please ignore the messy office that never gets cleaned during the week..)

notice i put a throw over it to rectify the situation haha

oh dear! this poor chair!! haha at least it's funny NOW.

see? i was doing a good job until it come to this chair's backside. sheesh.

well, it looks better than before i think.. at least it's not a horrible blue. i think we will paint the rest of the blue silver or something.. i don't know. not like it matters, right? haha.. well during this project i took some breaks to work on making a spring wreath. this is where absolutely everything went wrong..

i thought the wreath would be fast and easy, something that will make up for the chair taking so long. oh no, my friend. not fast. i wrapped a wreath form with brown yarn, then attached a little pink bird i bought (couldn't resist. this bird called out to me every time i went to michaels! i had to answer) and made some little fabric flowers. well..... so i had my trusty awful enemy of a glue gun all plugged in to make the flowers for the wreath. well since it was handy, i found i needed it in some places on the chair. well, i am not sure how many times i burned myself during this time.. at least 523905829305 times. yep. oh, but this was nothing. i was so disappointed in my chair, so i decided i would finish this wreath because at least i would like one project i did that evening. oh BOY was that a MISTAKE. i decided i needed at least one really big flower, right? so this stupid thing was not staying together, so i thought, i will just put one huge fat glob of glue on the bottom when i go to glue it on the wreath. then it'll hold it together and keep it on there! i did not count on (no idea how i did this by the way..) dropping the flower with the STEAMING HOT biggest giantest glob of blue right on my pinky finger. after screaming and flinging my hand, the flower landed glue-side-down (of course!) right on my lucky brand jeans (if i wasn't a christian who loves the Lord, so many words would have been coming out..) and now my leg is on fire. so i jump up, throw the stupid flower on the floor, drop the wreath and my tea goes spilling all over everything. nice. then i cried. for real. tears streaming down, mad, sad, burned and disappointed...

this is where my sweet, sweet husband came to help me. he cleaned up the tea, got a bag of ice for my sad burned pinky, picked up the flower i threw on the ground (i was very mad at him so i left him there on the ground where he belonged.) and gave me a hug and told me how good everything looked. chair included. even though he is a big, fat liar i felt so much better. poor man knows how to deal with my crazy. then i calmed down, finished my wreath and was much happier.

today i am left with a funny chair, a wreath i think is lovely, a "giant glob of glue"-sized blister, and even more love in my heart for the sweet man who said he thinks he loves me even more after all my crazy mess yesterday. <3

oh and now that all my fingerprints are burned off, i can rob banks and nobody will be able to find me! or i could be a spy.... or something of that nature....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

my first diy project.

*previous post, but linking up with the shabby nest frugal friday because i made this bench for about $30!!

so i have talked about before how when we bought our living room furniture, we bought it from a couple on craig's list who basically sold us everything in their living room for $300. what a deal! they had 3 tables, a tv stand, sofa and love seat. when we moved to georgia i realized our apartment is set up in such a way that our gigantic coffee table wasn't really going to fit in the living room. not very well anyway.. meaning if it was in there it would drive me nuts! (which it did.) so i got the bright idea (after having seen people do this on shows and things) to move the coffee table into my bedroom and make it into a bench/window seat. the table is big and very sturdy, so i knew it could handle it. so one day when i had some gift cards to hobby lobby and jo ann's (christmas presents, yay!) i took my sister and we decided to go for it! i took a pillow sham with me and compared it to tons of fabrics. everything was on sale because it was right after the holidays, so i got my fabric half off! i was pretty sure i wanted stripes since i already have a paisley pattern in my room:

now this project was a few months ago, before i turned into a world class blogger ; ) so i didn't take pictures all along the way. basically all i did was glue foam to the top of the coffee table (which i clearly did something wrong because instead of the foam gluing down it just absorbed the glue into itself.. haha funny, but frustrating!) then we stretched the fabric over top. we took a staple gun and stapled the fabric to the underside of the top of the table. when we got to the corners we kind of just folded them over like you would a present and stapled them like that. here is my lovely coffee table in my old apartment before:
yikes! those couches! thank God they are gone!

and after we made her into a bench (even though she put up a fight!):

ignore the fact that the pillows from my bed have double duty.. i have no pillow for the bench yet.. i am going to make one i think! we'll see... : )

i am really glad we did this! it didn't really take that long, and the most complicated thing about it was getting the foam to glue to the wood. but with my lovely sister's help, we did this in a couple hours. experienced diy-ers could do it much faster, i am sure of that! but, for my first big project i call it a success!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

another ugly piece. history.

this is sort of a continuation of yesterday's post. i have been working to update old ugly furniture i just so happen to hate, into newer happier furniture i just so happen to love. this is where i took over phil's office : ) it was lookin pret-ty crazy if you ask me. i mean, it does again because he loves to pile up papers ALL OVER the place when he is grading or whatever the case may be, but wow does it look better.
phil has this thing that i am pretty sure i have seen on 'the office'. when jim and pam are on vacation (or something) dwight combines all their desks into "mega-desk" and he becomes addicted to it. while this is hilarious on the show... not so much in my home. especially when it looks like all different furniture just mashed together. but it is phil's favorite thing. he "hasta have" his desks pushed together. why? "because it's awesome!!" haha oh dear. so it looked like this:
so i wondered how a person gets work done in here... especially with a cat sleeping on the desk haha. well i decided it all needed to be black so it looked like it actually went together rather than just a bunch of stuff pushed together. so i took phil to home depot and we picked out new hardware and had them color match our paint to the corner desk. after a bit of a disaster concerning the top of the desk, we fixed it (phew) and it now looks like this:
ignore those cords trying to steal the show there.. : )

phil loves it and i am happy it looks more like an adult uses it. he wants a place where i can feel comfortable to come in and hang out while he works. well i am much more likely to come in now with this cohesive feel than i was when it felt like a mish-mash of furniture. this is the beginning of this room... well, of his office stuff anyway. someday i would like to buy him an actual corner desk. you know, that is only one piece and is meant to be together. but this is a good money saving alternative for us right now. instead of paying tons for a new desk, we spent $60 on paint, sandpaper and hardware and i am able to live with it now. this is the goal since we may have to move all this stuff out to our sunroom.... eventually.... i am hoping that we'll have a need to change the office into a nursery in the not super far away distant future..... : ) : ).... phil has yet to agree to the plan where i move all his stuff out of this room.. he says, "we'll see when the time comes." and i say, "oh yes. we will see...." ; )

Monday, March 21, 2011

say goodbye to ugly furniture.

so lately (over the past year or so.. does that qualify as "lately?") i have been realizing the waste of throwing away old furniture. when i was a newlywed i was that bride who thought she needed to have all new things. you know, the one who gets all overwhelmed because she thinks her house should be full of new furniture and look finished like her parent's house, so she goes and buys all new stuff on a credit card and gets herself into trouble. yah.. thankfully, my husband is a very smart man and didn't let his new bride get them both into all sorts of credit card debt (thank God for that!) so i had to live with old, ugly furniture i hated. or did i? for some reason it didn't even occur to me to update these pieces until we were about to move. i was just living with these ugly pieces and thinking i was just waiting to buy new ones. what a waste of furniture! now i know a tiny bit of creativity (trust me, it only takes a teeny tiny bit) can make you love the furniture you already have so much more! no spending a billion dollars (i don't have) on new stuff!! yay!

let's talk about my bedroom dresser. now... this thing was ugly. i have stained it, which i will show, then decided i didn't like it and painted it. i wish i had a before-before picture. this is the closest thing i have (please don't judge).

 on my gosh this thing was a mess. it sat in a horrible spot in our bedroom in st louis (i guess i hated it so i thought there was no hope, so why bother?) and it had this terrible wooden rim that went around the top of the dresser, along the back and sides. and along the back of the rim, it got larger and there was... get ready... a big heart carved out of it. ICK. i could not stand this thing. so phil, of course, put his big ugly stereo on top of it and it became the place where our ugly junk collected. romantic. (nice blanket over the window too, huh? classy.) and that was our bedroom dresser. it makes me laugh now, but whoa. it made me hate our room and not really try to make it look any nicer.
thankfully my dad used to own a construction business, so he has all sorts of awesome tools. when we moved down here, the big ol' rim with the cute-sy heart got the saw. yep. he took an electric saw to it and the heavens sang when that horrible piece of wood came crashing off of the dresser to the floor. i think even the dresser was thanking the Lord that the hideous piece was gone. amen!

so then we sanded, stripped, restained and refinished the dresser. and it looked like this:

and i still didn't like it. it looked well... not very good. we worked so hard, but i think it's just the finish i used was no good. we used a spray finish instead of brushing it on. that was a mistake. i won't do that ever again. so while this was a GIANT improvement, it still wasn't good. we spent a good amount of money buying sandpaper, varnish stripping stuff, some tools, stain and finish. not as much as buying a new dresser certainly, but it was still a good amount of money so i was hesitant to paint it even though i didn't like it. well, one day phil accidentally bought the wrong color of paint for our wall, so now that we had it i used it to paint the dresser! (we are using it for a couple other projects soon that i will post about too.) just because we spent money trying to get our dresser a certain way well, it didn't work! so why leave it a way that you don't like it just because you spent money on it? i mean, that seems silly. so now she's painted and happy and looking like this:

much better in my opinion. the legs will be painted silver soon i think and i will add knobs as soon as i figure out what i want...
confession: i didn't pull the dresser away from the wall when i did this because i was being lazy. then i messed up the wall.. ha oops : ) and the be 100% honest, one side is still left unpainted since i have to pull it out to get to it. haha oh gee.. oh well, nobody said it had to be perfect! : )

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the sofa that God gave me.

so i have told this story before, but i believe it needs re-telling. God gave me the most beautiful and best sofa for my little family (which consists of me, my husband and two cats... mischevious ones). it all started in st. louis, missouri. phil and i moved there right after we were married. well, he had already been living there for a year but he had lived with other people who brought furniture, so he didn't really have to buy any at all. good for him, bad for us. we lived for about a month with hardly any furniture at all except our really awesome new bed i made him buy. (everyone says if you splurge on one new thing in newlywed life, it should be a good bed. i agreed.) so we found an entire set of furniture on craigslist for $300. we got a coffee table, sofa table, a stand, an end table, a sofa and a love seat. a whole room! for $300! it was great. however, the sofa and love seat were not of the best quality, but i was a newlywed so i didn't care and i lived with them. for 2 years. then we decided we were moving to georgia. i had come to despise our couches so i said, "phil, those ugly things are NOT coming with us. nooo sir." i didn't want to deal with bringing them all the way down here, storing them before we could move into our place, then trying to sell them anyway. we both had already agreed we would like a new sofa, and our apartment couldn't fit both pieces anyway. so we decided to just get rid of both and make life easier on us. the night before we moved, some sweet family with a girl about to move into a dorm in need of furniture bought both pieces for $80. i was so HAPPY!!! the ugly pieces were gone and we even made a little money off of them! yesssss.
this is the part where we moved into a new apartment and lived without a sofa for 2 months. so basically we sat on the floor for 8 weeks. all this time i was wishing, hoping and praying for a new sofa. a good one. that i LOVED. well, i was searching high and low for a sofa i wanted. i didn't just want any old piece of furniture. i wanted it to stand out to me as something i really wanted. we didn't really know what we were looking for though, so we started researching. enter woodstock furniture outlet : ). we decided to just go look around this amazing warehouse just packed with beautiful (and some expensive) furniture. we had set our budget around $300, but as we searched we realized $500 might be a little more realistic for a good piece of furniture that we could love on for a long time. well. this is about the time we looked all over the warehouse's new clearance center and i wasn't very impressed with anything. so, knowing we couldn't afford it, i just wanted to browse the rest of the 'normal' priced furniture. mis.take. that is when the light came shining through the front windows on the sofa of my dreams. heaven was shining down on it, and i answered the call, let me tell you. i was in awe. the sofa was giant. it was deep enough (which we both wanted), it had big bun feet (which i wanted), and big giant studs around the whole thing (which i mean, who doesn't want that?) it was soft, but not too soft. you sink in, but not too much. oh, it was just glorious. and i almost cried. it was about $1000... double our budget. : ( well, that was now my dream sofa and no other one would ever be quite as good and i knew it. and phil knew it. so i tried to figure out in my head how it could work. i couldn't. so i relunctantly started looking around for one in our price range.
this was all right about the time we moved. well, 2 months later i was driving around with my sister and matt. amazingly nice, patient people because when we drove past the outlet and i said, "hey! let's go in and visit my sofa!" they agreed. : ) so we made a random stop just to dream about it and maybe cry a little at my loss. when i saw it again it was in the color i would buy. the first time i saw it, it was in this really pretty light green color. now it was in a beige with blue and red threads going through it. shut. up. that's exactly what i needed. so this amazingly awesome salesman came over to ask me if i needed anything. i said i needed this sofa to be on sale. he said it was 20% off... yah... not enough. i said, well i am looking for something more around $500 soooo.... then he got this serious look and said the best words i have heard since maybe my wedding day:
"i think that exact sofa in that exact color is in my clearance center for $499."
"SHUT. UP. no it's not! are you lying?" (or something like that.)
"let's see..."
*us run-walking through the warehouse to the clearance center*
and there it was. my wonderful, beautiful, amazing perfect sofa in the perfect color. waiting for me. with a $599 price tag, which my salesman-of-the-year said he would change to $499. the tag claimed the sofa had a warped frame. we searched all over this thing. me and my salesman, and we didn't find one thing wrong with it. then, you know what he said? he said, "i don't see anything wrong here.. i think God just wants you to have this sofa." why yes, i believe you are correct. then wouldn't you know it, phil was at work but his students had a half day. so i called him to ask him what to do, and he answered right away. which never would have happened under normal circumstances. so i put my name on and reserved this sofa for phil to come back and purchase later. then i got an amazing deal on delivery. THEN when phil came to buy the couch (on credit.. which i wouldn't do under normal circumstances. i know what dave ramsey says.. but even HE would understand this!) they accidentally gave him 12 months no interest instead of 6, then said, oh well! just take the 12!.. and that is how i now have my incredible sofa of my dreams sitting in my living room. because God knew i loved it and wanted it so much. so He showed me that He doesn't just care about my needs, but also the things i want. He's so good, He doesn't JUST give us what we need but also some things we desire to have. what a good God. thank you Lord for my beautiful, perfect-for-us sofa. : )

Friday, March 18, 2011

okay, i took a risk.

so i have been inspired. the nester challenged everyone to take a risk in their home. i agree with her that people are too safe too often. she is part of why i started this blog. i wanted my home to look a certain way, but i wasn't doing very much in it for a couple reasons. one is because i don't have very much money. she helped me see that it doesn't really take THAT much money. you can do lots of things in your home for pretty cheap if you have the guts to try it and do things yourself. this was my second roadblock. i didn't have the guts until she inspired me. i think my place looked okay and everything, but it wasn't totally what i wanted. if i could have had my home any way i wanted it, it wouldn't have been the way it was before this inspiration found me. i would change tons of things. so why was i living with it while not being happy with it? i don't know. i was afraid to take a risk and try something new. until i realized it doesn't matter if the risk doesn't pay off. then i will just try something else until i get it right. not a crisis situation, jess. sheesh.
i think another part of the reason though is that my mom and my sister both have good eyes for decorating and creating a beautiful space. i would like to think i have some of that too, but i wasn't really pushing myself to really commit to that because i was afraid of what they would think of my space. what if they don't like it? what if they hate the colors? what if the layout looks weird to them? will they make fun of me for getting curtain panels from wal-mart? blah. blah. blah. i now realize, thanks to the nester, that it doesn't matter what they think. (i know, novel idea, right?) but this is MY space. for ME and MY husband. not that i will never ask their opinions or talk things over with them because i really respect things they say... but this isn't their home. at the end of the day they leave and i have to live here. so what works best for me and my family? what looks the best to me? if my mom would do it differently, well that's fine. we can have a difference of opinion and both still be right. i have plenty of time and opportunities to switch things up as i get older and mature. spaces are constantly changing and they should change with you. i don't want to decorate my home now for when i'm 40. it should reflect me for who i am now and the best place for my family, NOW. gee. i feel so free to take risks now! i feel a new freedom to do whatever i like now and it is just. great. i am myself and i like what i like. yessss : )
NOW. all that being said.. this is the risk i took. i made a coffee filter wreath. i got the idea from my new favorite nester here and fell madly in love. i knew i had to have this. one major problem. i am not craft-y. not really. i have been able to do some things, but crafts basically scare me. i have been doing them wrong since elementary school. i hate when it turns out looking worse than other peoples' projects. but nester said take risks, i really wanted this wreath and it seemed like a pretty low commitment risk (only costing me about $10).. so i jumped. well. turns out i did it "wrong" haha. now, i am really taking another risk showing you my wreath after showing you hers, so here goes:

i made the coffee filters going a different way than she did. it makes hers looks fluffier and i like that a little better.. but i still like mine. i think it looks pretty cool and not made out of coffee filters. that's for sure. i am just happy i took the risk because even though it isn't perfect, i still really really like it and i think it looks lovely in my room. : ) risk = paid off.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

if i were maria.

i think that raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are very nice.. and cute.. but these are not my favorite things. nope. if i had written that song, my favorite things would be things like.. hot coffee on a cool morning. autumn leaves. a nice breeze on a tropical beach. a super cute and comfortable (ha) pair of jessica simpson shoes. the first day of warm weather after the winter and you put your windows down in the car and your favorite song comes on... yah. i am happy just thinking about those things.

i have things like that in my home too. things that when i see them i just think, i LOVE this thing! so here, for your viewing pleasure, are my absolute 'favorite-will-never-be-put-away-so-i-can-always-look-at-them' things.

i bought this bird at target during the christmas season. i suppose it is 'supposed' to be a christmas decoration, but i think it is too beautiful to only be out one part of the year. it sits out all year in prominent places so i can see it! and i think it probably cost me less than $10. and i adore it.

this is my big, fat, red apple. it cost me $0 because it had belonged to my mom and she gave it to me. it's a candle inside (that smells absolutely wonderful) and once it's done being a candle you can turn it into some kind of cookie jar or something. i don't care what's inside. i love this big fat apple. i realize this is me entering into 'crazy land' but i just want to give this apple a hug. that is how much i love it. i know this means i have to check into an institution.

this is the little trio on my dresser. i couldn't pick whether i liked the birds better or that big green thing (whatever it is). i saw the brids at marshalls and didn't buy them. i thought i didn't really need them as much as i needed other things (we had JUST moved to georgia and needed lots of things). this was a mistake however. i thought about those birds every day and was sad until i got some money from my wonderful husband a month later. i went to see if they were still there. they were. : ) (thank goodness! i would have regretted that so long!) then i knew i needed something green and tall with them. i saw this at marshalls a month later and grabbed it up. no way was i letting another perfect thing i love be possibly bought by another person. i knew it belonged in my room and i didn't take the chance. so glad! they are among my very favorite things! (this whole set probably cost me about $30.. they were some excellent deals.)

ahhh my cute-as-a-button bird lamps. complete with leaves, twigs, a bird and little crystals! come. on. love them. my sister found these at mashalls for $20 a piece (one for each side of the bed). i said, "ohhh, i can only get oneeeee. what should i do? not get it?" and this is when my sweet, wonderful, angelic sister said, "i'll buy the other one for you." what a good sister. seriously. so i had two lamps i LOVE, phil didn't have to be upset that i went $20 over my budget because i didn't, and now my lamps remind me of my sweet sister and her generosity. <3

my chair. oh how i love this chair. it was $130 at marshalls. i was allowed to spend $100... which i had already spent.. oh dear. i KNEW it belonged in my space. i thought maybe, just maybe.. phil would let me buy it. it ties all the colors of my space in together. blue, black furniture, gold, silver with the studs... had. to. have. thankfully i have the sweetest husband alive who, after coming home from work, drove me back to marshalls to buy me the chair. *sigh* what a gentleman, making such sacrifices for his lady..

this is dangerous to say... but this might possibly be my absolute favorite thing of all the favorites.. i don't know. the silver bird, if a second, is a very very close second. i got this little canister at our second wedding reception in indianapolis (so glad we did that!). i didn't register for it. it was just one of those surprise gifts you get. i loved it right away. i put it in a prominent place in our last apartment and looked at it a LOT. then when we moved here and painted the fireplace wall blue, this little baby looked even better. i am seriously madly in love. i never even thought to look on the bottom to see who makes it. guess what. it is from 1-800-flowers. i saw it online, it comes with an arrangement in it. yah! somebody gave me their old flower arrangement container! why they would give this thing away i have no clue. it's lovely. but i have to say, i'm not really mad at all that they did. i think it's a little weird that somebody bought them a gift of flowers with this and they gave it away to somebody else, but oh well. i adore it and will most likely always keep a place to display it.

 i find it funny that all my favorite things were relatively inexpensive. the most expensive was $130 and that was for a piece of furniture. maybe that's part of what makes me love these things. either they were free and given to me, or i got such good deals on them so there was no guilt associated with purchasing them. whatever the reasons, these are my favorite things and i just know they will be seen around my home for some time to come.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

i promised. i deliver.

well there were about 14 minutes of sun yesterday, yay! i took the after pictures of my room. now... you will have to understand that the difference is much more obvious in person. my walls look much darker than they come out in pictures and on the screen, but it's true i went with a light color. here is before again:

and the lovely wonderful after:



 i love it so much more now! it's a really warm color in the morning.. it kind of looks like my coffee (since i dump tons of cream in it). then it looks like a cooler tan color in the afternoon. it's peaceful and makes me so happy! the color is from the martha stewart collection at home depot. it's called natural twine. this is what i did though... i didn't want to spend a million dollars painting an apartment that i will eventually move out of. so i just had them use cheaper paint, america's finest paint which is about $10 for a gallon unlike martha who runs about $30ish i believe. i just had them do their little color match magic and honestly, i'm not mad at this paint. it's considerably more water-y than something like behr, but that doesn't bother me. it covered my walls just the same, thankyouverymuch. and (i will make a whole post about this later some time) you can see in these after pictures that i also painted my dresser. i used america's finest for that too and i think it did a great job. i know. some furniture-painting expert somewhere is probably calling the furniture police for committing such a crime against furniture. but too bad. i don't see a need to spend $20 extra dollars for a paint that i admit, is better, but will end up looking the same in the end. nooo thank furniture police: come arrest me for all i care. : )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

more clouds...

oh dear. more clouds and rain today. maybe i'll try to take the after pictures today anyway. i promised them and i must deliver. we will see. well i will just take this rainy opportunity to talk about something else housewife-y. most who read this know my desire to have a family. it's my main desire on my heart right now to start our family, but i always knew if i had a child i would stay home with him/her. i don't think there is one measley thing wrong with working out of the home when you have children. i just loved my mom staying home with us and always felt that is what i wanted to do. however, since that is the case, we can't afford a baby quite yet. however, while i am waiting i believe God is sustaining me and taking care of my needs by giving me temporary things to keep me occupied.. and this guy:

i realize this makes me a crazy cat lady, but i'm cool with that. i love my cat, hobbes. we adopted him about a month after we got married. he crawled in my lap at the shelter and my little heart melted and i said, "we neeeeeed hiiimmmmm". he is the perfect pet for our little family. he is like having a small child around sometimes. (i realize children are a great deal more work and responsibility, don't worry!) hobbes is always doing something funny. any time there is something new in "his" home, of course it is for him. so he sits on it, in it, or right next to it to stare at his new toy and figure out what it is. he is so curious about every little thing. he decides when it's time to sit in my lap and sleep and nothing will stop him. however, my husband would say this is preferable to how he sleeps at night, which is on phil's head. literally. he likes to be carried around with you when you're moving around the apartment and he "cries" when he wants food or attention. seriously. most obnoxious meowing you have ever heard from this guy. but those are the reasons i love him. and yesterday he did me a huge favor. he found a bug and "played with it" and killed it! i think it was an accident.. sort of like a 'lenny and the mouse' situation, but i was happy and he quickly forgot that he ever had a new friend that he accidentally squashed with his paw. he was being my little helper haha.

there is one habit he has that i am hoping a child will never have, and that is running out the door whenever it's open. he just likes to take himself for little walks sometimes and see what there is to see. this isn't a very huge deal. we follow him and let him be "free" sometimes. i just make sure he has his collar on just in case. but here is an all too common scene in our home lately:

we are not sure how he has figured how to get this off, but i have to put it back on him almost every day. oh and let me tell you, he struggles. geesh. i guess he just wants to throw off the constraints of the world and be a man of the wild, but i know this shouldn't happen. he would never survive. he needs us and i am so glad because he has helped fill a little hole in the big desire to be a mom. maybe that's crazy, but that's just the plain old truth.

Monday, March 14, 2011

change of plans.

i know i promised to post the "after" pictures of my newly painted room, and i will! i spent the day at church and sitting out on my parents' deck to get some sun (finally! my poor skin needed it desperately!) so i didn't get to take the pictures yesterday. now today it is cloudy and i wanted more natural light coming in so it would be a similar amount of light to the first pictures. sheesh. dumb clouds. well i will post those pictures as soon as i can! it looks so great in here, such a difference! in the mean time, let's continue talking about my room.

i have had some inspiration lately. i kept looking at my room and thinking, "hmm... something is not right. it needs..... something.." i just didn't know what that "something" was. i asked my wonderful mother who, let me tell you, has a gorgeous house and taught me everything i know. she thought what was missing was some wood in my room. i have tons of fabric and not much wood at all. i agreed with this, of course. (if my mom tells you something you should do in your home, after seeing her home, you listen.) so there are plans to make a headboard since i can't afford one, but that will come later. i had to tell her though, "yes... but i feel like there is something else....." then this happened:

this was taken after the original inspiration, but i saw this little cover-up i wear a lot sitting in my room. the color went so nicely with the green and brown. i realized, of course! it's missing another color! the color is too flat. so based on this little guy, i picked out a sort of orangey-pinky-terra cotta. i am going to paint a few pieces in the room and part of the headboard i make. i love this because it was a color i obviously already loved and my messiness of leaving this out places is what helped me discover what i needed! (phil will not be pleased i found a good reason to maintain my messy habits.) i found inspiration right there already in my own space. : )

Saturday, March 12, 2011

one of my true loves.

i love painting! well, no that isn't true. i hate painting. i love the effects of it though! i live in an apartment, so it is unfortunate that i feel the need to paint everything since i will most likely have to paint it all back this horrible builder's paint beige color. ick.

this color looks yellow, beige, and pink during different times of the day. yah... not what you want with paint. i will never understand why they build apartments and houses and just spray the entire thing this awful color. no. we are in the process of painting our bedroom. these are the before shots. i will take the after shots and post them once it's all done. it already looks sooo much better. it's making me so happy! paint changes everything. this beige color can really leave you feeling like you're living in a temporary place. which..i am... but.. i mean.. you don't want it to FEEL like that. paint can totally change that. i think this is a good example of the huge difference just a little paint makes:

i did rearrange some furniture recently, so that looks different.. but the wall art just seems to come alive with a little paint on the mats. and guess what. it didn't cost me anything! i just used paint left over from the wall! so that made me so happy to make something seem so much better for free. yessss. : )