1. What is your dream job?
This might sound sort of random, but I'd love to be a florist and own my own flower shop. There is something about arranging flowers that I find really enjoyable; I love to rearrange the cheap, pre-made bouquets N picks up at the grocery store. Fun fact: I made all the center pieces for my wedding with flowers I ordered in bulk on the internet!
For Christmas of 2011 my wonderful mother got me a DSLR camera so that I could capture R's life in better quality than I was afforded with my smartphone. For the first year I had it I was great at making a point to take pictures, but lately it's been mostly sitting around, waiting for us to take pictures for Craigslist/ eBay. In order to remind and encourage myself to take more pictures I'm starting this segment, "Our Life," to share with you the captures I get of our daily life.
- Did you know physical therapy for wounds involves simply cleaning them out? N and I didn't either until today when he had an appointment. I didn't go with him but apparently it was so gruesome that N literally passed out- something he's never done before! Yikes!
This is what's stuck inside my throat!
- The BRAVO capsule still hasn't come out of my throat. It was pretty painful last night and hurts again today. I just want this to be over!
- I'm expecting a package from Zulily (thinking of signing up? here's my referral link!) today with some vintage looking Halloween decorations I'm really excited about. I've pretty much run out of decorating room but I'll find some places for these. I can't wait until everything is all together and I can get some pictures!
- R is going to be the flower girl in my cousin's wedding next Saturday and I am SO NERVOUS. She can be very outgoing and awesome (at my other cousin's reception she was literally coming up behind people and pushing them onto the dance floor so they would dance with her) but she's also the loudest tantrum-er ever and I'm scared she'll freak out when she walks down the aisle.
- In other dance related thoughts, R has been doing SO well at dance class! She was really scared the first week and cried/ wouldn't leave me for the entire class, but the last few times she's participated and been really good. She's hilarious to watch because she's the youngest in the class and has absolutely no idea what's going on. The dance teacher said she'd like to get R's class to participate in their holiday recital and I think that would be awesome! Hopefully R's flower girl experience will prepare her for that. Hopefully...
What's on your mind today?
Tuesday Troubles idea stolen (with permission) from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!
- On Saturday right before N was about to leave work for the weekend (he works Tuesday to Saturday) he burned his hand while trying to fix an oil drain. Essentially, there were still fumes inside the drain even though had had cleaned it earlier and it created a giant fireball (that everyone in the shop heard) that hit him in the hand. When he called me to tell me what happened I asked him if he needed to go to the ER or Urgent Care he said, "uh, I don't know" which is N speak for "YES I SHOULD PROBABLY GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY."
Of course he waited until later that night to go to Urgent Care (after much harassing from me) and the doctor told him he has pretty severe 2nd-3rd degree burns. He has a blister on his palm under his thumb the size of a freaking golf ball. He also burned all the skin on his wrist off and has first degree burns on his forearm, and all in all it's terrible. He's a mechanic who works commission so this is a major hit. He was told yesterday he'll need physical therapy twice a week and will need to consult with a burn specialist to see if he needs reconstructive surgery. Please send healing vibes his way!
- Yesterday I had a sedated endoscopy (yay for sedation!) and they stuck a BRAVO capsule to my throat. It's a tiny little device that records my acid reflux levels and sends them to a little monitor that I have to wear for the next 48 hours. In a few days it's supposed to dislodge and uh, pass, but for the time being it feels like there's a giant vitamin stuck in my throat and it's really annoying. However it's a billion times better than the catheter through the nose into the throat so I'm not complaining!
- The IV I got from said endoscopy has left a giant, swollen, blue bruise on my hand! Ouch!
- I thought I was done with diagnostic testing for the GERD surgery but yesterday the doctor said he wants me to do a gastric emptying test too! It involves eating radioactive food so I'm not sure I'll be able to do it since I'm still nursing, but man on man I just want these tests to be over!
- R has been a disaster lately and I'm not sure why. I think her 2 year molars are coming in- I really hope that's what it is!
I hope your troubles are too much this fine Tuesday! :)
Doing my first Sunday Social today!
The questions are:
1. What is your favorite handbag you’ve ever owned?
Right now it's my Louis Vuitton Totally PM (please don't tell my other purses!) I bought this beauty last year at the three story LV store in Vegas with some hard earned scholarship money. I have been crazy impressed with the quality of the Speedy 25 my mom bought me for my 17th birthday (8 years ago!) and with the way LVs retain/ increase in value. I could sell my Speedy on ebay for more than my mom paid for it originally!
I couldn't call these pictures a true "after" yet because there's still a few things I want to do in this room. It definitely looks and feels unfinished. However I won't be working on it for awhile so here are some pictures of what it looks like today...
After being disappointed in a mystery box I got earlier this year, I told myself I was not going to do one again. And then I saw an ad for this promising a Estelle, a "full-coverage black holographic glitter" and I was like, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
Trying my very first link-up today with one of my favorite bloggers, Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!
- You know when you get really hungry and you put so much food on your plate that looking at it makes you lose your appetite? Yeah, that's sort of what happened to me with crafting. I went crazy on crafting supplies and now I'm feeling very "meh" about finishing everything. That's actually the same way I feel about cleaning my house. ;)
I am really looking forward to an entire season of this!
- N and I went to the first Avalanche preseason game yesterday while his mom watched R. They lost but it was good to get out of the house just the two of us, and can I say how excited I am for hockey season to start? I really hope coach Roy (LOVE HEARING THAT) will whip the boys into shape.
- I tried making cake pops today with the mold and chocolate melter that I got from Zulily a couple weeks ago. All was good until it came time to *dip* the cake in the chocolate. I had used chocolate chips and the chocolate was way too thick for dipping so it had to be crudely spooned on. Then when I tried to heat the chocolate in the microwave I ended up overheating it and ended up with a rock of molten chocolate (and not in a delicious way.) They are ugly as sin but taste good so I suppose it was a success.
- I finished Ellen Hopkins' new book Smoke the other day and I just wasn't that into it. She's my favorite guilty pleasure author (sorry not sorry for loving YA Lit) so I was a little disappointed- especially since the first book in this series (Burned) was so interesting. The twist ending caught me by surprise, but it wasn't as shocking or interesting as a lot of her other books.
- Have you read this article yet? Because if not you need to.
The downside to being a mechanic is that people always ask you to work on their cars, the upside is that you get to help your friends and family, and sometimes you get the most amazing treats in return. One such treat that N received was a plate of literally the most delicious cookies either of us had ever eaten before, courtesy of my cousin. N is a chocolate chip cookie aficionado, and will buy those gross tubes of cookie dough so that he can cook himself like, three freshly baked cookies every night. It's sort of a problem. But anyway, if he says a cookie recipe is the best ever, that's really saying something. ;)
2 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
2.5 Tbs water
1 Tbs vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, and then the vanilla. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and coco powder. Add these dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients while adding the water. Mix until combined and then add the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes (we put them in for 7 exactly so they're a little undercooked- i.e. gooey and delicious.)
First post note: I have a serious subscription box addition. Finances are really the only thing stopping me from subscribing to ALL THE BOXES. I absolutely love seeing subscription box posts on other blogs, so I figured it was only natural to put them on mine as well. I really try to use the products I receive as quickly as possible so I'll also try to include reviews as well. I pay for all the boxes myself (well uh, N does but about that...) and all the opinions are my own. Links will likely contain my referral link! So without further ado...
I hate spoilers so all main pictures will be blurred. :)
Welcome to another edition of Nailed It! (I know, so soon, but I just got a lot of craft stuff for my birthday!) where I attempt Pinterest crafts with probably varying results. Up today is a weekly schedule made from frames.
This was the inspiration image I found while searching Pinterest and while this particular design didn't really appeal to me, I knew that it could be recreated in a way that would suit my own aesthetic preferences. Once again I didn't take progress pictures because I wasn't really thinking about blogging this but I'll show you what I ended up with...
Welcome to the first edition of Nailed It! where I attempt Pinterest crafts with probably varying results. Up today is the lovely Martha Stewart bug bouquet that I'm sure you've seen on Pinterest for years now.
I have been in love with this picture for at least two years now and I've always wanted to re-create it. This year I finally decided to bite the proverbial bullet and go for it.
If you'd like to know why I haven't gone through the house to take after pictures it's because it's a mess right now and I've been too busy crafting (i.e. avoiding cleaning) to clean. It's also not completely finished. But I promise I'll get us some progress pictures as soon as I get my butt into gear.
However my favorite holiday is coming up, and if you follow me on Pintrest (which I have been going a little overboard with lately) you'll know it's HALLOWEEN! I've picked up a few Halloween decorations over the years but we've really never had enough disposable income to really get some fun stuff until this year. I went a little crazy on Zulily and I have a bunch of fun stuff coming. I also have been crafting, and of course I can't wait to get out the decorations that we already have.
That all being said I decided to take pictures of our console tale, mantle, and coffee table decorations before I take them down (which I did the second I was done taking pictures) and put up the Halloween stuff (which I've started on.)
Just like everything else, the fireplace wasn't in great shape when we moved in. I figured that since I'd be cleaning it/ painting it one day that I didn't need to tape it off while we were doing other painting, so we did our fair share of damage as well. The first thing we did to it was have someone come out and professionally clean it/ the chimney (it's a funny story involving me letting the guy in, then frantically running up to the bathroom to throw up because I was newly pregnant.) The guy said it was a disaster and HUGE fire hazard. It hadn't been cleaned in a long, long time- which obviously didn't surprise us.
That ugly fireplace mocked me my entire pregnancy. It had been a project that I had really wanted to get done, but I got absolutely nothing done during my pregnancy because I was so sick. So after R was born it was one of the first projects I decided to tackle.
The backyard did not seem to be in terrible shape when we moved in. As you'll see in the next few pictures it looked green and lush. We figured that we'd just have to remove all the weird landscaping debris from the backyard and we'd be good to go.
Of course that's not even close to how it went.
Although the landscaping was badly outdated and damaged, the yards at the house were surprisingly in not-the-worst shape. Considering some of the weed forests I've seen in this neighborhood, what the yards looked like before was downright presentable!
The house had a sprinkler system already hooked up, but the previous owners had never used it. I.E. it went untouched for 15 years. When Nate tried to turn it a giant jet of water exploded from under the deck, and everywhere else was just as chaotic. We tried our best to hand-water the yards, but ended up turning each of them into a crispy field of weeds. So not only did we have to re-do the landscaping but we had to install completely new yards.
Oh, and N killed the tree. :)
This was the picture of our house that I found off Google Maps before we bought it. It's hard to tell from this picture but the outside of the house was almost in sorrier shape than the inside. The previous owners had lived in it for 15 years (the house is 30 years old), and it was very clear that they did little upkeep inside and out.
The house needed to be repainted, it BADLY needed new windows, and it also needed to be re-landscaped but when we moved in we had to focus on the inside- the areas we'd actually be you know, touching on a daily basis. The outside of the house had to wait, as much as that depressed me. But we declared the year 2012 as the year of the outside of the house. And we got to work!
The third bedroom in our house was going to be a guest room, but my surprise pregnancy with R had us convert it into a nursery a little earlier than we anticipated. Actually, the pregnancy happened so quickly after we had moved in that there was really nothing to convert. The room was a blank canvas ready for me to design.
When I found out R was a girl I immediately had big dreams of a PINK nursery with lots of frilly accents. I have never been a girly girl myself and this only encouraged me to go as girly as possible with R's nursery. These were the days before Pintrest (well, before it was popular at least) so I didn't have many good ideas to go off of. I started searching for the anchor of the room- the perfect crib set- and I just didn't find much that I liked. In hindsight I wish I would have gone the Etsy route, but the crib set I ended up choosing, and then planning the nursery around, was/ is perfect.
As I said before the bathroom was definitely in the worst shape of all the rooms in the house. When we moved in we hoped it was one of the rooms that we could completely renovate right away (we did buy a new toilet before we moved in), but due to some unforeseen events we ended up having to put it off.
We moved into our house in mid-July of 2010 and then got married on July 24, 2010. In the beginning of August we had an immense family tragedy occur, and only a few weeks after that we learned that *SURPRISE* we were pregnant! That is all a story for another post, but it has to do with the bathroom renovation story because I got so, so sick during my pregnancy that I ended up having to spend a lot of time in that awful, awful bathroom. We bought a shower mat for the horrible stained bathtub and I remember very clearly crouching down on that mat, not daring to put a toe off of it, and crying about how miserable the situation was. First world problems of course, but hey, I was really hormonal.
In late March of the following year (I was due in early May in case you're curious) we got our tax refund back a bit early and decided it was finally time to re-do the bathroom. Well, I'm not sure N had much of a choice in the matter, but it did have to be done. Because it was our only bathroom and I was peeing close to every 5 minutes I went to stay at my parents house while N did the work.
The tale of our kitchen cabinets is a sad one. I am partial to white cabinets and was elated to see that they had already been painted white, but was quickly brought back down to earth when I saw the condition they were in. But they needed to be primed anyway to rid them of the house stink.
Since we had to ditch all the carpet we decided to use laminate wood flooring on the middle level, and new carpet throughout the rest of the house. We really would have liked to do real wood floors, but as I said before our budget was very small and we had heard a lot of great things about laminate.
Spoiler alter: None of those things were true and that floor today is the bane of my existence.
Anyway, we decided to go with a laminate that was a little bit pricier but looked like the dark wood floors that I've coveted all my life. To be fair, they are very beautiful- when they are clean. Because they aren't textured they will show even the mark of a clean bare foot and so they get dirty VERY easily. And the only way to clean them is to go over them once with water to get the dirt off, and then with a vinegar mixture and a microfiber cloth to leave them streak free. They also damage (warp and scratch) much more easily than we were told. If we were going to stay here for longer than we plan I think I'd consider putting down that tile that looks like wood. In any other house we buy it's going to be real wood or bust.
After the ceilings and carpet were gone it was time to clean, prime, and paint. And man oh man we did a lot of each. Have you ever mopped the walls of a house? Have you ever mopped the walls of a house and watched the water turn brown as it trickled back to the floor. I'll say this: if you don't think second hand smoke effects other people's bodies you should see what it will do to a house!
After the scrubbing it was time to prime. We went with Killz because it has a reputation for eliminating odors, and we had a LOT of odors that needed to be sent back to the hell from whence they came. We went through buckets and buckets of the stuff, and at one point it almost killed Nate as he insisted he could prime the inside of a closet without wearing a mask. But it did its job and it did its job well.
I learned quickly that our house was going to need a lot more than a fresh coat of paint. In fact, it was going to need 2 thick coats of Killz primer before that paint even went on!
Here was our list of things to do before we moved in:
- Scrape off the popcorn ceilings (they were heavily smoke damaged)
- Remove and trash all doors and trim (also heavily smoke damaged)
- Clean every surface
- Prime every surface
- Install new flooring
- Refinish kitchen cabinets (and get new hardware)
- Replace all electrical outlets and light switches
- Do as much as possible to the bathroom (luckily we got a new toilet right away)
In early 2010 my husband N and I decided it was the right time to buy a house. We were going to get married that summer, and the lease to our ridiculously expensive apartment was going to be up around the same time. We got pre-qualified by a mortgage broker, and it wasn't for much. We had to stay in an area that was central to both of N's jobs at the time (he had a second job throwing newspapers at the time) and unfortunately it's not the cheapest area to live in. We started looking at houses right away, but because the first go-around of the first time home-buyers tax credit was about to expire houses were selling fast.
After having our hearts broken a few times, and seeing more decrepit and trashed houses than we'd care to remember we almost considered giving up and buying a townhome. But early one morning I got a call from our relator saying that a new listing had popped up in the perfect location. N was at work but I met the relator at the house hours later and well... it was a sight to behold. But moreso than that, it was a SMELL to uh... smell.
As we walked up to the door another realtor was showing someone out. And I noticed on the kitchen counter that there was already a sizable pile of relator cards already laying there! The house had just gone on the market a few hours earlier! The house was in sad shape, but I reckoned that a fresh coat of paint and a few updates would spiff her right up (along with a liberal amount of Febreeze.) I called N at work and said we should place an offer on it immediately, to which0 he tentatively agreed. We ended up offering $1,000 above asking price and they accepted our offer. Let me just say right now that the previous homeowners got SO lucky.
Other drama ensued but in the end we ended up with the keys in our hands. I'll never forget our mortgage broker asking us if we were going to bring sleeping bags over to spend the night in our first house. N and I just looked at each other and laughed. We weren't going to be spending any nights in there for quite awhile.
So without further ado, here are the first pictures I took of the house. (I apologize for their small resolution. The computer I had the originals stored on crashed and these were salvaged from Photobucket.)
Hello and welcome! I'm Lauren, I'm 25, and I live in suburban Colorado with my husband, two year old daughter, and (giant) puppy. I've been blogging way before blogging was a word (I taught myself what is now the most basic of basic HTML almost 15 years ago!) but I've never managed to keep up with anything. I have many failed geocities, livejournals, and even blogger accounts under my belt, but the more time I spend reading other blogs the more I feel the need to have a place of my own. Not so much to attract readers but to be able to share things and interact with other bloggers. I'll be posting about our (never ending) home renovations, decorating, crafting, subscription boxes, and anything else that tickles my fancy. You're more than welcome to join me for the ride.