Monday, September 30, 2013

My Favorite Things | September

Tomorrow is October! The month of sweaters, riding boots, pumpkin beer, and fall baking. Love love love.

Ok, but seriously. That was just me having a positive attitude. Where in the heck did September go? I love fall and really the beginning of any of our 4 seasons, but why, why does life have to go by so fast? I feel like there are so many times where I remind myself of that cheesy country song by Trace Adkins, you're gonna miss this. Note to self: add to October's list of goals - live in the moment more and stop looking ahead too much or life is just going to fly by.

Anywho, back on my positive note. I loved September. It was full of time outside, anniversary fun, and creating things that I never thought I'd be capable of creating. Some of my favorite things this month...

+ My new DIY kick, obsession, hobby, whatever you want to call it. It's actually stuck around for quite a few weeks now and our place has a lot to show for it. Our bedroom especially is reaping the benefits of my new creative self. 
{View tutorials here and here.}

+ Our 3 year anniversary.

+ Saying so long to summer is sad but it means new fall fashion!

+ I have thoroughly enjoyed getting the hang of my new Canon DSLR camera. After an hour long lesson from my brother I have spent the past few weeks experimenting and messing around with all it's features. 

+ Times like this will always be a favorite. I'm thankful to live such a beautiful life.

And on that note, catch ya later September! It's been real. 
Linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A DIY Jewelry Frame

So the other morning Parker says to me: "You know, I'm thinking we really need more storage. Especially for things like jewelry. I've been looking on Pinterest and I think we should make something pretty for you to store your jewelry, while adding a nice display feature to our empty bedroom wall. We could make it together." And I was like: "Totally!" So that's how we ended up making this jewelry frame.

I think it went something like that anyway.

Which brings us to one of my latest projects: my Jewelry Frame. And I love it. I got the inspiration (okay, so it wasn't his idea) on Pinterest {see here, here, and here} and kind of combined a bunch of different examples, took a walk around Hobby Lobby, and created my own version.

                   I used an 11 in x 14 in unfinished, wooden frame. At Hobby Lobby I found 2 wooden "racks" that had 5 pegs across them. I broke off 3 of the pegs and trimmed each of the ends so that I would be able to fit them inside the frame. I distressed and stained the frame and racks to match our headboard {find the basic instructions here}. P placed nails through the front of the frame to keep these wooden racks in place. I used 4 layers of thick, tough burlap between the top and bottom rack. We pulled the ends of the burlap very tight and stapled it to the frame on either side. Then we drilled 3 holes in each rack for the 6 additional knobs that I added.

I used a basic white hook and some twine tied around the frame to hang it on the wall. I wasn't able to hang it directly to the wall because of the ends of the knobs sticking through the back but I think the twine sort of adds to the rustic look. I also took over one of my husband's small drawers in our dresser to store the rest of my jewelry because it can't all fit on this frame and it's nice to keep the "finer" things (along with my jack-o-lantern earrings) somewhere a bit more safe.

 And ta-da! Isn't she pretty? Good idea, hubs-o.

Again, let me tell you, I am not creative. Nor artsy. Nor am I very good with a paintbrush or staple gun. Believe me when I tell you, if I can do it you can do it. I hope this can inspire you to try a project you never thought you could pull off. You go, girl :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

H54F #14 | The last Friday in September

This has been a great week and it flew by! Can you believe it's already the last Friday in September? It's been pretty nice here so it's hard to believe it's already October next week. Crossing my fingers for some nice fall weather still and no snowflakes this month. Check out my highlights from the week and have a great weekend! Oh and there's still time to enter these two great giveaways here and here.

1. There are many pumpkins + cinnamon scents + fall colors filling up our one-bedroom apartment due to my fall decorating spree last weekend and I. love. it.

2. I won TWO giveaways. You guys, I've never won anything in my life and in the past 7 days I won twice! First, I won the Fall Fitness Giveaway from Sarah + Sarah and then I won $75 to Outfit Additions from Marquis + friends. So excited.

3. It was our third Wedding Anniversary on Tuesday. Flowers + fancy date night + a bottle of champagne waiting at our reserved table made it a beautiful day and evening. Nice played, hubby. Nice played.

4. My parents came to visit Wednesday which is always a great time.

5. Breakfast for dinner on Thursday night. We don't do that too often but after 2 nights of going out some good ol' plain, homemade food was sounding pretty delicious.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Bucket List

I'm guest posting today over at For Lauren and Lauren! Katie has such a kind heart, great affordable fashion tips, and a new baby daughter so her blog is one of my absolute favorites to read.

Be sure to come check out some things you should have on your Fall Bucket List! And if that's not reason enough, there's a Sephora gift card up for grabs and it's super easy to enter :)

My better half and I heading to our anniversary dinner last night!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Love Letter: To the man who makes my speakers go boom-boom

Dear Parker -

Happy Anniversary :) Three years ago today I made the best decision of my life and married you; if given the chance, there is absolutely nothing that I would change. I used to laugh when people referred to someone's spouse as their "better half", thinking they were making a joke. But you really are my better half. I've already learned so much in the past 3 years. You make me have fun, relax, and be spontaneous, and I love you for that. I love you because you put up with my crazy, obsessive, can't-sit-down-until-that-fork-is-washed personality - God bless you. I love you because you try so hard, but there are just some pieces of clothing that you can't coach yourself into folding right. I love you because you make me laugh with the funny things you say - like giggle, or actually belly-laugh, or burst into laughing-tears. Eight and a half years ago you asked me to be your girlfriend and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I get to see you after time apart. I love you even though you talk to me about your fantasy football team or Madden like it's real life. It's not real - DWTS is. I love you because you try so hard to understand things like blogging, organizing, or dance so you watch DWTS with me; but you're so chill, you probably won't read this until next week sometime :) I love you because you make me happy. You are the best thing to happen to me and I feel so thankful for our life together.

I hope I get to spend 18348934092 more years with you.

Love you forever,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eat: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Well helloooo Monday, we meet again...

I had a nice relaxing weekend getting caught up on things and ready for fall. I made a Target run, planned meals for the week, and shopped at the brand new grocery store in town. I also gave myself a quick little stop at Hobby Lobby and Bath + Body Works to get a few "fall" things. I love that the weather right now is still warm enough to be comfy in shorts and a sweatshirt, but cool enough to sleep with the windows open.

That husband of mine spent the weekend hunting with family and I wanted to make sure he brought something with him to be a good guest. So last Thursday I whipped up this yummy fall treat:

I've always loved banana bread, probably because it's one of those foods that brings back yummy + happy childhood memories. I have to share this Peanut Butter Banana Bread recipe {via} because it's to-die-for and it's from Cooking Light! It's a healthy version, only took me about 30 minutes to prepare (excluding the baking time), and made my place smell like fall goodness!

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (approx.) flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
2 Tbsp. chopped dry-roasted peanuts {Original recipe called for - I did not use}
Chocolate chips {optional - Original recipe did not include but my hubs requested :) }

[Glaze ingredients]
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. 1% milk
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice). Set aside.

2. Combine your wet ingredients (banana, yogurt, peanut butter, butter, and eggs) in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

3. Add sugar and brown sugar to wet ingredients. Beat until well blended.

4. Lightly spoon flour mixture into banana mixture. Beat until just blended. Stir in nuts and / or chocolate chips if your heart desires.

5. I made one batch with chocolate chips and one batch without. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 5 minutes. It's done when a utensil inserted in the center comes out clean. (You can bake 2 batches at the same time. I placed them next to each other on the same rack and switched sides halfway through the baking time.)

6. Combine the 3 glaze ingredients by stirring with a whisk.

Drizzle glaze over bread and enjoy!

Giveaway | Blogger Tee + Starbucks + Fall Scents

What a fabulous way to start a Monday!
I joined in with Mrs. Laura Beth and some other really cool people so make sure you enter like crazy! 

And go check out some of these ladies - I sure plan to :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

H54F #13 | i love me a friday

not to be a downer, but this week really did seem to drag by. i love fall, totally, but it seems like now that it's not summer my mind isn't constantly looking forward to something like it was before (i.e. being at the lake, seeing my family, tanning, ... margaritas...) and P is leaving me for the weekend for some hobby he likes to call hunting, i guess. but that also means i can get lots done this weekend this weekend, think: blogging, grocery shopping, and possibly multiple target runs - starting with the peanut butter banana bread i'm going to whip up tonight for him to take with this weekend. it might shape up to be pretty darn good. friday, i love you.

[1] early anniversary gift from my mother-in-law. what's your over / under on how long it takes me to fill this baby up? as of tonight there are already 2 in there... #oops #winelover. one problem: those fabulous liquor distributors make twist-off wine bottles now which are so much more user-friendly but will definitely hinder my progress.

[2] this. i love this. i shared our diy headboard here this week. it's been there for almost 2 weeks now and i still think it's oh-so-pretty.

[3] i get to be home every day for lunch and my new thing is to take an iced latte back to work with me. it's an easy, low-cal afternoon snack and fulfills a little sweets craving.

[4] interviewing this guy for the boys behind the blog link-up was so fun. man, his vlog makes me giggle like a little girl.

[5] as i'm writing this ahead of time on thursday evening, i'm just about to go whip up some peanut butter banana bread for P to bring with him hunting this weekend. and i might make 2 batches so i can keep one here. come back monday for the recipe! it's sooo delicious and from cooking light so it's even healthy.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

VLOG: The Boys Behind the Blog Link-Up

Today I am linking up with Mal and Stephanie for The Boys Behind the Blog Linkup #4!
They have been doing this on the third Thursday of each month in order to get to know the "boys" behind the blog better. I'm bummed I missed the first 3 but am so excited to join in now! Obviously in my case, the boy behind my blog is my hubby. He's cute, handy, compassionate, and charismatic. These are the questions we needed to ask our boys this week:
  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  • What is your favorite meal?
  • Do you use any forms of social media? What is your favorite?
  • Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
  • Complete the sentence: "Never have I ever..."
I knew I probably wouldn't be able to get him to sit down and write out his own answers because he was completely preoccupied with fixing his phone because it crashed that morning (he is not normally so caught up in his phone!) So I video-recorded the "interview" because I thought that would be the best way for me to remember his answers to write out myself. He had no idea I was recording it until I watched it back on my computer and I originally had no plans of posting it (or else I wouldn't have told him 3 times to focus!). But I thought it was so fun and authentic that I wanted to share it, which he ok'd before I did. If you don't want to watch it, I'll highlight his answers below. But I highly recommend watching the cool guy on video :) And please notice how his eyes light up at the mention of social media.

1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A liger. Then he proceeds to change his mind to a grizzly bear because then he can sleep for 6 months.

2. What is your favorite meal?
Prime rib or ribs.

3. Do you use any forms of social media? What is your favorite?
Twitter is his favorite. Although he recently got Instagram and tells us that he already has more followers there than on Twitter.

4. Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
Other - he states his favorite is his Jamaica Mons and whiskey is his go-to.

5. Complete the sentence: "Never have I ever..."
Never have I ever... had a kid.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A DIY Headboard

I am so excited to finally share with you just one of the diy projects I've been working on! On October 25th we will have been in our same space (a one-bedroom apartment) for a year. I've learned that there's a lot of trial + error that comes along with a new space - furniture arrangements, wall decor, and proper scentsy placement :) It doesn't necessarily feel just right the first way you try something. 

Especially in a small one-bedroom apartment you need to get creative with these things and I feel like we've finally gotten most things situated in the best way. Plus we know we'll be in this same space for at least another full year, so I feel like it's time to add some more personal touches that pull the space together. In the last few weeks I've been trying to give our place a prettier and homier feel, without spending too much money and without doing anything too drastic since it is an apartment. I have had to spend some money on each project I've started and I've had to "invest" in a few things that I will use on multiple projects, but seeing the final product definitely justifies that. 

I've mostly been focusing on our bedroom because it needed a little love. It's small and we found a way to fit the bed, dresser, and 2 nightstands that works well for us. But other than our furniture, we had nothing else in there. We needed to give our walls and overall appearance a little more attention. I started with the bed because all we have is a bed-frame and I wanted to make the bed the focal point of the room. 

Here's what our love shack looked like before:
And here's what it looks like now:

And here's the thing you guys - it was super easy! I'm not an artsy person. I don't have fabulous ideas. And I have almost zero experience with painting or staining. Believe me when I tell you: if I can do it, you can do it. One reason I started with our headboard project (rather than turning that blah black dresser into rocket red!) is because you really can't mess up staining. I already shared some basic staining tips here where I also talked about distressing wood. I had my mom helping me and it wasn't very hard and it didn't take too much time. Here's the low-down:

Necessary Materials:
  • 3 - 1x6x10 pine boards {I cut these in half because our queen bed is almost 5 feet wide}
  • Distressing tools {see my post here about how to distress wood}
  • Wood stain
  • Polyeurothane
  • 2 separate paintbrushes for each of the above
  • Drill and screws for mounting to wall
  • A sexy man to "install" the headboard*
*I'm kidding. You can do it yourself, too. But it was more fun watching my hubs do it.

1. Cut your boards to your desired length. If you're lucky enough to have a king-size bed, you'll obviously want them longer than 5 feet. I chose to use 1x6s (that means 1 inch thick and 6 inches wide) but depending on the final look you're going for you could use boards of different widths (i.e. 1x4s or 1x10s). 

2. Distress your boards. You could leave them non-distressed too and skip this step but I think the engravings, scratches, and ridges add a lot of character. Plus you can do fun things like this:

3. Stain your boards and finish with polyeurothane. Read my tips here.

4. I let them dry / rest for at least 2 days before we hung them on the wall. I didn't want them to feel sticky or smell at all when we brought them in our room. To hang we used 3 screws in each board and screwed directly into the wall. We put one screw in the center and one screw at either end - I'd recommend finding the studs and screwing directly into those for the best hold.

I would guess the entire project took about 4 hours and it was actually pretty fun! For the final product I bought new pillows (2 standard + 2 king size) to go with the shams and new sheets, so going to bed every night feels luxurious! I would highly recommend having lots of pillows and crisp white sheets :)

Like I said, I promise this is a project you can handle! 

Also, this is my first post where I'm sharing photos taken by my new DSLR camera, rather than my iPhone. The "before" picture was taken with my iPhone but you're supposed to always make your "before" pictures look as grungy as possible right? I love the crispness, great colors, and clarity my new camera is giving me.

These bedroom projects are still coming for me to share:
  • Jewelry Frame {completed}
  • 3D shelf {completed}
  • Rocket Red dresser {haven't even started - trying to convince my hubby this should be his undertaking}
  • Real photos in my white frame above the headboard

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY Basics: How-to Stain + Distress Wood

Confession: I have had this new pinterest / diy / decor obsession lately. Once Fall comes around I go into this "nesting" phase - I don't have kids yet. Or a house. But, I spend all my free time cleaning, organizing, creating, decorating, or planning to do any of the above. I love the Fall season and have enjoyed getting out my fall colors and "Hot Buttered Rum" candle, but this year I threw a few diy projects into the mix, too. We are in a one-bedroom apartment so obviously the "scale" of the project is limited, but since we now know we'll be in this same space for over another year, I've put more time and energy into nesting making it our own.

I'm pretty sure P loves it because, for us, diy is more like dit - do-it-together. I'm quite certain that he loves staining, cutting, designing, and spending his free time helping me with my pinteresting, as he calls it. He hasn't actually told me he loves it, but I'm sure he does :) I can just tell. 

So I have some fabulous projects to share with you in the near future. I can't wait to post them & the first one is coming tomorrow! But a lot of them include some of the same "basics" so I'm going to share those crucial skills with you first:
  • Distressing wood to make it look unique
  • Staining wood to pull out the grain
  • Working with your husband so you don't kill each other while diy-ing

1. Distressing wood: 
In order to distress wood you need a few tools. Well, first you need the wood, which will be specific to the particular project you're working on. Then, you need the tools. Basically, picture Law & Order SVU and use any object that has shown up in the show: hammer, chain, rocks, paint scraper, sandpaper, screwdriver, sledgehammer, fabric, etc... I enlisted my mom for help but basically, you want to "damage" the wood in any way possible - although, you're not actually hurting it. You're adding character and uniqueness. When you are done distressing, it will not necessarily look like much happened. If you look closely you'll be able to see the engravings or dents but the real transformation will happen when you stain the wood.

2. Staining wood:
After distressing the wood you will apply your stain or coating of some sort. In each of my recent projects I used one coat of Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in Ipswich Pine, because I wanted to add some color to the pine wood I was starting with, but not go too dark. You can choose whichever stain color fits the look you're going for and can apply more than one coat if necessary. Since my mom was helping me, she taught me the basics of staining (which you can also read on the can): apply the stain to your material, let the stain soak for 5-10 minutes, then wipe off excess with a cloth. I chose to only do one coat, but you can apply a second or third coat if desired, just give the material about an hour to rest between each coat. Following the stain, you want to apply a Polyeurothane. I have not read about this step on every space that talks about staining + diy but I highly recommend it. Not only will it protect the wood from scratches and sun damage, it will also add a nice, smooth, finished look to your material. Again, I highly recommend it. I noticed  huge difference in my projects from staining stage to post-polyeurothane.

3. Working with your husband:
Let's be honest. Two people can love each other more than anything in the world, but get extremely frustrated and snarky while diy-ing. My advice: be patient, be kind, don't get snotty, don't let him hold on to the drill for too long, and don't stand right next to him on a stool for more than 2 minutes. His advice: "Good luck. It wasn't that bad. You gotta be patient. Patience is a virtue. Is that good?" That's literally exactly what he said when I asked him what his advice would be. Like I said before, pretty sure he absolutely loved it all...

This was my first time doing any major diy project so these are the basics that I learned along the way. I would love to hear if you have any tips to add! My first project reveal is happening right here tomorrow so make sure you come take a looksie!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Football Food: Sombrero Dip

I have a super yummy recipe to share with you today! It was passed on to me from my mama and passed on to her from my grandma - we like to call it Sombrero Dip. So you should probably wear a sombrero when you make it.

What you'll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 15-oz. can kidney beans
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby-jack cheese

{Let me point out two things here: (1) There is absolutely no way to take a picture of Sombrero Dip and have it look "pretty". It tastes better than it looks. (2) My hubs actually made the dip in this particular scenario, so creds go to that guy! 
Gotta love a man who can cook.}

Brown meat and onion. Stir in the next 3 ingredients. Put beans (with the liquid) in a blender/processor and blend until smooth. Stir into ground beef mixture and heat mixture on stove. Put in pie plate and top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Put in oven and heat until cheese is melted. If desired, garnish with chopped green or black olives and minced green onions. Serve with tortilla chips or doritos.

It is the perfect appetizer to serve during football season {even if you decide to throw it together at the last second like we did!} Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! And because it's a Monday post and I'm sure you're dying to know what we were up to this weekend if you don't follow me on Insta, here's the standard Weekend Photo Recap. You can come up with your own captions this week :)

happy monday chickiepoos!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Liebster Award + Nomination

First of all, how great are bloggers?! I mean, people who have never met each other connect via blogs, get to know each other, talk about life, and continue to support each other. It's fabulous. Fab.u.lous.

The lovely Sarah over at To Be Mrs. Collier nominated me for the Liebster Award! {The rules are simple and you can find them below.} I felt honored that she nominated me in the first place and I love the questions that she gave us nominees! They are so unique and actually made me think (starting with how do I actually brush my teeth). It's great. So here we go. Let's get to know each other shall we?

1.  What is your order at Starbucks?
Always the same. Grande caramel latte with skim milk and an extra shot of espresso. Personally, I think Starbucks always tastes a little too "milky" so I always ask for that extra espresso shot - even though it probably cost 95 cents! The only time I change my order is if I'm stopping by for more of an "afternoon snack", in which case I'd order up a grande caramel frappuccino.

2.  What is the best gift that you have ever received?
My college education. I had a great experience and came out of it debt-free and I will be eternally grateful.

3.  When you brush your teeth, where do you start in your mouth?
Back left. Man, I really had to think about that.

4.  Where is your favorite place to eat in your city?
If we're being honest here, we are in a city right now that is temporary so I am going to answer this question based on my hometown in ND which is probably where we'll be in shortly over another year. I honestly can't decide between our favorite "go-to" restaurants - Doolittle's, JL Beers, and Granite City. If I think about what makes them my favorites, not only is it that I have favorite foods at each, but they all have an outdoor patio and I love to enjoy happy hour or really any time on the patio!

5.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher. My friends and I always "played school" with her mom's teacher textbooks. The funny thing is, I taught for 2 years, am not teaching right now, and don't miss it. I definitely miss certain parts of it but don't see myself going back to it.

6.  What is your favorite part of your day?
Morning. No doubt. I'm a "sort-of" morning person. I love to enjoy my coffee, read blogs, type a blog post, workout, or work on our budget in the mornings. I don't like to call myself a full-out morning person because the ideal morning would be doing these things from about 6:30-9:30. Since I have to work for a living and be there by 8:00 at the latest, this doesn't work out perfectly, but I'd still consider myself a morning person.

7.  What is the first thing that you do when you get home from work?
Put on sweatpants! And possibly pour a glass of wine.

8. Do you have any road trip rituals?
I sleep. Sorry, hubby. I honestly I guess sometimes we play 20 questions if the car ride is super long and boring. I also found this post on pinterest so we might have to try those out.

9. What is something you always wanted to learn but never got around to it?
I think it'd be cool to be artsy - I wish I could paint or draw but I have zero artistic skills. Unfortunately my math-oriented brain needs step-by-step instructions.

10.  What type of chapstick or lipgloss do you wear?
For moisturizing, I use Chapstick brand Medicated chapstick or Aquaphor. For looking pretty, my favorite is Bare Escentuals Marvelous Moxie lip gloss in Hot Shot.

The Liebster rules are simple:
  • Link back to those who nominate you.
  • Answer the 10 questions the nominator has for you.
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees.
  • Be sure to notify your nominees.

I nominate these lovely ladies:
1. Mosby @ Simplicity is Key
2. Brooklyn @ A Little Too Jolley
3. Laura @ Mrs. Laura Beth
5. Bella @ Sea and Salt

Here are your questions:
1. What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
2. What is your favorite part about the fall season?
3. If you're feeling lazy or don't have anything planned, what is your go-to meal for dinner?
4. Where is one place in the world you want to visit in your lifetime?
5. What would your "perfect" day look like?
6. Sweet or salty? (Which is your weakness?)
7. What does your normal Saturday outfit look like?
8. What is your favorite accessory?
9. What book, if any, are you currently reading?
10. How long have you been blogging OR why did you start?

Friday, September 13, 2013

H54F #12 | high five for friday

happy friday lovelies! this week was sort of a long one so this particular friday is very much appreciated. isn't it interesting how mental exhaustion is almost more exhausting than physical exhaustion? just a random thought. tgif + i'm looking forward to the weekend!

1 // today i am especially thankful for my hubby. i mean, i'm thankful for him every day but i think that after a long, exhausting week you are even more thankful for the people by your side.

2 // i love that our place smells like a warm, vanilla cookie covered in hot buttered rum and pumpkin spice is baking in the oven.

3 // this week we found out our cara box partners and i could not be more thrilled (and a little relieved) about the fabulous ladies i have been paired up with. 

4 // my. new. camera. came. eeek! i'm so excited i could burst. 

5 // we are heading home this weekend. i'm really looking forward to seeing a few friends that we miss like crazy, holding a friend's baby for the first time since she joined our world 3 months ago, seeing my family, and good ol' r & r.

ok i just realized it's friday the 13th - are you superstitious?? have a great weekend :)
linking up with high five for friday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Coupons" for your Husband

Parks and I have been married for almost 3 years ( September 24th ) and before that we dated for........... almost 6 years. Wow, I had to think about that one. He was 15 and I was 16 when he officially "asked me out". Man, it's fun to think about how all that worked back in the early 2000s in high school.


Being newlyweds, we try to find fun things to do together or for each other that cost little or no money but are still special. We obviously still get each other Christmas presents and go on dates, but on a more daily basis we try to keep our love fun without spending money. We'll plan a "date night" where we stay in or we'll plan a "movie date" at home. We're always trying to think of new ideas.

So the other day, I had a card for P because I had made one on Cardstore. I had it for a few days waiting for the right time to give it to him and made these coupons just for something fun to throw in there:

Not only did the entire thing cost me 0 dollars (I already had the card and the paper), it also made him smile on Tuesday morning after a kind-of-bummer day on Monday. The coupons maybe seem a little silly but I would love to get something like that - it would make me feel like I have all the power and control over when those things happen :)

It's something small, and completely cheap, but it also makes a person feel loved. I definitely feel as though it's completely important to keep trying new things, doing different things, and showing your spouse how much you love each other. It can be way too easy to get caught up in work, tv shows, social media, blogging (guilty...), hockey (P is guilty...), etc.

If you're loving the font (like I was when I first found it!) check out this post where I made labels, inspired by IHeart Organizing!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review: Cardstore

Ok, how cute are we? is this card? 


I love cards. I really do. I love buying them, writing in them, receiving them, helping someone pick one out - anything! Some people think they're a waste of money because you read it and toss it. Well, I read it and keep it. It makes for quite the stash that takes up space in our storage room, but every couple months when I stumble upon them and flip through them, it makes it all totally worth it.

When I got an e-mail asking if I'd like to try out Cardstore I honestly did think twice about it because I've already read a few blog posts about people who tried it, reviewed it, and said all was good. But, in all honesty, I couldn't pass up a free card. So I decided to make one for my hubs - it started as an Anniversary card since our anniversary is coming up this month, but it turned into more of a just-because-i-love-you card. The entire process of making my own card was super easy, quick, and really fun! Here's why I loved Cardstore:
  • Uploading photos was super easy! See, I have this problem where I can't make a decision for the life of me, so when doing something like this I tend to try 842 different templates with 79 different photo + font combinations. Cardstore let me upload photos from my computer, facebook, instagram, photobucket... basically anywhere you might have your photos posted or stored. And the upload took just seconds.
  • There were so many templates to choose from! And I mean they are actually cute templates, not cheesy flowers and smiles.
  • Editing was easy! I could tweak the template, change the font, add pictures... basically anything I wanted to do to take the template and make it my own.
  • You can write what you want! I love to stand in Hallmark and find that perfect card, but we've all been in a situation when we just can't find what we're looking for. And using Cardstore gives you the ability to create your own perfect.

Seriously though, I'm probably going to use it for our Christmas cards. Tried it + loved it. Plus, now that P has opened the card I'm probably going to frame all that cuteness for some lucky end table so it's basically like a 2 - 4 - 1. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A non-weekend Weekend

This weekend felt like such a non-weekend weekend and it's already Monday night Tuesday morning! [Edit: I started writing this last night with all intentions of posting and then continued to become obsessed with getting rid of the vertical and horizontal spaces between my photos in blog posts. So you better enjoy the pretty alignment of the pictures down there cuz girl worked hard for that. Okay, mini-rant over.]

"Weekend"just sounds like lazy, relax, movies, couch - and it's a time when we don't have to feel guilty about maybe not accomplishing as much as we do between Mondays and Fridays. But the older I get, the harder it is for me to do nothing. I find things to do, frames to stain, pictures to hang, toilets to clean, things to buy at Target, and food to make. So - woosh! - there went another weekend that seemed to just fly by. 

But, on another note, I loooove feeling accomplished and we got so. much. done. Between spending summer weekends at the lake and getting caught up on grocery shopping + laundry during the summer weeks, I was really looking forward to this weekend. So without further ado and because my favorite part of people's weekend posts are their pictures, here are the weekend highlights in photos:

+ Friday: These are all the projects I've been working on and I got them all ready on Friday for hubby to install on Saturday. I am loving our bedroom right now and will share once the few pieces are all pieced together for a pretty final project. Cupcake - my favorite wine. And what do we do on a Friday night in September? Well, if there's a hockey game in town, that's where you'll find us! There were.... mmm.... maybe 100 people at the game. It was an exhibition game which means their real season hasn't even started yet. Yup. Man I must love this guy. But, he did buy me a hard cider at the game so... And I got compliments on my Minnesota Wild hat so it's all good.

+ Saturday: P got instagram! Yes, that is a highlight of my weekend because now I can tag him all the time. He thinks he quit facebook for instagram but we'll see how long that lasts. How lame do I sound posting about my husband's social media usage? Mostly it was a highlight because he admitted I was right that insta is way better. Okay, moving on to real news... Relaxing Saturday mornings spent blogging and creating wish lists on Etsy during my morning coffee are the best. The picture on the right is part of the installation of all my projects. If P blogged, I'm sure this would totally be on his list of weekend highlights because who doesn't love standing on a stool and trying to awkwardly drill a shelf into the wall above a bedroom closet. Oh, especially when your wife is standing on the stool next to you giving you tips :) We're still married - or more importantly alive - so it's all good.

+ Sunday: We went to a bagel place in town that we'd never tried before and had fabulous coffee before grocery shopping. Then we spent a lot of time continuing to work on things around our place - no pictures yet because I don't want to ruin the surprise before the final product! I baked cupcakes for my boss because he's a Raiders fan and I autumn-ified our apartment. Goodbye strawberry lemonade candles and helloooooo hot buttered rum candle and hazelnut latte in my scentsy. P said it best - "yum, it smells like cake in here."


+ In other weekend highlights, I ordered my DSLR camera (!), which happened to be on the same day that P ordered his new pair of hockey skates. Looks like my recipe posts this month with consist of peanut butter toast and ramen noodles. I really could have used that $45.00 from football picks that I didn't win.

I'm realizing now that this is my weekend post and it's Tuesday already but better late than never! Sometimes life gets in the way. I'll be back this week with some posts that have a little more substance than weekend photos + captions. Or maybe not... but either way I'll be back.

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