Sunday, September 27, 2009

All Hung-Up

I've definitely been neglecting to show everyone all my finished decor. I finished all the curtains, the accent paint in the living room, Matt hung the letters in the kitchen and I finally hung some paintings and other stuff on our walls. What a huge difference! The curtains have made our apartment seem so much larger and taller! The new taupey-gray wall color really toned down the bright yellow in the living room and also made the room feel much warmer and look more finished. The COOK letters look awesome in the kitchen! I love having everything hung. Our apartment feels much more like a home and much less like a dumpy, old apartment for broke newlyweds... I hope you like it all as much as we do!
P.S. Sorry some of these pictures are so grainy looking... I took them at about noon and I think that's a bad time for lighting.

Here are the dining room curtains. I think I want to get some window hardware form Urban Outfitters that I saw to hold the curtains back. Matt just finished our stripes too. I love them!

Gotta love ric rac!

Here is the corner of the living room with all the windows! One the left side is the glass slider, which we decided we didn't want blinds or curtains for because there are so many trees that you can't see through from the street.

I think they look so pretty, and of course I'm in love with the color of them:)

I hung this little guy in this little open spot. Mona found it at a yard sale. I think it's so sweet looking.

We finally hung my favorite of our wedding photos up in the living room too! I love the coloring. You can't tell here too much, but it's not exactly black and white. It's more of a faded sepia that looks like an old photograph.

I'm really happy with our kitchen curtains. Our kitchen makes me want to prepare a picnic!

The C keeps falling over towards the O, but we will eventually fix that.

I got the key hanger from Urban Outfitters online and this painting was a present from Mona when Matt and I first met. It was hanging in her dining room the first time I went to their home and I asked where she got it. A couple days later Matt put it in my apartment wrapped with a beautiful card from her while I was at work. What a great surprise!! Just one of the many examples of Matt's family's generosity and kindness. I will always hang it somewhere in every place I live. I love it.

Birds rule!

Thank You Cards

It may have taken four months, but I finally finished our thank yous for our wedding! After interventions from both my parents and Matt's parents I decided it was high time. I just sat down, got to it and finished them in a seven hour stretch. Okay, okay, WE finished them. I have a hard time because I never feel like I can quite express how thankful I really am to all those who were kind enough to help us get on our feet. I hope nobody was offended by how long it took for them to receive one. What is the statute of limitations on thank you notes?
Matt got all the cards, I believe, from Target. I got my memaw and pepaw a different card, however, because I wanted to send them a bunch of pictures in it. I found their card at Papyrus! Have you been to a Papyrus? I am in love with it. They always have the greatest stuff. I think Target also has a limited supply of Papyrus cards. Anyways, isn't this so pretty? I just loved it!! I think my memaw could appreciate how darling it is:)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Bday Aunt Brendas!

I have two Aunt Brendas. My dad's sister, Brenda's birthday is tomorrow. My mom's sister, Brenda's birthday was yesterday! I love them both so much. They both are such strong christian women who have enriched my life in many ways. Happy late and early birthday you two!

I was looking for a picture to put in a new frame today and I didn't frame this, but I wanted to share it. This is my mom's sister, Brenda and me when I was three:) My first lesson in lipstick! Isn't she gorgeous? She doesn't look a day older now than she does in this picture!

OMG Those Books are Floating!!

My husband found this bookshelf idea online and was so excited to try it. I'm not going to even attempt to take any credit for this because I haven't done anything at all. But, he's my sweetheart and it's in my house so I'm going to let him tell me how to tell you how to do this:) It looks so cool in our dinning room/computer room (thanks to the joys of apartment living). I mean you honestly can't tell how on earth these books are just hanging there! 
The website with the detailed instructions on how to make this bad boy is If you want the direct link to the bookshelf click here. Basically what he did was pick out a book that he didn't mind ruining to become the actual shelf for the other books. He got a flat L-bracket and screws from the hardware store. He hollowed out a portion of the inside of the book to accommodate the bracket. Matt then drilled two holes in the pages of the book and attached the bracket with three wooden screws. He pounded finishing nails through the pages to hold them together. He then glued the cover to the book, put weight on it and let it dry over night. All he did after that was hang it on the wall (make sure you put it into a stud) and stacked books on top! Super easy and really cool!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Joy of Relaxation

One of the things I love most about my new job as a caretaker is my afternoons off. I get Wes ready and off to school in the mornings, then pick him up after school and stay with him until about 6 or 7. It's perfect. Being a server for years, I have always had an erratic schedule that usually consisted of late nights and weekends. I slept late because I would get home so late, being hungry and wanting to wind down. So now I have much more time with the hubs as well as to myself. I am smart enough to know to take advantage of and enjoy this opportunity for it will soon pass me by. Pretty soon I will be in school again and then hopefully I will have a family of my own keeping me busy. A bigger house to clean, much more laundry to do, more nutritious and larger meals to prepare, a more demanding work schedule.... I get tired just thinking about it, but really excited at the same time:) 
For now, I have been relishing my late morning/early afternoon me-time... I have a chance to run errands and get things done, and usually I spend a chunk of time blogging, knitting, or reading. Sometimes I do all of them:) Today it was nice outside so I went out to our pretty little patio with a hot cup of coffee (with extra creamer, as you can see) and continued reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I'm only about two thirds of the way through it, but I am fully in love with it. I love the New York setting and the whole idea of a quaint yarn shop and a fun knitting club. It is a far-fetched dream of mine to own a yarn/coffee shop... Maybe one day I'll hit the lottery and fulfill it!
Last week I finished up Alice's Tulips by the talented Sandra Dallas. Again, I just adored it. I read Persian Pickle Club by her about a month or so ago and also enjoyed it so much (read post about it here). In Alice's Tulips you learn more about the history of quilting, which was amazing. This one takes place during the Civil War and was a total tear-jerker. Both are such great reads. 
When we went to the bookstore I picked up The Reader by Bernhard Schlink to read next. I saw the movie while it was at the show and was so moved by it. It was such an amazing movie. If you haven't seen it you should definitely rent it. It's a bit racey in the beginning, but the story is so great. Kate Winslet was incredible in it. There is a surprising secret that just tears up the lives of these people. Anyways, I've heard the book was even better so I'm excited to read it. I may read the sequel to my current book (Knit Two) first, but maybe not. I'll keep you posted on what I think! 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Quite Yellow, Not Quite Green...

This past weekend was so great. Matt and I had such a relaxing and wonderful time... On Friday night we just stayed in, curled up on the couch and watched a movie. I took out my knitting and worked away and, because the movie was one of those that's hard to follow, I pretty much missed the whole point of it:) Oh well, Matt enjoyed it and I just enjoyed being there with him. On Saturday we woke up and to our surprise the whole apartment smelled like rain and the windows were full of gray skies! I was so excited! I have missed cool air and rain so much. It's still not quite fall yet, but it's not quite summer anymore either:) We went to Sacramento and went shopping with Mona, which is always so fun and productive. We bought several books at our favorite used book store and then we went to the fabric store where Mona works and I got fabric for curtains. I am so excited to finally get started on them. I've been procrastinating with the curtain project for months now. I'm so indecisive when it comes to material. But, these two particular fabrics are ones I've been admiring for quite some time now so I think they'll be perfect! We went to the hardware store for a few things and then went to Michael's to get wooden letters for my kitchen project. We had Mona's delicious scallops and spaghetti for dinner.... Ah, like heaven to my taste buds.
On Sunday it was nice and gray again to my utter delight and we slept in late. I love having the cool fall air come in through the windows and wrapping extra quilts around us like burritos in the morning. We cuddled and had coffee and read. It was wonderful. We worked on projects all day, taking nap breaks or snack breaks in between. We made Katie and Keshnee's house-warming rainbow cake in the evening and took it over there to surprise them:) Then we stayed and watched the season finale of True Blood. It was awesome. Oh, Suki Stackhouse, your life is so crazy!
We went home and decided to get some good rest to prepare for the start of the new week. As I curled up next to my adoring husband last night I thought about just how lucky I am. I'm so in love I can hardly contain it. Everyday I think I fall deeper in love with Matt. He's so perfect for me, and I'm so perfect for him. Every night he holds me, rubs my hair and talks to me or reads to me until I fall asleep. I feel so safe and loved. I couldn't ask for a better weekend, spent with a more darling hubby.

This is the fabric I will use to make the curtains for the two living room windows. I am in love with the color. I have two yellow walls behind the couch and where the front door is, and then we are going to paint the wall opposite the couch where the windows are a taupey greyish color. This fabric will look so yummy against the darker color. I love that it's not really yellow, but not really green either. Outside the living room windows are lots of trees, and we're on the second floor so all you see are the leaves. I think this will go very nicely, don't you? 
This is the fabric I chose for the dinning room windows. I love how retro it is. Our walls in the dinning room are yellow and white vertical stripes, which will look great with this fabric. I love having little splashes of red and blue everywhere. I'm really into saturated colors and vibrant, happy prints. I can't wait to show you all the finished curtains!
Here's the cake we made for the girls. It's not the cutest cake ever, but whatev... I'm not the greatest at decorating cakes, as you can see. However, the colors are the colors they're using for their new apartment and the K is for Katie and Keshnee. They have cute K's all over their apartment. Why didn't Andrea and I think of that? 
Doesn't the inside look way cooler than our last rainbow cake? The colors separated so nicely. I think it's because we made a real cake this time and the batter was thicker and rose much better. How fun would this be for a child's birthday party?!
So for my kitchen letters project I bought big, wooden letters at Michael's. They were super inexpensive (I think they were like $2.50 each). I just painted the sides a pretty blue and then mod podged the fronts of the letters with scrapbook paper. I used a utility knife to cut around the edges after the paper dried and that was it! Easy breezy. I tried to distress them a bit to make them look old because I just love old crap;) I think I might use Mona's ink pad on the edges later...
The K got a little crinkly because the paper wasn't thick and sturdy like the other paper I used. Oh well, you live, you learn
We don't have the right nails to hang it just yet, but isn't the finished product so fun? I'm so excited to hang it and show you how it looks after! I think it was just the touch the kitchen needed. Hopefully I will look at it and be inspired to do more cooking. I should make one that says CLEAN UP, but that isn't nearly as cute and who wants to be inspired to clean? Not me!
Just a little touch of fall. Mona had a bag and told me to take a couple. Every time I look at them I get excited for the new season. I'm so excited to carve pumpkins and all other things festive for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Hooray for the upcoming holidays!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Prettiest Disgusting Cake in the World!

So Matt spotted this recipe from Omnomicon and we really wanted to try it! It was a low fat, low sugar rainbow cake that used clear diet soda in place of butter and eggs, and sugar free instant pudding and light cool whip in place of frosting. You use food coloring to make the cake look like a rainbow! I must tell you I was so excited to try this out. In my mind I was imagining what angel food cake and whip cream frosting taste like... Here's the thing. This cake tastes nothing like any even semi-decent cakes I've ever tasted; I'm sorry to say. I should have known better because I really hate all things that taste like diet anything. So, this is totally just my opinion. But, it was absolutely the worst tasting thing I've ever been unfortunate enough to eat! But, my husband LOVED it. So, maybe you'll like it too! I don't think Matt has ever had a cake all to himself so I'm almost happy I hated it because he is in heaven. And, it's not terribly bad for him so I can't complain about him eating the whole thing:) I'm definitely going to try this rainbow idea again, but next time I will make a fatty cake with butter and sugar and real, delicious frosting! I think I will make one tomorrow for my sweet sister and her roommate, Keshnee as a house warming gift! They lived in the dorms here in Davis for the past year, but today they are moving into a big girl apartment. I think they need a pretty cake to eat and talk boys and watch Sex and the City:) Ah, sometimes I miss having a girl roommate... Oh wait, I still do!! hahaha (jk lover, you're a macho man).

Sunny Day Rainbow Cake
2 boxes of white cake mix
24 oz. of clear diet soda (example: Sprite Zero, Diet 7-up)
gel food coloring
16 oz. whipped topping (sugar free or fat free)
2 oz. instant fat-free sugar-free pudding mix
This is what happened the first time we tried to flip it over... LOL

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simple Delights

I'm not exactly the world's most exciting girl. I take a lot of pleasure in things most people would find endlessly dull. However, I pride myself on finding life's little joys in the simple things. Everyday can be a day full of treats if you keep your eye out for them:) I'm perfectly content living my boring life. It's a little slice of heaven to me, and it's my life so I'm the only one to impress! These are just a few of those common things that bring me joy each day...

This is our kitchen chalkboard. My husband either leaves me a chalkboard message or writes me a little note and leaves it by my side of the bed almost every morning. I wasn't feeling well last night so this is what I woke up to today! Isn't he just a total doll?

Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduce you to Fluff-n-Nutter Sandwich. Now that you're acquainted, I'm sure you'll become fast friends. All it is is peanut butter and marshmallow creme on bread. It's the most delicious thing you could ever have for a snack. It's not exactly healthy, but hey it's better for you than pb&j! I can't wait to have kids so I can give them these in their lunches as a special treat! I'll probably do it on Mondays because what else it there to look forward to on Mondays?

The most wonderful of all my simple delights is my knitting. I do at least a little bit of knitting everyday and the time I spend knitting is dear to my soul. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't constantly working on a new creation. This particular project is a hat for my friend Andrea's birthday, which is tomorrow.. It will be a late gift, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. I find people tend to be the most appreciative of homemade gifts. I know I love giving and receiving them!
This is Matt's and my favorite board game to play! Have you ever played Sorry!? If you haven't, do it and do it soon. It's so much fun! We play it all the time. I don't even know why we like it so much. It's such a simple game. I've been playing it with my parents and brother since I was really little. I think the box says 6 years and up. That's the best kind of game for me; the kind that 6 year olds can comprehend! hahaha

My mom bought me a hummingbird feeder a few weeks ago and I love it! I sit out on our patio and wait for a hummingbird to visit all the time. We only have one visitor:) He comes everyday in the morning and early evenings for his meals. You can't tell in these photos, but he is this really pretty brown color with a bright red tummy. I think he's so pretty. He's like our pet. It's all for you little guy!