Friday, September 16, 2016

Progress, etc.

Happy Friday, friends.
Just wanted to chat about the latest happenings at our little home. (As my little 4-year-old friend says, our "hOme").

We've been making some progress in the decorating area. Not all the gaps are filled in yet, but I'd rather have it a little bland for a while than put something there that means nothing to me just for the sake of having a spot filled. 
I've become very fixed on the idea of meaningful, personal decor. Our other place didn't have much space for making things cute, but we did the best we could. And it was pretty cute. But it felt nothing like home, and I think that is due to the lack of personal touches we had  there. 
This is in our hallway. I'd like to put some more pictures up at some point. Chadd and I plan to get some more nice portraits taken close to Thanksgiving, so maybe after that we'll get some more up.

This is the view from the entrance of the kitchen (which is open into the living room) it's sort of a cluttered picture. I could've cleared the stuff off of our table but I'm really trying to get over the habit of making everything unrealistically tidy all the time. The first two weeks living in this space, I was constantly straightening this and that and washing every single dish the moment it hit the sink, etc. 
there came a point where I decided it wasn't worth wearing myself into the ground. Especially since keeping it that ridiculously tidy was not helping it feel cozy at all. And so, I present to you, our imperfect table with glasses still on it.

One evening we decided to take a walk to a local attraction because we can do that now. It ended up being an hour and a half to walk there and back and it wasn't particularly cool outside (okay. It was pretty stinking hot), but it was an adventure. And on the way home we got to see this lovely sunset.
Sorry this picture is a little dark. I just love having a window seat! We have two of them, one in each bedroom. This is in our  "music room/office". Lately I have been enjoying quiet moments in the morning here. My coffee fits perfectly on that windowsill and I curl up, listen to some worship music and read some scripture. Such a great start to any day. 
We had nearly a whole week off from work recently, and we decided to start a big puzzle. Chadd did most of it, at first because it was fun, and later on because he wanted to finish it so that we could eat at our dining room table again ;-)
Last picture for today! My latest snack obsession: energy bites. Based on the endless variations on Pinterest, I'd say a lot of other folks are liking these, too.
My favorites so far are brownie bites and cookie dough protein bites. Imagine that. Dessert flavors! I have a crazy sweet tooth. But they're made with things like dates, nuts, and peanut butter and I find them to be a very helpful source of energy throughout long days at work. 
(And the cookie dough bites also make a really great midnight snack...)

So there you go! That's the latest.
Happy weekend to you all.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

We Have Arrived

We are officially moved into our new apartment. *Chelsea dances excitedly*
When I say "moved in", I mean that all of our stuff has been transferred from one apartment to the other. I don't mean that everything is unpacked and neatly organized, and I don't mean that everything is perfectly decorated yet... In fact, it won't ever be perfect. It will be our imperfectly beautiful home. We are already feeling so good about it. We love the space. Even though it has definitely been demanding all of our hours and efforts for the past few days, cleaning and organizing and putting things in place has only made us love it more.
So while I don't have much to share just yet, I do have a few fun pics to share today.

This was the last picture I took of packing our old place. I couldn't believe how much kitchen stuff we have! When I mentioned that to Chadd he said, "Well 80% of our wedding registry was kitchen stuff, sweetie" 
Oh. Right. 

Chadd hates this picture. But I think it tells the tale. We took it right before breakfast on moving day.

And this is me halfway through moving day when I realized there was ice cream in the freezer but all the spoons were packed away.

We had lots of helping hands, and everything went smoothly (other than thinking we had to call off the moving truck due to complications with the rental company. My parents were the ones who faced that stress and also saved the day).
We are so thankful for everyone who gave their time and energy, and for my sweet grandmas, who treated us all to pizza! 
I spent the evening of moving day unpacking the kitchen. If you know me, you know that I'm not at home until the kitchen is in order. You'd think I'd be concerned about getting the clothes put away and the bed set up. Nope. The clothes waited until the day after moving. But hey, the crockpot and toaster were in place within the first hour! :-D

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is the coffee station. I can't tell you how fun it was to set this up!! Hospitality is something that Chadd and I are both passionate about. Therefore, we are striving to create an inviting environment to welcome our guests into.
This cubby is loaded with tea, coffee, latte mix, cocoa mix, and chai mix. And if none of that's appealing, can I offer you a lemonade? Water? Anything? ;-)

This is one of my favorite places. I know: it's a closet. But it's a tidy closet. And it was a BLAST to put together. Yesterday at work my mind kept drifting back to the closet and I would smile like a weirdo.
What can I say? I love organization.

Last picture for today. Me and my pal Mr. Clean.
We've been getting things done. Scrubbing walls, trim, walls, trim, and doors. Because everything is white, which is lovely when clean. Thats why I've gone through 10+ Mr. Clean magic erasers so far. *thumbs up*

This is so fun! Can't wait to show you some more progress later.


Friday, August 5, 2016

An update from the old married couple

Good afternoon friends! If you're married, I am curious; did people make newlywed jokes to you for the first months of your marriage? And when does it stop?
Just wondering. Chadd has said on numerous occasions, "okay, they can seriously stop calling us an old married couple now..."

I realize that I failed to follow through on the promise that I would post wedding planning progress on this blog. The problem was this: I didn't want to give anything away to those who were attending. But now that it's over, I can post pictures! I'll just share some favorites since we had 300+ pictures. (All photo credit goes to Faith Brook-Lynn Walls. If you want more info about her business, ask me for a link to her photography page)

It is extremely hard not to post many more pictures! *sigh*

So here we are three months later. A happy old married couple.
We are currently packing up to move to an apartment closer to the theater where we both work and closer to the cafe where I will soon be working as a baker/food prep/sandwich making person.
It's also a more spacious apartment with outdoor space that we are so excited about! We love to spend time with friends and this will allow us to do more hosting.

Today I am spending the day packing books and dishes. I decided to pack this cookie jar (which I keep on the counter to hold flour). This meant using up the flour, which meant baking!
Behold: cookies.

So those are the updates for now. Thanks for stopping by to catch up :-)


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Projects, Imperfections, and Other Happenings

Well, life has been interesting as of late.
I've been babysitting and working at a local cafe' for the past few weeks. I'm grateful that both jobs seemed to pop up out of nowhere, just in time, as I still have a month to go before returning to my usual full-time job.
Babysitting has been a blast. I had no idea it could be so fun, but The little girl I babysit is such a sweetie. I'm pretty sure Anne of Green Gables would call us "kindred spirits" as we both have a bunch of energy, we're both half-shy, and we both love to bake, and shop!
Some sugar cookies we made for "Mr. Chadd".
The master at work. 

Chadd and I originally weren't going to have a flower girl in our wedding because we weren't particularly close to any little girls. However, once I started babysitting J, it changed.
And I'm so excited! We've gone shopping and picked out a sweeeet little dress for her. And I've practiced doing her hair with her butterfly pins. On my first try I took a picture of it and showed her, now nearly every time she sees my phone she asks, "oo, can I see my braid again?"
I'm not the greatest at doing hair, but it's fun to play, anyway.

In other news: Chadd moved into our apartment last Monday and we've been adjusting things, readjusting things, stocking up on first-apartment-necessities (you know, toilet paper, ramen noodles, etc.), and beginning to put our 'touch' on it.
When we first viewed the apartment, I was all in. Loved everything EXCEPT the bathroom. Not that it was so awful, it just had some awful wallpaper.
Dark green. >.<
I'm not a green person to begin with, plus it just didn't go so well with the salmon colored tile.
My mom was brave and asked the people we are renting from if we'd be able to take it down and paint. The answer was yes! So poor Chadd, only a few days after he was moved in, we were attacking the bathroom.
We managed to forget to take "before" and "during" project pictures. Sorry!
But here are some "after" pics. Taken after these events: 
1.Taking down the old wallpaper. Which was surprisingly easy.
2.Fixing the wall where it was uneven.
3.Taping over all the tile to protect it from my sloppy painting hand.
4. Wiping the dust off everything.
5. Painting the first coat.
6. Fixing the wall again.
7. Painting on the second coat.
8. Vigorously scrubbing all the tile
9. Mopping the floor
10. Replacing everything we'd moved and hanging a new shower curtain. (Yay for IKEA $10 shower curtains!)

I do feel strange posting pictures of a bathroom, but just imagine the green wallpaper. It feels like the room is 2x bigger now.
I love baskets. Love them. And there would be no rest until I had one to hold the toilet paper. I don't know why it was such a big deal to me, but it was. And the perfect basket has been found and placed upon the shelf. (There's no closet in the bathroom, so everything must find its place upon the shelf)
I'd been pondering buying some Glade fragrance stuff for the apartment when it dawned on me. My mother is a candle maker. She's agreed to be my candle supplier:-) Here is the first, which will be placed in the bathroom–You guessed it– upon the shelf. The fragrance is called "Oats, milk, and honey" appropriate for the honey jar, I'd say. If you're not familiar with her candles, you should familiarize yourself by looking up Good Neighbors Candle Company on Etsy and trying this fragrance (it's so good!). 
Yes, I am shamelessly promoting.

I won't go into where we're at with wedding planning. I'll just say this: 81 Days!!!

That's all for now!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pop Hearts

A long time ago, (probably 3 or 4 years ago now) I was spending the day at a friend's house. Nothing out of the ordinary, we were having a great time. At some point, a member of the family nonchalantly mentioned that they had made pop tarts. I was partially puzzled but mostly amazed. Homemade pop tarts?!? Until then, I thought pop tarts could ONLY be found at the grocery store on the shelf, sold for a little more than they're worth (unless you have a coupon!) 
My friend showed me the miraculous homemade pop tarts. They were adorable. I vowed that someday I would make my own.
Well, dear readers, the day has come!
I'm snowed in and have more time on my hands than I will likely have again until I'm retired. And goodness knows, homemade pop tarts cannot wait that long.
So I started earlier this afternoon. Crumbled some cold butter into some flour, sugar, and salt. I crumbled it all together with my hands because I'd rather do that than dirty the blender dishes.
Then I added the cold water and it became dough. Dough which then chilled for an hour while I did dishes, cut a pineapple, and listened to music.
Finally it was time.
I pulled the dough out and got to work.

The recipe says to cut the dough into rectangles. You know, like normal pop tarts. I had only made half of the recipe, so I decided to make minis. Then it occurred to me that I have a heart shaped cookie cutter.
One should not simply pass up the opportunity to make something heart shaped.
So heart shaped they are.

Then I started filling them. We had some homemade triple berry jam on hand, given to our family by the super talented Karen, of Blue Barn Bulletin.
Finally all the hearts were jam-filled and ready to seal up.
And into the freezer they went for 2 hours. 
After their chilling time, into the oven they went!
Right as I started watching Pride and Prejudice. It worked out perfectly because then I had something to distract me while they cooled off. Sometimes I get a little too eager and put the icing on things before I should.
I think they turned out nicely! And I can finally cross them off of my recipe bucket list.
If you're in a snowy area, I hope you're making the most of it in your own way.


Monday, January 18, 2016


That's right, 104 more days until the wedding! Plans are coming right along.
Here are a couple of sneak peek pictures.

I've continued to have fun testing cake recipes. This is called "hummingbird cake"–it's totally amazing. Chadd and I are looking forward to having a big slice on the big day. We even had a conversation about how the bride and groom usually only get a bite of cake on their wedding day. We decided that all other activities will be held until we have had a sufficient whole slice of cake :-)

These little guys were my big project a few weeks ago. I love having projects to work on, especially when they end up being cute, cute, cute!

Last week I had fun practicing some hand lettering techniques for some scripture canvases we will be decorating with. I must've written this verse about 50 different times and 30 different ways. I learned a lot while I was at it. I am not too great at hand lettering yet, but I hope to keep learning techniques.

Other things we've accomplished?
Chadd's formalwear is all purchased and in his possession!! This is quite an accomplishment after months of talk about what kind of shoes he wanted, and searching for pants that are just the right shade to match his vest. He's going to look pretty sharp :-)

I also found my wedding shoes the other day. On sale. YAY!!! You've got to love a good sale, especially on something super cute. ;-)

I've been working on various other things that are less exciting to talk about and read about, so I won't bother.

One more big thing: we've found an apartment! That's pretty important, right? Hehe. Chadd will be moving in next month. He promised to keep it nice and clean until we are married and I move in.
So we've been busy furniture hunting.
By now we have both made the statement: "I don't know, I just want to be done looking for a dresser."
It's true.
In fact, I'm quite content to wait a good month or so before approaching a furniture store again.
Thankfully I think we've got the necessary furniture. Now just to gather things like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc.

So that's what's been going on around here. Hope you are having a good year so far!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Cheer

Christmas seems to have snuck up on us this year. All of a sudden everything is red and green and sparkley. I love it!!

On Sunday evening we put up our Christmas tree. It's a little bare-looking because you can see through where we didn't stretch out the fake branches enough, but it's still a nice tree. It's a pre-lit tree, which is a-ok with me!
Although, Chadd and I have decided that next year when we are married (and every year after that) we are going to start our own tradition of getting a real tree.
I'm so excited for this! My family has only had a real tree a few years of my upbringing. 

Here's some pictures from Sunday night

Last night was the company Christmas party for the theater that Chadd and I work at. We didn't get many pictures but we did get this cute one.
We have one more Christmas party, specifically for our department. But that isn't until later in the month. Until then we've got gift wrapping, Christmas movie watching, hot cocoa drinking, birthday partying (Chadd...), cookie baking, and more festivities to keep us occupied.
I hope you are having a joyous season so far. This year I've been thinking a lot about those who don't have a positive experience over the holidays. I'd like to challenge all of us to watch for them and look for ways we can bless them this year. 
That's all I've got for now.