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Thursday, December 29, 2011

DIY Fence Picket Fireplace Screen


In the midst of all of the craziness during the past few months (read: lack of blogging), I completely forgot to tell you guys about one of the coolest DIY projects in our house!

A couple of months ago we made what I consider to be one of our best investments for the new house so far: a gas log for the fireplace. I am extremely cold-natured and tend to crank the heater up to close to 75 degrees in the winter. You wouldn't believe how much we have saved on our electric bill this winter thanks to my new best friend. I wish I had one in every room!


What you can't tell from this picture is that the fireplace is actually double-sided. The other side is open to the master bedroom. Great for heating purposes but a little weird when you have guests over. I dealt with it for several months because I couldn't find a solid fireplace screen that was up to par, but once the gas log went in I knew it was time to create my own solution. The backside of gas logs aren't real beautiful to look at.

Lo and behold, we happened to have a huge pile of old fence pickets lying around in the alley. I proposed an idea to the hubs and he made it happen. I wish so badly that I could say that this was my DIY project (I mean clearly I'm the brains behind it), but unfortunately I just didn't have the man-power to make this one happen. I don't use saws. Or drills.

Ethan gathered up the pickets that were in the best shape and made sure to clean them really well and spray them down with bug repellent. Next, he measured the height of the fireplace and cut the pickets to size. He created three different sections so the screen could fold and connected the pickets in each section by running two horizontal boards down the back. I picked out some hinges at Lowe's that I spray painted with a hammered bronze color to make them look aged. Ethan attached the hinges and just like that, we had the perfect fireplace screen!

{Forgive the iPhone photos. I took these back when all I had were broken cameras.}

I love the special touch that it gives to the fireplace. It fits perfectly with my decor. I couldn't have found a better fit from any store! And in case you're wondering... we do leave it out even when the log is turned on. It feels slightly warm to the touch after the fire has been going for a long time but never gets even remotely hot. However, I probably wouldn't recommend using it in front of a wood-burning fireplace unless you don't actually have a fire going. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrapping with Ribbons

I generally consider myself to be a pretty fast-paced person. Truth be told, I'm always in a hurry. I may not have anywhere important to be, but I still have to get from points A to B as quickly as possible. Yes, I know that's a quality that is frowned upon by many authors of life quotes.

But for some strange reason of which I'm not sure, there are three things that I am EXTREMELY slow at. Like... impossibly, embarrassingly slow.

a) Getting ready in the mornings. Now that I have normal working hours again, I don't have the luxury of taking 2-3 hours of getting ready like I did when I didn't have to work until 10 or 12 each day. In fact, because I'm 100% unwilling to wake up earlier than 6:20 each day, I now have to take two showers per day so I can wash my hair at night because I'm no longer capable of having time before work. What do I do that takes me so long? Even I cannot provide an answer to that question. An average person could pull everything that I do off in about 45 minutes. I know, because under extreme circumstances, I've done it.

b) Cleaning my house. Which is unfortunate, because it's something I do constantly. Most people could accomplish this in 4 hours. It takes me an hour and a half (no exaggeration) to clean the master bathroom alone.

c) Wrapping gifts. The REAL reason we're here today. I've been known to accomplish only 2 presents during the span of an entire Christmas movie (because all wrapping must be done while watching a Christmas movie). This year I knocked it out by wrapping 2-3 presents every evening for a couple of weeks. A few nights ago, all that was on my agenda was two BOWS that I needed to put on two presents that I had already wrapped. I spent an hour and a half on the first bow and then ripped it apart because it was ugly (don't attempt to create a non-traditional bow out of mesh ribbon and hot glue).

By this point you're most likely thinking that I have the most beautifully wrapped, intricately detailed presents in the universe. I have truly set myself up for failure on this one. But either way, I'm really happy with the way they turned out this year. Simple. Chic. Vintage-ish. White and cream. They'll do. And everyone can say their present was wrapped in a unique, one-of-a-kind way... which is what I was most going for.
 Unfortunately I have another long night of wrapping ahead of me. Christmas with my fam isn't until this weekend, so I've been putting a few presents off in order to regain my motivation. Hope I can manage to get the bows on these right the first time!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Journeying Full Circle

Remember that time that I told you that I was going to get my life back? Well, I have. But apparently the blog has yet to follow. Oops.

Anyways. I got a new job!!!!!! Yep, went out and found a new job only 4 months after my last new job, but who's counting?

As much as I would like to say on the topic, I will just say this - I learned a valuable lesson in life while working at my last job. Actually like a thousand life lessons. And nowww I've come full circle, because I'm back at TTUHSC where I worked for the first 2 years after graduating.

And I couldn't be happier.

You see, back then I didn't realize how great I had it here. I had no prior work experience so I guess I figured that the environment and the people that I would work with anywhere would be just as great.

Wrong wrong and wrongggg.

I love this place. There's just something about it. I'm so happy to be back. I hope that I will never leave again.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Santa...

{1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9}

I give you, in no particular order, my Christmas wish list. Dream big, right? :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Balls of Yarn Wreath


Last weekend I made my very first holiday wreath! I meant to do a little step-by-step but I really had no clue where I was going with this project so it didn't happen. Basically I just took different sizes of foam balls and wrapped them in yarn and jute. I hot glued them to my wreath form and then threw in some Christmas ornaments to make it more "Christmasy" looking. I stayed away from red and green though... #1 because I don't do red in my house, and #2 because I don't want to have to switch out my wreath until spring!!! And now... off to work I go.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"No-Sew" Sewed Ruffled Tree Skirt

As soon as I saw the DIY No-Sew Ruffle Tree Skirt craze going around Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. I've never had a real tree skirt because I've never found something that coordinated with my decor well enough. I had a ton of burlap in the garage so I decided to alternate rows of that and some super cheap white linen from Hobby Lobby. It was somewhere around $2.45 per yard. Then I went to Dollar Tree and got a hideous $1.00 felt tree skirt to use as a base.

I cut 2 yards of each kind of fabric into long strips that were 3 inches wide. In case you want an idea of how long that takes (mostly by fault of the burlap), I watched Men in Black and Serendipity all the way through with commercials and then about half of Serendipity over again. So yeah.


Then I took a break for a couple of weeks. :)

When I was nice and refreshed, I began pinning my first row of burlap ruffles. Then I took yet another week long break. I'm telling you people, this is not an easy project. It requires a LOT of dedication.


The original reason why I was drawn to this project was because it was a "No-Sew". All you needed was a hot glue gun and about 200 sticks of glue. But thennnn I thought about it. And thought about it. And then came to the final conclusion that the burlap would probably take ages to glue down and my ruffles might not be perfect.

So the "No-Sew Tree Skirt" became a sewing project. And let me tell you... it was quite the sewing project. I pinned and sewed 1-2 ruffles every few nights for a good three weeks. The only thing that got me through it was knowing that every row was shorter than the last.

And then... weeks later... I was DONE!!!! I decided I had to hot glue at least one part of the skirt so I glued some twine along the open part so I could tie it around the tree.


If I absolutely had to could do it again, I would make my ruffles line up. I got lazy with the linen and made the ruffles as I was sewing rather than pinning them so they look very haphazard.

The unfortunate kicker is that I created this for a 6 foot tree but then ended up getting a 9-footer a couple of weeks ago. Which means that I need to add several rows to make it a couple of feet larger.

It's going to have to do for now. I'll make it big enough for the tree next year. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As my dad always tells me...


{via}

Why hello there (very) faithful and patient blog readers. Miss me? I just wanted to drop in to let you know that I'm about to get a good portion of my life back.

Life back = blog back.

More on that to come! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday Addams Much?

In another life I would look perfect no matter what color hair I had. In this life, I was born to have medium brown hair. Unfortunately it only grows out of my head as the perfect medium brown. In the summer I have light brown with some random blondish and reddish hairs mixed in... and dark roots. Cute? No.

I hate my hair color in the summer. So in the fall I dye it back to match the roots and it stays a good brown until spring when the process starts over.

This particular fall I've attempted to dye my hair back to the natural brown from the blondish/reddish summer hair color TWICE. But I spent a LOT of time at the pool last summer (which I have NO regrets about and hope that someday I will experience a similar summer again). My hair was just too light to hold color.

So... yesterday I decided to have my favorite hair girl dye it for me instead. Pricey but I knew it wouldn't wash out again. We were going for the perfect medium-dark brown.

My hair had other plans.

Plans that closely resemble black. In an I-wore-a-black-sweater-yesterday-and-you-couldn't-tell-where-my-hair-ended-and-the-sweater-began sort of way.

A few very nice people have told me it's just a really dark dark brown or a "light" black.

Can you tell I'm procrastinating? Please don't judge me. I know I wasn't made for black hair. My mom, dad, and sister all have blackish hair and they pull it off very nicely. I now see why those genes thought it was best to skip over me.


My "scared" face doesn't help my case either.

But, hey, on a positive note: this is the closest I will ever get to looking like Kim Kardashian! ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Office Space

What I wouldn't give to be able to have a little more freedom when it comes to making my office eye-appealing. (Leave it to me to swoon over pretty office spaces instead of putting in the effort to make my own office space look good.) Every time I get the notion to buy or make something pretty for the office, I remember that I'd rather have something pretty for the house. And money doesn't grow on trees. So the house wins. Every time. But why don't I feel like my office is just as important? I mean, I DO spend 44 hours of my life there every week. 

Oh my gosh. That's so bad. It's even worse in the picture than I thought.

Any fool could see that I could do so, SOOO much more than what I've done up to this point (considering all that I've done is hang a clock). In my defense though, the walls ARE yellow. That leaves me very little to work with here. And the black and brown furniture. Ohh the black and brown furniture. Why can't everything just be pretty and white? 

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This one. Oh my goodness. Can't. Breathe.

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Okay I'm done. I can't do this to myself anymore. 

Did anyone else see a recurring theme in the pictures? 

They all appear to be in someone's HOME.

So... I think the best solution here is to work from home. Yep. Then I could decorate however I wanted. 

I'll get right on that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Fashion Favs

Around this time of year I'm always pleasantly surprised that I'm not completely disgusted by the idea of having to start dressing in warmer clothes. Granted, the excitement wears off by about January 1st, but at least there are a couple of months in there where I think winter clothes are fun.

I've been craving a major shopping trip. Too bad it's November and my spending money is basically exiled until after Christmas.

So,  if I WERE allowed to go shopping, here's what I would be/am all about this winter (and, okay, maybe a lot of these things are the same things I was into last winter... and the winter before that... I'm not big on change):

Leggings. Obvi. Does anyone else get completely stuck on something for years at a time? I've been living in these things from the moment I get home until I get ready for work the next morning. I just love them because you can wear them anywhere and dress them up or down accordingly. To lounge, to sleep, to workout, to the grocery store, to dinner paired with a cute tunic. With flats, with boots, with tennis shoes.


When you can't get away with wearing leggings, skinny jeans will do as a replacement. But I still refuse to wear them with anything other than boots. And I usually find 9 out of 10 pairs that I try on to be absolutely hideous on me. As far as skinny jeans are concerned I must have a really awkward body ratio. If they fit me in the hips, the waist is about 4 inches too big.

{My favorite pair are Joe's - but for the record, this particular image is absolutely heinous in my opinion. I can't stand the way skinny jeans look unless they are covered by boots}

Any and every long top. Sweatshirts, sweaters, tunics, v-neck tee's. Anything that can be easily paired with leggings. Being only 5'1" you would think that finding long shirts would be an easy task. Notttt so. I've been on the lookout for several weeks now and have only found two or three good ones. As an alternative I've stocked up on some t-shirts from Victoria's Secret that are really long and I just layer them under shorter shirts.

{Essential V-Neck Tee by PINK from Victoria's Secret}

I've also really been wanting a long sleeve lace shirt (and to be as cute as this model!). Preferably in white or cream. I think they look perfect paired with a cute scarf. I would definitely be wearing a non-see-through shirt underneath though. :)

{Long-sleeve Stretch Lace Top by Victoria's Secret}

Trouser jeans. I don't have a pair but I'm on the lookout. I think they are so classy and chic!

{Seen here}

Cute, bright-colored lacy and frilly scarves. Love them.

{Of course my favs are at Target}


As far as shoes go, some things never change. I'm obsessed with all of the following:

Boat shoes. 


TOMS. 

{Classic TOMS in Ash Canvas}

Fuzzy moccasins.


And as always, for the coldest days, Uggs.

{Still loving Knit Uggs this year}

If you're someone who needs Christmas ideas for me, I just made your life pretty easy.

Now... let's see how long it takes for me to start blogging about summer clothes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deep Thoughts

I try to walk my hyper giant of a puppy every morning before work so I can get rid of his energy and get a little exercise. I switch up between a few parks, all of which are built around the classic Lubbock Playa Lakes. All of these ponds are homes to hundreds of ducks and geese throughout the year. But one thing I've noticed is that each pond is also the stomping grounds for one and only one crane. I've become pretty entrigued by these little guys and have several pictures of them on my phone.


Why are they always alone?


 Is this the way they would want it? 

I can't help but feel sorry for them. I've spent many a minute thinking about what it would be like to be the only crane in a world of ducks. The crane is always standing off to one side of the pond all by his lonesome. He appears to be content... but is he really? I find it hard to believe that any living earthly creature could spend all of his days alone with no one else to talk to. You would literally be living in a world of your own thoughts and only your own thoughts. That thought is just plain terrifying to me. 

So, here's to you, Mr. Crane. You accomplish daily something that I couldn't accomplish for a week. I admire your strength. And if you ever get lonely, just hop on over to the next pond. I know another crane or two that could use a friend.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Friday!

{via}

Remember when I got to do Happy Friday posts like... every Friday? Those were surely the days.

I run my life. Or is it running me?

Taylor Swift is playing in Lubbock tonight. The day tickets went on sale in early summer, I pulled up the ticket site and waited for 9:00 to strike so I could get some good ones. At about 8:45 I decided to take a quick shower. Around 9:15ish I went back to my computer and the whole show was sold out. It was devastating.

I'm not a concert person whatsoever and really would rather do a whole slew of things that have to go sit through a concert. But NOT Taylor's concert. There's not a song of her's that I don't know by heart.

This week I signed up for texting contests, email contests, and listener contests to try to win tickets. I listened to the radio every day and called in whenever I heard three Taylor songs in a row. Today, 1st row tickets were going to be up for grabs. I thought about listening while I got ready for work but assumed they wouldn't give them away until later in the day because that's how it's been all of the other days this week.

In the line to get my breakfast at Chick-fil-a before work, they announced all of the week's winners on the radio, including the winners to all of the contests I had entered AND the 1st row ticket winner from "earlier this morning."

I'm ashamed to admit it friends, but I sure did start crying.

Rock bottom.

Needless to say, it's a disappointing Friday. But at least today is a good catch-up day at work and I'm only two parent conferences away from going home to my brand new iPhone!!

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 30, 2011

La Casa

I haven't posted before & afters of the house yet because I was trying to wait until it looked 100% perfect. Butttt... three months later I'm realizing that perfect might take 142 years. So I'll just show you where things stand at the moment.

Front of the house before:
...Oh, I'm sorry. Did you think these photos were taken in January? Nope. That would be June. 

If you think this part of the yard was bad, you should see the before pictures of the BACK yard.

Front yard now:

Kitchen before:

Kitchen now:
This transformation isn't all that wowing. The kitchen was always pretty.

Living room before:

Andddd now:
As is typical, please ignore the kitty's booty. So unprofessional.

As for the rest of the house... those pictures will just have to wait. I'm far from semi-satisfied with the decorations in the other rooms at this point. Darn you Pottery Barn catalogs.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Don't mess around with the face.


With a full-time job comes a loss of daily trips to the pool. You know what that means. A rapid departure on the paleness train. Until my death, I will argue that I look wretched when my face is pale. The rest of my skin stays somewhat brown all year but my face turns an awful yellowy color. I'm not a very attractive person in the winter. You should see pictures of me from winters during middle school or high school. Hideous is the only word for it. But... alas, I gave up tanning beds a couple of years ago and am destined for pale winters for life.

Last winter I told you about my trusty Jergens Foaming Moisturizer that I love so very much during the long winter months. SO. Yesterday I pulled it out of the cabinet and decided that I would just put a tinsy bit on my face as an experiment (don't worry I Googled it first to see if anyone warned against this. Nothin'). I rarely get zits - we're talking months apart here - so I'm thinking NBD.

The joke's on me folks. I woke up this morning and there was a huge red zit mountain right in the middle of my forehead. Sorry to everyone who I'm going to speak to today because you ain't gonna be looking at anything else. Even the swoopy bangs can't hide this one. It's beyond attractive.

With that being said... do not... I repeat, do not attempt to use Jergen's Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer on your face. Stick with the lotion that was made for the face even though it doesn't really make your face look very tan. *Dear Google, please notice this paragraph and include it in all searches for "should I use Jergen's foaming moisturizer on my face?"*

You're welcome world.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Upgrade!

I got a new computer a couple of weeks ago!! I bought all of my most frequently used electronics within a few months of each other right after I graduated college. Unsurprisingly, they are now all getting old and cruddy at the exact same time. My old laptop was filled to capacity and had been having all sorts of issues. I considered getting a PC this time but I just loved my little old macbook too much. It lasted a whopping three and a half years (I'm EXTREMELY hard on my computers) whereas I went through my two previous PCs within a year and a half. I got a Macbook Pro with Lion OS and I'm in lovvvve with it. It has so many awesome new features and is so easy to carry with me anywhere. I 100% recommend it to anyone and everyone.