Sunday, April 13, 2014

$10 Knockoff

I'm one of those people that has a hard time deciding on what to decorate my walls with. For some reason I don't like personal photos hanging around and if I have them, they are usually not out in the open but in tiny frames you can barely see. It's like an Easter egg hunt to find them except they aren't eggs filled with delicious chocolate. They are just pictures of me and that's not exciting. So actually i guess it's nothing like Easter egg hunting at all. Can you spy one of them in our bedroom?

Yes, I know people, our bedroom is very plain. Womp Womp. I even gave up on putting our plain white duvet cover over the comforter. One day I will build up the energy to put it back on and have midnight untangling matches with it. But for now, let's focus on the walls. This wall to be exact:

I have wanted to hang something there for the longest time but never found anything that really made my boat float. That is, until Jessica Garvin, over at Little Baby Garvin posted these prints from Sugarboo Designs

How cute are they? I love how they make such a statement without being too over the top. So naturally, I went to the website to purchase them and saw the whopping $700 price tag! I literally screamed, rubbed my eyes, and looked again. For that amount of money, we are talking a lot of street corners that I would have to stand on in order to get these prints on my wall. Though I'd like to think i still got IT, I'm not that desperate for wall decor.  A nice 8x10 rug maybe, but not wall decor. So I decided that option was out and I would have to make them myself. And so I did. 

I went to Lowe's and got two 24 x 24 x .2 inch pieces of wood that were $5 each. Any thickness would work but i just figured the lighter the better. 

I used some leftover white primer that we had and painted both boards with a small roller. If you plan to use anything other than a sharpie to write on the boards, I would probably use chalk paint. But seriously use what you have, the project is meant to have imperfections so don't go crazy with getting supplies. 

After the boards were dry I just quickly sanded them to make them easier to write on. I really liked the look of the "I love you, I love you" wording from the original print but felt like I needed to make it a little more personal. Instead, I used the song lyrics by Bob Dylan's "If Not For You", which also happened to be our first dance song at our wedding. Click here to listen to George's version.

I drew out all the words in pencil first to make sure I liked the way it looked.  Thank Jesus i did, because I made a ton of mistakes. By the way,  I have not written in cursive since forging excused absence notes in high school, I'm really sorry Dad, but I did that.  I definitely had to look up how to write in cursive again. The b, f, and v for some reason were super complicated to relearn. I have a new respect for first graders. 

Anyhoo, I then went over it with a plain black Sharpie.

And here is the final product:

Then just stab the back of the board with a picture hanger. 

and voila you have yourself $700 $10 prints! Sorry for the craptastic iphone photos. In person, they look even better and make me smile every time I walk in. 

So there you have it. I got the prints that i wanted and I didn't even have to stand on a street corner to get them. Have you all attempted a knockoff version of something? If not, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cajun Chicken Caesar Wrap

Sometimes I get a day off during the week and like to surprise my hubby with a nice lunch instead of him having to throw together a pb&j or a bowl of cheerios for his mid day meal. Today was one of those days. By the way, before I started making lunch I went to the CUTEST little coffee shop in our neighborhood called Orange Spot Coffee that recently opened. I am totally obsessed. If you are in the area, please support these local gals. They are awesome.

Because I spent too much time at the this coffee house, I ran out of time and had to think of something quick to make before AJ got home. I was certainly not going to fail at the one housewife duty I had for the day. A Cajun Chicken Caesar Wrap was the first thing that popped into my mind! This meal literally took 7 minutes to make and it was freakin' delicious. He even said it was better than Jersey Mike's!  Sorry Mike, can't win em all! The seasoning just makes it so much more than a plain caesar wrap that you can get just anywhere.

You will need:

- 1 bag romaine lettuce
- 1 chicken breast sliced through the middle
- caesar dressing
- large flour tortillas
- Cajun seasoning

(Enough for 2 wraps)

I sprinkled the cajun seasoning pretty generously over the chicken and rubbed it in good while the skillet was heating up.

After about 3-4 minutes on each side the chicken should be cooked and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces. Layer the tortilla with romaine lettuce, dressing and chicken. Roll her up and stick a toothpick in her! She's done.

If you can't make this, please let me know and I'll sign you up for Food Network's, Worst Cooks in America. Because it's that easy and that good.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Chalkboard Wall

A while back I got really bored. When i find myself in this predicament, I normally stuff my face with anything I can find in the refrigerator to distract myself from that feeling instead of, ya know, doing something productive. But then after I eat, I find myself in the same state of boredom, just fatter. Sigh. But we're talking about one time when that didn't happen and instead I decided to paint my wall black.

Chalkboard black to be exact. In our office. The one and only room that has been named the man cave that the husband supposedly has complete control over. Yeah, no. I just made him think this was his brilliant idea. *Evil laugh* 

Now I know you all have seen this project floating around Pinterest lately so I'll just let you know what we did and some quick tips. 

1. Make sure you put down a sheet or drop cloth or whatever so that you don't ruin your hardwoods/carpet. This seems obvious but I just gotta say it for those lights on, nobody's home type people. No, not you, never.

2. I saw some complaints that a regular paint roller didn't work well but for us it did. It may depend on the texture of your walls. Ours are pretty smooth. 

3. We did not use any primer and didn't sand at all. We are lazy. 

4. We did two coats and gave it 24 hours to completely dry. 

5. After it was completely dry, we turned a piece of chalk on its side and went over the entire wall to "prime" it for doodling.

6. Erase all the chalk with a damp cloth and let dry. At this point you should be ready to doodle to your hearts content! 

We started with some cheap chalk that we already had that didn't work well at all. I went out and got a Roseart set and all the colors work like a charm! Also, if your chalk is acting up just dip it in some water and it should start writing again. 

I do have to admit that the only thing I regret is not painting magnetic paint underneath those two coats. It would be kind of cool to be able to stick magnets all over it. Remember those plastic ABC letters that you stuck all over your childhood refrigerator? That was thrilling! but now I'm 28 so maybe I don't need it. But maybe I could stick adult things all over it. Like our mortgage bill and all of our to do lists. On second thought, maybe it's for the best that we didn't. 

So there ya have it! Anyone else have the guts to paint an entire wall black?  Or maybe a smaller area that isn't so permanent? Do you have one in your house? Show me now! 

Weekend Recap

This weekend was very relaxing. I had an entire list of things to accomplish. How many of those things actually got done? That would be um, zero. There's always next weekend I suppose. On Friday I met up with my good friend Kristina for a much needed Mexican and Margarita dinner and chatted wedding plans since she is newly engaged! We later went back to her gorgeous new home, drank wine and talked decorating. What could be better? Let me tell you what. She asked me to be her bridesmaid! I was so incredibly honored because though we haven't really known each other that long, we have become fast friends. When you get older, at least for me, it's really hard to find girls that you connect with on a best friend level like you did back in highschool. So for our friendship, I am grateful and I could not be happier for her and her hubby to be!

Kristina and I at Southend Brewery

Saturday was pretty uneventful. I stared at paint swatches and made enchiladas, yes Mexican again! Sunday was beautiful out but incredibly windy. To avoid the high winds I decided to take cover at Target. Well, we all know what happened next. $100 went missing from my checking account but I did get a few things that I absolutely NEEDED. Because there is no possible way that I could have lived without those items had I walked out of the store empty handed. Like this gold lamp:

If you look closely at the shade you can see a gold herringbone pattern which I love. 

I also got the supplies I needed to make a special Easter basket. I found this huge golden egg that I just had to have! Seriously, you can fit like 20 pieces of candy in that thing. I may or may not have eaten a ton of chocolate while testing it out. My gold everything obsession is really getting out of control I've decided and I refuse to do anything about it. 

Sunday evening we went to a Lowcountry Boil and hung out with the family which I failed miserably at taking any pictures of. Just picture me stuffing butter soaked crab legs down my throat and that pretty much sums it up. I hope everyone had a great weekend and has an even better Monday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bathroom Love List

In the near future we plan on renovating our bathroom. It's actually not that awful looking considering how old the house is. I updated it as much as I could with the things that I brought over from my house when I moved in and managed to make it quite cute. The reason we are renovating has nothing to do with the appearance at all. It's what is under our lovely, cheap linoleum that is causing muchos problemas for us. We have a leaky toilet that over time has caused the flooring to rot right out from underneath us. Like there is literally a large, gaping hole near the toilet and the only thing keeping us from falling into the abyss of our crawl space is the linoleum. Don't you think a girl and a guy deserve to do their business without the fear of being swallowed up by the house? Me too. Why don't we use the other bathroom you ask? Well folks, we don't have another bathroom. So what do we do when we both have to go at the same time? Thankfully, it doesn't happen too often, but someone usually ends up peeing outside. That someone would not be me. I think we're getting into the too much information territory now and it's really making me uncomfortable. Enough with the questions, let's move on! In a nutshell, we have to redo the flooring and we might as well bring everything else up to date while we're at it.

I made a little wish list of everything I would love to include in the "new" bathroom. My goal with every room is to keep the charm of this midcentury home, but also bring it up to date to give it a contemporary feel.

1. Kohler Moxie Single Function Showerhead with Wireless Speaker- because I like to sing in the shower and I like the sleek look of it. And let's be honest, it's just a cool gadget to have. 
2. Waffle shower curtain- we already own this which makes it an easy decision.  The only problem I've had with it, is that it shrank like a man in a cold pool when we washed it. But I do love how simple and clean it looks in any bathroom. I may just buy an extra long one so when it shrinks, it'll be the perfect length. 
3. Chrome Vanity Light- I am obsessed with chrome and brass lately. This has the vintagey modern, sort of industrial look that we are going for. 
4. Hello Sign- because who doesn't like to be greeted while on the loo. 
5. Towel Ring- we need somewhere to hang our hand towels! Duh!
6. Aqua Blue Glass Knobs- I love these to dress up a simple vanity and add some character. 
7. Beveled Oval Mirror- simply because I cannot find a rectangular mirror that I'm in love with. This one seems like it can get the job done. 
8. Hex Mosaic Tile - I can't tell you how in love I am with this tile. I would marry it, if that was a thing.
9. Paint Colors- I think bathrooms should be a tranquil place and these colors are very spa like to me. 
10. Martha Stewart Living Vanity- I love this vanity but it is slightly out of our price range. It is similar to the white one we have now so I may just slap some gray paint on that bad boy and pretend it's brand new.
I'm sure the budget will change and priorities will shift with this project but it's always good to have a guideline and a plan! We hope to start working on our bathroom within the next month, here's hoping! I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Linen Closet Happily Ever After

There are a couple of spaces in our house where visitors are not allowed to enter. Like a Disney castle with forbidden rooms that are hiding special roses under glass domes that must not be tampered with. Name the movie! In our castle, one of those forbidden spaces is our linen closet. Instead of hiding wilting roses, we are hiding an embarrassing mess of old blankets, mismatched towels, and snuggies. I am going to show you the beast of a mess that lives behind the door, but you cannot drop your jaw in judgement after I show you. Ok?

Here we go:

Here is a close up for those of you that don't think it's that bad at first glance.  It's bad. 

No, I have no idea how we have been living this way.

Oh there's the toilet paper!

My first step was to take everything out of there to better assess the situation. I found some interesting things like this sports quilt. I will say nothing further since AJ's grandma made it. 

I also found and modeled this Clemson snuggie which I obviously kept. 

I found this dainty towel from AJ's bachelor days that were apparently filled with wild tea parties and flower arrangements. 

Once everything was slowly sorted into keep, toss, give piles, I had a pretty decent sized linen closet. I always complain about the lack of storage options we have, when in reality, we just have tons of random stuff that we never use and NEVER will. Without all of those unwanted linens in there, the closet seemed huge. 

Here is what the closet looked like after about an hour of folding, sorting and pondering what order on the shelf everything made sense for us. Ya know, because the order of sheets and towels hiding in a closet is a very important life decision. 

Here is how I organized all of it from the floor on up for those of you who care.  

Floor: I corralled all of our bathroom items (toilet paper, qtips, cotton balls, shampoo, etc.)in the large basket on the floor. I like to call in contained clutter. 
Shelf 1: Beach towels and B team towels. 
Shelf 2: Bath towels that we use all the time. 
Shelf 3: Bathroom rugs in the middle. One basket contains dish towels and the other contains bath wash cloths. 
Shelf 4: Sheets, fitted sheets, and pillow cases.
Top Shelf: Dining room table linens (Tablecloths, napkins, runners).

I have to say this little makeover makes me feel like a new woman and I feel certain that we can live happily ever after, my closet and I. I literally walked by and opened the door at least 20 times to admire how organized everything was. 

Have you all done any spring cleaning lately that made you feel better about your life? It made me feel so good that I plan on tackling our broom closet next! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day Ramblings

Yesterday we did nothing. Like absolutely nothing. We never took our pajamas off, we ordered chinese, snuggled and I watched Bravo all day long. AJ read almost an entire book, and from where I was sitting, even that seemed way too productive. It was the day after my best friends wedding so we needed the relaxation recovery time after all of the festivities and drinking. I'm quite certain that my body despises my poor decisions of that weekend. I keep trying to party like a 22 year old but the next morning I am always reminded that I am indeed almost 30. Needless to say, there will be no green beer for me tonight.

In fact, I probably won't do anything to really celebrate St. Patricks day beyond rubbing my husbands red beard and wearing a green shirt which I managed to pull off at the very last second before leaving for work this morning. We even have a work pot luck with a "green" theme today that I completely forgot about. So I'm pretty much a failure. But I did bake Lucky Charm cupcakes last year that I can share with you. That totally counts, right?.

We also celebrated one month of marriage over the weekend. I really didn't think getting married would change our relationship at all, but it has. People say it's just a piece of paper but it's so much more than that. At least for me. Saying those vows and putting on those rings made me feel so much closer to my husband. Here is to a billion more months together!  

Katlyn and Jimi's Rehearsal Dinner- Southend Brewery

Do you guys have any plans for St. Patty's Day? Hopefully it's a little more exciting than mine!