Wednesday, May 30, 2012

REMODELING SERIES: THE LIVING ROOM

I decided to start with the living room becuase it was one of the first rooms to be finished in the whole house. It actually even became sort of a refuge for me when all the other rooms seemed to be marked with chaos and clutter. The picture below was taken from the entrance to the home. I must admit, when I walked in and saw that arched doorway, I was immediately sold. I loved it! Since this home used to be a duplex, this first room is extremely large, which we thought was awkward.

See where there is that part of wall that hangs down? Basically the most drastic thing that we did to this room was to reinstate that wall, creating another bedroom.
THE DIVIDING WALL
LOOPY (after hours of work!)


 







 You can't tell from this picture, but the carpet was pretty shady, so we replaced it. The color scheme for this living room was a basic tan and deep red. Here is the finished product, standing from the same place as the picture above:
Nick also tiled the entryway in a rectangle shape just to avoid the brand new carpet getting dirty and gross because of constant coming and going. We later added crown molding to the ceiling. On the right is a picture of my bookshelf. I decided I didn't like how tacky it was looking so I made a simple curtain with coordinating fabric and a curtain rod.



Then, of course I had to add a picture of m adorable boy resting on the matching pillow I made. What a sweetie-poo!



Sunday, May 27, 2012

DIY Spring Wreath

I know it's summer, but I started this project in the spring (that just goes to show how little time I've had to craft lately), so I'm calling it a spring wreath, even though it's versatile enough to carry through the summer :)

Looks like a great start to an afternoon of crafting- Doritos and Oreos and milk :)
Start with some of your favorite coordinating colors of yarn, felt, and buttons. Also have a styrofoam wreath handy! Decide on your main color and wrap the yarn around the wreath alternating colors to your liking.
 I periodically dot the wreath with hot glue to make sure to yarn stays where I wrap it. After it's wrapped to completion, you can set that aside for a while as you'll be working on the decorative felt flowers. I used several colors and several different types of flowers, and you could get away with any variety of them.
The first I used was a basic hippie flower. Cut one length of your felt sheet like this:


The number of "humps" you have will depend on their size and shape. You could make each petal pointy, or more oval shape, depending on personal preference. Then you'll take your sewing needle through the bottom if the petals with just a basic weave stitch.Once you've made it all the way through, connect the ends and secure with a knot, as shown to the right.





The second type of flower that I made was a "scalloped" flower.

Here's a link to a great tutorial that explains it much better than I could:

Scalloped Felt Flowers

I would have done several more types of flowers, but I lost motivation. But if you search "felt flowers" on Pinterest, you will see a bunch of other options-- some of them are so cute!


Once I had everything gathered together....

I arranged the details in a pleasing manner around the wreath, securing with hot glue. I added buttons and green felt leaves where I thought it was lacking. A good tip: Cover up any imperfections in your wreath with the flowers! This worked well for me :)

The final product, hung and all:


Sadly, this will be my last crafting post for a while. Since my life is in boxes, it is very difficult to find the time to get everything together to craft. But I have great things in mind! And plus, then I will also have some (hopefully) great posts about a NEW home to remodel :)

Thanks for viewing!



Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Love of Running

Growing up I was the fastest kid in school, even faster than the boys! Some of my best summer memories include racing my dad through the backyard grass, until the day I beat him and he claimed he pulled his hamstring.... seems fishy to me! I ran track in high school and cross country one year, even though long distance wasn't really my thing.

When I got to college I was sorely disillusioned with what I had expected running college track for a Christian coach to be like. It was a terrible experience, and it left a sour taste in my mouth for organized sports (which I quickly got over, because I love sports!) Since quitting immediately after my sophomore year, running long distance has been a way for me to deal with stress, relieve extra tension, exercise and have fun, all at the same time! I didn't exercise much when I was pregnant on account of how crummy I felt, but since Rylan has been born I have been trying to exercise using the Insanity DVDs and walking.

The other day, Nick's school that he teaches at hosted a Positive Addictions 5k, which I admit, I walked. Rylan was with me, and the streets are so terribly bumpy that I couldn't have run, that's for sure... Oh ya, and I'm miserably out of shape! Here's the link to the news article- Rylan's time was 48 minutes! That's got to be a world record for a three month old :)


Rylan Boy in his track suit and sneakers, ready to race!




Walking this 5k with my husband and son was a great reminder of a lot of things. How much I love to be outside. How much I love my family. How much I love life. How much I love the feeling of exercise well done. How much I love running.


What a great memory :)









Monday, May 21, 2012

Haysville or BUST!

And just as quickly as they came, they were off!

My husband recently accepted a position as a high school math teacher 2 hours south of where we are now, in Haysville, KS. It seems like a great opportunity for all of us and we are very excited!

Our first year of marriage has been exciting to say the least! To start, I had to move from Colorado to Kansas. Immediately we found out we were pregnant just a few weeks after our June wedding! Then, we crunched in order to finish our house, which is, admittedly still not complete. After spending the fall student teaching and working at Riley County High School for the beginning of the spring semester and then BOOM having a baby a month early in mid- February. Now we are moving our little family south and hoping for the best :)

As I sit here typing this, listening to my baby cry, sipping a Vanilla Dr. Pepper, observing unfamiliar cardboard boxes pile up around the home I have tried so hard to keep tidy, I wonder how this move could be the best thing for our family right now. But I know that God wants us in Haysville; we have prayed about it and he has answered very clearly. I just don't know why.

I am afraid of the in-between stage, of not having a place to call home. Sometimes I want to cry with Rylan, I think to myself. The grass truly is always greener. I have wanted to leave Clay Center for quite some time  now because it is so unfamiliar to me, but maybe that was not the answer I should have been seeking. Maybe all along I should have been trying to assimilate into the culture here, adjusting as best as possible in order to feel settled, instead of always wiching I was elsewhere. Well, now I will be elsewhere, and I am actually very excited about it, but I am also sad to be leaving the people and the church I wish I had known better.

But I trust my Lord and Savior- he's always known better than me anyways!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

REMODELING SERIES

So I am going to be doing a series of posts on how my husband and I remodeled our home. I have been meaning to do this for a long time, but the photos are all scattered around and it's chaotic in my life right now!

I'll take you room by room and show off our BEFORE and AFTER pics as well as reveal some home remodeling shortcuts we learned along the way!

We bought this house last April (2011) for only $26,000! We knew that it would take some time to fix everything that the house needed, but we had NO IDEA that it would take as much work as it has... and still not be entirely finished!

Through the trials of remodeling a house that you already live in (believe me- they are great and many) there were also the trials of me being an unmotivated pregnant person and the time crunch of expecting a baby only months away!

Anyways, I am amazed at the transformation our house has undergone (it's nearly unrecognizable!!!) on such a tight budget (thank you, Menards!) Hopefully you will become inspired! (Or not, it's up to you.)



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Boy do I wish someone would have told me this stuff!

After having worked as a camp counselor for many summers, (and having been a teenage girl myself), I realize just how important it is to actually implement the advice given to you. It's so easy to hear what people are recommending and ignore because you think you, as a young teen girl, know better. That's exactly what I did and it landed me in a world of hurt. Teenage girls need to know they are loved, valued, and precious- it breaks my heart to know that there are young women out there experiencing more pain than they need to because these beliefs are either not reinforced in the home or they choose to ignore what they should acknowledge.

The link below DEFINITELY affirms my passion for young teenagers by offering ten tidbits of advice that I strongly agree with! Sometimes I wish that someone would have just sat me down and forced me to listen to this advice, even though I probably would have chosen to ignore it. 

If there is a teenage girl you are invested in, share this link! Maybe the advice coming from someone's blog will resonate with her better than if it came directly from her mother-- amazing how that works, isn't it?


Most of all, pray for them, because they are growing up in a tough generation!