Saturday, September 22, 2012


Though it has not happened the way we thought it would, we are have arrived!

We THOUGHT we would be a buying a home to settle down in for a little while...
We THOUGHT we would be here about 2 months ago...
We THOUGHT we would be flipping, painting, deciding and decorating...

But it's time to move past all that and look at the future. We are moving in today to a decently spacious aparement in a conenient location in Wichita, and we are very excited about it! In the past, Nick and I have thought that renting is equivalent to "throwing money down the toilet," but we are in fact ready to just settle, even if that means renting.

Once we calculated the money that Nick was spending in gas every month to commute an hour (by the way, these prices are simply horrendous!), we realized that was about even with the cost of rent. Isn't that ridiculous? This way Nick will be able to see his little boy more frequently :)

All to say, we are very excited/ready! My next post will be pictures of the whole moving affair-- before, during, and after.

Watch out, Wichita, the Browns are here!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hubby's Gift to Me: DIY Chalkboard!

Aw, he is so sweet! My dear husband saw this super cute and yet surprisingly expensive chalkboard ($80!)at World Market, one of my favorite home decour stores. He decided to recreate it, and it wasn't even a gift for any occasion, just a pleasant surprise :)
I think part of that comes from his desire to be engrossed in a project. He is a "project guy," if you will. You know you have a "project guy" if he:

a) becomes easily frustrated by boredom
b) usually does not allow himself to become bored
c) spends his down-time finding ways to make himself more busy
d)  becomes frustrated when a project is not brought to completion

Sound familiar? Maybe it's just a man thing, but I know my dad is this way too. It's like they have trouble relaxing because there are so many things in the world that they could create, alter, or even destroy and rebuild! They're right when they say that you marry a person similar to your family :)

ANYWAY, here is a photo of the model my husband was copying:

He knew I would love this basic chalkboard and decided he could easily make it himself, and with a few modifications, he succeeded! He also made one for his sister and mother (WHAT A HUNK!)

He got some scrap plywood from the garage and measured it the size he thought appropriate, more square than the model. He then painted it, using one of my favorite colors that I plan on infusing into my kitchen (whenever we have a place to live). Click here to see Eucalyptus Leaf from Home Depot's Behr collection.

He bought some half round trim board that had a 1/4" radius and used it to outline where the actual chalkboard was going to be. He taped it off and used chalkboard paint to fill in the inside of the square. He actually used premade chalkboard paint, but I know it's all over Pinterest how to make your own (which I would recommend because the chalkboard paint is expensive to buy and cheap to make.)
 This is the product to date-- he plans on using some decorative hooks on the bottom (you can never have too many hooks!) And someday we'll find the perfect tray/ wire basket to hang directly beneath the chalk part.

I plan on hanging it above a table of treats and writing some cute and whitty catchphrase that means, "Help yourself," or "Eat your heart out," or something to that effect.

My husband is so sweet for knowing how much I love to decorate and even being willing to contribute to the vice :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012


This recipe is called "TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE CAKE," but I don't think there is ANY such thing as too much chocolate!
I actually have never made this cake, but my husband's Gram brought some over earlier this week for our Labor Day dinner. I had to ask for the recipe because it was so rich but it just melts in your mouth! It was phenomenal and she claimed it was really easy.

All you need:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 bag chocolate chunks
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water

Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes in a well-greased bundt pan. Allow 60-90 minutes for the cake to cool before trying to turn over and remove from pan.

Although this cake has absolutely no healthy ingredients (do eggs count??), the redemptive quality here is taste. What a hit!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'll Take It!

Believe it or not, I had never been to an auction before! Talk about a deprived childhood. I mean, I frequent garage or estate sales and Craigslist Curb Alerts, scouring for the next best thing to upscale, but auctioning opened my eyes to a whole new world of bargaining.

Friday night, we attended the Pilsen Packrat Auction in Lincolnville, Kansas. Then Saturday morning and afternoon were spent at a local estate auction in Hillsboro.  I feel like we really hit the jackpot here! 

Between the two of us, my husband and I spent 17 dollars for the whole weekend of thrifty finds.
Here's what we returned with:

We intend to sell the Life game- pieces are still in packages!

To the average eye, this may look like a pile of junk, but to us it is a pile of tresures awaiting their transformation!

I think I saw on Pinterest these crates being used as adorable shelving!

A couple of these bottles are valuable; the rest will be put to use for my decorating :)
 At one point the auctioneer dropped his asking bid from ten dollars to just a dollar. Finally, when no one would bid for the old porch swing, I blurted, "I'll take it!" It sort of caugh the auctioneer off guard as he responded, "It's yours, Miss 'I'll take it!'" Of course, I didn't consider the inconvenience of hauling off a ginormous wooden porch swing.

My studly husband :) Putting his muscles to good use!

Some of these things (but not very many) I intend to resell via Ebay. But MOST of it, I plan on utilizing in our home, whenever we officially have one. I'll have to post about all the remodeling adventures I have with this bunch! At least it gives me something to put my heart into while I don't have a house to decorate. Or clean. Hahah