Friday, April 29, 2011

what I'm dreaming of...

I have been trying to figure out ways to detoxify my soul, be stress-free, and relax. The hardest year of nursing school is *almost* under my belt. My clinicals will be over, my crazy weeks are coming to an end and we get to enjoy summertime. So all I want to do is really focus on how to just be. To relax. To enjoy this phase of life we are in. To enjoy my husband and dogs. To do fun crafts/sewing for me and my love of nesting. To soak up the sun. To enjoy not planning a wedding. To slow down. To breathe. 

I have heard of this destination on a few blogs and my favorite sunset magazine. Warm beaches sound beyond amazing.

Just practically in our backyard. How can we possibly try to be Idahoans if we have never even been to the Sawtooths?!

We are thinking of maybe a road trip to Seattle/ Bellingham/ San Juans in July. Do a little kayaking, see a good friend Tony, go camping, hotel-staying and all of this sans dogs. Crazy thoughts. 

Costa Rica
My wonderful lil sister will be here in a week. I am trying to not cry and tell mom that it isn't fair.

We will be here twice this summer for a family reunion and for a fantastic wedding of some lovely people- Will and Erica.

Coastal California
To soak up the sun with my girlfriends, whom I miss dearly, for the endless girl talk with ample bottles of wine and crashing waves in the background. (Remember this afternoon, ladies?!)

Here, Right now
With my incredible husband. Curled up, laughing for hours, talking about fun summer plans.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter

...look at these beauties that popped up in our side yard...

 and happy easter!

to celebrate a few wonderful etsy finds:

here.                                           here.
here.                                     here.
here.                                               here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the little brick path project...

We decided one wintery day, that we should re-set the bricks in our little pathway once spring came. Well here was our first non-frigid day during spring break so we got our shovels, cat's paw, and a hammer and went to town. We aren't sure the last time these bricks were un-earthed, but we found some awesomely old bricks. Some cracked, some with the backwards letter "F" on them (my personal fav) and then one that had some holes like a lego piece. We broke a few bricks unintentionally and some were un-salvageable from the elements, so we had to buy about 40 replacements. $9 project, not bad!
...the only "before" picture we have, after we jumped into the project...

...some of the bricks were covered by about 1/2" of dirt and grass, so we had to pry them out...

... in progress...

...just imagine fresh new grass on the right side (after we buy it, and learn how to re-sod a yard, perhaps not in that order)...and mulchified yard on the left from our previous post...

better right?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

mulch fest.

Well folks, this past weekend we did a little mulching of the yard. Can't say we've ever mulched before, but gosh we like how it turned out.

We threw in a few bushes along side of this rose bush that was already in the ground, removed the copper lattice work and it looks pretty refined! Mulch-eriffic!!

The unsightly white pot had to go, so we put the japanese maple in the ground, mulched around where the ground cover looked as though it was peering through and called it done.

...our back yard patio now with some big mulch-tastic planters. I had to say goodbye to my favorite turquoise table, it just looked a little too chaotic...

(with table,! or maybe just cute/eclectic?!)

goodbye for now table.

...matt bought this beautiful wisteria plant for me, and mulch-ified it...

...matt bought this red-barked tree for himself that way next winter we have a little splash of color in the yard. Then with a little mulch-love it was done.

**A sad update... this is what happened with my beloved wisteria. Note to self... don't plant until last frost is gone. Looks a little like that bag of spinach that we froze on accident in our super cold fridge**



Sunday, April 17, 2011

sweet packaging.

Does this packaging not make you utterly happy?! I used to be in a soy milk drinking phase, but that was a few years back... but now, I think I am hooked again. How could you resist this?! Way to go 8th continent.
...make it a great day?! I think I will, thanks milk carton...

And on another food note.... Quaker... I am so disappointed in you. I was looking forward to this new sweet chili rice chip of yours. But you have failed me, and you underestimate my taste buds. The chip you have is nothing but over-salted, overwhelmingly-flavored,  and quite frankly gross. I thought you were different from your peers- dorito and cheeto. Please take off 9/10 of your flavor seasoning and we will be friends again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

counting the days...

It's weird to be counting days until a potential period. For all of my life, every month I couldn't wait to have my period. It was a monthly confirmation that I could continue on living my life the way that I wanted to, on my schedule.  But now, I am just hypersensitive to any "symptom" I may be having. It's just rather silly. A nurse at work was telling me about this ovulation kit that worked wonders for her. In all of the incredible baby blogs I have been reading and just soaking up all of their wealth of information I hadn't heard any mention of using the ovulation kit, so I didn't think too much of it. It can be hard to make a baby, especially if you have a totally weird, unpredictable cycle. So I didn't want to go overboard with the temperature and mucus (nasty just typing it!) checks. It was too much...but this ovulation kit, I like that idea. Then you know a range of when to have sex based on your LH levels. The rabbit thing is fun, but this could cut out some of the guess work. I have to do some research, and think about it for next month if this one is a single-red-line month. Anyone had any experience with these kits?!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

learning to use the camera outside...

...spring is here, look at these sweet lil buds...

I am learning to use my camera outside, let me say... it's pretty tough, with a lot of ugly pictures to sift through. Does anyone have some suggestions?! I know I need to just sit down and read my camera book, but it's a little boring when spring is happening all around. tree didn't make it through the Idaho winter...

I took these of Matt coming back from his first real ride... a little over exposed, but I like them for some reason, maybe because he stands out a little better in all black.

...i love the fact he wears this thing...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

patio table...

I think our most incredible backyard DIY project was making our patio table....and it was easy! As I said before, we found the table top at IKEA. It was a butcher block/kitchen counter top that we found in the "as is" section in IKEA... this is where most things are somewhat used, broken or returned then discounted. We found the table top for 23% off... which we thought was okay, but still a little high. So Matt asked the guy at the counter if he would be willing to go cheaper.... a little haggling...and voila! 50% off! Brand new it would have been $129 and we bought it for $65! It has a few cracks, but nothing too obvious.

::the old patio table::

The table worked great, it was free with the house...but it needed to be updated. My wonderful mom, dad, and sister working on cupcake flags for the wedding....smiles and all. How amazing.

::our new patio table::

[ when its just the two of us, which is most of the time we can just overlook our yard and watch the dogs, then when we have friends over we can bring out the extra chairs and pull the table into the middle of the patio to seat 6!]

There are a few restaurants in town that use huge planks of wood, all glued together, with a thick urethane on them for their table tops. We love this look. Usually they are tall, bar height... and you can see the knots in the wood, they are beautiful. We wanted to mimic this. Something hearty that would withstand the outdoors, look natural, a little rustic, and unique. Then we just needed table legs. I had seen this bookshelf from pipes a while back... and thought about having the same look for our table. I wasn't sure if it was financially feasible...but... it is!

...drew up some sketches and dimensions in my handy journal before going to home depot...
-obnoxious yellow gloves...great to grip the pipes to tighten.
-screw driver
-synthetic 3" brush
-urethane: 1 quart of outdoor spar
-sandpaper 320 grit
-16 zinc #12 screws

...table top before the finish...

...isn't that price great?!...

...matt staining the wood in the garage, in between each of the 3 coats he sanded it with 320 grit paper...
::the pipe materials::

-black iron pipes
1x 48" long 1/2" diameter
4 x 8" long 3/4" diameter
4 x 8" long 1/2" diameter
4 x 12" long 1/2" diameter
4 x 3/4" and 1/2" Ts
2 x 1/2" Ts
8 x flanges
Total cost of pipes= $90

* there were other options at the store too...galvanized pipe and brass, but we liked the looks of the dark metal for our table top wood grain*

Table Total= $155

We knew in making this table that it would be a little more expensive than a thrifty table bought on overstock...but we thought this one will hold up for longer, and be the style we love... instead of a table we just like.
...matt just jumped right in and started assembling...

...Voila! About 10 minutes later the base was done and some tweaking needed to be done in order to compensate for the uneven ground...
::the chairs::
We found 4 wrought iron chairs and one bench at costco...amazingly. They were just the style we wanted... something a little updated and something less bulky than the patio furniture sets they sell at the normal stores like home depot or target. And they fit perfectly and comfortably with our custom table, that was just luck.
4 chairs @ 19.99 each & 1 bench @ 39.99
Total for seating= $120
 We were contemplating between two comparable choices at Target and Home Depot. The target chairs were $40/ chair, and Home Depot's were $30/ chair...both of which were lighter weight than the costco ones, but we also saved ourselves about $40-80 on chairs alone.

[we will be able to use the bench around the table too]
Great the only thing I need to do is find cushions... turquoise or khaki?! Handmade or bought?!

::the table cover::
So we made the table, it turned out much prettier than we had ever imagined, and now with rainy spring here...we are scared to death to leave it outside. Silly right?! Of course it will get weathered, but maybe just not yet. So I made a table cover for our patio table. I ran over to Target, purchased an $8 green oilcloth table cloth that was 108"x 72". They have a lot of fun designed ones to choose from, but I am not that bold yet. Because our table is a funny dimension... 73" by 25" I needed a long table cloth that I could just sew up the ends on. So I did just that. I also threw in some gravel into the sides when I was sewing the seams to weight down the cover for windy nights. Done in about 5 minutes. Easy. Not super pretty...but it's not for when we are outside.

[the table cover at night, with my lovely assistant, Emma, who matches the wrought iron very nicely]