Monday, January 21, 2013

Wedding Week Hiatus

It's been more than crazy town around here this past weekend, and I know it's only going to get crazier! I'm taking a little break to get things done... I'm also having a hard time NOT posting wedding crafts, until after the big day. We have family here until the 2nd, so I'll try and get my act together by then.
I'll be back soon-ish with some wedding loveliness!!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Streamlining the Kitchen

Things are still crazy town around here, but I decided I NEEDED to get somewhat of a worthwhile post in here today since I missed yesterday... Sorry for the iPhone photo... The camera is filled with wedding projects, and I didn't have time to sift through them all!
The main part of our house purge before the New Year took place in the kitchen. Yes, we sifted through tons of clothes, and sent a lot to Good Will, but the kitchen was our main focus. We don't have a ton of cabinet space, and I was tired of having to fight my way through the boxes of cereal and bags of rice to find what I was looking for. So, we went through them, shelf by shelf, threw out things that were old, took a bunch of things that weren't perishable to a food bank, and reorganized everything that was left. I had registered for a bunch of the glass swing-top Ball-esque jars, and we decided to put them to good use. So the crumpled boxes and ripped bags were replaced (recycled, of course) by the neat and stackable jars. We actually ended up ordering more when we returned a few duplicate gifts, and now our cabinets look like this!

Nice and organized, everything is visible, and stays fresh longer. Plus, they're nice to look at. My next goal is to start buying the cereals and dry goods we use from the bulk aisles so we can minimize the cardboard and plastic waste even more so.
And now, back to the madness that is the last 9 days of wedding planning...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Madness, I Tell You...

Today has been one.of.those.days. This is the first time I've sat down since I woke up. I've been to 3 different stores, Target, the bank, and half-started 5 different projects... Oddly enough, I'm not feeling THAT productive...
I'm going to try REALLY hard to keep up my writing over the next 11 (11!) days, no promises though! No time for a full post today... But here's a photo of Neville as a baby to keep you going...

I can already hear the collective "awwwwww"
Back soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

On the Importance of Old Photos...

My parents and sister called me last night to tell me they were working on the slideshow for the wedding. Having had a difficult, long day, I was of course, not amused at the thought of 150 people viewing the awkwardness that was my adolescence.
Now, after thinking about it all night... I did not sleep well at all (not because of the photos, though), I've decided it's important to have those photos. If nothing more, as a reminder of how far we've come, and how much we've grown over the years. Over the last 8 (ish) years, Andrew and I have grown up SO much.
Neither of us are exactly the same person we were when we met at 18 and 20. We're (a little?) more mature, grown up, and with it... I think. I'm not as much of a push over as I feel like I was when I was 18, and he's much more together than he was back then. This slideshow business had me going through all of the old photos on this computer, there's a ton... From college in the dorms, to parties, to vacations with family, and the zillion weddings we went to in 2009. These photos serve as a glimpse into the past, of the good, the bad, and the ugly (or at least, awkward) that has created the people we are today. 
Now, 12 days out from our wedding, I look back at them, windows into our (somewhat interesting) relationship and I'm happy with where we've ended up, and hope to continue to feel that way as we move forward. Here's a few of us, and the progression to where we are now... 
I feel like we both look like babies... Look how far we've come!


Cheers to us, and being grown up... Gettin' married and all!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pinterest Picks 1.11.13

Crazy Crazy day today...  and my mom's birthday! Here's some Pinterest Picks in honor of some things she loves, and something I forgot to add to yesterday's Favorite Things post! Happy Friday everyone!
For 1.11.13

Cozy Socks (unless they're wool)

Vintage Perfume Bottles (Because they're pretty to look at)

And the Favorite I left out yesterday...
Candles by pommesfrites
This Long Beach local creates amazing scented candles. I'm in LOVE with this one...

Teakwood & Tobacco... who knew it could smell so good!?
 Picking up a few tomorrow!
Happy Friday (And Happy Happy Birthday, Mom!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Favorite Things: January Edition

I'm off to a late start this morning... My alarm was accidentally on silent... So here's a few of my new favorite things... Enjoy!

A few months ago, Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo posted about navy nails. I thought I'd try it. Essie's Midnight Cami is the BEST navy. It's super dark and pretty flat so it doesn't look like you're wearing BLUE polish, but it's definitely navy in the light. LOVE on my fingers, can't wait to try the toes.

Yep, we're now the proud owners of this bad boy... We fell in love with it at West Elm last week... (it's cheaper there than at Macy's) but by some sheer luck (and sweet talking) we got it at Macy's for the West Elm price... and put it on gift cards! It now lives on our kitchen counter... which is not as pretty as the one in the picture, and let me tell you... according to Andrew, it makes a pretty great espresso.

I know this is a weird one, but I've been craving cookies lately. Since most have dairy, or gluten (both of which I'm trying to minimize) I picked these up last week. They're crunchy and crumbly, and have a great vanilla flavor. They definitely take care of my cookie cravings.

Because that's where we're getting MARRIED in 17 days!!
So much to do! Can't wait!
Happy Thursday! (It's almost Friday!!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Strong Woman...

 One of the most amazing parts about our wedding is being done by my grandmother. My dad's mom. She's 88 years old, and (along with my aunt) has been spending hours and hours baking all of her famous sweets for our big day. We've ordered a cake, and some French Macarons, but the majority of the desserts are handmade by Grandma and my aunt. She's making all of her classics, my favorites: Wedding Balls, Horns, and Pecan Cups. She's been making all of these since before I was born, and for her, it's like second nature. My sister and mom and I sat down to help her a few times, but most of it is her. The house smells amazing every time we're there, as she sits at the counter rolling and slicing 100 of each cookie. I'll be honest, I could eat a bout 100 of each of them (and I'm embarrassed to admit, I ignored the fact that there's butter and cream cheese in more than one)

Here's Grandma and her amazing creations. For some reason I don't have any photos of the Wedding Balls, but there's some delicious shots of the others...

Kinda makes you hungry, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Strong Women...

This isn't the post I planned on writing today. I wanted to write about something fun, like my new nail polish, or the 3 hours it took us to figure out our seating chart. Instead, when I sat down at my computer this morning, I started thinking about strong women, and how many I know. 
I found out yesterday, that a family that I've known from work for almost a year, had a horrible thing happen to them recently. The dad was in an accident and is now a paraplegic. He's a young guy, in amazing shape, with two energetic little boys. The mom called yesterday to pay her bill... She called from the ICU unit where her husband was admitted... She wanted to make sure if/when her boys came back to classes, they were caught up. Trying to get them to live their lives as normal. I couldn't believe, that in the midst of all of the chaos and change, she remembered to call US. She's a strong woman if I've ever seen one... Being there for her husband, and making sure her kids get to do the things they love. I can't possibly imagine what she's going through, thinking, feeling at this moment. Her life has changed drastically and she's powering through... Strong woman.
I remember a few years ago reading one of my other favorite blogs and being sent to another one. About a young mom (young... 22 I think) who's 18 month old daughter had fallen into a creek, and was fighting for her life. I read her blog every day, crying, and when the little girl didn't make it, I was devastated, I didn't even KNOW them, and it affected me to the core. But this mom is a strong woman and kept living her life.
This mom kept blogging, through the unimaginable pain she and her husband were going through, and returned slowly to their lives, forever changed.
Now, this young mom has a little boy, she writes almost daily about him, and his sister in heaven. Again, I in no way can fathom what she went, and is still going through, on a daily basis. But this is another strong woman, who no no matter what, has kept her life going, for her son, and also for his sisters memory.
My mom's mother was a fighter. Another strong woman. She was sick for so many years, gathering us all on the East Coast multiple times thinking it was the end... But she fought and fought for those years. When she finally passed, no one thought she was giving up. She had fought as hard as she could, strong woman that she was.
My mom herself, is an amazingly strong woman. She's had her ups and downs with her health, weird things have happened with her work, and yet there she is, pushing along every day, putting up with her (sometimes difficult) daughters, husband, and mother-in-law every day. 
(You want to talk about strong women, my dad's mother raised 5 boys... enough said.)

As I sit here, stressing about the last few wedding things we have to do, I think about the things that these women have (and ARE) going through, and I know that my stresses are minimal, and that everything will turn out perfectly on our big day. And if it doesn't, and every married day isn't perfect (yeah right), I know that I'm a strong woman, thanks to my mom and others around me. And in the words of one of these strong women I read about almost daily, "I can do hard things"

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wardrobe Blues...

Ever have those days (weeks, months) where you hate almost everything in your closet? Well, I'm having that right now. We just went through and purged the house. I took 2 full bags of clothes to Good Will and now it feels like I have no clothes, and I feel like I'm wearing the same 4 outfits every week, just rotating the days so I'm not seen by the same people 2 weeks in a row in the same outfit.
We're trying to simplify our lives this year. Make things easier, and get rid of clutter. The streamlined dresser and closet are helping us along that goal. But it's still hard to not run out and replace everything I got rid of.
I came across this on Pinterest a while back, and I'm proud to say that I have most of the things on the list. 

So yes, I do have many of the wardrobe staples on this list, but it doesn't mean I love every outfit I put on. Some days I feel like I just throw something together and it's just clothes. Doing their job, keeping me covered, but I'm not happy with what I'm wearing. Other days, I'm so excited that something I threw on actually looks how I wanted it to look. I call those my "good outfit days" and they put me in a great mood the whole day. (Then there's also the days where I end up in workout clothes and sneakers all day long. The perks of working in an athletic facility I guess...)
 I would love to go out today and buy all new clothes. I can think of about 30 pieces that I'd love, right off the top of my head. But in keeping with the Streamlined 2013, I'm waiting...
Plus, I've gotta finish this wedding business (19 days!) before I even can think of anything besides seating charts, favors, and ceremony music.
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

House Tour!

One of my favorite things about reading other peoples blogs is seeing their homes. You can tell a lot about a person by seeing where they live, and it's so interesting to see how their style compares to your own. (Plus, it motivates me to clean my own house... nobody ever photographs their house when it's a disaster.)
So this morning, I got up (cleaned my house) and went to town...
 The house was built in 1923. It's an old Bungalow, with lots of quirks, but TONS of charm. We moved in almost 2 years ago, and were given free reign to do whatever we wanted inside. Incidentally, we kept the paint colors as they were, but, if we decide to stay here another year, we might make a few changes.
Here's the whole house from the front. It's about 750 square feet, one bedroom, one bath.

The front porch. (that window is actually the back of our closet)

 The front door, which matches the window trim around the rest of the house. (Yes, I know I need to take my wreath down)

This is the view from the front door (with the cute pup on the sofa)
The house feels pretty open for being the small square footage that it is.

View facing the front door. The rug is Ikea, sofa is an Ikea Karlstad, coffee table & floral prints are vintage, the red rocker is an Eames (replica) and the gorgeous red bent plywood chairs are original Eames (on loan from some amazing friends)

 Another view, facing the (fake) fireplace, from the dining room.

Next you go into the dining room/office. This is the only reason we moved into a one bedroom. The dining room is SO big, we were able to fit two (Ikea) desks in there, along with our vintage Drexel dining set.

I wish we had a separate office, but this works pretty well for now. 

This is the view from the corner by Andrew's desk. Our CB2 pendant still needs to be shortened a little bit, but I love how shiny the brass fixture looks.

From the dining room, you enter the kitchen. the GIANT kitchen. We were pretty much sold on the house when we saw how big it is.
This is the view from the dining room.

It's the first room in the house that we'll paint if we decide to stay here another year. I'm thinking mid-dark gray...

I'm pretty sure the sink is close to original in the house. the faucet is wall mounted and has these crazy coils behind it.

 We actually added in this counter top. There was NO counter space except for the tiny area around the sink, before we moved in. It's from Ikea, and wall mounted on the left, and braced by an Ikea kitchen cart that we took the top off. (The top is actually the cutting board on the left of the counter.)
That door (with doggy door) goes out to Neville's grass area. 
And PS... Hooray for a washer & dryer! 

This hallway goes into straight into the bathroom and right to the bedroom. 

The bathroom was redone a few years before we moved in. It's not exactly our color scheme, but I LOVE the subway tiles.
The view from the door

Hidden toilet and storage above. A totally weird thing, that I love: when you open the door, you don't see the toilet right away! (I have to stand on it to get anything out of the cabinets.)

 Teeny pedestal sink. Makes for less clutter.

 Towels from our old house that matched the tile and paint colors perfectly.

The door off of the right of the hallway leads to our bedroom. Another room we will probably paint if we stay. Maybe a really light gray, or white.
The view from the door looks straight onto the patio... Which I will NOT be showing you, until spring, when it doesn't look abandoned. 

The bed is an Ikea Malm. We plan on designing/building our own bed soon, but we wanted to upgrade to a bigger size, so we got the Malm as a placeholder. 
Wow, the room looks really bare in this photo. I swear, in real life, it doesn't look like a cell. If you look closely, you can see the little wire heart above the bed.
Oh, please ignore the window mounted AC unit. It's actually sealed permanently into the window... Yes, you're right, the window doesn't open. At all. But we actually use the unit in the summer when it's really hot, because the wall with the French doors gets a ton of sunlight and tends to boil us. 

The dresser is an Ikea Malm also. We wanted to go simple, simple. because we really didn't want a dresser to begin with, but the closet isn't huge. But, I really love how it looks now with the art from my grandparents house on it. The chair to the right is one that Andrew made when he was in college. It's perfect for putting on shoes and socks (And laying almost-dry laundry).

So, that's our place! Our lease is up next month, but we plan on going month-to-month until we decide if we're moving out of the area. We LOVE this place, and our landlord is amazing. We half-joke all the time about buying it, and gutting most of the place, so who knows what the future will bring!
Hope you like it!