Emmett's very own home made costume!

10/27/2010 12:48:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

Someone is going to be very stylish this coming weekend. Okay maybe stylish isn't the right word, but this weekend Emmett will be bringing all of the geeks to the yard (I mean geeks in the most loving way possible).

We've become those people. The one's that dress up their dog for Halloween. Emmett allows it...to a point. He hates things on his head and if it's fluffy like a stuffed toy, he will be forced to try to eat it.

This year I decided to be bold and try to make his costume. This was going to be quite the feat seeing as I only know how to sew a straight line and haven't a clue how to cut out a pattern. Lets just say lots of guessing and winging it happened last night. I was taking pictures of the process and got so caught up in it that I stopped snapping pictures half way through, but I still want to share it with you. Oh, and you'll just have to wait until the end to see what Emmett is going as!

I ran to our local Joann for fleece because they were having a 50% off on what I'll call their "lower" grade fleece.

I then cheated hard core by using a doggie coat that we already had as a template.

Cause I was less than prepared, I used a Sharpie to draw the outline.

After tracing I ended up with this.

I ended up with this. Which I folded in half long ways to try to even out all of the edges with some trimming.

I then attached some more fabric that would become the belly straps.

I then got distracted with the sewing, so this is where the "directions" stop. Pretty much I sewed on the belly straps and cut two different sized squares out of the other two fabrics. Those squares were sewn one on top of the other and then sewn onto the back of the main piece. Then I hand sewed on some other fleece pieces. After all of that sewing was done, I added on iron on Velcro to both the belly straps and the neck/chest straps.

When all was said and done we had something that looks a little like this...


Any guesses yet?



If you guessed a Gameboy then you win!

Yep...the geekiness came out and I couldn't be happier! My first and probably one of my only sewing projects actually turned out well and actually looks like what I wanted it to. Part of me wants to go out and get colored felt to make Teris blocks, so that you can play Tetris on Emmett's back.

I doubt he'd be amused.


Finished laundry area

10/25/2010 07:28:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

Yes, I am finally getting around to showing you my finished laundry area, which I teased you with a few weeks back.

I've had the area pretty much done for over a month, with the last detail being to hem the curtains. Can I just say that was a pain in the ass!? Yeah, not so fun.

Anywho, as a reminder, this is what I started out with...


The lack of door thing was an issue for me. Sure I could have tried to keep the area clean all the time...but it's the laundry area. I just didn't want to look at it, especially when it's one of the first things you see when you walk into our house.

I knew I wanted drapes, but what kind? That is really what took the longest in this mini makeover. I wanted something fun, but that wasn't so crazy that it made the area stick out like a sore thumb. Also, I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on drapes that I may not get to use again. Thank goodness we live so close to an IKEA now! For about $60 I was able to accomplish this...



We already had the laundry baskets. I like having them there to catch the dirty kitchen and bathroom towels. It also means I can grab a basket to put the clean, folded laundry in to take upstairs (only to return with more dirty laundry). The baskets hanging off the shelf are such a great way to add more storage space to the area.

The drapes are black and white with little dots of green and a orange/red.

So now, instead of walking into our house and seeing this...


You get to see this (the Emmett butt is just a bonus)...


The rundown on what we got:

~ HEDDA BLAD curtains from IKEA x2: $14.99 ($29.98 for the pair)
~ Curtain rod from Target: $3:50
~ Under shelf storage baskets: $6.00 ($30 for 5)

In the end I'm kind of happy that the folding doors didn't work with the washer/dryer. I like how the curtains break up the wall of folding doors (we have three closets along that one wall). Plus, I won't always have to worry about keeping the area clean. Close the drapes and "poof" mess-be-gone!

Simple things for an easy decorating/organizing fix. My kind of DIY.


Chalk board wall

10/20/2010 05:20:00 PM Ashley 4 Comments

I painted a wall again.

I can't stop myself. I especially can't stop myself when I am up against a deadline. Three days before the baby shower I decided that I needed to paint a wall in our kitchen with chalk board paint.

If you don't know me, I'll let you in on a little secret...I adore chalkboard paint. We used it on our china cabinet when we redid it, but sadly you can't see it because of where we had to place it in our dining room. Plus...painting a wall here would be perfect because the walls are very smooth. This could be one of our only chances to do this.

There were more and more reasons for us (and by us I mean me) to do this. So there I stood in the paint aisle in Home Depot deciding which color chalk board paint to use.

I painted the one solid wall in the kitchen, right next to the back door. I was hoping that if I went with a dark color, that the window in the door and the windows in the kitchen would help keep it bright.


During the day.

Wall at night.

After three days...because that's how long you have to wait. Nate eagerly coated the wall with chalk (yet another step).

I love the wall. Like really...really...really love this wall.

I love that we can use it for to-do lists, grocery lists, dates/schedules, menus and most importantly doodling! We may or may not have colored chalk as well.

Honestly...if you have a wall that you can do this too, then you should. The little kid in me smiles every time I see this.


A baby shower

10/18/2010 04:05:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

No not for me. So those of you who know me well enough can quit sucking in air. We're still on board with the no babies ever train. But even though we'll never be having babies, those around us are.

Recently a friend and I threw a baby shower for a friend who was having a girl. We decided to keep it mellow and relaxed. So to keep with that theme, we went with a tea party. Perfectly girlie if you ask me . We also kept the games to a minimum, opting for a cupcake decorating contest.

I was really happy with how it all turned out, but I will say that those puffy little tissue balls are a pain-in-the-a to make. Martha Stewart failed us on that one.

Gift table with gifts (loose leaf tea) for the women who came.

Dining room set up for food and cupcakes.

Tea cups filled with flowers. These were set all over the house.

Cupcake decorating area.


Smart sponge storage

10/14/2010 01:02:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

Okay, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and get back on track with eating well and moving on from this past weekend. To help get me back in line and feel less like I want to claw my stomach to death, Nate and I went to the grocery store to do a mini shop for me. We got a lot of snack type things, because I have been battling with these awful hunger pangs. Not fun. I'm hoping this will help out a lot.

Not only am I trying to make my life easier, but I have been trying to make life around the house easier...or better yet, more organized.

A recent baby project was in the kitchen. While we don't have a tiny kitchen, it's also not huge. We have to have some appliances on our counters, so when I can take one more thing off the counter to gain more space, I'm all for it. A few weeks back I posted about IKEA items I was drooling over. One of those things was the ASKER container. On one of our last trips to IKEA we grabbed a few of them in both sizes. I'm saving the smaller sizes to use in our bathroom for my make-up brushes and on our chalkboard wall (I'll post about those later).

I used the larger one for a space in between our windows over our sink. The larger ASKER has a hole in the bottom, which makes it perfect for hold something that needs to drain. Yep, that's right, I used it for holding our sponge and sink stoppers!



I works perfectly and of course...clears up a little more space on the counter.

I must admit, I'm addicted to these. I kinda want to use them everywhere. If I use one on the chalkboard wall, I'm thinking about painting it in chalkboard paint to blend into the wall. Oh the decisions.

Seriously, if you need storage, think about using your walls and these little guys!

What I used:

ASKER in 6" size - $8
VIPPA hook (4 pack) - $4


A bad weekend and getting back on track

10/12/2010 09:11:00 AM Ashley 3 Comments


Can I have a redo for this past 3 day weekend?

To say that it has been stressful and emotionally draining would be an understatement. Not how I wanted this weekend to work out at all. Especially with the fact that this feeling has now carried over to today. Our two year anniversary of all days. And just to top it off...because of someone crossing a line that should have never been crossed, I decided to take out my frustrations. Mine just happened to be about pointless stuff that wasn't a big deal. Go me.

Then there was the eating. It wasn't pretty. I knew I was going to splurge with The Melting Pot, but the splurging didn't stop there. Sunday was awful. I didn't eat in the morning or afternoon. When I finally did eat I went straight for the greasy food. Can we say stress eater? Yeah.

Yesterday was a better day on the food front, but not perfect. I still went over my points and I am feeling it today. In fact, I just pulled my lazy little butt out of bed. Now I have to find a way to salvage this day and fill it back up with the joy that I felt two years ago when I married Nate.

So now...to come up with a meal plan that will get me back on track, but also be enjoyable for a nice dinner.

To end this on a happier note...what are some of your favorite recipes?


Anniversary outfit

10/09/2010 09:03:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

Our two year wedding anniversary is upon us (October 12), but seeing as it's in the middle of the week, we decided to celebrate tonight. We went to our favorite go to, The Melting Pot.

It seems like every Melting Pot we've ever been to has always had a different dress code. When we lived in Albuquerque people would show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Though we would never do that, we also didn't like sticking out like a sore thumb, so we'd try to go dressy, but not over the top. We decided to go that route tonight. Nate was in lightweight trousers and a button down. While I decided to pay tribute to our wedding colors (Pewter and crimson red).

Both my purse (not exactly the same as the one I used in the collection) and my shoes were what I wore at the wedding. I thought it would be fun to break those back out to reminisce. Currently I am in love with both Boxom's "Stay-There" eye shadow and Kat Von D's lipstick in Adora, but I will save those for later reviews!

It was great getting the chance to go out with my husband. I love him so much, and can't believe it's only been two years. Honestly it feels like we have been married much longer, in a good way. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!


The start of an organized laundry area

10/08/2010 08:16:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

I'm sitting here eating a Weight Watchers yogurt and listening to Joshua Radin Radio on Last.fm and all I can think about is how awful this yogurt is. I have an odd pallet and can tell when something it off...and looking at the side of the package I see that they use Sucralose instead of sugar. Bleh. Good thing I only got two of them to sample.

In other far more exciting news...I finally have my laundry area all put together. In sad news, my camera battery died and is now charging, so all I can currently show you is my awesomely messy before picture.


Cause you always need to see the other angle.

I like to keep it real and show off my moving in mess. Luckily it no longer looks like that. Though I must admit that the bob, duck, dive method to weave through the boxes was a good workout.

What I can tell you about these pictures is this...our laundry area is a glorified closet, folding doors and all (you can see the folding doors on the next closet over, which we turned into our pantry). Well here is the issue...this is a house built in the 50's. This little closet never thought that it would see the day that washers loaded from the front. Because of this the folding doors don't even fit into their spots. What to do!?

Well in the next post you will get to see exactly what we did to organize and hide our mess.

I will say that we didn't complain about the washer/dryer issue, because that was our free gift for moving into base housing. Yeah...you read that right. We got five different deals to choose from and we went for the "having clean clothes" option. We were rather impressed to see what we ended up with, as in we never would have expected HE and front loading. Color me happy!

Now I am off to go work out...which I should have been doing at 10am, but my workout budy canceled on me and I have no drive to go by myself.

Hope everyone has a marvelous Friday and an even better weekend!


A pack of pickles

10/05/2010 09:19:00 AM Ashley 3 Comments

I teased you two days ago with the comment of Nate and I trying something new in the kitchen. Well, not so new to me as my family and I used to make these somewhat frequently, but new to Nate.

Since we got to Ohio we have been surrounded by fresh produce, be it at farmers markets or at pick your own farms. It's been amazing and has sent Nate into a "must learn to pickle/can/jam/preserve" frenzy. Since once upon a time my dad and I used to make pickles and because we found pickling cucumbers it seemed like a logical path into canning.

So...a little over six weeks ago I pulled out the recipe and we got down to it. We cleaned the cucumber and sterilized the glass jars. Into the jars we tossed in...

A dill head, horseradish, garlic, a dried pepper, whole pepper corn, dill seed, a bay leaf and pickling salt.

And into the clean jar it all went.

Then we packed in the cucumbers nice and tight and topped them off with a vinegar/water mixture.

They were then lidded and boiled to create a seal.

While we waited I tried to get "artsy" with the dill.

After that we had to wait six weeks to see if they were any good. Well folks that six week mark was this past weekend and they weren't good. We're going to let them sit for a bit more, but I'm not holding my breath.

Yeah, big ol' fail. Which I am not above sharing with you all. I wouldn't want you to ever think I'm good at everything I try, cause man am I not.

It's okay though, because we can try a different recipe down the road. Plus it was our first time canning/pickling (my first time without the help of the father). At least it was a lot of fun and it lead into the canning of peaches in a simple syrup and homemade apple sauce (super yummy!).

Tonight though, it's chili night and I know I can't screw that up!

My question for you all is...was there something you always wanted to make/try and it came out badly? Or was there something you did with your family, that you tried doing on your own without success?


Trying our hand at something new

10/03/2010 07:08:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

We tried to make something I haven't made since I lived at home...


Perhaps you can guess what it is before I do a post about it...