Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oops... I Did It Again


I played with your heart... I bought some more fabric. Oh yeah yeah. That's as close to Britney as I'll get. :) 

Sunday I went down to PDX with my mom to see my grandparents (and my brother was there too - hi dude!). Apparently my Grandma wants to get on the Facebook. She's 87 and barely knows how to turn on her computer. But I fully support it! Go Grandma Go!

After our visit, we stopped by Fabric Depot, one of my favorite places to get fabric. Great discounts and tons and tons of fabric. I love it. I grabbed a ton of samples and had a hard time deciding! I knew I wanted navy or charcoal gray, so I started there. So many choices...

I really want this chair to be classic. I love the unique shape of it and think the shape alone is enough to make it stand out. Since this is technically Zach's chair, he wanted a manly fabric with some texture and a solid color. I was in agreement too, especially since I already have my wing back lady I reupholstered back in May with a bright fun pattern. 

So what did we settle on? We got the one on the far right! It has great texture, is pretty thick and the color is amazing. Here's another close up and then below is the fabric from afar. It looks a lot lighter in the bottom picture, but it's definitely a deep rich charcoal and I love it (and so does Zach)!


See how there's just enough texture to keep it interesting, but hopefully still solid enough to let the shape of the chair and the tufting stand out? I think we made a good choice. 

As for cost... I got six yards at $21.99/yard, plus 35% off with my Mom's coupon (thanks, Mom!), plus no sales tax(!). Total cost - $85.76. Not too bad. A lot cheaper the other wing back chair fabric, but I ended up getting an extra yard of fabric for this one since there's a lot of piping and we'll need to cover the tufted buttons. 

I love it. I got home late Sunday night and Zach already wanted to get started taking the chair apart. I was like, Whoa there buddy. Calm down. But I did like his enthusiasm. Hopefully we'll find a free weekend to take this guy apart soon. Right now he looks like a lady chair, but I can guarantee he'll be a masculine hunk of curvy tuftedness by the time we are done with him. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to it


Well hello there! I've been a little MIA this week, but for good reason! My husband is home! We've been catching up and getting reacquainted. He will be home for a couple months until his January rotation in either Shelton or Pendleton (again). I'm a happy girl once again. :) 

Zagapalooza was awesome! We had so much fun reliving our college days and catching up. My favorite part was "Kraziness in the Kennel" which was the first time since I graduated that I've been back in the arena to watch some basketball. It was awesome watching the scrimmage and now I'm super excited for basketball season to start! GO ZAGS!

Well, I just wanted to check in and say hi! I'm hoping to catch up on some projects this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to share with you next week!

What are you up to this weekend?

Photo found here

Friday, October 19, 2012

ZAGAPALOOZA!


I'm headed to Gonzaga today for alumni weekend (aka ZAGAPALOOZA!). I'm going with my girlfriends, Blair, Lynn, Kelly and we are meeting Kristy in Spokane (she lives there). I'm so excited to spend time with some of my favorites! In fact, I thought I'd take a little trip down memory lane... so here's a little flashback of the five of us over the years...

2007

2008



2011



Birthdays, Weddings, Friendsgiving, and now... Babies (Lynn, not me. Sorry, Mom)! I've loved the adventures that we've had throughout the years and I'm so glad we've stayed close. I'm so thankful for you guys! Here's to another great weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Hope it's great!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finally... Geez!

Usually I'm a little behind the times. I will admit I'm no trendsetter, but I like to be on trend. Does that make sense? Well anyways, I finally hopped on two bandwagons this week. One: Colored Denim. Two: Hunter Boots. 

I got two pairs of colored skinny jeans (and I almost got some colored cords... still thinking on them) - one mustard yellow and one bright blue. I LOVE them! I literally did not want to take them off to pay they were so comfy! I got these ones and these ones from The Limited (one of my favs). Best part - they were buy one/get one 50% off! Woot! 

And the Hunters. I've always loved my rain boots. I've gone through a few pairs through the years (from Target) in fun colors and patterns, but after a season the heels usually blow out and the rubber gets weak.  Now I'm excited to check out these supposedly awesome boots and see if they really are as tough as people say they are (all 1,500+ positive reviews!). I ordered them yesterday so we'll see how I like them! 


Just thought I'd share! What are your favorite pieces for Fall?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Germany: Day 1


Well, this is embarrassing. Remember when we went to Germany a year and a half ago? No? Well probably because I didn't tell you all about it! Now that it's Oktoberfest season (and the Unicorns just won the German Bowl for the second year in a row!), I thought I'd finally share our trip with you! 

Germany was the last stop on our Europe trip last summer (as in summer 2011, I know). Our first stop was London, then Paris, and then we went over to the little town of Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. We decided to go there to visit my baby brother and I'm so glad we did. My brother played Quarterback on the professional German football team (American football, not European futbol), the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns!

From Paris, we took the train to Stuttgart to meet up with my parents. They were in London while we were in Paris, and then after Germany were heading to Rome! About an hour into the ride the train stopped and they announced there had been an "animal accident" (whatever that means). We waited in the Stuttgart train station to meet them, not knowing where to meet and not having any cell phones. Luckily, there was a Starbucks, so they knew where to find us! :) 

From Stuttgart we bought a special one way ticket where up to five people can go anywhere in Germany for only 31 Euro. Such a good deal! We had no idea where to sit, so naturally, we sat in First Class. After we started moving, the train guy came by. You know, the guy that checks your ticket. We showed him our one ticket for the four of us and after taking a look he said (in English, but in his thick German accent), "Zer are two problemz vis zis. Vun, you have to sign your ticket. Two, you are sitting virst class." Ha! Then my mom asked "Where is second class?" He said, "Down zer." And pointed anywhere but where we were. He was quite snooty and it was really funny. So we grabbed our huge heavy bags and trekked through the train until someone finally moved so we could have four seats next to each other.

We got to the tiny Schwäbisch Hall train station where my brother was supposed to pick us up, and about a half hour later he did! :) We got all set up (my parents at their hotel, we stayed with my brother in the frat house - more on that later) and then went on a little walk around town. 

Schwäbisch Hall, in my mind, is what a typical Deutschland town should look like. Bavarian style buildings, cobblestone throughout the small downtown streets, little shops and eateries and all along a sweet river. I loved it. I wanted to move there. The people were so nice and the town was so cute. Since we were there during one of the busiest weekends of the summer - they were having their annual Jakobimart - there was a lot going on. We found the year-round beer garden at the park and had dinner. I had a schnitzelburger with fries and it was amazing. Zach had your standard bratwurst and of course we had our first taste of authentic German beer!

Two funny things happened at the beer garden. One - my mom asked if they had sauerkraut for her hot dog. The Germans behind the counter laughed at her! Apparently there is a legend/superstition that says they only have sauerkraut from Autumn to Spring. Good to know. Two - when it came time to order some beer, I asked if they had "light" beer. Yeah, I know. Rookie mistake. Everyone laughed at me and then I just took whatever they gave me at that point. And it was delicious.







We hung out some more enjoying the city and then went to bed early. We stayed at the frat house (aka the "Ami" House) and while it was free, it was far from a luxurious hotel. Especially once we heard the Cockamouse. My lovely brother told the rest of my family (all but me) about this creature that apparently lives on the roof of the room we were staying in. About one minute after we got in bed, I heard the little bastard scurrying on the roof! Scared me so bad! Thanks, bro... 


More later on the rest of our trip!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our Home: The Bathroom

Happy Monday and Happy Tax Day! I hope you had a great weekend. We had a ton of fun with our family celebrating my sister's birthday. She's getting old... quarter of a century! :) Just kidding. Love you J!

Anyways, I thought I'd share with you a quick fix of our bathroom today. Just what you want to see on Monday morning right? :) Our house has one little bathroom and I can't wait until we have a place with two! Luckily we have different shower schedules, so it isn't too big of a space problem.

It's amazing what a difference a simple shower curtain can make. We got this camouflage-like shower curtain for our wedding. I really liked it but it's been four years, and as you can see by the lovely shade of yellow on the walls, it made the small room look even more yellow. By the way, this yellow color used to be the color of the kitchen too! Not my favorite. Since we are just renting, I am less than enthusiastic about painting the bathroom, so we are leaving it as is, yellow and all. Here's the before...

And here's the after. Much better, no? See how just having the gray pattern tones down the yellow? Makes it much more manageable. Plus, I do love the yellow/gray/white color story these days.


That's it! A quick and simple fix to change the whole look of our bathroom. How often do you switch up shower curtains? Have you made any quick (and cheap) fixes lately that make a huge difference?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cinderella Pumpkins


Have you heard of these?! Cinderella Pumpkins! They were selling them at Albertson's near Poulsbo last weekend and I couldn't resist (the white one and the deep orange one on the right are the Cinderellas)! They are super dense and heavy and have the cutest shape. I lurrrrve the white one and can't decide if I want to carve it or not. She's just so pretty (someone get her a glass slipper!). I know these aren't anything new, but apparently I didn't know they existed. They are so decorative and fun! 

Did you buy your pumpkins yet? Did you go to the pumpkin patch or get them at the grocery store like us? Are you planning on going all out with the carving? We have a little tradition in our house to carve something different each year (remember my power drill pumpkin last year?). Let's talk pumpkins!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Perfect End Table


Remember last week when I said I had a project to share? Well the time has finally come! I am so excited about this one. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it. See that beautiful end table up there? That's it! Zach and I made it with our own two hands. What was a couple of boards, is now a sturdy and stylish side table. 

I was really bad and didn't take any pictures along the way. Even though we had step by step instructions, this was very much a learn-as-you-go project! I'm going to try and give some tips on how we made it, but you can find the basic instructions on Ana White's blog if you are interested. She does some pretty awesome stuff over there. You should check it out! 

OK, here goes. Get ready for a text heavy post...

Step 1 - Planning
We printed the PDF directions from Ana's blog. Let me tell you, the planning process takes the longest and is the most important. Ana's plans are great, but we did change a few things to make it our own and customize the table for our space. 

We looked at the dimensions and actually wanted something a little taller since our couch has high arms (about 30 inches). The original table was only 24 inches high. I wanted it just short of 30 inches so there was a little difference between the couch height and the table height. We settled on adding 4 inches to the height of the table for a height of 28 inches. 

I also read all about the table that Jenn made on her blog House of Wood. She dubbed it the Perfect End Tabel and I totally agree! I loved the look of her two toned version of the table and we decided to go with her construction, which meant changing out the top to 3/4 inch plywood instead of a 1x12 + two 1x3s on top to make it a solid piece. 

Ana's plans are nice because they give you a shopping list, tools list, and cut list. It was really helpful, but being the novice furniture builders that we are, it still took us a while to figure out exactly what we needed. Plus, we don't have any tools really, besides a basic power drill and our multi tool (which we realized is not so great with the saw feature). 

My advice... if you change any of the measurements, calculate five times. Then measure five times. Then cut once. There were many a frustration in the Kane household at times, but that's part of the fun of doing it yourself.

Step 2 - Hit up the Hardware Store (a couple a few several times)
We spent quite a bit of time here. My past experience with Home Depot consisted of the paint department. I am clueless about lumber. Husband knows a little more. We must have made at least two trips to Home Depot and three trips to Lowe's over the weekend. Again, planning is key! Here's what we ended up getting:

1 - 4x4 3/4 inch Plywood
3 - 2x2s @ 8 feet long (we used Cedar)
14 - 2 inch wood screws (#8)
4 - 1 1/2 inch wood screws (#8)
8 - 1 3/4 inch wood screws (#8)
Wood Glue (Gorilla Glue)
Kreg Jig (the mini one)
Countersink drill bit
1 quart Olympic flat latex paint in Heirloom Lace 
1 half pint can of Varathane Wood Stain in American Walnut
1 half pint can of Varathane Polyurethane Semi Gloss Interior

Step 3 - Cutting
Since we don't have a hard core saw at home (I did ask for one for Christmas!) we found out that Home Depot does free cuts! It was so helpful! Just make sure you know what measurements you need cut. The cuts aren't guaranteed to be exact, but they are good enough for us! We got the plywood cut for  the top and the shelf. They do charge if you make a lot of cuts, but since we only did about three, it was free!

Bad news was that we cut the top piece an inch wider than we wanted due to some calculation errors. FYI - 2x2s are actually 1.5x1.5! I had no idea. Long story short, we tried to cut down the top piece with our multi tool saw, but it turned into a horrible mess. All jagged and uneven and definitely un-sandable. Although Z and I have different ideas on what can be sanded... he came around though. Luckily we had enough leftover plywood to cut another piece for the top. So back to Home Depot I went. I carried in my piece of plywood and they cut it again for free. Thank goodness, because I may have started crying in front of the guy in the orange vest in the store if not. 

We did cut the 2x2s with the multi tool and it worked pretty well. We were able to sand the ends down to get them even. It would have been ten times faster to use a table saw, but we used what we had.

Step 4 - Put it together
We followed Ana's plans for how to construct the base. It was fairly straightforward and went pretty fast once we charged our power drill and got the hang of the jig. The jig is such a helpful tool! We got the mini version which worked really well with our power drill. From there it was just drilling and gluing and putting it together. Easy compared to the cutting/planning process!

Step 5 - Sand/Paint/Stain
Next, I lightly sanded all the pieces and then painted the base in the off-white color. I did primer first and then at least two coats of the off-white. For the top, I did two coats of stain, applying evenly (and following the directions on the can!) and then wiping off after 5-10 minutes with a clean, dry cloth. I did three coats of the polyurethane on the top surface, then put it all together after it had set for a couple days and did one more coat of polyurethane over the whole thing. 

The wood grain on the plywood actually turned out really cool. I love the texture it brings. I was unsure at first, because it almost looked like a zebra pattern, but after it set it looks really good! Especially with a few coats of polyurethane to make it shiny and durable.

OK, enough chatter (told you it was a wordy post - congrats for making it this far!). Here's some after pictures. I'm pretty much in love with it and I'm so proud of us for making this ourselves! I know it's something we will look back at years from now and be like, "yeah, we made that." :) 





You may remember what used to occupy the space next to the couch (from this post). I think this is a huge improvement! Especially considering what used to be there was actually a desk. I love the wood look on the top surface. It's a nice change from the all white and brings some depth. I am so happy with how it turned out! 

Zach hasn't even seen the full thing in real life yet. Since he is in Silverdale, I had to finish it without him while he was gone. I think it looks pretty awesome! I just love how it's our own custom piece that we made ourselves! There's something very gratifying and satisfying in completing projects like this. 

I guess you might want a cost breakdown, huh? I didn't include the tools, since they weren't project specific and can be used for other things.

Cost (rounded):
Plywood - $20
Cedar 2x2s - $18 ($6 each)
14 - 2 inch wood screws - $4
4 - 1 1/2 inch wood screws - $2
8 - 1 3/4 inch wood screws - $4
Paint - $10
Wood Stain - $5
Polyurethane - $7

Total Cost: $70!

$70 for a totally custom and sturdy piece furniture sounds pretty great to me! Overall, it took us a lot longer to make than we thought it would, but I think it would be much faster if we had the right supplies and did a little better in the planning department. This being our first furniture building experience (watch out, we might be going Amish now:) made it a longer process as well. I had no idea what a jig was before this project. But I'm confident if we tackle another furniture building project, it would go a lot smoother (and I will take pictures, I promise!).

Besides our big chair reupholstering project, this is one of our biggest projects yet. What is the biggest project you've worked on? Isn't it fun to make something from scratch? What have you made lately? I'm already trying to decide on our next Ana White project! Thanks to Ana for providing all the free plans!

Link Parties:
Sew Chatty

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DIY Manicure

Hey guys! Long time no talk. I know it's Wednesday, but I hope you had a great weekend! We had so much fun with the fam. Although my little Brody boy is getting on my nerves... anyone know how to cure puppies from jumping all over you??? If so, please tell! He's driving me crazy...

Today, I thought I'd share with you my DIY manicure routine since I've probably only gone about a week without any nail polish on my fingers since I kicked my nail biting habit back in May (see more about it here). Good news is I haven't gone back to the dark side! It's kind of a big deal. For reference, it would be like Snooki kicking her tanning habit. Big deal, right?

I'm very happy with my nail routine. It took a lot of practice, but I think I have a pretty good formula for a really tough manicure with minimal chipping (chipping is the worst). My manicure usually lasts about two weeks which is as good, if not better, as when you get a regular manicure at the nail salon. Plus, it doesn't cost $14.

Here's my routine for the best DIY manicure.


What you'll need
1. Nail polish remover (if you already have some polish on there)
2. OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener
3. Nail polish - my favorite polish is Essie brand (this one is Bobbing for Baubles - a deep Navy)
4. OPI Chip Skip (this is the key step!)
5. OPI Top Coat
6. Nail clippers
7. Nail file

Side note - I don't use a base coat, but I hear that can be helpful, especially when using reds or blacks (since they tend to sometimes tint your actual nail). I haven't had a problem so far with my go-to coral color this summer, or the navy color I've been sporting lately.

Step 1
Remove all nail polish from your nails. Here's what my nails looked like before. This was after two weeks of my previous manicure. A little grow out, but no chipping! The tips do wear out because I am usually typing all day long, so there's bound to be a little wear. Not too bad if you ask me.

Step 2
Trim your nails. Or not, if you like the length.

Step 3
Use the file to get your nails to the shape you want. Square? Round? A little bit of both? I use the rougher edge of the file to shape and then the softer edge of the file to touch up and smooth. I also file the top of the nails down a little to get the ends really smooth before painting.

Step 4
Wash your hands. This is important to get all the nail polish remover and filing dust off your nails before you start painting.

Step 5
Apply nail strengthener. I really like this product because it makes my nails really hard and tough. One of my missions in life is to never get a hang nail or break a nail and this definitely helps!

Step 6
Apply two thin and even coats of nail polish. This is key. Don't over apply! Apply the first coat to all fingers. Then start on round two after letting them dry for a little bit. It's important to keep each coat thick enough to cover, but thin enough not to be lumpy. Some colors have different consistency but the navy I'm using has pretty good coverage.

Step 7
Apply Chip Skip. I only apply a very thin coat (by almost dabbing it on) to the ends of my nails since that's where they would chip.

Step 8
Apply top coat. I apply a generous coat to make sure it is solid and super shiny.

Step 9
Let them dry! This is important for obvious reasons I don't need to tell you.

Step 10
Clean them up if you are not a Picasso painter like the nail salon ladies. Besides cleaning up the big mess-ups as I go, what works really well for me is to clean them up in the shower. Either later that night or in the morning after they are completely dry, I just use the water from the shower to pick away at the polish that happened to land on my skin instead of my nails. It works really well. I didn't get an after picture, but I think I did a pretty good job of painting between the lines!


There you have it! That's my DIY manicure routine. Do you have a routine? Do you usually paint your nails or do you like to go au naturale? What's your favorite polish color for fall? I'm definitely digging navy, and I can't wait to try out a deep burgundy or oxblood (I just picked up "head mistress" and "don't sweater it" from Essie's Fall Collection yesterday!). 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Weekend!

It's definitely feeling like Fall here in Seattle! Gotta love those crisp mornings. Although, by afternoon it is still in the high 60s-70s (is it really October?!). I'm not complaining. I have had to pull out my plethora of winter jackets though (apparently I have a lot according to my work peeps - shhh, don't tell Zach!).

What are you up to this weekend? I'm heading over to Poulsbo to see the husband and the in-laws (fear not - I love my in-laws!). You're probably tired of hearing this by now, but I really miss my hubby (boo-hoo, whaaa whaaa, I know) so I'm super excited!! I'm not sure what will be on the agenda, but I'm looking forward to having some yummy food and just chilling (with a little bit of football, of course).

Hope you have a great fall weekend!

PS Are you as excited for this as we are (here, too)? I mean, we did name our first (furry) born son after one of the characters...

Photo from Bing

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Life List


I've been thinking about doing a Life List for a while (and seeing this post yesterday reminded me that I've never posted about it - and made me add an item to my list!). A list of some of the things I want to see, do and accomplish in my life. I'm hoping that writing it down will help keep me accountable and encourage me to actually do some of the things I might not usually do (but have always wanted to do). I'll be adding to and updating my list as time goes on, and of course I'll share all my crazy (or not so crazy) adventures right here!

Go sky diving
Visit all 50 states
Become a mother
Become a grandmother
Take a cross country road trip
Go to New York City during Christmas
Go back to Europe
Be able to speak a foreign language fluently
Buy a house
Plant a garden
Host a family holiday dinner
Read through the entire Bible
Take dancing lessons
Start my own business
Go on a tropical cruise
Learn photography
Learn photoshop
Ride in a hot air balloon
Ride a trolley in San Francisco
Go bungee jumping (5.1.10)
Dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean
Ride a tandem bike
Swim with dolphins
Learn to ski
Ride on a motorcycle and/or vespa
Run a 5k
Watch a live episode of SNL
Grow old with my husband
Beat my dad at cribbage
See Andrew Bird in concert (4.9.12)
Learn to drive a stick shift
Go to an Olympic event
Renovate an old house
Meet someone famous
Go to a taping of The Ellen Show with my mom
Go on a Duck boat tour of Seattle
Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Watch a Broadway show in NYC
Go to a Super Bowl (preferably when the Seahawks are playing)
Go to the Grand Canyon (1.29.11)
See Roller Derby
Go to Australia
Go sailing
Cut down my own Christmas Tree (12.2012)
Go to Niagara Falls
Go to a black tie event
Lead a bible study
Write a book
Ride on a double decker bus in London (7.2011)
Get a dog (8.24.10) and again (7.14.12)
Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Drink a Guinness in Ireland
Fly in a helicopter
Be part of a flash mob
Stay in the best suite in a 5 star hotel
See the Eiffel Tower in Paris (7.2011)
Take a full day at the spa
Bake all the cookies in one of my cookbooks
Go kayaking on Lake Washington
Go to Forks, WA
Live somewhere other than Washington (7.2010-6.2011)
Be completely debt free
Try for a world record

Do you have a life list? What's on your list? I'm curious to hear!

Photo found here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups


Happy Monday! I can't believe it's already October!!! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I was so glad Zachy was home for the weekend! We ended up just hanging out and doing normal stuff. Having him gone all week sure makes it nice to just have him here to do the normal things. Saturday we went down to Puyallup to watch my brother coach his team to victory (Go Linfield!). It was a beautiful day and we met my parents there to cheer them on. After the game, we went to Home Depot and got supplies for a super awesome project that hopefully I'll be sharing soon! It was definitely a learning experience for both of us... 

Anyways, back to the point of this post, which is cookies! I first made these a few years ago with my mother-in-law (I can't take any credit - it's her brilliant idea!) and have been wanting to make them since but needed to get a mini muffin pan. Finally I bit the bullet and paid the $10 (I bought this one and so far it's really good!).

I used my trusty Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe and then used Hershey's Kisses and Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for the middle. 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make dough as directed from this recipe.
3. Use cookie scoop to place one inch balls into the mini muffin pan.
4. Unwrap enough kisses and peanut butter cups to fill one per cookie.
5. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes or until tops of "muffins" are lightly browned.
6. Remove from oven and put the kisses and peanut butter cups in the middle of the cookies right away. I put the kisses in upside down.
7. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy! 




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