Friday, September 30, 2011

Our shutter coat rack

The other day when I was browsing Pinterest I found coat rack crafted out of an old shutter. That gave me the inspiration to share with you my coat rack crafted out of an old shutter. When my husband was little he had a shutter coat rack that we inherited when his family moved out of the farm he grew up on. That is somewhere in our storage mess, but this one he made himself. What I love most about our coat rack is that Jonathan used parts of old chair legs as the hangers. We repurpose and reuse.

Update: Attach any hooks to the shutter easily. What Jonathan did was drill holes in the shutter and  inserted shortened legs from broken chairs. All items you can pick up for free along the side of the road!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A map will inspire a plan

I'm planning for a road trip. A big road trip. One of my goals for next year is to take our sweet little Scotty camper on the road for a two week long road trip. My only problem is I can't come up with a destination and I think it will be easier to plan the route with a big final destination point. We live in Pennsylvania and the only plan so far is to head west. Originally I was thinking of traveling the whole way to somewhere like Yosemite, but now that seems like a long way to go in only two weeks. We now have this wall sized map in our office to inspire us to choose a destination or at least a stop along the way.

Any suggestions of places to see on our trip?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wine Tasting

This weekend I went to a wine tasting picnic at Boordy's Vineyard in Maryland with some of my girls. We sampled their collection of wine, ate some good food and got free popcorn. This is my first ever wine tasting and it was so much fun. The vineyard had live music the whole afternoon and guests were welcome to bring their own food to the picnic.

There was even a hay ride! I do think our hay ride was cut short because there were no children on our round. Adults love hay rides too!

After a couple bottles of wine we started getting pretty classy and started line dancing in the barn. It was pretty and rustic how could you resist the line dancing?? I couldn't!

Here's the whole group enjoying the day on a vintage 1954 tractor and in front of some of the grape fields. I can't wait for next summer so we can come back with the menfolk!

And Mindy planked the old dusty casts in the barn. Worst decision ever, you should have seen the dirt all over her.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My favorite part time job

Like I mentioned earlier, I worked with flowers over the weekend. My sister in-law Sarah, you know the one with the open vibe, had a large event on Saturday and I was hired for the day to be her assistant. I would love to brag about how I was a part in designing these creations, but I didn't so all the credit goes to her. I couldn't even assemble these correctly. I asked where to stick the branches and she responds with "Well, where is your line?", "Ummm, what's a line?". I still don't know what a line is in floral design so I let her do the hard stuff while I got stabbed multiple times by some greenery and lost part of my toenail. The job got done on time and beautifully! Being a floral assistant is my favorite part time job ever.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My weekend went fast

This weekend I drank a lot of wine and worked with flowers. Not at the same time, don't be alarmed. I did injure myself this weekend, I tripped and ripped half of my toenail off. Believe it or not but I did this while I was carrying flowers and not when I was drinking the wine. Other events from the weekend included:
- Taking a server's breath away. He gasped when I looked at him. Whether that was good or bad is still up for discussion.
- I held a baby. I visited one of my BFFs and checked out her new baby boy.
- I got free cotton candy. While I was drinking wine.
- I busted out my sewing machine and got to work while watching a How I Met Your Mother marathon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Transition to Fall

Happy first day of fall people. Around here summer ditched out a couple of weeks ago, but I still am trying to get a handle on dressing for the cooler weather. I find myself wearing my summer outfits and then throwing on the trusty jean jacket when I freezing my booty off at work. I'm going to have to get the tights and gasp, pants, out of summer retirement.

This is a semi appropriate fall choice. A little fall up top with the long sleeves and a little of summer on the bottom with the skirt and sandals. I'm fine with all seasons, really. All four have something to offer, but man I love summer shoes the best. Sad I'm going to have to pack them away real soon. SAD face.

What I'm wearing:
Top: Jcrew
Neckalce: Jcrew
Skirt: Anthro (blogged about it here)
Wedges: Frye

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall line up

I was looking at our DVR scheduled recordings and it's like full. Deleting things full. Other than some old faithfuls and Jonathan's Discovery channel shows, it's all new sitcoms I'm excited to see. I feel like I'm going to be a total couch potato this winter! The shows I am most excited for is Glee and Boardwalk Empire!

Do you have any most watch shows for the fall? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The bathroom also known as the only finished room in my house

This post is just as winded as the post, you were warned.
We have lived in our house for a year now and we have started numerous projects, but the bathroom seems to be the only fully done project this year. When we purchased our home we did not move in right away, we stayed in our temporary "free" rental and completely gutted and remodeled the bathroom. It was a crazy. Summer 2010 was spent living out of a trailer but spending any free time in our new cape cod painting, tiling and beautifying.


These before shots were taken before we moved in. I had really intense before shots but they unfortunately were deleted during the "great camera melt down of summer 2010". I'm glad you guys didn't have to live through that with me because it was UGLY. All my vacation pictures plus house pictures were gone! Ugh! That's another story.
Main points for you to notice are the soffit that was on the back and right side of the ceiling. It was 12" below the main ceiling height and it made the room seem so small. Also notice the lack of natural light. The back wall is an exterior wall so the no window thing had to change. Well, realy everything had to change!


Jonathan's skills are amazing. He did everything in this bathroom and beyond. He replumed the entire house, installed a window, installed the tub, tiled the walls and floor, dry wall work, paint and assembled an Ikea sink. What should we be more impressed by, all the handywork or assembling a piece of Ikea furniture? That is for you to answer.
We closed on the house on July 1, 2010 and moved in with a completed bathroom the weekend of August 14-15, 2010. All that in a month and a half is super awesome. Plus he has a day job people!

What a difference. I'm still amazed when I look at the before and after pictures. It took time for the transformation to sink in because I never used the previous space. I could never live with that dark bathroom. Now we rarely even turn on a light when we go in there. If you hadn't noticed the lowered ceiling had been removed. We were super nervous when we started the project that the soffit was there covering an air vent or something else major, but it was all because of that little part of the ceiling above the shower head that is angled. That angled part is due to the steps and looks so much better than lowering half of the ceiling.

Of course the window and tile are my favorite things about the remodel. The window was found at Second Chance, which is a architectural salvage warehouse in Baltimore, MD. The plan for the bathroom was started before we moved in. The window was the first item purchased and we based the colors and style around the piece. We special ordered the colored glass tile to match the colors of the window and the glass border is centered and runs through the middle of the window. The window is hinged at the top so it can be opened to let fresh air in. We couldn't use a conventional shower curtail rod, well we didn't want to because of the tile so I bought a regular curtain rod. We solve problems here creatively. 

Along with the fancy glass tiles we used white subway tile for the rest of the shower stall. Jonathan cut out some of the wall to make a built in cubby for shower supplies. My idea, thank you. The bathtub is not original to the house. What was there was an all in one shower surround in beige. We really didn't want to buy a brand new tub mainly due to cost and they are so boring. In our last bathroom remodel (see pictures of our first home here) we salvaged a cast iron bathtub from Jonathan's grandfather's bathroom remodel. We really wanted that tub again. Luckily Jonathan's cousin bought an old farm house completely gutted the entire thing and was selling the parts. We scored a old in good condition cast iron tub again for this house.

The floor tile was ordered the same time and place as the glass tile. I've loved these hexagon porcelian tiles forever and I was very excited to finally use them in a space of my own. We wanted black and whte but we didn't want to get carried away with a busy floor so we chose to do a black border and I think it came out perfect. 

Here is the Ikea sink and cabinet. The sink is huge but pretty shallow. I like the simple design and the dark wood. 

Surprisinglly this little cabinet has tons of storage. I went from having a walk in closet in my bathroom so storage was one thing I was majorly concerned about in this house/ bathroom.

My storage baskets are old gym locker baskets I picked up somewhere.

You do need some art in the bathroom. My friend Amanda is a ceramics professional specializing in tiles. She made this piece when she was in college and I bought it off her to support her move across the country.

Lastly, we used an old coat rack we've been hanging onto for our towel rack. The whole remodel was time consuming but I am so proud of the finished project.

Ultimate fan

I am a VW fan. When I was little I had pictures of vintage bugs on my walls but I never was a huge fan of the "new" beetles. Now I am totally digging the 2011 Beetle redesign. Too bad my wagon has lots of life left or I would be getting myself one I these!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to host a book club

I am the proud leader of an awesome book club were we do things like read books and drink margaritas. On Friday night I hosted the "meeting" with a potluck style dinner at my house!  Our meetings have been delayed due to the busy summer months so we needed to really dish about the past months' reads which were The Hunger Games trilogy. We also dished on new home buying, Halloween parties and how the Southern Vampire series is nothing like the True Blood series (I big heart them both). So see there were TWO book related discussions going on! On to what you need for a successful book club meeting.

Food. Lots and lots of delicious food. The club has many talented domestic goddesses!

Awesome members. L to R: Lisa, Cami, ME, Heather, Rita and Dawn

Four bottles of wine and an empty stomach.

A gift for the hostess! From Dawn, she is the definition of awesome. Those flowers did hold an extra present of a spider which attacked Rita. Not really but she screamed like it did.

White dogs. No event is complete without a kiss from Pearl.

BFFs and warm clothing. Geez you would have thought it was winter on Friday night! I was hoping to have the party outside but no go.

A very fun evening with some of my favorite people. You can tell I had a good time because my eyes seemed to disappear. That's what happens when a girl is happy, make note.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A reunion weekend

This weekend was my husband's 10 year high school reunion. Reunions are so strange, listen to me I'm acting like I have been to more than one. I mean you don't see these people for 10 years then you are to get together and chat about what is going on with your life. I was semi-safe because I didn't know these people 10 years ago and I had my husband's bffs wives/girlfriends to talk to, but you know how I feel about small talk. I've learned somethings while at this reunion.
1. Cliques never go away. I didn't even know who the people were but you saw the cliques.
2. My husband is a social butterfly and a high school reunion is his thing. I talked to him for like a second the whole night. He mingled with everyone. Even people he hated back in the day. What a nice guy he is!
3. There is always a train wreck in the group. Every where you go there is one person who embarrasses themselves enough for everyone. The train wreck at the reunion kissed and hugged every. single. person. I didn't know her but I think I got felt up.
4. I will not be going to my 10 year reunion.
5. By Jonathan's high school standards we missed our window of procreation. We should have a minimum of 3 children by now.
6. I'm not the only person who requests New Kids on the Block songs.
7. My husband is super cute.

The rest of my weekend was filled with a girls night book club meeting, fleaing, finishing up school work for the term and visiting my grandma in the hospital (sad face). Hope everyone had a good weekend! My friend Rita started a blog, stop over and say hi!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Holy Jalapeño

I have big dreams for next year and the one is to grow a better garden. I spent some time this year starting plants from seed but my raised beds didn't get set up until well after most things should have been transferred outside. The only plant that survived from my seedlings were jalapeños. All six seedlings lived and thrived in my raised beds. They fought off the weeds and produced an abundance of fruit. I have so many jalapeños I don't even know what to do with them. I am planning meals around them. Last night I made a jalapeño based salsa for enchiladas and have enough to last for months. I wonder if salsa is freezable? I am currently making a jalapeño based marinade for the weekend. Then for tonight I am planning to make jalapeño poppers for book club appetizers. I might be over them real soon. Hopefully not because I have more on the plants, like a lot more. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Until next year

The husband and I are both in college. We both take three courses a term which is pretty close to full time and we both work full time jobs. So to summarize, our schedules are pretty busy. I often feel like things in my life get pushed to the side like my hobbies, dreams, social life, career and some duties at home. All the time I hear myself say “next year I’ll do that” or “next week I’ll clean that” or “my next school break I’ll finish that”. Sometimes I feel like a total slacker but when I look back on my weeks I don’t know where I would have fit in anything extra. I have less than one year until I graduate!!!!! Once I crossed that ‘one year left’ mark I have been able to realize that this will not be my life forever. I have started planning my future again. I even started a rough idea of a five year plan and I’m super excited about it. I am now dreaming of my life post college and I have a long growing list of things I 
plan on doing with my new free time.  Here is the beginning of it:

1. Landscape. My poor neighbors have had to put up with our weed garden this whole summer and you know what I don’t care. I’m hoping to tackle the yard mess during the summer of 2012.
2. Veggie garden. I have also left my veggie garden dreams be overtaken by the weeds. I started my beds way too late this year and the only thing that grew in there were 6 jalapeño plants and some tomato party crashers who came out of my compost.
3.  Scotty camping trips. We’re taking the camper somewhere next year. Long distance somewhere and short distance somewhere. We just need to discover the where parts!
4. Sew again. Once upon a time I went to fashion school and I could design, pattern and sew clothing. Since then I have lost my inspiration, but it is back and I’m itching to get my machines out and running.  5. Finish a quilt. I don’t know how many times I have started making a quilt. Countless amounts of cutting and sewing with no end result! I want to patch all those beginning dreams together and get one done!
6. Make one item for me a month. Knit, sew, metalwork. The list goes on and on of my creative hobbies and my tools and supplies have been gathering dust. I want to make 12 items for myself or home. That is one a month.
7. Complete my mural. I started a mural on my living room wall. I traced the image and some painting has been started but that is it. For a whole year that is what I have been looking at! It needs done.
8. Miscellaneous home improvements. I could make an individual list of all the things I would like to accomplish in my house but that’s going to need a whole separate post.
9. Fitness. I want to get outdoors more. Use my kayak more, hike (maybe an overnight trip on the Appalachian trail? Eek!), climb outdoors and ride a bike (I can’t ride a bike. I fall into cars. Don’t laugh, please.).
10. Career plan. I'm not going into detail about this but I have dreams. Big dreams.

Will I have any time after my "free time" list? Doesn't look like it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Becky's A to Z

I thought I would have some fun and give my A to Zs that I found on Liz's blog. Enjoy and continue with your own lists!

A. Age: 27
B. Bed Size: Queen
C. Chore that I hate: Cleaning the bathroom. It is a never ending chore!
D. Dogs: My Girl Pearl.
E. Essential start to your day: A shower. Don't expect me to talk to you before my shower.
F. Favorite color: Yellow.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver.
H. Height: 5'5"
I. Instruments you play: I jammed on the clarinet throughout high school. Oh, and I can play jingle bells on the piano!
J. Job Title: Purchasing Coordinator by day, Domestic Goddess my night.
K. Kids: Scare me.
L. Live: Central Pennslyvania
M. Mother's name: Susan
N. Nicknames: My "real" name is Rebecca so Becky and the occasional Beck. I hate being called Beck. Jonathan also calls me Shelly or Shell.
O. Overnight hospital stays: None!
P. Pet peeves: Talking on the phone while you are eating. If I go to lunch/ dinner with you then you should talk to me not the phone. Only exception is if it is your grandma.
Q. Quote from a movie: I don't quote movies, I'm just not that clever. I do quote TV shows, like Saved by the Bell. "He's so hot he makes my teeth sweat."
R. Right or Left: Right
S. Siblings: Just one sista
T. Time you wake up: Alarm starts at 5:45 am and I HAVE to be up by 6:20 or I will be late.
U. Underwear: They come from GAP body. Any other comments would be TMI.
V. Vegetable you hate: Lima beans.
W. What makes you run late: Life. I am never on time if I have to leave from my house. Even if I get up extra early I will find a way to dilly dally and be late.
X. X-Rays you've had: Teeth, nose/face, arm and clavicle. 
Y. Yummy food you make: My best food is baked goods. Everything else is satisfactory, but my cookies are banging. 
Z. Zoo animal: Prairie dogs. Is that a weird answer? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

The weekend according to Pearl

This semi uneventful weekend was only documented by Pearl.
Top: Pearl being lazy on the couch with me, Friday and Sunday night.
Middle: Pearl being Suzy sad pants because I am too busy writing a term paper to play with her on Saturday.
Bottom: Pearl watching Jonathan mow the grass Saturday and Pearl killing her new best friend, Christmas bear, who I got at a yard sale on Sunday.