Plate Wall

I really think the dining room is becoming one of my favorite rooms. I hated the dining area in our old apartment. The laundry closet was right off of it and the kitchen was immediately on the other side. There wasn’t enough room and there really wasn’t any flow. Such is the life in an apartment I guess. Now that we have more room in our current dining area I feel a lot more confident i decorating it.

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I have enough room for a china cabinet that I received from my Grandmother and there is enough room on the other side of the table for a buffet! Such a big improvement from apartment living where you can barely squeeze four chairs around a table. I am planning on purchasing a buffet or dresser off craigslist and refinishing it on the blank wall. Which brings me to this project: The Plate Wall.

Of course, this was inspired by something I saw on pinterest. You can see a couple of them here and here. My thought was to take the plate wall and add a buffet to use as extra entertaining space. I still haven’t found a buffet to my liking, but hopefully it will come around soon.

The first step in the plate wall was to collect plates for the wall. This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I found plates from my house, flea markets, thrift stores, and Anthropologie. It took me about 3 months to find 8 plates that I really liked. The next step was finding a way to secure the plates to the wall. There are really two different options when it comes to plate hanging.

There is the wire hanger: this has four grippers that fit on the plate. You can then use the metal frame in the middle to hang on the wall.

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This one is an invisible plate hanger: you stick the yellow part to the plate and the metal ring at the top is what you hang it onto the wall with.

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They were both about the same price, so that didn’t sway me either way. I really liked the idea of the invisible plate hanger. The metal plate hanger grippers can still be seen from all angles, so for me it wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing. I bought 8 of the 4″ invisible plate hangers. They are for use with plates up to 12″ in diameter. None of my plates were that big or heavy, but I liked the extra peace of mind with the 4″.

It was really easy to apply them. You wet your fingers and then rub them on the back of the adhesive disk. Once the glue is a bit tacky you apply it to the back of your plate. Let it sit overnight to fully adhere and you are good to go!

To hang the plates on the wall the first thing I did was find the center. My wall happened to be 8×8, so the middle was easy to find. From there I figured out how far up, down, left and right I wanted the plates to be spaced on the wall. I winged it when it actually came to hanging the plates on the wall.

After we had them all hung, we slammed the doors and jumped up and down to make sure they were all secure on the wall.

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I really feel that when I get the buffet in there the room will feel almost complete! I am in love with this buffet from my pinterest page. The blue is a bit off from what I have going on, but I feel like it is a good start.

Here is where we started:

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And here is the current state:

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To Do List for the Dining Room:

1. Paint

2. Plate Wall

3. Stain Table- I really want this table. So I’m thinking after I stain the one we have now it can go in the basement as a game table.

4. A new light fixture- I’m in love with drum shades, so naturally I was attracted to this shade.

5. Add a buffet in a fun color under the plate wall.

6. Rug for under the dining table.

We are making progress people!

–L

What I’m Feeling Friday No.2

1. This week I’m feeling Trader Joes. For real yo. We don’t have one here in Springfield, MO, and it is very depressing. They have Charles Shaw wine (Two Buck Chuck anyone??), Puff Corn, amazing selection of chocolate, and anything else your stomach heart desires. I had to go up to Kansas City for work this past weekend and I made sure I stopped in there before I came home. Our best friends are obsessed as well, so I made sure to stock them up too. Some of our favorites are: Trader Joe Joes (delicious snack cookies with better ingredients), sriracha-spicy sauce that goes with everything/on everything, puff corn-if you haven’t tried it you need to. Its heaven! And last but not least- Charles Shaw wine. It is amazing. They go in after each wine season in California, buy up all of the leftover grapes and make wine. Some years are better than others, but its only $2.99, so you aren’t shelling out a bunch of money for something that “might” be good.

When I went on Monday before I came back I loaded up with 2 cases of wine and a ton of sriracha. The cashier gave me a pretty weird look until I mentioned I live out of town. Then he pretty much understood I was stockin’ up on the good stuff until I could come back again. Moral of the story- Trader Joe’s is legit.

2. T-Shirts with witty phrases on them. Case in point: this shirt from lookhuman.com.

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and this shirt from ThugLifeShirts on Etsy. They pretty much have a shirt for every aspect of life.

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3. The oxford comma. I’m serious peeps. It is an important part of life. See below example:

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Plus, Hugh Jackman appreciates the oxford comma. That should be reason enough to use it.

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4. 2013 SOCHI OLYMPICS!!!!!!!

I love the Olympics. For real. Nothing makes me feel like an American like the Olympics. All of the athletes coming together, supporting each other, and just rocking it at their events. Have you seen Meryl Davis and Charlie White in the Free Dance? Chills. It gives me chills. Go Check it out here.

That is most likely how I will be spending my entire weekend. OLYMPICS for the win!

–L

No Soda for Me

I’ve recently stopped drinking soda. Its been a tough battle so far. There have been many days where I’ve looked at my co-workers and said something along the lines of “I would cut someone for a Dr. Pepper.” And I would have if it had come down to it. Dr. Pepper is my go-to soda. Heck, its my go-to drink anytime of anywhere.

6077e00ebe9922292bf8b21840266fddI got to the point where I was drinking 3-4 sodas a day. I cut back around the summer of 2013, I told myself only 1 a day. That did not work for me. When I would get stressed out I would just say, I will have 2 today instead of 1. Then 2 turned into 3 and so forth. So I’ve decided to completely stop drinking soda.

Now, I’m not completely crazy. I have not cut out caffeine, I still have a cup of coffee in the morning to get my fix. If I were to stop caffeine altogether I’m pretty sure you would find me in the fetal position on the floor. And then I probably would cut someone. The first couple weeks of no soda I was drinking 3 cups of coffee a day. I realized I was just replacing soda with something else, so I’ve cut back on that. One thing that has helped me is to pack snacks for throughout the day. I was getting about 1,000 calories a day from drinking soda, so my body is still used to that. I’ve started bringing apples, oranges, almonds, and yogurt to work with me so that I snack on those things before I pour myself another cup of coffee.

I’m at a little over a month now, and the hardest part at this point is water. The first few weeks of no soda weren’t too bad. I drank a lot of water and was constantly running to the bathroom to pee (seriously, it was like 10 times a day). Now, water has become a bit boring for me and I started drinking less of it. So to keep it interesting I have started putting lemon in my water. If I get bored with that I might switch to berries.

I have seen an increase in my energy levels, and I have been sleeping much better at night. I would like to start exercising more and overall become more healthy. None of this has to do with losing weight, it has to do with how I view my health. I think most everyone knows that soda is not good for you. Most people just really do not care, and I will admit I was one of those people. I valued the sweet taste of my Dr. Pepper over my health. One of the people in my life who I have seen this directly benefit has been my friend Chelsea. Several years ago Chelsea started clean eating and doing yoga. She became a vegetarian, which I will not do, but I do think that I can take her experience and apply it to myself.

One of the things that has kept me true so far is to be really honest with myself. Instead of giving in and having a soda, I have asked myself “Do I really want a soda or am I just hungry or stressed?” Most of the time it is because I am stressed. So I have learned to recognize those things and make a better decision because of it.

-L

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Hi Friends.

 

Its been a while. I know I know. I was slacking on the blog posts. Thanksgiving snuck up on me! As I’ve said before, my family goes camping every year for Thanksgiving. Now most people would label us as crazy. Its cold, we don’t shower, and we sleep in tents/trailers. For me though, it is such a great time to unwind, un-connect, and just enjoy my family.

 

The land we camp on is my Great Great Grandparents land. It is in the middle of nowhere Arkansas, and it is amazing. The picture below is of the original barn on the property. My siblings and cousins played in the loft when we were little, rehearsing plays, or making some concoctions from some random berries.

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Here is my awesome family that camped this year! My Cousin, Uncle, Dad, Mom, Me, Dave, Brother, and Grandma .

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We had a great time! We hiked through the woods, went four wheeling, and did some target practice. Dave has only shot a gun a couple times before this, so everyone thought it was hilarious that I was a better shot than him. 🙂

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This is when we went hiking through the woods. The woods were clear cut about a year ago, so it was full of brush and briars. Let me tell you traipsing through briars is not the most fun thing. Good thing we all had our Carhartt’s on, otherwise we would have been torn up! Dave even got decked out in Carhartt and orange. I have to say I find it pretty attractive. Maybe its the Jeffco in me 😉

 

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How beautiful is this? The pine trees and open space. I wish I could live here and still be somewhat close to civilization. But back to reality…

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My brother and his dog Maui. Maui is a Pit Bull/Border Collie mix. She is so lovey and cuddly. She gives the best puppy kisses.

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This was my favorite shot of the weekend. The pond at camp. This picture totally captures how peaceful and awe-inspiring nature is. Truly one of God’s greatest creations.

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I tried doing a some long exposures of the night sky, but I couldn’t get any shots that were what I was trying to capture. I think that is going to take some practice. Here is one half-decent shot I got that does not even compare to what the sky actually looked like.

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This weekend was a great reminder of how thankful I am for all the blessings I have in my life. My God, my family, friends, my job. Too many things to count. I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving.

On to Christmas!!!

–L

Jonesing for a Redo

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about our entryway. I mean, every time I walk past the door I groan. It’s a dark pit of despair. The lighting is horrible, and I know it could be much better. I actually daydream about it sometimes…these pictures definitely don’t do it justice, but even when its daylight there’s not much natural light that gets to this area.

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The first thing I would like to do to improve it is to change out the light fixture–its old, gold, and another word that rhymes with old/gold, really kind of gross. I would love to replace it with something like this::

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From West Elm. Find it here

I love the simplicity of it and that it doesn’t have anything to really block the light in anyway. No drum, or weird metal cage around it. It’s on sale right now for $79 and I am begging Dave to let me pull the trigger on it. We will see…I will probably end up bribing him with some gooey butter cookies. He can’t say no when those come out of the oven.

The next thing I really want to do, and this is a serious game changer–is a new entry door. One with a big window, to let in some natural light. This door right here::

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From Coastal Living. Find it here

I love the window in this door. And the numbers at the bottom. Oh baby, this door is calling my name. The hardware, the color, just everything. One day I tell you. One day. My lovely bestie, Lauren, has been dropping hints to Dave every time she comes over. “Hmmm…this entryway would be much happier with an entry door with a window…” Sneaky. If we don’t get a new door soon, I will probably end up painting the door a bright color. It is a sickness-I have the urge to paint everything in sight, mostly in turquoise or red.

I am also on the hunt for a rug. There was one on clearance at Target a few weeks back, I had it in my cart but I had second thoughts and put it back. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so two days later I went back. Of course, someone else snatched it up. I’m still cursing myself for not grabbing it the first time. Oh well. In the meantime I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good rug deal. Mostly, I’ve been scouring Joss & Main, waiting for the perfect one. If you’ve never visited Joss & Main’s website you need to. Now. Here just click on this link. You have to sign up to view the deals, but it is free and there is so much stuff!

If Hubs lets me get that pendant light, I will probably jump up and down screaming. Ok, maybe not screaming, but I will definitely be excited. Check back and see if I get it!

–L

Holiday Handcrafting

This year I’ve decided to go the DIY or handmade route for Christmas gifts. I’m really excited about it.

I started on the gifts for my nieces- MacKenzie and Morgan this week. I am making them puppets to play with. I found the templates online here at liagriffith. Lia Griffith is about all things handcrafted. She has ideas for everything! I could spend hours and hours on her website! And these Woodland Friends Puppets are super cute. I finished the owl the other day:

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I’m really excited to get started on the Rabbit and Bear to go along with the Owl. After I finish those I will start on another project for the girls– Felt Toy Horses. I also found that at lia griffith-you can find it here.

I think handcrafting all these gifts automatically attaches memories to the gifts. The girls will have these gifts for years to come, and they can tell their friends that their Aunt made them. I love stuff like that. One added bonus to DIYing a lot of gifts is that most of them are pretty inexpensive. The materials for the puppets cost under $5! And the Toy Horse material was under $10. Gotta love that! I’m all about saving money all while still giving something worthwhile.

My favorite part about the Holidays is the time spent with family and friends. It is a crazy busy time, but it is always filled with love and laughter. My family always goes camping for Thanksgiving (I know we’re crazy!) and I am super excited for the four days we will spend together- 4 wheeling, playing board games, talking, just sitting around the fire. Its the best! The Hubs birthday is also right before Thanksgiving and I have a special trip planned to St. Louis for it. Dave never spends money on himself, or really does anything for himself, so planning a secret weekend for him is really fun!

I’m looking forward to sharing updates of some of the gifts I’m cooking up- some I won’t share on here because I don’t want to ruin the surprise for some people! Until next time!

 

–L

Wonder Woman and Sheldon Cooper

This year Dave and I went as Wonder Woman and Sheldon Cooper for Halloween. I love making our Halloween costumes. It is like a challenge every year to see what we can come up with and how much of it we can make on our own.

Last year Dave and I had two different costumes. We had two parties to go to, so I figured- Why Not?

Ron Burgundy & Veronica Corningstone. This was super fun! We got Dave’s suit at a thrift shop and I already had the pink tweed blazer and skirt (I have no idea why). The awful blonde wig I’m wearing is from a Halloween store. Not the best Veronica wig, but this was honestly the best one I could find that wasn’t $50.

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The next night we went as “Jack and Jill after we fell down the hill.” It is always fun to take something “normal” and make it bloody for Halloween. We already owned everything for these costumes, so it was an easy go.

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Two years ago we didn’t go as a “couple” with our costumes. That was the original plan- I went as Mary Poppins and Dave was supposed to go as Bert, but we couldn’t find the stuff we needed for his costume at the local thrift store. Partly because the selection wasn’t good, and partly because we waited until the day before to search. Dave’s best friend Marcus was going as Batman, so Dave decided to go as Robin. We had everything for the costume at home. We used one of Dave’s green t-shirts, and then cut the sleeves off an old red shirt he had. His “cape” is actually one of my cardigans buttoned around his neck. The ‘R’ on his shirt is just construction paper taped to his shirt. Super easy. They had so much fun!

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My Mary Poppins costume was also really easy. I used a black skirt, red belt, white button down, and a red bow tie for my costume. I also had a black umbrella that I carried around. Everything was free yo!

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This year I really wanted to go as a comic book character. Just a note for if you are researching girl comic book costumes- all of them are really slutty. All of them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t use Halloween as an excuse to leave the house practically naked. #1. Its usually cold at Halloween, so freezing my butt off doesn’t sound like fun to me. #2. Halloween for our group of friends usually involves games and dancing. I like being fully dressed for those activities.

Dave’s costume was ridiculously easy. He already had everything in his closet to be Sheldon. He is a comic book nerd and often times can be seen in a shirt of some character or another.

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My costume involved a little more time and effort, but honestly it wasn’t that hard. I started with the tulle skirt.

I picked up 5 yards of royal blue tulle from the local fabric store- it was 99 cents a yard so it cost me 5 bucks.

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I folded the tulle and cut it into strips about a foot in length. It took me about fifteen minutes to cut all of it.

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I took a belt I already had and tied each piece onto the belt. I bunched it up together and fluffed it up until I got it nice and full. I used all five yards, I probably could have used more, but I only had the 5 and it wasn’t a big enough deal to go get more.

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Then I took some poster board that I bought for the cuffs and headband and I drew stars on them. I filled them in with some silver paint and then cut them out.

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I got by trusty glue gun and hot glued the stars to the tulle. I wish I would have had more poster board to make more stars, but alas I ran out. And like the tulle I didn’t feel like it ruined anything so I just trudged on.

I started on the cuffs and headband next. I just drew the shape of the cuffs and headband on the poster board and then cut them out. I wasn’t very specific or particular. I just went with it.

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I did the same for the headband- just sketched it out really quickly and cut it out. Then I got some red craft paint I had laying around and painted some stars on.

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The shirt was the last step. I used an old navy blue t-shirt that was kind of pilly and I haven’t worn in a while. I looked up the Wonder Woman “logo” and sketched it on the shirt with a black permanent marker. Then I filled it in with some yellow craft paint. lovelucklorelai58 lovelucklorelai57

And Voila!! We had our finished costumes!

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Unfortunately, I came down with a killer cold, so we only stayed at the party for a couple hours. I will get to wear it again on Thursday at work, so all is not lost. There were some killer costumes at the party this year- The Mad Hatter and the Red Queen, a zombie Gilligan and Skipper, and so much more.

 

–L