7.17.2012

Tasty Tuesday - Shepherds Pie {Kinda}

So today I had planned a delicious peach cobbler for you all. But, it was my last day off work for the week and I didn't feel like going to the grocery store today. I also didn't feel like getting out of sweatpants or brushing my hair. So, peach cobbler will be next week!


I still had some brownies anyway because my hips were craving those earlier this week. And by my hips I mean Jason and anyone knows I can't help myself when baked goods include chocolate.


Anyway.


I decided to try my hand at some yummy meat pie! The European in me was crying out for something traditional. 


I know, I know. Its not actual Shepherds Pie because its using beef instead of lamb. But I'm on a budget and that budget includes cheap meat! 


If anyone wants this recipe, feel free to comment and tell me and I will post it for you and everyone else's benefit because this pie is so delicious!!!


Now, I only have one photo because I didn't take any of the cooking process because my dog was standing on my feet the whole time and I was a little lazy *think back to why this isn't cobbler*. So here is my one and only photo which is also semi-eaten because we were starving.


Side note: I love paprika in my mashed potato crust.


Happy eating!!

7.15.2012

Makeover {Bathroom Edition}

I love the apartment I live in. Its spacious, the neighbors are great, the layout is PHENOMENAL, and its inexpensive for the neighborhood. And I don't mind paying a little more for an outstanding neighborhood... Personal preference.


But it is an apartment, so its moderately plain. You can dress up the walls with art, add bright curtains, and have fun furniture but its not the same as painting and having architectural details. But, its an apartment and you can't do that.

Well, I'm about to break the rules ;)

In the bathroom at least.

It all started with this amazing, beautiful, unique clock I found at a flea market in California while I was on vacation. 



Isn't this the best flea market clock you've ever seen??


It was gorgeous and I knew I had to have it, even though it had a $100 price tag and I had no idea where I was going to put this.


So, bargain-hunter me talked the man down to $44 and after months of indecision, it was put in the bathroom.


I decided I wanted to do a pirate theme instead of nautical, but the only inspiration I could find was for a little boys bathroom and thats not what I was going for at all. I didn't want blues or greens or tans or blacks. I wanted something stormy, sexy, modern, and adult.


I started thinking about what I thought of with all of those buzz words and it hit me. Fantastical stormy seas. Below is my inspiration. Enjoy ;)


This is going to be the color of my bathroom. Its by Ben Moore and its called Stormy AF-700. Its a nice medium gray without too much blue or brown or green in it. I am putting in some white chair rail trim about 5" below an existing towel rack on my far wall and this is going to be the color above that.


The bathroom already has natural oak and white cabinets, but I can't change that, nor do I have to money, so I just have to work with that. So the rest of the colors are going to be plum and white with natural oak colored details.



These are the bath mats I am going to put in. We have a navy one right now, but it needs replaced. I am putting on in front of our long vanity, one is going in front of the shower and the last one will be the toilet contour rug. I really think these colors will look outstanding together. They remind me of a stormy, ocean at twilight.


This is the style of chair rail trim I am considering. I might make mine a little thinner than this, but I think I will have to buy a few samples to really decide. {side note} I have serious bathroom envy over this photo.


I'm going to be adding some floating shelves above my toilet, I like the 2 as opposed to 3. Mine will be white though, instead of the black in this photo.



This is the shower curtain I am saving up for, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Jason isn't too fond of the white, but I told him I could *probably* figure out how to dye it something darker.



This is the final photo I have for you guys. I absolutely love this and think it is perfect for the feel I am going for. I know exactly where its going and it is ridiculously affordable.


I will be adding more to my inspiration and once I start my painting and styling, I will be updating you with loads of photos so that you may follow along, most steps of the way. If you have any ideas for me that you think I would love, comment with some links, I love receiving new ideas!!


A cloudy, Oregon day to you!!



7.10.2012

Tasty Tuesday: Tuna Pasta Salad

Oh man, only the second one and I almost missed it! 


Its okay, I'm here now :)


This week I was watching a YouTube video of one of the ladies I subscribe to and she made a summer recipe instead of a beauty tutorial.


I was surprised, but it sounded soooo delicious and I knew I just had to try it.


It is a pasta salad, normally I'm not even a little bit of a fan of these, but this one actually sounded pretty amazing. And I added some extras :)


Below is the recipe and my not-too-appetizing photo because I had already started eating it before I took my picture. So, excuse the photo, it doesn't do it justice.


The reason I normally don't like pasta salad is because its either too mayo-y or too vinaigrette-y. This one manages to be the perfect combination of both of them. Try it out, its simple and very cheap!


Sorry again, it tastes better than it looks half eaten....


Ingredients:
3 1/3 dry cups of rotini pasta
2/3 cup mayo
2/3 cup italian dressing
1 T oregano
2 cans of tuna
4 roma tomatoes diced (or any, I was going to use grape tomatoes halved, but roma's were on sale)
5 pepperoncini sliced thinly
*Optional: cucumber, bacon bits, mushroom, chicken, artichoke, olive.....


1. Boil pasta, drain, and let cool.
2. Mix together mayo, dressing, and oregano.
3. Add in cooled, cooked pasta and mix together with sauce.
4. Mix in both cans of tuna, veggies, and any additional ingredients.
5. Chill for at least an hour then enjoy!


I like to keep this in my fridge for a quick lunch or to take to work for a snack with some protein! 


If there are any food requests, feel free to ask for them!! I like a challenge and will make nearly anything!


See you next Tuesday ;)

7.07.2012

I'm sexy and I know it...

Because I..I..I..I work out!!! 


Yeah, that was really cheesy, but thats me haha!


I have started a new work out regimen and I feel like I am really going to stick to this one. I forgot how good it feels to get runners high and how good it feels to push myself to my limits, knowing that my body is slowly transforming.


I have to get in shape for me wedding that is less than a year away, and I have to get in shape for life!! Jason and I are planning for kids a few years out and I want to be a positive life example, with my habits already formed instead of just trying them out. 


Health is very important to me and I have let it go the last year, but no more!! I started my workouts two days ago, and in a week I will update with what I have been eating and how I have been exercising.


I may even post update photos of myself with weight and accurate fat percentage. But thats if I decide to be brave, I've really let myself go as far as fitness is concerned.


When I post my weight, its not because I want to weigh a specific amount because I honestly don't care what my actual weight is. I am posting it with my fat percentage so the transformation between fat weight and muscle weight can be more accurately measured.


I will also post what I have been eating once a week. I'll do it on Friday and call it Fitness Friday


There I go with the set blogging days again...


I hope I inspire someone to work on their fitness!!


Stay sexy!

7.03.2012

Tasty Tuesday: Raspberry Pie

I am not normally a person who likes to do themed days because I feel it can be constricting to my creative writing juices, but I think this Tasty Tuesday will help me try new recipes.


It gives me a goal to try something new at least once a week. 


This Tuesday I created a pie. I wanted to make a pie from scratch anyway and I just happened to have over a pound of raspberries on my hands.


My mother-in-law and father-in-law came to visit from California and stopped at a Farmers Market on the way up. Oh man, did they pick up some tasty treats!! They brought this thing called a Bumbleberry Pie. It has loads of delicious berries and some other yummy fruits like apples. 


They also bought a flat of raspberries and they needed to be eaten because they were far too delicious to be thrown out. 


Insert delicious raspberry pie.



Cleaning the rest of the good ones.


After I made my super yummy, flakey, buttery, and get this, SOFT crust!


Going into the oven for the next hour. Its torture smelling it for so long!


Finally the finished product just begging to be eaten! It was still steaming hot during this photo. I'm surprised I've been able to hold back from just horking down the entire thing!


If anyone wants the recipe leave me a comment. I'll put it up sometime this week, but only if I get some comments asking for it ;)


Stay Tasty!!

6.23.2012

Life and such...

My posts have not been as recent lately because life got in the way.


I have been ridiculously busy with vacationing, and work, and new job interviewing, and house hunting, and credit score disputing, and new house planning, and wedding shopping, and best friend bridal party planning.


Now let me stop and take a breather...








Okay, I'm back now. 


I went on vacation for 10 days at the beginning of June to watch some good friends get married. Their wedding ceremony and reception was beautiful. There was super fun dancing and really great food. Like, really. great. food. I'm so happy for Chris and Kelsey and I hope they have an amazing life together.


I have been working my butt off at my current job, yesterday I worked 12 hours. And it was l.o.n.ggggg. It was the first day of the Olympic track trials and I work at a gift shop nearly across the street. We had a million people and about a million things went wrong. I got my first screaming customer. I had to deal with a man who got his car side-swiped in our parking lot. I had angry people who got their cars towed. I had 2 customers who were given incorrect information about our pharmacy hours and another who drove 30 minutes for a product we didn't have even though they were told otherwise. I was beyond happy to drive home and eat chili dogs made by my wonderful fiance at 9 p.m.


I am still on the phlebotomy hunt, but I have had a skill test earlier this week and I have an interview later next week. I am beyond ecstatic about that and I can't wait to show them my outstanding skills. I know I can definitely wow them to a job offer!


The fiance and I are trying to buy a home. Trying. We found several homes that we like, but we cannot yet get pre-approved. My credit score has misinformation and I am now disputing those claims, hopefully it won't take the full 45 days... Also, my credit hasn't been established for long enough, even though I have a flawless payment history, so that may put off the home buying for another year or two. Needless to say, this is one of those take a deep breath and close your eyes for a while situations. 


During the house hunting process, Jason and I have discovered exactly what we want in a house. He is pretty neutral about it, but I am a stickler about some of the things that I want. Here is the complete list for requirements:


Large back yard.
Large kitchen.
3 bed 2 bath.
Master bedroom with a walk-in closet and bathroom.
1,400 Sqft or larger. 


Those are the only things I absolutely require in a home. There are many things I want in a home. Now presenting Felicia and Jason's dream home.


On 1-5 acres. 
Giant kitchen.
Walk-in pantry.
Fireplace in living room, and master bedroom.
2 stories.
3 car garage.
4 bed 3.5 bath.
2,500 Sqft or larger.
Man Cave.
Master bedroom has large walk-in closet and bathroom has separate tub and shower with double vanity.
Wrap around porch and deck.
Master on second story with french doors leading out to a small patio.
French doors leading from dining room to deck.
And a few other little cosmetic things.


My wedding is in less than a year and I'm getting a few things together because I know its gonna sneak up on me fast. I just bought my wedding band. Its beautiful and very vintage looking and fits my ring beautifully. I bought my wedding drink containers for water, lemonade and tea. They are awesome and I can't wait for them to get here! I have almost every detail planned out and priced so I will know exactly what I'm spending on my wedding, other than food. And there will be extreme organization. I will have an itinerary and things will be in bins with diagrams and charts. 


Last, but absolutely not least, Alexis' bridal shower. I have had a few minor hitches, but I mostly know exactly how everything will be planned. And I can't wait to show you all come August :)


There was my ultra-long, update blog post. Now I can continue with my regular blog posts and they will be tons more enjoyable and not like a giant list.


Till next time.

5.26.2012

Off the Beaten Aisle . . . 1

This is my first installation of Off the Beaten Aisle. If you didn't read my last post, its my weekly accumulation of wedding inspiration, and various rants and stresses ooh's and ah's.


This week I was feeling very DIY. Even though my fiance says no to the skil saw I want, I have many projects in mind and will one day get one. He thinks I'm gonna cut off my hand because I'm extremely accident prone. Doesn't everyone hit their head on the wall while putting on sandals?


Back to the DIY . . . 


I was trying to figure out centerpieces for my tables and I discovered that neither Jason or I are particularly fond of flowers. We don't hate them, but we don't love them either. They are expensive and they serve no purpose other than being pretty.


We have a problem with that because we are practical people living on a budget, and we are moderately minimalistic. Instead of stressing, it got us thinking of what we do like and looking at tons of photos. Here is what we discovered.


We like beer.
We like rustic wood.
We like burlap. (I LOVE burlap, so that means he likes it, too.)
We like convenience.
We like to repurpose and recycle.


All of those things come together to create the most awesome, DIY, rustic, fun, unique centerpieces ever. I'm not gonna give it away because there will be plenty pre-wedding project photos and many post-wedding photos, but here is our inspo. Enjoy.






Have fun figuring out what creations are stirring in my mind, and I can't wait to see you for my next week's installment of Off the Beaten Aisle!

5.19.2012

Wedding Inspo...

I am engaged and planning my wedding. One of my best friend's is engaged and planning her wedding. This is the best thing, ever. 


Jason thinks I'm crazy. My friend and I keep each other's sanity.


She is an amazing young woman who has endured so much in her life, most of what I have. Her wedding is going to be absolutely beautiful, and budget friendly :)


She is going to have a rustic, vintage rockabilly wedding. (Boy, am I excited for the hair-dos!)


As a gift to her I have decided to make her wedding veil. I know exactly what she wants, and it is going to look absolutely beautiful! It is going to be a birdcage veil, with bright orange poppies! 


Here is my inspiration: 


I am in love with the butterflies flowing over the side, and I'm going to try to replicate it with various-sized satin and tulle orange poppies. 


Here is a semi-front and semi-back view. This would pin perfectly for the way she is going to have her hair! I guess I should post a picture of how she wants her hair to be.


Her hair is short and blonde with brown and it will just look lovely in this style! I can't wait til her wedding day :) September 1st, come faster!!!


I am thinking of doing some themed blogging, hopefully to get myself at it everyday. Saturday is going to be called Off the Beaten Aisle. I'll share ideas, inspiration and some cute diy and stress-inducing moments along the way to my best friends wedding and my own. Get ready for the weekend!!

5.09.2012

Hop back on.

I feel as if I have been falling off the blogging wagon. I'm hopping back on, full-force. 


Life has been pretty hectic recently, my new puppy is a big handful, bigger than I expected him to be. He is super energized, especially at bed time. 


I recently received a promotion at work and many additional responsibilities, its not that I can't handle it, but I do the work of like four people. I've started eating better, but working out is still a little difficult with my little mister running around. Jason and I have completely different work schedules. My FAFSA was chosen to be audited so I have to get a ridiculous amount of paperwork. Also, my filing status was chosen to be audited at my college, so I have to get paperwork for that. And... (I know right) I have to petition for my financial aid to be reinstated because of surgeries and credit issues out of my control, so even more paper work for that. Said credit issues out of my control also placed a hold on my account, which means $$ out of my pocket or petitioning for a credit reimbursement. 


Okay, end of stressful paragraph. Needless to say, I've been a tiny bit preoccupied


I was perusing my Day Zero List and realized I only have a little more than a year and a half, and I still have a large amount of incomplete tasks. 88 tasks left. 88!! I am going to make a plan, an organized plan, to do at least 1 a month. If I don't complete them all, I will have at the very least completed 20 new things.


Organization makes me think of my previous blog post and the detrimental state of my home. I haven't got a chance to create my weekly menu plan. Well, I have gotten a chance, but I would rather sit down and do nothing more. Time to get motivated!!!! 


I also organized the closet in my spare bedroom today. Man, it was like a troll vomited bad. Realistically, it probably wasn't that bad, but I am a very neat person and any clutter drives me insane! It was just a jumble of things that didn't really have a home. So I gave everything a home! It now houses Jason and my golfing equipment, a large plastic tote for our Christmas decorations, a plastic tote for keeping our wedding odd and ends safe (like the groomsmen ties), all of our books since our bookcase broke and we have no money for a new one that isn't crappy. It also houses our fireproof, waterproof safe. I recommend everyone have one for super expensive things and super important documents, like SS cards and birth certificate originals. Nothing is as good as piece of mind. Except, maybe a piece of cake...


I am going to challenge myself, once again because I failed miserably last time, to create my menu plan. Also, to complete something on my DZL and make myself a cleaning schedule. My house is craving a good deep clean.


Stay joyous! 

4.28.2012

Project Organize My Entire Life

I am a creature who needs organization. I love having a clean and orderly home. Its like a sanctuary I can enter after having a long, stressful day and clear my mind and relax. Whenever my home isn't zen, I start to have this OCD cleaning spree until I feel like my sanity has returned. Who would have ever thought my mom is a hoarder?


I have been looking for many ways to organize, clean, polish, re-create, decorate and just get everything done in my day and life without losing an important paper or address or my mind. Currently, pinterest (who would've guessed) is my usual source of inspiration, but all I do is pin things and think, "Oh, that would be so lovely and organized and such a good idea, I should do that." Thinking and pinning whatever it was is basically as far as it gets. 


One fateful day, I happened upon a blog where a woman organized her entire life. Literally everything. My mouth just dropped lower and lower as I continued to read. She went into detail how she had a 90 day menu plan complete with matching grocery list, de-cluttered her entire home including donating and selling everything not being used, everything in the home is beautifully organized and labeled, a weekly schedule with time carved out for working out, blogging, housework, and various other things, created a budget and started a savings plan, joined a gym and started exercising regularly, and a set in stone date night with her husband. 


My face was officially green with envy, I looked like Elphaba. Then she said she woke up. It was all a joke, and I was so disappointed. 


I wanted answers! I wanted to know how she did it, how she kept it all working, how long it took her to achieve this greatness. I wanted what she had done.


So I am going to do it. Tonight, I started my budget and financial management through mint.com. Its only partially finished on the website, but I already feel less financially stressed. I really like this website because its simple to navigate and lets you set and keep track of goals, like saving for a wedding...


I feel like even though Jason and I already have a pretty good sense of financial management we can do more. We keep a bill binder and keep track of all of our checks, bills, electronic payments, and most spending and anything we don't write down in the bill binder we usually communicate to each other what was being spent. He likes the driving range and I like Jamba Juice.


I am also going to start on our menu plan tomorrow since I have the day off work. I want to keep a grocery budget and stick to it! 


Thats all for now, maybe tomorrow I'll update on the menu plan, if not, it will definitely happen later in the week.






4.12.2012

Well, hello there!

It has been a while since I've updated! Realistically it has only been about 20 day, but holy crap its been 20 days!


My last post was how I didn't get my little puppy, but looking back that was just a blessing in disguise. That same night, Jason's mom found us the most adorable boxer baby. She picked him up the next day, and we named him Tebow. We love our football. ;)


This is the first night we got him. Looking at him now, he has already grown so much!!! He was only 17 pounds here, but he has to be at least 23 now. I can't wait to see how big he gets.


Here is is spending some quality cuddle time with Dad. Let me take a minute to be a doting parent. He is incredibly intelligent, he loves play time, he is the worlds biggest cuddler, he doesn't bark or beg or whine and he is a free eater. I love this little boy so much, and its wonderful to see how much Jason love him too. He's gonna be such a good real dad :)


I am typing this and trying not to wake the sleeping puppy on my lap, by the way...


I'm also making a plan to save money, but I can't really write about how yet, because Jason still reads this! But, we will have plenty of money for our wedding, that I'm sure of. 


I also have some more DIY projects in the works, hopefully, and they are gonna be great! My home still feels bare and I've almost been here for a year, it definitely needs some flair!


I am also starting a training schedule for a 5k, I'm absolutely in the "couch" stage right now and my thigh jiggle is yelling at me, so time to get into shape!


Thats all for now! I'll be back soon, promise!

4.02.2012

Disappointments

There is nothing I hate more than being disappointed. The feeling is just horrible. It feels like you got kicked in the stomach and then laughed at. To counter this, I try to never get my hopes up about anything.

Well, today disappointment hit an all time high.

Jason and I have been looking for a puppy for about 6 months now and on Thursday we finally found the perfect one. My ideal dog is a Great Dane and his is a boxer. We both love blues and rare colors. Well this puppy was a Blue-Harlequin Boxer Dane. Perfect. He was basically the cutest thing you have ever seen in your entire life.


See. The grey boy. He is amazing. And the lady was already calling him the name we picked out for him.  And that is not me in that picture, I would have never let him go if I actually got him. 


She said she got the puppies mixed up when she was giving them to people. How do you mix up the only puppy you have that looks like this? We were going to get him today, but we offered to get him on Friday and she said its okay because she would hold him until today. 


Its not even that I'm disappointed, I'm heartbroken. I want something young to love and take care of. I guess this goes to the underlying issue of me wanting to have a child, but its not the time for that yet. We're not ready for a child in the sense of financial security, and I don't want to be struggling with a baby, I want to give our child a better life than I had. 


Well, I guess I'm done with the depressing post now, I'm gonna go eat my weight in chicken tacos and rootbeer floats.

3.26.2012

Health

I believe that being healthy is the most important thing you can be, other than happy and optimistic and adventurous and hilarious. But those are just my requirements, and an entirely different post ;)

Over the past year I have gotten extremely out of shape and unhealthy. I used to feel so confident about my body, but now I only wear baggy t shirts, yoga pants, and second hand jeans because they fit looser. I was a size zero and in shape enough to see muscle tone everywhere, but now I'm a small size 6 and I have belly and thigh pudge. 

Needless to say, I am going to be making some drastic lifestyle changes. My diet needs to improve and so does my exercise regime. 

Here is how I ate and exercised 2 years ago: Two high school and club sports in addition to being a lifeguard and only healthy, mostly gluten-free clean eating.

Here is how I eat and exercise now: Virtually no exercise other than my retail job and I eat unhealthy, fatty, high calorie foods with lots of preservatives and bad ingredients. 

Well, no more!!! My revelation came when I went hiking over the weekend. I was not even half a mile into my semi-steep hike and my calves were on fire and I felt completely out of breath. I had to stop like 8 times on the way to the top. I was really disappointed in myself, I never wanted to be that person. I didn't ever want to "let myself go" or gain tons of comfort weight. 

I'm even more disappointed because I've always been really healthy and in shape and I've had other people tell me they looked up to me for my body and lifestyle and I feel like I have recently been living a lie. A big, chubby lie.

I'm going to create a 52 week healthy eating calendar, with a shopping list along the bottom and a meal plan along the top in designated days of the week.

I'm thinking that I will probably have "themed" days of the week, like vegetarian sunday, crock pot Tuesday, and fish Friday. I am also going to only do grocery shopping a week in advance, or even a few days. I want my food to be as fresh as possible and definitely preservative free. I am planning on only snacking on fruits and veggies and probably pretzels, because I really love pretzels.

To get myself steadily working out again, I am giving myself a goal to work out towards. Its called the color run. Its a 5k and while you are running, you basically get covered in powdered color so that you are totally covered when you get to the end. When I work out, it has to be fun or for something fun or I will not continue to do it. 

I'll periodically be updating my progress, potentially with some before and after photos. I have to be brave to do that though, but I'm pretty sure I will.

Wish me luck!

3.20.2012

Uh Oh....

This is going to be a random, unstructured blog post. You have been forewarned, let the madness begin!


Remember my Pinterest challenge? The one where I vowed to do 30 things before I would pin another pin.


Well, I failed miserably decided I had done as much as I could with the money I have. haha


I realized I was semi-cheating on my challenge anyway. I was opening a window and leaving tabs open until I had completed 30 things and told myself I would just pin them when I was finished. Needless to say, I apparently have very little self-control.


In other news, I am finally going to be getting back in school!! Yay!! Two major surgeries and an organ removal later.. I finally have all of the needed paperwork filled out and they, the lovely Felicia's-stress-managing financial aid counselors, said I should be back by Fall term!! In case anyone is curious, I am going to school to get a double major in Biochemistry and Human Physiology. I have a serious desire to become a Pediatric Anesthesiologist. I absolutely adore children and the medical field is my calling. There is nothing more pleasing to me than to be able to help others, especially children. Anesthesiology is just the particular specialty that calls my name, it is so fascinating and precise and meticulous and there are so many times you have to make a split second decision. I love it. 


Also, I have decided how I am going to decorate my apartment. Jason and I plan on living here until we make our big move when we buy a home after we get married, but we don't plan on buying a home until after I finish my undergraduate degree, so why not make it the worlds coolest apartment? 


A little about our decorative styles, Jason is a minimalist and I am a hoarder of all things lovely not. The only thing we can absolutely agree on is the color grey, we love it in all rooms. Except maybe the kitchen, but that's mine anyway. ;) The rooms we are planning on decorating are the two bedrooms, entry-way, dining room, living room, back patio and bathroom. Not much can be done with the kitchen, but that's fine because I have a kitchenaid and all is well in the world. 


I don't have any idea what we will be doing in the spare bedroom because its basically where I keep all of my crafting things and my sewing table and where Jason keeps his spare beer bottles, that are neatly stacked. Let me just say we are not alcoholics, we like to think of ourselves as beer snobs and Jason makes his own home brews.


Our bedroom is going to be a steely grey and cream with some fantastic red accents. My next big project is refinishing the large dresser that I got for $35 off of craigslist when I lived alone. It needs some TLC, but it has soooo much potential to be absolutely gorgeous!! After that I am planning to make a nice tufted headboard and a chandelier to slightly diffuse the light. I want to get some matching smaller mirrors and awesome table lamps. I also plan to make pretty, flowy curtains for our window to make the walls look a tad larger. I might be slightly naughty and actually paint the rooms, I can always paint them back to white when we move out. And Mr. Jason can't sleep without a fan blowing on him, so I might find a way to mount a fan on the wall.....


The next room is the entry way, I know its not really a room, but it needs something. It needs a bench. I wish I could find a narrow table on craigslist to turn into an ottoman, then I could fit our shoe storage underneath the table. Yes, we do take our shoes off before we come into the rest of the house because what apartment complex seriously uses nearly white carpet, come on. I want the entry way to have more of a French feel. I have this flippin awesome piece of wrought iron decoration that Jason and I got as a gift, its my favorite thing in my house :) and it has this lovely vintage french feel. 


Outside is the awesome balcony/patio. It was a major selling point in this apartment. I am going to add some flowy, outdoor curtains for privacy, a planter box for some veggies and flowers and hopefully we will get a little bbq gas grill. It is a little too small for seating, but luckily the sliding glass door in the dining room opens onto the patio. My apartment is flippin sweet, and its pretty cheap for like 900 square feet. 


The bathroom is going to be AMAZING!! Its going to be pirate themed, but adult pirate not little kid pirate. Jason is totally on board with this. Get it.. ;) We were at a flea market in Cali and stumbled upon the coolest clock I have ever seen in my life. Its a wheel to a pirate's ship, with a clock in the center that has all these awesome ship symbols. And the fact that I talked the guy down $60 from his price doesn't hurt either.. The shower curtain will hopefully be a Kraken dragging a ship down into the depths, and I am going to be putting two shelves above the toilet and connecting them with some large rope. It looks significantly cooler than it sounds. I am also going to be putting up some "temporary" wall paper that is full of maps and awesome sea serpents. I'm pretty stoked to do the bathroom.


The dining room will be really simple, I just want an actual table and chairs instead of the folding card table and folding chairs we are using now, but at least that's something. I also want to add a shelf and some typography, a clock and two bar stools. And maybe this really awesome, but incredibly expensive piece of custom framed art. Its the life-size photo of Michael Jordan's wing span and it fits perfectly in the cut-out above the kitchen/dining room. 


Finally, the last room, even though you're probably asleep from boredom by now haha. The living room is going to be grey, cream, and tealy turquoise. Yes, I do make up my own words by adding "y" on the end. I am going to make amazing flowy (<-- see) tealquoise curtains, I'm spray painting our black floor lamp with Krylon looking glass spray. I am going to make a fabric cover for the back of our tv stand to hide all of the unsightly cords. I want to make a bar cart/ drink cart in the living room and place it directly underneath the large Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston photo I bought for Jason as a gift. There will be a lovely custom bookcase made by yours truly, and some matching, custom side tables featuring teal lamps. I am going to create a grey slipcover for our super comfortable but not very attractive couch. More than anything, I am going to be making an 8-10 foot floating shelf to be used as a mantle, because I desire one of those sooo badly! I love decorating for holidays, and a mantle is the perfect thing to decorate for all holidays! 


That is about it for all of the home decorating I would like to accomplish in the next year, now I just have to decide what to start on first! Wish me luck!


Hoping you have many adventures and tons of fun home decorating!

3.14.2012

Challenge - 3

I am a huge fan of food, my too-small jeans can attest to this as of late. But, I love all aspects of food. Choosing my food, eating, preparing, eating, cooking, and of course eating. I am also a HUGE fan of the tv show Chopped. 


My mom isn't really the cooking type, but from as far back as I can remember, my family gatherings were centered around delicious food. I fondly remember potato salad, "angel" eggs, warm rolls, stuffing and gravy, delicious baked good, and much more. I also remember helping cook with my grandpa, the thought just occurred to me that he is the reason I'm so passionate about food. My favorite thing when I was 3 was making cinnamon bread with grobbies, its what my grandpa used to call raisins and I will uphold that tradition with my future children. I also love cooking for others, food just makes everyone happy and I love being the cause of happiness, it makes me feel complete! 


Well, now that you know a little about my foodie history, I am going to release to you a fantastic recipe, my salsa. I am excruciatingly picky about my salsa, my fiance would say about everything but that is a blog post for another time... ;)


So about the salsa, I like my salsa very spicy with an almost pureed consistency. I say almost because I like my onions to be a little chunky. Pico de Gallo has chunks, salsa should be smooth. Strange, right? I remember sharing salsa with my mom when I was a kid, we always had to use the same little, black bowl with the burnt bubble in the bottom from when I accidentally put it in the microwave and she had to eat all of the chunks and leave all of the salsa liquid for me. I'm pretty sure she was wondering how she ended up having the strangest child ever...


My salsa must also have outrageous flavor, which is why I roast my vegetables before I mix them all together. When you are cooking with produce, each ingredient must taste great on its own or it shouldn't be used at all. I carefully select all of my ingredients so that they are all exceptional. 


First, I slice all of my veggies in half, except my Serrano peppers, I just cut the tops off of those. Oh, and sometimes I quarter my onions.


The next step is really important, it's what gives the salsa its delicious flavor. Put your sliced veggies in a preheated oven and roast away. 


How delicious do those veggies look! The peppers should have a slight char and the onions should be nice and translucent. The easiest way to finish this would just be to put it in a food processor or blender, but I sadly have neither, so I chop all the veggies and toss them in my Kitchenaid. 


Here is the delicious finished product, that I have already spilled on myself. I literally turned my bowl upside down on my blanket right after I filled it. The bad news, I had to wash my blanket and I got Habanero pepper on it. The good news, I did the bachelor thing and didn't waste this delicious salsa. I grabbed some chips and ate it right off the blanket. Don't judge.  I was home alone and no one saw me.


This recipe easily fills a half gallon mason jar, which is pictured.

Ingredients:
2 Yellow Onions
16 Roma Tomatoes 
10-12 Cloves of Garlic
12 Serrano peppers
2 Jalapeno peppers
1 small Habanero pepper
1 bunch of cilantro
*secret ingredient warning* Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cut up all ingredients to your preference, mine is pictured above, and place on a baking sheet or two. I like to line mine with foil, but thats not necessary. 
3. Roast for 30-40 minutes, depending on how your oven heats, I just look at my veggies every few minutes after the 30 minute mark.
4. Chop cilantro and juice the lemon, then combine all ingredients in a blender/kitchenaid/food processor. 

Always taste along the way to see if you need to add anything. I ended up adding quite a bit more salt than I thought I was going to, I think it was around 2 tablespoons. 

Well, there ya go! Now its time for you to make your own delicious salsa. Feel free to take out some peppers because this many makes it super hot. One more word of advice, don't start making this at 9:30 pm if you are tired, it gets a little less fun when you just want to sit down ;)

3.12.2012

Challenge - 2

So this one was something I thought would be super fun! I watch beauty guru's on youtube and I have watched all of them do this with their boyfriends or husbands, you have your man do your makeup! 


Jason and I were watching some soccer on tv (Portland Timbers baby!) and eating root beer floats, which have become a nightly pretty regular after dinner treat, when I suggested this to him. (Well, I was loosely watching the game, I was actually paying more attention to one of my favorite youtube beauty guru's, missglamorazzi.) 


I looked at him and said, "You wanna do something really fun tonight?" I must have had a really cheesy grin on my face because he knew something was up immediately! He told me that there was a 97% chance he would say no to whatever I was about to propose, but I knew he would do it :)


I told him that he should put on my full face of make up, which normally looks something like this.


Well, he resisted at first, saying it wouldn't be fun (even though he was smiling), but when he started to do it he got really into it!! He was asking what everything was, how you put it on, where it went, and if it went on in a specific order. And he was laughing so hard by the end of this he could barely finish putting on my makeup! 


We had a really great time doing this and even though its definitely not something we would do every day, it was so much fun!


So, here is my before face. Well, not really before, just an acceptable photo of myself wearing no makeup lol


The only thing in the picture above that has really changed is my hair length, its a ton longer now! 


Here is all of my makeup that I laid out for him to choose from. No, he was not supposed to use all of this and I am seriously glad he didn't ;)



I know you are waiting for the grand reveal, if you haven't already skipped down and peeked at it, but we are almost there! While he was putting on my makeup, he told me there was no way he was going to curl my lashes because he didn't want to rip them out, nor was he going to put any eyeliner on me because he was scared to poke my eye out, even though I assured him he would do just fine. I can now say he probably would have poked my eye out, just look at my lips lol. Just kidding, I love him :) Without further ado, here is my lovely, fiance-done makeup!



Just look at that blush, what a great makeup artist my man is!! Aren't I gorgeous?

3.11.2012

Challenge - 1

So, I actually did something from my pinterest today!!!! I made some braided headbands, 6 actually. This is my first official pinterest challenge completion! 


I ended up going on a bit of an adventure to find my fabric. I drove downtown to a fabric shop that has the most ADORABLE fabrics ever, seriously know where I'm buying quilting fabric! But that was the problem. I was in search of jersey knit and all they had were quilting fabrics. :(


So I decided to go to Joanne's, which I normally don't do because I close to hate their fabric selection. But I lucked out this time...


I bought plum, bubblegum, and floral print fabrics and they are gorgeous!! I only bought a 1/4 of a yard in each and it ended up being enough to make 2 headbands in the same color, now I will hoard these have to find someone to gift these to! ;)

I decided that through-out this little challenge I have set for myself, if I do project from a tutorial I will post where I found the tutorial.

So here is where I found my headband tutorial: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/06/repurposing-tshirts-into-5-strand-braided-headbands.html

And this is the finished product!



Lovely, right? Now, on to the next project!!

3.10.2012

A challenge.

I am sure that I'm not to first to admit this, nor shall I be the last. I am completely obsessed with the image hosting site, Pinterest. 


I currently have 1,369 pins and 23 boards. Holy Crap. 


I pin everything on my pinterest - makeup and fashion ideas, wedding plans, recipes, home decorating ideas, gift giving ideas, and don't even get me started on my massive Harry Potter nerd board. 


This is one of the most helpful websites for organizing the things that I am passionate about, but I find that all I'm doing with those things is pinning them. I'm not putting any of those things to use.


So I am creating a challenge for myself. I am going to complete 30 things through-out all of my boards before I pin anything else to them. They can be small things or large things, like creating a slip cover for my couch or making a braided headband from an old shirt. 


Let the creativity begin!

1.19.2012

Phlebotomy.

Frustration is definitely running rampant in me. I would say as of now, but the frustration really started about a year ago. 
I am frustrated simply because I feel inadequate. 
I was accepted into a fantastic Phlebotomy program a month before I graduated high school and completed the program a month after I graduated. I received a perfect score on my certification test and was top in the class for painless draws and locating difficult veins. I have a calm demeanor and I take great pride in the skills I have learned and will continue to develop.
But, I can’t get a job. From here stems the frustration. I have submitted 33 phlebotomy applications to numerous labs, hospitals, dialysis centers, and cancer centers, but have yet to receive an interview, or even as little as an email or call back.
Its because I have no experience. There is no place around me that accepts volunteer phlebotomists and I would have to join another program in order to receive an internship, that wouldn’t be paid. So in order to acquire experience, I have to already have it.
I used an entire $2,500 scholarship to pay for my program, which forced me to take some student loans when I first started attending college. I have a minimum wage job in a gift shop, but I need more money to pay my bills and pay for my wedding that has been pushed off a year because of my financial inadequacies. So, financial frustration is also weighing down on my shoulders. 
I’ve stopped in to the places where I applied. I have called the lab managers. I have visited with the lab managers. I have asked the HR departments to forward my applications, which most of them say they’ve done. Nothing I do is getting me a job, and I have no more answers or ideas. 
Another thing that frustrates me, especially with phlebotomy, is that many people in this field are without formal training. I have witnessed countless unsafe practices, such as a woman removing a needle and getting blood on her ungloved hands and then moving to another patient without disinfecting herself. Or another woman completely disregarding the vein I politely asked her to use, causing her to collapse my vein, creating a 6 inch hematoma and severe a blood clot. I have also been ignored and treated without caring or compassion by more than one phlebotomist. 
It is uncaring, careless, and dangerous practices, like the above, that frustrate me even more because I know how much better I am than that. This is not saying I don’t and won’t make mistakes, or that I am a better person than they are, but I know I will never do anything to endanger the patients or my own safety simply out of stupidity and lack of education.
I would love to be employed by a lab or hospital, just so I can show them some of the highest quality of work they have ever seen from a phlebotomist who cares about each patient, takes all necessary safety precautions, and strives for nothing less than the absolute best.
And, if you are a prospective employer who is somehow reading this, please, call me.