Wednesday, October 31, 2012

edward and bella

Happy Halloween!

We went to a Halloween party at my parent's house on Saturday night, and came up with a quick and easy costume...Edward and Bella from Twilight! I know it's a little silly, and I know we're not teenagers, but it was simple, cheap, and comfy! We didn't even feel like we were in costume!
My costume was simple.  I already had my jeans, grey shirt and just recently purchased my Toms knock offs.  They were only $10 at Walmart and I love them! I just purchased the plaid, flannel shirt for $15 at Target, and I was actually planning on buying this shirt anyway, so it worked out perfectly!

Matt already owned all his clothes, and his hair worked well because it is crazy long right now! We picked up a tube of white face cream for $1.19 to make ourselves a bit more pale (who would have ever thought that would be necessary for us!?), and made Matt's eyebrows a bit darker with some eyeliner.  Perfect, right?
The party was full of fun costumes, including Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head...
...my parents were from Star Trek...
...and my brother was Willy Wonka.
He was first place in the costume contest (that's his trophy above), and Matt and I tied for second place.
 This was our silly picture!

Couple costumes are fun, aren't they?  This is definitely our thing; take a look at our costumes from the last few years:

2008 - Pilot and Stewardess
 2009 - Charlie Brown and Lucy
We took 2010 Off...I made another costume for a friend that year, and it was stressful, so we bailed.

 2011 - Fred and Daphne
Tonight I am looking forward to having Trick or Treaters for the first time, and we are having some friends over for dinner and fun!! I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

adventures in tie dying

I've mentioned before that I'm a high school coach for our youth group at church, and there have been a few posts on here that have been specifically about/for the students, like the crazy pancakes we made a few months ago, and the 10 minute bracelets (we actually made these to wrap up a dating series for the students to wear as a reminder to guard their hearts).  

So, at our last coaches meeting when we were discussing what to do for our new shirts, I knew I could be helpful.  The group decided that tie-dye would be fun, and work really well, because the students would always be able to identify us quickly in a group.  I went out and picked up a tie dye kit, and we scheduled a date for the group to all come over to our house for a tie dying party.
Well, as most of the other coaches are Moms and Dads, or just have really busy schedules in general, the date just didn't work out, and we really wanted to have them for an event we threw for the students a few weeks ago.  Matt and I were happy to tackle the 10 shirts one Sunday afternoon, and it was a lot of fun!

I had never tie dyed before, so I picked up this Tie-Dye Kit from Michael's.  I used a 50% off
coupon, so this kit was only $10.
Tip: If you're going to Michael's or Hobby Lobby, never pay full price for at least one thing.  Their websites have 40-50% off coupons on their site every week and you can either print at home, or they will accept the coupon on your smartphone.  It is not a rare sight for me to be pulling up the coupon in the aisle at Michael's to get my discount!

This kit was pretty cute. The directions looked like a comic strip, and it even came with a DVD to show how to make the different styles.
The first step is to prep your shirts, in a Soda Ash bath for at least 30 minutes.
While they were soaking, we turned on the DVD, which was a bit goofy, but very helpful.
 One of the most important tips I can share with you on this project is to make sure you are protecting your counter, your hands, and your clothes (Don't wear something you don't want accidentally ruined!).
Once our area was prepped, Matthew rung out each of the shirts and then spun and tied them with rubber bands, like they showed us in the video...we decided that the spiral was the most classic look and that would be the best for everyone.
I also recommend using a drying rack like they did in the video so that you aren't placing your next shirt in a pile of dye (see below the rack?).
Then, place the shirt in a plastic bag for at least 24 hours, rise until water runs clear, and then wash by itself (or with 9 other shirts just like it, in my case). The end product was perfect!
This kit was super easy to use, and it was a lot of fun to see all these come out when they were done.  Matt and I are even thinking of doing this professionally! ha!

Friday, October 26, 2012

the first snow

Well, the first significant snow, that is...and it's just as beautiful as a I remember.  See, I'm a snow-loving gal, and so this time of the year when it first starts, just makes me so happy! I have always loved the snow, and I definitely think it helps that I never have to drive to work, so it really doesn't affect me that much. 

It all started on Wednesday night.  The flakes were huge, and it started to accumulate quickly.
 Then, yesterday morning, I woke up to this view from my desk in my office.
 There was about 3-4" on the ground, and about 5-6" on the table and chairs.
It was so pretty, and the house feels that much cozier when there's snow outside.
 We still haven't assessed the aspen sprouting situation in the back, so they were weighted down by the snow.  I promise we will clean this mess up when the snow melts, and before it starts again.
Remember when we adopted Roxy, back in February?  She was just 2 months old, and didn't get to experience much snow at all before spring arrived.  So at first, while Bailey ventured in the yard, Roxy was just hanging out on the  patio wondering what all this white stuff is.  See her over there on the left?
 I love when it sticks to the side of the house like this. So beautiful.
 Finally, she ventured out into the yard, still unsure of how to handle the situation.
And then, made her way back to the door asking to come back inside.  Cuteness with the snow on her nose.
 At about 11, the sun came out, and the blue sky started to peak through the clouds.
Gorgeous, right?  And then....it snowed again last night, and we woke up to this! More snow!!
Awesome-town! All this snow makes me super excited for the holidays, and I am constantly dreaming of how beautiful this house will be when we decorate for Christmas.

So is it snowing in your neck of the woods?  Do you have puppies that aren't too sure about what to make of this winter weather?  Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2012

a gallery wall on a budget

Gallery walls are great, aren't they?  If you take any time to peruse the Home Decor boards on Pinterest, you have surely seen many gallery walls.  And they, along with an awesome gallery wall my parents have at their house, have inspired me.  
 I love all of these, but the last one has to be my favorite.  We were originally going to do this up our stairs, but since our banister is a closed off wall, we would only be able to appreciate it when we were walking up and down the stairs.  So, we decided to add some interest in our hall on the main level.
This hall goes from the dining room, and leads to the basement door, garage door, laundry room, half bath, and finally the kitchen.  It is basically a hall of doors, and has been quite plain and boring for months now and definitely needed something.

One of the downsides to a gallery wall is the cost.  Especially if you are going for a look that requires very similar, or matching frames.  That means you will probably have to buy them new, which equals $$$.  But, since both the hubby and I loved the mismatched/vintage look, buying old frames was the answer.  However, if you do prefer a similar look, you could paint all of these the same color, like black, and put matching white matting in all of them.

For the past few months, I have been hoarding collecting old $1 frames from the ReStore, and finally had a place to put them. I started by measuring my wall space, and making a masking tape diagram of the wall, including the light switches and doorbell box. Then, I started moving the frames around until I found the look I wanted.
Once we had them about how we wanted them, I started hanging them up!
You'll also notice the really bright and really ugly square mirror on this wall.  I picked this up at the ReStore as well for $2 and gave it a quick makeover with bronze spray paint we had in the basement.
I moved a few things around, and here's where we are at for now. You'll notice that I'm missing some pictures that I forgot to print, and that I probably need to add more frames.
 We have mostly family pictures displayed, and will continue to add more, and switch out the pictures as we receive/take more updated ones.
Doesn't the mirror look so much better?  And you can see the newly re-tiled fireplace from here in it. :)
And here is the view from the basement stairs.
My hope is that this wall will look even better when we paint the hall and trim.

So how much has this gallery wall cost so far?

Well, we're at $8 in {new} old frames, I already had one frame and the "Live Laugh Love" sign, $2 for the mirror, $9 for some white matting, and $12 to print pictures.  That makes a total of $23 so far, which is very affordable, considering it completely changes this hallway, and the sentimental value is priceless.
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