Saturday, February 23, 2013

DIY Headboard + Bedroom Makeover.

We finally completed our DIY headboard! WHAT a deal and a super fun project (that prompted us to completely re-style our entire bedroom!) It's been a fun week of putting it all together. We've made multiple trips to Home Depot & Joanne's, 2 very expensive trips to Target and a LONG, frustrating afternoon was spent in Bed Bath & Beyond looking at comforters.... But it's been completely worth it! Here's the details:

I should start by saying that Andrew and I have been very lucky as far as furniture is concerned. When we moved in here last April, Andrew's uncle gave us a full, beautiful bedroom set that has been passed down the family. The dressers are lovely with matching night-tables and a king size bed. I absolutely love everything about the set... With the exception of the headboard. This is what it looked like when we set it all up --

The headborad was cold, metal and black. It wasn't terrible, by any means... Just not what I wanted. The comforter in this picture was a gift my in-laws got us last Chirstmas. The picture above the bed I got for ten bucks at Big Lots. The lamps I had in my room at my dad's house. It was nice... But not what I wanted and by NO measure finished. 

Andrew and I made a deal that when I lost 20lbs, I would reward myself. I decided to reward myself with a little bedroom update. I figured a new headboard would be a good start. I did some browsing online and realized pretty quickly that upholstered headboards are not cheap. That's when I stumbled upon this blog:

The instructions were super easy, very clear and detailed. The end result was BEAUTIFUL. I was sold. Luckily, my husband is handy because I am not...) And he was able and very willing to help me! So, here's the process... Or what I have pictures of anyway....

We bought the plywood at Home Depot. It was about 18 bucks for the 3/4 inch thick piece that we bought. It was 4' by 8' because, like the blogger in the instructions, we also have a king-sized bed. 
We also bought 3/4 inch thick MDF (medium density fiberboard) at Home Depot. This goes around the edges of the plywood where you will be hammering in your nail-head trim. Speaking of which, you'll need some nail-head trim. We found ours at Joanne Fabrics for about 20 bucks. It was relatively easy to use and they have a variety of different color trim. Ours is a brassy-silver-ish? If that even makes sense.

Anyway, you'll also need fabric. We bought 7.5 yards because we wanted to make sure we had enough. We do have some left over, but not TOO much. I was hoping enough to upholster a throw pillow or something, but no such luck. Also from Joanne's, we purchased 3/4 inch stuffing... Although, we ended up double padding our headboard so I'm sure thicker will do just fine. The blogger mentioned making the stuffing perfectly flush with the MDF but I didn't like the way it looked. I actually ripped the 3/4 inch stuffing in half and added that on. It just wasn't puffy enough for my liking. 

Here's the pictures I managed to get of the process. I'd hoped to get pictures of the headboard at each stage but I failed miserably. Sorry about that. I was busy making a headboard out of plywood. 

So. This was the fabric we chose after spending literally 2 hours in Joanne Fabrics. I think over the course of those 2 hours I had at least 5 different fabrics that I thought would work. It wasn't until this one that I was willing to abandon all others and commit. Woo! It's more white than it photographs. It looks kind of yellow-ish ivory here. 

This is the fabric and the stuffing. 

The plywood and the MDF.

This is the nail-head trim. Pretty easy but LONG process...It's absolutely worth it though! 

Here is my husband in the freezing cold garage during a snowstorm cutting my headboard into shape... Such a trooper. 

This is us nailing in the nail-head trim. It took both of us and it STILL ended up slightly cooked... But, whatever. Every 5th nail has a little cap you nail into it. That's how it stays in place. Trust me, it's easier than I'm making it sound.

Before the trim in my messy living room. Lots of cutting ironing and hammering going on! 

1/2 way done with the trim... Looking good!

And done! 

It stands about 5 1/2 feet tall with the legs my hubby added and it looks fantastic in our room! The whole project cost under 100.00 dollars with coupons at Joanne's. It looks SO much more expensive though and completely changes the look of the room!

...And here's where it gets expensive. 

I decided that with this beautiful new headboard, we needed a new, matching comforter set, maybe some throw pillows... And while we're at it, let's get some shelves and decorative accents for the walls! Off to Target we went.

No luck with the comforter. But I did find some lovely lamps! They're simple, tall and black and white. Oh. And a TV. Ha. Yeah. Not expected but we did have a huge box TV in here from the 90's and it was taking up SO much room. We got a really good deal at Target and, hey, it's tax refund season! So that's how we ended up with a brand new flat-screen in the bedroom. 

Day 2-- MUCH more luck... Maybe TOO much luck. Haha. I found our beautiful comforter set at Bed Bath & Beyond along with a few cute throw pillows. Then we went back to Target where I found some shelves, a nice mirror, and some small decorative accents. I'd decided at this point that I was going with primarily black and white so I was looking for some white, glass accents. Success! 

Then we went to Michael's where I found some more glass vases, a "B" with a easel display and some super cute picture frames! 

Then it was time to come home and put it all together.


It's so nice to finally have the room completed! I love everything about it! There's just a few more things I'd like to do eventually but for now it's perfect and I couldn't be more happy with how it turned out! :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day!

Not sure if I've mentioned that I work at a bank. But, well. I work at a bank. You know those fun little holidays that nobody gets off? I get them off. Woo! Trust me, it's one of FEW perks.

Today is President's Day! And, better news, my husband is NOT in Watertown today! He's working, yes. But nearby(-ish) in Cheektowaga about 45 minutes away. He'll be home for dinner tonight which is super exciting and kind of rare these days. My fingers are still crossed that he'll get out early today but he says it is doubtful. Oh well...

 I woke up at 7 this morning with him when he left for work. I wish I had stayed up and actually started my day at that point because instead, I slept in. No alarm, no intruptions... It was nice, but I woke up at 11. I feel like I wasted a good portion of my day. Worse yet, I'm now dragging. My goal for today was to work on some of my DIY projects I mentioned in an earlier blog. My nearest Michael's is about 1/2 an hour away so I really should be up and moving to get there, get what I need, get home and create. However, I lack the motivation today. I think a nice, fancy dinner and a thorough house cleaning are more my speed today.

Ugh. Why does the weekend go by SO fast?

This past weekend with my husband was wonderful. We had my nieces overnight Friday while my sister and brother-in-law spent some time together as part of their Valentine's Day at the Seneca Niagara Casino. We love having my nieces over because they're just so much fun! We normally try and plan super exciting nights with them, Unfortunately, Friday night they had a friend's birthday party to go to so the majority of the evening was taken up by that. We then took them to Red Lobster for dinner as it is Lent and we couldn't eat meat. What better place to eat seafood than Red Lobster? Haha. The girls just had dessert though since they'd eaten at the party. I thought for sure they'd be sugar-high the rest of the night.... But they clunked out on the way home and went to bed pretty early. My sister arrived around 10am Saturday morning and from there, hubby and I basically spent the day cleaning and cuddled up on the couch.  We had plans to go to Cheesecake Factory for dinner and we were both dressed and ready to go by about 7pm. The wait time was about 1 1/2 hour so it was really late by the time we got in to eat. After dinner Andrew told me he had made other plans for the rest of the evening, but since it was about midnight at that point, we decided just to come home.

Here's a picture of us we took while waiting to get into the restaurant: 
Yesterday we spent pretty much all day relaxing around the house. It was SO nice and definitely something we both needed.

Which brings me to today... I'd been planning to make my hubby a nice Valentine's Day dinner on Thursday. But since... well, you can see what happened in that blog... I didn't get the chance. Today I'm thinking of making what I'd planned for Thursday. Maybe I'll even do the Mission Impossible plan... I want to surprise him. Especially since he's been texting me and it seems like it's been kind of a rough day.

I'm going to get motivated now. Haha. I think I'll go to our local produce/meat market and get some Filet Mignon and maybe asparagus. Mm.

.... Change of plans. As I'm writing this, hubby just walked in the door. He did get out of work early today. BONUS! As unmotivated as I am, he's ready and rearing to get done some of our house projects! We've been discussing putting together a DIY headboard. He said today would be a good day to go to Home Depot/Joanne Fabrics and get the supplies. :) YES!

Promise I'll blog about it as soon as we're getting started. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day.... Or not.

I'm so disappointed right now and I'm going to try as hard as I possibly can to not sound whiny and bratty. If I do, I'm sorry. It is what it is.

My husband is in Watertown, as I mentioned in an earlier post. His job has been sending him out there for week-long intervals almost every week since we got back from our honeymoon. It has REALLY sucked. Every week he is promised that it's the last week of the job. Every Thursday night he comes home announcing he's going back the following week. So, anyway. He's out there this week. It has sucked. It's been a long week starting with another, very disappointing BFN on Sunday. I'm emotional. I'm lonely and I just miss him SO much. What's kept me semi-optimistic was the plans I had for Valentine's Day (which is TOMORROW.) -- I'm sure you can already see where this is going....

A few weeks ago I put in for some vacation time for tomorrow because with it being our first Valentine's Day as Mr & Mrs, I wanted it to be special! Andrew always comes home around 5pm on Thursdays so I planned on leaving work at 2, making a lovely dinner with candlelight and chocolate covered strawberries... champagne... I planned out the whole "Mission Impossible" Valentine's Day scavenger hunt I mentioned in an earlier post...

Then tonight he calls me to tell me his boss is making him stay out of town until Friday evening.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!? I'm so disappointed.

I love my husband and I want him here with me SO badly... Not just tomorrow, but every single day. He's my best friend, my partner. I love sharing the days and nights with him, talking, laughing, sleeping beside him... I feel like the past few months have just cheated me out of so many days and nights. When he's gone talking on a phone isn't really an option. This is SUPER frustrating since we're so used to talking pretty much from start of day to finish. I feel like we're both missing out on each other and it's lousy. I know there are couples who are apart for months or even years at a time. That's awful and I don't know how they manage it. Distance is the worst.

I just wish I had my partner with me full time to take on everything from finances to family. Instead I feel like I'm taking so much on my own shoulders. The house is a mess because I literally just do not have it in me to do dishes or clean. I'm whipped.

Sitting around, alone in my house for the vast majority of the day/night tomorrow on Valentine's Day rather than having a romantic dinner/night with my husband, just adds insult to injury. I'm trying to be optimistic. To keep positive.... But I'm just sad.

Also, I know I haven't touched too much on our fertility struggles, but that is just a whole different ball game. For the first time ever I TRULY thought I was pregnant this month. I just... I honestly thought this was it. And, well. Not so much. I'm frustrated. I'm feeling like a failure. I've prayed myself to tears about this, just hoping it would happen. I guess this has always been my biggest fear. Having kids means so much to my husband & I. The thought of that never happening just breaks my heart. That's the understatement of the century, actually. It's looking like it's going to be a long, expensive struggle.

I ordered FertiliTea and I'm going to give that a try for a few cycles. I'm doubtful this will work... But I'm willing to try it. I've read mixed reviews. I'm just reluctant to move right to medicine when shit doesn't work. My doctor told me that's probably our best bet. I just.... I don't know. I'm in denial, maybe.

*sigh* In the meantime, I'll spend my Valentine's Day alone with chocolate and wine while blowing my diet, in my messy house.

I'm sorry for the negativity. Just needed to vent it out. I'm sure it will all be better soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feels Like Home

The title of this blog/the song that played during our first dance as husband and wife. 

I'm lucky to have a love like this with a man I adore. 
If you haven't heard the song, here's your chance! 

The 2nd Annual DIY Day!

Yes, it's only February. But I'm getting SO excited for spring! I've had enough snow and cold. With March right around the corner it can't be TOO ridiculous to look forward to sunnier, warmer days, can it?

Spring and just warmer weather in general has the ability to REALLY motivate me. Normally warmer weather means I start eating better, exercising more and cleaning the house. Not normal, every weekend cleaning. Like, air out the house, scrub the walls, behind the stove/refrigerator/couch type of cleaning. And with that comes the inspiration to change up the decor a wee bit.

Last year in April, Andrew and I were just moving in. Since this is our first place together, a lot of our initial furniture and decor seemed to be a strange mix of things we both had in our rooms at home and things we've been given by family and friends. Since then we've frequented Big Lots, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Pier One. I've had (way too much) fun picking up items here and there that really make this place more cohesively decorated.

With spring coming, I know the mood will strike me again. Only... I'm not quite as financially well off as I was last year. SO. DIY it shall be!

Last year, my little sister and I had a wonderful day together picking up art supplies at Michael's and doing some of the projects I found on Pinterest. I fully intend to do the same this year. Nicknamed "DIY Day, we spent some much needed time together and managed to get done a few of my favorite decor items. I don't claim to be an artist or particularly artsy by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm not ashamed to say we did a pretty good job on some pretty simple projects. Haha.

Here's a few examples from last year's DIY Day:

The painted B... Very simple. I just bought a wooden letter from Michael's, representing our monogram, painted it red to match my kitchen (which is red and black) and hot-glued a black flower on. Then placed it on a black wooden easel I got for a dollar off the clearance rack. Voila! It looks nice above my kitchen cabinets where there's about a foot of space between the cabinet and the ceiling. 

My sister and I did  of these -- 2 for the living room (in brown and red) and 2 for my bedroom (in silver and black -- see next photo!) They're ridiculously simple and I seriously love them. It's very simply Styrofoam cut to size and scrapbook paper. I bought 2 kinds of scrap book paper for each, a solid base color and a laminated, decorative piece for the front. The ones above, for my living room have a lace design over red and brown solid colored scrapbook paper, which matches my living room. Here's a closeup: 

The directions say to modge podge or glue. But, well, that wasn't working out so well for me. Glue + Styrofoam = A HUGE, sticky mess. So instead I put small nails in all  corners. Then to hang, I just put a nail in the wall and pushed the Styrofoam onto the nail. Simple. But they look really nice and they fill an awkward place in my living room (on a small wall above the TV.) The ones in my bedroom really stand out next to a picture I have hanging over our bed. It was a steal at Big Lots for 9.99! My bedroom is gray with silver and black accents. Thus the color scheme! And the background paper on the diamonds is actually sparkly. Woo for glitter! Haha. 

And while I'm talking about projects, I feel I should give a special "shout-out" to my hubby for the amazing job he did with our kitchen chairs! For the longest time we had JUST a table. No chairs. Then my step-mom found us a set of 4 chairs at a garage sale. They were in really, really rough shape but with some sanding and paint they look fantastic. The cushions are from Bed Bath & Beyond and match our place-mats (which alternate between red and black.) It was a TON of sanding but Andrew did a great job.

Okay. that's enough of that. Going back to this year... I've been on Pinterest A LOT. Not that this is unusual. But I guess MORE than usual. I've found a few projects that are definite contenders for this year's DIY Day. 

1) DIY Photo Canvases:

 I've seen these on Mpix which is the sight my wedding photographer suggested ordering our photo prints from. They're SUPER expensive though so I've simply lusted over them for months. I already know exactly where I'd like my canvases and which pictures I'd like to use... I'm just gun-shy thanks to the 100.00 price tag  Leave it to Pinterest for a genius to find a way to DIY it. There's 2 blogs I've found instructions on and I'm debating which to try. I personally like the long, slender look of the canvases here --> 

The directions are a little complicated and it seems like a lot of time and work involved. I found directions for a slightly different style/technique here --> 

Either way, I'd LOVE those canvases in my living room!


Okay. I'm obsessed with monograms. Whatever. Don't you judge me! They're preeeeeetty! And there's SO many fun things you can do with them! Ours happens to, clearly, be a B. I happen to think B is a pretty letter in general. (Just go with it.) 

When I found this on Pinterest, I squealed. Yes, squealed... I'm completely mad about the monogram! It has the marriage license modgepodged on it! How freakin' adorable is this!?

I keep trying to follow the link, but it doesn't take me anywhere instructional. So, I'm just ASSUMING that is how it's done. Of course I'm sure it'll be much more complicated than anything I'm picturing, the product may just be worth the headache. I'd love this for our bedroom. So beautiful, classic and meaningful. 

3) Some Kind of Art Based on the Lyrics of Our Wedding Song! 

I've seen this done a couple different ways. My favorite is super simple to actually execute, but I have no idea where I'd put something this big. -->

I love the general concept. I'm wondering if something horizontal might fit in our hallway? 

Along those lines, but on a much smaller scale is this beauty -->

Super easy, super simple and really cool looking! I'm pretty hung up on the song lyrics though.

SO. I will consult with my sister, price out supplies and make the final decision! Of course I will post the finished projects with some details. I'm hoping this year I can get my other 2 sisters in on the day. DIY Day Party! How fun would that be? We could even have Pinterest-inspired snacks and drinks... I feel inspiration coming on!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's Been Awhile!

For more reasons than one...

First, the power cord on my laptop broke and for a good week and a half, I couldn't use my laptop. My husband bought me some kind of fancy, universal charger. Unfortunately, even that was touchy. Sometimes it charged, sometimes it didn't. It's hard to blog when your laptop is down! So, Andrew, being the amazingly handy guy he is, ordered a part offline and completely took the whole laptop apart and put it back together. And it works! It charges! Hubby saves the day!

Also, we've been SUPER busy! The weather has been bad... Causing my hour long commute home to take 2 hours. Plus, we're still trying to eat healthy which means less eating out and no more "I'm going to be home late! What should I pick up on the way home?" Turns out cooking every night is complicated. Andrew will not be satisfied with a salad for dinner. Not that I can blame him. What kind of dinner is that? I've had to use my imagination (and the internet!) to come up with different, healthy dinner ideas. So far, we've had success! I'm down 17 pounds, my husband is down 8! Seeing progress is WONDERFUL! But that's not the best part. We both FEEL better, healthier, more energetic! And that's awesome, especially during the dreary, dark winter months.

Oh, off topic but, as soon as my laptop started working again, I got one of my "to-do" items crossed off and started my wedding photo slideshow. It's not COMPLETELY done, but it's pretty freakin' close. I'll post it when I get it completely finished. :) It combines professional photos and pictures taken by my sisters, best friends and from my own camera with music from the wedding.  Looking through our wedding pictures alone makes me cry, add some music to it and it's all over for my mascara. Haha. Our wedding day was an amazing day for both of us. Having everyone we loved with us as we started our married life together just mean the absolute world to us. I feel so lucky to be sharing my life with the most amazing husband a girl could ask for.

Enough about the wedding for now. I promise one day (someday...) I'll dedicate a whole blog post to our wedding day. That day is not today. Haha.

Today I will be blogging about nothing cohesive. Haha. Just here and there-ness.

I've mentioned before that Sundays with my husband are my absolute favorite thing in the world. I love waking up late, having breakfast together, cleaning the house together, playing with Teddy in between sweeping and dishes, having a nice, homecooked dinner together... Our Sundays together exemplify what I always pictured our marriage to be like. Just, us being us in our house. There's nothing that HAS to be done and we could just as easily sit around all day and watch TV. Some Sundays that's exactly what we do. But there's something unifying about working on our home together. Yes, Sundays are the best days.

Today has been a wonderful Sunday together. We slept in, had a Mexican breakfast burrito (egg whites, salsa, pepper, and a wheat tortilla.) to start the day, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen and I started our dinner -- CHILI! I love doing crockpot meals on the weekdays. It takes so little effort, but it always tastes hearty and warm and PERFECT for a winter day. On the weekends I tend to cook meals that take time and serious preparation. But today I'm feeling a bit lazy. Haha. So, chili it is. The house smells delicious and I cannot wait to dig in!

Andrew leaves for Watertown tomorrow morning which really, really stinks. I'm trying to remain optimistic about it though. He's going to be home Thursday evening. Thursday happens to be Valentine's Day! I've got BIG plans for our first Valentine's Day as Mr. & Mrs. B. :)

I'm leaving work at 2:30 on Thursday. This should give me enough time to put together dinner and dessert. I figure he probably won't be back in town until 5:30-6 so I'll have time for food prep and setup. :) I found this wonderful "Mission Impossible" idea on another blog via Pinterest. I like the general idea of a scavanger hunt. Only, I doubt it'll end up being Mission Impossible themed.... Anyway, on the door in the garage will be an envelope with his name on it. Inside will be a clue which will lead him to another clue and so on, so on. The end will lead him to the bedroom.... And that's where I'll be. ;) Should be fun! I'm not sure what I'll be making for dinner yet. I'm thinking seafood of some sort (lobster, maybe? Mmm!) And some kind of chocolate dessert. Maybe chocolate covered strawberries with champagne? We still have quite a bit left over after our New Year's Eve party!

Okay. This has no flow, no sense and is just a collection of random thoughts. It is what it is. Haha.