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Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Necklace Holder - An Update

Back last winter, I made (with Trent's help) one of my favorite small projects to date. A necklace holder.

I needed one of these desperately and saw tons of them around - at the stores, on Pinterest, etc. Chunky necklaces have become popular over the past couple of years, so I had all of these big necklaces but no place to hang them. So I decided to make one myself out of some wood and some mismatch knobs.



Today I wanted to share a little update about my DIY necklace holder, in case anyone else has thought about making one. Since making it I have gotten quite a few new necklaces, and it still holds them, no problem. I am here to tell you I still love this, and if you're thinking about making one, DO IT. It has seriously saved my life!


They now hang right on my bedroom wall, and are all right in front of me, so I never have to worry about finding a necklace again. I have one for every outfit right in front of my face, which makes getting ready ten times easier in the morning. They also make really cool shadows on the wall when the sun shines in, which is totally a bonus. :)



So, long story short, this is a DIY project that is well worth it for me! You can see more about how I made this here.  I also made an earring holder a couple of years back, which has equally saved my life! Give it up for jewelry organization everyone! And Pinterest. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

If We Moved...Where Would It Be?

Time for a fun post. I'm all back from my work trip, and fall is in the air. Don't know if that's a good or bad thing! I'll miss summer I'm sure, like every year. Anyway, on to this post of mine...

So, we are not moving any time soon. We have way too much work to do on this house and would like to live in it and enjoy it for a while after we get it all fixed up. But sometimes we think about leaving our little po-dunk town and living somewhere we love, in a house that is already new and pretty. (At least that's how I like to think :) ) We were talking the other day...It went kind of like this..."What if we moved away?"..."We should move out to Ohio.." (Some of Trent's family lives there)..."We need to get out of this town... we could find jobs there in Columbus...Trent can work with Aaron and do landscaping...." Oh, daydreaming.

So since we talk about moving away someday...even though it won't be soon, I thought I would list the top places that, if we ever moved, we would most likely move to. Ready? Here goes!

1. Port Byron, Illinois:


I'm going to start with the most realistic option. (I mean, let's not get ahead of ourselves here). If we moved anywhere but still wanted to remain in the Quad City area, this is probably the area we would move to. Trent and I have looked at neighborhoods up here, and it still feels small, even though it's just a few minutes from the larger cities like Davenport and Moline. The main reason we (and by we I mean Trent :) ) want to live here is because it's right on the Mississippi river. A house right on the hill would be perfect, although I would settle for a newer house that's tucked away in a little addition, too. We could get a boat, and that's pretty much Trent's dream. Plus, I've always kind of wanted to live closer to everything - stores, jobs, friends...the only big drawback is that Trent's family is right here in town right now, and we would be a little further away from them.

And just for fun...What would our house look like? Maybe this:


So cute, right? A nice little down to earth home with a yard. :) And the pros and cons of living here, to name a few:

PROS:    
  1. Closer to the Cities (shopping, restaurants, etc.).
  2. Closer to Trent's job (and possibly a future job for me).
  3. Right by the river.
  4. Closer to friends.
  5. Still not too far from mine and Trent's family.
  6. Still a small town feel.
  7. Not as much of a transition (could still keep our jobs, etc.)
CONS: 
  1. Further from Trent's family (right now they're across the street).
  2. It's still in the Quad Cities. 
Now, let's look at the second option...

2. Columbus, Ohio area:


We've been to the Columbus, Ohio area quite a bit now, since some of Trent's family lives there. He even spent a whole summer there when he was in high school. If we ever moved to this area, it wouldn't be to the actual city of Columbus, but to the suburbs. Trent's family lives in the Delaware/Powell area. We think the whole area is really cute, and there are soo many housing additions and new houses, restaurants, shops, etc. The malls are quite nice, too! Much better than the Quad Cities. We would be far from my family, but Trent's family would be close, and we would both easily find a job here I think. 

A house like this one would be cute:


This is actually one of the cheaper ones I found in this area. I thought I would be reasonable. It's pretty inside, too. :)

PROS:    
  1. Close to shopping and restaurants.
  2. Closer to Trent's family.
  3. Graphic design jobs in the city and Landscaping jobs with Trent's family.
  4. Nice mall. Enough said.
  5. Lots of cute housing developments.
  6. Still by a river - the Olentangy.
CONS: 
  1. Far from my family and some of Trent's.
  2. Far from our Quad City friends.
  3. Homes are more expensive.
  4. Driving in the city might be a little scary.
And for our third possible option...

3. North Carolina:



This is probably the most out there one. More like a dream for us, I guess. I took the above photo in Southport, NC. We kind of see ourselves retiring here someday. :) The East Coast was pretty much our favorite vacation ever, and we all have those places we feel at home at when we're there. We loved the area in North Carolina that we visited. Trent loved it so much the first time that he wanted to go back. The Wilmington and Southport areas were so charming...who wouldn't want to live there? Yeah, it would be far away from everything we know. But I'd love to live here when we are older. Being by the ocean in a quaint little town, with milder winters sounds pretty appealing!

Our cute little retirement house might look like this:

PROS:    
  1. By the ocean and beaches.
  2. Charming towns.
  3. Lots of new areas to explore.
  4. Nicer weather.
  5. Not the Quad Cities!
CONS:  
  1. Far from family.
  2. Far from friends.
  3. Unknown job situation.
So which one will we move to? Who knows. But isn't it fun to imagine where you might be in 10 years...or even when you retire? The possibilities are endless. I have a feeling we won't be in this town our whole lives. At least I hope not. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Recent Travels

I haven't been blogging much lately, and it's partly because I need a new laptop and can only go upstairs now to blog, which is Saleen's territory these days... I probably have 5,000 excuses though, so let's not go there. Instead, I think I'll share a little update about what's going on around here lately! I recently went on a business trip for a few days with my boss and his wife. It was a busy few days, with a lot of getting up early, conference time, and flights. It was a completely new experience for me, but I think it was good as well. It was also my first time flying since I was ten and went to Disney World with my family. I was a little scared I admit, traveling without Trent there. It was hard to leave him and I did miss him (just a little bit) on my trip!

Normally I don't like to share much about my work or the town I live in, etc. But I will share a few photos I took of the places we went. Granted, we spent most of the time in planes, airports, and hotels. So I didn't get to see much but the views from the hotel and the plane. I have to say though, living around flat land and corn fields, it was nice to see a change of landscape.

The first location we went to was San Jose, CA. We had an event there and stayed there for a couple of days. I enjoyed sitting by the pool at those tables you see in the photos, soaking in the sunshine. California was beautiful and the weather was perfect. I only wish I could have seen more!


Palm trees! I was pretty excited to see those again. Last time we saw them was in Corpus Christi, Texas earlier this summer.


Perhaps my favorite thing about this trip was the landscape outside my window at this hotel. It was so pretty and I could have looked at it all day! 


Beyond the highway, it was just this mountainous landscape that went on and on...and the best part was that it changed throughout the day, with the sun in different areas of the sky - the shadows on the mountain changed, the sky changed, the light.... These three photos (the one above, and the two below) - are all from this same spot, and yet they look so different.



And here is a panorama photo I took on my phone. So did not want to leave this sunny place!


From San Jose we flew to Portland, OR for another conference. Of course we didn't get to see much while in Portland, as we were at the conference for the two days we were there, but on the flight there the sky was really clear, and there were a few extremely tall mountains along the way.


Not sure which mountains these are, though! I was thinking one was Mount St. Helens, and another one was Mt. Hood, but I'm not really familiar enough with this area, so not sure.


Flying into Portland, it was beautiful. There was a lot of water, boats, and greenery.


The one time we spent outside in Portland was at our hotel restaurant - we ate breakfast outside on the balcony of the restaurant our first morning there. The hotel was right on the Columbia River, and the view was amazing.



It was a little chilly that morning, but the weather was actually the same here as in California - it got very hot in the afternoon, and it was sunny all weekend.


I picked up a few postcards and some candy from the hotel gift shops as mementos from the trip, but I am fairly certain Trent and I will have to make a trip out here next time! I'm sure we can find lots of areas on the west coast to explore.

I am extremely grateful to have gotten to travel to these places, and add four new states to my travel map! Yes, we went into Washington on the way to and from the airport in Portland, and our flights to and from Illinois both connected in Denver. That makes 4 new states in one weekend - Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington. And beautiful states at that! All places I would like to revisit and explore. Here's my updated travel map:


33 states now - up from 25 states last year. Here's last year's map:


Pretty awesome! So that encompasses how I've spent this past week - getting up at 2:00 am and 3:30 am to catch flights, spending all day at an exhibit booth in conferences, and then getting home and trying to recover with sleep! It's been a long but interesting week!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Decor Inspiration: Virgo

Well Virgo, I was a little late again posting this...but here we go! Virgo (Aug. 23 to Sept 22), according to Astrology.com, is a sign that is detail-oriented and organized. Those born under this sign are picky and a little bit on the side of a neat freak, but they are also perfectionists and pay attention to every detail.

Shopping at The Container Store a lot lately? You might be a Virgo. When it comes to their homes, Virgos are very organized and, according to Style at Home, can't stand clutter. Thus, they need to have plenty of storage in their homes. They like earth tones and vintage pieces and favor functionality in choosing pieces for their home.

I think I may relate to Virgos just a tad...I like to be organized too. :) With all that said, here are my decor picks for Virgo! (Sources at the bottom)




And my inspiration room for Virgo is actually an office...


A very clutter-free and organized one with lots of earth tones. Perfect for a Virgo! Oh, and just for fun, I found this link while researching for this post, and thought it was pretty funny - especially if you're a Virgo. Check it out!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Around the House

Happy Labor Day, and happy first day of September! I haven't been keeping up with this blog as much as I would like to. But we haven't gotten as many house projects done this summer as we would have liked to, either. It's Labor Day weekend, and we spent Friday night with friends at the Bandits game, we spent all day Saturday cleaning the house and doing laundry, and we went shopping all day yesterday. Trent worked this morning, and then we watched a movie after he got home. It's kind of a lazy day for us today. So even though we would like to get things done, it's hard to find the time and the energy. Especially with summer slowly fading away, and the days getting shorter.

Anyway, I thought since I didn't have any new projects to share, I would share some scenes from around the house today. And show you a few new things I've picked up recently - And where I got them!

First up: The living room, which hasn't changed much over the summer. Some parts of this room are already looking kind of fall-ish, but I still have plenty of little pops of color for summer.


My old bird pillows from Target have been reversed lately so we can enjoy the chevron side of them a little bit. :) Also, my frame wall has been the same for quite a while - I'm pretty sure this is a new record for me.


Oh, and we've decided to start looking for a new couch soon. The cushions have seen better days - if you remember this post where I attempted to fix the cushions, well, the velcro sadly didn't work too well. It has only gotten worse. Plus, our small couch just doesn't cut it anymore. We need more space to spread out, and more room for when we have company over. So the quest for a new, larger, more long-term couch will begin soon.


Moving onto the kitchen, there's lots of new little things in here. Like my new handy storage bin by the door. We never have enough storage. And this cute little bin is just one solution to a space that needed some more love.


I picked it up the other day at Marshall's. I think it was like $15. It now houses things we can grab before we go out the door, like ice scrapers, umbrellas, and a few of Trent's shoes.


Onto other things like cute spatulas...I think I've started an obsession. I barely use these things, but somehow I've developed a weakness for them. The purple and turquoise one is from Gordman's and has common measurement conversions on the back, I kid you not. The green plastic utensils are from Target a few years ago. (And the timer is from IKEA by the way)


I found this adorable plate and these matching blue mugs a couple of months back. The plate was from TJ Maxx, and the mugs were from Gordman's.


I've been wanting one of these things forever: a drying mat. To sit wine and beer glasses on. Looks and works so much better than a paper towel! (Although now it has veggies from the garden on it for some reason) This guy came in a 2-pack from Marshall's.


Now onto the bedroom...And ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my brand new clothes hamper! I'm super excited about this one - also from Marshall's...my wire laundry hamper from college had seen MUCH better days. It was kind of falling apart...so this is its replacement. And it's beautiful.


This picture is nothing new, but I love when the sun shines in and makes shadows on the wall of all my necklaces on my necklace hanger I made a while back. It's gotten many new necklaces on it since I made it, and it still works really well. I still love it!


Trent has recently moved most of his clothes into his new storage bins, but he was still kind of lacking in the hamper department. Then when we were at Marshall's the other day (I swear we bought half of the store) - THIS hamper screamed - Perfect size for the hamper spot!! It's not the same color, but it kind of brings a nautical vibe in here, which is kind of cool. We were even thinking of getting a little boat statue to sit on top of the storage unit. I don't know, might be kind of cute. :)


It is pretty much adorable, and Trent even likes it, so that's a plus.


And finally, the bathroom - We get a new rug in here like every couple of months, I swear. We tend to ruin bathroom rugs pretty quickly..or any rugs, for that matter. If it's not Saleen tracking in dirt, it's spilling bleach or putting the rug in the dryer and it shrinks to half the size. #rugproblems.


So this is the latest bathroom rug, and once again, it's from Marshall's. That place and Target are my go-to stores for rugs. So many cute ones. 

And this is the other new-ish addition to the bathroom - my wire basket from Gordman's which is being used as the toilet paper bin. It actually lived under the sink at first, but after a disaster with the sink leaking and ALL of the toilet paper getting soaked (and my new bin), it has since switched places with the trash can. 


Please excuse the unpainted drywall behind it...the bathroom renovation has been put on hold for quite a while now. Also, there are old pillowcases and such in the hallway from cleaning yesterday. But what can you do... that's life, keepin' it real.


It's always nice to have a clean-ish house. It lets us focus on other things like decorating and renovation projects. :) Now to find a new project to complete....
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