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Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Healthy Eating Continues

In the past few years that I've had this blog, I've shared a little about healthy eating here and there. Not too much, but it's something that interests me, and every once in a while I feel like I need to share. I've been trying for a while to eat mostly nutritious foods and limit any junk food whenever possible. For the most part, I think my diet is pretty healthy. Being a vegetarian helps, since I'm not eating red meat all of the time, and I probably eat less fast food than most. But I still have to focus on getting the nutrition I need, so I've been trying to do that with healthier food items.

Lately I've been watching a lot of food-related documentaries, and I can't recommend them all enough. Health and food documentaries are always really interesting to me, and if you're interested too, check out these films (all available right now on Netflix):

They are full of information about eating for nutrition and for your health. Many of them also look at our eating habits in America vs. the rest of the world, and you might expect that we are a culture of processed foods, with Monsanto in control of our food supply, and foods full of the drug that is sugar. They will definitely get you thinking more about what you are putting into your body.

Like the rest of us, I like to indulge too, but I'm trying more and more to consciously add organic and GMO-free foods to my diet, as well as fruits and veggies. 


On our last grocery trip, Trent and I made an effort to choose healthier food items. We picked up bananas, lemons, limes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, avocados, and carrots.

We also got some Chia seeds and Quinoa - both easy additions to so many meals. I've been eating chia seeds almost daily since we got them, both on my salads and with veggies.


Trent cooked quinoa and rice, and we added it to tortillas for dinner a couple of nights ago. The benefits of these two foods are so great. Check out some of the benefits of Chia seeds here, and Quinoa here.

It just makes me feel good when I know I'm eating healthy or organic foods. 

Here are some of my past health/ food related posts if you're interested in reading more:

I urge you to add healthy foods to your diet if you don't already. And remember, it's about making an effort, even if you slip every once in a while!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Work Currently In Progress

It's another beautiful Saturday! I love Saturdays. They are my days to relax, catch up on sleep, and get things done at home. It seems that Saturdays in the summer, we're always running around and doing things, getting out and enjoying the nice weather, etc. In the winter though, there's nothing I like better than just staying in on the weekends.

Trent is working today, so I'm staying home, watching documentaries on Netflix, and cleaning around the house. This week, Trent has worked on a couple of house projects, so I'm excited to share what's currently happening. It's small (definitely baby steps), but we have to start somewhere.

First things first, work has started again on the hallway! Aren't you excited? This has been by far the longest work in progress we've had with the house, and it's hard to get the motivation to continue working on it. This hallway has been ripped out and has been slowly rebuilt, little by little. Now Trent has started to sand the floor (with our little hand sander), so that we can start to redo it. We're definitely going to leave the hardwood that's here, but just sand and seal it again to make it all shiny and new. Just like we did in the living room and the bedroom.


It's only started, but I'm hoping to get it finished this winter. Using our little sander, it is quite a job - this section alone took about an hour. There might be about 6 more sections this size to finish! I know he will get it done, though, and I'm excited to see what the end result will look like.

The next mini project is quite small, but I'm glad it's done. I came home to this little threshold in the doorway of the living room. Once it's stained and sealed to match the living room floor, it will really help to finish off the room. I'm excited about it because I don't have to trip over the speaker cord anymore that runs from one end of the room to the other, since it's now covered with this threshold. Thank you, Trent! That thing was really starting to get on my nerves. :)


So two projects are in progress right now, one a little bigger than the other, of course. But every project counts! It makes us one step closer to being satisfied with the house.

Well, it's back to house-work on this Saturday afternoon! By the way, this was my breakfast this morning - toast by me, and breakfast scramble by Trent. Yum! It had eggs, potatoes, avocados, and sweet peppers. Overall goodness, and a perfect addition to the day.


Ok - now off to do the dishes! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

3 Years of Blogging (and 500 Posts!)

Today marks a couple of occasions on the blog! First, I've been officially blogging regularly for 3 years now, so it's my Third Blogiversary. Second, this is also my 500th post. Seriously, you guys.


It's been a lot of fun these past three years, and I hope to continue sharing our home reno journey, and a little of our life along with way, for years to come. Lately it seems the winter blues has us staying inside being lazy and not working on a whole lot of projects these days. I guess we're enjoying not having a lot to do this year, since the busy year of wedding planning is over! I have to say, it is kind of nice to have all that wedding stuff behind us!

I do have a lot of plans for this summer though when the weather gets nice, and I'm looking forward to redecorating the living room when the new couch arrives, hopefully soon!

Today I'm just going to share a few Blogiversary and 'Blog recap' posts from the past, along with a few decor items that I'm loving right now, just for fun. 

So, first off, here are a few bloggy posts from the past:
And here are a few cute decor items that I wouldn't mind adding to our home.  I'm feeling the silver theme today! (Sources at the bottom)




Maybe it's the winter season - hey, blizzard on the east coast! - but these silvery items are all looking pretty appealing to me right now.

And...that's a wrap! Now to work on my next 500 posts. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Snow Days and Painting

Hello there..popping in for a minute before I head to bed for the night! Yesterday my work was cancelled due to weather. We didn't exactly have an ice or snow storm this time, but there were wind chills in the twenties-below zero range, so work was called off. It was a nice day at home again and I got to spend the day with Trent, watching old home videos. I had a pretty good extended 3-day weekend, I'd say!

It was definitely a cold one. Friday night I stayed home after going to the Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett concert on Thursday, then working all day. I was a little tired by then! Trent went to the Mallards game, and the next day I had a hair appointment in the morning, then we shopped and hung out in Galesburg for a bit. Sunday was a family birthday party, and the start of watching home videos.

Saturday I painted a little bit while Trent was at his dad's to work on his car. Here's a little detail shot from the painting that I did over the weekend. This part is kind of "flowery." I'm not sure if it's finished yet. Definitely some more experimenting!


I hope to paint more this week, too. We'll see where all of my playing goes.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Little Date Nights at Home

It's hard to believe that last year around this time we were still trying to figure out where we wanted to go on our honeymoon. I remember it took forever to actually come to a decision and book it, and it might have even been the hardest decision of the whole wedding planning process for us! We could go so many different places, and had to pick the perfect spot. Well, now that it's January again and it's freezing cold and snowy outside, I'm ready to plan another trip to somewhere warm..or at least ready for summer to begin! :)

In the meantime though, while we're stuck inside on snowy evenings, it's nice to be able to spend them with my husband, and lately he's been really good about helping around the house and cooking me dinner, which is always a plus. He's on a break from his job right now, only doing fill-in security jobs until he can find something else. So he's been home more often, and you might have seen some posts from me lately on Instagram about a date night in, and Trent cooking dinner for me.


Last weekend I got all ready - hair did, makeup, all for a date night at home. He cooked pasta and then we watched Jim Gaffigan specials on Netflix.


We even ate at the dinner table, which is a rare occasion, and had a candlelit dinner complete with fancy Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra music, just like we do every year on Valentine's Day. It's nice to have a little date night at home every once in a while.

Since Trent has been working only part time, he's done the dishes, cleaned, and even folded my laundry. That was a shock, considering he barely folds his own laundry. :) He's baked cookies, and one day last week, I came home to a fresh batch of brownies.


He's got me wondering what has happened to my husband! Haha. He was also cooking another kind of pasta, with some pumpkin flavored sauce that was pretty yummy.

We got to eat at the table, again! I think it's a record in one week. It's been pretty nice to come home from a long day of work and have dinner made within 10 minutes. Not to mention being able to eat it at a clean kitchen table!


So as long as Trent keeps cooking me meals, baking sweets, and cleaning the house, I think I will keep him for a little while. :) Date nights at home are kind of the best.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Painting Inspiration

Some of you might know I was an art major in college, specifically in graphic design, but I've always enjoyed drawing and making art in general. I don't have a lot of painting experience, but in recent years I've kind of experimented with painting on canvas, starting small of course. (Ok, really small!)

You can see some of the paintings I've created and documented on the blog: here, here, here, and here. They've really been just small paintings I've done for fun, completely experimenting, and some maybe not exactly turning out the way I hoped, but they were fun to make.

I have an urge to paint more this year, so I'm gathering a little inspiration here to help get me motivated for some more painting adventures to come. I found all of these images on Pinterest, and have saved them all to my Pinterest board, Art I Love.

I've recently discovered the paintings of Erin Gregory. She paints colorful bouquets of flowers - and those are two things I love to look at, flowers and color.



Her work is just gorgeous. I would love to paint something like these. I love the bright colors together and imagine these would be super fun to create.


I've gotten more into abstract art in recent years, and a lot of the paintings I experimented with are abstract. I like that when you're creating abstract art, you have total freedom of the colors and shapes and patterns that you paint. It doesn't have to resemble anything but what's in your imagination.


I also like the idea of painting nothing but strokes of color onto a canvas. Color alone can be so expressive, and I imagine that a painting like this can really make a statement and look great when it's hung in a room.


I gathered these particular images because they all look like fun painting projects that I wouldn't mind taking on this year and trying my own interpretations of. Maybe I'll get to painting again this winter while I'm still cooped up in the house with nothing to do. Some possible painting posts in the future? We'll see!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Craft Round Up

Ah, the weekend! My plan for this weekend is to be a relaxing one at home. Today Trent and I finished watching the Making a Murderer series on Netflix. It was so compelling, we couldn't stop watching it. Definitely worth the watch and probably the best and most detailed crime documentary I've ever seen.

Onto the subject of this post, though! When I was writing my post the other day about our house renovation goals for the new year, and started looking back on some of the projects we completed in the past years, it got me excited for new projects to come, and also made me want to work on some new projects of my own.

Over the past few years, I've blogged about our progress on the house, but I've also documented little crafty projects in between that I've taken on, maybe after finding an idea on Pinterest, or maybe finally taking a stab at something I've been wanting to make for a while.

Today I thought I would gather some of my favorite crafts that I've made and blogged about over the past few years all in one spot - right here on this post. Sometimes the little projects can be the best or most rewarding ones! I always love finding inspiration from other blogs and around the web for easy projects and things that I can make that are not too intimidating.

So if you like to be crafty, take a look - links are under each picture. Maybe you'll find a little inspiration of your own!
































Vacation Jar Mementos - Here and Here

Hope you've enjoyed this little post round-up. Here's to more craft projects in 2016!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 House Resolutions

Hello, all! Hold onto your hats everyone, because today I'm sharing my house renovation goals for the new year!


But first... a little background info! The past couple of years I've outlined my house renovation goals for the year. In January of 2014, our goals were -

2014 House Resolutions:
1. Raise/level the living room.
2. Fully install the baseboard in the living room (only been waiting about 3 1/2 years for this to get done!)
3. Kitchen foundation / leveling / gutting / renovation (that's a mouthful, and encompasses a bunch of work!)
4. Organization - clothes storage in the bedroom, and starting on the closet and pantry. 
5. Walkway in the front yard.

When January of 2015 rolled around, we had completed just one of our goals: #4: Clothes storage organization in the bedroom. I added the uncompleted goals to my 2015 list, and it became just a little longer -

2015 House Resolutions:
1. Walkway in the front yard. (I'm moving this to top priority this spring/summer!)
2. New couch in the living room - We've been looking at sectionals!
3. New appliances (We desperately want a new stove)
4. Raise/level the living room.
5. Fully install the baseboard in the living room (only been waiting about 3 1/2 years for this to get done!--- make that 4 1/2.)
6. Kitchen foundation / leveling / gutting / renovation (that's a mouthful, and encompasses a bunch of work!)
7. Finish Hallway.
8. Start on pantry/closet reno.

Now that it's 2016, I'm happy to say that we've completed more than one goal. Three in fact:

#1 - Walkway in the front yard - I hope to have a total cost breakdown post for this soon, but we're calling it officially done).
#2 - New couch in the living room - It's officially purchased, just waiting on its arrival!
#3 - New appliances - aka, a new stove anyway. We bit the bullet this past Labor Day and got a new one!

3 out of 8 isn't too bad, right? Here are my house resolutions for this year:

2016 House Resolutions:
1. Finish Hallway.
2. Fix the foundation.
3. Fix leaking roof in back room.
4. Raise/level the living room.
5. Fully install the baseboard in the living room (only been waiting about 3 1/2 years for this to get done!--- make that 5 1/2 now.)
6. Kitchen foundation / leveling / gutting / renovation (that's a mouthful, and encompasses a bunch of work!)
7. Start on pantry/closet reno.

Again, I've carried over the uncompleted goals from previous years, and have added a couple of new ones. I've made finishing the hallway our top priority for this year, since it's something we can work on all year long, even when it's cold or rainy outside. Most of the items this year are structural or major gut job projects. There is probably no way we can get them all done unless we quit our day jobs, but the work continues!

We'll see what 2016 holds in the way of house renovations. Wish us luck!

Monday, January 4, 2016

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

Happy Monday! Who else watched The Bachelor premiere tonight? Love it! I feel like I got a lot accomplished over the weekend. After the holidays and recovery after New Years, we stayed home on Saturday, and I took down the Christmas tree and decorations. Trent and I spent the day cleaning the house. I finally got a good night's sleep for the first time in a while. I felt rested (and drank plenty of coffee to keep me energized).

Sunday we shopped, ate at Olive Garden for lunch, and went out with friends for dinner. And we got to come home to a CLEAN house! It's so much better when the house is clean after the busy-ness and chaos that was the holidays! Amiright?


I love when the big, bulky coffee table is moved out of the way, too. I like it for practical reasons, but I can't wait to get something else once we get the sectional in here. It feels so much more light and airy without our big, heavy coffee table in the middle of the room.


Not to mention how much bigger the room feels with the tree gone! And I love our tree, too, but without it, the light shines through the window again.


Annndd..I framed another one of our wedding photos.  I love it! I got this frame in the fall up by Chicago and I've been waiting for the perfect picture to use it.


Ahh, success. Seriously, that feeling when you've cleaned the house and can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor with a little cup of coffee and a movie. It's the best.


Now, time to watch the end of The Bachelor live! I've only been waiting for the season premiere all winter long. I don't think it disappointed at all. Lots of drama and crazy moments as usual!
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