Friday, March 29, 2013

"Master"ed Bedroom

I use the term "master bedroom" loosely because this room, occupied by my Mom, is quite small for a master bedroom. It has two closets that came without doors (like mine downstairs... where are the doors?!). It's come a long way since we first got here thanks to our wonderful bargain shopping skills. 

I also have a model for the bedroom tour: Gizmo! He settled himself in and didn't mind all the attention.
Malm bedframe- Ikea
Bedding- Walmart, Blanket- Target, Curtains- Fred Meyer
Runner- Fred Meyer, Lamp- Ikea, Malm Nightstand- Ikea

Leaning mirror- Ross, Dresser- Ikea, Picture- already owned, Rug- Walmart 

Love this cayenne-colored dresser!
Key jewelry tray- World Market
There's a spot behind the door for her frequently used iron and ironing board. The all-in-one hanger was very easy to install and was $9 from Bed, Bath and Beyond. 

Here's a cute cross-pawed picture of Gizmo to end the tour! Guess my picture-taking didn't disturb his beauty rest...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Today is pretty darn lovely so I spent some time outside. I took a mile and a half walk around our neighborhood (and re-irritated my blister that caused me to stop walking two times before), swept the carport deck and front walkway plus stairs, and took some pictures around our little property because I don't think I had any before.

It's hard to believe that just a couple of days ago the outside looked like this:

I brought some snow in for the kitties to inspect which they found quite tasty. 

But, the snow melted by the afternoon and now it's feeling a little more like Spring around here (though, I'm told that Winter isn't over until July 1st... ahh...).

Here's our carport deck and stairs that really needs to be washed and repainted. It's definitely looking pretty scraggly and terrible. 

These three boards of the landing were just replaced yesterday. They now bring a patchwork quilt quality to our already shabby, sad stairs. But, at least they're now structurally sound!

Mildewy, old, paint-peeling, and dirty floor. I really would have loved to have made this a cute little sitting area but I have one problem.

This is my problem. Apparently a big snow from a Winter or two back forced the owners to break the little plastic-y skylights on the patio awning to keep them from breaking and snow falling on someone's head. Unfortunately, they broke them in a very ugly fashion rather than making it straight and nice. I will remedy this by breaking them all the way... But it makes it rather hard to make a nice sitting area when there will be rain leaking in.

Then to the side we have our only completely covered part of the patio that mom has set two wicker chairs under. 

Here is the view from the driveway of the side of the garage. I'd love to do something here, even if it's just throwing out all those weeds and leaving it bare dirt. It would still be an improvement. 

It seems we are growing jars of trout bait. How lovely. I thought it was a jar of yellow paint. I was very mistaken.

This is the walkway up to the front door that I swept off today and it looks so much better! 

Then there's this hideous tree that, from the street past the fence, looks like we have a huge pile of sticks big enough to burn someone at the stake, hanging out by our walkway.

And, it attracts bees! Wonderful. It is our first line of defense against door-to-door sales people. 

Pretty boring and weed-covered. I want to do something to make it look a little better without spending much money because we're just renters. 

For some perspective, this is my weird window in our bedroom. Strange, right?

And here's our lawn that needs mowed...

This looks to be blooming soon though I have no idea what it is. Looks kinda ugly at the moment.

This bush/tree thingy has some pink buds all over it that are beginning to open. It will probably attract a lot of bees too...

And weeds! Our yard has a few of those coming in quite nicely. 

And finally, the East side of our house that no one sees besides our cul-de-sac neighbors and their roaming, outdoor cats. So exciting, right?!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

I've been debating forever about what I wanted to do with the wall behind my bed. I mean... headboard (and which kind, a lightweight fake one or a full-on tufted plywood headboard), or wallpaper decals, headboard decals, artwork, or curtains??

I was just anxious for our room to feel a little less thrown together and a little more cozy. 

via Better Homes and Gardens
So I dug out my old and lovely $10 Family Dollar mirror from my decor stash in the garage and hung it above the bed and I actually liked it. And my favorite- free. Love, love, love free changes.

Then I took my old curtains from our last bedroom and put it up in place of my drop cloth curtains just to see what a contrasting color curtain would look like. I've been living with it for about two weeks now and I actually love it. It slides more easily than the last curtain but it does need to be hemmed. I haven't decided if I'm going to leave it long, temporarily hem it with some pins, or actually cut and hem them. I'm afraid to hem them for real because I always think about how I'll want to use it in the future and don't want to butcher them too much. 

And I wasn't planning on buying new lamps but I just saw the mercury glass and fell in love. I actually bought the two lamps separately at (the first at Marshall's, second at Home Goods). I wasn't planning on getting two because we normally just use the one nearest to the closet. Buuuut.... they looked so cute together. They're similar and complementary without being matchy-matchy. (Side note: we have one outlet in the entire room. ONE!)

$29.99 at Marshall's

$24.99 at Home Goods
And here's that goofy little weird window in our bedroom. I really wish it emitted more light into the room but I'm glad it's not unfrosted because it is actually a window under the front stairs.

I've got a cute little fake plant from Ikea, a candle holder from World Market and a little tray for jewelry. It's actually a perfect little window sill for sitting things on (and there is not a lot of space in the room). 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ikea Strikes Again

Thank you, Ikea, for allowing me to tackle this crazy-looking pile of random game room stuff and make it look a little less blah.

Yeah, there's still some plastic containers and it doesn't look perfect. But, it adds some height to the area, gives a spot for "currently playing games" (and there are a lot...), and camouflages some of the crazily-placed outlets behind the shelf that the TV uses. 

$25 well spent, I say. I'm loving the game room part of the house- it's so darn cozy! I love that it's full of fun, meaningful, and interesting stuff. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Not A Normal Job

Being a Navy wife so far has been an interesting journey. It's definitely something I never thought I'd be doing or involved in and I still don't even feel like I really fit into the stereotypical 'Navy Wife' mold that I've seen from a lot of women around me. From the looks of various blogs, forums, and other social media it seems like a lot of women use the term Navy Wife as their only identifier besides "Mommy." They live, breathe, and bleed the military. 

Chicago during Boot Camp Graduation weekend.
That seems so foreign to me because we've never lived on base, only been to a handful of military family events, and try to treat the Navy as Russ' job rather than lifestyle as much as we possibly can. 

But, it's not a normal job.  

Since becoming a Navy wife I've had to do and learn a lot of things. I've had to become a Swiss Army Wife. I've had to learn how to cut his hair to save money (because it would cost us normally around $20 a month for every two weeks), learn how to sew and properly place uniform insignia, and to become flexible and patient with the ins and outs of the way the military runs. 

Paper work takes forever, some rules are ridiculous, not all sailors are nice, and "hurry up and wait." I've paid more attention to foreign affairs knowing that what goes on internationally can directly affect our family. (And I'm watching you, North Korea.) We've had to rearrange and cancel plans many times and live our lives around his crazy, ever changing schedule which is even worse now that he's on a ship. I've sacrificed starting my career because of our circumstances. I've celebrated his victories like ribbons, pins, and rank promotions right alongside him as if they were my own victories. 

And, it's only going to get harder from here on out. Sea Duty means he actually has to be out on the sea so... he's going to miss a lot this year. I can deal with all the other stuff that goes along with the military but this distance is going to suck. We're going to have sporadic contact for most of the year. Yeah, there's email but as I noticed with this past week he was underway- that's iffy. Sometimes messages don't get delivered and that makes the distance feel even further. 

Statues in Virginia Beach dedicated to "those who wait" for their sailor's return.

I've also noticed that in the total of around two weeks that he's been gone this year, it has made me appreciate the time we spend together even more. Now that his next underway is knocking at our door only a mere week after he got back from his last one, I can't not think about him being gone. Every laugh, joke, or smile makes me realize that he'll be gone for the next one. We won't have our little chats in the car or snuggles on the couch while watching TV. 

When we got married and I knew that in a two to three years he'd be off Shore Duty and onto Sea Duty that time felt so far away. We're fortunate that he had Shore Duty first and that we got to spend that newlywed time together but it was over too soon. 

While he's gone I'll just have to stay busy and try not to stall my own life just because he's not here. Which... I know I'll try to do because I'll irrationally think, "If he's not here, I can't possibly [watch this show, visit this place, try this restaurant]!" It's definitely going to be a battle. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Out And About Browsing

It's been a while since we went out shopping together, hasn't it? There are so many places to go here that I always find something beautiful that I want. I have to unfortunately restrain myself (and my wallet loves me for it) but at the same time... isn't it good to not accumulate a ton of stuff? 

These sweet votives at Marshall's were only $2.99 each. Think of how pretty those would be with a votive lit in them with the light going through the designs. 

At Hobby Lobby I saw this interesting chest of drawers that looked like stacked books. Way out of my price range but aren't they cool? 

At Ross I found this lovely skyline picture (I'm a sucker for skylines and building art).

I fell in love with this mirror/clock combination for only $20.

Over at Home Goods there was a cute lamp that I thought would look cute in our bedroom. There was only one though, sadly, so I left it there. 

I love anything with a Union Jack on it and this ottoman was super cute. 

I could totally envision these beautifully minty canisters from World Market on the countertop of my white cabinet and white subway tiled dream kitchen...

I checked out this store called Wight's that I had never been in. They had some cute stuff but some things were way out of my price range. I thought this key lamp was pretty cool though.

And these handles were keys for $10. I would have loved to have gotten them for the Ikea unfinished night stands but I would have spent over $60! That's more than it cost for the actual furniture... so... no. 

Isn't this door great? I think it was over $100 but a girl can dream, can't she?