Friday, June 28, 2013

Cabin At Ya

Beach or rivers and mountains? That's the question I've been asking myself over the last week. Why? Because I am planning a little getaway for Russ and I this weekend and he has yet to find out what's going on. He knows I'm getting him something for our anniversary and that he can't have it until this weekend... but I'm pretty sure he has no idea what's going on. 

This was kinda a last minute "present" because I found out I had four days off during the weekend and he's on leave so... the timing is pretty perfect. 

I was going to pick beach but the weekend before the July 4th weekend was pretty busy too so I waited too long and my only cheaper choice was taken. :(

Seabrook Cottages are right on the Pacific Ocean and are located about three hours from Seattle. Maybe we'll get there some other time when I can pounce on an open rental. There's lots of different cottages to choose from in the rental community and they're all gorgeous and range from reasonably priced to OMG-I'm-Not-Rich. 

Here's the one I missed out on which is called Melissa's Beach Bungalow:

I think the cabin rented for about $205 a night which isn't bad for getting a house to rent, right? We will definitely rent one of these cabins someday because I really really want to visit the beach in Washington and get to see the sun set over the ocean (it's one of my goofy little goals to now see the sun set on this side of the country because I got to watch the sun rise over the ocean in Virginia Beach). 

As for what we are actually renting, it's a cabin in the Cascades and it looks really beautiful!

Here's a few shots of the scenery but I'm definitely going to be taking more once we get up there!

I'll be posting more about it next week when we get back. Happy weekend, everyone! 


Tonight I'm doing laundry... 

and I've got someone "helping" me.

What a goof ball. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keeping Up Our New Tradition

Starting on our first anniversary I started a tradition that I hope will keep going every year. I took a snapshot of us on June 26, 2011 to chronicle our first anniversary and I hope to keep it up every year (won't that be awesome to see down the road?).

Quiet anniversary at home.

Anniversary dinner and hanging out at the beach. 

After dinner at one of our favorite pizza places, The Rock. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: The First Apartment Book

A while back when I was waiting for the Young House Love book to come out, I began perusing the DIY/Design section at the bookstore which I had previously never visited. I was mostly a Psychology/True Crime/Women's Studies/Sociology section visitor. It wasn't until I stepped out of that zone did I find this book, The First Apartment Book: Cool Design For Small Spaces by Kyle Shuneman. 
In the book he chronicles apartments from all over the country of different types and shows their unique designs aesthetics from Bohemian to Rebellious to Art Lover. 

One of the featured apartments was here in Seattle. 

Along with pictures and layouts of the apartments, each section contains different project instructions like for DIY art, curtains, etc. 

This book was one of the first places I really saw temporary wallpaper (shouldn't all wallpaper have the ability to be temporary?! What an awesome idea!). 

Ever seen those awfully dated mirrored closet doors that tons of apartments have? By adding some decals you can change it from gaudy to classy. It actually looks like a planned part of the room now.

I love this example of working with some dated bathroom tile and making it look pretty instead of trying to mask it. With the choice of shower curtain, it actually makes the tile look like an attractive part to the room. 

I don't care how trendy globes and maps are, I will always love them!

I love these spray painted plaster busts (and I love how cheap they are found here).

Every room, every piece of furniture is listed in the resources. Some pieces are obviously going to be thrift finds or such but the others are listed to find easily. Love that. 

I love this book because it features so many different types of apartment homes. There's a place for apartments where you can paint and projects to go with that and there's also projects that are entirely temporary for those of us that can't paint or change things. There's both masculine and feminine designs, a wide range to appeal to all readers. I also loved seeing apartments from all over the country and how different they are. I really wish I'd had this book when we got to our first apartment because it would have really helped me decide early on what designs appealed to me and what I was drawn to. It's a helpful book for apartment first-timers as well as those of who have been apartment/rental dwellers for a while who are looking for some interesting design ideas. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Come Sail Away

On Wednesday morning we boarded Russ' ship for a Friends & Family Day Cruise! Unfortunately Russ was still on duty from the day before (which means he has to spend at least 24 hours on his ship) so he had to leave us periodically during the day to do important, secret Navy-stuff. We only got to see the outside door of his office and let's just say it looks like he's locked in a safe all day. 

When he wasn't stuck doing important Navy stuff or doing line handling (he has to help secure the ship to the dock when in port and pull in the line when they're going underway- wish I'd gotten a picture...) he gave us a tour of his ship. We only got to go on the main deck and the upper two floors so we didn't get to see his room or his rack he stays in when he's on duty (if he actually gets to sleep) or underway. 

The first part of the day was rainy and cold until we left the Everett area to head down to Seattle for the day. The weather significantly improved by the end of the cruise, luckily. 

As we left for Seattle, we got to do some awesome turns on the water and feel how fast the ship can go. The picture below is the view we had from the uppermost deck of the ship. I think I overheard someone saying that the top speed for the day was 27 knots (or nearly 30 mph) which feels really fast on the water!

We also got to view some drills (I think this one was called Smash & Crash) pictured below. The drill displayed the procedure they would use in the event of a helicopter crash onboard. 

We got to Seattle fairly quickly and even though the picture looks dreary, it really wasn't too cloudy and ugly. (Case in point, I got sunburn on my face. Ugh.) 

They turned the ship around at noon and we got to have the view of Seattle from the flight deck as we had, what they call a "steel beach picnic" and had lunch at some tables they set up. The notoriously bad ship food was actually pretty tolerable but Russ said that it was because the chiefs and officers had made lunch instead of the regular ship cooks. Apparently that was also the best meal Russ has had on the ship! 

After lunch and cleanup it was time to head home. Brayt and I headed up to the uppermost deck and sat down to take in the amazing view as we cruised home. I got the picture below while cruising by some of the islands and peninsulas on the other side of Puget Sound. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Would I Change?

Say this rental we're living in wasn't a rental... (we are not buying this house, this is just for fun) what would I change about it?


1.) New roof: our current one is pretty old and growing mossy-weird plants up there.

2.) I'd mulch under our two trees in the front and I'd probably landscape the front with some low-maintenance plants like hostas. They're inexpensive, always look nice, and they spread in large areas. The front is such a large area with weird light that you'd have to get something like that. 

Kinda like these plants in the picture below. BUT I would also invest in some lovely flowering plants or bushes because the front is so dull with browns and greens that it could really use a punch of color!


3.) I'd repaint the porch and steps, kinda like this. I love the darker floor with lighter details. I think something like this would be really cute on the little old retro house. 


4.) I would definitely paint the front door also. The beige door now just blends into the house as one big mass of beige-yness.

I love these colors and think they would really complement the color of the house.


These look colors look familiar though, don't they???

My happy outside planters are already sporting the teal and terra cotta colors (side note: my petunias have either killed my pansies or they died due to the weather being warmer... not sure but still makes me sad.)

If I had unlimited funds now I'd already make these changes just to make the little rental cuter... but, gotta save that money for the food truck!

This little exercise was fun so I've decided on writing more "What Would I Change?" to come in future posts. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ferris Appeal

After the completion of the Ikea 'rast' dressers last week, I feel like our bedroom is probably nearly finished. Or... really finished. I mean, I'd really like to add a shelf to our terribly small and impractical closet but, I can pretty much say the room is done for now. 

Especially after I bought this picture at Fred Meyer yesterday for around $17 after it was marked down from $29. What a deal!

It's the London ferris wheel and there was a matching one of Big Ben but, I didn't want to go there for the bedroom again (a picture of Big Ben in our first apartment bedroom was one of my first home-crafty projects!). 

Love it!

Side note: on my nightstand there's this book which will help Mom and I plan our food truck business. It's been a great book from what I've stayed awake enough at night to read.
The tables, the mirror, and the picture in combination with the wall color and comforter just make me happy. It's very comfy with all the soft linens and peaceful colors (not that Russ and I couldn't probably fall asleep in a room decked out in colors like the Partridge Family bus, we're always so tired!). 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fast-Paced Baked Cakes

Hey everyone! It's been a busy week and it's barely over for me! (I have worked since Tuesday and work consecutively until next Tuesday... yeah, not sure how that wonderful schedule worked out!)

I'm exhausted and all this working 8-5 everyday has left me little time for doing anything fun. It's barely left me enough time to think about our food truck bakery business. I've still been doing my daily Craigslist searches and have come up with this baby in Portland:

Isn't she beautiful?! It's selling for $12,000 or best offer because they want to move it fast. While if you were to say "twelve thousand dollars" out loud it sounds like a lot, for a finished and ready-to-go food truck it's a steal. All we'd need to install in there would be some racks for our treats and a refrigerator and we'd be ready to go. 

Speaking of treats... last night I made our first paid order! Two dozen Java Chocolate Chip Cookies with a side of Nutella No-Bake Cookies. I really feel like this is just the beginning of something great. We already know lots of people who are wanting to place orders but, with me and Mom working so much it's hard to find time when we're both coherent enough to talk about our business and actually getting started. 

And... it looks like my internship is officially over. How sad, huh? I did learn a whole lot in that month that really has helped me in my new job. 

Here's a Minecraft cake I did last week at work. I think it looked awesome! (Minecraft is a video game kinda like virtual Legos- it is amazing and fun.) Luckily for this kid, they actually now have a decorator (Me!) who plays the game because no one else in the bakery area knew what Minecraft was. 

My new job doesn't have as many challenging cake designs as my internship but the pace is so so so much faster. It's all I can do all day long to keep up with what is being sold. Time goes SO fast but it is exhausting. 

Here's to hoping I can make it working seven days in a row. Haven't done that in a few years...

Monday, June 10, 2013

7 Years

Today, seven years ago, Russ and I became a couple and he's been my sweetie ever since. 

Recipe: Caramel Pecan Brownie Pie

It's been such a long time since I made a new pie! I have been looking for a new pie recipe to try but nothing really hit me until I stumbled upon Caramel Pecan Brownie Pie. Who could turn down a brownie pie, honestly?!

I found the recipe at The Militant Baker (and I loved her blog so much that I spent days going back through her archives). 

Here's the easy recipe:


1/2 c melted butter
1/2 sugar
1/2 brown sugar 
1 tsp vanilla

Add 3 eggs one at a time, thoroughly combining one at a time. 

Then add:

1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1/4 tsp salt

Mix and pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

You can either pour on your caramel after it comes out of the oven or wait until it cools. Then, add the pecans on top. (The original recipe also has directions for making your own caramel but... I just used the store-bought kind for now.)

I also had some leftover dipping chocolate that I melted and drizzled over the top for extra fanciness! 

Just bask in this deliciousness. Below is the only piece of the pie that I got to eat because by the time I got home from work the next day the pie pan was empty...

I guess that means that this pie is a winner!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Plain To Stained

After living with unfinished night stands for nearly FIVE months... I can proudly cross these babies off the list. 

Remember when I was getting some 'rast' ideas back in January and settled on this beauty:


I liked the sleek look of bronze, t-bar handles though. I did numerous searches in home improvement stores here for them and even tried to find something I liked just as much. Ultimately it was Amazon to the rescue and I scored these for $1.49 each!

I went to Lowe's on Sunday to get my supplies and felt terrified at the thought of staining something. I wanted a gel stain because I heard that was easy to use but the colors they had were all wrong. 

I ended up choosing the color 'kona' from Rustoleum. 

I totally didn't need such a huge can of stain, polyurethane, and paint but I wasn't sure. I was so intimidated that I just didn't want to not have enough!

I think the total for the materials came to about $45 (it would have been less had I bought smaller cans but maybe I can use these on other projects!)

I sanded the pieces even though they felt smooth already. There were a few rough spots here and there.

After gritting my teeth and putting the first swipe of stain on, I had a mini-heart attack because it was SO DARK. It was almost black which was not what I wanted at all. Luckily Mom was right there because she told me to take my cloth and wipe it off some. After that, the color was perfect! I only ended up doing one coat but I think they looked awesome. 

I did three smooth, even coats on the drawers with the Olympic paint I bought. 

Over the next two days after work I coated my work in polyurethane liberally but not too thick. I wanted the finish to be smooth and really made sure I didn't have any spots running.

Today I came home and couldn't wait to put them in our room!

Ah! I'm in love. I think they turned out so great! I can confidently say that I've stained something now!

So much better than this!