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Thursday, April 28, 2011

College apt decor tour

While we are in the midst of decorating (and furnishing) our first home and probably will be until we move on to our next home haha, it's funny to think back to when I decorated my apartment room in college. This was my first space to really decorate and make all my own starting completely from scratch. So I'll take you on a little journey of my Clemson college apartment where I lived my junior and senior year. It was a 4 bedroom/2 bath slightly shabby place but dirt cheap and close to campus. Our floorplan was just like this only mirrored (the entrance to ours was from the left, not right, etc.)

Thankfully we did not have to provide the room furniture although it was plain white against stark white walls... a tad boring. Keep in mind the bedrooms were small... 11x9 but that includes a built in desk area next to each closet.

My color scheme and decorating theme was to go with bright colors to liven it up and the main colors were blue and yellow from the bedding I picked out. I wanted my room to be a cheerful and happy room to be in.

Here is the view after walking through the door to my room. One of my favorite paintings is Starry Nights so I have that poster plus that B&W adorable poster of the two kids kissing. On the very left is a small print of the Clemson stadium with an orange and yellow polka dot ribbon underneath holding different gameday and stadium pics that I took - I added to the ribbon later.

Continuing to the left was a  window that looked out to our front porch/entrance to the apt and my desk. This was a built in desk as you can see. I decorated this area heavily with photos- I am a big photo person :)  and my godmother had made me a ribbon board with yellow tiny dot fabric.  I made these bright colored quote wall hangings from very thin fake wood type stuff (yellow one below, others you'll see in a minute).

where I got my studyin' on
To the left of the desk were 2 closet doors that opened out which I don't have a picture of. On the opposite wall and next to the bed was a little nightstand and fun colorful lamp from target. You can see more of the homemade quote art on the walls along with lot of pictures and college-ish knick knacks. In the corner was my bean bag chair and a star throw made by my godmother.

You could see the dresser on the wall opposite the bed/window in the last pic but here is a close up. There is another ribbon with pictures on it - this one has my apt roomies. You can't see it but the door is to the right of the dresser. We weren't really supposed to nail too much into the wall but I did put up that little white shelf. I love the pop of orange pom poms haha!

Here is a picture of our living room. It came with a couch, coffee table, side table, and a rather hideous puffy chair that we covered with a tiger blanket and some tiger print fabric. We added a college standard futon that I bought back in my freshman year and someone brought an entertainment center, the large piece of carpet, and an IKEA chair you can half see in the bottom corner. 

We added fun pictures of us and a Tiger sign above the futon which you can kinda see in these 2 pictures below.

fabulous roomies
Here is the wall with the entertainment center. I never knew at the time I would need to document all about the apt so most of the pics I have are with people in them. You get to see us being silly probably around finals time when our minds were about to explode. I think we were all acting like our respective hairpieces - reindeer and santas.

This was our entrance into the apt with an awesome college blanket on the bare wall (you can kinda see it above too). You get mighty creative when you can't paint walls. Vickie don't kill me for this picture. We took "last first day of college" pictures. Yep, we were very sentimental like that. And we still are.

We had stools in the kitchen area that came with the apt. There was also a small table but we took it apart and put it in the storage closet on the porch since most of the time we ate on the couch or at the bar anyway and then it wouldn't take up space.  

Here is a picture of the bar/kitchen close to when we graduated. Our 5th roomie (she sublet Celeste's room for a semester and a summer while she was in Spain) made us those a-freakin-dorable cookie filled pots with our names for graduating. So crafty Marjorie!

Immediately to the left of the kitchen was a small wall and a door into our laundry room - washer and dryer were provided! Of course we hung a Clemson football poster!

Here are the the girls of the wonderful and memorable Tillman 920. (This was for Vickie's 21st b'day) We had some really fun times in that apartment that I will never forget. Love these girls!

Marjorie, Vickie, Me, Celeste, Brooke
I hope you enjoyed my college apartment tour! While I definitely have different tastes now when decorating our home, I think it's interesting to look back at our very college-ish decorated space that was done on little to no money. Some of it was a little tacky and it was very Clemson, but that is why we loved it!

Linking up to these parties:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I just received a Versatile Blogger Award!

The rules of accepting the award are as follows:

1. Thanks the person who gave you the award and link back to them.

Thanks, Stevie at Moore Babies! Stevie has some cute crafts and yummy recipes, not to mention 2 adorable little girls! You should check her out.

2. Tell 7 things about yourself.

I did this same thing for the stylish blogger award so here are 7 more things... in no particular order

1. I love warm weather and hate the cold. I am a baby about being cold for sure.... probably has to do with growing up in FL.
2. I bring my lunch to work every day. Seriously, every day. I am thrifty like that and want to eat healthy.
3. I am trying my hand at all sorts of different crafts and redos therefore my list of "want to do's" has gotten rather long.
4. In reading that Stevie is slightly afraid of the ocean, I was stung by a stingray while with my family on a beach trip in high school. It was not fun and now I HIGHLY recommend the stingray shuffle.
5. When I was younger I was a total danceaholic... ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, you name it.. competitive dance team in high school too. I did the sorority dance team in college which was a blast! And I still love dancing now at weddings, randomly around the house and such.
6. I went to the State Science Fair in high school with a project about biodegradability... totally ahead of the being green thing.
7. I love going on neighborhood walks with the hubby :)

3. Pay it forward and award the Versatile Blogger to 15 recently discovered new bloggers. Or perhaps new(ish) to me cuz well 15 is a lot! I tried to find blogs I like to read that did not already have the award too so hopefully most do not.

Click over to these awesome blogs!

1. Jenn @ Rook No. 17
2. Kitty @ A Law Student's Journey
3. Clemson Girl
4. Handy Man, Crafty Woman
5. Melissa at Kensington Cottage
6. Christina @ It's a Keeper
7. Allison @ Little Lovelies
8. Rachael @ Lovely Crafty Home
9. Becca @ Home is Where My Story Begins
10. Courtney @ Not So Homemade
11. Jill @ Women Who Do It All
12. Heather @ Real Crafty Mama
13. Ashley @ Ashley Creations :)
14. Kara @ Happy Go Lucky
15. Krista @ While He Was Napping

4. Contact everyone and let them know they've been awarded. And now on to the contacting...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring toddler capris

I set out on another sewing adventure and made a pair of spring/summer capris for my niece, Abby. If you are a regular reader you might remember the play kitchen was for her as well as the learn to read recipe book.

My godmother gave me some patterns (stock up on some when they are on sale for $1) and we went through a few to find an easy enough capri pattern - we landed on McCalls M5797. I opted to leave off the pockets to make them easier. She had taught me how to lay out the pattern on the straight of the fabric so the pattern grain line was straight. Of course below you just see one front and one back because the fabric is folded over so I would get 2 fronts and 2 backs.

Something else I learned was that when cutting the markings in the pattern that look like carrots or sideways v's are meant to be cut outward not inward. I just followed the pattern instructions and pinned a lot. First a front and a back got lined up, pinned, and sewn - you are sewing each leg inseam together.

If you start sewing and it looks like this immediately call a handy sewing guru (aka Mom) and explain the issue - it's most likely user error. I hadn't put the bobbin thread through the bobbin case completely correctly... whoops! So much to remember.

Then you do it over the right way.

Then you sew the front to the front and the back to the back by sewing the crotch area up toward the waist if that makes sense.

Then realize that a step was left out of the instructions as they go from step 9 straight to step 11... hmm. Good thing it was easy enough to figure out they never said to sew the outside leg seams so do that. Phew, no need to panic.

So right now they look just like capris (inside out of course) except for doing the waistband and hemming

Sew around the waist, top stitch and bottom while leaving an opening to insert the elastic. I was a little intimidated by doing elastic but it wasn't bad at all.

top and bottom stitch waist
Here is the elastic from Walmart.

Feed it through the opening you left and around the whole waistband with a safety pin and then stitch the elastic ends together a couple of times for reinforcement and sew up the opening.

And hemming... the ironing part of that was my least favorite. Perhaps because I was trying to be a perfectionist about it that it took longer.

I added a little square of heat transfer vinyl so it would be easy to tell the back from the front. It's not a cute tag but hey it works.

TA-DA! A cute pair of capris for an adorable almost 4 yr old. I love the butterfly fabric I got at hoblob on sale :)  I think she will love running around in these in the spring and summer.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of her in them as I am mailing them but perhaps I can snap one next time we see her. Someone as cute as this is going to make anything look good, right?!

I'm pretty sure I gave her a candy so she would sit still for this picture I took haha

Well I hope you enjoyed hearing about the capris... they really do make for cute simple pants so go pick up a pattern and try them out!

Linking up to these parties:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mary Mary quite contrary... does your garden grow?

with Yellow Squash

Green Bell Pepper

and Jalapenos all in a row {ok that's it for the rhyme :) }



Roma Tomatoes

Early Pick Tomatoes

Basil and Cilantro in pots on the screen porch

Quite a big difference from only doing tomatoes and basil last year (and the basil not surviving transplant hence starting them in pots). So far everything seems to be okay despite some very strong winds we have been having here in NC recently.

I love my bigger garden area and that it has a drip system from our backyard renovation! This year should be a good experimenting year to see what grows well here in Charlotte.

What are you planting this season? Where does everyone else keep their potted herbs - outside? screen porch? inside? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Linking up to these parties:

Monday, April 18, 2011

A little Easter decor

Who can believe it is already almost EASTER! It is kinda late this year but it still seems like April is flying by! Here's some Easter decor out in our living room that I wanted to share with yall. All the decor came from my godmother or was purchased at Goodwill or Homegoods after last Easter.

Side table with framed embroidery and cute little bunnies in a basket - they are really salt and pepper shakers but I already have some of those so I think they work just fine here.

Table behind the couch with clay pot stick bunny head made by my godmother.. its so festive! Click on the picture to see it bigger, I'm impressed by her craftiness. I've had the butterfly plate for a few years and it is just perfect to put out for spring.

More framed embroidery and ceramic egg.

Reusing my dollar store hurricanes with some eggs... hope to do some twine eggs for next year to add in with these pastel colors.

My last Easter framed embroidery with a few other decor items on the side table between our 2 purple chairs.

Kitchen table. Here is the other salt and pepper shaker set. Love it! I also have a Spring small table runner from my godmother not shown here that I have been putting out when I don't want a full size tablecloth on.

So there you have it! If you want to hear more about the framed embroidery that my godmother makes go here. She puts them in dollar store frames.. so thrifty!

What are some of your favorite Easter decor items?

Linking up to these parties:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sour Cream Enchiladas

We made Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Enchiladas (with a few modifications to cut out the frying) for one of the weekly dinners with my friend Brooke and boy were they yummy! Ok so my food picture definitely isn't as pretty as PW's but I'm sure it tasted just as good!

Sour Cream Enchiladas
adapted slightly from Pioneer Woman

10 soft tortillas
20oz can enchilada sauce
2 1/2 cups sour cream
3 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tsp or so of ground cumin
1/4 tsp or so of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Mix sour cream, 2 cups cheese, green onions, cumin, and cayenne. Heat enchilada sauce in a sauce pan. Lay tortilla on a plate and spoon some enchilada sauce onto it and spread around to coat on both sides... it WILL be messy. This simulates the dunking of fried tortillas that PW does. Spoon 1/10th of sour cream mixture into a tortilla and roll up. Place into 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat for other tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. Top with extra green onions.
We have a little extra sour cream and cheese per our ingredient list than PW's because it wasn't going to be enough... probably a difference in using her corn tortillas and frying vs. what we did. We served 'em with brown rice and a little lettuce and tomato on the side.

Hubby was a little timid about this recipe as he is not a big sour cream fan like I am. He was pleasantly surprised that it was more of a creamy/cheesy taste than just tasting like a bunch of sour cream. I think next time it could be good to even throw in some sauteed mushrooms into the filling. Two thumbs up for this one!!

Would also be wonderful to serve one of my favorites, Guacamole alongside this dish! Check out the recipe here.

Linking up to these parties:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where the green grass grows

"I wanna live where the green grass grows..." -Tim McGraw

We finally made a big decision last fall to have sprinklers put in and sod in the backyard and sides and seed in the front. We were told that the front yard was saveable with seeding so we are still trying to go through some steps with the landscaping company to make that true.

This was our backyard before. Honestly it looked awful... these pictures probably don't even portray it as bad as it was. They are from one of our cookouts.

It was originally seeded when we built the home but it never took well. First of all Fescue grass which is mostly what people use here in Charlotte does not spread AT ALL and the fact that we did not have a sprinkler system didn't help. We did try to reseed but it wasn't very successful.

So we bit the bullet and paid for sprinklers/sod to be done instead of struggling with the yard for years to come. Thankfully our home was built before the new seperate water meter rule for sprinklers was put into effect so we were grandfathered in (phew!).

Here is the backyard now. We are very blessed to have a private backyard.

We even had a garden area sectioned off in the back corner (top right of above pic) which looks much nicer than my garden area last year. I am so excited about a bigger veggie garden!

 Pinestraw plant beds were put in for future use surrouning the deck and screen porch which you can't really see since some spare wood is on top of it for now.

We did have all this done in late fall but now that is it spring we can actually go out and enjoy and admire our green grass! All these pics were taken from our deck. You can read about the DIY deck we love here.

Yay for green grass!! Hopefully we can get the front yard looking uniform and think about some shrubs up there and then I can do a before/after of the front. There's always lots to do with homeownership, that's for sure! Have you had any yard/"green grass growing" challenges?

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