Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spaces: The Big To-Do List

Now that both of us are settled and comfy in our new homes, we have been looking at more and more ways to make our spaces our own!  Time, of course, has been the missing link, but we're working on that!  Here are each of our top five items on our house to-do lists:

Amy's List

1. Finish the dreaded laundry room window frosting project.
2. P-a-i-n-t!

This project actually encompases multiple projects, as I want to paint my master bath, living room, kitchen, and guest bath at some point.  I've pretty much decided on all the colors.  First on the list is the master bath, which I am planning to paint a cool gray-ish purple that I picked up on the "oops" rack at Home Depot for about $5.  I'm thinking about painting stripes on the walls like these from Young House Love.

3. Get new curtains.

The previous owners of my house were kind enough to leave all the window treatments, which has been a huge help to me.  However, I'm ready for a change!  I'm loving these curtains from Ikea but looks like they might be discontinued, so I smell some DIY!

4. Touch up the ceilings in my master bedroom.

Let's just say that we got a little lazy toward the end of our painting experience, and there are some mistakes that need fixing.

5. Make a window seat in my loft

So excited for this one!  This idea was inspired by the infamous Pinterest, which led me to this adorable office picture.

 When I showed Ashley, I said, "All that's missing is a window seat."  That smarty-pants sister of mine gave me a GENIUS idea to make it work...and I can't wait to make it happen!  I better get to frosting that window!  :)

Ashleys ever-growing To-Do List.

1.  Backsplash in the kitchen!

Our kitchen is just one big blank canvas, however since there is no "break" in the wall separating the dining room and living room we would either have to paint the whole room one solid color (boring!) or we would have weird paint lines where the color changes.  Therefore, I have the idea of adding a mosaic tile back splash in my kitchen to add color with out having to paint the whole room one solid color. 
I'd absolutely LOVE it if my backsplash looked like this:

                                                             Idea came from this site

                      This is the location for the back splash...apologies for the clutter shown in this photo!
2.  Paint!  
Matt and I have to turn our white walls into something more warm and "home" like.  We have discussed colors but just can't pick the look we feel we want in our house.  I like the neutral and natural colors like this while Matt wants to get a little crazy and add colorful accent walls.   

3.  Hang pictures! 

I love pictures!  I'm not the best at photography however I just LOVE taking pictures of pretty landscapes and I love candid photos of people and taking fun pictures of children busy at play.  I have alot of photos I have taken myself as well as framed pictures of our wedding that I want to hang.  It's just so hard to figure out the best place to put things.   However, Matt and I have been extremely busy getting a head start on these projects and here is where we are at this point: 

                                            Kitchen word art
  Master Bedroom Art and the blinds we have put up in there (project #4)
      Our first wedding photo framed and hung in our staircase...We are thinking a taupe color for this wall.

4.  Finish hanging Blinds and Curtains:

We have already done quite a bit of this project thanks to some help from our family, however it's just become an issue of FINISHING!  We've transformed most of our house so far and are loving the new window treatments.

5.  Frosting the glass on our front entry door... (must be a sister thing!)
We love the windows around out front door as it allows us to see who may be on the other side when the doorbell rings.... however, its also been a topic that comes up often when we discuss the security of our new home.  We don't really know whats visible from the outside, therefore we would like to take on the project of frosting the glass to make it less visible from the outside! 

It has just begun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sisters: Heroes at Home

Hi Readers, Ashley here-

On Saturday, September 24, we headed out to the Sears store at Woodfield Mall  for a concert brought to us from the Heroes at Home program.  The headliner of the show was Josh Gracin--one of my very favorite country music artists--so the show was almost a MUST for me.  We heard on the radio that if you were one of the first 100 fans in line, you received a wrist band for a meet and greet with Josh.  We received wrist bands and jumped in line. 

We each received an autographed photo.

It was dedicated to a great cause, and it felt great to spend the day knowing we were out there to support our troops and to let the loved ones of the troops know that they are not alone. 

Josh Gracin never lets us down and always provides a memorable show.  We have seen him a few times now, and after each show we find ourselves discussing the best parts.  This show was even more special because of the program it was being provided by. 

Amy and I are lucky enough to have our family members home, and most are near us, but we are close with some people who have family members serving for our freedom.  Anything we can do to show our support is worth it to us as individuals AND as sisters!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spaces: The Frosting on the...Windows

Before I start, I must admit that this may be one of the laziest projects I have ever not-completed.  Something that should have taken me an afternoon has taken me--literally--months.  And...I'm still not done.  Yikes!

What is this simple-but-not-in-Amy's-world project, you ask?  Frosting my mud/laundry room window.  This window is the only one in my house at ground level, and the fact that it is so exposed kind of creeps me out.  I didn't feel like it would look right with curtains, so I decided frosting it was the way to go.

I decided to do the same with the small window in my master bathroom, so I headed over to Lowe's (with a coupon, of course) and picked up a roll of window frosting film. 

(I must digress for a it weird that every time I type the word frosting, even if reference to a window, I can't stop thinking about the cookies calling my name from the kitchen?  I didn't think so.)

Anyway, I ended up having to pick up two rolls for the two windows, and it knocked me back about 50 bucks when all was said and done...yeesh!

When I got home, I took a break and spent some time on one of my favorite obsessions: Pinterest.  Lo and behold, I stumbled upon this link that described how to "frost" a window with contact paper.  Six dollars for a roll of contact paper as opposed to the 25 I spent on the fancy stuff?  Yes, please!

So, I printed 7th House on the Left's awesome stencil template and got to work tracing and cutting.

Not the most entertaining of jobs (hence the WEEKS it took me to complete this phase of the project...motivation was not easy to find), but I persevered...if you could call it that.

So, after lots of tracing and cutting (and some frustration, because for some reason they didn't line up evenly), I was left with a bunch of cut out shapes and was ready to rock on my window.

I cleaned it really well and started sticking.  The trickiest part was the edges, because a full shape wouldn't fit.  Luckily, I had the tool from the expensive stuff (which I still used on my bathroom window), which made it really easy. 

At first, I was nervous, but I stepped back and was loving it!  And this... as far as I got.  Despite the fact that I thought I had cut out plenty of pieces, the ones I had only covered half the window. started.  And, hence, my window has not changed in the two months since.  Oops!  Now that the wedding and NYC trip are over, though, I'm planning on finishing this one soon.  So, be sure to come back next time, when Amy finally gets some motivation and finishes the fairly easy project!  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stuff: My Wedding!

On with the catching up process!  Of the preview of events that we re-capped in a prior post,  this post will be all about my wedding! 

The night before the wedding we enjoyed dinner with our family and our bridal party and rehearsed the events for the next day.  All was going well.  I slept OK the night before, woke up and greeted Amy- who was also maid of honor and Monika one of my bridesmaids.   We headed off to get our hair done, all was still going well. 

Amy's hair was finished, my 3rd bridesmaid arrived at the salon, and it was my turn to get my hair done.  That is when the anxiety hit; I realized our photographer was already at our house waiting for me, and I was nowhere near being done with my hair.  I realized at about the same time that I had been looking at the reflection of the clock in the mirror, and it was later than I had thought we were officially almost running late. 

I kept my smile and kept breathing... safe to say this is one of the only times I got honestly nervous through the whole day.

We rushed home, andI threw my dress on so the photographer could snap a few pictures before she had to be at the church to take pictures of Matt and the groomsmen. 

Because my dress was already on I had to drape a towel over it so as to not get makeup on it.  Talk about RUSHING!!  But all of our makeup turned out great.

The limo pulled in as the girls and I were putting on our final details, and it was time to head to church.  It was now about 12:45, and the wedding was at 1:30.  The limo driver didn't listen to our forewarning that the road ahead was closed, so, through a detour, we made it to the church about 20 minutes before I was due to walk down the aisle.  Amy provided me a card from was written for me to read on our wedding day about how excited he was about the day.  I had been doing good with not crying all day long, until I read this card. 

I stopped the tears by using said card for a paper fan and dancing to some old school music that I lived for in my middle and high school days. 

The TV screen behind us also proved to be a great mirror for me when I realized I hadn't brushed my teeth yet, and the small bathroom we had in our pre-event room was occupied. 
Finally it was time to walk down the aisle...I did it with a smile and no tears!!  It was kind of fun, but I don't remember looking at Matt I only remember looking at the guests on my side of the church.

My parents presented me to my groom, and we became Mr. and Mrs!

We danced and had pretty much the best night of our lives!  Our reception was amazing and everything turned out perfectly.
But in true-to-life style, all good things must come to an we bid our guests farewell.
A lot of people ask:  
Did anything go wrong on your wedding day?
I'd say no, other than the running short on time, and one boutonniere was missing from the florist.

Would I go back and plan it all again? 
NEVER!  I did not enjoy the wedding process.
Would I go back and relive that day? 
Absolutely! I would relive my wedding day if I could.
What would you change about your wedding day? 
Nothing, I'd keep everything the same because it was our day, and everything happened as it was supposed to, planned or not!

Still to this day people are talking about the amount of fun they had at our wedding, and for that we are grateful.  However, for now-  we're just enjoying life as it was meant to be for us.

                   ~<3 Ashley

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sisters: 2 New Recipes

Ashley here!  I'll start off by catching you all up on our recent NEW RECIPE NIGHTS!   On Amy's last turn she picked Barbecue Chicken Burgers.
Amy doesn't like to have her hands in raw meat (or anything raw) yet had no choice when it came to mixing up the chicken for our burgers.

I'd have to admit they looked GREAT on the grill and tasted pretty good too.

                              As with most of our meals, we paired it with a salad and enjoyed!

Next up was my turn to pick a new recipe.  I didn't want to make anything in "burger" form so I picked a baked Macaroni and Cheese dish.   It was a "healthy-ish" recipe, and we added some shredded chicken for a little added protein. 

**Amy here!  I'm adding pictures for the post and must make a mental note to start putting on some makeup before NRN...especially when I know we'll blog about it!  Good thing I have a pretty sister! :)

The finished product burned just a little (we were probably watching football and forgot about it, haha) but was still delish!

Next Up.... Matt's turn to pick a reciepe for NRN!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sisters: We're Back!!!

As you can probably tell, life took hold of the two of us for the past--oh--month and a half...

But, here we are!  Finally, we have gotten a chance to take a deep breath, and now we're ready to get back to blogging, because we love it!

So, in the time that we've been away, a lot of exciting things have happened.  Here is what we've been up to since we've been gone:

1. Amy had a birthday!  An evening of craftiness was--of course--involved.

2. Amy started training for her first half marathon and finally signed up to make it happen!

3. Ashley got married!!!

4. Ashley and her new hubby went on a relaxing honeymoon in Wisconsin.

5. We met a celeb and rocked out.

6. Amy went on an adventure in New York City.

Now, we are back to some sort of normalcy and are looking forward to resuming our lovely lives of making our houses look awesome, trying new recipes, and overall loving life!  Stay tuned for details on all of the events from September and October, plus our awesome plans for a fabulous fall!