Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Accidents

Now that Ross & I are fully unpacked and kicking back to relax, my intuition is screaming at me to decorate! Make this place feel more like 'home,' even if it is temporary! So the last project I had on my to-do list was to hang pictures, specifically in the living room. I'd rather hang the pictures I have then let them collect dust in storage, so off I go.

I was excited to hang my gallery wall frames over the couch since I had the perfect spot in the apartment. If you don't know what my gallery wall is, here's a little refresher from the old home.

 The white frames were one of my favorite things in the old house, so I was excited to get these puppies back out!


That's when I realized the one box I had sat aside, thinking was filled with my white frames, was in fact, not my white frames at all, but other misc. picture frames. The white frames were officially packed away in our garage storage unit, buried behind 2 rows of other boxe, so that idea quickly died.

Once I pulled out the frames from this box, I had a ton of mismatched artwork that was previously hung in random places in the old house.

Happy Accident #1: Why not do a gallery wall with mismatched frames like I've seen before?? This could get interesting and I was intrigued :) My creative juices were flowing!!.....

I didn't do a great job at taking before photos, but basically, once I got all of the frames filled with pictures of family & friends (which was dif. from the last gallery wall...but let's face it, I miss all of them already and knew I wanted to see their shining faces in my living room!!! haha) and figured out the frame arrangement, I hung 'em up!  (Oh don't judge me that most of pics are not straight, haha)

Pretend you don't see the blue peaking out at you in the 2 frames ;) That would be a spoiler alert!!


As much as I enjoyed the mismatched 'look,' something didn't feel right. It felt balanced enough, but it felt 'heavy.' For some reason, the heaviness felt like a 'northern decorating habit' and didn't feel right down here in the south. I can't explain it. Call me crazy! But in the south, I feel like decorating should be light and airy thanks to the HEAT we have outside. This was all wrong.

I needed color! Light! Brightness! That's when I decided I wanted to throw color into my decorating. In the last house, I decorated with all greens. Now I wanted TURQUIOSE! YELLOW!! Are you getting excited yet?! B/c I sure was :)

Off I went to the store to find a few new accessories to hopefully tie in the color scheme I was going to incorporate in the gallery wall.

This pillow was a starting point :)

Happy Accident #2: I stumbled across this vase in Jo-Anne's in the clearance aisle. It was PERFECT and turquoise!! So I added some yellow flowers...and's shouting SUMMER! :)

Now I was ready to amp up my gallery wall, so I picked up a few supplies at Jo-Anne's as well. Some scrapbooking materials and paper.

My first thought was to replace the beige mat in dakota's pictures with turquoise paper. I didn't want to ruin the old mat in case I go back to neutral one day, so I just cut out the paper and layed it on top.

Next up was more turquoise paper behind these pictures. You can see this paper was more of a cutout design which I thought was cool. The frames were originally see through glass, now there's another dimension to it :)

 Lastly, I needed to fill two frames I picked up at Goodwill for .99 cents each!

(My best kept secret.... I almost ALWAYS buy frames from goodwill! Also, if you scroll up and see the 4 tiny square frames...those were also .99 cents each from Goodwill and I think they're adorable! The rest of my frames I had on hand.)

Happy Accident #3 (are you tired of hearing 'happy accident' yet?!) I broke the glass in the bottom frame when I was going to put a picture in it. That's when the next idea came to me instead! Why not fill it with something 3D instead, aka 3D flowers in the scrapbooking section.

Here's the 3D picture:

And here's the 2nd picture frame with just some 2 dimensional flowers.

Lastly, since I had a TON of turquiose in the gallery wall, I needed to incorporate more yellow (the above example was one try). So I changed our monogram picture to yellow text:

It's not very noticeable from far away, but I like the subtlety of it :)

And the FINAL result?! I LOVE my new gallery wall :) It feels fresh and exciting!!

I still want to find one more turquoise pillow or throw blanket to balance out the million and one green pillows, but for now, I'm as happy as a peach. If peaches were happy. Which they should be b/c they are yummy. At least Ross thinks so. I'm still indifferent to them. ANYWHO...that's all for today! I'm all decorated out :)


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Art in Avondale Park

The fun of living in any new town I imagine is just exploring the area. So far, Ross & I have done just that. This past weekend, we checked out the annual Buck Creek Festival in the town south of us, called Helena (rated in the top '100 places to live in the US,' which peaks my interest! haha). It was a casual hang out, lots of good food and gave us something to do in this gorgeous weather. Sorry though, I didn't bring my camera.

But that brings me to my next topic, the weekend before when Ross & I checked out 'Art in the Park' at Avondale Park, a bit north of us. The drive there was quite interesting, going through some very deteriorating neighborhoods, and Ross was wondering where on earth I was taking him! But alas, we stumbled upon Avondale Park which was quite the hidden gemstone.

It was a VERY small art show, which local artists only, but was worth a day out. They had tents set up for the artists, Firetrucks for the kids to explore, and so forth.

We even brought Dakota with us, just to get her out of the house and hopefully burn off some energy!

Look ma'.... trying to wear my hair curly aka au naturale!! You'd be so proud!

Moving on, Ross & I have decided we are bad 'parents' as I remembered to bring water for Dakota, but no bowl. Sooooo, we couldn't stay very long, since she was panting in no time! oopsie daisy!

Also at the festival were musicians playing in the outside amphitheater, which was quite nice. It was pretty dead when we were there, but it seemed like it would be a great place to hang out if they had more events set up on the weekends.

The first picture shows the stage, and the second shows the sitting area. I love how they tiered the seating right into the hill :)

As we were leaving, we saw baby ducks (ducklings?). lol

And lastly, for my dad, on our drive home, we saw his favorite Two Men.....

 HAHA. I had no clue they were based nationally and not just in Pgh.

Well, that's been our weekends so far, and I'll remember to keep our camera handy for our next adventures!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mastering the Cookie

That's my 25 years of life, NEVER have I been able to bake a chocolate chip cookie that didn't come out looking like a pancake! But no more!! I finally concocted the perfect recipe! *er* maybe. It still needs a bit of tweaking, but that's ok :) At least these are OH So delicious!

Also, in my free time, I've been trying to use my DSLR more since I've realized 1) Ross & I NEVER take pictures and 2) I bought this fancy camera and intend on learning all about it! So the more opportunities I decide to use it, the better I'll get. I no longer put the camera away, b/c when it's put away, I forget about it. So now it sits pretty on the top of my kitchen counter :)

So enjoy a ride through my Monday baking...

 Yum....can't you just smell them?!

They came out a little more brown than I intended, which is where the tweaking comes in to play. Or maybe it's the electric oven I'm not used to.

On a photography sidenote, I think I'm getting a little carried away with my nifty fifty lens and need to tone down the 'blurriness' ha!

 And my new routine? A fruity alcoholic drink while baking. They just go hand-in-hand, dontcha thinik?!

So perhaps this is what people do while they are unemployed? If so, I could sure live it up :) And to follow my 'get-fit-for-Ang's-wedding' regime, I gladly gave away all of my cookies for Ross to take into work. So I only ate ten. What?! Surely, that's better than eating all 4 dozen!! 0:)


Monday, May 7, 2012

Southern Living

Oi vey! The apt. has been taken over by boxes! I'm slowly unpacking everything but now our apt. seems to be bursting at the seams. Ugh! But anyway, before I get lost in the madness again, I thought I'd update you on how life in the south has been going so far :)

Since our tv and other items didn't come until yesterday, I had nothing to do all week but catch up on some reading and work on some projects on the computer. I just finished the Hunger Games series and can't stop thinking about it :) I'm so glad I finished it after being very confused after the 2nd book...but you'll see....I wouldn't want to give away any spoilers!

Other than that, it was kind of nice to relax without being sucked into tv-watching every night, gave us a chance after work to explore the area instead and try out some restaurants. Although, I must admit, once we finally got our stuff yesterday, the first thing Ross & I did was hook up the tv and order pizza (Papa John's to be exact, since we've NEVER lived somewhere where they deliver to us, so this was a huge splurge :)

Ross has been busy at work, normally getting home around 5:30 or 6:00. Then there are some late nights when he doesn't leave the office until 6:00, but we can't complain. I think we both still see this is the opportunity we were waiting for, and I don't think he minds the late night every now and then. He's gaining a ton of experience already and seems to enjoy his job for the most part, at least as much as you can enjoy the field of labor relations! I still question how he deals with difficult people on a daily basis, haha....but I guess he knew what he was getting into!

As for me, I've been job hunting a bit here & there, but haven't seen anything yet that interests me. Bu I'll keep looking and forge on! I know something will come along sooner or later.

As for the's hot. The end. And I know we're not even into the thick of it yet. It's weird, knowing that I'm experiencing weather that is the HEIGHT of Pgh's summer, high 80's, low 90's, and can't even imagine what it's going to be like when the humidity hits. We've been warned, so I'm not looking forward to it. I've been complaining since the day I've moved here how HOT it is! I guess I was never really a summer person to begin with. Always enjoyed the fall weather most (aka Alabama's winter :)

Well, anyway, I should go back to unpacking/ looking for things I can't find/ losing my pair of scissors for the 1093240824th time!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One Bachelorette, One Last Farewell

So much has happened since my last blog post, I have a lot of catching up to do! But first, before updating on Alabama, let's pick up where I left off...finishing my last day at Westinghouse. Once I left there and a few emotional goodbyes, I was on my way to a fun-filled weekend with my best girlfriends for Ang's Bachelorette Party!

It was such a great weekend and I can't stop reliving it :) We got to Ang's Friday night just in time to watch the Pen's victory for game 5. Saturday we had everything planned and kept secret from Ang. First was lunch, then off to another one of our bridesmaid's houses for a Passion Party. If you've never heard, just google it! It was hilarious to say the least ;) After that, we headed into Bethesda for dinner and hit up some bars for drinks and dancing the night away. I stole a few pics from facebook to share :)

It was funny how many times we were asked who the bride was!!! Umm...just look for the girl with the feathered boa, sash, tiara, lighted up shot glass and more! HA! She was all decked out :)

My best girls for life! Miss you girls already....

 And one shot of me and the bride :)

What a great weekend! We might've even outdone the guy's bachelor party that same weekend (but in different towns), but I won't judge :P   It was a weekend to never forget, and even though it was a weekend meant for Ang, it was the best way for me to be ready to go off to Alabama... spending time with the girls I love most and have known for most of my life! *tear* Can't wait to see them in June for the big wedding!