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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

his faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


I usually write about the projects I'm currently working on, and other goings on in our life, but today is a bit different.

Everyone always told us that being married is different than your relationship prior to marriage.  And now, I agree; but not in the ways they typically mean it.  Everyone has told us that it's hard to adjust to "what's next", "what do I do now", living together, getting used to each other's quirks, and that it makes the first years a bit of a challenge.

Matthew and I lived together before we were married, and although we saved a few very special things for our life as husband and wife, we had basically been married for years.  In our first few years of living together, our relationship was great. However, we did have arguments about each other's bad habits while we figured out how to live together.  We learned how to have an extended family that wasn't our own, but each other's, and we learned a lot along the way.  

Now that we're married, I don't feel different when it comes to those things, because of our unique situation.  We know how to budget our finances, how many kids we (think) we want, who will take the trash out, what the other person is like when they're sick, and all the ups and downs of living together.  

But, do you know what does feel different?  The way I look at Matthew has changed a lot.  Of course I always wanted to support him and love him before we were married, but now I have so much pride in who he is and I want to do everything in my power to encourage him in life and in our marriage.  I feel that it is my duty to do these things, and he does the same for me.  

More importantly than that, I feel like I understand God a little bit more everyday.  Everyone in the church always told us that we should glorify God through our marriage.  I always thought I knew what that meant, but I really had no clue until now.  Being married has not only brought me so much closer to Matthew, but I am so much closer to God.  I see his faithfulness so clearly when I look at my husband and all of the blessings in our life.  

What an amazing God we have that loves us, and gave us something as wonderful as marriage to glorify him. It is in him that everything and anything in my life, and our life is possible.  I feel so content, and I know that whatever God has in store for us, we will go through it together, and our lives, and our marriage will be that much better for it.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

bye bye ugly trash can

We love our kitchen.  It's a good size, we've got a lot of storage, and its nice and bright.  But, you may have noticed our less-than-gorgeous trash can in past pictures of our kitchen.
No, that's not a snake in the picture, Roxy just has to try to be in as many pictures as possible!

Not only is this trash can ugly, but it also is super easy for the dogs to get into.  I would love to pretend that our dogs are perfect and we don't have this problem, but unfortunately it's not.  A great solution to this problem would be to get a new trash can to keep them out and to improve the look.  

We did a little bit of research and found the best trash cans to keep the dogs out is a simplehuman trash can like this one:
Amazon
Oooh...Ahhhh.  It's a beauty isn't it?  We were sold, until we looked at the price tag...

$89.99

That is so not happening.  We are cheap money-conscious, and this was not an option.  So, back to the drawing board we went.  

I remembered back to our cute little apartment in Austin where we didn't have a ton of space, and we kept our trash can in the pantry.  It was great!  It was out of the way, kept any trash smell out of the kitchen and we didn't have to look at our ugly trash can!

Here is what our pantry looks like:
Our tiny pantry is a silly use of space anyway, but we plan to add pull out drawers for better storage, and in the future when we need more space for bulk items, we are planning to add storage in the basement.
I cleaned out the space, and had to cut the caulking to pull the shelf out.
Ick! There is something about old caulking that really grosses me out! I ripped that shelf and the old caulking out and popped our trash can right in there.
Then, shut the door and no more trash can! Our door needs a face lift, but that is another project for another day.
And, now the kitchen looks so much better without that can in there!
That project took me less than 10 minutes and has been a huge improvement.  We're very happy with it, and we will probably put something else there, like a plant...any suggestions?

I hope your Monday is going well, and I will be sharing more updates and projects throughout the week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

sweet little succulent

Remember when I showed you the Central Perk mug that my mom gave me a few years ago when I framed my niece's birth announcement?  
Well, while we were at Home Depot last night getting some supplies for another project we're working on, I picked up a cute little $3 succulent.
Look how amazing that is!  It is so fun, and it really fills out the space on my desk.
Best $3 upgrade ever!  We're cleaning house and getting ready for Matt's aunt and uncle to stay with us tomorrow, so I'll have a bunch of updates next week!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

bookshelf restyle

The day we closed on our house (and I literally mean that day), I went to Target and picked up three of these bookshelves for our living room.  We didn't have much furniture when we moved in, so getting three of these at $16 bucks a pop was a steal. They are regularly $20 a piece, but saving $12 was nice!
Target
I lined them up on the wall of the stairs, and initially when we moved in, the top two tiers of shelves were books and the bottom two were DVDs.  Lately, I've been itching to get those ugly DVD boxes out of site, so into a DVD binder they went, and I had a million more possibilities for the space.

I did a quick restyle of the shelves, and snapped a few pictures.  I noticed something that I could change very easily and would add a lot.
See the holes where you can adjust the shelves too?  Obviously, since these bookshelves were only $16 each from Target, they are cheapo, but I didn't want them to look so much so.  I grabbed some black paint I have laying around (the bookshelves are espresso, but that small of a hole doesn't matter, and the color is close enough).  Using a qtip, I pushed the paint into each hole and twisted to cover.
See how much better that looks?
After I fixed that up in just a few minutes, and continued to restyle.  I printed some new pictures, added accessories and mementos from our life and here's what I ended up with.
I'm sad that I didn't get a before shot with the ugly DVDs so I could show you how truly wonderful this change is.
Mixing vertical and horizontal book displays is my favorite, and the cute little bowl/box on top of the books was a souvenir from our honeymoon.  And a picture of our bridal party rounds this shelf out.
More Wedding pictures :), and a candle stick I bought from Kohl's months ago for about $2.
Our cake topper.  I'm not sure this will live here forever, but it looks nice for now.
Everyone has these Ikea storage boxes in their house, and we are keeping our favorite movies in this box for quick access.  I used some rub-on letters I have for scrapbooking to label.
This shelf is one of my favorites.  I framed a piece of scapbook paper next to my brother's senior picture.  And the fantastic bottle in the center is actually a Patron bottle.  I have never had Patron before, but at our community garage sale last month I picked up 12 of these beauties for $1 total!  They are so beautiful, and I can wait to do more projects with them.

Restyling these shelves has been a great improvement, and I love to see some of our favorite people and things on them when we are in this room.

P.S. Speaking of the living room, we're working on a big project to cover the ugly hole over the fireplace.  Stay tuned...

Monday, July 23, 2012

quick ottoman makeover

Remember this chair that I reupholstered a few months ago?
It's found a home in our living room, and my parents gave us this ottoman that they have had for years.
The size of, and legs on both of these pieces actually work well together, but the fabrics are not a match made in heaven. So, I decided to tackle a "quick" reupholstering project.  Keep in mind that the chair took me around 9 hours to take apart and recover.  This ottoman project took me a little over an hour and a half to complete.

I started out by taking off all the pieces and cutting out my fabric.  I have seen so many posts about using canvas drop cloths for curtains, and I decided to see how it would work for upholstered furniture.  I bought a 4'x15' drop cloth for $15, and plan to use the material for another upcoming reupholstery project I have going.
 
I got out my trusty staple gun and attached this piece in a breeze.  
Then, I sewed up some quick piping that was already on the ottoman and added the final piece.
Much better, right? Well, almost...see how the ottoman dips a bit in the middle? 
I went out to the scrap box in our garage, and I'm telling you a miracle happened! I had three scrap pieces that worked as is.  No cutting involved! It was crazy, and I'm pretty sure it was meant to be!

I grabbed a scrap piece of mdf and two scraps of a 2x2.  I screwed the pieces together, and into the ottoman.
Look how much better that looks! So full, and goes great with the chair!
P.S. Did you notice my pillow upgrade?  Kohl's sent me a $10 promotional card off of a purchase of $10 or more.  This $35 pillow was on clearance for $13.65 and I only paid $3.65! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

simple end table upgrade - diy

Happy Saturday!  Matthew's grandparents and cousin are staying with us this weekend, so I just wanted to pop in really quick to share a project I just finished yesterday.  

See this table that our programs were on at the wedding?
I know you can't see it extremely well, but I got this table at the Restore for $1 a few months ago, and it was the perfect spot for our programs.  Then, after the wedding, this table served as a nightstand in our room.  Luckily, we found some replacement nightstands last weekend (will share soon!), so this table became available.

You can get a table very similar to this for around $9 at Wal-Mart.  The only difference between my table and this one is that mine has 4 legs, and this one has only 3.
Walmart
My table was originally this bare wood that I painted white for the wedding.  Then, I used some leftover spray paint from the yellow lamp in my office.  The paint is Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch in Summer Squash.  I put a few quick coats on, waited about 24 hours and brought this bright table upstairs.
I liked it, but it was a little in your face, and needed some depth.  So, I grabbed some masking tape (I typically use painter's tape, but didn't have any, and I'm incredibly impatient), and taped off a few lines to add some white stripes.
Two quick coats of white paint leftover from trim projects in the house, and voila! 
I love it! It adds just enough visual interest, and breaks up all the yellow to make it fabulous.
This table also allowed us to move another lamp into this room, which you may recognize from my posts here and here about diy-ing the lamp and shade for only $11!

Also, did you notice the cute "print" in the frame? 
I had the frame and put scrapbooking stickers onto a piece of scrapbook paper for instant art.
And that cute little dish holding our coasters was a piece my grandparents passed down to us as an engagement present.  I absolutely love having family items mixed in with new and found items in our house!

I love projects like this because I already had everything.  I paid zero dollars to add this whole look to our living room, and that is very satisfying!
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