wonderfully made: August 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday: College and Football Edition!

We've made it to Friday!!!

For all of you that work normal jobs and don't take three month vacations every summer, I'm sure you're with me on feeling nostalgic every fall when you see and hear all about school starting back up. It brings me back to that exciting, giddy time where everything was new and you were off to a fresh start. 

Another thing that makes me nostalgic for school is my participation in a blogger fantasy football league with people like Karoline with a K. See if you can follow me here: yes, fantasy football is primarily for the NFL, but I'm not a HUGE NFL fan. I'm much more of a college football fan, so being involved makes me even more excited for COLLEGE football.

All that being said, I thought I would do a Five on Friday: College and Football Edition. Prepare yourself for a massive picture dump and let me know if your college experience was as great as mine.

As usual, I'm linking up here for my weekly Five on Friday!

Here are the things that stand out to me the most from my college experience...



I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory. You can't really go to college without going to class. If you don't go to class, you won't be going to college for much longer. I almost learned this the hard way...

(plus, if I didn't go to class, I wouldn't have met my handsome hubby!)


The new friends you make and the old friends that get to share in your new adventures!


The tradition and pride for your school and the education you gain along the way.


The Big 12 Football games.


As bittersweet as it all may be now, the satisfaction of reaching your goals and being celebrated for your success is the best ending to the journey.

So I'd like to reach out to all of you high-schoolers and college kids. Yes, we think you are immature, and silly, and irresponsible...but enjoy these next 4, 5, 6, etc. years because they are just the start of the best years of your life. Especially to my cousin Andrew, who is way too cool for me and probably thinks I'm super lame for even writing a blog. I'd like to think that it was me who planted the Red Raider seed in his mind because now, 4 years after living with his family during my internship, he is a Freshman at Texas Tech. I can't wait to share stories of our alma mater in years to come!

Fight, Matadors, for Tech!
Songs of love we'll sing to thee,
Bear our banners far and wide.
Ever to be our pride,
Fearless champions ever be.
Stand on heights of victory.
Strive for honor evermore.
Long live the Matadors!

Wreck 'em Tech!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A new life

Mark and I closed the door on a part of our life this week. 

14 months ago, Mark and I were searching for the place that we would live when we got married. It was June and my lease was ending so we looked for a place for me to live for the few months leading up to the wedding, when Mark would join me. We had wanted a house with a yard for Motley but the market was booming and there was nothing in our budget. 

I remember seeing this charming apartment pop up on my search every day with golden hardwood floors and a to-die-for kitchen. I passed by the listing day after day because it didn't meet our standards of having a yard, more than one bedroom, and it was in "that" part of Dallas that you don't talk about and definitely don't drive to. 

Finally, I got impatient and discouraged with my search so I opened my mind to the idea of not having a second bedroom. The apartment was a triplex, so although it didn't have a yard, maybe we could make it work. I decided to drive by the apartment to check out the neighborhood at lunch one day. I was getting discouraged as I droive south of I-30. More and more of the unfamiliar creeped up on me and the stereotype of the neighborhood was all I could think about. 

I turned onto Windomere Avenue and was surprised at what I found. There were lush green lawns met with craftsman style homes in pretty sage and lavender colors. There were mature trees lining the street and people walking their dogs. It was summer, so kids were playing in the front yards, happy as can be. I was giddy with the possibility and immediately contacted our real estate agent. 

I told Mark about what I had found and we met the agent the next day after work. As we walked through the perfectly remodeled apartment, I knew it was what I wanted. The kitchen was a dream and every detail had been considered in the remodel. It was clean, charming, well laid out, and had a big front porch! We locked up and walked out and I asked our agent to make an offer. As we drove away, Mark shared his hesitations. He wanted a yard, and how could we live in only 900 square feet!? 

I might have used my debating skills, because we ended up with that apartment in Oak Cliff on Windomere Avenue. There were times we wished we had a yard and times we wished we had more space, but it was a wonderful fit for us and I don't regret talking Mark into it one bit. (I don't think he regrets it either)

As we scrubbed and mopped and cleaned for hours on end on Tuesday night, I still felt like it was my place. I kept hearing a floorboard creak and expect to see Motley by my side. I opened and closed the blinds as I did every day when the sun was out and when it set. And then, walking out the door, exhausted from cleaning, I looked back one more time, put my arm around my husband, and gave him a kiss. It was a bittersweet moment and I was surprised to have tears come to my eyes, as it felt almost like a movie scene. 

How easily did we fall in love with that place? It is where I became a wife, where I socialized at game nights and laughed with my girlfriends watching the bachelor. It is where I welcomed two nieces into the world and took a new step in my career. I watched them haul away my tattered and totaled car of 5 years from that street and watched Mark clock countless hours playing frisbee with Motley in the parking area. Lastly, it is where Mark and I started a house hunt, made an offer, and ultimately signed a contract on our new home.

I'm sure it's shocking to many people, especially my family that is unfamiliar with Dallas, that I truly loved that little apartment in Winnetka Heights. The neighborhood was welcoming, the streets beautiful, and that apartment was perfect for us. I'll miss it dearly.

We've closed the door there and have just begun to open the door here in Northrich. I can only hope we will have the same sweet memories in our special new life.

If you missed it, I gushed about our old neighborhood here, and gave a house tour before moving out here

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Humpday blues

Whew. Crazy week, and it's only halfway over! Can I just say that extra Monday off of work next week will be SO sweet? Amiright???

Anyway, this week is trying to swallow me whole. It's times like these, however, where I pat myself on the back for having a "Happiness" pinterest board where I can look at all sorts of things, pictures, and quotes that make me happy. 

Maybe you're having a crazy week too, so here are some images from my Happiness board this week that just might hit the spot with you. 

-a happy little kitchen with a happy little fridge-
grey tile, turquoise Smeg & pattern-lined cabinets

-words to live by-
good reminder

-need this!-
the HUNTED INTERIOR: Room Service Atlanta Room Reveal "Hey y'all!"

-loving this aztec printed trend-

-ahhh Austin, you have my heart. you just have to share it with the Oasis-
The Oasis – Lake Travis, Austin, TX. What a view! The Oasis is a popular restaurant perched on a bluff 450 feet above Lake Travis in Austin, TX.

-drooling over these stripes-
different sized stripes

-kitties need private time-
Cat Tipis

-be still-
Being still

Have a great humpday!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recovery - a 60 year process

Howdy, y'all!

I'm not sure where that burst of Texas style welcome came from, but I'm running with it.

Today I want to do a post that is true to the original identity of my blog, which means I'm talking DIY and decor! If that's not up your alley, don't stop reading yet because this one is really easy and makes a huge difference!

You might have seen my post here where I mentioned that my parents gave Mark and I their kitchen table and chairs. This table has been around my family for at least 60 years, although the timeline gets a little fuzzy before 1975. My dad refinished the table when my parents got married (30+ years ago) but it's seen a lot of wear since then.

To go along with the infamous "peter pan" carving on the table top (kudos to my sister Angela for slipping that past the parents), there are no less than 3 layers of fabric on each seat cushion, serving as a timeline of trends and bad decisions over the years. The worst decision might have been the bright red cotton fabric with a heavy duty plastic overlay, courtesy of my mother and a decision that has lived with them (and my sister and I) for the last 15+ years. Since we didn't see the incorporation of red + polystyrene working into the decor of our home, I jumped on the chance to go to Joann Fabric, snag something more 'my style', and reupholster these bad boys! 

Read along with my process:

 here's where we are.........and here's where we want to be!

Step 1: remove the cushion from the chair. Easy peasy!


I bought 2 yards of linen suiting at Joann. I wasn't even sure what I wanted when I went in the store, but I stumbled across this neutral and natural looking fabric and I thought it would be a good compliment to the space. The fabric was on sale for $11.99, which is more than I typically spend on fabric (I'm cheap) but I liked it and only needed 2 yards, so I went with it. 

Step 2: lay out your fabric and cushion for sizing. 

I laid out the fabric, folded it, and placed the cushion for a size reference.

Then I cut the fabric (still folded in half) and cut the pieces into thirds for 6 cushions. After I had my thirds cut, I just sliced at the fold to make a total of 6 pieces. 

Step 3: Break out the iron (also called a skateboard by my nephew Mason)

I filled up the water reservoir and set the iron on medium heat for fear of burning the linen.

See those wrinkles at the top? This fabric is prone to wrinkle so even though you will stretch it, it is important to iron it first. I ironed it smooth and then laid it on the ground until I was ready to use it. 

Step 4: Staple, staple, staple!

I purchased a light duty staple gun at Joann's. I laid the fabric the way I wanted it to run on the cushion (also important-decide this before you start!) and folded up one edge and put a staple in the middle. 

I cut off the excess, and then repeated the staple on the opposite end of the chair, to be sure that the fabric was laid correctly and didn't skew when stretched. I would turn the cushion over after every few staples to check that it was looking how I wanted it to look.

I put about 6-8 staples on each side, about 1" in from the edge. 

I made sure to staple almost exactly in the corners, which is important in my next step. 

Step 5: Corners

Most of this job is pretty easy, which is why it's important to make sure your corners look good. If they look bad, they can make the entire job look cheap. 

(excuse the chipping nail polish) I did the corners in a three part process. I would first staple at the corner, then fold over in about a 60 degree angle and staple that.

I would then pull another section over to make it flush with the next edge of the chair. This made the corner nice and neat without bunching up.

finished corner.

And here is the finished product, with all 6 chairs recovered:

At first I thought about painting the table and chairs, but I'm thinking we might either leave everything natural and just refinish the top, or refinish the top, paint the base and legs of the table black, and leave everything natural. What are your thoughts? Do you think it's too old fashioned?

Ahhhh so much better than red!

Corner detail (not perfect, but better!) and the natural texture of the fabric.

The view from the couch after a night of projects.

The whole process took only about 2 hours. I had Mark's help with removing and replacing the cushions on the chair, so if I count our time together I would say this could take up to 4 hours max. However, isn't the end result worth it?

Let me know what you think of our new table and chairs!