Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #28

These balls that let you walk on water look like such fun (although I might feel a little like a hamster ;) ).

Ashton is digging these blue-gray, blue, nude and red shades of nail polish. Perfect for Autumn!

Take a peek at what Ashton is loving this fall over on Pinterest.

Some easy (and modern) art.

This joke made Adri literally laugh out loud.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gift Ideas For Her: Earrings

I stumbled across this gorgeous collection of earrings, and had to share! I think they would make a great gift. Here are my three favorite:

I'm not going to lie, I swooned as soon as I saw these. Beautifully understated gold studs - a staple every woman should own.

I thought these were pretty too - very delicate. These aren't my style so much, but I know a few ladies who would love something like this.

And these? Well, let's just say they earned another swoon :) I usually tend toward neutral colors for earrings (like gold or silver) but this gorgeous shade of blue has won me over.

I liked every single pair of earrings in this collection - which is rare for me, since I tend to be picky when it comes to jewelry. They are all very classic pieces that are fairly affordable, especially as a gift for that someone special.

I also really like the idea of buying jewelry from a unique source like a website or artist's shop - I think it adds another layer of meaning and thoughtfulness to the gift.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sonnet 22 by William Shakespeare

My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date,
But when in thee Time's furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me.
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kitchen Mini-Makeover Mood Board

The hubs and I have decided to give our kitchen/dining area a face lift! We have lived in the same apartment for almost 3 years now, but have never really attempted to make it feel like a home. Neither of us really likes it here (there aren't many - scratch that - any amenities) and I think we've both felt that we would be moving soon....yet here it is several years later and we are still here :)
This year we discussed various options - buying a house or condo, renting a nicer place, moving to a different city - but all of these would come with increased expenses. So to keep costs as low as possible while we are paying off our student loans, we have decided to stay put for awhile longer. BUT! And this is the exciting part for me - we have also decided to stop living with our mishmash of college furniture and the odd hand-me-down! Basically we are re-evaluating everything we own room by room. Purging, reorganizing and streamlining to make our place really feel like it's our own. Before we purchase anything new for the kitchen/dining area, I have agreed to fulfill the following tasks:

1. Find a storage spot for our 5 gallon water bottles when not in use
2. Find a place for our reusable grocery bags
3. Throw away one of the cheap bookshelves we bought from Wal-Mart (there is still another one in there for now)
4. Move a small wooden bookshelf to the hallway and use it to store books rather than dry goods
5. Move my sewing supplies to another room
6. Find a spot for my kitchenaid stand mixer
7. Sell our current table and chairs

All but two of these tasks have been completed! So I made up a mood board of what I would like to purchase for this room:

Kitchen make...
Kitchen make... by ashtonia

Cost breakdown:
Ikea Jokkmokk table and 4 chairs: $129
Ikea Expedit bookcase: $129
Crate and Barrel Harper rug (30"x 50"): $30
Lampshade: I would like to budget $25 for this purchase
(The art and plates are there to show the color palette of what we already own and see daily in the room)

Total: $313

The hubs has 3 paintings that are primarily yellow and red that are hanging in the kitchen and our dishes are the peacock and navy blue colors you see in the mood board. I have been having trouble figuring out how to make these different colors work cohesively, but I think that rug may be just the trick! I love the shade of blue, yellow and red in the rug and I think it will help tie the room together.

The smaller ikea table would replace the large round table we are using now, which I hope will make the room seem bigger.

The bookshelf cubbies would serve as an open pantry and storage for some of our appliances. One large bookcase will look much cleaner than the three mismatched ones we are using now :)

I'm sure this make over will be a slow process, but I will post pictures once the transformation begins!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo of the Week

Majestic Oaks.

Photo taken last year at my parent's ranch

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #27

Things of note from the past two weeks:


was blown away by these cutting boards that Kate (of Centsational Girl) made herself. Now there's one more thing on Adri's "To Do Someday" list!

appreciated this reminder from Ashlee (another Sacramentan blogger) that it's important to do things, not just talk about it.

found Primer's guide to wine particularly accessible and helpful.

read this article from The Art of Manliness and then had to forcibly restrain herself from emailing it to every college-age young man she knows.

enjoyed watching this video that features the changing styles of the past century.


thought these mint cookies look delicious :)

liked this cool sunburst mirror

would like to make orange french toast - perfect for a lazy Saturday

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I moved into my apartment nearly 2 months ago, but until about 2 weeks ago, I still hadn't put together my bed! Not for lack of trying, mind you. My bed's hardware simply refused to cooperate with my efforts to assemble it! First, I couldn't find the hardware for 2 weeks. Then, I thought I had succeeded in putting the bed together, but lo and behold, it collapsed on me in the middle of the night! A couple weeks later I tried once again to get the bed put together but the hardware was not fitting the way it should. The entire experience was incredibly frustrating and nearly brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

Thankfully, after my two oldest brothers moved out of my parents' home, their bunk bed (which is assembled in the same manner as my bed), was taken apart and moved out of their room, which meant that I had access to additional hardware. This time it worked! My bed is now put together for good and I am SO happy to not be sleeping on a mattress on the floor anymore. It's amazing how much easier it is get up in the morning when all you have to do is swing your legs over the side of your bed and stand up!

Having my bed put together has finally given me the push I needed to finish off the rest of my room. I had to run down to my hometown last week and since the World Market there is moving, everything in the store is deeply discounted. I found a small rug and a pillow that go great with my color scheme, so I picked them up. Here's how my bed looks right now:

The striped pillow was only $8 and the rug was only $7.50! They add so much to my room for less than $16 bucks, and they go perfectly with my target color scheme (black, white, blue, and green). I also like the fact that the rug has tan stripes, which helps to tie in my standard apartment carpet.

Here you can see how the striped pillow ties in with my other decor: the white sham in the back, the pillowcase that came with a sheet set I picked up at Target last year (somewhere around $8, I think - and I bought two so I never have to use anything else), the round floor pillow also from Target (on sale for around $12 - I'd had my eye on it for months so I decided it was worth a little splurge), and the ampersand pillow made for me by Rebekah. I like them all, but the "&" pillow is by far my favorite!

Here's a wider shot where you can see that I desperately need to come up with a solution for hiding those risers! They are so ugly.

And just so I can embarrass myself and you all can see how much of an improvement this is, this picture shows what my room more or less looked like for a month-and-a-half! I am ashamed. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the black fabric hanging behind the vertical blinds is an old shower curtain that I hung there to block the light that comes in at night.

I'm so excited to finally have my bed put together that despite all the busy-ness of school, church, and work, I am on a decorating roll in this room! Projects planned for the next two weeks: hanging art, finishing the organization of my bookcase, adding curtains to my window, setting up a small jewelry station, making a de-stressing area to relax with a book or play my flute, and streamlining my desk for maximum productivity. Should be fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And The Dad of the Year Award Goes to....

I stumbled upon the website purely by accident, but boy am I glad I did! These creations are seriously amazing!!

I tried to pick a favorite, but I couldn't - they are all sweet in their own way. Of course, it will come as no surprise that the Dad is an engineer (civil to be exact) - it would take an engineer's patience and attention to detail to create that 3D dinosaur!

And I was proud of myself for mastering the Mickey Mouse shape ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo of the Week


Taken at the my parent's ranch

My Brother's College

As you may remember, I went to Prescott, Arizona a few weeks ago to keep my mom and brother company during the second half of orientation week. My brother is attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and I was really impressed with with the campus, town, and above all, the intelligence and character of the students I met. Here are some pictures from that trip:

I love the high desert! It is so beautiful!

This is a plane that just stays here all the time. I think there's something special about it, but I don't remember what it is!

Mom and Joe in one of the campus outdoor areas.

Pathway along the side of the library.

View of the student center from the university library.

The hallway in the library mimics the look of a runway at night.

The library also has to-scale replicas of nearly every plane ever created. It was cool to see them all next to each other!

Even the dumpster-hiding-walls look good at this university!

My brother and me during our last errand together, which involved a trip to Costco to purchase a rain jacket. Rain comes sudden and heavy in the high desert, something us Nor Cal'ers are not used to! We didn't even think to pack a raincoat for him.

Sunset behind the dorms.

Path leading from the dorms to the student center.

ERAU is very supportive of the military. This tree is a memorial to all the fallen service men and women who are ERAU alums. The Army and Air Force cadets stop every time they pass this statue and salute in their honor.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Abstract Art - Yellow

The other day I was browsing etsy and ended up looking at abstract paintings (something I often end up doing). I usually tend to gravitate to art that is predominantly blues and greens, but on a whim I took a look at pieces with yellow hues - and was surprised by how much I liked this color palette too! I thought I would share some of the gorgeous pieces that caught my eye :)

I like the choice of shades of cool purples in contrast to the brighter yellows. I could see this in an entryway or sunroom.

I think this moodier painting would look stunning in a master bedroom. Something about the slate undertones really draws me in and I think it would be restful - even though one wouldn't normally think of a yellow painting as restful :)

This cheerful piece would look gorgeous in a living room. I could see this really brightening up a space.

Although I like all three of these works of art, I find myself drawn again and again to the last two. What would  be your favorite?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Indian Summer by Emily Dickinson

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June, --
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IKEA Wish Listin': Chiefly Functional

A few weeks ago I did a round-up of some decorative items I saw in the most recent IKEA catalog. I still haven't made a trip to IKEA (a real shame, considering there's one only half an hour from where I live!), but today I'm back with a list of some items that are primarily functional.

I'm planning to put a little sitting area in one corner of my room and I think the STRIND side table would work well there. Even if I don't get my sitting area, I may still purchase it and use it as a bedside table, since my room needs more round elements.

The TORSBY dining table has almost the perfect dimensions to fit in the corner made by our two couches - we would just need to shorten the legs somehow. We really need something for that area, not only as a place to set drinks, but also as a way to make the pile of shoes by our door less noticeable (if we had the table, we would keep a basket under it to hold our shoes).

I've wanted a hat & coat stand for a very long time and the PORTIS one is both minimalistic and pretty - not to mention inexpensive! It is difficult to find a stand like this for less than $70.

I really need to get over to IKEA soon...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #26

Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend!

These Wookie-the-Chew prints (inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh but with a Star Wars twist) are adorable!

a simple and sweet necklace

A funny video showcasing the latest fad, "batmanning" :) - because planking, owling and horsemaning are sooo last week!

atheist Penn Gillette's thoughtful provoking response to being given a Bible.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baking for the Hubs

I am feeling in a baking mood today! And since I happen to have a free morning, I thought I would spend it whipping up some baked goods for the hubs. What should I make?

These cinnamon roll muffins look delicious - and would be an easy morning snack to grab on the run.

These banana treats would be on the healthier side, and would leave room for me to use up some ingredients I already have on hand - plus it's been hot again lately, so a frozen dessert might not be a bad idea :)

The hubs likes peanut butter cookies, and adding some chocolate and perhaps a few extra peanuts on top might be a fun take on this classic.

Or should I whip up some of these awesome chocolate chip cookie bowls? We love us some ice cream, so I know these would be sure to be a hit!

Ahh, sweet, sweet decisions!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Antiquities in the High Desert

Two weeks ago, I got to go to Prescott, Arizona and spend a few days with my mom and middle brother at said brother's college. While there, my mom and I had the chance to stop at a little roadside antiques shop (though I think it was more of a used furniture shop - I'm not sure how many things in there were actually antiques). There were quite a few things that I thought would look great in the right home. Here are some pictures of my favorite items:

I  thought this antique chair would look lovely recovered, in the corner of a bedroom or at a vanity.

This large mirror was $99 and my mom thought it would look great in her dining room. Unfortunately, we had no way of getting it back with us since we flew.

I loved this old-fashioned office chair. If I'd had the means, I would have brought it home with me in a heartbeat.

I liked the bold color on this desk and the lovely distressing. It was already sold so I couldn't find a price tag.

This piece was being sold for $299, which I thought was a bit steep, but I'm certainly no expert. The tag said it's a bakers' rack but the wine rack in the lower section makes me think it would be better as a drinks' station.

This bed was gorgeous and chunky. It would look great in a country or cottage bedroom.

I thought this cart would look so charming stained darker or painted and distressed in white. The large wheels in the front remind of a ship's helm and I think it would go great in a beach or nautical-themed house.