So Many New Changes!

Phew! These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. let me take you back to the beginning…

First thing, I got a new job! It happened SO quickly. I applied a while ago, and literally haven’t heard anything in months. Then all of a sudden randomly, I received an email on a Monday asking if I was still interested (I basically crawled through the computer and said YES). Tuesday I had an interview with the company, Wednesday I had a second interview with Ford, and Thursday I was offered the job.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity, as I’ve wanted this job for years (Literally. I was in college and was trying to get into this job). I’m now a Motorcraft Analyst for Ford, which basically means I’m in charge of some of the part catalogs that are distributed to parts stores and dealerships. Adding parts, making sure they’re still relevant for the current year, etc. It’s very interesting and I’m looking forward to learning it all.

Of course, that means that I left my other job, on my birthday. My co-workers had a huge Birthday/Going Away Party for me, and it was the best (hello Target gift cards!!) I will be forever grateful for the knowledge I’ve retained there, but it was time to move on. I’ll always remember them and we still talk every day.

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Denise, Jennifer, Tiffany, Me, Debbie and Kanita

Also on my birthday after work, we left for the $50,000 race up in Stanton, Michigan. We left Wednesday to get our tent set up and to relax for the night, and Matt’s dad and step mom were bringing the race car the next morning. Thursday morning we got a call letting us know that Matt’s dad had emergency surgery because he had a hole in his stomach. He told us not to come back down, so we checked on him a few times a day. Matt raced our friends car, but we didn’t bring home the big check. Boo. (Matt’s dad was released from the hospital this Saturday, and he seems to be doing well!)

Next, Matt got a new job too! He’s with the same company, just a different position. And because of this, we are going to wait to sell our house. We figured that way, we can save up as much money as possible and look next year.

We have been extremely busy and adjusting to our new schedules, but we are loving it!

 

Xoxo

Lauren : )

My House is For Sale!

I’m glad I’m a go-with-the-flow kind of person. If I wasn’t, I”d most likely be in a padded room by now. Long story VERY short, our friend can’t buy our house anymore. So… it’s on the market!

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We’re selling it by owner for the time being. It’s currently on a few websites, but if we eventually have to get a realtor, that’s fine. Lucky, we’ve had a few calls and showings on it already.

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Living Room

 

 

 

photo 2

Other side of the Living Room

It’s been a great house, and I”m sure I’ll be sad once it sells. But- it’s time to move on to different things!

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Kitchen

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Dining Room (Or dance studio due to the mirrors-whichever you prefer)

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Master Bedroom

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Guest Room

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3rd Bedroom

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Full Bathroom

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Sunroom

The basement is really the room that I think we will both miss the most. It’s huge, has a 1/2 bathroom (remember the Fan Can?!), and a built-in bar. Matt brews his own beer so it’s great for him, and it’s great to have people over and just relax too. It got A LOT of use while we were living here!

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Basement

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(Terrible picture) Basement- Just trying to show the scale.

Thankfully, the person we are buying our new house from brews his own beer as well, so it already has a bar in the basement too! It’s not exactly how we would want it, so we both have ideas on how we could re-do it. But, it’ll be just fine when we first move in.

We didn’t get a picture of the laundry/storage room, truthfully because we had mounds of laundry at the time, but that’s in the basement as well. It’s not exactly a Pinterest laundry room, but it’s a HUGE storage room so that’s where we keep all of our decorations, Matt’s hunting gear, and it’s where the furnace and water heater are too.

I’m praying that it sells quickly so we can get rolling on the process with the new house!

Lauren : )

Spray Painting Kitchen Chairs

When we first moved into our house, my Grandpa gave us a set of chairs and a table for our kitchen that he had laying around.

table

Pretty much your basic, farmhouse-ish style table and rickety old chairs. We lived with it for a while, and I decided it was time for a change. They were all different colors due to being painted so many times throughout the years (this set is olllllld) and I may or may not have spilled a whole cup of brown paint on one of them. oops.

So after perusing Pinterest, I wanted to paint them black. I like the farmhouse look, but just needed to make it more classy. Farmhouse chic… if that’s a thing.

I went to Lowe’s and picked up 1 can of paint, and 1 can of primer for each chair (5 total- We use one chair for the front porch so we kept that one white/rustic looking). I decided to prime them first because the white paint that was on them was glossy, and I wanted to be sure the new paint would stick.

photo 2I like Valspar brand, here’s the primer. I simply used Gloss Black for the paint color.

I took all the chairs outside and put them on old cardboard we had laying around. I lightly sanded anything that was chipping or painted, just to try and get as smooth a surface as possible.

photo 1Sanding… Notice the brown paint?? My bad. Also- Izzy photobomb.

Next, I painted each chair with primer. I found the easiest thing to do was tip the chair upside down, spray the bottom legs and spindles, and then flip it back upright to do the rest. It took a while to get in all the nooks and crannies, but it wasn’t so bad.

photo 3After primer… looking better already actually!!

It didn’t take that long to dry, so once I was done priming the chairs I went back to the first one to paint it. A few cramped fingers later…

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All the chairs were painted! It was such a HUGE difference not seeing all the splatter paint, chips and scuffs everywhere. After they were all painted, I just left them outside for a few hours to fully dry.

I ended up using a little less than 1 can of paint per chair. When I was all done, I had 1 can each of primer and paint that was unused, so I returned them.

With each can of paint only being around $5, this is an easy and inexpensive way to update the entire look of your dining set!

photoI kept the actual table white, but I did repaint it with some white paint real quick just to touch up the scuffs.

I love the way it completely changes the look of the room! It looks much more complete and totally worth the time and energy.

xoxo

Lauren : )

A Big Update

Since I’m still waiting for more pictures from our trip, I’ll update you with what’s going on in my life right now!

We are moving. There are too many shady things going on around us that we don’t really feel comfortable with, so we decided to move. There was a meth lab bust in the neighborhood behind us, and Matt’s car was broken into a while back (he left it unlocked though… that’s an argument for another day).

We first decided to look for houses more north, near my parents in the Livonia/Canton area, but houses there are so expensive. For our price range, we can get a 1950’s ranch that needs major updating on a postage stamp lot. Meh. So now, we are keeping our options open to different cities. Don’t worry, I’ll update you guys as soon as more things happen!

The cool thing is, our friend is buying our house, so we don’t have to worry about putting it on the market and showings and all that jazz. Actually, he is Matt’s best friend and was the best man in our wedding. He’s expecting a baby in August so he wants something a little bigger for his little guy to grow.

I’d like to document all the steps while we move, so I’m really trying to aim to post more often once we are deeper into the process. Stay tuned!

Lauren : )

Saturday: Packing, Nails and Race Car Cleaning Party

Saturday morning I packed, and then went out with our friend that went on the cruise too, Charlotte. We met at Panera for lunch, and then got our nails done. I went with a hot pink for my toes, and also hot pink shellac for my nails. I didn’t want to risk chipping my nails- what a disaster that would be : )

After we were all packed and our nails were pretty, Matt and I headed up to my parent’s house. We stayed there because they took us to the airport in the morning and were watching our pups. Just so happens that racing season is right around the corner, so my dad had the race car out and my Aunt and Uncle were over having a “cleaning party.” AKA they get everything shined up and have pizza. We enjoyed the time we spent together and then tried to get a good night’s sleep.

 

As far as packing goes… I LOVE to pack. I love everything about it… organizing, planning outfits, getting everything together, the anticipation of the trip… yes, I’m crazy.

Usually, I just use a duffel bag that I sewed when I go on trips, but for longer vacations, I’ll use just a regular rolling suitcase.

For our cruise, Matt and I both checked a bag, both used a carry on, and I also had a tote bag for goodies I needed quickly. Here are a few tips I use when I use a rolling suitcase:

First off, I have a love/hate relationship with rolling suitcases. Yes they can fit a lot in them, however they clothes don’t fit perfectly when they’re all folded up (again, I’m crazy). What I’ll usually do first is lay everything I want to take out on the bed in piles according to type- shorts, tanks, pants, ect. After that, I’ll stack everything and then place it into the suitcase where it fits.

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This is terrible, but here’s where I was starting to get everything together in piles. At this point, I had just dumped all the shorts out on the bed to re-fold them.

I always put the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag, so when I have it up and it’s rolling, it doesn’t smush the clothes beneath it. So my bathroom bag, bottles, things like that go at the bottom, along with jeans and pants. The lighter things go to the top. I’ll also put things like belts, extra bags, and jewelry into the zippered part.

photo 3As you can see, bathroom bag and heavier pants, etc are at the bottom, lighter items at the top!

Because you can’t take large bottles of liquid in a carry on, I put all my bathroom items into the larger suitcase. In my carry on, I had all of my bathing suits, underwear, bras, socks and scarves so it was light and nothing would be bothered.

On the plane, I wore a t-shirt and yoga capris, and my running shoes, because they take up the most room in a suitcase. In my tote bag, I carried some flip flops on with me, and when we were almost in Miami I switched the running shoes for the flip flops and I was ready to go!

 

Until next time…

 

Xoxo

Lauren : )

The Best Vacation I Could Have Asked For

Last week, we were on a cruise. An awesome cruise. The best vacation I literally could have asked for.

This week, I’m planning on recapping everything we did by day, starting with my packing day. Because for you nosey people like me, I’m always curious as to how people pack : )

Until then, I’ll give you just a peek at our trip…

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On the beach at Grand Turk, happily sipping a famous Margaritaville Margarita : )

 xoxo

Lauren : )

The Annual Casino Trip

Every year, Matt’s car club takes an annual casino trip up north. We have gone for a few years now, and we absolutely love it. it’s feels great to have a nice little trip in the middle of winter to just relax and have fun with friends.

Everyone meets around 6:30am and we’ll take a bus to Birch Run (tear, no time for the outlet mall) to eat breakfast.

casino1Somewhere up north

After that, we’ll drive for a while and stop at a rest stop further up north to “rest” and then our lunches will be passed out. I can’t wait to have famous Spilson’s Rice Pudding… it’s soooo good. After we drive a little further north, we finally will go over the Mackinac Bridge and reach our first Casino in St. Ignace.

casino2Driving over the Mackinac Bridge, looking at Mackinac Island! This year, the Great Lakes are completely frozen- should be interesting to see!

We stay there for a few hours to get warmed up for our next stop, you can usually find us at the blackjack table, or the slot machines.

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On the St. Ignace casino’s deck, looking out towards the lake. It’s there somewhere!

After hopping on the bus and driving just a little more, we are at the tippy-top of the Upper Peninsula, Sault St. Marie.  This is where we will be staying for the weekend, so we’ll check into our hotel room and hit the bigger casino. There, we will either do blackjack, slots, or just hang out at the bar. Don’t forget about the buffet! Casino buffets are always the best, so many options!

Saturday we’ll wake up, hit the breakfast buffet, and then start our day. With the price of the trip, we get some cash to spend, and honestly I really don’t spend much more than that. Last year I played some, but I sat with a group of people at the bar/lounge area, and we took turns buying. It was fun, just to relax and catch up with people we only see during this trip.

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Some of the group that hung out together on Saturday

Sunday, we turn the bus around and do it all over again! We hit up the St. Ignace casino again, and then stop a few times on the way home.

I can’t wait for this workday to be over so my weekend can start! I’m going to shop for a bit because I want to find something new to wear, and then go home, do laundry, pack, and wait for our guests to arrive! We have 4 friends coming on the trip with us, and I think they’re all staying over because we have to meet the bus early. If you ever get the chance to go on a trip like this… do it! Even if you’re not much of a gambler (like me) it’s still a really fun time. And you never know… you might just win big!!

 

Xoxo

Lauren : )

The Joys of a Puppy… kind of…

Just as I was leaving work Friday, excited to leave for the weekend, I get a text from Matt: “You’re going to be {beeping} pissed”

Great. What happened now.

I figured it had something to do with the dogs, because Zoey is still in her “chewing” stage, so I figured she ate the couch, chair, pillows… again… or something along those lines. Nope.

My flat iron. She ate right through the cord.

flat iron

When Izzy was a puppy, she used to eat cords all the time. She eventually grew out of it with training, and also because of her age. She was NEVER as bad as Zoey though. Zoey has eaten countless pillows, dog beds, the zipper off their “houses” (which are just soft-sided crates), and many, many toys.

Zoey jumpingThis picture makes me laugh every time! She literally has this much energy all day, every day. She’s always jumping and walking on her back legs!

She literally had never chewed a cord though. I was always pretty careful with it, and obviously put it up away when it wasn’t in use. Let me tell you, this poor little cord never had a chance.  So I was mad when I got home and saw the cord eaten straight through, in several different places! Coincidentally, we were going out with Matt’s mom that night for a fish dinner, so we set a date this weekend to go up to Cosmoprof to get another one.

Now those of you that know me know that I’m pretty cheap (I’m more of a saver), but hair products and tools are actually shell out good money for. I was SO ANGRY that I had to go drop $100+ on another flat iron, but the old one was WAY beyond repair.

So on Sunday, I met Matt’s mom at the store and luckily, they were having a sale where everything in the store was 10% off. YAY for that at least! I bought the same one I had before, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to keep Zo as FAR AWAY from this one as possible!

Any good dog-chewing stories to tell?

Anyone want a dog? (just kidding… kind of…)

xoxo

Lauren : )

Entryway Project {wood crate tip}

Hi everyone!

Just popping in to say hello, and I haven’t forgot about you!

I’m working on an fun entryway project made with crates, like the one below…

(like this one)

And I’m actually taking pictures along the way. gasp. I know.

I’ll have all the details in a later post once everything is done and all set up, but for now, I’m going to give you a tip about these fantastically famous crates:

You may have seen wood crates like this in stores like Joann’s or Micheal’s before. They’re around $14 (ish) and if you use your 40% of coupon, it brings them to around $7-8.

I was looking on Pinterest for ideas yesterday, and came to find out that Home Depot sells them, for only $5.98!! Even if you had a 50% of coupon for the craft store, it’s still cheaper at HD. Once I found this out, I ran over there after work and bought the other 2 I needed to finish the project (I had already bought one at Micheal’s, and planned on going back there, and then hit up Joann’s in the same trip so I could use a coupon on all 3).

If you’re in the market for one (or a few) of these, check your local HD first (if you search “wood crate” it will pop right up) and if you enter your Zip Code it will even tell you how many they have in stock.

xoxo

Lauren : )

My Etsy Shop Decision: A New Chapter

This post is a little hard to write, but honestly, I’m not really that upset about it.

As you know, I have my shop. I make zipper pouches, makeup brushes, and other travel and organizational items. For years, family and friends told me over and over again that I need to sell my items because I can whip up a quality product quickly, and I have an eye for design and fabric. I’ve had orders from the shop, but mostly have been on the side. Which brings me to my point…

I’m going to make the decision to step back from my shop for a while, and concentrate on making things for myself. I can’t remember the last time I’ve made myself anything, which is why I started sewing in the first place. I would literally come up with an idea during the middle of the day, go to the fabric store after work or school, and make an outfit that night. Crazy, but that’s what I love. I have books full of sketches, oodles of fabric and patterns, and ideas floating around in my head that I never had the time to execute. I love being able to take a rectangle of fabric, and transform it into something awesome. I have been watching Project Runway lately and it’s sparking my interest in fashion and apparel design again, and I really want to follow my heart. I’ve always wanted to gain more knowledge about garment construction, and the only way to learn something is by doing. If you don’t practice something, you can’t be mad at yourself for not knowing how to do it.

I truly miss making things for myself, and I think the reason why I’ve pushed that aside for so long is fear. I’m worried that I’ll waste time, money, and then be “stupid” for making my own clothes (Which is stupid in itself… duh right?) I like being unique, my own person, and most of all, creative. I was given a gift, and if I don’t utilize that, it’s a total waste. I’ve been so consumed with stress about the shop, sewing just isn’t that fun to me anymore. I’d hate to loose the interest completely, which is why I need to turn my focus in another direction, towards something I’m more passionate about.

I’m still going to keep the shop open, however when it comes time to renew my items, I think I’ll pass this time. If you’re interested in something, of course I’d love to make it for you. And you never know, maybe during this time, I’ll come up with new and exciting ideas to re-brand or restock the virtual shelves with.

I hope that you’ll be supportive about this decision, and I’d love to share my journey with you along the way!

 

Xoxo Lauren : )