Category Archives: Blog

Fall Bucket List

As of Tuesday, September 23, it’s officially Fall. Once again, I’m reminded by the fact that time really does fly by. Just a second ago it turned into summer and I’m afraid that many of the traditional summer experiences have passed me by. Even the pool at our apartments is all of the sudden closed! Did I really go swimming only one time? C’est la vie… no sense in looking back, so onward we must go! You know that saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? I think that must apply to many things in life, and taking advantage of the season while it’s here has got to be one of them. Before this Autumn season gets away from me, these are the things I refuse to miss out on. Autumn Leaves 1

Make time to find and play in a gargantuan pile of leaves. This was by far my favorite memory of last Fall. This needs to be a recurring tradition. 

 

623947_default

Make a scarf. My first DIY projects as a child involved crocheting scarves and it’s been far too long since I made a more current one. This year I plan to amend that. Maybe something along these lines?? (Source)

Van Gogh Pumpkin

Carve a Pumpkin. Last year I was working the 1-10 shift so I missed out on the family pumpkin carving night. Whether I make it to the family event, or I turn pumpkin carving into a fun date night for Jordan and I, it’s happening. And soon. I could totally see Jordan putting in all the meticulous detailed work to make something ridiculous like this AMAZING pumpkin.

 

Trio BarsRoast the seeds from said pumpkin and make trio bars. My sister in law made these scrumptious trio bars last year and it’s been on my list of projects ever since.
20140919-IMG_2913

 

Finish “The Lord of the Rings.” The movie series has long been one of my favorites, but quite embarrassingly, until now I’ve never gotten around to actually reading the books for myself. Jordan and I are already a decent way through the first book and I’m absolutely in love. Can’t believe that I’ve waited this long to sink my teeth into these books.

turkeytrot logo

Participate in our local Turkey Trot. I have a family full of runners and they run in this race every year. Although I usually run the mile at the Cable Bridge Run in the middle of December, I usually come up with some excuse not to run this one. Not this year though. Image Source

I have a feeling this is going to be a delightful season. 🙂

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

I can’t wait to live in a one-bedroom again!

Our lease will be up at the end of November, so we should be moving into a roomy one-bedroom apartment for our next home. As much as we’ve loved living in a shoe-box studio apartment, I’m very ready to upgrade to something just slightly bigger and that means having an actual bed and bedroom!

So naturally, I’ve been compiling some ideas for how that’s going to look. I need some ideas that aren’t going to break the bank– especially considering there really isn’t much of a bank to break in the first place!

bedroom1

Just because I don’t have the money to buy fancy decorations, it doesn’t mean that I plan to stay away from any statement design ideas that I can do myself. As far as colors go, I think I want to stay with very light colors, with a lot of white, ivory, pink, and grey.

 

headboard ideas

Headboard ideas. Here are a couple tutorials that seem simple enough and yet bold enough as well. I found this flowy DIY fabric headboard on the left and this DIY upholstered headboard on the right. I’m thinking of doing one or the other or some combination of the two. I couldn’t help but notice that on Downton Abbey, the Earl and Countess of Grantham have a bed with a similar combination of the two ideas I can’t choose between. Perhaps I deserve to live like royalty in my own little way!

 

puff quilt ideas

Bedspread. I’ve always wanted to have a super plush comforter. As I’ve been getting more and more into sewing, I think I should be able to make one of my own… at least I’m going to try! I found a pattern for the red comforter on the left and a tutorial for the puff quilt on the right that seem to produce a fairly similar result. I figure with a few modifications of my own, I should be able to somewhat easily make the plush comforter I’ve always wanted!

 

ombre decorations

I’ve got to have some lovely ombre decorations. This lampshade and this chandelier are both sold out items from their sellers on etsy, but definitely they scream “DIY project”. Looks like all I would need would be a few fabric flowers and a glue gun for the lampshade and some paper, string, and scissors for the chandelier!

 

storage ideas

Storage ideas.  Appropriate bedroom storage has always been lacking in our previous bedrooms, and I plan to remedy that on our next go around. These ottomans placed at the end of the bed and shutter night stands would really give the room a rustic feel.

Most likely it will probably still take me at least a few months to complete all these projects, but I think I’m up for the challenge!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Hard to believe it has already been six years…

20140919-IMG_28831

Now that’s an understatement! Six whole years…. jeez louise! Only recently have I realized how young we were when we married and how much we’ve grown together ever since. Six years later, I love him even more now than I did when we married. It’s a partnership I cherish more than anything else in my life.

To celebrate, we went up to the mountains for the weekend. Even though we had the budget of starving college students, it doesn’t cost much to get out and enjoy the refreshing air of the woods in the mountains, so that’s exactly what we did up at Clear Lake.

20140919-IMG_2875

On the drive up, we started reading The Lord of the Rings, but almost couldn’t get past the first few pages. We opened up the book right from the Prologue and I realized exactly why I’d been avoiding the book for so long. That prologue reads like the bible or a textbook on the history of Hobbits. Perhaps I’ll be able to go back and read the prologue at some point, but we had no choice but to skip it and try to read from where the actual story begins. I’m so glad we did–I was hooked almost instantly!

20140919-IMG_2913

Sometimes the pleasures in life really are quite simple. We had this little valley completely to ourselves all day. Kinda makes a girl think about living out in the country or in the woods on a permanent basis. It’s like the air just tastes better, it’s more peaceful, and there’s beauty everywhere you look. If nothing else, it sure was nice to experience for a weekend.

20140919-IMG_2886

♥♥♥

Tagged , , , ,

Currently I’m …

20140929-IMG_30493color

…reading the Lord of the Rings. Frodo and the crew just arrived in Rivendell and I’m dying to see what happens next! Okay, I have a pretty good idea of what happens next consider my obsession with the films, but I truly feel like I’m on a whole new adventure with this book. There are just so many details that paint a much larger picture than could possibly be told through a movie. I’m so anxious to read the next chapter!

watching “Revenge”… I had turned my nose up on this show initially, but was intrigued when I learned that it was loosely based on “The Count of Monte Cristo.” I gave it a try and although there is definitely a little cheese that comes along with this show, it has been a fun ride throughout the first season. I’m a little nervous for season 2 though as so many shows flop after the first season. Any suggestions for my next show??

…trying to fit more projects into a weekend than is humanly possible. I always seem to do this… I decide that I’m going to have a productive weekend and then give myself an insane list. I think I’ve managed to sink my teeth into about 1/3 of it. Sooner or later, I need to become a better judge of my time.

…eating nothing, however I’m seriously craving some sweets, so I think I might have to make a fried cinnamon/sugar tortilla. Mmmmmmmm….

…pinning more and more projects to add to my never ending list. Decoration ideas for when we move next, fashion ideas, sewing projects, and a gazillion tutorials.

…tweeting about the 2014 Gymnastics World Championship in Nanning, China this week! It’s the final event of the ever too short elite gymnastics season marking the halfway point between the Summer Olympic Games! … you could say I’m a bit of a fan 😉

…going to the Oregon Coast this weekend with Jordan’s family! This will end up being the big trip for the year, and I’m happy to be able to get away for a little bit and see the ocean. I do love long walks on the beach, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

…loving FOOTBALL!!!! Although first and foremost I’m a Seahawks fan, it’s been fun to keep up with the goings on with other teams in the NFL. They certainly aren’t going to let my team repeat as Superbowl champions without a fight. It’s been super fun to watch the match ups week to week. I’m officially hooked. 

…discovering all these pictures that I’ve taken in the last couple years that I forgot existed! I really need to do something with them so they’re not just sitting on my computer. Perhaps another project is on the horizon?

…enjoying the fact that I’ve gone running 3 times in the last week. I’m trying to train myself to turn to exercise when I’m stressed and it seems to be helping.

…thinking that I should probably make sure I don’t stay up too terribly late tonight. I’m such a night owl and I never seem to learn my lesson. Maybe tonight I’ll make a step in the right direction… maybe.

…feeling like nothing would make me happier than a nice hot bath. Um yes… that will be next on my list for sure.

…hoping to get a new position at work. I’ve applied to a couple seasonal positions at work which would get me a $3 raise, which I could most certainly use. Fingers crossed that I get the job!

…listening to “The Hours” movie soundtrack. Phillip Glass is teaching me to respect a more simplistic approach to music. It’s simply beautiful.

…starting to rethink the scarf that I’ve been working on today. Yeah, I think I better scrap what I’ve done so far. I’ve got to make something that I’m actually going to feel great about wearing, right?? Yep, it’s got to be perfect. Starting over.

Happy October 1st everyone!

♥♥♥

Tagged

monday motivation

Dive Deep

It’s true that at times I get so focused on the negative aspects of life and I fixate on how far away I am from my “dream life” that I forget to appreciate the journey that I’m on and the life that I have. As for the regrets, mistakes, and other unpleasantness from my past… replaying those events over and over in my head only serves to punish myself and keep me from my goals.

Regardless of whether or not things are perfect, the only way to truly live life is to dive in head first and make the most of what you have. I have a million passions and interests that fulfill and push me and many people in my life who love and support me. I can choose to fill each day and each moment with the things that will build the life that I want– the life that will ultimately overshadow the little things that bring me down from time to time.

All I need to focus on is the reality that today is another beautiful day, filled with possibility and potential.

♥♥♥

Tagged , , , , ,

Still here.

I’ve been going through a bit of a struggle personally. I don’t mean to use this post as a way to just whine about my problems, more of a reminder to myself that I’m still here and have a voice. It seems to be my natural inclination during times like this to retreat into my head and keep to myself. This isolation technique doesn’t necessarily produce happy results. So here I am, with possibly nothing amazing to say, but I’m saying it all the same. I think it helps to get through the dreariness and despair by opening up more and sharing your voice. Thanks for listening. 🙂

Yesterday, I found this blog, “The One Minute Writer”. I think it’s such a lovely, low-pressure idea; to just spend one minute of your day writing/journaling. Today’s prompt was “Describe your life or current situation using exactly six words.” The first 6 words that come to mind are “I wish I was in school.”

Although I’m very happy that Jordan is doing so well in school to prepare for our future, it has brought on a fair amount of jealousy, which I haven’t exactly worked through. I’ve never been good at not comparing myself to others, and perhaps this is really the prime opportunity for me to learn that skill. But then again, it’s that comparison which is a chief motivator in our current arrangement for me to work and pay the bills, while Jordan works in school to pay the future bills.

I guess sometimes it feels like the current state of my life has precious little meaning and it sort of feels like I’ve lost my voice. Perhaps this partially comes from throwing out my voice in favor of projecting the voice of a giant corporation for 40 hours a week. Then I remember that my situation isn’t unique and certainly there are less cushy jobs than mine out there that other people manage to thrive in. Why is it such a struggle for me? Is it actually my job at all that’s bringing me down?

I see Jordan challenging himself through these difficult classes and I desperately long for that kind of stimulation. What wouldn’t I give to be able to drop all my responsibilities and pursue my education with everything that I have? The other day I was researching colleges that I’d love to attend and it was exciting for a moment, but then reality sunk in. I remembered that full-time education won’t really be an option for me for another 3 years, provided everything goes according to plan with Jordan’s education.

I’m willing to admit that perhaps there is some flawed logic in my thinking. Perhaps things aren’t all gloom and doom and I can find better opportunities now, rather than waiting 3 years. Maybe I’m just in a negative head space that I need to escape from. Perhaps there is a compromise that will work for me. I want to be able to see the opportunities that are presently available to me and make the most out of them, rather than viewing these next three years as some sort of prison sentence.

Regardless, I’m still here.

20140830-IMG_2747little

Tagged , , , , ,

We really have way too much fun…

Yep, we certainly are a couple of goof balls 🙂

 

Jordan-on-Karen's-shoulders

Joe’s Stradivarius Replica

My brother is pretty much the most talented person I’ve ever known, period.

He’s only been studying music for a couple years, and already in that time he’s made more progress than most people make in a lifetime. And he makes it look so easy. He’s got a true passion for the art and his enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. He’d been working on his same starter violin for the last year and a half, but he’d outgrown it a LONG time ago. It was definitely time for an upgrade. After a few months of searching for a violin that would suit him, he finally stumbled upon this Stradivarius Replica made in 1880. Its gorgeous dark tone beautifully shows off his ever advancing technique and musical subtleties.

I couldn’t be happier for him. And he was just over the moon in love with his new instrument.

We had to do a photo shoot. 🙂

20140627-IMG_2168ps

stradivarius

20140627-IMG_2136

stradivarius 2

20140627-IMG_2168ps

Tagged , , , ,

Life Lessons

Well, I’m officially on the wrong side of 25. Okay, okay. I do acknowledge that there’s really nothing wrong with getting older and that I likely have many more promising years ahead of me. I certainly plan on things just getting better and better with age! But it’s an interesting thing to actually see yourself as not a child anymore. Sure, there are plenty of things that qualify me as an adult, but I guess I’ve stayed away from really accepting my status in life as a fully fledged woman. Turning 26 makes it harder to ignore that.

When my mom was my age, she’d already had 4 kids. That just blows my mind. Sometimes I think that having children is really what makes you transition from a girl to a woman. There are definitely women that are younger than I am that I would consider “women” rather than “girls”, and many of them have kids. However, there are plenty of women my age without kids that I would consider women as well. Why is it that I shy away from that as a self identifying term? It’s a puzzle that I’ve been pondering for the past few weeks as my 26th year in life has caught up with me.

The conclusion that I come to is this- however reluctantly I have gotten there, I think it’s safe to say that I’m a 26 year old WOMAN. And being an adult woman is a beautiful thing. I feel like I’m entering a new stage in my life of peace and acceptance that I’ve never had before. At least that’s what I’m steering my priorities toward. Since I do plan on making the next stage in my life better than the last, it has to start with inner peace and self acceptance. Perhaps I’m actually on the right side of 25 after all.

20140703-IMG_2301

Tagged , , , , ,