Windows

In response to a request made on this blog by a friend from Courtney’s weddingΒ  (we were both playing instruments for the ceremony), I’ve decided to post some pictures and ideas I’ve had about window treatments. I’ve been scared to do too much, seeing as I have never owned a home and know that I’ll have to undo it all later. Funny things is, this hasn’t stopped me before, like when it’s come to painting or drilling holes in the walls (correction: making Jesse paint and drill holes in the walls).

Recent attempt #1- This is why Jesse should hang everything. I couldn't tell that this was crooked until Jason made fun of me for it

Recent attempt #1- This is why Jesse should hang everything. I couldn't tell that it was crooked until Jason made fun of me for it

Recent attempt #2- My favorite wooden leaf curtain got tangled in the move. I refuse to give up. Someday it will be untangled.

Recent attempt #2- My favorite wooden leaf curtain got tangled in the move. I refuse to give up. Someday it will be untangled.

It’s one thing to slap paint on a wall, but I just can’t bring myself to do anything customized, because let’s face it, most windows come in different sizes. Luckily, the windows in our apartment have nice upgraded blinds instead of the thin plastic ones that get all bent out of shape. So that helps. In the end, however, I have put up curtains, at the very least. The windows just feel so…naked without them! I joked that Michael and Courtney couldn’t come over until our “windows were clothed”.

But I have occasionally dreamt about what it would be like to invest permanently in window treatments. So here it goes- it’s the least I can do for Sarah since she had to deal with my near-panic attack while playing piano πŸ™‚

I love the thought of using many bright colored curtains all on one rod and letting them pool down onto the floor

I love the thought of using many bright colored curtains all on one rod and letting them pool down onto the floor

Bright colored paper shades as pretty much the only splash of color in a dining room- love it!

Bright colored paper shades as pretty much the only splash of color in a dining room- love it!

Blinds that match the wallpaper- if, and only if, done well

Blinds that match the wallpaper- if, and only if, done well

Patterned shades flanked by white curtains and walls- love!

Patterned shades flanked by white curtains and walls- love!

Love the double-ness- pattern with contrasting color!

Love the double-ness- pattern with contrasting color!

I think this bedroom is gorgeous

I think this bedroom is gorgeous

Curtains cinched up are cool

Curtains cinched up are cool

Sooo neat- keeps the room cool, but still provides openess!

Sooo neat- keeps the room cool, but still provides openess!

Adding vintage buttons to plain cheapo Walmar curtains rings

Adding complementing vintage buttons to plain cheapo Walmart curtains rings

BEST idea ever that I've wanted to try- using bent spoons as curtain rings! I saw it once in a craft magazine when I was 15 and have wanted to try it ever since

BEST idea ever that I've wanted to try- using bent spoons as curtain rings! I saw it once in a craft magazine when I was 15 and have wanted to try it ever since

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3 Year Anniversary

3 years ago today at 3 o clock in the afternoon I became the wife of Jesse Cone!

As far as anniversaries go, we have pretty much the worst luck. I guess I could actually see each ironic day as an unique commentary on our marriage and the way we’ve grown. Our first anniversary was spent in San Antonio, since we were moving. We were scared and didn’t know what on earth we were getting into by moving halfway across the country. On our second anniversary, we did indeed go out to dinner, but I ended up getting sick. Jesse and I spent the remainder of our “date” in the ER since the doctor’s office was closed. We were both up all night, sitting in the waiting room, squinting at each other in the harsh florescent lighting. But I do feel that it accurately showcases how we care for one another, even when it means doing something so un-fun on a day that was supposed to be special.

This final anniversary, I had somehow convinced myself that things would be different. We would be normal. Wait until Thursday so we could eat meat, go out to dinner, catch a movie. You know, normal anniversary date stuff.

No such luck! I had a 6:30-7:30am piano lesson this morning (yes, the waiting list got so impatient and the money is so good, I am now doing “before school lessons”!) and as I got back in the car, the engine light was on. And the car wasn’t acting too happy. Or SOUNDING too happy, for that matter. I called Jesse and he agreed to meet me at the repair shop.

The whole way to the Metro Volkswagen repair shop I cried. I hate, hate, HATE this car. So much. You know how they say certain sorts of things could end up happening to old cars? They HAPPEN. ALL of them. To us. I’m just letting everyone out there know why we never have any money for fun things, like Disneyland. WE SPEND OVER $2K/YEAR ON CAR REPAIRS. THAT DOESN’T EVEN FIGURE IN CAR PAYMENTS.

Whew. Got that out.

But what’s the problem with a car that is depreciating faster than you can keep it out of the shop? It’s hard to stomach that you won’t make any money by selling it. So, every time we get it back with its clean bill of health, we say, “Oh, we can’t sell it NOW, it just got fixed!”

Anyways, there I was, on my anniversary, pulling up to the dealer. The man at the desk asked, “Have you been here before?” I laughed, or rather, guffawed, rather rudely into his face. Are you kidding me man? Don’t you know my name? We’re regulars here! We’ve already carved our names into the back of those seats! You guys are on our family household payroll! I’ll probably deliver my first child in your waiting room someday!

So that’s how we spent the first half of our anniversary, sitting in the lobby of the car repair shop, eating pretzels and saying hello to Regis and Kelly.

The good news is, only best friends could survive the kind of stuff we’ve gone through. And that’s so true of our relationship. We have actually designed our own “BFF” teeshirts and have come close to ordering them. In some ways, we are so content just to hang out and enjoy each other’s company that it’s caused both of us to become boring home-bodies. We spend the evenings playing the guitar and singing together, reading funny blogs out loud, or laughing through tv series that we both enjoy.

So maybe, someday, we will have an anniversary that accurately reflects the wonderful relationship we have instead of letting it highlight our struggles!

Gothic Bungalow

I was on one of my favorite design sites, Apartment Therapy, when I started looking through pictures of a House Tour titled, Boston- Jen and Rob’s Gothic Bungalow. I love it how half way through, I saw this picture and realized the family is Orthodox!

icon wall

Typewriter+Polaroids= Awesome

My first impulse is to wait to post ANY pictures until I am done. Heck, give me time and there WILL be awesome blue damask wallpaper on this back wall (Sherwin Williams offers removable wallpaper for rentals!) But I got a very kind gift from an old friend from Biola, and I really want to thank her in a public forum.
See, I got this idea. I wanted a vintage typewriter. And polaroids. Together. So, I contacted someone who I know to be a specialist in polaroids- Shannon Leith! I told her what I was trying to do, and right away she put three polaroids in the mail! You should do yourself a favor and visit her blog/website.
Thanks a lot, Shannon! Couldn’t have done it without you!
Far away view of table and decor

Far away view of table and decor

Closeup of the typewriter

Closeup of the typewriter

Awesome polaroids. How did she know that these colors would totally work with my decor? Psychic, I tell you

Awesome polaroids. How did she know that these colors would totally work with my decor? Psychic, I tell you

Closeup of my lamp. I thought it was a cool view.

Closeup of my lamp. I thought it was a cool view.

Bonus Pic: All of my little mirrors in my stairwell!

Bonus Pic: All of my little mirrors in my stairwell!

Twilight Decor

And you thought Vampires were scary! Please tell me this isn’t happening.
This is almost as creepy as Karen's life-size Josh Groban cardboard cut out

This is almost as creepy as Karen's life-size Josh Groban cardboard cut out

Twilight themed decor 2

Dinner and a Movie

All of the girls at St. Seraphim decided it was time to get together somewhere other than church or the playground. So they all got babysitters and decided to hit the town- so to speak. Really, it was more like hit the mall.

But we hit it. We ate at PF Chang’s, a nice Chinese restaurant. From there, we went to see the infamous tear-jerker, Time Traveler’s Wife.

The evening was fun, although at first I felt intimidated. “I’m 23!” I kept thinking. “These people were starting Kindergarten when my parents got married! None of them would have EVER talked to me just a few years ago! Why am I all of a sudden considered, ‘One of them’?” Half of the group already own a house and have multiple kids. Heck, Lori (the mother of Lola, my god-daughter) has 4 kids, a huge house and a Masters degree! And she’s not even 30! I just didn’t feel like I was as important or successful.

But then I realized, when do you ever consider yourself “there”? I bet that none of these women woke up today thinking, “Yes! I get a 4.0 GPA in Reality!” There’s no definition for success once you’re out of a university setting. There’s just life.

There was only one awkward moment when an 65 year old Texas gentleman came up to the table and said, “Excuse me ladies, you all are looking mighty fine tonight, but you are NOT doing the gents any favors. You should be smilin’ at them as they walk by! Catchin’ their attention!

Katie was the first to respond: Oh no sir. We’re all married. Except for those 2! <pointing at Anne and Karen>

Karen: Way to throw us under the bus!

Anne: Yeah. Next time, we’re ALL married, k?

DSC02548

What wonderful beautiful women!

Craigslist Awesome-ness Strikes Again!

My entryway display is not yet complete, which is why I haven’t posted any pictures of it yet.

One of the key elements missing in this aforementioned display is an antique Underwood typewriter. Every vintage entryway needs an Underwood typewriter.

Unfortunately, most of these typewriters go for around $100, even on Craigslist. There’s already a long list of things we need to buy before then, essential things. Like bread. And Diet Coke. And an entertainment stand that Topher can’t climb.

So I’d already resigned myself to waiting a long time before buying one.

Knowing that I am unable to buy something doesn’t stop me from looking. Usually.

And I’m so glad I didn’t stop!

Because I just found EXACTLY what I was looking for!

Guess how much?

$100???

Try $10 !!!!

Even better, it still works!

It was posted this morning, but the only reason it’s still available is because its location is a small Podunk town an hour east of Dallas.

Luckily, for an extra 5 bucks the lady is willing to meet me halfway (I guess no one learned the lesson, It never hurts to ask!).

Thank you Craigslist (and Virginia of Greenville!) for my new $15 typewriter!!

underwood underwood 1

Don’t Hate Me

I have a TV series recommendation. And you might hate me for it. But I really can’t help it. I can’t keep this secret.

I’m addicted to Desperate Housewives.

In fact, I finished Season 1 in 3 days.

I know.

I’m not usually one to like trashy/soap opera TV.

And I don’t.

But I don’t believe that Desperate Housewives is trashy. Maybe a little bit soap opera, but only in the way that shows like House are.

Sure, it’s not the most thoughtful show on television. But it’s witty as all get-out. The characters are EXTREMELY lovable, the story-lines are intriguing, and there are moments so awkward that it reminds me of the first 5 minutes I ever watched The Office. To top it off, it’s also deeply touching.

Throw in a “Who Done It” murder mystery that carries the entire season, and there you have it. A winning combination.

After devouring Season 1, as I already admitted, I read some of the reviews. They were filled with people admitting that they NEVER expected to like the show, but watched the first episode on a whim and were hooked.

In case you are still skeptical, here are some spoilers that I hope will intrigue you.

The first episode opens, showing you the perfect suburbian dream- mom, dad, kid, big house, perfect life.

And then, once the dad leaves for work and the kid leaves for school, the mom shoots herself.

And no one can figure out why, least of all her 4 best friends.

Until they clean out her possessions and find out that someone was black-mailing her.

Each of her 4 friends has their own unique situation, filled with funny outlandish moments coupled with ones that every married person can relate to.

Lynette used to be a successful career woman, but now she has 4 kids who terrorize the neighborhood. She’s probably my favorite, mostly because the relationship between her and her husband is so….real. And healthy. Plus, she’s dealing with identity crisis, something that not just stay-at-home moms go through. And she has monologues so brilliantly verbose that Dr. Cox of Scrubs would be envious. One of the best moments is when she gets pulled over by a cop because her kids are rough-housing in the back seat without seat belts. The cop tries to tell her what a bad mother she is. Lynette’s insecurities fade as her shark-like business woman persona kicks in. Let’s just say, she doesn’t get a ticket. I can just imagine every over-worked mother cheering her on.

Or take Gabriella, the picture perfect trophy wife who married for money. And she seems happy, until she reveals in the first episode that she’s been chasing all the wrong things. 6 episodes later her husband is arrested by the FBI for shady dealings and she is forced to not only go back to work, but has to steal a port-a-potty for their backyard since their plumbing broke down.

Then there’s Bri, an OCD picture perfect wife who can’t stop being task-oriented long enough to realize that her husband and kids are miserable. They walk in to marriage counseling and as she hands the Psychiatrist hand-made potpourri, her husband says, “Yes, to answer your question. You WILL be making a lot of money off of us.”

Lastly, there’s Susan, a single mother of a teenage daughter whose husband left her for his secretary. She’s “lovable crazy” with an extreme talent for winding up in the most awkward embarrassing situations. Like accidentally burning down her neighbor’s house.

All this is to say, that the producers do a good job of showing not only “The American Dream” in its stark shady reality, but they do it with an air of ironic humor that keeps the viewer from feeling either depressed or brain-washed.

Try the first episode and tell me what you think.

Clock-Tower Apartment!

This is so neat. They converted the top of this clock tower overlooking the harbor in New York into a $25 million 6,000 sq. ft. penthouse. Take a look!

clocktower 1

clocktower 2

clocktower 3

Eery!

As I was babysitting Topher today while Courtney taught her piano lesson and Jesse and Michael picked up a couch and entertainment center that the Unruhs had bought, I began reading a new book of hers, titled, The Home Experience.

I came across the section, titled, “Personality Dynamics”, where you decide whether you are a D, I S, or C. After reading them through, I decided that I was probably a C. As I continued reading however, the “probably” part of that equation was blown out of the water. What I was reading WAS ME, as though someone had sat down and observed me for 23 years!

Later this evening, as we were all sitting around eating baked beans and cornbread, I read to everyone all that I had found out about “The C”. Jesse accidentally spit out his food a couple times, he was laughing so hard, and said that I had to post this on my blog.

So here it is. What do you think? Is this me?

Elements of A C: Task focused, deliberate paced, creative, serious, analytical, sensitive, scheduled, high standards, artistic/musical

The cautious C fears being personally criticized or that their work or performance will come under attack. The C may withdraw or become defensive, detailed or questioning. This temperament is very sensitive and can be easily hurt by a comment that was never intended to offend. The C takes pride in doing the job right. This tendency to want things absolutely correct- sometimes by self-imposed standards- can drive them to perfectionism. This behavior can also lead to conflict in relationships as the C may attempt to impose unrealistic standards on others.

Responses to Conflict: Initially, the C will be moody, defensive, and withdrawn. If pressure continues, however, the C will become aggressive, demanding, and exaggerate criticism.

Relating to the C:

As an Adult: Slow your pace, allowing time for thinking and detailed processing. Don’t be critical. Remember that the C feels things very deeply. Avoid springing things on them. They like a controlled, predictable environment. Bear in mind that they require time alone or time to work on a project to refuel. Give details and factual data to help them process information. Afford them adequate time, but provide a deadline for action or decision.

As a Child: Don’t over react to criticisms spoken by a C. Gently guide the child into a healthy acceptance of the shortcomings of others. This child is deliberate and needs time to think before making decisions. Be patient, answering detailed questions to help process information and get the facts. Correct gently, since C’s greatest fear is criticism. Recognize that the child likes working on a project andis detail oriented. Train against self-criticism and perfectionism. Remind the child of the positive things from his day. One negative incident can cause the C to feel that the whole day (or, as Jesse added, “Marriage”!) was horrible.