Officially a Two Bedroom House

About a year and a half ago a leaky pipe under the bathroom sink led to our house being flooded. We have a small (<1000 sq ft) house with the bathroom being close enough to every room that our whole house was flooded. We had to move in with my parents for about 4 months and fight the insurance to get our claim paid. The light at the end of the tunnel was we were getting hard wood floors throughout, new paint throughout, the ugly cottage cheese ceiling taken off, new doors, recessed lighting, lights and ceiling fans in the bedrooms (we had to use lamps in every room except the bathroom and kitchen before this). So when all was said and done, it was kinda worth it. Except for the past year and a half it felt like we were living in a one bedroom because we didnt have the time, energy or money to fix up the second bedroom. The door stayed shut and would only get opened for us to throw something in there. I would attempt to do crafts on my cricut in there but that only added to the pure chaos and clutter that already existed.

   BEFORE:    

20140310_200925   20140310_200937

 

But we recently mustered up the courage, the money and some Rockstars and tackled this project head on!

AFTER:

2014-03-28 12.09.05    2014-03-28 11.22.11

Above Left: The love seat and Ikea coffee table were gifted to Andrew and I when we got our first apartment together. Above Right: We bought this white drawer unit from Ikea and its pretty much empty which was the idea; There is plenty of space for us to organize future bills, homework, projects etc;

20140311_094957   2br1

The main goal of this room was to have has much storage as possible and to have the best use of space. So the corner desk with plenty of storage underneath (pictured above) was a no brainer, and guess where we bought it? Give up? Ikea!

2014-03-28 11.31.21 2014-03-28 11.46.04

The square storage unit (above left) was one we already had that somehow managed to survive the flood, originally purchased from Target. The rug (above right) was a steal from Ikea, ringing in at $14.99

2014-03-28 11.47.11  2014-03-28 11.47.25

Ikea again was the star of the show when it came to organizing the closet. Laundry, excess clothes that don’t fit in our bedroom closet, workout gear, text books, blankets, pillows, shoes and more are stored neatly (for the most part) in here. I didn’t want a closet door in here but it was just a personal choice , no good reason or explanation for that one.

And finally one of my favorite things in this room. We found these adorable frames at Ikea that have this antique look but theyre actually plastic (so they were cheap!) I love them so much and our wedding invitation looked too perfect in one of them:

2014-03-28 11.32.04

I love what we’ve done with the place but there is still so much more to do, not only in this room but in our house and yard. Owning a home is the gift that keeps on giving. Everyday we are given an opportunity to start a new project or put up a new picture, add a little touch that makes it feel a little more like love, a little more like where we belong. My home is my haven and I love coming here everyday after a long day at work or returning here after a vacation. Cherish and take pride in your home, its where your memories are being made.

 

 

 

Big Bear. big time love.

Trish and Shelly are two of the most uniquely awesome & fun loving people you will ever meet. If you know them, consider yourself lucky (and probably a bit off your rocker, you have to be to fit in with the likes of these two. I know I am! =P) Well these two lovelies invited us to come have lunch with them at their campsite in Big Bear and my family and I willing obliged. It was quite cold but a great time nonetheless. We took a walk to the lake, sat around the fire and made smores and enjoyed the company of family who don’t get together nearly often enough. I didn’t take enough pictures but I already felt like i was behind my camera and phone screen too much; I had to give them some face time with me.

                         2014-03-07 15.22.16

Above: Their two pups, Lilly and Sadie. 

jkoll2014-03-07 15.23.30 

Above and Below: My little brother and his girlfriend Lauren. I took the most pictures of them because theres just something about being young and in love that translates so well to photographs. <3

jkoll12014-03-07 15.28.45

*******************************************************************************************************

2014-03-07 15.25.192014-03-07 15.22.55

Above: Father and son with their significant others. 

2014-03-07 15.26.04

All the couples!

*When I uploaded the pictures there were no spots or blurs but once I started cropping/editing all these blurry spots started to appear. There may have been someone else there who wanted their picture taken as well.. ?

Happy Sunday everyone. The time has changed and even though we’ve lost an hour, we’ve gained an hour of daylight which I am more than pleased about. Have a great week! :)

DIY Photo Stand

Theres this wonderful app called Printicular (Printicular | Printing Instagram | Canvas Prints Online | Wall Collage | Printicular.) You can upload pictures from your phone, computer or instagram account to the app and they will either send prints of your pictures directly to your house or you can pick them up at your local Walgreens. I started printing off my instagram pictures but had nowhere to put them so i got some ideas from pinterest and used a little imagination and came with a photo holder of my own.

diyphoto1diyphoto2diyphoto3

Above photos: First I started off with a piece of wood (4′x4″ & about 1/2″ thick). Andrew stained it for me. We used Miniwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut. While we were outside I also painted the camera piece that I had purchased at Michaels, I chose to go with Navy Blue and I used a clear finish.

diyphoto4diyphoto5a

We let the stain dry for about an hour, it was still a bit sticky, and then we applied a coat of white spray paint, waited about 10 minutes and applied a coat of light pink spray paint. Left Picture: The top board is after the coat of white was applied, the bottom is after the pink was applied. Right Picture: Finished wood. Because the stain wasn’t completely dry it came up through the the spray paint and gave the wood a distressed look which is exactly what I was going for- I just came upon it in a way I hadn’t intended- a happy accident. :)

diyphoto6diyphoto7

Left Picture: I bought black clothespins and used a paint stripper and some sand paper to give them the distressed look as well. Right Picture: I used super glue to attached everything to the main piece of wood.

diyphoto8

And Voila! I added my pictures and now all that’s left to do is find a place in my house to hang it.

The grass IS greener on this side.

Our minds are so wonderful aren’t they? Constantly thinking, imagining, creating, dreaming. But what about when your mind turns against you. When your mind is imprisoning, stifling, killing you. I’ve struggled my whole life with the real and what my mind has led me to believe is real. How things really are and how my mind has set them up to be. When I was a child I had an aunt (my dads sister) insist to me that she was my real mom. I was frightened and had no idea why she would even say such an awful thing. As an adult I know that she has severe mental health issues but growing up my goal was to not be like my “crazy” aunt. So when I was emotional or had mood swings I just needed to get over it and deal. I didn’t have the most supportive family when it came to these issues. I don’t think they were trying to be hurtful i just think they were uninformed and had no idea how to properly handle any of my “issues.” It is so common and so unfortunate. Fortunately for my family and I, we survived. Not every family is so lucky. Then there are these people- the ones who think that if you are depressed, then you’re just not praying hard or often enough. And that is just not true. I prayed until I was blue in the face but I just could not shake whatever it was that was going on in my mind.

Finally, after battling my mind and struggling and being so irritable that my husband and I couldn’t go one day without an argument I realized it was time to seek professional help. I 100% believe in medication and therapy. I am living, walking, talking, marital bliss proof that these things works. I continue to pray every single day but I’m no longer asking God to fix me, I am thanking Him for doing it. I am beyond blessed and grateful that He gave me the courage to seek help. He placed me in a Dr’s hands who knew what she was doing and got my medication right the first time. And He has made me aware and proactive in wanting to make sure that I don’t allow the people around me to have their issues swept under the rug.

Stigma

A meeting 8 years in the making..

I started listening to Say Anything because of a shitty ex boyfriend who emotionally damaged me for years and almost ruined my marriage. The only good thing he ever did for me was introduce me to this band that would change my life. I know it sounds quite melodramatic and cliche but i can assure you, its true.

I went to my first Say Anything show at the Glasshouse back in 2006. I attended by myself and was in the front row; I was that girl- the one who knew every word to every song and loudly sang along with an ear to ear grin. At 20 years old, I was happy to have the lead singer of my favorite band (Max Bemis) shimmy and shake in front of me, who cares if i got sprayed with spit and sweat?! Since then I have attended every southern california Say Anything show but not without incident.

I was young, happy and invincible- or so i thought. Little did I know I was just young and drunk. I attended one show in LA (again by myself) where I got drunk, made friends with a random nice gentleman (who luckily was just that) and had a great time. Then as Im on the phone walking to my car I see Max and friends walking and drunken me “whispers” into my phone, “there he is, hes right in front of me, what should i do?” Needless to say I did not meet Max that night and drove the hour drive home. I made it safely. Thank God.

The next night I asked a friend to drive me to the show so I could drink and not have to worry about driving home. That was a smart decision on my part- I thought I was being responsible. Well as we are driving home we skid across four lanes and hit the center divider head on. That was the absolute scariest moment of my life. My friend had a DUI and for years our friendship was tarnished. I spent Thanksgiving in sweat pants that year not by choice but because I could barely move from being so sore from the accident.

Another show I went to I asked a different friend to drive me- he willingly did and stayed sober. I saw Max walk by on the street but was to scared to say anything (pun intended) until he had passed- and then I told my friend, “oh hey.. that was him.” I did not meet Max that night

Then there was the Ventura Warped Tour. There I was 122 miles from home..by myself, front row. I had a great time and after the show Max shook my hand but i was too dumbfounded to even speak (I dont consider this meeting Max.) After I spent the rest of the day enjoying great bands I walk to where I had parked only to find that my car had been towed. I had to wait the two+ hours for my mom to get there then we slept in her car til morning to get my car out.

I was just a 20 year old reckless, starstruck kid when i started listening to SA but its been a crazy and almost surreal adventure to grow up with the music. Sometimes I felt (like most people do with music) that he wrote those songs about my exact situation. I met Andrew (my most amazing husband who I am lucky to have, hes my partner in crime and my SA show buddy now) shortly after Max and Sherri (Eisley) were married. So obviously I can still relate and internalize all the songs. Now I’m a 28 year old woman who has a respect and admiration for an artist who has grown into a family man and so much more. Going to SA shows has introduced me to some of my other favorite bands (Manchester Orchestra, Fake Problems) and I even found the most perfect song to dance with Andrew to for our wedding vow renewal ceremony, Eisley’s ‘Kind’

So obviously at last nights show I was kind of a mess when my friend pulled me over to meet Max and take my picture with him..it wasnt at all what id hoped for (me being the cool kid with the leather jacket, “hey… sup.” head nod. and then we’d smoke a bowl, have a drink and be best friends.. hey a girl can dream!!) but I’m just happy that I met Max… finally! :)

Wanna get away?

We all need some r&r in our lives and after a long week at work what could be better than a calm, quiet day at the spa. However when the thought crossed my mind this week it wasn’t a realistic option seeing as how it was 10 pm on Friday night and for most of us its not something we can treat ourselves to due to time, budget or children constraints. Much to your delight, I’ve compiled some of my favorite products that will make your bathroom a room of pampering and rejuvenation. Treat yourself once in a while, you more than deserve it. :)

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Brazilian Nut Body Scrub (Walmart)- I obviously don’t recommend using a scrub everyday but after using this your skin will feel brand new.. literally, like baby skin; so touch-ably soft

Bliss Soapy Suds (Sephora)- I have it in the vanilla+bergamot scent, which smells so good!, and the scent stays and it keeps your skin soft even after you rinse.

Cranberry Orange Mango & Acai Berry Hand Treatment Candle (Pink Papaya)- This product is my favorite and oh so amazing! You light the candle while you take your bath then once your done and you blow the candle out the “wax” is actually a therapeutic massage oil that can be used anywhere. I use mine mainly on my neck, shoulders and back. (Its better if massaged on by someone else!) And it leaves your skin with a dewy pretty glow.

Forever Flawless Diamond Infused Facial Peel-  Use this on your clean face and watch the dead skin cells just peel away. A must have if you want to keep your skin youthful.

Neutrogena Naturals Night Cream (Target)-  My skin on face is very sensitive so this is perfect for my skin type and I even use the face wash as my everyday wash.

So go pour the bubble bath under the hot water, light some candles and take some time for yourself to unwind and relax.

relax

Hello 2014

What better way to start the new year than with a new blog post. 2013 was a great year with some great times but I like to think of it more as a growing year for myself. I didn’t experience any major life changing events however the year as a whole changed me and made me better prepared to conquer 2014. With that said here are some of my resolutions for the upcoming year:

1. Find a home church and attend weekly.

2.Start focusing more on inner beauty and confidence and less on outward appearance

3. Join a book club.

4. Take my health more seriously and make it a priority, not an option.

5. Cook dinner once a week

6. Be a hostess (instead of a guest) more often.

7. Take adventures by myself once in a while. So this one needs some explaining… Before I met Andrew I was fearless in the sense that I could and would go anywhere by myself. Shopping, concerts, festivals.. you name it, i did it. Ive become so accustomed to having someone to go everywhere with that Ive developed anxiety about attending anything by myself. I think its an almost unhealthy co-dependency so id like to take some more solo trips just to maintain my sense of adventure and independence.

8. Develop and STICK TO a budget.  (Its about time, I suppose. )

9. Make a new friend.

10. Travel to a new city.

So what are your new years resolutions? And remember, resolutions aren’t about changing who you are but embracing and enhancing your life so good luck to you all in accomplishing your goals and making your dreams become realities.

Express yourself

When given really good (or really bad) news we all react in different ways. That isn’t to say people who don’t have an overly expressive reaction care less. Recently, on a family trip to Laughlin, I won $500. I was ecstatic.. on the inside, however I didn’t jump up and down or scream or do anything over the top. My mom commented that she would’ve been yelling and I thought to myself, “Why am I not more excited?” Later I realized that I had been genuinely and completely elated I just didn’t express it the same way as my mom would. For a very long time Ive had this idea that I cant express my excitement in an outward fashion. I don’t know where this notion comes from, maybe I don’t want to be boastful; maybe I’m too concerned what others think. But really I think its that I’m a thinker. I take time to think about things and to process them. Even more recently a family member received devastating news. When my mom told me the news I didn’t cry, I didn’t hug my mom, I didn’t really react at all. I asked questions and did what i do best.. I started processing. I’m sure that its not the reaction most would give but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have the same impact on me that it did my other family members. I’m just not good at these kind of things. The best way for me to express myself is to write it down. But know this.. I love more deeply than most and although I may look and sound fine my heart aches the same and my prayers are as constant as yours. 

I haven’t always been this way and I’ve started to see my “poker face” when it comes to dealing with emotions as a flaw but maybe its a strength. I still feel everything and am very much an emotional person but have this strange ability to keep it together when it counts. I can be strong for my family  when they need it most. I know there will come a day when I will need them to be my strength so I’m glad to be that person for them now. 

Baby dreams

There was a time in my life when I would drive around, look down at my ring finger and my mind would drift. I would daydream about what my engagement ring and then wedding ring would look like and what the man who put the rings on my finger would be like. How would we meet? Where would we live? What places would we travel to? Now that i’m married to the only one who ever made me feel like I deserved the world and more, my mind still drifts. I now daydream about our firstborn. What will he look like? Will she be healthy? How old will I be when I have him? I cant wait to be a mom and I cant wait to see Andrew be the amazing father I know he will be. We do want children and soon but first things first; My prayer is that I can get and stay healthy and experience low levels of pain so that all my questions about motherhood can one day be answered with the amazing blessing of a baby.

Summer is here (almost)…

So I’ve been totally neglecting this blog and been feeling horrible about it but with summer here I plan to be posting more often.

Heres what you’ve missed:

http://instagram.com/p/XyzPG7MM9L/ I found out im not black.. it came as a real shocker

http://instagram.com/p/YWUhWZMM0K/ Decided to start drinking Patron since apparently im mexican.

http://instagram.com/p/Y6fm21MM5p/ Bought a new bathtub since mine was waaay to small. mightve overestimated the size of my bathroom

http://instagram.com/p/Y_XmURMM7C/ Took a photography class (not really, im just THAT good)

http://instagram.com/p/ZgXlhMsM2v/     http://instagram.com/p/Zgw61NMMxr/ He took me out to the ball game, pushed me and made me hit my head*. Im pretty sure all he was supposed to do was buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.

http://instagram.com/p/ZrZJuxMM5-/ Adopted this adorable little guy. We call him Oliver

http://instagram.com/p/aEb82PMM8-/ Started a new drinking crew. We call ourselves ZOTS. If your last name doesnt start with one of those letters then im sorry to say you are not welcome to join.

And most recently- Yesterday I celebrated Fathers Day with mi papa. It was a great day with great people (my family, duh) great food and a great dad. On a side note– we all watched “The Impossible”  If your menopausal, premenstrual or prego I suggest NOT watching that movie unless you like crying uncontrollably.

*My husband did not actually push me, i’m just clumsy and fell