DIY King Sized Headboard

We recently upgraded to a king sized bed. It's the Sultan Finnvick from Ikea if you're curious (I wanted the natural latex mattress but we couldn't justify the 700$ difference). We looked around for a headboard/bed and didn't find many king sized options for a reasonable price, so we decided to make a headboard.  I was going to go the usual plywood route until Mike found that a 36x80 inch hollow core door was thicker, lighter, and the perfect length for a king sized headboard.

We cut 3 yards of 1/4 batting into 3 sheets and covered the door, stapling each layer as we went. I recommend using a pneumatic stapler over a staple gun as we need the extra power to get through all the layers.

After we attached the batting we covered the door in three yards of natural linen, scored for 40% off at Joann Fabrics. I liked how the staples almost look like tufting. We stapled the shit out of this thing to make sure it stayed tight.

We mounted the headboard on the wall with a French Cleat for 15$

Here's the finished product. We're planning on changing the bedding and adding some large Euro shams to match the proportion of the headboard. The whole project cost less than 100$ and took about an hour.


Fall in Photos

It's crazy that it's already the end of November. These are from instagram so I'm sure some of you have seen them. Although I have aspirations of filling this blog with breathtaking artsy photos with my DSLR, that's just not going to happen. Instead these are my artsy instagram pics, taken in real life with the ol' iphone.

We decorated for the fall in my usual natural, minimalist way with gourds and a bouquet of fall flowers. I can't wait to have children to decorate the house for Halloween.

There were some rainy fall days where I took a go at making chai. The stovetop is the way to go. Olive is not as big a fan of rainy days as I am and requested I hold her during thunderstorms.

I started working as a real live nurse. Getting up at 5:15 and 12 hour shifts are taking some getting used to. More on this later.

Photo: My niece, her 1st bonfire & 1st thanksgiving (early)

We were able to have an early Thanksgiving with the family. It was perfect. There was plenty of food, drinks and shenanigans. It was warm enough for a fire. Goodbyes were  harder for me this time as I wasn't able to tell my family when we would be together again. Christmas will be tough not be being home, but we'll make the best of it. 

Now it's time for winter and Christmas. Mike's having surgery to repair a frayed labrum in his shoulder, so he'll be off work all of December. It'll be nice having him home. I start working overnights halfway through December, 12 hours, 3 nights a week. Another adjustment, but I think it'll be worth it. 

How was your fall? 


Meal Plan

It's been about two and a half weeks since I started Weight Watchers and I'm happy to say I lost 7 lbs and am starting to feel less gross. It's been a little trying sticking to appropriate portion sizes, but being able to eat M&Ms and BBQ Popchips has helped me through. Here are some of the meals from this past week. 

Vegetable Egg Rolls with Asian Vegetable Soup (I used a fresh stir fry mix for this)

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup (use 2 cans of pumpkin puree and 1 Tbsp of Curry instead of 2)


Losing It

I've put on weight. I ignored the early signs; underwear too tight, having to pull up my pants to tuck in my muffin top. I knew I was a little heavier, but I don't own a scale. So imagine my surprise when I recently weighed myself at my brothers house and was a soft 140 lbs. My license still says I'm 120 lbs, and the doctors office says 133, but no, I'm 140 (everyone's different, this is not heavy for some, blah, blah, blah). At 5' 3", 140 puts me at the very tip top for healthy weight. It was time for me to do something about it. My biggest problem is that I eat way too much. It's not bad stuff, whole wheat pasta, lean means, fruits and veg, cheese, it's just a lot of stuff. Portions equal to my husband who is A. A man and B. 50 lbs heavier than me. 

I decided to start Weight Watchers. My parents were very successful a few years back and with the app for iPhone and iPad, I figured it was the best option for me. 

With no low point recipes on my Pinterest page, I had to start from scratch. I perused the Weight Watchers site and came up with these recipes for our first week on Weight Watchers. Charles Barkley convinced Mike that Weight Watchers will help him lose weight too, so we're doing it together. He gets 40 points per day, I get 26. Just another example of how my portion sizes were out of control.

Here is our first week of dinners. I have to say that sticking to the portion sizes has been very hard for me. I could only have 1/2 a piece of chicken for the Thai-Grilled Chicken Sandwich (I ate the rest of the leftover 1 point carrot slaw to help fill me up).

Italian Beef and Lentil Slow-Cooker Stew (this is in the CrockPot right now)

After about 4 days on Weight Watchers I've learned that:

3 points go fast (carbs!)

We really need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables (0 Points)

I can still eat some of my favorite meals;
Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup, Chicken Picatta. I just need to adjust some ingredients and of course the portion.

Here are some awesome sites for healthy recipes:


Laundry Room Update

So, since we're staying in our current house for awhile, we figured it was time to upgrade our earth shattering-ly loud washer and dryer. We knew we wanted something high efficiency and Energy Star because we're big on reusable/washable items around here including dog potty pads, cotton produce bags and someday, cloth diapers. I did a little research and found these Whirlpool Duet Stackable Washer and Dryer which maximizes the space in our closet sized laundry room. These are a lower end (but still pricey) model without some of the bells and whistles like a steam or sanitize mode, but still include some nice options like a small load setting, a cold water cycle, a whitest whites cycle, and sensor drying.

We've been using this Seventh Generation Free & Clear 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent for the last year or so and hopefully we can switch from using traditional bleach (which never seems to do anything anyway) to oxygen bleach on the whitest whites setting.

We've never used fabric softening because it's laden with chemicals (including some natural varieties) and decreases the absorbency of most fabrics, but I've had some trouble with large items like heavy blankets and comforters requiring 2-3 drying cycles (in our old machine). I've heard that  Wool Dryer Balls  help reduce drying time by up to 20%, as well as reduce static. 

I hang a lot of clothes on a drying rack to avoid shrinking. I'd use a clothesline but they are not allowed by our HOA (jackasses). I'm going to keep using my old black plastic one (boo plastic!) but this Wooden Dowel Drying Rack from the Container Store would be nice.

One thing I am going to upgrade is our laundry baskets. You know I'm all about Everyday Style, so I'm going to recycle our mismatched, broken plastic laundry baskets and switch to this this 30 dollar guy from Pier 1. Although I'd love this Braided French Laundry Basket from West Elm, I'm too cheap.

I'm going to back in a couple of days with some update pics.



After two years of planning, we still are not able to move home. I was naive to think that anything would be easy. We can't sell our house, I can't find a job. Those two things are the impetus to us moving home. Sure, we could run away to Michigan with no jobs. We could try to short sale or foreclose on the house. Believe me I'm tempted. But it's not like us to make rash decisions, to move ahead without finishing things. 

If a job in Michigan comes a calling, we'll go. But after 40 applications, that's not looking likely. It seems that the best thing for us to do now is stay in Illinois a little longer. For Mike to continue working and making good money. For me to get my precious one year experience. Hey, maybe the housing market could turn around (at least a little). Do I think it's just gonna be easy a year from now, that everything will be right? A little. But I'm not going to be as naive as before. I'm sure a nursing job in Michigan will still be hard to get, even with that year experience. I'm sure, if our house sells, it will be for no where near what we owe. I'm sure, that it Mike wants to be a cop in Michigan, that he will have to take a $1300 training course to get licensed, and still might not find a job. But we'll try, and that's all we can do. 

I'm going to try not to dwell on this setback. As much as it pains us, it's the right decision. We have a good life here, a nice home, a comfortable income, good friends, and our families are still only 5 hours away. So we're going to enjoy our life here, while we're here. 



We got there late on Wednesday night and after setting up the tent we gathered around the fire for dinner around 9pm. We heated up sloppy joes over hot coals in our favorite cast iron pan. There were six of us the first night and we sat around the fire catching up while passing around a bottle of cinnamon whiskey. 

The raccoons came out full force that night thanks to a bunch garbage left at the site from previous asshole campers. They were ruthless, ripping into one of the tents and spending the night outside of our tent gnawing on old corn cobs and the garbage that we hadn't picked up yet.

We brought our little ikea french press and a stainless steel kettle. The leftover coals from the fire the night before was hot enough to heat the water for a batch of coffee each morning.
That afternoon, while waiting for a few more people to arrive, we sat under a massive tarp ("tarp city") expertly tied to a group of trees, while it rained around us. This is a picture of the river as the rain stopped and the sun started to come out. 

The next morning was warm and beautiful although the night was still marred by the sound of raccoons outside the tent. I wanted to love sleeping outdoors but every sound kept me awake.

After some life changing stuffed french toast, we finally waded into the river. Despite the record heat in Michigan the water was cold, and due to drought in the Midwest, the water only went to about knee high. But we made the best of it.

We spent Friday and Saturday in the river playing frisbee, fricket,  laying in tubes, playing rock throw, drinking, laughing and getting sunburned.

The tent that the raccoon ripped into.
Before dinner every night the boys would go into the woods and cut down dead trees for fire wood using chainsaws and axes. 
We made massive fires that burned for hours as we listened to music, danced around the fire, talked, laughed, made s'mores and stared at the stars.



* Hi friends, I really have no reason or excuse for why I haven't been around. I just... haven't felt like it. I've been free from any and all studying for the last month and it has been strange to adjust to not having anything to do. I try to stay busy, but I eventually slow down and my lack of motion leads to standing still. It's nice to sleep late, have lunch with my friends, hang out with Mike everyday, go to bed late and wake up and do it again. But the problem is that it's not balanced with the appropriate amount of mental stimulation and responsibilities. Everything in life requires balance and this is no exception. *

* At some point this space became me trying desperately to post what I thought people wanted to see, what I read on blogs. But I'm tired of that and I think it feels inauthentic. I've tried so hard to be "successful" at blogging, i.e. lots of followers, sponsors, giveaways, freelance opportunities, but it just feels like the popular or successful bloggers are members of a secret sorority, with one blogger popping up on another's blog or smiling next to them in instagram photos. I've never been in a sorority and don't know how to pledge. No, I'm not from New York City, or Mormon (weird I know, but I follow quite a few successful bloggers who happen to be Mormon), I don't do crafts, I'm not a Mom, I'm just me, documenting my life and all the beautiful moments. It's taken so long for me to give up the idea that I had to be successful at blogging for it to be worth while, and I just recently completely stopped checking my stats and feeds. It's liberating.*

* I created a new blog, it's nothing yet, just a page with a title, and when I'm ready I'll share it with you. Sure, I could change the name here and retool things, but I like to start fresh. Shake off the old, take a deep breath, and start over. All I can tell you is that it's going to be a place that's much more authentic, less about "things", full of my own photos, with maybe more words than people will like, but it will be honest and real. *


June Vacation

We took a vacation over the last 10 days and instead of going to San Francisco, or roadtripping to Niagara Falls, we drive all the way home to Michigan and spent time with our families. Mike helped his Dad and my brother work on their houses while I sat with the iPad and tried to study as much as possible for boards. We ate (a lot), drank, went on the boat, swam, sat around the fire, held babies, and it further reminded us of why we want to move back home. 
 Thanks for f-ing up my suitcase

 Fish on! 24ish inch Pike, first fish of the season

  Father's Day sunset on the lake with my parents

 Pink sky in my brothers backyard

Driving to the river house  

 Evening boat ride

  Momma cuddles

Always fishing that one

 The River House

Aunt cuddles before heading back to IL

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...