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These Lovely Burbs
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Building our desk

A few months ago Jordan and I built a shared desk for our office. We previously had two rooms each with an office space and decided to create one long desk to share. Jordan works from home so he needs an office space and I need somewhere to pay bills, do projects, and such.

Here’s an iphone shot of the room before the desk:

Our dear friends bought a beautiful mid-century modern home and pulled these wooden shelves from the garage. We loved their rustic charm and it inspired us to create this desk. The first step was for Jordan and my dad to cut the shelves down to the right size.

We bought three Ikea kitchen cabinet pieces and assembled them in the office. Each cabinet has a drawer and cabinet with a shelf for storage.

Our friend Lance helped Jordan sand down the wood to buff out the spots and rough patches.

We absolutely love the color of the wood so we decided not to stain the top and leave it natural.

We used this wood wax to seal the wood and give it a beautiful shine. Isn’t the label fun?

Here it was a few months ago. We have since added apple crate shelves above the desk, new chairs, and mixed match knobs on the cabinets.

Check back next week for the finished product!


Holiday Wrap Up Part 3

I know Christmas has far past and this post is sooooo late… but because the snow is falling outside, I say we’re still good! This is a long picture post- you have been warned.

Here’s a glimpse at how we spent Christmas 2011.

Our Tree; from the farm to our home

December adventures:

Listening to Christmas albums, crisp winter air at the farm, gingerbread cookies, a trip to Peacock lane, decorating our tree, enjoying beautiful Portland, making Christmas gifts…

…gingerbread houses, a messy craft room, lighting advent candles, packaging apple butter, watching paper whites grow, hosting holiday dinners, and more nights around the advent glow.

Christmas Date with my sweet little buddy:

Progressive dinner with very dear friends: exchanging gifts, great food, and great company!

Curry & sweet potato vegetable pot pies for dinner at our house!

Chris & I doing what we do best.

Smores & roasted marshmallows in C&C’s new BEAUTIFUL fireplace!

Christmas Morning

Side note on my Christmas wrapping this year: I decided to go with a “rustic Christmas” theme. I found this natural brown paper at Home Depot in a giant roll for $4 in the paint section! I loved the way it looked with the doilies and ribbon.

My favorite find: the white “snowball” yarn I used as ribbon. It was only about $2 and I still have so much left over!

A few of Jordan’s gifts:

A few of my gifts:

And we ended 2011 with our favorite New Years sushi making tradition with dear friends.

Looking forward to all 2012 has in store,


Topiary Tutorial

After Christmas I tend to get the “January Blues”. The house is always so festive, bright, and cheerful at Christmastime and then after I take down all the holiday decorations, my house looks so bare! Here’s a topiary project I did last January with sweet pink flowers and a lacey white planter I found at Ikea. It was really easy and brightens our master bath.

Flower Topiary Tutorial

Floral foam for base (2)
Floral foam circle
Decorative moss
Small planter
Glue gun

Cut twigs to preferred height. I had these swirly, decorative twigs already, so I grabbed a few and bunched them together.

Use a knife to cut the foam so it will fit snugly in the planter. (Being that the flowers make the topiary top heavy, I put two pieces of foam on top of each other to make the twigs more stable).

Now the fun part! Pull the flowers off the stem and use a pen to make a hole in the foam. Put hot glue on the bottom of the flower piece and stick it in the hole you just made with the pen. Repeat, repeat, repeat! I set my foam circle on top of the planter as I worked to hold it steady.

Once it is completely covered with flowers, make a larger hole in the foam circle and then hot glue the twigs in that hole. Let it completely dry before finishing the assembly.

When the glue is dry and set, push the twigs into the center of the foam pieces in the base and add moss around the twigs to hide the floral foam.

Here’s the comparison of our bathroom before and after adding the topiary and little heart banner across the mirror:

Our bathroom is still a work in progress, but a lot more cheerful with that lovely little topiary!



New Use for Cupcake Liners

Have you ever read Real Simple‘s “New Uses for Old Things” article? I love Real Simple and am often yearning for more real and simple strategies to daily living.

After we built a shared desk for our office, we decided to use some of our favorite mugs as pen holders. However, we like these mugs enough that I didn’t want them to get pen stains on the bottom in case we want to use them again for our morning coffee.

So I put cupcake liners at the bottom to prevent pen marks. A simple and inexpensive way to keep these cute mugs in tip top shape.

What are things you have created new uses for around your home out of old things?


Holiday Wrap Up Part 2

Jordan’s birthday falls just a week before Christmas, which can make December feel even more busy! This year we decided that because his birthday fell on a Saturday that we would take advantage of a day to slow down and enjoy each other and this joyful time of year!

Jordan has wanted a record player for a long time, so he started the morning with this little gift…

Bon Iver’s red vinyl album

Which led to a second, much larger gift….

Next we were on our way to breakfast with friends when we discovered a flat tire on our car! Jordan definitely proved his manliness by changing a tire on his birthday!

But we made it to Pine State Biscuits in NE Portland and it was amazing!

This beauty is called “The Reggie Deluxe” complete with: fried chicken, bacon, cheese, gravy, and an egg. I don’t even want to know the calorie count!

Thanks Chris & Caitlin for joining us for breakfast and window shopping on NE Alberta!

Next we went home, Jordan opened a few more gifts from friends (like this great Brownie camera to add to his vintage camera collection from our dear friend Jordan!) and we rested, made homemade pizza, and played games with good friends. All in all, a great birthday.