Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Balance the checkbook and water the ficus

The family I nanny for has the most beautiful backyard. A resort style pool with a water slide (that in 5 years of them having the pool I have never once gone down), a huge lawn for games or picnics and over 100 rose bushes, along with many other pretty flowers. When Ryan was a little baby I would feed him his bottle on the deck that was surrounded with flowers and watch the butterflies fly around us and it always made me so happy and peaceful.

Here are a few pics from their garden:







a pretty little boquet that I made to put on their bookcase!

and then..

a ficus.

Remember this commercial from about 7 years ago?

That would be my little Lilli! "little Lilli" aka she is 17 now! Tons of kids from her High School remember her from that commercial and as a joke for her birthday last year bought her her very own ficus tree. "Balance the checkbook and water the ficus!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to: light switch plates

3 years ago when my roommate Katie and I moved into our new apartment her mom gifted us with a couple Anthropologie light switch covers to make our apartment pop! I fell in love with them and seriously looked for more for the next year. Everyone I found was around $20-30 and there was no way I was going to pay that much for a switch plate! I finally caved and bought one on Amazon that matched our comforter perfectly and was masculine enough for Bret to actually like as well. Bret and I moved into our own apartment a few months ago and sadly the switch plate doesn't fit our new light switches. So the hunt went on again! Finally I realized I probably could make these myself (and for much cheaper) and it turns out for $6 I totally could! For $6 I made 3 new light switch plates for our apartment and they were so easy to do and look adorable!

How to:

-1 piece of scrap book paper
-a cheap foam paint brush
-a bottle of modge podge (i happened to have gloss on hand)


#1: Take the light switch off your wall with a screwdriver
#2: take your scrapbook paper and lay it face down (contrary to what my pic says..oops)


#3: Trace the light switch onto the paper and cut it out. Don't forget the holes for the switches! Also, when you cut give yourself a little bit of extra room on all 4 sides so that the paper can slightly fold over the edges of the plate...otherwise the edges will be totally white, which is also okay
#4: Get your modge podge ready!

#6: paint the whole plate with modge podge and lay the cut out paper face up directly on top. Then generously paint the whole top of the paper with the modge podge (don't forget all the sides) . I then cut the corner pieces into tiny little slits so they over layed better. It will look like the modge podge is turning white but dont worry, it dries clear!
#7: let it dry for a good 40 minutes
#8: hold the light switch up to the light so that you can see the little screw holes. Take the original screw and gently pop the screws through

#9: Re Screw the plate to the wall and....tadaa!!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend recap


I was right, this weekend amounted to pretty much nothing. Very lazy but sometimes lazy is okay!

Friday I picked my buddy up from 2nd grade and Bret ended up coming over for an impromptu game night at his parents house with 2 other couples. Delish wine and good friends is always fun in my book! Saturday my mom dropped my chihuahua Bella off for a weekend sleepover at her mommy and daddy's... Maebel wasnt too keen on having Bella in her space and gave her a few swats to the face! On Saturday we also went to the gym and then on Sunday we took Bella to get a mani/pedi at Petco. I tried so hard to resist getting her nails painted red (which I've done before ;) but I couldn't resist putting the hotdog costume on her!

We made breakfast both days, I also cleaned our disastrously messy apartment (that i swear NEVER, EVER looks that way!), did a craft (post coming up soon!) and we drove by our wedding venue for a quick far away sneak peak of the wedding that was going on. Thats about it!

I also got invited to become a regular artist at Free Crappy Portrait! I had to submit a hand drawn childhood picture for the artists page so I texted my dad and had him send me several pictures that I drew of myself once upon a time. The picture above was clearly drawn during a year that I had a perm!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maebel Kate Bays

Bret and I are definitely dog people. We cant wait to have a lab or a golden retriever named Max and a wiener dog named Minnie. But when you live in an apartment with no backyard, on the 3rd floor with 33 stairs up you realize you have to wait for a few more years. Ho hum! When we moved into our first own apartment we decided to get a cat (our old roomie was allergic)! Neither of us are cat people but we've both wanted an animal for a while so we went with it. I was obsessed with finding a black and white little girl and one day while out shopping I randomly found her! An old pet store had converted into an adoption center (every animal is rescued from the wild/high kill shelters) and there she was! 2 weeks later we took her home!

Meet Maebel Kate Bays, Maeby for short:
(Maeby= from Arrested Development, one of the best shows ever! Kate is my friend/our old roommate who hates cats)







About a week or two into having her with us Maeby got realllly sick. It felt like it was one thing after another and after some wonderful TLC from myself and Bret, about $600 in vet bills and several flea baths later, she is wonderful and finally happy and playing! She did a complete turnaround, thank god! We've had her for over 2 months now and we are seriously in love with our kitty. I truly cant imagine not having her in our life! She is the most cuddly and sweet kitten and lays on our laps purring for so long every night. She recently has turned into a psycho kitty too though and goes absolutely crazy for about an hour each night!

Monday, August 22, 2011

back from Yosemite

We're back from Yosemite safe (phew) and sound! We spent the long weekend doing tons of biking and hiking and this year was filled with a lot of laughing and tubing with beers down the Merced River. I loved every minute of it (especially the tubing with beers!) and I really wish we could go back next year but since we're getting married next August I don't think we'll be able to make it :(

Here are a few pics from our trip (sadly they're blurry..this was before I knew how to upload my pics better!) Yosemite is the prettiest place in the world to me!

(out and about on a bike ride)

(an adorable little fawn!)

(lower Yosemite Falls. we hiked to the very top of that mountain last year and it was a disaster!)

(with my best friend Emily. We've been best friends since 1st grade!)

(a random shot from a bike ride we were on)

( Bret and I in front of the Ahwahnee Hotel)

(tubing day 1)

(the half way point to Vernal Falls)

(Vernal Falls..amazing)

(a rainbow at Vernal Falls)

(one of many bucks we saw this trip)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yosemite 2010

Last July Bret and I met up with his 2 college roommates in Yosemite National Park. I hadn't been there in over 10 years and really didn't remember how beautiful it was! It quickly turned into our new favorite place and as soon as we got back from our trip we booked a new trip for 2011. You literally have to book 1 year to the day in advance to be able to get a site, that's how popular it is!

We spent 4 days hiking (including one disastrously tough hike), sitting by the river, eating yummy pizza and riding our bikes around town. Tomorrow we're off for a 5 day vacation and this year my best friend Emily is coming too.. I dont think we've been on vacation together since our Junior year in High School when we went to Mammoth so it will be very nice to get away together!

A few pics from our trip last year:

(at the top of Yosemite Falls, aka a disastrous hike and the view at the top was SO not worth it!)

(the incredibly glamorous place we stay at: Housekeeping Camp)

Monday, August 15, 2011

a trip to the duck park

Bret and I had the kids this weekend and on Friday we brought Ry to the duck park. When he was a little boy I'd bring him here often cause it was a place for him to roam free...and a place to "e-void the maids" as he would say when he was little ;) Its such a pretty area and it also has a playground with tons of other little kids to play with. When I was a little girl my mom used to bring me and my friends here too!

(this duck had the most wicked poodle doo ever!)

(I have the same picture of Ry from when he was either 2 or 3)

(i love him i love him i love him!)

The rest of the weekend was spent going out to pizza, swimming, taking a nap (oh wait, that was just me), making waffles for the first time and spending time with my boys. On Sunday we also got to see our niece and nephew as well as our other niece and nephew that live far away. It was a kid packed weekend..thank god we both like being around kids!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wedding Venue: Open House

(damn iphone for making this blurry)

Before Bret and I were even engaged we knew we wanted to get married on 8/10/12 (I am obsessed with dates) and we knew we wanted to get married at a local venue called Walnut Grove. I had seen a random couples wedding on a wedding blog months and months before and fell completely in love with the venue. We had gone and drove by it a few times and were both absolutely in love with it right away. It's completely outdoors, has gorgeous walnut trees and is really just perfect. 5 days after we got engaged (on 2/22, my 26th bday!) we went to the venue booked the date we wanted! August 2012 was already booking up but somehow we landed our date of 8/10/12......18 months in advance, haha.

Back in May we went to an open house of the venue with my mom, good friend Wendy and her son (who i nanny for), Ryan. It was set up to look exactly like a wedding was going on, so the ceremony site , the tables and the bar were all set up and the food was all prepared and ready to get in our bellies!

Here are a few pics!

(they serve the water and lemonade in mason jars, i love that!)

(a pretty table for eating your appetizers at in the middle of the grove)

(the bar. I'm bummed I didnt get a picture of the food line but it is set up on wine barrels like it is here)

(the amazing food. it was the only time we could try the food that we would be serving at our wedding for free, so we went big! had to try everything so we could see what we wanted to serve. everything was seriously amazing, esp the jalepeno jack mac and cheese!)

They also had a bunch of vendors around trying to get you to pick their services. They had DJ's, photographers, photobooths, florists etc...too bad I already had this all booked 2 months after we were engaged...OCD much?!

(my 2 boys that I love with all my heart. i call them my big boy and my little boy! and dont mind bret's poor black eye and huge lump. it was a wicked rugby boo boo!)

While we were walking around Ryan, aka mr. shy guy, wants no attention on him, asked me if he and I could pretend we were getting married. he stood at the front (and on the side, as to not block anybodys pics!) and I walked down the aisle to where he was standing. He was so serious and asked if Bret could take some pictures of us and at the end he gave me a big fat kiss on the lips. I thought it was beyond adorable!

Only 365 days to go!!!