Sunday, January 31, 2010

Office Makeover

This weekend we finished up the office project.  I have shared in earlier posts some pieces of the office project here and there but now that its all done I wanted to post a complete makeover from empty room to now complete.  I am also featuring a video tour.

Goals: Our main objectives with the office was to create two clear workspaces for Chase and myself so we didn't have to share. We also wanted a very clean looking area without a lot of distraction. And lastly we wanted to be very organized.

What we started with:
The house we purchased had been flipped so everything was fresh and new. This provided a clean slate for us to work with.

The mood board:
officemoodboard copy
The moodboard was created after a few purchases had been made BUT we made those purchases with our goals in mind.

The painting:
This was the first step in transforming the room. We chose the color Seed Pearl for a fresh and simple backdrop to the office. We put 2 coats on the walls and 3 on the ceiling.

The furniture:

Our entire office is decked out in Ikea, and for good reason. Its affordable and the style we were going for. We got 2 tables turned desks, a dresser for storage and some other extras from the big blue store in Frisco.

The big reveal:
This is the same corner in the before picture and this space is my desk.

The shevles and storage boxes were also purchased from Ikea.

Chase's work space complete with the hint of orange for Oklahoma State.

The shopping list: I wanted to break down the total budget of the room so you could a feel for what this makeover cost.
And finally, the video tour.  (psst- look for a bonus scene at the end)

What's for Dinner?

In our second installation of What's for Dinner? we thought we would share the inaugural grill meal.

My dad was kind enough to buy us a fancy new grill for our housewarming present. We picked it up from Sears on Wednesday, put it together Saturday morning and cooked dinner on it that night.


The meal? Well steaks of course. What else would you cook on a grill for the first time?

The meal consisted of a 1.05lb New York Strip Steak, baked potatoes, green beans and onions + mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and red wine.

The most important ingredient is, of course, the meat. We swung by Central Market, spoke with the butcher and picked out this beauty.


A little salt and pepper on the steak. Two baked potatoes rubbed with olive oil and salt. Fresh cut mushrooms and onions sauteed in a pan with olive oil and red wine. Can of cut green beans. Voila!



Simply delicious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Progress Report

As some of you might remember from earlier posts we are doing some painting.  We decided at 9pm on Sunday night it was time to kick-off the office project.  We set to work clearing out the room and prepping the floors with dropcloths then we got to work on the first coat.


Monday night we immediately got started on the second coat...and then we decided we would need to paint the popcorn ceilings. We were hoping we could live with the 2-tone simply because painting popcorn is not fun and takes time BUT we couldn't handle it. So, another trip to Lowe's and another 3 hours in the office painting.


After 3 coats on the ceiling and a second coat on the wall the painting was done. It was time to replace the light fixture. We had originally purchased a new light from Ikea but then we decided we wanted to add a ceiling fan in the room for those hot summer days (cut down on AC costs).




The room is now freshly painted and much more vibrant with lots of light as opposed to old dark feeling the room had. We have a few more tricks up our sleeves for the office and will reveal the complete before and after soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What the weekend brought

Shopping!  And new things for the house.  We made some purchases over the weekend from a serious Ikea trip and a couple other stops.  Thought I would share our new treasures with you.

#1: Wine bottle wall rack from Ikea.  We like it a lot, so much that we decided we need another one.  We will be purchasing that soon.

#2: Wall magazine rack.  We have wanted something like this for a long time and for $9.99 at Ikea you can't go wrong.

#3: New plant.  We wanted to add some vegitation to the living room so we snatched this indoor/outdoor plant from Lowe's. 

#4: Fresh flowers.  My adorable fiance brought me home some beautiful flowers last week.  Isn't he so cute.  They are brightening up the entry hall.

#5: Coffee tables.  These were a major West Elm score.  On sale for $44.00 each, originally priced $169.00 each.  Wow!  We love how they brighten up the room and are easily moveable.


#7: Lots of office goodies.  You will have to wait and see these as part of our Office Makeover Reveal! Under construction now, finished project coming soon.

Whew, what an exhausting weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's for Dinner?

One of the things Chase and I were looking forward to when we moved in together was cooking.  Chase likes to cook and so do I (even though I don't really know how) so its a new adventure for us as a couple.  We are also trying to eat healthy and slim up for some springtime engagement pics.  So, a new blog subject is born...What's for Dinner?  I will try my best to remember to take pics when we cook and eat so I can document them for all to see.

First up, a recipe from Real Simple's Month of 400 Calorie Meals.  We are snatching meal #1 from January 1st: Turkey Meat Loaf With Mashed Potatoes.



  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and leaves chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup jarred marinara sauce, warmed (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, combine the turkey, onion, spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet and form it into a 10-inch loaf. Spread with the ketchup. Bake until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot of enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash with the buttermilk, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Serve the meat loaf with the potatoes and the marinara sauce, if using.

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 376
  • Calories From Fat 25%
  • Fat  11g
  • Sat Fat  3g
  • Cholesterol  67mg
  • Sodium  700mg
  • Protein  30g
  • Carbohydrate  43g
  • Fiber  5g
  • Sugar  7g

And drumroll please.....

Our very own Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

It was delicious.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yet another Lowe's trip

One of the places Chase and I spend the most time lately is Lowe's.  It seems like everyday there is something we need that warrants a trip to the home improvement store.  And each time we go, unfortunately it costs us money.  Eeek.  But it also means fun things for the house.

This week our trip had a list full of variety:
1. Indoor plant
2. Shovel
3. Hoe
4. Garden gloves
5. Welcome mat for the front door
6. A couple different types of screws for the back door lock
7. Two gallons of Seed Pearl paint
8. Drop cloths
9. Blue painters tape
10. Couple rollers
11. Paint edging tool
12. Potting soil

Trying to make a decision on paint took us 10 minutes

I am sure we will back at some point this week... 

Monday, January 18, 2010

What to do with $8K

Part of the decision to buy a house came from the fact that as first time home-buyers we would receive an $8K tax credit from the good ol' government.

So the next question is...what do we do with our $8k?

So here is a little list of what we plan to do with our homeowner money:

1. Replace carpet with wood floors- Chase and I both love wood floors.  Our house is carpet and tile, no wood, so one of our first projects will be to pull up the carpet in the TV room and main hallway and put down wood floors.

Walnut wide plank handscraped engineered wood floors

2. Paint, paint, paint- we are going to go room by room and get rid of the one color house.  Starting with the office then tackling the TV room and master bedroom.

3. Landscaping- come Spring we are going to overhaul our backyard and some of our front yard.  The backyard will be basically gutted and re-created including a nice outdoor eating area with built in fire pit.  Luckily my little brother is in landscape design so that will help.

4. Electric gate- Our garage door is down the driveway and in the back of the house.  Right now we have a gate we have to open and close manually to get back to the garage.  We are really wanting some automatic gate action. 

5. Miscellaneous- everyday our list of small things to do around the house grows and the so do the funds needed to complete everything so a good chunk of the cash will go towards our misc pile.

6. Europe- this Spring I am going on a dream vacation with some of my best friends through Europe.  I think I will steal a teeny bit of the money to help with vacation costs.

What would you do with $8K?  Or what have some of you already done with your tax credit?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 was a big one

As I started to think about all the things coming in twenty-ten it hit me all the craziness that occurred in 2009. What a year. Below is a little list of all the happenings in 09. Stresses me out but I made it.

So fine 09:
1. Gave up drinking for a few months (drank a lot of Rockstar energy drinks)
2. Celebrated many hard earned victories at the Addy's including Best of Show
3. Ran my second 5K with Chase in the RedBud
4. Almost kicked a "Joey's" ass at a bar (in honor of Kathleen)
5. Ghost Rode the Whip and almost crashed into a fence
6. Moved out of my duplex (which I adored) and moved back in with my parents
7. Chase got accepted to Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas
8. Got engaged!! to Chase in October
9. Turned 25 years old, twenty-five! Wow, time flies.
10. Painted my own artwork for the first time (since elementary school)
11. Shopped for our home together in Dallas and became official homeowners in November
12. Left my beloved job at Third Degree Advertising in OKC, many tears
13. Searched for a job and went on countless interviews
14. Accepted a new job with Trabian Technology working from Dallas
15. Woke up at 3am to stand in line at Target for Black Friday
16. Went Rock Climbing for the first time and semi-conquered some height issues
16. Loaded up the Uhaul and moved to Dallas with Chase
17. Cooked our first meal together in our home in Dallas (Chase and I) 
18. Rang in the New Year with great friends in our new city of Dallas

I am sure I missed some important things and so much more did happen but it was overall a wonderful year filled with family, friends and memorable times.

Here's to more happiness in twenty-ten.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Paint Colors

Now that the house is "set-up" for the most part its time to start tacking projects room by room and the first on the list is painting the office.

Our house was a flip by a real estate agent so while there are some very nice upgrades (new bathrooms, granite counter-tops in the kitchen, new appliances etc.) there are also some bad things including painting the entire house the same color.  Hate it.  While the color is not so bad, its not so good either.

Since I work from home I currently spend most of my time in the home office so its the first to get the paint job. 

We have honed in on a light gray color for the room.  We want something that lightens the room up a bit but isn't white and will create some contrast between the walls and the door frame/floor boards/closet.


We have had these potential colors on the wall for a few weeks and finally decided on Seed Pearl. Next step...paint!

We will be sure to post some before and after pics so stay tuned.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Date

The date was a big deal.  I was always the girl who couldn't quite figure out why everyone had a date the day after they got engaged.  I thought that was ridiculous.  Then I got engaged and after the "Congratulations" the next thing out of everyone's mouth was, "Have you set a date yet?"  That started to take its toll and made me a little anxious.  That anxiety was compounded when I made my first call to a potential venue and they hinted that I was lucky because the date I was requesting was the ONLY available date that month.  That call was made over a year in advance of the requested date.  Seriously?  This wedding stuff is insane.

So after I figured out that we needed to figure out the date asap we then had to bust out the OSU and OU football schedules.  Pretty ridiculous to think that our wedding would have to compete with college football but if we wanted some of our guests to show up we would have to make sure we were not asking them to sacrifice gameday tickets.

After all of that, we had a date.  I made the calls, checked the necessary calendars and filled out the forms to book our venues and then...someone snuck in right ahead of me and booked our date!  GASP!  FML!  We had to start the process all over again and select a few new potential dates.

And today we finally got the date booked!  Drum-roll please, everyone mark your calendars for November 20, 2010.

We will be swapping vows at the Oklahoma State Capitol:

And then celebrating with everyone at RED Prime Steak in Automobile Alley:

Whew...I can breathe a little easier now.