Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sponsors? Ad Swaps? Guest Posts?

Do you have a blog? Do you have a button? Wanna swap ads? I'm trying to increase traffic to my blog and I am interested in participating in some ad swaps. The coding to my 200x200 add in the column to the right, and if you click on the Buttons and Disclaimers button above you can find different size buttons as well. Right now, I'm offered free advertising space, as long as you return the favor and post my button on your blog.

Also, if you have something you would like to contribute to My Life, With a Touch of Purple, such as a guest post or even a give away, I am all ears.

If you are interested in either the ad swap or a guest post please either comment to this post or send me an email.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is one of those things that is a fall staple, especially after apple picking. Simple slice up a pile of apples, mix together a few ingredients to form the crisp, and pop it in the oven. Within half an hour the house smells of apple cinnamon awesomeness and you are risking third degree burns for a bite of awesome.

I grew up with my mom making apple crisp every September; however, surprisingly, we do not have a tried and true family recipe. So I opted to consult the ultimate cookbook, I Googled it. My one requirement was that the crisp needed to have oatmeal in it, otherwise, it just doesn't get crispy enough. As a geeky sidenote, Kindle Fire has a really nifty app that lets you save all of the recipes you find online in one big electronic cookbook. Just in case I didn't need another reason to love my Kindle. Anyways, on with the recipe.

I decided to use a Betty Crocker recipe because let's face it, good ol' Betty taught me how to bake back when I was in fifth grade and she has never done me wrong.

Enough sliced apples to measure 4 cups, I used about 5 McIntosh apples
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats, from the canister, not the instant kind
1/3 cup butter, softened but not melted
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

I almost got a picture before the first piece was stolen
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Spray an 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray, I used a round casserole dish for variety

3. Dump the apples into the baking dish/ casserole

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. I use a pastry blender. The goal is to cut the flour into the dry ingredients until you end up with a mix with the texture of sand that holds its shape... like wet sand.

5. Dump the butter mixture on top of the apples.

6. Place the baking/casserole dish into the oven, and wait for 30 minutes.

7. Allow apple crisp to cool, at least for half an hour, or risk burning your mouth. I know, I know, it smells awesome, give it time, it's worth it, I promise.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Self: Yes, this IVF stuff is scary and stressful, but the end result is totally going to be worth it. Let's try to find some healthy ways to relax and release the stress rather than just snapping at the hubby.

Dear Tom: I'm sorry I've been so snippity lately. You are an incredibly supportive husband, and I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Dear Acupuncturist: You and I can seriously become good friends, I am looking forward to my appointment next week.

Dear Tom's Bone Doctor: Thank you for the most anti-climatic doctor's appointment, ever. Tom and I were seriously concerned that surgery was going to be on the table. Physical therapy has done wonders!

Dear Chicago Bears: Please play a good game against the Cowboys on Monday. Tom gets really grumpy when you play poorly.

Dear NFL: Thank you for bringing the real officials back! Seriously, especially after last weekend... what was that? 

Dear Readers: Thank you for your support!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Apple Season!

I noticed that our recipe section is looking a bit empty. Never to fear, Tom and I made our annual trip to the apple orchard yesterday and picked a bushel of McIntosh apples. I even made a caramel pie to share with you as a recipe but it turned into an awesome breakfast disappeared during the overnight hours. I have an apple crisp in the oven now, which I will try to snap a couple of pictures of before the vultures my husband finds it so that I can share the recipe. Don't worry, I'll be making another apple caramel pie too, and apple fritters, and applesauce, oh yeah don't forget apple butter. I'm sensing a theme here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My First Experience with Acupuncture

During our doctor's appointment last week, our nurse recommended that I try acupuncture as a treatment for my anxiety and infertility. Scientific research has determined that acupuncture is an effective method of treatment for infertility in that it can increase blood to the uterus, it also eases the egg retrieval process, and works in conjunction with embryo transfer. Acupuncture is also known for it's ability to relax the patent and calm symptoms of anxiety. One less that I have learned in life is that it is important to give everything a try, at least once. With that, I booked my first acupuncture appointment.

I brought Tom along for support. I'm not afraid of needles, it was just something new and I wanted him to be there. The appointment started out with the acupuncturist asking me questions about our fertility journey, as well as some questions about my anxiety. She then had me get up on the table for an introductory session. This was when she stuck the first needle in. Do you know the feeling when you get a tattoo of the needles almost tickling your skin? This was far far less intense than even that (I giggled while getting my tattoo). The acupuncturist put about six needles, between my wrist and elbow. Another four or five in each ankle, and then four or five in each ear. Then she left me be, with classical music playing, a heat lamp to keep me cozy, and the lights turned off.

I fell asleep.

That's right, needles stuck in, I felt as though my arms and feet were literally melting into the bed and I fell asleep. I just lay there and relaxed, and before I knew it, it was time to take the needles out. I have had many treatments for my anxiety, from massages to medications, this was by far the most relaxed I have ever felt. Tom brought me home, got me to the couch, and I haven't moved since. This is only an introductory treatment? Sign me up. My acupuncturist wants to see me on a weekly basis, initially to treat my anxiety, but she will also work in treatments to coincide with my IVF cycle. Aside from the obvious goal of pregnancy, we also set the goal to manage my anxiety with acupuncture, so that I can completely go off of my medication during pregnancy. That would be best for our baby.

The moral of the story? If you have a condition that can be treated with acupuncture, give it a try. It is no where near as painful as you would expect it to be, and the end result is just... amazing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Restaurant Review- The Loft Portland's Burger House

After a more than stressful doctor's appointment, Tom decided to take me out for lunch. Neither of us had eaten yet and we definitely needed some downtime to process everything. We decided to try The Loft, which is a restaurant that specializes in burgers right around the corner from our apartment. Tom and I may consider ourselves foodies, but we also cannot turn down a good burger.

From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, we knew we were in the right place. The decor is based off of dark woods and exposed beams, almost barnlike, but polished. Definitely the kind of place you want to go to grab a burger, or a beer, or hang with a group of friends and play trivia.

The service was excellent. Within minutes of walking through the door we were seated with menus and our drink order was taken. They serve Pepsi products as well, which is definitely a plus in my book. Everything was going smoothly until we looked at the menu, and our choice of thirty, yes thirty, 3-0 different burgers, all of which sounded absolutely amazing. It was almost daunting to choose one. Oh and if burgers are not your cup of tea, you can have any of their burgers made up with ground turkey or chicken breast. After much thought and consideration, I ordered the Apple Bacon Burger and Tom chose the Aloha Burger, only he swapped the swiss cheese out for cheddar. That's another thing, they are more than willing to customize any of their burgers, more points. We each ordered sweet potatoes fries as a side, after our wait staff highly recommended them.

The buns are very obviously handmade, not the fluffy mass produced buns you get at most restaurants. The burger itself was perfectly cooked and juicy. Tom absolutely loved his Aloha burger, I wanted to try a bite of it, but it was long gone before I had a chance to ask. My Apple Bacon Burger was divine. I love apples, especially in savory applications. The sweet of the apple perfectly balanced the bacon and just created love. Tom was skeptical of fruit on a burger, but after a couple bites, he was convinced. As for the fries, I understand why the waitstaff recommended them, they were definitely made in house, perfectly cooked, and balanced sweet and salty.

Overall, we were highly impressed, and will be definitely be going back, so we can try some of the other burgers on their list. If you are in the Portland area and looking for a quick bite to eat in a nice relaxed atmosphere, give them a try. They are located right on Forest Avenue, across the street from Baxter Woods Park. The prices are in the low to moderate range, between $8.99 and $10.99 for a burger, but definitely worth it. Their menu, including all thirty burgers, is included on their website.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where did Jenny go? My Journey through Infertility and the beginning of IVF.

As you may, or likely may not have noticed, I haven't been around much in the blogging world for the last week or so. Did you ever have one of those experiences that just rocks you to the core? That was last week. Let's back up a bit, and get a little more personal. 

Tom and I want to have a baby. We have wanted to have a baby for a very long time. I was diagnosed with PCOS during my early twenties, so I knew that having a baby was going to be difficult. As a result, when I first moved in with Tom back in 2009, I threw out my pack of birth control pills. Our mantra for the next two years was when the time is right, we will get pregnant. Fast forward to August of 2011, a month before our wedding. At this point we had been informally trying for two years. The average couple is able to conceive within one year. My doctor referred us to an ob/gyn that specializes in infertility. To spare you the details, we tried everything, including surgery. No dice, still no baby. Tom and I are very fortunate in that we work for a company that provides insurance coverage for IVF. It was because of this that about a month after my surgery, Tom, myself, and my ob/gyn made the decision that if we were not pregnant by August of 2012, we were going to seek the IVF route. August has come and gone, still no baby. Our ob/gyn referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist. Our first consult was completely harmless, about a half hour talk about what we have tried and an order for blood work. Then we went in, and the pulled eight viles of blood from me. To the average person, this may seem like a lot, for someone that has been going through infertility for over a year, I don't even feel the pin prick anymore. Then comes our second consultation, which occurred on Monday of last week. Pardon my French, shit just got real. 

The appointment started out with reviewing the results of our bloodwork. Tom is completely normal, so the problem is with me, but we will probably never know exactly what the problem is. The doctor recommended IVF and is highly optimistic that it will be successful because everything in me appears normal, there just seems to be a problem with the sperm meeting the egg. We then started discussing actual plans, as in, how many embryos to transfer, what day to transfer them. If that wasn't enough, then we got to meet with the nurse. The nurse greeted us with a mountain of consent forms, a time line, and videos to watch. The videos? They were about how to give myself shots. That's right, injections, with a needle, two a night, for about a week. Then I get to have surgery, then my eggs are combined with Tom's sperm, and then two little embryos will be transferred back into me. Hopefully, to make themselves at home. 

It was a lot to take in. Infertility is a lot to take in. It seems like some women simply need to look at a man, and then get pregnant. It is the most basic female thing, to carry a child. I cannot do it. I would not be able to do it without help. I fail. It is a very lonely journey. I try not to talk about it much, but people ask. Friends, family, and co-workers know that we are trying to start a family, and everyone wants to be the first to know. People give me advice, like "you need to relax" or "you are young, it will happen," I know these people are trying to be nice, but no offense, especially if you already have children, you have no idea what I am going through. I've also been asked if we have considered adoption. Yes, we have, but as an ultimate last resort. We want a baby that is OUR baby, not someone else's. I want to experience pregnancy, I want the baby belly, I want the intimacy that is breast feeding. I want to look at our child and see Tom's eyes, or my nose. 

Anyways, yeah, that is my excuse, that is my reason for being away for the last week. I'm trying to process everything, to adjust to what will soon become our new normal. I don't want my blog to become an infertility blog, the journey is just a bit too personal for that. I will occasionally give updates, especially if everything goes as planned and we successfully become pregnant in November. This is a lifestyle blog, however, and this is my life right now. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

When is it Time to Let Go? (Of Wedding Stuff)

Tom and I celebrated our first anniversary a week ago, and if you look around our apartment, it is very clear that we are newlyweds. Maybe a little too clear? The vast majority of the pictures hanging on the wall are wedding pictures, two shelves of my curio cabinet are full of our serving setflutes, unity candle, and ring bearer pillow. The sailboat that greeted everyone at the reception lives in my dining room, I have one of our candle centerpieces in there as well. We also have artificial starfish, artificial coral, and seashells scattered around, and our tablecloths are sitting in my closet, waiting for me to make something with them.

Even though we live near the ocean, the decor of our place is definitely not going in the beachy/cottage-y direction, so a lot of the stuff from our wedding really feels out of place. At the same time, it's from our wedding, and I'm a bit emotionally attached. Now, I know that there are certain pieces that will be displayed for the long term, such as our wedding portrait and the items in my curio cabinet. This question pertains to the rest of the stuff:

At what point is it time to put away the wedding decor and move on? 

I think this question goes along with another question that Tom and I are trying to figure out the answer to, what exactly is a newlywed? I always thought that a couple was considered to be newlywed during their first year of marriage, but my grandmother seems to think that it is for the first five years.
Is it a subjective thing? Kind of like how a high school student thinks they are an adult, but and adult still views them as a child? If Tom and I have indeed lost our newlywed status by celebrating our first anniversary, then what exactly are we now? I feel as though we are stuck in sort of an awkward phase between being newlyweds and being parents, perhaps this is why we still have most of our wedding stuff hanging around? Part of me says I should just leave everything as is, and once Tom and I become parents, the pictures on the wall will gradually change from pictures of our wedding to pictures of our children. Part of me says the same thing about the seashells and the starfish, that as we purchase furniture and start to decorate each room, the excess wedding stuff will filter itself out and the new will replace it. On the other hand, I cannot help but question how many friends and family visit our apartment and think, "Oh my goodness people, your wedding was over a year ago, get over it!" Any input on my little dilemma would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Orange Cat Company

I like to fidget, it is part of who I am. It's hard for me  to sit still, and I need to constantly keep myself occupied with something. My mom noticed this trait in my rather early on, and as I grew up she taught me various craft projects to keep me busy. First it was plastic canvas, then on my tenth birthday she gave me my first embroidery set. By the time I hit high school, she decided it as time for me to learn how to crochet. Initially, she attempted to actually teach me, which proved to be an absolute failure. Several weeks later, my mom left a learn to crochet book out on a table before leaving for work. By the end of the day, I was crocheting coaster sets and Grannies squares. Soon after that, I learned to crochet with thread. That was about 15 years ago.

I still love to crochet, especially in the evenings when I'm watching tv. Several friends have taken notice of my work and have encouraged me to open an Etsy shop to sell some of my doilies and other crocheted projects. After a bit of coaxing from the hubby, I finally took the leap. Allow me to introduce to you the Orange Cat Company. My cat Nachos is quite proud of himself to be the official mascot. Right now I only have a couple of things put up, some doilies and photography from around Maine. I hope to be increasing my inventory over the next couple of weeks.

Be sure to check the shop out, and if you like what you see, or have any special requests, drop me a message. You can also find the Orange Cat Company on Facebook. I am brand new to Etsy, so any feedback would be graciously appreciated.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our First Anniversary, or How the Hubby Makes Everything Right

Let's see, where were we? That's right, it was almost 8pm, vacuum exploded, hubby on crutches, and our first anniversary seemed to be going completely down the drain. As you can probably tell from this week's Friday's Letters, things turned around rather quickly. Tom told me to jump into the shower, once I got out I found Tom in our room with a dressed up in his black dress pants and burgundy dress shirt. He had a matching burgundy and black dress hanging on the door waiting for me. Once dressed up, we went out for dinner. By this point, it was almost nine, so we ended up at Texas Roadhouse, where we feasted on ribs and rib eye steaks. We mentioned it was our anniversary, and they spoiled us rotten, as always. Tom managed to finish his dinner, I had a second night of steak and ribs the next day. After dinner, we went across the street to Walmart to get a bottle of champagne. We were all dressed up, and Tom road around on one of those motorized shopping carts. Definitely not the classiest of wine establishments, but at about 10pm, it got the job done.

Once we got home, we pulled our cake out of it's freezer box. The cake topper fit right in. While I was setting up the cake, Tom pulled our champagne flutes, server set, and unity candle out of our curio cabinet. We toasted our first anniversary, and cautiously tried the year old cake. The buttercream frosting was fine, the cake a little dried out, and the lemon curd... well it tasted okay, but definitely a different texture. All in all, I ate my slice for the sake of tradition, but I do not think I would go about saving cakes for a year again in the future. At the same time, I now have TONS of extra space in my freezer.

Before we cut into the cake, Tom reminded me of something I saw on Pinterest that I wanted to do (he's totally a keeper). Someone posted the idea on Pinterest of taking a picture each year on your anniversary holding last year's anniversary picture. I had almost forgotten, but as we were taking pictures of the cake and everything, Tom asked me to get one of our wedding pictures. I'm so happy he reminded me, because that is definitely a tradition I want to continue in the future.

So the lesson learned from this whole experience? As cheesy as it sounds, life really is a roller coaster. There will be ups and there will be downs. In marriage, the best way to weather the downs is to rely on each other. Our first anniversary was far from perfect, but we still got to do all of the little traditions. We also got to spend the entire day together, which originally was not in the plan.

In other news, we went to see the bone specialist on Friday. Tom and I were both expecting the worst: surgery with weeks of recovery. As it turns out, while the screw in Tom's ankle has definitely moved, it looks like it has moved slowly over time. In other words, the bone and the joint look perfectly healthy and the pain Tom is experiencing is likely related to inflamed muscles and ligaments. The doctor prescribed Tom a month of physical therapy, and we both breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Letters

We are going to do this each anniversary, while holding last year's picture
Dear Tom, poop happens. Yes, I'm sad that we cannot go to Acadia this weekend, but your ankle is more important than sleeping in a tent. I promise, we will go up for a day trip this fall, once you are off your crutches, and now we have a camping trip to look forward to in 2013. I still love you and cherish every day of this past year.

Dear Bone Doctor, please be nice to Tom at his appointment today. He already feels horrible about our anniversary. We are really hoping for a best case scenario with minimal recovery time. Tom is already sick of the crutches, and it has not even been a week yet.

Dear Doctor that Originally Did Tom's Surgery, every nurse and doctor that we have talked to over this past week has wanted to know why you did not remove the pin. Moron.

Dear Chicago Bears, you played REALLY crappy against the Packers last night. Yes, I know the Packers are supposedly a really good team, but they are also your biggest rivals. Tom is really disappointed with you, and, quite frankly, if you don't get your act together, this is going to be a very long football season.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our First Anniversary, Not Quite as Planned

So Monday, September 10, was our first anniversary. Our plans were relatively simple, Tom was going to go to work, as usual, and I was going to spend my usual Monday off cleaning the apartment and doing laundry. We were going to get dressed up and go out to dinner, and then we were going to spend the weekend camping at Acadia National Park. Like I said, simple and low key. Our wedding day was perfect, so why expect anything less of our anniversary. As you can see from the picture to your left, things did not exactly go as planned.

To back things up a bit, back when Tom was about fifteen, he was involved with wrestling. While at practice one night, he attempted a pivot. Well, his body pivoted, but his foot did not, resulting in a broken bone right above the growth plate. He was taken to the hospital, and a screw was put in to hold the bone back together. Over the course of a couple of months, everything healed up, and he was good to go. Except for one little detail, they never took the screw out.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Tom had been having ankle pain for the last week, which we did not think much of. Broken bones tend to lead to arthritis, and he tends to experience some discomfort whenever the seasons change. This past Sunday, his ankle hurt a lot more than usual. Just laying in bed, he said it was at about a 7 or an 8. When he stood up, on a scale of 10, he gave it a 12. I parked him on the couch with ibuprofen, wrapped his ankle, propped it up with some pillows and added some ice. After about six hours, we saw no improvement, so off to first care we went. The first thing they did was an x-ray, which you can see above. Then they gave Tom some pain killers, an air cast, a prescription for crutches, and advised him to contact an orthopedist. I'm not a doctor by any sense of the word, but this sounded pretty serious. We went home, went to bed, and woke up to a completely different anniversary than planned.

Tom stayed home from work, we got his crutches, and he met with his regular doctor for "pain management" aka Vicodin. Then we attempted to find an orthopedist. The cool thing about doctors up here is that everything is electronic, so the first orthopedist we called was able to pull up Tom's x-rays and check them out. They then promptly called us and said that they could not do anything, and referred us to a bone specialist. The bone specialist was unable to get Tom in for an appointment until Friday 9/13. At this point I realized if my husband is hobbling around on crutches, on pain killers, with an appointment to see a bone surgeon, he is likely not going to be so comfortable camping that weekend, let alone hike around Acadia National Park. So, with a tear in my eye, I cancelled our anniversary trip. The campground we were planning on visiting has been very gracious and granted us a rain check to use at any point next year. By the time we got home from doctor's appointments and picking up prescriptions, it was late into the afternoon and I had not even started cleaning. Not a problem, it does not usually take long to straighten up the place, that is, unless the vacuum explodes all over the living room floor. Two hours later, we have the vacuum unclogged. By this point, I was in tears. It was 8pm, I was covered in vacuum dust, restaurants were closing, and I was ready to throw in the towel. What happened next? I'll post about that in a little bit. ;) Don't you just hate cliff hangers?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pinterest Project of the Week- Wedding Invitation Ornament

For those of you that have not yet discovered it, Pinterest is a wonderful thing. It's essentially a website to store visual bookmarks of stuff you find around the web. It is great for organizational purposes; but the best part is browsing the various projects and recipes that other people have pinned. I'm not going to lie, I've started to accumulate quite a collection. So, now that I've started a new blog, I decided that now was as good of a time as any to attempt either a project or recipe that I find on Pinterest at least once a week, and write about it. Who knows, maybe I'll create a link-up with it of some sort.

For this week, I made a wedding invitation ornament that was inspired by the blog From Glitter to Gumdrops The project itself is really easy, take a your wedding invitation and cut it into 1/4" strips. Wrap each strip around a pen to make a coil, and then place the coils inside a glass Christmas bulb. This was especially easy for me, in that I actually designed our wedding invitations, so I simply printed out an invitation on ivory cardstock. Our invitation happened to have a lot of blank space, and I wanted to add a little bit of glitter,
so I used some gold glitter glue on the blank strips. Everything fit nicely inside the ornament, and I used some extra pearls and crystals that I had from my handmade wedding jewelry to make a loop for hanging. The finishing touch is a simple white satin bow with some wedding rings.

Overall, I really like the finished effect of the ornament and I cannot wait to hang it our on Christmas tree in a couple of months. I was careful to cut the strips line by line, so as you move the bulb, little details become visible, like our names, the date, and the lines from the poem. The glitter
adds just enough color an contrast to add interest, otherwise I think the ornament would look a bit monotone. I can definitely check this project off the list, now the question is, what to make next?

Have you made a project that you found on Pinterest? Did you blog about it?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Letters

September 10, 2011

Dear Tom, a year ago today, we were working our last day of work before our wedding. We had just moved into our new apartment, we had 10 people staying in our two bedroom apartment, and we had spent three hours on the phone the night before finalizing everything with the caterer, photographer, and DJ. I cannot believe that we celebrate our one year anniversary on Monday. The year went by so fast, but then again, time does fly when you are having fun.

Dear Grampa, it was so weird not seeing you at the yard sale this past weekend. It has not fully sunken in yet that you are no longer here with us. I miss you. 

Dear uterus, please stop pretending that you have a little inhabitant if in fact you do not. At this point, you are being mean.

Dear FeEx guy, my new laptop is on your truck. I know that you have many deliveries today, but I am a bit of a nerd and the excitement of a new toy is killing me. 

Dear apartment, I am going to clean you today, and you are going to stay clean. Laundry, that means you too.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Updating with Spray Paint

As anyone that may have followed me over from Our Day (In the Making) could figure out, I really enjoy crafts. There is just something awesome about putting a handmade touch on something to come out with a one-of-a-kind item. This is why it may come as a surprise to find out that in my 31 years, I have never used spray paint. When my sister found out, she said she joked that she was embarrassed to know me.

It all started when my mother gave me a wooden spice rack from the 90's that she no longer wanted. Tom and I definitely need a spice rack, but we are trying to update our kitchen, not add more hand-me-downs to the mix. Tom suggested spray painting it black. At first I was skeptical, but we found a nice satin black spray paint and the end result was perfect. I would post pictures, but now I'm in the process of updating all the labels on the individual spice jars, so, more on that later. I was so impressed with the results of the spice rack, that I decided to salvage some of our other wooden kitchen accessories, like the mug tree.

Sadly, I did not take a picture of my mug tree before I painted it, I definitely should have, because I could not find a picture of it on the web. So my "before" picture is the closest image that I could find. Same wood color and overall shape, just slightly different form. My after picture is after a single coat of black satin spray paint and the addition of a cork bottom to prevent slipping.


And after

It would go without saying that Tom has created a bit of a monster by introducing me to spray paint. I have our "new" paper towel holder drying on the back deck right now. A matched set for the price of a can of spray paint! Yay! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apartment Kitchen Make Over

Our kitchen, the day we moved in
Just about a year ago, Tom and I were less than a week away from our wedding. We were also in the middle of moving into our apartment. Over the last 12 months we have definitely transitioned our apartment into our home. Rooms that were once full of boxes are now full of furniture, and we have put rugs on the floors to make everything seem more "homey". You know, about as much as you can do when you are renting. A couple of weeks ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that I  absolutely hate our kitchen. I know I am sort of stating the obvious by saying this, but our kitchen looks like an apartment kitchen. More specifically, like a college student's apartment kitchen. Do not take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to bash on college students, what I am saying is that I graduated college 8 years ago. (Holy crap, has it really been that long?!?!?!) I'm married now, it's time to have a grown up kitchen.

Up until now, our kitchen was made up of hand-me-downs and stuff that we have individually been hanging onto for a decade or more. I was not blessed with a bridal shower before I married Tom. Due to the fact that I was young and stupid once, my marriage with Tom is my second wedding. In my family, bridal showers are reserved for first time brides, as they should be. I am not bothered by the lack of a bridal shower; however, the amount of ivy kitchen stuff I had left over from my bridal shower to my now-ex does bother me. Out with the old, in with the new. It's time to update our kitchen, well, as much as we can in a rented apartment. My mother-in-law gave us a gorgeous 1950's vintage table before we moved from Kansas City to Maine. Even though the table sits in our dining room with a set of matching reproduction chairs, I opted to use the table as design inspiration for our kitchen. Ideally, we will be in a home of our own in the next couple of years, which means the table will eventually make it into the kitchen.

Source My new dishes! I have a set in red and black
This brings us up to now, we are updating and redecorating our kitchen, on a budget. Our color palette comes directly from the table, red and chrome with a little black thrown in for flavor. Originally, I wanted to go full 50's vintage, but now I think I am going to go for more of a vintage flavor with a modern feel. So far I was able to acquire a vintage chrome canister set, we also have a new set of dishes, bakeware, and knives thanks to sales at If you have not heard or visited this site, I would strongly recommend it. They carry brands like Corelle, Pyrex, and Corningware and they are always having sales. We are just waiting for a Revere sale so that we can upgrade our pots and pans. I'm eyeing some other decorations from around the web, and I'm also trying to work some DIY projects in, just to add that personal touch. We are about 1/3 of the way through right now, and I am already so much happier with my kitchen.

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