Keep Dreaming, Baby!

When it rains, it pours. Right now it seems to be "raining" good things and I hope it stays that way. I interviewed for a job yesterday and I think I may get it. It would be a part time, weekend job, but it would be a great one. A fun one. Another job opportunity came my way today and I will hopefully be interviewing for it this week. At one time the idea of holding two jobs at once sounded frightening. Something that would be more than I could handle, but instead it just sounds so very exciting.

I could have the more light, fun job on the weekend evenings and the more serious job where I would be doing some good, helping people, making their lives better in such a small but significant way during the week. I welcome the challenge. The opportunity to better myself and my knowledge. I'm going to do whatever I need to to make sure I take both opportunities with courage and open arms.

I am so thankful. I want to pay off bills, and begin saving for a "rainy" day. To be able to say, "I like that, and I can actually afford it without worry." Oh how lovely that would be.

There are so many things I want to do. I want to go back to school too! Be able to afford classes and have the ability to secure them. It's been such a challenge trying to get classes at the community college level. Everyone is scrambling to better themselves and their knowledge like myself. I want to get my associates degree and then move on to my bachelors. Get a degree in science. Environmental Science.
Be able to design green homes and/or landscapes. Maybe even minor in creative writing while I'm at it. The sky is the limit!

I want my own garden, to remodel and do as much DIY decorating in my yard and my home. Things can't be perfect, but I could have something close to it. Something that I am proud to say I did, all by myself. Even if not all by myself, there is never anything wrong with getting help when you need it, but to be able to say that I did it. I hated school when I was there, I always thought negatively of myself and I let people feed that feeling. But no more. In the end all I have is me and I have to build me. I have to look to me to achieve all the things I want to and am capable of. And I am capable of so much. All I have to do is put my mind to it ( Thanks Doc Brown ;D ), put my will, my drive and my heart and soul into it. And it all starts now.

I had the most wonderful day on Thursday. I got some cleaning done in the house and took Moon for a walk. It was so gorgeous outside. Such a warm, spring-like day. The flowers were in full bloom and it just made me feel so happy. I sneezed like crazy, but things were just too lovely for me to care. To stay inside. I decided to spend some time in the backyard. I put a blanket out on my hammock and some pillows and lay back and enjoyed the sun, a glass of delicious riesling and the latest book I'm reading.
It was a relaxing and wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon. I need to do so more often.

On Thursday night, while on a run to Walgreens I saw some small pots of Hyacinth and bought a pretty little purple one. I have it sitting on on the table next to my ivy topiary and I'm waiting anxiously for it to come to a full bloom. I want more greenery, more flowers in my life.

I adore fragrant Stargazer Lilies. They had bags of bulbs all ready for planting at Costco and I bought a bag. I found these cute multi-colored planters at Walmart for about a buck and I bought one. I plan to sit out on the deck tomorrow and plant a few bulbs in it, get some ready to bloom in summer. I can't wait to see some green start peeking through the dirt and know that I have some lilies coming. Instead of buying expensive bouquets at the market, I can grow my own to cut and have in vases in the house. Have their beauty and delicious scent on display.

It's the little things that make life grand and I plan to find and bring all the small and simple things to myself so that I can find something around and within me every day to remind me that though things might look bad at one moment in time, there is something to always be thankful for, to strive for. And I will pick myself up, dust off and keep going. For my readers, I hope you will do the same for yourself.



Zee floor plan

After endless running around, irritated sighs and cursing I finally got all the measurements of the apartment done and was able to make a basic floor plan. I used a website called FloorPlanner.com.

So, without any further ado, here is our little 690sq ft apartment...
As I pointed out, the kitchen leaves much to be desired, and the layout could be so much better. I haven't quite gotten finished with the plan yet, as Gary and I are messing with it together to see what ideas we most love for our Ultimate Dream Apartment, but I also want to focus on giving you an idea of what we'd like to do with what we have now. 

Anyhoo, I just wanted to give a little update. I'm off to my cousins now and we're going to see The Woman in Black. I am SO excited!!!



Oh, what a day...

I've been on pins and needles, feeling blah since about 7pm last night. I got a second interview for that job I've been excited about and am anxiously awaiting the phone call that will tell me if my search shall continue on or if someone will be giving me a chance to learn and apply myself to something new. Obviously I prefer the latter and hope to be in training very soon, but we shall see.

Besides that I've been thinking seriously about the apartment and how badly I want draw out the full floor plan of all the things I want to do. I've been waiting to see if the hubby will draw out the deck plan, but I think he's forgotten. I think I shall try again myself. I mean, I am the girl who thinks she wants to be/could be a landscape designer!

Anyhoo, pretty much the whole place needs some love. The kitchen is laid out very badly, what with it being near impossible for two people to be in there at once and the fact that half of the cabinets are not all that accessible. It makes me very happy to cook with Gary, but very frustrating that we're constantly bumping into each other.

There is a small dining area off to the left of the kitchen, but it feels so removed from the living room, yet it all is one big room. We want to do away with the "dining room" and have the whole dining/kitchen section be one decent sized kitchen and have a island/bar area to dine.

The bathroom and laundry room also need help. The bathroom is... teeny...weeny...tiny. It makes me claustrophobic. My bathroom in the model apartment in Paris was bigger! A simple paint job with a new vanity would probably be enough to make me feel less alienated about going in there. I already know I want to do a caribbean teal with dark wood. I'm aiming for classy and modern, without an ounce of kitsch or "theme" room.

As for the laundry room, I just got the latest issue of Lowe's Creative Ideas and this basic plan has me all kinds of excited...

via Lowe's Creative Ideas
My laundry room isn't that wide unfortunately, but I can make more counter space by stacking a new washer/dryer (yes, something I definitely need!). Having set spaces to put laundry baskets and hang line dry clothes would be so amazing. I'm tired of having to hang them in the doorway then hearing Gary whine about being unable to go into the laundry room for fear of knocking the clothes down. Being without those little problems seems like such a good way to take the silly little fights out of marriage!

Well, it is off to bed with me now. I will begin working on a drawing of my current floor plan and the changes I would like to make tomorrow and hopefully have them up by the beginning of next week.

 Nighty, night!



House of Fifty Magazine

While clicking through my favorite blogs, I found a post on A Thoughtful Place about an online magazine called House of Fifty.

The latest issue via A Thoughtful Place
Now, I'm not really much for online magazines. I just don't find myself enthused about what I see, but House of Fifty has changed that. The latest issue is 180 pages of awesome, filled with design, DIY, book reviews, fine art... so much yummy goodness, such as the tips on having your own home bar and the beautiful photo that most caught my fancy.

I want that @ light, LOOOOOVE the paint color and feel even more inspired to get to work on my patio project. I will definitely be looking through back issues for more inspiration! They just put out an app for iPad (I hope they'll have one for Nook soon!) and you can sign up for email notifications for new issues. I didn't hesitate one second and already did so! Oh yeah, and the magazine has a blog too!



Deck Dreams

I've finally bit the bullet and began to move forward, formulating and working on my ideas to make our deck more inviting and relaxing. Since leaving LA, I've missed having an outdoor living space and I want to make what we have now even better than our little nook we previously had.

When we moved here we brought our bar table from our LA pad, but we ended up totally and completely neglecting it. It sat alone and sad down in the side yard, out of sight and out of mind. The wood table top was completely ruined by the rain and the day before yesterday I finally cleaned all the junk off of it and removed the trashed top.

Gary decided Teak would trump our old oak top and after much searching I finally found the perfect one...

Via Outdoor Restaurant Seating

Of course we need the largest and most expensive one ( 36", $140 ), and I will still need to carefully cut a hole in the middle so we can put in an umbrella. I can't tell you how long it took me and how frustrating it was trying to find websites that sold ONLY table tops. Majority of my search was links to replace those ugly glass patio tables, thankfully I was able to find a gem in the middle of all the weeds.

The completed table will go on the north side of the deck, with a nice view of the mountains, and at the south end, which currently looks like this...

I plan to build a little lounge area! I saw a post on Stylizimo Blog about using a crib mattress to make a chaise lounge for a sofa. Unfortunately I can't fit a sofa + chaise there, but I can make my own little "couch". The plan is to build a basic frame for it, and after setting the mattress on it I want it to be tall enough so if we wanted to move the table over to use at the lounge, it'd not look/feel awkward.

I'll be putting a protective plastic cover on the mattress to protect it from rain and the dampness we often have and will layer it in comfy blankets and pillows. I want to have two nice looking storage boxes to slide underneath it to put the blankets and pillows in when the weather is nasty (we get some pretty nasty wind here too).

The grill you see in the photo will move further to the right so it'll sit right in the middle of the deck, not too far or too close to the table and lounge area. My hope is to have these little projects done before my birthday as I am hoping to have a pool party with a bunch of girlfriends and I want to have a nice, relaxing hang out spot for the evening. I'm picturing either a lot of jewel tones or more of a caribbean island feel. I'll have to see where my heart takes me once the basics are all set up.

In the meantime aka till I have the funds, I'm still working on getting a job. I had a great interview today and I am really excited about this place and the opportunities I could have there. Also I'd be working with one of my favorite things! I have my fingers crossed incredibly tight and am studying up as much as I can so I have a good amount of basic knowledge before I hopefully get the call for a second interview.

As for my weekend, my parents came to visit. My Mom and I made a wonderful enchilada dinner for everyone and then we all chilled on the couch and watched Once Upon A Time. Didn't really do it for me, but I'm very picky about how my favorite fairy tales are handled. Oh! And my Mom brought me an adorable little topiary for my current patio table. 

I finally get to use my beautiful, aged "Rosebud" pot. It all looks so perfect!