Saturday, November 12, 2011

cribs: the starling edition

Alright, so I finally got brave enough to blog about the new place; although I still have two hesitations about this post. First, I'm an idiot and forgot to take BEFORE pictures. So please, if you saw the place before, back me up on how bad it was. Second, the place is not totally finished, so please take it with a grain of salt.

The living room:
This little beauty was originally pained 70's green throughout. I mean, did the people before us ever hear of an accent wall? The walls were also covered in dirt and screw holes. So, the steps we took with the living room were:

-prime and paint (Killz paint was our best friend due to the previous cat smell) the entire room cream with white trim. We considered an accent wall but were in such a hurry to move in we decided that could wait until later. Also, with our apartment being in the basement, we wanted it to look as bright as possible.

-carpet cleaning. Cats. Enough said.

-cleaning the blinds. I won't lie, this job was the grossest of all the gross jobs in this place. I didn't know it was possible for blinds to have centimeter thick dirt on them. 2 hours and 2 things of lisol wipes later, those babies look awesome. (It was about this time I discovered lisol wipes cost about 7 cents a wipe- needless to say I was none too thrilled about the amount I used.)

-pictures and furniture. The furniture in this room cost us a total of $55. I mean, its not real high quality stuff, but it looks pretty good. (let it be known that an area rug can do wonders for old carpet).

So, after all of that, here was the final product:

The kitchen:
The kitchen was quite the undertaking. I have posted about the cabinets previously, and to see that post, go here:  Kitchen Cabinets. I had to cover all of the insides of the drawers with that rad sticky stuff in order to insure that they were actually sanitary. Next, I cleaned the oven (not self cleaning, mind you) and scrub, scrub, scrub! Cleaning the floor was partially our fault because we got alot of paint on it while we were painting the apartment. But needless to say, I scrubbed all of that paint off and it looks beautiful now. The fridge required a good 3 hour cleaning job to remove large balls of cat hair. I'm hoping it was in there because they killed the stupid cat, but one can never be too sure. Furniture for this room, total cost of $10 for kitchen rugs. 

The dining room. 
For the first time we actually had a large enough space for a legitimate table. No work required in this room, except painting and picture hanging. This room was also painted dark green and sort of made the apartment feel like a cave. So, a few coats of cream later this is what you get! Total cost of furniture for this room: $0. Borrowed a table from the Meeks! Thanks!

The bathroom.
Ha. Probably the biggest joke ever before we started, and I actually have a few before pictures of this one. 

-the tub. Horrendous. Believe you me, we hired that one out. I wasn't about to touch that thing with a ten foot pole. 

-cabinets. They looked a little like this before:

So, I washed them, painted them, and put more sticky stuff on the bottoms of them to get them looking like this:

Other views of the bathroom:

the bedroom:
to be honest, I don't really remember what color this room was. I am guessing it was a similar green color. In this room we painted, including the ceiling, cleaned out the big cupboards, more sticky stuff in the drawers, cleaned the blinds, then moved in! This room was probably the easiest. Total cost: $60 for nightstands.

the study:
last but not least, and mostly still under construction, we have the study. This room was mustard yellow to begin with. Again, we painted the walls and ceiling, and then bought a cheapo desk from ikea. My favorite part about this desk is that the back of it is a white board/magnet board. SO AWESOME for studying! ...not that I do any of that anymore- but the idea is good! The desk cost $160 at ikea and the bookshelf was $30 at Walmart. Total of $190. We still need to hang some pictures in this room and are still searching for a futon!

I am honestly so proud of all of the hard work we put in to this place. It is starting to look so much better!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Things

I absolutely love fall. It is one of my favorite seasons- except the allergies of course. This fall has been such a fun time for Rob and I to spend time doing things we love. As I mentioned before, Rob started playing on the BYU Rugby team this year. Here are the first pictures of what I am sure will be more to come. The gang got together on a Saturday at Kiwanis park to throw the ball around. All was fine and dandy until some lady called the cops because the boys were on a field that was "trying to grow." Haha. That lady had some nerve, seriously, I wouldn't be able to yell at a bunch of rugby playing tongans. Just saying- she's brave. 

Along with fall, Halloween is basically my favorite Holiday. I'm obsessed. So, naturally, we do all things Halloween. Which in my book, consists of watching Casper and carving pumpkins. Haha- Hello Kitty pumpkins. I'm not really into scary things. I learned this year that Rob had never before carved a pumpkin! I thought he was joking when he asked me what to do first- but, he did a marvelous job and his pumpkin was so scary! Our pumpkins sat outside our door all month long. So cute!

This year for Halloween Rob and I dressed up as a 20's gangster and a flapper. It was SO much fun and we had such a fun time going to the Peterson's Halloween party! Doesn't Rob look so dang cute?!

AND, the last but not least fall activity, carmel apples. YUM! Not exactly low calorie, but who can resist a fruit that is covered in carmel, chocolate, snickers bars, milkyway bars, cinnamon and sugar?! I still have yet to try one due to the million other sources of sugar we have lying around the apartment-

It has been such a fun fall and we are NOT READY for winter to come. Although, we are so thrilled for the Christmas season and to be surrounded by family and friends. Rob's mom and brother get here on the 13th of December, and my sister gets here on the 19th! SO STOKED.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the birthday boy

Rob's birthday was on Wednesday and we had such a party! On Sunday we went up to my parent's house and had cake and ice cream with them. It was so nice to get out of Provo (its been awhile since we went home).. and hang out with family. I made Rob this cute chocolate bundt cake with what he calls "hundreds and thousands..." aka sprinkles. Lots of fun!

On Wednesday I surprised Rob after work by inviting some friends over to celebrate his birthday. We had more cake and ice cream (originally I had wanted to do a dinner but with the apartment in its current shape dinner seemed like a lot of work- so I went with cake.) It was so fun to see our friends and catch up with everyone! I can't believe Rob is 24- no seriously, I didn't. I thought he was only 23 and I was 21. Age isn't really a strong point of mine. But it has been such a wonderful 4.5 months and I feel so blessed to have him as my husband! Happy birthday baby!

This seems like a boring gift, but Rob really wanted some shoes for after rugby practice. Apparently this way he doesn't have to take off his rugby socks-

Thursday, October 13, 2011

apartment upgrade part 1: the kitchen

One of the first orders of business for me was getting the kitchen done. Somehow I feel like if the kitchen is clean and organized, the rest of the house must be in good shape... right? Well I just couldn't live with the orange cabinets and identical countertops. At second glance I noticed the counter tops weren't actually all that bad, in fact, they were much newer than the rest of the apartment. After talking it over with my mom we decided black would be a nice update for this old apartment.


I'll be honest, I was sort of lazy when it came to this project. If one was to redo cabinets properly, they would pull them all of the wall, sand off the old paint, and then repaint them. But I had a serious fear that if we pulled all of these off the wall, we wouldn't get them back on it. So, being too cheap to even attempt to sand them on the wall, I just painted over the original color. This was a good idea in theory, but not so great in practice. I painted latex paint over oil paint, which means two things. First, its going to take at least an eternity to dry, and second, it pulls of easily if someone were to get in a scratching fight with the cabinets. I decided the first was worth it and the second was unlikely, so I just went ahead and painted. I'm not saying they are perfect, the paint definitely peels off more than I would like it to, but all things considered, it will work for the next year and a half. After that, it is someone else's problem. So, four days later and about 1/4 a pail of black paint, we reached the end result:

Better? You decide. The first picture doesn't look nearly as bad as the cabinets looked in real life. Unfortunately the picture down plays the orange in the cabinets- just imagine them much more.... orange and brown combined. No bueno.

Well, things are slowly coming together here at the new Starling residence. We almost have a living room and a bedroom. As for the bathroom... that is another story. Still no shower and now a broken toilet. Stellar. Hopefully by Monday we will have a new bathroom. And I am not even going to talk about the spider problem. I had finally convinced myself I was over reacting when while writing this blog a spider ran across my bed. Great. Sweet dreams- I know I'll have some.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

whoa there.

A couple of weeks ago Rob and I were given an amazing offer- what is so amazing you ask? Free rent- thats what. At first I was SUPER stoked- I mean, who wouldn't want a $700 raise each month? So, with big smiles on our faces we went to go check out our new.... uh.... "apartment." Pretty sure I wiped that smile off my face quick as soon as I took one step in the door. 

We decided to take a quick look around the apartment, just to see what the general layout was. I say the apartment was designed by a blind architect- Rob said it wasn't intended to be an apartment. Either way, its awkward. The apartment itself is quite large (apx. 1000 sq ft), quite the upgrade from our tiny place we are in now. There are two large bedrooms and one smaller bedroom. Bedroom is a loose term in this sense because only one of these so called "bedrooms" actually has a window. There is also a large kitchen, living room, full bath, and one half bath. Not to mention, oodles of storage space. (one closet even has a secret passage way- more on this later.)

We decided to try and sell our contract now before we made the big decision to move out East- or at least 6 blocks more east than our current residence. We had a gazillion takers on our place, and even a few bites. Some weirdos from Maryland decided they were all game and told us YES WE WANT IT, and we want it for OCTOBER 1st. So, we mustered up all of our strength, packed our boxes, and moved pretty much everything we own to the new place; only to find out they decided not to take it after all. Fret not my friends, we did end up selling our contract and now we have until Oct 10th to move out. The only problem is we have a bed and clothing at our current apartment and EVERYTHING ELSE at the new place- needless to say we have eaten our fair share of fast food this past week. 

OK, so on to the new apartment. We decided it would be best to go over and start cleaning out the new place and get it ready to move in to. Well, lets just say we underestimated the amount of work we were in for. In one night, it took two people to clean one tiny bathroom. There was slimy stuff on the walls, the toilet had NEVER been cleaned, hair and feathers in the bathroom drawer, and we won't even start on the amount of cat hair in the fridge. Needless to say, I went through a few minor breakdowns over this new place. We did all the cleaning we could, and decided to put it on hold and start painting. My parents, bless their hearts, decided to come and help me paint while Rob was in SLC translating for LDS General Conference. We got rid of most of the green, mustard yellow, and navy blue today, but still have MORE to cover. Just as we were finishing with the paint, I realized we should have taken before and after pictures of this little chore, but fear not, I am going to start taking them now.

So, there is still a TON of work to be done, and I am trying to find the best way to make this place cute on the budget of an ophthamology technician supporting her husband in school. AKA- next to nothing. I have decided to have an attitude adjustment and turn this into a fun adventure and way to improve my crafting skills. So please follow me as I turn H E double hockey sticks into shabby chic. I welcome any ideas you might have for curtains, reupolstering couches, painting cabinets, and cute organization tricks. Guys, trust me, this is going to be awesome. Or at least I am going to keep telling myself that while I am having nightmares about the amount of spiders I found on the floor in there today. 

Look for my posts in the upcoming days as I attempt this new adventure! 


PS- for my own sanity, please clean your house tonight, you never know when you might be moving out and the new tenants will be crying over your cat's hair in their new fridge.

Just out of pure reminiscing, I have decided to post the pictures of our first apartment (that we have lived in for less than 4 months)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

School Days

Well it is that time of year again- at least for Rob anyway. Rob started back at school last week and I am sure he is... well.... loving it? I have decided that school is just part of our lives, a BIG part, and it will be for the next 5 years! (just an FYI, that is officially 26% of my age). BUT, needless to say, we do love it. Being in college/below the poverty line has taught us LOTS of cool new tricks.

For example, I am now an official couponer- I wouldn't go as far as to say I am an extreme couponer, but I coupon nonetheless- and it saves us about $15 a week. Sweet right? I started couponing with my friends Cassie, Holli, and Ali just last month. If you are interested in learning this sweet skill, just let me know!

Second, Rob and I are GREAT at trying new things. Another example- yesterday I made the most fabulous enchiladas, for which I thought taco seasoning might be a nice addition. Fabulous idea right? Well, right, unless your taco seasoning and brown gravy come in similar looking containers- then it's not so great. Yet, we tried it anyway (mostly because we are too cheap to throw out food), and it was AWESOME. Best new secret ingredient!

Third, we rock at cheap entertainment. As mentioned previously on this blog, Rob and I love the game 'Ticket to Ride,' and since we love it so much, we play it at LEAST 3x a week! Way way cheaper than going to dinner and a movie.

And the best news of all?! Rob made the BYU Rugby team! I am super excited to learn about one of his passions (hint to Rob- this is a good time to learn about my passion- Robert's Arts and Crafts.. haha). I have never seen/been to/known anything about Rugby. You had better bet your bottom dollar I am going to be a Rugby know it all by the time the season starts next semester. Who is interested in helping me cheer on my favorite man?! 

Here's to another year below the poverty line, another year of learning cool new tricks, and another year of making and keeping great friends!! YAY school days!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun with the Lamberts

Best. Summer. Ever.

It is a serious rarety when I get to spend some time with my sister and her family, but this summer Rob & I got double lucky. We not only got to see them at our wedding, but we got to see them for the past 3 weeks as well! It was so fun taking Roman to Trafalga and Seven Peaks- you would have thought the kid was in heaven! 

seven peaks


we finished off the trip with an old family classic-

G R A N N Y ' S

We were S O happy to have them here & miss them already!!