cooking, DIY, food, home improvement, life

Falling into the season

I don’t know about you but I can never remember what I do Friday nights. I’m pretty sure it involved some wine and puppy snuggles and a book though. Usually I remember by what I ate for dinner but this one’s a blank so must have been REAL exciting.

Saturday Joey and I went to Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, a great spot in Evanston which is a non profit that helps the community. They sell reclaimed items, often from home/building remodeling jobs and so you can find tons of vintage and unique items for sale at a great price. They use the money for on job training, education and to help the community. We found an amazing half-door made from fence posts, that worked out perfect for our kitchen/dining room doorway. I’m planning on redoing our dining room into a rustic design so this was the perfect start. One side was finished and the other was blank so with some extra wood from Home Depot and a few nails, we added a ledge and matched the finished side. I’d say it came out pretty darn good. It came spring-loaded so it was a breeze to attach and is heavy enough the dogs and cats can’t push it. Total project cost: $32

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Fall is my favorite season and I couldn’t wait for this weekend and some crisp weather so I could do some seasonal cooking and baking. I was really craving some chili and cornbread for a comfy fall dinner so we loaded up the crock pot Saturday morning. I have a great chili recipe I will post this week and it does not disappoint! I also made the cornbread with some garlic herb butter, I highly recommend doing this to add some great flavor.

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love these chili pots

Sunday Joey worked at night and I felt like baking so I ended up making a cream cheese filled pumpkin  bundt cake from Real House Moms and it turned out great!! While usually I would just slather delicious cream cheese frosting all over it, I did actually do a glaze because the bundt cake looked so good and I didn’t want to sugar overload anyone.

I love how all my pictures came out and can’t be happier with my Canon Rebel T6 camera Joey gave me for my birthday. I love taking food photos and trying to plate my dishes better. I am going to grab a 50mm camera on the recommendation of my besties Alex and Caroline to have a better depth of focus.

What did you all do this weekend?

 

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DIY, garage sales, happy, home improvement, ikea, joeywaffles, laundry, pinterest, renovations, thrifty

You can’t turn a home into a housewife…wait, what?

Okay so you might not be able to turn a home into a housewife but you can make a house into a home and the process is more fun then the end results.
A little back story about myself. Growing up in Highland Park, I had no clue how to pick a Chicago neighborhood when it came time to move out. I wasn’t sure what would be affordable and fun but also fit my laid back style. Honestly, the only reason I lucked out with my great apartment in West Rogers Park was because my Dad owned the building. A 3rd floor walk up in a 1920’s building, arched doorways and built in book shelves, I fell in love.
Sure, I was in walking distance of the best Indian restaurants but parking was terrible. Whether it was sitting in JoeyWaffles car on a sunny afternoon in the summer, watching the local drug dealer in a wheel chair sell his weed who we couldn’t believe we were a)seeing this and b)wow he’s tough, the chair doesn’t even have handles or having to fight with a local curmudgeon about walking his dog on a leash, there was never a dull moment. So when I made the big move to live with JoeyWaffles in Evanston, I said good-bye to sketchy side streets and hello to North Shore yuppies. 
Don’t get me wrong, Evanston isn’t exactly traditional North Shore but it’s apparently where the cools kids who want a mix of urban restaurants with suburban parking are flocking to, That’s as best as I can reckon anyways. Plus with Northwestern, tons of places are open late and these kids aren’t troublemakers because they’re too busy studying or watching their football team. While it’s kind of cool to be living in a city getting a huge amount of buzz, owning a house just means higher property taxes, very NOT fun.
The funnest part of being a first time home dweller (Joey’s the owner) is the decorating. One of the most recent projects we undertook was changing the front bonus room area from a sort of man cave/junk room to a man cave/home office. All I wanted was a corner to have a little office area and with some O.P.I. paint from Clark+Kensington, an IKEA desk and some garage sale finds, I have a wonderful office space. You can see the before and after below. 

So far besides the office, we have: painted the front hallway from a bright red to a yellow and grey and added some molding; bought the  Series 6 LoveSac sofas which the pets can’t get enough of; bought, sanded, and stained the IKEA Stenstorp kitchen island; renovated our heated back porch to become a laundry room and bought a new LG steam washer/dryer set; painted our pantry, and are in the process of renovating our bathroom and turning the second bedroom into a video game display room. 
I love being able to do whatever we want in our home and making it our own. With a lot of my friends settling down, buying their own places, or looking for different places to rent, it would have been great for them to have what New York has, Compass. I love that their site makes is so user friendly and idiot proof. You can click sales, rental, or agent, pretty self explanatory. 
You can also favorite places, request a status, make an appointment, and such. My favorite feature is by far the Neighborhood Guide which lets’ you assess each neighborhood and see where you fit in socially. places to go, and pictures. I would love to see them do a Chicago site and see where my friends fit in. I also think that really getting to explore more areas, getting out of a comfort zone and seeing what your city has to offer is a great thing. 
I’m looking forward to getting our bathroom done over Thanksgiving and posting pictures. What current home renovations/DIY projects are you doing? What have you done to make your home your own?
crafts, DIY, fall, goals, happy, joey waffles, life, noshopo, thrifty, weekend

Falling Into the Season

I love fall. I loves pumpkin spiced lattes, boots, the crisp weather, saying the word ‘crisp’, well…you get the picture. Thanks to the interwebs freaking me out about PSL giving me cancer(yeah google that shit, kinda scary) I have been drinking cinnamon dolce lattes with soy and whip (I like no dairy usually but whipped cream cannot be ignored). Fall in Chicago is pretty breathtaking and I am hoping we can actually commit to a season because we had no spring and a weird not summer summer.

Friday night I made a mixture of the Pioneer Woman’s chili with some help from Jamie Deen. So delicious. I added coco powder, cinnamon, a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer, and a jalapeno. Made some Bob’s Red Mill gluten free cornbread muffin mix and an Angry Orchard cider and life was real good. 
Saturday was a huge score at the garage sales. Joey Waffles and I had to have hit up at least 15, some duds, some pretty amazing. Also went to my first estate sale, not so great but won’t stop my from trying again in the future. We supported C.A.R.E in Evanston by going to their rummage sale first and I got a new litter box, car seat booster thing for Dante and a picture frame. By the end of the day, I had 2 more frames, a mini muffin top pan, a sewing machine, and a vintage tray with flowers on it. Oh, and a corkboard.
Thanks to pinterest, I found inspiration for my office and used thisthis, and especially this to help me DIY my new frames. With some metallic spray paint from Home Depot and some fabric from JoAnn fabrics, I now have a beautiful corkboard, a frame to use over a dry erase calendar and another I am not sure exactly what to do but it’ll look pretty. Grabbed some extra fabric to make curtains to hide Joey’s random junk on the bookshelves and a matching seat cushion for my chair. Pictures soon of the rest but here’s the corkboard:

I spent Saturday night at the rehab clinic/home my Grandma is currently staying at and had a great time with her. We talk and laugh and play scratch off lotto and watched the new Lifetime Movie Deliverance Creek which was a departure for Nicholas Sparks but I absolutely loved it. I hope they make it into a mini series because I love a show with a strong female lead and a great plot.

Sunday JoeyWaffles and I went to Kauffmans for bagels, Starbucks, and then Home Depot. We are so yuppies in our 30’s but whatever whatever I do what I want. We bought mistake paint at $9/gallon for our bathroom and the new laundry room, which will apparently be a bright lilac. Then CarlitaRosita and I went on a lady date to JoAnn fabrics, Sears Outlet, and the grocery store. Who knew Sears even had an outlet and what great sales they had? Not me! I snagged a cute ress (olive green with light pink hearts) and a fall skirt along with a pair of gloves with the thumbholes cut out for $7.92. Who says you can’t be a baller on a budget? NoShoPo for life #noshame.

We also cooked steak, steak fajitas, chorizo burgers, chicken kabobs, salmon, chicken thighs, chicken leg quarters, and then I baked these yummy carrot cake muffins (sans the cream cheese). I love that we can cook for the week, be healthy, spend time with each other, and save money. It’s all abut balance and I am loving what we’ve got.

This week’s goals are:

  • Completing the laundry room by Saturday for the washer/dryer delivery. 
  • We have to put the new vessel sink and vanity in the bathroom and lay down the new tile. 
  • Sewing my curtains/making the sea cushion/finishing touches on my office
  • Sign up and study for the GRE
  • Work out 4 times
Happy Monday!