Quick Life Update - 2 Big Changes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sorry I haven't been posting that much on here lately... I am all crafted out. Just kidding! I have lots of ideas for winter and I can't wait to show them to you! But that will have to wait.

I got accepted into grad school. It looks like I will be attending the University of Alabama Birmingham starting in January. My speciality will be primary care as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and I will go to school part time and work full time.

Speaking of work. I am started working at Texas Fertility Clinic on Thursday. I am so blessed to have been offered this job - it is regular business hours! I never thought as a new nurse I wouldn't have to work the night shift for my first job.

That is all. I told you this was a quick life update.

Texas State Fair

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last Saturday Hubby and I took a day trip up to Dallas. We had In-N-Out for lunch and spent the afternoon at the Texas State Fair. That saying that everything is bigger in Texas - well it is definitely true when it comes to state fairs. Think of every carnival ride you have ever seen and then multiply that times ten. We ended up seeing less than half of the park - it is that big. Oh, the fried food. Pretty much anything you can imagine was there and deep fried. I'm talking about fried biscuits and gravy, fried cake balls, fried beer, fried pineapple upside down cake, fried bubblegum, fried brownies, and the list goes on and on. We ended up only getting a funnel cake at the fair since we were so full from In-N-Out earlier. So next time we go I would like to sample a little more of the fried goodness the fair has to offer. Here are some pics from our awesome weekend.

We watched Jump! Ultimate Dog show and saw some dock dogs, frisbee catchers, and rat terrier races. Lets just ignore the blurriness in this picture :)

This little guy can walk on his two front feet.

Cirque Shanghai was definitely my favorite show. 

These acrobats were amazing.

That is a woman in ballet shoes on point on the top of that man's head. Crazy!

I just had to take a picture of this. I would hate to carry that gorilla around all day.

Apparently this is the largest ferris wheel in North America.

Dallas as viewed from the ferris wheel.

We finished our night with some funnel cake covered with strawberries and whipped cream.

I would highly recommend going (preferably not on a Saturday) and seeing everything there. Like I said, we only saw half of the park and I hear there were some pretty cool exhibits that we missed.

Happy Anniversary

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hubby and I have been a couple for 4 years now (married for almost 1.5 of those years!) I can't believe how fast the time has gone - it seems like yesterday that I was nervously walking off a plane in California to meet his parents for the first time.

So in honor of our dating anniversary I thought I would post some pictures of us through the years. (With dates, so I will be able to remember them when I am old and forgetful.)

Spring Break 2008 - Meeting his parents for the first time.

Barn Dance 2008

Fall Berry Wreath - DIY

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We needed a fall wreath for our door. A couple weeks ago I found some berry stems from Michaels that I bought to put in a vase inside. They make me happy so I decided they would be perfect to make a wreath out of.

I bought 9 more berry stems ($1 each), some 18 gauge wire wrapped in paper ($1.99), and some orange ribbon ($1) to make this project. If you have an old wreath that you could repurpose, use that - I didn't so I got the wire to make the frame for the wreath.

Mud Wrestling

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It actually rained today! This resulted in some mud outside of our apartment - where Phoebe plays every night with some other dogs from the complex. Today they decided to wrestle*.

*By wrestle I mean Phoebe instantly rolling over on her back into a submissive position while the other dogs play with her.

So combine the wrestling with the mud and this is what Hubby carried inside.

I made a skirt !

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Grandma will be so proud of me! I had bought some jersey knit fabric awhile ago with plans to make a dress. After thinking about it I decided a skirt was the way to go... much easier more versatile.

This project needed to be simple which means no elastic or zippers. I found this tutorial from iCandy handmade. It was so easy to follow! Although I must have had extra stretchy fabric because I followed the directions exactly but in the end I had to cut off an extra 6 inches from the waist.

I had Hubby take some pictures of me and my creation. We had lots of fun being silly.

DIY Sparkly Pumpkins - Tutorial

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We really needed some fall decorations around these parts. Since we were in school last year we really didn't decorate our old apartment... at all.

For our new home I wanted some glamorous pumpkins. Can pumpkins be glamourous?  I don't see why not. I saw a white pumpkin at TJ Maxx awhile ago that was covered in glass beads and sparkles. I loved it but I didn't want to spend $20 on a fake pumpkin.

So I waited and looked around for some plain white (fake) pumpkins. Hobby Lobby was a big disappointment when it came to plain pumpkins so I headed over to Michael's. I found a plain white pumpkin, 50% off, for $4. Not bad. A little glue and epsom salt later - this is what I ended up with.

So you want to make one? Here is what you will need.

Super Easy Canvas Art

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We needed some artwork for over our bed - artwork that wouldn't cost very much. What is a girl to do? Go to Hobby Lobby of course! I picked up three square canvases along with some green paint. Here is the finished result:

Custom lamp base - Paint it!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So how in the world do you find the perfect lamp base... the perfect blue lamp base. If you are me, you stumble upon beautiful blue lamps (for under $25!) and immediately order two. Wait anxiously for your beautiful lamps to arrive.

Now this step is very important: open up the package when they arrive and be super disappointed when one is smashed to pieces. Become even more disappointed when you find out that they have zero left and can't send you a replacement.

It was really difficult to find other blue lamps for a reasonable price... almost impossible. Since we really needed the extra lighting in our living room I decided to take matters into my own hands. On Pinterest, I saw that you could paint small glasses and vases by swirling paint around the inside.

Enter IKEA.

They have big, clear, glass lamps with a big hole for the bottom. These beauties are pretty much screaming to be painted.


Cupcakes - Filling, Frosting, and Toppers

Monday, September 26, 2011

I love cupcakes. 

My husband loves cupcakes. 

My parents love cupcakes. 

I blame my mother. She makes the most delicious white cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. They are simple but are always super moist and have the perfect cupcake to icing ratio. Unfortunately, I cannot make cupcakes as good as my mom. To disguise my weakness, I like to make cupcakes with filling and pretty swirled tops. 

There are a lot of ways to get filling into a cupcake. You can buy a little tool that will hollow out the middle of the cupcake, use a knife and cut out the middle yourself, or you can buy this nifty little cupcake decorating kit from Wilton for $8 (or for $4 if you use a coupon.) The kit comes with 4 tips, one is long and designed to fill cupcakes. 

The closest thing to a cowgirl that I will ever be.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I need to have Will take pictures of me... not in a mirror,

In my mind it is fall. I don't care that it is still in the nineties here in Austin... I am wearing boots. That is one of the big benefits of living in Austin. In Champaign you could only wear cute boots for a few weeks before the weather would turn all wet and slushy. Then you would switch to the more Ugg style boots to slosh through the snow. Now that we live in the land of virtually no rain or snow, I can wear cute boots all the time! I was feeling very Texan yesterday and this is the outfit that happened. The shirt that I am wearing was from a barn dance sophomore year. You can't tell from the picture but it is a small plaid print of pink and purple. I hadn't worn it since then until yesterday. I don't have cowgirl boots yet so my new tan pair of boots are the best I got. Now I just need a cowgirl hat and a big belt buckle. We will call this our "before" picture and see how my Texas style evolves over time.

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Low cost, big impact

Friday, September 16, 2011

So while I was back in Bethalto last week I really wanted to update the downstairs bathroom in my parent's home. This use to be my sister's and my bathroom. At one point it was painted an almost neon yellow color. Then we switched it to a more muted color palate with a pop of red. Somewhere along the line we messed up and took a shower too soon after we painted and ended up with streak marks in the paint. Since Amanda and I no longer live at home and this is the third bathroom in the house, it was feeling a little neglected.

It is amazing what a little bit of paint can do for a room. Mom and I painted the bathroom a light tan color and painted the vanity black. Amazing!

My 9 day Bethalto eating extravaganza

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I had the opportunity to spend last week at home in Bethalto. When the trip was finalized the first thing I did was make a list of all of the food that I wanted to eat. Even though Austin has some great restaurants, you just can't beat the food you grew up with. Here are the food highlights of the trip.

I got in late on Sunday night, just in time to go to the carnival on Monday with the family. We only go to the carnival for one reason: to eat. And eat we did.
Pork burger

The many uses of toilet paper rolls.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So awhile ago my cousin, Jessica, posted a picture of toilet paper roll art on her blog, My Cute Little Life. I did a google search for more ideas of toilet paper roll art and decided that it would be the perfect medium for decorating our living room wall. Now this wall in the apartment is kind of large and I wanted something to span the whole length. So we ended up getting 4 canvases to hang equally spaced along the wall. By the way, Hobby Lobby is the place to go for canvases. The canvases we got came in packs of two and are super cheap when they are on sale 40% off or if you use one of their 50% coupons.

Here are the steps to do a project like this:
1. Depending on your design, you may need a lot of toilet paper rolls. Ask friends and family to save up toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for you. (You will probably get some funny looks.) Explain to them what you are going to do with the rolls and get a few more funny looks.

Well, what do you think?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hooray! My amazing hubby has finished updating the look of the blog. He did a wonderful job, didn't he? I want to point out a few features that you may find useful. On the left hand side there are lots of useful things. You will find a blog archive, where you can see all of the posts organized by month. There is also a "Tags" section where you can find blog posts that are related to each category. Beneath that there is an option to follow the blog via email. If you enter your email address you will automatically be sent an email with each new blog post. And finally there is the option to follow with Google Friend Connect aka your google account. Also, now comments automatically post as you from your facebook account if you are signed in. With this feature you have the option to post only to the blog or to also have your comments post to facebook as well. So try out some of the features and let me know what you think... or if anything is broken.

In other exciting news, my hubby gave me my birthday present early. I got a new DSLR camera and I am super excited! I have been taking pictures like crazy.

New name...

Monday, August 22, 2011

... New look. That's right people, the blog is getting a new look and it will involve... chevron! Goodbye to the old, boring, plain blogger template/theme. Chevron is my current favorite pattern and I am trying to incorporate it everywhere. I am so excited that I have an amazing hubby who is creating a new design for the blog... he is just so wonderful to me! So posts probably won't be happening until the transformation is complete. Coming up, I have lots of fun things that I want to show you guys so keep checking back every now and then.

The most pitiful thing you have ever seen

Monday, August 8, 2011

Phoebe's first bath.

The end.

Phoebe's surgery and an overemotional Erin

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Phoebe was spayed today. I cannot believe how emotional I was over this whole process. To be honest, I am a little embarrassed at how worried I was. My wonderful husband kept trying to reassure me that most dogs get spayed/neutered and that it isn't a big deal but I wasn't listening to reason. To top it all off, the mean lady that took Phoebe away didn't even let me say good-bye. She gave me papers to sign and then slipped around the corner and took her away. Sneaky little technician. Our poor pup was shaking and scared.

In the end, this day was probably much more traumatizing for me than it was for her. Everything went well with the surgery and she is resting at home, still groggy from the big day but doing just fine.

Split peas and a registered nurse

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Did I tell you all that I passed the NCLEX? Well I did... back in June. I have been waiting all this time for my Texas nursing license to come. So this entire time even though I knew I was on my way to becoming a nurse, it wasn't official yet. But yesterday I finally got an envelop from the state of Texas that contained my license. So I am now officially Erin Davis R.N., BSN. * jumps for joy* Now the job hunt is officially on. Hopefully I won't have too hard of a time finding something that is a good fit for me. I will keep you posted.

On a completely different note. Split peas. These little guys are my new favorite decorative filler. At less than a dollar per bag they are great for filling up large vases. I also really like how they look compared to marbles or rocks. Currently they are filling up space in three vases on our living room mantle shelf thing and in two smaller vases in our bedroom.

These vases were left over from my bridal shower centerpieces. In our last apartment they were filled with flour, sugar, and pasta but we didn't really have the space to use them like that in our new place. So they ended up empty on this ledge just to get them out of the kitchen. I had been debating on whether or not to keep them or replace them with candlesticks or hurricane vases. I just didn't like them with the lids on and I didn't like them with the lids off because you could see the threads and that they were meant to have a lid. To solve that problem I wrapped the top of the vases with jute to cover up the threads and I am super pleased with how it turned out. I like how natural the look is and I am really enjoying having the candles lit in the evening.

Now I have to admit that this was not an original idea of mine. I saw the split peas in a couple of different places on Pinterest as suggestions for fall decor and the twine was originally shown wrapped around the middle of flower vases as a diy wedding centerpiece. I love the combination together and how I didn't have to purchase new vases for the ledge.

Have you heard of Pinterest? It is only my absolute most favorite website right now. It is a website that is like a huge photo catalog with links back to interesting stuff on the internet. Currently I am pinning a ton of craft projects, recipes, inspiration for home decor, and fashion inspiration. Oh how I wish I would have known about Pinterest when I was planning our wedding. It is seriously awesome. You can click here to see my pinboards and look around. Let me know if you like the site and think you would use it... I can send you an invite.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

 So for the past couple of months I have been crafting and creating like crazy around this apartment. You have already seen two of those little projects and I have at least three more to show you after this post. One of the projects that turned out pretty well was adding padded seats to some stools.

I started with two saddle stools that we ordered from Walmart. Our goal for these stools was to use them when we have company over for extra seating at our dining room table. The only problem was that our dining room table is a dark brown and I couldn't find saddle stools anywhere that would match our dining room set. We went ahead and ordered the black stools knowing that I would add some fabric to the top and that hopefully the black and brown difference wouldn't be too terribly noticeable.

Favorite project to date

Friday, July 15, 2011

A while ago I got this idea to change a picture frame into a chalkboard frame and use it in the kitchen. I had a picture in my mind of the perfect frame and wanted one of those really chunky ornate ones. Since we have moved into this apartment I have been looking all over for the frame but couldn't seem to find the right one. Will put his foot down and said no to this one from IKEA.

And honestly it wasn't quite what I was looking for and the $30 price tag seemed a little high for an IKEA find. Also, Will didn't like the chalkboard idea and instead wanted to use dry erase board which I wasn't really too fond of. So I started feeling like this project was never going to happen and the wall in my kitchen would forever be bare. But then I spotted it! I was walking through the aisles of Hobby Lobby and found this adorable cork board with a great frame. Bummer that it was a cork board and not a picture frame though.

 After a little investigation it turned out that it actually was a picture frame but instead of putting glass in it they replaced it with cork. So I went to their framing department and had them cut a piece of glass to fit. A quick stop by the fabric department for some burlap and voilà! I decided to paint the frame green to give a nice pop of color in the kitchen.

Don't be fooled by the picture. This job definitely should have been done with spray paint but I don't really have an ideal place to spray paint and didn't feel like carrying the whole project down to the grass in the Texas heat. So after many coats, throwing away many cheap paintbrushes because they left bristles behind, a trip to the store to get a better quality brush, and a coat of protective enamel it was finished! 

Right now it is being used as a to do list and a place to write down things that I need to get. When we have guests over I write the menu for the night on it.

There it is in our apparently very dark kitchen. Hmm I really should take better pictures of my projects.

Welcome to our home!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I am going to start posting pictures of our apartment and the projects that I have been working on to make this apartment feel more like our home. "But Erin, how do you have time to work on these projects and get back to blogging?" you ask. Why because I passed the NCLEX! Yep, no more studying for me. Now I just need to find a job.

So one of the first projects I made for this apartment was a picture for the entryway. I wanted something simple and that would be easy to do. This is what it turned out to be:

Sorry that the pictures aren't very good. It is in a funny corner to photograph and right next to a window. I just love how this turned out and it was so simple to make! I took a picture frame with a mat from IKEA, some fabric, and a piece of tan cardstock and made this in just a few minutes. Will and I created the monogram on our computer and printed it out. I lined that up on the fabric and used a little hot glue to keep it in place. I centered the cardstock and fabric in the picture frame and Hubby hung it up for me. That was all it took to add a little welcome to our apartment.

Busy, busy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So I know it has been over a month since I last posted and Will and I have had a ton of blog-worthy life changes happen recently but studying for the NCLEX has killed my spirit.  Quick recap: we graduated, got an adorable puppy, and moved to Austin.

Phoebe, the cutest dog ever.
We are working hard to get our new place all cozy and decorated when we have some spare time. Here is a sneak peak of some of the fabric for our living room and the awesome lamps I just ordered from Kirklands.

I just love the fun leaf pattern and that it goes with the couch Jim and Melinda gave us.
I couldn't pass these up. They are (hopefully) the perfect color and less than $25!
Will is working full time as a contractor for NVIDIA and I spend my days taking practice NCLEX exams and watching the pup. The NCLEX exam is rapidly approaching, I take it on June 24th. Once I get that over with, be prepared for lots of blog posts!

We are the proud parents of an 8 week old, 3 pound little girl!

Friday, May 13, 2011

That's right, Phoebe is finally here! My dad went and picked her out yesterday and she is getting to know the family. Will and I will finally get to meet her on Sunday when they bring her up for the graduation ceremony. In the end we went with a miniature Schnoodle (Schnauzer & Poodle) puppy because they have floppy ears and are super adorable. Just look at all of these pictures!

General life update

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As you know, I am officially a college graduate! While this is super exciting and all, I still have a lot of studying to do. The NCLEX is the national licensing exam for registered nurses and I will probably be taking it in about a month. The NCLEX is a beast... minimum of 75 questions and a max of 265 with up to 6 hours to complete it. It is a computer adaptive test, meaning that it changes depending on if you get a question right or wrong. Also, I can't be a real nurse unless I pass. So in order to prepare myself for the exam, I am taking a review course. A spirit crushing review course. We basically sit through two sessions a day, 3 hours each, and go over questions and the thought process for how to answer them. Yesterday we started with the topic of pharmacology. Did I mention that is has been a year since we had a class on pharmacology? Oh, and that pharm could be up to 20% of the questions you get on the NCLEX? Yeah. So hopefully the next few sessions will be better than yesterday because that wasn't pretty.

My dad is going to pick up Phoebe tomorrow! We had a slight change in plans, the little black female from last week that was suppose to be Phoebe didn't pass her vet exam. So now Dad is going down to pick out a puppy for us. Thanks Dad! We will get to meet her on Sunday when they bring her up for Will's graduation. We are super pumped (for graduation and the puppy!)


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Boy was that a good week/weekend. My parents, sister and grandparents came up to Chambana on Wednesday evening. We had a delicious dinner together at the Great Impasta - a restaurant in Urbana where they make all of the pasta by hand. We got up early and left Thursday morning to head to Chicago. After working our way through Chicago traffic and a major elevation in my blood pressure, we made it to the University of Illinois Chicago campus. For the record, I do not like driving in big city traffic, especially when following someone and trying to not get separated.  We ended up getting to the Pavilion early and they didn't have the building open yet so we went across the street and had a photo session.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well, it is official... I am done with my BSN. No more exams, no more clinicals, no more assignments, and no more 3 hour lectures! I cannot believe that I am done with my undergraduate career, now I just need to start/finish a master's degree.

So what did all of us nursing students do to celebrate the momentous occasion? We jumped into an outdoor pool that was just filled last week! I guess it is becoming a U of I nursing tradition to jump in the pool while wearing our nursing uniforms once classes are finished. Last year it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and the pool was packed with people enjoying the weather. This year it was less than 60 degrees outside and we had to wait for a lifeguard to get there because they had sent everyone home early since no one wanted to be in the pool. The water felt great... getting out, not so much.
1... 2... 3!

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