Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Quick Fix

Do you find your bobby pins everywhere!? I do and so does Kurt! I'm constantly seeking ways to declutter my space that I'll stick to....

If you have a medicine cabinet then I've solved my dilemma and yours :)

Pick up some magnet stripping with adhesive backing. The roll in the photo was about $2 I think and I only used about a foot of the 5 or so feet. I bought the magnets for an entirely different project a few months ago so I apologize that I don't have the specifics on it. You can buy a roll in a dispenser at JoAnns for $5.99 if you want to be fancy about it :)

Stick it wherever you like inside the cabinet and practically throw your pins and clips up there!! Done! So simple! You could probably cover it with a cute fabric but I figure it doesn't show and I'm renting so why over complicate simple.

How do you use magnet stripping!?

Have a wonderful leaping Wednesday!

Melissa Delight

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Puckered White Duvet Cover-A DIY Tutorial

I have wanted this from West Elm {$119} or from Target {$89} in WHITE for a long time now!

You've seen Cooper featured here in Muddy Paws--He's my loving cuddle monster golden doodle who doesn't always take a look at his white coat and paws before jumping into bed for a morning cuddle. 

{Alas, a white duvet cover with pretty, detailed tucks not gunna happen.}

Until we moved to Arizona and now have a guest room!!

Thanks to Trissta at "Living on The Chic" I now have that duvet cover for a fraction of the cost. In fact I like it better than the store bought one's I've seen, but I'll let you be the judge of that. Here's Trissta's tutorial for her DIY Pin Tucked Duvet Cover.

Here's my tutorial for the slightly altered version I did.

Materials Needed:

2 flat sheets
Sewing machine
Thread to match
8-10 buttons or how ever many you want to use.

1. While your sheets wash and dry, clear and vacuum enough space on your floor to lay the sheet out WRONG SIDE UP. A queen size sheet works great for a queen sized duvet it even ends up being a little bit big. {You can't even tell} Ok so I forgot the photo of this step. 

2. Start pinning. I kind of haphazardly placed my pins approximately in a line starting about 8 inches apart and quickly realized I didn't want that many puckers, so I ended up doing them about 15 inches apart across and then started the next row 8ish inches up but placed the pin in between the prior rows pins--making diamonds. Confusing I know you'll be able to see what I mean if you scroll down a bit. Trissta mentioned using chalk to mark since it washes out but for me the pins were faster {plus when you're trying to find where to sew next they poke you for a little reminder} and I already washed my sheets so why wash them again…Lazy.
 3. Again no photo of this step but Trissta has great ones on her blog. Take out your pin and twist the sheet. Depending on how big/fluffy you want your pucker to be determines where to sew it. I sewed mine at about a 1/4 inch, but start small and then peak at your pucker if you want it more sew it a little deeper. Back stitch and forward stitch multiple times to ensure it's washer proof. Continue to the next pin. Easy!

Here's mine on the bed after I sewed them all. Well, all except one. 

See the missing pucker?!

4. Lay the sheet on the floor RIGHT side up and lay what will be the bottom sheet or underside of the duvet on top WRONG side up! RIGHT sides should be together. Now pin away!! NOTE: check to see if they are absolutely the same size…mine were not and I didn't realize until after I pinned the first side. It really made no difference since once you fold it inside out no one knows!! Our little secret!

5. In each corner I pinned a little loop of elastic. My least favorite aspect of duvet covers are when they get all bunched up! After the fact I probably would add a loop in the middle of each side as well, but eh that could be over kill--up to you.

6. Sew, baby sew! But only sew three sides. Do not sew the side that is considered the top of the sheets you know where the 3 inch folded band is. Leave that end open. Super easy to go straight since the sheets already have the straight sewing lines! If you had to adjust for size difference try your best to go around the edge of the sheet thats smaller to stay straight. 

7. Flip the duvet right sides out.

8. Smile at your handy work. At this point you could sew across where I said leave it open and leave a little area to put your duvet in, but I suggest taking the extra time and putting buttons along the edge to make it easier to wash everything.

9. Flip both 3 inch bands underneath so that they're now inside the duvet cover. Iron them crisp.

10. Decide how far apart you want your buttons. If you have a color theme you could pick colored thread or buttons, but for the ability to use this cover with multiple redesigns I went with clear buttons, 9 of them to be exact. Put pins where you want your button holes to be.

11. This was my first attempt at button holes-ok I'm fibbing. Second time, but the first was horrible and last year. I played with my button hole making function on my machine on some scraps for a bit. If you know what you're doing great go for it! If you do not BE PATIENT! Do a few before you do them on the real thing. I am not patient, but at this point I really, I mean really loved my cover so I was not going to mess it up! Here's an Old School Video on making button holes with a sewing machine or if you find a better one leave it in a comment :)

12. Line up your holes to where your buttons should go and sew on your buttons! Make sure you put them on the correct side. I did mine opposite the first time--oops. 
13. Sew buttons to the corners of your duvet.

14. Put your Duvet in its new home and jump up and down on how awesome it looks!! 

Mine is longer than the actual duvet, but eh that looks better any way!  

P.S. This cost me $30 to make. I found a pack of sheets at walmart that were shiner and wrinkle resistant. 1 flat, 1 fitted, and 2 pillow cases for $18, then I bought the cheapest single white flat sheet I found for $12. I used buttons and elastic I already had on hand. Watch for sheet sales and you could do it even cheaper!

Stay tuned for a tutorial on my RELAX headboard!

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!

Melissa Delight with ZZB

Sunward Bound- Moving Kurt and then myself

 Since the day I met Kurt he's wanted to live somewhere with palm trees, sunshine and if at all possible the crashing waves of the ocean not far away. We travelled to Tampa for an interview, talked with people in Nashville and before our lives collided he interviewed in Houston, Tx. For honesty he interviewed in Chicago and Detroit at well, but they met none of the above criteria--aside from taking us closer to his family in Michigan.

Beginning of October-- "Oh, by the way I sent an application in for a job in Phoenix, Az" ".....oh?" I was thinking "what that wasn't even on our radar!?"

He interviewed the next week. And a week later was offered and accepted the position: Admissions Counselor at Grand Canyon University.... Awesome!

{flooding of emotions}

We started the journey South on November 11th. Car packed to the brim. Cooper had very little room, but per his norm went along with our crazy antics just fine. Cooper, you ask?! But he's your dog.....Well technically yes, I picked him out, paid for him, did the initial sleepless puppy nights, but Kurt came into our lives within weeks, so he's just as much Kurt's dog. Can you see me convincing myself?! In the end, contrary to the advice of most, I decided Cooper would like sunshine too. Winters in Portland can be a bit harsh on a very WHITE dog and their owner. Not to mention 12 hr shifts and constant pdx to phx travel--> not fair for Coop.

Along our drive we visited friends and family in San Francisco and San Jose, took in the Stanford-Oregon pre game festivities, stayed with Abby and Ely in SLO and enjoyed our 23 hrs in the car together. I earned the nickname "Navi" and Kurt drove every single mile of the over 1300 we drove.

Lessons learned:

1. Kurt's insistent need for new sunglasses 30 minutes into our trek--a fantastic idea! I'm donning my first pair of Oakley shades as I type. Note to mom- I A. Still have them. B. I use the case. And C. I still have them. Doing well! Thank you Woodburn Outlets.

2. Pack more food. Stops add time and money.

Upon arriving in Phoenix we stayed with friends, Matt and Lisa (refer to Mexico Wedding post), until we found a rental house. We picked out one with a community pool, a big yard for Coops and a guest room :)

After 2 months apart, 3 trips to PHX and more attempts at teaching Cooper how to Skype than I can count--I caved.

I loved my team at work, but have always wanted maternity or pediatrics, so I wasn't feeling fulfilled there and everything about being at home made me miss my guys.

In a matter of 3 weeks I quit my job, packed my things, hired and cancelled 2 different movers, visited Pregnant-bellied Laura and my adorable godsons, and began my own journey South.

My dad suddenly had PTO to use or lose so he hooked up the horse trailer and filled the back of his truck- thus the cancelled movers. I picked mom up as my co-captain and the 3 of us plus their dog Millie began the 1300 miles. I have incredibly supportive parents.

{This post is getting long...sorry}

We did pack more food...which is I'm sure the reason we made it a whole day ahead of schedule... Or my dad is crazy, did not eat and drove like a madman only stopping to sleep in the truck for 6 or so hrs at a truck stop. We had no locks for the trailer, so he and Millie guarded it all night--> Thanks!

So with that I'm here unpacked, playing "stay at home" girlfriend (according to my mom that sounds like code for Mooch, but I assure you I am pulling my own weight around here!) I'm 6 for 6 on wonderfully edible dinners and the DIY projects have my sense of accomplishment and creativity set to high on the meter.

Oh and yes I'm job hunting too. Getting a great feel of where to work, meaning I talk to everyone in a uniform from nurses to dental hygienists to firemen. A visit to redbox even landed me info. :)

Alright folks it's time to turn over on my beach towel and throw the ball for Cooper. Have a wonderful day!

<-- My "welcome to Arizona for good flowers" He's a keeper!


P.S. Listen to your heart <3

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Been Awhile...

Well blogging land it has been awhile! May 9th to be exact. I'd say that was quite some time ago.

What did you miss in the last 9 months you ask…

In my first post last year I made a list of "To Do's" for 2011

1. Move into Coop and I's first house-- We did that and added an extra! Kurt moved with us and together we had a fantastic time. We started our adventures there with a dance party and ended them with a dance party--> more on that later.

2. Go snowshoeing-- Well we went a few more times last winter, but didn't make it out this winter.

3. Go somewhere warm--ACCOMPLISHED! See the blog post about Mexico last March and for Kurt's birthday and our 1 year anniversary we went to Maui. It was a fast paced, sight seeing, exploring adventure with the greatest travel buddy. <3 We also made it Gulf Shores, Al for a joint family vacay!

4. A successful trip to Michigan to officially meet Kurt's family. I even got an extra day out of the deal--the chickens escaped in the house, pooped everywhere, during a migraine--Thank you Southwest Airlines for no flight change fees!

<-- Kurt's mom, brother, and grandpa just hours before the wedding.

I even had the --> opportunity to get in on a little secret family surprise!! Kurt's Uncle Barry had a stroke in September of 2010. According to the doctors he should not be in this photo. He walked into the rehearsal dinner and shocked everyone. His wife delivered healthy twin girls just days before this photo. It was an honor to meet Kurt's hero

5. Get Chickens-- What's funny is I had no idea I would actually accomplish this "to do". Plenty of posts about how that went down :) I am happy/sad to report that with the move to Phoenix the chickens have been adopted by our wonderful neighbors. We definitely miss their little personalities-- it was one of the best decisions we made as a couple. They challenged us, made us laugh and cry, fed us (when they weren't laying while I was trying to eat my breakfast), helped us learn teamwork and darnit Cooper adored them!

^^^^^^Our first egg sometime in August ^^^^^^^

6. Start a garden-- Ha…Kurt took this to do over for me. Between Cooper digging up his baby seedling sprouts and the chickens eating all the lettuce and broccoli we're making another go of it on this year's to do list! We did get a few salads, some herbs and some tomatoes. I'd say for our first garden it was successful :)

7. See Zac Brown Band in Concert-- Not only did we see them we won tickets to the dinner before the show, which landed us front row seats!! SCORE!! Now to see them somewhere tropical with maybe Jimmy Buffett!

8. P90X-- That's funny. Enough Said.

9. Weddings-- Yes, they happened and yes, they were beautiful!! So proud to stand in support of Danielle and Donovan and Laura and Chris.

 <-- Laura and Chris will be welcoming baby "Leapster" in June. Yay for being an Auntie!!

10. Re-CrEaTe-- STAY TUNED!! I will show you what I've been up to in my creative space for the last few months :)

More to come…

How we ended up in Phoenix…

Oh and the "To Do" list brewing for 2012 (a little late, but don't judge.)

<3 ZZB