Archives for March 2014

Month: March 2014

Tell ’em that it’s my birthday

My birthday was 11 days ago, and I don’t feel any older – I think that happens when life events happen. Such as graduation or when we got married . . . I felt older on those days, but birthdays I don’t feel older. I still like to make the day special and celebrate the occasion, usually with a little party with my friends.

This year was much more low key as 3 days after my day of birth we had a fairly large fiesta for my husbands big 3-0. My husband still made the day super special and my family always pulls through with some homemade dessert and dinner. Here’s the play by play :

I woke up to breakfast in bed with my favorite homemade granola, and a text from my mama at the exact moment I was born 28 years ago.


then I headed to work for a bit. My friend Davina gave me a $25 etsy gift card and brought in cookies for everyone. So I spent the morning pretending to work, eating cookies, convincing my boss to let me take summer vacation when I wanted, and shopping 🙂 At 12:45 I headed out for lunch . . . except I had taken the rest of the day off! I grabbed a salad from my favorite lunch place and barely beat our furniture delivery guys to the apartment.


Once our new couch was delivered and I had eaten my salad I went down to see my niece who is an estitician. It was nice to get a little pampering in and talk to one of my best friends on my special day. Plus I looked my best for the party that weekend.


At that point Scott was off work so I ran home to catch him before he headed out for class. He surprised me tho . . . I should have expected it . . . he had all the candles lit, the house picked up, my favorite sushi on the table, and Selena Gomez’ song about her birthday was playing. We played it non stop for our niece’s birthday so he knew I’d love it!

After dinner he gave me my present – which was Lady Antebellum tickets and confetti hydrangeas – and we sat on the couch and watched the office all evening – instead of the usual to do list, and him leaving for his class :).


It was nice to get off work early and relax – as well as exciting to get our new couch and be pampered a little. Reminds me of all I have to be thankful for!


High five for Friday . . . the last of March!

Happy Friday! I can’t believe March is almost over, and that our birthdays are donzo. Time really does go by so fast, when you’re having fun.

1. I love these boots my hubs got me for Christmas, but I’m ready for some new flip flops. The weather around here can’t decide what it’s up to. I think we’ve finally seen the last of the snow tho. You’re cute boots, but let’s break up . . .

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2. The bestie and I share a birthday! So we saw Divergent on Friday to celebrate. The movie was pretty good . . . not as good as the book tho.

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3. This guy turned 30 on Wednesday 🙂

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4. We celebrated his birthday last Saturday with an awesome family friendly party! Our nephew got to come, and he and I took some awesome pictures . . .

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5. the beginnings of a new project, that I finished up last night . . . heaven.

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I saw the light . .

After having a house of my own pre husband, I’m not a fan of apartment living and can’t wait until we have a house. But for now it works best for us and our current apartment is pretty nice. There are only a few things that I have a great disdain for . . . The one we’ll cover today is our bedroom window.

All the other windows in our house face trees, open grassy/park areas . . . in other words not other buildings or parking lots. It feels like we’re nestled back in our own private woodsey lot  . . . until you walk into our bedroom. The one window is about 10ft from where cars park and a street lamp . . . a motion sensored street lamp . . . that is on all night long.


We have dark, thick curtains ( these ) and they help a lot, but they aren’t blackout curtains. After many fitful nights sleep, I finally decided to add some blackout lining. I purchased 5 yards of this lining at Joann’s with a 50% coupon and a thread to match since I didn’t have that color in my stash for $18.

My curtain panels are 42×84 so I cut two lining panels at 40×80. This would gave me a little edging so the lining wasn’t visible from the front, and the 80” length made sure I hit the pre-made seam under the grommets which I wanted to keep.


Then I just simply ran it through my sewing machine – sewing the two together as close to the premade seam as I could. Since my curtains are ‘silk’ I have to hand wash them and by only sewing the top I can keep the the lining separated while I do so. I doubt hand washing would hurt the lining, but the washing machine doesn’t seem like the best idea. Don’t take my word for it though.


They’ve been up for a about a week, and I sleep so much better already. This might be the best $20 I’ve ever spent.

the never ending story of curtains

SO hunker down for a good long post about curtains and sewing and cutting and curtains. The end result is this . . .


So it does end up well in my humble opinion. But it took us a minute to get there. That minute was 4 days long. In my defense this was my first major sewing project . . . and the first time with my new sewing machine . . .

We started with 6 yards of 100% cotton fabric from Joann’s. I folded the fabric in half and cut it down to 3 yards each for 2 panels. Then I took each panel measured in half an inch ironed that flat and pinned. Then to my sewing machine we went to stitch that in. Easy peasy . . . For the top of each panel I did the same thing just 3 inches in. And for the bottom I used hem tape for a nice even line. and I was done. WRONG! Whatever you do  . . . do not use those instructions . . . here’s where I went wrong :

when I cut the panels . . . I forgot to be sure they were the same size. So for a few days they looked like this . . .


You can’t tell very well because of the puddle, but the farthest panel is quite a bit longer than the nearest panel. So to fix it I cut off the hem tape and re-measured each panel to be sure they were the same length . . . unfortunately because of my mistake I didn’t have enough fabric to cover the length I needed, but I had an idea using the curtains that used to be here. So here’s how to make the curtains that you see in the after picture. I needed them to reach 90″ – be sure to measure your walls and windows accordingly for your measurements.

1. Cut 5 yards of fabric in half. Be sure to measure that each is the same length. They will be around 90″.

2. Measure each long side in by half an inch. iron that flat. pin it. and stitch.


3. At the bottom of each panel measure in for a 3″ seam. iron that flat. pin it. and stitch. each panel will be 87″ at this point.

4. Cut each panel down to 81″ – measure and be sure they are the same length.


5. Repeat step 3 on your new cut – except only a 1″ seam.

6. Take your old curtain panel and cut down to 12″ using the hem at the top. This way you can reuse the grommets/holes that are already premade for hanging. I cut 12″ because I wanted 10″ to be seen.


7. Take the bottom of your small piece and pin 2″ down on the top of your longer piece. iron it for a smooth finish. pin it. stitch the two together. I only stitched at the top of the longer piece so there was no gap.

8. Enjoy.

This is definitely a project that turned out for the better. It also taught me a lot about sewing and my sewing machine. This room has a lot of dark furniture. The accessories brighten it up a little, but that pop of light blue at the top of the curtains sets it off where as a straight line of the peacock blue made it feel even darker.


What do you think? Have you ever had a project go terribly wrong but you were able to fix it?




Brownies with homemade funfetti icing.

Brownies are not something I make a lot of, and when I do it’s usually because I needed something quick for a pitch in of some sort so I just grabbed a box. But I was inspired by my homemade nutella brownies to make homemade brownies to see if they really were that much better. Spoiler alert: they are! Here’s what you need . . .

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

First, add all of your dry ingredients to one bowl and sift together. Then add wet ingredients one at a time and stir well after each addition. Put in your favorite brownie pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


If you would like to add the icing that I did. It is super simple as well. Just mix 3 cups confectioners sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more milk or sugar to get correct consistency as needed. Add as many ice cream sprinkles as you can stand to make it fun-fetti.


Once the brownies are completely cool ice them all up and enjoy! I hate the waiting till they cool process, but melted icing is far worse.


H54F – March 21st

Happy friday, bunnies! We’re still rolling in birthday happiness over here, and prepping for the big party tomorrow for my hubs! I can’t wait to show you guys all the details! This week I’ve realized how different this party will be than others we’ve thrown for monumentous birthdays . . . this one starts early so we can be in bed by midnight and up for church the next day and I’ve let all our friends know they can bring their kids! We’ve definetly reached adulthood. . .  and it feels good.

Here’s a look back at the highlights so far. .


First and foremost this was MY birthday week, and my husband made that day super special as usual! Not only do I get to go to Lady A this summer, but my bestie Rachel and I scored tickets to see the Backstreet boys!

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My birthday always falls right around college basketball tourney so it’s a tradition that I fill out a bracket and participate somehow. If I want any guy friends to participate in celebrations it’s gonna have to be close to a tv or while they’re arent’ games on. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right?

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We’ve saved up to get all new furniture in the living room and bedroom. This week all of my planning, researching, and shopping finally started to happen in real time. I couldn’t be happier with how the living room looks! The bedroom we’ve still got a ways to go, but the living room being ready for all of our guests tomorrow makes me so. so. happy.

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I properly cut and pitted an avocado. Major accomplishment.

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Finally this little gem (from Freaks and Geeks), just makes me giggle. I used to be the type to have a crowd around me and I was a major oversharer. In the past couple years I’ve learned to reign myself in and that as long as those close to you are true then you’ve got all you need. thanks for the wisdom, Sam.

I’m off to make a million cupcakes and some marshmallow frosting. Have a great weekend

Dirty 30 – drink more water

It’s my birthday! I’m 28 years old. Honestly it sort of feels like I skipped 27 and I’ve been 28 all along . . . just 2 years shy of 30.

In my dirty 30 list I have some goals to be more healthy. We plan to start trying for kids when I’m 30, and I want to already have good habits when that time comes instead of trying to learn while I grow a child or while I’m trying to lose the extra weight.

One of the things I knew would help tremendously would be to drink more water. My problem wasn’t that I was drinking stuff that was bad for me . . . I just wasn’t drinking enough. When I was 18 I had kidney stones and the doctor told me I needed to have a water beside me at all times because my kidneys weren’t getting what they needed to flush everything out. I had kidney stones again at 22 so I aced that  . . . side note – They say kidney stones is the closest thing to the pain of child birth so meds for me  I’ve passed 4 kidney stones I can pass a child, right?

Dr. Oz says today’s woman needs 91 ounces of liquid a day – 64 from liquids that you drink and the other from food. I’m sure I get what I need from my food to make up the difference, but the max I was drinking a day is 48 oz. And to lose weight I needed even more than 64.

So a couple months ago I came up with a schedule of what to drink and when to drink, and I followed it for one week. In that week, my knee pain was better – I slept better – I had more energy – and I lost 2 lbs. Here’s that schedule –



I’ve been working at keeping it up and I’ve learned some tricks along the way. It’s a work in progress for me to eat and drink healthy because I honestly have no motivation to do it. I know it will be better for future me and for me to teach my children these habits, and I’ll feel all the things I listed above. But I live in the moment and I have an amazing husband who loves me the way I am so when I see the piece of chocolate it’s hard to say no. I think it’s like that for most people – But I’m trying to change. And I’m marking this off as a success so far.

Happy birthday to me

March Birchbox

I was quite content when I opened my birchbox this month. Not everthing worked out as I had hoped, but I still received quite the stellar array of products.

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle :: My hair is so thick it gets tangled a lot. So I’m always on the look for a good detangler. This one smells delish and seems to work the one time I’ve used it so far. I’m excited to experiment some more.

Camille Beckman – glycerine hand therapy :: I did really like this hand lotion about as much as I enjoyed burt’s bee’s hand therapy. smooth, clean smelling, and it works.

Harvey Prince – cheri blossom :: This perfume was a bit too musky for me.

Inika – Eyeliner in Green Lagoon :: I was really excited to get a good quality eye liner and in a fun color! I really like that the lid is a sharpener. But it didn’t go on smoothly at first and the color was not as rich as I had hoped.

Benefit cosmetics – Big Easy :: I only got a sample of this which was just enough to put on one cheek. It did feel very smooth as it went on, but it had a very heavy spf smell.

H54F – March 14

It was such a busy week this week! My husband’s 30th birthday party is next Saturday AND we’re getting new furniture! So we’re busy getting the house ready for all of that, and I’m stressing out about completing my biggest restoration project yet. More to come on that in a couple weeks  . . . even if I bomb it I’ll post about it.

Here were the highlights. . .

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I don’t know why that picture is horizontal. I’ve already tried fixing it every way I know how . . . so moving on . . . We took the kids to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It was highlarious!!! I liked it better than the Lego Movie. We also posed with Liz Lemon and made mustaches out of our gum . . .


5 DAYS!!!! 5 DAYS!!!


This is our monogram I had made from my wedding bouquet. you can go here to find where I got them done. I expected them to more purple since my bouquet was different shades of purple. but I still love it and they were so helpful when we had issues with the post office (did you know that the name you were born with is not your real name once you get married . . . yup if it’s in my maiden name they don’t deliver it to me)


I have a feeling this will soon become one of those over used quotes that becomes kind of cliché. But I really love it and until then I’m going to abuse it myself . . .

Hope you all had a great week like we did at the Stark household. This weekend we’re starting furniture delivery and a couple sewing projects!! Along with laundry and cleaning . . . so it should be super fun

What are you up to?

DIY Anthropologie letters

There is one random wall in my kitchen area that blocks off the kitchen to the living room. If I owned the property I’d knock it down . . . but alas we’re renters for the time being . . . Since we moved in, it’s looked like this


I couldn’t get these letters from Anthropologie out of my head. And I really want to do something else with that mirror . . . But $18 a pop seemed excessive to me. So what do we do when the price is excessive . . . we DIY.

The supplies were simple. The letters I wanted, black paint, silver metallic paint, a foam brush, a stipple brush, and this tutorial. The DIY was simple too just the way this lazy, impatient girl likes it. First, I painted everything black. then I let it dry over night.


Then I took my stipple brush and dry brushed the silver paint on – see the tutorial from Jones Design Co. for how I did that. Let it dry over night.

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Then it was time to hang them. I googled advice on that also, and most of what I heard was to use command strips. But I’m still not sold that it will last for heavier things and over a long period of time. So I did this instead . . .


I took some twine I had leftover and stapled it to the back of each letter like the picture above. I even put some tape over that just for extra hold, but it’s not necessary. When I was ready to put them on the wall for the long haul, I measured out where my nails should go and hung the twine on the nail.

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Viola! I’m not much of a painter so I was a little skeptical my skills could pull this off. But this quick little project turned out better than I imagined. It really does look like zinc or steel! My husband didn’t know what I was working on and he was surprised they weren’t heavy – he didn’t expect craft paper letters!

Very successful DIY!