Moving On Up!

We just got our own domain and hosting! Are new site is listed at www.jeffandashleys.com

Advertisements

Cubs Game

We had the opportunity to go to a Cubs Game a couple weeks ago compliments of where I work and it was great time, even though the Cubs didn’t win…

Eating Dinner @ Sports Corner before the Game

Jeff and his brother, Dave –

Dave’s fiance, Bree and I –

It ‘s so nice to break up the work week with something spontaneous.

Hooray for treating a Wednesday like it was the weekend!

Spice Rack

Since we are going to be out of here in less than 60 days (as referenced to in this post) I’d like to go over some the things we have done to our place that we are especially pleased with. So, without further ado…

THE SPICE RACK

We love to cook, but sometimes it can be a challenge in our tiny galley kitchen, especially when it comes to storage and cabinet space. Our cabinets unfortunately look like all of our closets, with everything strategically placed in a jigsaw-sort-of-fashion that requires you to pull out 5 things in order to retrieve the item you went in for – and this really just wasn’t working for our spices. Who wants to pull out cumin, oregano, curry powder, coriander, tarragon, and cinnamon just to get to the garlic powder? Not us!

So, we thought on the topic and I scoured the internet and Pinterest to find a better solution. We considered drawer inserts (which weren’t good due to the lack of drawers in our kitchen), counter-top spice-spinner things (which couldn’t hold enough jars), stackable shelves for inside the cabinets (we already have a lack of cabinet space), but none of the options really seemed to measure up to the idea I had in my head.

We use a lot of spices regularly, and I wanted somewhere where we could easily see and access all of them. Somewhere where we could keep a good inventory of what we had so that I would stop buying a new jar of nutmeg every fall when I wanted to bake a pie… And if the spices were easily visible like this all the time, they needed to look presentable. I then started looking at shelving and jars, and I looked, and looked, and looked some more.

Until I found the perfect ledges – brushed silver, great depth, and a nice lip on the edge so that none of the jars would fall off! Although the ledges weren’t cheap, I just couldn’t resist! You can find them here at crateandbarrel.com. However, there are much more affordable wooden ledge options at Target or IKEA, and it really wouldn’t be too hard to construct the ledge yourself. I just really, really wanted the brushed silver ones- they complimented the appliances and cabinets so well!

The jars were a bit easier to decide on. We decided not to buy a bunch of glass jars, and then buy lids, and then attempt to find shaker tops, fill them with spices, and then try to label them. We simply went with Target’s line of spices, they come in a nice glass jar with a great lid, shaker top, super cute and simple labels, and they even come filled! crazy, right!?

On a side note: We didn’t replace all the spices we had on hand at once with the Target brand ones, we did it slowly as we ran out.

Overall, we are thrilled with the way this project turned out. It is so convenient while we are cooking, it’s freed up some extra cabinet space, and it is so much more organized – I haven’t re-bought a spice we already had since! And the bonus is that it has sort of become a  colorful addition for our kitchen, a totally functioning piece of Art! Everyone seems to notice it when they walk in and asks us about the different spices we use. – We love it : D

The Move

Well, it’s official. We just put in the 60 day notice to vacate our apartment. I can’t believe it’s been over two years since we first moved in. Geez, I’m nervous! Well, I guess it’s half nervous, half excited!!

It was  last Wednesday when Jeff sprung it on me, his crazy idea to ditch our apartment and move into his Mom’s basement in order to save money and buy our own first place. I flipped. What in the heck was he thinking!?! There is noway we could give up our home and way of  life. And now, just one week later, that far fetched and whacked out idea is reality. In 60 days we will be outta here, Ahhhhhh!

So, in loving memory of our apartment:

Our living room – Mmmm wine night

My grandmother’s things ❤

Snugglin’ Murph on our bed

Our family room vision with the patio furniture!

Murphy’s favorite window spot

Our swimming friends & Jeff’s guitar

Our outside oasis

The dining room, with my fresh flowers from Jeff

The vision a reality, the first day we got our new furniture

…that vision a reality with hopefully many more to come. Moving forward, we couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity to move ahead with our lives and to have the possibility of becoming first time homeowners in 2013! Woo Whooo!

Shelf Styling: Mixing His & Hers

Jeff  likes nice things, I like nice things, but sometimes we don’t like each other’s nice things, and sometimes our nice things don’t like each other. Are you following me here?

For instance, Jeff loves this –

(okay, a small disclaimer – these may not all be that nice of things!) 

And he loves this little guy –

And I do not.

Now on the other hand, I do like things like this –

And like this –

But Jeff is not a fan of anything floral.

And we want our home to to reflect who we are and what we like, thus comes the hard part. The age old dilemma of mixing the masculine and the feminine.  What I have found is that it is very helpful to bring in pieces that we both like, such as nature inspired items, like this piece of drift wood we had originally bought for Jeff’s fish tank.

It’s a bit masculine with it’s sharp edges, but I really like it and would take it any day over that mini football helmet, sheesh! I have also found that a way to help give a more masculine vibe is sparsity. Keep it simple, the less crap you have shoved in those shelves, the more of an impact the items you do have displayed will have. For instance our bar shelf below –

Shelf Example #1

Top Shelf: Masculine driftwood balanced by a feminine display of wine glasses ( I suppose the wine glasses could be either masculine or feminine but I see them and the martini glasses as more feminine).

Middle Shelf: Martini glasses balanced by earthy pieces, like the rock, lol.

Bottom Shelf: Jeff’s picture frame with my flowers and and the flasks to balance out the extremely girly, pink flowers.

Shelf Example #2

Top Shelf: Books with the dreaded gargoyle!

2nd Shelf: Our neutral, nature inspired, Aloe plant.

3rd Shelf: Books with my floral painted clock.

4th Shelf: White vase, this piece is actually a neutral one, Jeff and I picked this out together.

5th Shelf: Books with the dreaded gargoyle’s twin, ahhh!

Bottom Shelf: The ever masculine, sub woofer.

I’m not an expert, but all in all I think it’s about the compromise and finding a way for our pieces to get along with each other, even if it means bringing in a mediator (like our piece of drift wood and aloe plant) to make sure everyone gets along!

Why we LOVE Fall

I grew up a water baby and I loovveeddd SUMMER. What kid doesn’t? Summer vacation, hanging out with friends, sleeping in, swimming at the pool everyday…

Summers hold a lot of fond memories for me, but I think that over the past couple of years I have traded summer as my favorite for fall. Yep, I just can’t get enough of everything Fall and here is why-

1. Apple Picking 

We have made quite the tradition out of Apple picking

2. Apple Cider

3. Baking Apple Pies

4. Oktoberfest

Another tradition – Shnitzel Platz with Jeff’s Fam

5. Fall Leaves

6. Boots

7.  Fall Sweaters 

Tehehe, my Murphy is such a good boy, Compass would never tolerate this

8. Caramel Apples

9. Halloween

We have been obsessed with HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, hence the 1920’s costumes

10. Football

NIU Homecoming Game 2011 – Jeff and I are both Northern Illinois University Alum, we met in college

11. Carving Pumpkins 

My sister, myself, and my mom being total goofs posing with our pumpkins last year

12. Thanksgiving

13. Black Friday 

14. And last, but certainly not least, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, mmm baby!

Anybody else lovin’ fall these days?