Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun Free Finds (I like alliteration )

The other day I was walking down the street and I noticed that the duplex next to my apartment building was being remodeled. They had tons of stuff outside, including an old wooden ladder. I have been wanting an old ladder for some time now, I quickly rummaged through the debris on the sidewalk and uncovered my new treasure:

I brought it into my apartment and cleaned it off. After cleaning it I took out my saw, which you can see in this picture. I knew the ladder would be too big for my apartment in its current state so I cut it down to three rungs. After cutting it down I painted it an off white color. Originally I wanted it a brilliant white, but off white was all I had sitting around my apartment.

After painting the ladder I hung it on the wall on a couple of nails. I rather enjoy the new decorative shelving!

What do you think? I love it. Originally I was going to full it with books, but it looked too busy. I like this much more. I especially love that the books that did make it to the shelf are all Ayn Rand books! The picture frames are the same ones from this post (from my old blog). Instead of putting pictures in them I put fabric scraps in. I loved framed fabric. It can easily add some color to any room.

Also, on a side note, I have begun my funemployment time. So expect more posts, more crafting and more Tina in general!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

I have the tiniest kitchen ever. Seriously, it's small. There is enough room for the stove and the fridge along one wall. The other wall holds the sink and a few cabinets. Definitely leaves me wanting more.
I'm so in love with the rest of my apartment but I wanted something more for the kitchen. So I started googling some ideas for making use of my one empty wall. This is what I came up with:

Julia Child's kitchen. Seriously, who didn't love the movie "Julie and Julia"? I know I adored it. I also adored Julia's kitchen. While she and her husband were living in France her space was limited, so she made use of peg board walls all around her kitchen. It led to opening up a lot of space, and to easy access to all the items that she needed at an arm's length. Genius.

I'm also a huge fan of open air cabinets. I love seeing my dishes on display. I took a lot of time and effort to pick out everything I own, so I don't mind sharing that with the world. I will say you will never see me display food! I like to keep my food hidden away in cupboards.

This is what I started with. I put up 2 shelves the third wall, and hung a hand made painting. I also painted my backsplash orange along the wall with the sink. I haven't been happy with it though. I love the orange, but I wanted to incorporate the color onto the other walls without having to paint an entire wall.

This was "my" solution. I went to Home Depot and bough 2 pieces of pine wood. The pieces 8 feet long and about 2 inches wide. I cut each piece in half. Now I had 4 pieces. I mounted the pieces on the wall to make a frame for my peg boards.

Yep, I then screwed the pegboards to the frames. I made sure to anchor my frames to the wall, cause I knew they would be carrying a lot of weight.

Then I hung my Le Creuset set that my mom gave me. It's high end enamel cast iron cookware, and I LOVE it. If it were possible to marry a kitchen item I would marry this set.

Then I added a few more items...

And I filled the selves with all my glassware...

Now I LOVE my kitchen!

Seriously... LOVE it!

Vacation- Part Deux

Okay, I know I said I was going to blog about my vacation "tomorrow" like a week ago. Ive been busy. I'm in the process of job hunting. It's really consuming all my time, but next week I will be job free, therefore able to partake in the finer things in life, like blogging.
For the time being enjoy this super long post about the rest of my vacation:

During recruitment we all had to stand the exact same way with our feet all pointed in the exact way directions. It became what is known as "pretty feet". To this day we all joke about it and now taking a picture of "pretty feet" is a sorority staple.

This is a gratuitous picture of myself. I just really like it. This was the night of the formal dinner on the cruise. We all got dressed in pretty dresses and had a fancy meal. I had prime rib AND lobster. Yeah, you heard me right, that's how I roll. We all had several dishes every night. Cruises are all about making you fat.

This is a picture of my pledge class (not all of us, obviously). From left to right: Elizabeth, Samantha, Britni, Me, Tamsin. Don't we look awesome? This was also taken on fancy formal night. I love these gals, and I'm sorry I only get to see them once a year!

On the third day of the cruise we went to port in Cozumel. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the adventure. I just figured it would be a low key kinda day, no biggie. I was pleasantly surprised though. I had a freaking blast. Our group split up into girls who wanted to go to the beach and lay around all day sipping margaritas, and the girls who wanted to trek around all day looking at ruins and shopping. I was definitely in the latter group. I love sitting at the beach, but I'm already like 30 shades darker than my natural color and I wanted to take advantage of my time in Mexico. The first thing we did was go to the ruins of San Gervasio. These are much smaller ruins than those on the mainland, but we had the most amazing tour guide. We arrived at the ruins right before the wave of tourists hit so it was just us four being led on the tour. Our tour guide (Ignacio) was awesome. He let Britni run under these arches that were roped off, he encouraged me to pick wild flowers, and he knew a ton about the ruins and Mayan culture in general. This item he showed us above is a Mayan calendar. I bought one similar to it in the gift shop area.

These are some of the ruins of San Gervasio.
When we were done with the ruins our taxi driver took us to get lunch.
At the beginning of the day we hired one taxi driver to take us all over the island. It was the best money spent. He stayed with us the entire day and it was nice knowing we had a ride wherever we went, and that we could go anyplace we wanted. Also, since he lived on the Island he knew all the best spots.

This is the lunch spot our taxi driver choose for us. The food was AMAZING. You see the pretty flower in my hair? That was the wildflower our tour guide encouraged me to pick!
Also note the mariachi's they sang "De Colores" for us. It's a pretty staple Mexican folk song.
After lunch he took us shopping and to eat paletas!

This is the beach spot our driver took us to. It was pretty touristy, but the water was the most beautiful shade of blue. You could see right through to the bottom, definitely a long way from the gulf coast. He was a seriously awesome driver and guide.

Walking back to the ship we got a great pic of the Carnival Triumph sign.

After our foray to Cozumel, the next day was an "at sea" day. That evening we got all dressed up again and went to the big show. It was a tribute to New Orleans! They did a pretty decent job. While we were waiting for the show to start Allie snapped this picture of me and Sam. Don't I look lovely?

This was dinner our final night on the cruise. In the middle is our maitre'd. I have no idea if I spelled that correctly.

It was a fabulous cruise, and I'm sad to be away from all my sister's again. But never fear, we have decided that next year we will vacation in California! I'm so excited, as I've never been to Cali. But you'll have to stay tuned in for the next year to get that recap!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did you miss me?

Did you miss me? I know I haven't blogged in forever, but I was on VACATION!
It was a fabulous time with some fabulous ladies. Nine girls from my sorority, including myself went on a cruise together. We had a fantastic time. The rest of the week will detail the finer parts of the vacation and with any good story, I should start at the beginning.

Our cruise departed out of New Orleans. As we all flew in the day before I coordinated a cocktail hour, if you will, at one of our favorite old haunts: TJ Quills.

TJ Quills was the first bar I ever went to in college. It was located across the street from my favorite college bar (old) Brunos, which has since closed. On Wednesday night TJ's has a special. 32 ounce cups of beer for $5 and refills for $3. We call it swiller night. Oh, and the lovely ladies of Gamma Phi Beta swilled like swilling was going out of style.

At one point the bar had closed and become "the Raven". This was after my time. The Raven didn't last long. So glad we have our TJ's back.

Well with any good Gamma Phi function we have to have the DJ play "Come on Eileen" (it's our jam), and we have to "sing" "Drink a Beer" (our sorority chant). Once we started chanting the DJ turned off the music. There is no contending with 15 sorority girls chanting at the top of our lungs. We took classes on how to sing in union. We have this down.

Sam, Me, Allie, Swiller Cup

All the alumni that made it out. It was so amazing to see everyone!
Leave it to my sisters to make it out on a Wednesday night and make it rain.

Again, this was only night one. Stay tuned in tomorrow for Day 2: The Cruise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's Always Sunny...

In Philadelphia.

Not only did I recently discover the awesomeness that is that show, I also realized that I haven't shared my pictures from my road trip to Philly... so here they are in montage format... cause everybody loves a montage:

looked at this pic and said "Looks like a Dali rip-off"... it's by Dali

picture that inspired the painting hanging in Bert Cooper's office in Mad men.
Skyline Museum of Art_____________________ Rocky steps

Rocky Statue_________________ Independence Hall

Room where the Declaration of Independence was signed and Liberty Bell
Me and the bell ______________________Constitution Hall
Creepy statues of the signers of the DOI in Constitution Hall

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random Rant

Actually it's not really random, I just really like alliteration.

I can't believe there isn't a decent Mexican food restaurant anywhere in DC. Sure, there are a few places that can make tacos, but any idiot can make a taco. I'm talking about authentic MEXICAN food. Why did I put Mexican in all caps? Because lots of restaurants around here claim to be Mexican food, but they aren't. They are El Salvadorian. It isn't the same. Trust me.

The big myth to Mexican food is that it's the same 10 ungredients used in a myriad of ways to make new items. For example, the taco and the enchilada: Meat, tortilla, cheese... The same can be said for the tostada/chalupa, and the gordita. Though, my readers should know, if you ever find yourself in an authentic Mexican restaurant, and you order a gordita or a chalupa don't expect it to look like what you eat at taco bell...

There is so much more to Mexican food than the taco. I would love a restaurant where I can order Guiso. Guiso is the most delicious thing ever, just ask Annie about my beef pepper steak guiso. She doesn't like pepper, but she loves this dish. Also at the top of my list of wants is menudo, a spicy red stew. You don't want to know what's in it, trust me, but it's wonderful. The list of food I crave is endless, and DC has no place where I can eat any of these items. So, I will continue to search for the perfect Mexican restaurant, at least until the fall, when it isn't a million degrees outside, and I can turn my stove/oven back on.

Till then, I suffer.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three Things Every Single Girl Should Own

Many of you know I'm a single gal. I also live alone. I absolutely love my apartment, and my living situation and could not be happier (alright that's a lie, I totally want a house to decorate, but as that isn't in the cards right now so I'm really happy with where I am).

As evidenced in my blog I love crafting, and putting things together. I love the feeling of being self sufficient. It makes me happy to know that I don't need help to get things accomplished around the house, and that I can be safe living alone. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to squish bugs, or mow lawns (not that I have one) but I know how, and that's a good feeling.

These are simple three things every single girl should own:

1. Tools

Every girl should have a basic tool set: hammer, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, wrench.
I would even take it one step further and say every girl should have a drill. I love my drill, I'm pretty sure it's one of my favorite things ever. It allows me to hang things all around the house without worry. I like to change the look of my decor often enough that this is a real staple in my tool set. I also have a staple gun, a nail gun, a level, and my newest addition a saw. It's just a baby saw, but I love it all the same. I really want a circular saw, but I just can't justify the purchase right now. I just keep adding to my tool set one thing at a time. If you take this approach it won't be so overwhelming.

2. Protection

That's right. You're a girl, you live alone, you should have SOME sort of protection in your house and your room. Part of this includes a phone. I firmly believe every girl should have a phone in her room, whether a cordless phone, or a cell phone, you should be able to call out in an emergency. I also firmly believe you need to be able to protect yourself somewhat physically. I know that guns are definitely not for everyone. I absolutely love my gun, and I feel safer knowing I have it. However before I had my gun I always have owned a baseball bat. I know it may seem silly, but I always slept better at night knowing it was there.

3. Car Emergency Kit

If you have a car you should be prepared in the instance that that car breaks down. Always make sure you have jumper cables, a jack, a spare tire (or donut), a tire pressure gauge, flares, and water (in case the car overheats). I also have a blanket in my car, in case I break down in the dead of winter. Still, I am actually guilty of not following my own advice here. I still need a few items on this list, but when I had my old SUV I ALWAYS had all of these things. Sans the water and the blanket, you can buy a kit with all these items from Home Depot, or Sears. They will run you about $50 but it's peace of mine knowing that you are set in the event of a car emergency.

Hope you enjoyed the list :)