Monday, June 25, 2012

thrift store stool makeover

you remember those $8 stools i bought at the thrift store, in this post? well, they were well overdue for a makeover. i decided if i was going to go with spray paint, i might as well go bold! husband's reaction when i told him what color i was painting them was less than enthusiastic. he just doesn't understand that color can be a good thing. i personally think they turned out great!

the before:

they were not only that standard unfinished wood on top and white paint on bottom, but they had seen better days, with staining and fading on the top of the stools.

the during:

when painting, i used a drop cloth and cardboard outside to save the driveway from being painted and save fumes from flying around everywhere. i primed them with valspar primer, using two thin coats, after using deglosser to get all the dirt and grime off. you are supposed to be able to skip sanding when you use this deglosser. it worked great and saved me a step {plus, i'm not a big fan of sanding}. i used a valspar classic red paint in gloss to spruce up these beauties!

the after:

i think they turned out well. we already have pops of red and blues in our kitchen area, so it just helped to bring out some more colors. we obviously don't have the fanciest kitchen in the world, but that is apartment living for you. i would love to get my hands on those cabinets, change out the linoleum floor and put in hardwoods throughout... just day dreaming until we have our own little home one day.

here is another before and after for your monday viewing pleasure:


happy monday everyone! oh, and does anyone out there in blog world know of a good sealer to protect my wonderful paint job with? husband is worried he is going to get a red arse every time he sits down.

love, kbn

Friday, June 22, 2012

thrift store finds makeover

i spent almost a full day spray painting most of my thrift store finds {and some other things i had lying around the apartment}. i didn't know how much fun spray painting could be! the pier1 trays i bought, found in this post, got an orb paint job and look amazing! 

the above photos clockwise from the top left: gluing the splinters down with super glue, the before shot of the trays, trays primed, and trays all finished and orbed {oil-rubbed bronze}.

we don't have a coffee table at the moment in our living area because our couch has two large ottomans, so i figured the trays would be perfect to eat on while husband and i have dinner and watch the game {i'm sure all you ladies can relate with the basketball going on at the moment!}.

they also have some other uses. i can display things on them, like our blue bottle collection.

i will do another post with the rest of my thrift store makeovers, this is just a preview. coming up is lots more color! 

have a happy weekend all! 

love, kbn

Monday, June 18, 2012

thrift store finds

i found some great treasures at a local thrift store recently. at first glance, i thought i was out of luck, but with a bit of searching, i came across some things with potential. a little tlc and they will be looking great!

what i brought home:

two stools: $16 total
black wire crate: $2
two ceramic bowls: $1 total
red basket: $.75
tea candle holders: $.50 total
milk bottle vase: $.50
two pier 1 bamboo trays: $3 total

total for all the loot: $23.75

i have bought some red spray paint, orb, and some blue, to transform the stools, bamboo trays, and possibly the vase. i can't decide whether to paint the black wire basket a bright fun color, or leave it black. any thoughts? i might use it as a fruit holder, specifically for all the bananas we have (which is tons!). 

the stools aren't really what i imagined for our space, i was thinking more like these beauties...

but for the price, the ones i got will work just fine until we can save up for something more permanent. 

my favorite color scheme is blues, reds, and oranges. i love the combo... a little something like this...

i am still trying to figure out what my style is and what colors i like best, but i do know that i gravitate towards neutral with pops of ocean blues and reds, and a bit of orange and mustard yellow mixed in as well. 

i will be revealing my stool and tray make overs soon, so stay tuned! what do you think i should do about the black wire crate? paint, no paint... i can't decide!

happy monday loyal readers!

love, kbn

Thursday, June 14, 2012

how to series: how to bake beets from scratch

i decided to do a how-to series of posts. my take on how-to's. it might be a little backwards, but informative, and hopefully helpful to someone. this is how i navigate through new tasks to learn new skills in my life. this is how i do it.

second of my how to's is something i thought was very daunting... cooking beets from scratch. in australia, beet's also known as "beetroot " has it's own container in the fridge, and i learned to love them while i was there. as i was looking up the spelling of beetroot (fact about me: i can't spell! just wasn't sure if it had a space or not...), i learned that beetroot is the proper way to say it, us americans just like to be improper and call them beets.

it is so much easier to just pick up a can of beets and call it a day, but it is cheaper (and probably better for you) to buy them fresh and bake them yourself. i found buying just one bunch of beets and baking them, lasted way longer than buying a can. it is also pretty simple.

now, the how to's of it all...

you will need:
a bunch of beets
baking dish (pyrex kind)
an oven

how to do it:
pre-heat your oven to 375 F (190 C)
use a damp paper towel to scrub the beets (no need to peel ahead of time)
place your beets in the baking dish
cover tightly with foil
bake for one hour
when finished, the skin will peel off pretty easy, just use a sharp knife to get it started

be sure to poke your beets to check that they are tender after the hour, and cook longer if necessary.

you can use your beets in plenty of recipes. they are great by themselves, roasted with some olive oil and sea salt. i made a delicious quinoa salad, using chopped beets, cucumber, and black beans. eat them on a burger (yum!)... the possibilities are endless! maybe ill try a beet smoothie next...

do you have any good beet recipes you would like to share? do you cook your beets using a different method?

love, kbn

Monday, June 4, 2012

let's cool down

summer has arrived in utah, and i couldn't be happier! after spending a year in seattle, and feeling like i didn't have a summer at all, i was ready for some sunshine. 

i realize i have been very slack with my blog. i was trying to think about why that is, and i don't think it is lack of inspiration, but just plan lack of time. a lot has been going on in the life of me... a new job, amping up my stationery biz, some hard core yoga classes, and planning summer trips. i have so many diy projects and recipes i want to try. once i get settled in my new job, i hope to not be so slack. 

if you are in the slc area, head over to zen living yoga in the sugarhouse area, for a good sweaty yoga session. seriously... i think i lost about 5 lbs worth of sweat yesterday {never knew i could sweat so much in yoga}. 

the best thing after a hardcore workout in the summer heat... a smoothie of course! {not sure how many more smoothies my blender can handle}.

watermelon smoothie:

what you need:

1 small banana {fresh or frozen}
1/2 small watermelon, chopped
2 tbsp plain non-fat greek yogurt {omit or use soy to make it vegan}
1/2 cup almond milk

blend together and enjoy! it should make about 2 large smoothies. feel free to add berries or more banana for a thicker smoothie.

cantaloupe, banana and avocado smoothie:

what you need:

1/2 banana
1/2 small cantaloupe
slice of avocado
2 tbsp plain non-fat greek yogurt {omit or use soy to make it vegan}
1/2 cup almond milk

blend together and enjoy! this is so tasty - i wasn't sure how the flavors would mix, but it turned out great. it makes one very big smoothie.

have you been creating any unique smoothies lately? i love hearing about new flavors to mix together. 

hope you have a good monday!

love, kbn

Monday, May 28, 2012

what did you pin today?

i have been online shopping a lot lately {okay... maybe more like online browsing}... here are just a few of the things i have been admiring {and pinning} lately...

for me:

Fantastic H & M flats!
fabulous cut-out flats from h&m
oh so cute!
cute initial necklace from lala design studio on etsy
silky printed blouse from h&m
Pinned Image
printed dress from
Toms ballet flats, super cute!
tom's ballet flats

for my home:

storage shelf
shelves for our bedroom from urban outfitters
fun sunbird sheet set from anthropologie
cute summer sheet set from anthropologie
chevron curtains
sheer chevron curtains from urban outfitters

Andres Nightstand from Target
andres nightstand from target

Mix-and-Match Lamp - Glass Lamp Base - Turquoise (Large) from Target
blue glass lamp from target for the nightstand

for my friends:

Georgia On My Mind
cute art prints from
What happened bandaids: Best ever!
quirky bandages from urban outfitters

Pinned Image
nesting owls measuring cup set from urban outfitters

Monogrammed Mug #anthropologie
personalized mugs from anthropologie
EcoFriendly Market Tote Handmade from a by WhiteAppleThreads, $25.00
cute tote from whiteapple threads on etsy

what have you been shopping for {or pinning} lately? 

happy monday everyone... have a great week!

love, kbn

Friday, May 25, 2012

late 20's are the best, happy birthday to me

this post is really just a picture story of how fabulous my birthday was! i started the morning with a hallway full of balloons and presents from husband {so sweet!}. i enjoyed my birthday flowers and birthday plant from friends while opening presents. husband and i biked to brunch at ruth's diner {check it out if you are in the slc area, so good!}. i got a beautiful watch from my parents. we drove up to park city to meet with friends, stopping on the way to enjoy the scenery. had delicious dinner and cupcakes to top off the night. a very happy birthday indeed!

the pictures are a mix of phone pics, and camera pics, not the best quality, but good enough.

happy friday everyone!

love, kbn

{oh, and sorry for the small font on my last post... complete blog fail on my part, i'm still learning!}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

organizing my life

organization - something i always strive for, but never seem to get around to doing in my personal life. i am always making lists... list after list of things to get done every day, they get crumpled into my bag, my planner, the kitchen drawers... i found this idea on pinterest, there are even free printables if you go to this site. i figured i could make one myself, that would suite my needs a bit better as well.

now i am able to write down my weekly goals and daily to-do's and keep them nice and neat on a clipboard so they don't get lost, crumpled up, or thrown away.
i started this week, to write my weekly and daily goals down at the beginning of the week for each day, and i can check them off as i get them done. if i don't have the time to get a daily goal finished, i can re-write it for the next day, until i actually complete it. 
we will see how long this lasts, but since it is also pretty, i can keep it on our desk, so that i don't have an excuse not to use it.

you can easily make your own:
you can use pages {on mac} or word, and write {your families} weekly to-do list at the top. i write the days of the week, followed by a few lines next to each and insert a shape {box, circle, star...whatever shape you want} to use to check off as you complete.

you can personalize your own by then adding lists at the bottom of the page, i added have to do, want to do, and weekly goal to mine. you can also make yours personal by playing around with your fonts and making some bold, italic, underlined. you can print one off each week and consolidate all your crumpled lists into one nice looking one!

another organization thing i have done lately is organizing my receipts. it is easy to do, and something that i never usually get around to, until now. i made it easy, by getting two small kassett bins from ikea... they are made from cardboard, only costing $10 for a set of 2. you put them together yourself and can write on the labels {or leave them blank}. i wrote receipts on mine and specified which receipts go where to make it easy for me and husband to organize. we just throw our receipts in the bins when we get home and they organize themselves by date since they get placed on top of each other. it is nice to have a box dedicated to travel receipts since husband gets reimbursed for travel expenses when he travels for his cycling.

two easy and useful organization ideas that i think anyone can handle.... one step at a time, and soon i'll have my whole life organized {wishful thinking!}.
happy wednesday!

i celebrated my birthday yesterday, so on friday i will update on that with photos of all our adventures.

love, kbn

Friday, May 18, 2012

how to series: how to drive a stick/manual

i have been mia... in vegas, for a friends bachelorette party. now that i am back, and have caught up on the hours of sleep i lost, i thought i should catch up on my blog.

i decided to do a how-to series of posts. my take on how-to's. it might be a little backwards, but informative, and hopefully helpful to someone. this is how i navigate through new tasks to learn new skills in my life. this is how i do it.

first, and most daunting of my how-to's... how to drive a stick {or manual if you are reading and are not from the us of a}.

me in our new {old} car, before realizing just how hard learning to drive it would be... this smile didn't last for long

first you will have to buy {or borrow} a manual car. if borrowing, make sure that person isn't too attached to their car... you never know.

brace yourself, and find a very patient person to get in the car with you {preferably someone who knows how to drive a manual, and preferably not your significant other, for the sake of your relationship}.

apologize ahead of time to that very patient person. you will yell, cry, and probably drive them to tears... they deserve an apology.

start your car with your left foot on the clutch, right foot on the brake {don't mix up your brake and gas - it is easy to do if you are used to using one foot to drive, and could cause some serious damage}.

make sure you push the clutch in {with your left foot} whenever you put the car into gear, your car will let you know if you aren't doing this by letting out a loud screeching noise... it isn't pretty.

slowly take your foot off the clutch {left foot} while lightly pressing on the gas {right foot}, if you take your foot off the clutch too quickly or press on the gas too hard, you will stall.

after you get the initial start, stop action down, spare that person who was helping you and practice by yourself {they might even still want to be friends with you}.

try not to cry too much or panic every time you come to a stop light on a slight hill {you will role backwards, and you will most likely not hit the person behind you}.

if all else fails, and you feel like you might hurt someone every time you step into your car, stick your head out the window and give everyone fair warning that you will be rolling back about 5 feet before you go forward {they will thank you later, most likely after giving you an obscene hand gesture}.

you will get it eventually, be patient. it took me a good couple months before i felt completely comfortable driving around. all of the above tips are brought to you by personal experience. i had been driving for about 10 years in an auto before i took the plunge {and i literally did take a plunge, by buying a manual with the husband}. i felt like i was completely re-learning how to drive at 26 years of age. i think it would be a lot easier if you learned how to drive a manual from the get go.

good luck to you {and your driving teacher}, you will both need it!

love, kbn

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

recipe wednesday: very berry creamy smoothie

how good does this look?! it tasted just as good as it looks. 
with summer right around the corner, there isn't much better than a cool, creamy, berry smoothie, on a hot day. 

anyone can throw a bunch of fruit into a blender and make a smoothie, and it will usually turn out pretty well, you can't really screw it up...

but you can make it better! 

my tricks for a creamy, almost-ice-cream-like, delicious smoothie...

-add a very ripe frozen banana {those brown bananas you would normally throw away now have a good use, the more ripe, the better}
-add a tablespoon of thick greek yogurt {it thickens it up without taking away from the flavor}
-add a tablespoon of nut butter {this is especially good with a banana oatmeal smoothie}
-don't mix too many types of fruit together {sometimes less is better, banana and blueberry is one of my favorites}
-add only a touch of liquid at a time, to keep it thick and creamy {i use vanilla almond milk for a bit of sweetness}
-eat it with a spoon! {it will feel a lot naughtier than it actually is}

ingredients for this berry smoothie:
1 very very ripe frozen banana
handful of frozen blueberries
1 T of plain non-fat greek yogurt
1 T peanut butter
a splash of vanilla almond milk

blend well and enjoy!

here is an example of the perfect day to enjoy this kind of sweet treat...

utah has been beautiful lately, i love spring, it is my favorite season of all! the cool, crisp mornings, and sunny warm afternoons. i also love the flowers blooming and oh-so green grass. it might also be my favorite because my birthday is in spring, and right around the corner. 

gone are the days when a birthday meant a milestone, now i just feel old as each year goes by. but that's okay, because it also means cake and champagne! happy spring to you!

love, kbn

Monday, May 7, 2012

monday diy: lamp shade make-over

the ugly before:

 the better after:

as soon as i moved into my apartment and had one look at the ugly light covers in the bedroom, i knew they needed a quick fix. i shopped around for a drum lamp shade that would work with my fixture. i ended up buying one at home depot for about $15 in a nice beige color that would go with anything. 

i only encountered a couple issues. first was finding a shade that was wide enough to fit the original fixture. i had a bit of trial and error at first with a shade that didn't fit, but did my homework before heading back out to buy another by taking measurements, be sure yours is about 1-2 inches larger than the fixture you are trying to make-over. i also had to make sure i got a shade with a harp and fitter that would enable me to connect it to the ceiling fixture. if you don't know what i am talking about, visit this site for some helpful tips on lamp vocabulary. 

i would still like to get a piece of plastic to glue onto the bottom to act as a filter, so the brass findings aren't showing. i figured since it is an apartment, i might use the drum shade in the future on a standalone lamp, so i didn't want to alter it too much to begin with. 

it is so much nicer not having those ugly light bulbs showing through the top and it brings a bit more character to an otherwise boring apartment light fixture. 

here is the before and after once again. so much better!

has anyone else done some quick-fix light fixture make-overs? it is a great way to amp up your apartment without paint, or permanent changes. 

love, kbn

Friday, May 4, 2012

6 years, 3 continents, 1 happy marriage

our first picture together 

how i met my husband
tommy and i met 6 years ago at the athens twilight cycling race in athens, ga {which was this past weekend}. tommy was racing and i was a student at uga. a friend of mine was working at karma salon. she asked if a group of us wanted to work at the race, and in return we got our hair done for free. i wasn't going to turn down a free hair cut, being a poor college student, so we got all dolled up and headed to the computrainer race. little did i know that i would be meeting my future husband there. 

i was a podium girl at the race {feel free to have a giggle}, and i was assigned to walk up on stage with tommy's teammate. i was jealous of my friend brittany, that got to walk up with the good looking australian guy. during the race, i kept an eye on that good looking guy and he yelled out to us asking where we were headed off to after the race. he says it was by coincidence that he happened to wander right in front of the one bar {out of the 120+}, that we were in. we had a chat and he got my number before heading off to bed to rest up for the race the next day. 

the phone rang early in the evening the next day, before the race, and it was him. i met up with him before the race so he could give me one of the team shirts. i got front row seats, right by the stage to cheer on my new crush while they flew by, lap after lap. it was the first cycling race i had ever seen in person. after the race, we talked over more than a few beers and ending the night with a kiss. 

britt, britt, brooke, meg, kaysh and me at twilight

we spent many hours on the phone getting to know each other from afar, flights between michigan and georgia to visit, car trips with friends to go to his races... since then we have lived in georgia, belgium, australia, seattle, and now salt lake.

i am lucky to call him my husband and looking forward to many more adventures with him for years to come. the night we met is probably one of the most memorable nights for me so far. we hit it off from the beginning and i am lucky to still be with my best friend. 

our wedding: photo credit whittenberg photography

our wedding: photo credit whittenberg photography

happy 6 years husband!