Monday, December 3, 2012

No Sew Burlap Tree Skirt

This will be mine and Big B's third Christmas together but our first one as a married couple and to say that I'm excited would be a total understatement!  Our first Christmas together I made Big B get his a Christmas tree and since it was his first one he also had to buy ornaments, lights and a tree skirt.

He let me pick out the ornaments and gave me my pick of tree skirts from Home Depot.  I wasn't in love with any of them so I picked out the best of what was available...

Tree Skirt from Home Depot

In all honesty, it isn't that bad but I really wanted something a little more versatile.  In the last year I've seen a bunch of the ruffled tree skirts on some of the blogs I read and even more now that I'm on Pinterest and have in turn fallen in love with them!  My two main inspirations were:

I took Big B to Joann Fabrics with me and gave him the choice of either cotton or burlap and he liked the look of the burlap better so we went with it.  I'm sure the fact that it was cheaper had nothing to do with it!  *yeah right*

What You Need:
- 4 1/2 yards of burlap or fabric of your choice
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Scissors
- Tree skirt

Back side of our existing tree skirt

 Cut your burlap into 2" strips.  I had never used burlap before so I watched how the woman at Joann's cut it for me and followed her lead.  I tried to take some pictures but they didn't show up very well so I would suggest checking out the following blogs for tutorials:


Start at the bottom of your tree skirt and work your way up.  Begin with gluing the top right corner of your strip of burlap to your existing tree skirt.  (Sorry I didn't take a picture of that step!)

Next, leave a space and then make a fold in your burlap:

Take your glue gun and place a small dot of glue on the burlap where your fold would overlap if lying flat like so:

Press down the fold and hold for a few seconds and voila! you have a ruffle!

My tree skirt took me about 4 hours to do but I was also watching football and a movie as well as talking to my hubby while I was working.  If I had no distractions I'm sure it would have taken me half that much time!  I loved how mine turned out and now I'm more excited than ever to get our tree and really decorate for Christmas!

I'm still trying to decide whether or not if I want to put ribbon on the ends instead of using the velcro to close it but I'm loving the simplicity!  What do you guys think?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wash Before You Cut

Big B and I currently live in a condo that is owned by his "boss" and friend.  Big B moved in about 4 years ago and his friend was nice enough to leave him the curtains that were hanging in the windows and the sliding door.  When I first met Big B I noticed that the curtains were extremely long but the only thing that bothered me was my fear of the ones in the window catching on fire!  We have baseboard heating and the curtains just sit on the window ledge so I was scared that they might fall in front of the heater and then the whole place would go up in flames.  It never happened but now that we're married and I live here I feel like I'm constantly wrestling with the curtains when I'm cleaning or trying to go on our patio!

This past Saturday I decided it was finally time to do something about it!  I will apologize now that I did not take any before pictures.  You see, I wasn't planning on blogging about this.  It was a matter of simply cutting off the bottoms and doing a quick hem to give it a finished look.  Let me just say, they looked great when I hung them up! 

They looked so great but they had a little bit of a yellow tinge, nothing a washing machine couldn't take out and so in they went.  As they washed I cut off the massive amount of extra fabric on the ones for the window.  I was so excited to finally be getting this project done!

After cutting the window curtains I went off to do some schoolwork and figured that I would finish the window ones later that evening.

I finish my schoolwork and Big B pulls the curtains out of the dryer.  I trim the little strings and we get to work hanging them up.  We get them up, I look at my handiwork and I can't help but laugh.


Before we washed them they touched the ground but afterwards they didn't!  I was so surprised and a little sad but to be honest, it was one of the funniest moments of our married life!  I think we laughed for about 5 minutes.  Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson, wash before you cut.

As funny as it is I'm really bummed and wondering if there's anything I can do to make them longer without sewing more material on!  Any suggestions?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Best Chicken Tacos

I am taking 21 credits this quarter and Big B works full time so dinner for us is really hard.  Big B has never been big on cooking and I don't get home from class until 8pm on some nights.  To compensate for this I've been searching Pinterest for crock-pot recipes (amongst other things!).  I kept seeing a chicken taco crockpot recipe and decided to give it a try.

I'm super picky so I changed the recipe a little but you can find the original here.

- chicken breast (we only used 1 of the 2 that I put in the crockpot)
- chicken broth
- taco seasoning packet

- put chicken breast in the crock pot
- pour chicken broth until it almost covers the chicken
- add taco seasoning and mix into the broth
- cook on low for 7 to 8 hours

When it's done, take it out of the crock pot and shred.  Top it with whatever you like in your favorite taco!

The prep was literally about 5 minutes and it was so delicious. Big B has said that we should always have chicken tacos because these were the best he's ever had!

Another win for me and my cooking trials!!  Now it's time to study again!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Easy Crock Pot French Dip

Before we got married I made sure to tell Big B that I can cook but that I am a much better baker.  In other words, I hate to cook.  The reality is that my statement wasn't a lie, I can cook and I'm not horrible at it either but I rarely ever do it and I don't have many recipes to refer to either.  My mom and my dad both cook but neither one of them really uses recipes, they do a dash of this here and a splash of that there.  I am a super picky eater and so it's hard for me to cook like that because I don't eat half of what is being made.  As a result, I'm in the process of finding recipes and Big B is going to be trying a bunch of foods (and hoping that they are good)!

I was discussing my dilemma with my friend KT and she started telling me about an easy French Dip recipe.  I LOVE French Dip so I got pretty excited when she said easy French Dip.  I proceeded to ask her how easy and then she said the most magical words to a newly married woman who is a full time student.  Crock Pot.  I had to try it and let me tell you, it was easy and it was delicious!

Crock Pot French Dip

1 12oz can of beer (Big B drinks Bud Light so that's what I used)
1 can of Condensed Onion Soup
1 can of Beef Broth
4lb Rump Roast (we used close to 3lbs and had so much meat left over)

Put all of the ingredients in your crock pot for 7 hours on low


And that's it!!!  Use the broth/juice for your au jus and you've got a delicious meal that took you all of maybe 10 minutes to prep! 

Big B is excited because he has leftovers which means he can sleep in an extra 5 minutes and I'm excited because I can refute his statement that I never cook!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back in Our Pod

Big B and I are finally back in our little pod!  I say finally because we had a horrible time getting back.  Our day went as follows:

11:00am - leave resort for the hour and a half drive to the airport
12:30pm - as we check-in they tell us that our flight is about an hour delayed and that we will more than likely miss our connecting flight to Seattle
7:45pm - land and unload plane
7:50pm - RUN through terminal to get to "Passport Control"
7:58pm - get in line at "Passport Control"
8:04pm - RUN to baggage claim
8:14pm - get to baggage re-check area and are told that we will not make it to our 8:45pm flight and that we must re-book for a flight the next day.  get in line to do so.
9:09pm - reach the re-book desk, find out our flight ended up not leaving until 9pm and that we need to be back at the airport the next morning at 4:30am for our 6:20am flight to Dallas
3:30am - wake up!! (people back home were posting about the Mariner's game still going on)
4:00am - catch shuttle back to airport (10 minute ride)
4:25am - customer service rep tells me to have some patience after no one helps four of us standing in line and I ask a question
4:40am - finally get checked in
6:25am - pilot comes on to tell us that we have to wait for maintenance because they unhooked the tow bar wrong
7:00am - finally cleared for take-off
9:15am - land in Dallas
10:40am - first time all trip that we haven't had a delay on a flight and we take off close to our scheduled time
12:45pm - HOME!!!!!!!

Now I know that when we first got to the airport that they told us that we probably wouldn't make it but there was no effort by the staff in Miami to get us on the plane.  Even when the plane was delayed by 15 minutes no one asked if there was anyone in line who was supposed to be on the plane!  When we got to the re-booking desk the agent never apologized, in fact no one except for the pilot who had to tell us that the tow bar unhooking was done wrong ever said sorry for the delays.  The airline did pay for us to stay overnight in a hotel and gave us dinner and breakfast vouchers but they could have saved themselves some money by just putting us on the dang plane!

The good news is that we did get home and we're finally settling back into daily life.  Big B went back to work on Thursday and I start classes on Monday!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Honeymoon - Day 5

The past three days Big B and I have been hanging out at the beach and then coming into the pool for a late afternoon swim.  It's been amazing!  The views are straight out of a picture book and we are soaking them in!

On our first whole day here we did an "orientation" so that we could get the feel of the resort and not feel like we were going to get lost every time we left our room.  They told us that if we could only do one excursion that the Simon Says Tour was the best one to do.  We took their advice and booked and LOVED it!  We left the hotel at 9am.

Went by Castries, their current capital.

Puttered around Marigot Bay.

Stopped to get some pictures in front of the Pitons.

After pictures we went to Anse Chastanat and I went snorkeling for my first time!  I was really nervous but ended up having a blast!

Our next stop was Soufriere where we got off the boat and into "buses".  The buses took us up to the drive in volcano and from there we walked to the mud bath.  We had the option to take a dip or have the 100 degree water splashed on us.  Big B and I stuck our toes in and then went for the splashing.

After our mud bath we proceeded to Simon's "restaurant".  It's really just a building that he uses for his tour and his wife makes the meal.  We had salad, rice and peas (I'm pretty sure they were beans), noodles, macaroni and cheese and chicken.  Hands down, it was the best meal that we've had so far.  I am a super picky eater but everything was so delicious!  I'd do the tour all over again just to have the food!

Our last stop on the tour was a waterfall in another part of Soufriere.  It was so refreshing to get in and feel rejuvenated after a steamy mud bath and delicious food.  I've never stood under a real waterfall so I was ecstatic!

They're local beer here is called Piton so it was only fitting to have a Piton beer as we sailed away from the Pitons.

We leave here in three days and we're dreading it, BUT at least it looks like we'll be coming home to warm weather!  Yay for not too much of a weather shock!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Honeymoon - Day 1

We are officially on our honeymoon!!  WAHOOOOO!!!

When Big B and I started talking about planning our honeymoon we had quite the disagreement on where we should go.  He was thinking Hawaii while I was thinking out of the country bigger.  I figured that we had both been to Hawaii, albeit seperately, but we'd both been there and done that.  I have imagined my honeymoon as hot, exotic and somewhere that my husband and I can make new memories.  Hawaii had two of the three aspects while pretty much anywhere else had all three.  Anyways, Big B is very logical when it comes to decision making so I knew that to win this "battle" I was going to have to do my homework.  I crunched some numbers and was able to figure out how to get us to the Carribbean for about the same amount of money as going to Hawaii.  He couldn't argue with that and so we find ourselves in St. Lucia for the next week or so!

Let me just tell you, the memories have already begun!  Here are a few highlights from the last 24 hours:

- We're driving down I-5 about half way to the airport and all of a sudden my dad realizes that he has a flat tire.  It becomes very apparent, very quickly that we are not going to make it to the airport with his car.  We call a cab, inch off the freeway, pull over, pull our bags out and run about 3 blocks to meet up with our cab.  We made it to the airport with more than enough time but that could have been disastrous!

- Big B is a constant fidgeter and isn't too keen on flying.  This means that the entire 5 1/2 hour red-eye flight to Miami that he was constantly moving and could not sleep.  That of course translated in me only getting about 2 hours of sleep.  By the time we landed in St. Lucia we had been up for about 28 hours with what might be called a short nap.  You can imagine how pleasant I was feeling/being.

- We realized that all inclusive is freaking amazing.  We ordered what we wanted for dinner, had a few drinks AND had two desserts, and didn't have to worry about the tab.  How are we going to survive when we get back?!?!

- We crashed at about 7pm local time while setting an alarm for about 11pm so that we could hit the chocolate buffet.  We wake up, I sit up and realize that there is a GECKO crawling around on our wall.  I don't know if I screamed or not but I definitely did a little dance on the bed.  I'm sure that the front desk and housekeeping had a good laugh when we called them and told them that we needed someone to come take care of it.  I'm shivering just thinking about it now.

When we booked this trip we got a pretty good deal on our room so we had champagne waiting for us when we got here and we get breakfast in bed every morning.  As of now our agenda includes, breakfast, mimosas, beach and pool time!  Still trying to decide if we're actually going to come back ;)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

USC vs Hawaii

Big B loves his football, college or NFL, it doesn't matter, he loves watching football. So before the season started I made him a deal. He buys me craft stuff, I don't make him leave home until after the game, we both win!  He's We are huge USC fans so our deal came into fruition this weekend. 

A couple of weeks before we got married Big B got a letter from the HOA of the condos that he lives in.  They cited a code that says that you can't have broken furniture, sports equipment, garbage, blah, blah, blah and said that we had a broken white shelving unit that was violating said code.  I laughed because it wasn't broken, merely dirty and unused AND they had failed to say that his golf clubs were violating the code as well.  ANYWAYS, I had Brian bring it in and told him that we would put it to good use once we were married and I had time to fix it up a bit.

Flashforward to this weekend!

I've been tired of the shelving unit sitting next to my cute dining room table and it was nice enough to be outside working on the patio so I set my mind to it and started in!  I wiped down the top and inside bottom before I thought to take pictures, so just imagine those two sections as completely black.  It was GROSS!!

As it turns out, the unit was a little broken. Two of the wooden pegs that hold the top on were broken so we went to Hobby Lobby and got some replacements. They weren't the same size so I had to drill the holes to make them bigger. Big B's idea was that we could use hooks to place the dowel on so I drilled holes for them too! I was really excited to use his power tools!

My idea was that I would put a little "curtain" on it so that it would keep out some of the dirt, hide what was in it and keep the shedding cat who isn't ours from making itself comfortable on our chair cushions.  Jo-Ann Fabrics has all of their home decor fabrics on sale for 50% off so I found a print that Big B and I could both live with and bought 1 1/2 yards.  I sewed around three of the edges and made a pocket big enough for a dowel.

As I was cleaning the patio earlier in the day I was trying to decide whether or not to get rid of a bench that has cubbies in it.  It is dirty and right now I don't have anything to put in it but at the end of the day I had enough fabric left over to make "curtains" for it too, so it stays!

It's nearing the end of the summer so we won't be able to enjoy the patio for too much longer but I just keep thinking that next spring/summer we'll get some really good use out of it since I won't have as much work to do!

I love how my project turned out and Big B was happy that USC won 49 - 10!

Lil' B & Big B

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cleaning Bug

We're three weeks into married life and although it hasn't been hard it hasn't been easy either. The good news is that we're adjusting well! We've both lived alone so sleeping in the same bed has been our biggest challenge. He's got a black eye and I've got a bruise on my shin but love hurts sometimes right?

Besides the sleeping portion the other big adjustment is our individual cleaning styles.  Big B is very neat and tidy ALL the time.  I on the other hand have a more lax style.  My approach is that if it is going to bring bugs or is unsanitary that it needs to be done right away but clothes can sit on the largest shelf in the house (the floor) until you get the bug to do it.

Needless to say, my side of our bedroom has been driving Big B absolutely nutzo.  Luckily for him the cleaning bug hit me today and so I tackled the huge pile of folded and partially folded clothes on the floor.  I also tackled the dining room table that I haven't seen the top of since we brought it into the house, the kitchen sink and our growing mass of laundry!

Minus his Ferrari flag missing from the dining room table he was a happy husband!  I of course feel like a good wife and I'm pretty sure that he won't be so against me not having to work every once and awhile!

This week we're looking forward to the end of summer camp (woooohoooo!), our first Saturday of football season and a lesson in rally car driving! 

Lil' B & Big B

Who the heck are we?

I guess the first post should explain who we are...

I'm Lil' B and my husband is Big B.  We are exactly 1 foot shorter/taller than eachother!
We got married August 4, 2012!
We live in the Pacific Northwest.
We are not "granola" but we do have a Subaru!
I'm currently a student studying Occupational Therapy Assisting and Big B is the service advisor for an auto repair shop.
We have a motorcycle and we ride it as often as the weather allows.
I can cook but I am a way better baker.
Big B loves all music except country so it's kind of funny that I LOVE country!

We're doing this blog to document our married life and to share with our family and friends.  Come along and join in the fun!

All our Love,
Lil' B & Big B