3:07 PM

DIY #3: Burlap Cork Board

After getting married, Greg and I realized we had a lot of "stuff".  Some of these things I didn't really want to "throw away", but they were also things that I couldn't really use. One of these items being a 10x20 frame that I had intended to use for our engagement session, however that never happened. And I don't know if you've every tried to find anything to fit a 10x20 frame, but its not easy.  I also had this large "cork" board from my single college days. It was a cheap WalMart brand and it refused to hang on the wall normally, it was always falling down and making a mess so I stashed it in our storage room and just left it alone.

While visiting Colorado I had an idea that would utilize both of these unusable items and turn them into a cute decoration for our bedroom.  

What I used:
-12"x22" single layer white burlap material (you could use any color, JoAnn's has a good selection)
-10x20 frame (any size would work, just increase amount of burlap material & Cork board)
-Cork board to fill size of frame (my cork board was a lot bigger so I cut it out to be the size I needed)

** One problem I ran into was that my "cork board" wasn't real cork, it was just cardboard with a thin layer of cork material over the top, so I had to cut carefully or it would flake off the edges, which in the end didn't really matter too much.  I also noticed that the cardboard behind the cork was a little thick, so fitting it into the frame was NOT easy, the back of the frame kept popping off, but eventually it stayed. 

So, with all your materials, simply cover the cork board with the layer of burlap and press it down into the frame carefully so you don't snag the burlap.  If the burlap does get pulled the wrong way just use a needle or a pin and pull it back the way it should look.  Once in place, staple the excess burlap to the back of the cork board.  Then insert the back of the frame & decorate.  The cork board makes it easy to hang cute little trinkets, while the burlap added a cute layer and texture.
10:56 PM

DIY #2: Night Stands

My second project tackled were these old night stands that we inherited from Greg parent's- who bought them at a yard sale. They snatched them up for us and we have used them ever since we got married however with their older looking stain and style I wasn't sure how long we would keep them around...

After pinteresting and looking at blogs I found a DIY blog and it showed how this couple totally refinished their dining room table & chairs. I loved it and followed (most) of the steps they did and although I don't know if our results are THAT comparable.. I really like the way the night stands turned out. I wish I could find the blog I got the idea from but I can't seem to find it anywhere- if I find it- I'll post it!

Long story short, your supposed to sand down the wood- which I kind of did, but in hind sight I wish I would have done a better job with an actual sander to get the full effect I was wanted.

Then I painted it with an off-white paint color and let dry.  I then sanded the edges to resemble normal wear and tear. I then put a couple coats wood stain over it to get the brown coloring. This was the trick part and had to be careful. I just put a tiny bit of stain on an old towel and went over the table in long strokes. It was hard because the grain of the wood took the stain in different directions, but also where i had sanded down the paint for wear and tear affect took on the stain like normal wood and accentuated the desired look. Again, it could have turned out a lot better- if I had used the proper sanding method.

Before: Unfortunately, this is the best picture I have of the "before". I took some at the time with my phone, but have since got a new phone and well- not everything transferred. You know how it goes.

Early in-between stages


These night stands have made such a difference in our bedroom. They look like the actually belong and now we might actually keep them and not get rid of them like I thought we probably would. A DIY success.

9:36 PM

DIY #1: Mirrors

The past couple months it seems I've been in house decorating mode. We've been married for 9 months and even though I didn't feel the need to decorate at first (figured we'd be moving in a year- what would it matter?) its been a bug I haven't been able to shake!!  

It all started with a nice day at the park with my sister, & my sister in law and her two boys.  We went in hopes of getting some sun and maybe to cool off(only a little!) in the kid's splash park- however there was yard sale going on in a yard across from the park and so I just had to stop by.  
 I found these old mirrors- both gold, one made from  a heavy metal feeling substance(likely not, probably something cheap) and the other was wooden/cheap covered with this dirty shiny paper.  Thats the best I can describe them. 

Cool Gold Framed Mirror

Paper Framed Mirror (after painted)

I knew my walls at home were pretty bare and pathetic and for only four dollars each I thought "sure, what the heck".  Long story, but my sister Brianna ended up buying my mirrors and donating them to the Angus household(props given where props are deserved).  I brought them home, and was soo proud, but I kept thinking of ideas for the paper covered mirror.. but I needed more than one for the wall arrangement I wanted . I decided to go back to the yard sale and bought two more just like it. 
Mirror Count: 4  Money Spent: 16$

I decided to leave the cool heavy gold mirror alone. I like it. 
The others I wanted to put in my room so I took the frames off the mirror and spray painted them with paint from WalMart, they call it "Nickel". I'm not going to say that Greg doubted me when I told him my idea of hanging all three mirrors side-by-side above our bed, but Greg totally doubted me. But, as a supportive, loving husband he helped me hang them.  Because we don't have an awesome head board or anything really- this was a fun addition and something to sort of take up space.  Prior to the mirrors the wall had been so bare and I was excited to finally have something to match the bed spread(which looks pretty frumpy in pictures below, haha). But as I've said, this project triggered them all.

The room with the mirrors added

Overall I was super thrilled with the finished product.  I had never really done anything like this and gained a lot of confidence in my ability & vision through this project, but believe me- I was still so aware of how cold and unwelcoming our apartment/bedroom looked. Don't judge by the pictures! :)

1:09 PM

Seven weeks of summer

Because we went to school at BYUI during the spring semester (april/may/june/july), it feels like we really didn't get much of a summer to relax and enjoy ourselves, and now its practically over! But even though our summer was quite short, I think we packed a lot of fun into our seven weeks of summer!

School got out around July 20th and I went home to WA to help get things ready for my sister's wedding.  Greg went home to Colorado to try and get some work in before he needed to come to Washington for the wedding, which means we were apart for 2.5 weeks, which I don't recommend! During that time I ended up getting a last minute seven NIGHT job for cherry harvest and made some good quick cash.  The wedding rolled around and everything was beautiful & we are so happy for the newlyweds, Brianna & Briar Carlisle. They will actually be living on the other side of our building in Rexburg, so that will be fun to have Brianna & Briar AND Joe & Aubrey so close! 

After the wedding we hung out on the farm for literally about a week and although things might have seemed slow to some people (Greg), I had a really great time hanging out with siblings, in-laws, and the neice &nephews. Many hours were spent by the pool! On the 10th we went to our family cabin in Priest Lake, ID where we water tubed, biked, canoed, badmitten, and played this silly ball throwing game, but needless to say we had a lot of fun. Our family has grown so much, its crazy how we fill up that cabin with not a lot of room to spare!

On the 16th we flew out to Colorado where we have been ever since. Greg has been working at Walgreen's here and there while I remain at home to do whatever I please. I've been doing A LOT of apartment decorating planning in my head and finding things to spend gift card money on. Mostly just finding super cheap bargain deals at Michael's. haha.  I've been doing some crafts too with some burlap material I bought for a project and although I didn't really plan on it, there was A LOT of extra burlap material so I made 2 toss pillow cases, and an ANGUS banner to hang in our house. MOST things turned out pretty well, just don't look at them too closely. haha.  What i found super funny was that although i was here in CO, and Aubrey was in Utah, we were both crafting it up without the other knowing. Passing the time I guess. :)
After being here for about two and a half weeks our time is about to come to a close and we will be returning to Rexburg.  I'm excited to go home, to my own bed, but I'm not excited for school and homework.  Last semester nearly took it all out of me BUT WE graduate in December so it'll all be worth it. Greg will graduate with a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration with a minor in communications and I will graduate with a Bachelors in Exercise Physiology and a minor in medical assisting.  We will get back to Rexburg on the 7th of September, and then will head to Utah for a day trip on the 8th so that Greg can meet with two men for Internship and letters of recommendation for Grad school.
Well thats about it for now-
<3 Greg & Jess
8:08 PM

Mama Casper Weekend

One week ago, I was so anxious to get out of class. I was making to do lists, thinking about the stuff I needed to do & clean, about how I needed to make room in our spare bedroom so I could set up a bed. We were having a visitor come and stay with us. My MOM!

My mom arrived EARLY Friday morning and stayed until Sunday morning.  It was so nice to spend time with her and to have time for just us.  We called this a "Jessica trip".  Because I have so many siblings in the SE Idaho area(4 of us),  when mom comes to visit, we have to share her and she hasn't stayed with me in a long time, so this trip was due. 
Friday night we made dinner and hung out, as well as attended the farmers market where we got some Cherries that they said were "real washington cherries, Tri-Cities area". Pretty neat. They were super scuffed up but whatever, washington fruit is washington fruit.  We also got Italian Sodas... but the lady didn't put any half&half in them(or whatever it is they use), anyways, it was like flavored sprite with whipped topping. Idaho doesn't know what Italian Sodas are. 

On Saturday we went to Rexburg Rapids with Mom, Greg, Brianna & Briar, Brittney & her boy Kaiden, And Holly and her two little guys Bruin & Crew.  We missed Phil & Tyler who both had to work. We had a lot of fun soaking up the sun and enjoying the cool water. Then Saturday evening mama casper sponsored a BBQ and we hung out in Porter Park. I love having so much family around and being able to watch my nephews grow! Too bad the WHOLE family couldn't have been there!  When mom left on Sunday I was so homesick!  I kept feeling all sad and empty! Needless to say, I'm a mama's girl and am anxious to go back to Washington for the break and party with my girls (mom, Brianna and Brittney) while Greg goes back to Colorado to work! I am soo spoiled.

Also, while my mom was visiting she helped Greg and I realize why our foam mattress topper didn't fit very well, we figured we just got ripped off and that we were sent a weird shaped topper. I guess we own a California King and NOT a King, so if you're interested in a King Serta 2" Mattress Topper for your bed, let us know, we would like to sell it so we can get one that fits right. I'm thinking like $70-$80. Let us know.  Anyways, yeah, super embarrassing.  But we got it from Greg's parents, so how were we supposed to know? :)

Here are some pictures from Rexburg Rapids.
By the time we took these pictures Greg had already left for a meeting and I don't know where Holly and Crew are!

Thanks for a fun weekend Mom & everybody else! Love you!

7:38 PM

April & May Update

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Holly, for pressuring me to post on my blog. Ha!
In February we won a couples photo session with my friend Kandice Stewart, with Kandice Stewart Photo ( ) and in April we went out and snapped some pics. So here are a few. She did an AWESOME job and was so fun to work with.  Greg and I had engagements done this last September with a known photography company from Salt Lake, and I WISH I would have known about Kandice and gone with her.  The pictures she took of us were so much more quality, they were USABLE (I have many I would actually hang in our apartment), the coloring is so much more rich and pretty (some of the posted pictures are in a "honey" filter and aren't as bright as original but thats my style), and I've seen her prices- super affordable.  So hats off to you Kandice and THANK YOU for taking our pictures. :) 

Since March, I don't feel as though a lot has gone on, but when I take the time to think about it, I realize we have reached a few milestones.  I finished winter semester and Greg was able to quit his job and now we are both going to school during Spring semester at BYUI (April 17-July 20). After this semester we each will only have one more semester and then WE ARE DONE! Well.. I'm done at least. :)
Which leads me to the next topic- Greg finally took the GMAT, and did ... good enough! He might retake it for his own pride, but it looks as though we have a chance to get into some top 10 schools for his MHA, and maybe even a top 2 school. Keep your fingers crossed, however he doesn't apply until this November, so it's a long wait to see where we'll end up and if his score will be enough to get us where we want to go.  All in all, I am so proud of him and for all his hard work and effort! He has been studying religiously for the GMAT since february so it'll be nice to have my husband back. 

In April we were able to go to Colorado for about a week and visit Greg's family. We had a lot of fun riding bikes, playing basketball, soccer, and even went to a Colorado Rockies game which was my first professional game- EVER!. We had an enjoyable time and look forward to returning in August. 
Over Memorial Day weekend I went with my sisters, Brittney and Brianna, back home to Washington. We got to watch my little brother's state track meet and spend time with each other.  I had never gone on a road trip with just the sisters and it was pretty fun. Lots of good memories.
This last weekend Greg took his GMAT and in preparation we went to Pocatello(ISU) and spent the night in a rinkadink hotel the night before so he wouldn't stress about getting there on time. I slept terribly but luckily test boy felt he got a good nights sleep.  From there we went to Utah and visited some of Greg's mission buddies and were able to visit his grandpa and his mom, dad, and sister for a day. When you've been in Rexburg so long sometimes it's nice to get away for a weekend and it's especially nice if you get to see family!

Yesterday I registered for my last semester of classes and it was in NO way bitter sweet. I am so ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives and I know I shouldn't be anxious to wish this time away, but I look forward to not being a student, not living in an apartment building, and just having room to do my own thing, and overall just to have some money and not have to be skimping and saving or going without things. We've been looking at schools for Greg to go get his MHA(Masters in Healthcare Administration), and it's so exciting to think we could live in so many cool places, and then having to remember that looking at possible living arrangements and cities is just for fun because we don't know where we'll be going!  

To sum up this update, things are going well. Married life has been awesome, absolutely no let downs. People always ask me how married life is, and I have to tell them that it is exactly what I expected, granted I think we're still in the newly wed category so maybe a few more months and I'll feel differently ;). I'm just so glad that we dated as long as we did, we could've gone without as many bumps, but it's definitely prepared us for where we are now. He's so funny with all the pranks he plays on me. He's literally trying something everyday and he usually gets me at least twice a day with old tricks.  That rascal. I love him.


9:47 PM

Birthday Festivities 3.13.2012

This birthday sort of sneaked up on me and then was over all too quick!  However, its a good thing I celebrate my birthday week, or sometimes, month. :) Yes, I turned the big 22, BUT I am please to say there were NO tears this year, which is an improvement from years past! I woke up to the front door opening and no Greg by my side! He had gone on an early morning doughnut run and had brought me some of my personal favorites!  They were so fresh and yummy.

Then I had to go to Chemistry(Yes I skipped the rest of my classes & work hehe) and I came home to find the Kitchen full of little surprises ranging from Candy to fancy root beer (weakness), flowers and a sweet card.  Here's a little bit of our dialogue upon my return.

Jess: "Oh how sweet, (blah blah blah, insert talking here)."
Jess: "Greg did you do this on purpose?" (Holding up the birthday card for Greg to see)
Greg: "Did i do what on purpose...?"
Jess: "uhh, this is the exact same birthday card you got me two years ago..."
Greg: "What..? and You still remember?"
Jess: "YUP!"
Then I went to my special folder and pulled out the identical birthday card. Haha. LOVE IT. I thought it was so funny, but I guess it's as true then as it is now, "When I first met you, I found love. Happy birthday!"
Turns out there a slight color change, which might have made him not recognize it.

 After the card incident we went and bought some Pizza (weakness) and then studied and did homework for a couple of hours before we went to Olive Garden for dinner.
We ordered the Lemon Cream Cake and took it home with us to celebrate. 
Phil, Brianna and Briar came over and sang to me. I think that was the first time I'd been sang to in quite a while, so thanks guys! They also spoiled me with some new finger polish, earrings and pretty much a years supply of big easter reeses peanut butter cups shaped like eggs. Briar ate half of them.

ONE OF THE BEST PARTS of my birthday was when WE ORDERED OUR HUNGER GAMES MOVIE TICKETS! We will be sitting with Phil and Holly and Brianna and Briar. I'm so happy, i just hope it's a job well done and doesn't make me hate the book like the twilight movies did.
Anyways, birthday is over, but thanks to the movie ticket gift, it will be drawn out for another 9 days or so. YES!

11:18 AM

My New Tools

I recently traded in gift cards for a new kitchen aid, we had stocked up well over 300$ to Kohls (long story) and planned to use the money to purchase a kitchen aid. After missing the Christmas sales where we could get 20% off and get the kitchen aid we wanted for 299, the price went to 399 and no outstanding sales were present. One afternoon I checked the Kohls site and saw my kitchen aid was again at 299 with a 15% off sale.  I decided to investigate and realized I could get another 15% off and then 10 dollars Kohls cash for every 50 dollars spent AND free shipping. That night I purchased a kitchen aid for about $229. Minus the Kohls cash I got back and I really only spent around 190. Needless to say I've been very proud about the deal I got! :)
The kitchen aid is a 5Q, 325 watt. I thought about getting the bigger size, however, I knew I would be receiving a Bosch as my wedding present from my parents. Both arrived about 3 days apart and I have been in heaven. I feel like a man and his power tools.I know what you're thinking, why do I need both, but I figured if I didn't take my mom up on the bosch now, it may be a LONG time before we have money to get one!

11:01 AM

The Move

After our honeymoon, Greg and I went to my parent's house in Washington to spend Christmas with my family for week.  Afterward, we went back to Utah to get our moving truck and move some furniture we had been storing in Utah.


After a long caravan with Joe and Aubrey (Greg's sister and brother-in-law) from Utah to Rexburg, we made it and began unpacking. There was so much to unpack, obviously the normal stuff I'd been unpacking for years, but first time unpacking of new dishes, silverware, pans, glasses, tv, you name it! We stayed up until 3 am two nights in a row. But we finally got most everything in order! Thanks to Joe and Aubrey for helping us with our move and unpacking!

 Greg's first and probably only priority, the t.v.
 Aubrey directing traffic!

10:45 AM


Things that need to be posted are piling up! I figured since class was cancelled I'd add some pictures and get you all up to date. Greg and I got married on December 17, and then spent two nights in the downtown Salt Lake City Marriott, and then traveled to stay in the Park City Marriott for two more nights.  

 Greg looking out over SLC. We had two large windows, the window below faced south and the picture below that face east towards UofU.

 Greg at Outback Steakhouse.
 We decided to walk around temple square and see all the lights. It was my first time seeing the lights in their fullness! They were beautiful!