Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our kitchen is finished! (ish)

So we decided that since we were painting the rest of our apartment we were not going to paint the kitchen. The walls were dirty but with a little scrubbing they were a nice off white color... plus trying to paint around those cabinets ... no thanks. Something needed to happen in the kitchen and for a while I wasn't sure exactly what, the space was just blah. I had a bunch of decorations, but being in such a small place, there was nowhere to put them. I was a wee bit sad until I discovered how to make my kitchen look a little more alive!

I took all the vases and glass bottles, old books, some photos a small little globe and some other odds and ends and but them on top of my cabinets. I know I know its like only the oldest trick in the book. Part of me was wicked excited because I didn't spend any money, just used things I already owned. The other part of me was just plain in love with how homey it made a pretty bland small and at time frustrating space. So there ya have it! I added some dark pieces as a base and then some bright fun colors with red books, orange and blue glass bottles and a tree decoration I had found wicked on sale at Anthropologie for some texture. Also for the fridge, as we get plenty of save the dates, wedding invitations and birth announcements I found the cutest little magnets at an antique store. I love antique stores, it's kinda a problem.

So there it is in all it's glory, well at least a piece of it. I may take a picture of the full kitchen at some point in the future but lets be honest, we live here now ... and maybe it's just me but the kitchen seems to enjoy being a mess ... so sometimes I just let it be :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes when your dryer doesn't work, it's a birdnest...

Our Post Office.  
Original Manassas Post Office. Built in 1906 by Judge C. E. Nichol, it housed the post office from 1906 to 1923. The building is an excellent example of Renaissance Revival architecture with its decorative brickwork in parapet, segmental arches with keystones over the windows, rusticated brickwork surrounding the doors and "POST OFFICE" in cement over the main entrance. The building was restored in 1983 by Gloria and Walter Delisle and now houses their Antique business.

So yes, the Post Office or our home. We love it despite the smallness of the section we inhabit. It is a beautiful building ... and the space we do have the privilege of living in and calling ours for the time being had a few things that needed fixing, besides the walls and need for more storage space. When we first started cleaning things up we decided that the dead mouse, who had been in his grave behind our fridge for long enough to be faceless ... needed to go. With all the cleaning we were doing we were using a lot of rags. So one day I did some laundry ... and the when I put the load into the dryer and dried it, they came out wet. So in my head I thought either 1. the dryer is broken or 2. the guy who lived here before us didn't even notice the faceless mouse behind his fridge ... it wouldn't be a far stretch to guess he hadn't cleaned out the dryer vent or hose in years. And so the honey do list grew :) Peter decided one Saturday when I was out to try and fix the dryer for me and below is the picture I received to my phone.

The message that accompanied it was something very Peter "Dryer should work better now." YA THINK?! Appearently the dryer hose, which goes straight outside to the ally behind our building was stuffed to the brim with sticks, feathers, dirt ... pretty much this bird was a pack rat. I mean really dude ... you really needed that much stuff for a nest?! Anyways for argument sake we decided he couldn't live there anymore and he was promplty asked to relocate. And now my dryer works!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A dresser make over

So as I stated in a previous post we have one closet in our entire apartment. This poses problems on many fronts ... 1. There are two of us and a dog living in this space. 2. We only have a small living room, bathroom, tiny bedroom and a even smaller kitchen. 3. We are like any normal couple ... we have clothes, books, and other things that require spaces for them to be put in! So I was on the hunt. When we first rented the apartment, I was unemployed, so although we were not yet living together we were for the 3 months before our wedding living off of one income. When you think of it that way decorating an apartment becomes a whole new ball game! After scavenging my parents house and making list of all the things my mother was giving us we were still in need of: 2 dressers, kitchen chairs, a bookshelf, coffee table, side table for the couch, and a night stand for the bedroom, shelves for the bathroom a few rugs ... yeah :)
So as I stated, I was on the hunt. I needed something that would fit with the vision I had for decorating our first place ... but also cheap. And this is what I found:

   At a second hand store down the street from us a kinda scary looking ... oddly decorated, yet in really great shape, dresser! And the best part, it was $30.00. At the time I had visions of where I would put it and how it would look when I was finished ... I had no idea how long it would take or how much work, but I knew it would be worth the money. So home the dresser came!

Luckily at this point, the apartment was still empty, as were were still painting those 15 foot walls, so I took the dresser inside. I was on a mission to get it looking at least a bit like the vision in my head before Peter got out of work ... I mean lets be honest, the metallic gold flowers and knobs, not exactly our style. So after taking the knobs off I got to work scrubbing down the gold. To my surprise it came off wicked easily! And I realized that if I just did a little extra sanding all over the dresser I wouldn't even need to apply paint. I was lucky because the paint underneath was a nice blue grey color. Perfect... seriously the vision in my head, shattered, it was better. I will admit I got a bit lucky, and had been prepared for a long road to a good looking dresser but here it is in all its glory ... although still knobless for the moment, black knobs to be added soon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Night My Puppy Swallowed $400

Ok ... So it wasn't $400 in cash but apparently swallowing a full chicken bone is the same thing.

I worked late and had dinner in the city with a couple girlfriends, and Peter was just picking me up from their house. When he called to say he was on his way he sounded weird, but I figured it was just because he was tired and had to drive to get me. When I got in the car Peter said "we have an emergency ... it's minor but sorta not." HELLO, don't ever start a sentence speaking to a woman with those words.... especially when you speak as slowly as Peter. *insert long pause* "Elbie was really bothering me during dinner ... and so I let him lick a chicken wing ... and he kinda swallowed it." "kinda?" "No ... he did ... like the whole thing ... all in one swallow." At this point Elbie was sitting on my lap listening and no joke looking pretty proud of himself, he's a cocky little fellow and I'm pretty sure his exact thought process during Peter's dinner went something like this: " Come on man ... let me sniff that thing ... put it a little clooooser ... come on ... liiiiiittle closer ... HA LOSER I swallowed it!! I WIN"
Little does the little pup know .. we always win. So after an hour and a half at the doggie emergency room, where Elbie threw a little bit of an embarrassing fit about not being allowed to play with the other patients, we got the diagnosis. "Lucky" for us his stomach was full of his dinner, and since the selfish little guy had in fact swallowed the whole bone in one piece they asked if it was O.K. for them to induce vomiting to have him get rid of it ... we looked at each other and said "YES, we totally win!" We laughed so much sitting in that waiting room ... they probably thought we were the worst pet owners ever.

Elbie finally came out of the backroom ... drunk from the meds they had given him. He would stand up but fall right over, I tried to carry him but he refused, attempting I supposed to hold onto the little bit of dignity he had left. I'm not sure it helped his cause that his back legs were moving faster than his front so he was walking sideways and crooked ...  We finally got home and he attempted to do his doggie business outside ... but squatting while drunk proved to be a frustrating task for Elbie and for us ... well I can't say I've ever laughed so hard at an unfortunate and expensive accident before in my life. That Pup .. he continues to add amusement to our lives and also tests us constantly ... we love him despite.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretending we are tourists in our home city

 We went to the Market on Capitol Hill, our favorite, we took my Mom and Dad who were visiting for the weekend. This market is awesome, great food, crafts and old used stuff for sale. I found these old printing blocks and decided it was craft time :) 

Then we moved on to monuments. It was Elbie's first trip through the city on a site seeing tour, he loved it. He hung out with FDR's dog and sat in the bread line. (below) 

Peter and I have been wanting to find the "Kilroy was here" on the World War II monument. We searched for a while but found it!! I'm not telling where, you'll have to come to D.C. and find it yourself! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Here's a weird one for ya.

Below is one of two emails I received this morning ... Apparently Rachael Brandt is a very popular name, much more so than my maiden name of Schnepp, so it's to be expected that people will mix us Rachael Brandts up. I wrote back, via google translator, which I can only imagine will be as funny for the sender to receive as this email was for me :)

Hei Rachael
Her er referatet fra møtet i går. Kan du videresende det til møtedeltakerne. Hvis det er noe jeg har glemt/ oversett står du fritt til å endre eller tilføye :-)
Kan du sende logoen til Dansens dager til gruppen også ? Du finner den på hjemmesidene til danseinformasjonen under presse linken.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The first stage of the fix up

This is only the beginning?

The first stage of the fix up was the annoying stuff: Take all the left over screws out of the walls, take down the blinds and dark black material that the previous tenant had used to cover up the living room windows (really classy). Patch up the walls, and take all the plug covers (or whatever they are called) off. I am pretty sure whoever has been painting this place for the past 20 plus years needs a lesson. I am by no means an expert painter, as Peter and the ceiling in our bathroom would attest to, but I know the basics ... such as don't paint inside a socked. Well, there was paint everywhere, on the door knobs, in the sockets, the plug covers (as we are going to called them) where painted so securely to the wall that we made a few holes in the walls in our attempts to pry them off. In the end we won the battle against the layers of resilient paint!

Next, not sure if you can see the caulking along the tub in this picture but its pretty much pure mold. Yep mold caulk. So we Peter scraped it all out and caulked it with some calk his dad had left over ... BY THE WAY calk goes bad ... how do we know you ask? Well 2 days after Peter finished caulking it was still wet ... and did I mention that it had taken him like 2 hours, ok so we should have had a "hum somehings wrong moment" but hey it was our first caulk job, we learned, bought new caulk and finished in minutes (to Peter's relief and dismay)

Oh blue tape. Anyone who has done painting of any kind is very friendly familiar with this said blue tape. All I want is results! I don't mind putting in the hard work to get there but I hate the dumb stuff that slows you down, am I alone in that?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mom and Dad came to visit.

Now that I live near DC my parents have twice the pull to come down, they have been wanting for years to come and do the monuments and tourist stuff but also Peter and I are here. My parents ... were to begin...

        My Mother:

(Here she is dressed up as a bush .. or monster or something so she could blend in and jump out and scare my dad at their cabin in the woods)
Anna has been known to get into Salvation Army Donation boxes, O.K. so it was only once but none of us will ever let her forget it, and honestly she doesn't want us to, she's pretty proud of it. The short version of that story is best summed up with the dialog she and I had after she called and asked me to guess where she was...
"I have no idea mom" "Ok I'll tell you ... IN A SALVATION ARMY DONATION BOX!!!!" "Wait ... what!? Inside?" "Yep, dropped my keys in when I was donating and then when I tried to get them I dropped my phone ... so I went in after them." "How? Can you get out?" "humm .... I'm not sure *grunting and giggling* I'll call you back"
5 minutes later
"I'm out!"
And she had the bruises to prove her little adventure was true ... all up and down the full length of her upper thighs. If you are ever lucky enough to meet my mother ask her how she fit in and out of there, she will gladly walk you through it, just the retelling from her end will have you crying with laughter!
                                                    My Father:                                                                 

And then there is my father, I take after him. Type A personality sometimes a little on the cranky side or life when the personality gets the best of us, and constantly rolling his eyes at my mothers antics. But really when it comes down to it ... he's a man, which means he is bigger than a child, but there is a little boy trapped somewhere in his body, especially if you get him around his brothers ... LOOK OUT.

My Parents:

And so with that knowledge in mind let me tell you how the beginning of their weekend in DC began. Peter and I gave them keys to our apartment so they could come in and eat breakfast before they began their trip to Gettysburg. Well when they arrived they found that Elbie had done what Elbie has become very good at doing ... Pooping in his crate.

He is so lucky he is cute. He is hypoallergenic which is great... but his hair is like a humans, when he poops and lays in it (which we are pretty sure he does just to spite us for leaving him) it is beyond difficult to clean him up. Sorry Mom and Dad ... welcome to DC and the newest member of our family.

The crazy things that happen to me

So I decided that I will sporadically tell some funny stories from my life. I am 24 and have already worked multiple jobs, Including but not limited to: catering, loss prevention, door to door sales, sales for a radio station, assistant in high school special education, government contracting... I have a few interests in life, can you tell?
So because of all of these random jobs, mixed with the fact that I have lived in 4 different states (and multiple places within those states), been engaged twice, (to the same man) married that man (insert huge smile here)  moved into a new apartment (and gave it a face lift) all in the past 4 years. 

Just so you know what your dealing with ... I just naturally have weird things happen to me. Example: One time, last year sometime when I was traveling often between Massachusetts and Ohio to visit Peter) I was sitting in the airport and a young woman with a baby started talking to me... I commented on how cute her baby was next thing I knew I was holding him and she had left the airport for a smoke... when her plane started boarding I started wondering if I were in some TV show or if the mother had abandoned her child with me ... don't worry she came running back as her plane was boarding.

Stories to come!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last but not least ...

So last but not least was the kitchen ... a great, tiny little space with surprises of it's own ... what else would you expect :)  
Oh yeah .... theeeeeres the surprise, see the cabinets next to the fridge? They don't open .... so add to the list ways to fit things in the kitchen with minimal storage space. 
One of Peters least favorite things ... the light above the sink, it isn't quite as high on his list as the plastic wall ... but it's up there :) I figured there must be a way to hide it or at least distract from it so we wouldn't have to spend money on another new fixture ... because lets be honest we would be buying one for the bathroom, no getting around that!

Our kitchen is tiny ... and we decided not to repaint for money and time reasons ... but I did decided some character and color needed to be added somehow!

Washer and dryer!!!!! Yes! We can only do half of a half of a half of a normal load haha ... but we are still very thankful thankful :) 

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Real Men Don't Buy Girls"

This is great, I am always excited when I see stars using their fame to do some good in the world. Here is a link to DNA  Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher's website (and campaign) against Child Sex Slavery.

Why is this fight important? (all facts taken from DNA's website)
  • 12.3 million people are enslaved today worldwide
  • In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation eradicating slavery, yet more than one million people are enslaved in the U.S. today.
  • Two million children are bought and sold in the global commercial sex trade
  • The average age of entry into commercial sex slavery in the United States is 13 years old
  • The global sex slavery market generates $32 billion in profits each year
  • Every 10 minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States for forced labor
  • Most “johns” are quite ordinary: 70-90% are married, and most are employed with no criminal record
  • 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls are conducted via the internet
  • The U.S. government spends 300 times more money per year to fight drug trafficking than it does to fight human trafficking
  • Approximately 55% of girls living on the streets in the United States engage in commercial sex slavery. Girls from middle and upper class neighborhoods are also at risk

HERE is a link to the Tshirts challenge on Threadless Causes website, the money from the Tshirts goes to support DNA's cause, they are very blunt and very cool!

You can also check them out on Facebook

Welcome to the smallest bedroom ... ever?

So here are the steps up into our bedroom, the apartment is essentially a studio turned 1 bedroom by means of a plastic wall (not our doing) that Peter hates with a burning passion haha! Honestly it is really nice because the plastic wall keeps the kitchen out of the bedroom :)  But again we added finding ways to hide the plastic wall to our ever growing list of to do's.

This is the view from standing next to the bedroom window you see in the above picture. Baaaasically if I had to describe it in a few words, it is a hall like space with room for a bed. Which wouldn't be the biggest deal if the picture below wasn't of the ONLY closet in the entire apartment...

Yes meet our only closet .. haha this was definitely our biggest challenge: Fit 2 people into a very small apartment with only 1 closet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Room Number Two in our Apartment...

Oh the bathroom ... God bless the 70's ... or whatever era this room came to life in ...  we felt that although the metal towel rack and mirror on the wall were a nice look against dirty white ish walls ... we needed a paint job and some new appliances 
Oh did I mention the lovely light fixture, with no light covers .... we figured we would add a new light to the list, just for kicks and giggles of course, since this one was sooooo pretty :) 

We have this window in the shower, one side of the window shower ... the other side hallway, for modesty sake it was painted over which we appreciated ... but we decided to add some color, stay tuned!!

AH you know you have a problem when a room looks better in this stage than when there were things on the walls ... I'm just saying

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Moving into our first fix er up

So we got married ...  And moved into our first Apartment together....
We fell in love with the area the apartment was in as well as the apartment itself ... 15 foot ceilings? Yes please! But we soon found that walls that large come with challenges of their own.  After cleaning things such as grease all over the kitchen wall, dead faceless mouse from behind the fridge, no I didn't scream when I found him ... pretty proud of myself, and the mounds of dirt behind the oven we moved on to more of the cosmetic issues. 

Issue number 1 ...
Yes you see correctly, the previous tenant seemed to have painted the walls a tan .. ish color with the exception of this one large section.  So we decided paint was a must ... but what to paint a room with such large amounts of wall space? I already had a vision for a red couch ... which made Peter very nervous, but he trusted me and off we were to the nearest Home Depot. I am not the biggest fan of boring but I also didn't want the space we were going to spend the majority of our time in to be overwhelming or become boring.... the fact that we had to climb 15 feet in the air to paint our living room walls made it a definite one time deal. 

Issue number 2
See that dark square on the wall ... its a widow to the hallway that was boarded up. It was taking away from the character of the apartment and also was just plain ugly. (also notice my red couch! I found it on craigslist and at the end of my negotiations paid $40 for it!) 
Here is the window once it was uncovered!  At this point I had also decided on a wall color, a mustard yellow color. It took a LONG time to find the perfect yellow color. There is a section painted with the paint!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Molly came to visit!

Elbie, Molly and I went to the outdoor market on my street and got breakfast! :)