Archive | May, 2010

Newest home improvement-ish project

28 May

A long, long time ago, when I was still in undergrad….I was a lazy bum one summer.  Jobless and broke, I spent my days at home {without cable} trying to keep myself occupied until my friends all got off work.  It was during this summer that I discovered Martha {as her show was not on cable}  One of the first shows I remember watching, she made this jewelry hanger…. and I have always had one hanging in my room.  I love how it is practical and looks kinda like a piece of art…perfection.

Here is my final product…

My finished jewelry hanger

And heres a quick how-to…

You will need:

A wooden frame {any size you’d like}


Ribbon that coordinates with your paint color

small nails or cup hooks

a staple gun

a hammer

First, I bought a wooden frame from the thrift store {it must be wooden!}.  Then I took out the back and the glass {and stowed it away for safe keeping!}

Removing the backing and then the glass

Next, if you so desire, paint the frame a pretty color 🙂

I chose Coral

Once the frame is entirely painted and dry, move it to a flat surface, and turn the front side down

i painted both sides....

Then, with your ribbon and staple gun…staple one end of the ribbon on the right side of the frame {so that it will stretch across longways}

Stapled ribbon

Then pull the ribbon as tight as you can, all the way across, and staple again.  Repeat process as many times as you desire.  These ribbons will be what you hang your earrings one.  I had three rows on mine.

I added one vertical ribbon for visual interest

Then flip the frame over so the front is facing you, and begin hammering in the small nails {or cup hooks}.  These will be what your necklaces hang on…so keep that in mind when spacing them apart.

Unevenly spaced nails

Then Voila, you have your jewelry hanger!


Niagara Falls, NY {Cave of the Winds}

27 May

After getting off the Maid of the Mist, we went to a few overlooks to get some different viewpoints of the falls.  Some more pretty pictures…

Horse Shoe Falls


my handsome hubby

Horse Shoe Falls

This looks like something I would want in my backyard

together 🙂

Then we went to the Cave of the Winds, which is basically a set of wooden steps that you can walk up, and be 20 feet from Bridal Veil Falls.  My favorite part about Cave of the Winds….the awesome “slip proof” sandals they give you.

Seriously awesome sandals

and you get to keep them…I would lying if I told you that I was not SUPER excited about this!

They also give you a poncho, this time it was yellow.

This is my favorite picture of us 🙂

Unfortunately, my poncho was defective {or maybe I am a defective poncho wearer-we’re not really sure}  While trying to tighten my poncho around my face, I somehow ripped the shoulder.  At this point, it was too late to go back and ask for another poncho.  In a true McGuyver moment, I remembered that I was chewing gum, and used that to try to hold my poncho back together…and it actually kind of worked.  While my shoulder would now stay dry…what I didn’t account for was the massive wind that blew at us while we were walking up the stairs.  The first gust of wind, blew up my poncho and it got caught on the bag which held my shoes and my camera.  As result, I was soaking wet from the waist down!

after getting off the elevator {and going 175 ft down into the gorge} this is what we were greeted by

such a sexy get-up

those white specks: ALL seagulls!

Pretty view

Bridal Veil Falls

Horse Shoe Falls

American Falls {furthest away} and Bridal Veil {closest}

See the torn poncho 😦

Due to the defective poncho, we didn’t actually go all the way up to hurricane deck {where you are 20 ft away from the falls and the conditions are equal to those of a hurricane!}  This was mostly because we were so blasted by wind and water walking up to the first landing…that we didn’t even really look at the falls.  And so we wondered, what was the point…

So, soaking wet and freezing, we went to the last landing, where we looked out over the tops of the BridalVeil and American Falls, shot one last picture together, and said goodbye to the friends {and hot tour guide}!

Shot out to the Canadian Side

Shot down the tops of the American and Bridal Veil Falls

Goodbye Niagara Falls

So that was our trip!  This was actually the first trip, like this, that Ilker and I had ever taken together!  I can’t wait to take so many more.  And I leave you with this last story.  On the way home {drinking another horrible cup of Tim Hortons coffee,but now out of a SUPER cute travel mug, in order to avoid the horrible cups} I asked Ilker if he thought that the fish get scared when they go over the falls.  He laughed, but I pose the question to each of you….

Niagara Falls, NY {the Maid of the Mist}

25 May

The Bridge where we were just standing!

After seeing the falls for the first time, we got on a ferry to get a MUCH closer look.  The Maid of the Mist, is a definite must!

About to board the boat

According to our guide, these boats got their name from an Indian legend.  The legend is that there was an Indian princess who was set to marry another Indian in the tribe, only she didn’t want to.  So instead of marry him, she got in a canoe and went over the Horseshoe falls.  It is believed that he spirit survived in the mist.

The boats let give you a view like no other as your get insanely close to the falls.

All dressed up and ready to go 🙂

Plus they GIVE you these really awesome blue panchos! {and ours are still in the trunk}

Ok back to the view…

American and Bridal Veil Falls

Can you tell how windy it was?

Handsome Hubby 🙂

The first of many wet dog looks

HorseShoe Falls (the main falls, on the Canadian side)

More HorseShoe Falls

Up REAL close to HorseShoe Falls

I had no idea we were going to get THAT close to the falls, but it was truly amazing.  I kept wondering how we weren’t getting sucked under or something…but seeing as how these boats have been operating since the 30s…I figured that someone else must have already found the answer to that question.

FUN FACT: Presently, only 50% of the water actually goes over the falls.  The other 50% is diverted to power plants, to generate electricity.  Of that 50%, 25% goes to the US and 25% to Canada.  At night and in the winter only 25% of the water goes over the falls.  This manipulation is actually saving the falls, as the water going full force over would erode the rock REALLY quickly.  As it is today, the falls have moved back 8 miles from their original “birth” location.

**I can NOT imagine how powerful they would be at full force over.

Niagara Falls, NY {Post One}

24 May

Last weekend, Ilker and I decided that it was just embarrassing that we still hadn’t been to Niagara Falls.  Especially once we figured out we only life abut 2.5 hours away!  So Saturday morning, we woke up early and headed toward Buffalo.  But first coffee…we decided to stop at Tim Hortons {a Dunkin Donuts-esque joint} as neither one of us had ever been there….this was to be a day of firsts!  After some not so great coffee, in horrible cups {i swear it was not operator issues!} we headed off to Rochester to stop at the Lilac Festival, and eat lunch at the Istanbul Cafe!

Posing with the Lilacs!

Lunch from the Istanbul Cafe...Cafe was a bit of a stretch, but the food was DELISH!

Ilker is excited about the Turkish food!

Finally, with overcast skies and a temperature hovering around 50, we arrived in Niagara, NY.

About 3 miles away from the falls...and we could already see the mist!

Now, I must admit…I was prepared to be disappointed by the falls.  With the exception of the Grand Canyon, I have been disappointed by many “monuments”… However, this place was amazing!  Granted…the area was a bit like Myrtle Beach…but the falls themselves were breaktaking!

We decided to go on a tour…as it was late, and we wanted to be sure we saw as much as possible!  This turned out to be the best decision.  Not only did we do EVERYTHING, but our tour guide was really knowledgeable….and really attractive!

Tour Brochure

Realizing someone forgot his wedding ring....

First, we went out on this suspension bridge…for the first look at the falls.  The overcast sky, threatened rain, but I think it also made for some fantastic photos.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Here are some of our “first impression” photos!

First view!

Laying the details for some future stories!

Our first photo together {before my hair adopted that wet dog look}

The American Falls

Ok…I took a bunch of photos!  And really want to share them, so I am going to divide this up into a couple of posts…as to not overwhelm you, and force you to loose interest 🙂


5 May

Wow…I just discovered the idea of these lovelies!  Since I have a brown not so green thumb, I am thinking I might like to make one of these for our kitchen table!

Pretty Vintage Brooch Bouquet

Another Pretty Brooch Bouquet

…oh and perhaps our bathroom vanity  🙂 Oh the possibilities are endless!!! eBay, here I come!!!

I did it!

5 May

So, after we purchased our beautiful, new couch last November, I knew that I wanted a gallery wall behind it.

First joint grown-up purchase: ridiculously comfy and luxurious sofa!

Since Ilker and I live far away from all of our family, I loved the idea of surrounding our living room with photos of all of our loved ones, or things made by our loved ones…so we can always feel the love!

Unfortunately, this proved to be quite the task!  First I had to acquire enough frames…and frames are expensive!  So I began frequently a local thrift store and picking up frames there!  If you are willing to put a little elbow grease into making them prettier, this is relatively fantastic deal…frames range from $.29-$2.00…making them totally affordable!

Once I had enough frames I had to figure out how to arrange them, and mask them out.  Now by nature, I am not too meticulous a person, but I channeled my inner Ilker and measured and taped off, so that our wall{s} were properly masked and ready to go!

But, after all the measuring and taping off, my motivation was gone for the day….and we were surrounded by our taped off gallery wall for almost a month!

Finally, this past weekend, I buckled down and tackled the wall!  This was actually quite interesting, as I had to remember which frames went where!  Finally, our frames are up!  Some of them still need some tweaking, and I think that I want to paint/purchase more black dark brown frames.

All in all I am really pleased with it….next step picking out and printing our new photos for the frames!

…documenting my process 🙂

Our masked-out gallery wall

the boys are “studying” while I am tackling the wall

Finally got all the nails in and tape torn off {which actually wasn’t a great idea because I had already kind of forgotten where everything was supposed to go!}

Martha was in charge of wrangling the tape!

One finished wall!!!

The other finished wall!

One more fun perspective!!!

**Please ignore the wonky pictures/stock photos in some of the frames….this weekend’s project will be picking out photos!

Beginning of the week…

2 May

Well next week is starring me in the face, and I decided that I would attempt to begin this week a bit more organized!  Again, looking to MML for inspiration, I have to decided to begin this week with a list of intentions.  As most of you know, I have terrible habits of disorganization and perhaps laziness.  At times, it causes undue stress and anxiety in my marriage {and our relationship pre-marriage, so bad in fact that one of my vows was that I would not leave my clothes on the bathroom floor!} Change is hard for me…and I am a wife who is working full time, studying full time, learning a language full time, and trying to have a bit of a social life.  Additionally, I try to cook all meals from scratch and spend time with equally busy husband.  While I have always been a bit of a non-structured individual, I have decided that making this necessary life change {and it IS necessary} will require some structure, a schedule, and a checklist!

This is where the list of intentions comes in.  I have decided that each Sunday I will make a list of things I intend to do daily.  These tasks will be updated on my calendar {so that they will be sent as reminder texts to me throughout the day}.  Each Sunday I will add to my list, and hopefully a pattern of habit will evolve.

A bit optimistic, perhaps…but hey, worth a try!

So I am encouraging those of you who may read this, to try something similar.  We can take this journey together, be each others cheerleaders!

I give you this week’s list {and hey, no judging!}

1. Go to bed with a clean kitchen, clean litterbox, and clean bedroom

2. Pick out clothes the night before

3. Learn 5 Turkish vocabulary words a day

4. Do something nice for my husband, daily 🙂

5. Stick to a nightly beauty/pampering routine!!!!!

Now, I showed you mine, show me yours!