Archive | June, 2012

Attempts in DIY

29 Jun

Thank you Pinterest for an idea! Last year Ali showed me some art by a girl in Des Moines who painted song lyrics on canvas in a really cool way. I’ve been intrigued by the idea ever since. Lately I’ve wanted to revamp a few things about my living room. I replaced some older iron lamps with adorable yellow ones (Target!) and bought a new chair. I’ve been holding onto a leather chair for my brother since March. It was my great uncle’s, then my grandma’s, and now I am holding onto it. It’s a really nice chair – just too masculine to go with the rest of the stuff in my apartment. I’ve been happy to hold onto it for my brother, but I’m excited to be able to replace it with something else. For the past year or so there has been something about a damask pattern in teal that has caught my eye. Random, right? So when I saw a chair with the same pattern on it, I decided to go for it. This was my first experience ordering something on Overstock.com, and it was a  really good experience. The price was reasonable, free shipping, and it was super easy to put together.

Even Lucy likes it!

When I moved to St. Paul, my mom and I spent a couple days painting and decorating my place. When it came time to hang something over my couch, we were too tired and tapped out money-wise to go out and buy something. I have some masks from my trip to Guatemala which we decided to hang. It didn’t look bad. It just wasn’t 100% what I wanted.

This is the “before”

Recently, I saw a posting on Pinterest about a DIY project involving canvas and painting phrases on them. I immediately thought back to the art Ali showed me last year. It’s not completely like that artwork, but it still caught my eye. I decided on 5 canvases since there is quite a bit of space for me to cover. One of the hardest things was to decide on which lyrics I wanted to use. Once I had them narrowed down I headed to the craft store to get my supplies. What I bought included:

  • 5 canvases of varying sizes
  • vinyl letters (I needed about 4 packs due to all the letters I needed)
  • paint
  • brushes
  • Mod Podge
  • hot glue gun (where did mine go?) and extra glue sticks

What I already had included

  • Old magazines
  • An old book (I didn’t want to re-read)
  • Old sheet music

The first step was to decide what I wanted as a base underneath my letters. I choose sheet music for a couple canvases. I just ripped out songs from one of my musical theatre songbooks (that I knew I would never need.) I used the hot glue gun to attach the music to the canvas.

I then arranged my vinyl letters and painted a solid coat of paint over the whole thing. Don’t mind my copy of True Blood in the background. I needed something to watch while doing this, okay 🙂

For my other canvas bases, I used pages from an old book, magazine clippings, and just simply painted the canvas yellow on one.

Once it was all painted I removed the vinyl letters.

After it was dried, I added a coat of ModPodge which gives it a finished sheen.

Afterwards

Finally, once everything was all done and dried, I hung them on my walls. Here is the finished product. It’s definitely homemade looking, texturized, a little “shabby chic”, but I like how it fills up my wall. I’m able to display some of my favorite lyrics (narrowing down was hard work!) and it was all on the cheap!

Ali is coming tomorrow for her aunt’s bachelorette party! I’m so freakin excited to see her!

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Aaaawkard!

22 Jun

I find myself in awkward situations all the time. In college, my friends and I had a theory about how we had way more awkward experiences than the average person. Or maybe we just sense awkwardness more profoundly. Anyway, last night was no exception. I saw a reminder posted in my apartment hallway about the free massages going on. My building does a lot of resident activities (mostly for all the old people, methinks) like game night, trips to Como Zoo, etc. I have never once participated in any of these events, but since the massages were happening at the exact moment I saw the reminder, I decided to try it. When I arrived, I saw a burly man giving a massage to an old woman while her grandchildren watched. They were talking about church. Um, yeah. I was a little disturbed. Then it was my turn and it was just me and burly masseuse in the room.

The massage was anything but relaxing. First, he shoved my face into the chair causing me to look something like this…

He then proceeded to ask me if I’d ever been to a chiropractor. I responded with the truth, “Um. No.” With an exaggerated gasp he exclaimed, ” Well! you really should go! It’s the best form of medicine there is.” Yeah. I know a couple real doctors who might disagree. I’m sure (I know!) there are many people who would disagree with me, but I just feel that in my experience, people who frequent the chiropractor are, um, (how do I say this delicately?) hypochondriacs. In my humble opinion, at least.

Burly masseuse began to (while rubbing my shoulders) tell me that if I didn’t start seeing a chiropractor, I would start getting PMS, acid reflux, and diarrhea. WHAT? During my “relaxing” massage, this guy is talking to me about diarrhea?!

And that, in short, is just a typical instance in my life where awkwardness follows me around.

Rockin Hoppin Saturday

17 Jun

As I type this I am wearing the boxers I purchased in 7th or 8th grade. Gross, right? But still, it’ll be a sad, sad day for me whenever I have to finally get rid of these. I’m watching a movie on Netflix called Tiny Furniture. I remember EW gave a good review of it when it came out. This girl (my age, younger maybe) just wrote, directed, and starred in this little film. Makes me really want to create something. Sometimes I can get a little sad that I haven’t really acted since college. I’d audition, but as anyone who has done theatre knows, you can have no schedule conflicts. And well, with grad school, I have conflicts. Maybe once I’m done, I will audition here and there. Because, yeah. I miss it. Maybe I’ll start writing something. You know, other than this (super amazing!) blog.

Tonight’s discovery is that lemonade tastes so much better from a wine glass. This isn’t even a discovery made out of necessity. My dishes are clean. I just decided to pour it into a wine glass, and yeah, it’s way better. Try it. I know you’ll love it.

Glory, glory Hallelujah!

14 Jun

I’m in class right now. Don’t judge. Just had a HUUUUGE weight lifted off my shoulders when my professor had us take a vote on whether or not we need to take our final exam. Basically, St. Mary’s approaches education under a “Lasallian tradition” which focuses on more a application based style of learning..i.e. not sitting through 4 hour lectures with exams at the end. The class I am currently not paying attention to is called Strategic Management. It’s very corporate-centric, and frankly, bores.me.to.death. I wish I could be more into all this stuff. Then I could go out and be a ball busting career woman making mucho moolah. Alas, I love the arts and not making money.

I think enough people complained about this professor (in her defense, she’s new) to have her change her teaching method. We took a vote on whether or not we should scratch the final. All us normal people voted to scratch, obvies. BUT…then we had Deb. Deb is a girl I am working with on a group project. She’s weird. She’s married, and meanly, I have to wonder how gross her husband is. She said, “Weeeell, I did really well on the midterm, and have studied really hard for the final.” It took most of my willpower not to shove her on the floor, exclaiming, “Shut, it bitch!”

Thankfully, democracy rules. No final. Wheeeew. Like, WHEW.

Now I just have to focus on papers (so much easier for me than tests!) and this little group project with Deb.

Laters, kids. I better get back to focusing on business process reengineering. Also, what does that mean?

Kenz

26

10 Jun

Can you be-lieeeeve it’s June?! I know summer is going to simply flash by in a second so I am trying to soak up as much of it as I can.

I was talking with Ali the other day about how weird it is to be 26. It’s the age where you’re supposed to sort of have it together, but it’s also kind of okay to still be figuring it out. Thanks to Facebook I can keep track of people’s lives from college. Amazing to think how we all started in the same place and now we’re all sooo different. Married. Single. Babies. No kids. Mortgages. Grad School. Traveling. Great jobs. Shitty jobs. Etc. I find myself wondering how it will all turn out for me in the end. I’m in such a state of limbo right now. Still unemployed. Still sucks big time. I know what I am capable of. I know I am a very hard worker. And it’s only getting more and more frustrating for me to not be given chances at all these jobs I keep applying to. If someone had told me when I was first let go from the trucking place (not that I miss it in any capacity!) that it would be this many months later without a job, I would have rightfully freeeeaked out.

Lately it’s become a constant presence in my life to remain positive about my situation. I mean, I have to get a job eventually, right? I can’t simply be unemployed forever, right? Right? I have a nice place to live. I can still pay my bills. I’m not going to go completely destitute. These are the things that I have to remind myself. No matter how bad I think my situation is, there are so many people in worse places than me. I think about when I worked at the shelter in Des Moines. People came into that shelter unemployed, in debt, without 2 dollars to rub together, and with kids. I often wonder how some of them are fairing now. It’s humbling to know that despite my current situation that will never be me.

Do any of you readers have any summer plans? For the first time in many, many summers, I find myself with no real big summer plans. I’ll be going to 80/35 in DSM in July as well as running a fun race that month as well. But…that’s kind of it. I guess I will just have to have as much fun in the cities as I can this summer. And so far, it’s a pretty great place to be. Oooh, also mi hemrano is moving to St. Paul this summer! It’ll be boss, my friends, boss.

Also, I want to send out an apology to all these people that seem to keep checking in on this blog with no updates from us. Girl met boy. Girl subsequently fell out of touch with the little blog. I won’t elaborate more on him because I’ve come to find out that he’s stumbled upon this blog and (ohmygod) I can’t talk about him on here knowing he’s reading it! (But for you, because yes, I know you’re reading this…I would only have good things to say.)

Another blog I follow recently posted a list like this. So in theme with being 26 and trying to stay positive, here is my list of 26 awesome things/life lessons by 26.

1. Living alone. I looove living alone, even if it would make better financial sense to have a roommate. I think everyone should live alone at some point in his or her life. It teaches you independence like nothing can. You can decorate however you damn well want. Walk around naked (although not so much in my apartment…windows…old man neighbor likes to sit on his deck…) It teaches you to be comfortable and happy to be by yourself. Being alone does not have to mean lonely.

2. Money. Unless you find yourself in my current predicament, you’re going to finally have more money than you did in college or that first year out. Kind of nice, eh?

3. You’re you. I’m reminded of that scene from Bridesmaids.

Helen: It’s funny how people change, isn’t it?
Annie: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. Do people really change?
Helen: Mmm. I think they do.
Annie: Yeah. But I mean like, still stay who they are, pretty much.
Helen: I think we change all the time.
Annie: I think we stay the same, but grow I guess, a little bit.
Helen: I think if you’re growing, then you’re changing.
Annie: But I mean we’re changing from who we are, which we always stay as.
Helen: Not really. I don’t think so.
Annie: I think so.
Helen: I don’t.

🙂 Either way. You’re you. You’ve figured it out. You know your tastes, what you love, what you hate, the kind of people you want to be around. I remember my freshman year of college, my brain just exploded with change. Maybe my family or other friends didn’t notice, but I felt it. That was cool and all. But now I’m me. I know who I am. It’s a good feeling.

4. Going out. My friend Laura was in town this weekend and we ended up going out on Friday night. It was fun, nay, a blast. Would I do it every Friday? Hell.No. I think I’ve grown out of that stage in my life (oh early twenty-something and all your shenanigans!) and can be totally fine spending Friday differently.

5. My parents are my friends. Seriously. I can just hang out with my parents as friends and it’s awesome.

6. My siblings are my friends. I can be with my brother and sister and it’s da’ bomb, people, da’ bomb. We can be serious, or mostly, completely WEIRD, and we get each other. All that sibling competition is gone (ahem, Nick, ahem) and I can be so happy for his achievements. Ahem. His full ride to law school. #shamelessbragging Also, I need to be on good terms with them so when they are rich and successful, I can use their lake houses in the summers when I am still poor. Got it, guys?

6. Romance. I know what I want there now. I know what not to settle for. And I know when things are good.

7. Cooking. In the past few years I have stocked my kitchen with all the gadgets necessary to make some pretty great things. Now I can’t imagine living without my Griddler, Kitchenaid mixer, food processor, and blender. How did I eat in college?? Oh yeah. Pizza rolls and Pfeifer food.

8. High heels. I can still wear them. And I will. Even if my feet hurt at the end of the night.

9. My cats. I don’t have or want children yet, but I’m 26 and can most certainly take care of my little fluff balls. I can also wholeheartedly admit to being a slight crazy cat lady.

10. Traveling. I’m still young and adventurous enough to be able to travel cheaply. If I want to go somewhere awesome and far away, well then, I can sleep in a hostel if I have to.

11. I finally found the perfect foundation. After years of searching, it’s been discovered. Thank you Clinique Even Better. I’ve waited years to find you.

12. Confidence. Oh, how I wish I could beam some words of wisdom to poor, awkward, 12-14 year old Kenz. I think they need an “it gets better” campaign for awkward, geeky middle school girls too. It was a shit time. How I would love to inform young Kenz that middle school girls can be real c*nts. Oh yeah, and half of them have multiple children and still live in Algona. Sucks for them, right? Oh, and maybe re-think the decision on those cargo pants. Aaaand, when you decide to grow out your bangs, use a clip. Just don’t let them hang in your face. 🙂

13. Selfishness. This is my life now. Only mine. Someday when I have a family that will change, and it won’t be about me anymore. But for now. I’m selfish.

14. Grad school. I’ve had enough real world work experience to apply to my studies in grad school, but I’m also not one of these people in their 50’s changing life plans. I mean, it’s never too late and all that, but yeah, glad I’m doing this now.

15. I can do things on my own. Even if it takes me twice as long as the average person, I WILL put this IKEA shelf together on my own if it kills me.

16. I recognize my flaws. Yes. I am cranky when tired. I don’t like it hate it when someone insults my intelligence. I have a hard time being wrong. But now that I recognize these things about myself, it’s easier to manage them. I think being unaware about your flaws is extremely unbecoming.

17. To love my friends. I love my friends and I’m not afraid to admit it. I can be 26 and see definitive ways in which I am better for knowing all of them. Because I love them, I will continue to nurture our friendships, even if we live far apart. Because no doubt about it, these are the people that I’m still going to know and love when I’m old.

18. Sometimes being an adult can be more fun when you’re acting like a child. I can be a seriously weird and silly person. Just get me next to my sister. Even though I am 26, I can still make crazy faces and dance around like I’m 10. Right?

19. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It’s never easy to know why, and impossible to justify. But it’s important to really know this. It can make you appreciate all the good things even more.

20. Bad things will happen to bad people. I have to believe this to be true. Maybe not right away, but eventually, bad things will happen to bad people.

21. I feel better when I’m healthy. Obvious, no? This is such an important lesson to learn by 26. I.feel.better.when.I’m.healthy. So, Kenz. Go running, okay?

22. On the other hand, ice cream for dinner once in a while can be totally legit.

23. Spontaneity. There is something exciting about making last minute plans, isn’t there? At this stage in my life, I totally embrace it.

24. Memories and reminiscing. 26 is an age where there is still so very, very much ahead of me, but I can look back on my past and reminisce. About my childhood. About college. About travels. About people.

25. I don’t have to dye my hair. Yet.

26. I’m on no one’s timeline. It can be easy to see others and what they’ve accomplished by 26 (like, hey, I’m OLDER than Lady Gaga and Florence Welch, say what?), but I’m on no one’s timeline, but mine.