Saturday, April 30, 2011

Life Is A Highway.

So after spending this weekend packing up my apartment, I decided to redirect my attention towards the 8 hour roadtrip that I will be embarking on Thursday. Now anyone who travels with me, knows that I bring the same things with me on every car ride.
Honestly, the reason why Diet Coke is number one on the list is because its the most important to me. I am addicted to this beautiful silver can. Its my knight in shining aluminum! I always have one with me... I am known to pull a Diet Coke out of my purse no matter what time of the day. So of course, I would bring one with me on a road trip!
Ahh, these are so good. I always have to purchase a bag whether I am about to go on a plane or car ride. Its a definite given. A weird fact about me is I challenge myself with each mint to NOT bite it... but I have yet to complete this task. Random, I know.
I love traveling because I get to catch up on all the juicy celebrity gossip and articles that don't involve some sort of engineering. Its nice to read pointless stories instead of reading educational articles that involve highlighting and memorizing. I need a break from all the schoolwork. I just got the new issue of Miami Quarterly magazine that my college produces yesterday, so I am going to save reading it until on the trip.
This should really be number 2 on the list, because its another item that I can't go a day without. My grocery lists ALWAYS include Diet Coke and Wheat Thins... But honestly, there is no better combination than these two things together. So our car will definitely have a open box of Wheat Thins in the center console!

I love, love, love road-trips! I cannot wait to hit the open road on my way back home to Michigan. What makes it even better is I get to spend this time with my sister and mother. So its going to be a great road trip full of good food, drinks, and sing-a-longs. More on that later...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Out with the old, In with the new.

Well I have been putting off getting my haircut for months now... But its getting ridiculous long and now being this close to summer I feel like its a good idea to try to get rid of some of the extra weight and thickness. I have been scrolling through hairstyles online trying to get an idea of how I want it cut. It wasn't until tonight while watching "Black Swan" that I yelled out... "That's it!! I want Mila Kunis hair!"
During the restaurant/bar scene. 
Layered. Lots of layers!

So now with a little inspiration thanks to a phenomenal movie... I am hoping to get an appointment with a local salon and get in before heading back to Michigan. How fun would it be to go home with a new look and sexy hair?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summer Lovin'

I just had the best phone conversation with my mom a few minutes ago. She is driving down to help me move out of my apartment in 5 days and we were discussing details of the trip. Somehow we got off topic and started discussing summer plans. I told her that this summer I want to be happy. Call me crazy but this was my birthday wish! Honestly, I want to be a more positive and happier person. I want to be more outdoorsy and hands on. So as you can tell, I am pretty much making New Years' resolutions in April! Here is how I am going to go about it: 

1. Camping on the Pigeon River
This is as "extreme camping" as I get... Its absolutely gorgeous, but there are no bathrooms or running water. It's a make-your-own campsite so the SUV you drive there has to be able to tackle the two-track dirt roads that wind around the river. Any of the spots you choose are in the middle of bear country, so one has to be careful, but with a view like this how can you pass up a few nights under the stars?
2. DIY Projects

So far on the to-do list, I have a back porch, a half-bath, and a stairway to completely redesign and paint. I am thrilled! I cannot wait to to get my hands dirty, learn new talents, develop more skills, and be able to stand back from it and say "I just did that." Be prepared for those upcoming posts!

3. Happy hour with childhood friends
I have had the same best friends since I was in kindergarden. We all went to Catholic school together and then through high school, so its safe to say that these girls know me better than I know myself. We all went to different states for college and whenever we come home for the summers, its absolutely a given that we meet at our favorite bar to dish out gossip and catch up on each other's lives. The picture above was taken at the bar where I am currently working on a beer list. If you complete all the beers listed (50 different kinds from all around the world) then you receive a mug engraved however you wish. The mug is then hung amongst the others on the walls and ceiling that line the bar. So from that moment on, you walk in, grab your mug... give it to the bartender... then the drink poured into your mug is a dollar for life. Its pretty much a given if you live in my area to belong to the club! I am only 5 beers away from finishing. Weird thing to get excited about but hey its the little things that I love.
4. Bonfires on the shore of Lake Michigan
I love-love-love a good bonfire party.... my favorite summer memories involve sitting next to a bonfire looking out into the water.
5. Harbor Springs Boat Regatta 
Live music, free beer, and good friends. It usually signals the end of the summer, but its something to definitely look forward to.
6. Traverse City Beach Bums Baseball Games.
Yeah, its a farm-league but nonetheless its professional baseball. The tickets are cheap and I am a sucker for being able to sit out in the sun and watch some good baseball. Admire the players... Pick a favorite. The games are held an hour away from home, but its the perfect way to get out of town yet close enough to head back afterwards. I am hoping to have a few games picked out in the next few weeks and start getting friends together. Party bus for the trip maybe?!

So there you have it. My plans for the summer... I have to get in/enjoy all of these events while working 50 hour weeks at an aerospace engineering firm, but I know where there's a will there's a way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dreams Full of Mud...Rooms.

It is currently finals time here in the engineering department at Miami. So my head feels like it is about to burst... the only thing that is keeping me sane are the "doodle breaks" that I allow myself to do every few hours. Last night's design doodle dealt with the first DIY project I am throwing myself into once I am back home. Our back porch area has been dry-walled and sanded down and thats about it... my mom has stared at it for months and can't decide what to do with the space. We currently added a half bath and it will have a laundry area for the washer and dryer. Since those are already drawn in the plans... I wanted something a little extra to define the space more. I have always wanted a mud-room area for when you come through the backdoor. So here's the sketch:
We have a space in between two windows that I think would be perfect for a planked wall and a bench to remove shoes and boots. I was inspired by the following pictures. Of course I had to email them to my mom so she could grasp the vision.
I love black iron hooks. Our house is
old and country-style, so its a must have!
Love the planks.
The last two pictures are the "safe yet gorgeous" ideas if my mom doesn't fall in love with planked walls. Its simple but still have storage... which is key. With a family of 5, we ended up with a lot of coats, boots, shoes, & sport equipment that need a home.

I cannot wait to bring a little mud-room action to the back porch area. I'll keep the blog updated when I start to get my hands dirty!

Monday, April 25, 2011

How Sweep It Is.

So after holding a successful party, why not host a new one? What better reason to celebrate than my beloved Detroit Red Wings sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes in the first series of the NHL Playoffs?
Love the celebration!
I am going back home to northern Michigan in a week, so my head is already reeling with ideas to show some Red Wings love. Call me crazy but I have had these ideas saved for years because I always joke with my friends that I want to have a wedding on ice... with my dream hockey player at the end of the icy aisle. Haha, I know its wishful thinking, but I girl can dream.
Idea for tables.
No party is complete without a dessert table. Love the Stanley Cup cake!!
Little hockey puck chocolates!
I found the recipe for the chocolate hockey pucks and I am thinking with some Red Wings red velvet cupcakes... My coworkers and hometown friends should be happy. We already get a little TOO into the games so I am sure the sugar high will make us even more obnoxious. I can't help but love the playoffs... It's the best time of the year. There is at least one game every night giving me something to look forward to (even if its not the Wings) and knowing that I get to spend watching good hockey with my friends.
I can't wait for the next round of series to begin because I am going through a Red Wings withdraw. Its only been 5 days since they've taken the ice but believe it or not I am ready for more games... I am ready to conquer my nerves and practice breathing during the games instead of only at commercials.
Don't tell me its just a game! ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bow Chicka Wow Wow.

So I have survived the birthday! I can't even express how blessed I am to have such amazing friends in my life. At 6:30 last night, my friend Greg comes running into my apartment with buckets of wings from Buffalo Wild Wings and his girlfriend, Anna, right behind him carrying the most beautiful pink cake I have ever seen. She then hands me a pink rose and a pink stuffed bunny. 
Greg and me with cake and champagne.

Popping the PINK Champagne.

L came down to celebrate!
My best friend, Lauren, came down from Toledo where she is currently enrolled in medical school. So she was able to finally cut loose for a night and leave the flashcards and textbooks at home to party. She also brought presents... the most beautiful bouquet of flowers seen in the picture as well as the best "inside joke" gift in the 2nd picture.
Sitting among all the pink and silver.
What 23 year old wouldn't want a
bubble maker for her birthday?!

The dessert table all set up.

The room's decorations.
Red-velvet cake with pink frosting.
As you can see, the party went perfectly. After a few games of drunk Jenga & kings, we then left for the bar at 11:30. That is where we danced the night away while the DJ yells "Ladies and gentlemen its Sarah Jane's birthday" and he played every song I wanted... Especially Mike Posner's "Bow Chicka Wow Wow." Nothing is better than that song... although dancing with intoxicated hockey players! Always a plus. So thank you to be my amazing friends who made this possible... You guys are the greatest. 

At The Woods Bar!! All of us have wristbands too :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Finally 23.

Happy Earth Day to everyone... and Happy Birthday to me!
Last night my best friend Emily and I went out for drinks at my 2 favorite bars. Once it hit midnight  after a celebration of hugging and high-fiving, we ran out into the dance floor. It was a perfect way to celebrate because it was simple yet fun. Tonight while everyone is going green, my friends and I will be going pink and silver. Pictures of that to come later. In celebration of the theme, I couldn't help but kick it off right last night with a pink mindprobe drink and wearing a pink "birthday girl" ribbon.

This is probably going to sound crazy... But I never really learned how to do makeup. My morning routine required foundation, bronzer, mascara, and eyeliner. Nothing more, nothing less. Well I decided to just get in the car and drive to Cincinniti yesterday as a early birthday treat to myself. I went to Sephora and told them, "I want to learn how to apply eye shadows." I honestly feel like a whole new world has opened up to me. I had the best teacher... she was pacient with me and showed me step by step how to make an everyday look as well as a smokey eye. So now with the new skills, I have acquire I am going to see if I can put them into action for tonight's birthday celebration...
New purchases!!
I did stop at CVS to get my Maybelline Great Lash on the way home....
I swear by it and refuse to buy anything different!
Another birthday present I received from my local hair salon was the OPI nail polish, "The Color to Watch" from their Swiss Collection.

So this is the year of beauty supplies and a better me... I am now 23 & wear sassy makeup!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Studio That Built Me.

I figured I would give a tour of my studio apartment that I call "home" while at college. I live alone which gave me complete creative control (say that 3 times fast) of how I wanted it decorated and set up. I must have done something right because my landlord shows her "future tenants" my apartment on her tour now. She thinks its a huge inconvience for me, however, I take it as a compliment and also an excuse to always pick up after myself. 
So this picture was taken on move-in day. I was seriously handed the keys to a big, square, empty room. The apartment is considered half basement, so the plugs are at an awkward height as well as the AC unit. 

So after moving everything into the middle of the room, I started visualizing the space. The craziest thing about my move in story is that I signed my lease without ever seeing the studio apartment because I had already returned to Michigan for the summer. Based on emails from the landlord and the plans available online I drew up mock positions for furniture and living areas. Seen here:

Lucky for me, everything actually fit right into place where I wanted it. I was able to divide the room up so it gave the feeling of being separated, however, made it feel larger than it really is.   

The view from the dining room table into kitchen.
A little wrapping paper to spice up the boring cupboards!

I am obsessed with finding ways to display the
things you love as art.
My black and white bed.
The desk that I never seem to leave... thanks engineering homework!
I have now lived in this small studio apartment for 9 months and I am still loving it. Since I will be moving out in a few weeks, I wanted to document all the little details before it gets packed up and moved to a new apartment for next semester. I am happy that this was my very first apartment living alone... I have had so many good memories here and it will be hard to move on.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gonna Party Like It's MY Birthday.

In 2 days, I will no longer be in my "golden year" of being 22 years old and to be honest I was panicked about it the past few months. I used to joke when I was younger that I would be "engaged by 22 and married by 24" so I think since this hasn't happened for me yet, I was scared. Well... thanks to my amazing friends and family I realized I should embrace this upcoming birthday and just GO BIG! 

First thing in my planning was to pick a theme. After some thought, I decided that everything should be pink and silver. Now anyone who knows me well enough will say that I am the "queen of black." This is because I am a sucker for black&white color schemes and my usual go-to outfits involve black of some sort. So lately its been fun to be a complete girly-girl and go shopping for anything that's vibrant pink.

Today my apartment table is covered with everything that will hopefully turn my apartment into a place of celebration! Here's a sneak peak at all the goodies:
The drink of the night:
Pink by Yellowglen Sparkling Wine
Like any good college party, more thought has been put into what will be offered to drink rather than to eat but I just couldn't resist having a dessert table. The idea is to have a table lined with pink and silver candies that will hopefully bring out the kid in everyone invited. I am excited to make it happen!

I love little homemade touches, so I decided to make a few signs and accents for the table. My favorite so far is a sign I made saying "have your cake and eat it too" which is going to be a backdrop to the cake and add a whimsical feeling to the table. With some scrapbook paper and a few sharpies its amazing what can come from it. I am also hoping to make smaller signs like "eat me" and "drink me" as well. I LOVE than I am creating a childhood dream party in my twenties and I hope that my friends will enjoy it as much as I will.

Pictures of the decorating process & of course the party to come later!

Growing Up.

I have to admit I never knew what I had until...

I went to college. I have lived on the edge of Lake Michigan since I was 2 years old in a small town of northern Michigan. It took going away to school in southern Ohio for me to realize how lucky I had it. The only thing that gets me through the tedious engineering homework and exams is knowing that within months I will be back on the lakeside again. 

Here's a picture of home sweet home. Its on a dead end street, so its undisturbed and very peaceful. 

The sunsets are the best... which always inspires a photo shoot. Here's an example, I got home from golf one night and my brother and I had to get a picture with the gorgeous sky in the background.

So the main reason I wanted to start a blog was to document the many DIY projects I get myself involved in. I love to get my hands dirty and be able to step back from a project and say "I just did that." Luckily, my parents have realized that this summer is going to be the beginning of a total renovation of our current house on the lake. As my mom puts it, she "doesn't have vision, so its up to me to come up with something she will be happy with as well as something that will bump up the value of the house.

You will slowly learn that I am a very type-A person and a perfectionist. I'm a huge planner so you will see that during these projects I will be going to my magazine clippings and homemade moodboard pages for ideas. I have a collection of things and rooms that inspire me and I can't wait to make them start happening! Here's what they look like:

I can't wait to show the process and progress of the DIY projects as well as have a few fun stories of my college/social life. I mean come on, I am a twenty-something girl who loves to go out, meet new people, watch sporting events, and lounge around on my beautiful college campus.