Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Fun and Mclures Beach

This weekend Abel's family came to visit.  We're always glad to have family visiting as it helps ease the homesick somewhat.  We spent the weekend spending time with them and showing them a couple of the places we've found up here so far.

One of the places we went to was McClures Beach. McClures Beach is one of the beaches in Point Reyes National Seashore.  It was about an hour and a half drive from Santa Rosa, through windy, scenic roads. As if that wasn't enough, we had to hike down 15 minutes to get to the beach.  This is the first time we went here (it was a recommendation from Abel's brother) and it was worth the drive and the walk. It is  beautiful.


Wild elk on the drive

The hike down

I love exploring this place little by little and finding cool spots like this.  Every time we find some explore a new place like this it makes me more excited to be living up here where we're living.

Friday, August 28, 2015

DIY fun

I mentioned earlier that I went yard sale-ing with a friend before moving.  Boy was that an experience! We were at our first yard sale by 6:00 am sharp.  We drove all over two towns looking for stuff.  I scored a couple Harry Potter movies, some frames, a mirror and some antique mason jars.  My best find, however, was this baby I got for $10!  The original plan was to use it for our TV stand so we could take back the one we bought and save that money.  However, we just couldn't part with that beautiful Target TV Stand.  So, now this is being used in our bedroom.  It's in the process of becoming our computer/printer workstation but for now is just housing our printer.

Although I didn't mind the stained finish, I wanted a little more color. The first step was sand.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture after it had been sanded. #BloggingRookie
Below is the piece after the first coat of primer. For the primer I painted it on with a brush.  I did one coat, sanded some of the imperfections, and touched it up.

After the primer, I went to work painting. I used spray paint and did a million several thin coats, over a couple days.  It really took patience because I just wanted it done. Ta-da! I think it turned out pretty good.

I haven't decided exactly what I'm doing with it yet, but I'm thinking of getting some baskets for the top two openings and using it for some more storage in the bedroom because we're pretty short on that.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Apartment decorating on a budget...Part 1

One thing that I had to realize is that this is our first apartment, and isn't going to be perfect or look like one of the pins on my "dream home" Pinterest board. However, I think a little work, some DIY and a whole lot of patience can help make a comfortable apartment feasible, even on a budget.


1. Buy from friends/family/secondhand 

I am really bad about buying secondhand things. There's just something about using someone else's things that I do not like. With that being said, it is so much less expensive to do so. My compromise is purchasing or getting second hand things from people I know. We scored our couch, a nice chair, and an ottoman in great condition all for under $200 total when a friend was moving out of her apartment and sold them to us. (Thanks Mattie!) We also were able to get furniture that was passed down from my grandma. When she moved into my parents house from her own she didnt need her furniture anymore and we were able to get several things for free. 
I understand this was good timing for us, but we also had been thinking ahead. My grandma moved in with us in 2012 but we held on to her furniture because we knew eventually I would be moving out for college. I know it's not feasible storage-wise for everyone to hold onto things for this amount of time, but if it's possible planning ahead like we did really helped us save money on the items we got from her. 
My parents also recently purged a lot ofunnecessary (to them) things, and we were able to get some things we needed from them. They happened to buy a vitamix blender recently, and while I'd absolutely love to have one myself, I can't afford that on a college student's budget, so opted to take their previous Ninja blender with us instead. Again, this is also good timing for us, but it's something to take advantage of if it's available. 

2. Yard sales 

Like I said above, I'm don't love secondhand things, but went yard-saleing with a friend anyways and was pleasantly surprised. I was able to score a couple frames for $1 each, and after a quick spray paint they are perfect for bedroom. I was also able to find small bookcase that is going to be perfect for our hallway for only $10! After some more spray paint and a couple hours of my time, I was able to get something the perfect color for our apartment because I picked it myself. (More on that later) at discount stores like Ross, marshalls, and tj maxx
Abel is not the most patient shopper, and if that's you, this tip may not be for you. I happen to be much more patient because I love a good bargain so I don't mind the hunt that's sometimes required for these stores. We've (I've) scored several finds at these stores. Over the past couple of months I stop by every once in a while and have gotten a complete sheet set ($20) two decorative throw pillows ($10 each) and four nice kitchen pots and pans ($12-34 each). Yes these stores do take patience, but it's worth it for these bargains. 

3. Splurge on what is important to you, and save on what doesn't

This is a big one for me, as there's some things I just refuse to buy cheaply. For example, I'm not one that needs luxurious towels or expensive pillows, so I bought basic ones at target and Costco. (My exception to this was a $24 Lilly for Target throw pillow but I needed that one :) Of course I would love all of my throw pillows to be beautiful $30 throw pillows, but it's just not important enough for me to spend that much right now and I am fine with throw pillows from Ross (which can still be really pretty too!)
On the other hand, cooking is something I thoroughly enjoy, so I splurged more in the kitchen. I can't stand trying to cut something with a dull knife, so one of our  more expensive purchases, within reason, were our knives. We still didn't spend over $100 on one knife, but I did my research and found a couple that worked for us in our budget. Our other big kitchen purchase was actually a (very) lucky find at Marshall's. I happened to be there with a friend who was shopping for her own apartment but I wasn't really looking for anything myself. However I came across a $225 All Clad stainless steel pan for $99!! This was something I couldn't pass up, and like my mom says "it's an investment." It just comes down to what is most important to you (and whomever you're living with) and what you want to splurge on. 

4. Plan and organize

We started planning and buying things months ahead of time (not always possible I know). We agreed to buy ahead of time in order the ease the financial burden of moving into a new place and starting school when the time actually came to move. Since we began preparing for this move, we kept track of what we had. Therefore we knew exactly what we needed as we went. This allowed us to prevent any unnecessary purchases. It also helped us with my next point...

5. Know what you need and stalk the sales accordingly 

Abel and I knew in advance that we definitely needed some kind of tv stand or organizer. We started looking a couple months in advance and when we found one we liked we waited because it was target and we figured it would go on sale eventually. And eventually it did go on sale, so we bought it at that time. By planning ahead and knowing that we were going to need this in the future, instead of waiting and having to buy it when we needed one right away, we were able to save ourselves $50.
This also helped with buying our vacuum. We were able to get one on sale at Costco and saved money by waiting for a sale.

I think Pounce and Dany approve.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Light Between Oceans (Book Review)

This was an interesting book. It took me months to finish part one and days to finish the rest. It started off slowly, like it d r a g g e d in the beginning. It basically began with a history lesson that sets the scene for the novel. Now, I'm all for historical fiction (it's one of my favorite genres) but there was something about this one that I didn't like. The explanations were tedious and the backstory was boring. 
However, once that was done, I loved this book. It became very interesting, somewhat suspenseful, and had me hooked. It was suspenseful, but not in the typical way. While I was reading, I kept wondering how the author would resolve the conflict, and the fact that a resolution seemed impossible, kept me turning the page. No one likes a good story that is ruined by a bad ending and in the end I was satisfied with the resolution. 
Overall I recommend this book. It is perfect for someone who enjoys a little history and a little drama all wrapped up in one. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A visit from home

This week my parents came up to visit us and bring up more of our things.  My mom brought us SO MUCH FOOD. Our pantry, freezer and cabinets are stocked.  They also brought up our roomies Pounce and Dany, who seem to be adjusting well.  They slept with us in the living room the first night and kept us up a good part of the night.  We think it's because they had been in the car for five hours and had a lot of energy, but we shall find out in the next couple nights if that was the case.  Other than that they seem to be adjusting well.  The have more space here then they did in their room at my parents house.  They love sitting on the window sill and looking outside.

Since we're living in an area with an abundance of good food, we want to take advantage of that as much as we can while we're here.  While my parents were here we tried a brunch/lunch restaurant in Santa Rosa called The Naked Pig.  This is a local, farm to table style restaurant with a menu that changes along with what's in season.  We had driven past this place a couple times since we got up here and since my parents are all about local, sustainable food I knew it would be perfect to try while they were here. Everything we ordered was delicious.  We all got the Local Pasture-Raised Pork Roast Sandwich with house lemon aioli and salad.  My parents got a side of potatoes and Abel and I had house-made drop biscuits with local honey. SO good. The also make their own Kombucha.  I had never ordered it at a restaurant (only had my mom's homemade) and I really enjoyed it.

 We were so impressed with this place, the food, and the friendly people.  We cannot wait to come back again for brunch.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hiking in Sequoia National Forest

On our last Sunday before leaving, Abel, my mom and I went for a hike in Sequoia National Forest, about an hour and a half drive from our home. The place we went to is called Needles Point. It was once a fire lookout, but ironically burned down. (More info)

I have to point out that my mom was a rockstar on this hike! It was a total of 5 miles of steep trail and she was great. I think I was more tired than she was. 
The view from the top of the abandoned lookout was beautiful. Towards the top there's about three flights of stairs You have to climb. The stairs are wooden and the railing on the sides of them is only about three feet tall. I was really scared!
Once you get to the top of the stairs, there are a couple stairs that are missing so you have to use the railing and sort of jump onto the rock. 
This is the view from the top. You can still see the remnants of the lookout. In the other direction there is this rock. 
Not pictured is the huge drop off right next to it. You can imagine why I didn't go near it but Abel has no fear. This is as far as I went. 
This was a great day hike and we can't wait to take our friends back to explore it again. There's an area at the bottom of the trail to camp and we're hoping to be able to do that eventually. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

What's in a name?

It took me forever to think of a name for this blog.  As in, the reason I didn't start a blog a long time ago was because I didn't know what to name it.  Silly right? Well, I finally sat down one day and started writing down ideas.  I had a whole paper full, but narrowed it down to a couple.  I eventually chose "Miscellannieous".  I thought that this was a good fit because it incorporated my name, wasn't too long, and was a pretty accurate description of my blog.  I don't have a specific niche for my writing and plan to write about a variety of things, miscellaneous things if you will, and think the name fit well.
So that's the story behind the name. It seems simple when I put it down like that but it took me forever to decide on.  (haha)
Today I'll be packing up my car and getting ready to leave  tomorrow.  Have a good Friday!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

T minus 2 days

We're two days out! Life lately has included packing, packing, and more packing. As of yesterday, I have almost everything done so we've just been spending as much time as we can with family and friends before we leave. 
My bedroom is currently boxes and boxes, with pathways from the door to my bed and the bathroom. I may or may not have tripped on said boxes in the middle of the night (So much for the pathways). 

I'd be lying if I said I haven't been extremely nervous about this move. Like, nauseated, anxious, wondering if I made the right choice nervous. BUT I know that everything will turn out fine and my anxiety will subside when we get up there. Here's to this new adventure!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Well hello!

My name is Annie and this is my blog!
Welcome to my little piece of the internet!

What's the first words to put down for this new little blog of mine? I feel like these are very important. This has to be someone to catch your attention and keep you interested, right? But I also need to introduce myself. I guess I can start with the basics. Yes, my name is Annie.  Yes, this is my blog.  In just 5 short days I will be moving out of my parents house and 5  hours away to go to college at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA.  I have been reading blogs for years now and always wanted to start my own but was too scared to.  But here I am!  I decided to finally just go for it and start my own blog.  I will be posting a little of this and a little of that, including life on our own, college, some cooking, and other things, hence the name Miscellannieous.
Thanks for stopping by!