Cheapest Way to Update a Room

The first time I ever painted a room was when I surprised my mom with a home office a few years ago. You may remember that I blogged about it. If not, check it out here. I swore, after painting that entire room TWICE all by myself, that I’d never paint again. I HATE painting. I’ve already painted our guest room and I knew I’d only need one coat so it wasn’t THAT bad. But when I finally made the decision to paint our dining room, I knew it was going to be a problem.

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Here’s a picture of our dining room right after we moved in. The color was nice but it made the room feel so dark and small. Sam actually liked this color and it truly wasn’t a bad color but I wanted my dining room to be light and airy. So after sampling about 6 or 7 different colors, we finally picked one! We landed on French Beige by Behr.

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I painted the whole damn room by myself. And you know that rickety, old ladder I was talking about in my last post about our office bookshelves? The one I refused to get on? Well guess whose big ass was up on it risking her life to paint around the ceiling. ME! But it came out so nice! We had to spring for the more expensive Behr Premium Ultra Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Extreme paint but it was worth it because I painted the whole dining room with ONE coat and ONE can of paint! Would definitely recommend the Behr Premium Plus Ultra for any tough paint jobs.

The next thing we needed to do was get rid of our small counter height table for two and get a dining room table that would sit more than just Sam and I. I went on Target.com to order a mirror and ended up buying a dining table and chairs. Isn’t that always the way?! But this table and chairs is amazing and I’m so pleased with our purchase.

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Moral of the story is that you can really make a room feel so much bigger, nicer, rejuvenated, etc. with a can of paint and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Unless you’re using an old, unstable ladder. Then it might cost you your life! -haha!

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Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! 

@katiewelshphoto1

New Home, New Home Improvement Projects!

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My husband Sam and I just purchased our very first home in Easton, PA! It’s an adorable 100+ year old, 3 bedroom house with an office and a really cute view of the city of Easton. We’ve been here for about two months now and we’re finally starting to make it our own. I think we’re moving a little fast on some of the projects, or at least my bank account is telling me to slow down, but we’re moving ahead full force! It’s so much fun to take a room, or a house for that matter, that feels like someone else’s and make it into a place that feels 100% and completely your own. It’s empowering and scary and expensive, all mixed together!

There wasn’t too much that NEEDED to be done in the house so our projects have been fairly small. But if you consider how un-handy both my husband and I actually are, it might as well have been extremely gigantic tasks. I thought since I haven’t blogged in FOREVER, that I’d start sharing some of the projects and where we got the inspiration and the costs and what not.

The best part about owning a home is just that. OWNING your own home. Also, my puggle Melo really enjoys the backyard. When we were living in our one bedroom apartment, Melo would take his bones and try to burying them in the corners of the couch cushions and we used to be so sad. Thinking that he probably wishes he had a backyard to bury his bones in. Luckily, he’s out in the backyard everyday digging up and burying his bones and it makes us so happy! He also enjoys some #frontporchchilling with us too 🙂

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Follow me on instagram for a sneak peak of some of the projects!

Blue Apron Review + Special Discount!

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It’s no secret that I’m a below average cook. I’m not sure why either! I come from a family of amazing women that can cook their asses off. I even married into a family of women that can cook really well so I’m not sure where I went wrong. You’re probably thinking, “why do you care if you can cook or not? You have awesome cooks in your family, just let them do all the cooking.” Well, the truth is that I do care and I don’t know why. I’m a pretty creative person outside of the kitchen and I just figured that if I learned a thing or two or tried new things maybe something will click and I’ll turn into this Julia Child’esque chef and never depend on anyone else to make me a delicious meal!

So, with all of that being said, I signed up for Blue Ribbon Apron. I’m not sure why I want to keep calling it Blue Ribbon, but I do. Anyways, it’s called Blue Apron and if you don’t know what it is you can check out their website here. But to make a long story short, they ship you everything you need to make a great meal. They have two different plans. One plan is for two people meals and the other is for four people meals. The cool thing about it also, is that you can skip weeks if you’d like. I don’t want them mailing me stuff every single week so I skip every other week. We get three meals a week, twice a month. Sam and I eat really boring things. I only know how to make a handful of things so as long as Blue Apron doesn’t send us sloppy joes, Old El Paso tacos, chicken pot pie, or DiGiornos pizza, then I’m fairly confident that we’ll be making things that we’ve never tried before. I always see recipes online that I’d like to try but then get discouraged when I see things like sage, turnips, gochujang, gai lan, etc. I don’t even know what those ingredients look like, let alone where the hell I’d find them if I wanted to attempt to make these crazy dinners. So Blue Apron sends you all of that stuff and I don’t have to go to the grocery store and make an ass out of myself looking for them!

My first Blue Apron delivery came this week and this is what I got:

Korean-Style Tteok – w/ spicy pork “ragu” & gai lan

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Chicken Charlemagne – w/ roasted root vegetables & parsnip-potato mash

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Banana Leaf-Steamed Cod – w/ spiced rice, yu choy & coconut

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They suggest that if you receive any kind of fish in your package that you make that first, as it’s the first that will go bad if you keep it for awhile, so we made it on Tuesday. It was actually really good, really easy to make, and definitely something I would have never made if it weren’t for Blue Apron being so convenient. I’m not even much of a fish person and I liked it a lot. Last night I made the chicken charlemagne and I was quite impressed with myself because I’m usually awful at making chicken but it came out really tasty! And the potatoes AND parsnip mashed potatoes? Like, WHAT? Does everyone know about this? PARSNIP in the MASHED POTATOES? Because it was amazing and quite frankly blew my mind.

 So, let’s break it all down. Sam and I have a grocery/food budget of about $300-$350 a month. That includes all of our take-out money and going out to eat money. We only go out to eat or order take out when we want something that neither of us can cook so Blue Apron sends us stuff that we don’t know how to make and teaches us how to make it for only $120/month. Which I think is a fantastic deal and based on the dishes that I’ve made, I’d definitely say it’s worth it so if you were on the fence about giving Blue Apron a shot, my recommendation would be to GO FOR IT!

My first 50 readers get two free meals with their first Blue Apron Box – redeem here.

Happy Thursday/Almost Friday Day!

So much happenin’!

Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve abandoned the blog for months and months but I do have a good excuse!

Sam and I went to Disney World for the first time in May and had a blast! I’ve also been trying to really work on my photography and have had some really awesome photo sessions these past couple months.

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Now, vacation is over and summer is here and I have a new project that I’m super psyched about. I get to help decorate and plan my grandma’s 90th birthday party! It’s been pretty exciting and we’ve decided to do a 1920’s themed photo booth! I love my photo booths, as you know from my sister’s country themed graduation party. I’m also helping with centerpieces and what not so I’ll definitely be sharing those with you guys as I work on them.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Repurposing Household Items!

Do you know what I hate? When my Bath & Body Works candles are running out of wax. I’ve burned through them and the pretty jar is now basically empty and coming closer and closer to becoming garbage.

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Do you know what I love? The jars that the Bath & Body Works candles come in. I love the symmetry and plainness of the jars. They’re so cute! So, I’ve repurposed the jar from candle to cotton ball holder! This is how:

Boil some water

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Once the water is boiling, pour it directly into the jar. Sometimes people are afraid that this will shatter the jar but from personal experience, I can tell you that this jar is very sturdy and can definitely withstand boiling water. Once you pour in the boiling water you’ll notice that the water and the candle wax begin to separate.

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After about a minute or two take a butter knife and go around the edge of the wax and also around each of the wicks. The wax should be soft enough and this shouldn’t be difficult. If the wax is still tough, give the hot water a few additional minutes to soften the wax.

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Once you’ve traced the outline of the wax inside the jar you should be able to pry the wax from the bottom of the jar. If not in one big piece then in a couple of big pieces.

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Once the majority of the wax is out you can most likely pry the wicks and the wick stands out very easily. Remove them and allow the remaining wax to rise to the top of the jar.

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Once it’s done separating just pour it out. I usually like to let the wax on top harden and throw that away before pouring out the water below it. The sticker on the side of the jar is easy to pull off. As for the sticker on the bottom, it may need a little extra soaking in order to come off. Once all the stickers are off run a soapy sponge over it and let it dry and then it’s ready! You’ve got a really cute jar to do with as you please!

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Love these small projects that increase my bathroom storage, especially since I’ve got very minimal storage in my apartment.

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Awesome PROMO!

If you’ve never heard of Snapfish, I feel sorry for you. I honestly get all of my pictures printed by them. Recently I started to get their photo books and they’re amazing!

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Last week, I received my book that I had done for Rachel’s grad party and it turned out great. The quality is amazing and pretty much everything is customizable. It’s a great alternative to scrapbooks and makes the perfect gift. They have all different sizes from  5 x 7 all the way to 12 x 12 and 11 x 14. I’ve only gotten the 12 x 12 and the 8 x 11 and I’m telling you, they’re beautifully made.

Normally, the price of the books are anywhere from $11.99 – $59.99 but I got an email this morning and the 8 x 11 and 12 x 12 books are on sale! If you use promo code JUNE8X11 you can get an 8 x 11 book made for just $19 and that includes shipping! And if you use promo code JUNE12X12 you can get a 12 x 12 book that is usually $52.99 for only $29 and that also includes shipping. This deal is only good until 7/3 so hurry up and get over to snapfish, get creative, and get your customized photo book made.

Also, they have deals on their prints. You can get 100 prints for $9.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS999. You can get 300 prints for $28.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS2899. This deal is only good until 7/2.

Everyone knows I love photos and I love being able to fill my photo boxes so these deals are exciting.

If you haven’t checked out my new side project check it out here. And happy Saturday!

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I haven’t been posting a lot lately and I apologize but I wanted to let you guys know what I’ve been up to. I just started a new blog!!! It’s a photography blog and I know, I know, you can’t throw a toothpick into a crowd without hitting someone with a photography blog. I’m not claiming to be any good but I do enjoy photography and pictures and I wanted a place online where I can start to compile a photo album of sorts for family, friends, and strangers to look at and give me some tips and tricks. I also wanted to keep track of my progress as I’m just beginning to learn all the settings and what they mean and all that “jazz“.

I’m going to find a way to make it more accessible from this blog but for now you can just head over to http://coordinatedkatephotography.wordpress.com/ (WOOO! That’s a long link) so check it out and pass along the link to some of your photography friends. I know you have some!

I hope everyone has an awesome Friday and a lovely weekend!