Friday, July 27, 2012

{Colored Skinny Crazy}

Happy Friday! I hope your week is ending on a good note, and you have a fun weekend ahead of you! 

We had a bit of a change in plans over here in Wendel land. 

On Wednesday, I was supposed to be heading to San Francisco with my mom to visit my rock star brother who works for Go Pro. However, my uncle Charlie {my mom's brother} passed away unexpectedly, so we delayed our trip to August so we could be with family. He was a fabulous man, and will be missed! 

With that said, Wendel and I have an unexpected weekend together and I couldn't be more excited! Is it weird that I really hate being away from him for a newlywed dorkiness...I know!  {I say this as he is giving me a back massage...hello Wendel points!} 

So...with all of that totally un-post related things behind us...let's get to the topic for today! 

Colored Skinnies...

Who else loves them? Obsesses over them? Been hunting them down like a crazy woman? 

Oh no one else...guess that's just me! 

I have been loving this trend for a while, but haven't been able to get my hands on a pair! They seem to fly off the racks, and never have my size! I tried to DIY a pair, but they turned out so horribly disastrous that I threw them in the trash...not even the people at Goodwill would want them! I meant to blog about them, but didn't take a single that was kind of a bust. 

So I couldn't find any colored skinnies...until I walked into Target and found a rack of beautiful colored skinny jeans! Woo hoo! 

Well guess what...I guess size 8 is a popular size because they only had two colors (no mint for me sadly!) But what did I do? I snatched them up without even thinking and went home in a giddy state of colored skinny excited-ness! 

So here they colored skinnies...this will not be the last you see of them! 

Outfit Number One

Skinnies: Target {can't find this color online, but they are the same brand/fit}; Shoes: Target {$15.00 in the store}; Belt: Target {old but I know I've seen it at the store recently}; White Shirt: Loft {old}; Watch: Fossil; Bracelets: Vintage; Bag: Market in London

How fabulous are these shoes? Super comfy, easy to walk in, and $15.00! Amazing...right? 

I picked up this bag while Wendel and I were in London studying abroad a few years ago. So glad I got this because it's a daily reminder of that special time in our lives. 

Outfit Number 2

Skinnies: Target; Tank: Loft; Slouchey Top: Target {can't find it online, but I bought my in the store} ; Flats: Target {$12.00 on sale right now!}; Earrings: Target {old}; Watch: Fossil; Bag: Target {LOVE this bag!}

Okay so what have you learned about me? I shop at Target wayyy too much? Yes, that would be right. I like myself a deal...what can I say? 

Okay so let's take a moment and talk about skinnies. I know a lot of people feel like they can't "pull them off". I'm not a skinny minnie person {in fact I think I'll share my weight loss story with ya'll soon...just decided that!} but I think that if you like something...wear it! 

That's my soap box...I'll step off now. 

Oh and side note...a lot of people have asked about my twisted easy! I found this tutorial on this blog {isn't she just too precious for words?} I just do the twisted bang part and then pull my hair into a pony. My go-to summer look! 

So tell me! Who has some skinnies that they're obsessed with? Anyone grab these from Target? Fill me in! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

{"To-Do List" Check Up}

So remember a little over a month ago when we decided to make a little list of things we wanted to get done in 2012

Well I thought it would be fun to do a little update to see how we're doing! 

Then I went back to check exactly what was on our list...and realized we are failing. Not just a little, but a lot! 

So here's our list: 

1. Build A Desk For The Office

Woo hoo...we got that done!! We love our newly built desk so we can pat ourselves on the back for getting this checked off the list! 

And I'm just going to be honest...we haven't completed ANYTHING else! But we have don't yell at us too much! 

2. Spray Paint Entry Chandelier

It's on the list. It's pretty high up, so getting up there/disconnecting it/spray painting/allowing time to dry/reconnecting is going to be a process. Not a super hard process, but it will take some time. But it just needs to happen! 

3. Paint The Entry/Kitchen/Living/Hallway

We are going to be doing this in early fall! We've been putting up some samples, and think we have one picked! 

We love this Moonshine color by Benjamin Moore because it is so much lighter than our current color. We definitely need two coats, because with just one it looks white. Let me tell's going to be an insane before/after shot! But we're super excited!! 

4. Install The Back Splash

Okay, I'll admit it...we're nervous! It just seems like this is something we can totally mess up...but surely not...right? Has anyone done this by themselves and been successful? Talk us through this people! 

5. Add a "Popping Detail To Our Master Bedroom

This is the thing that is currently on our radar. We have been trying to decide, and this is the next thing to happen probably! We're excited about the ideas we have for our more updates on that soon hopefully! 

6. Do Something With Our Railing In The Entry

We'll probably worry about this one when we do the new flooring/wall color in the fall. So fall time will be a huge season of change for this house of ours! Can't wait! 

Still loving this though! 

7. Build Some Pretty Shelves For The Kitchen and Diving Room

We went to buy all of the materials for this project one night, and then realized that we would have to take them down when we we'll wait to do this after we paint in the fall. 

8. Paint The Yellow Room

This is another simple project that will probably happen in the next few weeks! We are going to be painting the Yellow Room and the Bathroom {we need to do this because for some reason these walls have been destroyed by (we're guessing) the steam from the shower!}Still picking colors though! 

9. Organize Some Of the Closets That Have Gotten Out Of Control 

We've kind of worked on this, and I'l have an update on this next week hopefully! We've been doing a lot of organizing lately and still have a few more drawers to go...but updates on that soon...I promise! 

10. Pull Out The Carpet On The Top Floor

Fall time...can't wait!! So excited...can't wait! I can't wait...have I mentioned that? 

So what did I learn from this little activity...we really stink at lists. BUT...there is a silver lining! This keeps us organized, and we're excited about the changes that are happening and going to happen!! 

So tell me...have you guys been getting any head way on projects you're working on? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Dates By The Dozen: Update}

I hope ya'll had a fabulous weekend! We were super busy in my classroom, but still managed to soak up the gorgeous weekend with two pretty special dates! 

Remember last week when I was totally transparent about how terrible we were at actually doing our Monthly Dates I had planned for us? Well I was able to get three completed this weekend! Go me! 

Friday, we were in my classroom until 6:30 in the evening! To say we were tired was an understatement! We came home, ordered pizza and watched a movie. Just when it was getting dark, I pulled out two pretty amazing cupcakes {that I picked up while my niece, mom and I had lunch downtown} and we headed outside to star gaze the evening away!

I think he was pretending to gaze into the stars...I'm tellin' you...he's weird!

So I did this to say "Wow...we majorly slacked on this date!" But then realized that it's July we're only a year late! 

With our loot: a comfy blanket, our cupcakes, and my friend Tammy {my favorite Tervis Tumbler that makes her way everywhere with me!}

I'm telling you, we loved every second of this date! For one, the evening was beautiful! Kind of cool, but fabulous! The only semi-hilarious thing was that there was not a SINGLE star in the sky! Funny right? But we still got to "be with nature" and enjoy our surroundings as well as some Reds fireworks from our backyard! 

This date did two things for me. First, it helped me to de-stress me from the crazy day/week of working in my classroom. And secondly, it helped me to remember how much nature means to Wendel! He loves being outside in the quiet, so we need to make this a priority for sure!! 

On Saturday, guess what we did all day? Oh my goodness you're right! We worked in my classroom! To say the previous teacher was a pack rat is a huge understatement! {Pictures to come later once things are more put together and pretty! 

 Anyhoo...we finished up around 3:00 just in time to come home, do some yard work, and grab showers! 

Our first stop on our Saturday Date night was going to a local winery. We are so blessed to have quite a few local wineries about 20 minutes from our home...and we've never been to them! Sad, right? 

So we headed to Camp Springs Winery to do a wine tasting. Let me tell you...we loved it! It was so cute and adorable in their little log cabin, and the wine was fabulous! 

I'm probably as far from a "drinker" as a person can be! My idea of an evening cap is a diet cherry coke in  wine glass {not joking by any means!} so to say that I enjoyed the wine is a huge statement! We even bought three bottles! 

We loved every moment of our time here, and then we were off to dinner! 

 So I can't believe it, but I totally deleted the picture of Wendel holding his sign...we might have to get another one soon...but this is what I've got! {Anyone know how to retrieve a photo your deleted from your iPhone?}

For our next stop, we went to a new restaurant in Hyde Park called Tellers. And by new I mean we've never been there before. It used to be a bank many years ago and I'm pretty sure you can eat in the vault. 

It was delicious! So, so, so delicious!

{Another "Really..five months later should be ashamed!" picture} 

{Yes...this is my first outfit from Friday's post...and the moment I walked into the winery someone commented on my outfit...I'll say that one was a home run!}

We both got salads, amazing pasta dishes, and then we shared a chocolate hazelnut browning and mousse dessert! Oh my work it was all so delicious!

We ended our evening by coming home and sitting by the pool enjoying another night of gorgeous weather!

 I have to say that this might have been one of my favorite dates ever! We had such a blast and I loved trying new places! Why do we always go to the same places? There are so many amazing restaurant in Cincinnati...and we need to explore them! 

Any locals have some places we need to try? I'm taking a vow to not do another date night at one of our usual places!  

On the docket in the near future:
- Painted Fish
- Andy's Mediterranean
- Revolving Restaurant
- Palamino
- Some of the places in Over the Rhine

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Stylin'...Well Tryin' To At Least }

Happy Friday! Who is super excited for the weekend? I know we are! We have big plans for some date nights and working in my classroom {exciting right?} 

So today I have something that is wayyyy out of my comfort zone! 

Now let me be honest...I don't have low self esteem by any means. Wendel always makes fun of me that I need to work on liking "me" better. I've always been a very confident individual. I like the way I look, and think I dress pretty good. 

But I still feel frumpy sometimes...yes frumpy. I'm a conservative teacher, so I'm a cardigan and flat wearing person. Never a bad thing, but when I want to look sexy and hot for a night on the town, I always struggle with finding something to wear. 

This is what happens...I sit in front of my closet trying to find something to wear. I start to cry because I  have "no clothes." Wendel tries to make me feel better. I cry harder and yell at Wendel. Eventually I put something on but still don't feel amazing. 

So...I decided to change that. STAT! Now how am I going to do this? By forcing myself to get out of my  comfort zone! 

I've been reading an amazing blog called Pink Peonies, and let me tell you...this girl can dress! She somehow mixes classic pieces with more trendy ones and ends up looking classy and amazing! 

So...this is my challenge to myself...once a week I will post pictures of myself in my own clothes jumping out of my comfort zone. I'm going to try to mix and match my pieces to make new, fresh, and exciting outfits. 

You don't have to like the actually can hate them if you want! But please don't tell me about it :) Just kindly say bad things in your head and then move on your merry way. Thanks! 

I do not spend a ton of money on clothes. But I am a discount, bargain shopper.  So if I link something and it's can pretty much guarantee that I didn't pay full price for it! Just want to throw that out there.

Some things I've learned through this process so far. 

1. I have been and probably always will be drawn to yellow...always! 

2. I am an extremely awkward solo picture taker.

3. We have no clue how to use our camera and it's ridiculous.

4. Wendel is a saint for dealing with being my photographer.

5. I could wear my turquoise J Crew necklace with every single outfit.

6. I shop at Loft way, way too much! here we go!! 

Outfit Number 1

Pants: Loft;  Shirt: Loft; Shoes: Steve Madden: {Old}; Necklace: J. Crew {From Ebay}; Watch: Fossil; Clutch: Etsy {Gift from Wendel}

Dorky...yes...but I kind of love this shot. 


Outfit Number 2

 Skirt: J Crew {I guess the yellow color is gone}; Shirt: J Crew Factory {similar}; Necklace; Target {Old}; Shoes: Target {On sale right now in store!}; Clutch: Forver 21 {Old}; Sockbun

Random shot, I know, but I wanted you to see the sock bun that I have perfected and adore! 

So there you go! Two newer looks for me, and I can't wait to wear them out and about this weekend! Here's to learning something new, and getting out of your comfort zone! 

So tell do you all get out of your "frumpy" ruts? I know we all have them! Make me feel better! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

{Desking- A Guest Post By Wendel}

Happy Wednesday! I'm so excited to be sharing this little blog with my husband this evening! He will be sharing all of the details about our beautiful little Young House Love inspired desk in our newly updated office! I will warn you, we were TERRIBLE at taking pictures of this process, so don't hate us please! I did add some pictures at the end for Wendel of the details of the desk! Enough of the wife-ing...

Take it away Wendel! 


Hello BlogWorld!

Welcome to my first blog post ever! I am going to attempt to tell you how I made this brilliant and professional looking desk that my lovely wife keeps talking about.  

Warning: I am very new to the DIY business and have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, so this is more of an explanation of what I have learned in this undertaking. Now I’m gonna go all IKEA on you; first, the tools and hardware required!

You will need:

- Wood.  This will depend on your room and your preference of desk width.  I bought three 2x10x8s to make a desk 8 feet long and 30 inches deep.

- Cabinets.  We found a good deal on kitchen cabinets at home depot.
Sanding tools of your choice.  I used an electric orbital sander and sanding blocks with various grits.

- Wood Separator (Circular Saw)

- Wood Stain

- Polyurethane

- Old T-shirts (rags)

- Mending and Corner Braces

- Most important ingredient…Beer (no I’m not an alcoholic and I am not condoning intoxicated use of power tools by minors…)

How I did it (that sounded naughty):

Well since I am terrible at taking pictures as I go through projects I will refer you to this terrific website that you can use to find a picture of wood for your starting point:

So the first step is to measure your room or the wall you are putting the desk in.  Remember, measure twice cut once, or in my case, measure 8 times, cut once (I may be a bit paranoid, but it pays off).  I erred on the side of caution and left about 1/8th of an inch on each board because you can always take more off but you can’t put it back.  This came in handy as I ended up sanding about this much off the ends.

I then used the orbital sander to smooth out the surface of the boards.  When I first started I thought this was a little ridiculous because the boards were pretty smooth already, but afterwards it was amazing how big of an effect this had.  Once I had evened out the surface with the rough grit on the electric sander I used a much finer sandpaper block the smooth everything out.  This part of the process took the most time (and sweat) but was definitely worth it!  Don’t skimp on this part, it really does make a huge difference.

Next comes the stain.  This part took the most finesse.  I found it to be a tricky thing to get the boards stained evenly.  I referred to the almightly Googlator for this part.  The tricks for staining (that I used) were to go with the grain, apply liberally, and use a rag (or old t-shirt in my case) to remove excess between coats.  I ended up applying three coats of the stain to cover it thoroughly.  Again, this was a first for me so I am no authority on the subject, but I suppose the best way to learn it is to try it!
After the stain was finished I did two coats of polyurethane, using a very fine sandpaper block to smooth it out between coats.  After this the boards were ready to come inside.

Now comes one of the luckiest moments of my DIY experience.  I brought the boards inside one by one and set them on top of the cabinets (which had already been placed where we wanted them) and they fit closer than I could have possibly hoped.  I can just barely fit a piece of paper between them and the wall on both sides. Like I said, measure eight times and cut once.

I had pretty long debate in my head (a very scary place) about how the secure the boards together and to the cabinets.  In the end I decided to go with mending braces to bring the boards together and corner braces to fasten them to the cabinets.  This actually worked out a good bit better than I expected as well because it leveled the boards (in relation to each other) and pulled them more perpendicular to the cabinets. 

So after a good bit of sweat, cursing, a few minor injuries and a good amount of Guinness, I had a pretty flippin sweet desk.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling and my parentheses (you’re just lucky I didn’t start nesting them (as my family is used to seeing in my emails (those can get confusing)))


Isn't he cute? I'm kind of fond of him! for the pictures! 

Look at how pretty that surface is! 

 These are the brackets and such...boring but important to visualize...and keep the desk together!

He mentioned how close it fits to the wall...he wasn't kidding! 

And a top shot to see how close the boards are! 

And one more to ohh and ahh over! 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm taking tomorrow off because I have something new and special for get excited!! 

So tell me...any fun DIY projects you and your spouse have worked on together? Pretty fun right? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{Introducing Olive...It's A Girl!}

No...we're not preggo...but we did just give birth to a longer term DIY home project. 

Her name is Olive...and she's our new beauty of an office! You'd think we painted her the color olive...but no...I just like the name Olive for an office. Strange...I know!

But here she is! In all her bright colored beauty!

We are 100% obsessed with everything about this office and are so excited to share with you all of the little details!

On a quick side note. Tomorrow, I get to have a guest blogger...Wendel! He's going to explain {in his boy way} how to build this beautiful desk that we absolutely love!

Any hoo...before I give some of the details of the room, I thought I should share the before picture...dun dun dun.

Boring right?

But let's not fret on the before...let's focus on the after! 

This desk was the starting point of our office. We needed a place where we can both work at the same time, and our old desk just wasn't doing it for us! We also needed more storage that was good at hiding things {i.e. the printer/office supplies/some of my teachery mess} So in came Young House Love with some inspiration.

We made our desk pretty much the same they did, but more on that tomorrow!

On to the other details of the room. 

We kept the office color the same as it was before {because...well Wendel was obsessed with it and I couldn't stand to break his heart!} but we added lots of color and details to make this office truly amazing!

Above the desk on either sides we have a mosh-posh of white frames with random pictures and art in them. We also added a few crosses that we have collected over the years! One of which a good friend gave me for graduation. There is one frame the is empty because we are going to get all of the kids to paint a little piece of art to fit in it. So stay tuned for that little ditty.

We painted our old dark-brown shelf white, because I wanted the dark brown wood desk top to be the only dark tones in the room. I'm still working on figuring out how to put everything in there, but life is a work in process right?

We also hung our map that I gave Wendel for our first anniversary!

So I am yellow, Alex is black, and together we are purple. We've only made it to a few places together...but that boy has me beat big time! He's been all over Europe, to Hawaii and Canada! We have some major work to do to change that!

I am a little obsessed with apothocary jars as this Instagram post shows you...

{By the way...follow me @ leliawendel}

It is very safe to say that I have too many...and this isn't even all of them! Sad, I know! But I decided to put some cute little memories in these! My childhood blocks, some dominoes, and all of the pins/buttons/awards from my childhood! We got a good kick out of looking through all of those!

These mirrors were in our old office, but were boring black. So green they became and I love them! 

This little puppy is my favorite thing in the office!! Our new light fixture from Lowes!! Obsessed!! 

Oh and those gorgeous chevron curtains...I'll be sharing all about those coming up next week! 

This is a slightly boring wall right now...but we're working on it! Those little jars will be screwed under neath the ledge very soon! 

And here is our beautiful new closet! I'll be posting all about this beauty next week too, so stay tuned!! 

Get excited for tomorrow to hear the husband write a post :) Should be interesting! 

So tell me...have any of you completely re-done a room before? It's kind of fun to start all over isn't it? Tell me you experiences and all the details! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

{Dates By The Dozen}

Happy Monday my blogger friends! I hope everyone had a fabulously relaxing weekend! We had a college friend come and visit and it was wonderful! I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the sweet words about finally getting a job! You all are wonderful!

This week we have our big office reveal, so get excited for that! Today I wanted to share with you my inexpensive DIY wedding gift I gave Wendel.

On our wedding day, I gave Wendel 12 pre-planned dates for our first year of marriage. It was an inexpensive and fun way to force us to have special dates nights. I got the idea from this blog, but did my own spin {i.e. didn't buy all the gift cards...I'm cheap what can I say!}

All I did was open up a Word Document, and start typing ideas for each month. I didn't make them very cute {sadly} but to tell you the truth...I did this the week of our wedding! Then I printed them out, glued them on some scrap-booking paper and added some stickers and things that I had! Then slipped them in some envelopes and wrote the month on it!

Easy-peasy right? So go and do it for your husband/fiance/boyfriend now! Go!

The rule was he couldn't open them until the first of each month. I thought that it would be so hard to wait until the first of each month, but as we all know, life gets busy! We would totally forget and we were lucky if we opened them in the right month.

I have to admit...we kind of slacked on actually doing them! We still haven't done a few of them...opps!  But I'm planning a few special somethings to get all of our "left overs" in a few special dates!

So here they are...our monthly dates!

June- Picnic at Botanical Gardens in Birmingham

We were heading down to Birmingham for one of my best friend's weddings. So we had planned to have a picnic in one of our favorite Birmingham places...the Botanical Gardens. Well life got busy, so we didn't have time to do it there. night I decided to surprise him from work with a picnic in the Nati.

{Side hilarious is it that he is so that man!}

He came home to this, and we were off to a local park. But then we realized it was 95+ degrees...and we have a pool and why would we go out? 

So we took a short trip to our basement...

And ate downstairs! It was cool, relaxing, and perfect! 

July- Star gazing in the country

One of my favorite things to do...but we totally forgot about it...and still haven't done it! To be done soon! 

August- A weekend trip to Dublin, Ohio for the Dublin Irish Festival! 

Alex is a Celtic music/Irish culture NUT! So we took a little weekend trip to see one of his favorite Irish bands...The Young Dubliners! 

It was hot, but we had a blast! 

Lots and lots of bag pipers! 

Good music, and a dark beer...he was in heaven! 

September- Apple picking! 

There is a fruit farm about 20 minutes from Cincinnati, so we headed there to pick some apples and then come home and make an apple pie! 

Then we got there...and there was no U-Pick apples because we had such a dry summer! 

But we had a blast anyways! There were alpacas...never had seen one! Kind of loved them! 

Then we took a hay ride to a corn maze! Loved every single second of it! A fall ritual for sure!! 

And I had just gotten new we got a lot of pictures of my feet! 

You could buy apples in the corner store {plus some amazing apple fritters...fried goodness!} So we bought a peck...they totally measured in bushels and pecks...I thought that was precious! 

October- Pumpkin Patch

We ended up doing this with the family...because we just can't get enough of them! So we headed off to one of our favorite pumpkin patches for a day of fun! 

My good lookin' hubby! 

Husband...he's precious! 

This pumpkin patch makes little scenes out of pumpkins so we had fun walking through all of the "stories" and then took a hay ride! 

Can you tell we had a blast? 

December- Ice Skating and Carriage Ride Downtown

We totally failed at this! We did a really cute little date night at Bonefish, and were going to go downtown to do this date. Then we realized how cold it was and so we went home to watch and movie and sip hot coco! Next year...we HAVE to do this! 

 January- Perfect North

Embarrassed...totally didn't do this one either! This is a place to go skiiing, and Alex and I have been wanting to go for seven {yes 7} years! Why haven't we gone? No reason at all! We want to, but we just get busy! Total fail...but we'll be doing this one this year too {hopefully!} 

February- Fancy Date Night

So we only did half of this. Part one was to research a place we've never been and decide together where we'd go! Well we did that! We found a Groupon to go to a place called Tellers. It's a cute little place in Hyde Park that used to be a bank! They've turned it into this swanky little restraunt and you can actually eat in the vault! But instead of going there for Valentines, we went to our first date place, The York Street Cafe! But have no fear, I have a plan to make this one even more special this weekend! Check back next week to see what I have planned!

March- Rock Climbing

Well...we're terrible people! Have't done this one yet either! My mom got Alex a gift card to go to Climb Time {our local rock climbing gym} for his birthday! But during this time, we was training for his first marathon and didn't want to get hurt. Then we got in our we'll be doing this one hopefully in August once we both get cleared! 

April- Visit a Local Winery

We are so blessed to have a few local wineries just a few minutes from our home! Who knew!? But guess what...we still have't done this one yet! Terrible I know...but I have a plan for this one soon. So check back next week to see what we did! 

May- Hiking

Well we were going to wait until school slowed down to do this one, but then we got in a wreck! We did a hiking date in November though, so I kind of count that one. However, we're planning another trip once we're cleared! So will be seeing some hiking from the Wendels! 

So here we go! Horrible right? I cannot believe we were so terrible at actually doing these dates!'s the thought that counts right? We are excited to get the rest of these puppies done, so be on the look out for the rest of these dates very soon! 

So tell you and your loved ones do cute date nights? Tell me it's not just me that loves this? Fill me in! Give me ideas! I'd love to hear from you all!

Go check out the update on our Date By The Dozen here