Monday, February 17, 2014

Six weeks in paradise

It's hard to believe this past week marked my halfway point through my first fieldwork site. After the first couple of days I thought it might take forever. Now, I think it will be over before I know it. I am on the downhill! I have already learned so much. It seems like I learned nothing in school, comparatively.

We stayed in for Valentine's day and grilled steaks. We also finally saw The Internship. It was pretty funny. It was a nice evening of hanging out. I hope you all did something special! We decided to get in the spirit of the day so we wore our best red and pink to work. Sorry the picture is not the best, but I thought I better prove we were trying to celebrate!

The Husker Classic was in town. They played a few Western teams-Oregon State, Pacific and Gonzaga to be exact. They went 2-2. They had an Alumni tailgate so we went and checked that out.

The food was fantastic! This was their first year having this tournament and look how many people were at the tailgate...I think this will become an annual tournament.

 Look at us showing off our Husker spirit!!!

We got new rally towels, which I think I will use for working out. And they even gave us peanuts and cracker jacks-how authentic!  

Everyone at the tailgate put their name in for door prizes, and I won a baseball signed by Darin Erstad! His daughter won the other one so I think I was probably the most excited!

Here are a few action shots of the team in their new uniforms.

All in all, we had a great time! We both got a little sunburned...oops.

I have continued to craft. It's nice to have some more free time. I am working on another wreath. Here is my progress so far. I love burlap!

We hiked up Camelback. It was closed for about a year and just re-opened a few weeks ago. It was my first time back up since it has re-opened. I have to say, I love the new trail!! It was pretty cool. I feel much safer, and it seems easier. We didn't really take a break the whole way up so either I have gotten into much better shape or the trail is much easier. I'm going with the latter. The new trail gives much cooler views than I remember. It was so packed!! I have never seen so many people at the top.

Do you see all these other people?!?! So crazy!!!

At least we don't look out of place for taking pictures then because most everyone is a tourist!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Matching bikes and free food

Matt started work this past Monday, and he has decided he works for the best company in the valley! He has gotten lots of free food so I would be enjoying it too!! Needless to say, he is liking it! I put him in charge of meeting new friends for us since he works with so many people around our age. He has been working very hard and was able to find a couple friends. On Friday we even went out with some of them! They took us to a Mexican place then out for ice cream. We had a great time!! Hopefully, they will be a couple we continue to hang out with.
We piked up a bike for me this past week so we took our (matching) bikes out to Papago Park for some riding. I was pretty much terrified the whole time, but it was really beautiful! We will try it again soon.

Can you see our matching bikes?!?

Matt took over the camera at this point...I decided to only put up one picture he took..

Love the red rock!

After, we headed down to my grandparents house for some relaxation. It is so nice to have them around to have familiar faces to see and more free food! ;) We watched one of Jadyn's last basketball games for the year. It feels like we are right there, but we get to watch from the couch instead of the bleachers. Atlee also was awarded for doing so well on the state tests. She is so smart!! One proud big sister over here!

I'm so excited the Olympics have started, are you watching?!? We have been trying to catch as much as we can. It's been pretty exciting so far!! Hope it continues to go well!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

North and South Mountains

The last two weekends, we have continued our mountain hiking journey through Phoenix. Last weekend we headed up to North Mountain. It was only about a 20 minute hike and about 90% of it was paved. It was a pretty simple hike and we saw a handful of people doing their workout along the hike. There are some other minor mountains up in that area as well. Easy hike or not, it still gave way to some incredible views!

North Mountain

Piestewa off in the distance.

We were exactly north of downtown.

How beautiful are these clouds?

This weekend we went up to South Mountain. We will definitely be back!! We climbed one little mountain; there is SO MUCH to see there. Hopefully we will get me a mountain bike in the next couple weeks and we can mountain bike up there. They have some really cool trails! They also have an area you can build your own fire and look over the city. Come down and see us, and we will take you up there for some s'mores and an incredible view!

South Mountain

How cool would it be to golf here?!?

Pictures do not do this place justice, but we are in love! Hope you are all enjoying your snow!! ;) ;)

Reupholstered chairs

My grandparents were so gracious in giving us their old table and chairs. We however, wanted to make it into our own. I casually mentioned we should reupholster the chairs, and Matt was all for it. So the next weekend before I knew it we were out buying fabric and supplies to complete our task. I couldn't find any great instructions online so we just kind of winged it. The tips from this lady did help and put me at ease:
Here is our before and after.


Matt took apart two of the chairs and we used those as our pattern. We went to our local fabric shop to take a look around. I knew I wanted a brown to match our couch, rug and place mats. We really wanted microfiber but could not find any during our quick shopping. Let's face it, anytime you take a man shopping, whatever is close enough to what you want that you find in the first five minutes is what you are getting. (But I am really happy with the fabric we ended up choosing.) We also do not own a sewing machine. I know most people don't sew when reupholstering furniture, but these chairs were sewn before so we thought we would do it again. We found a place to rent a sewing machine and we were ready to go!

We cut the new material the same dimensions as the old ones. Those dimensions were not real accurate which furthered my beliefs that we could do this!

We reused the padding that was on the chair before. I dusted them off because they smelled pretty bad but were still in good shape. New padding is expensive!! We had some problems along the way, like we didn't know how to use a sewing machine...So once we got the figured out we were golden. Our seam lines are definitely not straight, but sewing did make it look a lot more professional. We just followed the exact same pattern that was on there before. We sewed everything together. We were definitely not perfect, and they worked out! We bought an electric staple gun to staple the material to the chairs with 1/2" staples. Use lots of staples and you cannot go wrong! We chose the electric gun just to make sure we had enough power. We had several mess ups and were able to hide them well. If I could do it different, I would add more padding to ours. My grandparents had the brown cushions they put on top of the chairs because there was not a lot of padding to begin with. We did not account for that when we cut our patterns so we didn't think we could add padding later. But the cushions would match our new chairs if we need them! We don't sit on them a whole lot so that isn't a huge issue for us! We are happy with them because it was a great project we got to do on our own. Enjoy and happy crafting!

Our finished product!