Freezer Paper Shirt Decorating

Alright I think I said that the next post would be pictures of the furniture we got at Ikea but the apartment has deteriorated in cleanliness over the past week so I need to tackle that first. I did buy supplies to do curtains though! That will be a post of it’s own but wish me luck for that this week!

This weekend we made a very quick trip to Delaware to celebrate my father in law’s 50th birthday party! My husband has 3 sisters and one has a 5 year old daughter (who is my bestie!), one brought her husband, and the other brought her boyfriend. And then my in-laws. And THAT is just the people that stayed at the house! It was a day full of drinks, croquet, eating, crabs, volleyball, ladder ball, twister, Mr. Potatohead, and may or may not have ended with flip cup (it did). We had a blast but it was way too short! I think my hands have finally stopped smelling like Old Bay 2 days later. My FIL is actually in NC this week for work so we’ll see him tonight for dinner. He’ll get to see the new place but unfortunately getting in at 9pm last night means he’ll get to see it in it’s messy glory.

This week will be spent on curtains and trying to finally get the remaining boxes unpacked to prepare for this weekend and our first real guests!! Three of my best friends from high school (including my girl from the mattress saga) will be coming for the weekend and I am so excited to host friends. And watch the Olympics. And not leave the house except to walk across the street for Bojangles. It’s going to be magnificent! Hopefully I’ll have a bunch of posts about the apartment and how it is shaping up.

Last but not least, I made a shirt for myself for Olympic watching! You should know that for 3 years and 11 months I am a very open-minded and culturally sensitive person. I love the US and am happy to have the freedoms that being a US citizen provide but think that other countries are awesome and love to travel and live abroad. That being said… that other month, or the monthish amount of time that the Olympics takes up every 3 years? Whole other story. [Wait, first I should say that this is somewhat true for the Winter Olympics but I get WAY more in to the Summer Olympics so that’s why I’m going with ever 4 years here] I become a psychotic patriot. Borderline ethnocentric. America didn’t win the gold? Other country cheated. And my friends that are coming this weekend (you know, first weekend of the Olympics) are the same way. So I felt like I needed to make an intense shirt.

I chose my new favorite phrase: YOLO. I am mostly saying it ironically but I just can’t stop. Then I wanted something American-esque and also tongue in cheek to go on the back so I’m going with “better be American” I thought about going even more in to this strange patriotic/rude American stereotype but decided I’d like to be able to run in this shirt and not get things thrown at me. To make the shirt I used my favorite Freezer Paper technique. If you google this you can find some good tutorials but I learned it from my mom so I don’t really have a specific tutorial to “endorse”. Basically, you’re using freezer paper as your stencil.

Paper ironed on and starting to paint! It’s very faint but if you look at letters with an unattached middle part you will see a pencil line across them. (end of step 3 discusses the reason for this)

All painted in

Pulling off the stencil. Large parts around the first 2 words are off. Still stencil in the middle of the letters and all of the stencil on “American” still there.

The front in progress (sorry for the awful pictures). Check out those crisp lines where the stencil is removed!

All done

  1. Figure out what you want the shirt to look like! I wrote “YOLO” in a word document and played around with font size/fonts until I found the size and look that I wanted. I then printed that off. You could print, freehand, or use a design that you already have.
  2. Trace your image on to the freezer paper. FREEZER paper – not wax paper and not parchment paper. It needs to have wax but on just one side of the paper.
  3. Cut out your design. I used an exacto knife and my self-healing mat. Make sure you SAVE the middle parts of letters or designs that need to stay white! For example – I cut out my Os for YOLO by going around the outer and inner borders of the circle but made sure to keep the middle part of the O because I’ll need it to stay white. Another trick that I do is before I cut it out I draw a line across any letters/designs that have an inside. That way I know I can line it back up.
  4. Iron the freezer paper on to the shirt wherever you want the design to be. Wax side down! That’s why you need freezer paper – wax paper has wax on two sides and it would get all over your iron. I usually iron on the main part of the stencil then go back and add in the middle parts that I saved. I start out on a low setting and increase the heat as needed if the stencil isn’t sticking everywhere.
  5. Put some newspaper or cardboard under the layer that you’re painting on (so inside of the shirt in most cases) in case of the paint bleeding through. Make sure that all of the edges are ironed down and start painting! I used these paint pouncer things from Martha Stewart and thought they worked great. I got those and the fabric paint that I used from Michael’s.
  6. Once all of your letters/your whole design has been painted, carefully pull off the freezer paper. I took mine off when the paint was still wet because that’s what I’ve seen lots of tutorials do for stencils on other surfaces so you may be able to wait until it is all dry but mine worked really well taking it off still wet.
  7. Touch up any spots that you  missed, let it dry, and you’re good to go! I think mine turned out really well.

I’ve used this technique to paint on onesies before to give as baby shower gifts and it’s awesome. You can get fancy and do multiple stencils of the same design to do different colors, too. For babies you may want to research paint types though to get safe paints that will wash okay and won’t flake.

Anyone else used freezer paper stenciling before? I am always surprised at how easy it is! I really think the worst part is cutting out the letters/stencil. What is your “go to” gift at baby showers? Anyone have a traditional gift they give or do you just go off of the registry?


A house is not a home

I’m not really sure what that song is about but I hope it’s relevant. We’re trying hard to make this “house” our home! Ikea was awesome, as usual. We may or may not have eaten there twice. Seee when we got there it was almost lunch time but we knew the caf would be crowded and we wanted to get to our shopping so we grabbed a hot dog. Then we shopped, shopped shopped, and then went to their “restaurant”. I, of course, had their meatball plate. Mmm get at me, lingonberry!

So, here’s the breakdown of our spoils:

Worktable desk for the craft/hobby/sewing/guest room. $20

Bookshelves for hubs. $24.99

Desk for hubs. $69

LOVE OF MY LIFE EXPEDIT CUBE SHELVES. $140. So rather than get the large one for $159 we decided to get 2 smaller ones for less money. And easier to move. And we liked the matte white more than the high gloss white anyway. It was pretty much a win win.

Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for. What did we get for the sideboard/buffet/hutch/kitchen storage? If you remember, this was the wishlist.

And if you check this post, you’ll see the different options that we wanted to check out. Well, none of them worked.

This was the front runner going in to it. Although the price was a little high I thought it was worth it because it’s pretty. I loved the top but the bottom was lacking. It was a lot more shallow than I thought and the drawers seemed like they would fit almost zero things. So I had to say goodbye to my beauty.

I also loved this one. Hubs wasn’t thrilled with the price tag, even of the $400 version in a different color (I think maybe it was birch but possibly gray/brown). At this time we were feeling kind of beat down (the order on here doesn’t reflect the order of the shopping) so I wasn’t up for a debate.

I don’t remember if we saw this but we may have totally looked it over because it doesn’t have drawers. At the time I think the main draw was the price tag.

Then we almost got this. I think it would have been really good except what you can’t see is the scalloped edges. That plus the antique stain gave it a very country feel and that isn’t really my style. I do think I like rustic/country chic type things but it just wasn’t the right vibe and I did not want to spend that much on something that I didn’t love.


What was I thinking? It doesn’t have hidden storage, it’s the most expensive thing I posted, and it’s industrial. This is an obvious no.

So… what did we end up with? Drum roll, please!

Yep… it’s a dresser! Sorry, “chest of drawers”. First, look at that lovely pricetag. Even at $250 we were leaning towards it but then we saw the 20% off deal and were sold! Ding ding ding! Two small drawers for utensil type things and then 4 large drawers for hidden storage of random kitchen items. Yes, it is obviously a dresser in our kitchen but we didn’t want to spend a good amount of money on something that wasn’t perfect and, more importantly, that may not work in our next kitchen. I would have had a hard time settling for something now and two years down the line wanting something different. So now in two years when we move we’ll have this dresser (which we have none of our own currently) and for now we have kitchen storage. And they lived happily ever after. I can really say that because the stuff is all put together already and we are no longer cursing at allen wrenches. Next post: pictures of the loot!

Have you had any creative solutions to storage? How much do you love Ikea??

Movin’ On Up!

I’d like to know how many posts about moving have this same title. Actually, it would probably be easier to count how many DON’T use this title. Yesterday I said that we were going to move on Friday but there were antsies in our pantsies so we did most of it last night! It looked rainy and our previous plan was to go to a baseball game so we canceled in favor of moving. I don’t think it did rain but it will be great to have more time to unpack tonight rather than spending it all on moving stuff! The new place is great! I have to admit that we were looking at it with rose colored glasses, though. There are a few downfalls.

  • not enough furniture
  • the bathroom that we want is across from the bedroom that we want buuut that bedroom doesn’t have a cable connection for TV in bed
  • tiny kitchen
  • smaller bedrooms than we thought

Overall – still such an upgrade! Did I mention the washer/dryer?! Can I just tell you a fear of mine, though? This is a handicap suite. Meaning that if someone gets hired next year and needs a handicap suite… I think we would get kicked out. Obviously it wouldn’t be the end of the world – we would still have jobs and housing, etc. But moving again? And then again one year later? I just don’t know if I can…

Pushing those thoughts out of my head! So I said lack of furniture was a problem and boy is it. Here’s a list of things that were in our old apartment and underlined are things that are also in the new one

  • bed
  • dresser
  • coffee table
  • dresser for the entertainment center
  • desk/desk chair
  • book shelf

Okay now that doesn’t seem like much but I promise it is. The old apartment had 2 dressers for one room whereas this apartment has 2 dressers for 2 rooms. Hubs and I definitely both need a dresser so we moved the one from the guest room in to our room as well and now the guest room is without. The dresser/entertainment center was awesome in the last place – it had 4 drawers that held remotes, other electronics, and all of our scarves/gloves/winter things. So now we need a place for all of that. Maybe the reason that it feels like we have so much less storage furniture is because of the size of the kitchen. I think I am being punished for being so unappreciative of the kitchen in the last apartment. It was HUGE. As in, room for everything and still having empty drawers and cabinets. I didn’t even take all of our gifts from the wedding out of their boxes because everything fit.

Fast forward to this kitchen which has a fairly good amount of top cabinetry but only one cabinet on the bottom. Yep, one. And 2 small drawers. Because it is a handicap suite it has an empty space next to the stove so one could wheel underneath the counter. So that’s about 2 cabinets worth of space gone. And some of the counters are a lot lower which I started complaining about and then realized that almost EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD is for average heighted people so I should just shut it.

Anyway – the need for more furniture has prompted an IKEA trip on Sunday! I started looking online and am so excited for this. I’m a little worried that Hubs doesn’t know what he’s in for though. We’re going to have to buy tons of furniture eventually so I feel like spending some money now will be worth it. Here are some of the things I’m coveting:                                      I like that I could display some things but also have some hidden areas for just throwing pots and pans in. I eventually need a hutch for china so this could be a good middle ground.                                This is really pretty perfect as far as side boards/buffets go. I really like that there are drawers because we are in sore need of more drawer space.                                                    This is a little bit more affordable so may be a contender. It would definitely depend on how tall it is and how much space is inside. Can’t really tell with the doors closed!                                                         I really like the top cabinet on this. A nice display place, it creates another surface, and then the storage space on the bottom. I just wish that it had a drawer or two!                                                          I also considered something like this. However, the storage on the bottom isn’t hidden.

So from all of these options I think my list of wants is:

  • hidden storage on the bottom
  • drawers
  • another surface area and/or a display area for nicer dishes

In reality, something like this is my dream buuut likely out of our desired price range at the moment.

Source:  (I just typed “dining room hutch” in to the Google machine)

So… off to Ikea we go! (On Sunday)

Finish him!

Okay, it’s really time to finish up these living spaces. I kind of mentioned them in the mattress story but let me explain them a little more. First, a recap.

  • Parent’s house
  • Freshman year- tiny single
  • Sophomore year- lofted bed with a ninja friend
  • Junior year- first semester in a single again but one that was a legitimate shape
  • Junior year – second semester in Madrid in a small room in a host mother’s house butwhocaresitwasSpain
  • Junior summer – room shared with my high school best friend; almost ruined by mattress incident
  • Senior year

Senior year I moved to a townhouse with 2 of my friends that I’d known since freshman year. This place probably was the first that allowed more creativity (our own furniture, ability to hang things) but we didn’t do a whole lot. Strapped for cash + senior year at a tough school will do that to you. It wasn’t the nicest place in the world but we felt relatively safe because criminals usually don’t rob where they live… right? Also we felt like the spray painted “Gang 336” was probably just a joke. Or something. I lived there for 2 years – through my first year in grad school.

My second year of grad school I lived with my now sister in law! By far the nicest place I have lived yet. SIL E owns a lot of nice stuff so the apartment was very nicely decorated but again we didn’t do anything like painting walls. I loved living with her and enjoyed decorating for holidays (except when we moved and had to lug eleventybillion boxes labeled ‘Christmas’ or ‘knick knacks’ down the stairs). That was just 2 years ago so we’re finally getting to present times!

In the summer of 2011 my husband and I both graduated from our Master’s programs and then we got married! His sister and I moved out of our apartment and I finally moved in with hubs. Here’s where my husband’s job is important. He works in housing/residence life in a job that requires you to live on campus. He’s never NOT lived on a campus (this is now his 8th year of living in a residence hall). The summer that we got married he had not started his current job and still had some responsibilities from his job during graduate school. Meaning that I moved in to his apartment on campus. Except they were remodeling that apartment and moved him (and by proxy me) to a guest apartment. Although we weren’t the happiest about having to do this interim move for a few weeks (at the same time as graduating and getting married) and live out of boxes, the guest suite was NICE. Like a hotel. So we grinned and bore it.

In July we moved 30 minutes away to my husband’s new “big boy” job. I remember the first time we toured the apartment. All 500 square feet of it. As we left I turned to my husband and said, “you owe me”. It will probably be easier to write the issues with the apartment in list form. Otherwise it would be the world’s longest run on sentence.

  • tiny
  • it used to be bigger but they turned some of it in to a classroom by building partition walls. Meaning that the walls separating us and the classroom weren’t very solid or noise proof. Actually, you could slip a piece of paper between the top of the wall and the ceiling.
  • mice
  • house centipedes
  • cockroaches
  • there was only 1 closet for the whole place. 1 closet for linens, clothing, craft stuff, shoes, etc. There was a hallway outside of the apartment with a closet that I used for a lot of my craft stuff and just prayed that it wouldn’t get stolen (it didn’t!)
  • the only bathroom was in the bedroom so any time people wanted to stay over they would have to sleep on the pull out couch (see next bullet) and walk through our room to get to the bathroom
  • the pull out couch took up the whole living room when pulled out. Like you couldn’t get through the front door of the apartment.
  • the bed took up the entire bedroom. I had to climb over Hubs or down the bottom of the bed to get out
  • we took the closet door off because if it was open you couldn’t get in to the room
  • there were no counters in the bathroom so any products/lady accessories had to be kept in the already small bedroom
  • no plugs in the “dining room”
  • the dining room table had 4 chairs but only had room for 2 chairs around the table
  • our bedroom shared a wall with an office. Luckily on most days they were only there 9-5ish when we were at work
  • I think you get the picture

New goal: make sure to take pictures of every room that we live in! All I can find are 2 kitchen pictures, a picture of the bedroom, and some pictures from moving out.

It was a very elongated kitchen but I loved it for all of the room! On the left is the door to the maintenance closet that we stuck boxes and things that we didn’t mind getting dirty in. Plus 2 of the 4 chairs to our kitchen table that didn’t actually fit around it. We called it the “wine cellar”.

Bedroom. Aka the bed. That’s all that fit except for 2 dressers against the other wall with about 1.5′ between the bed and the dressers. Love those wall decals that my mother in law gave us! And see that painting? That’s from my friend Claire. In college she painted each of us a picture of a pair of our shoes and painted them how she though of us. Her description of mine is one of the most flattering things anyone has said about me: The shoes are warm and inviting and larger than life ❤

Moving pictures:

These are all full of my clothes…

So after a year of living there Hubs put in for a transfer to another building. This was kind of a roller coast ride because as soon as there was a possibility of moving I felt like I got totally OVER the apartment. I hated everything about it. Then it looked like we might not get to move and it was a big downer but I just kind of accepted it. I spent a lot of time telling myself that we were able to put so much money towards the loans because of this apartment and that it was just part of our story. This started sometime in January, I think. At the same time the department was trying to get a pet policy approved. And at the same time it was failing. All I want is a kitten! I was kind of angry about all of this for a while.

Then, in May we saw on Facebook that one of the people living in a 2 bedroom apartment was leaving! This was the contingency for us moving – someone had to want to leave a 2 bedroom apartment (makes sense). Suddenly we were told that yes we were moving! Within 2 weeks. To an interim apartment. So once again we packed up our boxes in specific ways – designating some boxes as stuff that could stay way for a few months and others as things that we needed. And we moved across campus. That’s where we are now. In a 4 bedroom student suite! Yep – this is like 3 times the size of our last apartment. Two of the bedrooms are basically just being used as storage and our next apartment is literally across the hall and one door up. As interim housing goes this is none to shabby!

And now… drum roll please… WE HAVE THE KEYS TO OUR NEXT PLACE! We were supposed to move in last Tuesday but over the weekend before that the washer in there exploded. Although I was obviously disappointed that we wouldn’t be moving this was a blessing. Not only were we not moved in at that point so no damage to our stuff but now they’ve replaced the washer/dryer as well as the carpet. So hopefully things are all nice for us to move in! Of course now all I want to do is fake sick and leave work so I can start moving but in the way of the world, we already have plans for this evening that we can’t cancel. So we’ll move a few things tonight and then Hubs and one of our friends will move most of the stuff tomorrow.

We plan on being here for probably 2 years, and we like this place a lot, so I will finally do some projects around the place. Obviously we still can’t do any paint or flooring, and most of the furniture is already provided, but I have a few small term things in mind. Here are a few things I’d like to do

  • curtains- maybe some stenciled curtains?
  • relationship timeline gallery wall
  • capiz chandelier
  • find room for one piece of furniture: a china hutch!

And because I’m really excited, here’s a list of reasons why this apartment is going to be great!

  • bigger
  • much newer building so hopefully fewer bugs/mice
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • WASHER/DRYER omgomgomgomg
  • multiple closets
  • exterior entrance so I don’t have to sneak beer in feeling like a convict
  • upperclassmen residence hall so hopefully kids are smarter than the girl that let her drug dealer, non-student boyfriend live with her and keep guns in the room. Yeah, that happened.


How many of you have dealt with the joys of interim housing? We counted and I think we’ve moved stuff 11 times, not even counting helping friends/family move. And we’ve only been together for 4 years. Have you moved a lot in your adult life? Where are my military families?? Tell me to stop complaining!

The Mattress Saga Part 2

Read Part 1 here!

Oh, you didn’t think the mattress story was over already, did you? Bless your little heart.*

So we have the mattress up the stairs, duct taped, and ready to be made in to a bed. A little backstory: I am addicted to TV. I had just returned from first a semester in Spain without any current TV (I could find illegal I mean… perfectly legal… movies on my computer) and then a few weeks living with my parents who also don’t have TV. Now that the bed issue was resolved I felt like we were finally moved in and I was excited to get on with my TV watching. Jon and Kate Plus 8 (RIP) was finale-ing that night and my new bedmate and I had been excited all day to watch it.

HOWEVER (here’s the clue that it is about to get interesting) we were also really tired and sweaty and grumpy from our battle with the boxspring (wait, I just realized I’ve been calling this the mattress saga since it happened 4 years ago and it wasn’t even with the mattress!) AND I had just turned 21 and definitely wanted some drinks to unwind. At this point I think it was around 7:45 and the show started at 8. We jumped in the car and drove the quarter mile to the store and I ran in for some wine coolers, cause we’re classy. I wish I could write “classy” in an accent so there isn’t a doubt that I’m being ironic. We get back to the house and it’s 8:56. Just enough time to plop down on the couch, right? Wrong.

Either we had not yet had to use our keys to get in yet being that we had just moved in or the copies of copies that our keys were wore down after 2 uses because neither of our keys worked. Yes, we were locked out. Locked out of our moderately cooler (this was late June) and significantly less muggy house. With the TV. At this point I wanted to just sprawl out on the couch on our porch (did I say classy already?) and cry. Or maybe go get something harder than wine coolers. But the football boys we were living with weren’t getting in to town for another few days. And there were a lot of mosquitoes out there!

Enter the semi broken pane on one of the windows. The semi broken pane became officially broken so that I could unlock the window and lift it up. The window was kind of tall and my friend is kind of short so I had to hoist her up through the window. Actually, full disclosure, we were both in our bras. Remember the broken pane part? That means broken glass. So we had to take off our shirts and lay them down on the windowsill to try to avoid the glass shards. Again – hoisting, no shirts. So in the end I guess it did end up being kind of like a Girls Gone Wild experience, huh?!

Someone else has to have a good lock out story, right? Did anyone have to remove articles of clothing during said lock out? NO I don’t mean like to pass the time I mean in order to get back in! Wait, not as a favor to someone who let you back in either. Keep it PG-13!

*People in the South say this a lot and it has a lot of different meanings. Few of them are nice or genuine meanings. Don’t shoot the messenger.