Sunday, September 25, 2011


On our To Do 2.0 I put up a bunch of stuff that we actually got completed yesterday & I wanted to share our progress. It must be said that Greg Morgan is OFFICIALLY the handiest ever. In fact, he pointed this out to me yesterday while hanging the dining room curtains..."I'm 1 handy husband" (yes...husband).

So here's what we did yesterday...First I went to the race for the cure & to brunch for some Zeta work. When I got home we scooted off in our ZipCar (If you live in a big city & don't have this yet, open a new browser window right now & sign up) to Home Depot. We intended to get our faux wood blinds re-cut to fit in our new windows, but naturally they've got a new brand of faux wood blinds at Home Depot now & the cutting machine doesn't cut "old school blinds" (that we bought 6 months ago) anymore. So our faux wood blinds are in storage waiting for a future home to be just the right size. We'll see. ANYWAY, we also needed staples for the staple gun so I could recover the dining chairs, and some sturdy wall hanging materials. I also got the first round of materials to recover the armoire in the living room...Since it's got a glossy, 1980's faux finish on it, it needs to be primed with a certain primer that makes paint more adhesive. I also picked up a couple paint color cards to compare with our dining room table. Our next stop was Target where we needed to pick up two extra long curtain rods ($20 each, thank you Target).

Sadie "helping" with
the chair project
When we got home we got RIGHT to work on the dining room chairs. We got this table & chairs from Craigslist right before we moved here, and we love it. The woman who owned it before also got it second hand & she'd already recovered the chairs once, but they needed a fresh cover. We registered for a LOT of Navy Blue, so I'd decided I wanted to change it up a little in the dining room & do some grey & turquoise. When I was hunting for fabric for the chairs I was looking for a small grey print & stumbled across hounds tooth in grey on Amazon. Me gusta!  The rest was easy...take the seat off of the chair (thank you handy Greg), then wrap the seats with the new fabric & secure the fabric to the seat with the staple gun & reattach the seat. That's it! So easy!

Even my dining room looks
good in the Turquoise & Grey
Then Greg moved on to hanging up the curtains. We already had the two curtain panels from our first apartment in Roger's Park, which just happened to be turquoise. All we needed was the curtain rod! Even though the panels aren't wide enough to actually close completely, we really put them up as a finishing touch & not so much for practical purposes. We're very pleased! All in all the dining room is coming along...with our grey rug from Ikea, our sweet new seat covers, our re-purposed curtains & a few new touches (like the candle sticks) it's beginning to look like a real, grown up dining room! We've still got some work to do...refinishing the armoire, finishing our collection of seating & making a sweet no-sew table runner, but all that stuff will be just as fun!
Lilah loves our
new rug too!

Right after we finished dressing the windows in the dining room Greg got hard to work at hanging the curtains in the living room. These curtains were from our Lakeview apartment, and just happen to fit in the new place. Again, we needed 1 XL curtain rod to hang them up, but re-purposed the rest of the materials. Even though I'd rather the curtains were much longer, these are a great finishing touch & were "free" since we already owned them. And the curtain rod from the little window was up in our last place too.

While Greg was doing the window dressing in the living room, I was busy working on an "art project" in the kitchen. I'd seen a post on Young House Love on "Monograms" as bedroom art, so I thought I'd give it a go and add a little personal touch. Basically I printed the letter G & the letter M in different fonts & framed them in white 4 x 6 frames. Then I framed some cards & notes that each of us had written to the other (and in a couple cases received from a friend in congratulations after our engagement) & put those around our respective initials. There are a couple of "blank" spots but I'm sure something will come along that fits perfectly there. Greg & I are both notorious for having full "keepsake" folders, boxes & bins, but we finally found a way to display our favorite love notes & cards to each other in a way that is personal & pleasing to the eye. Seeee....

I need to finish transferring all of my digital photos from the last 3 years so that I can go through & pick out the ones we want printed for our photo wall & I'll probably need to find a way to get mats that fit the photos I'm ordering (suggestions/recommendations are welcome). 

That's all for now! Back to homework (which is what I should have been doing instead of blogging...but I need a little mental wellness every now & then). 

Happy Sunday,

To Do 2.0

We are in big time love with the new place & have lots of BIG TIME plans to make it our own. Luckily we've got lots of great stuff that just needs a little facelifting here & there to fit in the new place. And what we don't already have we make up for in ingenuity & elbow grease. Normally these things wouldn't have any real time frame, but since my Chicago bridal shower is coming up & it's at MY house, so we've got lots to do in the next month!

  • Frame photos, notes, keepsakes & such to hang on the GIANT bare walls (Inspiration from Young House Love
  • Hang living room curtains & curtain rods  (9/24)
  • Frame Greg's Love Notes (9/24)
  • Put up dining room curtains & curtain rods (9/24)
  • Re-cover dining room chairs (9/24)
  • Re-stain dining room table
  • Find 2 more chairs (second hand) & or bench for dining room 
  • Refinish Armoire (this one's going to be a BIGGY)
  • Re-decorate Garfunkle's tank (he needs a facelift too) 
  • Organize living room closet
  • Bedroom curtains 
  • Replace blinds in bedroom (9/24)
  • Bedroom wall decor (9/24)
  • Refinish 3 drawer dresser
  • Living room frame/wall decor
  • Dresser for bedroom? (if we can find a DEAL on a second hand dresser that's just the right size)
The list in my handy brainstorm notebook seems much longer than that one, but of course I've got all these CRAZY ideas jotted all over the place so I "won't forget", which of course I will anyway. 

And yes, we were VERY busy yesterday...And we just love the results. Stay tuned for lots of updates, & of course I'll share where I got the directions/inspiration for this stuff...I'm not so good at coming up with these ideas on my own, but I can follow directions with the best of 'em! 

Happy Happy,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I love this Friday

First of all, I just love Fridays. Especially the Fridays which lead to Saturdays when I don't have to go to class. Don't get me wrong I L.O.V.E. my curriculum class, but I'm officially burning the candle at both ends these days, and I always enjoy a little extra rest. And lazy mornings with my Mister & our pups. Tomorrow I'm doing Chicago's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, so I won't get much of a lazy morning, but I'm looking forward to some philanthropy time with the Zetas... by-the-by...Our RFTC Zeta team raised over $700 for Komen this year. I am one proud sister!

Today I love that this Friday is the First Friday of Fall! Even though Summer is phenomenal here in Chicago, I really enjoy being able to actually experience Fall in the Midwest compared to what we used to call "Fall" back in Tampa Bay. Even though it was only a hint - I loved Fall in Florida, and I love it even more in Chicago. To the point of Fall being my fave (until the 1st snow of course - then Winter will be my fave) one of the Sigma Chi's brought me a little pumpkin for my desk today. This little gourd doesn't know it yet, but it's destined for greatness on my dining room table very soon...

Also, I had a little bride-to-bride chat with one of my class mates Sally last night & she told me that she got her Bridesmaids dresses from Mod Cloth so I looked it up this morning. I can NOT believe I've never shopped Mod Cloth Before. I am IN.LOVE. with many things...but the Fall-esque blazers & coats are this Friday's favorite. The Emerald Green Blazer is gorge...Tiffany blue's been my color lately, but Looook

Of course you know I LOVE a good deal & when I get them I usually jump at them. Around this time of year I try to get a few new Fall/Winter essentials, one of which is tights! I found a super sale on Ralph Lauren tights earlier this week & ordered a couple pair FOR $8 EACH...I checked the tracking number this morning & they're out for delivery today. Yipee!

Speaking of Fridays...This time last Friday we were on our way to PA for a family weekend with Greg's clan (& my soon-to-be-clan-in-law). I uploaded our digital photos to the computer, but haven't had the chance to share them yet...But I'll get them up this weekend. For now - here's a little "foreshadowing" (as Moo would say) of our weekend.

Happy Fall Friday Friendlies,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Bulls & The Irish

The Story of the match up between South Florida & Notre Dame on September 3rd, 2011 can be told one of two ways...

1.) The Bulls went on the road to South Bend to take on the Irish at Notre Dame. Greg set up an awesome bus trip & tailgate at Notre Dame's hospitality village. We arrived at Notre Dame 3 hours before kick off & had a great time visiting with fellow Bulls fans & enjoying the tasty treats the ND folks whipped up for us. We walked around the stadium & saw the ND band march into the stadium (I also had a minimally awkward interaction with a congresswoman's husband...I'm not publishing that on the internet, but call me & I'll tell you the story). We saw the Lou Holtz Gate & Lou Holtz Statue (featuring a much younger Skip Holtz back in his football playing days). We had great seats with a direct view of "Touchdown Jesus". There was a fly over during the ND Band's performance of the National Anthem (gets me every time). The Irish Kicked Off & drove to the endzone...& turned over the ball & THE BULLS RAN IT BACK FOR A TOUCH DOWN. The Bulls capitalized on several bad plays by the Irish & went into half time IN THE LEAD! Then the storms rolled in...and we waited. and waited. The concession stands ran out of food & drinks. There wasn't any where for us to sit. We tried to call our families & friends to let them know what was going on but couldn't get a signal. Fans were scatted all across campus waiting out the storm. The ushers didn't know what was going on, The fans didn't know...but Bulls nation crossed its fingers & prayed that the game wouldn't get called due to weather. AND IT DIDN'T! After hours of waiting & hoping we returned to the stadium & watched some more exciting football...including some offensive success for the Irish. Then the storms rolled in..and we waited, and waited. And again Bulls nation crossed its fingers & prayed that the game wouldn't get called due to weather. AND IT DIDN'T! After another 45 minutes of waiting we emerged back into the stadium to watch the Irish bring it to a 3 point game, kick on onside kick, and THE BULLLLLLLLLS RECOVERED THE BALL! With only seconds to go, the Bulls were on the offense, BJ had the pigskin in his hands & took a knee. AND THE BULLS WON!

2.) The Bulls went on the road to South Bend to take on the Irish at Notre Dame. AND THE BULLS WON!

Go Bulls,

PS - Greg says your welcome for wearing his lucky shorts (from FSU & Auburn).

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Reading List Version 2.0

Earlier this summer I published a book list of the "for fun" reading I wanted to do while I was out of school on break. With the Fall semester under way my reading list has expanded to include some text books [some better than others] but I'm still working my way through some fun reading in order to maintain some sanity.

  • Still working through 30 Days to a Well Mannered Dog because, well...mine aren't well mannered
  • I got The Book of Awakening from Amazon recently & it's "easy reading" because it's just one little nugget of calm, balanced wisdom per-day & some helpful coping tools. So far I'm enjoying it, although in typical Latch style I haven't made time to read it each morning, which is sort of antithetical to the books goal..."being present in the life you have". Baby steps.
  • I also recently got a used copy ofWhy Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, and I'm looking forward to reading that too - maybe Greg will even pick it up & use it to supplement his Social Justice course reading. 
  • I already own The Tipping Point & Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, and have at least a few trips to our respective home towns coming up, so hopefully I can squeeze in some inspiration & even a little chuckle from Chelse. 
  • Another book recently reappeared on my "books I don't want to forget to read list" & that's A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn...A friend of mine mentioned it in class last night & reignited my interest in who writes history & why. Stay tuned!
I'll also be getting the opportunity to read/review some great books written for & about the field I'm studying, so I'm looking forward to nerding it up!

If you read anything you loved to pieces this summer I hope you'll share it with me...I'm already working on "Mrs. Morgan, M.Ed.'s post-wedding/grad school-I-can-read-whatever-I-want" list...suggestions are welcome!