Monday, June 30, 2014

Hup Holland Hup

{I was given permission to use this picture by Lynne from Holland-Amerika line}

I couldn't care less about soccer, but once the World Cup of soccer rolls around, I become a little more patriotic towards my tiny, soccer loving country. The Dutch are probably the most all around awesome sports fans...we go all out! There is orange...everywhere, and everyone participates. There are orange streets, orange baked goods, orange shirts, hats, and even animals participate in dressing up!! Here are some pictures for you to laugh at :) {No images are my own - they are all from Google, unless otherwise specified}

Yup, we support out team - what can I say. I'm sad I don't have an orange shirt to wear the next time they play since they are in the semi finals. I'll rock some orange if they win the world cup ;)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

#housetohome {TUTORIAL} - $30 ombre, ruffled shower curtain

I have been pining for a ruffled shower curtain but I'm not willing to spend large amounts of money on it. I was roaming pinterest when I found this blog post on DIY ruffle shower curtain. I modified the instructions some, but I followed her basic outline. So here you have it - the steps to make your own ombre, ruffled shower curtain!!
What you need:
1 twin size flat sheet - $4.97 (bought at Walmart)
2 full size flat sheets - $9.47 each (bought at Walmart)
fabric dye (color(s) of your choice) - $3.79-$4.99 (depending on the color - bought at Hobby Lobby)
about 10 hours of time :)
Step 1:
Cut your full size sheet (I used a little bit of the second sheet, but if you have sheet with different measurements you might only need 1 sheet to cut) in 5 inch strips. I used a tea box as my ruler so I didn't have to keep whipping out my measuring tape.

Step 2:
After you cut your plethora of ruffles, you want to use a zig zag stitch to prevent them from fraying. I ended up getting lazy and only zig zagging the bottom of the ruffle and leaving the top part because you wouldn't be able to see that when it was all finished.

 Step 3:
This was my favorite part, and the best part is that I made it up as I went along! After you finish your zig zagging, it is time to dye your bottom pieces for the ombre effect. I had no clue what I was doing, and didn't follow a single direction on the container :) I read that you are supposed to stir constantly for 30-60 minutes...who has time for that? I had to dye 6 strips and I didn't have 3-6 hours to spend stirring fabric. So here is what I did. I put a little bit of dye in a big bowl of hot water. I then dipped one ruffle in the water, swirling it around for 5 minutes.
Take it out to compare it next to the white piece of fabric and decide if you like the way it looks. I rinsed my strip in cold water, and hand washed it with a little detergent and hot water. Wring it out, and hang it to dry. Next, add a little more dye (think a tablespoon or so) for your next ruffle, and another tablespoon for the one after that. Since I needed my bottom layer to be dark enough to cover izzie's hair, I bought black and added a little in the last 2 ruffles. I kept taking my ruffle out after having dunked it in dye for 5 minutes to check the color next to my other pieces.

Make sure your ruffles are all the way dry - here in no humidity Arizona, it took about 20-30 minutes!
Step 4:
Starting at the bottom, it is time to attach your ruffles! I figured I should write that excitedly even though it is a tedious process, haha. So what I did was find the middle of the sheet and the ruffle, and pin it there. Then pin it again at a quarter.
I hand ruffled the remaining fabric as I was sewing with a straight stitch. Let me just say that this part takes FOREVER!!
eventually it will feel like the ruffles are taking over, and you become buried in ruffles.
Step 5:
Buttonholes! This is where you will put your shower rings through. A normal shower curtain has 12 holes...I managed to miscalculate (I'm horrible at math) and ended up with 11 button holes? Still not sure how I managed that.
Anywho, I made buttonholes using a tiny zig zag stitch since I lost my buttonhole foot for the machine and off course promptly found it not 5 minutes after I finished my project!
Here is the final ombre, ruffled shower curtain!

I am so in love with the way it turned out, the ombre couldn't have been any better! If you end up making one, leave a comment so I can see your unique version of the DIY ombre, ruffled shower curtain!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

House to home

In light of the last blog post I wrote, I have decided to start a new mini series. This isn't going to be one where I post about it each week, but rather, once a room is completely (or almost completely) finished. I shall call this new series 'house to home' - my quest to make my apartment and any place I live feel like home the instant you walk through the door.

While my home still feels relatively temporary, I have found some cheap pieces that are making it feel more welcoming and overall make my bare-ish apartment feel decorated to a certain degree. I bought the cute pillow above at Hobby Lobby - which is where I will be spending a chunk of my paycheck! Holy decorating heaven!! I also got some wicker storage baskets from Ikea (I live 5 minutes from Ikea - could be dangerous!) for Izzie's toys.

I'm so grateful that my dad helped purchase some of the furniture pieces I sold before leaving Virginia such as a dining room table + chairs, and a tv stand, amongst others. Without some of these things, my house would have looked completely empty!

I redid an old, ugly dresser from goodwill. I sanded and repainted it and LOVE the way it turned out. Since I got a feel for it, I have been looking for more pieces of furniture to redo - I'm currently hunting for a dresser for in my bedroom! I will be building a headboard this weekend, and am also searching pinterest to find a cool coffee table to make. How neat is it to have things in your house that you can say you made, or redid? I'm also in desperate need of a pallet...anyone know where I can get one free / relatively cheap in Phoenix?? Can't wait for all my projects to come to life!

{my mom made me aware that one of the pieces of hardware on the bottom drawer are upside down - no worries, it has since been fixed, I just haven't had a chance to take another picture!}
Throughout the series, I'll try to post some tutorials of the DIY (do it yourself) projects that I have tackled. I just finished a hand dyed, ombre, ruffle shower curtain that was a much bigger sewing project than I anticipated but I am so excited to share the final results with you!

So here we go...from house to home!! Follow me on Instagram @sprinklesontoast for the latest updates on my #housetohome adventure!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Home is...

Where the heart is? Where I live? Where my family lives?

I feel that with all this moving going on, I have lost my sense of where home is for me. Since I moved to the states in 2007, I have moved 9 times and have lived in 3 different states (fun fact: izzie has moved with me 8 of the 9 times!).

Home will probably always be the home I grew up in in the Netherlands, even though I am looking to create my own home. Some people just have that idea in their head that when they grow up, they want to live in the mountains, on a farm, or in New York City. I feel like the older I get, the more I am craving for that little space of this planet to call my home. Whether it is in the desert, mountains, the coast, the south - I have no idea. I'm absolutely in love with Phoenix and all that is has to offer, it doesn't feel like home. I just can't figure out if this is where I would want to raise a family or live long term.

In my head, I think I imagined a smaller town, near a big city to raise my family. What state or side of the country this big city is, Lord only knows! That is why I will leave it up to Him - He is the only one who knows where I will be settling, and His plan is better than anything I can come up with on my own. So here's to making my apartments as cozy, homey and inviting as I can! And lets be honest - my home is wherever Izzie is!!

I would love to know where your home is!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2500 miles, 7 states, 5 days & 3 time zones

When it became reality that I was actually making the cross country move to Arizona, I asked none other than my dad to drive with me. I knew I couldn't do it alone, and I knew that he would LOVE the road trip. We decided on May 13th, 3 days after my graduation. Since my dad was helping me, I left all the planning regarding the drive up to him.

The first day, we drove from Virginia and made it to the music city...Nashville, Tennessee! It took 8 hours to get there and it was a total of 493 miles. You can't drive very fast with a trailer and it really slowed us down.

On day 2, we left Nashville and drove to Fort Smith, Arkansas! On this day, we drove for 11 was a long day.

The third day is where it started to feel as if this trip was taking forever. It is hard to sit in the car for hours straight and the scenery barely changes. We drove from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Amarillo, Texas on day 3!

This is where we noticed that the landscape was starting to change

 Only in Texas do hotels serve Texas shaped waffles!
Day 4 started out freezing - it was a chilly 46 degrees! We knew it would warm up soon, because we were heading to spend the night in Holbrook, Arizona - my new home state.

really starting to look like a desert now!

5 days on the road leaves for little breakfast options

Day 5 was our last day on the road! We left Holbrook pretty early and made sure to be in Phoenix by about 2pm. Since it was Saturday, I wanted to make sure we got to the apartment on time before the office closed.

 spotted our first cactus on the I17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix
While most of our days were spent on Interstate 40 (from Nashville to Flagstaff), we made sure to make this a fun trip and stop for sights along the way, such as stopping at the Grand Ole Opry, drive on the historic route 66, drive through Santa Fe, New Mexico and visit Winslow Arizona (taking it easy..hint hint)  :)

"Well, I'm standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford,
 slowin' down to take a look at me"

And especially for dad, or in case you didn't get my reference to Winslow, Arizona...

Be sure to follow @sprinklesontoast on Instagram for pictures of my Arizona adventure!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

on my own

I often stop to think that most important decisions in life, such as where to go to school, what job to accept, or where to live, I make on my own. There is nothing wrong with living life alone, or as a couple. Sometimes it is easier to have help from a significant other (not that I would know, but I'm assuming it would be). I moved to Phoenix, found my apartment, make my own friends (I don't have a husband who can be my automatic best friend, and buddy to bring places so I don't have to be alone), explore my new city, apply and choose which job to pick on my own.

It is hard to know if I am making the right choices...for me. Moving 2500 miles away to a state where I don't know a single person hasn't been the easiest, but I know that I made the right decision...for me. My mom and sister bought me a card, and I think the card said it all:
"Life is hard sometimes - crazy, mixed-up, messed up.
And there you are, in the middle of it all, just doing your thing...being strong and brave and beautiful like it is no big deal.
But let me tell you girl, it is!
Not everyone can do what you do.
Not everyone can handle things the way you can.
While you wonder sometimes if you're doing ok...
the rest of us are just watching in wonder"
I forget sometimes that moving without anyone to guide you along the way is a big deal, and I should be proud of myself. For reaching for the stars; for wanting bigger and better things that I knew I wouldn't get had I stayed in Virginia. I am proud of myself for choosing me, and for doing things on my own.
{blessed & thankful that I at least have this little gal to keep me company!}

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I've got a gypsy soul...

When I moved to Virginia last year right after graduation, I wasn't planning on staying there. I went down to visit Wilmington, NC - a place I thought I wanted to call home. The trip I went on with my sister was a complete bust and it left me feeling hopeless and lost. My sister and brother in law graciously offered me a place to stay until I figured things out - needless to say, neither myself nor Lynne and Justin expected that to last for 11 months!

After 10 long weeks of unemployment, I found a job I grew to love. But all the while, I felt stuck and out of place in small town VA. I looked for places that were warm, Georgia came up and so did Florida, but I had a hard time finding a job. All of the sudden, I thought of Phoenix, Arizona. It has everything I like - heat, heat, palm trees, big city, and more heat. I applied for hundreds of jobs and finally got word back for an interview. Lynne and I booked our tickets and were ready to head to the West Coast!

9 Days before my interview, I got an email stated it had gotten cancelled. Since I already booked my ticket and couldn't get my money back, Lynne and I decided to go anyway and apartment hunt in both Phoenix for me, and LA for her and Justin.

I fell in love with Phoenix and on a whim stopped by a retail clothing store and got a job! I planned to move out there right after graduation. I graduated on May 10th, and I moved May 13th! It was a hectic few days, and it took my dad and I almost 5 days to drive the 2500 miles to Arizona.

I have been here almost a month and I LOVE IT! I love where I live - near South Mountain. The heat can be a lot to handle and I may or may not have gotten dehydrated several times, but I am really enjoying all the aspects of Phoenix. I haven't made many friends yet, but that will come.

For the first time, I am living somewhere where I feel at home and I don't feel the need to move again (that has never happened before!). God really intended for me to live in Phoenix and I am so glad I finally found a place that I can call home - for now ;)