Apartment Hack: Damage-Free Curtains

Hello friends!

Long time no talk. ūüėČ My absence has mostly been because my life has been both overwhelming with job and medical stuff right now while also not giving me anything particularly interesting to blog about. ¬†Here’s what’s gone on recently in a nutshell (aka bullet points):

  • My husband got a new job (yay! It’s his dream job!). He’ll be working as the IT Coordinator at a charter school here in town.
  • I had some seriously intense dental work done two weeks ago. ¬†We’re talking $2k, eleven shots, and 2 1/2 hours of trauma. ¬†We’d saved up for this treatment for seven months. ¬†I still have to go back to fix it a little. ¬†Not at all excited!
  • Two weeks ago as well, the maintenance required light came on in our car, so we had to take it to the mechanic which wasn’t exactly best timing budget-wise the day after the dentist.
  • I had to quit my remote job one week ago (not the one I just got in February; the one I’ve had since 2013).
  • I’m job-hunting hard core and praying somebody calls me in time before our bills are due.
  • On the same day I had to quit, I ended up in the E.R. that night due to a weird reaction connected with a herpes simplex 1 virus breakout I got¬†in reaction¬†to the intense dental treatment I had done.
  • If you didn’t catch that, it means an E.R. bill was generated on the same day I quit my job. ¬†Exactly one week after we spent our savings of $2k. ¬†Oh and it was also the day of our eleven-month wedding anniversary.
  • On Sunday, the back door of our car stopped latching. ¬†That meant, whenever we drove, the door would just clunk open and shut randomly on curves and bumps. ¬†We had to take it to the mechanic again and just got that fixed today, which, you know, is more $$$.

Now you’re all caught up. ¬†Like I said, it’s been overwhelming. ¬†But in other news, my husband and I recently put up curtains in our apartment and I want to blog about that!

For those of you who don’t know, we rent a tiny, 450 sq. ft. studio apartment, and as with most rentals, we can’t really put holes in the walls. ¬†Because of that, living in an apartment isn’t necessarily the easiest when it comes to decorating and making the space feel like home. ¬†However, when we realized that curtains would not only make our windows with vertical blind slats a whole lot more private, but cozy as well, we found a way to still put them up without any drilling or screws.

Command hooks are one of my favorite things ever.

I think we got the inspiration originally from Pinterest, but I honestly can’t remember. ¬†I do know for certain, though, that we headed to Walmart and picked up black-out curtain panels (my husband is from Alaska so he likes it really¬†dark), curtain rods, and three command hooks per window. ¬†As with traditional curtains, it’s important to have a center command hook to hold the rod up so it doesn’t bow with the weight of the curtains.

The process was a little tricky for us to get the command hooks positioned right (we are¬†so¬†not naturally gifted DIYers), which meant we actually had to position this center one on the blinds itself because we didn’t really know what we were doing and put up the edge hooks first without measuring how low it was. ¬†We don’t mind, though…I’m just glad to have the curtains and I think they make our apartment look so much more home-like! ¬†Overall it was a simple process (and probably a walk in a park for those who do home projects and DIY all the time). ¬†We love how they turned out!

For those of you who rent or have rented, what kind of damage-free apartment hacks have you discovered? ¬†I’d love to know!

Until next time,

Tialla ‚̧

Giving hubby a haircut!

Back when I got my haircut a few weeks ago, I was talking with my hairstylist about different places around town to get haircuts, and she said something that at first made me laugh and then ponder later on.

She asked, “And where does your husband go for his haircuts? ¬†Or do you cut it for him?”

I laughed because, as I told her, “I would be absolutely terrified to cut his hair.” ¬†I had these images in my head of cutting way too short or jagged/unblended and I greatly dislike buzz cuts, so I didn’t want to chance it. ¬†However, what she told me next got me thinking it just might be possible.

She first asked what kind of haircut he got, and when I answered, “An 8-blade all over,” she insisted that I could totally do it myself. ¬†She let me know that you can’t go any shorter than the guard on the trimmer, so it’s totally safe and easy especially since it’s just the one blade! ¬†There wouldn’t be anything to blend.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was possible. ¬†And boy, would it save us money! ¬†My husband gets his hair cut far more often than I do (which is natural, considering he keeps his hair short), and we always get his beard trimmed at the same time. ¬†Though it’s only $13.95 for the cut & $5 for the beard trim, when you add a tip and go back month after month, it starts adding up. ¬†I’ve mentioned before that we have a tight budget, so any chance to save money is a win for us! ¬†Thus…

We ordered this men’s hair trimmer on Amazon. ¬†$50 for all those blades AND a cape to keep off all the itchy hair (and a bunch of other tools, plus instructions & tips)? ¬†I think YES.

It’s basically salon quality and we love it! ¬†We did the math and realized that within two haircuts, we would pay off the trimmer and start saving money. ¬†Not only will this replace haircuts, but also the beard trims because this kit came with all the short blades also. ¬†Joshua was definitely in need of a haircut by the time it arrived, so I sat him down in the middle of the kitchen (as our bathroom is too small)¬†on a step ladder that night, fastened the cape, poured over the instructions, and with a few nervous chuckles, got started.

The instructions actually made it way more complicated than it was, but I’m sure they are more accurate for doing multiple lengths and blending and such. ¬†With just one length, I didn’t really need to concern myself with going by sections, just paying attention to hair growth direction. ¬†It was slow, but we got it done, including the beard trim, which was probably the scariest part for me because it could have so easily gone wrong when I was cleaning up the neck beard and mustache!

I think next time I’ll go shorter with the beard trim, but it was great for a start! ¬†I think I’m mostly excited about this because we no longer have to wait to have the money for his haircut and trim; as soon as he starts looking scruffy, we can clean it all up! ¬†Previously, he would get scruffy before we could afford to get it cut, so he’d just have to wait. ¬†This will be so nice, I’m sure! ¬†(Oh and there’s only hair on his shirt at the end because we took off the cape after the haircut so he could look in the mirror and forgot to put it back on before doing the beard trim. ¬†There wasn’t anything on his shirt after the haircut, so he would have been hair-free if we remembered it!)

Anyway, that was our adventure lately! ¬†Have you non-hairdressers ever cut someone’s hair? ¬†Do you cut your boyfriend’s/husband’s hair?

Until next time, friends!

Exploring Sedona & Haircut!

Last Saturday, Joshua and I decided to take a day trip to Sedona! ¬†For those of you who don’t know much about Arizona, Sedona is about thirty minutes south of Flagstaff, which makes it easy for quick trips like this. ¬†Sedona is pretty much our favorite place in Arizona, in fact, we spent the first part of our honeymoon there! ¬†It’s beautiful with the drive down Oak Creek Canyon, the red rocks, and the mountain views. ¬†From what I’ve experienced, a lot of the people in Sedona are very nice and accommodating, as they are super used to tourists. ¬†In fact, when we found a car wash for our decorated “just married” car on our honeymoon, they gave us the ultimate car wash at no charge. ¬†We also loved¬†The Golden Goose restaurant¬†for a chill but classy dinner, and actually got the entire patio to ourselves with a wonderfully personable waitress. ¬†The only weird thing about Sedona is that almost everything except one grocery store closes down at 9 PM. ¬†I guess they are just used to only day tourists…? ¬†Haha.

I’ve been meaning to blog about our trip all week, but I haven’t had a single chance until now. ¬†I have lots of pictures, though, so here we go!

We started on our trip at 2:30 in the afternoon because Saturdays mean sleep. ūüėČ ¬†Again, Sedona is only thirty minutes away, so we felt like we still had the whole day ahead of us to spend. ¬†Of course, no trip is complete without a coffee run….

Caramel iced coffee with cream. ¬†I don’t get extra sugar because the caramel is a sweetened syrup.

The day started out rainy and windy in Flagstaff, so we were pretty concerned that it would be miserable in Sedona and a waste of a trip. ¬†Siri assured us it would be clear and warm in Sedona, though, so we crossed our fingers and made the drive anyway. ¬†It rained pretty much the whole way down, so that didn’t help our doubts, lol. ¬†Rainy/stormy days are our favorites, but it wasn’t quite what we wanted when we planned on walking around outside!

Sure enough, the weather cleared up about five minutes before entering Uptown Sedona, and remained clear the whole time we were there! ¬†We visit Uptown Sedona the most because it’s the tourist area, plentiful with adorable shops. ¬†Jewelry, knives, guns, psychics, fudge, ice cream, clothing, jams & jellies, mystical stones, vortex souvenirs, and more! ¬†It’s lots of fun to browse and people watch. ¬†Of course, everything is extremely overpriced so we rarely purchase anything unless the price happens to be negligible.

Among the many Uptown shops, we happened across this hilarious sign of which I absolutely had to snap a photo! ¬†I loved it! ¬†Of course, I want my husband with me while I shop, that’s kind of why we went down together, lol, but I still think it’s fantastic.

One of our favorite shops in Sedona has olive oil and balsamic vinegar taste-testing!  There are two shops like this in Uptown Sedona, but this one has bread + cups for tasting, not just cups.  I am a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, so I always love tasting these!  I think my favorite from this trip was Wild Blueberry, but the Maple came close also!

We happened upon a sunglasses shop, which funnily enough also sold a bunch of sandals. ¬†It was at this store that I spotted a wall of Sanuk sandals, which I’ve heard are fantastic. ¬†I’ve wanted a pair for forever, but just never got around to getting them. ¬†However, these were the same price as online, and we were already there, so I decided to get them. ¬†I can’t wait for summer to try them out. ¬†Just need a fresh pedicure now. ūüėČ

(If you don’t know, Sanuk sandals are made out of yoga mat and fabric. ¬†Apparently this makes them really comfortable because you have great support & cushion, as well as no chaffing for your toes, because it doesn’t have that plastic piece.)

Around five, we decided to head to the south side of Sedona for sushi! ¬†We needed to get back home to practice music for church the next day (we are the husband & wife “worship team” lol), so we decided to end our day with sushi and then head back up to Flagstaff.

We love going to Hiro’s for sushi here in Flagstaff, and I found out that there was one in Sedona, so we decided to try it out and see how different/alike it was. ¬†My favorite roll wasn’t there, unfortunately (the Arizona roll), but I tried the Firecracker roll and it was amazing as well! ¬†Crab, shrimp tempura, eel sauce…and other stuff I can’t remember. ¬†It was delish!

We also ordered an avocado roll, though we didn’t realize that it was only rice and avocado, so we won’t be getting that again. ¬†I thought it was sushi¬†with avocado, haha!

Hubby ordered the Volcano roll, which admittedly doesn’t look very appetizing by appearances (to me, at least) but he said it’s his new favorite roll, so I’d say the taste makes up for looks! ¬†Too bad that particular roll isn’t at our favorite haunt here in Flag. ¬†It just gives us another reason to return to Hiro’s in Sedona, such a bummer, lol. ¬†We’ve determined that we will for sure be coming back here when we visit! ¬†It might just become a tradition. ¬†We also love coming to Hiro’s (in Flag & Sedona) because it is super affordable for quality sushi. ¬†For two rolls, we typically only end up spending $35.

The drive back up was just as gorgeous!  Every time we drive this route, it always takes my breath away!

Of course, it helped that the sky was simply spectacular with the storm clouds!

And now, moving onto other news! ¬†I got a haircut yesterday! ¬†I love keeping my hair short, but I can typically go about six months between trims. ¬†Last time I got my hair cut was back in October, and so I was definitely due for a trim! ¬†My hair was getting long enough to get caught under the collar of my shirts/jackets, so I was getting annoyed. ¬†I like keeping the back of my hair above my collar and the front just at my collarbone in an A-line cut. ¬†I’ve had this style since October and I’ve loved it! ¬†It feels so nice to have it trimmed again.

And that’s all for now! ¬†Have a lovely weekend!

Mister’s Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Back on March 23rd, my poor hubby had to get his wisdom teeth out. ¬†You all probably don’t know this, but I had mine out last year on April 15th, so the experience was quite recent for me and I could definitely relate with my love. ¬†(It also gives me a chuckle that we got our wisdom teeth out nearly a year from each other–so close!)

Can I just say…this was the longest week of my life?! ¬†I honestly do feel bad saying that because I wasn’t the one who had the surgery, but getting up every two hours around the clock for multiple days completely exhausted me. ¬†This was also our first surgery as just the two of us, so it was my first time having the whole job of taking care of someone else put on me. ¬†I feel like I became a little grumpy, but my husband doesn’t think so, so I suppose that’s all that matters! ūüôā

Thankfully, though, he was able to get all four teeth out, which is definitely recommended so you don’t ever have to go through it again. ¬†When I got mine out, I remember not being able to imagine going back and doing it all over again! ¬†My husband feels the same way!

Of course, our snuggly cat was a very important key to his recovery! ūüėČ

Joshua is recovering super well; he’s actually doing better than I remember doing at this point in my recovery, so I’m very proud of him! ¬†He can eat way easier than I could by now. ¬†At this point, my jaw was still aching terribly and I had to be very careful and slow while eating. ¬†He is still gentle with his jaw, but he can pretty much eat like normal now! ¬†That just goes to show how everyone handles the surgery and recovery differently. ¬†His post-op appointment is on Thursday and hopefully after that he’ll be all clear!

One thing I have to say about the wisdom teeth surgery is that it’s frustrating when everyone acts like it’s nothing and you should be good to go in two days with hardly any pain meds or ice. ¬†Yes, it’s a very common surgery, and some people recover amazingly fast. ¬†Others, though, like myself and¬†my husband take about a week to feel normal again and even then our energy was still draining faster than normal, with some residual pain and limitations. ¬†It bugs me when I talked about my experience, or about my husband’s and people say things like, “You should be fine by now”–because they had an awesome experience.

All I can say is this: everyone’s different. ¬†Everyone reacts differently and if they take longer to heal, it’s not because they are lame or pathetic. ¬†It’s just because their bodies are different. ¬†And that is okay.

I remember feeling such pressure after my surgery to feel normal again within three days tops, and I was actually disappointed in my own body’s healing abilities for taking longer. ¬†I firmly believe now that I shouldn’t have felt that way because everyone is different and it certainly didn’t help my recovery to push myself long before I was ready.

If this comes across as¬†venting, it’s just because this is a mindset that needs to change. ¬†People need the freedom to heal however their bodies demand, whether that’s in two days or fourteen. ¬†Society puts way too much pressure on people to fit in a box.

Anyway, here are some tips for those of you looking at wisdom teeth surgery:

Food. ¬†Stock up on applesauce cups, pudding cups, Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks, mashed potatoes, ice cream, soup, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese, etc. ¬†Basically all the soft foods you can think of! ¬†For the first day or so, just opening your mouth hurts a LOT. ¬†Also, you may think Jell-O is a good option, but it actually doesn’t have any substance to it so it won’t give you very much nutrition-wise.

Support. ¬†Make sure someone will be available to help you through at least the first day of recovery. ¬†I needed someone with me for the first few days because I had such a hard time, but the first day is the most important. ¬†Their job is at least to wake you for your meds, refresh your ice pack, and make sure you drink enough to stay hydrated. ¬†It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but right after oral surgery, these tasks are very difficult.

Straws. ¬†No straws for ten days, or that sucking motion will risk losing your blood clot and getting dry socket (where the bone & nerves are exposed). ¬†Neither my husband nor I got dry socket, but I’ve heard it hurts horribly and then you’ll have to go back to your doctor for a re-packing and prolong healing.

Rinsing. ¬†After the first day, gently rinse with warm salt water after each meal (or in our case, after every time we ate because we needed to take a narcotic with food every two hours, so “meals” didn’t exist). ¬†Be careful with spitting so as to not dislodge the blood clot.

Rest. ¬†Sleep as much as possible. ¬†Give yourself all the freedom in the world to sleep. ¬†Sleeping through the pain helped me through the first few days! ¬†My husband was unable to sleep and he had such a hard time with the pain. ūüė¶

Exercise. ¬†No cardio or heavy lifting for ten days. ¬†Apparently it can prolong your healing by causing issues….

Reclining.  When resting/sleeping, make sure you are in an elevated position.  Recliners are the best option, but lots of pillows in bed will work as well.  You just to stay partially upright.

Medication. ¬†Take your pains meds every four hours or as prescribed, but exactly when they say. ¬†Don’t push it back just because it isn’t hurting too badly at the moment. ¬†Pain is much harder to alleviate than to prevent. ¬†You want to keep it away to begin with–you’ll actually heal faster if your body isn’t so focused on the pain.

Ice, ice, ice. ¬†Ice keeps the swelling down as much as is possible, and swelling is what causes the majority of discomfort. ¬†Ice won’t keep the swelling away for most people, but it’s your best shot at coping with it.

Time off. ¬†Plan to have at least four days off from work, or better yet, plan your surgery around a long weekend. ¬†If you end up healing quickly, and you don’t need that much time, great! ¬†If you don’t heal quickly, you’ll be grateful for the extra time off.

Heal. ¬†Last, but not least: give yourself permission to rest, sleep, and heal for as long as you need. ¬†Don’t rush to feel better. ¬†Think of it this way: if you got all four teeth out at once, you’ll never have this surgery again. ¬†It’s okay to take all the time you need to recover, even if it’s way longer than everyone else you know. ¬†Your body will thank you.

Green Eyes: Do they make the cut or not?

Tialla's Tellings

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This day full of green, cheerfulness, well-wishes of luck, and delicious food.  For those whose favorite color is green (such as my husband), this day tends to provide a little extra happiness.
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On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s pretty much required for people to wear something green for the whole day unless they want to get pinched.  I can’t help but wonder why.  I know St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland and really helped the people there, and was well known for using a Shamrock as a symbol for the trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Shamrocks are green.  Is that where it came from?  Because this amazing Saint used a green plant, now everyone has to wear something green or they get pinched?  I’m honestly curious, from where did the tradition of pinching originate?

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Now, here’s something I’m interested in.  For those who have…

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First Wedded Valentine’s Day

This year was our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife! ¬†It wasn’t our first Valentine’s together, but it definitely felt different this year celebrating as a married couple. ¬†(And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way! ¬†Marriage is the BEST!)

This year was also different because we are more strapped for money than we were last year, so it took a quite a bit of creativity to have any extra funds for drinks or dinner. ¬†In the end, though, we decided it’s one day, it’s a holiday, and we wanted to splurge a little because we are just going to drive ourselves crazy if we say “no” to every special treat.

The day started off with $3 chocolate hearts we found for each other at Walmart!  We were amazed at the great deal, and the chocolate tastes delicious!

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Unfortunately, both Joshua and I had to work all day, but thanks to the flexibility of our jobs, I was able to spend all day with him at his work (while I worked on my laptop), so we were together as much as possible!

Later that afternoon, we took a ten-minute break to run down the street for a special Valentine’s Starbucks! ¬†They had the Molten Chocolate Trio (a latte, frappe, or hot chocolate) specialty going on for Valentine’s Day that we wanted to take advantage of. ¬†Thankfully, no one seemed to be at Starbucks around 3:30 in the afternoon, so there was no wait for us!

Of course kisses for Valentine's Day <3

Of course kisses for Valentine’s Day ‚̧

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When we were off work, we ordered take-out sushi for a special dinner! ¬†(Because actually eating in the restaurant on Valentine’s Day is just far too crowded and chaotic for us introverts. ūüėČ ) ¬†Funny story: Before I met my husband, I had never tried good sushi (aka, I’d only had disgusting, fishy, cheap grocery store California rolls). ¬†He introduced me to a local sushi place here in town and needless to say, I’m now OBSESSED and I wish we could get it far more often than our typical every three-four months. ¬†I guess it keeps it special, though. ūüėČ ¬†Oh my yum, so amazingly delicious.

This was actually an awesome deal: three rolls for $30. (And this is more than enough to STUFF the two of us!)

This was actually an awesome deal: three rolls for $30. (And this is more than enough to STUFF the two of us!)

Once we were home, we had a few minutes before sitting down to eat, so I took the time to sneak around the house and hide Harry Potter Valentine cards for my husband to treasure-hunt. ¬†I printed them up weeks ago and I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of my excitement for the day, other than the sushi. ¬†The sushi pretty much tops all. ūüėČ

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img_2234Before long, I told him he had eight treasures to find and he began his search. ¬†He found the first six super easily but the last two proved slightly more difficult. ūüėČ

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After he found them all (which he LOVED by the way! ¬†A good way for him to remember his nerdy wife, haha), we sat down to eat our sushi and watch a movie. ¬†We originally wanted “Grease” as our Valentine’s Day tradition, but then we thought we should try a new movie in the ‘Romantic Favorites’ category on Netflix. ¬†We went with “The Switch” which was definitely a mistake for a romantic evening (to be clear, it did have a romantic element, but that wasn’t the point of the movie, which was what we wanted for Valentine’s Day). ¬†Next year will be “Grease” for sure!

We ended the night with some light drinks that we splurged on for the very purpose of Valentine’s Day. ¬†I’d never had vodka before, and so we decided to give it a shot. ¬†The consensus: I like it!

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Overall, it was such a blessing to be married this Valentine’s Day! ¬†I hope you and yours had a beautiful day as well! ‚̧

-Tialla

A Second Job

I feel like it’s been quite a while since my last post, though in reality it hasn’t been overly long. ¬†I suppose it just feels like a long time because every moment of every day for me has been SO dang busy.

Nearly every day of January, other than working, was spent looking for a second job. ¬†Just after New Year’s, Joshua and I decided that it would be a helpful idea for me to find a second job, if possible. ¬†I won’t go into details, but we have about six¬†big¬†expenses coming up this year, two of them medical, and we realized with our current income, it would be quite difficult to find the necessary funds. ¬†Thus, the job search.

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Lord willing, after submitting six applications and multiple inquiries, I heard back from a company and within two weeks (filled with studying, passing a qualification assessment, and all the legal stuff), I started work! ¬†Technically, my first day was February 1st. ¬†As of now, I’ve completed four full work days and I’m enjoying the job! ¬†I’m just grateful for the extra income and something else to put on my resume. ūüôā

Same. ;)

Same. ūüėČ

For those of you wondering, my second job involves me being a Social Media Evaluator for Appen. ¬†I’m extremely grateful for another work-from-home job, which enables me to still take care of dinner and some quick things around the house on breaks. ¬†Combining this job with my original job, I honestly can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunity to work an eight-hour day completely from the flexibility of my computer! ¬†It is such an incredible blessing. ‚̧ ¬†I know it won’t last forever, so I am certainly wanting to enjoy it and be grateful for it while this is my situation. ‚̧

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Anyway, that’s been my life lately! ¬†I also¬†barely¬†started editing my NaNoWriMo novel, but that was the day before I started work for Appen, so since then I haven’t had a chance to get back to it. ¬†I’ll have to figure out a time to do so!

Until next time,

-Tialla ‚̧