Halloween Decorations!

I want to share with you all how Joshua & I decorated our apartment door and porch for Halloween!  I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks since we totally decorated the last week of September.  I’m sure our neighbors couldn’t tell we were excited for Halloween at all.  What can I say, I love October and getting into the holiday mood, and Michael’s had decorations 50% off, lol.

We bought a glass lantern with a fun skull design, a little plaque that says “Come in and sit for a brew,” and an ornamental stack of books that totally gave me a Harry Potter vibe with “Curses,” “Spells,” and “Potions.”  Actually, all of the props felt like Harry Potter inspired to me and that was definitely intentional.  😉 #Potterhead  We’re nerds, and I feel like Harry Potter-anything is always acceptable.  In fact, I just made Pumpkin Juice last night using this recipe and it was beyond tasty!  I was pleasantly surprised because “pumpkin juice” doesn’t necessarily sound appetizing.  I figured, though, it had to be since the characters were always drinking it!

We also picked up three pumpkins on sale and wrapped fairy lights around the middle one.

Halloween was only something my parents let us celebrate for a couple of years.  When I was about seven or eight, they decided to no longer do anything with Halloween, and they would even turn the lights out to avoid anyone coming to the door.  They didn’t want to celebrate Halloween because it was such a “dark” holiday, yet we always spent Halloween in the dark to avoid it.  #Ironic

Anyway, my husband and I both enjoy Halloween.  It’s fun and I get super excited once October 1st hits.  Time to enjoy the creepy things, the freaky things, dress up and for once in the year not take things so seriously.  2015 was my first time watching The Nightmare Before Christmas & The Corpse Bride, can you believe it?  Also, Halloween is like the epitome of “let’s celebrate everything Harry Potter,” which I’m always down for!  We also ordered from Amazon a Harry Potter sign for our door and it’s perfect.  We love it so much, we are considering keeping it up all year after the holidays.

Since we started dating in 2015, our tradition has been to watch “The Corpse Bride” on Halloween night.  This year, we seriously considered handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, but then we realized we have class that night, which doesn’t get out until 9:15 PM.  We will just celebrate around class with watching The Corpse Bride as soon as my hubby gets home from work (early mornings means early evenings, yay!), with glasses of chilled Butterbeer in hand.  (Totally making this recipe.  I’ve never made it before so I don’t know what to expect.  Have any of you made it??)  We don’t have costumes for class unfortunately (#thebudgetlife), but it will be fun if anyone else dresses up.

Of course we had to get the $1 decoration tape for “Keep Out, Haunted House” and “Zombie Zone.”  It doesn’t go with the Harry Potter theme, but I like it regardless.  We wrapped it around our door as you can see in the above picture, and also across our window.  This picture was hard to get because we have trees in front of our apartment and in one way or another, there’s always shadows.

In case you can’t tell with the shadows, we hung a broom on the window trim.  I think it was initially intended for a witch, but it also goes with our Harry Potter theme.  I wrote “Firebolt” in gold Sharpie and drew the Deathly Hallows symbol on the handle to give it a little something extra.

All in all, we are really happy with how our decorations turned out!  Our apartment complex is having a decoration contest, so it’s been a lot of fun walking around and looking at what people have put up.  I don’t think we’ll win any prizes, but it has still been fun to decorate!

What are you doing for Halloween?  Going to any parties?  Are you dressing up?

Have a spooktacular holiday! 😉

-Tialla ❤


Carpet Repair

Back in my post introducing our fur-baby, Zelda, I mentioned a post would soon come regarding how she tore up our carpet.  I completely forgot I had mentioned that until I recently read through the post again.  So, friends, let me tell you about what our adorable baby girl did. 😉

This cutie?

We adopted Zelda at the end of November, and we soon discovered she did not like it whenever we closed the bathroom door.  Note that we live in a studio apartment, so the bathroom door is literally the only door in the apartment to separate rooms.  Anytime we closed the bathroom door with her on the outside, she scratched at the carpet and tore at it relentlessly.  Somehow, in her cat brain, she thought she could dig her way through?

Damage soon began to show on the carpet, so we decided to bring her into the bathroom whenever either of us showered, but she wouldn’t have that either.  The moment she realized she was “trapped,” she would yowl without end.  Turns out, Zelda needs her options.  If she’s in the bathroom, she wants out.  If she’s outside the bathroom, she wants in.

Unfortunately, her behavior continued even if I barely stepped into the bathroom to pee, so within just a couple of weeks, our carpet at the door was ruined.  This kitten.


We tried stopping her in various ways, such as yelling at her, spraying no-scratch stuff on the carpet, trying to glue it down, but to no avail.  Once her mind was set, nothing was a match against her claws.  The carpet wasn’t even just unraveled–it was unraveled and separated from the padding below.

Thankfully, we at last found a makeshift solution with a thin enough rug to fit under the door to cover the carpet.  The rug worked to prevent further damage, because she just tore at it instead of the carpet.  We didn’t really know what to do with the existing damage, and we planned on re-signing our lease for the year, so we put it on the back-burner.  Wasn’t that what our pet deposit was for anyway?

However, with August came some major issues with our neighbor (who has continually given us issues since we moved here in July 2016) and we requested to switch apartments.  At that point, we focused again on the carpet damage and brainstormed solutions.

After looking into what our pet deposit covered in our lease, we found out we were indeed responsible.  Apparently pet deposits are simply to allow the animal in the apartment, not any damage from the pet.  It sucks–and I know that’s just life as a renter–but I would like to know the purpose of the pet deposit then.  Why charge $500 when it doesn’t go toward damage?  Basically, I found out that if there’s damage, they keep the $500 and then additionally charge us whatever it costs to cover damage repair.

Anyway.  Rant over, lol.

We hired an awesome carpet repair place–Northern Arizona Carpet Repair & Cleaning.  They quoted us an exact (& very reasonable) price ahead of time just from the description and photos.  The owner himself came out to fix the carpet, and threw in the metal divider free of charge just for giving them an honest 5-star review.

It was such a relief to finally have the carpet fixed!  We ended up not switching apartments, but we are glad the carpet is repaired anyway because we are planning on moving when our lease is up, so it’s one less thing to think about then.  We are extra watchful of Zelda now, and though the issue has faded since we put the rug down, when it gets colder, she will just have to deal with being trapped in the bathroom during showers.  I would much rather deal with her meowing & crying (and I’m sure she will eventually adjust) than have carpet damage again.

This cat has been crazy.  We’ve had to change the litter box twice–from using liners to without, and from a regular litter box to a huge bin because she kept peeing over the edge.  We changed her litter because she is messy and doesn’t cover her litter when she goes to the bathroom, so it smelled to high heaven with just normal litter.  She tore up the carpet, chewed through fairy lights decorating our “bedroom,” and chewed through our Christmas tree lights.  She also jumped on my lap when I was taking a drink of water once and rammed the glass into my tooth, chipping it!  Dental work fixed it, but it’ll never feel the same.  She also broke one of our drinking glasses by knocking it off my dresser.

The negatives don’t outweigh the positives, though.  It’s just part of having a pet.  She consistently melts our hearts daily.  She’s our baby girl, she’s adorable, she loves to cuddle, and she lights up our home.  Our sweet Zelda can be a brat, but she loves us and she is precious to us.  She’s hilarious, adorable, and sassy.  A dog could easily cause just as much damage.  It also majorly helps that by now, she’s matured and we’ve adjusted to each other.

How could this sweet thing cause such trouble? 😉

Have you ever had any pet damage like this?

-Tialla ❤

Apartment Hack: Damage-Free Curtains

Hello friends!

Long time no talk. 😉 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 ❤