Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Little Sis

I give so much credit to KKG for introducing me to some of my very best friends ever. One of which is my Kappa Little Sis, whose birthday was just on Sunday! We were paired as Kappa Key Sisters in 2004 when she rushed Kappa, and I am so lucky to be able to be her big sis! Over the years, our friendship has grown from sisters in the bond and drinking buddies, to a friendship that is true and beautiful :)
Here's a look back at our adventures over the years, once I had a digital camera that is!
(If only I could find Bid Day 2004, Barn Dance, and Sapphire Ball)

Bid Night 2004 (Thanks Tiffany!)

Ghetto Fab Spring 2005

Toga Party 2005

Bid Day Fall 2006

Taylors 2007

The first of our annual Willowcreek trips! Summer 2007

Chad & Tiffany's Wedding- August 22nd, 2008

  I'm not sure what happened in 2009... but we get things back on track!

Brian & My Wedding July 24th, 2010- We know how to coordinate :)

UO National Championship January 2011- Glendale, AZ

Rodeo Summer 2011

UO Football- Fall 2011

Through the years we have become closer and closer, and I know that our friendship will last for years to come.  Happy Birthday Tiffany! I am so glad that we are friends. Love you!

Friday, January 27, 2012

From Shabby... to Chic! Shabby Chic Mirrors!

At the end of last year, Brian's Grandma cleaned out her house. While we were going through some of her things in the basement, I found these mirrors and put dibs on them right away... and I had no competition:

I know what you are thinking... "Way to have a vision!" Right?
Brian even questioned, "Really?" :) My hubby is one of the first to admit he really doesn't know to much about decorating, but I think he was really surprised about my choice. Can't blame the guy, right?

But I had a vision. So a few weeks later I found a local glass cutter to cut some mirrors to size,
and I used some left over paint to cover up the 1970's gold plastic:

Getting closer! Using hot glue I put the pieces together and there we go!
I created some new Shabby Chic Mirrors!

Here is the finished product up on the wall, next to that fancy hutch ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dining Room Decorating

When we moved into our home, I was so excited for the formal dining room and to use our fabulous wedding china! Coming from my apartment, I didn't even have a table with matching chairs, let alone a formal dining set for the room. So it was empty... sometimes having boxes that needed to be unpacked, but the china was in our storage room. Sad! That definitely needed to change, but a designer redecoration was not a budget priority at all. I'm pretty sure Brian didn't mind the room as a storage space, but he was so very supportive of this huge project!

This is my step by step on how I embraced my inner craftiness and undertook this whole project  including all paint ($100), a 6' mirror ($100), curtains and rods ($80), crafts ($45), and this amazing hutch ($100). For under $500 we completed this transformation ... without getting a single thing at Ikea :)

To begin, the picture below was how the previous owners decorated the room as was posted on the house's site. Definitely not my style... at all.

 When we moved in, this is what it looked like:

I started by painting the room a cornflower blue. I just went for it. So then we had an empty blue room. Awesome. 

Next I starting dreaming of window treatments. Of course, what woman wouldn't want the Dupioni Silk Pottery Barn drapes for $189 per panel in her formal dining room? That's when I saw this quote in a home decorating magazine: 

"Spend the most amount of money on the fabric closest to your skin,
and the least amount of money on the fabric furthest away"

That actaually made a lot of sense to me, so in April I found a similar set of all four panels at JC Penny's for $40 on sale, plus shipping. Definitely not real silk, but I'm pretty sure Brian could not have been more proud of my money saving tactic. I didn't want that room to be completely empty with only curtains, so we moved in our extra farm-style hand me down table from my parents, and our folding chairs. Class, Class, Class.

Some months later when I was out with Kelly on an afternoon day date, we went into Home Goods and I found this fabulous mirror that I thought would be the perfect addition to the room. Totally unnecessary at the time, but I was in love with it. I hung this bad boy all by myself while Brian was out on a hunting trip. Measurments, stud finder, mirror hangers, the whole she-bang. I figured if it was hung by the time he was home, we couldn't take it back. Sneaky, sneaky.

This whole time I had been dreaming of the brand new dining set that costs thousands of dollars, and trying to figure out how to fulfill my champagne taste on a beer budget.  So I got serious about the search for the perfect hutch on craigslist... and Voilà! We found an add on craigslist for this early 1900's Pensylvania Company solid wood hutch for $100 that this guy was trying to sell for his grandma. She must have great taste, or my taste is as great as his grandma's :) So Brian and I drove out to Oregon City the Friday night before two of our best friends got married in September, and we picked up this little, I mean really large and heavy, gem:

I consulted my craft inspiration, my KKG little sis, and my good friend Tiffany ( who referred me to the website All Things Thrifty ( for instructions on redoing furniture. Then came 2 1/2 months of sanding, priming, painting, sealing, taking up the entire garage, and correcting my rookie mistakes.

It actually might have been smart to start with something smaller, as Brian suggested, but as we say in Kappa, "Go Big, or Go Home."  It took months, a few minor injuries, quite a few tears, and many, many late nights to get this darn thing done. I was almost at a breaking point, and then Brian finished the hardware on my birthday while I was at work as an amazing b-day surprise, and it was finally done. I cried :) 
Here it is all decorated for Christmas:

The next week or so, Brian's grandma gave us her dining room table that has been in her family for generations. It is simple, antique, rustic, and beautiful. It is going to need some elbow grease to get the extensions to work, and probably a new coat of stain next summer, but for now it's a beautiful piece that has a lot of history and is so special. It's perfect, and now our room is complete.

Our Finished Formal Dining Room:

It was the perfect place to host our first Borman & VanHoy family Christmas dinner party, and it made me so very excited to host more parties!

PS- Please stay tuned for an post on how I crafted the mirrors!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Importance of Girl Friends

After college, it was a huge time of growth where it became clear that there was a division of friends out of convenience, and real friends that were truly going to last regardless of where we lived or how often we saw each other. There is nothing wrong with having convenient friends, and all friends have an important place in my heart, but since moving to Brush Prairie, it has become even harder, since it has taken more time, effort, and the (amazing) use of FaceTime to stay in touch with friends. Between being far away and working nightshift at the hospital, which makes having a social life nearly impossible, it makes me realize how really important my girl friends are to me.

Usually on my commute to and from work in Portland, my mind has time to wander. Recently I have  been looking at my friendships, and I realized that I am so amazingly lucky to have these incredible women in my life. Each person has been brought into my life for a reason, and I have learned a lesson from each. These life lessons are so important, and it makes me appreciate these women even more. With reflection, these are some of the most important life lessons that I have learned over the past 5 years, in no particular order:

Kelly- Stay true to who you are, and be happy with that person.

Nicole- Be patient and have faith. It will all work out.

Courtney- Realize that everything happens for a reason, and remember to have fun.

Kara- Set goals, have a 5 year plan, and get what you want out of life.
Kilee- There is a positive in every situation; you just have to find it.

Tiffany- Saddle up! Just kidding :) Be on your husband’s team,
and he will be on yours… and don’t forget to play!
Lauren- If you act like a brat- it was probably your evil twin. Dammit.
Jessie- Real friendships last through time and distance, and any
situation will improve with sunshine and country music.
Ashley- Be proud of your accomplishments, and celebrate
yourself and the people you love.
Jen- Don’t under estimate the power of a nap.
Anna- Just. Keep. Running.
Shannon- Friendships take some effort, but what you get out of that
friendship is so much more than what you put in.
Lindsay- You are much stronger than you ever think you are.
Sarah- Be Real.
Katey- Being a nurse is tough, you have to remember to laugh.
Betsy- Be confident.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mele Kalikimaka

This year was the first year I had to work on Christmas, so it kind of put a snip of Grinch in my Christmas spirit. Brian did, however, make it a cute holiday and we exchanged presents after work next to our own tree. 
Please note that it was a busy day at work, and I was very tired :)

My family was in Moloka'i Hawaii for the week, and so Brian and I met them after Christmas.
That's when the real holiday began!

With my family, we ate, slept, hiked, swam and spent as much time as possible at the beach!
We had a great adventure with the Borman Clan, and it helps to remind me of how fun and funny my family is! Please note Ian's awesome sleeves, Skylar's salmon shirt, and Max's model smile.

We then went to Maui to visit my Best Friend from Kappa Kappa Gamma, Nicole. She truly is such a dear friend, and helps keep me anchored in what is important in life. Really a true friend... and SO MUCH FUN!

We had dinner at Mama's Fish House- where Brian needed a "Relaxer" because of the price tag:

And then we celebrated into the New Year with fantastic fireworks!

We then tried to maximize beach time and activities before Brian went home:

When Brian had to head back to Brush Prairie, Nicole and I spent some serious girl time together. Heart to hearts, wine, massages (thanks to my amazing Hubby!), pedicures, and time at the beach. While I know 100% that we have the best husbands in the entire world, I truly loved Nicole and my time together.


With Brian time, Borman time, and Nicole time, this was the best vacation I have ever had... second only to our honeymoon :) It was the perfect break from work, cold weather, and pale, pale skin. Looking forward to our next Hawaiian vacation when I am in my friend Courtney's wedding as a bridesmaid! So excited!