Category Archives: Renter Problems

poor, lazy and desperate for a craving

Some people never change their style. Those are the people who wear the same hair color and cut for decades or brag about still using the same floral duvet that was popular in the 80’s (you know, the motel collection). Jennifer Anniston looks exactly the same as she did around the third season of Friends (we get it you’re so easy-going you can wear the same Lucky Brand jeans you did in the 90’s…I was 10 …I will still always be younger). Then there are the people who change their look more often than they change their underwear. My friend Annika has had more hair colors than the “Queen of Versailles” Jackie Siegel had  tacky crap faberge eggs.

How someone dresses themselves isn’t always indicative of how they keep their home….but if watching season after season of “Hoarders” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has taught me anything it is that 9 times out of 10 it does. There’s the occasional hoarder who doesn’t smell of rotten pumpkins, cat urine and a hint of asbestos…but they’re usually in the very early stages of their hoarding and still have a fully functioning bathroom that has a mirror not covered in dust and cob webs. Comparatively there is the occasional Kardashian wearing something that isn’t black and white and 3 sizes too small (we all know there is nothing small about this family, except maybe the talent level. I meeeeean, Khloe couldn’t even stand their and look pretty long enough to host a show about talent before being replaced…).

Although I am neither as hairy nor rich as the Dash klan, I do have something more in common with them than my obsession with looking at myself in every mirror that comes my way, and that’s my obsession with black and white. I have the dynamic duo of colors..or hues…or shades? whatever they are I have the duo in almost everything I could find: striped throw, eye cat pillows, bowls, paper napkins, tank tops, chiffon tops, maxi skirts, mini skirts, eye make-up brushes, even a chevron basket. But it’s not enough, to quote Ariel the Little Mermaid “I want more”.

Why are there no black and white striped bath towels??  Are they so rare that they’re only sold on the black market? And if so, how much time will I do if I get caught? And even more importantly, will I be allowed to use them once my time is served. There would be nothing more annoying to me than if I went through all that trouble of commingling with all those grimy people shoving and pushing their way around for fake Fendi  just to get thrown in the slammer with a bunch of women shoving their gang tats and corn rows at me. And all of for a set of towels that I would not ever get the chance to stare happily at every time I walked into my bathroom. I’ll admit, it seems like a crazy irrational plan for a set of towels…

Literally the only black and white striped towels I can find that don’t have a mustache or Eiffel Tower on the front of them are either beach towels or come from a European website. There seems to be some type of agreement or peace treaty between the US and Europe that decided chevron print belongs to the states and the stripe to those lucky Euros. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I would have had chevron walls, towels, carpet and tile…but I don’t need to live in Casa de Chevron to get my fix, it is ev-er-y-where. If you looked hard enough you can probably find chevron printed tampons.

Is it so much to ask Walmart to make a simple stripe in black and white? They do in every other color and pattern. The only thing Walmart has that comes close to what I am looking for is the jerseyliciousversion of a black and white stripe, zebra print.

There is LITERALLY nothing tackier to me than a zebra print, and I watch “Don’t be Tardy…“. My mom says hate is a strong word that she thinks I say it all too often (especially when referencing certain pop stars or co-workers)…but I HATE zebra print. It will never be a good look for anyone, or anything.

While dwelling on the hatred I had acquired for zebra print, my search for the anomaly that is the black and white striped towel continued. Nearly giving up on this quest I made a quick trip to the cluster you know what, IKEA. Where Europe gave me $40 for shipping, IKEA kindly and cheaply gave me  Sofia…a black and white striped material. It took me forever to figure out what I could do with her. I thought about using it for napkins or as a table-cloth. But then it hit me that the dining set my parents had passed down to us from 1970 was in desperate need of  my classic  home decor facelift.2013-04-24_12-32-37_65

My mom had this fancy fabric hand-made. So when she handed it down to my sister, 10 years ago, it was all the rage. When she handed it down to me, 10 months ago, I immediately wanted to pull out my paint brush and fabric scissors. My mom cherished this set, the hoarder in her came out when she was nearly brought to tears when I told her about my big plans to paint the wood and change the cushions. If it weren’t in our dining room, it would be in a storage unit for all the spiders and rats to enjoy as a meal. So she slowly began to open up to the idea of letting it go. But because my heart is not completely made of stone, (especially after realizing how frustrating and expensive reupholstering sounded) I decided I would let the old cherry set keep its charm and musty smell. The best solution for this project was the lazy one. No plans, no research, I would just channel my inner Summer Sanders and figure it out.

I didn’t make any measurements, mostly because I came up with this project while aimlessly wandering around in search for towels when this fabric caught my eye and perked up my mood. I used the best technique I have as a DIYnerd, the eyeballing method. So I bought 1 yard, thinking that would be enough…but shockingly it was not. For 4 chairs I needed exactly 2 yards…give or take.

So here was the lazy, but still do it yourself ,reupholstering job I used on this cherry-ished family heirloom.

1. First I had to find the screws holding the cushion down. As you can see, when my mom had originally reupholstered the cushions she had them made about 2 inches larger in diameter than the original seat. Apparently people of the 70’s had smaller behinds than the people of today.


2. The screws were ancient, rusted and in there real tight. So I could only unscrew the 2 furthest from the back rest of the chair. Partly because they were screwed in tight and partly because my weak delicate hands were starting to form calluses…and I was not going to let that happen.


3. Once the screws were loose (the ones in my head weren’t far behind) I took 1 yard of fabric and draped it over the cushion, wedging the fabric between the cushion and the back of the chair, fully covering the existing fabric.


4. I smoothed it out over the cushion and made sure the stripes were running perfectly horizontal, checking that none of the cherry patches of the existing fabric were showing through the white stripes. Then I measured how much fabric would need to be firmly tucked under the cushion, and I cut the remaining fabric. This ends up being about 1/2 a yard per cushion.


5. Unscrewing the 2 outer screws allowed me to lift the cushion just enough  to tuck the fabric completely under the cushion, perfectly wedged between the cushion and the frame of the chair…



the fabric is then evenly covering the cushion and is tucked far enough between the frame and cushion it won’t pop out when someone sits in it.


6. I took a screw driver and poked and pushed the fabric as far back as I could. It was as easy as tucking sheets into a bed frame.


Because the back 2 screws weren’t loose it was tight enough to perfectly wedge the fabric in between the frame and under the cushion.2013-04-24_12-40-26_456 (1)

7. I screwed the 2 screws I originally took out back in as tight as they were before. Using the screw driver I tightened, wedged and poked the fabric in between the frame and cushion one last time…

8.and VOILA!


Now I just had 3 more to do, but by the second chair I had it all figured out and I knocked out 3 chairs in 30 minutes.





This project, thanks to Sofia, satisfied my black and white stripe craving…temporarily. I am still on a mad hunt for those hand towels in my beloved stripe. But until then I will just preoccupy my mind and time with more projects, rearrangements and obsessions. My newest one… stencils! Oh the places you can go with a little stenciling.

Until then, Happy Decorenting!


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Apartment botox

I know I joke how I change my mind all too often, and the botox my apartment gets every few weeks is evidence enough to prove that. But it’s not that I am consistently unhappy or displeased. It is just that I dont’t know what I want until I see what I don’t want. When we first moved into our apartment, it was a lot like Josh and my first date. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. Would it be grown up and sophisticated or fun and silly. I had moved back home and was living with my parents in a world of beige, while Josh was living in a house of penis and beer pong. Five years ago, even two years ago, all I would have cared about was making sure I had a handle of vodka in my fridge at all times; sophistication was taking shots out of a wine glass. So this apartment was my chance to temporarily step out of my alcohol induced fog and make our apartment more than just a roof over our head… through painted furniture and colorful candles! Much like our first date, our apartment started out a little uncomfortable and just like our relationship, through trial and error, it progressively has only gotten better.

On one of my latest Walmart, Target, Homegoods, or Michaels excursions, I found myself wander right into the arts and crafts aisle…fancy that. I said when Josh and I moved into our love shack that I wanted it to be a young, fun, bright and colorful place to live. I wanted nothing to do with black furniture. I had all these big kid ideas of what I would do to brighten up the plain black and boring bookshelves we had.

I think the idea was bigger than my stomach and I feared it would start look like a Lizzie McGuire original movie set. So I stuck to the basic frat boy pieces of Ikea furniture…aaand this is what our living room looked like.


I was so concerned with getting rid of boxes within boxes within a box (or our apartment) that anything to get our prized possessions crap out of cardboard and up onto the bookshelves so I could walk from the kitchen to the bathroom in 30 seconds rather than 30 minutes was all I really cared about. Much to my dismay, the colorful and fun apartment I had envisioned was a black and white blob with gold accents. When I wandered into that paint aisle it opened up my eyes. I remembered the young fun do it yourself kind of girl I was and that I had 25 more years until gold would be a good look for me. I was able to embrace my quarter life crisis and bought as much paint that $20 would get me, which is actually a lot.

I started out with my usual craft; painting a picture frame here and adding a colorful candle stick thereIMG_9451. I bought colorful rugs and other accent piecesIMG_9449

I finally shooshed up my gallery wall from this

IMG_8170 to this IMG_9197

And remember this


and how I changed it to thisIMG_8301(picture credit: Josh Branham),

and then thisIMG_9199

and now it’s thisIMG_9438


So there’s no pink and there’s a bar, that’s manly…. right?

And those candle sticks finally found a permanent home.

IMG_9454    IMG_9444

Everything is fitting into the right place, finally. Whats next you may not be asking? I am actually going to paint those bookshelves and bar area rather than just fantasize about doing it. Color makes the world go round, everything looks better when its painted a nice glossy yellow or bright green. Maybe its just the Spring season and all the pastel Easter bunnies that make black seem so boring to me and in a few months everything must be black. But that is why paint is my best friend, you can have an all new piece of furniture with just a simple stroke of the brush.

This past week my family lost someone very special, my Uncle Eric. He was taken too young and too fast by lung cancer. He was an amazing man and he will be missed by more people than he ever imagined. Cancer is scary, but it is real and it can happen to anyone. My uncle was a smoker, like a lot of people, but we need more awareness in the dangers of smoking and as always the search for THE CURE.

As always Happy Decorenting and hug a loved one …. and then flush all of their cigarettes!

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I’m baaaaaaack…

It’s been a long few weeks catching up on the new season of FTS (or Full Throttle Saloon for those of you Google-ing this), forgetting a friends day of birth (sorry girl) and living in the stone age with a broken cell phone…but I’m back bitches! I am all caught up on my DVR, the card is in the mail and my phone is refurbished. I had several weeks of bitching and complaining about my boyfriends serious lack of cleanliness or my 19 year old co-worker thinking of herself as my superior and I couldn’t wait to flush it all out of my system and onto your computer screens, but it’s been so damn long I can’t remember why I was annoyed to begin with! There are plenty of things that annoy me….cars that are pink, 15 year olds, pinatas…but forgetting why I was annoyed in the first place has got to be #1. Josh likes to say that I bitch just to bitch, that I do it because I like to get my way….I like to respond to this with a long confused stare.  It wouldn’t be called bitching if it were welcomed with open arms by the bitchee. And of course I do it because I like to get my way. I wouldn’t nag somebody to do something that wasn’t in my best interest. Nagging Josh to play a video game while the trash can is literally overflowing with red goo is the exact definition of an oxymoron. But at least he takes out the trash, the red goo literally makes me vomit.

But enough about the annoying nagging girlfriend in me and more about my mansion apartment. I have neglected writing about it, but the never ending and always changing Barbie Dream Home of mine has not been neglected. The changes are minor, so minor actually that only I know or even care about them but still major enough for me to stare at and  brag write about. By now you know I change my mind anywhere between 2 and 30 times a day about anything and everything. So when I was over things that were once gold and changed them to a bright green or shiny blue, I knew major changes were coming to our humble abode. Which reminds me, about my gold obsession… What was I thinking, that we lived in Dubais? At our apartment, the paint is cracking off of the walls, the neighbors speak Spanish (and spanish only) and every screen door has broken off of the track and is leaning against the patio walls. There are no marble pillars or mother of pearl bathroom tile, just pink carpet and plastic wooden frames. Gold was made to drape across my neck, poke through my ears and jingle on my wrists, not greet me at every inch of my apartment.

Anyways, it all started with the infamous dresser we had longed for so long. It sat in our room without knobs longer than we waited for it to arrive on our doorstep, which just gave me more time to need, ok want something different. I obviously couldn’t have the knobs be left plain (the DIY-nerd would not allow it) but I also didn’t want a Kindergarten cubby with a hodge podge of different colors (Josh would not allow it). But then I remembered that I was bored with our old (6 months) and gold living room dresser. And I had recently found all of my brightly colored acrylic paints….bazinga! I busted out my paint brush, channeled my inner Van Gogh and  let the magic happen (and yes I just compared my amateur furniture painting to that of The Starry Night as if it were a MindFreak Vegas magic show).

Lime green knobs and I had a brand new chest that didn’t look like it belonged in my Grandmother’s Egyptian inspired condo. (I would like to say that wasn’t true, but she had tiger statues, monkey chandeliers and might as well have had mother of pearl tile. She wore Channel everything all day every day and had an all white room no one was allowed in…she would’v been proud of my Dubais inspired apartment).




And all I did was a good ol’ wife swap (with knobs not wives, obviously) and I got a brand new dresser out of it too!



Yes, to answer the question you are asking yourself right now….that is a 42” TV strategically placed in front of my mirror displays. I treated myself to some new knobs and Josh got himself a new TV the size of our “master” bedroom. That’s ok though, because the TV we had before was the size of our dinner plates. And I have plenty of other white walls that can be styled with mirrors.

I have lots of other projects on the horizon at the Hayham residence, giving the patio some colorful love and maybe get some use other than the lazy dog owner bathroom is definitely a high priority. But in the mean time I have an art store’s worth of paint products, a gallery wall that is in desperate need of the faces of our friends and family (only the attractive ones) and I keep busy by saving every glass jar I come across. Right now they’re decorating my counters


and housing my tulips


I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something and it’s not going to be baking rainbow cupcakes.

Anyways, I’ll try not to let my love of reality TV shows about biker bars and rich women fighting over who has more plastic surgery get in the way of sharing my decor-journey with you all ever again…all 13 of you. That is of course until the new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County comes around (nope, still not ashamed).

So until then, as always…Happy Decorenting!

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Wannabe Housewife…

Much like my obsession with gold spray paint, I have a Real Housewives of every city and state guilty pleasure…and am aspiring to one day be a housewife of the real variety. You can never tell what boobs are real and what diamonds are fake, who wouldn’t want to live that lifestyle. They never have time for petty drama what with keeping up a house (paying 7 housekeepers) and chasing 5 kids (nannies) around. I admire how they keep their figures hot and their bank accounts up with their very busy tour schedules and book signings. Although I was confused at first… because I assumed being a housewife meant you wore sweatpants and had too clean up after your children and cook a meal or two. I have 2 weiner dogs that have a new skin rash every week, a boyfriend who would be sleep deprived if I didn’t rub his back every night, a job that I have to pleasantly interact with people (old people) all day long, an apartment that 3 needy weiners make a mess of(they’re so cute though), a social life to maintain and after all of that I have to worry about staying skinny….and I still find time to get my nails done, write this blog and bake cookies. If I can complain about all of that while not being the one to clean up dog poop or cook dinner, I’m in.
I have many, MANY, annoyances: stuffed animals in the back window of sedans, kids over the age of 3 who pick their nose, when people watch surf videos for pleasure, when my boyfriend says he’s funnier than me…just to name a few. But in the past 2 or 3 years I have noticed that people telling me “one day you’ll understand” increasingly creeps to #1 on my list. My mom is the Queen of this, “you’ll get it when you’re a mom”. As if I don’t get it? What is there even to get? As far as I’m concerned being a parent means less work for you. Isn’t that why parents invented chores? Until I moved out my dad was having me do his dirty work always saying “that’s why I had kids”. Every time my mom couldn’t read a menu and had to have me read it to her she would say, “that’s why I had a kid with youthful eyes”. If having a kid means I don’t have to read or take out the trash EVER again…I’m in.
 Excuse my Jerry Seinfeld tribute…but what is with people that have kids? When did having kids become a handicap? Personally I can’t wait to be a mom, but I sure as hell am not giving up my wine nights or wearing my skinny jeans. But here’s the thing, I’m not a mom so why should I get it? Why do I even have to get it now and why is it so important to you that I know I don’t get it but “one day will”? As a twenty something year old I only need to “get” how to one day be a Real Housewife when I’m a thirty something year old…everything else I’ll get around too later. The marriage and baby part of the housewife life will have to be continued later. And seeing as my bank account, boobs and jewelry are no match for a real housewife’s, I’m stuck living in an apartment buying the knock off’s…and sometimes the buying part is even a stretch. I have champagne taste on a beer-mosa budget. Hopefully you can take the girl out of poor and the poor out of the girl.
Anyways I have seen this “dipped” effect on a lot of furniture and decorative items lately and lets just say my mom and I are OBSESSED. We love anything dipped; our pretzels in chocolate and our furniture in paint. If I could, I would have dipped my entire apartment, but since that is only a little unrealistic, I started small. I had been looking everywhere for 3 vases small enough for just one flower and all of a different shape. I don’t think I really knew where to look until I went to Walmart with my sister-in-law. It can be a very overwhelming place, there is anything and everything you could want in one store but not knowing where to look is the most overwhelming. I usually stuck to my 3 general sections: grocery, holiday and home. Venturing out of those 3 seemed…again overwhelming. Baskets? Shelving? Office suplies? I didn’t want to take a wrong turn and end up in outdoor living or in baby clothes…I get lost in those places thinking about buying things I don’t need and then over-thinking my original thinking. I usually head to the check out line leaving a trail of things I realized I didn’t need after over-thinking them. But not my sister-in-law, she knew exactly where these little vases would be so we b-lined it there and never looked back. My plan was to spray paint them white and put them on my shelf. Don’t tell Josh, but once I brought them home I was bored by all the white. I wanted them to look unique, and being a crafty nerd I pulled out my glue gun and got busy.
All I did was make dots and stripes to add dimension.
I didn’t really worry too much about it being perfect, I did want them to look unique after all.
Then I (obviously) spray painted them gold…then it dawned on me to dip these little stem holders in a glossy white. So all I did was put some painters tape about an inch or two around from tops of each vase, and got my spray on.
They’re no designer label or porcelain master pieces, but they’ll do…until my Real Housewife dream comes true…they’ll do.
Happy renting!!
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Finally rainy weather! Which in San Diego is the only excuse you need to stay in sweat pants past 10 a.m., eat and drink everything pumpkin spice and wear UGG boots even though it’s 65 degrees outside. Everything is better when its gloomy; being lazy, candles, brownies, Baileys and hot cocoa…Hocus Pocus. We’ve been so busy worrying about couches and storage organizers that I almost forgot to bust out the fuzzy glitter spiders and ghost pillows. I had to take a trip 30 minutes up north to my sisters and then 45 minutes down south to my sister-in-laws and smell the pumpkin spice, witches and black glitter to remind myself it was Fall!  Although lighting every pumpkin spice candle I can find and watching football in my jammies while resisting posting about it on Facebook is all I can motivate myself to do on a gloomy Sunday, there are still so many lists in my head that need to be done (decorating pumpkins before Christmas being one of them). I find that making 3, 4 maybe 5 lists a day calms my insane need to get everything done in the same day. Most of my lists are exactly the same plus or minus a few goodies, I just write them every time I feel overwhelmed and it bizarrely puts me at ease. I think that’s called crazy, but I’m not sure. I’m not as free spirited as I was when I was only 20, my days off aren’t busy drinking, eating and sleeping. Now at almost 25 years old, my days off are growing more stressful than my actual work days. So much has been done, our living room looks like a living room and all that’s left are the fine details that no one but my mom will notice. But theres still so much more…we’re talking an HGTV marathon of work. It’s like the designers version of plastic surgery, I can’t stop!

My bedroom is like…well it’s a disaster. Remember those glow in the dark stars that everyone had to have in their room circa 1996? They made going to be less of a drag. They always reminded me of a slumber party, going to bed was more exciting when you knew those little plastic stars would be glowing all night long. I have seriously considered buying an adult version of them, which really is just me as an adult buying them. Josh and I are in serious need of some glow in the dark stars to liven up our bedroom party. I’m forgetting what a bedroom feels like, as if the butt dents in the couch don’t prove that already. I’m use to sleeping on a couch, but not when MY bed is 10 feet away. I often ponder what my clothes in a dresser would look like or how checking myself out in a full length mirror will feel again. I can vividly imagine what pictures of family and friends reminding me of good times on the walls will look like and matching bed linen will feel like against my skin. I know I sound winey, but I’ve been drinking some wine. Josh reminds me of that on the reg, but since we’ve been sleeping in a dorm room (pre-occupado) I feel justified. One piece of furniture at a time, soon enough the room that houses our bed will be more of a party and less of a landfill.

In between watching football, lighting candles and writing lists I found some spare time to clean up my closet…well, a portion of it anyways…one shelf. Along with having too many clothes I can’t bare to give away, I had a department store’s worth of jewelry (and not the “Finer” section, the turn your finer green and give you an ear infection). When you have the room for useless things, you convince yourself you need them. When room is tight like booty shorts on the cast of  “Honey Boo Boo”, you find every reason to throw it away. And of course, like most of our crap, I couldn’t throw enough away. This was AFTER I purged. I swear, I wear (or plan on wearing) all of it!

I saw on Pinterest a while ago a self made earring stand and thought “One day i’ll do this”, but getting distracted by a healthy bbq chicken pizza recipe, I never got around to the “how too”. I decided I would take on the task, figuring it wouldn’t (couldn’t) be that hard, without the instructions.

It wasn’t brain surgery, hell it wasn’t coloring by numbers, but it did take me the better part of my day. I don’t know if I was just distracted by the…ok I don’t really have an excuse…it just took me a while to figure it all out. I started with an extra IKEA picture frame that made my gallery wall an even number, which according to mother hen is no-no #1 when producing a gallery wall.

…pretty typical and I’m sure 90% of you reading this have a version of it hanging in the room your sitting in right now.

I also had a stray piece of fabric swatch lying around begging to be used. I figured this could be easily poked with the earrings and 2 minutes later my project would be complete. After a few seconds of consideration, I realized it was just the perfect size, but it didn’t leave me enough slack to glue the swatch to the edges of the frame. It was clear (probably from the get-go) that it would need some type of backing, it being a piece of fabric and all. Luckily we just moved a month ago and boxes are like bottles of wine around here, there’s plenty. This was the only time I was thankful Josh hadn’t taken the boxes to the dumpster in 3 weeks.

Naturally this looks fabulous. But for those of you considering doing this…remember to glue the fabric to the cardboard. It took me, let’s just say, longer than it should have to figure this step out.

A few stares into space, frustrated sighs (screams) and one glue gun later…

…all the 100 other earrings I have will be shoved in a box in the junk drawer never to be seen, unless needed of course. But for now, the long dangly ones that always…ALWAYS get tangled are hanging nicely for me to pluck off and complete any outfit. I’m actually obsessed with this, and if I wasn’t so busy being lazy today, I probably could have made it even better.

At about 5 P.M I got my daily burst of energy and started a few more projects. Finally I can start crossing things off my lists and start enjoying a glass of wine out of my .99 wine glasses (don’t ask I’m ashamed…but anything under a buck is coming home with me).

Until next weeks list…Happy rentinggggg

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Home Is Where The Couch Is

As you know, living in a box decorated with boxes wasn’t easy for me. I felt overwhelmed and claustrophobic and before I knew it I was curled up in a ball in the middle of what soon would be my living room, crying. I wasn’t sure if I should be worried that I was being too dramatic (probably) or what Josh would have thought if he walked in on this not so hot messy breakdown. I needed someone else to come in and save me from being fully swallowed by these brown walls of cardboard that, no matter how many I unpacked or how many I moved from one side of the room to the other, continued to stack. You would think I was moving Daddy Warbucks mansion into a 600 sq. ft. apartment with the amount of boxes in our living room alone. But luckily my mommy was only a phone call away and her design expertise and anal retentive behavior was just what I needed to calm my worries.

The second she got there it was as if all the boxes ran away and everything had a rightful place. It all started to make more sense. This needed to go here and that needed to hang there and these needed to be put under there! It was A-MAZ-ING. I will be indebted to her for saving my life that day, because if I had to live in what was slowly becoming an insane asylum, I would have personally checked myself in. Once she left, things happened. Things got put away, boxes disappeared…and not just disappeared from one corner and reappeared in the other…they were gone. Things were on the shelves, in baskets, put away in closets. And the best part, the bookshelves were finally put up and all our random crappy things could finally be displayed! Of course, everything is black, but at least they’re not cardboard or brown. Everything is ready to be DIY’d…and like a kid on Christmas or a fat man at a buffet, I cannot wait.


(You can tell my mom has been here. Until I was 23 my mom would get me a doll on Christmas, she just couldn’t help herself ie: my childhood pumpkin teddy bear display)

What would have been a very chaotic and stressful process for Josh was a very calming and somewhat therapeutic experience for me. He loves to call me one, but it has become clear that the kid doesn’t seem to understand what being a “perfectionist” really means; as if the dirty clothes thrown on the chest in the living room or inability to look for anything if it is not in the last place he saw it, don’t prove that already. Everyday he is asking me where things are, without even looking. He makes it difficult by not embracing our crap actually being organized. Because if  I hadn’t moved around (or also known as organized) his things, they would still be in the trunk of his car. He likes to relax…a lot…and when we’re relaxing, if there is a crooked picture frame within my eyesight, I’ll stare at it until I find the perfect time to get up and fix it without seeming as if I had been staring at it the entire time. This then prompts me to nonchalantly pick up the papers on the desk next to the picture, forcing me to dust the table casually and then I can relax. Josh’s idea of organizing is that he’ll get to it tomorrow.

But thanks to the anal eye of Mama Haynie, I got ‘er done! And surprisingly, so did Josh. He finally bought a couch that didn’t break our very small piggy bank and that I actually approve of. But at this point I would have approved of anything that 2 people could comfortably sit on without hugging their knees. See THIS was our temporary seating area…for 3 weeks! If you didn’t before, now you must feel my pain.


And thanks to Josh, it actually feels like home. It’s a work in progress, but this is our living room. the “real” after coming soon!


AHHHH I know, I can practically hear your sigh of relief, and NO we are not keeping those pillows. I wanted something more neutral, but since I figured he would go buy the first fluffy couch he could comfortably nap on regardless of color or style, when he came home with this it might as well have been a couch from Buckingham Palace, I was so thrilled. Now it actually looks like someone that wasn’t on an episode of “Hoarders” lives here.

In the midst of dealing with an emerging breakdown, working and worrying have actually done a few things to add some personal touches to our humble abode. Other than getting rid of boxes, I have already gone through a bottle and a half of white and gold spray paint painting pretty much any and everything I could get my hands on. Mostly my things, since Josh hasn’t let me near his precious items (just to name a few there is a Volcom Stone piggy bank he made in high school wood shop, an Angels baseball team russian doll, a bike horn…clearly priceless items).

(too bad I can’t spray paint the pinkish carpet with wood floors)

I have hung our gallery wall.

(can you tell which pictures are Josh’s?)

But he really can’t complain about my spray paint binge or pink picture frames because…

there he is. The first thing you see when you walk in…The Sasquatch himself (for now anyways).

We’re almost there, just a few fine details that apparently only a “perfectionist” cares about and the living room is done! And next up is the bedroom

Not sure what to make of the elephant in the room…or rather the bread box in the bedroom… but if I can’t figure it out, you know Mama Haynie will be able too. Once my bank account goes up a few more thousand dollars, it’s Container Store all day every day!

At least for now everything has a place. And it’s only a matter of time before I’m complaining more about Josh leaving his pants in the kitchen and dirty plates in the bedroom and less about boxes, lack of storage and my crazy unrealistic expectations in general. Ahhh…one day.

Luckily ’tis the season for BevMo‘s .5 wine-o sale and my lovely live in beau brought home 6 bottles of the juice. And even though my mom says not to drink out my problems, sometimes it’s time for chardonnay time.

WISH ME LUCK and more to come!!

Happy chardonnay time…and as always Happy Renting!

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Storage and Murders and Bruises…OH MY!

FINALLY INTERNET! I’ve become accustom to living somewhat of an Amish lifestyle this past week, and the closest I’ve gotten to my Real Housewives fix is the screaming Vietnamese woman that lives next door. I think she’s in a long distance relationship that doesn’t seem to be working out. She also seems to eat raw fish…a lot.

Anyways back down the hall at the Hayham’s (Haynie/Branham residence) it is coming up on our 2 week- aversary at our apartment, and Josh had to make an impromptu trip back on home to Texas for the last 4 days, so I’m celebratin’ by my lonesome. I’ll miss the company and muscle of my sugar bear but the show must go on…and by show I do not mean the “Here Come’s Honey Boo Boo” type of show. I mean the I am home alone, in a brand new apartment that boxes are stuffed in as if it were a jalapeno popper, with 2 dogs that might as well be 2 infants, a box of only thriller and Star Wars DVDS and our microwave broke before my frozen smart meal for one was able to unfreeze type of show (since we will not have cable for 3 more days, I can finally star in my own reality show!). I know what you’re thinking, and I too think it’s the perfect screen play for a mass murder movie. At my parents’ house, I had strategically planned my escape route should an intruder with a chainsaw and baby doll mask choose my house to terrorize that night. As far as I am concerned every noise, creek and crackle is a sociopath who knows my very strong boyfriend is out of town and is therefore trying to murder me. These rational fears aren’t anything a little vino and organizing can’t help…or so I thought.

See it wasn’t the chance that a murderous man would break into my apartment and chop me up; it was the lack of unpacking, organizing and storage space in general that was, or should I say was not, going on! Not to mention how off balance I have been since Josh left. I should really have been more afraid of myself and my easily bruised and uncoordinated body. 1 broken bowl, 9 stubbed toes, 1 possible mild concussion and 2 severely bruised legs later and I have finally managed to organize one cabinet in my kitchen. It’s the only place in my house that isn’t chaotic and the stressed out designer nerd in me cannot stop staring at it.

Isn’t she beautiful?

But I want more! My “home” is a box filled with boxes, I’m lonely, broke (physically and financially) and I just watched the last episode of “The Office” Josh had on DVD…for the third time. I’m ready to relax in my beautifully decorated apartment living room and watch all these boxes burn on the patio.

We still don’t have a couch or a dresser, and the bookshelves my parents are so kindly giving us I am neither burly nor coordinated enough to move on my own. So the unpacking is more a shuffling of boxes from one side of the room to the other. This is mostly to feel productive while still sparing my sanity. And as if this cluster f- you- know -what wasn’t testing my patience enough, I am slowly recognizing that the storage space is sparse…or we just have too much crap…but I prefer blaming the lack of space. I hate to admit we have too many things we don’t need, especially in the closet, but if I want to stay sane I may have to downsize my collection of, well, everything.

Thinking that the shirt I haven’t worn in nearly 2 years could go and that the bins (literally bins) of clothes Josh hasn’t opened since high school wouldn’t be missed, I attempted going through our closet and other seamlessly useless items, and still space was not on my side. I have always loved to organize, even as a little girl I was demanding to re-do my bedroom 2 maybe even 3 times a year. But now, in my mid-twenty something’s, I am finding a whole new appreciation for “re-doing” things…and that maybe I don’t handle stress as well as I thought. How many glasses of wine a night is one allowed before being considered an alcoholic? Anyways, I quickly found another stress reliever (or at least a morning substitute for my glass of chardonnay).*NERD ALERT* Container Store made me feel happy, calm and content. It was as if the store had whispered “it’ll all be OK” upon my arrival. Everything, and I mean ev-er-y-thing, I needed was there. Things I didn’t even know I needed were there. It was a mentally calming, less crowded and more expensive version of IKEA. Roller cabinet organizers, spice shelves and miniature spice labels, hanging mug hooks, baskets of all shapes and sizes…YES PLEASE! I needed it all.

Like those indigestion commercials in which the food slaps whomever is trying to eat it, my wallet did to me when I was trying to use it. I walked away with just 3 magnets and 1 spice shelf, but took home hundreds of ideas (of course the do it yourself kind). Time, much like space, has not been on my side and my ideas are starting to overflow. Work and sleep were getting in the way of what I needed to accomplish. But if I was going to get this apartment done before our 1 year lease was up I was going to have to summon my inner Buddha, or race horse rather, to relax and get ‘er done! Of course I won’t be able to sleep comfortably or have my housewarming party until everything is exactly how I envision it to be, but at least I’ll be relaxed. As I’m sure Josh would excitedly agree, I may be over reacting (just a little bit). I mean it hasn’t even been a month, we don’t have all of our furniture moved, and I’ve been pretty much living in the Twilight zone without cable. Of course it’s overwhelming, stressful and giving me indigestion but it’s all apart of the process and slowly but surely things are starting to come together. At least I have pumpkin spice everything season to comfort me, not my thighs, but me. And once it starts to look less like a storage unit and more like an apartment I’ll be able to rest my eyes. 

 Happy Renting

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