Friday, January 18, 2013

Five for Friday

With the semester kicking in gear, I figured I should kick blogging back in gear, too! Here are the 5 random things I thought I would share with you.

1) School started this week. Crazy that I'm in my second semester of my second year of grad school! My classes seem interesting thus far but it isn't the classes that will keep me busy- it is all the extra stuff. TA duties, research for conferences, research for publications, editing papers, etc. Dude. It's a lot to handle. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who understands when I run around looking for a piece of paper to jot down all the miscellaneous tasks I have to do. 

2) Matt's planning date night tonight. I have no clue what we're doing but I'm pretty excited! I don't have to cook OR heat up leftovers for dinner so that's always a plus :)

3) On Wednesday evening, Matt and I baked some oatmeal raisin yogurt muffins (the recipe came from a yogurt container, but you can also find it here).We had no clue how they would turn out but wow, were they delicious! And only 160 calories each--not bad for dessert! I highly recommend them.

4) Matt is awesome. He earns his own number each week just for putting up with me. For instance, we were talking Wednesday night about how our classes have been going, what he's doing at work, etc, and I sometimes had to interrupt our conversation to write down random tasks (ex., ASC 2013 topic; email Amazon). He knows me so well!

5) I started going to a body works class at our gym once a week. I'm always so sore the next day from all the weights, but it is definitely worth it. I have been wanting to be more consistent with strength training so this is helping.

I hope you have a great weekend! Since no post is complete without an image of some kind, here you go:

Monday, January 7, 2013

How a Search Turned Into a Redesign

Right now we live in the same 1-bedroom apartment (as featured here) we moved into after we got married. Our lease runs up at the end of May and we talked about moving out to a 2-bedroom so we could have a study. Matt & I have been sharing a desk for the past year a half and that makes life quite interesting when we're both graduate students. Since I am a full-time PhD student, my husband has been gracious enough to let me have most of the desk, but on the weekends I would let him 'borrow' it for his part-time Masters work. 

It had been working OK for the most part, but we decided it was time for a change. So with some of the free time this past week, Matt & I went apartment searching. We stayed in the same area where we live now and our most important criteria included a having a study/2nd bedroom, covered parking, and a semi-decent kitchen (hey, I have a lot of kitchen stuff!). All of the places we looked at fit some of those criteria. The complex with the nicest management had a tiny kitchen and our dining room table wouldn't have fit well either. The complex that fit our size criteria had a somewhat sketchy management AND was slightly over-budget.

Sound like an episode of House Hunters to anyone? 

Anyway, after we looked at the last apartment, we discussed all the different options and realized that, shockingly, nothing was perfect. As the evening goes on, we end up having a conversation that goes like this:
Matt: I have a kind of crazy idea.
Jessica: What is that?
Matt: Why don't we move the chair and bookcase to the bedroom and then use that space to put a desk for me in the living room.
Jessica: Hmm... actually, that isn't that crazy.

The next morning we moved the furniture as suggested, realized there would indeed be enough room in the living room for a desk identical to mine, and then drove to IKEA. We bought the same desk, drove home, put it together, and absolutely fell in love with the result.

In the bedroom we have a nice little reading nook now. We will probably add a reading lamp later.
Say Hi to lego man!
And now for the living room pictures. Honestly I think it looks better than it did before (look at the link at the top of this post for reference). 

We're wanting to put something up on the wall next to the
diploma frames, just not sure what that would be yet.
Yay! Matt has his own desk now! 
Ignore the messy coffee table...
So there you have it! We are definitely happy with our redesign and I'm not sure Matt would have had his idea if it wasn't for going to look at other apartments. Hopefully we won't have to move for at least another year! 

What do you think? Ever had a similar experience happen to you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Happenings

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a happy New Year! Matt and I had a busy Christmas, traveling across the great state of Texas to celebrate with both of our families, so we had a chill New Year's celebration. Just what we needed! Below are a few pictures from our holidays.

Our little Christmas tree
Matt's excitement over the pop tarts I gave him :)
This girl was happy to receive something pretty in a Blue Nile box!
I also surprised Matt with a Chick-Fil-A calendar & Christmas light remote control. We have interesting priorities
 Here is where we start what I like to call the Texas Triangle- DFW -> El Paso -> Houston -> DFW.

For lunch on Matt's birthday, we stopped in Midland for burgers
The restaurant is in an old airplane hanger-- very cool!
And the burgers were delicious!
In El Paso, opening gifts. Hi Lindsey!
Matt's copy of Band of Brothers-- so good so far!
Brothers playing games
The smallest cousin being sneaky...
Now on to my parents' house, this is Matt & my niece, Alice
My mom and her gift
More gift opening...
The two cutest puppies in the world, Panda & Teddy
Followed by the cutest niece in the world, Alice
We had a blast playing at the park!

And then my husband made me a Mickey Mouse pancake. So good!
 I hope everyone has a great start to 2013!