5 Reasons Why: I Love Apartment Living!

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Ours was pretty great, I even though we didn't do anything particularly special. We were able to get out and see more of this marvelous state in which we find ourselves. Oddly enough, while we were exploring, my mind wandered to all the reasons why I love our apartment! Generally, when people talk about downsizing, it can have a negative connotation, but this process has been a wonderful journey for us. Our new place fits us so perfectly, I become overwhelmed sometimes. Anyway, I thought I'd share five reasons why I love it as part of the Mommy Monday Blog Hop! Perhaps, it'll encourage others to see the beauty of a smaller space.

1. It's Small and Manageable
Thanks to a rather well-worn cliche', bigger has become linked with better, but I can't say I agree. I feel more at peace in this not-quite-900-square-foot space than I ever did in our previous house. Because we purged the majority of our belongings before making the move to Denver, this petite space feels more roomy than it actually is because we are surrounded by only those items we truly love and use. Further, all the extra time we aren't spending maintaining a larger space has allowed us to tackle a few easy DIY home projects and we are loving the results! Every time I see a little trinket we made with our own two hands, I instantly feel my spirits lift.

DIY blue beer stein
This now-blue beer stein is one of the many super easy DIY projects we've tackled! 


2. The View Outside Joy's Window
Just about every morning, as I pick up my smiling baby girl from her crib and carry her to the changing table, we pause to gaze outside her window. More often than not, the playful squirrels are putting on a show, scurrying up and down tree trunks, searching for nuts, or playfully frolicking with each other on the grassy lawn. Hearing my daughter giggle with delight is a wonderful start to any day.
Pleasant view outside of the window


3. The Perfect Reading/Writing/Whatever Spot
Our couch is situated right under the family room window, and there's a spot right in the corner that is  quite possibly the most comfortable (and thus, highly-coveted) spot in our home. It seamlessly caters to the needs of every person in our family by providing unmatched back support (for the, ahem, older members), a sturdy foundation for all manner of pillow and blanket forts, and unashamed snuggle sessions. And if that weren't enough, it gets some of the best natural light in the apartment. If I'm lucky enough to snag it, I like to curl up with a book or magazine, and a cup of tea.

Perfect reading writing watching tv spot


4. The Location
The area right outside our complex is ridiculously walkable! Armed with a stroller and our reusable bottles of water, we've taken strolls that lasted hours without even realizing it. In addition to the lush parks, local stores and restaurants, we are conveniently located near Target, Home Depot, and several grocery stores. As a one-car family, walkability is incredibly important to us. We also want to instill in our children the importance of making daily activity a normal part of their lives. Ambling around town allows us to not only tell, but show. Also, when it's time to hop in the car, we're minutes from downtown Denver's many museums, and a half-hour from a gorgeous mountain hike.

At the Art District on Santa Fe
One of the many murals in Art District on Santa Fe

5. No More Yard Work!
Back in Phoenix, we had not one, but two large lawns that required near-constant maintenance. Between the mowing, trimming, raking, weeding, and cleanup, we spent hours caring for outside spaces that were too hot to actually enjoy most days of the year. It was a total grind and I'm glad to be rid of it. With the exception of our assorted succulents and a bouquet of fresh flowers for our dining room table, the majority of the foliage we admire is outside of our apartment.

HIking Forsythe Trail in Boulder, Colorado
Joy and I sweating on the Forsythe Trail in Boulder, CO

So, those are just a few of the reasons why I am absolutely in love with our new apartment here in Denver! Our lives have changed for the better, now that we're exactly where we've always wanted to be. Have a blessed week, y'all!

small space living simple living




Five-Minute Friday: Try

Happy Friday, gang! I'm so happy to be back here for my first Five-Minute Friday adventure since moving to Colorado a little over a month ago! It has been such a wonderful experience getting to know this city and carving out a place here, but keeping any sort of routine has been difficult, especially since the kiddos are out of school. Today, though, I had some free time to put fingers to keys, so I took advantage!

Prompt: Try

☆☆☆

Try is an action word and brings with it the image of exerting effort in pursuit of a goal. For quite some time, I'd been afraid of that pesky word, try, because right on its heels, nipping and clawing, was the word failure. I was terrified of failure.

Recently, however, I realized so many of my greatest triumphs were preceded by agonizing defeats. It was those stunning–and often embarrassing–setbacks that sparked my determination to continue on, to not allow that loss to be the end of the chapter.

Looking back at the previous six years, one might consider it a failure. I honestly do. We tried to mold ourselves into what what expected of us by living beyond our means and creating the illusion of (modest) success. Around the tail end of 2014, my husband and I looked at each other and knew what we needed to do: start all over and try again. And by the grace of God, we've been able to do so, which is why, despite having downgraded from a 2000 square foot home in Phoenix to an apartment less than half the size in Denver, we feel more peace, joy, and contentment than ever.

It took an incredible amount of effort to get here–everything we had, to be honest–but that struggle has not only taught us invaluable lessons, but lead to yet another life-giving victory. May I never again lose sight of the significance of pushing towards a worthy endeavor.

Rock Bottom Has Built More Champions than Privilege

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4 Easy DIY Home Decor Ideas!



Hey, welcome back!

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend! Our was okay, but a bit marred by illness, so we stayed in for the most part. The good news is we had the opportunity to increase our quality time as a family and get our hands dirty with a few (inexpensive) crafts. Now, full disclosure, I don't consider myself to be particularly gifted when it comes to do-it-yourself projects, but lately, I've been wanting to challenge myself to dive in and appreciate the experience, whether the end result is "perfect" or not. Learning a new skill and stretching beyond my comfort zone is important for personal growth, y'know? That being said, I'm excited to share these 4 easy DIY home decor ideas with you because if I can do it, anyone can! (Note: My husband did all the spray painting, while I did the clay containers. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.)

1. Spray A Beer Stein Blue (or any other unexpected color!)
We found this stein at a super-cool consignment store in Phoenix called Zinnias At Melrose. Originally, it was beige, similar to this one, but we wanted to jazz it up a bit. Since it belongs to my husband, he chose the color and I couldn't be more pleased with the results! It's Rust-oleum Paint + Primer in Deep Turquoise, Gloss finish. It's a bit more green in person than the picture appears, FYI.



 2. Get Psychedelic With Your Succulents
I originally saw these DIY clay containers in this incredible video by Andrea Brooks of AndreasChoice. She used them as holders for jewelry, but I immediately wanted to use them as a base for our succulents. I mean, look at the color of them! They deserved to have a little more excitement than just a run-of-the-mill plastic planter. I love the way the bases turned out and I can't wait to do more projects with this oven-bake clay from Sculpey. 

3. Elevate Basic Family Silhouettes to Art
When we moved, we got rid of a ton of picture frames because we knew we wouldn't have the space to hang so many. Also, we wanted to move away from the usual array of family photos in favor of showcasing more art. This simple project fulfilled both of our goals, and didn't cost us more than a couple bucks (if that). We had everything we needed except the craft paper, which happened to be on sale at our local Hobby Lobby. Using profile pictures I'd taken, my husband uploaded them into Photoshop, he traced each image with the pen tool, filled it in with black, and printed it out. Then, he cut out each outline, traced it onto the back of the scrapbook paper, and cut it out. This video by Andrea Brooks illustrates a similar technique.  I love the finished product as is, but my husband wants to experiment with the white background. If we do change it up, I'll be sure to post another photo. 



 4. Revive a Thrift-Store Mirror
I've been wanting a mirror for Joy's room for quite some time, but I couldn't find anything that matched my aesthetic and budget. That's why I was so doggone excited to spot this lovely mirror in Goodwill the other day! It had a few small chips, but I knew that wouldn't matter because I wanted to paint it. We used the same color on this mirror as we did on the beer stein, Rust-oleum in Deep Turquoise, and it took two coats to get the desired opacity. Initially, we put this on the front of Joy's crib, which looked wonderfully-unexpected. Unfortunately, she loved it a little too much and managed to use her baby might to wrench it from the crib and chip a couple pieces off the bottom. (In hindsight, we probably should've seen that coming, but, I mean, who knew a one year-old could be so strong!) It has since been moved to the wall, where it hangs proudly and safely out of her reach.

I hope you enjoyed these 4 easy DIY home decor ideas! If you see any you like and decide to give one a try, please let me know. I'd love to see your work and cheer you on! Know someone who wants to spruce up their place? Share this post to give them some budget-friendly ideas! 



Hiking at Red Rocks Park with Kids

Happy Friday, Everyone!

I hope this post is finding you happy and excited for the coming weekend! Earlier this week, my family and I hiked around Red Rocks Park and even spent a few minutes at the Ampitheatre (one of the coolest venues I've ever seen in my life!).  This trail is definitely easy enough for children as young as three or four to navigate on their without having to hold an adult's hand. If you have younger toddlers or babies, grab a carrier--Kelty makes a great one! Ours is many years old, but still in great shape. Plus, there are lots of flowers, plants, and insects to examine while you walk. My oldest son, in particularly, enjoyed checking everything out and recording his observations on his LeapPad. What can I say, he's the scientist in the family!














As you can see, we had a blast! I don't have any pictures of it, but if you go, take a few minutes to check out the music museum onsite. It's really interesting to see all the musical talent that has come out of Denver!

Do you have any plans for the weekend? I think we're take it easy, maybe head to the park or for a swim. I'd love to hear what you're gonna be up to, so feel free to share in the comments!

Have a blessed weekend!




Life in Denver: We. Are. HERE!

We've officially been Denverites for a little over a month, now, but I must say it feels much longer! I say that because as soon as we got here, we hit the ground running exploring this fabulous city! And Denver, you have not disappointed us. We are in love and you'll never be rid of us!

Brace yourselves for a ridiculous amount of photos. It really couldn't be helped. Moving to Colorado was an answer to so many fervent prayers. I find myself taking pictures in lieu of pinching my arm, y'know? (It seems like a less painful way to keep track of my blessings.) Anyway, because there were SO many photos, I clustered them together in an effort to keep each destination clear and shorten the length of this post. Hope you enjoy!

Denver Greek Festival
As if drinking delicious water straight from the tap wasn't enough (I'm easy to please, what can I say?), we arrived just in time to attend the annual Denver Greek Festival. There was beautiful art to admire, authentic goods to buy, adorable dancing kids to cheer on. All of these things are worth the cost of admission on their own.

But.

The food, the food, the fooooood! I've eaten my fair share of Greek cuisine, so I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about what constitutes quality Grecian fare. The food we ate at the festival was the best ever. EVER. Gyros, spanakopita, calamari, baklava. It was all so delicious, my husband and I were compelled to ask whether there was a restaurant that was catering the event (preferably, one we could patronize forever and ever). Turns out, the food was prepared with love just for the festival. We were crestfallen, but understood. You can bet we'll be marking our calendars for next year, though.

 Things to do in Denver


Denver Botanic Gardens
This is truly a lovely spot! Between the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, the Nature of Horses exhibit, and the scripture garden, I gush enough about the place. Plus, right across the street (and included in the price of admission to the Botanic Garden), there's the Mordecai Children's Garden, where kids can dart in and out of caves, uncover dinosaur bones, and take a refreshing wade in Springmelt Stream. 
Things to do in Denver


As difficult as it is for me to declare a favorite, those honors have to go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We loved it so much we happily plunked down $90 for a membership! Seeing as how we've already been there three times, it's proven to be a worthy investment. The current exhibit, The Power of Poison, is absolutely fantastic! It tackles the role poison has plays in our world, from deadly plants and animals, to mythology and literature, and science and medicine. It's wildly fascinating and totally worth seeing. And for all you fellow readers out there, the next exhibit is all about Sherlock Holmes! October cannot come quickly enough! 

Life in Denver


If you've been hanging around Living My Someday for a while, you already know we love to get outdoors and hike. Well, we finally got out there and enjoyed two wildly different hikes this past week. Boulder Canyon was a nice, easy stroll through a lush forest. It was a wonderful way to get our feet wet. Maxwell Falls, however, inadvertently became our most difficult hike to date! We intended to do the short one-mile trail, but somehow we ended up tackling a three-miler. It was tough, but we made it (by the grace of God). I have a video in the works, so you'll be able to see just how grueling it was for us. Still, hubby and I were so doggone proud of the boys for walking three miles! They were such troopers. 
things to do in Denver

We just happened to stumble onto this epic-ness on our way to the central library (yet another one of our happy places, by the way!). We happily walked over and marveled at the 10-15 food trucks featuring a diverse array of cuisines, parked together smack dab in the middle of picturesque Civic Center Park. As lovers of food, we were instantly smitten, and have since returned twice. If you go, I highly recommend The Buffalo Sabre Burger at Hamburghini, the Taste of Nola at Jessie's Smokin' NOLA, and the Polish Feast at Pierogies Factory. Now, full disclosure, some of these trucks do require 20-30 minutes of prep/cook time--even longer if there's a line--so plan accordingly. Also, this food extravaganza only occurs every Tuesday and Thursday, through October 8th.  
things to do in Denver spring summer
Top: pizza slices from Fat Sully's are bigger than their faces!
Far left: Our lunchtime view
Middle: Remnants of the Polish Feast from Pierogies Factory
Far right: Baby girl digs a bite of pierogi and sauerkraut. Who knew?

Looking back, we really covered a ton of ground here in Denver, and enjoyed every minute together. Honestly, that's really the most important byproduct of the last month: our little family has grown closer than ever. I look forward to fostering that even more as we adjust to our new home.  

As you embark on the upcoming week, may you be filled with peace, love, joy, and contentment! Have a great day!! Did you have a good weekend? Let me know what you did in the comments below!