Happy Easter!

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Photo via Joy Ever After

Hope you all had a happy Easter! It was honestly a bit difficult for Connor and I to get into the celebration, being away from family and all. I remember one of our nephew’s first Easter egg hunts, right after the lawn had been aerated. He ran around picking up the little dirt clumps and putting them in his basket, rather than the plastic eggs full of candy. It was pretty cute. Easter is one of those holidays that only seems enjoyable with little ones around or lots of family. But then again, most of the holidays have felt that way for us.

Despite this, we still tried to do something special. Connor and I made a big yummy breakfast of cream cheese Apple French toast, a food tradition that his mom makes each year. It is so delicious. It was our first time making it, and it turned out pretty great! And with just the two of us, we had plenty to fill up our tummies. Of course, we also had to boil some eggs, and although we didn’t dye them, we kept another tradition going, one that has been passed down through my family, “egg fights.” It is a German tradition, where two players hit their hard boiled eggs together to see which one cracks. I won each time :)

Our neighbors were kind enough to invite us over for a late lunch and some chatting time. They have two little ones, and they only had their family of four plus an aunt and uncle, so it was nice to not feel like we were intruding on a large family get together. We munched on some cupcakes, and us girls talked it up while the boys played games.

We didn’t want to stay too long since everyone was getting sleepy from all the food. Thankfully, the weather was super nice so after a little bit, Connor and I went on a walk in the sun. We spent the rest of the day and evening relaxing, realizing we were pretty happy to get this week started!

Green Thumbs

Connor has been talking about growing vegetables for a long time now, possibly since before we even got our house or had a place to grow them. I have been wanting to start a garden for a little bit too, mostly because after buying a few plants, I have noticed how much more welcoming our home feels having them around. I have been excited for spring to come so we can create a little outdoor paradise in our small but functional back patio. Last week was in the high 70s, so over the weekend we started planting seedlings that we will eventually transplant to our outdoor space. That is, if they grow.

Green Thumb Starters | The Urban Pig

Green Thumb Starters | The Urban Pig

Connor planted tomatoes and peppers. We also bought one cheater plant of cucumbers that comes in a ready-to-plant pod, in case all else fails. I picked up two different kinds of lavender. I like plants that look a little more wild and natural, so I really hope to have these sprouting up all over soon! Eye have a few more seed packets waiting for a later date to be planted, including baby sunflowers that grow only 4′-0″, and Connor has onions. If all goes well, we might expand our collection, but it seems like a good variety to start.

Green Thumb Starters | The Urban Pig

Green Thumb Starters | The Urban Pig

Hopefully the great weather sticks around so we can continue spending time outside and enjoying the outdoors!

Family Weekend

Family Weekend | The Urban PigThis last weekend was super exciting as my parents AND brother came to Denver to visit. I can’t believe it has been nearly 10 months since I last saw my brother. It was great to have some big bro-little sis goof off time. My family arrived Saturday afternoon so Connor and I picked them up from the airport. The weather was a little chilly so we took them to my favorite mall (Park Meadows) and did some shopping. I usually feel like a trip to a big city is never complete without some mall time. Is that true for you, too? After the mall, we were starving and tired, so we went over to one of the best pizza places the Mellow Mushroom. I think I have talked about this place before, but it is seriously so good, after discovering it, we have brought all of our family to try it out.

Early Sunday morning we woke up to go to the zoo, as requested by my dad for his favorite part of the trip. I have been excited to go, but we were holding out until my parents came. Isn’t it funny how we are saving all the fun adventures for family visits? It makes it fun to explore these new things together. We went early so a lot of the animals were up and moving around, and we even got to see some of the events, such as the sea lion and elephant feedings. We made our way around, saving the best for last (my dad’s favorite is the bears), but all of a sudden we started seeing some seriously dark storm clouds. We tried to hustle up, but it was too late. Just before we reached the last few exhibits, there was a crazy snow storm, so we ran for some temporary cover with the penguins. There wasn’t any sign of the bad weather stopping, so we marched through the snow to visit with the bears, who seemed a little excited about the weather as they dived into the water for a swim.

Family Weekend | The Urban Pig

Family Weekend | The Urban Pig

Family Weekend | The Urban PigMonday, Connor had to work, but I took the day off. So I took my family to Castle Rock in the hopes of some good weather for some hiking at Rock Park. Unfortunately, the weather continued to be messy, so instead we stuck with some good old shopping at my two favorite stores on Main Street. They have huge buildings full of antiques, hand-made goods, crafts, and collections of curiosities. My mom and I each found some headbands for $5 each, and I found an old horseshoe I want to hang somewhere in our house. There was loads of other things I would be happy to haul out of there, but I had to restrain myself, as we are hoping for a kitchen renovation here soon.

We also did some bowling, where I learned that I can bowl both left-handed and right, but either way, I still lose. It has been so long since I have bowled, it was a fun time! I remember as a kid being so embarrassed about bowling, at how bad I was. Now as an adult, I totally don’t care, but it was funny to watch the little kids around us looking so awkward and uncomfortable being up in the spotlight.

Family Weekend | The Urban Pig

Family Weekend | The Urban PigIt seems like family time comes and goes so quickly. No matter how long they are here for, it never seems to be long enough, and it makes it a bit hard to be living so far away. It’s been difficult to find and make friends here, so it is nice to have some familiar faces to interact with. We are so blessed to have family who hasn’t forgotten about us and take the time and expense to visit!

 

 

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table

P.S. Delay of this post is directly related to my dear husband cutting the cord to the circular saw in half and setting us back in schedule of building our table the last two days. :)

We are so close to completing our dining table, and it is funny how excited I am to finally have a dining set! It may sound silly, but it makes me feel a little more grown up. Connor and I have been eating dinner on the stairs or on the couch for the last two years of living together (except a short period of time of living with our friends). Before the table was even complete, a few nights ago, we had our first dinner at our home-made table.

This project has lasted a few months now because as we worked, we were designing and figuring out the steps as we went along. Although it still isn’t complete, it is much closer, and besides the final details, it is pretty close to being done, so I wanted to share.

The idea first came when I found these 2×4 furniture tutorials, and I was shocked by how much money you can save with some simple handiwork. I started looking for dining tables, and then different versions of different styles. I finally came across Ana White’s tutorial for a farmhouse table, and that’s when I began my own, with Connor’s help of course. I used her tutorial as a guide, but changed some things, such as the sizes, our plan for the tabletop, and the breadboard ends, mainly because I was planning on having a table with an extendable leaf. However, after building our version of the table base, we struggled with coming up with a solution to do the leaf, and in the end, we decided we would rather have a sturdy table then a table that is a hassle to change around. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the process of building the table base.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigOne of my main goals for building our own table was because I wanted to do something special for the tabletop, and what I had in mind, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford if I didn’t build it myself. After doing some research on how to do this pattern, I came across this tutorial from Wit and Whistle, and again, I altered the instructions to fit our project. For a project like a dining table, I wanted to use a material for the table top that would be easy to clean. I knew that using actual wood would be a lot of work getting the stain and colors right, and it would have to be sealed or I would need a glass piece on top. Neither of these ideas appealed to me and gave me the look I was wanting. After a lot of debate, we found a click and lock laminate flooring from Lowes that was really inexpensive. We cut the pieces at an angle and put them together like a puzzle.

Doing the chevron pattern was NOT an easy task, especially with the tools available to us. It’s not a project for a perfectionist, and even though I will admit to being one, early on in this project I decided I would be okay with it not being perfect. There are gaps where the ends of the wood meet, but this table still feels special to me, despite its imperfections.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigThe last steps that remain for us is staining or painting the base (I am thinking white!), securing the table top, and finishing the edges where the laminate meets the plywood. We plan on getting metal (maybe a powder-coated black steel) to hide the unfinished edges. Although this table ended up costing more than expected (from the original 2×4 tutorial), I feel like it has been well worth it. Not only can I say I built my own table, it is a special design that would have cost so much more if I had simply bought something like it. Although, I can’t say I have seen anything like it in the furniture stores!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigSo, what is my next 2×4 project I will do? I am thinking this outdoor sectional so we can enjoy our little backyard patio this spring and summer!

Too Sore To Type

Too Sore To Type | The Urban Pig

I would be embarrassed if anyone saw my method of walking up the stairs this evening — it was sort of a straight-legged crawl so I didn’t have to move or bend any muscle in my body. It hurts so good! But bad. Really, really bad.

Connor and I took our first class of boxing/kickboxing last night. I had been looking for a way to relieve some stress, and boxing is something that has sounded like fun to me for a while, I just never took the initiative to actually try it. I think the winter has gotten me a little stir-crazy sitting around the house every night, so we finally looked into some classes and picked a place that is super convenient (right next to Con’s work) and had good reviews. Title Boxing Club — the trainers are actual fighters so you get someone who pushes you hard and knows what they are doing.

I was really nervous at first because the classes are open to all ages, all skill levels; so as a beginner, I thought it would be intimidating. But it wasn’t. In fact, I thought it was less intimidating than if I was in a class with people all the same skill as me. There was a man in possibly his 70′s, there was a little boy maybe 10, there was a girl who weighed 100 pounds and a girl who weighed 200 pounds. It didn’t matter. Everyone was there to try something new, or to develop their skills, to have fun, or to get serious. Everyone did their own thing, but everyone felt the pain from the workout!

I got super dizzy in the first 10 minutes of nonstop movement and after 10 minutes I thought I was going to puke! I tried to push myself to keep up but it just wasn’t happening. I took a few minutes for a break than jumped back in. Once we got to the boxing and kickboxing, I did a lot better than the warm-up exercises. We were pushed right into things, but it makes you catch on quick and learn fast. The trainer pushed hard but was fun and kept you motivated to keep going.

So, yes, after the first 10 minutes of class my body felt like it was going to disintegrate, and after the hour long class I couldn’t move. So you can only imagine how today feels, and how tomorrow may only be worse!

After just one class though, I can tell how much my body needed this. Sitting at a desk all day and then coming home to sit on the couch and watch tv has done nothing good for me. It feels so good now to move and be active. After class last night, I was actually tired enough to go straight to bed. And this morning, I felt awake and ready to go. I was energized all day; still running on the excitement of yesterday’s class. I can’t wait to go back, but I know I need to stretch my body out before it breaks.

Here’s the thing I realized when looking back at the different sports and activities I have participated in: ballet and dance was great. It allowed me to stretch and wake up my body slowly. It taught me composure and grace. It kept me from getting too stressed throughout the day, because it relaxed me. It was like my preventative care for stress and aggression. But sometimes, we forget to do the preventative maintenance our body needs, and then we realize we are a bundle of stress and anger, and we need some kind of release. Ballet and dance didn’t give me that release. I needed to work it out. Which is when that punching bag really seemed effective last night. The same way that throwing elbows in soccer as a defensive player did for me when I was little. Those aggressive actions get out the aggression, and boxing seems like a disciplined way to do that. It is the cure for stress and anger once you find that you already have it.

I’m super excited to be starting this journey for both my mental and physical health, for fun and for learning, for something both healthy and productive.

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