Buying a New Couch

I have been wanting to buy a new couch since, well…Joel and I got married.  His parents graciously have let us use a couch that was sitting in his cousin’s garage. But, as great as that is, I’ve been looking for something new. I feel like it is the hardest thing ever especially because Joel and I don’t have $2,000 to spend on a new couch. The budget is possible but it just takes a LOT of searching.

My idea of the perfect couch has made quite the progression. First, I wanted something like this guy here:

This, however, was out of our budget SO I have been searching (what feels like) the entire internet for something similar.

That’s when I found this guy:

Better price, a similar shape…but NOW I want something that LOOKS comfortable. I’m not entirely sure what that looks like but here are some ideas…

Maybe one of these days, we will actually purchase a new couch but until then I will scour the internet for options!

Here are some things I have learned about couch buying thus far:

  1. Colors are not always as depicted online. For instance, I saw this one sofa in this yellowy color – it looked mustard – and I thought, “Hey, that could be cool.” I went to the store and I wanted to rip my eyeballs out because it was kinda green and disgusting and NOTHING like the picture.
  2. Always SIT on the sofas! I kept looking at some of my favorite online sites (like Joss and Main) thinking I might be able to find a sofa. But after going to sit on a few that I saw online, I learned not all sofas are comfortable!
  3. It’s important to see the fabric in person. There was another sofa I saw online that I wanted to look at in person. When I did, the fabric was stripy and weird, and not nearly as soft as I wanted the fabric to be.
  4. Ask about warranties or return policies. What happens if the frame breaks? Or the fabric tears? Or something mysteriously goes wrong?
  5. Hidden fees! Some places have their sofas on location in the stock room and you can carry them out of the store. Other places require you to pay a delivery fee because they are having the items shipped down from a warehouse outside of the store. *This is not really a hidden fee BUT rather something you want to be aware of when purchasing a couch.

I would love to see your favorite couch – if you’d like, post a picture of or link to your dream couch in the comments section!


Food For Two

One of the biggest challenges after getting married is grocery shopping. I have figured out a few things that last several months.

1. Bread products spoil.

2. Vegetables spoil.

3. Fruits spoil.

4. Pretty much everything spoils before we can eat it.

Joel and I don’t spend a whole lot of time eating at home. We are often with friends or family and can last nearly 3 weeks before going grocery shopping. So I’ve learned a few tricks to make food last:

1. The FREEZER is my best friend. Anything I can buy frozen or cook and freeze will give me the most flexibility.  Since a lot of food is sold for more than 2 people, you can cook food then stick it in the freezer to use later. We freeze our bread because we can’t go through it fast enough before it molds.  By freezing it (vs. refrigerating it), it will keep the soft texture when it defrosts which is awesome.

2. Dry goods. These things are great to keep handy. Minute Rice or quinoa is a great side to any dish – plus there are a lot of fun recipes on Pinterest!

3. Canned/Jarred food –  I don’t buy a lot of canned goods but there are some nice things to have on handy – tomato sauce, beans, jars of spaghetti sauce, vegetable broth, etc. (I have great recipes with these items I will share later).

Grocery shopping and keeping a full pantry can be very frustrating at first. It took a lot of adjustment to figure out what we eat, what we don’t eat, what we go through quickly and what we go through slowly.

I would love to hear some other advice on food for two! Leave your advice in a comment! 🙂

DIY – Spring Wreath

Since the first day of spring is upon us, I needed to change up my wreath. One of my favorite things to do is to make wreaths. They are super easy and you can do it without any hot glue or staples or tape. My first one was for fall and this is what it looked like:


Then I made one for winter…which was not as exciting. I just took a glittery ‘S’ ornament and tucked some of our Christmas tree in there.


For spring, I got my inspiration on Pinterest from this picture here:


The link, however, takes you to someone’s old Etsy shop where they are no longer making them. SO here’s how I recreated it!

DIY Spring Wreath


2 bunches of faux hydrangea flowers – 1 white, 1 purple (I got mine at Joann – 50% off!)

1 stick wreath frame (I like these because you don’t have to cover the whole thing.)

Scissors OR wire cutters

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Begin by taking the individual flowers and cutting the fake stem. NOTE: it’s best to use a wire cutting if you want to cut through the whole thing. If you don’t have a wire cutter – no worries, I don’t either – you can cut the plastic covering with scissors to the wire and then just bend the wire back and forth until it breaks.


Next, stick the individual stems through the wreath frame, arranging the flowers as you wish.


Last, bend the stems into the wreath frame so they don’t poke out.


And then, you’re done!


Note: Joann and Michael’s have coupons everywhere – always take advantage of these!

becoming mrs. smith — the beginning

The following weeks after our wedding, there were several things that needed to be accomplished. One of those things included changing my name from Stine to Smith. To be honest, it’s a very conflicting experience. I have always been Kaley Stine. There was a time in middle school I didn’t like my last name but, other than that, I have grown quite fond of it. It’s who I am. And although I am extremely excited to be married to Joel and start the adventure with him, I had a bit of anxiety about changing my name.

It’s a long process: I had to get our marriage certificate, then I had to go to the social security office, and then I had to go to the DMV. It has to be done in this order. Then after that, I had to change my name EVERYWHERE ELSE: the bank, school, work, any medical offices, Facebook/all social media, literally anywhere that has your name – which is everywhere! It can be overwhelming.

I often get anxiety with unknown interactions. I build it up to be something really scary because WHAT IF they are mean to me or WHAT IF I don’t know how to respond? Writing it down makes me feel really dumb but it really is how I feel sometimes.

So, needless to say, changing my name was full of unknown interactions causing me anxiety.

I waited until January to legally change my name – nearly 6 months after our wedding.

Now that I am officially Mrs. Smith, there’s kind of this disconnect in my identity. For my whole life, I was Miss Stine. Now, being Mrs. Smith, I can’t help but feel like that’s my Mother-In-Law. My MIL is really great. I feel like I lucked out as far as MIL’s go. She is kind, and generous, loving, and she’s got this infectious laugh that makes you want to laugh with her.  During the wedding process, she was supportive. She was always on my side. Whatever I wanted, she fought with me. She has always made me feel a part of her family.


(my beautiful mother-in-law)

SO, being Mrs. Smith isn’t a bad thing. It just doesn’t fully feel like my identity…yet.

I’m sure I’m not the only newlywed who has experienced this. I would even venture to say almost every newly married woman, who has changed their name, has felt this way.

This blog will capture my journey as I become Mrs. Smith telling stories, sharing recipes Joel and I try, and how we are making our house our home. I hope you’ll come with me.