Five Year Anniversary: Does wood cutlery count?

When celebrating one’s five-year anniversary, tradition says that gifts should be paper or wood. “Wood represents strength solidity and warmth- are the traditional material on the fifth anniversary.” A modern gift is cutlery. Does wooden cutlery count? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. 

This past August 16th, we celebrated our five-year anniversary. I still can’t believe it’s been five years. It feels like yesterday when we were toasting the bubbly, smashing cupcakes in each other’s faces (I believe I started it), I was in the most expensive dress I ever owned (still own, and still the most expensive), and it was the one of the happiest (and most expensive) days of our lives.

My favorite photo from our wedding day.

My favorite photo from our wedding.

Due to some major life changes…ahem….me starting a new job at an awesome company, I had to start earlier than planned and gave up my month of vacation that we originally looking forward to. I say that like it’s a bad thing but really it’s not.  I actually started with three weeks paid vacation and there’s no accrual. I can’t believe I just typed that. I’m not gloating, bragging; okay maybe I am, in the tinniest sense. But, after working for my old company for nearly eight years just to get three weeks of vacation, this feels like a gift from God.

I digress. Gone is a month filled with backpacking, road-tripping, camping on the beach, and possibly being eaten by a bear.  I’m now working (and loving it) at a fab company and Kyle’s on summer break. We decided to head out of town on a four day holiday to a four star campsite  (that’s like a five start hotel) for some down time to celebrate.

But this isn’t a post about ratings, stars and screaming children– I’ll save that for another day. It’s a post to celebrate the 5 glorious years we’ve called our own. While hiking up to Rachel Lake (my new favorite hike and lake), I decided to start a “Top Five” list of sorts. This was partially self motivated because Kyle had shoved a can of bear spray in his day pack and knowing I had no idea where we were going, it was safe to assume we were taking a jaunt into  ‘bear country’ and thus I decided we needed to talk the entire time to keep away The Bears.

The Top Five Lists


Though we did have a lot of similarities, we had more fun re-living the last five years with ‘remember that one time…’ than we did actually putting them into these lists.  Regardless of these lists, I know what you’re really thinking about….

No,I did not get Kyle wooden cutlery but I did think about it.  Instead, I got him a rad, new, minimalistic wallet for his ‘green paper.’ He’s been eyeing out these wallets from Bellroy which I do have to say, make some amazing, quality leather goods. I fully endorse this small company especially since their wallets arrive beautifully wrapped so you don’t have to do it!

Kyle in typically fashion out did me. He spoke to the wood-sey girl in me with gaiters and the girly-girl in me with a gorgeous Kate Spade necklace. I see these gaiters lending me to my passion for the outdoors… in the woods. And my necklace is green, which is the same color as the trees! DUH. See, we totally have it together.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:


The 5-year bling

The 5-year bling via @jackieostlie instagram


But, honestly I’m really not that high maintenance as these gifts makes me out to be.  Proof? Rainier and Freezer-Dried Beef Stroganoff for our 5-year anniversary dinner. Does it help that I picked it out?

The celebratory grub

The celebratory grub

The gifts that keep on giving

The school year has recently ended and all things summer has officially kicked into high gear. Less rush hour traffic, sun-drenched days, and trying to figure out what to do with gifts from Kyle’s kids. You see each year Kyle’s students and parents send him home with ‘tokens’ of thanks.  I love seeing what Kyle comes home with, especially when it involves sharing them with me– ahem– starbucks gift cards!

This year was no exception. Though there were no Starbucks gift cards we lucked out with two gifts that will keep on giving.  First is, The Gnome. It’s the cutest little plant/person that sits on our kitchen window sill and keeps me company while trying to figure out what new green-smoothie recipe I want to concoct in our Vitamix.  Though this Santa-like person is a ‘low-maintenance’ gift, I still feel pressured to keep it alive. So far, so good.

Meet "The Gnome" aka watcher of all things green.

Meet “The Gnome” — watcher of all things green.


The second is what I call the “high-maintenance” gift.  And no, the fish isn’t a part of a ‘class-owned’ pet. We’re officially pet-owners. If I knew his students were going to be gifting us with something so “permanent” I would have put in a request for a puppy. I mean, we did have to come up with a name, buy food, cleaning supplies, and a ‘bowl’ for it. Unfortunately, the large stemless wine glass that came with it was promptly discouraged by another fellow student who declared it inhumane. So I guess we technically have three gifts.

Homeless Herbert

Homeless Herbert


Kyle insisted on naming it which meant we were keeping it. However, that week was insane with my freelance gig, Kyle ending school, graduations to attend, and so forth. Neither of us had time to make it to the pet store and get food or a bowl for him. I hate to admit this but Herbert was not only homeless but starving as well. He didn’t eat for three days.  To make matters worse, we found out there is a Petco a mile or so from our home. So technically, we could have made ‘the trek’ to get some food.  Whoops! Dare I mention we want to get a dog? #epicfail

My only requirement for making Herbert homeless to permanent was that his bowl HAD to match my fave Crate and Barrel candle holders, especially since the only place for him to live is next to the TV. So an atrocious fish bowl was out of the question. And Petco pulls through again! Check out Herbert’s new digs!


The new digs

The new digs


Though we’re having to put a bit more effort into keeping things alive around here, I actually really enjoy having Herbert and The Gnome around. Granted having to remember to feed the fish is a bit more challenging, but it’s forcing us into a habit should we get a dog. I doubt a dog will be as gracious and silent as Herbert is when we forget to feed it.

A surprise to end all surprises

It’s been a busy few weeks and the last thing I wanted to do was work on the house, more or less figure out how to mathematically hang our soon-to-be-arriving wall decals, despite how awesome they would look. Normally the end result is motivating enough for me but not in this case. Even if it would look like something like this…

Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes (

Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes (

Disregard all baby accessories and furniture….those are completely irrevalant to this post. But I will admit, this is the coolest baby’s room EVER.

Like with most of my ideas, this was Pinterest inspired. Except I can officially count this as a completed project compared to all the ones I dream about. I really am a lot more crafty, artsy and creative….in my head. But it wasn’t so easy of a start. You see we had already painted the room this awesome mint-green color. I insisted we do it as soon as possible so I could move all my office stuff crap into the space and finish unpacking one of the rooms. Unfortunately, this Pinterest inspiration didn’t show itself until AFTER we had painted the room. This is key, especially when you read how this mom designed her gorgeous nursery AND chose her colors. We did it backwards. Of course.

After weeks of going back and forth between decal colors (to attempt to fix our mistake), we decided to fake it. Yup, fake it. We weren’t about to spend another $100 bucks on white paint to redo what we just completed. So we bought gold and white decals. I felt so wasteful. White decals?! Never again. But hey folks, I’m saving you the energy, money and time in case you decide to do this to your walls!

Also, Kyle wants me to point out that you should read the Mur Decal details and FAQs carefully. It may not work on your walls. For example, all our walls have an ‘orange peel’ texture and Mur said that it may not adhere. I had the “vision” and couldn’t shake the design inspiration. Subsequently I “coerced” Kyle into getting some to test out. We purchased the minimum amount to see if it would work. After anxiously waiting two weeks, the gold decals finally arrived and they stuck! #winning. Unbeknownst to me, Kyle also bought the white ones and hid them without me knowing they arrived….until today. This is what I saw when I walked through our front door:

Kyle nearly completed with his surprise.

Kyle nearly completed with his surprise.

TA-DA! The “completed” surprise.

Completed Mur Decal DIY by Kyle.

Completed Mur Decal DIY by Kyle.

Honestly, we’re really pleased with how this turned out. We were a bit hesitant for the cost that we had put into it, especially since it was more expensive than the paint. And that doesn’t include paint time or Kyle’s one-man-show today. He literally spent ALL day working on this wall though I’m sure it would go a lot quicker if there are two people. But as he said, there is definitely a learning curve with trying to get them to ‘stick.’

All in all, this was one of the top three surprises Kyle’s ever been able to pull off. It ranks up with my 30th birthday jewelry and him proposing to me. That’s how GOOD it was.

P.S. We (Kyle) needs inspiration and motivation. What’s been your most successful DIY project?