Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vacuum horrors.

Five guesses as to who is very scared of the vacuum...
And no, we normally don't let him up there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How's that scrapbook coming along?

Um, remember my goal to have my scrapbook 100% caught up on by July?

Yea.... that isn't going to happen.

There are a multitude of excuses, though, in the end, it's my own darn fault.

1) the goal was to have it updated by the time my mother-in-law came to town. But, she came to town early, in May, and not in the planned-for July. Hm. Excuse 1.

2) We bought a house. And moved. TIME SUCK.

3) That new house has projects. Further time suck.

4) It's summer, and while I'm indoors working on projects, I'm not indoors scrapbooking. Excuse 4.

5) The area I plan to sometimes use for crafting is currently under renovation.

6) Finally, there's the excuse of the actual scrapbook itself. I'm trying to cut down on what I scrapbook. Yes, GASP! I realized that it's JUST TOO MUCH to have so many pages and photos per month. So, I'm thinking of trying to get each month down to 4 pages (so two scrapbook pages, front and back). Not only will this making keeping up with scrapbooking easier, but it will also mean an easier to flip through album.

For the things that are obviously photo hogs, like vacations and fun multi-day events, I'm thinking of maybe starting to have hardbound little booklets made. There are a lot of sites that do this now, and honestly, it's not that expensive. And, it could even span a summer's worth of activities, like "Camping, 2011." Something to ponder over, at least.

So before the self-imposed deadline flies by and I'm laughed at, I figured I'd get the excuses formally written. Life intervened. Goal missed... but at least all the intervening things were good things.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Longer, Happier, Healthier Update.

Early this month, I posted that I was starting a lifestyle revolution of sorts. I'm VERY happy to say I'm still on the bandwagon.

And it has not been easy. Summertime means I'm very often surrounded by SO many goodies... but then again, what time of year does not bring its own array of yummy delights?


I've been eating very healthily. Lots of vegetables and proteins, no junk. I'm very excited that I've lost the first chunk of weight, but, more importantly, I FEEL better. The food I'm intaking is better for me, and, so, I feel better. Because I feel better, I move more. Moving more has made me stronger and more conditioned to pushing myself.

So, pushing onwards. I'm keeping up the same plan for the next few weeks. Then, I'll start upping things with more exercise.

Summer has finally hit here, so I'm pretty excited. Since we had our share of bike woes in the past 6 months, I actually found a new (to me) bike yesterday evening. It's a gorgeous vintage-looking schwinn, 7 speeds. I'm hoping to make this next week or two a miserable one as I acclimate again to biking (why is the first week at something the most miserable?). I'm hoping this will start me biking more and driving only minimally.

I also bought myself a grocery cart. Yes, like the kind little old ladies drag to the store. We live withing close walking distance to a grocery store, but it does involve a few hills. Plus, carrying anything heavy back, no matter the terrain, STINKS. So, the cart is there to encourage me to not take the car. While it does collapse, I'm thinking of bringing a bike lock to lock it outside while I shop inside. :)

So there's the update. 18 days so far, but who's counting!

Monday, June 13, 2011


WE'RE FINALISTS!! We're finalist in Making it Lovely's Social Space Makeover Contest.

I'm so excited.
I submitted a video of the upstairs, and it was chosen to be in the top 10 from hundreds of submissions. Winner gets 150,000 American Express points to use to fix up their social space of choice. Incredible! Runner-up gets a $100 gift card.

So please! Vote! The link to vote is here. If you want to see our submitted video, go here!

How exciting is this?!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The night they danced with fire.

We had a few people over for dinner last night, and afterward:

My friend Vincent needed to practice his fire dancing (poi) in front of some people so he could get some more experience before he performs at a wedding next weekend. His roommate, Joe, also fire dances, so they both performed.

Humming fire, swirled gracefully to music. And no one got hurt!

It was pretty darn neat. I wish I could do that! I'm kind of terrified about the burns though... but Vince says that there are glow stick poi chains. Hmm. Doesn't seem to have the same flair as BALLS OF FIRE.

The entire night also made me fall more in love with our house and back yard. It has such a nice flow for entertaining. Sure, we have a million projects and things to work on, but I'm still so glad we're here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The wine rack project-- finished!

The wine rack project is done! Whew, and it was a heavy piece to move upstairs.

Where it all began....

We had this wire wine rack. We loved it (though often wished the holes were bigger... but that's another issue not addressed here), but it looked so plain and exposed on the wall. It was fine in our old place, but in our new place, we didn't hang it up because a) we didn't want more holes in the wall, and b) we wanted something a little nicer.

So, yesterday, I headed off to the Home Depot. I loaded up on Douglas Fir boards, 10" wide (which is actually only 9.5"-- a reminder to always bring your measuring tape!) and 1.5" thick. I had them cut them for me into certain lengths, so save myself trouble.

Here are the materials in my trunk...

And unloaded. I also got some white moulding (super cheap), one thicker to put on the bottom, one narrower to put on the top.

Leaning abandoned against the wall of the garage: Our wine rack.

Though I had stupidly forgotten to take something into account, I made a few changes with the lumber I had and constructed, essentially, a box. I added a few more planks to the bottom section so that way, the entire unit sat off the ground (where it wouldn't get as dusty), and so I could add the trim on the bottom. I reused some old 2x3s I had for the joints. Could I have done a better job on the joists? Yes... but they're hardly noticeable and having the hunky joist there was a sacrifice I'm ok with to have stability. I also bolted everything, which is hardly noticeable in the end product. I wanted this sucker stable.

I next added the crown moulding on top and trim on the bottom. You can now see why the bottom had those extra added pieces. And let me add: I HATE cutting moulding. It makes me long for a chopsaw, for there is no way my little jigsaw is going to do nice cuts for it. Result? Horrible moulding that had to be patched with caulking. BAH! Is it perfect right now? No... but I might get some putty in the near future and do some corner sculpting. Granted, no one else but me might notice, but whatever.
Coat 1 of black paint: Finished! The room where the piece was going has cream walls with white trim, but all the hardware in the house is black. This was a good color to go with. And I had to paint the piece because of the white trim and caulking.

I also measured the unit and went out and got some 1/2" thick plywood for the backing. I had to go with heavier plywood since part of the wine rack hardware screws into the back, and I wanted it to have a solid surface.
After a second coat of paint and a coat on the backing, I installed the rack! This took some careful planning, since holes had to be predrilled, but it all worked out.

And after some huffing and puffing, the unit is installed in the house (we put felt pads on the bottom to keep from scratching the floors)! All our wine (that fits...) has been added. I really do need to get a case of cheap wine and put it on the bottom (for an easy grab for cooking). Now all we need to do is go wine tasting!

Voila. Finished. AND, we have about 7 fewer boxes in the office!

Knee-deep on a biggie

I'm knee-deep on a big project, so hopefully, photos to come. So excited over this one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not the table's intended use.

Where on earth does this entitled corgi think she came from? Straight from the Queen's herd of corgis? I don't even know how she managed to get up there; the short-legged beast is scared of wobbly objects, um... like director chairs and folding tables.
Regardless (and we have since clamped down on the activity-- we USE that table!), she certainly has good posture and a nice vantage point to observe her domain.

Nutty beast.

Monday, June 6, 2011

So I live longer, better, happier and healthier.

Well, this is it. I'm jumping on the bandwagon, and, this time, my feet are stapled down.

I've decided that this next New Year's Eve, my resolution for 2012 will not be "to lose weight and get in shape."

Truly, I'm an active person. I may have a desk job, but I move around. But, as I've become heavier, I've found I get tired easily, lose motivation, and don't do things I want to do.

It's going to be extra hard because I am constantly surrounded by temptation. Here's how I'm tackling it:

  • Work: Don't go to the kitchen, and if I do, have a purpose. That way, I CAN say "No" to the piles of goodies generally lurking in there.

  • Home: This one requires a special plan of attack, given my husband's love of butter, cheese and all things rich and gooey. I'm striking it out on my own for the next week or so, that way I can build up the willpower to lower my portions and substitute in better things. It's been really difficult so far (I'm about a week in)-- the smells wafting through the house and the ever-present availabilty of deliciousness. But: so far? No cracking.

  • Car: The town we live in has a lot of delicious things. Thus: temptation. But, I began to realize recently that a lot of our trips and activities were food-based. Let's go to craft fair, to get x and eat y, for example. So, I'm trying to do more activies that aren't this way. Additionally, as the weather gets better, I'll walk more... I only live 1.5 miles from work. This is doable. Plus, there are fewer things I can reach by walking. :)

So, that's it. I'll up the anty at the gym here in the next few weeks. I'm just tired of feeling sluggish. And we'll see how things go.

And who knows-- maybe this means that as I feel better about myself, you'll start seeing more photos of me on this blog! Gasp.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nightstand makeover

B and I bought two nightstands on Craigslist. Cost of both: $20. But, clearly, they needed some work.

Here is a photo of one of them before:

You can see the color. And those non-matching wooden knobs.

And, especially with our walls and bed, you can tell they just did not match. Something had to change.
After much debate, I decided to paint the drawers a gray color that was one shade lighter than our walls. I also found these little lamps at Target for super cheap ($9.99 for the lamp base, $6.99 for the shade. Not bad), and extra nice: They have the on/off switch NOT on the cord, but, instead, near the light bulb. Great for a nightstand light. I decided to also add some dark slate to the top (also pretty cheap- just over a buck per piece). The slate was very dusty looking. It might look complimentary in the photo, but it wasn't. It was dirty-looking.

So, I decided to oil the slate. It did turn it darker, but it looks GORGEOUS up close. And so: Here we have our final product:

The new hardware (the knob) is the same pack of knobs we got for the desk. $20 for a pack of 10 knobs. The desk needed 8, and then one each for the nightstands. Perfect!

Yes, we added no color. But, now we can add color on top the stands, as pillows on the beds, and on the walls with art. So, we're ok with the gray. Definitely an improvement!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There will be no defeathering

There she is, surrounded by the limp, partially destuffed, strewn bodies of her stuffed animals and other toys. Surrounded by the carnage.
There should be no question as to why we are not introducing the corgi to the backyard (live) chickens.

Bedroom Paint!

We wanted a change, so we decided to paint our bedroom.

Here was what the prior owners did to the place. Tan is a great color, but with our white bedframe and white coverlet (and white trim and white closet and white doors) it was a bit too... bland.
So, we taped everything off with Frog tape (GREAT! Except on textured surfaces) and set to work...

And voila! A dark slate gray. It's a great color--- warm in the evening, cheery in the morning. We also put up long curtains, but not too heavy. Airy.

The closets and moldings also got taped off....

And paint and curtains added. I like that the moldings and trimwork now pop against the color, rather than blending in with the background paint.

There's a lot more to show with other projects (to come in posts soon), but, finally, here is behind the bed.

You can hopefully see what I mean with the lightness of the wall color (but yet it's dark).

We will be adding pops of color, and I like that the gray color is very complimentary to a lot of different color additions. I'm very happy with it!