Monday, April 14, 2014

A Couple of Tiny Projects

My parents came up this weekend which meant it was project time.  My dad and husband replaced the back door to our garage.  It's so nice to have a door that's solid and not completely scary looking on the inside.

And they did a couple of other little inside projects.  Remember when we installed our new bathroom sink and we found an outlet behind the mirror.  That beautiful little outlet has been sitting naked for over a year because the outlet was recessed too far into the wall.  I bought an outlet cover and it's just been hanging out on a shelf.  So, my dad did a little tweaking and now....
So I need to touch up the paint from where I sanded the wall down.  But, so much better.  It had been driving my mom crazy ever since I got the wall painted.  So, now it's fixed.

Then there was another bathroom project.  When we first moved in, I installed a towel bar above the toilet.  It looked like this.
Cute, right?  Well, we never used the towels.  Like ever.  And they were always dusty.  We hang the towels we actually use on hooks in our master bathroom.  So I had a plan cooking in my head...  My dad was done with everything else I had on my list, I mentioned my idea to my mom and she went out and told my dad what I wanted done....

Notice something missing?  The towel bar is gone!  Now I'm left with a big empty space.  Oh, and that clock is gone.  It hadn't worked right for.... um, months.  The time on it was never right so it's gone too.  You can't see it, but there are 12 holes drilled with hollow wall anchors in them, just waiting....

For these bad boys to be finished.  I'm going to install three shelves up the wall with L brackets.  They just need to get painted.  You may be thinking, L brackets?  If you've ever priced the fancy decorative shelf brackets, they're crazy expensive.  Or I think they are, especially for what they are.  So, I used some small L brackets on our laundry room shelves and it has worked great so we went the same route.  I didn't make the hardware store trip, but I saw the amount online when I checked my bank account, around $15 for six brackets and a 6 foot long 1x8 board.  Not too shabby!  And I already have paint on hand.

So, these are getting painted this week and will go up by next weekend hopefully.  I can't wait!  And if I can find something reasonably priced, I'm going to put three towel hooks on the back of the bathroom door so we can quit carrying our towels around.

What were you guys up to over the weekend?  Anybody else tackling those tiny things on their to do list that have been lingering?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Things I've Finally Finished

I have been in a total DIY rut.  And I've had half finished projects all over the house.  I also have a craft room that is a complete disaster.  I've organized it a couple of times but it never manages to stay organized.  I'm guessing that means the system I have in place doesn't work.  So, over Easter I'm hoping to tackle that business again.

But, the good news is over the past week I've finally completed some projects that have been hanging over my head.  And you're going to have to excuse the horrible pictures, as part of my extreme laziness I apparently couldn't take pictures until after dark...

I made new wreaths for my front doors.  I still had the Valentines ones up until um.... last week.  Oops.  But they're up.  And I'm fairly happy with them.  For the kitchen door, I just wrapped a whole piece of fabric around a wreath and trimmed it out with some ribbon.  I loved the pattern of the fabric and wanted to keep it in tact.  I didn't add anything extra because the pattern was pretty busy on its own.

I also made one for our actual front door.  I grabbed some black and white hounds tooth fabric to wrap my wreath with.  I had planned on making felt flowers.  But apparently I have a huge mental block when it comes to making them.  I like to consider myself a pretty crafty person but felt flowers and I do not get along.  So I finally gave up and made some springy pom poms that I just stuck on with straight pins so I can switch them out later if I want.

And I finally finished painting the inside of our front door!  I may have done the running man in celebration.  I started painting it.... Um, I don't even remember when.  It was on a total whim and I was in love.  But when I pulled the tape off around the door knob and lock, I also pulled off part of the paint.  I never bothered to fix it and my mistake has been staring me in the face daily.  Last night I finally grabbed the paint and a brush and fixed it.  It's so much better now and I don't know why I didn't fix it sooner.

It's funny how sometimes those little projects get put off and they end up making such a huge difference.  And they end up taking no time at all.  What are you guys working on these days?  Anybody else doing a little spring sprucing?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Root Beer and Bicycling

Here's the deelio kids.  Spring is the tied for the most crazy busy time of my year.  And I get insanely overwhelmed and it causes general grumpiness.  And it occasionally causes me to put together inappropriate work outfits that are only okay with a sweater and then I have to take that sweater off because I am stress sweating and then my co-worker catches me dressed very inappropriately....  Not that that has ever happened....  *sheepishly looks at the ground

Anyway.  So spring means I have to really take care of myself or I will straight up lose my mind.  I'm a little scattery to start with and from now until the end of the school year it just gets worse.

So, as I'm sitting at my desk drinking a root beer (totally not part of my healthy eating plan) I'm thinking about what I will do after work that will make me happy.

First:  Going to the gym.  And getting in a really good work out.  At least an hour.  Maybe longer if I'm feeling crazy motivated.
Second:  Grocery shopping.  Not really fun but I meal plan every week and it starts the week off right to pick up my groceries on Monday.  It sounds crazy but it totally helps to not have to think about dinner every night.
Third:  I'm gonna get my craft on.  I still have my Valentines wreaths on our outside doors.  Um, it's March.  I've got to get on that.  I picked up supplies for two new wreaths over the weekend and I'm super psyched to make those tonight.

What about you guys?  Do you have a particularly stressful season at work?  What do you do to combat that?  Or just to combat stress in general?  Someone tell me to quit drinking root beer...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring Wish List: House Version

Hi guys.  It's been a while.  I've been at the gym instead of DIYing.  But I am so ready for spring and I have some ideas/plans.

First up is our yard.  This is hopefully a spring break project, assuming the weather cooperates.  We need the ground to not be frozen solid.
We're hoping to fence this portion of the yard.  Coming out from the east (left in the picture) and making a big square out to the pond (which is behind me when I'm taking this picture) and then around the west (right) side of the house.  That way our crazy dog can go out and get some exercise more often.  And maybe the neighbor dogs will quit carrying off his stuff.  We have plans of how we'll do it, the weather/ground just has to cooperate.

And then there's living room art.  Guys, I'm just not feeling it.  In general I'm just not in love with the stuff we have on our walls.  I feel like it's just blah.  This is what we have going on above the couch right now.
I mean it's okay, but it's just not doing it for me.  I'm thinking a big canvas of a sandy beach and maybe some other stuff.  It's a big honking wall and it needs some attention.

Next on the chopping block is our bedroom.  It's a super disaster.  We don't have enough storage and our bedroom is pretty tiny.  Especially with our king sized bed.  In my dream we have two six or eight drawer dressers.  One for each of us.   I'd also like to get rid of our hulking old 32" TV (which would also mean getting rid of the stupid TV cabinet that the bathroom and closet doors slam into at least once a day) and replacing it with a nice sleek flat screen to hang on the wall.  In a dream world I would also ditch those doors for the bathroom and closet, maybe with barn doors.  We have three doors in a row on one wall, terrible design plan.

I also have some plans for our hall bathroom.  We have towels that just hang in there.  They match the bathroom.  No one uses them.  It's ridiculous.
It's completely my fault.  It was my decision when we bought the house.  New plan:  get rid of the towel bar.  Put a couple of hooks on the back of the door for actual use.  Put those green towels in the linen closet for actual use, what's the point of having them if they just hang there.  Replace the towel bar with some built in shelving.  Also, buy a new shower curtain.  That one's fine but I'm ready for something different.  I don't know what, just different.
And then my last thing on my immediate fix it list is our laundry room.  Oh holy cow.  My organization is not efficient.  The layout is not great, but for the time being cannot be fixed.  The washer is on one side of the room, the dryer is on the other.  And I just don't have the right storage.  The dream is to build (have my dad build) a laundry basket dresser.  With slots for four laundry baskets:  jeans, towels, brights/darks, and whites/lights.  And along with the laundry basket dresser, I'd like a cabinet with a door to stash some of those crazy things that have no home.  Two wrought iron (ish) four tier cake stands anyone.  And maybe on the very end of that cabinet some built in storage for snow boots.  Right now they just get dumped in the laundry room doorway, it's ridiculous.  

So, that's the current house wishlist.  I think I have my work cut out for me.  I was just starting to feel like our house might be done.  And now I'm laughing at myself a little.  It's never done is it?  What are you guys working on these days?  Anybody else seriously overcome with a case of winter blahs?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sweatin' it at Home

After my little incident on Monday, I'm a little freaked out to go to the gym.  I know I shouldn't be.  I've gone there for quite a while and never had a problem before.  I carry benadryl.  I'm obviously capable of driving myself to the ER if a situation arises.  But I'm still freaked out.  So I'm working out at home for a few days until I get the courage up to hit the gym again.  And maybe tell the nice workers at the desk that I had a terrible allergic reaction.  And to start being the crazy machine cleaning lady by super wiping down the equipment before I use it.  I might invest in my own wipes....

Anyway.  I worked out at home yesterday.  Usually I'm terrible at actually doing this.  I start a 30 day challenge and then I give up.  But we're trying it again.  And I found a workout that's supposed to be as good as 30 Day Shred.  I can tell you I definitely liked it better.  I suck at videos because I want to watch my shows while I workout and I can't do that if I'm watching Jillian Michaels.  And then my desire to watch Gilmore Girls or the Mindy Project wins out over my desire to work out.

First I do the No-Excuse (Gymless) Workout.  You may've seen a picture I put on Instagram yesterday.  I seriously loved this workout so much.  Jumping jacks are growing on me.  And I actually felt like I got a good workout.  I was definitely glad I was doing it at home alone because well, jumping jacks are not pretty.  There's definite jiggling.  But that's the point, to decrease the jiggling, right.  I also walked up and down my driveway 5 times, it was about half a mile.  I would've done longer but it was crazy cold yesterday and I couldn't feel my face.
No link, sorry guys.  The link on Pinterest took me to shoes on Amazon...  Maybe it's a sign I should be buying shoes.  If you know the original link, let me know!

So, for my 30 day challenge, I'm combining two.  Maybe I'm trying to be an over achiever...  So I do this workout:

Combined with this one.
Well actually just the situps and lunges from the second one combined with everything from the first one.  And I do the same number of calf raises as I do leg lifts.  And I do the ab leg lifts and leg lifts on my side, you know, for inner thigh toning.

What are you guys up to?  Anybody else temporarily scared of the gym?  Or doing any great home workouts?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I thought I had the food allergy thing pretty well under control.  I've become a champion grocery shopper.  I read labels like it's going out of style.  I ask about allergens at restaurants.  I mean I am good.  And I do other stuff to stay healthy -- I drink tons of water, I exercise, I take vitamins.  So I'm trying to do everything right.

I headed off to the gym to run yesterday after work.  Apparently I'm going to become a runner.  Insane.  Well, I'm not sure my body is with me on running.  Last Monday I ran and the next day I was donkey kicked by the flu or something like it.  Hideous.  But yesterday I got right back up on that horse.  I ran.  Well I ran/walked.  Had a nice little warm up then ran for 45 seconds and walked for a minute and 15 seconds alternating for about 25 minutes.  Then I just walked the last 15 minutes.

When I got off the treadmill I noticed my lips felt kind of funny.  But I'd put on kind of tingly chapstick before heading into the gym and my mouth was dry from mouth breathing (hot, I know) so I didn't think much about it.  When I got in the car to head home I pulled down my visor mirror to check out my face a little.  I had hives on both sides of my lips.  And on my eyelids.  And the more I thought about it, the more I thought my throat felt a little iffy.  I'm always sure that I'm not really sick so I popped a Benadryl and headed to the gas station to fill up my car.  I felt progressively worse while I was pumping gas so I just filled it up about halfway and called my sister.  I was hoping she could convince me that it was okay to drive home and I just needed to relax for a bit.

Um, no.  She told me to quit driving around and go to urgent care or the ER.  I called a family friend who lives close and she came and met me at the ER.  And then my mother-in-law came.  And then the friend's husband came.  And then my husband got there...  I had quite the party in my little room.  But it was nice to feel so many people worried about me.

Anyway, it was definitely an allergic reaction to something.  What exactly, they weren't sure.  They pumped me full of steroids and it helped almost immediately.  I was fine within an hour of being admitted.  I got a prescription for prednisone to get me back to normal.  Cross your fingers it doesn't undo all the weight I've lost.  Because now I'm at an official 25 pounds.  Cue dancing and confetti.

All I can really think that might have caused it is touching the treadmill.  I'm allergic to soy, peanuts, and sesame seeds.  A little hives are kind of normal for me.  But nothing like this.  So my theory is that someone had peanuts right before they used the treadmill.  Didn't wash their hands.  Didn't wipe down the treadmill.  Then I touched it and of course rubbed my face because there was sweat from the running and then the hives happened.  That's just a theory of course.  So, now I'm going to become the crazy cleaning lady at the gym, wiping down my machine super thoroughly.  And I'm a little paranoid so I'm working out from home today.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sickness and Septic Problems

Guys, January has started off with a bang.  Can we please go ahead and fast forward to spring?  I'm totally over winter and all the yuckiness it brings.

I thought I was doing so well and hadn't been sick all winter.  This is a serious accomplishment, especially for someone who works with kids every day.  But I take my vitamins, I wash my hands a lot, I keep hand sanitizer on my desk.  I should've known better than to brag about it.  Yesterday I spent the day alternating between laying under a pile of blankets on my couch trying to get warm and throwing all the covers off because I was burning up.  And after spending two hours at the doctors office and the pharmacy, all I know is that I don't have the flu and my insurance is a mess.  Ug.  Seriously guys.  Not cool.  I'm back in the land of the living today.  Definitely not 100% but better than I was.  And I have pudding cups so at least there's that.

And then there's the septic tank.  Um, yeah.  There are no pictures.  It's too horrifying.

So, a week ago Sunday we noticed some water in our basement.  Just around the hot water heater.  Not a huge deal, sometimes it leaks a little.  And I'd just taken a bath.  No reason to panic.  A week ago Monday I was home because of the weather (thanks subzero temperatures and snow!) so I did some laundry.  And I was treated to my basement storage room floor being completely covered with water.  Along with a few random spots of water on the floor in the basement bathroom.  I called my dad which resulted in trying to recreate the flooding to try to find the problem.  So we discovered running the washer was the problem.  I called my dad again and told him, he said call the plumber.

Fast forward to Monday this week.  And we've learned that apparently the bath tub and the shower both cause the water to flow in the basement.  So the plumber came on Monday.  He's delightful.  He tried everything he could think of.  And I did the basement flooding trick (I'm not talking like inches of water, just a covering of the floor in one room) so that he could further diagnose.  Well, it seems the pump on the septic tank is not working.  Apparently this is important and keeps iffy water from coming up in your basement.  Oh I saw it.  Coming out of the drain in the basement.  It was absolutely horrifying.  I mean like I just walked away.  So our plumber doesn't do septic tanks so now I have to find a septic tank guy.  But at least I kind of know what the problem is and our plumber didn't charge me anything.  I could've kissed him!  He has a policy of not charging if he doesn't fix anything.  I told you he was delightful!

So, with the septic issues, I've been showering instead of taking baths.  Guys, it's winter and I love hot baths more than most other things.  Especially when I'm sick.  So, now it's off to find a septic tank repair guy.

How's your new year going so far?  Anybody else have disastrous plumbing/water issues after the crazy cold weather?  I'm not really sure the cold was related to my septic pump problem, but I'm going to blame it anyway.