Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shiny things and seafood

My summer vacation is almost over and it makes me super sad.  So I'm trying to squeeze the last little bit of fun out of my break.  Today was a fun failure.  A trip to the doctor, still no answers as to why I break out in hives all the time.  Running errands.  A bottle of sparkly turquoise nail polish.  And I cooked an amazing dinner.

First and possibly most importantly, new sparkly nail polish.  I desperately love gel manicures.  However, I'm cheap and moderately skeeved out by community nail polish and the potential of infections from nail salon tools.  So I can justify buying new nail polish fairly frequently because that's always cheaper than a manicure. Okay, I love love love glitter, much to my husband's dismay.  It's hard to find good glittery polish.  Thankfully Sally Hansen has come out with a good one.  And I'm in love.  I have it in turquoise and in pink.  Fabulous!

It was seafood night at our house.  One of my favorite things to cook.  Crab, shrimp and pasta.
We buy this great package of imitation crab meat that comes more like crab legs.  I saute it with butter, lemon, garlic, and a couple different Cajun seasonings.  So delicious.

That crab then goes into pasta.  Tonight I was lazy and had just bought one of those packets of pasta that comes with the sauce in it and you just add water and milk to cook it.  Last week it was homemade crab alfredo.  Yum.

And tonight we added shrimp.  I boil it with Zatarain's Shrimp, Crab & Crawfish boil.  It tastes delicious but it drives me out of the kitchen.  It's super strong.  But results in amazing shrimp.  So it's really a super easy dinner, but looks fairly impressive.

Before I met my husband I had never cooked any seafood.  In the past 5 years, I think I've gotten pretty good at fish and the like.  

Tomorrow there will be craft projects.  I can't wait!  There will also be more cooking.  Lasagna and chocolate pie.  Yum.  And some reading in the mix.  And I'm still uploading wedding pictures.  This may take a while.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lake Lake Lake

My husband whisked me off to the lake for a next to last hurrah before I have to go back to work next week. (the real last hurrah happens this weekend when we go to visit some of our favorite friends).  Anyway, tomorrow will be meatier in both blog post and in dinner - it's going to be seafood night at our house.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I had great plans for my morning.  I was going to run to JoAnn's and grab acrylic paint, puff paint, some 3D flowers, and a couple stencils and then I was going to get to work on remaking my canvases.  Well, I couldn't find everything I needed.  I found all the paint I needed but no luck on flowers or stencils.  The good news is there is hope of a second shopping trip this afternoon with my husband (if I can convince him) or a definite shopping opportunity on Saturday on my way to wedding dress shop with one of my friends.

So instead of crafting, I'm looking through wedding pictures.  All 1,442 of them.  Yes, that's right, 1,442 wedding pictures.  That's a hell of a lot of pictures.  We already had about 500 of them that our photographer had given us originally.  So there's lots of new ones to look through and I'm loving it.  I spent hours yesterday downloading all the CDs of pictures, all 16 of them.  And now it's the fun part, looking through them, falling in love with the new pictures, and remembering how great our wedding was.

One of the new to us pictures.
Walking into our reception.
And I look skinny.  Love!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mini Vacation

My parents are on vacation so I went down to their house for a few days for some quality sister time.  Movies, eating out, breakfast for dinner, ice cream, a trip to the doctor, and two successful shopping trips.  Fantastic.

So I got shoes.  I love shoes.  I worked at a shoe store all the way through college.  I still buy almost all of my shoes there, even though it's 3 hours away from where we live.  And anytime I try to buy shoes anywhere else, I complain that it's not as good.  So I had a $10 coupon and they were doing buy one get one half -- I spent $30 on two pairs of shoes.  So great!

There was dinner with good friends.  Two of my very favorite former co-workers.  One of them I hadn't seen since I moved (3 1/2 years ago), the other I hadn't seen since our wedding (almost 2 years ago).  It was great to see them.

I went to Dollar General yesterday to buy my sister some 7Up because she was sick.  On my way into the store I spotted a turquoise vase.  It was love at first site.  Yes, love at first site over home accessories at DG.  It's shocking.  But, it was gorgeous.  And cost $3.50.  Yup.  It was meant to be.  I snapped it up without a second thought.  Now it's living on top of our mantle, it may not stay there, but it goes so well in the living room!
Not the best picture ever, but you get the idea.  See why I loved it?  It's so great as an accent piece.  I am going to start working on art tomorrow.  I have some great ideas thanks to pinterest.  I have six canvases laying around the house waiting for new art work.  Right now they're all painted with something, but I'm not in love with any of them.  Updating is in order.  I can't wait!

I have ideas for this.  Or well inspired by this.  Less artistic of course.  When I was figuring out what to do, I hadn't actually clicked on it to see the image larger.  Turns out it is actually a gorgeous textural painting.  Well, I am crafty, not really artistic at all.  But I love the idea of doing a tree with blossoms and using either yo-yo fabric flowers or 3-D scrapbooking flowers.  It's going to go in our hallway to replace a flower I painted that I hate a little more every time I look at it.

Some variation of this is going to go up in our bedroom.  There are a couple of other ideas floating around too, maybe a stencil or something.  But I definitely love the look of tone on tone with the puff paint.  I want it to cover two canvases.  So that takes care of three of the canvases.

I have something kind of graphic with some turquoise in it for the other three canvases to go in the living room.  To hang in a row.  Fingers crossed for extreme craftiness.

In other news, I got the rest of our wedding pictures yesterday.  Yes, I know we got married almost 2 years ago.  And we got half of our pictures back about a month after we got married.  We had been promised all of them so I am ecstatic to have all of them.  I'm getting ready to get busy getting them uploaded.  So that's another project.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Trim it up

I'm temporarily at a stand still on my inside projects.  We went to Home Depot last night and got floor samples for out kitchen floor.  They're just kind of traveling around our kitchen so we can decide what we like.  Apparently we have expensive taste.  And we need to get a corded drill so we can screw deck screws into our kitchen floor to get rid of the squeaks.  Apparently our cordless drill is too wimpy to do the job.  But I will be glad to not have a squeaky kitchen floor anymore.

We're getting ready to start painting the outside of the house.  We're going to add trim around the base of the house where the siding meets the concrete.  We have cedar siding so it runs perpendicular to the ground instead of parallel.  And adding trim will make it look more finished.  We're also going to put trim around our two sliding glass doors because for some reason they never trimmed out the doors.  So last night we estimated and then bought 80 feet of cedar 1x2 boards.  
Trim waiting to be painted.
ignore the trashy rail on the spiral staircase.  It' hopefully getting replaced soon.

2 sides of the trim painted.  A soft dark grey.  Love it.
The other two sides will be white so that where the top edge of the trim meets the siding, it can be caulked and will blend in.  

We're still in the middle of a huge heat wave.  The meteorologists are saying it's one of the hottest summers on record.  That means any outside work that I do has to be done early.  I had a coat of paint on the trim and was back inside by 9.  I'm going on a mini vacay to my sister's next week.  When I get back I'm going to start painting the house in tiny sections early in the morning so I don't die from heat stroke.  I'm excited to get started painting so I can get the trim up, it's going to look so good.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Betty Crocker's Got Nothin on Me

I love love love to cook.  And this week the home improvement projects have been taken over by cooking.  Sadly, all of it was not for my husband.  His sister is due to have her second kiddo any day now.  In my family, that calls for cooking.  So, Tuesday night I made her a lasagna.  Yum!  Yesterday morning I got up and made a loaf of zucchini bread and 89 chocolate chip cookies.
Cookies waiting to go into the oven.  Oh yeah, I roll my cookies into balls so they cook up and look prettier.  I also literally buttered my cookie sheet.  I was out of cooking spray.  And butter doesn't leave the nasty gunk on your pans.

Yes, that's right, 89 chocolate chip cookies.  It was a double batch.  So a dozen of the chocolate chip cookies, the zucchini bread, and the lasagna went to the sister in law.  The rest of the cookies are in the kitchen taunting me.  They are hopefully being divvied up between the neighbors.  
Mmmm, they smell so good.  Look at those bad boys.  I really needed a 4th cooling rack though.  I ran out of space.  So glad we got cooling racks for a wedding present.  In our apartment, I would have to lay tea towels on our washer and dryer to cool the cookies on.

Last night I thought I should probably take care of my husband and cook him a really delicious dinner.  So I made one of our favorite make-ahead, easy, yummy dinners.  Slow Cooker Cheesy Tortellini.  Seriously guys, it's so good.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 16 ounces Classico® Tomato and Basil Sauce
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated or fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain.
  2. Combine the ground meats, pasta sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Stir in the tortellini, and sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes on Low, or until the tortellini is tender.

Mary's Version
1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 carton Philadelphia Cooking Cream Cheese, Savory Garlic
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini or cheese ravioli

Follow the original directions.  Saute the onion with the ground beef.  OMG, it's so good.  I'm thinking about it right now in fact.

This morning I thought I would go for something healthier.  I'd read about the Green Smoothies the other day.  I'm trying to get more fruits and veggies into my day so I thought I'd give it a try.  
My smoothie, about to get blended.

I wasn't super sure about it.  I mean, come on.  But, I was trusting the internet, that can be kind of scary.  I'm willing to try though.  So I blended.
Okay, it's a terrible picture, but you can tell, it doesn't look super appetizing.

So I drank it.  It was the biggest smoothie in  the world, I swear.  It wasn't terrible though.  Even though it took me almost an hour and 2 glassfuls to drink all of it.  I used Vanilla Soy Milk, spinach, vanilla yogurt, a frozen banana, strawberries, raspberries, and some ice.  It was pretty good.  It's possible I followed it with a chocolate chip cookie though.

I think I've been motivated to spend more time in the kitchen because I hung up new artwork and I'm in love.  It's actually a picture I found on pinterest and just printed.  It's gorgeous.
I'm not done getting the right stuff hung up in there yet, but I think this is a step in the right direction.  I want to get wooden letters to spell out EAT above the cupcake but I think my idea has been voted down.  Anyway, I'm off to pick up the bedroom (our new bed gets delivered tomorrow!) and bake some brownies for a party tonight.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Checking Things Off

Of course our house still has a long long way to come.  But last night my husband and I were talking about our remaining house projects.  I realized I had gotten so much done this summer really.  I actually put up our for real "To Do" List.

So I am notorious for setting myself an impossible timeline with an impossibly large list of things I want to accomplish.  We really like to have people over and I have a habit of deciding I have to get X, Y, and Z done before people come over.  Like two of my friends came to visit at the end of my spring break.  I spent the whole week busting my butt because I had to get my list done.  My list?  So glad you asked.  I painted both of our front doors a pretty glossy red, I painted all the trim and two doors in our front hallway, the barnwood door into our living room, and a couple of other things I don't remember.  I also had intentions of painting the kitchen trim but I totally ran out of time and just gave up.

My habit of overshooting the amount of projects I can accomplish in my timeline should've given me a clue about our deck.  We started staining our deck Saturday morning of Memorial day weekend when we had people coming over on Sunday.  Our deck is pretty big.  And it has two levels and two sets of stairs.  And about a thousand little skinny posts.  I worked super hard for 8 hours.  And it was really hot.  Somewhere between 5 and 6 in the evening, I gave up.  And it wasn't even close to done.  I just explained to all our guests what a flake and overachiever I am.  Well, now it's finally done.  I would say we have easily put in at least 24 hours of work on this stupid deck.  But, the good news is, it's done.  Last night my husband finished it up.  Amazing!

So, what has been on my To Do List this summer?  (I work at a school, so I have summers off, meaning lots of projects!)  Stain deck, organize office, finish painting basement bar, paint kitchen trim, re-tile front hallway, ordered a bed (it's getting delivered Friday!), paint garage door, paint end table, and paint built-ins. So what if the stupid deck took a month and a half.  I think that's a pretty good list to accomplish.

I think I'm going to start working on painting the outside of the house this week, at least the part I can easily reach.  And my parents are coming today.  My dad is bringing me his miter box so I can add some trim around our two sliding glass doors and around the bottom of the siding where it meets the concrete patio outside our basement.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

kitchen ideas

I love what our house is becoming.  No, its never going to look like it belongs in a magazine.  Not with this much paneling anyway.  But I love how it is really becoming us.  The basic bones of the rooms are there, we still need accessories.  Specifically art.

I love our kitchen.  I love it so much.  We have a little bit of stuff hanging on the walls, but it all looks awkward.  We have a framed picture collage that spells out our last name.  It's super awkwardly placed though.  It's covering up a bad patch of a hole in the wall.  I think it can be made better.  Maybe a bigger picture or a miniature gallery wall.  I'm still thinking.

I printed a cupcake picture today.  I think that's going to be my starting point.  I love baking cupcakes.  I am also really liking these recipe art pieces.  I'm trying to figure out if I can successfully make a couple of those with some of my favorite recipes.  I've also found a cute cupcake collage that I like, I just don't know about putting it in the kitchen.

My inspiration....

We'll see where it goes.  Maybe that will be one of my projects for this next week - get some art going on up on our walls.  We don't have much wall space in the kitchen so it shouldn't be too hard really.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lovely Leggy Table

I am so absolutely in love with this table.  I was even at Target today and looked at the one I had originally wanted and I still totally love mine better.  So now I'm sitting in my cozy chair with my new table right next to me holding a Starbucks frappucino.  Oh, life is grand.  And here's my pretty pretty table.
The table I originally wanted.  So pretty.

The table that is now living in my living room.  Even prettier.

Here the table is in its new home.  See how it ties in with the back wall of the built-ins and the pillows.  Love!

And the top view.  There is totally a coaster under my Starbucks cup.

I had originally planned on putting matching paper under the glass for a little fun but the fact that the bottom side of the glass was painted so that ruined my plans.  I kind of like it all painted the same though.  In fact I think I like it better.  I'm afraid it would have been too cutesy.  

When I was at Target this morning I decided to take myself out to breakfast.  Unfortunately there is a limited amount of breakfast choices in my town and where I do my shopping.  There is a serious lack of cute little bakeries.  In my husband's hometown there is an amazing bakery.  And there's a great one in the town where I work.  I'm pretty sure I'm having bakery withdrawls.  Sad.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two Projects, Ten Dollars

So my mom and I did projects yesterday.  I would say all in all it was a success.  I had two projects I was desperately wanting to work on.  First we had to make a trip to JoAnn Fabrics and to Home Depot.  The town I live in has absolutely no shopping choices.  Seriously.  We have a grocery store and a Dollar General.  Those are the two places to shop.  Not always the most useful for any project.  Even though I did get the twine for my wreath at the DG.

When my mom got here we headed off to shop.  I needed to get fabric for my roman shades and spray paint to refinish my table.  And we needed lunch.  Both of my projects were ones I could have totally done on my own, however, when you're ripping apart the blinds out of your bathroom, you want a little moral support.  Yup, I found a tutorial for repurposing blinds to make them (with some fabric) into roman shades.  I read directions from multiple tutorials, just google no sew roman shades.  We looked forever to find the right fabric.  I finally end up with a turquoise and green flower print.  And to make it even better, I had a 50% off coupon so my fabric was about $5.  I already had blinds and fabric glue so that cost me nothing.  It looks amazing.  Our bathroom has a beachy feel and the shades are the perfect finishing touch.  The print isn't too in your face.  Now I just have to figure out the right time of day to take pictures.

Our other project was refinishing a table.  I had been looking for a while for a turquoise table to put in our living room.  There's a problem though, I'm cheap.  Very very cheap.  In a dream world I could find anything for $20 and just refinish it.  Or find something on super sale/clearance.  I love a bargain.  I desperately wanted this table from Target.
Gorgeous, right.  So pretty and so leggy.  But for $60, no thank you.  I know, that's not expensive for a table but remember, I'm cheap.  And the only one they had at my local Target was chipped, so definitely not worth $60.  The other day I was folding laundry in our guest bedroom and had the best idea ever.  In that room I have two small end tables and a ClosetMaid cabinet.  Everytime I'm digging in the cabinet I desperately wish there was better lighting in that room.  The primary light source is lamps, both located on the small end tables.  That means when I'm digging around for clothes in the dark at 6am, I can't find anything.  So, I realized I didn't really need both end tables, that one could come to the living room.  

So now the cabinet has moved to a new corner of the spare bedroom and has a lamp on top.  And the great round leggy table has moved to the living room.  Well, actually right now it's sitting on the deck getting rid of the spray paint stink.  The look of this table was great to start with.  My Grandma Celia gave it to me when they were cleaning out her sister in laws house.  My mom guesstimated that it is from the 40s or 50s.  It's super light weight wood that has a glass top.  It did have a faux wood finish painted underneath the glass.  The original wood finish was in kind of rough shape.  My mom and I talked about it and determined that Celia would be happy for me to repaint it so we grabbed a $4 can of  Rustoleum spray paint in turquoise and Home Depot and headed home.  As I'm looking at it from my chair in the living room, I am absolutely in love.  

I'm pretty much in love with my projects from yesterday.  And my mom was so impressed with everything we had done since the last time she came to visit.  Pictures are coming soon.  Like when the table comes to where it belongs instead of outside on the deck.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


My mom is coming to visit today which means I have deep cleaned my house the past two days.  And that in the past hour I swept and mopped the kitchen, vacuumed the living room and hall, let the dog out, cleaned two toilets, and taken a shower.  Whew!  And now I have hives.  Thanks Mary for being such a spaz.  Ug.

I'm so excited to do projects with my mom today.  We are going to refinish a table.  I realized I already had a table in my spare bedroom that I could put in my living room to put by the chaise.  So excited about that.  We are also going to make no sew Roman Shades for our master bathroom.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where we do our living

So, welcome to part 1 of our home tour.  I've been working on making a floor plan of our house to make the home tour make more sense.  So, after ignoring my husband last night while he was watching the Home Run Derby, and some work this morning, it's done.

It's not exactly to scale, but it gives a good rough idea of how the house is laid out.  I think our house has a good flow.  We have multiple rooms that are pass throughs.  So that means any small children that come to our house love running in circles.  

Today I'm just starting with two rooms.  One is one that required tons of work when we moved in, the other hasn't required so much work.  Both still desperately need new floors.  I'm hopefully getting new floors in the kitchen this summer.  The living room will have to wait.  And there are before and afters.  Just so we can see the massive change.
So this is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house.  Those cabinets were disgusting.  I'm pretty sure they hadn't been touched since they were installed.  Awkwardly placed (and excessive) door knobs.  And pink formica everywhere.  Ug.

Okay, so what all did we do?  Pretty much everything.  We painted all of the cabinets a semi-gloss black.  My sister and I took all the doors off and sent them home with my mom for my dad to paint and relocate the door knobs.  We installed new Formica counter tops.  They were a super bargain at Lowe's.  I mean super bargain, I think we got all of them for less than $150.  We also replaced an ugly brown cast iron sink (super heavy!) with a shiny black acrylic sink (super super light!).  We put up new backsplash -- metallic panels that are actually plastic-ish and the easiest thing ever to install.  My dad built shelves on the end of one cabinet for travel coffee mugs, my Tupperware canisters, and cookbooks.  We got a new dishwasher (actually free from my best friend) and fridge.  

I still need to repaint the window frames and when we get our new floor, the kitchen will officially be done.  And now, the living room.

Pretty ugly, but really nothing paint couldn't fix.  The worst thing was the light fixtures by the fire place.  They look like they belong in a movie theater.  There are no pictures but the overhead light was on a cord.  And you had to plug it in.  Our wonderful electrician fixed that crazy problem.  He also replaced those crazy movie theater lights.  So, now, the after.

I love the most our fire place updates.  I still need to find art.  I am pretty sure that's going to require a shopping trip with one of my girlfriends.  She has excellent taste and is good at finding bargains.  Someday I want to find a better stand to put by the TV to hold our satellite receiver and other electronics.  I also want to find a little table to put by the chair.  There is one at Target I like, but I'm too cheap.  So I'm hoping to find one on craigslist to refinish.

Anyway, just for fun, here's the view from our living room.  Our wonderfully refinished deck.  And our pond.  The pond is horribly dry, we haven't had hardly any rain since May.

Monday, July 9, 2012

You Floor Me

As I've said before, and will say many times again, there were a lot of parts of our house that were insanely ugly when we bought it.  The kitchen and front hallway floor were absolutely terrible.  Everytime people come over, I always think, please please don't look at my floor.  No matter what we did it never looked clean.  I've mopped it by hand with a rag and a bucket.  I've used paint thinner to try to get the paint off.  Oh yeah, the kitchen floor has paint splatters in random places.  The edges are all curling up because quarter round was never put down around the baseboards.  And there is a huge seam down the side of the kitchen that is peeling up.

That's not even the front hallway though.  The front hallway floor had paint on it (some of that may have been my fault).  The edges were curling up.  And there were gouges, rips, and a giant hole in the flooring.  It was terrible.  And if you came in through the actual front door, it was the first thing you saw.  So, this is what it looked like as of yesterday morning.
If you see all the little dark spots, those are places that were holes that I patched.  There was a probably 3"x1" hole right in front of the kitchen door.  And just look at that floor.  I'm sure it looked nice when it was originally installed in like the early 90s.  Now, not so much.  So after patching, I primed the floor.  I wasn't really sure if I was actually supposed to do that or not, but I figured it couldn't hurt.  The directions said to prime any of the approved subfloor materials.  It also said you could install the tile over pre-existing laminate so I primed it.  
Sadly, a coat of white Sherwin Williams adhesive primer (leftover from painting paneling) makes the floor look a million times better.  And it gave me a nice clean start.  Ready to start putting down flooring.  I usually save big weird projects like this for when my husband is at work but he was smoking ribs and tuna so I didn't feel too bad to start on a big-ish project like this.

So, after less than 3 hours we had a brand new floor.  A lot of the reviews said to set the oven on 170 degrees and heat up the tile adhesive to activate it so the tiles would stick better.  Huge success.  Except the one I heated up too much and ended up very very sticky.  We used Exodus Resilient Tiles from Home Depot.  They are just peel and stick vinyl tiles.  I did lots of research, and these had excellent reviews and were cheap, $1.19/tile.  That means I did the whole front hallway for about $40.  
I'm pretty much in love.  I still need to do quarter round around the edges.  All in all though, seriously huge improvement.  And I was kind of worried how it would look over the places I patched.  I shouldn't have worried, you can't tell at all.  I'm not sure why we waited this long to do that project.  It was cheap and easy and made a HUGE difference.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bye Bye Paneling

When we bought our house it was not attractive inside.  It was the exact opposite of attractive.  It was down right ugly.  I was actually kind of proud of how ugly it was.  It was built in the early 70s, so imagine lots and lots of paneling.  The majority of it had already been painted.  There were two places left with straight up paneling.  The hallway upstairs had paneling on the bottom half of the wall.  I desperately wanted to do a two tone kind of thing, a darker color over the paneling and a lighter color on top.  However, someone generously gave us 5 gallons of a gorgeous light tan Sherwin Williams paint.  That meant the living room and hall all got the tan.  But on the paneling, I left the "stripes" in between in each panel section.  I like it, eventually it will probably change.  But I like it for now.

So there was still paneling left though.  Our house is like the house that paneling built.  The living room, kitchen, hallway, laundry room, basement, and BASEMENT BAR were all paneling.  Yes, basement bar really needed to be in all caps.  Who in the world builds a bar out of paneling.  Sheesh.  So that poor bar was the last thing left.  Over Christmas break I painted almost all of the basement.  The bar has green tile on top, not my favorite, but I went with it.  I painted the walls a light celery green and the dark wood/paneling bar got a couple coats of glossy white paint.  However, the whole back of the bar was left as wood paneling.    It was ugly.  Really really ugly.  I had the best intentions to throw up some adhesive primer then follow it with a coat of the green from the walls.  Well, we got a dog and that never happened.

Fast forward to today.  I took Rowdy to the vet this morning to get neutered.  (Poor Rowdy!)  That left the basement completely free for projects.  I grabbed my trusty paint brush (rolling would have been faster, but it wasn't a huge space and I hate washing out the roller) and got to work.  But, now it's done.  No more paneling remains in our house!  So excited about that.  And the green on the back of the bar looks great.

With Rowdy being gone, I also got the carpet vacuumed, the linoleum mopped, and all the dog toys picked up.  I feel like the basement is actually done now.  It's an amazing feeling.  Sure there are still things that need to be done.  Like the spare room/storage room still needs to have the walls painted and shelving installed and maybe a partition.  That is so low on my list though.  But, all the paneling is gone.  I think I should have a party.

While I was painting I talked to a friend I hadn't talked to in about a year and a half.  She has met a great guy and they are wedding planning.  I'm so happy for her.  It was great to catch up with her.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Like a Gremlin

What?  The other day my husband compared my hair to a gremlin.  Yes, a gremlin.  You may be thinking I should've been insulted.  It's true though.  I have a lot of hair.  Anytime someone new has cut my hair, they comment on the serious amount of hair I have.  It's super thick, fairly fine, and incredibly hard to control.  And it's not because I use bad products or any of the obvious reasons.  My hair used to be straight, very very straight.  The older I've gotten, the curlier my hair has gotten.

Even when my hair was naturally straight, it was big.  I have a lot of natural body.  I try to reign it in.  I've used salon products almost my entire life, thanks to an aunt that worked in the hair industry.  I'm fairly sure she was even a little overwhelmed by my hair.

One summer I tried to cheap out and buy gel at Wal-Mart.  I'm pretty sure I could hear my hair actually laughing at me as it just got bigger.  So I use good product.  And I wear a lot of ponytails in the summer.

So, remember the three rules for Gremlins?  No water, no food after midnight, no bright light.  Really only the first and last rules apply to my hair.  If once my hair is fixed, it gets wet, game over.  That's when the no bright light comes in.  It starts to frizz and poof.  Super unattractive.  This also counts for humidity.  Hey, I live in the Midwest which is full of humidity.  So you can probably imagine how my hair looks all summer.  It's terrible.  I use expensive (totally worth it) hair product -- it's an anti-frizz product, I also use BioSilk every day to combat the poof.

Like I just finished fixing my hair a few minutes ago.  When I go outside to take the dog out, my hair is pretty much guaranteed to grow.  And then end up in a ponytail.

My husband and I went to the lake for the holiday yesterday with his family.  His mom has super cute short hair.  Even after a boat ride and a day on the water, she can run her fingers through her hair and it looks so cute.  My hair went up in a knot as soon as we were ready to get in the water.  By the time we headed back to the marina, I had a halo of frizz.  Ug.  No amount of headband, scarves, product controls this mess.

I've started wearing my hair curly more.  That actually seems to be helping.  When my hair is curly, I like it to be big.  And I think people kind of expect curly hair to be big and maybe not quite so smooth.  So I am trying to embrace this mess.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Less Mess

Since we moved into our house over a year ago, our office has been a dumping ground for all the junk we don't have a place for.  It's horrible.  It's embarrassing.  Whenever people come over, I just shut the door so no one can see it.  But, I'm swallowing my pride....  This is what the office looked like this morning when I got up.

Terrible, right?  You would shut the door too.  Underneath the pile of boxes in the top picture is a box that held important paperwork I shoved in there so I wouldn't lose it when we moved.  Well, at least I still remembered where it was.  The over flowing box in the bottom picture, that's all stuff that needs to be shredded.  Now that's just ridiculous.

So after about three hours of work, it was much better.  Okay, I just dragged the shred box out into the hall, but I'm pretty sure my little shredder can't handle all that at once.  So that will be a project.  But the shredder has now moved to just inside the laundry room door, next to a recycling bin so that all junk mail can be immediately dealt with. 
So it's not perfect, yes there are still books in a milk crate (like we're in college) and there is Thirty-One stuff I still need to put away.  I have hooks just waiting to go up in the closet.  The box in the bottom picture is stuff that goes to my office at work.  So it will live there until the end of the summer.  All in all though, I am so much happier.  It's not a total embarrassment. 

Shut the Front Door

Apparently all of the people in TV world have gone on vacation for 4th of July or think we all have.  So that means none of our shows are on this week.  Last night my husband was catching up on sports news online, meaning I had full control of the remote.  We had been watching the Royals beat the Blue Jays but I can only watch so much baseball.  And since it's on practically every night I hit my limit quickly.  Anyway, 10 Things I Hate About You was on.  I love that movie!

I love 90s movies so much.  So as we were watching the movie last night, we were at the point when Cameron and Bianca are in Kat's room, talking about black underwear.  I told my husband that line in the movie was totally why I started buying black underwear.  Pretty sure I'm not the only one either.

Yesterday instead of working on actual house projects like I should have, I was getting my craft on.  So I got the first wreath finished I was working on.  That was over 400 little strips of fabric, over 400 knots tied.  It looks so good though. 
A picture doesn't really do it justice.  It's all black, yellow, and white.  So cute!  And I made one for our other front door.  Yes, we have two front doors, it's weird.  For the second wreath, I just bought one of those beveled styrofoam wreaths.  I wrapped it in twine and added a peony.  I couldn't find twine at JoAnn.  I figured Target would have some.  I figured wrong.  So as a last resort I looked at the dollar store when I went to get drain cleaner.  Amazingly, the dollar store had twine.  So other than my shopping ditziness (I could have bought hemp in the jewelry section) this wreath was so fast to make compared to the other.  And still gorgeous.  Even though my husband likes the other one better.
It's harder to take a picture of that door.  The lighting is never very good.  It's on the east side, that's why there are the weird shadows.  Also, that curtain is white.  The lighting makes it look blue at the bottom.  It's not.

Today I am going to have to be much more productive.  I have laundry to put away and more laundry to actually wash.  And the office is getting organized today.  I set myself a limit -- as soon as Boy Meets World is over, I'm getting to work.  Yes, in the summer I like to schedule my day around what I want to watch on TV.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Craftapalooza 2012

So my husband hurt his back yesterday.  That meant there were less house projects yesterday and more craftiness going on.  While he was watching baseball on the couch, I was sitting in the middle of the floor doing craft projects.  He had to go into work for a few hours in the morning and I got craft inspired.  I was planning to wait til today to work on my projects but, since he wasn't up for much else, I hung out with him and got started on my projects.

So my first project was doing some trays.  One for the coffee table to store magazines and one for the front entry way table that I've been working on.  That pretty much just involved some craft paint, scrap book paper and Mod Podge.  The one for the living room got some turquoise and brown paint and then some matching paper.
The color didn't photograph the best, but it looks great.  And now it's holding some fishing magazines and remotes.  Love it!  And it carries over the turquoise that I painted in the back of the built ins.  The other tray I did goes on the entry way table I've been working on.  That tray is turquoise and gold.  The main part of the tray is turquoise and the edging is all gold.  I found a gorgeous paper that was a nice texture and a turquoise and gold print.  And it looks pretty much perfect on the table.
Oh, and did I mention I got new knobs for the table?  My trip to JoAnn's was super productive.  I spent a while yesterday desperately wishing there was a Hobby Lobby closer to our house (the nearest one is a 45 minute drive) and then realizing there was a brand new JoAnn Fabrics 10 minutes away.  Not quite the same, but I found everything I wanted.  Anyway, let's check out a before and after of that table...

That second picture definitely shows off more of my ugly entry way floor but that floor is on the to do list.  I also plan on putting a nice vase of flowers on that table too.  That tray is going to hold mail.  I'm so in love with it.

I've also been working on one of those scrap wreaths.  Except I don't sew so I bought a pack of quilt block fabric.  As a happy accident, my husband liked the colors because they were Mizzou colors.  Granted, a tone downed Mizzou color scheme, but it still works.  I was just going for summery colors that would match the outside of our house and not be too girly.  So I think I succeeded.  I'm still working on tying on the about 400 strips of fabric.
So it's in process.  I am going to have to buy some more fabric to get it completely finished.  I also have plans for a twine wrapped wreath for our other front door.  Can't wait to get them done!