Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Break

I'm taking a little blog break.  We are going on vacation in a couple of days so our house is a disaster.  Piles of clothes.  Trying to get packed.  The bathroom counter is covered in travel sized bottles.  It's a hot mess.  I've been working on packing all week.  I've called it pre-packing.  You know, when you try on all the clothes in your closet to decide what's cute enough to take on vacation.  And then you make little piles of outfits.  And lists.  There have been lots of lists.

There have been other life factors getting in the way of blogging as well.  Some of them fun.  Going to get pedicures with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Hanging out with my older sister.  Going to lunch and to pick up an exercise bike with a good friend this afternoon.  And then one not so fun.

Sunday when we got home from Father's Day festivities with the in-laws, I found out my grandpa wasn't doing well, was in the hospital and was being moved to a hospice house and that it was just a matter of time.  Moments later I found out he had passed away.  A couple of months ago, he and my grandma moved to Colorado to live with their youngest daughter.  When they left, I cried the ugly cry because I knew it would likely be the last time I saw him.  He wasn't in the best of health.  I just get choked up every time I think about it.

They are not my grandparents by blood relation.  They are an even better kind of grandparent, the kind that chooses you.  They've been family friends my whole life.  We've actually known their family longer than that. They are a family my mom has always known.  We've gone to church together my entire life.  I dated their grandson when we were in college.  Even after he and I parted ways, they made it  very clear that I was still their granddaughter and they wanted me around.

At my wedding, they sat in the seats of my grandparents.  I think it meant a lot to both of us.  They are really two of my favorite people in the world.  And just the best people ever.  My grandma always introduces me to people as her granddaughter and people look so confused, they know both of our families and know that there is no actual family connection.  Well, there is but it's way distant and most people wouldn't know that.  But, as far as we're all concerned, they are my grandparents.  And it just makes my heart sad that he is gone.

I know in my head that he is in a better place and no longer in pain.  And that he's up there in heaven with all these other wonderful people that have passed away too and that they're all just so happy to be there together and he's smiling down on all of us.  But it's still hard to make it feel okay.

So, in light of that, all these big projects seem kind of frivolous.  So, I'm taking a little time to just feel kind of sad.  It's getting better.  It's getting easier.  So I'm okay.  It's just always hard to lose someone you love.

And then there's vacation prep.  So, I'll be back after next week.  And hopefully back into project mode.  I'll have lots of pictures of fun in the sun.  And hopefully a tan and a lighter heart.  And speaking of lighter things, I'll have a run down of this amazing diet I did.  I'm ten pounds lighter.  Hot dog!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Feeling Blue....

Or turquoise.  I have a plan for the hallway.  I mentioned a while back I was considering a gallery wall.  That's still in the works.  And I have picked a wall color.  So, here's what we have going on right now.
Excuse the terrible picture.  There is zero natural light in the hall and it's practically impossible to take a decent picture.  So we have tan walls on both top and bottom.  And there's the switch for the no longer functioning attic fan that will need to be covered up with something.

This is the paint color.  The same color I painted my office.  I just pained a little swatch to see how it looked.  I'm going to need to prime before I can paint because the tan definitely showed through the new paint.  Boo. 

1.  Paint Color:  Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore.  A perfect pale turquoise.  I love it.  I got it color matched at Walmart to just their cheap paint.  I usually use Sherwin Williams.
2.  I love this pattern.  Gorgeous colors.  Maybe framed.  Maybe with words over it....
3.  This art is gorgeous.  Way out of my price range, but gorgeous.
4.  I already picked up this little guy at Hobby Lobby a while back.  He was on clearance for around six bucks.  And adorable.
5.  I love this life is good sign.  I've been eyeballing it at Kirkland's.  But it's not available right now.  I think I have a piece of scrap wood hanging out in my basement I can make it out of.
6.  And this graphic art is fantastic.  Something like this would be super easy to make and perfect to cover up the attic fan switch.

There will of course still be some pictures thrown in also.  Probably wedding pictures.  And maybe a couple of family pictures.  No exact plan for that yet, but I think I have a good start.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Camis and Tanks and Under-shirts Oh My!

Okay, it's a rare two post day.  I'm procrastinating on the laundry.  Really, I just discovered I have a serious problem.  I think I never have the right shirt to wear under things.  Turns out it's really just bad organization.  Really bad.  I have a little shelf-y cabinet-y thing i put all my tank tops in.  And leggings.  And swimsuits.  Logical, right?  Well, it's a disaster and I can't find the bottoms to my red swimsuit, despite pulling everything out.  Anybody know where I put them?

So, now everything is out on the bed.  Swimsuits are sorted into two categories:  those that fit and are going in my suitcase for vacation and those that don't and are being sent to Goodwill.  The leggings are neatly folded in a stack.  They're under control.

The tank tops however, are a serious problem.  I didn't really comprehend just how many I had.  Or the variety of colors until I started refolding.  37.  Yup, thirty-seven tank tops of some variety.  That is ridiculous.  One of pretty much every color of the rainbow except orange.  Apparently I hate orange.  Okay, I do, it's unflattering on me.  Anyway.  Tons and tons of tank tops that spill out every time I open the doors and yet I can never find the one I want.  Oops, I guess it's actually 38.  I bought a new one yesterday.

36 of the 38 tank tops.  They're sorted by style.  I know, I have problems.

So, the real question is, how do you guys sort your tank tops?  Anybody else have a serious tank top buying problem like I do.  I'm considering buying a hanging shoe bag to store them in.  

Also, I'm wearing a pair of my vacation shoes around the house.  You know, to make sure they're comfy.  Or maybe it's because I'm weird and like to wander around in my new shoes....  Either way, super adorable, right!

Okay, back to laundry.  Seriously, help me solve my problem.  How do I store this ridiculous amount of tanks?  Mind you, I already threw a few in the Goodwill pile.

A Bargain, a Cup, and Dinner

We're busy getting ready for our vacation to Florida in nine days so projects have been a little slow around here.  Today I'm getting back to it.  Not with anything exciting though.  It's going to be an extreme day of doing laundry, getting the laundry room disaster under control, and organizing closets.  And maybe a little pre-packing.

So, before I head off into the land or clothing organization a couple of things.  First, sometimes my husband surprises me with sweet little things.  A while back we were at Bass Pro and they had Duck Commander plastic cups.  You know, like the one Uncle Si drinks tea out of all the time.  *If you don't watch Duck Dynasty, you should, it's hilarious.  Well, they had pink cups and I mentioned I would love one.  The other night the hubby had gone to Bass Pro again (it's right by his work, this is a normal occurrence) and said he had bought me something.  And then he showed up at home with this.
My pink Duck Commander cup.  It's fantastic!  Best hubby ever!

Yesterday I was at Target picking up a couple of things for our trip.  When I walked into the store they had clearance alcohol right up front.  And they had the brand of wine I frequently buy.  St. James Winery.  St. James is a Missouri winery that's won tons of awards.  And puts out delicious wines.  It's generally fairly inexpensive like around $6-$8 a bottle.  Cheap, right.  But delicious.  Well, it was on clearance for $2.75.  Score!  So I bought six bottles.  I also picked up a bottle of Pinnacle Marshmallow vodka for like six bucks.   Alcohol wasn't on my shopping list but for that price, it all went in the cart.


Meal planning has been a complete success!  Even with my diet this week, our meal plan has made this week so much easier.  I don't have to scramble around for what to fix for dinner.  And since I had my meal plan when I grocery shopped, I know I have everything I need to fix dinner.  It has been so great!  I am totally loving this.  And since I'm doing this diet, I have my husband's dinner written on the left and my diet foods written on the right.  And I can check off my food days.

Meal plan success!

Anybody else completely stalled out on projects for the moment?  I think it's because my summer vacation just officially started and I'm in the "laying around, enjoying my free time" phase of summer.  Maybe next week I'll be back to being motivated.  Hopefully.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Cuter T-Shirt: A Tutorial

Okay, sometimes you see something and you're like "Oh, that's cute, I could do that."  But you kind of don't think it's really going to work out right.  Well, that's how I felt about this project.  I have tons of t-shirts.  Okay, maybe not as many as I used to, last summer I ruthlessly cleaned out the t-shirt collection and now I'm kind of wishing I still had some of those old shirts to remake.

Since I had so little faith in this project I picked an old grungy shirt to try it out on.  I grabbed an old YMCA child care shirt, it's at least seven years old.  And I've painted in it.  There was red paint on the back from painting the front door.  Yes, paint on the back of my shirt, I'm notorious for running into freshly painted things.  Anyway, I grabbed my blue t-shirt and got to work.  Sorry, I failed and didn't take a picture of the whole t-shirt, but you know what a t-shirt looks like.  Also, these are not beautiful pictures, I took them while sitting in my living room floor on a Sunday morning.
First, chop those sleeves off.  You know, for the summer t-shirt.  For working outside and such.  Easy Peasy.

Then cut off the neck of the shirt, just under the collar.  Chop it off straight across.  I didn't measure or anything, just eyeball it.

Cut the hem off of each sleeve.  This is going to make the straps of your shirt.  Cut the whole bottom of the sleeve off and then snip at the seam so that the two pieces can be sewed together.

To whip up this cute little number, just hem the neckline (where you cut it off).  Leave some extra space because you're going to need to run your strap through the hem.  

Okay, so you're going to have to run through the strap through the hemmed pocket you made.  Sew the two sleeve pieces together to make your strap.  Hook a safety pin on one end to thread through the pocket.  Trust me, this will make your life so much easier.  Once you have the strap threaded through both the front and the back, sew up the other end of the strap and you're ready to roll.  Tiny tip:  use thread that matches your shirt.  I used tan thread because it was already out but for future shirt make-overs, I will totally use matching thread.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm totally glad I did this with a ratty shirt first.  It meant that while I was working on staining the deck today, I had a cooler t-shirt (other than one with the sleeves just chopped off) to wear.  Like I could have answered the door in it if I had to.  I call that a success.  I'm already eyeballing other shirts to cut up.

The deck is another story for another day.  But believe me, it's a good story.  So, what did you do this weekend?  My summer vacation is almost here for reals and I cannot wait.  Today is just a preview of summer break.  Also, I'm on a new diet and I can't wait to tell you guys if it works or not.  Fingers crossed for it to working.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rock On

As part of redecorating my office at work, I decided I needed a cozy chair in the corner.  I really had in mind like a cute little slipper chair.  One of my co-workers is an extreme garage saler and is amazing at finding bargains so I set her on a mission to find me a chair.  So she called me last Saturday morning, she was in town where I live and had found a rocking chair for $10 but they would go down to $8.  Score!  A rocking chair wasn't what I had planned on but for $8....  Then she called back a few minutes later that she had found an even better one for the same price.  So I cleaned out my backseat and headed out to pick up my new chair.

Well, it wouldn't fit in the back seat.  Turns out a Grand Am is not meant for transporting furniture.  So I did the next logical thing, shoved it in the trunk.  Of course it didn't fit but I only had to drive a couple of miles, all on back roads so I made it work.
Keepin' it classy.  Got the job done though.  I drove home at like 25mph with my hazards on.  Amazing.

Obviously you can't tell anything from the bottom of the chair.  With an old tote bag keeping it from getting scratched up.  So here's a real shot.  It's hanging out in my living room until I borrow my sweet hubby's truck to haul it to work.  Definitely not driving an hour with a chair half hanging out of my trunk.

I haven't decided exactly what to do with it yet though.  I can't decide if I want to leave it as is, the finish is in pretty good shape.  Or paint it.  Thoughts?  Also, it's super comfy.  I'm always skeptical of wooden rockers but I am in love with this one.  Especially for eight smackeroos.  

What are you guys working on this weekend?  I have deck staining in my future.  Today I did the top of all the rails.  So now it's the floor of the decks and the stairs.  Oh boy.  I've got my work cut out for me.
Can't wait to get that business under control.  Hopefully the weather cooperates with me.  Have a super weekend guys!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rio and Romance

Okay, I have wall art to talk about today but before I can do that I have to tell you guys what I found on my porch yesterday.  A couple of weeks my girl Geesha blogged about some sweet little parrot vases she'd gotten on eBay.  And since she is the sweetest bloggy buddy, she wanted to split her pair of parrots and send one my way.  He arrived on my front porch yesterday.  Man, that girl knows how to pack a bird in a box.  Next time I move Geesha, I'm calling you!

So, his name is Rio.  He doesn't have a home yet.  I'm still moving him around to find the perfect spot.  And I need to get some flowers, but I couldn't wait to show him off.  So, I set him on our built ins in the living room and snapped away.
He's so cute, right!  Pretty excited to find him the perfect home.  I'm thinking front entryway table maybe.  I love him though.  So thanks Geesha for being the sweetest!  As soon as my summer break starts, something great (still to be determined) is headed your way.  Maybe a fun little homey craft.

Speaking of fun little homey crafts....  Back during the Spring Pinterest Challenge I created some art work for our bedroom.  Well, I had another project up my sleeve, I just ran out of time due to being crazy busy at work.  So, almost a month later, it's done and up on the wall.  This was actually a project my husband picked.  I wanted something kind of sweet and romantic to hang on our wall in the bedroom.  I gave him the choice of a couple of little sayings and then I suggested using part of the lyrics from our first dance song from our wedding.  That idea was the winner.  

I knew I wanted to do quite a bit of the song so my usual method of printing out the words and then tracing through the paper onto wood and filling in the outline was impractical and would quickly drive me crazy.  So I set out to find a better method.  Then I found this.  Guys, this is the most brilliant thing ever.  You get a board and paint it.  Then you print out whatever you want on a laser printer (I used the one at work).  The trick is you have to print a mirror image.  Then you just spread Mod Podge on your painted board.  Lay your paper onto the wet Mod Podge.  Smooth it out and press the paper on there really well.  Once the Mod Podge is completely dry, you wet the paper (I used a spray bottle) and just rub the paper off.  The ink magically stays behind.  It is seriously amazing.  Oh and then just throw a layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing just for funsies.

It took me two tries to get it right but I just flipped over the wood and used the other size.  I love it so much.  Now it's up on our bedroom wall.  Yippee!  I may need to add a couple of pictures beside it just to balance it, but all in all, I'm so incredibly happy with it.
Sitting in the living room waiting for a coat of Mod Podge

Ignore the shadows.  I was taking pictures at night.  I'm a bad blogger. 

Ready for a close up.  I like that all the letters didn't transfer perfectly.

Perspective.  I'm thinking I might hang a couple of our wedding pictures right next to it.

And if you're trying to identify the song.  It's Heaven by Bryan Adams.  It was my father-in-law's idea.  And it was perfect.  He's in a band, his band played our whole wedding reception which was amazing.
And just for fun, a picture of us dancing at our wedding.

And it's possible I'm listening to Bryan Adams right now....  Anybody else finishing up a project that's been in the works forever?  I'm ready to be out of school for the summer so I can tackle my summer list.  And find Rio a good home.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sew Much Fun

I never get tired of bad puns.  Or "That's what she said" jokes.  I just can't help myself.  Everytime I sew something, I make some kind of bad joke in my head.  That spills into a blog post title.  You're welcome.

So, we got new bedding a while back.  And I showed you the varieties of ways I've decorated my room since the time of my obsession with taking pictures of where I live.  I got a new white comforter and put some new art up on the walls.  I was on a mission for specific pillow cases or pillow shams but I couldn't find what I wanted in fabric or already sewn.  So I settled for some yellow pillow cases from Target.  This is what we were working with.
It matched just fine but it just wasn't really what I wanted.  I had a dream.  A gorgeous dream of yellow and grey in the perfect prints that would tie everything together and be perfect.  Well, I was at Hobby Lobby the other day and I found it.  I wasn't even looking for bedroom fabric but there it was, right in front of me.  White and golden yellow chevron.  And grey and white polka dots.  Swoon.  And they were on sale.  I may have resisted doing a running man in the middle of the fabric department.  Well, fast forward about a week.  I finally found time and motivation to whip the fabric into a couple of envelope pillow covers.  Hooray.  This time there was actual dancing because I was in my house where no one could see me or judge my sweet dance moves.
So perfect, right?!

A close up.  I am seriously in love guys.  And somehow I sewed them so that the stripes line up all the way across.  Absolutely perfect.

Anybody else spend weeks searching for just the right thing and then when you've given up, it's right there in front of you?  The same day I found the fabric I also found art work on clearance that I'd been eyeing for months.  It was meant to be.  Excuse me, now I have to go back to staring at my pillows.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Get with the Plan Man

I said it was coming....  I've been working on it....  It's here....  My whole meal plan and cleaning calendar plan.  These are all chilling on the side of my fridge in pretty white frames.  With a dry erase marker hanging out near by.  I'm so excited!  This is going to be great!  So, without further ado, here are my pretty pages close up.

As usual, I just uploaded them to Walgreens and printed them as pictures.  I picked up all three of them, thanks to a coupon code for 40% off for around $6.  Sure I could've printed them at home but I think they turn out a bit better printed as a photo.  And it means I don't have to buy ink for my printer.  It's a win-win.

I left the weekend days off my meal planning.  I knew we wouldn't successfully meal plan for the weekend.  In the summer we usually grill at least once.  And we usually go out to eat at some point.  So we're usually pretty casual on the meals for the weekend, especially for just the two of us.

I think I'm pretty happy with my color choices.  With the red and black kitchen, I needed something that would still match but wasn't necessarily the same color.  And I'm loving coral these days.  I'm still on a quest to make my office at work coral and turquoise.  I just need the right fabric to cover my bulletin boards with. 

So, here's my creation on my fridge.  My husband didn't really so much know I was doing these.  He came home last night and saw them on the fridge and was super impressed.  Yay!

It's really hard to take good pictures of the side of my fridge....  Also, really hard to take pictures of picture frames.  I'm in love though.  And our menu for the week is already written on the fridge.  Well, it wasn't when I took the picture because I forgot.  But it is now.

Project Clean in 2013 is well under way.  And feeling very successful.  So, what are you guys planning for dinner tonight?  Steak quesadillas are on the menu for us.  We grilled Sunday and have leftover steak.   Mmmm, it's going to be delicious.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Yard Work

It was unseasonably cool in Missouri this weekend.  And perfect.  Last year it was already in the upper 80s and 90s.  Sunday it was like 72.  Perfect for yard work.  If you can imagine, our yard still needs tons of work to recover from the old owners neglect.  We are finally whipping it into shape.  And I think we have a plan.

We have flower beds that line the east side of our house.  To the left of the kitchen door there are shrubs.  I have a serious hatred for these shrubs.  They suck.  There was a dead one right in the middle when we bought the ho use.  We've totally chopped out the dead shrub so now there's just this little gnarly stump.  Not attractive at all.  The ultimate plan is to rip out the old shrubs and put something different in.  Probably some other kind of bush that is hardier.  I guess the old ones are fairly hardy, they are original to the house, they're just in bad shape.

To the right of the kitchen door are flower beds that stair step down to our lower patio.  The top one is filled with lava rock and used to have a tree growing in it.  Technically the tree is still there, I just keep cutting off the live parts and spraying it with weed killer.  I am obviously good at landscaping.  Want me to come to your house?  Eventually, I'm going to rip the whole tree out.  Then the plan is to put in hydrangea bushes.  If they'll live on the east side?  Hydrangeas are my favorite, we had a whole row of them on the north end of our house when I was a kid.

I'd like to plant other things in the other two flower beds, I just don't know what.  I think this summer we're planting our zucchini there.  Yes, you read that right, zucchini.  We're not big gardeners and there's already good dirt there.  I'm totally okay with this.  I need zucchinis in my life, especially right outside my door.

We also have plans to redo our front side walk.  It's completely crumbled.  That's what the pavers stacked beside our garage are for. 

This will also mean replacing the stairs the lead down to the back yard.  We're thinking making the edge of the stairs out of something like a parking curb and just replacing the crumbling concrete with gravel.  And maybe some cute edging.  This will also mean redoing the flower bed edging.  Right now it's wood that is rotting.  And that our dog so sweetly has partially ripped out.

The last big landscaping dream is to add some sort of bushes in the back yard.  We have a stone wall the separates the yards and is a huge step down.  We want to add some bushes on the upper level of that so that no one accidentally falls over the ledge.  It's a good couple of feet down and would definitely hurt.  There is also a clump of trees growing right behind the rock wall that we need to rip out before they ruin the wall.  Even though they provide amazing shade on the deck.  

I also still have plans to build a fence around the a/c unit to make it more attractive.

So, what did you guys do this weekend?  Anybody else have big yard overhaul plans?  Or have cheap suggestions of how to pretty up my yard?  This weekend I had quality time with the weed killer while my husband mowed, weed ate (?) and trimmed trees.  It's looking so much better and I can't wait to get more done on it.  I almost bought my first hydrangea plant but the price was mismarked and I am cheap.