Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I ended up having a hard time getting letters because they were all out of some of the letters I needed in the size and style I wanted at Michael's and A.C. Moore, so I ended up having to get larger letters than I originally planned. Oh well. So, when I got home, I lined them up on the shelf... the larger letters did look better than the smaller ones would have, but there was definitely NO room for that metal star, had I been able to find one. Ugggghhhh! What a waste of time looking for one!!!
So, I lined all the letters up on a tarp outside and started spray painting them navy blue...then... it started to rain. Seriously?????? So I dragged the tarp inside, some of the letters were already messed up with rain spots, and others were messed up from bumping into each other when I dragged them in. Sigh. Oh well! I just spray painted over them all and you can't even notice now that it's up on the shelf. I also grabbed a starfish from the head board in our guest bedroom and put it between the two words. I think I need a little bit bigger starfish, but I know they have those at the craft store.
I love the way it turned out!!!
Our curtains are navy blue and cream, so they look really nice next to the navy blue letters. It's bothering me a little that I can't center the starfish above the center of the two doors, but I can't space the phrase right to get it like that. Overall, I think it looks really cute. It took more time and frustration than I anticipated, but I love the final look. It adds a little character to our kitchen!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
It was really pretty, and I did really like it, but it still took me almost three more months to call and order it. So, yesterday I logged on to David's Bridal's website to look up the style number of the dress before I called to order it... and I saw THIS dress pop up on the first page as a new style....
Swoon! I LOVED it!!!! I had no idea if I would love it on me, but it was worth trying on first for sure! They had one in my size in stock, so Jaime and I went to David's last night to try both dresses on. The first one was pretty, but I totally fell in love with this one! Plus, it was soooo comfortable and I loved the detailing on the one strap! So, I ordered it last night and I can't wait for it to arrive! Had I ordered my dress a month ago, this one wouldn't have been available. Last night, I was glad I am a procrastinator.
Monday, July 26, 2010
So, it turns out that office furniture can be expensive! It further complicates things when you have Pottery Barn tastes on a Craig's List budget! I love the look of this corner desk from Pottery Barn...
And I love the look of this desk with hutch... also from Pottery Barn.
And if I were to order all of the pieces of both to fit the wall and corner of my office, I would be spending $3,750 ... not including tax & shipping! Okay, so I don't like it that much! Geesh! I'm running through the list of things I would rather spend $3,750 on (if I had it) other than office furniture... I think the front runner is some kind of RV... but moving on...
Like I said before... Craig's List budget! About three months ago I bought this desk and hutch combo from someone on Craig's List for $60. This is the picture from the Craig's List listing...
It has a cabinet (cleverly disguised as drawers), drawers, a sliding keyboard tray and a few other customizations. It was in REALLY good condition! I couldn't believe they were selling it for $60. Even though it looks like knobs were missing, they had just been taken off and were in a drawer. But, alas... this was not the look I was going for. So, I have spent the better part of this past week PAINTING this entire thing. My husband and I also removed the back panel of the hutch and installed a bead board panel instead. I also removed the cabinet doors on the hutch in favor of a more open look.
Now, since I want to have a corner section similar to the desk from Pottery Barn that I like so much, I removed the desk top, and removed the molding on the bottom side of the desk base. My husband is building me some modular base sections to "add on" to the existing desk and we'll put a new desk top across the whole thing. So, I'm not going to show you what the desk looks like just yet...because I want to put it all together before I reveal my "after" picture. So, sorry to keep you waiting, but I'm so excited to finally cross painting this sucker off my list that it deserved its own post! We are thinking that between the $60 for the desk, the $20 for the bead board, another $100 in wood for the additional pieces and the hardware, we are going to come in right around $200 total. Not bad for a totally customized piece of furniture that will fit our office and craft storage and work space needs!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
It was just kind of a wasted space, junk cabinet. I finally decided to put things in perspective and learn to love my not-so-functional corner cabinet. I was thinking about five years ago when Matt and I bought our first house. It was a 2,800 square foot TOTAL fixer upper that was built in 1920. It had the worst kitchen... EVER... and we lived with the kitchen like that for a LONG time while we worked on other parts of the house. Unfortunately we moved out of state and ended up renovating the house to be a rental and never got to live in there with a nice kitchen. This is what it looked like the day we closed....
Uh... ya... so, those windows above the stove used to be exterior windows that looked out onto a porch. The porch was eventually enclosed. What you see on the other side of those windows is tile board. That's right, folks... cheap, ugly tile board. Why, you ask? WELL... apparently the previous owners moved out of the country and then sent a check up to someone to install a full bath in that space. Probably not the smartest move... you know... no quality control or anything like that. I don't think you'd ever expect someone to install something this bad though! I know you are just dying to see what it looked like...
This picture doesn't even do it justice!!!! But I'm sure you can see the additional piece of tile board placed, oh, so craftily on the end of that tub. Not to mention the kitchen sink faucet they installed on the tub! The far end of the picture shows the accordion door they installed... that led to this...
I picked up some cheap plastic containers at Target (using a gift card I had rediscovered... thanks Svenja!) and used them to corral extra bags of flour and other baking ingredients. I also moved my flour and sugar containers out of the pantry and into the cabinet.
I used an extra container I had lying around from going strawberry picking to store my canning utensils on the bottom shelf.
All in all, I'm much happier with this new set up! I also think it will be pretty easy to keep organized. I'm sure it helps that I don't bake much :-)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Aside from my personal projects for the wedding that I've gotten started on (and crossing off my list... yaye!), I've been working a lot this week on planning Jaime's bridal shower. I know that sometimes this can be a stressful process for bridesmaids to all plan together, but so far I'm having a really fun time! I'm glad that all of her bridesmaids are good friends with each other. I think that all of these wedding related events are going to make for some great memories.
It has been nice to have wedding stuff to work on this week, because at least I feel like I'm still accomplishing something. I've been having SERIOUS motivation issues lately. I don't know what my problem is. It's like I have to force myself to do anything around the house. I'm just in some kind of a slump. I had to change one of the things on my list from do 30 minutes of exercise everyday to take my Metformin everyday because I've been feeling sick and sluggish on my Metformin and it's a struggle to force myself to take the pills, let alone work out. I can tell that my body is adjusting though, so next month I'd like to add in the exercising.
I have had a lot of days lately where I just feel kind of bored. I'm struggling to find things to do with Andy (it doesn't help that it's always over 100 degrees out with the heat index) and I'm struggling with wanting to take care of anything around the house. I can find endless ways to procrastinate in the afternoons while Andy is napping and then before I know it, nap time is over, I haven't gotten anything done, and then Matt's home from work and I am left feeling guilty for not accomplishing the most basic of tasks! Sigh.
So, today I set a goal of just catching up with laundry (which I'm painfully behind on). If I get that done, I'll feel like I accomplished something. And if I happen to vacuum my floors too... well... that will just be a bonus!
Monday, July 19, 2010
So, I had a birthday gift to buy my Dad, who is the most difficult person for me to shop for. Originally, I was going to get him a webcam so that we could Skype. However, I procrastinated long enough that I found out he was shopping around for a new laptop and it would have a built-in camera. Okay, scratch that idea. It took me another two months to finally decide to get him a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble after I found out that my Dad has become an avid reader! Good to know! I gave it to him at the beginning of the month and he's already used it to buy two books!
Next up were my two best friends' little boys. Both turned one. We don't usually buy birthday gifts for each other's kids, except for their first birthday. Anyway, I finally got around tonight to ordering their birthday gifts. My friend Kevin wrote this great book called A Day In The Salt Marsh. It's a SUPER cute book that follows the changes in the salt marsh as the tide changes throughout the day... and it rhymes. Andy absolutely loves it. He loves naming all the animals. He even recognizes and tells me Salt Marsh! whenever we pass the marsh around here! Anyway, it's really cute and I know my friends will love that it was written by someone we know!
And last but not least, my Grandmother's birthday was at the beginning of July. I actually wasn't too late on her gift (only a few days... is that even really considered late?) but only because they were here to visit. I highly doubt I would have gotten it in the mail yet otherwise! Anyway, she's another tough one to shop for... but my Mom gave me a good suggestion this year, and I picked her up some stationary.
I have a few more family birthdays left this year, and I honestly am going to try my hardest to get gifts in the mail ahead of time. I hate being that person who is always late on giving gifts. I also hate how it hangs over my head all the time as something I need to take care of. We'll see how I do the second half of the year!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My grandparents were here the past two days and I didn't even have the motivation to clean my house. They were staying at my brother's house this visit, but still, I normally would have cleaned at least the downstairs... knowing they would be over here a good chunk of the time. I picked up (kind of) and vacuumed the dog hair off the floor downstairs and things looked mostly presentable... but my Grandfather still asked me You did know we were coming, right? when I half heartedly said Sorry it's a little messy in here. He said it jokingly, but I'm sure he wasn't really thinking it jokingly. It's just that normally when they come to visit, I've spent the previous day cleaning and staying up until midnight getting everything done... you know, trying to pretend that our house is this clean ALL the time... this time... my house just looked like it normally does when I'm not trying to impress anyone else! (well, except that the floors were vacuumed)
So, here is my issue... I have a problem sticking to things for more than a few weeks. I can make cleaning routines, or plan meals and grocery shop according to my meal plan for the week, etc. but I only seem to stick to it for a week or two and then something will come up that will throw me off course... or sometimes nothing will come up and I'll be generally lazy. The problem with this is that for one, when I don't plan meals and grocery shop, we end up spending waaaay too much money on food and two, when I don't do ANYTHING around the house for a few days, it requires a major cleaning effort to get things under control. The backlash of NOT doing things in a methodical way is a little depressing. Sigh.
In an effort to find my way out of this slump I did spend a few hours today clipping my coupons (from the past two weeks) and cleaning out my coupon book and getting rid of expired coupons. I hadn't done anything with my coupons in over a month. I felt like I was throwing money away when I was tossing expired coupons for things I KNOW I purchased in the past month... and paid full price for. Uggggh! But I'm back on track now. I actually have had a weekly planning session the past two Sundays (well, actually Mondays) so I think I need to add clipping my coupons and finding my deals for the week to that time.
I also washed the car seat covers. This was somewhat of a chore. They weren't the easiest things to get off and on, and it's always a pain taking those things out of the cars and putting them back in. But... it had to be done. Since we had so many car trips last month, there were more than a few times that Andy had leaked through his diaper before I realized it and changed him, and the car seat covers were starting to have a distinct odor. Plus, we've had them for about a year now and have never washed the covers. Vacuumed? Yes. Washed? No.
And last but not least, I finally broke down and bought a canister for our compostable food scraps. In April, we started a compost bin. For the past three months we have been putting our food scraps in bowls on the counter. Sometimes if I didn't want to dirty a bowl, they would just go down the garbage disposal. For three months I have put off spending the $7 at Walmart for one of these canisters because I KNOW I can find one much much cheaper at Goodwill. Well, every time I go, they either only have the small ones, or have a whole set that they won't break up (for more than $7). It was getting a little comical. So, today, I broke down and got a canister. I'm sure if I go to Goodwill tomorrow, they will have exactly what I was looking for... for $1.
Tomorrow I really am going to put effort into following my cleaning schedule and getting back on track. I might not really feel like doing anything productive, but I'm hoping that small successes will breed larger successes and if I can just force myself to do a few productive things tomorrow, I'll find that I'll just keep going and get a few more things done!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Our blood drive took place in the high school gym. I was a senior and my brother was a freshman. He happened to be having gym class while I was giving blood. They were outside playing street hockey or something like that... anyway, my friend Lauren had already donated and was standing next to me and chatting while I donated. All of a sudden she told me I think I'm going to faint! And the very next second... she did! Somehow I caught her in the arm that didn't have a needle in it and lowered her to the floor while the nurses ran over to take care of her. Literally, a few seconds later, my brother was getting escorted through the gym to the nurses office with blood gushing out of his forehead. A few minutes after that, someone came to let me know that they wanted me to go to the nurses office as soon as I was done. Apparently he fell or something... I can't even remember now. Anyway, they were concerned he might need stitches (he didn't) and I spent my recovery time in the nurses' office hanging out with him.
So, if you are like me, and it's been FOURTEEN YEARS or longer since you last gave blood, you should make an appointment at your local donation office. It's a good feeling knowing you could be helping to save some one's life!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This time I'm starting off on the extended release tablets. So far, this is proving easier for my body to adjust to than when I first started taking it when I was trying to get pregnant with Andy. I'm considerably less nauseous, but am definitely still having, eh, hem... digestive issues. Ugggh. I'm up to my full 1500 mg per day though, so I'm hoping I'm almost done with the adjustment period. I'm trying to be careful and watch what I'm eating and drinking. I remember very clearly from last time that I get particularly sick if I eat or drink anything sugary or have a meal loaded with white, starchy carbs. Now, my husband will be the first to tell you that a low carb diet and I are NOT friends! I am a miserable, irritable and just not so pleasant to be around person if I try and go low carb!! BUT... I'm making an effort not to eat any refined carbs and if I do have bread, I'm making sure it's whole grain.
I've adjusted my weight loss number on the side of my blog, because I weighed myself this morning and I have gained back two of the sixteen pounds I had lost a few months ago. I'm hoping now that being back on the Metformin and watching what I'm eating and working out (which I'm getting back to doing tonight!) that I'll be able to start seeing results again.
Today has been hard to get things done because I am feeling a little bad from the Metformin, but I did manage to accomplish two things! First, I finally bought a little rack to hold the lids to our pots. Our pots & pans cabinet drives me crazy. Mostly because we had a pot rack at our rental house and I LOVED having everything hanging in it's place... we don't have a place to put a pot rack now, so everything is kind of dumped in the cabinet.... like so:
So, I picked up the lid rack this morning at Target. The label on it actually says Eliminates Clutter. I'm wondering if this means throughout my whole house? Or only if I actually put the lids on the rack in this cabinet?? My whole house would be nice, thanks!
This took all of 2 minutes and I'm much happier now! Top view:
Clutter eliminated! Check!
Then I replaced a light that had burned out in the kitchen. It's been like that for about a month, but I've been too lazy to replace it because A) I didn't have the kind of light bulb I needed since it's a recessed can light and B) our ceilings are tall and I didn't feel like carrying the step ladder in from the garage (all of 5 feet away). But... now, it's done!
I also replaced two lights on the ceiling of our front porch. Those lights have been out since December. Yes... lazy... I know. Hornets even started nesting in one. I guess they figured if it was vacant for seven months, what were the odds anyone would bother with it now???
I couldn't see any hornets in there at the time, so I just climbed up on the ladder and knocked it down with a stick. So, now all the lights are good to go! And I think that was my full 15 minutes of productivity today. My stomach is feeling a little unsettled and I think that is a good excuse to go nap for the rest of Andy's nap!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Second, I got a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. It's the only magazine I buy EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. And I pay $3.49 + tax EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. And every time I buy it I think to myself Man! I sure need to get a subscription! .... sigh.... I just signed up for a year's subscription for $5.99 AND am getting a free cookbook as well. Much better deal?? I think so!!!
I'm glad I finally took care of two nagging little things on my list, so that I can stop feeling the money sucking right out of our bank account every time I even think about either of those two things!!!
When I was laid off from my job in November, I thought that we could make it work financially on my husband's salary alone... and we did for a while because I was receiving unemployment compensation. Since my unemployment ran out, things have been pretty tight. We are realizing that on paper we have enough money, but practically speaking... not so much! We can pay our bills and for food and for gas and any essentials, but we don't have money for anything extra every month...and inevitably, some unexpected expense comes up every... single... month!
So, I'm applying for part time jobs! I'm not opposed to working. I'm not kicking and screaming and dragging my feet. I'm really, truly okay with this, but it is hard finding jobs to apply for that:
A) fit my schedule parameters (evenings or weekends when Matt is NOT working so we are not paying childcare that will cancel out any money I earn!)
B) I'm interested in doing (I'm not looking for something I think I'll love... but still want to have an interest!)
C) Pays enough
But... I have found some, and I'm going to apply for more, and keep checking for new postings everyday. I'm also doing pretty well with my Thirty~One business! BUT... it's not quite steady enough (yet) for me to feel comfortable relying on that income every month.
When I was working, I was constantly stressed because I felt like I couldn't get anything done at home, I was always exhausted and I didn't really enjoy what I was doing. Even though I was home most of the day with Andy and only working part time, I still craved being home with him ALL the time. I know that when I stopped working I just traded one set of stresses for another. Financial stress is now an issue, where it really wasn't too much before. I guess this is a common problem for a lot of families.
I'm hoping I can find a flexible part time job and be able to help put our family on the right course financially, but in the mean time, I'm going to work on little ways that I can SAVE money for our family. I think the key to saving money for me will be PLANNING. The more I PLAN the less I spend... but why is that SOOOOO hard??!! Oh, right! Because I'd rather nap in the afternoon or sit on the internet for an hour instead of planning and getting things done... sigh...
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I'm also excited because it's finally July. June was a ridiculously busy month for me. I'm not even sure when or how it became so busy, but I was out of town for some part of EVERY SINGLE WEEK! I felt like I never had time to recover and get back on track at home before I was heading out again. I felt like I hardly saw my husband and we definitely didn't get any much needed alone time together. So, although HE is heading out of town for a camping trip with friends next weekend, I'M not heading anywhere!
We have family in town this weekend, so Matt and I got to get out out of the house for a little bit tonight after Andy went to bed. We headed to Barne's & Noble and got iced chai tea's from Starbucks and read magazines for free. Then we came home and sat out on our back patio and listened to the gazillion frogs and other marsh critters chirping away in the marsh behind our house and just chatted and enjoyed each other's company. We are having some AWESOME weather here in Charleston (if only for a few days) where it is NOT super duper, over the top, start dripping sweat as soon as you step outside the door, car thermometer reading 98+ degrees HOT & HUMID out! I actually had to put on a sweatshirt while sitting outside tonight! WHAT???!!! Man I wish it was like this ALL the time in the summer!
So, a few days ago I wrapped up the rest of my list.... I made my Thirty~One binder, I called my friend Carly (although we are playing phone tag) who I haven't talked to in almost five years!!! (seriously? where does the time go??!) and I started the first book in the Jan Karon series called The Mitford Years. My Mom gave us the set of books as an engagement gift (eh, hem... almost SIX years ago - our engagement story is kind of funny, so I'm thinking I should do a post about that on July 17th to mark the anniversary of our engagement! tee hee) and I just unwrapped the cellophane on them last week! There really is something wrong with me!!!!! Sigh.
I also passed off nailing down the quarter round on my husband. He took care of that while Andy and I were in Georgia. Now, this is not to say that we have actually finished putting down the quarter round yet on the floors we started installing 13 months ago... but at least the pieces of quarter round that were cut and put in place, but floating around our floors are now nailed in place. I told Matt he was going to have to do a post about why HE thinks we, as a couple, procrastinate things so much! I'm still going to make him do that post at some point, but he told me he would do it on Monday, and well, I'm just ready to move on to July already! Matt and I have a good relationship, but although we support each other's good habits, we also share a lot of the same bad habits and then we TOTALLY enable each other to continue to fail in the same areas of our lives. It's something we are recognizing and working on, but it sure is hard when two people are similar in the same ways ... both good and bad!
Okay, so here goes! July's list is posted! I'm totally psyched to get that desk painted and get our office set up!!!! I hated that I had to move it from June to July, but there was just NO WAY it was going to happen last month. I'm also going to try and be better about posting once a day as I actually accomplish things! I think that with a less busy month I can totally do it!
Happy 4th of July everyone!!!