Sunday, September 19, 2010

When It's Not All About You

Weddings are a funny thing. They can bring out the very best and the very worst in people. Lately I have seen both. I am reminded in each situation, that weddings are the one time it's not all about you, and this time, I couldn't be happier! On Saturday, my brother will marry my best friend. I am filled with emotion just thinking about it. I feel lucky and privileged to have the honor of being Jaime's Matron of Honor. Jaime is one of those hyper organized, super crafty, non-procrastinating people with an enviously clean house. In short, she is the complete opposite of me on all of those levels! Ha ha! But, on the other hand, I know that she can finish my sentences, she is almost always thinking the same things I am, she is the first person I want to hang out with for "girl time," she will drop everything to help a friend and she always puts her family first. We have been friends for over 11 years and I am thrilled to finally be able to call her my sister-in-law on Saturday.

So, being the hyper organized person that she is, Jaime has made it hard to be a bridesmaid. She has thought of everything, taken care of everything, every single little detail ... even the typical "last minute" things were done MONTHS ago! So, there isn't a whole lot left to help with! Me on the other hand??? Well, I waited until the final few weeks to take care of everything I need to before Saturday.... why? Because, no matter how hard I try... I just can't seem to change that side of me!

This past week I have ordered Jaime's wedding gift (which I had a last minute change of plans on), I have purchased undergarments for my bridesmaid dress and a back up (still looking for something better) pair of shoes and I have made my appointments for my brow wax and my hair. Yes, I'm getting my hair trimmed and blown out on Friday so that it can be straight for the rehearsal dinner. The future me will thank the present me when I see pictures!

And then there was the rehearsal dinner DRESS! After a particularly rough couple of days around here, Jaime and I headed out last Friday night in search of a rehearsal dinner dress for me. (She, of course, has had her dress for MONTHS) We started at Marshalls. I tried on 4 dresses. Liked 2 of them. Loved 1 of them. And so, I bought it! Done! Couldn't believe we didn't have to go to 800 stores. Went to the mall. Tried on undergarments at the department stores. (Ended up finding what I needed on clearance at the Maidenform outlet for $5! Whoop!) Had to exit the mall at closing time on the OPPOSITE end as our car. Hoofed it at least 5 miles around the mall. Went home. Hung dress up in my closet and about fell over laughing.

Why? Because I had the almost as close to identical dress possible hanging in my closet already... in navy blue instead of green. That's right. Me... who barely has any clothes, let alone DRESSES... forgot that I even had this dress! In a current size that fits me. With navy blue pumps to match. I have never felt so dumb! (well, okay, so that might not be true)

Bu-ut.... happy ending, right?! I could return my $40 Marshalls dress!! (would like it if that credit would hit my bank account sometime soon, but whatever...)

Okay, so on to clothing/shoe hunt #2! Black dress pants and dress shoes for my 2 year old son who is supposed to walk down the isle. We'll see how that goes! I think there's just as much of a chance of that happening as there is of him sitting quietly through the entire 45 minute service. But, we'll see....

Okay, so I went to the outlet mall... went to all the standard kid stores... no dress pants. Went to Goodwill... no dress pants or shoes. Went to Once Upon A Child... BINGO!!! Dress pants $3.50 and dress shoes $3.00!!!! I couldn't beat that unless they were free! We are renting his ivory shirt and lapis tie from Men's Warehouse. This should all be very interesting! I've already asked Jaime if it is okay to let him eat lollipops in the church during the whole service. As of right now, that is literally my only game plan. Failproof! Right? I have a friend on stand by to take him out of the sanctuary if needed. I'll be standing up with the bride and groom and my husband is a groomsman, so he can't just walk out.... could get tricky!

I also went and purchased a bridal shower gift for our friend Liz who is getting married in two months. Jaime, Liz and I used to all be roomies back in the day! She had a beautiful bridal shower on Saturday and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Tis the season around here!... For weddings that is! I think I'll wear my rehearsal dinner dress to Liz's wedding... so no need for last minute shopping there! So, this post turned out to mostly be all about me, but this weekend most assuredly will not! I am so excited to be there for Jeff and Jaime on their wedding weekend. I am excited to take care of Jaime as much as she will let us! But mostly I'm excited to spend much needed time with all my family and friends. (If I could do that little heart emoticon like on Facebook here, I would)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How To Make Custom Beverage Bins

For a wedding shower gift, I made my friend Jaime and my brother Jeff some personalized beverage bins to use at their rehearsal dinner. I had so much fun making them, that I think I'm going to make one for myself! They really were very easy, and the possibilities are endless as far as design and personalization! Here is the step by step for how I made them.

First I purchased two 15 gallon galvanized metal tubs from Lowes for $15 a piece.

Next, I used painters tape to tape off any parts of the bin that I wanted to keep the original galvanized finish. I chose to do that for the handles and the insides of the bin, including the upper lip. I wrapped tape around the handles, and then I cut two trash bags open and used painters tape over the top lip of the bins to secure the plastic.

Then, I sprayed each bin with two coats of a metal primer. I used the Rustoleum Professional Primer that specified it was for use on bare metal.

After the primer dried, I used a brush to paint each bin with two coats of my base color. I chose to use a white semi-gloss interior latex paint. After letting it dry for 24 hours, I used painter's tape to tape along the ridges on the bins where I wanted my stripes to be. I brushed on my stripes using turquoise and coral colored interior latex semi-gloss. After after two coats of paint, I removed the painters tape and used an artist's brush to touch up any areas of imperfection where the paint leaked behind the tape.

After letting the paint dry for 24 hours, I sprayed both bins with two good coats of a crystal clear varnish.

After letting the clear coat dry thoroughly overnight, I again used the painters tape to mask off a rectangle on each bin. I then applied two coats of chalkboard paint... and voila!

Each bin can be labeled however they want! I think it makes for a fun way to customize their beverage bins. All in all, this was a relatively inexpensive way to customize large beverage tubs for the bride and groom.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Soul Searching

I'm sure that many of you reading this had begun to think I had given up on my blog and finishing my resolutions.... I don't blame you... I did too. I have been procrastinating writing this post because I wasn't really sure what I was going to say. I've just been doing some soul searching for a little while. You know when you know you have something simmering just under the surface, but you're not really sure what it is? Well, this was going on for me ... for weeks. I couldn't put my finger on it and I had my suspicions that maybe it wasn't just one thing. I felt like I couldn't focus on anything. I didn't log on to my blog for quite a while. I didn't want to look at my list until I could decide why I was feeling the way I was feeling. My husband and I seemed to be on COMPLETELY opposite schedules for several weeks in a row and our relationship was suffering from the lack of time spent together. When everything finally came to a head in basically one big explosion of emotions, I realized that I needed to do what I could do to clear my schedule and make time to spend with my husband. If it wasn't necessary (like work) I wasn't doing it. Including my blog.

I deleted my blog's Facebook page (so, sorry if you were a Facebook fan) ... and then went to delete my blog... and found that I wasn't ready to do that yet. My husband pointed out that my blog was a positive and effective tool for me when I was actually doing what I set out to do.... which was one thing every day. What I had gotten in the bad habit of doing was leaving several things to the end of the month and then cramming them all in. I was also seriously neglecting my daily chores in favor of one time projects around the house. Our house was constantly cluttered... to the point where it was starting to have a negative effect on Matt and on me. Matt felt like I was creating an illusion on here that I was very productive and on the ball because I was neglecting to point out that while I was accomplishing all of these things every month, I wasn't keeping up with anything around the house. So, I'm sorry if that is the impression I was giving, because that is not the case around here... IN THE LEAST!

I have a hard time balancing because we literally have 5+ years of un-started or un-finished projects.... bins of stuff that need to be sorted through and dealt with.... a house that we want to paint walls in, and add character to, and furnish .... with second hand furniture that I am usually re-finishing.... so, I feel like sometimes I use all of my energy trying to take care of those projects and I always think I'll clean later... or I'll do laundry later... or I don't have time to put this stuff away now.... I'll do it later... and of course, you can guess what happens next... I'm too TIRED later to take care of all the other stuff.

So, I've taken some down time while I've been re-evaluating. Here is what I have decided:

1) I am going to keep up with my blog again. I'm also going to be ambitious and combine my unfinished list from August and add it to my September list and get back on track. BUT...

2) My monthly resolution for September is to do 30 minutes of cleaning per day. Here's the thing... when my house was a completely cluttered mess, I didn't feel like I had time to clean because it would take FOREVER to get things cleaned, so I just kept putting it off. I should have realized that if I just tackled a little bit at a time it would get done. So, now, the downstairs of our house is clean (thanks to major help from Matt) and the upstairs is mostly clean. I'm intending to keep it that way with 30 minutes of cleaning a day. It doesn't even have to be continuous. I think just 15 minutes after lunch and 15 minutes in the evening would do wonders!

3) I'm going to be more aware of my schedule. I'm going to try to be hyper aware of not letting too many things get scheduled for several days in a row. Matt and I need that time together throughout the week to stay connected. I don't want any members of my family to feel that I'm not putting my family first. I am truly working on NOT feeling like I need to meet other people's expectations. I need to do what is best for my family and myself.

Deep breath...

So, there it is. I'm so glad I didn't delete my blog. I think I'm going to need a place to get my thoughts out in the coming months! I'm going to get my September list together tonight and get it posted tomorrow. Thanks for sticking around through my lapse in posting. I'm glad I took a step back though, and worked through all the things that were bothering me. I felt paralyzed from doing any blog posts when I couldn't get my head straight.