Expanding Small Spaces

The Engineer and I have been on a bit of a home improvement kick.  Fitting two people’s stuff and design tastes into a single home isn’t always easy.  In an effort to make keep the house somewhat organized, and preserve my own sanity, we’ve really had to try and maximize all the storage opportunities in the house.  I’ve been meaning to write this blog for awhile, but it seemed like we just kept doing projects so I kept thinking I’d wait.  I think we finally wrapped up all the little projects, and several of the big projects are well on their way!

Our biggest summer project was expanding the patio!  The slab that was poured for my patio is only 6ft x 8ft.  Some of the units in my HOA have big, expansive patios….I guess that just wasn’t in the cards for my specific unit.  It was fine when it was just Scout and I at home, but even for just us it had always been small and crowded.  Then The Engineer came, and then we bought an umbrella, and then we got a big grill….and pretty soon we were sitting on top of each other trying just trying to spend time outside on the patio.

 

Lucky for our bank accounts, The Engineer can occasionally snag sample concrete mix color and finish pavers from his employer!  Plenty of precast buildings are grey, so we decided to extend the patio slab out with two rows of 1ft x 1ft pavers on each side.

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Such style he’s got that man of mine!

Honestly, the hardest part of the whole project was getting the landscaping rock out of the area.  In my brain I would just be able to scoop it right up with a shovel and move it to other areas of our landscaping that were a bit light on rock.  I’m not sure if you know this…..but rock doesn’t really shovel.  It turned out one of the sides was severely lacking in dirt, but a layer of pea gravel below the paver base brought it back up to grade.

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Actually placing the pavers was pretty easy.  Pour out and smooth a think layer of paving base and smash it down firmly.  They make a tool for this…..or just use your feet in heavy construction boots…..that’s the method we used!  After its smooshed down evenly, use a garden trowel to sprinkle down another thin layer of paver base.  Set your pavers down into the base and press or stand on them to settle them down into the base.  You might have to trial and error adding some base or maybe removing some to get everything level.  I think we did quite well for having never laid pavers before.  Everything seems level and graded to drain correctly….time will tell though, they may settle over the winter and we might have to adjust them in the Spring.

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So much space for activities….and a lurking pupper in the doorway!

Inside projects have been centered around keeping spaces organized, and keeping things from exploding out into the living room and dining room.  Single me was a chronic “toss wet laundry out onto stair railing and chair back to dry”.  It was always annoying to me, but somethings just don’t belong in the dryer so I just ignored the fact that I was annoying myself.  Cut to my laundry, The Engineer’s laundry, my hats, The Engineer’s hats and a shared closet and I was slowly loosing my mind at the general disheveled state.

Step one was a closet clean out!  Nothing will help you get rid of unwanted clothes faster than the feeling of not giving someone their fair share of the closest storage.  I still feel bad about this…..my crap still takes up way more than half of the closet space.  He tells me it’s fine, but I feel bad in spite of that. So, every month or so I go in and try and purge a few more items.  To further assist we build some strategic storage….a hat rack for the closet, and two drying racks for the laundry room.

I had previously bought one of those back of the door hat hangers….it was garbage.  The hats fell off all the time.  Matters were made worse by the fact that it made opening the closet door impossible.  The hats took up so much space behind the door, plus I already have scarf storage behind the door.  The whole thing was just a mess.  Some on sale hooks and a stained 1×4 later and we have easy, out of the way hat storage!  The rack we installed matches two very small hanging racks that were installed in the closet before I moved on.  No more falling down hats and no more me throwing tantrums cuz the hats are always all over the closet floor!!

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The closet isn’t well lit….but you get the idea.  A lot of things happening in a small space!

The hanging racks on the laundry room have honestly made a huge difference!  I can hang things, I can lay things on the rods, hook smaller items on the ends….it’s just such a space saver!  I did add a small dowel inside the hanging bar to help it hold up against the weight of all the wet clothes, but depending on the length you decide to use that might not be needed.

There is a large hanging bar installed under a large shelf on the opposite wall of the laundry.  I used to use that for all our shirts that needed to be hung to dry, however The Engineer’s gun safe has taken up a home under the hanging bar……so that sort of ruined that hanging spot.  There is still a bit of room above the safe….so all my bras get hung on hangers above the safe!  I’m sure it was always his goal to have a mid-sized collection of bras perpetually hanging above his gun safe!  🙂

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More stained 1×4 and just some cheap curtain rods…HANG ALL THE THINGS!

The garage is a whole different world of organizational nightmare.  There was a period of time when my 2 car…..very small for 2 cars but still technically can fit 2…..garage barely had room for my GMC Terrain.  There was just a giant horseshoe shaped ring of stuff around the edge and a section in the center that I could park in.  IT DROVE ME BATTY!  I’m a bit crazy about feeling organized I know, and I know that my weirdness about the issue drives The Engineer nuts sometimes.  I can be perfectly fine living in disorder and chaos….until one day when I’m not.  The house can be filthy for weeks and then one day I will just snap and start power cleaning like a wild Tasmanian devil…..

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Get outta my way I have shit to clean!

So…..we built a shelf….a really big 6ft x 3ft hanging shelf in the garage .  It made me feel better to get stuff up and off the ground.  We will have more shelves to put up and some reorganizing to do…..I would like if all my Christmas decor could be in one spot instead of scattered around on different shelving.  But, getting this stuff up and organized has made a huge difference.  I think that’s how you know you’re becoming old and lame…..when cleaning and organizing a garage becomes a major source of calm and happiness in your life.  Ughs

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JUST LOOK AT IT….IT’S AMAZING!

It’s so much stuff up and organized!  Do you even know whats up there?!  Well let me give you the run down…..

  • 24 duck decoys in bags….if you don’t hunt you might not know….but these are full sized ducks….24 DUCKS!
  • 2 tents
  • 2 sleeping bags
  • air mattress
  • 2 storage totes of our hunting clothes and camping supplies
  • 4 hunting bags and backpacks
  • other small hunting and camping accessories

Now imagine all of that strewn out all over a garage floor…total garbage!  It’s so pretty and organized…..AND I LOVE IT!  And would you look at that….more stained 1×4 with hooks!  We added easy storage for our hunting boots and his waders.  We also have hooks we can use for things when we use them more frequently.  For example, now that hunting seasons are kicking back into gear, the backpacks will get moved down onto the hooks so that we can access them without a step stool whenever we’d like to head out to the field.

I’m totally sitting here nerding out about how excited I am to have gotten all this organized.  Look at it this way….I’m so excited about getting organized that I felt the need to tell you all about it!!  It’s not like anything we’ve done to try and keep the house organized is crazy or a brand new idea.  Maybe it will show you that you don’t need to hire a professional organizer or spend a ton of time and money on supplies to get started organizing a space that’s a source of frustration for you.  Just pick an area you’d like to improve, break it into small pieces if need be, and then just go for it.  In our case it was just making the decision to get started and then making a trip to Menards for the supplies.  Just create a place for things to have a “home” in….hooks, shelves, cubbies….whatever fits your style or needs.  And don’t forget your new mantra…..ain’t nothing a 1×4 and some stain can’t remedy!

Making Mornings Easy

A couple weeks ago I discovered something amazing.  Sadly, if you were hoping for a quick new breakfast recipe, this blog isn’t about that.  My intermittent fasting has really put a damper on good breakfasts around here.  If it isn’t coffee, it doesn’t much happen before noon around here.  It’s the worst part of fasting….I love a good breakfast.

What I discovered is how good my eyelashes could look, and how sad they have been looking despite my best efforts to perk them up with mascara.  I’ve always know my lashes were short.  If I wanted my lashes to look like anything, or if I was wearing a heavy makeup look and wanted to actually see lashes, I had to throw on a set of falsies. Despite their obvious length challenges, in my brain they had always seemed quite curled.  Sure, I applied multiple coats of multiple mascaras everyday, but that certainly got them looking on the up and up.  I was wrong….. Even at maximum level makeup my lashes still never looked like much.

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Obviously hunting after work means I had all the mascara on my short little baby lashes.  The Engineer totally out lashes me….boys are blessed with lashes they don’t deserve!

Enter Laura McElroy Beauty and the Elleebana Lash Lift….and of course an after lift tint job!  You might be thinking to yourself, I love waking up extra early so that I can curl my lashes and coat them with mascara, plus my lashes are dark so why bother tint them.  Well, wanting to wake up early when you could stay in bed makes you insane.  Let me tell you what, I would give almost anything to spend an extra 2 minutes in bed, and dark tint still makes dark lashes look.  I’ve seen Laura for a variety of waxing and beauty treatments over the years, but this was my first time getting a lash treatment.  She’s the best around and offers a wide variety of services.  She had been telling me for years that I would like a lash lift, I just thought I knew better……don’t be like me!

All the photos are curtesy of Laura, and I can attest that there was no photography trickery afoot.  I know we can all get skeptical of before and after photos, but the only difference in the after in my curled  lashes!  Also, please ignore the snaggle brow….they were desperately in need of a wax at the time of the photos. :/

 

Think of it in simple terms as a hair perm for your lashes.  A small rod is temporarily attached to your eyelid at the base of your lashes, and your lashes are then combed and curled up over the top of the rod.  It takes about an hour and a half for the whole treatment, and the results should last about 3 months.  It’s only been a few weeks like I said, but so far my lashes are still cute, curled, and needing very little upkeep.  I was also amped that my lashes were long enough to the medium sized rod.  I don’t have the smallest lashes!!

I do still swipe on mascara occasionally, but mostly just to plump the hairs up a bit.  Even putting on mascara on days I feel like I want more oomph has become easy.  Since my lashes are already curled and shaped a couple quick swipes is all it really takes.  Applying falsies is easier too since my lashes blend more seamlessly.  It really is an all around win in my book.  I wake up everyday with perfectly curled, flared, and dark lashes.  It’s so easy, especially for week days when I head off to work with minimal makeup effort.

 

I’ve you’d like some low maintenance lift and tint beauty in your life and you’re in the area you should definitely check out Laura at her salon.   I love her, I’ve gotten one of my coworkers hooked on her for a few different services, and you’ll love her too!  Plus, she is gracious enough to offer a referral discount of $10 if you see her for a service and mention this post!

 

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Seasonal Hobby Disorder

Do you ever find that are certain things you only do during certain times of the year?  Maybe it’s just me, but there are plenty of activities I only find to be tolerable if done at the “proper” time.  I hadn’t ever really stopped to give this much thought until now.  I suddenly have a mildly overwhelming desire to refinish a piece of furniture, and it occurs to me that I always do that kind of activity in the Fall.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that the seasons control my general life productivity probably much more than they should.  However, I’m not really sure that I’m willing to change this particular quirk because I think doing so would feel unnatural.

Now I understand that some activities can only be performed during a certain time of year.  But let’s be realistic, I could put paint on furniture at anytime…..so why does it only feel okay to do so once the leaves begin to change.  In case you think I’m kidding, I’ll list out my seasonal specifics…..

Fall–

  • Furniture refinishing – I had always had really good feelings about all the pieces of furniture I had refinished, until the last one.  I recently redid my nightstand, and I don’t like it at all…..PROBABLY BECAUSE I DID IT IN THE SUMMER……STUPID.
  • Decorating – Maybe this goes along with having new pieces of furniture to put in the house that then need to be styled, but it just seems like I do more like more decor shopping as the weather starts to cool.  Also, prepping for Christmas decorating becomes a bit of an obsession…..like is it too early for me to put up garland now!?

Winter–

  • Crafting – Unless I need to craft something specific for someone, I’m generally drawn to doing all my crafting in Winter.  This might be because during other times of the year I can be outside doing other things, but it just seems most natural to be to do it then.  Anything else feels forced, but let’s be honest….there shouldn’t feel like there’s a difference between scrapbooking in the Summer or doing it in the snow.  Additionally, I find the idea of knitting anything while it’s hot and humid outside to be about as off-putting as it gets.  Who wants a pile of knit in their lap when it’s hot out?!
  • Baking – As a life rule, I try and always avoid baking, but sometimes in the Winter I feel compelled to do it.  It starts to feel like a compulsion or a void that needs to be filled.

Spring–

  • Nothing?! – Specifically around here, Spring is more of a general suggestion than an actual thing.  To paraphrase Forrest Gump,”Momma always said Spring is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  You can’t plan anything in Spring around here because it might be sunny and nice, it might blizzard, or everything might be covered in a thick, death like layer of freezing drizzle…..it’s just hopeless.  No one knows when it might start, how long it might last, or if you’ll even make it through.  Probably I don’t know what I do during Spring because it’s generally horrible and stress inducing so my brain blocks it from memory for self protection.

Summer–

  • Reading – I am usually religious about going to the gym, but Summer rolls around and I become more prone to skipping it favor of sitting on my patio reading…..until it get’s dark and buggy, and then I just move the reading indoors.  Don’t ask me why I don’t read year round, I try occasionally, I just never seem to get very far or even manage to find a book that will capture my interest.  Summertime….I’ll read anything I can get my hands on.
  • Watching Westerns – Possibly because I used to always spend the end of Summer vacation at the farm with my grandparent’s, or possibly because the end of Summer is when I can things, obviously, and canning reminds me of making salsa and pickles at the farm, the end of Summer seems like the only acceptable time of year to watch classic western movies.  It just isn’t the end of summer otherwise.  Case in point, currently watching Jane Got a Gun, granted this isn’t a classic western, but it is set in that time period, and I’ve already rematched all of Lonesome Dove this season.  I’d venture to say even Grandpa got sick of the classics sometimes.

Does any of this make any sense?!

In other less random news, Momma came up for part of the long weekend and we got the baseboard installed in my bedroom and some artwork re-matted and hung.  It really sorta looks like it’s coming together now!  It’s amazing what some 1x4s and paint will add.  We pulled up the existing baseboard, which was just door trim, painting it all, installed the 1x4s and then stacked the old trim on top.  You get way more bang for your buck if you reuse the old trim.

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Ignore the unfilled nail holes, but you get the general idea!

I also started working on refinishing the door that will be turned into my full length mirror.  I’m probably the worst girl on the planet because I don’t currently, and haven’t since my senior year of college, have a mirror that I can see my full self in at one time.  My current options are:

  1. Try and take a selfie to make sure my outfits look alright
  2. Assess the top half of myself in my bathroom mirror, then run upstairs and stand on the bathtub wall to see the bottom half of myself in the upstairs mirror
  3. Just say fuck it and hope for the best

So…..hopefully the door will do the trick nicely.  It’s in a bit of rough shape, so for now it’s gotten a coat of Annie Sloan dark wax to try and deepen the color and add some much needed moisture back into the wood.  One coat wasn’t really enough, but it’s a starting place anyway.  We shall see where it goes from here.  Only makes sense that I’ve started working on it now after having had it for almost a year……FALL IS COMING!

A Weekend of DIY

I know that I missed posting a blog last week.  I had done so well for a year, but sometimes you just drop the ball on things.  In my defense, it had been a busy week of getting the house ready for summertime and getting a big chunk of my house’s to do list done.  I get that “success and excuses don’t talk together”, but sometimes in life shit happens.

Side note…..well aware I missed last week too!  Apparently when I’m not in school I’m totally incapable of keeping a schedule of any sort. :/

Let’s do the exterior of the house first shall we?!  Summertime means it’s time to PLANT ALL THE THINGS!  I mean, I didn’t plant all the things, but I did plant several things to sprinkle out and around the house.

On the planting list this year were:

  • Cherry Tomato – Scout baby needs her tomato fix every day when I get home from work.  I don’t use these for anything other than some outdoor snacking with my Lil.  The fact that she doesn’t just pick them herself is surprising, but she just sits next to the plant doing her anxious prance-y feet waiting for you to hand them to her.
  • Mini Sweet Bell Peppers – I’ve never grown this variety, but I assume they are good just for straight eating off the vine?!  We shall see!
  • Green and Yellow Beans – Cuz you know I’m going to need to can some more Dilly Beans!
  • Wave Petunia – Easy to grow and I mean…..why not
  • Kale – Confession time……I HAVEN’T PLANTED THE KALE!!!  I couldn’t find a nice “bowl” shaped pot I liked, and I ran out of potting soil anyway.  Plus, in a mad dash to stop the Limping Nugget from asserting her authority towards some dogs across the fence, I threw the hose down….and my kale seeds got wet.  Are they still good to plant!?!  Does anyone know!?  Are my seeds just growing in their package!?  SOMEONE HALP ME!!!!!!

I also finally fixed the gutters around my house.  It was a pain in the butt….literally because I was sitting in landscaping rock….but it’s done and over with so hopefully the foundation of my lil townhome will stay nice, dry, and happy.

Now……on to the interior projects.

You’ll recall that I’ve basically wanted to repaint the master bedroom since I moved into the house.  I did write a small preview blog with what I thought were my ideas, however some of that may have been a lie.  I have yet to finish my garage, but I did paint my bedroom Blackberry….sorta.  There is no chair rail, but I did end up buying the birdcage chandelier!

Well, to celebrate graduating with my Master’s, my Momma decided that she would buy me paint and trim to redo the bedroom.  Now, let’s be real, that’s way too much money, and I shall be trying to not let her pay for everything.  The thought and the gesture are amazing, I just feel bad.  IDK if ya’ll are aware, but home improvement projects are not cheap!  This is mostly the reason why I never started the project before.  WHY MUST ADULTING COST SO MUCH….ALL…..THE….TIME…..!!!!!!

Momma and I decided to use the long weekend to finally get going with the project.  She arrived Thursday night and we were pretty much totally unprepared.  I only knew that I wanted to use the color Blackberry.  The two shades of tan that I thought we had decided on for the trim and other walls basically ended up as variations of the “Townhouse Beige” that adorns every other wall in my house.  Basically, Thursday night was spent staring at a small collection of generally not that wonderful paint chips and hoping they became wonderful…..they didn’t.

Friday morning I pulled up all the baseboards out of the bedroom so that we could apply liquid sandpaper to pull the shine off the surface and make the paint stick.  I googled the internet to try and find a picture of what we used, but couldn’t.  It was a super old container of something Dad had used, so it’s possible the it’s not made anymore.  I thought something magical would happen to the woodwork, like it would get cloudy or bubbly, or something to let you know it was working…..nothing really changed.  They looked cleaner….which make them shinier….which seemed a bit like not at all the point of the project.

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Here’s a picture of the back of the liquid sandpaper can….SO HELPFUL!  Also picture, my excellent painter’s taping skillz and the tools required to remove baseboards.

A trip to Sherwin Williams later, and I had my three colors: Blackberry, Glamour, and Irish Cream.  Yes I know, of course I would pick the color Glamour….it’s not my fault, it’s just want matched my curtain and bed skirt.  In other glorious news…..NONE OF THEM LOOK ANYTHING LIKE TOWNHOME BEIGE! (Sherwin Williams actually makes a color called Townhouse Tan……it made me giggle a lot!)

Friday night I finished taping and we did manage to get a coat of Irish Cream onto the ceiling……it was looking pretty good, until the morning when the splotches showed up.  So Saturday morning was another coat on the bedroom ceiling and one coat on the bathroom ceiling, because we totally forgot that the night before.  I think on Saturday we also primed all the bedroom walls?!  Frankly, it was a lot of days off work, and when I’m not at work I sort of never keep track of the day I’m on.  But, in any case, before the serious painting could begin, everything had to be primed.

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Primer…..makes everything look good.  By good I of course mean like crap.

Saturday night we went to Menards to scope trim options.  We of course left with no trim…..because that’s how we roll, but I did get a new chandelier for the living room.  ONE MORE UGLY BOOB LIGHT GONE!  “Boob lights” is just a better name for those stupid flush mount ceiling half orb light thinkers……I saw it on another DIY blog and it make me giggle!

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“For the glamorous….oh the flossy, flossy!”–Fergie

I hung the new chandelier, finished some random odds and ends, and got some other new lights ready for installation while Momma worked on painting the trim.  I’m not a great painter….honestly I’ve never really tried.  But, Momma found cute little mini handled paint brushes she wanted to try at Home Depot, so she edged out all the trim we had left up…..so the doors (there are a lot of doors in my bedroom honestly) and the window.  After that was all said and done, we started the first of two coats on the bedroom walls.

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THE BIRDCAGE!! It was already darkish, but it had some speckles I didn’t like so it got sprayed down dark.

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New vanity light….It was oil rubbed bronze. Sometimes, spray paint is all you need!

NEXT CAME THE GLAMOUR!

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The colors I picked are oddly hard to capture in a good picture. Glamour is a warm pinky/plum/beigey neutral. Also, the Irish Cream isn’t that yellow in person, it’s just a nice off white cream.

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The square of primer is where the Blackberry went in the bedroom.

Monday we got two coats of blackberry done in the bathroom, and three coats on the bedroom’s accent wall.  It was slightly traumatic because it was definitely harder to get the dark color to look good.  The first coat of Blackberry looked absolutely horrible…..like horrible pink primer.  Maybe it was our technique, maybe we had the wrong kind of roller, maybe that’s just how dark paint is…..idk but it wasn’t super reassuring.

Sunday night, Monday night, and Tuesday night were mostly spent getting odds and ends done and the rooms put back together.  Mom didn’t have to work until Wednesday, so she stayed Tuesday while I went to work so that we could do the last coat of Blackberry in the bathroom after work.

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If you’re in need of custom curtains, you can try contacting Momma Mishappenings…..it’s always worked for me!

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The bathroom is the most “finished” looking of either room.  Partly that’s because we trimmed out the whole ceiling, so it just looks more finished then the bedroom currently does.  The plan is to install crown molding at the ceiling so that it won’t matter that we didn’t paint all the way to the ceiling.  If we decide that’s too much, it’s just paint and I can go back over the things we aren’t going to cover with molding.  I’m liking my new little dark fancy bathroom.  Like every bathroom I’m ever in in the future is probably going to need to be this color!  I did however get some Blackberry on my toilet….I should maybe work on getting that scrubbed off….oopsy!

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In case you’re wondering where Scout was during all of this, she was her regularly clingy self.  Friday night I slept out on the couch, and I thought Scout might like a little Mommy and Me sleep over time.  I was wrong, I woke up and she was sleeping on the drop cloth.  Riddle me how or why laying on the drop cloth is better than the carpet?!  She didn’t seem to care and spent most of the weekend being firmly committed to her new found love of drop clothes.  Also, wedging herself into places she doesn’t really fit and being sorta generally under foot were additional favorite weekend activities.

There is still a lot of project to go:

  • The accent wall needs stenciling, a huge frame, and accent lighting
  • The window and doors all need additional trim to amp them up a bit
  • The baseboards need to be beefed up….although this will probably be the easiest of all the projects.  We can’t start it until we figure out how much we are expanding the door trims
  • The bedroom needs crown molding
  • I’d like to maybe build some sort of valance to go over the top of the curtain to cover up the raw edges.  It used to be mounted flush to the ceiling so it didn’t matter, but my bedroom now as higher ceilings.

Of course it’s a huge to do list still, and projects might change or get dropped.  Like I said, if we decide not to do things its just going to take some more time with a paint brush to finish off some of the areas we left unfinished but plan to cover with molding and trim.  Beyond those projects, I still have an antique door to turn into an mirror and a bedside table that now desperately needs to be refinished.

Home ownership…..the never ending to do list!

 

Trying to Think Happy Thoughts

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been feeling very squishy and down on myself.  Usually, I’m pretty confident about myself and the work I put into looking and feeling the way I do.  One of my first posts ever  was about appreciating the body I have!!  UGH….  Lately though, I’m not sure if I’m regressing, or just not making the gains in strength I feel like I should……but I’m feeling super blob-tastic.

 

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This is a Heffalump……I’ve really been feeling lately like I’m one with the Heffalumps.  Plus side, at least Heffalumps are adorable!

 

I almost feel like I had a better relationship with my body and the way I looked BEFORE I started working out and focusing on cleaning up my diet and lifestyle.  I used to be really proud of my “non thigh gap” thighs and my cute “I used to be a ballerina” butt.  These ads used to make me feel like it was ok not to be stick thin, but lately they just haven’t had the same effect.

 

….now I just feel like the time and effort is all for nothing.

I have never….ever……in my whole life……at my squishiest…..had any qualms about jumping into a bikini and chilling by the pool or on the beach.  Now, with a vacation scheduled with the Main Squeeze in July, I suddenly feel like I need to eat carrot sticks, celery, and water until we leave.  It’s all totally ridiculous, and I know that.  I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m not looking my best.  Also, the more I think about these things, plan meals, schedule workouts, and generally bust ass trying to get my ass rounder, my stomach flatter, and my arms buffer……the worse I feel!

I ordered a new swim suit for the vaca, and it was just a total let down.  Probably due to the fact that bikinis look much better with a tan….which the SoDak winter doesn’t really allow anyone to have.  Also, I had been feeling like I was looking really good, until I realized that my butt doesn’t look like an Angel’s butt.  I felt like I had been living with delusions of skinniness, and they all came crashing down.  In my brain I was quite sure that my butt looked just like theirs, until I turned around and saw it in the mirror.

So, this is my new plan.  I’m going to chalk my March mind set up to a late onset case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and start fresh in April!  I’m gonna focus more on making myself feel better, and get back to being confident in myself.   Being me is pretty awesome.  Look at all the things my body has and will continue do for me!!

I can make my body do all sorts of things that some people only wish they could do.  I need to learn to be more grateful for my body….which includes it’s flaws.

When all else fails, sometimes it’s nice to look back at old pics.  It’s nice to see how far you’ve come.  I find it especially helpful, because it reminds me that I’ve always been comfortable and confident in my own skin, and nothing, not even being pasty white in a bikini, should change that.

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Florida 2011….my at my squishiest

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New Years Eve 2012 with the BFF…..and Spanx

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Halloween 2014….same dress, no Spanx

 

To start April off on a good note, I got to spend the weekend with my Main Squeeze, some bull riding, and homemade pizza night.  Ringing in the month with dinner with Momma and the Squeeze and a couple PBRs guilt free felt like a really good start to getting back to my old self!

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

For the second year in a row, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house.  It always makes me a bit stressed, not because I can’t cook, but because I have an issue with timing!  Last year I was probably 10-15 minutes off my projected 2pm meal time.  This year….perfect timing!  I looked at the clock as we all grabbed our plates to dig in, and it was 2:00 on the nose!  Glorious victory!  So, we had an epic afternoon of eating and way too many leftovers because I’m also not super talented at planning how much food to make…..  Turns out a 10.5 lb. turkey is like 3x as much turkey as 5 people need, and I have essentially an entire 9×13 pan of cornbread bacon pecan stuffing left over.  I shall be eating well for several weeks to come I’m sure!  I still haven’t worked my way up to making pie, so I had Momma bring the pies, and Aunt N brought a couple salads, but otherwise I did everything myself.  Adulthood Level: Intro to Pro Skills!

The Feast!

The Feast!

On to the meat and potatoes so to speak……!

Have you ever just reached a point in life where you need a change?  It feels like everything you’ve done to this point is dumb, and somethings gotta give.  I wanted this year, 2015, to be different.  I was going to be bolder, do things that scare me, and karma was supposed to reward me!  Karma did not behave like she was supposed to, and all my brave moves fell flat on their faces.

I tried to go find him......Karma wouldn't help me!!!  WTF KARMA!

I tried to go find him……Karma wouldn’t help me!!! WTF KARMA!

So…..I did the next best thing…..I changed my hair!  I had been meaning to do my traditional fall hair change anyway, but one change lead to another which let to another, and I just feel like a whole new girl!  It’s amazing how switching small things up can really change your whole outlook.

The changes started off simply enough.  I decided that it was time to be an adult and accept that fact that I don’t have perfect vision.  So, I ordered myself some glasses so I could actually see my tv and the world around me is a crispy, sharp way.  Like dropping a pebble into the mystical lake that is adulthood, that one event set off ripples of change.  After the glasses came the new hair.  The new hair brought new shampoo and styling products.  I truly believe deep down in my soul that everyday is a good hair day when your hair smells the way it does when you leave the salon!  Please, no one pop my bubble of hope about this…it’s science, I should know!  Actually, it’s probably more about the fact that the smell reminds me of the salon, and the salon is one of my favorite places.

My desire to have an epic bath time experience post Asshole Tinder Cowboy spurred me to buy fun new things from Lush.  On a whim I ordered a bath bomb in their new fall smell.  It seemed a bit questionable at the time (black pepper, patchouli, and vanilla) but I’m so glad that I did!  My new smell is Lord of Misrule!  It smells like everything that’s right with the world.  It’s a bit manly, a bit fall, a dash of vanilla, and just all around epicness!  If they ever discontinue that smell I shall be oh so sad.  So, I ordered a second order of bath bombs and the shower gel to try and get me through the year until next fall.  Cross those fingers people!  

I’ve been wearing the same perfumes since college, and they are finally running out.  For awhile I debating just rebuying them because perfume shopping is actually the worst thing ever.  Things that smell good in the bottle smell like butt on you, and lord forbid you try more than one at a time and then have to spend the rest of the day smelling “like a French whore house”!  However, I did finally find one that I’m totally digging on.  I had originally passed on it several times, because I don’t like how it smells in the bottle.  On a lark I got a sample at Sephora and I’ve been wearing it everyday.  Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is my new jam!  I’m adding it to my Birthday/Christmas list I think! (Cough, Cough….Hint, Hint, Hint)

It looks like a little hand grenade of awesomeness!

It looks like a little hand grenade of awesomeness!

It’s really amazing how sometimes it really is the random things that can change everything.  I’m sure eventually the newness will wear off, and I’ll run out of Lord of Misrule shower gel, but in the meantime I’m loving my whole new situation.  It hasn’t changed me as a person, it’s just changed the way I feel about my situation!

The thing that never changes……and will never change…..is that even when I feel like I can’t change the small things I have my friends and family to see me through.  It doesn’t matter how bad things get or how much success you have, your friends and family are always there to support, encourage, and congratulate.  That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving week, my friends that put up with my crazy and my family that puts up with my bitchiness.  

My friends became the focal point of my trip to the hills the other week.  So here’s to my friends, the ones who had my back when I saw my college dream frat boy with his fugly new girl in the hills (Yes….I saw him out at the bars :/), the one’s who distracted me and kept my mind off the Asshole Tinder Cowboy, and the one’s who are always down for cheeseballs, beers, burgers, too many orders of chile rellenos, mystery flavor jello shots, and generally having the best time!  

I also spent a great night with G and his gorgeous baby girl when I was in the Hills, but idk that babies belong on blogs cuz the interwebs can be a weird place.  She did however teach me how to “make potatoes” on the kitchen floor, and she amazed me with her technology skills.  18 month old me could not have worked a smart phone!  Technology on little one, and grow up to show the world what’s what!

 

A Weekend Project

I promised I would put together a DIY blog about my new hutch.  It’s honestly not been my best week as a homeowner.  My fridge developed a leak……and I’m really not at all equipped to adult on that level.  So, I shut off the water to the fridge so my kitchen doesn’t flood, and I’ll formulate some kinda plan to deal with that later.  In the mean time it’s back to drinking tap water and making ice in trays for me.

A couple weeks ago Momma found a hutch on Craigslist.  I have a bit of a skinny house, and it’s been challenging to find a hutch that would fit in the dining room without encroaching on the dining room table.  This particular piece was a bit more expensive than I would have liked, particularly because I ended up having to paint the whole thing.  But, it was one of those situations where you bite the bullet because the style and size was just right for the space.

Thank goodness Bestie has a truck and was free to go check out the piece and help me haul it home.  I hate making these kinds of decisions on my own…..actually, I hate making any decisions really, but that’s for another day.

The mini bar I built myself is painted in Old White by Annie Sloan, and I was hoping that the hutch’s original cream color would work with that and the Cocoa of the dining room table.  Sadly, it was very yellow in person….like so yellow that I can’t imagine that the color really matches anyone’s decor.  So, Saturday morning saw me off to the vintage store downtown for more Old White paint and some Aubusson Blue.  I had used the chalk paint before, but I had never done a two toned piece before.  I’ve already done some chalk paint furniture…..Because Every Home Needs a Bar!, so I won’t bore all of you with that again.  If you want more details about the process just lemme know and I can try and fill it all in.

The

The start of the project……in all it’s yellow glory!

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My phone doesn’t take the best pictures…..iphone 4 in the house! Hopefully you can see the yellowiness, and the fact that the back panel was nothing to write home about really. Two coats of Old White. In person it was very white. I always think the projects look very odd until you get all done. You just have to wait for it all to come together.

Two coats of Old White. In person it was very white. I always think the projects look very odd until you get all done. You just have to wait for it all to come together.  It’s similar to when you only have foundation on your face…..it just looks weird!

End of day 1!

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You might get stuck in a group text with the besties….if that happens, send them this pic to show them that you’re busy and don’t have the time for their shenanigans. It won’t help, but it’s worth a try!


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I was a bit stressed about where I should put the shelves so that I could get the distressing right.  Eventually I settled on just distressing the shelves and not carrying the dark wax onto the sides of the hutch.  This will let me move the shelves in the future if I need to.
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Doing this was my favorite part. It’s amazing what some distressing and some wax will do.

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Distressing details and some dark wax buildup in the corners. Don’t stress it….you can’t do any of this wrong.

photo 5The Finished Product!