Friday, January 28, 2011

happy friday

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

[before and after] painting the frames

here's my mix of a how-to/tutorial/before-and-after.

i've been stocking up on frames for some time now. they cost no more than $3, and i find them either on clearance brand new at stores like target, or i get them at the thrift stores.some have mirrors in them, some have photographs in them. i just want the frames. different sizes, different textures. so i can have some fun with one wall in our apartment.


well, last night i finally started to paint them. because i have this vision. you'll see it as it comes to completion. for today? painting them all black. well, not all of them. as many as would fit on the table.


it wasn't bad. i would have much rather used spray paint, especially on these textured frames, but it worked fine by using a beat up small paint brush on them. on the flatter frames, i used a foam brush.


it took a few coats, especially on this gold one.


but it was worth it.
stay tuned to see how this project finishes up. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

dinner roulette

you know what's convenient?

freezing leftovers. or freezer cooking days.
because then you have a freezer full of dinners ready when you are.


you know what else is convenient?


labeling the tops, so you know when and what.
(i used dry erase markers. it cleans right off!)

you know what is NOT convenient?
getting into the labeling habit only in the past month.
which means anything before that....


isn't labeled.

so, husband and i decided to play dinner roulette. and lemme tell you, if it turns out like this every time, i'd love to do this for every dinner! so, looking through the tupperware, any guesses? chili? pasta sauce? soup?


it's taco soup! one of our favorites!

Monday, January 24, 2011

love languages

have you seen jon acuff's stuff christians like today?

then you can participate in today's discussion.

what's your love language? i'm not talking physical touch, acts of service, and all those other ones. i'm talking the jon acuff languages.

here's some of my love languages (hint, hint):

1. unexpected trinkets. a trip to the dollar store for a little frame, or some candy when you pick up our medicines at the pharmacy... these are perfect little things. and you know chocolate is always a win. the key is to make it "unexpected".

2. undivided attention: i really really like to be the center of our conversation. not in an "i'm better than you" way, but in an "i really don't want to repeat myself because you're too busy watching that commercial" way.

3. building puzzles: but i like it best when you let me do the border. it's the easiest and i'm not so great at puzzles, so i feel like i've made an accomplishment when i finish it.

4. doing the dishes: well, this is one i can give and receive. i give it by making you a lovely dinner and getting pretty near every pot in our house filthy, and i receive it when you clean the kitchen spotless.

5. window shopping: it's so fun to dream of the things we can't afford, and probably wouldn't even buy if we had the money to do so. really. or just going to target or home stores to window shop. let me dream about how i'm going to decorate our spare bathroom, when it's really just fine how it is. or how i'd redo the kitchen from scratch if i didn't love it so much as it is right now.

so, your turn. what are your unexpected love languages?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

[before and after] foot of the bed {sorta}

so, this is a halfway post. because i didn't take a picture of the before for this area, but did take a picture of the straightened-up-and-good-enough-but-not-quite-what-i-want area.

here ya go:

foot of bed mid

and since this was a goal for january, i have sort of completed it. i mean it. you should have seen it before this. there were about four empty-ish boxes from when we moved in, and more salvation army donation stuff... so this is big. it's functional and simple. and i kind of like how the empty boxes are serving as an end table for the alarm clock. well, i like it in an "i feel like i should be in college with this decor" way.

so, because i can't show you the true before and after, i'm showing you what i plan on doing with it.

foot of bed after1

bench, $89. i can make a cushion if we need one.
bookshelves, only $29 each.
wall art is debatable. i don't know what i want up there.

Friday, January 21, 2011

my birthday [in pictures]

it was a lovely day. a holiday from work, even. want to know what i did? have no fear. i'm going to tell you.

i started the day with big plans of shopping, treating myself, and having a great day.


it's off to a good start, with a trip to starbucks. i dropped husband off at work, so i was out way before the stores opened. best way to waste time? a sugar-free vanilla americano and a reduced-fat berry coffee cake. oh, and my kindle. good times.


but then, before my relaxing morning can turn into the shopping day, i got a call from husband. he's made me a doctor's appointment for that morning. what?? in dermatology? i don't have any skin problems! but for that one little wart on my knee. so yes, i then went to the doctor's office and had them freeze off my wart. fun (sarcasm).


now, it's finally time to go shopping. so i went to kohl's because i have a gift card. and i must not be in a shopping mood, because i found NOTHING that i wanted to buy. not in clothes, not in shoes, not in housewares, not even in kitchen. wow. so i went to lunch. and yes, i bought a footlong sandwich at subway. have no fear. it's the veggie. with no cheese. and with the sweet onion vinaigrette instead of something fatty like mayonnaise.


then, i'm still itching to spend SOMETHING today. so i went to pottery barn, where i also have a gift card! (i love gift cards)... and found nothing. nothing except for store employees who were so much better than me and refused to look me in the eye. seriously. it was weird. unsettling. and not good for the b-day mojo.

so i went home. folded laundry.
took a nap.


then went to the places i KNEW that i would find something. the places i fit in better than pottery barn, apparently. i went to joann's.


(insert singing angels here) and to a new yarn shop i've had my eye on.


and i bought something at both of them.
then came dinner with husband (chinese food that was devoured so fast the camera couldn't even sneak out of my pocket for a picture in time), and cupcakes for dessert. the cupcake place even supplied us with a candle for our celebrations.


as for gifts, my husband got me the best gift ever. seriously. this one deserves it's own post.


and my brother got me marshmallow guns. these are so fun. although, i will never get my kid one because you know, it's okay for me to leave mini-marshmallows all over the house-- but if my child does, they go directly to the time-out chair. for reals.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

an award! [a little late...]

i won!

but i'm lazy.
which actually means i'm busy, if you've been keeping up with my tweets. and my blog posts. and my life. crazy busy. but i'm glad to take the few minutes to get this taken care of.

i got this award from the tame one, and i'm so happy! it's always nice to know someone keeps up with your blog. even better to know they think you're sweet enough for an award.

to accept it, i have to tell you five guilty pleasures. 
to be honest, i'm only accepting this award because i love to share my guilty pleasures.

guilty pleasure #1
horrible movies. serious. since it's my birthday "weekend", which means i get to pick the movie, we just picked up "megashark vs crocosaurus". giant monsters fighting it out. oh, and steve urkel is in it. win. but really, any crappy movie. something starring a has-been disney star? i'm all over it. anything that went straight-to-video? bring it on.

guilty pleasure #2
reading my kindle. all the time. i'd do it in place of homework, if that didn't mean possibly failing school.

guilty pleasure #3
totino's pizza. i'd rather that dollar pizza over a digiorno any day.

guilty pleasure #4
anything steeler-related. actually, anything related to pittsburgh in general. whether it's the skin for my kindle, or some socks, or wearing my jersey on game day. i'm all over it. my family sends me something steeler every christmas. this year? a smiley face cookie magnet. i love them.

guilty pleasure #5
rainy days, cup of hot tea on the table, wrapped in a blanket. with nothing to do.
life is good.

another thing i have to do to accept this award? bequeath it to three others.
thing is, all the blogs i'd pick are already chosen by others.
i guess it's a small [blog] world.

and, after all the nice things that tame had to say about me, you'd think i could have something nice to say about others. but really, i'm typing this while nursing the ends of a migraine, so i'm going to call it early on this one. hope you all have a phenomenal day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i made a button

check out my sidebar.
grab the button.
put it on your site.


thanks, dude.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

good for the soul

you know, i have some pretty good friends.

i have my darling leann, who is my best friend from a distance. we text, we call, we twitter, we email. but it's not enough. i don't get to see her very often, which means i don't get to see her beautiful baby growing up. the good news is she lives only a 5 hour drive away, so it's not impossible to see each other.

i also have a new friend, sandra. i actually met her at work, and she is so lovely. she's one of those people you can just sit for hours in a coffee shop with, and talk about life and love and god. she's kind and observant. i appreciate having her in my life because she notices things about me (good things!) that i don't even notice myself.

can i send a shout-out to all of my online friends now? really. it's funny, but i've made some pretty great "friends" through twitter.

it's great to surround yourself with people who make you happy, and who bring out the best in you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

happy _____ day!

did you know today is national yellow pig day?
it's a mathematician's holiday celebrating yellow pigs and the number 17.

yeah, i don't get it, either.

it's also national ditch new year's resolutions day.
so, what resolutions have you given up on already?

of course, can't forget MLK day.
he was born on the 15th, but it's celebrated on the 3rd monday of january.
that's today!

it's also my birthday.

happy day, everyone!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

the attack of the killer grapefruit

i tried a grapefruit for the first time.
ignore the funny color of the photos.
it's my webcam.

so, to eat a grapefruit:

cut it in half. 

sprinkle with sugar. just a teaspoon.

put it in a bowl.

hesitantly taste it.

and, reaction? it's not so bad!
next time, i'll use white sugar though.
the natural sugar crystals were a little big.
i'll have another one tomorrow!
i'd like to find a less-messy way of eating it though.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

before and after, the sewing table

how on earth am i supposed to do ANY projects when my sewing table looks like this??!!

desk before 1

i'm not. so, in order to restore creative balance to my life, it was imperative that i clean up. that top box? halloween decorations that needed put up. the yarn has a temporary place until i get even more organized. and everything else? well, i wasn't quite sure. so, i winged it.

desk after 1

and look! a functional sewing desk, and an apron begging to be made. hidden in the drawer? the quilt that i started last year and REALLY need to finish. at least now i have the room to do it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

my first time at panera bread

we were on our way home from bible study, and since it's cold, and had been spitting snow all day, it was the perfect day for soup. wait! not just soup. soup in a bread bowl. yummy. but i don't feel like making a big pot of soup, and i know we don't have ingredients for any of the kinds that i'd have picked to make. plus, there's the issue of the bread bowl!

so, on the way home, we passed panera bread. i asked husband if he thought they'd have soup, and he said "yes!"-- so we turned around to go there. i ordered the tomato basil bread bowl. husband ordered the broccoli and cheese bread bowl. so satisfied.

then, they told us they were out of bread bowls. but they'd give us big bowls of soup and lots of extra bread.

of course we'll take that!

it was delicious.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

book vs kindle

everyone does a review.
this is not a review. this is my personal story. 
you're probably aware by now that i got a kindle for chritmas. as much as i wanted one, i was certain that, (1) if i got one, it would take a while to get used to reading on it instead of a book, and (2) i would dearly miss the smell of the pages, cracking of the spine, and all the real-ness that is a book-in-print.

well, after just two weeks of owning it, i can tell you for certain that i'm converted. i got a case the day after christmas, which means i can carry it in my purse without fear of scratching the screen. it's with me all the time. and, if it isn't, i have an app on my iphone (which is almost always with me anyways) and i can read on there. it's great.

books are free. so, so many. i currently have 84 books on my kindle, and i haven't paid for a one of them. some are study guides to help with my classes. some are classics (which, as i understand, are all public-domain-- aka, free), and a ton are just fun novels. plus, if you follow @freeebookdeal on twitter, you wake up every day to anywhere from 10 to 50+ free books available if you want to download them. oh, i also have games. sudoku, word jumbles, all sorts.

i started to read a print book the other day. one that i had started reading before christmas and just had to finish. well, it gave me a headache. maybe it's mental or something, but the kindle is easier to read than an actual book.

i love my kindle. it's the best gift my husband could have given me. huge bonus? it came with an already-applied pittsburgh steeler skin!

Monday, January 10, 2011

oh, i'd love to!

i'd really really love to go here.

a weekend retreat for crafters. i'm certain that if i could afford it, and the plane ticket to gorgeous boulder, colorado, that i would be extremely overshadowed by the amazingness that would surround me. but what a great learning experience! and how fun to learn all those different crafts! 

block printing! 
pattern design!
i'm in love.

so, if anyone wants to go with me (ahem-- and pay my way), please contact me in the comments. it'd be so fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

waking up is the... worst?

i recently made plans to go out with a friend after work. but it wasn't until a few hours after we got home. since i was recovering from a cold and all that junk still, i took a nap. she did also, and requested a "wake up call" at a designated hour.
i'm practically a hotel lobby.
well, i called her right when my alarm woke me up. i was still groggy myself, and i obviously woke her up.

the first thing she said?
"waking up is the worst".
well, i agreed at the time, but i thought about it later, and now i'm not so sure.

waking up's pretty awesome. it means a new day to start over. it means a fresh start. it means you survived another night!
here's to waking up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

before and after, the dresser

inspired by leann, i'm cleaning up a lot of, well, junk. just like she is. given, i haven't been in our apartment very long, so we don't have piles and stacks of things to take care of, but there's still stuff i want to tackle. first off was making the guest room actually look like a guest room.

so, here's the "before"


and here's the "after"


sometimes, it's the little things that make you happier. like cleaning a room that was used to collect junk.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

it all started with a forgotten phone. [warning. long post. but it's fun.]

i met some friends at the mall to go to the movies. it was raining, so when i forgot my phone, i decided against going back to get it.

then i realized, we had "tentative" plans, and what if one of them texted me?? i'd have no way to know! and they'd think i'm not replying to them, and maybe they'd think i'm not coming, and they'd decide to stay home, and i'd be stuck at the movies all alone. not that i'm against going to the movies alone, it's just that i was really looking forward to seeing this movie with these friends!

so, i do what any sane person would do.
i stalked people who were using iphones and asked to send an email.
because i live in the age where i don't have phone numbers memorized, but i do have email addresses memorized. do you know how hard this is? not the asking part, but the getting someone to send an email for you part.
i even had one guy tell me he didn't have internet service. seriously? you have an iphone. tell me you don't want me to use it. but don't dare lie and tell me you don't have internet.
i got so many funny looks. apparently no one understands the need to send an email in lieu of making a phone call.
to end this part of the story, i found a gentleman who sent the email for me. check.

next? i didn't have my phone or pager, so i don't know what time it is. so, i took advantage of the MAJOR after christmas sales at macy's and purchased a new purse and watch.

anyways, we eventually found each other. at the ticket counter. where we purchased our tickets. then headed to the escalator to go upstairs to the theater (sidenote: i always want to write "theatre" instead of "theater"). where the guy tears your ticket stub before you go upstairs. where he asks for an id.
wait, what?
being carded at the movies??
i seriously thought he was joking. i don't get carded at the bar, let alone for a movie.
he wasn't kidding. i had to show my id. to get into an R-rated movie. i've never had to do that before.

after we stopped by the snack bar, then found our seats, i decided i wanted to get a bottle of water. so i went back to the snack bar. luckily, it was pretty empty. i guess not many people go to the movies on tuesdays after work. so i walked up to the guy and said (and i quote), "i'd like a bottle of water, please"-- to which he replied, [insert weird stare here]. what? dude. it's not rocket science. it's a bottle of water. so, i held my arm straight out with the money, hoping he'd really understand that, yes, i want a bottle of water.
he finally got it.

and, last but certainly not least...
we got to the theater early. because i like to have my pick of the seats. i don't like to be the person stuck at the front of the theater, or squeezing in between to people who are using their seats as shopping bag holders. well, 10 minutes after the trailers started, someone came in late. while there were still a number of seats up closer to the theater, they noticed the seemingly weird arrangement of seats located in our vicinity, and asked us to scoot down. they asked us to move. when we were there first! no big deal usually, but we chose seats that were located where you can put your feet up on the bar. and when we moved, we lost the bar. so couldn't put our feet up. and it's not like she asked it politely. she asked in a way that made it seem like we didn't have a choice. rude.

but, this movie made it all worth it.

how was your tuesday?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

i'm a newlywed again

it feels so good to be a newlywed.

even though i've been married for all of 4.5 months, it seemed like so much longer for the first, well, 4.4 months. because i was stupid and decided to work. AND teach evening class. AND take two classes for my master's.

and that's a horrible idea when you should be spending tuesday on the couch with my new husband. AND cooking him great meals. AND getting used to living with him.

see what i mean? i was a miserable person and my poor husband didn't deserve it.

but lately, i love life! i am stress-free and enjoying every moment of everything i do. i love working and cleaning and preparing. and making lunches for husband. and cooking him delicious dinners. and cuddling on the couch together watching episodes of weeds.

which means, my husband and i love life. because you know, if wifey ain't happy, ain't nobody happy :-)

here's proof of our wedded bliss-fun-ness. forgive the iphone quality.

and because one is never enough, here's husband's favorite.

Monday, January 3, 2011

coaster tutorial

well, i guess you could call it a tutorial. i'm just going to tell you how i made some awesome christmas gifts. and yes, they're great gifts, but i couldn't tell you how to do it before christmas, because i was making them for people who might see my blog!

get tiles. they're like, 10 cents for the cheap-o ones at Lowe's. it's pretty standard to have 4 per set.


find cork, and cut barely smaller than the coasters. my coasters were 4.25" squares, so i cut 4" squares for the cork. oh, and the cork came from target. i'm sure you could get it at a michael's or hobby lobby, but it was a fraction of the cost for 12" squares that i cut into many squares for coasters.


hot glue the coaster to the back of the tile.


cut your photos or fabric to match the tile. again, i did a little smaller, like a 4" square, so there was a slight edge where the tile starts to angle differently.

put a thin layer of mod podge (or similar decoupaging substance) on the tile, place your photo (or fabric) where you want it to go, and press it so there aren't many bubbles. for the photos, it's important to press them or else you'll get a giant bubble right in the middle. layer with mod podge. i use a foam brush and try to not have many streaks in it.


let them dry. when they're mostly dry, do another layer of mod podge, going in the other direction from your first application.


after they've dried the whole way (usually i wait until the next morning to do this step), spray them with a clear matte spray. this helps them to be waterproof-- you don't want all that hard work wearing off with the first glass set on it, do you??-- and it also makes them look professional and really finished.


congrats! you've just made a beautiful set of coasters for a birthday or christmas present! it's neat to do something personal. my friend used her own photos and gave it to family members. i used (probably copyrighted) photos from a Las Vegas book to match my daddy's LV bar. you can use anything! be creative.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

the anti-resolution post

i don't do resolutions. does anyone anymore? i've seen so many posts lately referring to "goals" over "resolutions". well, not to sound revolutionary or anything (ahem), but i'm going one step further. if i make any sort of goal that is supposed to last for a whole year, i'm going to fail. wouldn't most of us? so, instead, i'm making a lot of smaller goals. monthly goals. and i'll turn this blog into a page in the near future so i can keep track of it. cause it usually ends up being about accountability, right? whether you're actually checking or not, i'm tricked into thinking you are, so i have to keep up with it.

limit processed food intake. make a lot of food from scratch.
don't eat *artificial* sugar.  replace processed with raw sugar. eat in moderation.
no sodas (no problem), no chocolate (big problem).
*edit: one small chocolate serving, once a week.*
*preferably dark chocolate.* 
eat a grapefruit.
paint the frames that have been hanging out in the spare room.
get rid of the "junk" in the master bedroom.
research a natural cleaner and scrub the couch.