Saturday, November 19, 2011

August Fail

I realized today that I never went back and explained my mishap with the project for August. You can read about it here. I started the project by removing the rust from the chairs and table. This required Patrick and I to remove the glass inlay from the table top and set it aside which we did without any problems. I then proceeded with the following.

My tools for the day included steel wool in order to remove excess rust, naval jelly which I brushed on with the paint brush, and then some rust blocking primer. I started with the steel wool and everything still looked good.

I painted on the naval jelly next. This stuff looks to me like pink snot especially when it comes time to rinse it off with water. It also reminded me of neon pink gak. Does anyone else remember that stuff from the 90's? Anyway, once I started thinking about gak, I began to reminisce about other things from back in the day.

It then started to look like it was going to rain so I stopped there before moving on to the priming. The next day is when Patrick discovered a little problem. The glass for the table top had broken into two pieces. We are still not sure how this happened. We are both tempted to blame the bear, but we can't be sure. He probably just whacked it with his enormous tail and there you have it. I'm not saying he did it or anything.... It is just highly likely that it went down that way.

I was faced with a decision. Do I keep going and plan to replace the glass? I decided not. The cost of having to get a piece of glass like that cut to fit our table would just make the whole project not worth it. The table is not worth that much money to me. It was worth the work when we received the table for free, but I didn't want to sink more than $50 into it.

So there you have it. August project gets and F for failure.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grey Beige Part 3

It is finished! I am so happy to have a painted foyer with crisp white crown molding! It's only been a couple of years in the making. Let me remind you all of the before picture.

Then there was several during pictures. This was after some priming.

and now.... drum roll please...

It's a beautiful thing. Now we just have to take care of that door and we might just be finished. Here's another.

Still can't believe that it took 2 years to finish this, but oh well! Slow and steady wins the race.

Dgroup Thanksgiving 2011

Three years ago Patrick and I started a tradition of combining our dgroups for a night to have a Thanksgiving meal. I make the turkey and gravy and the students bring various side dishes. It ends up being a delicious meal. This year was no different except that it was a little bitter sweet for me.

Oh, and not only did I make turkey, but ham as well. That was something new (and yummy).

My girls are now seniors. We find ourselves frequently discussing colleges, acceptance letters, ACT scores, and career choices. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was running around white water with them when they were in seventh grade. How in the world are they about to leave for college in less than a year?! Where did the time go?

It has been a privilege and a joy (and yes, sometimes frustrating) to watch these girls grow in their faith and maturity. The times when I've been frustrated with them are the times that I've learned I need to pray the most (especially for the girl who caused the frustration). I've had to sit back and trust that God is at work even though I may not see it. I've learned to hurt when they hurt (something that, if I'm honest, did not come easily at first). I've also learned how to give "mommy talks" and "mommy looks" as they call it. I feel I have learned so much from walking alongside them the past 6 years.

I guess this is just another lesson in- don't take time for granted. Yes, we have all heard that one and I am so guilty.

Since you can't chew on that deliciousness, chew on this... Take advantage of your time today. This is the time of year that we focus on being thankful, right? Well, show the people around you that you are thankful for them by giving them your time. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grey Beige Part 2

Painting the main living areas of our home required several pieces of equipment that most people don't have hanging around their homes. So last Wednesday I drove downtown to Sunbelt Rentals to pick up bakers scaffolding. Putting the scaffolding together was not that difficult, but figuring out how to maneuver it into various positions was quite comical. Patrick wasn't as amused as I was by the whole scaffolding dance, but it was 7:30am. I woke up ready to go and so I did. I think part of it had to do with my excitement over getting rid of that ugly dark trim in the foyer. Just take a look. We've lived with this for over two years!

I was beyond ready. Especially after finishing the other parts of the main living areas last week with a fresh coat of that grey beige. The foyer just looked drab (not to mention that it had two sets of lovely paint squares as well).

I might have been up bright and early, but it wasn't accomplished without coffee. Patrick caught me in an action shot. Once we got that scaffolding up, I just kept that coffee with me on the platform for a little while.

Another more posed action shot... haha... with coffee still in hand. No, I didn't really roll paint on like that. It was just for your viewing pleasure.

So while more grey beige paint went on the walls, stain blocking oil based primer finally went on the crown molding!

Yes, I used a step ladder on top of scaffolding. I hope that's okay.

It's coming along and looks a ton better already.

I felt like a monkey all day... Or maybe it was like a 5 year old playing on a jungle gym. Yeah, that was it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grey Beige

I realize it has been a long time since my last real project. Part of the lack in postings was due to my computer being ill, but guess what? It's back and it's fixed! Jason Sears is my hero. This fall has been flying by and I can't believe how little I've been getting done around the house. I will soon be playing catch up for you and this post is part of that. That's right folks, I'm back and in action again. My current project has involved the following.

Can you guess what it might be? If you guessed painting then you would be right. By the time I'm finished with this house I'm sure I'll qualify as a professional painter. I'm really getting pretty good at it.

The funny thing to me is that after looking at my three paint squares for several months, I didn't even go with any of them when it came time to paint. I chose Olympic Grey Beige. It was on the same swatch as Stonington which is the bottom color in all the pictures. I liked it, but I was afraid that it would be too dark so I went with the next color up which happened to be Grey Beige. I purchased my supplies and by that afternoon, our house looked a little crazy. I always forget about how you have to completely make a mess in order to paint. It just has to look worse before it can get better.

All of the furniture got moved to the center of the room, the light sockets and switch plates were all removed, and the various dents were smoothed away with putty and sandpaper. It took all day long, but I managed to finish the living room, dining room, hallway, get cleaned up, put everything back in its place, and have d-group that night. Told you I was getting good.

I love it. I'm not sure if the difference really comes through on the computer screen. Computers do funny things to colors, but I can tell you that it doesn't give off that yellow hue that bothered me about the old color. It is still neutral, but I think it's a little more moody.

Do you see that? There is still some daylight outside of that window. Okay, I'll stop bragging now...

Now, forgive me, but I'm just going to give a big thank you to my sweet husband, Patrick. Thank you for being patient with my messes, willing to do the grocery shopping when I neglect it, talking sense into me when I try to take on the world, becoming a great cook (for when I'm too spent to do it even though it's my turn), and, best of all, giving really wonderful back rubs at the end of a long day. I love you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

25 thing update

Remember my "25 things" list? I wrote about it here if you need to get filled in. Anyway, here's an update. If it is in bold with a line through it, then it is complete. If it is in bold without a line, then it is in the process. Those that are left have yet to be done.

1. Take a road-trip.
2. Visit a museum.
3. Dance every day.- so far so good:)
4. Read 12 books.- 5 down 7 to go. Maybe I should have set a higher goal? I think I'm also going to do a little book review for everyone. Anyone else out there loving some new books?
5. Skinny dip.
6. Pick up a new sport/hobby. 
7. Go camping.
8. Sleep under the stars.
9. Go on a wine-tasting tour.
10. Learn new recipes. 
11. Skydive or bungee jump.
12. Spend an entire day in bed.
13. Go on a long hike.
14. Visit the Birmingham Zoo.
15. Have a picnic lunch. 
16. Snowboard.
17. Go rock climbing.
18. Ride a roller coaster.
19. Work on my Spanish.
20. Visit the Coca-Cola factory.
21. Surprise Patrick with something nice.
22. Get a massage.- booked and ready to go
23. Learn to drive a manual.
24. Finally watch Dumb and Dumber.
25. Partake in the ever popular BYOB and painting experience.

Not too bad for three months in, right? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Not only have I been sick with what we believe to be walking pneumonia, my computer has also been under the weather (and by that, I mean it's done for)... We are doing our best to get it fixed but things don't look good. So while I finish my antibiotic treatment and recover my voice (yes, I have laryngitis as well), we are going to start looking at our options. If I end up needing a new computer, we will probably be going for a MAC.

So once again, I am way behind in my projects and postings. I've actually done some work on the patio furniture, but I will have to update later on the progress and the major snag that I ran into with it. Hopefully I will have a working computer, voice, and lungs very soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Last night I made laundry detergent using three simple ingredients: shaved bar soap, borax, and washing soda. After considering both options, I decided to go with powder instead of liquid detergent. I just didn't want to mess with boiling water or obtaining a two gallon bucket. Here are the very simple ingredients and steps.

The ingredients:

Bar soap, Borax, and Washing Powder. That's it folks!

The Steps:

1 bar of shaved bar soap. I used Fels-Naptha which is sold as laundry bar soap for $0.99

Yep, you get to shave it yourself! The only time consuming part.

 1 cup of borax. I purchased 20 Mule Teams 76 oz box for $3.99

It's a little messy when it decides to come out in clumps.

 1 cup of washing soda. I purchased a 55 oz box of Arm and Hammer washing soda for $2.50

It came out much more easily.

 Now take your ingredients either stir for five minutes or process until well blended.

Prior to processing.
After processing. Ready for use!

You only need to add 1 tablespoon for each load of laundry. If it is heavily soiled then you can use 2 tablespoons. This batch that I made yielded 3 cups which will give me approximately 48 loads of laundry. I did spend $7.48 on my supplies, but keep in mind that I have plenty of borax and washing soda left so I can make more. All I will have to do is purchase more bar soap.

I should be able to make 7 batches with the supplies that I have. So for approximately $13.42 (this is when I added the cost for more bar soap) I will be able to do 336 loads of laundry. It ends up being about $0.04 per load. Even though this is rough (and I mean rough) math, it's a pretty good deal.

I just can't get over how easy this was to make. It took me about 5 or 10 minutes. I'll definitely do it again. Now, will it clean? I have several friends who have used this method and say that it does. Keep in mind that it will not sud as much as store bought detergent, but it is still cleaning. Oh, and if you're wondering where to find all of these random supplies, I purchased all of mine on the cleaning isle at Publix.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Napa Valley

I went to a conference a couple weeks ago (just one of the reasons I haven't posted in ages) related to integrative medicine in women's healthcare.The conference just happened to be in Napa, California. Rough... I know. The conference was okay, but Napa was wonderful. It is a beautiful area. Just take a look.

So when my three coworkers and I weren't conferencing, we had the opportunity to explore this beautiful area and of course, taste wine! I didn't realize how accessible the wineries are. You literally can drive up to just about any of them and pay for a tasting. Our first wine tour was at Castello di Amorosa. Their tour and tasting was phenomenal. We got to taste the grapes, see where they make the wine, taste wine directly from a barrel, and then had a great tutorial and tasting experience at the end of the tour.

The place is a castle and a winery. It was neat hearing about how they integrated the two.

The picture above is our tour guide pulling some grapes out for us to eat and the one below is the grapes about to be separated from the vine.

I had a wonderful time learning about wine, hanging out with great girls, and eating delicious food. We visited about 6 or 7 wineries. Don't worry, I'm not a wine snob though! I'll still be purchasing cheap wine that I think tastes just as good. If you don't think that's possible try reading The Wine Trials. The book reports interesting results following blind tastings of wines priced anywhere from under $15 to $150 per bottle. I tend to agree with one of the girls that was with me on the trip when she said, "It's just not that deep to me."

So, while you won't ever find me heading out to purchase expensive wine, I have an appreciation for the work and money these people put into making their product. I had no idea that it takes at least three years of growing grapes before they are ready to be used for wine. I also learned that the type of soil and temperature the grapes grow in effects what type of wine you can make. I mean, I could go on and on here about the craziness of wine making. I would not want it for my job.

While Napa was fun, it is good to be home for a while. There are no more big trips hanging around the corner so I feel like I can settle back into a routine. I mean, I went to the grocery store for the first time in over a month on Wednesday. It felt good. I promise that projects will return now that I am returning to normal life. I'm going to try and play catch up. I am itching to get started on something.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Picture update.

I love having the white chest from our bedroom in the dining room. It makes the room feel a little more put together. It is still not finished, but it is much better. Here's a quick peek.

I got that frame filled up with photos and got it up on the wall. It's nice to add some more pictures to the house. They are from our engagement photo session.

Monday, September 12, 2011

August Project Update

I realize that it is September. I am running behind. My project for August has been obtained. However, the project has been neglected due to a much needed vacation. Patrick and I went to the beach for an end of the summer/beginning of fall retreat. It was wonderful and now I guess it's time to get back into the swing of things. Here is a quick update on where I am with the project for August.

I will be fixing up this table sometime this month... I hope... It's a hand me down that needs some love and spray paint is just what the nurse has ordered. Well, that and some cushions and maybe a new table top. Here is a close up of one of the chairs.

I plan to start by finding some fabric that I like and then deciding the color of the furniture based on that. I'm hoping for a blue or a bright green. I'm excited to see what it will look like. I'll be back with pictures and an update on this project very soon I hope.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2 years

Yesterday we celebrated a very special birthday. There was no cake though. Just a peanut butter stuffed kong toy, a good ear scratch, and best of all a new squid toy was all that was needed to make it a great day. That's right, our bear turned 2.
Happy Birthday Hurley!
Born 9/9/09

Hard to believe that we brought him home at around 8lbs and he's now around 150lbs. His favorite toy back then was leaves. He did a lot of sleeping, hiccuping, and eating (we fed him 4 times a day until he was 12 weeks old).

Today he still loves to sleep, hiccups are mostly a thing of the past, he eats twice a day (a total of 9 cups), and he loves his nylabones and outside red ball. We had long since given up on chew toys that could come apart, but decided that because it was his birthday we would indulge. I grabbed my camera to document his love/excitement for his new toy.

He was locked on it was soon as he saw it.
Being a good boy and shaking to earn his gift.
Still waiting...
Got it and very happy.
He went to his favorite spot in the house which happens to be right on top of a vent.

Lots of love.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My first mood board

As I mentioned earlier, I've been doing some thinking about our dining room curtains. Well, as you can see, I've actually been thinking about a lot more than that. Using a program called Polyvore, I developed my first mood board related to our future dining room:)
Dining Room Mood Board 2
It was my first time using the program and it was actually a lot of fun. I'm sure I'll get better and more proficient the more I use it. Here's a little breakdown of the room.

Table, wood chairs, and bench:
Sourav dining table, middle chairs, and bench (world market = around $900)

Sand Accacia Curtain panels (world market = $199)

End Chairs:
Linen Hayden dining chair (world market = $180 each)

Everything else we already have. I just pulled a random red lamp, white chest, and dark light fixture to fill the space in with items similar to what we own. Now this room makeover carries with it a pretty steep price. Guess I'm going to have to figure a way out to get the look for less.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The lonely table

Last night I decided to re-arrange some furniture. Shocker, I know... Patrick and I have been using this little white chest as a dresser in our bedroom since we moved in, but all along I've known that I wanted it to end up in the dining room. This chest was also gifted to us by my mother (as was the table you may remember) and it too sat in my kitchen growing up. I guess I just thought the table looked lonely without it. It needed its long lost friend to come back. I couldn't stand it anymore so while Patrick was out I made the move.

I think that it looks wonderful in its new home. Plus, I finally found a good place for my favorite lamp. Now I just need to get some pictures in that frame and hang it up on the wall and it will be a much happier little space. I'm also getting close to deciding on curtains, but all that's going to have to come in another post I'm afraid.

So you may be wondering if we have a replacement dresser in our bedroom. The answer is no. Unfortunately the dresser was home to mostly Patrick's clothes. So this is what some of Patrick's clothes are going to look like for a little while. Sorry honey!

Patrick is a really good sport about this kind of thing. I think he enjoys it actually. He never knows what he is going to come home and find:)