Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Visit with Craig...

Bored today so I visited with my bff Craig (shhhh...don't tell Will).

I found a few treasures but nothing I couldn't live without. Still, it was fun to browse.

First, this little round side table with glass top which would look adorable in a fun punchy green-or an aqua blue- was going for only 20.00:

Or these cute little end tables- again, I would probably paint them a nice subtle lime green were 45.00 for the pair:

This little guy was a bathroom cabinet-with towel racks on either side, and was only 15.00. And it doesn't even need a makeover!

Last but not least, I really liked this full head board for only 40.00. And, of course, I think it would look great painted...white! (But a basic black would look stellar also):

And that's it after much browsing...still it passed the time. I'll certainly have to make up this indiscretion with Craig by visiting my Good friend Will in the next few days.

Le Sigh. How do I juggle all these men?

Amish Friendship Bread...

The other day a co-worker brought in a loaf of bread:

 And it.was.phe.nom.e.nal. Well, I don't know about the whole loaf but the 1 piece (okay, two three pieces I had were great!) And no making fun of the fat girl eating three pieces of bread--it was over the course of 2 days at work.

I told my co-worker that I must have the recipe and the next day he brought me a bag with instructions like this:

I'd never heard of Amish Friendship Bread (AFB). But I'm on board now. If you're completely clueless like I was, AFB is made by the Amish (duh!) and only they know how to make the starter bag (which I'm pretty sure a quick google search will yield is not true--but no worries, the Amish will never know their secret's out!).

So, you get this bag (a starter bag) with instructions on what to do each day and how to make the bread. Then at the end of a 10 day process (which was a no brainer really) you divide your loot into 4 bags and pass on 3 of them to friends (keeping one for yourself) to start the process all over again.

It was actually a neat idea and like I said, the instructions require very little skill. Because, who am I kidding really? if it took more than a 15% effort on my part- I wouldn't do it. So, it behooves me that the extent of my energies enlisted in this endeavor for each day were: Mush the bag. Check.

Now, I haven't made the actual bread yet but I'm sure it will be as yummy as the original bread I feasted on some 2 weeks ago. I finished the 10th day last night but didn't have 1 of the ingredients on hand to actually bake it and was waaaaay too lazy to go get it at the store at 830pm. So, I figured one day delay really won't hurt the process (if it does I'll let you know).

Tonight I'll be bringing home my missing ingredient and hopefully my home will smell like wonderful cinnamon bread. YUM! I'll let you know how awesome (or not) it is.

And in the coming days I'll be passing on a starter bag to some friends. Hopefully they won't look at it as if I'm saying, "Here ya go! Make your own bread!" and think, "You're gifting me a chore? Gee, thanks!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Obsession: Makeup

Recently, I've been very obsessed with makeup. In the past I was never a "makeup" person per se, but as the years have progressed I've slowly added more and more to my arsenal. And, sure, thirty-ish isn't ancient but I've really been thinking about enhancing my assets since my youthful looks have started failing. lol

A couple of years ago my mom introduced me to Bare Minerals (disclaimer: this is not a BM ad of any sort!). Before then, I was a tried and true drugstore, non-picky, non-brand name, cheap makeup girl. And in my heart, I still am very cheap when it comes to make up. I mean, before a few years ago, I was young and thriving so I didn't really need makeup, so the little I had was just not expensive.  But after seeing how lovely my mom's skin looked in a picture one day -and her swearing that it was all due to BM-I decided to throw caution to the wind, my money out the window, and beg her to buy me some for my birthday (or something like that).

These days, I don't buy anything but Bare Minerals (ugh! for the cheap person in me since their prices aren't below 10.00 per item) and I love the way it makes my skin look. So, I've become mildly obsessed with makeup since then. Still, I'm no fashionista with makeup- and I'm sure my collection of products pales in comparison to those who are- but I have been thinking about makeup more and more.

A few things I love:

1) Red Lips.

 I love the look of red lips on a beautiful alabaster skin tone. Of course, I don't have alabaster skin. My heritage (part hispanic) isn't equipped with the creamy pale white skin that I covet so. (but I do tan well so that's a plus). Unfortunately, I just can't seem to find the right red. Anything I find makes me look like a clown on drugs and I say "Homey don't play that!" (see how old I am?).  I think I'm going to break down and buy the Red Zin color from BM because it looks like the true red I'm going for-unfortunately it's 18.00. Sheesh! To a dollar store whore like me that's outrageous.  But, I think it would go well with my warm skin tone.
Here are a few of my favorite covetous looks in red lips:

Maybe I could pull off the look that Penelope Cruz has going on with her red.

2) Green eyeshadow:
Okay, well, maybe not that green. But I have been obsessed with emerald green and the lovely mint greens out there. Something like this:
and these looks:

Look at the color combo above--red lips/green eyes! (and, of course, the creamy white skin-DAMN YOU!)

3) Purple Eyeshadow. For a while there I was really into the whole purple eyeshadow look. I love purple smoky shadows--sooooo sultry:

Whoa! Okay, now that's not sultry!
Here, try these:

4.) Lastly, gun metal grey:

I love all make up but these have been my favorites as of late. And now I'm thinking I really must get to a Bare Minerals store to buy me that Red Zin lipstick!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fresh Flowers...for free!

Just wanted to share my flowers that I got for free. There's an azalea bush right outside my work and the blooms were so pretty I just had to pick some. Can't beat pretty flowers for free:

They certainly brightened my day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thrift store shopping....

I love shopping at thrift stores. I love shopping at regular stores, for sure, but something about getting things really cheap does it for me. So, I love shopping at thrift stores. If you find the right stores, you could be sitting on a goldmine of other people's rejects which quickly can become your treasures.

The key is to go back more than once. Thrift stores aren't something you can take for granted--you must continually visit them, love them, search them out. Otherwise, you miss the awesome stuff amongst all of that trash. And, trust me, there is awesome stuff. I at once feel at peace as I wander up and down thrift store aisles, listening to my IPOD and just browsing. There's just something about them that nais se quois. Have I mentioned I love shopping at thrift stores?

Now some thrift stores (which shall remain nameless) can be quite pricey on their items. You really have to find the stores that work for you. I tend not to shop these certain thrift store chains anymore because every time I went I was finding accessories for upwards of 20.00. And these were used items people! I mean, I know I'm cheap but these things just weren't doing it for me with how much they wanted for their used vase or some such item. And their furniture (one of my favorites to scout out at thrift stores) were astronomical in pricing (for my cheap ass frugal mentality at least).  So, I've stopped frequenting that chain because I could never find things in my price range.

Of course, I love my bff Good Will...he's a must in my thrift store shopping. Good Will, he always has great prices. And that's one of the stores I went to today. So, enough talking...let me show you some of the things I scouted out (but -if my sweet husband is reading this he'll be happy to know-did not necessarily buy .).

First, I found these wonderful mixing bowls- 2 for 5.00:

5.00 is a great deal when you think about how these bowls start at pricing of 25.00 on up.

Then I saw this cute little jar with cork lid:
Only 2.00. Would be good for any assortment of things from desk paraphenalia like paper clips, rubberbands, etc. or used as a change catch all.

This picture framed art was only 2.00 also and all it needs is a nice fresh coat of white on the frame. Very cute.

Or what about this dome cheese dish? 3.00 for it and I can see a little birds nest with little speckled eggs laying in it to put on display:

I actually googled this idea and look what popped up:

This is from a blog called Looks sooooo cute! (sadly, the little cheese dome did not go home with me).

 I've seen hurricane candle holders like this at Walmart for 20.00, this was only 5.00:

Or this little accessory is nice- leave it as is or paint it white (I know, I'm obsessed with white!). It's only 3.00 also:

Of course, not everything at Good ol' Will's house is so eye catching. And you do have to hunt to find things. I had to move this lovely piece:

out of the way to get to the leaf accessory or I would have completely overlooked it.

While I may sometimes agree with the statement (love ya babe!) I don't think it makes for a tres chic decor item. Luckily, I can see beyond the trash to find the treasure.

Moving onward. My Good Will is thoughtful enough to group like items as well which can make for a pretty presentation. And, as I've always thought, presentation is half the battle with us. (which is why so many people can't stand thrifting--no presentation available):

My Good Will coordinates colors with colors on certain shelves which does draw the eye. It was so lovely it made me really want to buy those blue glasses or green bottles before I got a hold of my senses and realized I already have plenty of wine bottles at home in lovely green colors. :)

Then I found these beautiful mirrors--5.00 each:

The gold came home with me. It will get a nice coat of white (yes, white!!!!).

And I almost picked this other one up (found at another one of my local thrift stores):

It was only 2.00 but I decided against it. (see honey, I do have self-control!)

Of course, there was some nice furniture. Like this table:
It had very nice curves and at great price of 30.00 (what color do you think I'd paint it???) but alas, it was not going home with me.

This, however, did:

Nice little coffee table for only 10.00.
But oh noes! Looks like someone had a little accident:

No worries. I'll just sand it down and paint it and it will be good as new! And, no, I don't think I'm painting it white. (but we'll see! LOL).

I also got another little side table with petite legs which I didn't get a pic of but promise will show you when I do a before/after of it.

And because I know we've all seen it, I'll leave you with what most people probably consider thrift stores finds:
Yes, a 5.00 (5.00!!!????) half empty bottle of perfume.
(I'm gonna smell utterly fah-bu-lous tonight Dah-ling! just kidding) Who buys this crap?

Hopefully I've shown you that thrifting isn't all about the 5.00 bottle of used perfume.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

911 CALLS...

I know I haven't discussed it before, but I'm a 911 police dispatcher. And I gotta say, it's a very interesting  rewarding job. Still, like every job out there, it has it's moments of pure....stupidity. Well, the people do at least. And just because it's an "emergency" doesn't mean people don't exercize their free will using that stupidity to the nth degree.

This career has given me a clearer definition of what an actual emergency is. Because, sure, we all have our personal emergencies-those things that we consider to be uber important and have to deal with immediately. But the world has a basic standard of what an emergency is and, really, we all know what that is. Some just fail to acknowledge it.( i.e. your baby choking is an emergency- locking your keys in your car is not- please do not call the police department about this and expect immediate results because you feel it's an emergency because you'll be late for a meeting at work).

Let me preface this with saying I have never in my life utilized 9-1-1 because I've always taken it as it should be-a phone number for emergencies to contact the police department, the fire department or ambulances. So, it always amazes me the amount of stupid calls I receive on a daily basis from people who either don't understand the definition of emergency or just choose to ignore it.

For instance, on any given day, I'll get calls (on 911) requesting the non-emergency number for another police agency in our area. (ever heard of information?) Or, I'll get a call asking about employment at the department. Or a caller who clearly doesn't have an emergency -so he/she shouldn't be dialing 911-but is inquiring about a case (ie. requesting a copy of a report or some such nonsense).  Not to mention those people who call 9-1-1 accidentally (I do understand it happens sometimes) and when I answer, "9-1-1 what is your emergency?" the responder is argumentative ("I did not call 9-1-1!"). After I ask if there's an emergency or police/fire/ambulance are needed they continue to argue that they couldn't have possibly called 911.(uh, yeah, ya did, cuz you got me!)

There are also calls that may not be related to 911 but are stupid nonetheless.
We've received calls from panicked citizens who believe their car was stolen only to find out it was repossessed or, better yet, they just forgot they parked it in another lot. This happens a lot, especially in parking garages.
A typical call:

Me: **** Police Department. This line is recording.

Caller: Yes, my car's been stolen.

Me: What is the address/location of your vehicle?

Caller: I'm in XYZ parking garage and I can't find it. I've been searching for the past 10 minutes-I think someone stole my car!!!! ::annoyed or panic ridden voice:::

Me: And what level was it on?

Caller: 4th level. It's not here...rant rave,rant rave, etc. etc.

Me: And you're sure that you've checked every level of XYZ garage?

Caller: YES!!!! Send the police immediately please! ::: typically in an incredulous you-idiot voice:::

After getting some more information, dispatching officers who arrive on the scene, they find the car located one level up/down/on the other side of the same level. Or better yet, before our officers even arrive on scene, the complainant has called back because they've decided to thoroughly check the levels and find their car in that process.

Because they don't take grand theft auto lightly it is a priority for officers. So, it ties up our officers, which can be annoying, especially when the whole thing could be avoided if the complainant only paid attention before jumping the gun. Its frustrating to say the least which is why I ask, "you checked every level?" because typically, no, they haven't. And it makes them realize-oh perhaps I should check every level. What a novel idea! Most of the time they say yes they have-even when they obviously haven't because our officers usually find it on another level.

I know most people don't like police officers but think about it- cops aren't dealing with the brightest of citizens on a day to day basis and I can imagine that can get pretty frustrating--enough to make any officer seem like an ass sometimes  I know it makes me pretty bitchy dealing with stupid people (and I only have to answer the phone for them-not deal with them in person). Not that there aren't those who are just asses because they just are.

The worst is a suspicious person call. This type of "crime" is just waiting for the closet (or open) racist to come out. Daily we get calls about suspicious people/activities. It goes something like this:

Caller: yeah, this guy is walking down the road and he just looks out of place.

Me: okay, what it it he's doing that is suspicious?

Caller: He's just walking really slowly and he keeps looking back at me.
(maybe because you're staring at him?)

Me: Okay. What is your location? Description of the person?
9 times out of 10--it's a black male. And the typical response when I ask a caller why they are suspicious is "they look out of place" or "they look like they don't belong" etc. It's not as if these guys are carrying ski masks and peering into vehicles in dark alleys.

Yeah, sometimes I just don't know what to do with the blatant stupidity out there. But it's the job. And I do love how interesting it can be.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My faux mantle...

 I love fireplaces. I love mantles. But in Florida it's just not feasible to have a fireplace. Thus, I couldn't possibly have a mantle (well, I could buy a faux mantle, but that would use up the 1 real wall we have).

Because I'm a total dweeb and lazy I didn't take pics of my living room but here's the basic layout:

See, it's an open floor plan -and I absolutely lurve it- but really, because of the great big window along the east wall, and the stairs, and the open bar to the kitchen I really only have 1 wall to work with. So, I don't really want to tie it up with a fire place mantle that, for all intents and purposes, would be useless.The wall is huge, since it goes up to our loft, which makes it a good 20 feet tall. And I had to do something with it. It's a massive blank space. I hate tons of clutter but whatever it was needed to be substantial enough to not look puny on this wall.

Because of the lovely girls on I found these:

 Empire West ceiling tiles. They're a nice size and I got 3 for FREE. Okay, well, I paid for shipping (about 9.00) and it was completely worth it. I get compliments on them.all.the.time. I've had them for a few years so I'm counting them as FREE for this particular project.

Then, I also found this shelf at my lovely bf's--Good Will (for 3.00!):
Here it is before painting:

And, to finish off my "look", I had this mirror:

Which, funnily enough, at first I hadn't even given it a second look because it came with this:

And I was so busy panting over how lovely it was (those legs!) that I barely noticed the mirror. I'm not a fan of the whole mirror/dresser combo so I detached it (I'll be refinishing the dresser later and I'll post pics).

Anyhow, after realizing I had a mirror just laying around I gave it another look and fell in love. It was sooo pretty and dainty with its beautiful curves (and nothing is more feminine than lots of curves-or so I keep telling myself).

So, after painting the shelf white, hem-hawing (an Oklahoma word I'm sure) over whether I should paint the mirror a lovely grey, deciding against it, and then having DH hang everything I was left with this:

Not too shabby. Oh, and just to get an idea about how big this wall aren't seeing the 3 feet below and there is at lease 8 feet more above those lovely vents there.

 I might decide to paint the black tile white, for uniformity's sake, but really, my living room has a hodge-podge of finishes anyway (white, black, brown) as you can see from the wall here, so, perhaps I'll leave it.

Next, all I had to do was decorate the shelf. YEA! My favorite part.

So, for this I scrounged around the house for accessories and hit up Good Will (oh, how I love heem).And this was what I got:

My lovely milk glasses (2.00 for the big one, .50 for the little one), and the green glass apple (2.00) all thrift store finds. The books and clock I had.

And the cute little bird was from Old Time Pottery, only 2.50 because a wing was chipped.
So, there you have it. My quasi-make-shift faux mantle. It sits higher than a regular mantle (you can't tell in the pic) so if I want to push the couch on that wall it's no problem (I tend to rearrange my furniture-a lot!)
So, what do you think?