Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas, Christmas everywhere

I just thought I'd pop over for a bit to show you my Christmas decor before I fall into another black hole by way of the book that had me at "Hello" (Stephen King's 11/22/63). I realize the past few posts have been nothing at all about decorating and mainly that's cuz after the stairs I took a break. Not from decorating per se, but from documenting every infintisimal aspect of decor. But since it's the season of giving I figured I'd share some holiday decor.

This year was all about easy-peasy-breezy and I didn't want to feel crazy and frustrated. I know we women tell ourselves we will dial it back each year to have a stress-free Christmas but this year I really did. I'm nothing if not totally selfish and that meant doing very little this season so I didn't feel overwhelmed. Okay, I'll admit it-I can feel overwhelmed at, like, brushing my teeth so maybe this isn't saying much. But enough babble, lets move on to pics:

First, my shelf (aka, everyone-else-gets-a-mantle-but-I-gotta-settle-cuz-Florida-is-too-hot-to-have-a-fireplace type of shelf):
Here it is at night:
Yes, that's a yule log fire on my tv screen. We do what we gotta do here in Florida.
Since my theme this year was simple I strung garland with lights interspersed only with glittered silver/gold snowflakes:
I added 2 electric candles on the end as well for more silver. In the middle I put a cloche with silver/gold bulbs. Easy-peasy:
Hung the stockings and voila. Done.

On my dining room chandelier I added greenery with some little picks from Michaels (everything I already had). and hung bulbs from it (again, already had-from Dillard's clearance last year):
My last bit of decor was my favorite Christmas item--my grandma's blue village.:
This was handed down to me from my grandma and I have many cherished memories of seeing this each Christmas in her house. She still had a real Christmas village- with all the individual houses, parks, trees- you know, the ones that everyone collects and can add onto each year to make a bigger town. But this was so magical to me. Even as a child I guess I liked simplicity. Monochromatic designs. Not all that busy "Christmas village" stuff (aka: knick-knacks ***shudder***).
The village is dusted with white glitter giving it a lovely frosting and when it's lit it reminds me of all those cold winter nights at my grandma's when I'd stare at it on the shelf under her t.v. I wanted to play with the little people so badly but mostly, they were off limits.
I still get all warm and fuzzy when I see it at night lit up like this.
Next to the village I added some snippets of greenery from the yard:

 Free and easy.

As I was making this post I realized I never got a picture of my tree. But it looks very much the same as it did last year (I'm traditional all the way never really changing the look of my tree):
And I still have my bubble lights on it:

I didn't even get a pic of my outside because I only hung a wreath on the door and no lights this year. I dunno. It's just been a lighter version of Christmas this season I suppose. It even translated to my gift-giving. Typically, I make treats for my neighbors but this year I saw a cute idea on Pinterest (*heart* Pinterest) and ran with it:
Ho-Ho's and Ding Dongs. $5.00 Christmas gift that everyone loves, I spent no time or energy on, and a kitschy little phrase to tie it all together? Yes please.

And that ends this segment of Christmas. It is so laid-back I'm sure I took more energy making this post than I did stressing about gifts and decor. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Last night I had a really weird dream. I know, I know, you don't care. But I learned something about myself. So, there's a moral to this dream. Hang in there with me, 'mmmmkay?

The gist is this: my sister and I had a baby. I don't know how exactly-it was just that we were locked out of our apartment and we needed a key so the landlord was like, "Here, let me make you a new copy" and then he went into the back room and came out with a baby. And that was our key. Which, because it was a dream, we were totally ok with. We were all like, "Thanks- this helps us out a lot!" and then my sister said, "I named him Jonathan Sector [imput last name here]" and that's when everything went to hell in a handbasket.

 I started yelling at her telling her that this is why I wanted to be at the hospital because why does she get to be the one who names the baby? and it's not fair that I had no say in it because this baby was mine too dammit -it's not right that she just chose a name without consulting me. And then an alligator walked by and bit off my leg. And I woke up kicking at the covers (presumably to shake off the gator).

The lesson here: I am way to immature to have a kid. Given the complete tantrum I threw over a name (which, let's be honest y'all, sounds totally sorta like me) it's a wonder my daughter hasn't turned out thoroughly maladjusted (thank you Lord for my husband!). I stayed awake the rest of the night contemplating how in the hell I'm gonna raise a tweenie when I act like one myself.

Confucius says: babies and alligators aside, an adult you do not make.
(or maybe that was Yoda, I'm not really sure).

Monday, December 12, 2011


Dear Wendy,

Today I visited your restaurant for a salad. Specifically, the BLT Cobb Salad. Which looks delicious on your website, by the way. Upon preparing to eat this spectacular creation I realized that it only contained 1 piece of bacon. One. At that point, I felt very cheated. The name of your salad is "BLT" Cobb Salad. Admittedly Wendy, you held up to your end of the bargain -there was bacon; however, I felt you were being rather stingy. After all, by the very definition on your website:
"Treat yourself to the taste of crisp APPLEWOOD SMOKED BACON mixed with real blue cheese crumbles, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and avocado ranch dressing" I was lead to believe there would be more bacon.
Of course, perhaps you only meant bacon in a singular form, rather than plural. In all honesty, I don't know the plural of bacon (baconeese? bacons? bacii?) this certainly may poke holes in my lengthy complaint as you may have purposefully left out the whole 'bacii' and meant only a bacon. Still, it seems a shame that a glorious pig had to die for only 1 measely piece in my salad. Surely, he had more to offer. Perhaps also, the reason for this singular piece is that I requested the half size salad. Is it reasonable to assume I would have had 2, nay, even 3 pieces if I had ordered the full size? Alas, we shall never know. 
I would be happy to load a picture of my lone bacon as definitive evidence but I see no such means to do so.

She Said.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kicking butt...

 Today at work I received a fax advertising a class in Dispatch Judo. After feeling sorry  for dispatchers at other agencies and thanking my lucky stars we don't have nearly that hostile a work environment to require a class in judo, I thought that it might be a good idea to brush up on my fighting skills.

You can imagine my surprise (and disappointment) when I continued to read it only to find out it didn't refer to the ability to level a foe with a roundhouse kick but of verbal judo with difficult callers. Thanks for the let down spam fax. We are no longer friends. Never again will I peruse your tantalizing sheets whilst cleaning up my work area ($149.00 flights/all-inclusive package to Hawaii?? I'm calling right now!!!)

To their credit they made it sound as exciting as possible, the idea of drop kicking a person verbally like Chuck Norris.

What with phrases like "three street truths" or "spar with fellow classmates" (don't get your hopes up...it's all verbal sparring) as well as "control their weaknesses" it's hard to resist.
Especially when I think I could verbally be this man after the class:

Maybe I'll ask my supervisor about it.

After all, once a cop pulled over Chuck Norris...and the cop was lucky to leave with a warning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spoiler Alert!!!!


Harry Potter is a wizard.

Whew. I've been holding that in for awhile. Hope I didn't ruin it for you (I did warn you after all).
You know you've watched too much Harry Potter when you wake up and realize you've learned a new curse word without even realizing it (cover your ears eyes mom): Merlin's beard!

I've been saying that quietly to myself ever since I woke up this morning. I have no idea why. I can only attribute it to the hours and hours I've spent engrossed in either Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings (though the actual phrase is quoted from HP).

I think they approve. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stairs reveal!

Remember when my stairs looked like this?
Well, now they look like this:
I'm happy it's (sort of) done but there are still problems that need to be addressed. For example: I haven't even done the stretch from the landing to the top of the stairs (about 4-5 stairs) because you can't see them when you walk in the door (so on the back burner they shall go), and I have a multitude of paint/stain touch ups that must be completed for it to look less sloppy, as well as the fact that I still need to protect my stain with a few coats of poly.

For now, I'm taking a break. Overall I'm pleased with the how they turned out though they certainly are not perfect. No, much like everything else in my house, it's a thrown-together dirty job. But it was definitely inexpensive (my number 1 criteria for this project).

Here's the breakdown (all prices are rounded to approx as I remember them):

1) Sand paper:                  12.00-15.00            (sooo much sandpaper needed!)
2) 1/4 round:                      5.00                       (I think I had 6-8 pieces of 8ft 1/4 round)
3) shims:                            2.00    
3) stain:                              8.00                        (stain color is Jacobean)
4) paint:                            12.00                       (this is where I went really cheap and bought basic builder's white paint-I could have spent 25-30.00 for a better quality paint but, you know, cheap is how I roll so....)
5) blood, sweat, tears     +2,532,264.00            (okay, there's no monetary equivalent to this)

(excl. my emotional/physical well-being)
                                       =$42.00  (approximate)

Not a bad amount for such a labor intensive transformation.

I tell you this was a test of my wills (and it isn't even over yet! ::::whiiiiiiinnnne::::)
But I had to show you the almost, pretty much, close as I'll get for awhile, oh hell-I'm done look of my stairs.

It's pretty accurate to the look I wanted (my inspiration pics):

(all pics courtesy of pinterest)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Illusion vs. Reality

I'm in a dance class. It's a recreational adult jazz class (which I LOVE!) and the instructor rocks.  I know, you're like, "wow, that's awesome--are you any good?" And in response, I'm like, "Are you kidding me? LIKE A BOSS!"

Problem is is that reality rarely aligns with my delusions fantasies. So, when I'm dancing and I feel like this:

I'm pretty sure I really look like this:

Note the reaction of the person in the background:

Yeah. I illicit that reaction too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stairs...The Neverending Story

Does anyone remember that movie, The Neverending Story? Or are you not that old? (my age is definitely showing!) I really liked the movie but boy did that dragon ick me out. Anyone else with me? ::::crickets, crickets::::

I think I was freaked by the scales on the back. That texture...yeesh. No way was I riding on his back!

Anyhow. I know I'm way off my topic here.

The stairs. The neverending story.

When I last left you I was sanding them like a boss (mom, do not open this link-not safe for you! I mean it.) and trying to work out the dilemma with the gaps.

That's what they looked like after I sanded a whole hell of a lot. And by no means were they perfect (even barring the gap). There were these types of things I had to deal with:

But ya know, I just decided to go with it. The worst that could happen was to cover it with carpet again
(my mantra every time I got discouraged).

So I forged ahead and bought quarter round. If you don't know, quarter round is a type of trim and almost all houses have it. I'm sure you've all seen it:

It's the part that butts up against the wall and the floor. I figured it would work to cover my gaps. And it did wonderfully. This is also very cheap (.52/sq yard or something). I think it only cost me something like 5.00 to buy a bunch of it (yes I measured but left my measurements at home when I went to Home Depot so I guesstimated-I figured I could always go back for more). I brought them home in 8 ft lengths and decided to cut them with my miter box.
I already had one but these only cost about 15.00. And no, I did not miter. I cut straight lines. I figured I would cover any goofs with copious amounts of caulk. That's all a girl really needs people=====>> copious amounts of caulk.:::snicker:::

Anyhow. Sidetracked again.
So, I made my cuts (measure twice-cut once!) For this I needed 3 separate sizes. 1 for the height, 1 for the width and 1 for the depth of the stairs. Then all I did was nail them down and used liquid nails.
Problem was I still had plenty of gaps to deal with.
You can see where I put the 3 separate pieces together:

 I was less worried about the gap above because caulk would help me there.
  But there was a gap on the overhang of the tread.
I went back to HD to find a solution. I found it in wood shims. Cutting those little guys was time consuming. But I prevailed.

Then, I caulked (like a boss).

After which, my stairs looked like this:

Okay, not exactly like that. Apparently I took these pics before caulking. And not one after. Oh wells. Use your imagination please. Already it looks a hundred times better than before. No gaps, sanded down. Even with all the imperfections I know it's coming together!

One more hurdle to go-staining and painting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween dress up!

So I finally convinced my luhv-ah to dress up for Halloween. And as an actual "couple" not some gore-rific Halloween horror. How did I do it? I have no friggin' idea. I just mentioned how I'd like to dress like.... and he could dress like.... (see if you can figure out our costumes below-shouldn't be too difficult). And he said, "okay". I was stunned. My luhv-ah isn't the most accommodating when it comes to playing dress up (unless it's something really "manly" like Conan the Barbarian). Not that I'm complaining- look how cute he is in his hat!

I loved it! We only went around the neighborhood but it was great (of course it was great- I got to tell people that I am practically perfect in every way!). Funny though how none of the kids really knew who we were. I mean, some of them said, "Hey, she's that lady from that movie!" and one kid said to his friend {about my husband}, "I think he's a janitor!" LOL. So definitely a different era all together.

And while she's not featured, my daughter was a vampire. And no she wasn't this kind of vampire:

 She was a traditional one. Cape and all. And we didn't get any pictures of her because this was the year she was all, "Ummmm...I want to go trick or treating alone with my friends!" Le sigh. Tweenies.