Monday, January 31, 2011

Life is not about perfect...crafting with my daughter

Courtesy of Infarrantly Creative

I decided that this craft project was so adorable (and inexpensive) that I just had to replicate it. I saw it on the DIYshowoff but it comes from this blog,

This was a lesson for me in patience and how to let things go. I have a tendency to be anal retentive, demanding perfection and can get easily frustrated when I don't get this (I'm working on it). Here's where the lesson comes in- I had my daughter work on this craft with me. In the end I could have spent more money and had it turn out TONS nicer but it was just crafting with my daughter. It wasn't perfect, and, if I'd wanted perfect, I shouldn't have asked an 11 year old to help paint itty-bitty stencils on a board.

By the end of the project I was biting my tongue pretty hard and trying not to be too irritated that, well, it wasn't the "prettiest" advent calendar out there.However, it was something that my daughter and I worked on together and that's really what it's all about- making memories and spending quality time together. With all it's imperfection it was perfect.

Here are the modifications I made to make this craft a 3.00 project with my dear daughter (DD).

First, I purchased 1 can red spray paint, 1 foam poster board, and 1 package of stencils from the dollar store(3.00 total here). Though I don't count them toward the craft total I did also have to purchase Hershey's kisses, something I would have done anyway.

Then, I gathered my supplies:

I used an old picture frame given to me by my mother-in-law which I loved but hadn't had any use for yet.

I took the picture and glass out leaving just the frame and cut the foam board to fit:
 Then I spray painted the board red:
 And after much debate with DD about how we should arrange the kisses/wording we stenciled on our words/calendar numbers.
It took awhile to paint them in and really, stickers would have been quicker, neater, and nicer looking. But we were going for inexpensive here. So, we had a few hiccups along the way. So, what?

After all the stenciling was done I just hot glued the chocolate kisses directly above each number.

You can see in the above pic where there were a few mess ups but all in all, (breathe, just breathe) I got through them without yelling at DD (even though she did feel pretty bad about messing it up). Still, it was fun to work on it with her and really, in the grand scheme who cares if it isn't perfect? It's a moopoint. To quote Joey, from friends, "Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo." (this is what I think of everytime I hear or say the phrase "moot point").

So, this was my lesson in letting it go. I think I did pretty good but could have done better I'm sure. I'll get there eventually.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Strike on the List-Closet Cleaned

So, my new year's resolu- my to do list- has 1 more thing crossed off. The cleaning of the master closet.
I tell you, at first, it was a daunting task. But, in the end, it was really kinda fun pulling out all sorts of things from the back of my closet that I didn't even remember I had! First, here's the before:

Scary. Just too much stuff. Time to purge.And purging feels good (okay, not the kind where you have, like, a medical problem but you know what I mean peeps).

I ended up with a fashion show (okay, some of it not so fashionable) trying on all the dresses and clothes that I wasn't sure about and just didn't know if I loved enough to keep.This certainly slowed my progress down a bit but it made it more fun. Like, who knew I had 4 black dresses? And what use do I have for 4 of them anyway? Do I really go to that many funerals? I must think I do because I kept them.
 Kept this one cuz I liked the back. (and forgive the fact that I just tried these on over my jeans/boots. I didn't have time to be prettying up the look. I just wanted to see how they fit and if I loved 'em or not.).
 And this is one of my favorite dresses so I certainly couldn't part with it:
This one I kept because I wore it to my grandpa's funeral so, I just couldn't get rid of it.

Not too flattering but I think it would look better with tights (not socks) and my hair fixed, etc. etc.
The last black dress I didn't take a pic of cuz it was a basic sheath and I was on a roll and didn't wanna stop.

But some other gems:

Might've worked but the bust was all too loose. It was outta here!

This one wasn't so bad. I kept it because I wore it to my wedding rehearsal. I just couldn't get rid of it.

Other things won't get tossed cuz they're special occassion things like this sequined red top. I know its a bad pic but it's really very pretty IRL.

Okay, enough dress up...I'm sure you wanna see the after pics so here they are:

I know my side doesn't look that cleaned out but I promise it is! the top shelf just has all our boardgames none of which got cut. And look at all that extra space on DH side?
It looks sooo much cleaner, bigger and lovelier in our closet now. Look how much stuff was taken out of just this one small closet-

 Three trashbags full of clothing. It's crazy. (We Americans really do have too much stuff). More may be leaving since I put a small "maybe" pile aside with the stipulation that if it's not worn at least 1-2 times within the next 3 months it was also gone.
Again, the before:


New Rain Boots...finally

Since last year I have been on the lookout for new rainboots. I started out looking at these:
By Chinese Laundry.
Soon, I upgraded to thinking about Hunter boots:

But if you know anything about me you already know I was hurting looking at the price of Hunter boots. $125.00. This may not be a lot to most fashionistas but, to me, it was beyond anything I would want to spend on clothing/shoes.

So, I waited, and waited, and pined for them, and waited. And finally, when I was ready to bite the bullet and just buy them, I went to Nordstrom and tried them on.And...I was less than impressed. For sure, they were made well and, as rain boots went, were top of the line. But really, I wasn't overly impressed when I wore them. They were heavy for one and two, they weren't 125.00 worth of awesome for me.

So, back to the drawing board I went.

After much scouring of the internet, buying other boots and then returning them I settled on a pair of rainboots that fit each criteria. 1) Inexpensive 2) Red 3) fairly fashionable 4) lightweight 5) Inexpensive.

And here was my first rainy day to wear them:

Of course, they aren't Hunters and I wish they were a little redder (they look orange in these pics but that's just my poor quality photo). Overall, this cheap girl is pleased with her rain boots (DSW, Dirty Laundry).
I got a larger size than was necessary but I love that cuz I can slip them on very easily and they are uuber comfortable.
I can't wait for it to rain some more so that I can wear them!

Monday, January 10, 2011

TO DO: 2011

Resolutions are depressing. I always feel like if I don't keep them then I've somehow failed.
Even though I do have some resolutions, I mostly don't do them cuz...really...who actually believes I'll keep 'em? Not me. Don't answer that.

But lists- I can do lists. Lists are attainable. Jot stuff down then scratch it off. Lists are fun for anal retentive people like me. I make lists for everything from groceries (normal) to packing for trips (normal) to what exactly I would buy if I won the lottery and how it would all break down in my needs/wants and just exactly how much of a "lottery" I'd have to win in order to be considered financially solvent (not exactly normal). Also, I love crossing things out. It makes me feel accomplished at peace not lazy. Like, "hey- look at all those crossed out things? AWESOME!"

Now, because I am a totally lazy person, I'm gonna make my list short. Then, when I get done I can be proud that I've accomplished something instead of lying on my hiney all year long doin' nu''in'.

So, the list goes like this:

1.) Clean out my closet (this is more like a spring cleaning thing). I was in my master closet and realized I have waaaaay to many clothes now. So, I should downsize some things and clean it out.Plus, just reorganize what I have.

2.) Organize my bills/junk mail.
It was a big pile. and now it's nothing. YEA! (See how awesome it looks to have something already crossed off the list? Le sigh.)

 3.) Refinish the 2 dressers that I have but haven't done anything with. Actually, I have tried to sand the bottom 2 drawers of this dresser. And then I left it alone for a year.
The dresser above just needs to be painted. One afternoon is all it will take. I'll get there.

4.) I would love to add this to the list- tear out our carpet on the stairs and try to refinish them like Thrifty Decor Chick did here:
Gorg. But a bit of a stretch for me unless I am loco.

5.) Sell the 5 items (2 desks, 1 coffee table, 1 dresser, 1 tv armoire) that I no longer use on Craigslist.

6.) Finish losing 15lbs. I scratched this off, not because I attained the goal, but because it seemed more resolution-y (is that a word?) than list-y (and is that a word?).

7.) Paint the loft upstairs and reorganize it for more functionality.

 It doesn't look nearly this nice right now and well, I'll take a before pic to show you exactly what it looks like when I get to that point.

8.) Take down the Christmas tree and decor inside. (I wish I could scratch this off right now, but nope, too lazy, haven't gotten there yet.)

9.) Replace our shower window.
Of course, this has been cleaned up but no glass has been put in as of yet. I nearly choked on the 1K price right before Christmas and it didn't hinder taking showers so it never got done. It has to be on the list now.

So that's it. Cleaning and reorganizing will be my motto for the coming year. Can I do it? Heck yeah! I have all year after all, with only 10 9 items on the list. Let's see...that breaks down to about 1 task every month. Even my lazy bum should be able to do it, right? (Let's cross our fingers.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Mantle

I officially declare it all right to show you my Christmas/winter mantle after the fact since A) I was lazy and didn't get it up until the week prior to Christmas and then B) I was sick through the holidays so I didn't blog like I meant to which also brings us to C) I was just plain lazy.

So, lets suspend the reality of blogland. Pretend that you aren't done with the holidays, that you aren't  thankful they are over, aren't tired of seeing holiday decorations (most having already taken them down by now-unlike my lazy bum), and haven't gone through a bajillion blogs already a month ago that showed you their Christmas mantles-probably much prettier and much more efficiently done than mine. Come along on this magical journey, transport yourselves back about a month ago and look at my pictures and like it dammit. or just skip this post all together-it's totally your choice.

This year I decided I wanted a silver/gold look on the mantle (since I already had so much silver anyway). Cue the music, "Silver and gold, Silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold..." This joke would have gone over much better a month ago when everyone had the holiday spirit. (just humour me, 'mmmkay?).

On to the pictures.

I already had:
1) the happy holidays sign-I think I paid 3.00 for it last year.
2) the silver/gold snowflakes
3) the silver candlestick
4) the silver urn
5) the electric fake candle sticks (1.00 each). They were a really ugly cream yellow (I call it smokers yellow) and I just painted them silver with spraypaint I had leftover from another project. took like, 2 seconds to paint.
6) the glass vase, beads, and twigs (which I also spraypainted silver)
7) the garland

I bought:
1) the 3 white candles (flickering electric from the dollar tree!! 1.00 each)
2) 1 pkg gold bulbs for decor to offset all the silver (1.00 dollar tree!)
3) gold shredded icicles (dollar tree)
4) the big glittered gold bulb (dollar tree)

So, for my mantle I spent 6.00 and 3 of those dollars were for candles that I can use again at another time.

So, there it is. My Christmas mantle. Which, when I take down the "Happy Holidays" sign, will become my winter mantle.

Okay, you may now go back to your regularly scheduled programs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Being sick sucks.

Just wanted to explain why I've been a bad blogger as of late.

It all started with my sister's, ahem, allergies. See, she and her son had some allergy problems while we were visiting and I seemed to have caught the allergy bug (love ya sis!). She swore up and down that her problem was in nooooo way to blame for my current illness because-quote- it's just allergies -unquote-.
Despite the fact that she was coughing, sniffling, sneezing, etc, etc. (and yes, I realize the symptoms of a cold/allergies are similar).

(Side Note: Can I say that that way, the whole, "quote/unquote" thing? Or is it more correct to just put in the actual quotation marks= " " ? But that doesn't make sense because when I say it I mean to emphasize the quote/unquote status of the situation so it seems more correct to actually write out the words quote/unquote...hmmmm...Oh the quandaries of writing). But I digress.

So, the last few days with my family I caught a cold. Yes, a COLD. Not allergies (really, really love ya seester!). And it started on Christmas Eve and it totally blew. I still enjoyed my Christmas but I really wanted to feel awesome ya know? And what is worse than getting on a crummy old plane and traveling half a day when you feel icky and achy?

Let me break this down for you. I'm a hermit (have I already explained that?) and so, it already takes a lot to get me to want to, I dunno, come out and play with people. You know, interact. I like my time, my space, my home, my hermitness. Still, I missed my family and I was looking forward to spending the Christmas holiday with them. But allergies cold had to come on and then all I wanted to do was crawl in my bed, cover my head, and die. yes, I'm a baby and melodramatic about being sick. I was miserable on Christmas day.

I'm just starting to emerge from my cocoon of comfort after hiding away and dying for the past week and half (I know, you're saying to yourself, "Hey, it was just allergies a cold, get over it" but, have I previously mentioned how melodramatic I am?)

Really, I shouldn't whine complain. I had a pretty good Christmas besides the cold I caught. But that is why I haven't blogged and have been out of commission completely when I might have otherwise blogged some lovliness over Christmas, or New Years, or the likes.
Because of allergies.