Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Care package!

October is my birthday month and I love nothing better than getting a bunch of presents and attention! (What can I say? I'm a materialistic attentionwhore.)

After a hard days work it was an awesome surprise to come home to a great big box from my best friend who lives a bajillion miles away in Hawaii. Which totally blows but I guess she's living it up Hawaiian style so she sent me a little piece of her homeland.

First, i love a bunch of individual presents to open. Feels sooo special to find out whats in each and every package. She had them all wrapped with little notes attached.I can't tell you how fun it was to open them all and read the responding note.

 The first present I opened was a beautiful headband made out of swarovski jewels---soooo pretty. I forgot to take a pic of it but I plan to wear it soon so I'll take a pic when I do!

Then I opened these additional presents:
Home fragrance from a spa she works for-this stuff smells heavenly. Like, omgoshsoooogood. I won't use it until after the holidays but it will be the perfect spring smell to make my whole house smell divinely expensive and beautiful:

The note she attached with this present below says, "Ask me about this next time we talk!":

 I love it! I am blogging before I've even talked to her so I don't even know the backstory to tell you. LOL

These were a deck of cards...but of course I just had to get the attractive pic out there...How's about 52 copies of him? Le sigh:


Like my fat arse needs chocolate macadamia anything. But yum!!!!

I love this next gift...I don't even think she knows how much I have a thing for lil' turtles! Love. This is why my BFF's nickname is Kindred. We are Kindred Spirits-she gave me a turtle without even knowing I'm crazy about 'em. Kindred says they are called Honu's (turtles) and so his name will be Honu (oh and you can kinda see the headband she got behind him!) Plus, another cool thing-he glows in the dark!:

Some pretty nail art:
Last gift is a set of smelly goods from her spa--awesome stuff. All of it smells great! 

My favorite note was attached to this one. It pretty much is the epitamy of  how we are with each other:

I tell you this note almost made me tear up --I miss her sooooo much!!!!! How can a note like that make me teary-eyed? LOL. MISS YOU KINDRED!

She's an awesome friend and I hate that she's soooo far away. I loved all my presents and can't wait to use them all!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breast Cancer awareness

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and every Friday has been dedicated to wearing pink to celebrate ( that the right term? Seems wrong). Anyhow.

Our admin asst. came to us and said they are having a contest to see which department can decorate a pumpkin the best for the event. They even gave us a "starter" kit with a pumpkin, some beads, glitter, glue, stickers, paint, etc. Here is what we came up with:

She's our police lady fighting for a cure. Of course, Luhvah and my friend's significant other says she looks like a hooker police cop (or sexy police woman).  She's still cute. Of course, we couldn't keep with the "starter" kit and had to go buy more stuff (25.00 worth of crap. OUCH!) But it was fun.    

Here is Rach with our lady friend. We really need a name for her. I'm thinking Bond Girl names---Officer Pinkchest?

I heard they are having prizes but I have no idea what they'll be. Cross our fingers we win!

Halloween mantle-2012

Halloween is right around the corner. October always seems to go by so quickly I never have enough time (probably because it's fall and I want to savour every last moment of everything it rushes by too fast for me).

I had my fall mantle up a few weeks back:
But as I already said, I wasn't fully pleased with the results.

I told you I would get back with you on how I played with it. And I didn't. But I did play a little and left it all together dissatisfied again (first world problems, I know!).
Not really better. But then I left that a week and decided to come back and revamp for Halloween.

I went to the dollar store and bough the 3 birds and the netting/cloth. Everything else I already owner from previous years.  The picture is something I pinned from pinterest:
I love it for some reason (prob the black cat!) I distressed it with paint to give it an aged feel.
I also pinned this:

I replicated it by filling some dirt and glitter in a jar and making the distressed label:
Quick tutorial on how I "distress" this:
1) Print out in whatever font you prefer for the size you need. Tear off of paper for size. (more haphazard the better)

2) Take acryllic paint in brownish color and dilute greatly with water. (Note: people stain/distress/discolor things easily all the time with tea or coffee. But I wasn't gonna brew any just for these small projects)
3) Paint quickly on your paper and wipe away:

4). Burn edges. The best way I've found is using my burner on the stove. It gets the look I want better than using a cig lighter or match (which just burns the paper down rather than smoking the edges):

I adhered the label to the bottle with tape. Easy peasy.
So far, these are the only Halloween decorations I have up! Oh noes! I meant to do more on the outside but I was pretty busy this weekend and didn't get a chance.
I did a spooky look on my picture which makes it look pretty cool:

I will post more Halloween decor hopefully this weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kitchen cabinet reveal

So, remember 2 and a half months ago when I blogged about my kitchen cabinets almost being done? Yeah, they've been done for a while but I've been too lazy to take pics. Which is awful cuz I'm soooo outrageously proud of how they turned out.

I've got a smorgasborg of pictures to show. And FYI peeps-these are all taken with my iphone as I am still without a new camera (RIP). Forgive the quality.

I am head over heels in love with the way they look. I think it brings so much more of a sophistication to my kitchen and, since I couldn't monetarily upgrade anything this really helped make this room more welcoming to us. Let me point out though that I don't know what peoples obsession is with cream in this house. I mean, is it a builder's thing? Is cream just cheaper than white? I have had to paint every God forsaken peice of trim in my house (including those lovely pantry doors above) a crisp white from that awful cream. And they continued it with the microwave and fridge. Off-white. UGH. It.looks.dirty.people. I refer to this cream color as "smoker's yellow". Since it looks like something that might have been white but a smoker has lived in the house forever and turned everything yellow. Anyhow. I'm stuck with the cream fridge/microwave which really throws off my vibe but whatevs. We'll upgrade when we can. Luhvah wanted to gut everything and has hated the kitchen since we moved in (especially the laminate counters). But since painting I think Luhvah has accepted it a little more.
Remember before the Honey Oak color:

Okay, awful pic but I couldn't find another (forgot to take before pics like a bozo!). And yes, my house is a mess. Whatevs.
Anyhow. The after is much better:

Like I said, brings a whole level of sophistication to my kitchen that it lacked before. And the knobs and pull helped too:
The kitchen cabinets were bare when we moved in and just adding hardware I felt it helped them so much. I've vowed to never go nekkid again (at least in the kitchen hardware department).

When I painted I decided I wanted to try an open shelving area to make it more interesting. After deciding where I wanted the open shelf I just took down the cabinet door that was on it (I couldn't possibly do all open shelves  cuz 1) all my dishes aren't that pretty and 2) I keep a hell o' a mess behind those closed doors!) I painted the inside all black as well. Peeps, this is how lazy I am...I didn't even fill in the holes where the hardware went. Ssssshhhh don't tell. You don't even notice unless you're studying real hard. And if you are then you'll find plenty wrong with my house so git out!

I had all the dishes already to make it pretty. No need to buy anything.

Everywhere else I left the insides the original color:

While we're talking kitchen let me also point out that I would have loved to add white beadboard (even beadboard wallpaper) below the cabinets as a backsplash but I was going cheap so I didn't do it. I didn't mind the backsplash that was put up by the previous owners but they only put it on one side.
And now it looks to dark and not at all what I want anyway for the kitchen. Maybe down the road I'll get that beadboard wallpaper and do both sides.

More shots of prettiness:

Also, let me point out the new wall color:
It's Revere Pewter color matched to Behr paint/primer. I love it. I'll be showing you more pics to come of the finished product in the whole house. (See, that's my excuse for delaying so long on posting the kitchen-been too busy painting our whole house!) Here's a picture of the color on the walls before with Monkey helping (Revere Pewter is the color in the lower left corner you can barely see):

So, there it is. Finally done. And to keep it real- here was the other side with my sink:
Look, even though I have dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter all I can stare at is the pretty cabinets and hardware (and so should you!). Le sigh. It was tedious work but I am sooooo glad I did it (and I can't believe it took me this long to do after 7 years at this place-I've been wanting to paint them since we moved in!)

Here's the breakdown of what I did monetarily and physically:

1) Primer -Before primer I didn't bother sanding or anything (unless it was super rough). I just slapped primer down after cleaning very well with soap and water (and magic cleaner for really tough grease areas). I already had a quart which I barely used for my front door project so I finished that off but it wasn't enough so Luhvah went and got a gallon. We could've easily gone with another quart though and been fine. I did 2 coats of primer (1 Gallon-25.00? I think)

*****EDIT: I found the primer I use online by chance and wanted to share. In fact the blog that talked about it had some interesting points about not having to sand (YAY!) with this primer. You can read about it here. Here's the primer I used.

2) Paint- after primer I went straight to the paint. FYI peeps- I didn't sand really at all. I know this is a huge step in painting cabinets--sand, sand, sand between each step! But I just didn't have the patience. I got Gripper paint from Glidden I believe (I have to look and report later). I just hope that helped with the many coats of paint and the sealer.
On to paint- I did basic black (Onyx I think from Behr? Maybe Glidden? I totally suck at these breakdowns). I had to do 3 coats of the black paint to get  good even coverage and I used a foam roller to cover. (1 Gallon- 30.00)

3) Poly sealer- I used a Polyuethane sealant on the cabinets and did 2 quick coats on them with a quart of poly I had already for my stairs project.  (15.00/quart- but I already had it)

4)Hardware- The pulls were from Overstock and were 18.00 for 10 of them. The knobs were from ebay and were 25.00 for 20.

I'm not counting the wall color because really it was put all over the house so it goes into the budget from that other project.

In total I spent 98.00 (if you don't count the poly I already had or the wall color). I think that's an amazing number considering how much of a change it made in my kitchen. $98.00!!!! That's it. Wish I'd done it sooner.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Surprise! It's a Girl!

It seems like I should have written this post 2 months ago in a more appropriate time frame (aka, daughter's birthday). But, like always, I've never been one to do anything in an appropriate manner let alone something that would make sense.

So, I'm writing this post today. Mostly because I'm in a weirdly sentimental and thoughtful mood and I just wanted to get it out. Right about now you're saying, "well, what the hell is this post about then?"

It's about my daughter. Luhvah affectionately calls her Monkey:

This was probably 3 years ago. Now, she's a tidal wave of emotional surges known to most as a teenager (she's 13).

I got into a heavy discussion with a friend (as we are wont to do) about raising kids. She mentioned that when I worry about raising Monkey right that it makes her ovaries want to split open and self-procreate (my words, not hers- her words are more like, "Oh gosh, I can't wait to have kids and start raising them!)

Anyhow. It got me to thinking about all the things I want for Monkey. All the things I'm sure all parents want for their kids but go about it in completely different ways. I have a board on Pinterest solely devoted to Monkey. So, I thought I'd share some of those things.

One thing not on Pinterest is a quote I found while reading my LIT text book for school.

"a teaching help young readers develop an internal locus of control through which they assume that their own actions and characteristics will shape their lives. They ask the question, 'What am I going to do with my life?' while people with an external locus of control depend on luck, chance, or what others do. Their major life question is 'What will happen to me?'"

When I read this quote I immediately realized that until recently ( the past 7 years) I have had an external locus of control. And I hate it. I've gone through life dealing. Dealing with things thrown at me, dealing with how people have filtered in and out of my life, dealing with the jobs I've had, dealing. Which is really surprising considering what a control freak I am.

But, in the last 7 years, I've chosen to be in the former group. To have an internal locus of control. I now think, "What am I going to do with my life?" And I realized when I read that quote that this is my goal with Monkey-to teach her at an early age to ask- "What am I going to do with my life?". I don't want her going through life with a laissez-faire attitude wherein she gets thrown things and just learns to adjust her life around them. I want her to have purpose.

Sure, she can't plan everything down to the wire. A healthy amount of going with the flow would have to be incorporated into her life when things change without her doing. But, for the most part, I don't want her to  float through life.

Since I was a child I've been an opinionated, unruly, willful person.

And yet, I still let people, circumstances, and just plain stupidity, run my life. I went to college because it was what you do, I went to my sister's college cuz she was there. It was convenient. Then I dropped out cuz I couldn't figure out what I wanted to to do. Then I became a travel agent through happenstance, not choice (I did love the job though for 10 years). Then I had an unplanned pregnancy, again, through lack of responsibility, and certainly not by choice, at 22 years of age. Luckily (LUCK-ha!) God is a merciful God and gave me my wonderful daughter who drastically changed everything in my life. I would never take her back even as I realize that an unplanned pregnancy at 22 with a man I did not love was not the best decision (in fact, it was no decision at all-again, external locus). I guess the first real decision I made solely without any luck, chance, or external situations was when I married Luhvah (if you haven't gathered yet, Luhvah is not Monkey's biological father-though he is absolutely the best Dad she could ever have and legally adopted her-God bless that man!).

I tell you all this so you know how I don't want my daughter to be. To remind myself of what I want for her. I don't want her 22 and pregnant (or 16 and pregnant or any age and pregnant when its not a conscious decision she has made with a husband she loves). I battle with how I'll explain to her that she was in no way a mistake. That God gave her to me and through her He has taught me many things about life and myself. But it was definitely a struggle raising a baby at 22 when I was barely an adult myself and I never want her to have to go through that.

I pinned a great series of articles from this blog:

The series is about raising a daughter. I especially love the confidence post and the lessons on men. I want her to know that she can be whomever she wants to be and that I'm proud of her. She doesn't have to be what I want her to be, what Luhvah wants her to be, or what the world expects. She can be herself. And that means thinking for herself. Too often I tell her what I think. She's introverted by nature, I'm extroverted. She's shy, a thinker, a quiet reflective person who hides her thoughts.  I blurt out every little thing I think and feel. I don't want to overshadow or ignore her feelings. I always want her to know that her opinion matters.


I want my daughter to live, and live well. I want her to dream big and watch those dreams come true. I want to be there for her and help her make them happen. I want to guide her and teach her how to be the best person she can be. Thankfully, she's already well on her way.