Thursday, April 29, 2010

I heart Marshalls

Once a week I head to the allergist to get my allergy shots. On my way home sometimes, during my lunch break, I'll swing by Marshalls to see if they've got anything good. It's generally hit or miss.

I love shoes as much as the next gal, which is odd, because I didn't start loving shoes until the last few years. The problem is I love designer shoes, and I have sensitive feet, so cheap shoes don't work out so well for me. I'm pretty frugal with things too, which is a bad combination.

Well, the shoe gods were smiling down at me yesterday. I found a pair of cute sandals on clearance for $29, which I still thought was a little pricey for Marshalls clearance. That was, until I got home and looked them up.

They retail for $120 and are on sale for $85. I got them for a little over 75% off!!! What a steal!!!

And they're my absolute favorite and blue!!! Football season, I'm ready for you!!

Honesty Sign Makeover

My creative side has started kicking into gear. Poor Chris doesn't know what to think just yet about it.

He came into the garage this past weekend while I was finishing up the staining of my bench, kind of perplexed and we had the following conversation:

C: "I don't lie to you."
K: "That's a good thing. Odd to say now, but good."
C: "Well, do you think I lie to you?!"
K: "Um...not really. You probably have before, but in general, I'd say you're pretty honest with me."
C: "All right, so then why'd you buy me a pink stupid sign?"
K: "Huh? A pink sign?"
C: "Yeah, the dumb looking pink sign that we're never hanging in our house that you got to remind me to tell the truth."

I couldn't stop laughing. I found this at Jo-Ann's, on clearance for $8:

I actually saw it when I went to get fabric the first time, and got so flustered and left empty handed. When I went back the second time, and it was still there, I decided it was a sign and took it home with me. I had big plans for that sign.

First big plan was to get rid of everything except the wood! While I was spray painting the gold frame, I took my trusty can of brown spray paint to the Honesty sign as well. Here's what it (and my big toe) looked like:

I wanted to add a little more blue into our living room to tie in the bench cushion, and my T. Mom had given me her left over blue paint from a room I had liked, so I was resourceful and used what I had. I actually wasn't real sure where I was going with the sign, I kind of just made it up as I went along.

I sanded the entire body of the frame then painted it blue, then sanded again, then added some stain around the frame portion. I decided it was too dark and took an old tee shirt and dabbed it in the blue paint and rubbed it all around the frame again. I decided THAT looked I stained JUST the edges and wiped them off immediately. I think I redid that 3 or 4 times until I wound up with this:

For inside the sign, I wanted our family name, us, and when we were married. On Sunday, I looked everywhere for stencils that would work, and couldn't find any. I wound up printing off a bunch of different fonts and tracing the one that I liked best:

Then grinned ear to ear when I moved the paper and could actually see my traces!!! It worked!!

Next, I colored in the lines (which is actually super hard for me, and I had a .20 cent small paint brush sitting around, so that wasn't the best either). I thought I was done with this:

Can anyone see what's wrong with that? Yeah...we weren't established in 2005. Chris proposed then, but I did not take his last name till 2006. The funny part about that is that I've been doing this project all week long, and I've had 2005 printed out and sitting on that sign for the entire week. I even took it in to Chris to show him it and he thought it looked great. As I was taking pictures I realized that I screwed up. Sigh...

So, after redoing the 5 to a 6, and repainting and distressing the HART, here's what the final product looks like:

Here's her new home:

And here's the living room view, with that wall now complete. One down, 8923784 to go!!

Again, not perfect, but I still love it because it's so us! I've spent every night this week working on this sign, and I finally decided enough was enough. I love the frame, but think I might re-do the inside again one day. It's good enough for now though!

Thank GOODNESS it's Friday!! Have a great weekend everyone!!  I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gold Frame Revamp

On my list of projects to do last weekend was this gold frame:

Chris and I both weren't fans of it. I bought it in a rush awhile back. I wanted something NOW to put that picture in, and that was what I found, so that was what I bought.

I was talking with my friend Erin about how we were trying to make our living room personal, but modern at the same time. She thought we were going for very traditional because every time she thinks of our living room, she thinks of that ugly gold frame. She didn't say ugly, I did!

So, it was time for a re-do. Big frames are expensive, and although the outcome of this isn't my absolute favorite, it is much much better and probably cost me all of .50 cents in spray paint and tape to redo.

After taking the picture and glass out, I spray painted the whole thing brown like this:

It still looked too ... boring, and I wanted to draw away from the swirly things and draw the eye to the straight lines of it, so I taped around the swirly things and added in a white border to come up with this:

Not perfect, but much much better! I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been having issues lately with sleeping. I'm pretty sure it's because I have a million things going on in my head of projects to get done the next day. Chris winds up not getting much sleep either due to my tossing and turning, so he suggested that I come up with a list of things for each day and write it down on our to-do wipe able board that we keep in the kitchen. Maybe if I wrote it all down, I could sleep.

Sunday morning I woke up and wrote down my to-do list. Granted, I know this list is supposed to get accomplished before I go to bed, but I still thought he had a good idea.

Here's what it looked like:

About an hour later, Chris comes into the someday kids room that I'm painting and tells me my list is dumb. I asked why, and he said because there was no way I was getting all of that done in one day and that I needed to take a chill pill.

He was wrong, with one exception. The ladder pics didn't get hung. I started to hang them, but realized I need to finish another project first to make everything symmetrical, so I decided to wait on that one. Everything else on that list got done...and at the end of the day on Sunday, I definitely passed out!

I'll post more on the other projects as the week goes on!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I wanted this:
I did not want to pay $399 + $40 shipping + $35 for each basket I wanted to go in the cubbie holes + $75 for the bench cushion I wanted to go on the top of it + tax. Ridiculous.

But I really wanted the bench.

So Chris, being the wonderful husband he is, got it for me for my birthday. Even as a gift, I knew what it cost, and it was still ridiculous for a BENCH!

I started searching craigslist and Ebay for a used bench. I came across this instead. Ana at Knock-Off Wood is my new idol. I'm not kidding.

She comes up with the plans to make the same EXACT furniture you see at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, amongst others, and posts step by step instructions on how to build your piece of furniture. She's amazing.

I went out and bought all of the wood for $50. Yes, $50. On our way home from playing volleyball at the beach 2 weeks ago, I asked Chris if we could return my PB Bench and get me a nail gun ($100) instead for my birthday. His response: A nail gun, seriously? Yep babe, a nail gun. Just humor me. He did.

I was brought up to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. My mind probably comes up with more projects and ideas than the rest of my siblings, but nonetheless, I have a hard work ethic with these DIY projects, lots of determination, and am very stubborn. Sometimes, Chris thinks my mind is wacky, but for the most part he goes along with it all.

Nail gun in hand, I got to work. I started with 1x4's, 1 x12's, and plywood. Added in some stain, and this was what my creation looked like in the garage:

Staining and polyurethane-ing took longer than actually building the bench. After I sanded, re-stained, made some mistakes, polyurethaned, resanded, and put some more polyurethane on again, the bench was ready to be moved inside.

Next up, I needed a cushion. I am not crafty at all. I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, and I certaintly can't sew. Luckily for me, they make fabri-tac. I went back to Jo-Ann's and bought my fabric for the cushion, and a huge piece of foam. After I measured and cut the foam, and measured the fabric, I got to work and came up with this:

*Disclaimer: Chris actually DID help with the cushion during one of his study breaks. My bull in a china closet self was a little nervous to make cuts and glue fabric solo.

And then I went and bought 3 baskets from Michaels to put in the cubbie holes. Chris picked out the middle one...he said it's a reminder to me to do it every now and again. With the 3 baskets and my cushion, here's what it looks like:

Here's what it looks like from the kitchen. I wanted it for that nook under the window, and I think it fits it perfectly. I chose the fabric I did to bring a little bit of femininity to our straight lined living room theme.

This is my big project I've been working to complete over the past week and a half ~ 2 weeks. I'm so proud of myself. I really don't give myself too many pats on the back, but every time I walk into the kitchen, I smile at my bench. Yes, MY bench. I made it. Is it perfect? No. It is perfectly imperfect, just like the rest of my life, which is the way I like it.

Total Cost? $50 for the wood, $15 for stain and polyurethane, $5 for the fabric, $15 for the foam, and $45 for all 3 baskets. Even if you add in the price of the nail gun, I'm still at under HALF of what the bench ALONE would've cost me to buy. My bench is better. It definitely doesn't look better, but I made it. That makes it better.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Happy Monday!  I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

Cell phone drama

Remember this post?

Well, we've brought my cell phone back from the dead. It's a MIRACLE!!!

No, really, it's annoying.

The quality of our new cell phones sucked, and because "v" sucks equally as well with customer service, we're back to the old phones. "A" would've never have done this to us!

To summarize a long story, "V" told us that we could take our new phones for a test drive, and if we didn't love them, bring them back in 30 days. They negated to mention the 70$ restocking fee if we traded them in for another new phone. If you go back to your old cell phone and come back a week later, there is no fee.


I use my cell phone for work, and Chris uses his...occasionally...when he's in the car. Which means poor Chris has my resurrected phone (it still works on blue tooth), and I have his.

As always, if you need to get ahold of us this week, good luck! Really, if you call Chris's phone, you'll get me and if you call my phone you'll get the car. If someone happens to be driving it at the same time, you might get a person.


Our numbers are the same except the last digit. If you want to get a hold of me this week, dial the same number, but end it with a 1! If you want to get a hold of Chris this week, um, email him?!?! He's got finals on Wednesday, so he's pretty booked until then anyways!

How are we both engineers?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Congratulations CHRIS!!!

I'm so proud!!

I've been dying to tell everyone Chris's big news, but we had to wait until he made a decision and today's the day!!

Chris is now officially a Senior Engineer!! That's a TWO level jump!! Remember this post? Remember me saying next up was CEO?! He's well on his way!!!

So how did this happen you ask? How, in these economic times, when our company isn't giving raises or progressions (that's what they call them...don't ask me), did Chris manage to jump up TWO levels?!

He's a super star, that's how!! (And he manages to smile and look good while working this):

I kid, I kid. Well, not really...I digress...sorry.

Chris was not content being worked to death for no reward, and applied for a Senior level position in another group. He saw the job rec open and went for it. After his interview, he told the hiring manager that he didn't want an E3 position, he wanted a Senior position...that's what he interviewed for, and he had all of the qualifications that the Senior level rec called out for.

His current group couldn't let him go without leveling the playing field and putting up a fight, so Chris has been going back and forth all week on which job to accept. Today was his cutoff date and he is officially a Senior!! After much much MUCH debate, thought, and conversation, Chris decided to stay with his current group.

I'm so proud of all of the hard work he puts into both his job and his school work. It's not easy to be go, go, go all of the time, and moments like this are when you realize it CAN be worth it! Go Chris!

I think it's about time for a celebration vacation, don't you?!

Monday, April 19, 2010

High's, Low's, and Everything In Between

I don't have pictures to share just yet of this weekends projects around the house, so I'll just write some highlights, low lights, and teasers.

High lights:
--Ashleigh and Adam don't care that I'm awful at singing, and we can rock out to the Wii all night long.
--I did not cook one meal this weekend, thanks to Chick-Fil-A Friday night, my wonderful hubby for breakfast and lunch on Saturday, our wonderful neighbors for dinner Saturday night, and the power going out on Sunday for quite awhile and again my wonderful husband for dinner Sunday night.
--We took time to relax and have *quite a few cups of coffee over brunch on Sunday. I love when we do this...I love just chit chatting with Chris!
--We cleaned out the 'junk' room and put stuff up in the attic so Chris's family has bedrooms to sleep in when they come in a few weeks.
--I'm almost finished working on a project that I'm really proud of...will post pics and details later!!
--I painted the baseboards in one of the kid rooms...doors / door trimmings / closet painting is all that's left!

Low Lights:
--I went to Jo-Ann's for fabric and felt like the biggest poser in the entire world.
--I went to Home Depot for sand paper and got told I looked like I worked there.
Yes, I know I fit in better at Home Depot than Jo-Ann's. No need to point out the obvious!
--The power and cable went out for a loooong time on Sunday morning. At 1030 I got back in bed and told Chris that I just couldn't make it through the day without coffee, so until then, I was going back to bed. (Plus side of this--yay brunch!)

--I love color on walls. I hate painting. That means all of my walls are going to be plain beige in this house so that I can just change out accents.
--Our generations version of a guitar and a campfire have changed to the Wii. I hope my kids get to experience a guitar and a campfire one day!!
--Chris is even MORE indecisive than I am. Amazingly so. Keep an eye out for Wednesday's / Thursday's post to hear more on why!

So, that's our weekend in a nutshell!! Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another mini project

I've hated the gold rim around these doors since we moved in:

I went to Jo-Ann's and bought the cheapest silver spray paint I could find there (just in case it didn't work out). During lunch one day this week, I taped newspaper to the mirror and to the wall with scotch tape (I couldn't find our blue painters tape), and spray painted away.

Not perfect, but much better!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rock Project - Part 2

After we finished part 1, we split part 2 into the remaining 3 days. Here's what part 2 looked like to start off with:

*Note the newspaper in the picture. For some reason, Chris thought we were supposed to wet the newspaper, lay it on top of the weeds and leave it for a week to kill them. He apparently forgot that we live in Florida, it's not the rainy season, and wet newspaper doesn't take a week to dry out. That one piece stayed, the rest had to be picked up along the fence!

We got to work again digging. We also had to move two trees that were along this side (and probably would've eventually broken up our concrete for our pool deck...not smart previous owners)!

It took us 3 go rounds with our garbage days to get rid of all of the dirt and rock that we pulled up. We still have some hidden on one side of the house, but our backs say that's enough for now!



Chris had tried to convince me to just get rid of the old plants and plant new ones. Instead, I weeding around the old ones, grouped them together how I wanted them, and re-planted.

I've just got to spray-paint the paver's and this part will be completely done too. My finger got a cramp from the other side!

It's almost Friday! Enjoy the rest of the week!!

I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Okay, so maybe not ever...winning the lottery or something would be much better, but for our family (Chris, Kodi, and myself), we're really excited and happy.

All day Sunday Chris worked on school. Most of you know he's pursuing his MSEE right now. Most of you also know that at one point, we were both going back to school for an Engineering Management degree, but due to changes in our companies reimbursement policies, we had to drop trying to get that degree.

Back to Sunday. Chris got a little A.D.D. and started looking at what all he had left to finish up his degree. Working full time and going to school full time is pretty tough, especially with the way UF does it's electrical engineering long distance learning. He does the exact same thing as kids on campus...he gets graded the same, has the same homeworks, papers, projects, exams, etc. as people that are just going to school full time for their Master's and can dedicate the 50 hours Chris does working a week to just school.

In a few more weeks, after finals, he'll have 15 hours towards his MSEE...or so he thought. In his A.D.D.ness, he started looking through graduate requirements and realized that he only has to take 21 credit hours of EE classes. The other 9 hours can be electives. He emailed the graduate advisor who stated that one of the classes that we took from the engineering management program would automatically count towards his 30 hours for his degree. She also let him know that he could petition the graduate coordinator for EE and see if they'd let him count his second class that he took towards his MSEE.

So he wrote the petition. He got an email back from the graduate coordinator (who was also our senior design advisor) today saying that yes, it could count!!! That means that Chris's ADDness just cut off an ENTIRE semester of school!!! He's got THREE classes left to take after this semester and he'll be DONE!!!

I'm so happy...I can't begin to explain how exciting having my husband back full time FOUR months early is to me!! THREE more classes...we can do it!!

Rock Project - Part 1

The rock project isn't 100% complete yet, but I'll still post the before and after pictures as promised. We broke the work down into two sections, one area around the pool pump, and the other behind the actual pool itself. The pool pump area was smaller, but needed more digging out than the other area, so we tackled that first.

Here's the before:

I dug out the first quarter of the section...then Chris dug out the rest and made me use the little shovel to dig out around the pool pump equipment. Chris is all about instant gratification on these projects!

Chris: Babe, I need a break.
Me: A photo break?! Perfect!
Chris with his big shovel and me with my little one:

After we finished digging it all out, we raked it all even, and then sprayed a heavy coat of roundup on it. After waiting 30 minutes (taking a lunch break), we laid down wet newspaper (to further deter growth - thanks for the idea Janelle!), put the border/paver's down, and then put the rocks on top of the newspaper.

Kodi got bored by the end of it! We're almost done with part 1!

Friday evening I took a can of brown spray paint, moved the rocks back from the paver's, and spray painted the paver's and the stepping stones. I still need to do one more coat on the tops and sides of the stepping stones, but I think it actually turned out pretty decent! We saved a ton of $$ by re-using the existing paver's that were there and just spray painting them the color we wanted. It's outdoor spray paint, so it should last for a long time! We've still got to put in top soil, and maybe sod (if the grass doesn't spread) next to the paver's, but here's where part 1 stands now:

That's 1 ton of rock in there that we moved and put into place ourselves just for this area! I'll post part 2 later on in the week. Happy Monday!  I'm linking up to these fun parties...make sure to check them out!

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