Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Plate Runeth Over

I figured out, finally, what I'm going to do this year to give back. One of my New Years Resolutions was to find somewhere to volunteer. The problem with GOING somewhere to volunteer is that my schedule is always sporadic, so committing to something every weekend is almost impossible.

Almost three years ago, Chris and I ran a marathon together. We did it through The Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Team in Training, on our one year wedding anniversary. Here's a picture taken right after we crossed the finish line:

I can't even begin to describe the feelings and emotions of not only finishing a marathon TOGETHER on our one year wedding anniversary was like (literally, hand in hand), but moreso the emotions and joy from completing this task FOR a cause. FOR a greater good. FOR those who can't.

One of my girl friends from college joined TNT in 2006. Her Dad died of cancer while we were still in college, in 2004, and I remember how sad that was. Recently, another one of my close girlfriends, Jenny, found out her aunt is in relapse. To feel like she was doing something to help, she joined the TEAM.

I couldn't let her do it by herself. I know how much it meant to have my husband and my friends at that finish line with me, and I want to be there for her. Really, I wish I could single handedly stomp out cancer, just like so many of you do, but I can't. So here's something I can do. I can fund raise and I can run.

I can take time out of my busy and hectic life for something that is for a greater cause. I can be there for those who can't, and I can help make a difference.

I won't post more than this time asking for donations, but I will post updates on how my training is going, along with work, life, home, and crafting balance. I'm a non-stop type of person, it's just who I am.

To donate to my cause, please visit my fundraising website or click on the link at the top right hand side of my page. Every dollar honestly makes a difference!

If you'd prefer to send a check, just post to me and I'll get back to you on the details of it.

So while my plate might runeth over until the race in October, I will be grateful for each day, and will celebrate in knowing that I've made a difference.

Please help me if you're able.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And I'm Back...

But exhausted! I can't believe I was only gone for 5 seems like I lived a life time. I think the most we slept was 5 hours one night.

Because It'd take me days to summarize our trip, and because some of the fun we had is not blog appropriate (Hi grandma and mom-in-law! Love you guys!), I'll just post a few pictures with mini recaps to hold you over until I catch up on my sleep. I actually forgot my camera all day Friday, so these are just from Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

We got into town and headed straight for the stadium. We tailgated at Cask'n Flagon's, which is literally right across the street from the stadium! Tailgating for Red Sox game is equivalent to tailgating for Gator Football games for all of you southerners like me that don't know those Northerners and their baseball!

Us at Fenway Park...Amazing!!

After the game, we drove to CT and met the rest of the crew out at the bars.

No pics from today. Chris went golfing on this amazing golf course and I went to the vineyards with the ladies. We both had SO much fun!! We got back in time to hurry up and do a quick change and head to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

We got up, worked out for a little bit, and then met the groom and the groomsmen for lunch. I helped get Chris ready and off to the wedding, and then the rest of us had A/C'd busses that took us from the hotel to the church then to the reception, and finally back to the hotel. What a wedding! So fun! We made some great new friends and had SUCH a good time!

We got up and went to brunch at the bride's parents house. It was so delicious and so beautiful! After we wished the new couple a happy honeymoon (and told them not to forget...happy wife equals happy life!), we took two new friends with us to Boston.

Our hotel was so nice, and right next to both the Harbor and the airport, so it was super convenient too! We ate outside overlooking the Harbor, then headed out for the night.

The original Cheers!

We walked ALL over Boston!! The history of that city is just absolutely amazing!
C: Go stand in the center of there so I can take your pic.
K: Umm, ok.
Chris stands with the camera to his face for 20 mins 20 seconds, but doesn't say anything.
K: Um, have you taken the pic yet?! (Click on the picture to look at my feet) Um, K...I''m done posing!

We also caught the T up to Harvard to see that campus. The buildings and the campus there were absolutely amazing as well. Do you think it's bad if I frame some of those pictures and put them on the wall for someday kids room?! They will, of course, be smart enough to get a full scholarship there!

I have 8 trillion more pictures, but in the interest of time, and blog post length, I'll leave it at those! We headed back Monday night and got up Tuesday morning and drove over from Melbourne. It was such a fun trip!

Between work and trying to get my house back in order from unpacking, I won't be doing any projects the rest of this week...but hopefully I can finish my 'small' projects this weekend!

Hope everyone's had a great week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Long Life

I started off this weeks blog on Monday by saying I was getting old. Apparently, I still have a ways to go.

Chris sent me this link to a life expectancy calculator.

I know I'm healthy. I really don't think I'm an extremist, but I do know people that think I am. I eat right, I pretty much exercise every single day, and you will rarely catch me sitting on my butt watching TV. When I do get sick, I go down hard (it's all of my go-go-go-ness catching up with me), and I manage to come up with weird illnesses quite a bit, but I am pretty healthy.

I made it one of my New Years Resolutions to focus on my health, and have done pretty well (not that I really had that far to go) thus far.

So, when I filled out the life expectancy calculator, I expected it to say that I'd live a long and healthy life. Holy. Cow. I'm apparently going to live to be 102. 102!!!! What?!

I started thinking about the implications of living until I'm 102, and I got depressed. That means that I need to work until I'm 80 or something. What's even more depressing is that Chris's life expectancy is only 84. Poor Chris. We eat the same and exercise the same, and he constantly battles with his cholesterol and blood pressure. We need to work more on him. I'm not living till 102 without him!

Hope everyone's had a great week! I'm actually flying out for Boston for a wedding this weekend (and to see Fenway Park!), so this is my last post until I get back. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Key Art

All of my projects I started on this weekend are an attempt to change this floating USA into an actual filled wall:

From Blog Pics

The planked USA is hanging too high, but it was SUCH a pain to hang (it comes in 3 sections, all with different points for the hangers), that I decided I'd either put molding around it or do something else before I'd resort to re-hanging it.

Last night I finished my something else.

I liked the look of these from RH:

But they were $199 EACH, and I wanted 3 of them. No.Way.

So, I did my new favorite thing...I decided to try to make my own! I've actually had this idea for a little while, and wanted to build the frames for it, but I was in Jo-Ann's last weekend, the frames were 50% off, so I just took the easy way out and bought 3 of them ($15 each), along with some burlap for behind the keys (.50 cents). I bought the actual keys themselves at Home Depot for $1/key.

The keys only came in gold. Chris suggested I try our venetian bronze spray paint in addition to the silver spray paint that I had planned on using to see which one looked better. Yeah, Chris has an opinion, but not a desire to help with any of it!

Here's how the two key colors look side by side:

Chris won. I liked the way his color stood out in the frame.

I ironed and cut my burlap to size, and then used my trusty fabri-tac to glue the keys in place. That stuff is magic.

After much manipulating to attempt to get the burlap flat and the key centered in all three of the frames, I was ready to hang them. I wanted them all hung pretty close to each other to make room for my two other projects I'm working on, so they needed to be pretty level. I had Chris hold the laser level while I measured and hammered in the nails, and then hung the pictures.

I actually accused Chris of not holding the laser straight because all 3 frames were crooked. After telling me I was wrong, he took my pocket level and straightened them out. This is him and Kodi doing their victory dance when I had to say I was wrong and he was right.

Silly Boys.

Here's a few more shots of the keys in the living room. I may go back in at some point with some fabric paint and stencils and write the numbers of our last house and this house under the keys, but this was good enough for now!

One project down, two to go, and then one more wall can be checked off of my enormous wall decoration list! Of course, my other two 'small' projects are turning out to be anything but small...sigh.

All in all I spent $50 on this project vs. $600 for the RH ones. Mine might not be perfect, but for a $550 discount, I'm okay with it!  I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

 The DIY Show Off

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm Getting Old

As Kodi mentioned in his post, I was sick all week and most of the weekend.

I did, however, get started on a few smaller projects, and I also managed to escape the sick dungeon for a few hours on Saturday to get my hair done for a wedding we're going to next weekend, and to FINALLY get a new cell phone.

Both of those adventures made me realize that I'm getting old. My new cell phone is not sexy and sleek, it's rugged and durable and practical for me.

You would think I was a construction worker, not an Electrical Engineer, but I'm just clumsy. The guys at the V store had a good laugh at me using my cell phone that was in two pieces.

For my hair, I also went with a more practical look. I decided that until I start actually going into work instead of working from home, I'm letting my hair grow. My natural hair is curly and fro-y. I'm pretty sure I've seriously scared the Fed-Ex guy a few times when he's come by to deliver stuff with my short fro all over the place. With it longer, I can at least put it back in a pony tail.

So this weekend, I just had my girl trim off the dead ends, and then I did something even I was shocked by. I told the guy who highlighted my hair to go brown. He added in low lights, and then used toner on my existing blonde highlights to make it brown. It looks brown with tiny bits of blonde through it. It's more practical this way, and I don't have to either go every 2 months to get my roots touched up, or go looking awful for a month with bad roots showing. Yeah, when I start even thinking about my hair as practical, I know I'm getting old!

And because I knew you'd want to see a picture, I tried taking one with Chris.

And after he wouldn't cooperate, I tried taking one with Kodi...

And since he didn't cooperate either, and I don't take good self-portraits, especially without feeling really dumb, you're stuck with this pic to see the new brunette me:

It's weird to look in the mirror. I've been blonde my whole life. I can't really judge my hair-do altogether yet because I don't really like it long, I just don't like giving the Fed-Ex guy nightmares either. I think I'll let it stay this way for awhile, and maybe at some point add in subtle blonde highlights again. Maybe...who knows! I at least don't hate it, which is a good sign. Chris spent the latter part of the day Saturday and all day Sunday looking for his blonde wife.

I'll post more on my projects as the week goes on! Happy Monday!

I'm linking up my blooper pic with Kodi at Trendy Treehouses Shutter Love Tuesday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kodi Here

Hi blog-world,

My Mom's been sick for the past week. She's driving my Dad and I crazy starting to get restless, so in order to keep her in bed, I'm blogging instead.

We've had a relatively uneventful week, minus the few buckets of throw up times my Mom got sick. She's been in bed, Dad's back to school, so I've been left to fend for myself a few times this week. Life is rough when Mom's sick.

She did manage to sneak out and start a few smaller projects, so I think she'll take over posting again next week. I sure hope she feels better soon, I'm getting bored on my own!

Well, I just wanted to check in with you guys to let you know that my Mom will be back soon! Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend. I'm off to float in my pool...

Yeah, a dog's life is rough!

Signing Off...

Linking up to Trendy Treehouse : Shutter Love Tuesday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

So What's Next?

I got asked by Chris's family this weekend the question on my blog title. After lots of cooking and great visiting, my initial answer was SLEEP...and LOTS of it!

Really though, I know me, and I know I won't be able to stay away from anything for too long. Chris starts school again today, which means he'll be studying, and I'll be projecting.

I want to make another daybed, along with a tall table to go between the daybeds, so next time I head to one of the home improvement stores, I'm positive I'll pick up more wood. This time though, I'm going to prime and paint all of the wood before I put it together. Hopefully that helps with the whole paint in my hair issue. White hair isn't really becoming on me! Darn. I guess I'll have to dye it someday.

There are also a few smaller projects (ha...nothing is ever as simple as it seems!) that I'm hoping to be able to complete during the week days after work within the next few weeks. We've got a summer full of visitors and traveling, so I've got to manage my time well!

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Project Reveal

It's finally finished...and it's Friday, which means we got it done JUST in time for Chris's family to get here...whew!

Last night we put it altogether, and I couldn't be happier. I thought I was proud of my bench...

I'm not really all about girl power or Ms. Independence, I just like to get things done, so if Chris isn't available, I do it by myself. Lucky for me (poor Chris), he was free last weekend and could help me with my next big furniture endeavor.

I get the PB Catalogs, and told Chris a few months ago that I wanted to get this to put in one of the someday kids rooms so that my sisters kids, his Grandma, friends with kids that come visit, etc. would have a place to sleep. And it could be a fun 'game' / kids room too.

Image Courtesy of Pottery Barn

He laughed at the $899 + $125 for shipping price tag and told me to get over it.

After I built my bench, and found the plans for the daybed on Ana's website, I KNEW I could build it instead. I don't think Chris thought I was serious until he pulled into the garage on Friday to this:

Being the good sport he is, he went along for the ride. He also isn't okay with me using a saw just yet (nail guns, fine),so he was in charge of running his miter saw. I guess I can understand. I constantly have cuts / bruises all over me from things that aren't big and scary. I knew I married him for a reason!

And by Saturday afternoon, we had this:

I spent ALL DAY Sunday priming and sanding. With it being in the 90's last weekend, and high high humidity, everything took forever to dry, so Sunday night, we moved the primed 'boxes' into the other someday kids room. And then I started painting...and painting, and painting, and painting. We're thinking about building another one, and next time I'd definitely paint all of the boards beforehand and then just do caulk, touch up work, and the final coat on the outside.

I wanted to emphasize the dimensions of the daybed, and it's clean lines, so I sanded the top and the insides of the boxes and stained it, and then repainted the faces white. It was! But I absolutely LOVE the way it came out. Ready to see?!

Here she is!

And here's the stained edges:

Ignore the otherwise empty room...we've still got a ways to go there. My plan is actually to build another one of these, move this one over closer to the closet doors, and put the other one on the other wall with a tall table coming up from inbetween the two. Sort of like this PB pic:

Image Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Which is why I got the smaller turquoise rug. For now, the empty floor kind of dwarfed the rug, so I put an old brown area rug underneath it. I'm still debating about whether or not the area rug is too bright...thoughts?!

So that's what I've been up to all week long, and all weekend long. We both absolutely LOVE the way this turned out. I love that I got to spend time with Chris building something together. I can't begin to explain how rewarding the feeling is of doing it ourselves. Oh, and cost wise. For all of the wood (I bought high quality oak instead of pine this time), the paint, primer, nails, wood glue, wood primer, and brushes, it cost us just under $250! I got the baskets at Lowe's for $20 a piece...I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find BIG baskets like that for SUCH a reasonable price! The bedding is from all over...Kohl's, Target, and Stein Mart.

Happy Friday...hope everyone has a great weekend!! We'll be spending the whole weekend with Chris's Mom, Step Dad, Granny, Brother, and Sister in law, so we have a fun, project free, weekend in store!  I'm linking up to these fun parties...go check them out!

Psst...wanna know what the room looks like now?  Check out this link to see the latest!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Painted Floors

Yep, that's right, I painted the floors.

Remember my list? Painting someday kids room was the floors, not the walls. In January, we decided to rip out the carpet and repaint the entire room. It previously was disgusting. We haven't come up with a good flooring solution for right now, so it's been concrete for the past 4 months. Blah!

I came across the Young House Love blog through Ana's website. They painted their floors, so after I proposed the idea to Chris, and he shot it down, I showed him their website. You can't tile over stained / painted floors, which is just fine by us. The only flooring solution in that bedroom we've eliminated is tile! I'm pretty sure that room is going to stay painted concrete for a little while.

First, I vacuumed and cleaned the concrete. Then, I taped the edges of the baseboard. I wish I would've gotten larger tape for this, but there's just some cleanup work that had to be done after the floors dried (a full WEEK!!!). I edged around the border with a paintbrush, and of course had my stereo blaring. At any given time during one of my projects, you can find me dancing around with a roller, paintbrush, nail gun, etc. Life's too short to not dance!

Chris insisted that I keep a mask on while doing this project...the paint is actually banned in California because of the fumes while you're putting it on (it's fine now), so I obliged. I don't normally go along so well with Chris's suggestions, so he had to get a pic of me doing it. Not my best...but that's the real me!

I did the first coat of painting while Chris was studying for his finals, so he decided to take a study break, admire my work, and get some silly action shots. He doesn't understand how I manage to always step in paint (even when it's not the floors I'm painting)...

And he wanted to get a pic of one of my painting outfits. He's tried numerous times to throw away these clothes (yes, I'm sad to say I have multiple painting outfits that look just like this...I don't believe in starting off a new days worth of painting in old smelly clothes). Why would you throw it away?! I'd just have to ruin something else!

I really don't understand how anyone has painting clothes that DON'T look like that. Yes, when we have kids, they're gonna constantly be a mess. I know, I know.

Here's how the painted floors look after the first coat was applied:

I put on the second coat on last Tuesday night, and let the floors dry until last night. I took off the paint, touched up the baseboards, and here's what she looks like:

And here's how it looks flowing from the hallway to the room. Don't mind the dirty hallway, I was anxious to get the picture. We haven't done cleanup work just yet!

We didn't bother to fill in any of the holes...we're going for a more rustic look in there. We both, surprisingly, really love the way it looks all done! I'm hoping to get the room half way put together by the time Friday rolls around, because that's when Chris's family will be here! So much to little time.

I'll try to post more pictures of the room prior to Friday. One of the items in there has been the big project we worked on all weekend and I've been trying to finish up all week long!

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

Update:  If you'd like to see this room partially finished with furniture I built, go here!
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