Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oops I did it again.

Went to that thrift store again, this time all I wanted to do was find a lamp to DIY for Sam's room.  I found one, said I was leaving, but the racks and racks of super inexpensive clothing had other plans. I left with this as well:

I know.  You guys are sick of hearing about this, but I had to share.  I picked out everything in this pile and I'm pretty proud.

 Yellow and orange tags were half off today.  I spent 20 dollars on all this, plus two toys for Sam and a lamp for his room.  Banana, Loft, J Crew. 

I think I'm addicted. 

On another note.  You'd be proud of me for resisting the urge to whip out my go-to angry gesture (finger) at a store clerk with a bad attitude.  It was hard.  Very hard. But I resisted. Yay for me:)

Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday!  I will be working on Sam's lamp and trying to get my house under some semblance of control.  Wish me luck. 

Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mom's Day Gift Number One- Beach Tote


 Mom's day gift number one done!  Only 4 more to go.
I think it will be great for the beach.  
As you can see its quite large.  Say Yes to Hoboken said she wanted it to be a Mary Poppins bag that she could pull a lamp out of if she wanted to.  I'd say you literally could.  Or a two year old child, if you felt like lugging them around that way:)
Instructions to make this bag found here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thrift Store Dresses

A little thrifting fun for me with some great ladies.  They really showed me the ropes.  Picking out nice clothing amongst piles and piles of not so nice clothing is definitely a talent.  One that I need much more work perfecting.  I told Jason I might need a bigger closet now that I've learned about this:)  We went to Valley Discount Outlets off of Woodman.  Contact me if you want to know more, or if you feel like going.  Thursdays are the day to go for the deals, I'm told.  I got a really big pile of skirts and ts and even a great pair of jeans for $13.  Sam got a car and a play lawn mower too.  Cha Ching.  The black dress above is my favorite because its classic and comfy and a mere $1.50.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen.  The deal of a lifetime.  The second shrank when I washed it and now looks more like a nightgown than a dress. It was borderline to begin with. I've been known to do this before.  But at $3 I don't really care.  I have plans to make it into a purse. I've already done this once with another itsy bitsy purchase I made, so I should do it right this time and I'll share how it goes. That fabric is pretty awesome, in my opinion.

 Here's the thing. Like I already said, this is a talent, and I was not the one to find about 90% of what I bought.  It pays to go with people who know what they are doing. These ladies are experts and they always look fabulous.  I have a lot to learn!

Do you like to shop at thrift stores or is it something you generally shy away from?  Any purchases you're particularly proud of?  Any funny stories?  Where do you get great deals?  I'd love to hear. 

Have a great weekend, folks!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts on happiness and stuff.

Where to start?  I'm overwhelmed with things I want to write about, but I'm not sure how to tackle it all.  Most of what's in the old trap is junk.  But I'm convinced there's a gem in there somewhere, buried deep amidst the clutter.  I suppose I'll just start writing, in hopes the little gem will pop out accidentally.  Its how I do most things these days.  I mean, if I lose something, for example, I NEVER look for it anymore.  If I do, I'm sure to get in a tisy and that thing will hide itself further away from me, almost like its afraid.  If I just remain calm and go about my business as usual, that pesky lost thing will eventually amble its way back to me.  Scouts honor.  I have A LOT of experience with lost things- I'm an expert, actually.  And lost things, as soon as they become lost, are no longer inanimate objects.  As soon as they go off the grid, they take on human characteristics.  I mean- explain the lost socks in the dryer then, if you don't believe me. 

You see how this is going to go by now. A little weird.  I'll ramble and ramble in hopes that something turns up.  I promise, when it does turns up, it may be interesting.  

Ok.  So let me see.  I heard something over the weekend that wasn't exactly new, but you know when you've been thinking something and then somewhere completely out of the blue someone or something else reiterates those thoughts so much more succinctly and concisely than you ever could?  Well, I've had that happen recently a few times.  The first time was when I was watching  Reese Witherspoon's movie, How Do You Know.  There was a moment in the movie where she realizes that when you truly love someone, you love them.  There is no picking and choosing what you love.  You love them as they are. The whole package.  It was said in just the right words I needed to hear at that moment.  There were tears and poor Jason just tried hard to be supportive.  It was a moment for me- one where I realized I don't need to apologize for who I am (not saying I should stop trying to be better) but that I should accept myself and assume/expect those I love to accept me too.  Just the way I am.  It was empowering and calming.

Another moment came on Easter Sunday when I was listening to someone speak.  He was talking about dying to self and trying to help those listening understand the concept.  In essence he said that to die to self doesn't mean spending all your time thinking about those things which should be banished from your life.  This would mean that your life is consumed with death and dying.  Instead, you should spend your time thinking about living.  You should spend your time doing.  He used the analogy of a man trying to loose wait.  If he spends his time thinking about the ice cream cone he can't have, he'll eventually cave and eat it anyway.  If he spends his time doing things he likes, getting outside, eating good healthy food he will eventually forget about the ice cream.  This is something I've been thinking about in my own life a lot.  I spend too much time searching the internet for houses, getting worked up over the fact that I haven't been able to figure things out.  At one point, I realized that if I use the time I spend getting worked up to work on things I love to do and spend time with people I love to spend time with, who knows what might happen.  I will be working toward something rather than spinning my wheels.  Then I saw Conan O'Brien's words in the photo above and it really tied it all together for me.  I need to work hard (at life).  I need to trust God.  I need to be kind. I need to relax. I need to remember that amazing things don't always equate to money.  I need to remember to appreciate/register/treasure those amazing things I already have.

So there's some of it.  I've also been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Its one woman's effort to put all the theories, studies, and research on happiness into effect in her own life.  I've found a lot to think about in there.  A sentence in the beginning really made me laugh, because its one I wrote, almost verbatim, in my diary just a few weeks earlier.
"It was time to expect more of myself.  Yet as I thought about happiness, I kept running up against paradoxes.  I wanted to change myself but accept myself.  I wanted to take myself less seriously- and also more seriously.  I wanted to use my time well, but I also wanted to wander, to play, to read at whim.  I wanted to think about myself so I could forget myself.  I was always on the edge of agitation; I wanted to let go of envy and anxiety about the future, yet keep my energy and ambition."
One  idea that was new to me - act the way you want to feel.  hmmm.  Does this really work?  I'll have to test it out.  She also discusses feeling a little self-centered by thinking so much about her own happiness- a feeling I often feel (hello- this blog is ALL about me and it kind of makes me feel like a brat:).  But, I liked her explanation about why its important.  You'll have to read it to find out because I'm tired of typing:)  

On that note, I'm going to go try to take pictures of my thrift store dresses now.  My camera promptly ran out of juice yesterday so I didn't get it done.    They are really cute and since it is all about me, me, me, I'm going to post them!

Hope you guys are having a wonderful day.  I'd love to hear from you peeps.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Walk in the Trees

I'm back again.  Thought I'd share these pictures from our afternoon at the park the other day.....  Sam had to lead the way but we didn't make it very far because he wanted to throw stuff in the water.  Then, of course, we got waylaid at the swings for about 45 minutes. 

Have a good one. 

Jenna Rose Handmade Pouch

A super wonderful surprise was waiting for me in the mailbox the other day.   It is a special gift from a wonderful girl:) I don't know if you recognize it from my Etsy picks widget, but its one I'd picked recently from Jenna Rose Handmade.  Its actually the first of my picks I've seen in person and its totally wonderful.  The fabric is lovely and the quality is great. I love her bags and baskets too and now that I've seen how well this yellow print goes with my living room furniture, I might ask for a pillow from Sam for mother's day:)   It came with this I heart handmade pencil.  I love it because I do heart handmade:)  Thank you very, very much:)

I signed up for a watercolor class and I'm going to my first one this evening.  Wish me luck!

Taking some pictures of my thrift store finds for you today.....

Stay tuned:)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thrift Store Dresser Transformation Progess Report

Hi all!  How was your weekend?  Ours was very nice.  Jason had a birthday and we snuck away without child for a night.  It was glorious.  We ate at his favorite restaurant and then went to see a horror movie.  I'm so not a fan of horror movies, but I took one for the team.  It wasn't so bad, really, just totally gross and they had the worst potty mouths I've ever heard.   But, I left the theater in good spirits and didn't think there was a zombie in my closet when we got home, so we're all good. 

Now on with the more exciting news (to me) on the dresser progress.  We're at midpoint now, I'd say, what with a little back tracking I'm going to do, but more on that later.  Here is the before, which I've already posted, I think, but for the purpose of making the ugliness fresh in your mind, I'll post it again:


This picture so does not do the ugliness justice.  For starters, you can't smell that wonderful old person smell, nor can you really see the lovely paint color in all its crackle-y/faded/tea stained glory,  or the film of dirt amassed from years in a thrift store.  It was truly rough, my friends.  Indeed.  But the bones!  Yes, the bones were good.   

I thought I'd go with green for a moment, but I changed my mind. The paint chips I brought home just didn't scream to me.  So I went with a color I thought looked like blue/green.  Turned out it was fluorescent turquoise.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but in his room the pictures looked blue and not florescent at all.  So you'll have to take my word for it.  It was not good.  I wasn't panicking though because I'd learned from a friend on Facebook (you, Calysta!) that you can take paint back to the store and have them add tint (or is it pigment) to change the color.  Hallelujah. I never, ever thought of that before.  Sheer genius.   And it could have saved my tush in the pink house incident if only I'd thought of it.  This is me kicking myself.  Anyway.  I took the paint back and had them add some black and some blue and this, my friends, is the result. 
A million times better and very much what I thought I was getting in the first place. Its a little greener in reality, but not even close to turquoise.  The drawers are open because it takes two weeks for the paint to fully set.  And how bout them grey stripes?  I only painted one wall because I was afraid I'd make a royal mess of it but I'm in love with them.  The best project I've ever done! 

One minor problem though.  I used a very long level to draw my stripes with pencil on the wall.  A great idea, I thought.  That was until we pushed the dresser against the wall.  Jason figured I must have made some mistake so he got the level out and checked my work.  I doubted myself.  I chewed my fingers.  But alas, I did it right! (HA) Sam's room is just cockeyed (oh.)  A fact that is now made very, very obvious by the straight, level stripe just above the huge, slanty, blue dresser. 

buzz kill.  I'll fix it though.  I've already got plans to level out the dresser when I change out the feet. 

My other problem with this project is the finish.  Latex goes on really well with the foam roller.  There are no drips, no globs.  It is a perfectly flat, streak free finish.  Its just.  Well, look at it: 

Not horrible at all.  Just not exactly what I wanted.  I could have used oil paint which would have been super flat and glossy, but I chose not to for three reasons: 1. fumes; 2. I don't like the clean up; 3. I want Sam to be able to change it later if he wants without a huge hassle.  I think I can fix my problem.  My plan is to sand it down as much as I can and go over it again, only this time I'm going to add Flotrol to the paint and see if it looks a little more flat and shiny.   I'll keep you posted.  I've heard good things, so I have high hopes.  If nothing else, it well be yet another funny mess up story.

For fun I put together a little mood board for the remaining details of the dresser project.  It was really helpful and I'll be making these a lot more often.  I'm becoming a planner.  Oh, dear heavens. 


1. My idea is to DIY a yellow lamp using one I buy from the thrift store. 2. I love the idea of a city rug on the floor for Sam to drive his cars on and this one from Pottery Barn has the perfect colors.  We spend countless hours driving cars and asking each other where we're going and this might make it a bit more interesting:)  Maybe I'll find one at the outlet store or on craigslist.  3.  I plan to replace that ugly yellow strip at the bottom of the dresser with these wood feet.  I think opening up a space under the dresser will make it seem a bit lighter and less like a boulder.  4. I am replacing the hardware and thought this particular pull was beautiful.  I'm not convinced its the right style, especially considering this is a 2 year old boy's room, but its in the running.  

So there you have it, my dresser project in excruciating detail:) I will keep you posted on the process and progress.  I'd like to have this wrapped up before I'm 50.  

Hope you all have a great Monday.  I'll be thinking of you.  I recently became aware of some really, really great thrift stores in the area and I want to do a little post on that.  I have to wash the clothes I bought first so it may take awhile:)  

Have a good one!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Did I mention I want to marry Photoshop?

This succulent was an unplanned purchase on one of my millions of Home Depot runs.  I've always wanted one and finally I said- eh, what the hay.  It didn't take long for it to sprout what looks to me like a bloom.  Will it have a flower?  Does anyone know?  I can't wait to find out.
The cold kept us inside today so I took the opportunity to snap some pictures and play with Photoshop. I used a couple free actions I found and downloaded from this site.  Then I had to remember how to install them on Photoshop so I consulted this really helpful tutorial (that I keep handy because I ALWAYS forget how to do it).

Here are a few I've taken lately with my phone that I think you might enjoy:
The first one made me chuckle.  First of all, his haircut:) It was my first attempt at scissor cutting.  Looks like I might need a little more practice? Good thing he's only 2 and doesn't care.  Then there's his shoes which I swear didn't look that big in the store.  Then there's Mr. Bear on the porch in his underwear along with the rest of the night night crew who Sam placed very neatly in a row next to him.  Classic.

There is another picture on my brother in law's phone that I'm dying to get my hands on.  Picture this:  Easter 2012.  Dublin, Ohio.  Sam is on the hunt for eggs.  He spots some in the ground cover perched on top of a rock by the side of my mother's house.  He's holding his bag already full of eggs and trying to walk at the same time.  He's almost there.  So close he can taste it.  Then WHAM trips and falls face first on the rock.  Mom (me) dashes through the myrtle in heels expecting a broken nose, cracked scull.  Thankfully, it was only a fat and bloody lip.  It didn't matter though, it still broke my heart to see him cry. Sometimes his sweetness makes my heart hurt.  He's so small and innocent and vulnerable.  I just want to protect him from everything in life.  But its just not possible.   My brother-in-law teased him later saying "did you try and kiss a rock?"  And now he tells me he tried to kiss a rock almost daily.  I'm glad we laugh about it:)

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  Can't believe its almost the weekend again! 

I'll be in touch.  I'm really happy with the progress on Sam's dresser and I can't wait to share it with you. 

Have a good one.



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