Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Light in the Attic

I'm so excited about this post, I can barely contain myself. I literally squealed when my husband flipped the breaker back on and gorgeous light filled the entry. But it wasn't that smooth a path to get to the end result.

I've hated my entry light since we moved here in 2009. But I haven't been able to decide what to put there.

Until my husband found this chandelier in the attic.

I was so excited. Words cannot express. My husband thought I was crazy. But I went to town spray painting, and I went to Home Depot for little lamp shades.

On entering the lighting section, I met a lady who worked the area. I explained what I was looking for, and she said, "I only have a few returned from an online order, we don't carry them in stock. She climbed a ladder and pulled one perfect, tiny, neutral shade. "I'll take them if you have five," I said.

She scanned the shade while still perched on her ladder, and said, "do you need extra, in case you kill a fly on one and it breaks?" No.It's a vaulted ceiling, we couldn't reach a fly there if we wanted to.

Then she said, "we'll, they are $5.38 each, but if you take them all, I'll give them to you for $3.38 each."
Hmmm. What if I DO want a replacement?
"How many are there?" I asked, thinking if it were 7, it would be cheaper.


Um, no. That's like $26 for what I need, and $47 for what you are trying to unload. Who needs 8 replacement lamp shades?? Game over, crazy light lady.

So then we started to plan the logistics for hanging the new light. The chain and wire were WAY too long. I found a video to show how easy it is to bend the chain links apart and shorten the length. Isn't the internet great?

Except, it does not work like it does in the video.

Forty minutes and a lot of frustration later, we had shortened it for our space and were ready to hang. Till my husand says, "which cord is positive?"

No idea. I've spray painted the cord so any indicators are covered. And we really can't risk burning our house down or something. So I commence scraping paint off the wires with my fingernails and googling how to tell which wire is positive. Another forty minutes later, we are on the ladder, putting the light in place.

And, can I tell you, this light is the BOMB?!!

It's so pretty! And perfect! And a total of $40 with lamp shades and the extra paint I had to buy because I ran out. Similar fixtures I've seen have ranged from $150-200!!

The afters:

And together, before and after:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shelf Makeover. And why my husband and I can no longer travel.

In my recent bedroom makeover, I decided to add shelves to hold the neat photo collection my husband and I started. We've been buying themed frames from places we visit. But the floating shelves I wanted were $30 each and also I wanted to do a project, because I had this half-full can of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint that I was dying to use. So, off to Goodwill!

While perusing the section with shelves, I got a view of these beauties. Geese, anyone? How about heart-shaped cutouts and wooden bows?

I stood in this aisle for about 45 minutes, digging through piles of Geese-themed shelves, when I saw a lady walk up, dig around for a sec, and pull out two floating shelves that were exactly what I was looking for! And she promptly headed to the register with the shelves that should have been mine. I may or may not have stalked her for a minute to be sure she didn't change her mind. She didn't.

But I persevered. And I found these: 

 Quite a bargain at about $6 total, not counting the spray paint I already owned. Not exactly what I was looking for... but, you know, the spray paint...

And the after:

Yes, I know I need a photo in the Maid of the Mist one. I'll get there. And Matt and I can go on exactly zero trips because our shelves that hold our travel photos are full. Poop.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Sexy" Halloween Costume?

I had this idea for a costume this year. A home-made one, because I like homemade costumes. I'm pretty sure it came to me in Home Depot while picking out 358834 red colors for our kitchen.

Ever heard of this popular book, 50 Shades of Grey? I haven't read it, but I hear it's pretty provocative. What better theme for a ladies Halloween costume, right?

I started with this: a plain gray dress and a variety of gray paint chips:

I then cut the paint chips into smaller pieces, and started hot gluing them together:

I safety-pinned the strips to the dress--exactly 50 pieces of gray. And I'll admit, the final product in my head when I first had the idea looked more like this, but with gray pieces:
But, as is usually the case, my imagination is bigger than my actual skills. So, instead, I ended up with this interpretation of 50 Shades of Grey:

This makes me laugh SO HARD! But for a totally FREE costume, I still think it's pretty cool. And I can wear something with a "suggestive" theme and still be totally covered up and not slut-tastic.

What do you think? Are you making a costume this year?

Monday, October 15, 2012

I was a flag.

When a lady has 6 kids and limited income, Halloween costumes require a little....creativity.

My mom did her best, and honestly there was only one year when I regretted wearing the costume my mom helped me create. It was 6th grade, my first time meeting friends for trick-or-treating, and they were all so fancy and cool in their store-bought costumes. I am certain I looked crazy in a rainbow Afro wig, wearing quilted pajamas, and rocking quite unimpressive clown makeup.

Once, mom wrapped an American flag around me and safety-pinned it. I was a FLAG for Halloween. (p.s. she might be arrested for desecrating the flag or something after this story goes public.)

I wore the same pink dress as a "princess" costume for three years straight that I'd originally worn as a bridesmaid in my mom's wedding. That last year it definitely didn't fit.

But I really like home-made costumes now. I try to think of something I can create myself. And I have a GREAT one I plan to share with you all later this week. You're welcome. ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Matt and I lost a week and a half of our lives, but have white cabinets now.

After a whole lot more work and time and money than we had expected, (I thought it was only going to be two days in this post) our kitchen has undergone a transformation. Which is appropriate, given we used a product called "kitchen transformations" for most of the project. See the product here.

***Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the post to see my favorite thing ever about home projects: a side-by-side before and after picture.

We started with this: dull, wine-colored walls and 90's oak-colored cabinets, contrasted by the always classy and fancy-looking white appliances.

And the after: bright white cabinets that make the appliances look intentional and really freshens up the room.We also updated the stale paint to a vibrant red-- Behr Premium Plus Ultra  paint and primer in one, tinted to Glidden's Candy Apple GLR05. 
(By the way, Behr, how many superlatives do you think is ok to add to ONE product? I think you might be overselling.)

 It wasn't easy... a little "scrubbing the cabinets with the deglosser" (which sounds way easier than sanding) took half the day and left our arms sore. The "two coats" of tinted primer ended up at least four coats and more in some places. Then you still have to put on the clear coat, and put your whole kitchen back together. But it looks cool now! We'll rest a minute, and then we are going to add some hardware to the cabinet fronts, and freshen up the trim and doors in the room with a new coat of white paint.

p.s. If anyone wants to contribute to the "Lindsey needs a better camera for blog photos so we don't just see iphone pics" Fund, please send me an email.

And for a nice side-by-side contrast:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mystery Text

Today I got a text from a wrong number. Which wouldn't be that interesting of a blog topic, except that the message was cryptic and left me curious ALL DAY.

It simply said, "Rachel knows. And wants to join."

So many scenarios ran through my head while I worked. Randomly I'd think, "Are they planning group relations and this girl wants in? Is mystery texter happy or upset about it?"

Or maybe it's something awesome. Did mystery texter tell Rachel about the skydiving this weekend and she wants to jump too?

Maybe mystery texter is part of a secret terrorist group and Rachel wants to help them carry out an attack? If so, they need to get better at covert communications.

As I told my husband about mystery texter and my fascination with this message, he said, "Why don't you text them and ask?"

So I did:

Just a girl with friend drama. Typical.  

I wished her good luck, she thanked me, and that is the end of that story. But it was pretty fun texting with a stranger and learning about her life. :) Maybe I should text her back on Monday and find out how it went?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


My husband spent an hour on the phone with me tonight while he's out of town for work, listening to my stories about my new friends in my church group and my mom's development of Celiac disease, plus he went through a photo album of our wedding pictures helping me decide which ones to get prints of.
(p.s. I need to figure out what all has gluten so I can try and support my mom with some diet changes. I hear beer is off limits. This will not be easy.)

He's pretty awesome.

He laughs at me when I'm being all crazy and Type A, which is super cool because it makes me recognize when I'm being over the top.

He is a great voice of reason when I'm concerned about something, or need perspective on parenting issues.

He tells me how much he values our marriage.

Man, I'm one lucky lady.

How hot is this guy!?
Am I bragging right now? Maybe. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


My first experience with social networking came years ago when MySpace was cool. Not when it was first cool-- I'm not that hip. I signed up after all my friends were already on board and I was home alone with my kids, newly single and without cable tv. And I was bored and decided to give it a shot.

A short time later, those same friends who got me on MySpace starting using Facebook, and I was again reluctant. As with MySpace, I didn't want to just be someone who joined the bandwagon, not to mention that Facebook seemed lame. I mean, you couldn't even add music to play on your page or customize your background. How was I going to express my personality?

Then, as MySpace emptied of all the cool people, I switched. And I love connecting with friends, sharing photos, and killing time seeing what people are up to all day.

A while back my teenage daughter informed me that no one uses Facebook anymore, and that twitter is now cool. So mainly in an effort to monitor her usage, I signed up there too. I basically just follow her and her friends and a few comedians for entertainment. But I've now realized that I'm behind the trend again. I've decided to give it a shot. But I don't totally get it yet and I have nothing to tweet.

Can someone give me lessons on this? It feels like learning a new language! I get on there and when I see tweets with all those hash tags and at signs I feel like Rosetta Stone should be making a Twitter line. I read a tweet and this is how it looks to me:

@randomperson #idontunderstand bla.hblah/blah @snooki #hilarious


But, I'm trying. If I ever pick this up, I'm listing it under skills on my résumé.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chicago- A Lesson in Race Spectating

I've been in Chicago for the weekend with the girls to support and cheer on a friend who ran her first marathon.

The city was crazy full of visitors! We were able to learn the public transit system on the fly to take the appropriate trains and subways to get to necessary parts of the race route.

We learned that Chicago doesn't sell alcohol before 11 on Sundays (no pre-cheering bloody Mary's for these spectators).

We learned that ringing the cowbell for an extended period of time can make your arm quite tired. Not to mention that we were carrying posters around all day. Spectating is hard work!

We celebrated the end of our long, hard day by eating Chicago deep dish pizza and recalling all our hilarious moments from the trip.

Spectating is tiring! We are all headed home and looking forward to a good nights sleep.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Don't forget to be awesome!

I'm super full of sushi right now.
We are headed to the casino to play cheap slots.
I'm going to Chicago with friends tomorrow.

Awesome weekend ahead!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Do Things Better Thursday

There are three things I like about fall.

Hiking in state parks while the leaves are changing, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks.

If you haven't had this delicious coffee drink, proceed directly to your nearest Starbucks immediately. Unless its late in the evening, then wait until you can enjoy your caffeine without staying up all night.

Here's the problem: enjoying this pumpkiny delight as frequently as I'd like to would cost me far too much money and valuable time waiting in line at Starbucks. Not to mention the calories in those things.

So instead, I make my own version at home. Eighteen cups for about the price of three of the real thing. And like 40 calories each. Unless you use coffee creamer like I do, then it's more like 80-120. But it's delicious, cheap, and convenient.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The kitchen cabinets...the saga continues.

I should start tagging my posts "kitchen cabinets in 30 days" instead of "30 posts in 30 days" because that's apparently how long it will take.

Day two and we still have a way to go. This is no easy project.

Tonight, tired from our much shorter bout of painting, Matt told me about stock markets and Excel formulas while discussing his day at work. Delusional from paint fumes and really tired, I responded by telling him how much our dog looks like a meerkat and trying to load videos from Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor unsuccessfully while making up my own theme song.

Wife of the year.

I may need to get some rest.