Thursday, October 29, 2015

let's get real...week 4 of the ORC

Real life is getting in the way of progress of my one room challenge.
Oy vey.
I had big plans when I last left you.
The weather was even cooperating with the outlook calling for
a weekend of rainy skies thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia.
I'll admit I love rainy days.
The thought of having to stay home and snuggle in...nothing sounds better to me.
I had high hopes of getting stuff done in my little office.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
Saturday was spent in the rain at a school carnival.
No problem I thought.
The forecast called for rain into the night on Sunday
Sunday I told myself.
That's when the magic will happen.
Not so much.
Here's what really happened.
Saturday night we had just gotten into bed when I heard a drip.
That was pretty loud I thought.
Then I heard it again and looked at the hubs,
who as usual was typing away doing work.
Except when I turned to look at him
he turned to look at me with this look that said
"did you just hear that?"
Which is when I knew he'd heard it too.
Crap. Crud.
 We both threw back the covers and jumped up like we were twenty somethings.
All spry and everything.
Except we're not exactly spry.
You know how when you're really trying to listen and you freeze like a statue?
I'm sure we looked more like two crazy people
with arms stretched out and hunched over.
Like cavemen ready to rumble.
So that was us...two looney tunes trying to locate the sound of water dripping.
Then my husband sees it.
Coming down from the ceiling around where the chimney
rises up through the house into the attic.
Needless to say it was a long night and a long Sunday
spent with fans and towels and duct tape.
I said duct tape.
Because bright idea me thinks it would be best
to duct tape towels around the top of the ceiling
to catch the water before it hits the carpet.


Then about 4am I wake up in a "time to make the doughnuts" trance
and get up on a ladder to check to see if its time to change the towels.
Except at 4am and without coffee I end up ripping off more than the towels.
Chunks of paint came off with the handy dandy Star Wars duct tape.
At which point I whisper softly to my husband...
"um, honey, I think we're gonna have to repaint the bedroom."
He mumbles something about "its only money." and rolls over.
Always one to pounce on opportunity I headed for my pot of coffee
and pinterest to pick out new paint colors for the bedroom.
Always looking for the rainbow in clouds :)
It took me three days of phone calls but I finally found a roofer
who could put us on the schedule.
Meaning yesterday I got back to work on my ORC.

Thanks to those of you who left comments about whether or not
to keep the Greek key trim on the desk.
There are lots of tutorials as to how to do this but you know me...
I don't like to read instruction manuals of any kind :)
I'm a wing-it kind of girl.
I found a picture on pinterest with a pattern I liked
{and please note she used gold duct tape...just saying :)}
{Although I just found this and boy would this have come in handy!}
I grabbed a few yard sticks, some gold Scotch washi tape, and a box cutter
and played around last week...

then after last weeks comments I decided to keep it
so I spent yesterday afternoon also matching up the left and right sides...

I know some people miter their edges and make precise cuts...
I'm not those people.
I do it all by eye and we all know my eyes are not what they used to be.
There are little imperfections I'm sure but I'm ok with that.
Just like my wrinkles...I can't see them so they don't bother me.
#outofsightoutofmind :)

I also managed to finish some art work I've wanted to do
ever since I saw this room by Tobi Fairley...

via tobi

My kids have been color coded since their infant days.
{so that I knew which sippy cup belonged to which twin.}
Using this tutorial I was able to make the kids' silhouettes in PowerPoint.
I printed it in black and white and used that as my template for cutting.

What's up for next week?
Here's a hint...

I know.
More blue and white goodness in one picture than a girl deserves.
Next up on the list is tackling the bulletin board.
I have a funny feeling this is going to be a two person job.
But I have just the right person in mind to help me.
She's got mad sewing skills, she's an engineer,
but the main reason I love her is that she's a real hoot.
As in we tend to get in trouble when we're together.
Like the time, perhaps after a few libations,
we sang belted out "YMCA" complete with full dance routine
whilst in the middle of a beautiful antiques store that shall go unnamed.
In our defense the store provided some of the alcohol
and the song was playing on their sound system.
alcohol + music from the 70s = I will bust a move.
So will my peeps.
Just saying she's all that and a bag of chips
and we have ourselves a date with the bag from Schumacher.
I just hope we can get serious long enough to get it on the wall.
Stay tuned...
Even I am on pins and needles about this one. ;)

Click over to Linda's Calling It Home to check on the progress
of the other linking participants.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

how can it be? it's week 3 of the ORC

Time seems to go at warp speed.
Especially when a deadline is looming.
It's week three of the ORC.
We're half way to the final reveal.
 Let's forget that little detail shall we?
Today let's talk about lighting...

If you're a regular around here
you've heard me complain about my eyes
getting worse as I get older.
It's a fact jack...welcome to the forties :)
The key for me now that I'm in the middle of my fourth decade on earth
is a lot of light...and I do mean ALOT.
And of course I wanted pretty so here's what was on my wish list...

Now for the break down of why and why not these...

I admit I have yet to see a beaded chandy I didn't like.
Especially when it comes in blue...



Hubba hubba right?
A definite pop of bling.
But at $400 it was more than I wanted to spend.

This lovely is about half the price of the blue beauty above...



but because it only uses a maximum of one 40 watt bulb
I had to vote this one off the island.

 I've posted about this gorgeous light before
so I had to consider it even though
its too big for my tiny space...


Somebody needs this in their dining room.
Just saying.

This little light made me smile when I first saw it...


Reminds me of a honeycomb.
Can you see it too?
It also reminds me of the Hicks pendants in my kitchen...


Each makes me think of a gorgeous pair of earrings.
But sadly...I can only fit one in the space plus
I need more than a 40 watt maximum.

This was news to me and I wonder if it is to you too.
Honestly I never thought in a million years
I'd say these words in a blog post...

 Guess who has their own line of lighting?
I know.
Talk amongst yourselves.
I've got to give it to Donny...I like it.
Again...just more than I wanted to spend.
 Because I was going to have to factor in
converting the one lone recessed can light in the room
if I used one of the fixtures above.
Key phrase here is "was" because did you hear that?
That's the sound of our budget increasing by using any of the above.
Plus I should have planned better...
While the carpenter was here earlier this month installing the desk
we decided to drop an extra receptacle in the wall
so that we could plug in our printer that would be housed
inside the cabinet with doors...

While the electrician was here doing that
I had him rip out the old fluorescent light strip
situated right above the desk underneath the dreadful header
{otherwise known as the back of our staircase}

Nothing says migraine to me like fluorescent bulbs.
Anyone else?

My trusty electrician installed this bomb diggity
LED undercabinet light strip from Lowes

that we previously used in our kitchen reno.
Its a plug in but the expert electrician hardwired it in.
Best part is you can link a few of these together.
I didn't in here...but I wish I had.
I also wish I had him put a plug up underneath the cabinet like this


but at the time I hadn't found my twin double happiness lamps

so I didn't need more plugs than the ones I had.
If only I'd thought of all my electrical needs at once.
I'm done with the what ifs or could have beens.
Let's talk about what I decided on...

Some of you might recognize this little bit o' leopard from Ballard Designs.
What I love about it is that it literally screws right in to your recessed can fixture.
That's what had me at hello.
No extra $$ for an electrician.
And it was a whopping $89.
BTW...Ballard is currently having a 20% off everything sale until 11-9.
You're welcome ;)

So week three here's where we stand...
kind of...

I was able to spray paint some office trays.
A few I had...

{they're gold now}
and one I scored at home goods so cross that off the list above...

 I ordered the chiang mai but neglected to add its purposing to the "to do" list.
Its going on the massive bulletin board
I had installed a few years ago.
More on that in another post.
Some other stuff I'm trying to figure out...

 I've been playing around with adding a Greek key trim to the desktop.
I'm not sure...
any thoughts?
Yay or nay?
 One side is different than the other I know :)
Just playing around.
Not sure if it will stay.
Feel free to cast a vote below in the comment section.

That's all for now.
We're at the top of the rollercoaster and its a long drop.
Everybody take a deep breath because the next three weeks are going to fly.
There's a lot left to do.
While I'm scratching things off the list y'all
be sure and click over to check out all
the ORC linking participants on Calling It Home.
Meet you back here next week at the same time, same bat channel.


Monday, October 19, 2015

happy birthday to me...allegedly

I don't know about you but when my birthday month rolls around,
yes I said "birthday month" cause that's how I roll...
I celebrate not just the big day but the entire month of October...
Is that wrong?
If so please don't tell me.
I can't be the only one who says stuff like 
"its ok to eat half a cake...its your birthday"
like three weeks after my big day.
Herewith are a few of my favorite finds recently.
Some of which I may have purchased for my birthday.
That said I got an email alert yesterday that
Cole Haan is having a 30% off sale
{use the code "FRIENDS30"}
through tomorrow 10/20
That email had me at hello and of course
its still my birthday month so I clicked through
and found this...
an iPhone wallet combo :)

 I am pretty sure will fit my iPhone 6
with its big protective case...
I'm hoping any way...
I'll let you know.
But at 30% off I was willing to try :)
I also saw these and I'll probably regret not getting them
but I have such quirky feet now because of my running
that I can't risk buying shoes I can't try on before I buy.
but at $49.95 I think you should get them :)
 I scored this dress on sale at Nordstrom earlier in the month...
perfect for an afternoon wedding or church or whatever
when you can't think of what to wear,
grab this and you'll be out the door lickety split.
UPDATE...this seems to be sold out :(
I stumbled on it in the dress section under sale...
there's a bunch of wrap dresses similar to this if you're interested.
Public service announcement if you're a beauty product junkie like me
they'll send you a little happy birthday email.
I was ecstatic to see that they are offering a free lip gloss
if your birthday is in October :)
Um, yes, I'm addicted to lip gloss and
I'll take a free one please and thank you very much.
Plus I also scored some awesome spray wax by Redken
Did I mention that I have this thing I do
when the winds of change are blowing my way
that I cut all my hair off?
Well...with all this talk of branching out...
I did it again.
Really its like a long reverse pixie bob...
all business in the front and a party in the back.
Bonus is I don't have to use a brush when I blow it dry.
I just dry it all wackadoodle, no rhyme or reason, just my fingers then use this spray.
I'm loving the way this wax helps define the front
plus it smells good and isn't crunchy.
While I was in the checkout line at Ulta
{by the way there's no purchase required to get the gloss}
I saw a travel size of It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil
that I've been wanting to try.
Loves it too.
Its different in that the pencil part is oval shaped
which, to me, makes it look more natural.
I hope my peeps will tell me when they see me if this is not the case ;)
Speaking of crazy brows...
my sweet peep Paola met me at the Galleria
last week so that I could try on this dress.
I'd never shopped at Zara before but I've been looking
ever since I saw Paola in a drop dead gorgeous peach dress
at a birthday dinner last year for another peep.
About Paola...she's Italian and has more style in her pinky
than I have in my whole body so I watch her to learn.
She told me when I asked where she scored said dress.
Zara was her response.
I've been stalking their site ever since.
I'll do a separate post on Zara soon
but I scored this dress and love its easy style.
It was true to size which I cant say about all their stuff
that I took into the dressing room
because a couple I could only get one thigh into
before I called it quits.
This dress though rocks the house.
Ok y'all.
Its Monday.
Let's plow through and make it a great week.
Got lots of stuff to do before Thursday's ORC update.
Let's do this!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

because its all about the base {week 2 of the ORC}

Welcome to the wrap up of week two of
the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda from Calling It Home .
For this six week decorating bonanza I chose a little room,
{Can you call an area without doors a room?}
an old outdated bar area that we had been using
as a catch all storage place full of
 school papers, board games, and toys galore.
If it didn't have a place elsewhere it got shoved in here.
I'm sure you have a place like that in your home.
Am I right?
Step one was to move all the junk out and put it aside.
Just like Scarlett O'Hara I'll think of that another day.
For the next six five weeks its all about this space
and this week its all about the base...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

lessons learned

Today I'm one year older,
{and I hope}
one year wiser.
I was telling my peeps during our starlit boot camp yesterday
that I'd been breaking down my life by numbers,
that my twenties were full of stupidity and a bad long relationship.
I'm thankful for the lessons I learned during that debacle.
I could regret it, the time I spent with a person I knew was wrong for me, but
time is never wasted if you're learning.

Six weeks after the big D was finalized
{and three weeks after I turned 30}
I met my one and only and happily spent my third decade
dedicated to growing our family.
I'm officially half way through this fourth decade of mine
and I can now admit
I was hesitant about turning 40.
What a waste of worry that was.
Yes, its true that now is the time when
things sag and wrinkle,
eyes go bad,
parts fall while numbers on the scale rise,
but the things you gain in your brain
like your outlook on life,
man, I wouldn't go back in age for anything.
I think the 40s, for me anyway
{and I think for a lot of women}
are the time for really figuring yourself out.
Like its time to cut the BS in your life.
You learn to say no to things, to people.
You really think of who you want to spend your time with
and when once you may have overcommitted
to things you were not really into at all
now you pick and choose more thoughtfully.
You know your time is limiting in a way.
This is the stage where you are reminded all too often
how fleetingly short life really is.
I would never imagine this time last fall
the loss that our family would endure.
Our niece was just starting her adult life.
You just never think something like that,
that someone so young, so vital,
would be taken away,
literally in an instant.
Some are taken away over time due to illness,
a long, brutal goodbye.
I've written about this before,
forgive me,
but I will always wonder why,
why x, why not z?
Interchanging names for variables, often z for me,
never does the equation make sense.
I keep bringing it up because I never want to forget.
I'll never understand.
I will, however, spend every day I'm given,
in my forties and beyond,
trying not to take a single breath for granted.
I pray prayers of thankfulness,
both for what we're given,
and for things we are not.
Both are a blessing.
I'm just old enough to see that now.

My youngest son woke up yesterday
and rather than birthday wishes
he told me how he hated Mondays,
school days in general he said.
I kissed my grumpy boy on the head,
noting how he felt like he had grown again overnight,
and told him he had no choice in my house
but to be thankful for school.
I shared with him a story our minister shared
with the congregation during Sunday's sermon,
about a refugee from Sierra Leone who had come to America.
She and her husband had won their country's "lottery" if you will
to be able to come to America to start a new life.
She came to America having never been to school.
At seven years of age she went to work instead of school.
She was nearly my age and didn't know how to read or write.
I was telling my son how this lady prayed for someone
 to help her learn how to read.
She desperately wanted to learn so that she could study the Bible.
She found that person, a fellow church member,
 through a literacy program here in Houston.
I asked my son if he would rather go to work or to school.
I told him how lucky he was to live in a country
where he doesn't have to make that choice,
where his parents are able to provide a life blessed enough
for him to go to school and learn.
Its all in the way you look at things I told him.
You can either look at it as a chore you have to do,
or rather as something you are blessed enough to be able to do.
Life is all about the way you look at things.
I thought my forty fourth year
would bring me a full marathon finish,
a crazy physical goal I set for myself
after completing more half marathons than I can remember
and three triathalons after facing a lifetime fear of water at 41.
I have to say that I learned more from not being able to accomplish
that physical goal than I think I did from actually running 26.2 miles.

 I'm back to running, so happy for each step my body can take
especially now that my steps are without pain.
Instead of beating myself up because my body didn't cooperate
with what my brain wanted to do
I chose, and choose daily, to celebrate what my body CAN do.
The body that made it through two tough pregnancies
 to deliver three babies.
That body rocks at any distance.
Who cares what the number on the scale says any how?
I'm done with a number defining me damn it.
Its more of me to love :)
TMI alert...
not sure but if one's bladder shrinks as they age
but I'm thinking it does
or maybe its my water intake...
anyway as long as I'm oversharing
I'll tell you that I used to complain
when I had to get up in the middle of the night
to use the restroom...
mainly because it would take forever for me to fall asleep again,
still does actually,
but now I think of my friend Yadira's mom
who, before she had a kidney transplant,
used to get dialysis multiple times a week
and I think of my dad who lost his leg two summers ago
from complications of diabetes.
I remind myself to be thankful for legs and kidneys that work.
I'm not perfect, I'm human and hormonal.
I'm not complaint free but I do feel like
my scales are tipping in favor of gratitude.

I'm learning every day and consider myself a work in progress.
I'll also I admit I grew up as a worry wart.
In my thirties something changed.
I worried, yes, especially as a new mom.
But something about the old adage
"worry about the things you can change"
really rang true for me during this time.
Besides with two new babies spare thinking time was nonexistent.
Over the years I've learned to

I've never found worrying to change any outcome any way.
Speaking of praying,
there's a little strife I've been dealing with.
I wasn't going to bring it up because honestly
I try to choose positivity over negative any day
but a huge lesson I'm finally learning is about boundaries.
Setting them, being ok with them, and sticking to them.
Maybe you have someone in your life,
maybe not by your choice,
who is not your cup of tea,
though probably perfectly nice to other people,
but not to you personally for reasons not understood,
who because of twists of fate you're lumped together,
like cubes of sugar who can't dissolve into solution together?
Well I have this dilemma.
One I thought was remedied long ago
but it was brought to my attention recently that its really not.
I was shocked, then sad, and now I'm done.
Life is too short to be around toxic people.

Life in general offers enough drama to deal with.
I wish them well.
I truly do.
I've decided to set some boundaries.
After all I wouldn't take my kids to a playdate with a bully.
Why would I subject myself to the same thing?
Plus my kids are old enough to see bad behavior now and question it.
Its hard to explain to them why adults act badly.
I hesitated to tell my husband I'd made this vow to myself,
this declaration of self care.
He seeks peace above all else in life.
He just laughed and said what took you so long to realize this?
I've been telling you for years to stop trying.
You can't change crazy.
Our family is within these four walls.
We stick together.
All together, all for one and one for all.
Speaking of my sweet husband
he took the day off yesterday for my birthday.
We spent the day together, a date day if you will.
A huge treat while the kids were in school.
While we were out and about celebrating my happy day
I figured out the perfect term for my forties...
I've decided they are my lost and found years.
I felt lost as my 40's began
and now in the second half
I finally feel like I'm finding myself,
my true self,
the little girl afraid of the world
who grew up
into a wife and mother
is now finding who she really is,
and what she really wants to be,
authentic, attentive and true,
learning who to hold close,
and who to let go of.
The good news is that she knows now
that she can change her mind,
that her dreams will morph and that's ok too.
I'd rather dream big than not at all.
I'll share too that, funnily enough,
because my mind is now a sieve
I actually texted myself when the idea of
"lost and found years"
came to me yesterday...
a note to remind myself when I got home.
Forty-five, fearless, and forgetful.
I'll take it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

let's get it first one room challenge

You know I've been whinjing lately about a little reno I started,
oh, about six weeks ago.
Before the boys started school to be exact.
After asking everybody and their brother
we finally got a referral for a great carpenter
who helped me scratch a little project off my to-do list.
He removed a tiny builder basic desk then
made and installed built-in shelves in our kids' study room.
He did such a fantastic job that we
then asked him to build a pullout laundry bin
so that I wouldn't have to stare at laundry baskets
every time I went up or down stairs
since our laundry room sits smack dab at the top.
Now I can walk by without the Dunkin' Donuts-like hint that
"its time to do the laundry."
Things were going so well that we asked him
to help us with a room that we have both hated since we bought our house.
Its hard to call it a room really.
More like a pass-through from my husband's office in the front of our house
to the family room at the back.
I'm sure back in the late 90's when our house was built
it was a little "bonus" for buyers...a wine bar.
And don't get me wrong I love drinking wine.
Ask my peeps.
They'll vouch for my honesty on this one.
The red wine emoji on my phone is the one I use most.
But its on the opposite side of the house of my kitchen.
Not too convenient and it had seen better days.
Before I ruin your morning with the before
let me tease you with my dream inspiration board...

Monday, October 5, 2015

random acts of kindness

Can I get a hands up for who's happy that its October?
{Insert high five emoji here}
 Fall has finally arrived here in Houston.
It's sixty three degrees and I'm in love.
Its time to bring out the fall décor don't you think?
One little problem...I'm in the midst of painters and contractors.
Yes. Still.
Its all good though.
Progress is happening and that's better than standing still.
My faux pumpkin and gourd stash will have to wait a while.
In the meantime let me share a sweet story...
If you know me in real time you know that we've grown really close to our neighbors.
We, my husband and our boys, feel like our families
have become like family.
They are the number one reason we put off building a new home.
We didn't want to leave them.
During the summer we began "Sundaes on Sunday"
where every Sunday night we'd start the new week off by
making the craziest sugar concoctions
with any and every sugary condiment and ice cream known to mankind.
Then there's inside golf where they've created basically an indoor putt-putt game
with coffee cups as the golf ball holes and furniture as the obstacles.
My boys are crazy for them to say the least.
His sons may think of us as the crazy cousins who they can't shake at a reunion
but I digress...Ha!
We've watched their boys grow up,
they were littles when we moved on the street
and now they're all towering glorious young men.
Our neighbor's wife was very special to me.
I looked up to her in many ways but most of all as a mother.
She was only three years older than me but she had this old soul personality
in that I felt like she had the answers to so many questions I had,
even ones I was too afraid to ask her.
She would bring over copies of parenting articles she thought I'd like
and invite me to talks about religion and parenting.
She gave me much more than I ever gave back.
She passed away this spring,
a few weeks after we lost our niece.
My husband and I have often said
that these two ladies that died within weeks of each other
reminded each of us of the other woman,
they were very similar in a lot of ways but mainly in their faith.
We take comfort in thinking they met at heaven's gate.
I personally think they're still around in ways.
Little things remind me of them all the time...
like white pumpkins for instance.
Let me explain...
I think I've said it here before that our friend next door
was like Martha Stewart and Julia Childs rolled into one.
Her home was always immaculate and her kitchen always cooking something delicious.
Every fall she put out the most wonderful pumpkin display on her porch.
Something like this...
She loved all things white
so she would buy white Cinderella pumpkins
and arrange them just so,
in piles of pumpkin perfection.
Last week I noticed some white pumpkins on the porch next door.
I figured our neighbor's dad who was visiting from out of town
had grab some at the grocery store.
One afternoon late last week our neighbor drove up
as we were getting home from piano.
We chit chatted and I complimented him on the pumpkins.
I told him that his dad had done a good job.
He looked at them and smiled and said it wasn't his dad.
"do you know you did that?"
No idea if it wasn't him I said.
"A lady down the street brought us those.
She said she'd been driving past our house for twenty years
and she knew that every fall {his wife}
put out white pumpkins on the porch.
She said she knew that {his wife} had passed away in the spring.
She said she couldn't drive by this year
and not see pumpkins on the porch.
So she brought him a pile of white pumpkins for his porch.
Wasn't that so nice of her? he said.
Yes it was I told him trying to stop my eyes from tearing.
I keep thinking of this story.
I wish I knew which neighbor it was.
I'd go down the street and hug her neck.
I just love that she had the thought and followed through on it.
I know my neighbor appreciated it immensely.
I love the idea of random acts of kindness
because it's so true that...
I'm inspired now and I hope you are too.
If you are, I found this little list of suggestions...
Who's with me?
ps...I just saw this story today and cried my eyes out.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Round Top or Bust!

 Monday started off slightly rocky for our bi-annual pilgrammage to Round Top.
The forecast called for rain all day.
Ugh right?
But when you've run 13 plus miles
in thirty degree weather in freezing rain
with winds blowing sideways
you know rain ain't nothing but a thing.
Plus we're committed fearless shoppers.
What can I say?

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