Thursday, January 28, 2010

Never confuse motion with progress...

I have made a large dent in the living room. It is progress, but it is by no means done. I do have a plan. Sort-of. But here is my progress so far:



The curtains and the coffee table are temporary. I hate the giant wall-o'-white, but I cannot find curtains that complement my desired scheme and that flowered chair. I am thinking I am going to have to lean more towards slate/sky blue and sage/apple green, as opposed to turquoise and lime. I just don't think Mister is going to let me replace all of the upholstery in the house. I am hoping I will be able to have slipcovers made for the chairs, like this, because the dogs climb all over them and the green one lives under a dropcloth (classy, I know). Mister is super-neurotic about the dogs ruining something or scratching the floor... Whereas I am more like "Meh, whatevs"...

Here are some of my inspiration photos:

Mister would like nothing more than to superimpose this living room over ours... Our last house was definitely more "rustic chic" - I am resisting here though. It's hard to make pink rustic, right? 

Isn't this pillow adorable? And totally doable, even for the less crafty of us. I think this pale turquoise will work with the difficult grandma chair...  Hmmm... but maybe not with the green chair...


Apartment Therapy

I want to have some mirrors cut to fit the inside of our firebox and then put some candles in there. Mister hates the idea - he doesn't understand what is wrong with the faux-wood gas logs (our fireplace is not gas!). Blech. But he was also vehement about not painting the living room pink and now he likes it. So there. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Reviews (Sort Of)

I am finished two of the books I purchased on Friday.

Mary Kay Andrews' Deep Dish

This book was highly entertaining, as are all of M.K.A.'s books! If I haven't already said it, she is my favorite author!Definitely pick one up next time you are at the bookstore. I think my favorites are Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze, but that's because I am partial to character follow-up.

I also finished Christopher Moore's Coyote Blue.

This is my fourth Christopher Moore novel. It was engaging and the characters were well written, but it was not my favorite. I very much enjoyed You Suck and Bloodsucking Fiends. What do you call two books about the same characters? A book and the sequel?... A series?... I am not sure, but they are funny!


That means grandfather in German, but it is also the Greek word for cheer... My grandfather just celebrated his 80th birthday on the 18th!

We threw him a big party and invited all their friends, relatives, and all their old German cronies they escaped Hitler with. These are terrible quality photos, but you get the idea. This milestone was especially significant at this time. Two years ago, he developed a virus in his heart. The doctors misdiagnosed it for a year, he lost 70 lbs, and basically his will to live. In the fall of 2008, he spent more than three months in the hospital and nearly died, multiple times. Now he and my Oma know how to live with it (and cook for it, most importantly for them).

 My uncle and my cousin, Lauren, (right side of pic) came up from Kentucky for the weekend!

 My mother, my aunt, and my uncle giving the speech. 

And that's my grandmother at the bottom right.

Look how happy he is!

We had lunch and cake at a nice Italian restaurant. It was lovely and I think all of us were fully aware of just how lucky we are to still have him in our lives.

Is there anyone in your lives you are particularly grateful for? Or a milestone that has been significant in some way?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monkey Love

"Get up and play with me!!"

"F*@! off or I'll eat your head..."

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Books!

I am in PowerPoint class today instead of work. There is a Borders across the street and my lovely S-I-L got me $20 Border Bucks for my B-day. Three more books I purchased today:

It's a sickness really...

I have a problem. An addiction really. It gets in the way of my getting things accomplished. I read too much. WAY too much - like 4 - 5 book a week sometimes.

I love cheesy, girly books and anything supernatural.

I read this on Wednesday:

 About a woman named Fleur who crashes weddings to meet wealthy widowers and embezzle their money. Sounds weird, but it was engrossing and the characters were well fleshed out.

This one was over the weekend:

I have been reading Laurell's books since I was 12. I actually got suspended from school for having one at school that was quite sexually graphic. My mother knew her and apparently that made it okay for me to read them. Plus, I was a precocious child, WAY beyond my years where my reading abilities and hunger for books was concerned.

I also really love the Sookie Stackhouse series:

I still haven't seen the show, but I am thoroughly unimpressed with the casting I have seen so far in magazines...

Charlaine Harris also has a series about a woman who can sense dead bodies, as a side effect of being hit by lightning:

The only thing that bothers me about Charlaine Harris' writing style is her female characters always seem a bit slow and they are always uneducated. I wonder why that is.

I usually just go to Target, Costco, or Borders and pick a book with a fun title and a pastel cover and it hasn't steered me wrong yet!

Some others I have read in the last 6 months:


I think Mary Kay Andrews is my favorite author. Her characters are strong, loyal, and incredibly intelligent.  And most of her books are sprinkled with Interior Decoration stuff!

I really love Emily Giffin's books, as well. They are just fun!

Do any of you have a reading problem? Too much, not enough? Spill.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cheap Chic

Remember this Design*Sponge Sneak Peek I liked so much?

I REALLY wanted these poufs.

But they are like $2,000. Crazy.

Now there is another option.
Knitted Pouf from CB2 - $79.95! 
And they match my color scheme! Yay! I just wish they came in two sizes...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today is my 27th birthday!!

My parents are taking Mister and I out for dinner at my favorite restaurant. Which we never go to cause we can't (actually, don't want to) afford it. Yay!

Updating Our Thermostat

Our house was built in 1951 and never updated. We still have a propane fueled boiler heat system and radiators. Radiators are supposed to put off the best heat available. Unfortunately, ours is extremely outdated. We have a HVAC guy coming to check everything out on Monday, the 18th, but in the initial telephone consultation he told Mister that our boiler is probably running at 53% efficiency. What a waste of energy. Bah. We just had $700 worth of propane delivered to use on about the 20th of December and we will need more in about a week. Can you imagine? We had no idea. The heating bill is killing us. We have been keeping our house at 60 degrees. So. Freaking. Cold. Brrr.
Until we can afford to totally replace the system (hopefully in the next few months), we are attempting to update/retain heat where we can:
Mister put weather stripping around the basement door and the master bath window to stop the breeze that was coming through.
I finially finished the cafe curtains in the kitchen, which should help a teeny bit there.
We put plastic over the inside of the kitchen fan, because you could actually feel wind in the kitchen.
I threw some IKEA curtain panels up in the top story on the existing yucky curtain rods.
And we put another curtain panel over the doorway leading upstairs.
My lovely Crate and Barrel double curtain rod came in on Wednesday, so I hope to get that and some curtains up soon in the living room.
And finally, I bought us a new thermostat. A Honeywell RTH6400, to be exact. The model recommended by Young House Love. I know nothing about thermostat's so I figured it was as good as any, right? It allows you to program your 5-day workweek differently from your weekends.
Here is how our original thermostat looked.


Classy, right?
Here's what you'll need for the switch.

Large flathead screwdriver, teeny flathead screw driver, the instruction manual(obviously), and some needle nose pliers. I couldn't find my needlenose, so I used my "turn your crimp bead into a ball" pliers. Worked fine.

The directions for installation seem really simple:

1. Turn off power to heating/cooling system.
2. Remove Old Thermostat.

If your existing  thermostat has mercury, call your local waste people and find out how to dispose of it. Do Not Throw It Away!


3. Label wire with supplied tags. 

(Here's where I ran into problems.  I totally wanted to do this BY MYSELF, since besides painting and slow-going sewing, I am kinda useless. The directions say to label the wires with the included labels as you detach them from your previous thermostat. Okay. But the instructions show 4 wires and we only have 2 wires. Plus, they show the wires labeled on the old thermostat. Ours aren't. I have no idea what Y, G, R, and W stand for. So I had to consult Mister, since he's an electrician and all. Apparently, Y is yellow, G is green, R is red, and W is white. I felt a little silly, but how in the heck was I supposed to know that? So after he told me that I was back on track. )

4. Mount new wallplate.

5. Connect wires. 


6. Pop on thermostat. 


Done and done.
Of course, you have to program it, which I did first, so it would be ready to go when I plugged it in.
And I didn't even chip my new hideous nail polish!

Mature, isn't it?
BTW: That dent is not normally on my finger, it's from the installation process. Somehow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I have finished the cafe curtains for my kitchen.

 I just realized that you cannot see ANY details in the pattern. It's dark as I'm writing this, but let me try to get a detail shot....
Ok, here...


And wouldn't you know, now that I am done with them, I am bored with them. I have been very inspired by all the linen and burlap fabrics that have been circulating around lately and now I want to do them again in burlap.

BTW: Making It Lovely is my inspiration for my living room. I love the way she combines mid-century, modern, and antiques. I even swiped her wall color! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
However, considering it took me 5 months to finish the first set, I think I will have to live with them for at least a few months. I think if I told Mister I wanted to start on a new set he might kill me. hehe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Give a Little Bit...

I am sure you all have heard of Green Your Decor and the wonderful new site Green and Gorgeous, run by the lovely Jennae Petersen.  She began her blogs for the simple reason to make the world a better, greener place. Now her world is in turmoil. Her adorable 4-year-old daughter, Ja'Naya has been diagnosed with leukemia. Her husband, John, recently lost his job and Jennae is self-employed. They have no health insurance.

Want to help them out? I did. Jenn, from Frugal Mom, started up a chip-in campaign. This is how I chose to pitch in, but there are other options; check out Ja'Naya's story and other ways to help out here.


Easy, Peazy Pizza Pie

Mister LOVES pizza. Here is an easy, quick "homemade" 3 Meat pizza recipe.

1 whole wheat thin crust
1 Boboli pre-packaged Original Pizza Sauce
1 package Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Mexican shredded cheese
3 slices turkey bacon (I like Louis Rich)
1 1/3lb. preformed frozen beef patty (I get mine in a 6 lb. package from Costco)
1/2 package Hormel pepperoni

Pile it all on, stick it in the oven, YUM!

If you want to see the nutrition stats for this go to It's labeled Oonafey Home Made- Three Meat Pizza. The nutrition is specific the brands I have in the recipe.

You would think with a whole wheat crust, reduced fat cheese, and turkey bacon that it would be borderline healthy... It's really not. But it's good, and it's satisfying, and it's still better for you than take-out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolution Update

A sub-resolution I forgot to mention under the main resolution of FOLLOW THRU:

Hook up the wireless dohickey my mother bought us for Christmas last year

I am happy to say that is accomplished! Yay! We only have ONE phone jack in our whole house and considering the previous owners concreted in the entire ceiling in the basement, running more would be problematic. To say the least. That one jack is in the dining room, behind my bakers cabinet. We have been sitting at the bakers cabinet to use the internet since July... Well, no more. I am currently sitting in my newly pink living room, in a comfy chair. HOORAH!!


I don't usually "do" resolutions because I have a difficult time sticking with anything for more than a day or so. I have ADHD and I don't take any meds anymore and I am not going to use it as an excuse to be lazy and scatterbrained anymore. So I have one all-encompassing resolution:


On anything, everything, whatever...

I need to finish the curtains for our kitchen.
Make the balloon shades for the dining room.
Put together another bookshelf for the bedroom.
Put together the Expedit for my "office/craft room".
Lose 20 pounds.
Exercise more.
Paint the bedroom.
Paint the "office/craft room".
Finally get all the prints and photos framed that I have been buying at art shows for the last 10 years.
STOP BUYING MORE CRAP until I finish all this stuff.

All of these things fit under the FOLLOW THRU header, because they are all things that should already be done and are not because I am a lazy bastard. So, we'll see how it goes.

On the plus side, I do have the dining room and the living room painted.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monkey Love

I call my dogs "Monkey". Both of them, to their faces, when I want them to do something. I am sure it is quite confusing for them. Someday I will learn to call them by their names, until then welcome to Monkey Mondays!

See the wall in the background? That's a sneak peek of our new Living Room color! It looks so fab with the fireplace. I just have to wait for the curtain rods to arrive and the basic room with be all put together. Yay!