Sunday, February 26, 2012

Turning Tables

“I am going to love to watch you get married, pregnant and start nesting… it is going to be amazing!!!!”  - said my commuting friend Alison. 
It is true, I have had the undeniable urge to nest lately - and without any of the before mentioned status changes!!!  I love being at home and doing things to make it more adorable and comfortable.  I wish I had more space, but I am thankful for what I have… and like all things, that too will happen someday.  I partially blame Pinterest for the sudden swell of nesting-ness; otherwise it is my constant struggle to live in the “now” and not the “what if” future that makes me what to make my “now” surroundings better. 
For the last seven years I have dined on a beautiful Olive Graden table, that my dad rescued from being trashed, and mis-matching Sizzler chairs.  My “dining area” – if it could even be considered an area – is tiny and smushed between kitchen, office and entryway.  Needless to say: it doesn’t allow for versatile dining options.  I love dark wood (hate how it shows all the dust, but I guess I can’t have everything) and I am constantly looking on Craigslist for new furniture pieces for my little castle.  Size, like I said, is an issue and so is the cost – I have to be able to afford to eat on this new table, after all. 
I found a black table that just barely fit the measurements of my dining area and it included three chairs for $25!!!  Three chairs may sound like a bummer to most people, but I can’t fit four and I have no place to store an extra one - *SCORE*.  So I took up a friend on an offer to borrow his truck and went to look at it/pick it up.  The owner had “tried to clean it up” and apparently thought bleach was the way to go… in retrospect, I should have haggled over the price! Shoot.  Well, I was going to paint it anyway, so it went in the back of the truck and I took it home; and it sat in my living room for over a week.  Hehehe. 

A rather expensive trip to Home Depot, an afternoon of sanding and painting, learning about wood grains, and then another coat of paint a week later (I could only work on it on the weekend, it is too dark when I get home from work) and I had a new kitchen table!!!

LOVE it.  And it is much more cohesive with the other pieces I have in my living room.  I think I am going to get a piece of glass for the top, I am worried about chipping or removing the paint, and making some kind of cushion for the seats.  But for now, it is great.  Yeah me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Day

I LOVE Pinterest!!! Like, I luh-ove it!  I think I can safely say I am completely addicted – exactly what I knew would happen, which is why I resisted ever even looking at the site for the last six months or so.
Anyway… I wanted to make something sweet for Valentine’s Day at work, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on candy, cards, conversation hearts, etc (all the commercialized mumbo-jumbo) – and I had seen a million adorable ideas on Pinterest.  I love the much used child photo with a depth of field perspective and inserting a tootsie pop in the child’s hand; wow, that sounds confusing in just words.  ~here~ is a picture of what I am talking about.  But I wanted something different… partially because I didn’t think my co-workers would be particularly thrilled to receive a card with my smiling face on it.
I saw a picture of a lollipop flower: ~here~ and thought: “I can do so much better!” 
I cut out the flower shapes with my Cricut machine and I downloaded the adorable Valentine’s Day printables from ~here~.  I used my circle punch to make the coins, which I glued to the center of the flower; a little scotch tape to stick the cardstock flower to the lollipop and that part was done. 
I used simple terracotta pots from Michael’s and craft foam from the 99¢ store.  *Did you know they have Styrofoam at the 99¢ store????  It is over five dollars at Michael’s.  *Score!*   A co-worker gave me the crafting moss to cover the foam and I used Elmer’s glue to attach a pretty sparkly ribbon to the pot.  –I originally had all sorts of other plans for decorating the pot with hearts and other such things… but my need for sleep prevailed and I called it a day with ribbon.

My adorable valentine’s sat untouched for much of the morning… that is, until I put a post it next to it that said: “take one” and people realized there was lollipops!
This year, Valentine’s Day was not awful.  I think it was largely due in part to my outlook on the whole day. ..  I don’t have boyfriend/husband to celebrate with.  So what???  I also don’t have to share the covers in bed, shave my legs every day (eww, I know.  But true) or spend money on some silly card on a holiday that glorifies “loving” someone on one particular day; I would much rather be loved all year long and receive support and affirmation than a dumb stuffed bear.  Now don’t get me wrong, I WANT my “Charming”… so I prayed for him instead; and I prayed that I would continue growing into the woman he is praying for too.   And then I said thank you to the valentine I did have; He is awesome, He is Jesus.  Talk about the giver of gifts!!!  Good luck topping receiving eternal life, my future husband!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

House Party

A year ago I had no idea just how difficult commuting for work would be… I have always had to “commute” – half an hour or so; but I mean, REALLY commuting.  Now my commute time from my front door to the front desk at work is two and a half hours!  Read: commuting stinks!
Much to my delight, I have made numerous “train friends” – everyone generally sits in the same seats – to which my other friends laugh and say: “Of course you made train friends! You will talk to anyone!”  Fact.   Since we have gotten to know each other well, or well enough to share in each other’s joys and sorrows, I decided to have a mini celebration for Mike.  Escrow closed on his house!
I toyed with the idea of making a cake look like a house (saw off the corners and use piping to draw a door and windows) but freaked out when I went to purchase piping and it was SIX DOLLARS a tube!!! (Side note: Mom, I am sorry for wasting tubes of that stuff over the years!)  Instead I opted for cupcakes, simplified having to bring extra supplies on the train as well, and had to figure out how to incorporate the house… boys don’t care, but I wanted them to be cute!
I printed a clipart house with a “sold” sign and punched it out with my circle punch.  Voila!  An escrow “coin”!!!  Elmer’s glue went on the back, a tooth pick and then another coin glued to the first one completed the tooth pick sandwich.  Each cupcake got a house pick, and we ate cupcakes at 7:30 in the morning!

I printed the same clipart house on a card and had the other train peeps sign it for Mike.  Congrats!