Tuesday, October 26, 2010


If I could listen to only two albums for the rest of my life, I may be tempted to choose any Glee Soundtrack and the Original Broadway Production of Wicked starring Kristin Chenowith and Idina Menzel.

While YouTubing videos of seeds sprouting this evening, I stumbled across a video about gravitropism with "Defying Gravity" playing in the background.

This reminded me how much I love Wicked. Then it reminded me how I got to see it on Broadway in NYC last Christmas with these two ladies. (I think....not be racist, but all Elphabas look the same to me.)

Then it reminded me how GREAT my husband is for getting me those tickets for Christmas. Thinking about it makes me feel all sentimental.

It's funny how one song can conjure up so much emotion. Also funny how PMS can do the same thing. Or maybe a combination of the two? TMI?

Oh, by the way, I'M AN AUNT NOW.

Meet Hunter. Apologies for the poor quality of photo, but isn't he beautiful???? We haven't met yet, but I'm certain to be his favorite aunt (sorry, Emily!)

Coming soon (possibly): Pictures of TONS of around the house projects. Many of them done by my wonderful aforementioned husband. I did a spell on him while he was sleeping to make him obsessed with home renovation. (I'm a witch.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blog dump

Frankly, I'm surprised I even remembered my login information to this blog. Poor thing, so neglected.

As of 15 minutes ago, I am having serious home decor motivation/lack of inspiration. First, let me dump some projects on you that I've actually done since I started teaching (surprising that I would even find time, but when I get the urge to craft, everything takes a back seat.)

I found this little beaut while stopping by the parents house one evening. My mom had it in a pile meant for trash, so I took it! I'd been wanting to recover a lamp shade for a while now (lamp shades are so expensive...Even the ones at Wal-Mart are over $15.00...)

So as soon as I got home, I ripped that old crumbly fabric off and made it into this:

Presto Bingo - perfect addition to our superiorly boring entry-way. It's still a work in progress.

Kennedy & I also spent some time one weekend re-painting a guest bedroom in anticipation for company this Thanksgiving. 

Here's a before:

It had become a catch-all for junk. My sewing machine was in there, along with a twin bed and a pile of unfolded (clean) laundry. Shame on us. It was so easy to shut the door and never look at it.

I have an in-progress photo, but it isn't entirely complete yet...Maybe I can talk myself into continuing blogging if I have something I need to update soon...

This is post-paint, but pre-re-install the baseboards. We also inherited a nice queen-sized bed from Emily & Patrick that will come in handy with the aforementioned company. Can't wait to share the final after photos!

Finally, I'll share some things from my Science Lab!

Here's a picture frame I painted so I could "frame" out my objective for the day...

You can see the finished product hanging over my board in this picture, if you look very closely....

And I might as well share the other view of my room, pre-first day of school. Now the tables are all crooked from kids pushing them around. And my table labels are all ripped off and in a landfill by now. Middle schoolers are messy.

The new dilemma is what the heck to do with our dining room. We bought a craigslist dining table that is now just not working for me. Still no dining room chairs. Plus there are many limitations to the room. HELP ME!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bad Blogger

So I'm teaching now, which can explain my absence. Kennedy & I have been getting some things done around the house but it's in between my lesson planning & napping, so I usually forget to take photos. Or forget to upload photos. I'm hoping after this week (and I've said this every week so far) to get a handle on my "school business" so I will have a little more free time on the weekends.

For now, I'll just daydream about the photos on this blog:


Thursday, August 5, 2010


I thought my one-hundredth post would be more climactic than this...whoops.

Last Friday morning, Kennedy & I bombed our house for fleas. Then when we got home that afternoon, we spent 6-7 hours cleaning EVERYTHING. (Just an FYI, fleas are gone for now...)

Except I lied to myself because I didn't really clean everything. I cleaned the main rooms where we hang out (Kitchen, Living Room, Bedroom), and piled all our crap in all the other rooms (read: office.)

I'm swimming in junk mail and folders and books and loose change as I type this. I am proud of us though, because those other rooms have stayed fairly clean. Wanna know how I did it?

When I'm in the bedroom and I'm tempted to leave my laundry on the floor, I hear a little voice saying "Why can't you just put those away?"

When I'm in the kitchen and I'm tempted to leave dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink, the voice tells me, "Let's try to keep this kitchen clean, ok?"

When I'm in the living room and I want to leave all my craft supplies all over the coffee table, the voice is all "The dogs are going to get into that if you leave it out."

Where is this voice coming from all of a sudden? My husband's mouth.

Poor Kennedy is stuck with a messy wife.

Also, on a different topic, I'm pretty sure my contact lens prescription is 3 years old.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The People Under the Stairs

Luckily, I didn't find anyone under our stairs. It wouldn't have been completely shocking, though. It was literally brimming over with STUFF. It became a catch-all for stuff we hadn't found a place for yet.

Does anyone know where I can find artwork to hang in my house? Oh, every piece of art ever created is in the closet under my stairs? Awesome!

So then, ALL BY MYSELF, I hung some shelves in there.

Yes, I did that. Alone. Me. And they're perfectly level.

But it didn't end there. No, my friends, then something amazing happened. 

I organized all our DVDs into leather boxes for those shelves, and separated them by genre.


Then I waited about 2 months before I did anything else. And slowly but surely, things began piling up.
Yesterday, after reading other people's blogs about organizing stuff, I got an itch to finish what I'd started.

Behold! Floor space!

I organized my gift wrapping supplies, and reserved the top shelf for games. Anyone wanna come play Scrabble? I know where to find it! Or perhaps we could have Mancala Hour (name that movie and you get a kiss attack from Elvis.)

It's sad, but I'm in love with this closet now. I think I'll leave the door open all the time so I can take in the organization.

Stay tuned for throw pillow day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bad News, Good News

Time for an installment of one of my favorite mind games, Bad News, Good News!

Bad News: Elvis was constipated for the past week because he wasn't drinking enough water.
Good News: He finally started drinking water and did "#2"!
Bad News: He did "#2" in the house, upstairs, in my bathroom, on my bath mat.
Good News: He didn't pee!
Bad News: This time.

What's more insane? How many photos I have of this dog, or how different he looks in each of them?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's true...

I lied.

I said I would blog yesterday, but then I didn't. I've been putting it off for over a month (with valid reason!) but I am back, my friends! Who knew life would get so incredibly busy this summer? I thought summer was for laying in my crystal clear pool (thanks to my wonderful pool boy/husband.) Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you choose to look at it,) I have been busy training to become a teacher! I have finished about 120 hours of classes all about teaching, I have passed a test that qualifies me to teach 4 subjects in grades 4-8, and I am busy plugging away at job applications. I am a little worried at how close to the start of the school year it is, and me without a job, BUT I must have faith that I will find something!

So with all of that plus my normal responsibilities, you can see how I have had little time to do household projects, let alone blog about them.

And the truth is, where do I even begin??? I feel like I almost have to reintroduce myself to all 5 of you reading. Thank you for still reading.

Let's just refer to this post as a photo-dump. That way, I do not have to follow any rhyme or reason in this post. It will be somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness picture book. If there has never been such a thing, well here it is now!

Last I blogged, I had just come home from a dear friend's wedding, followed by some fun time with Stephanie & our mother-in-law, Jennifer.

Here we are at Jennifer's wedding. This seems to be the only decent photo we have where Kennedy isn't drenched in sweat. Unfortunately, we tend to lose track of time dancing at weddings and forget to get photos before-hand.

The wedding was beautiful, magical, sentimental, and perfect. Here are a couple of photos of the bride - I hope she doesn't get mad at me for blogging about her....

Jennifer got married, and it was in and of itself a milestone event, but the post important part of that weekend was that Jaclyn & I found a tree to hang off of like animals.

So, good thing! We were starting to get worried we'd never be able to scratch that off our bucket lists.

Next, I jetted over to St. Louis for a fun conference. Here are Stephanie & I with a couple of celebrities!

So that's the abbreviated recap of my past month. The rest was spent in a classroom, learning how to teach. 

Now I can't leave without sharing at least ONE project. I've really been able to get a few things done in the past month, so perhaps I'll share things worth sharing over the next few blog posts. Unless I decide to take another month off.

This one is something I've been looking to do for a while now, but haven't been able to find the right frame. I'd been trying to find an old, cheap framed photo or painting that I could convert into a cute bulletin board for my laundry room. It was really feeling kind of monotone in there for a while, and I thought a cork board would warm it up a bit.

Here's the before thing:

A little paint, distressing, glue and cork board, and I had a nice, new addition to my laundry room! And the whole project cost me $3.00 (for the frame.) I already had the paint & the cork in my house!

Now that my busy season is winding down, I have a long list of household to-dos to do (how'd you like that?). Expect more updates - CHEAP updates!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I promise...

I promise tomorrow that I am coming back. Until then, here's a cute picture of my boo covered in mud.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Holy rainy season, Batman!

That's right, our drought here in the DFW has been cured as of last Thursday. And so began the onslaught of T-storms...ahhhh, one of my favorite seasons here is the storm season! (Except when it strikes your nearest power line down.) Luckily, that hasn't happened to us this year!

Last year, while living with my parents, the T-storms struck down the power lines in their neighborhood. So when night fell, we busted out the candles & flashlights. I think only one flashlight actually had working batteries, and we've never really been a big candle family. Needless to say, it was dark.

So what did we do??? We played the "questions game," introduced to us by my sister-in-law, Caroline. Maybe one day Caroline could write a guest post and explain the game! It's fun, but for some reason I have no energy to teach it....Whattaya say, Caroline??

Speaking of being too tired to teach something, I have no tutorials to share of my own. However!!! I've been reading other's blogs, and slowly collecting tutorials of projects that I find to be amazing & easy! Today, I'll share the links to those. Another day, perhaps I will begin to work my way through them...


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hotter'n Hell

That's just something people in Texas say when referring to the heat. It's a true statement, but I've always hated the saying (which is why I chose to immortalize it right here on my very own blog??) There are a lot of things I've never really understood about Texas, yet at the same time I am strangely devoted to it. I'm sure any fellow Texans (native or grafted-in) will find it easy to relate.

Right now, I'm sitting in our semi-air-conditioned house while Kennedy drives across town to buy 1/3 the amount of sod we need for our front yard. The reason being, that's all that will fit in my Jeep at one time.

It's very, very hot outside, but luckily all we have left to do is fertilize and throw down the sod. EASY! The hard work is over!

Also, a couple of days ago when Jaclyn was over, I "accidentally" pulled the toenail of my left pinky toe off. "I was only trying to trim it!" Anyway, now there's this exposed/raw skin that I can feel with every step of my socked-and-shoe'd foot. I have been walking around practically barefoot for the past couple of days, so I hadn't noticed the pain 'til now.

Also, if you're wondering how someone can get away with walking around practically barefoot for 2 days in the middle of the week, well, I just don't leave the house. That's how!

I'm thinking our next DIY project will be installing a grocery store in the back yard so I literally never have to leave.

You know what will be awesome? When we're completely done working on this house. But then I suppose we'll sell it and move on...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Twist

Sometimes I want to frame a photo, but then I think it's missing something. Then, a couple of years ago I stumbled upon a neat little craft to jazz up photos.

Guess what photo I decided to use? That's right, a photo of MY DOG. I just can't seem to stay away. I wonder if I'll ever love kids as much as I love my dogs? At this point, I just don't see how it's possible...

Anyway, the twist to which I am referring is making a photo 2-D. I had already made one of cute Elvis when we first got him, so I decided I needed to get Cece caught up in the shrine department.

Notice the subtle "pop-out" of the photo. Here's the photo I decided to use of Cece:

She's just so freaking cute!

I used the following materials: several copies of the photo above, a black foam sheet, scissors, craft glue.

First, I decided how many layers I wanted in the photo. I generally stick with 3 layers, because any more gets complicated and takes too long and runs the risk of looking messy. So for this photo I went with the background/Cece's head, then her muzzle, then her round button nose.

Like so:

I had printed out 3 copies of the photo, and then cut one layer from each. Later, I decided that I could get away with only destroying 2 layers and keep the 3rd as a spare copy, like so:

Ok, and sorry but for some reason my computer thinks it's hilarious to UN ROTATE photos that I have previously rotated. So then I get side-ways photos. Loooove it.

Then I took the black foam sheet and traced the top two layers on it. Then I cut the traced areas out and glued them to the photo layers.

That traced section is actually traced onto a foam sheet that has a sticky side. Then I just had to peel the white backing off it and stick it on. But if you can't find that, then just glue it like I said before...

THEN, (and here comes the hard part,) glue all your layers together.

That's all! I am loving these easy 5-minute crafts lately. All of the results with barely any work.

Here's my finished result:

It was totally an accident, but that top spike of Cece's hair ended up hooking around the photo mat. I liked it and kept it because I thought it made the photo pop out more. Also, the frame I used is a semi-shadow-box frame from Hobby Lobby (half off!) I find that it works best if you are 2-D'ing your photos, so it doesn't get all smashed and defeat the purpose.

And here is a photo of my dog shrine/kitchen decor:

Any questions?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello Yellow!

This blog is long overdue for a little sprucin' up! This feels a little more summer-y. Also, here's to hoping this will inspire me to get some other projects done.

It's been a long time since I've said "I'm bored," but it happened to me today. Actually, it kind of crept up on me in the last couple of weeks. My sleep pattern has been awry since Jennifer's Bachelorette party, which is causing my days to be filled with naps.

Note to self and others: Don't stay out 'til 3am. Just don't do it!

Anyway, bored means I just don't want to do anything. LORD KNOWS I have plenty to do around here. Instead, I'll just complain about it and not do it. 


The following project is a little variation on the Custom Etched Bar Glasses post. This time, I took a handy little gift card to Hobby Lobby (Thanks Mel & J.T.!) and found some amazing green glass jars on clearance! The big one was $5 and the smaller one was $3. Cha-ching! Or, score? 

I left Hobby Lobby with intentions of brandishing the jars with dog bones, or dog paws, or some cute dog pun. I wrestled over it all day, thinking it would "just be so cute" to etch one or all of those things on each jar. After all, I have been wanting some cute jars to display dog treats for a while now.

Then my judgement got the better of me, and I decided that dog-related decor is a slippery slope. Same with cat-related decor. I am, for now, going to keep it to a minimum by only decorating with photos of my dogs, and giving & receiving birthday cards with pictures of dogs doing hilarious things. (That might also be a slippery slope, but I'll keep you posted.) 

Here's the project:

Chalkboard Jars

What you need:
- Glass or ceramic jars
- contact paper
- craft knife
- chalkboard paint 

Draw some wavy rectangles on a piece of contact paper. Stick it to the jar. Make sure most of the jar is protected by contact paper if you are using Chalkboard spray paint. If you decide to go the paint-on route, then you should be good...

Here's what mine looked like after I was done with the spray paint.

Then once it was dry, I peeled off the contact paper and voila! This was a nice, easy, quick project, that semi-cured my boredom.

Because when you're bored, you want to see quick results so you can go back to sulking and watching re-runs of The Nanny, but still feel like you accomplished something today.

As far as what I'm going to write on the little chalkboards, it will be dog related. For now. But I like the versatility that the chalkboard surface offers. Maybe one day I'll use it to label a specific kind of cookie or snack. Or "KEEP OUT".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This is my 90th post! Ten more and maybe I'll bake (photoshop) a cake!

Today is also my birthday! I am FINALLY 26....I thought it would never get here! (kidding...who actually looks forward to a 26th birthday?)

Funny story, even though I'm 26, I am still getting turned away from night clubs at friend's bachelorette parties for looking 12. Apparently my ID also looks fake. But who's gonna be laughing in 26 years when I look 26? ME! That's who!

But that's neither here nor there.

Things at our house have been at a standstill as far as renovating/decorating/remodeling. For one, I am STILL trying to find a full-time job, over a year later.  Not that I'm complaining, because I love staying home with the dogs.

Another reason for our standstill is that it's finally been warm enough to use our pool. Like every day. So when we decide to make time for lounging poolside, we are pushing aside progress on the house. Our pool has never looked better, though! Come over and swim with me sometime!

Slowly, but surely, we are making some progress on the office. But I have a feeling it would be going a lot faster if I could just get motivated. We'll see what this weekend holds.

So, while I do not have anything to share house-wise, I do have a fun little project that anyone can do (homeowners or not!) I guess I'm on a bit of a craft kick.

I'm not sure where I heard about this, but it had to be a combination of reading other blogs and googling. It's one of those "'twas blind but now I see" type of deals, where I didn't even know this craft existed!

Custom etched bar glasses

This is a little gift-set that I whipped up for a dear friend's "Stock the Bar" wedding shower. Great party, by the way! I had never heard of this type of shower, but it was so much fun, and the happy couple got lots of goodies for their home bar.

I asked Jennifer (the bride) to send me 4 inside jokes that she and her fiance have. Something that they would hear and only they would know what it meant. (I'm not sure why I felt the need to explain what an inside joke is, but let's just consider it part of the tutorial.)

Here's what you'll need for this project:

-4 glasses (or however many you want!)
-exacto/craft knife
-contact paper
-pen or marker
-glass etching cream (just so you're prepared, it's like $8 for a 1-2oz bottle, but a little goes a long way!)

Those are the basic things you will need. You may find a way to be more efficient using other tools, or you may want to customize this to your own needs (i.e. Margarita or Martini glasses, or a mirror!)

First, I drew the letters onto a square piece of contact paper. I didn't like the way it looked, so then I typed and printed the letters out and traced them onto the white contact paper by layering them and holding them up to a window. It was really quite complicated and difficult, so I suggest using clear contact paper. (White was what I had lying around, so that's what I used.)

(This was my first attempt when I hand-wrote it. I later took this off and started again.)

After I peeled the back off of the contact paper, I tried my best to center and level the sticker onto the glass, smoothing out all bubbles.

Then I took my exacto/craft knife and traced around the parts that I wanted gone (i.e. all the black marker.) You can see where I started to do that above. This is a very time-consuming, hand-cramping part, but take care to be exact so your edges aren't all jagged! Don't worry about scratching the glass because the exacto/craft knife isn't sharp enough to do that.

Once all the necessary pieces are cut out, apply the etching cream liberally and let it sit for a while. (I let mine sit for like 5 minutes, but I think it would have done better to sit for a lot longer...)

Also, I suggest you wear rubber gloves, because this stuff is pretty strong.

Once you're satisfied with how long it has sat there, eating away at the surface of the glass, rinse with water. I also wiped my clean with a damp paper towel to make sure I didn't leave behind anything that would etch where I didn't want it.

Dry with a dry paper towel, then peel off the contact paper.

Really? That's it???

It was so easy to do! The hardest and most time-consuming part is definitely cutting out the contact paper. However, if you decided to do something else, like a silhouette, it wouldn't take as much time.
I actually saw something really cute on Etsy where they made a dog treat jar with the silhouette of different dog breeds. It was A-freakin'-dorable, and if I didn't have a couple of mix-breeds, I would definitely be making it!

Maybe I'll get a glass jar and put a paw-print on it?

(Careful, Sara! Your house is on the verge of having too many dog-related decor items!)

I think the bride loved the glasses, and if not, well she didn't tell me! After writing this post, it makes me want to go etch the heck out of everything in the house!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Aaaaand we're back!

I can't remember if I've used that title before, but if I have, oh well. My hiatus seems to have come to an end. Whether coincidence or subconscious, I don't know, but it has fallen on the exact same day that I am finally rid of all things bothersome concerning the dreadful fence fire.

Please re-read that last sentence out loud. With a British accent. I won't tell you how, but trust me, it is relevant to the fence fire.

Now when I say I'm back, I don't mean I'm going to write another post about how annoying that whole "FF" ordeal was ("FF" is code for Fence Fire, in case you didn't catch it...) No. When I say "I'm back," I mean, I have a new project to share! And I'm in love with it. Even KENNEDY is as excited about it as I am.

(Not to say he doesn't ever praise or appreciate my work, but I believe much of it is of little consequence to him.) Did I even use "of little consequence" correctly? I'm just in Jane Austen/proper/British mode or something....


Let's talk about this project. And while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and provide a tutorial. This project was inspired by a project done over at http://www.susieharrisblog.com. She did an entire board full of type-writer keys and numbers. It is amazing. I'm definitely going to be making it for our office (when I finally get around to working on it...)

Type-writer Keys Vanity Coat Rack

Materials needed:
1 - 1x8, cut to size of your preference
Black craft paint
Round things (paper plates, cups?)
Brown paint or stain
Mountable coat hooks
Some screws and stuff

I literally had everything I needed for this project in my garage. The mountable coat hooks were bought at Pier 1 a while back with this project in mind, but they were like a buck each. Hobby Lobby (aka HEAVEN) has a large variety of knobs and hooks. Knobs would be cute mounted as a coat rack (I know, because my mother-in-law did it. And it is cute.)

1. So first I cut that 1x8 down to about 40". You can do more or less depending on your space or what have you.

2. I primed the board (back and front) with white primer. Then I measured out for spacing purposes and traced 4 circles using a small paper plate.

Can you see my pencil marks? The flash was pretty bright... Just look closely. You'll see that I did, indeed, trace circles.

3. I painted the inside of the circles black. (..with black craft paint. If you have a different type of black paint lying around, use that instead! It really doesn't matter.)

Here they are all painted in. Sorry for the funky camera angles....

4. I printed out the letters in my last name to fit. Based on the size of the circles, I knew I needed letters the size of 1/2 a sheet of paper. Not to get complicated, but using photoshop, I was able to size them correctly. The font I chose was a 350 point Georgia (caps lock). 

So it was pretty big. But you want the letters to be the correct scale. If they are too small, then it won't look like type-writer keys anymore. But if that's what you wanna do, then go for it!

For some reason, the photos I took for this project look horrible. Maybe because I kept turning my flash off. So that's why.

5. Center the letter within the circle and trace over the letter using a ball point pen. TRACE HARD, so the lines show up. Then, take a slightly smaller sized circle and trace inside the black circle. (see below)

Because the paint was pretty fresh, it actually picked it up where I traced. So it's nice and easy to see. That's important, because...

6. Paint inside the letters with white paint. Also, paint over that new circle you just traced, BUT don't paint all the way around. Just do it in spots so it looks a little worn..

(Look closely at the white border circle to see what I mean.)

7. Then right after it dries (maybe 30 minutes later?)...Take it out back and rub some brown paint/stain on it. Rub lightly for less distressing. Rub a little harder for more distressing. Rub more brown paint along the edges and corners for a more aged look.

8. Once that dries, give it a quick coat of polyurethane to protect any more paint from chipping off.

So that's how you paint the sign! I gather I don't need to add steps on how to attach your hooks. 

So I attached the hooks, and I also attached a couple of picture hangers on the back so it would be easy to hang. Just thought I'd throw that out there too. But I won't hold your hand through that. Mostly because I didn't take picture of those steps.

But I WILL show you one more final project picture!

I think this project took a couple of hours to do. The thing that took the longest was painting in those letters. Is your name like 16 letters long? Then make the circles smaller. Or, just use the first initial. Or make a monogram! Possibilities are endless.

Yay for me! And yay for you if you decide to make this. 

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