Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cold front in April?

Well, we're continuing to deal with the effects of climate change here in Tejas. Unfortunately, it just won't stay hot like it's supposed to! I'm ready to swim! Cece is REALLY ready to swim! But I refuse to get in a pool that is under 85 degrees (and even that is a bit chilly for me!)

Perhaps it has prolonged a spring where I might have otherwise killed all my plants by now. So I'll be optimistic about this. (But I still resent having to wear jeans to a baseball game -- WHAT?!! The world must be approaching it's end!)

Ok, I've had some BUSTED UP projects around here lately. Mainly the one where I was going to sew my own curtains for the fireplace room but then they ended up hanging crooked. I mean, who knew sewing a piece of fabric into a rectangle would be so difficult? Nevermind the fact that it took me a week and a half to even sew the things in the first place. Bottom line is, they just didn't work for the room. So we now have curtain rods, but no curtains.

I haven't decided if I'll give that project another go, or just break down and buy some already made. Maybe I'll check Pier 1 first....

Another BUSTED UP (or we'll just say neglected) project is my plan to organize the closets in the bedroom.

I started our hall closet, but quit half-way through because there are still a lot of things in there that need to be "stored."

Then I moved to our lovely office, (which is about to undergo it's own little renovation,) and successfully organized that closet. It took like, 3 hours. Plus, the closet doors fell off (thanks, previous owners!), so you can see the "organization" and it's slow demise.

Still, I haven't found the motivation to go upstairs. Maybe it's because I hate our bedroom right now, and will continue to hate it until I can bust some walls up.

As of now, we have two clean baskets of unfolded laundry downstairs, and 3 clean baskets of folded laundry upstairs. I will say, my closet is basically empty right now and I am having to dig every time I need clean clothes.

Enough about BUSTED UP projects. Let's talk about some successes, so I don't leave this post feeling completely defeated.

Let's talk about grass.

Token "before" picture

And our current situation!

I probably shouldn't admit to this, but there are still quite a few bare spots. You just can't see them in this photo! So to you, it looks magnificent! It's definitely getting there. Now I need to get some real planters for either side of that french door.

This next thing isn't a project, but I just wanted to brag for a moment because I never win anything!

But I did win this....

A re-usable shopping bag, a green tea flavored lip balm, guitar picks, stickers...this company is rad!

Thanks to Sweet Leaf Tea! This is literally the best tea on earth. It's an organic tea, it's delicious, and it's based right out of Texas. I'd say that's a triple-threat!

(Uh-oh...looks like I let a little bit of that Texas pride slip out. I apologize if you aren't from Texas.)

I think this seems like a good place to call it quits for the day.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have an esty store, ya'll! For now, I'm just doing the pet placemats, but if that's successful, then I'll be able to expand it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dream office

I'm sitting here wishing I could get started on fixing the office. Right now it's horrible. The only reason I'm in here so much is because I love my MAC!

Normally I hate reading blogs that have a bunch of pictures of other people's stuff, but this is necessary, as I have nothing to share of my own yet!

Anyway, here are some of my inspirations for this office....aka things I will directly copy and incorporate into the plan.

Dear Craigslist, please make this person email me back so I can have this desk.

Can't remember where I got this photo, but I'm copyin' it!

Another can't remember, but I'm definitely making this!

Now I just need a gigantic rug and some to-die-for curtains and that's it! Can't wait to show what I got at Thrift Town today. It's going to be perfect for my "industrial inspired" office. But you'll just have to wait.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some green things

Well I tried my post-naming method again today but couldn't get the same luck I had as last time. That method is now out the window.

Instead, I have some green things to get off my chest.

First, I'll tell a boring story about something and then share photos of it.

Teetering on the edge of "crazy dog lady," and often over-stepping the line, I've been searching and searching for a bone-shaped placemat to keep Elvis's food bowls on for months. I have YET to find one (except I actually found EXACTLY what I had envisioned on Friday night at HomeGoods. But alas, it was too late.)

The moral of the story being, I just finally made my own.

So I took this...

...and turned it into this!

I struggled to decide between "woof." and "bone-apetit," but you can see my final decision. And yes, I realize how completely bored I must sound when I can't decide which dog pun to use.

Another thing I'm debating is making a whole bunch of these cat and dog place mats and selling them on etsy. I suppose I'm worried that I'd make them and then no one would buy them and then I'm stuck with 12 dog place mats and 12 cat place mats. Leave me a comment to let me know if you're interested!

Has anyone seen this etsy site, by the way? It's amazing! People make things and sell them. It's a great way to find hand-made items. Plus, people are so creative that it's usually something you couldn't find anywhere else. They also have vintage items/antiques! (In my Homer Simpson voice I'm going, "mmmmm.....vintage slash antiques....")

Here's a fun picture of Elvis eating off my hand-made placemat.

See?!?! It really works!

Please ignore the dust-bunnies in the corner, and Elvis's ugly haircut.

On to greener pastures!

Our grass finally sprouted! Right now it looks like a hair-plugs for yards campaign, but I believe in a few days it will all be filled in. Nature is such a miracle. I continue to doubt it and it continues to amaze me.
Photos to come once the grass is filled in!

Speaking of amazing nature, I found something pretty bizarre yesterday. While checking on my compost bin, (or as I lovingly refer to him, Binny,) I found something of a miracle.

Sorry for the sideways picture, but do you see those green things in there? GREEN ONIONS HAVE SPROUTED IN A DARK AND ENCLOSED PLASTIC BIN WITH MY GARBAGE IN IT.

I'll say it again for dramatic effect.


How amazing, because I was literally planning on buying some vegetable plants on my next shopping trip. Green onions were definitely on the list, thank you!

I quickly scooped those babies out and planted them.

Awww, look how cute.

By the way, I didn't really nickname my bin of food waste. That was a complete joke. I just thought someone might be reading this and unable to concentrate on anything else I said because they're trying to wrap their brain around someone nicknaming a large vat of garbage.

Finally, I suppose I should share something un-green.

Remember the time I made those lamps?

Well look what I found at HomeGoods on Friday.

Yeah....I've been copied! Although I will say that I love the silver base and may have to find something similar to dress mine up a bit. We shall see....

For now, I'll just go sit on my hands and wait for this to come in the mail.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm trying out a new method for my blog post titles. It's something I've seen posted as peoples' facebook statuses (status'? stati?) Anyway, the idea is to pick up the closest book to you and turn to page whatever, and choose word/sentence # something or another and that's what is supposed to describe you.

So, being that I am flanked by two full bookcases, I reached over to the shelf on my right (because I'm right-handed) and (without looking) chose a book. I opened the book to a random page and chose the 8th word (because my birthday is on the 8th.)


Oh come on, don't get excited. No one would ever guess it. It was A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I should revisit that one.

Well, so I was all excited because I was like "awesome! 'quick' is a great title for this post because that's exactly what it's about!" Except that I just gave you a 2 paragraph description of how I chose my blog post title. Not so quick anymore, but I digress.

Let's talk about QUICK and ridiculously easy (and FREE) artwork.

I stumbled across a neat little site through my blog grapevine, called Daily Drop Cap. Every day there's a new embellished letter of the alphabet. If you're like me, you kind of like monograms, but feel that mostly they can be misconstrued as self-centered and arrogant. Kind of like having a million pictures that you have taken of yourself and framed all over your house.

Maybe no one else thinks that about monograms. Maybe I'm weird.

But in this site, you can see that these aren't just mere monograms, but works of art! So I got right down to it and dug out two picture frames that have been sitting empty for over a year, waiting for something to fill their empty souls. (Too much?)

Helloooooo half-off photo frames at Hobby Lobby!

Then I went to Daily Drop Cap and chose this...

is for Sara!

And this...

is for Kennedy!

Then I printed them to size and viola!

Framed artwork, cheap and personal!

Here they are on our front entry table. I'm very excited about these, if you can't tell. I might try them out on our night stands as well!

The End?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring in full swing!

One of my least favorite parts about blogging is having to come up with a title for each blog post. I walk a fine line of being informative and intriguing. A lot of the time, it just comes off corny. So there, I said it. Most of my blog titles are corny. Is there an online tutorial of how to title a blog post? Someone shoot me a link!

There's been a lack of projects around here lately...or a lack of completed ones anyway. It's been difficult to keep up with the cleaning side of the house, so I don't let myself do anything fun until stuff is clean. (Yikes! I may never get to do anything fun!)

One of the few downsides to having all hardwood floors is that there are dust bunnies everywhere. Another is that it shows other dirt much more easily. And another is that all our floors are scuffed up and worn and begging to be refinished. Another day, another dollar.

I have learned though, that some things left to themselves create wonderful results! I've had fun the past few weeks going out in our back yard and looking for newly sprouted plants and newly bloomed flowers.

Today I walked around the yard and took pictures of some of my favorite backyard surprises!

Remember the time I planted a mini herb garden? Well, here it is, almost completely maintenance free and thriving!

(Dill in front, Cilantro in the back!)

(Cilantro in front, Dill in the back!)

These aren't mature enough to use yet (I don't think, anyway,) but I'm looking forward to the day that I can use them!

I also planted some roma tomato plants...

I should probably thin these out to their own pots, but it just looks so cute all green and purple in this little pot. I don't think they want to be separated just yet.

Here's something amazing....I didn't plant anything in the next few pots pictured below. However, stuff still sprouted! I don't know if they're weeds, but I think they look kinda nice, so I'll keep them! (Am I the first person ever to keep potted weeds in her backyard?)

So then I have these things. I believe they are knockout roses. There are a couple of bushes on the side of the house. Currently they're being suffocated by some vines we cut down from the fence, but never pulled out from the ground. (That sounds horrible when I write it...I'll make Kennedy pull those vines all the way out this weekend...)

At any rate, the bush is still blooming! With no help from me. I can't wait for these little buds to finish blooming so I can quickly cut them off and bring them inside where I can see them all the time. (Like I said, side of the house....)

One day last week I pulled into the driveway and noticed this...

I was honestly planning on cutting this thing down soon. I never would have thought such sinful things if I had known it was a hydrangea bush!!! I've been wanting one of these things forever, and here I have a 4-5 ft tall one in my own backyard! I actually had 2 of them back in South Dakota, but I was young and naive, and didn't know that they needed to be in partial sun. They got fried and died.

These got on fine without me though. I like that kind of plant.

This is a pot full of "wandering jew", (I know it sounds offensive, but I didn't name them.) I planted clippings at the beginning of fall last year. Apparently they all took root and are growing back! I'm excited about these because they grow fast, with no upkeep, and produce a beautiful, deep purple plant with small pink flowers.

Not to be confused with these:

These are lining the fence in the back. They're so vibrant! The photo doesn't do it justice...

Now I'm tired of writing about every single plant, so here's some more photos of things in my backyard.

(Monkey grass)

(Banana leaves?)

(Banana leaf close-up)

An avocado seed I "planted" in December or January. FINALLY sprouted roots...

So that's it for my little backyard tour. I think I got that out of my system. Next on my list is to plant some grass seed here...

The other side of the yard still hasn't sprouted. I'm getting worried. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised soon....If so, then I can finally move on to the dirt patch pictured above.

For now, I'll just go cuddle some dogs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yard Waste

Well, it's finally been nice enough out lately that Kennedy and I have been able to spend a lot of time in the yard. I now understand why people hire out their yardwork. However, this is giving me a great excuse to get a tan (you know, UV rays are evil now-a-days.)

Last time we worked in the yard, we had added a small patio off the dining room.

We're loving it, and the dogs are especially loving it. For some reason, it's a novelty to have a new door. Elvis likes to go out and check things out around that side of the yard, then immediately come back in.

Annnnnyhow, last week (or maybe the weekend before?) we decided to clear out some more stuff to make room for more grass. The entire backyard is pretty long and narrow, with much of it paved, so any extra grass space we can get is good!

Just for the sake of being dramatic, here's a photo of our side yard the day we moved in. I don't even remember it looking like that! But you can see all the overgrown bushes and weeds, and the greenhouse there in the corner of the yard.

That's the stuff that has been cleared out to date! We successfully took the greenhouse down without breaking it! It took a lot of patience (and cursing), but we did it.

Here is the yard now, sans greenhouse. Plus all the bushes are trimmed up. It looks twice as big! Since this photo was taken, we also took out the little corner "garden" (which was actually a barren patch of yard filled with pea gravel.) This afternoon, Kennedy and I tilled all the bare spots in the yard and threw down some grass seed, so we'll see how that goes.

If you're wondering about that little blue bin at the bottom, well, let me talk about it!

Meet my compost bin.

Thanks to the lovely bloggers at Young House Love, I was able to learn how easy it is to compost! If you're interested in starting your own, you can read how they did it here.

That photo was taken on day 1. Here's my compost bin on like day 9 or something. I don't really remember, but it was at least a week and a half later...

So apparently it takes a couple of months to compost stuff and use it as fertilizer. I'll be patient for now. A couple of days ago, I found some earthworms in the yard. I had heard these are great in a compost bin, so I picked them up and tossed them in there. I almost threw up, even with gardening gloves on, because worms and other bugs are just disgusting. 

I will say, that our garbage has reduced about 25-50% since I started this compost bin. I just keep a bucket under the kitchen sink and throw in all of my vegetable waste. I also put in egg shells and lint.

I think I'm turning into a hippie.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Drama, Midnight Road Trip, Easter: In that order

So I have been absent yet again, but this time I have plenty of excuses! Or as I like to call them, "reasons."

Last week was spent preparing for a long over-due trip to Kentucky to visit Kennedy's dear mom, grandmother, aunt & uncle. We were excited when we found out that Stinson & Stephanie would also be able to make the drive!

After a lot of soul searching, we decided it would be best to leave Cece behind with my parents. My mom had so generously offered to watch her, and we just didn't think a 10-hour car ride would be the best thing for an unstable dog.

So off we went! Kennedy, me & precious Elvis, just driving and laughing and singing through the night. We are so Griswold. We arrived early Friday morning and crashed. Had fun spending time with the family and just vegging out.

Saturday morning rolls around and we get a phone call from my mom. Cece had run away.

Cece had run away.

I know I wrote that twice, but I had to say it at least 5 more times before it sunk in. We were completely helpless 10 hours away.

She had jumped out of my parents car before my mom had a chance to grab a hold of her leash and was off into a 4 acre enclosed property. It is half field, half forest. My poor mom combed the property 5 times that day and couldn't find her at all. She walked through several adjoining neighborhoods with the same luck. And Kennedy and I were 10 hours away, watching our phones and hoping someone would find her.

No one did, and we decided to leave Kentucky a day early. We were upset that our trip was cut short, and upset that our dog was missing. We felt pretty defeated.

So again, we drove through the night. This time not so much with the singing and laughing. More like hoping and praying that none of the 10 billion horrible things that could happen to Cece would happen.

We arrived back home around 4:30 am Sunday morning and immediately went to the "scene of the crime." We found nothing, plus it was very dark. So we went home and slept until sunrise.

I made flyers to hang in the neighborhood, but unfortunately we were almost out of computer paper, so I was only able to print 6 of them. I know the flyer thing is a little bit of a desperate act, but I was desperate!

We went back at daylight, this time with my mom, and looked through the property again. And again, no luck in finding her. We started to walk back to our cars, thinking we could drive through some neighborhoods, but pretty much resolved that the only way we'd find her is if someone found her and called the number on her tags.

Just then, my phone rang. It was a number I didn't recognize. I answered, and the voice of an old lady was on the other line. "Did you lose your dog?"

"YES!" I shouted at her. She probably thought I was psychotic. And maybe I was just a little bit. She gave me the address (less than a mile from where Cece had first escaped,) and we jumped in the car and drove over there.

It was an Easter miracle! That dog was filthy. She was covered in sewer water (she had found a creek and followed it all the way to this lady's property, then hid out under her bushes,) and dirt. Her turquoise leash was still attached, but was now a muddy green color. She ran over to us and jumped up and licked my face. It was a wonderful reunion! Except for the smell.

So that's my little story. We are so thankful for our dogs, and especially thankful that Cece arrived home without a single scratch on her.

In short (is it too late for that?), that's why I have been absent.

However! I'm working on a project as I type (wheels are turning.) Check back soon to see my little craft!
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