Apr 2, 2013


Happy Spring everyone!  So where is spring?  I guess Mother Nature is still in hiding (along with Punxatawney Phil who should be in hiding) because it’s April 2nd and 34 degrees here in the ‘burgh.  Seriously.  Last year at this time I was already weeding in my yard!

I’m reading my blog list today (for those sad about Google Reader, try bloglovin) and came across this great motivational post from Carli at Running Into Shape:

Today I had to remind myself of the old saying “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, one bite at a time.  It’s possible to do seemingly impossible tasks, if you break it up into smaller increments.
So I decided to focus on today only. Those of you who struggle with weight I think will understand this list.
Today I packed a healthy breakfast for lunch and Today I actually ate the breakfast that I took to work.
Today I fought the craving to go to the local donut shop…And won
Today I wanted to spend money on fast food, but I ate the healthy lunch that I brought instead.
Today I wanted to go to the gas station and grab a sweet snack but I didn’t.
Today I quit being in denial about Slim Fast shakes and accepted that they don’t work for me and they actually make me hungry.
Today I tracked my food and drank lots if water.
Today I was discouraged about not being properly trained for my race but I went to the gym anyway
Today my little sister wanted me to cook her favorite meal since she’s home from college and I didn’t use that as an excuse not to go for a run first.
Today I prayed when I felt weak.
Today I was determined to finish Week 4 of the Couch to 5K.
Today I pushed back the fear of not crossing the finish line and focused on my run.
Today I finished Week 4 and I’m excited about the future!!
What did you do today?

Well that struck a chord in me so I wrote my own little part. Here it is:

  • Today I packed up my gym bag before work even though I am tired and do not want to go.
  • Today I really wanted Chinese for lunch but ate the soup I brought with me instead.
  • Today I really want to just go home instead of going to the gym but I am going!
  • Today I am re-starting C25K, even if it means waiting 15 min for a treadmill at the gym.
  • Today I am reading Carli’s e-book to help motivate me.
  • Today I tracking my food.
  • Today I will eat my apple before thinking of buying candy.
  • Today I will take a few minutes to sit and just be, even if I have to do it in the ladies room.
  • Today I am sending out positive vibes to a few friends who are dealing with illness.
  • Today I will spend an extra 5 minutes snuggling with my kitty.
  • Today I will make a to-do list for tomorrow.

It’s not much but it’s a start and I can accomplish all of these items.  For anyone wondering about Carli’s e-book, here is a link to it:

Running Into Shape: The Official 5K Training Guide eBook

It’s a great motivational tool!  I did C25K last summer but stopped when temps hit 100 out.  I hate humidity.  But I realize there is no reason I can’t start out on the treadmill until it warms up here. 

(PS---I am not affiliated with Carli or her book and have not been compensated in any way.  Just a happy reader of her blog.)

So what are YOU going to do today???

Mar 21, 2013

Spanner in the works….

Wow—hadn’t realized it had been that long since I updated!  I will admit to being at a work conference but also winter often leaves me gray and uninspired.  I thought once the stupid groundhog predicted an early spring I’d be getting to see some warmer weather.  But no—it’s about 20 degrees here today.  Brrrr.

The title of the post basically means messing up the works.  I just like the phrase.  It was also a Rod Stewart album from 1995.  I will admit a guilty pleasure in loving the music of Mr. Stewart.   Despite the comparisons to an old shoe and a porcupine, that dude has written some amazing songs and obviously enjoys the hell out of life. 

ANYWAY---I do have a point to my post.  Spanner in the works refers to today of me getting out of my funk.  Sometimes life just whizzes by and soon you realize it has been weeks since you really got to do something you wanted to do or even finished a load of laundry.   And I’m not a girl who hates winter terribly, but now I’ve had enough and I’m ready for some warmer weather and to see things green and growing again.   And also to work on some new projects.

I definitely do not have OCD, but I could use a teeny bit right now.  It’s just so much easier to close the door to my boudoir and pretend the mess is not there.  But as I got a few minutes to ponder the mess, an idea finally came to me: Murphy bed!

I had a light bulb moment one day last week.  I guess the part about ADD people attacking things from other angles comes in handy here.  I came home one evening and looked at the rat’s nest of a room and knew I had to come up with a better way to help me keep things organized and yet still allow me to ‘see’ things.  First I thought of rearranging the furniture in the room.  The room itself isn’t that big and I have a dresser, vanity, armoire, and bed in there.  That still wouldn’t really solve the problem of space.  Then I realized that the bed takes up so much room and what is on it?  Clothes!  If I could move the bed out of the way, I could create a ton of space.  DING DING DING!  Murphy bed to the rescue!

So of course the first place I searched for Murphy bed ideas—Pinterest! I found some Murphy beds you could buy outright. Then I saw the price and:

Let’s just say I changed up my search to see if I could build a Murphy bed myself.  Here are some of my faves (click on pic for link):

I love this one and also love the color!!!!

the wood color is a little dark but I really like the design here:

this one opens from the side:

For the size of my room, I think a bed that opens from the top would be the best fit.  The other important thing for me was to be able to use the queen size mattress that we already have.   I believe our mattress will fit but I will definitely be measuring before I start!   There are a few sites I am considering ordering a kit from, but Wilding Wallbeds seems to have the nicest construction.  

The next part is convincing hubby to A-spend the money to get the frame and B-actually build the outside cabinet part.  As he loves a good project, I think that part won't be too hard.  But the spending part may be another story.  I am okay with getting some very plain light wood as I am planning on painting it any way. 

Hubby will also ask what I want to do with all of that space.  My brother actually answered that one.  I was having dinner with Salsa Judy and my brother last week when I told them about my idea.   My brother then said "You'll just move some rolling racks in there and set up shop!"  Pretty close there, Mike.   I know I would have something set up for shoes (the cubes I talked about in this post) and maybe something like this:

Of course my little room has no fireplace.  But I could certainly put some nice racks up like that.

This is awesome:

This looks do-able if the hubby were willing to help design.  Doesn't look too complicated right?

So readers (if I even have any left), give me your tips, thoughts, and ideas on what I can do to make my dressing room dreams come true!

Feb 13, 2013

Beauty Booty….

I was all set to write hope you had a great New Year’s when tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!  FAIL by me.   I’ll spare you the details for now and get to my Beauty Booty or some of my latest beauty faves:

Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation—HUGE rave for this.  I’ll be honest.  Since I converted to minerals a few years back, I haven’t even looked at a liquid foundation.  Nada.  You couldn’t even tempt me. Until I had some skin issues.  *cough*hormones*cough*   This stuff was being raved about on a few blogs and message boards and I wanted to try it but I was scared.  Skerrd of silicones.  The last time I tried a ‘make your skin perfect’ foundation (from Revlon), I had zits all over my forehead from the silicone and of course this was right before DH and I went to the beach for a nice vacation.  

Anyways—since then I haven’t dipped a toe into that water again.  Until now.  I was doing some Christmas shopping late one night and stopped at Sephora for a small gift and it was empty.  I asked someone there about it and she offered to put it on me.  Why not? It would be a good way to A-find the shade for my pale self and B-see how it looked.  The girl there said she usually hated foundations like this but LOVED this Kat Von D foundation.  I admit—my skin looked great.  I bought it and winced a little at the price ($36).  However, you only need a teeny bit of this as a little goes a LONG way.   I put a little pump on the back of my hand and apply with my MAC 190 brush.   It really covers redness well and stays on all day.  I only get a little oily breakthrough on my nose late in the afternoon.  And NO breakouts from this!!!  So impressed with this stuff. 

Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Kabuki—another rave!  Even though I just raved for the Kat Von D liquid above, I’m still very loyal to my minerals.  And to me, the best way to apply minerals is with a kabuki brush.  The old one I had had seen better days.  I just happened to be at Target (where of course I browse for everything else when I’m really supposed to be buying kitty litter) when I saw this brush on clearance for $12.  Even though it’s technically labeled for creams I prefer it for my powder minerals.  I tried it for the first time last week and it applies minerals beautifully.  It’s also kitten soft and did not shed at all.  WIN!

Aczone gel—in love with this stuff.  First—it’s prescription, so please consult your doctor before you go and decide you want this stuff.  I have been seeing a great new derm for my skin woes.  Last time I was there, she recommended the Aczone.  I had never heard of it (and I’ve heard of ‘em all) but was willing to give this a shot.  I went home and googled it—only to find out it has been used to treat leprosy!!!!  So of course now we call this the leprosy cream at my house.  What it does wonderfully is help to clear up moderate acne and reduce redness and inflammation in the skin.  I have only been using this for a few weeks but have seen big improvement in the redness lessening.  When I wake up in the morning, my nose and cheeks are usually red (I have rosacea).  However, the first morning after using Aczone, there was no redness.  I could not believe it! 

One minor caveat—this stuff ain’t cheap!  My insurance didn’t cover it but Aczone does provide a coupon where you can get a 30 day supply for $25 (with insurance).  I was able to do this without any issues at my local pharmacy.  Just click here and look to the right to download and print your coupon.  I also was given one from my derm.


Would love to know some of your skin secrets---what products do you love the most and what has worked best for you?

Be right back…..


I’m still alive!!!   My extended break got a little longer with some life events thrown in…..I’ll be back soon with some posts!   Thank you for reading!

Dec 13, 2012

‘Tis the Season…..for shelves?

Happy Holidays to you all! 

The past few weeks of work have been a train wreck of non-stop work and prep for a project and today is the first day in weeks that I have some spare time to blog.  

I’m feeling a bit bah humbug, like I can’t really get into the Xmas spirit this year.  This will be our first Christmas without my grandma and while I think everyone will do their best, it just won’t be the same.  But we’ll make the best of it, and it’s hard not to have fund at Christmas when you have little kids running around!  I can really enjoy the opening of the gifts through my niece and nephews’ eyes.  Now that there are 2 almost 2 years old, they will really get to enjoy the whole shebang this year.

DH has been asking me for over a month what I want for Christmas.  And to be honest I have no idea what to tell him.  I wish I could tell him to buy me some motivation to get to the gym.  Since LA Fitness changed most of their Zumba classes to after 7pm, I don’t have a real cardio class that I enjoy any more.  I’m one of those people who need to hit the gym on the way home from work.  Once I’m home I’m done for the night.  I do not feel like going out again for an 8pm Zumba class.  So I’m trying to figure out if I should cancel my membership for another place that has lots of classes and do weights at home or continue at the gym and find another cardio class to take?  What do you think?

So anyway---back to his question with a real answer.  I honestly don’t know what to ask for!  I have all the clothes I could ever need (and then some) and I’m not a jewelry person by nature.  When he asked me last night about what I wanted I said “Shelves!” and I got a weird look!  But if you recall from this post, I was bemoaning my need for a better way for me to store my shoes and such.   I won’t lie—my boudoir is a complete rat’s nest.  So here’s what I found for possbilities, which I will send to DH:

This organizer from Lowe’s—I figure I can get 2 of these and use for storage for shoes and get them out of the bottom of my closet in boxes.  I can put my TV and other little knick knacky things on top or a small lamp?

Then I saw this one on Container Store’s website.  It looks nice, but not as tall and sturdy as the one from Lowe’s.  

Once I tackle the shoe part, I would like to tackle the mess where all my sweaters and folded items are.  When she moved, Salsa Judy gave me a nice armoire from IKEA that was in my brother’s room.  It’s great for sweaters and stuff like that but there is no way to keep them all stacked nicely.  So I found some options:

This shelf divider from Target. Looks nice enough and no assembly required!

I also like these from Plow and Hearth.  But I’m not sure they would fit the deep shelves in my armoire?

So my next step was to search Pinterest for shelf dividers and I hit the mother load!

From Martha Stewart:

You use shelf brackets upside down to make shelf dividers!!!  Genius!  And if that doesn’t cut it, then I can have DH make me some from some old wood we have.

I guess organizational products aren’t the most romantic gift out there, but it is something I actually NEED and DH will be happy I’m making an effort to become more organized. 

The other stuff I’m considering is mostly fitness related:

Razzy Roo headbands.  A Foodie Stays Fit had these on her blog and I knew I had to have them.  Now that my hair is a bit shorter I do not want it hanging in my face !

This gym bag from Puma—LOVE the color!

Tomorrow I will have few more gift ideas but I have to get going.  Tonite DH and I are going to Kaya for belated anniversary dinner.  Their fried chicken is to die for and it’s only on Thursday nights!

Have a great evening!

Nov 26, 2012

Hexy Side table with Annie Sloan Provence

Did everyone have a great Turkey Day (those in the US)?  I have to just say that everyone who was at the Thanksgiving dinner I attended can cook and bake!  Every dish was so yummy!  I’m glad the leftovers stayed at someone else’s house though.  All of those desserts would have been too much for me to handle.  But I was able to spend some time with family and friends, which is far more important to me than the food!

I’m finally getting to post my 2nd try with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, this time using  Provence.  As you saw in this post, I found a cute little side table at Goodwill that I picked up for $5 to put in my boudoir (aka clothes tornado/spare room). I also ordered the Annie Sloan Soft Wax to finish my piece too.  This was my first time using this and I still have a bit to learn about waxing!  Here’s a few pics of the piece before:

SDC10412  SDC10413

The wood was a bit dark for my taste but I was hoping it would show through when I hit with it a few coats of paint.

Here is the Annie Sloan Provence (taken in natural light, no flash), which I got at Best Furniture Paint.   I was torn between this shade and Greek Blue, but I am so glad I chose Provence!  When I use this paint, I pour a little bit into a big old plastic cup and then mix with 1/3 cup of water (estimated).  After mixing, I test out the consistency for what I like.  I tend to like a thinner version of this---I feel like it goes on better and dries faster.  But that’s just me---you’ll have to test out for yourself!

SDC10415  SDC10416

Here it is after coat #1.  I just used a synthetic paint brush that I ordered from Best Furniture paint.  You can find it here.  I realize my painting technique is far from perfect but I’m still a newb!



The late, great Fat Cat sunning himself while I painted.  Still miss him so much.


The table after the 2nd coat. See how much better it looks with a second coat on?  This was taken not long after it was painted.  I love that this dries so fast. I was able to get a quick snack in while this dried!  The second pic shows the piece almost completely dry and gives you some sunlight for contrasts.  You can also see some of the marks where the wax is drying.




Top View:



The only pics I didn’t take were actual fully finished ones!!!  I apologize for that but I wanted to get this post up rather than keep delaying it as a few people were nice enough to ask how it all went.  I didn’t really sand at all, I liked the finish just the way it was.

Overall, I’m quite happy with how it turned out.  I have more then enough paint left over to also cover another piece in the boudoir and that is one great thing about the Chalk Paint—it really goes a long way.  I barely used 1/3 of the quart that I bought and would definitely have enough to cover the large armoire that I’m considering for my next project. 

The only part that vexed me was the waxing.  I am sure I didn’t use enough of the wax because I barely had to buff any off.  That’s something I think I’d have to watch on You Tube or attend a class in my area to really get a good idea of how to do it properly.   The Annie Sloan wax WAS much softer and easy to work with though—I would recommend this over any hard wax.

Hopefully I can get a pic of the finished table tonite before Dancing with the Stars starts.  Yes—I fully admit to being a dancing nerd.  I’d LOVE to be able to learn with a pro.  I was so sad to see Giles go but it’s anyone’s game now!  All of the ladies are really talented and bring something different to the table.  I’d love to see Melissa win just because Tony has always gotten stuck with horrible partners—remember Kate from Kate plus 8?  EW!  I will get of my DWTS soapbox now!  ;)

If you painters out there have any advice with the AS wax, please comment away and let me know.  I could use your expertise! 

My butt is also going back to the gym today too.  I wasn’t too bad over the long weekend (my brother and I even took a walk after dinner on Thursday) but I need to get back into my routine!

Have a great Monday!

Liz Marie Blog