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

Nov 20, 2012

Shopping Your Closet

I made a post on Facebook last week that I needed to shop my closet.  My friend Carla reminded me that I said this before and she was right---I’ve said it more than once.  So now I am making a more concerted effort to ‘shop my closet’.

Last night during Dancing with the Stars, in between the numerous commercials (it’s really the only show I watch live besides football), I was cleaning up the boudoir area (which never seems to stay clean--I think there are monsters who come out from under the bed and put more stuff all over the place) and decided to just run through my closet for ideas on what to wear tomorrow. 

They saying is that you wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time.  I think that is somewhat true for me.  I wear something to death for a while and then move onto the next ‘shiny’ new thing.   Part of that is my ADD, where the clothes I can ‘see’ are what pops into my mind.  That’s why my clothes are laying out all over the place.  The other part of it is that I like new clothes!

So I decided to pull out something older and make a new outfit with it.  The first thing I found was this skirt.  This was a find from a thrifting trip with my BFF Sheg at the Salvation Army store.  No idea of the brand but it fits perfect and I think I paid $3 for it. 


From there I had to come up with a top.  Like most women, black has a big role in my closet.  I have black cardis, black sweaters, black tops and black jackets.  But I was looking for a softer jacket and caught this Converse gem on clearance at Target:

It’s showing as $19.59 online but I got it for less than $9 at the store!  Score!  It looks kind of weird in the pic but in real life, it’s a bit moto looking.  Today I’m wearing it unzipped but don’t worry, no Bridget Jones-ing for me.  Black tank underneath!  ;)  It’s the perfect little jacket for fall days when it’s 32 in the morning and 54 in the afternoon (like today!).  So you’re warm but not sweating when you leave work in the afternoon.

The rest of the outfit was easy—black tights (which I have too many pairs to count) and these boots that I love but don’t remember to wear that often:

I believe these are Jessica Simpson booties.  I love them but they are rather high for work unless I know I’ll be pretty much lazy on my butt all day.  Today is one of those days.  Can anyone out there recommend a thin insole to give me some cushioning for ma feetz?  I have some at home but they make the boots feel too tight.   Would love some suggestions! 

I’m embarrassed to tell you that I also found some newer things that I bought a over a month ago and 'put away’.  So those will be going into the rotation also.  My new goal for work outfits will now be to try and pull at least 2-3 older items a week to mix in with newer stuff.   As Salsa Judy would say “If you actually cleaned everything up, you would know where everything is!”.  Yes yes, I know.  I have to accept I am just never going to be one of those people whose stuff is perfectly organized.

Hope everyone plans to be with the ones they love on Turkey Day and enjoy.  I will certainly enjoy my long weekend (taking tomorrow off too) but it probably will not involve shopping unless it’s at the grocery store.  I cannot be bothered with Black Friday unless it’s online.  I usually get up at 5am during the week, why would I want to get up earlier on a day off?  Just sayin……

And here is what I am making for our Thanksgiving celebration.  I did a practice run a few weeks ago for dinner at SJ’s and everyone gobbled it up and it was requested for Turkey day too. It’s called Pumpkin Dump Cake:

and it is NOT Weight Watchers friendly at all.  But sometimes you need to have a treat.  I also plan on taking a walk after dinner anyways. 

So do you ever shop your closet?  Have you found any long lost gems you’ve forgotten you even had? 

Have a wonderful Turkey Day! 

Nov 14, 2012

on the quiet side….

My apologies for my disappearing act.  I posted about my new updated side table for my boudoir and then promptly disappeared!  As Stephanie Tanner would say “How RUDE!” (Yes, I am a child of the 80’s so you are getting Full House quotes. Deal with it).

Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details but lots of life and personal stuff going on.  Work too.    We also lost a family member a few weeks ago:


This is my beautiful Fat Cat.  DH and I had him for almost 15 years and he passed away a few weeks ago.  His real name was Connor, but our friend Randy christened him Fat Cat and the name stuck.  He was a big boy, weighing in at 22 pounds at one point! 

I know everyone says that their pets have a great personality, but Fat Cat really did.  He converted non cat lovers into cat lovers.  Salsa Judy was never what you would call a ‘cat person’.  We were raised with dogs and I never had any kittehs until we got Fat Cat and Duncan.  (Duncan is fine, btw.)  SJ always thought cats were ‘sneaky’ and not that friendly.  Fat Cat converted her in less than 24 hours.  His personality was more big dog like—friendly and affectionate.   He always greeted us at the door and wanted to snuggle.  He was a lap cat, even though he didn’t fit in your lap! 

He always made himself at home.  SJ will never forget when he jumped up on the bar stool of her breakfast bar and put his head on the bar as if to say “Where’s my dinner?”  She didn’t think he could jump that high, as fat as he was.  Salsa Judy soon became grandma to my kitties and they stayed with her when we went out of town.  She spoiled them rotten, giving them tuna and treats and Fat Cat slept in her bed.

This has been especially hard on DH as he never lost a pet before, as his parents wouldn’t allow any when he was growing up.  We don’t have any kids, so Fat Cat and Duncan were like our little furkids.  We got them the first year we were married and it’s still hard to believe he is gone.   I won’t get too detailed but his health had declined in the past 6 months very quickly.   Our vet’s office was amazing through everything as well. 

It feels so weird at home without him.  We have a chair downstairs in our game room that is Fat’s Chair.  Meaning, no one else was in that chair except him. When we had company over, I warned them that it was his chair and he would come and try to claim it.  Usually, he would give the person sitting there a look and then climb on up next to them and just hunker down and wait to be petted.  I haven’t had to heart to put his toys away on the chair.

Duncan hasn’t really figured out what is going on yet, which my vet said is normal.  He will look for Fat (we got them at the same time and they are roughly the same age) but that’s about it.  

People have asked me if we will get another cat and right now the answer is no.  I don’t think DH will be ready for a long time and Duncan is almost 15 so I’m not sure I want to bring a kitten into the house right now.  We’ll play it by ear. 

I don’t want this post to be too sad. I miss my Fat Cat but he had a very long, wonderful life and brought love and laughter into ours. 

In memory of Fat Cat, I will encourage you to think about adopting a senior pet as November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month.  There are many older animals who would love a forever home! 

Thanks for reading.  I feel better putting some of this in a post. 

I promise to get a few more posts in soon as well!

Sep 27, 2012

A bit of an update….and some faves

First I want to thank to all of you who sent me message on Facebook, email, etc. about my grandma.  She truly was a special lady and will be missed by many.  It’s still hard to believe she’s not here any more.  

So here’s a bit of an update.  (I just love that pic above---too funny).  You know I painted my little side table, right? From this post.  I went with the Annie Sloan Provence and it turned out great.  I don’t want to show pics until it’s all done, but you can get a sneak peak on my Instagram.  I will confess, it’s still sitting in our master bedroom, where I painted it.  I wanted to get the right pulls for it before I moved it anywhere.  And of course I need to clean up the area where it will be going (still working on that one).  So see below for what I got:

I checked Home Depot and Lowes for pulls but you know where I ended up—Anthropologie!  I wanted something really different and unique and I knew Anthro would have what I wanted.  Normally I would never allow myself to spend that much on drawer pulls, but seeing as I only needed 2 I was okay with it.  My friend Sheg and I met for lunch and shopping and she helped me hunt up what I was looking for.  So much to choose from, but I am happy with the ones I took home.  If you are scouting them out, they are called Deco Block Knobs on the site.  I was even smart enough to remember to bring the screw of the old hardware so I could make sure they would fit properly.  Yay for me.

Now for some faves.  I’m always looking at ideas and inspiration for life, from home to wardrobe.  Here are some recent finds:

Fave Pin lately:

Fave food lately:

Archer Farms Organic Blue Corn Chips with Flaxseed.  I’m so a chips and salsa girl lately.  And these chips are extra crunchy and they’re blue, my favorite color.  They’re also organic and the flax seed gives them a bit more healthy-ness added in. 

Fave hair I am liking lately:

This is Kate Lanphear who is the style editor of Elle.  No offense to Miley, but she had this look down way before you decided to cut your locks.  I would LOVE to cut and color my hair this way but DH would freak at how short it is.  Plus the upkeep of that color is not that fun (I’ve had it this color before).  So for now I’ll just keep thinking about it until I get the itch to cut my hair again.

Fave blogs:

Fitnessista always makes me feel motivated and smiley when I read her posts.  Seriously, if you’ve never visited her site---go! Whether you’re into fitness or not, she’s worth a read and always has good info.  I love reading her posts about her little girl, her travels and her fitness forays.  She’s positive and inspiring.  *gush over*

A Little Slice of Special is another cutie.  She’s from MN, (where I used to live) and blogs about clothes, shopping, geek stuff (her word), music and beauty.  I love her style and reading about her adventures.

Elements of Style—I just wish I had an ounce of Erin’s style and ability to put a home together so beautifully.  Seriously—she’s a pro.

Fave purchase lately:

this jacket from the Limited.  They had a big sale and I felt like this oxblood blazer said fall to me.  I can see it being worn with many different items from my closet!


Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with a full write-up of my new little table—all put together!!!







Sep 6, 2012

I’m not lost….


I apologize for my long absence from the blog.  During the end of August I am usually busy helping to prepare for a Board Meeting at work. Which means, lots of time spent on PowerPoint slides, spreadsheets,and proofreading.  That and multiple changes from people of course.

But on Friday my life really was thrown for a loop when my beloved grandmother passed away.  She had had a massive stroke on Monday and died peacefully with everyone there on Friday night.   I was honored to give her eulogy and will miss her so much.

I will get back to blogging soon as I want to show you the results of my painted night stand for which I used Annie Sloan Provence Chalk Paint.   Once things settle down here a bit I’ll update my blog.

Thanks for reading.

Below is a is a pic of my grandparents on their wedding day, July 3rd, 1948.


Jul 24, 2012

I can haz new project!

I’m baaaaaaack….and I have a new project!  I’m one of those people where I need a book to read, something to shop for, or a new project to work on.  I’m fine just vegging and watching some TV, but my brain needs lots of ‘shiny!’ to keep it going.  If I’m without something to ‘get into’ as DH calls it, I get restless or in bit of a funk. 

But now I have a new project! *clap clap clap*  On Sunday, my BFF Sheg and I had a nice day of shopping on our own.  First, we hit Home Goods.  Two just opened here and I hadn’t made it to either of them yet. I had been dying to check this store out, but the timing never really worked. I was so happy she wanted to go and even happier that I would have someone with me who would want to ‘look at everything in the store’.  This is how DH says I shop and I say so what?---I like to look at it all!!!  At Home Goods, I saw and immediately fell in love with a great grey basket as soon as we walked into the store.  I didn’t get a pic, but I will post one later today.  It’s perfect for storing extra magazines and has a cute fleur-de-lis tile in the middle. 

We also hit up Kirklands (huge sale!) and then were ready for a late lunch at Moe’s.  Mmmmm, I used to hit up Moe’s once a week when there was one near my work.  Now it’s maybe every 2 months! Although I did just order Moe’s catering for work and everyone raved about it!   I wish they would open up a Moe’s closer to me.

After lunch, we hit up Goodwill as Sheg said this particular Goodwill had some great finds, including some brand new stuff from Target with their tags still on!  The first place I always check out at thrift stores is the furniture section.  I’ve been looking for a new table or nightstand to replace the flimsy little table that I have been using.  Something with storage so I can throw some junk into it.  So we push the cart around when I spy this:

new nightstand

Exactly what I am looking for! It was differently shaped piece and had storage.  The best part?  It was $5.99!  I actually didn’t believe it was that cheap and went to ask an employee there.  She confirmed and I asked her to put a SOLD sigh on it while we shopped a bit more.  I ended up with some books, a brand new from Target springform pan (I think DH accidentally threw mine away), and a cute gingham button down.  The only thing we were concerned about was whether this table would fit in the backseat of my car.   It did, with just an inch to spare!

So now that I’ve got it home, I need to decide how I want to redo it.  I know it will involve paint but not sure what color.  Right now I am leaning toward a turquoise-y color, one of my faves but not something DH would want in our bedroom.  Since this little nightstand will be going into my boudoir/dressing room, I can paint her any color I want!!!  Of course Pinterest has all kinds of ideas and here are some of the ones I like (click on pic to link to to source):

I am pretty sure I am going with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but not sure to which shade yet.  It will probably be Provence, which I will mix with a bit of Old White to get a lighter shade.  Just have to get it ordered!!!

One of my fave bloggers, Liz Marie, painted a table similar to the one I found.  Except she did hers totally different but with an idea I would never have thought of! Click on the link to find out the little surprise!   Here are some pics from her post: (all pics from her blog)

Amazing!  I hope my little table turns out as well as hers did! 

Did you have any good finds this week?