Friday, August 31, 2012


i pulled over this morning on the same corner where i saw the pheasant, because even the small glimpse of the glowing sunrise that caught my eye in my rearview mirror was too stunning to ignore.

this doesnt even quite capture the magnificent vibrant shade of orange-red God painted the sun this morning, or the golden-red light it threw into all the shadowy corners of everything.

and then, twenty minutes later, God changed his color palette and created something completely new and wonderful.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens... when i consider the heavens, the work of your fingers... what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?... Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

someday starts today.

so remember that one time when i told you that we were dreaming of the day when we would be able to completely gut our guest bathroom and rebuild it from the studs, but until then we were planning to stick to the slow and steady baby steps method of home improvement we've been using for the past two years? well i guess you can just go ahead and disregard that whole baby steps thing, because plans have changed.

Mark has decided that right now is as good a time as any to tackle the guest bathroom. and by tackle, i really mean it literally: knock down, drag out, nothing left standing. the entire bathroom is going to be overhauled. new tub, tile, toilet, vanity, light fixtures, fan, paint, trim, everything. (well, i think the mirror might get to stay) we spent a couple hours over the weekend in Home Depot pricing out all the various pieces and deciding on finishes and colors and tile and grout. and i think we came up with a pretty good plan.

this is my most current inspiration picture: 

i dont know if we'll do the board and batten, but i'm really digging the light, bright, semi-beachy feel of this room, and i'm excited to see what a little bit of light and brightness will do to transform our tiny windowless room from its current state of being a depressing den of disgustingness.

the best part of this plan is that is has a definite deadline. if all goes according to plan (and even if it doesnt, there's a little wiggle room built into the schedule) we'll have a brand new gorgeous guest bathroom by the time my family gets here for Thanksgiving! demo is scheduled to start after work today, the first of what i'm sure will be many Depot trips is slated for Saturday, and once again our Labor Day weekend is going to actually be labor-filled

i'll be sure to keep you all updated along the way, since i have a feeling this project has the potential to be quite the adventure.

original bathroom planning post here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

meal plan monday: aug 27.

this weekend was awesome for several reasons, none of which being the fact that i was overly productive. instead of laundry and cleaning and dishes, i dabbled with my acrylic paints and my sister's shoes. i slept in. i went to my first ever company picnic. i giggled til my face hurt. i went shopping with my friend and i now own a pair of sequined hot pants. i spent a significant amount of time wandering the aisles of Home Depot with my husband and i actually enjoyed it. i started planning a gallery wall. i sat on the couch and watched a movie. i went to bed early. i dont think i cooked a single thing all weekend. awesome.

even on clearance, the shirt was overpriced. but $4 for those shorts? sold!

but now it is today, the beginning of another week. and unfortunately, i dont think mark and i could survive any longer if i dont start cooking again, even just a little bit. so here's the plan:

Monday: taco night.
Tuesday: chicken broccoli noodle casserole (recipe)
Wednesday: fish, rice, and a veggie.
Thursday: frozen raviolis.
Friday: breakfast for dinner.
Saturday: chicken quesadillas.
Sunday: mark's cousins' birthday party.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

all on the table.

the last time i shared my dining room with y'all, it was looking something like this: freshly painted, tiny table, mostly empty.

but as of last night, the dining room is looking more like this: shazam!

don't mind me, i'll just be over here jumping up and down and squealing with delight.

so as you can see, we've made a few changes. the mirror turned white, which went against pretty much everybody's vote, but i think that i like it. it keeps everything on the top half of the room feeling light and airy, while letting the dark brown stripes keep the room grounded from below. plus, i like that the light mirror frame lets our wedding-gift candle sconces be the stand out feature on that wall.

the rug is from IKEA, and i think it makes one of the biggest differences in this space by breaking up the hardwood that runs through most of the house. the three canvasses on the other wall were ones that i originally bought way back when i had my own apartment and then never did anything with, so they had just been chilling in a craft box in the basement for a few years. i still need to decide what to paint on them, but i figured inspiration might strike a little sooner if i am staring at their blankness all the time instead of ignoring them in a box.

but the real star of this show is obviously our new dining room set! we ordered our gorgeous new table and chairs from an online Amish furniture company, and they are wonderful. (the delivery company, not so much, but i'm choosing not to focus on the negative right now) every piece of furniture is chunky and heavy and solid and so smooth and i'm in love i'm in love and i dont care who know it!

i never realized just how tiny our old table was until we got this big guy in here - he really fills the room perfectly without feeling crowded (note: i wasnt sure if the table was a boy or girl until just now: its a boy!) the six chairs we got will be more than enough most of the time, but we also got two leaves so the table can expand up to 8 feet and seat up to 10 people.

is it weird that i kind of want to spend all my free time just sitting at the table, not necessarily to eat, but just to stroke its smooth, soft table top and run my hands around all its lovely curves? yes? well, it's my table and i'll do what i want to. because seriously: soooo soft and smooth...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

safe to shower again.

so i mentioned the other day in my guest bathroom planning post about how my guest bathroom had gotten to the point where it was so very disgusting that my sister had recently refused to shower in it ever again. and honestly, i dont blame her. in fact, since Mark installed the exhaust fan in the master bathroom, we dont ever shower in here anymore either. you think we're all exaggerating or overreacting? think again:

stained tub + moldy crumbling caulking = vomit. 

so in order to keep everyone i know from boycotting visiting me based on the state of my guest bathroom, i decided it was high time to clean that mess. so i turned to my new favorite source for all sources of DIY house related tips and tricks: pinterest. and lo and behold, i found a recipe for a magic tub cleaner, using things that i had on hand at my house!

i mixed and prepared my ingredients, applied them to the tub, waited the prescribed amount of time, and even scrubbed everything down. and after all that... my tub smelled like vinegar and dish soap and only looked slightly less gross.

womp womp. the tub was super clean, but still looked super disgusting. not exactly the magic formula i was hoping for. it was becoming abundantly clear to me at this point that i needed to call in some reinforcement and resort to more drastic measures.

enter the husband and his tools, which he used to remove all of the nasty grout and the built in soap dish that i accidentally separated from the wall that one time because apparently it was designed to hold the weight of a bar of soap instead of a good portion of my bodyweight while i was using it as a leg-shaving footrest.

after letting everything air out for a while, he reattached the soap dish with some sort of liquid-nails-adhesive-in-a-tube and let it dry for a couple days.

ta da! the soap dish is back and functional for holding bars of soap. and i am under strict orders to never use it as a footrest again.

the final step was to re-caulk all of the areas where the nasty caulk had been removed, and all around the soap dish. its kind of amazing the difference a little bit of caulk can make.

of course, i forgot to take a true "after" picture, but trust me, its a huge difference. and with Saturday's addition of a new shower curtain liner, the guest bathroom is starting to look like you might actually be able to get clean in there, rather than coming out more disgusting than before you got into the shower.

of course, this bathroom still has a LONG way to go, and while we are dreaming of the day when we will be able to completely gut the bathroom and rebuild it from the studs, we are sticking to the same slow and steady baby steps method of home improvement that has worked for us so far. next step: paint!

Monday, August 20, 2012

meal plan monday: aug 20.

i ate horrendously over the weekend while Mark was away. like think fast food, microwave mac n cheese, goldfish, and a few crabs, topped off with copious amounts of skittles. sounds delicious, right? it was. but i think i might have overdone it a little on the skittles, and then i didnt even work out at all to try and counteract that binge-fest of supreme laziness. i felt terrible about it, but i also didnt feel like cooking or eating any real food, since i was home alone.

i dont want to cook anything this week, either. but i guess i will. since mark's home. i love that guy.

Monday: zuchinni, black bean, and rice skillet. (recipe)
Tuesday:.chicken tacos. (recipe-ish)
Wednesday: tilapia with cucumber salad. (recipe)
Thursday: frozen raviolis.
Friday: grilled cheese w/ tomato soup.
Saturday: company picnic.
Sunday: pancakes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

my husband made me take this picture.

i'm slipping as a blogger folks. it hadnt even occured to me that i should be taking process shots of finishing up the front door hardware until i had already sprayed at least two coats of spraypaint. in fact, i still didnt take one until Mark came outside to check on me and said, "make sure you get a picture of that, because its awesome."

and then, it took me over a week to take a final here's-what'our-front-door-looks-like-now shot. so, here's what our front door looks like now - beautiful turquoise with lovely matching hardware, flanked by slowly dying flowers. and Ted.

paint the front door. cross it off the list!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7 things that MY kids will know.

while i was busy last week wrangling a wild group of 4-5 year olds while simultaneously attempting to teach them something about Jesus at Action Camp, i couldn't help but notice that some of the things they were saying just seemed a little... off. which got me thinking about MY future kids, and what perfect little angels they will be. so i thought i would just go ahead and share a few reasons why MY kids will be smarter, faster, stronger, and better behaved than YOUR kids.

1. MY kids will know the difference between animate and inanimate objects.

Kid: (chattering about something)
Teacher: oh yeah, and then what?
Kid: (turns to look at teacher) I was just talking to the wall. and then i thought the wall was talking back to me. but it was you!

2. MY kids will know to only say appropriate, non-terrifying things, and only at appropriate times.

Teacher: who knows what deep means?
Kid: like in my pool... there's the deep end... and my dad says that if i go in there... that... that i... that i'll DIE.

3. MY kids will understand the general concept of TMI.

Kid: (overheard from the boy's bathroom) HEY! you have the same underwear as me!

4. MY kids will know that movies dont reflect reality.

Teacher: (reading the story of Jonah) "...but Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep..."
Kid: and then he met a worm! and they made him walk the plank!

5. MY kids will think I am the best mommy ever.

Teacher: has anyone ever been mean to you?
Kid: sometimes my mommy spanks me!

6. MY kids will know what sound a pig makes.

(Teacher is giving piggy back rides. Kid is following, making a noise that sounds like a dying goose trying to yell for help while being strangled by a rabid warthog)
Teacher: why are you making that noise?
Kid: i'm helping you be the pig!

7. MY kids will come to know and love Jesus.

Kid: before i came here, i didn't really know Jesus. but now, i love him, because he's changing me.
(best. quote. ever.)

at least, that's what i'm praying for them.

(note: still NOT pregnant. sorry if all the talk about my kids got your hopes up.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

meal plan monday: aug 13.

another week. another menu. my brain is having trouble coming up with any sort of more interesting commentary at the moment. i don't think i've quite recovered from staying up WAY too late on saturday night at the O's game. it was so late that we left the game early and still didnt make it home until 1am. yeah. so when i found out that they were actually going to be playing baseball after sitting through 3 hours of rain delay, i was feeling pretty much like this:

but since that kind of an attitude is no fun for anyone, and since i love my husband a whole lot more than i like baseball, (and also because i wasn't in charge of the car keys) i decided to at least pretend to be a good sport about it all and put on a happy face:

that level of fakery is exhausting at any time of day. but especially at 1am. (insert transition here) so this is what we'll be eating this week:

Monday: leftovers.
Tuesday: cucumber tomato salad with grilled chicken. (recipe)
Wednesday: chicken gyros. (recipe)
Thursday: buffalo chicken pizza. (recipe)
Friday: tilapia with cucumber salad.
Saturday: grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sunday: pancakes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

thing of the week.

my new hanging wine rack. i bought it as a present for myself. for no particular reason at all. just because i liked it and i wanted it and it was a wednesday.

Mark hung it last weekend at the same time that he hung the mirror. it hangs in the corner of the breakfast nook and, when paired with the bar cart (which is slated to begin the refinishing process soon!), helps make our house one step closer to looking like people really live here.

have a happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

i can't stop painting things.

the latest thing on my painting to-do list (along with the mirror, the bar cart, and my sisters shoes) is our guest bathroom.  this room has been in need of some serious help for a seriously long time. just ask my sister, who recently declared that she is never showering at my house again. yeah, it's bad. we have done a grand total of pretty much nothing with this room since we moved into this house TWO YEARS ago. dont believe me? check out these pictures we took right after we got the keys to the place:

and compare them to these pictures that i just took last week:

can you spot the differences? there's not many. basically we've taken down the wallpaper, changed the lightbulbs, added a shower curtain and a trash can, gotten a better camera, and that's about it. i am so over this room. it is all beige: floor, walls, trim, toilet, tub, EVERYTHING. its no fun, it looks disgusting even when its clean, and i find myself apologizing to guests whenever they have to use it. its about time we tackled this room.

while we would LOVE to do a complete gut-job on this bad boy, i think for the time being we're going to have to be ok with just some minor tweaks: some paint, a new shower curtain, a new light fixture, and a new exhaust fan. this is what is currently floating around in my head:

i have a bunch of paint swatches taped to the bathroom wall, which means i still haven't picked the exact paint color i like the best, but these are my two favorites as of right now. and yes, i know they're super similar and will most likely look exactly the same once they're on the wall, but i still waver back and forth as to which one is The One. I also can't decide which shower curtain is my favorite. the owls are adorable and colorful. the white ruffled one is clean, classic, and ruffly. i like them both. i am a terrible decision maker. the word art was a free printable i found online. i already printed it. its just waiting on a frame, and for me to make a few more decisions.

so there you have it: the beginnings of a plan. and also the first paint post in a while where i'm not actively looking for you to make a decision for me. although if you'd like to voice your opinion you are more than welcome to do so.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

mirror, mirror on the wall.

i had a great weekend, filled with a little bit of everything: a little bit of laundry, a few dishes, some much-needed cleaning of the bathrooms, a saturday morning workout, a liberal dose of spraypaint, several good meals with great friends, a couple hours just chilling in front of the olympics, a new wine rack, a little shopping, a little crafting, and one great yardsale find:

that, my friends, is one GIANT mirror. like 3x4 FEET giant. and i am in love. i have been unofficially hunting for the past couple weeks for a big mirror for my dining room. and suddenly, at the ONE yardsale i randomly decided to stop at on Saturday, there he was. (yes, the mirror is a he.) so after handing over my hard-bartered $20 bill that i had taken out of my husbands wallet that morning, he was in my car and on his way home with me.

Mark was totally excited about the mirror, and simultaneously on a 'let's hang things on the wall!' kick, so by the end of the day that bad boy was hung on the wall. he's got a couple nicks and scratches around the edges, but its nothing a little paint can't fix. which leads me to my favorite dilemma: picking a paint color.

so for the sake of reference for you all to make an informed opinions, here is a picture of the mirror in his current and natural state: (and also a rare sighting of the hubs in his natural state of being a goofball)

my first thought was to paint him white to match the rest of the trim in the house, which would make him look kind of like this:

Mark is kind of partial to the mirror's current black finish, as he thinks the contrast of the dark color against the lighter bright green walls gives him a greater visual prescence in the room. but since the black doesn't quite match the rest of the room, my second thought is to paint him brown to match the stripes under the chair rail:

and then my right-brain got a little bored with the safe, neutral colors that my left-brain was considering, and interjected a bit of color into my decision-making. which brings me to my third thought, which not surprisingly also happens to be my current favorite accent color, turquoise:

this mirror makes me giddy-happy. like stand-in-front-of-the-mirror-grinning-and-giggling-like-a-twitterpated-teenage-girl happy. so i can only imagine how insane-o thrilled i'll be once he's all freshly painted and dapper-looking. but i must ask you all: which color will make him look the most dapper?

Monday, August 6, 2012

meal plan monday: aug 6.

this week is going to be an atypical week around here. and by here i mean my house, my life, and my meal planning, not necesssarily here as in my blog, because there is nothing at all typical about this space.

you see, my church is hosting Action Camp (the event formerly known as VBS) in the evenings, and i am going to be a helper with the preschool group. i spent most of the day yesterday helping to transform our entire church into part submarine and part ocean, so i'm really excited about the week; it should be a ton of fun.

it's not too late to register!

because Action Camp is held in the evenings, they serve dinner to all the kids and helpers as part of the program, which means that i dont have to worry about what i'm going to be eating this week for dinner. but since Mark isn't able to help this year (his commute is too long and unpredictable) he's still going to need something to eat every day. so my general game plan is to fill the week with meals that are easy, can be made ahead of time, provide leftovers for lunch, or some combination of all of the above. let's see how this goes.

Monday: frozen raviolis.
Tuesday: crock pot roast.
Wednesday: lazy lasagna.
Thursday: breakfast for dinner.
Friday: leftovers.
Saturday: chicken salad with fries.
Sunday: buffalo chicken pizza.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

politics and chickens.

i am not an inherently political person. i dabbled with it a few years ago, but mostly, i just stay away. i dont like watching any sort of election-related anything on tv, i steer clear of political conversations at parties, and if i do happen to get trapped in one, i rarely say anything. i have a few basic opinions of what i believe is important and right, and i try to make informed decisions based on those beliefs before heading out on election day to vote for one candidate over another. the thing is, for the most part i just prefer to keep these opinions to myself, especially on the internet.

so now that you have that background information, i want to tell you that i did a mildly political thing today: i went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. this in itself is no big deal, really. i've eaten a lot of Chick-Fil-A over the years, ever since i got my first high school job there. but since this particular restaurant has found itself in the middle of a ridiculous political sh*tstorm, suddenly my chicken was making a statement today. and it was a statement i was happy to make.

but for clarity's sake, i'm just going to throw a few things out there.
i do not support: hate, discrimination, or bigotry of any kind.
i support: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, ethcial business practices, Biblical family values, and tasty chicken.