Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long day, take 2

Soooo tireddddd...

I really wish my kitchen counters/sink were about 4 or 5 inches higher. Maybe then my back wouldn't hurt so badly when I do the dishes....

Anyway, it was a pretty long day today. I'm coming away from it feeling much better and more productive than yesterday, though, which is good. The time for the puppy is drawing nearer and nearer, and I'm getting more stressed about ... well, everything right now. Money, the floor not being spotless, you name it...

Let's talk about things that I DID get done.
1) I made a big 'ol thrift store/Hannah Home donation today. It's needed to happen for quite some time now, and finally I just got fed up and did it. Two bags of clothes, a bag of random house-ish things (like a clock, and a big plastic bowl), a sewing basket, 2 big rolls of fabric that I shouldn't have ever bought in the first place, and a shower caddy are now gone from my house. Less clutter, hooray!
2) Mark and I both finished sorting through ALL our clothes and got rid of quite a few - some went to the donation bags, some are going to be consigned. Our closet is WAY more accessible now.
3) That storage closet I cleaned out yesterday is now pretty spotless. It makes me happy.
4) My kitchen sink is now fixed, and I cleaned out and organized the cabinet underneath it.
5) I got Mark to take quite a few other things to our storage unit - even LESS clutter!
6) I cleaned up the living room floor, and got pretty much everything chewable off of the floor, save electrical cords. I'm not sure what we're going to do with those...

So, I still have to go buy outlet protectors and cabinet locks (I swear, it's like we're adopting a toddler...), and we need to finish cleaning out the office. I forgot a few things to donate, so I need to take those tomorrow.

I know you're all tired of hearing me talk about clean this, organize that, but I PROMISE some cuteness when Luna comes home. You don't have long to wait ... just 5 more days!

Now, happy things:
I made that sweet potato ravioli tonight. Oh. My. Gosh. It was the best thing I've ever cooked, I think. And I've cooked some pretty rockin' stuff.
I get to go get in my bed soon. That makes me REALLY happy.
And final happy thing: Mark is building us a bookshelf this weekend! It'll replace the old, not-so-pretty, seldom-used wine cart that we currently have, and will be filled with my cookbooks and some of Mark's books, which tend to overflow into all parts of the house. I'll post pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

long day

I am T.I.R.E.D. tonight. And I still have to make dinner!

Why am I so tired? Well... I grocery-shopped and organized all day today. My house was clean this morning, and now it's a wreck, but I guess that's the way with organizing - the mess gets worse before it gets better.

ALSO, I don't get to make my exciting sweet potato ravioli tonight because there's a big HOLE in one of the pipes under my sink. My cabinet under there had been smelling sort of rank for a while now, and I chalked it up to the garbage disposal for a bit ... then it got worse, so I called maintenance. And, lo and behold - we have no idea how long it's been leaking, but it'll be a sort of major deal to fix. So that kind of sucks. Therefore, we will be eating salad for dinner tonight rather than my super-labor-intensive original plans. Hard to make stuff without a sink that's usable...

So, essentially, my bedroom is a semi-mess, the office is a bigger mess, and the dining room looks like the storage closet AND the kitchen cabinet exploded at the same time. (Which, they sort of did.) But I have a HUGE stack of stuff to take to Goodwill/The Salvation Army/something-or-other this week. This makes me excited, because I love getting rid of stuff. (Is that weird?)

Ugh. I have to go fix dinner. I just want to check out of life for the rest of the evening...

Coming events which I am excited about:

Uno: Our sweet Luna puppy comes home in a week!
Reposting the cuteness ... I can't wait till we can take pictures of her!

Deux: Tonight, I'm making sweet potato ravioli with browned butter served over a bed of mixed greens. Thanks, Grow Alabama :)

3: Our house has been clean now for two weeks straight. This is a personal record for both of us. WIN!

Four: Fall has come to Alabama!!! For the next 10 days, the forecast says that it's not going to get over 81. Praise be to God :)

V: Lissa is coming to visit us (and Luna) in two weeks! Hooray!

Sechs: We might possibly be bringing the puppy to Griffin to visit Mark's parents and go to the Fair. Apparently this is an Event, for which people crawl out from under rocks to attend. And apparently their corndogs are to die for. I told Mark I wasn't sure about the corndog (I HATE corndogs) but I'd be happy to share a nice big funnel cake with him :)

Sept: Can I just reiterate that our HOUSE is CLEAN? It's kind of a big deal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Project: We've Been Adults for Three Years, and It's Time We Acted Like It is now well underway. The house is still miraculously clean. The Chore List is being consistently followed. The Evil Budget Book has been established. Things are going well. I surprisingly like acting like an adult :)

Also, Project: Puppy is Coming Home in 8 Days So We'd Better Be Ready is coming along. We went to PetSmart yesterday and dropped some cash on her crate, her food (and her new food - we're transitioning here at first...), some food bowls, some treats, a leash, some toys ... this doggy is gonna be spoiled, I'm afraid. We got that cute little leash with the pink polka-dotted ribbon, and we ended up with some gray ceramic bowls with doggy bones on them. I wish they made more feminine dog stuff that wasn't all PINK. Because I feel like our little Beagle girl just won't be that into hot-pink-everything... We still need to get her collar, but we're waiting to see how big her little neck is before we do that, and I'm sure we'll get quite a few more toys along the way. I also need to go vet-shopping (Do people do that? Like you do with pediatricians? Is that socially acceptable, to want to meet the vet before you get your dog?), and at least call and find out services and prices and stuff. Because, you know, we ARE on a budget.

In other news, I have the pleasure of going to the dentist for a teeth-cleaning appt this morning. Joy! I hope I have no cavities ... it's been a wee bit longer than 6 months since I've been. I've never had a cavity before (except for a tiny one in a baby tooth, and since I don't have those teeth anymore, I think that shouldn't count), and I'm hoping to keep that record going.

And on that note, I guess I'll get up and get moving...

Hope everybody has a happy Tuesday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

I haven't done one of these in a while, so here we go...

1.   In the story of my life the actor who would play me would be        Amy Adams. She's redheaded, I love her, and I feel like she could channel me... And Mark likes her, too.

2.  If I could change one thing about the world it would be       Oh there are so many things!! What a hard question... But I think that I would have every person in the world have access to clean drinking water and healthy food. (Can I also totally eradicate fast food restaurants from existence? Please?)  .

3.  Yesterday       I got my cholesterol checked, and it was really good even after eating like 6 or 7 cupcakes the day before!  .

4.  My favorite comfort food is          carb-y things... Homemade mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, any kind of pasta really... also, donuts. So bad!! .

5.  My new favorite blog find is    Smitten Kitchen. Where have you been all my life, Deb? .

6.  If I could meet any blog friend (who I haven't met yet) in real life, I'd choose to meet        ooh, this is hard too! I love Kelly at The Start-up Wife - she was one of my first followers and commenters! And I think it would be great fun to have lunch with Whitney and her precious Weebie from The Glamorous Life of a Housewife  .

7.  My favorite breakfast food is         pancakes with maple syrup, oh yum. But I don't eat it often, cause it makes my blood sugar drop to have that much sugar in the mornings, so my go-to breakfast is Nature's Harvest Organic Multibran Flax Plus cereal! Call me a hippie if you want, but it's so yummy!   .
Now, just a quick update about my goings-on...
Not much, haha. I had coffee with a couple friends last night, which was very fun, and that's pretty much it. I am so boring. I'll have more to blog about in about 12 days now...
But for now, I'll leave you with some sweet pictures of my kitty cat!

Her latest new favorite thing to do is climb up in my lap and be brushed and petted. It's so cute, I just can't keep myself from documenting it...
Hope everyone has a happy Friday! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random thoughts of today (and our puppy's name!)

Lots of little random thoughts this morning...

Yesterday, I was a total slacker.

I also ate about 6 or 7 cupcakes total yesterday. Maybe not the best idea...

Because today, I go to get my cholesterol checked at work for a insurance discount health check thingy. Luckily, if it's high, it won't affect the discount. I'll just have to explain that I did indeed eat like 6 or 7 cupcakes in one day. Which is a little embarrassing...

...Maybe it won't be high.

In other news, I've been hearing "Love the Way You Lie" a lot lately. Now, don't get me wrong, it's kind of catchy, it does get stuck in your head. BUT. Does it bother anybody besides me that Rihanna is singing this particular song with those particular lyrics when she HERSELF got beat up/was abused by Chris Brown just a year and a half ago? Because it bothers me. I mean, that song may be her way of venting her confused feelings regarding Chris Brown at the time, but it's sending a message of "Oh, hey, I was beat up, my boyfriend punched me in the face a few times, but oh that's okay, because I like the way it hurts.." Does anyone else see something WRONG with that?
(Also, speaking of Rihanna and that song, I just recently saw the video. 1) My first thought, honestly, was OMG, it's Charlie!!! 2) I do not and never will understand these popular "clothes" that really look like an ugly bathing suit. I don't get it. And a big old coat on top! Ugh.)

...I am getting old, I think.

And on a happier, more pertinent note...

A lot of you have asked what our little fur baby's name will be. We are about 95% sure that we're going to name her Luna :) We're so excited ... Mark has ordered some books on raising/training beagles that should be here shortly, and next week we'll begin the shopping-for-puppy-stuff process ... just 13 days now until we bring our baby home! I can't wait to get her here and get to know her. So excited!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oh, it is love :)

I am in love with our puppy. We haven't even gotten her yet, we've only met her once, briefly, when she was so, so sleepy, but I just keep looking at her picture and my heart melts every time. How precious she is! Just two more weeks, and she'll be home with us :)

(And then, blogworld, be prepared for a barrage of puppy pictures the likes of which you've never seen!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Baby Girl (puppy)!!!

I'm in the middle of cooking dinner right now, but Mark just found this and I can't not post it right now....

Our sweet baby puppy!!!!

You can go to this link and zoom in closer to see her better. She's SO CUTE OMG.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cleaning: A Theory

There's an ice cream truck driving through our apartment complex, playing its happy little song. I'm not going to get any, but it's just been that kind of day all day - that kind of week, really :)

This whole "we need to act like adults" thing is really working for me. As much as I grump grump grumped about making a chore list and slaved over a budget book and cleaned the oven, etc., it makes me feel better all over. Mark has been out of town this weekend, but I haven't moped around like I typically do when he's gone. It's like once the cleaning/organizing switch has turned over, there's no stopping me. Case in point: the night before last, after Mark left, I finished vacuuming, did laundry, worked on the budget book, baked a quiche, washed all the quiche-baking dishes, took out all the trash, cleaned the actual trash can, and then moved on to cleaning the inside of the microwave! Admittedly, all those things needed to happen - and badly. But I'm not one to just do that... in fact, the microwave looked so bad before that I can't wait for Mark to come home and ask me why I bought a new one. It is that much better now.

Here's the issue that I always run into, and am going to try extremely hard to avoid this time though: I can't keep it up. There's a cartoon that Elissa posted on my facebook wall, and when I read it, I thought to myself "How the HECK do they know me that well???"

See Exhibit A:
Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult

So, right. This is me, exactly. And it's a problem. But THIS time, I'm absolutely determined to be better, and not lay down and die. I don't know why I do this. I have proven to myself over and over and over again that I am literally a better, happier person when my crap is together and my house is clean and I'm on my game. I am a significantly MORE mopey, unhappy person when I lay around and do nothing but surf the lovely interwebs all the livelong day. This fact ALONE should be enough motivation to continue to do what I'm doing. So what's the problem?

I'm going to have to change my mentality about cleaning.

See, I feel like there are two kinds of people in this world. (Or maybe three.)

1) People who clean when things are dirty.
2) People who clean to keep things from GETTING dirty.
3) People who never clean at all.

Now, I do not fall into that third category (even though some of my family members/friends might argue differently ... I really don't, I promise.) That first category? That's me. I go about my merry way, la de dah, I'll clean later, I'll clean tomorrow, I'll clean in a week, I'll clean next month when Aunt Mildred comes to visit. Etc, etc. So the mess piles and piles and piles until I'm tripping and hippity hopping through my mess of a bedroom trying to get out the door. Until my heart sinks to even think of where to BEGIN with the washing of the dishes. Until I have to scrape soap scum off the floor of my shower with a spatula. And then I go insane, go on a mad cleaning frenzy for like 3 days in a row, do nothing else, and totally wear myself "slap out" as they say down here in the South. And then it's clean, and I repeat the cycle.

I want to be person #2. The person who does PREVENTATIVE cleaning.

I thought of this the other night, while I was scrubbing at the microwave for a good, solid 15 minutes. (I almost took a before picture to post for you guys, and then thought better of it. Cause that crap is embarrassing.) I don't know why this has just occurred to me .... it is not an original idea. In fact, I do believe my mother has probably been trying to teach me this for all of my days.

So, knowing this, how does one learn the art of preventative cleaning?? I have my little loathsome chore list that is turning out to be not quite so loathsome after all, considering I'm so much happier in my clean little house. But on my chore list, it says "Clean bathrooms." The bathrooms don't look dirty!! Why should I clean them if they don't look dirty?? This is my dilemma. It's like the Scrubbing Bubbles version of the classic "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. But significantly less true, I think...

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to go about changing this mindset? How does one learn preventative cleaning??

Friday, September 17, 2010


Well, phase 1 of puppy-proofing is nearly complete. I've been going through the house, deep-cleaning each room, and then the plan is just to continue our chore list, and that should keep our house looking tidy and clean and neat. (Which will be a challenge for this clutter-bug, but I want to make it happen...) On today's agenda is more laundry (it never ends!), deep-cleaning the shower, vacuuming downstairs, and mopping the floors. I want to get everything accomplished before this weekend, because Mark will be gone on a mystery retreat with his little brother's youth group. I wish I could go!!

In other news, I went to PetSmart yesterday, mainly to get Mrs. Norris some new, healthier kitty food. This is what I ended up getting:

Have any of you used this kind of food before (cat or dog?) I read so many reviews yesterday that I had nightmares about cat and dog food last night. Pretty much, I think it just depends on the animal as far as the reaction to this food. I do believe that it has good, quality ingredients, and it's more affordable than the comparable Wellness food, so we'll see. I may have to try some different kinds before finding one that will work, so I guess we'll just have to see... but feedback, if anybody has any on Blue Buffalo brand, would be greatly appreciated! I feel like such a bad kitty momma for feeding her such junk all these years :( No wonder she's fat ... I just hope she hasn't developed diabetes or something like that...

And speaking of pets ... we're getting rather impatient to find out which baby puppy we'll be taking home! The litter was made up of 3 chocolate females, 2 tri-color females, and 1 tri-color little boy. When we visited, there was 1 chocolate female and the little boy left, and we chose the baby girl. However, people had just picked out which coloring and gender they wanted, not the puppy specifically. Because we were the third person in line for a chocolate female, we'll get the one that the other two puppy parents don't pick ... so it's just a waiting game. The breeders are supposed to post individual pictures on their website, but they haven't done it yet, and Mark and I have been checking about every hour or two when we're awake. We're just so excited! And, we think we've decided on a name, but I'm not going to reveal that until we get the puppy (or at least find out which one we're getting.)

While I was at Petsmart, I checked out all the cute puppy stuff. Here are some things I want for our sweet baby girl...

I think we're going to transition her to this food once we bring her home ... we'll see how it goes. Once again, if anybody has used Buffalo Blue products, I'd really appreciate a review!

I'm loving one of these two bowls ... we want probably stainless steel/metal so our puppy won't chew through her food bowl, and there aren't that many girly-looking ceramic ones that I've found.

I'm loving these collars and leashes - I like the polka-dot patterned one best. Mark begrudgingly agreed to it, mainly because it wasn't completely pink and way bright, I think. Pretty adorable.

Mark is pretty opposed to puppy clothes all the way around, but I can't help thinking these are adorable ... there was also a bright green cable-knit sweater that I'm probably going to HAVE to have :)

We're going to crate-train our puppy so it will have a place of its own, and a safe place to sleep, but the crate will be upstairs, so I want a little dog bed to go downstairs. I like this one - it matches our brown and cream/beige decor, and the cover is removable for easy washing.

So many cute things for our sweet puppy! I can't wait to get her :) (All images found at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deep cleaning, and some pictures (finally)!

This is the third morning in a row that I've woken up before 6. At least today I made it till 5:30 rather than 5... And two out of those three mornings, I've been woken up not of my own volition, but by this little dear climbing on my side table:

I don't know what I'm going to do with her... Actually, I do know one thing. I'm going to put her on a diet. Because she is getting very very very fat... I've been doing research about pet foods, and I was horrified to realize what she's been eating. Basically the equivalent of McDonald's ... no wonder she's fat. So we're switching to better (more expensive, boo) pet food. Anyway, the kitty and I had a little iPhone photo shoot the other day...

Her favorite place to sit is on my knees. She's not the biggest fan of being held like a baby ... right after I took that picture, she wiggled out of my arms. She really is a pretty kitty, she just needs to lose, oh, about 3 pounds...

Also, because I've been such a bad blogger lately and haven't posted any pictures of my exciting things lately, I decided to give you all a sneak peek before I get my pictures printed...

Here's our fence that we built last Monday (which I actually had a dream about last night - the maintenance people weren't very happy with us for building it, and I'm not quite sure why...)
It looks pretty darn good, I think...

And here is my dresser!! Let me see if I can find you a picture of what we started with...
It's a pretty bad picture, but this is in our first apartment. The dresser is that white ugliness with the crooked handles... It was a handed-down hand-me-down, as is a lot of the furniture in our house...

And here is the finished product, which I LOVE, am SO proud of, and looks FANTASTIC in our room and with our bedding and other furniture...

I love it :) 

We still don't have a puppy picture yet, but I do promise that you guys will see it when I get one :) Currently, I am deep cleaning/puppy-proofing my house, otherwise known as being-a-grown-up... Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen (INCLUDING the inside of the oven, but that's a whole different story...) and then headed upstairs to start my systematic Go-Through-The-House-and-Deep-Clean-Everything Project. My thought process here: we're bringing a little six-week-old puppy home in three weeks, and I want everything to be spotless and the floor to be as clean and tidy as it can get, so there are less things for sweet puppy to get into. Case in point: I vacuumed underneath our bed for the first time in, oh, I don't know, ever. So far, the bedroom is complete, and the bathroom is half done (I still have to scrub the shower tomorrow), and the office is about half done. This is also the beginning of the Chore List Initiative, which I caved and did the other day. As much as I hate them, I am thrilled with the prospect of always having a clean house. (I've also been inspired by Hoarders on A&E which I've been watching on Netflix ... I never ever ever ever want my house to look like that. Ugh. *shudder*)

Now, the story of the oven ... so, I said the other day that it was smoking and I didn't get to make lasagna, right? Well yesterday I deep cleaned it pretty well. We don't have a clean setting on our oven, so you have to just use elbow grease, and my favorite cleaning product, Bar Keeper's Friend. I cleaned everything but the very back, which I couldn't reach because of the oven door, and part of the top. Turned it on, left it on for about 10 or 15 minutes, and it started smoking. Again. So there's definitely something wrong with it. I called about 10 am yesterday, and the maintenance people were tied up with other issues. Apparently they were tied up all day, because they never came (even after I called again...) So we cooked lasagna at Andy and Suzie's house last night... Hopefully they will come today, because I can't survive for very long without an oven.
I'm sorry this has gotten so lengthy (AND it's probably boring, so that's two strikes, but oh well...) If you've made it to the end, I salute you :) Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I haz a happy :)

Lots of happy-s.

(And one sad. But we'll get to that later.)

First! Project: Dresser is complete, and looks fantastic! Unfortunately my film is used up and I need more, my digital camera is dead, and my iPhone just isn't doing it justice. Pictures later. Just take my word for it... it looks really awesome!

Dos! My Chore List is complete, and fairly do-able I think. Also, a budget has been made! (This was another topic in our epic "We need to be adults" discussion...) I feel more adult-like already. And Mark was quite thrilled with me this morning when he woke up to find the Chore List already made... now if only I could get caught up!

Thirdly! We went to see the puppies tonight - and both those sweet babies were still unavailable!! Sooo ... we put down a deposit for the remaining chocolate female. We'll know exactly which of the three chocolate females we'll be getting within a week or so, and they're supposed to post new photos of the puppies sometime in the next day or two. (Mark and I were so excited about the puppies and their insanely abounding cuteness that we didn't even THINK about taking a picture of them!) We're pretty thrilled about this new addition to our household, and it might be puppy city up in here pretty soon. We get our sweet baby girl in just 3 weeks, when she'll be six weeks old. I am SO excited :)

(I almost forgot about the sad - I had grand plans to follow our budget, and cook after we got home from seeing the puppies tonight. It was already late (8:30 when we got home), so I threw the lasagna together pretty fast and turned on the oven ... which then started smoking everywhere. So we called Andy and Suzy, and asked them if we could use their kitchen. They said yes, we drove over there, and then couldn't find the key. We were both hungry and grumpy and said not-nice things, and came home and ordered pizza. I'm hoping my lasagna will keep in the fridge okay until tomorrow, when hopefully they'll fix the oven...)

And on that note, I'm going to go read my Bible and go to bed.

Sweet dreams, blogland!

5:30, I'm awake!

I don't know why I woke up so early with no alarm this morning.

Oh wait, yes I do - it was my crazy cat. She likes to get on my bedside table and knock everything off of it when she thinks it's time for me to wake up. How sweet of her...

Anyway, I need to get up and get moving anyway... lots to do.

Mark and I had a talk last night about how we need to be more like grown-ups. You know, more responsible and everything. Which includes a clean house.

Now, I don't want you to think that I never clean, because I do. But both Mark and I are pretty cluttered, messy people, and the mess sort of stays. So he said that we both need a daily chore list. Which I immediately bristled at, because I. HATE. CHORE. LISTS. I don't know why I detest them so - maybe because of some issues I had with some roommates in the past, maybe because I'm stubborn and don't like to be told what to do every day (even by a list), I don't know. But I loathe the very thought of them. (Which is so silly, I know...) So Mark decided that I should make said list, using some strange adoption analogy that I never did understand. So today, among other things, I have to make us a chore list... great.

And now, more fun things to talk about:

Dresser: We're nearly finished! We ended up painting it, which was TOTALLY the right decision, and now it's a solid, not shabby, lovely smooth brown color, kind of the color of chocolate cake batter or melted milk chocolate. With my sweet hardware, it's going to look amazing - just one more coat of paint today, and we're done!

Puppy: I got an email from the breeders last night saying that there were only 2 puppies left, and there had been interest in those two. We're going to visit them tonight before we make a decision - Mark really wants to meet the parents of this litter and play with them before we decide for sure. I think that's a good idea - we want to be informed puppy shoppers. But I am seriously hoping that no one puts deposits down on BOTH of them today before we go - I would be so sad :(

And that's pretty much it around here lately. I promise that there will be some pictures of stuff soon - I know this old blog has gotten sort of boring as of late. Sorry for that!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Painting and puppies

Sorry for the long-ish hiatus ... I worked extra, and on Thursday had a generally mope-y day full of lounging in my bed, eating hummus, and watching movies on Netflix.

But today, I'm going to be productive! (Which means that I should probably get up at some point...)

I have instructions from my dear hubby to go buy a quart of paint today so we can hopefully fix our poor dresser. It's looking more shabby than chic, and shabby chic is not the look I was going for in the first place. So we're going to try re-sanding, and just painting over the thing in a dark chocolate brown. I hope and pray this works, because I am SO. OVER. THIS. PROJECT. Building a fence was way easier...

Also today, I have to clean my pigsty of a room. It's ridiculous, honestly...

And tomorrow, I am so excited - we're going to go see those sweet puppies we're looking at! Hopefully we'll be able to put down a deposit, and secure one of the little dears. It looks like we're getting a tri-color little girl beagle ... I'll post pictures when I get them! I talked to one of the breeders (who is actually the distant cousin of one of my co-workers ... small world, right?!), and she said the puppies are getting all fat and roly-poly and adorable, so I'm SO excited to see them :) Can't wait!!

Also tomorrow: another CSA box :) This time it will have peaches, snap beans, sweet potatoes, and some more lettuce. I'm so glad there are still peaches available ... those were honestly the best peaches I've ever had in my entire life. Yum!

Hope everyone has a lovely Monday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So much for being done with the dresser.

I hate humidity.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It is finished!

Well ... as finished as it's going to get tonight. After a day filled with stripping (paint, not clothes - get your minds out of the gutter, people), sanding like crazy, and then staining and also an incident where i got locked out of my own apartment BY my apartment, I am tired, but done. The stain still has to completely dry, and we'll see how it looks tomorrow and see if it needs another coat of wood stain.

All that being said, I'm pretty darn proud of myself. Mark was gone all day to class and meetings and thus did not help at all (which is totally fine with me), and I did it all solo. Including sanding. For THREE HOURS. THREE. And that was WITH the help of a belt sander... It was a little ridiculous.

Also ridiculous? That little incident.You know, about my apartment? Apparently, when you close the sliding door to our little porch/yard area really hard, it locks by itself. Did I know that? Well, now I do. I was DYING in the heat (Hello, it's supposed to be fall, right? So what's up with the continuing 90-something-degree weather we're having??) and wanted some more water, but when I went to open the door - Locked! With me on the outside! And so I went around to the front - also Locked! With me on the outside! So I had to march my very very dirty and stinky self up the hill to the office and explain how I needed a maintenance man to come open my door for me because my apartment locked me out of itself. Embarrassing? Oh yes.

Also! Please note: when a can of something caustic says "Wear protective clothing" and "If contact with skin occurs, may cause irritation," 1) they aren't kidding, and 2) said "irritation" is actually the beginning of a frickin' chemical burn!! (I'm fine - I got everything washed off in time to cause no permanent damage...) But seriously. Be careful with paint stripper. Those strippers will get you every time... (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

So, after all that hard work, I took a really long really hot shower and am now feeling semi-normal (but sort of like my arm will never be the same again from ALL THAT SANDING OMG.) I'm desperately hoping that tomorrow we will wake up and my dresser will look beautiful and not need a second coat, but I'm kind of doubting it...

Ugh. I need to go make dinner. Curry tonight!

Feeling better

Good morning, and Happy Hump Day! I'm awake and feeling much better than yesterday. I always have issues with allergies vs. allergy meds, especially in the fall. Here's my dilemma: I have year-round and seasonal allergies. I hate taking drugs, so I typically just deal, but in the fall, it gets pretty bad. I wait until I just can't stand the scratchiness in my throat ANY longer, and pop a pill. And then come the side effects. I feel ... funny. It doesn't matter what I take, all allergy meds make me feel weird. (The absolute WORST is Claritin-D though - I can't take that stuff. It makes my head feel like it's a balloon floating about a foot above my body...)

So anyway, the meds are out of my system this morning, and I'm feeling better. (For now, until the allergies kick back in.)

This morning, I need to finish stripping the dresser, clean it off and sand it down, and then stain it. I'm doing it in this ebony color (which I hope turns out like I want it - we couldn't remember what stain we used for our other dresser, so they may end up different colors.) And yesterday, I got hardware from Anthropologie to use - it's going to look so good, I think! (And speaking of Anthro - are their boots not to DIE for this fall? I've tried to tell Mark that he got a deal, buying mine at Clark's, because Anthro's are more expensive, but he's just not hearing it...)

Also, I emailed the people about our potential beagle puppy, and hopefully we'll go visit next Tuesday or Thursday. (And unless we just hate the parents, that'll probably be it, because my heart will melt at all the 3-week-old cuteness...)

And now, up and att'em for April this morning - I hope Home Depot opens early so I can go get some more paint stripper!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Home Improvement-ing is wearing me out!

My sweet husband is outside right now scraping away at what's left of the paint on my dresser. It all looks like a hot mess right now, and I really hope it comes out alright in the end, but tonight I'm just too tired to do anything about it myself.

I'm not entirely sure why, but today has absolutely worn me out. I went to Anthro to buy hardware for the dresser this morning, hit Whole Foods and then Publix, and headed home. While I was shopping in Publix, I started feeling really bad, like I needed an Albuterol treatment or something. I'm feeling better this evening, but I'm just sort of drained.

We didn't actually get started with the dresser until after 3, and we hit a couple snags before actually getting anything done. I really, really hope it turns out okay, or this will have turned out to be a REALLY expensive project...

So right now, I'm trying to get up enough gumption and motivation to make dinner. I planned on having beef and veggie curry tonight, but I just have no desire to cook it right now. Ugh ... what's a girl to do?

Our Labor Day Laboring...

Yesterday, Mark and I built a fence. Or ... a section of a fence. I documented the process with the good old Minolta (my film camera), so the pictures won't be back for a bit, but it was quite the adventure. It looks really good though :)

Also, Mark got a fun boy toy out of the deal - we bought him a circular saw. It's our first official power tool... and, like he said yesterday, he'd have to buy one at some point, and we might as well just buy it now.

Today, we're sanding all the paint off my dresser, and staining it. That should be an interesting process... Hopefully it turns out well.

Welcome to home improvement week with the Skinners!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

I hope all you work-during-the-week people are getting a day off today - nothing beats a long weekend!

After a small hiatus for my work weekend, I'm back with an update...

1) Today is Day 6 of the No Sugar Challenge. Yesterday, I ate a little bit of grape salad that one of my co-workers brought - it had sugar in it. But, the point of this week of no sugar was to curb my intense pastry/donut/cake/cookie cravings, and I am typically not a grape-salad kind of girl, so I felt like a little was okay. Plus, I was being polite and trying it. It was good, but I definitely ate a little and then stopped. So, I still consider my challenge a success, even if other people might not.

2) I have stayed on track with my Bible reading. Unfortunately, my friend who suggested it is having generally a crazy week/month/life, and hasn't gotten around to starting it yet. I think I'll just forge ahead and continue it... and maybe Mark will join me.

3) We are looking at some Beagle puppies not this week but the next. They're just 2 weeks old right now, and the breeders only like to let people come when they're 3 weeks or older (totally understandable - I didn't even realize that they were that young.) Mark and I have talked extensively about getting this puppy, and I think we're both leaning (pretty far) toward yes. We are at a really good place in our life to get a puppy right now - it won't be left alone unless Mark and I have both gone out (like to dinner or something), or when I go to the grocery store during the week. There will be one person home every day of the week, and both of us will be home in the afternoons during the weekdays, so there will be ample time for training and walks. Plus, they're so stinking cute:

And that's pretty much what's happening with us...

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No sugar, what?

First off: my darling hubby wants to know if any of you have ever had a beagle puppy before. He has puppy fever really badly, and I've pretty much laid down the law about a big dog (just for right now - I don't think it's always the best thing to keep a big dog in an apartment.) So his next best choice is a beagle.

So, who's had one? Did you like it? Pros/cons of that particular breed?

Now for an update on my crazy idea...

I've given up sugar for a week. This might not be crazy to other people, but it certainly is to me. So, for 7 days, no refined sugar. I can have sweet things like fruit and honey, but they have to be able to be found in nature. I eat WAY too much sugar, and will end up with diabetes later in life if I don't curb the habit now.
And let me tell you, my willpower was put to the test today. I worked extra, and we had a really busy morning. Someone had brought in DOUGHNUTS. It was torture - here I was, crazy busy, crazy hungry, no time to fix my food, and the box of doughnuts was just absolutely calling out to me. And can I just say, I did not eat a single. little. bite. of any of them?? I was quite proud of myself. (I still wanted one, though...) Instead, I filled my afternoon with healthy snacks, like Kashi crackers with almond butter, a peach from our CSA, and some grapes. Not too shabby. This was Day 2, and so far so good... hopefully I can continue with that through the weekend and into next week!

Also, my other goal - do my daily Bible reading as laid out by my little year-long outline. So far so good ... I think I'm on something like Day 4? So nothing too impressive there, but it's a daily thing, and my problem is if I stop, or skip a day or something, I'll really never get back into it.

So now I'm tired. It's past my bedtime. 'Night, blog world :)