Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Losing My Faith In Humanity, & Other Grouchy Stories.

Before I commence flinging poo,
I do want to say first off that my summer is going smashingly. I just currently have an axe to grind. A bone to pick. Heads to bust.

(just trying to lighten the mood with gratuitous, unrelated pictures)
Do you ever feel like several related things happen at once? I totally feel like similar things happen at one time to teach one a lesson. I need to learn something real important here, and it's one of these: 
1. some people suck and I should put up a defensive brick wall and stop trying
2. something else I'm not willing to learn right now because holy crap I'm ornery.
Indulge me with a story. I'll do my best to sum up.
One month ago, I pulled out of my driveway to take my daughter to kindergarten, (yeah, we were still in school a month ago. Sad) and my neighbor directly across the street pulled out at the same time. Long story short (too late), I didn't see her, she didn't see me, and our bumpers met in the middle of the street.
Since we were going 2 miles per hour, it was absolutely minor. Little missing paint scrape on her bumper, little more damage to mine, both of us going "holy cow sorry I didn't see you!" at the same time, with a "well, no big deal! Sorry again!" and off we went. After all, we both have old cars, and what's one more not really noticeable scrape?
But, no.

(still trying. 'S not working.)

Three weeks later, the same neighbor (she's not actually my neighbor, she's like, the sister? whatevs) shows up demanding my insurance information and more accusations that no, we didn't hit bumpers, I hit her in the driver side door, and she wants it fixed.
(Really? Really?? How'd ya get out of your car so we could talk if I hit ya in the driver's side?  Why in the world would we go inspect bumpers together if you got hit on your side?? WHATEVER. ARGG)

Ugg. How are people this dishonest? I'm typically very NOT confrontational, but this one was so obviously wrong that I really let it all out.

 I spent a looong time on the phone today with my insurance company telling every detail of my side of the story, and guess what? It doesn't matter. It's her word against mine, and she'll file and get what she wants, and this is why some people suck.


One more quickie, and I promise to stop the word vomit.

For several years now, I've considered volunteering my time to cross elementary school kids across a busy street on the way to and from school. A lot of kids cross there, and they're giving me a heart attack. (No, children-- you can't push the flashing yield sign and then dart out in the road immediately.)

This year seemed like a good year to really get out there and do it, until my brother in law warned me that I could be held liable, should something bad happen.

For realsies, people? I wouldn't be getting paid, I'd be out there in sunshine, rain, butt cold conditions, whatever, on my own time, for no reason except to try and keep your dang kid safe, but if something bad happened, I should take the fall.

I'm getting all riled up right now. Okay, okay. Deep, calming breaths. Smelling the roses, blowing out the candles.

I won't torture you with my other similar occurrences, but there's several other little things that have proven to me that no good deed goes unpunished.

And I'm just waiting for one (or more!) of the neighbor moms to tell me off for how I watched their kid(s) and fed their kid(s) the whole summer break the wrong way. Keep your own dang kids, then. I'll keep mine.

Yeah, it's like that today. I should just go to bed.  I'll apologize later when I'm out of my mood.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Talky Talky.

Can't. . .talk. . .
doing this. . .
and this. . .

and this

intermingled with



mixed with this cuteness,

and a little a this,

with lotsa this,

and then there was this.

and there probably shouldn't have been this. . .

but definitely lotsa this.

Let's get together real soon and we'll chit chat. Kiss kiss hug hug.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Lovin', Had Me a Blast. . .

Every year I think I use that title for a post. How unoriginal.
Oh! Random side note! I actually got on Instagram. I'm shocked, you're shocked. We're all shocked. I've got that neat-o little "Follow me On Instagram" button on the side, there. Over, over- to the right- your other right. There. Let's be Instafriends.


Holy heck people, it's summer. Do you feel naughty? I feel naughty. I feel like I've blown off life and nothing really matters except for having fun. And eating. Donuts.
Said it before 'n I'll say it again:
Winter is punishment for all the fun you had in summer.
I'm planning on some serious punishment coming my way in 6 months, 'cause nothin's really getting done around here. Kids are still in school-- I'm not even asking if they have homework anymore. Don't ask, don't tell policy.
So! Every year I do this nerdy thing where I pick a song. A theme song, if you will. A summer theme song that every time I hear said song for years to come it reminds me of good times while the sweat drips annoyingly down all my cracks and cleavages. Popsicles 'n sun. Gardening and sprinklers. And so forth.

Last year, I chose this goodie:

I still love this song. And now it belongs to 2014.

This year, I choose this fabulous number:


Ack, I love it so. As always, listen to it while we chat here, because we are not done. Oh no, not even close. Got a year?


Every summer I shift my attention from the inside of the house to the outside. I'm only one person, dang it! I can do inside or out. Not both. Let's not be silly.

Did you see that picture way up there?

I showed you last year how I planted some honeysuckle and had high hopes for it.

And look how well it did in one season! Only a foot high starting out, and now it's climbing all over my arbor. Gosh, I love stuff that grows.

And that I don't kill.

This gardening stuff is totally addicting and totally expensive. Holy crap, batman, it's a thriving industry. I look at fabulous flower beds and admire them, and then the very next thing I do is start adding up an estimate on the cost of it all. We've all gone into the wrong business-- nurseries are where it's at.

I have too many flower beds. Honestly, I can't keep up with all my flower beds everywhere.

And I'm doing my best to buy pretty perennials and to buy them clearanced, but I have to take it one season at a time to not spend like our life savings on plants.

(Let's not talk about what I spent this season alone on the north side of my house. Choke. Gag. Red face and eyes bulging.)

So! Hopefully in a couple more seasons my beds will be filled out and really where I'd like 'em to be.

Small project! (squeal)

My kitchen window has a lovely view of my pergola (last season's mucho expensive-o project).

Oh, there that window is, all hidden behind the grill. So sad- no moulding. Welp, the grill got taken off the deck, and there the kitchen window sat. Naked.

So I pulled out some old cedar boards I had lying around (we're talking just cheap dog eared fence posts), cut them to length, stained 'em the same tone as the pergola, and attached them with some metal brackets and concrete anchors (they work great for stucco, y'all). Like so.

I love this totally simple shelf! I love that I can put whatever I want on it. I need extra space for food whilst entertaning out here? No problem! Set it on the shelf.

Wow this is a ghetto view. Don't you judge me. But looky what we have here:

I'm doing the dishes and I get to look at some potted petunias and such out my window now. 'N that makes me happy. I think it'd be lovely with a sweet potato vine hanging down. On to something. I just might have to do that.

Side note! Do you love the old world terracotta pot look?

A bloggy buddy has a great tut on how to make your terracotta pots look old. I didn't follow all the directions to make mine as cool as hers because I am nothing if not lazy, but for me, it was "Make It Stone" spray paint and a little bit of light sanding. Boom. Old pots. Me likey.

I love this shelf! And I need a greenhouse so I can grow my own stuff and save a wad. But that's no biggie, right?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Hate People. Some People. Handymen People.

Can you believe that it was over three months ago that I mentioned having my kitchen redone?
I swear, the older I get, weeks pass like days, and months like weeks. It's nuts. My life is just a flash in the pan.
Kay, so, I'm getting mad even thinking about this. Furrowed brow and scrunched up face. My head is wagging and so is my finger. I hired this dude and paid a down to have my cabinets "professionally" refinished 10 weeks ago.
Do you know how many times I could have refinished my cabinets all by myself in 10 weeks? Ew I'd like to junk punch somebody. And the thing is, I have zero desire to do all that work myself, hence paying this dude (who had great reviews, by the way, until I'm through with him. Sinister voice. Maniacal laughter.).
Alright alright, I'm going on and on, so let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:
The guy won't give me a straight answer about when he's going to be able to get here and do this. I've asked him first politely to stop stringing me along and be profesh, OR
send back my deposit and I will curse his name to the end of my days. Oy.
The most pathetic part, is I distinctly remember, as I signed a contract and wrote out a check, something along these lines:
"I will have a heart attack and die from the surprise if this guy actually shows up on his appointed day."
Because that's the kind of experience I've had every.single.time whilst hiring out something. Just do it yourself people! Or send me your responsible, non-jerkface guy's info, because I'm striking out.
But anyways! On to happier things!  The sun is out and it's beautiful out there and we simply cannot, cannot have this kind of negativity in our lives. Of course not.
So, in preparation for the nonexistent cabinet reno,
I pulled down this random lone cabinet buddy. (Except it wasn't decorated like this- it was super cute with these dainty little tea cups and saucers and a tea pot and it was just adorbs, because hello, it's not fall.)
Anyway, I pulled this down. All by myself. When no one was home. On a stepladder. And it was like one of the dumbest things I've ever done because it was ultra heavy and I was pretty freaked there for a minute thinking,
"I'm going to fall off this stepladder and this thing is going to fall on my head and no one will know and my kids will find me and they'll be traumitized for life because there's their mom, like all decapitated on the kitchen floor and their lives will be ruined and then they'll live in a cardboard box."
But thankfully I manhandled this bad boy down to the ground, and while it wasn't pretty, it got done. And I've learned an important lesson, kids.
Then I began building the crappiest floating shelves that ever were.
I'm serious-- they're crappy. This is not my first rodeo, hello, but for whatever reason I sucked these up. Despite my best intentions, they are not my best work. I was having a seriously off day. (Chosing too deep of shelves to be cantilievered: check.)
But let's not talk about that now- I like them for now. I like open shelving. Love it and have always wanted that for this space.

I hemmed and hawed over white, stained, rustic, or black, and went with black for funsies. Also, love love the one coat of black.
And the funnestest part was putting my new black n white dishes from Ikea up here.
Honestly, I can't say for certain that these will stay for any length of time because my shoddy work bugs me. I like them for now, but reserve the right to switch them out with fancy corbels 'n such. I like changes in my most lived in space, what can I say.
Also, send me your best prank ideas, would ya? This handyman guy deserves a little harmless something his way. I've got a few ideas, and they involve dog poop and firecrackers.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dang It Jim, It's a Family Room, Not Rocket Science.

I have so much to say about my living room reno and I don't even know where to start.
But let's start with this:
pillows in this home prior to now have been the bane of our existence. When I picked up new pillows this time, we had a family convo that went a little something like this:
"You kids see these pillows? They are going to stay right here. You got me? They don't belong in your room. You don't get to sleep on them.. They don't go in the basement. They don't belong on the floor. They're not for pillow fights. You are old enough to leave these dang pillows alone. ALONE. They will stay here and not move. None of y'all are two years old anymore, and you can handle this. Got it?"
This is why we can't have nice things.
I give up on the throw blanket laying just so on the sofa in the magazine spread.  Any way I lay it, it just isn't working like in the mags. Whatevs.
Okay. Now, let's get into it:
Have you ever, like, unintentionally sabotaged your own decorating plans? My decorating style is black and white. Black. White. This isn't complicated.
And yet here we are staring at black and CREAM. Black and actual, true, WHITE is like impossible to find. I didn't even realize I was bringing home fluffy fuzzy furry pillows that weren't white. Even Ikea has black and "white" (CREAM. Agggg. Why?).  I'm over it, but I just wanna know if it's hard for other people to stick to their personal code of d├ęcor.
Okay. Enough about pillows. So I got some new pillows. I also got myself a coffee table.
I like this coffee table a lot, and I really liked the price. But truthfully I regret not bringing in more white to the space. A white coffee table would've been cool. Just being honest even though I want to punch myself in the face for saying it. But do you see what I mean? You don't keep your eye on the prize and realize just how you want things to be, and you sabotage yourself.
Still like it though. I swear I'm really not picky. I do like this space a lot. I just could've thought through things a little more is all.
Rugs. Ho man-- rugs. Don't let me bore you, here--
but doesn't it seem like a good idea to bring in some texture with a rug? Like a sisal rug, right? That was my idea. I picked one up at Overstock, umkay. The Safavieh Hand-woven natural fiber natural jute rug to be exact, and we lived with it for two weeks in place. Not like this picture. Like for reals furniture back in it's spot 'n everything.
Here it is getting ready to be rolled back up.
#1: this rug is not sisal. They've since changed the name to jute, because that's what it is, duh.
#2. This rug stinks.
#3. This rug is a filthy mess.
#4. This rug looked 10 years old in 2 weeks and was getting big holes in it after 1 week.
I don't even need to go on but you look at all the dirt falling out of this thing:

Can you see that? That's not from us. We are filthy animals but that was from this rug. People warned about it in comments but I thought the people who loved it knew more and I gambled and I lost.
I stared and stared and staredandstared at a new rug to take it's place. Don't you think this one looks cool?
I thought it was totally cool in a retro, grunge-y vintage-y way if there's even such a thing.  Like it belongs in the Addams family mansion.  'N I loved it.  Can't really say it looks that way in real life. Sigh.
The Jeffro insisted we needed a smaller rug. Not so, said I. "They" said that it's a decorating faux pas to have too small a rug, I said. Read it on Pinterest, I said.
Jeffro ( in a "someone is a moron" tone, deadpan): "Who is 'they'? That's a dumb rule. It gets in the way and people trip over it. I want a smaller one."
In your face, rug Nazis. In.your.face. Why don't you tell on me.
I guess the rug's staying even though I'm not sure it gives off that grunge vintage look I wanted. Even though I'm picking apart my family room, I like it and I'm confirming it as done. I swear I like it. We're just, ya know, conversing! Man, I'm sending mixed messages.
Humor me and look around the room with me, won't you? You're a doll.
In March we had:
And now, we have:
New paint. New crown moulding. New huge fireplace moulding. New huge fan. New tile. New stairs. Freshly stained dark walnut banisters and handrails that TOTALLY DESERVE their own post because they were such a pain in my buns but it's too boring for me to talk about,
Couple pillows, coffee table, foot rest that is far too trendy even for me but I still like it, improperly sized rug, fabulously long curtains,
drug in a chair from another part of the house to give it more of a "room" feel, and it really is like, a room.
It's cozier. More comfy. I like it. Everyone seems to like it better. It also feels a little more chaotic. Just to be real.  But I'm okay with it.
And just as a sidenote,
on a whim I threw this huge corbel up here to start the room off. It's holding up nothing. Maybe that's strange. I don't care. I love it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Shut the Front Door.

So you know there's a problem when you go around taking pictures of all the stuff you got done around here, and then you throw them on the ole pc and every picture needs to be retaken because the wall next to the project was dirty.
Or the window was splattered.
Or someone's pooped on the floor.
Okay no one ever poops on the floor, but never say never in this house, and I don't know what's going on in this joint but these people are sick.

("Who's your mother? Were you born in a barn??")

Eh, forget it. I'm not taking new pictures. I am who I am. I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are. Secrets are. (Let's sing it together.)
So I'm into doors lately. Got my blue door,

and then when my bro moved, he was just going to throw away a kick plate for a door. In the garbage. And I was all like Gandalf, "You shall not pass!" blocking the way to the garbage.

You totally know how annoying it is when you're moving and you're stressed to the max and you have a hundred million things to move and sort through and people are questioning what you're doing?

That was me the other day. Head is hung.
I've always wanted a kickplate. Even if it is silver and all my hardware on my doors is brass.  No matter--
that's what spray paint is for. Oh and I really liked the whole understated "hello." that I saw on Etsy so I had to just order that for $2, too.
Kenna thinks my raspberry wreath is Christmas. She's got me all paranoid.
So while I was at it, I was staring at my other doors, and they were so grungy. Scary dingy. And I love how other people have painted their interior doors black, and so I took the plunge.
I absolutely forbid the speaking of this former disaster of a project from 5 years ago. Just know that I sanded the area down to smooth it out and the black went right over the top and all sins be hidden.
I said we won't speak of it!! And don't mention how messy the mudroom is while you're at it. I'm in the middle of projects, here! I'm projecting! There's no time to straighten.
Okay people-- have you considered the whole interior black door thing? Do it. DO IT. (I'm totally saying that like Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator". Say you know the part.)
Kitchen door? Bam.  Snap. This door is the only one without the raised moulding above it. Project list added to.

Bathroom door? Bam.

They're just so cleaned up and sharp. I should have done this a long time ago. And black is so forgiving and easy and doesn't need a bajillion coats.
Um, question?
I have a blue door not 10 feet from a black door. Is this okay? Well I guess it's gonna hafta be. Also I may or may not paint the upstairs doors. I believe that what goes on at the main floor needn't go on at the second floor.

Yeah- I'm just going to go with that.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Demolition Derby

Hey hey hey there, blogging neighborinos! I hope your weekend is treating you fabulous, and your Mother's Day was awesome last weekend.
My 7 year old gave me a book just for me, and the second page has a picture of me, as a fabulous stick figure, working on my stairs with a huge frown, and a tear, and the caption says,
"My mom works at home. She thinks it's hard."
Thanks, bud.
In the midst of working on said stairs, before the last nail was even in place, I started on the next project. Because it's who I am. It's all I know.
We decided to utilize the space under the stairs. I was so crazy excited about it. The hubs wasn't even an hour off to work, and I'd already hauled all the crap out of there, brought in the drill with the largest circular bit I have, and my sawzall.
And I just started cutting.  The beauty of this was I knew, by looking under there during stair reconstruction, that I didn't have to contend with electrical, and I knew where the studs already were so this was a breeze.
I made some circular holes here and there to fit the sawzall blade in there and just cut that drywall away.
You would NOT believe the gigantic mess. Would not. I'm still dusting it up everywhere. Remember how I said the builders of my house had swept all the construction crapola underneath here?
You monsters.
Tons of big pieces of drywall, stud pieces--
I actually had to get a dumpster just to get rid of it all, those bastages.
But check this out, yo.
After hauling out all that stuff and tons of sweeping, and then reframing the opening to make it rock solid and as open as possible,
  I had enough space to stick ALL my Christmas stuff under the stairs. I have like a lot. I'm so happy I could cry.
So instead of hauling my ginormous Christmas trees up a flight of stairs, through the kitchen, and to their official places, I pull them out of this closet, 10-15 feet over, and voila.
Remember that I inherited the world's largest tree?
There's 3 tree boxes under there. My storage room in the basement is practically empty, people. Now I can go shopping to fill it up with other junk! What a glorious world we live in. Sob.
Gratuitous side note:
I hooked us up with thee most fabulous Christmas clearanced decor for both my trees. They are so freaking shiny and sparkly that I almost can't wait for the holidays.
Almost. This is nearly summer and I'm not crazy.
But these are these hee-uge sparkly pears! Just take my word for it my trees are going to be legit this year.
But back to the huge gaping hole in the closet.
I know I can utilize this space better. I know I can. I put my coat bar back up and this is all carefully hidden so basically I don't really care what it looks like in here.
Maybe one day I'll come up with this fabulous way to organize the extras in here, but today's not that day.
Here's some embarrassing trivia:
this is the door I put on this closet.  Let's call it, #1.
Make it so, number one. (I had to.)
This was #1 two years ago. Just a flat door that I drew all over.
Then I did this.
Then I did this.
And I declared it boring, and I went bold.

This is like, huge for me. I painted something an actual color. My kids were so proud.

I confess that I went through phases of loving what I'd done and thinking it was crazy.

Today's an, "I like it." kind of day. Navy doors are sooo European.


the other side of the same door I left, just. . .as it was.

Dinged up and hideous. You can tell that I drew on it already, can'tcha. I can't pull anything past you.

I nailed on my favorite thin moulding that also happens to scare the shiznit out of me when I cut it because it easily splinters, and yet I keep using it,

busted out the same navy paint, and here we are. 'N I

Can I please get a high five for taking off the door knob to do a proper painting? I'm really growing up, lately.