Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm Moving!

I started this blog originally for my shopping challenge, but that has now come and gone. 

I do want to keep blogging, so I am moving.  I want to open up my categories a little more to encompass more of my life.

homeschooling
crafty projects
running
and overall snarkiness

Please do follow me on over. 


welcome to the nuthouse



Looking forward to seeing you all on the other side! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Burlap Lap Baby

For some reason, each time I see this wreath, I start singing Burlap Lap Baby (think Ice Ice Baby).

I don't understand how my mind works, but I feel that's for the best.

So, I have another wreath tutorial. I got this one from Pinterest. There are lots and lots of posts out there with burlap. It is hot right now.
Burlap table runners, burlap chair wraps for weddings, burlap bows and burlap monograms and wreaths.

This is a burlap bubble wreath and it was super simple, but a bit messy.

The first step was to cut strips out of my burlap. I bought two yards of burlap and cut almost all of it into three inch strips.

Then I cut each strip into three inch squares. Keep in mind that burlap is messy and kind of smelly in my opinion. All the fuzzy bits kept going up my nose and making me sneeze.


Now stack all your squares up and find something awesome to watch on television. I chose Arrested Development on Netflix again. That and 30 Rock seem to be my go-to shows for crafting.


Now you just take opposite corners and make little "bubbles". To put them on the wreath, I used long straight pins with large pearl heads. You have to get the large heads so that the pins don't go all the way through the burlap. 

Here she is all finished and waiting to be stolen up for people to admire.
I think I need to add a pretty bow, I think black, but I will play around with it. 

Also, I can now see how dirty my front door is.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Another wreath, I may have a problem

I made another wreath. Seriously.
and then I made another one...

That's three wreaths for those of you keeping up at home.

I'll have pictures of the burlap wreath soon enough.

This is the story of the birth of my Halloween wreath that was stolen. 
I had already taken all of the pictures for the tutorial, so I decided to go ahead and post this one. 
The wreath was super easy and cute, so I will probably make another one. If I do, I have already decided to use a zip-tie to attach the wreath to the over the door hanger so that perhaps this one will stay on my front porch. 
I also plan on making those cute "ghosts" with my tomato cages, I wonder if those will wander off my porch?

I'm a little bitter.

Anyway, on to the tutorial. 

Like I said, this wreath was super easy to make, but if I make another one, I will try to get my tulle ribbon on sale. I used about 75 yards and could have used a little more. 



All you need to get this party started is a foam wreath and a few rolls of tulle ribbon.  Make sure that your foam wreath is round, you know what I mean...some of those floral wreaths are square circles. 





First, I measured how long I wanted my strips of tulle to be. I wanted them to stick out a couple of inches, but didn't want them to be so big that it made the wreath too big for my front door. (or too big for someone to take and put into their truck, what a tragedy that would be)


Please excuse my crappy phone pictures again. I am working on a new system, I promise!



Once I decided how long I wanted my strips to be, I got to cutting. I piled all my strips up next to me while I watched Arrested Development.<3

Lola is super bored with my wreath making and thinks that my time would be better spent petting her.

 Then I watched three more episodes while I tied each strip to the wreath. I did end up doubling up the strips to make the wreath a little fuller. Plus I wanted to make sure that none of the light green foam was seen. 

And there she is. She will be missed.

I suppose I should be flattered that my wreath was so cute that someone wanted to steal her, but my front door is bare and it honestly does kind of suck. 
Blissful and Domestic

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Thief

Just a quick post this morning to show off this clip of some lady stealing my Halloween Decorations. 

The wreath I just made?

Gone.


Click here to see her in action




Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coffee Filter Wreath

This has to be my favorite project that I have finished so far!

Super cheap, super easy and I am in love with the finished result.

Remember the coffee filters that I tea stained the other day?

Well, it turns out that they take a really long time to dry, in fact, I became so tired of waiting for them, that I finally threw the filters in the dryer.

I know, I was surprised that I was impatient as well.
Who knew?



So here they are, all dried and ready to go. I can't tell you how much fun it was to play in these. It reminded me of playing in a pile of leaves, but less scratchy and noisy.






I cut a circle out of a piece of foam board that I got at the dollar store. Seriously, this project could not be cheaper.

I used a compass to draw my circle, but honestly, it didn't have to be perfect. the filters end up so fluffy that it didn't matter. I also taped off the inside of my circle with masking tape, just in case any peeked out between filters, I didn't want it to be glaringly white. 
Again, I think this was a completely unnecessary step.








Now you just start pinching the coffee filers in the center and using hot clue to attach them to the foam board. 

I immediately knew that I was going to love this.
The filters look like flowers.

So, yes, there was some finger burning going on. Sometimes it was a little difficult to get the filters exactly where I wanted them so...
Okay, not really, it goes back to my impatience and I try to move too fast and I burn myself. 

Are you ready to see the finished product!?






Ta-da!
Isn't it beautiful? 
I am so in love with this. Plus the fact that it cost $2 to make, doesn't hurt.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Done, Done, Done

I did it! I finished The Jailbreak.





It was so awesome and I am already looking for another obstacle race to run. I was completely exhausted on Saturday and didn't do anything but lie on the couch and think about how much fun the day had been. 

I also like to look at my medal over and over again.



 

Sunday came around and I decided to work on my crayon art project. 


Remember me telling you that the crayons wouldn't fit into my mini glue gun and I needed to go purchase a regular sized glue gun...well, I'm a dirty liar.

Crayons do fit into mini glue guns, in fact, if you try to put them into regular glue guns, they melt and then squirt out the back.

Ask me how I know, 
go ahead.









 I don't plan on ever making this type of craft again. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the results, but I was panicked and testy the entire time. 

I was so frustrated by the crayons not melting fast enough. I had to walk away every 30 seconds or so just to let the crayon melt a little more, then it would come gushing out of the glue gun,splatter all over my hand, and then maybe, just maybe, it would let me have a few drips for the canvas.

So, here is the finished product. Please excuse the crappy iPhone picture. I guess I am going to have to break out the good camera soon. 
 I do like it, it's cute, but it isn't my favorite project so far. 

Unlike the coffee filter wreath.
I will post that tomorrow.

It's worth the wait.



As a BzzAgent, I was allowed to try the Glade Fragrance Mist for free and I have to say that I didn't get it at first, but now I realize that I can keep my air freshener out all the time in my laundry room (where the smell of cat poop usually overwhelms everything) and I am pleasantly surprised.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Unfinished already

Well, yesterday didn't go nearly as well as the first day went.

I decided that I was going to start the melted crayon art that I have held on to for about four months.


FOUR MONTHS!!

So, I gathered all my supplies and started with the silhouette that I wanted to add. 



I'm ready! I cut out the picture and traced it onto the canvas with no problems.

 I am rocking this project! 

now time to fill it in with Sharpie...


Nice. My only two black Sharpies in the house are both dried out. 


Roadblock number two? My glue gun is too small for the crayons. Looks like I only have "mini" glue guns in this house. So, I am at a stopping point. I put this project aside again until I can get more Sharpies and a larger glue gun.

I'm trying not to be disappointed, but it's not easy. I truly thought that I could get this done today.

Anyway, I decide that I will go ahead and tea stain my coffee filters for another project. This will take about an hour and I can let the filters dry overnight. 


I just started an extra large batch of tea.


Now want iced tea.



Then I dropped the coffee filters into the tea about 20 at a time. I set them out on a cookie sheet to dry,but I know I will probably have to put them into the dryer to get them dry before my impatience kicks in. I am not willing to wait a couple of days for these suckers to dry. 

As I am writing this, I know someone will say "You can buy brown coffee filters! You big dummy! Why did you make all that extra work for yourself?"

Well, I did look at the brown filters, but they were just too rustic and I wanted a more vintage, old paper look to the filters, so I took the extra step of tea staining them. 


And don't call me a dummy.







The coffee filters are for an awesome wreath that I want to make. 
I really wanted to finish at least one project today, but no luck.

I am not sure what I will be able to get to this weekend. Friday is roller skating day and Saturday I am headed off to do The Jailbreak. I am so excited about this race!

Mud, Running, Barbeque and Beer!! 


Best. Race. Ever.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Projects 3, 2, 1

So I totally went shopping yesterday.

I had purchased half of items needed for dozens of projects so I went on a mission to either abandon said projects or get the rest of my supplies. 

Luckily, the ink for the printer had arrived this weekend.
Why does ink run out all at once?  You are going along just fine when BAM your computer starts screeching at you like a junkie needing a fix. 

INK, I NEED INK!!!  

Really, I don't like being an enabler.

Once I swapped out the empties for a fresh, new ink, I set about printing things that have been waiting patiently.
First up this cute Roald Dahl quote. It makes me so happy.




Next was a cute printable that I had found on Pinterest a long time ago. I printed it up, stuck it in a frame and left it for Mr. Challenge to see. He thought it was super sweet and he likes the idea that we can all leave little messages for each other.Yep, we are that family.



Last but not least was the big project for the day. I hate my dining room light. It's just a builder grade, boring, yucky light. So. while scouring blogs and Pinterest one fine day, I came across a girl who used cardboard and hot glue....seriously. Even I can handle cardboard and hot glue. I am super happy with the new light. The cover is a little more see through than I wanted, so I may end up adding a black ribbon border to the top and bottom. 

So, not too bad for the first day back in action. I am feeling good. Happy that I am removing some of the to do list clutter that makes me feel bad for not finishing things. 
This is more about the mental clutter and the to do lists and Pinterest boards than about clearing out closets. That is coming soon as well. 

Does anyone else beat themselves up over things they "want" to do? 

Do your home improvement lists mock you? 

Do your Pinterest boards snicker with the knowledge that you will never, ever actually set aside time to do the things you Pin?

Linking here at Blissful and Domestic.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fast Food Nation

This blog post showed up in my feed this morning and it really struck a chord with me. 

Why is it so hard to spend money on high quality groceries?

I am so guilty of this! I always lean towards non-organic produce because of the price difference, but at what cost?

I don't want to give you too much to read(you should read that link), and I am fully aware that I have put blogging on the back burner as the summer has come to an end, but do not fear! 

I am gathering my thoughts and making big plans for the fall.

This may become more of a "project" blog for a while, because I have a tendency to purchase items for a project and then never finish said project. That will be my focus for a while. To clear out the clutter of unfinished ideas and revel in the satisfaction that comes with completing something. 

Off to make something awesome...



Friday, August 31, 2012

Rockin' the Plumber's Crack

According to the all knowing information highway known as YouTube, putting in a new kitchen faucet is one of the easiest things that you can do as far as DIY projects. 
This is a lie, I am a badass and anyone who says anything different is lying
This was me this weekend. 
I put in a new faucet and I have to admit that I feel like a rock star. 

I was trying to fix the leaky kitchen faucet. It was leaking underneath the cabinet and I really thought that I could get out of buying an entire new faucet, but I am actually really glad that I went the new route. 



The new faucet is so much better than the builder's one that was here before. Of course, if I were a good blogger, I would have remembered to take that all important before photo. But I didn't. I don't really think that the two people who read this blog actually expect too much out of me. 

Thank goodness.
(Please take a moment to notice the mess in the background of this photo. That's why I don't write a How to Clean Your House in Just 12 Minutes a Day blog.)


If you would like to come to my house and try out my new faucet by washing some dishes please let me know, but hurry, this offer won't last forever. 


Speaking of rocking some plumbers cleavage...

I did purchase some things this week after I finally cleaned out the pants in my closet and got rid of the ones that no longer fit. Did you know that you can't will yourself into a smaller size of jeans by staring at them and eating Ritz straight from the box? 

Trust me on this.  



So, I bought a new pair of pants. A pair that fit and I didn't care what the number on the tag said. I am not going to punish myself because I am not the size that I think I should be.
I actually broke up with my scale this week. We are no longer on speaking terms, but that's another post for another time. 

Here is my pile for the donation truck this week. 


I brought in:
new faucet
pair of jeans for me
tank top for me (white, no coffee stains)
new black sweater
pair of shorts for The Boss
sweater for The Boss


Do you remember when I bought this
 and told you it was for a project?


Well, I sat that little paint can on the counter and promptly forgot about it. 
will hope to actually get to that project this weekend. 


It's amazing to me that getting rid of clothes that are to small for me can actually make me feel lighter. 

What about you? Did you let go of any baggage this week? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Love is...not eating all of his birthday cupcakes

I love my Keurig. Seriously love it.
It's so convenient. Whether I want a fresh cup of coffee at 5:30 a.m. before a run or at 5:30 p.m. when I start to drag before making dinner.
I do not feel good, however about all the waste it generates. I hate throwing away those little cups. I normally open the cups and compost the coffee at the very least. 
While drunken grocery shopping this weekend, Mr. Challenge and I decided to try out one of the reusable brew cups. 
It isn't nearly as convenient as just grabbing a prepacked cup, but there is no waste now! It's very easy to fill, use and empty and I don't have all that guilt anymore. 


This week was Mr. Challenge's birthday. I love birthdays. Maybe even more than I love coffee.
It's a wonderful excuse to bake things that have no business being in my house. Case in point:

I found these Snickers cupcakes on Pinterest and they were incredible. They were also filled with a homemade mousse. 
You can find the link to the recipe here. 
They weren't that hard to make, but totally looked like I had gone all out.  


 Even Lola could tell that they were amazing. 


No, I didn't give her any, but she was under my feet until I gave in and fed her some peanut butter.


For his birthday, I gave Mr. Challenge a Chillow. Have you heard of these? I ordered mine through Drugstore.com, but you can get them all over the Internet. 


It's a cooling pack that you fill with water and then insert into your pillow. It's like flipping your pillow to the cool side all night long. I am constantly flipping my pillow over, so I purchased one for myself as well. It is supposed to help you sleep better. We shall see. I spent today filling it with water (this bad boy holds NINE cups of water) and then getting air bubbles out.
I thought it was a good gift in that it doesn't add any clutter (we just tuck them into our pillowcases) and it is supposed to help us get that much needed, and sometimes elusive, rest.

I'll let you know how it works. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Update with a Slightly Exasperated Woman

Friday


What a fun day.
I have to admit that I do love Fridays. It's clean sheet day, for starters. For me, there are few things better than climbing into a freshly made bed with clean sheets.
It's also the day we usually take off from school work if we have had a good week.
This morning I opted out of going to the gym and instead decided to join The Boss at the roller rink.



I haven't been on roller skates in years, but I have to admit it was a ton of fun and I can't wait to go again. That's probably because I didn't fall down this time. I did shoulder check some kid, but he had it coming if anyone asks.



Not to mention, it was a fantastic workout! 




After our skating adventure was over, we stopped by the home improvement store for a couple of items for projects that I will be tackling this weekend.
That tomato cage that I talked about and a small container of black paint.






 I actually didn't know that they sold containers this small. This makes me happy, because I feel like I won't have as much leftover paint as I would had I purchased a quart.

I wandered through all the plants and outdoor furniture. I struggled with not buying anything else. I really wanted to.

Saturday

I hit the ground running this morning. I usually go for a run on Saturday mornings, but today I wasn't sure it was going to happen. It had been raining all night and it wasn't supposed to stop. At about 6 a.m., there wasn't any rain, so my running buddy and I decided to go ahead. 
Fast forward 20 minutes and it of course, starts raining. Now, I'm still new to running, so this rain business was throwing me for a loop. I hadn't thought to protect my phone and that was very upsetting. I wasn't sure that my rain soaked sports bra was going to offer enough protection. We turn a corner and all of the sudden I look up and realize that it's not just raining, it's raining, hard. I say I've had enough and turn around to go back to the car. 
Within ten minutes of going back the other direction, we run out of the rain and I start to wonder if I could have kept going. 
Maybe next time. 
here's what I know for when that time comes:
I will get a plastic bag to protect my phone.
I will wear a hat so that the rain doesn't drip right into my eyes.
I do not like my feet being wet. At all


Today I started teaching myself how to embroider. I started with learning how to separate the threads on my embroidery floss. The book made this look totally easy, so when I had problems, I turned to another teacher, YouTube. 

YouTube also made it look easy. Why was I having such a hard time? My thread was fraying and splitting. 
Naturally, I started cursing and throwing the thread on the floor. I watched a few more videos and then someone said something in a video that made me do a double take. "Make sure you are using embroidery floss and not craft thread." 

Did I seriously make such a stupid mistake?

Yep


I bought the wrong thing. Here I am trying to buy fewer things and now I have to go back to the stupid store to buy more stupid stuff. 
I start complaining to The Boss, who had finally stumbled down the stairs to have some breakfast and she looks at me and says, "Well, I have embroidery floss if you want some." 

And she did. It was the real stuff. So I gave her my brand new package of CRAFT THREAD so that she could use it to make friendship bracelets or something and she brought me her embroidery floss that looked like this:

Sometimes I believe that my patience is being tested for fun.


On a slightly funnier note. I received a letter from my dentist, thanking me for referring my family member. I can only assume that they mean Mr. Mister since he recently went in. 
They also sent me a $10 gift certificate for Cold Stone Creamery. 
I truly thought that this was hilarious. I laughed until tears came. Why didn't they just send me jawbreakers? Perhaps it wasn't even that funny. Maybe I was so tired from trying to untie the giant knot of embroidery floss that I would have laughed at anything. 
You tell me...

Does your dentist send you gift certificates for ice cream?


Sunday


Let me tell you a cautionary tale. 

Once upon a time there was a lovely woman with an adoring husband. The lovely woman went to tell her adoring husband that she was off to the grocery store so that she could fill the pantry with wonderful healthy foods for her family. 
The adoring husband said "Let me take you to lunch and then we can go to the grocery store together." 
Well, that sounded like a wonderful idea to the woman. 
So, they went to their favorite local pub and ate lunch. They talked and talked. They ordered another round of beers and talked some more. 
They finished their lunch and headed to the grocery store and proceeded to fill their cart with treasures. Everything looked so good! 

Proceeding to the checkout lane, the woman wondered how she had been able to balance so many items on top of her cart without having them fall off. Was there magic in the beer?

Fast forward to the man and woman returning to their castle, yes, they had plenty of food, but it wasn't quite the healthy feast the woman had originally envisioned. 
They had also spent double what the woman had spent the week before while shopping alone.

Moral of the story: Beer before store, might make you poor. 

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Fridays Unfolded

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Day, New Hobby

I have been reading about needlepoint for a while now. I enjoy crocheting, but cross stitch and embroidery have intrigued me since I was a child. I remember watching my mother make these beautiful designs with nothing but a needle and brightly colored strings.

I had a lovely pillow on my bed for years when I was younger that I still remember. I'm sure that it is long gone now. It's a shame that we don't know the value of items until they are lost to us sometimes.

I do have this.


My grandmother handed it down to me. My mother had made it for her and I can still remember where it hung in her bedroom.
 I'm sure this must have taken hours upon hours.
I have searched my home for the right place for it, but I still haven't decided where it needs to live. 


I digress...how unusual for me to do such a thing.

I found myself alone yesterday evening and decided that it was time to go to the craft store. I have read the books. I have made a list of the bare necessities of picking up this new hobby. I will not get everything that the book tells me I need. It is not the boss of me.

I got just enough items to start trying out some stitches. I also made sure that it would all fit inside a gallon plastic bag.

Cause I'm neurotic  awesome like that. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Declutter Powers...Activate!!

I wasn't planning on posting again today, but seriously, I am so thrilled with my results that I just had to document them.

Presenting the new and improved bookshelf.


I cleaned out a box of books and threw away some old computer programs that won't do anyone any good. Nothing is new, just rearranged or brought in from another room.
I even found an awesome box to store all those pesky remotes!

I think the color coding looks awesome. I flipped all of our old photo albums (remember photo albums?) around because they were all mismatched and looked cluttered. Flipping them made them at least look more streamlined. 

Hello Again Old Friend...

I read this article this morning and reached a tipping point.

I have been talking about starting up my blog again for about a month. I had even mentioned it to a few friends just to see if they would hold me accountable. (obviously, I have lazy friends)

Then the article appeared in my inbox this morning and I knew it was time. My clutter was sending me a message.

let me gooooo

or that might have been my cat.

I abandoned my project somewhere around the new year. I felt that I had learned all that I could from it and could see no reason to continue.
The thing about clutter is that it sneaks back in if you aren't diligent.

I miss The Project. I miss the feeling I got when I was able to walk out of somewhere without buying useless crap.
So, here I am again.

Surrounded by stuff.

Suffocated by my belongings.

I don't think it's as bad as it was when I first started the project just over a year ago. I have emptied my house of hundreds of pounds of items that I no longer needed or used. I no longer shop because I am bored.
However, I do still have a tendency to purchase things with the intent of using them rather than a plan for execution.






Today is budget day for me. I use the envelope system because if I don't, I find that within a week, all my money is gone. I've never been good with money. 
So, I plan all of our activities and put the money into envelopes. I do have some "extra" cash that I keep kicking around just for those unforeseen extras. 
This week I would like to buy a new tomato cage. I planted two tomato plants, with the thought that perhaps one would survive. 
SURPRISE! They are actually both really big. I have one cage that is supporting one plant, but the poor other plant is really struggling.

I can also re-use the cages to make Halloween "ghosts" and Christmas "trees" using lights (Thanks, Pinterest) 



                             Declutter Time!




I use the Zone system (Flylady) for my decluttering. Today I am working on the game room bookshelves. I forgot to take a picture when I started, so this is a process picture. I decided to color code my books again because I like the way they look. I usually keep the school books downstairs in the living room since we usually do our schoolwork in the dining room. 

When we do schoolwork. 

But that's another blog post.


Question of the day.Do you stick to a budget? Do you budget for everything or just see where this paycheck will take you?
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Damn You, Pinterest!

So I finally got onto Pinterest.

I swore I wasn't going to get on there due to it's addictive nature, but I caved one day and now I have fallen victim to it's evil clutches.

How else could I have found one thousand different projects that I will never do? Or how about those cute party ideas for the festive bashes I will never throw?

Or the outfits that should be filling my closet. sigh

I think that is the worst. I used to shop for clothes so much that looking at all the clothes is killing me a little bit.

Thank goodness I set up weight loss rewards for myself at the first of the year. I set aside all the gift cards that I recieved for Christmas to use as incentives to lose the weight I put on. Did you know it is possible to put on twenty pounds in only two months? Seriously! I think I deserve a medal or something.

Anyway, I have dropped the first ten pounds, now I can use one of my gift cards. This is such a big deal. I am agonizing over what to buy. I have dozens of items flagged between my inbox, Pinterest, polyvore and Amazon.

The good news is, that in the last six months, I have learned a lot about the quality of clothes.
I noticed which ones wore out and have already been removed from my closet and suprisingly which ones are still there.
I have learned that if you drink enough, even the most painful shoes become bearable if they make your legs look longer.
I have learned to let go of items that I think I love, but really only love the idea of.
White leggings, I am talking to you.

What about you? Do you have secrets in your closet that you would never wear, but can't seem to let go?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mt. Donation

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I am serious about cleaning out my clutter.
My office has turned into the waiting ground for the donation truck.
Granted, my Christmas tree is in there somewhere, but the rest is on its way out the door!!

Even The Boss has gotten into the spirit! Yesterday she gave me two full bags of items to get rid of.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did go buy something this week. Actually, I bought a few things. Once again, I don't feel any guilt. I really wanted/needed these items. I went out with the express purpose of purchasing two new pairs of pants and a pair of shoes and that is exactly what I bought. I took on a new volunteer position and we have to wear a uniform, hence the needing of new pants.
The other item was not a need, but a want. There was a specific thing that I asked for for Christmas. I had not hinted or been vague about what I wanted, I had specifically asked for and even described this item. When the holiday came, I got something very close, but not exactly what I wanted. This week I happened across a picture of one in a magazine, the price was right, so I ordered it. I expected to feel guilty, confused or even angry with myself.
I'm not.
I'm excited, waiting for it to come in. I keep thinking that I hear the UPS truck rumbling down the street.