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, 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


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.


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?


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?


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 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?