Friday, March 22, 2013

$3 Easter Table Runner

That's right fools, $3, courtesy of my friend Ikea.

I love me some table runners, and since we are hosting Easter this year, I wanted one to dress the table with really really really bad. I wanted to say desperately there, but there is nothing desperate about wanting a table runner.

I also didn't want to spend $15 for one ala Target - ain't nobody got money for that. Okay maybe you do but I'm a self-diagnosed project hoarder and like to put that money to use for bigger projects.

Back to Ikea. I was looking for a new bathroom vanity (I have a problem I know) at Ikea yesterday and stopped by their fabric department where I found this for $5.99/yard. That's decor weight too so I kind of felt like I was stealing.

Anyway, I only needed a half of yard aka $3 worth, so after squaring it up and hemming under the edges, I had a $3 table runner for Easter made.

Don't have sewing skills? No problem - you could easily use iron-on hem tape to make this too. The entire hemming process too about 30 minutes - but 15 of those were spent sending text messages so I'll say it took 15 minutes to make because well, close enough.

The Shabby Nest

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sometimes I Buy Things

Like this book, an absolutely delightful read mind you.

Probably what I like most about it is they are much more bold in their design choices than I would ever normally be (my style is more Indecisive So Never Do Anything Style), so it's fun to look at that kind of style done well.

Oh yeah, and their epic tree house the built at their vacation home. Seriously find this book at a store and flip through it just to see it.

Saturday evening R and I went to Ross just for a little looksie.

That looksie turned into this.

(And turned into 20 minutes of me wrestling it into my car in the pouring rain with R screaming the entire time. The whole time I kept telling the chair RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. That's right, who's laughing now chair.)

With how inexpensive it was I couldn't turn it down.

I'm sitting in in right now actually and it's quite luxurious. And it's wide and deep enough to fit a toddler on it comfortably with me for when R is older. I just can't see a downside to this chair yet.  Dare I name it my most favorite chair in the house? I think I do dare.

After I refused to accept the fact that this chair wouldn't fit in my car, we went to HomeGoods where I found these curtains for the Family Room for $29.99.

I've been on the hunt for only the past 3 years for curtains, so now we can finally walk naked into our kitchen at night without worrying about the neighbors seeing us. Now just to get a rod and get them hung - I can't wait.

And for your Happy Monday viewing pleasure...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bod Update and Musings

Wow it's been two weeks already - here's the updated stats (I will explain the bad pics later):

Waist: 28 inches (Down .5 inches)
Hips: 37.5 inches (Down 1 inch)
Weight: 140 (I'm not putting much stock in this number since this was a morning weigh-in and my last one was in the afternoon so it's probably within the normal variance of weight changes throughout the day)
6 Pack: HAHA.

I haven't been, what you would call, the most "disciplined" the past two weeks with my Paleo eating. My achilles heel is going to my parent's house two weekends in a row. I just casually shove into my face whatever is within reach in the fridge, and lunch meat and eggs are only good for so many meals. So yeah, I gorged on some pasta and maybe an entire pizza. Discipline isn't always one of my strong suits. And I may or may not be eating two peanut butter cookies with my Jasmine tea as I type this. If it helps they are really, really small cookies, and they are what's left-over of the Gospel Community we held at our house last night. I pushed as many as I could on people I swear.

I did try two really, really good Paleo recipes though - the first was for dark chocolate chip cookies, and the other was for pizza. I made the cookies last Thursday and OMG THEY WERE THE BEST THINGS EVER. The problem is they probably cost $5 to make - that's a lot for 2 dozen cookies in my book, so I probably won't be making them often. I ate about 10 of them straight out of the oven - since they are Paleo I assume that's okay. As I was leaving I gave my Aunt strict instructions not to let S eat the rest when he came home. Then I gave her strict instructions not to tell him how many I had already ate myself.

For the pizza - I made a paleo crust using almond flour, eggs, and cheese. I get it dairy isn't Paleo but just shut up okay. I used a new pizza stone to cook it one that I got at BB and Beyond for $11 with a coupon. I didn't have the patience to wait for it to heat up like you're supposed to, or even read the directions that says to season it and not wash it with soap (Whoops) but it still turned out crispy and delicious, and did not in the slightest taste like soap. I also ate almost that entire pizza but again, it's Paleo so totally fine.

I started my online accounting program last week and then came to the realization that I am crazy. Like, straight up bonkers. What person in their right mind raises a four month old, works two part-time jobs, coaches a team, and decides to enroll back in school. Seriously what is wrong with me. If I actually pull this off... I rule. Just kidding God rules because every single day I'm praying that I will somehow make it through all this.

Part of me figures regardless of what I do, a year will pass. It's going to take sacrifice and work to get to where I want to be a year from now.

Projects have been in a holding pattern these past two weeks - partly because I'm just so freaking busy, and partly because a small part of me hopes I get chosen for Creating with Stars so I need to save all my mad-project ideas for that. I have about a 1 in 350 chance of being chosen so... Probably won't be but I can pretend right?

On another note - anyone else feel like a pendulum? Everyday I swing from one extreme to another. It usually goes along the lines of: Wake up, then want nothing more than to stay in bed forever. Drink some coffee and eat breakfast, ready to rock the day for a solid 30 minutes. Start work and my motivation dies. Feed R while looking at Pinterest and blogs and suddenly I'm going to repaint my bedroom right this second! Finish feeding R and realize I still have work to do. Rinse and repeat about 4x throughout the day and then it's 7PM and now I have to do school work for several hours before I go to bed. Go to bed but then my mind is racing with all these really great things I'm going to do tomorrow! Tomorrow comes and nothing gets done.

It would help if I got out of bed before 8AM. Or 9AM. Or like today 10AM. I just really, really suck at getting up. I want to be that person who wakes up at 6AM and kicks the day's a$$ for 16 straight hours. In reality, I'm always finding excuses for why that can't be me. "I didn't get a full night's sleep because R woke up 3 times" or "I went to bed at midnight" or "I have a really long day tomorrow". Seriously me? I always tells the girls I train not to make excuses - Champions Adjust. If I could just follow my own advice I would have woken up at 6AM and not 10AM today. And wouldn't be eating this peanut butter cup right now but that's another battle to be fought.

Everyday I don't do it, I feel so down on myself. But then again, justify why I couldn't do it.


I told myself I couldn't get a gym membership until I could prove that I could wake up everyday at 6AM to handle crap. Maybe this isn't the best route to take because I fear that day will never come. Perhaps I should take the other route and then, knowing that money has been spent for a membership, it'll spur me to get my bunz in there and working out. We will see. It might take a couple more weeks because I have to get into a good school routine since we are paying a million dollars for it, and I'm not going to pay a million dollars and not get straight A's. See? If I put my mind to something it will get done - now to apply it to areas other than school.

Lastly, back to my "weight loss" picture. So R is doing this really hilarious new thing where every time I put him down, he starts screaming bloody murder. Adorable right? It might have something to do with the whole 4-month sleep regression thing or maybe he's teething or maybe he's just a baby and that's what babies do. Regardless it makes getting some things done very difficult, like self portraits of my future 6-pack in the mirror. And don't mind my greasy hair, I promise I will wash it tonight. Or tomorrow. After these pictures were taken he had a massive spit-up on me all down my front.

It was amazing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And Then I Took Up Welding

I got my crapt together and decided to do an entry for Creating with the Stars. But I knew for my project, I needed something epic. But since I'm practical, I needed something that would also see lots of use. I had gotten a Ballard magazine and was flipping through it when I came across this Durham TV Table.

Durham Tray Table | European-Inspired Home Furnishings | Ballard...

Baaaaazing!!! I decided this would be the perfect excuse to try my hand at welding. The thought would never had occurred to me, but my Dad used to do a lot of welding when I was growing up, so I knew he had all the tools. I headed over there last weekend and forced him to spend his Saturday and Sunday showing me how to weld. I assured him spending quality time with his daughter would be much more fun than browsing his Facebook feed all weekend.

The first half of these pictures are taken with the IPad, and the second half with the camera, hence the difference in quality. 

First I bought some metal. Don't buy metal from Lowes, they will charge you $15 for every 4 ft, which is like, 4x as much as it would cost if you would buy it from a metal shop.

Then, I measured and cut out my metal - this step was very similar to cutting wood, but with a lot more sparks flying around.

I used this contraption to grind and polish the edges so they would weld better together.

Then came clamping and welding. It was extremely awkward at first - awkward like the first time you picked up a drill and tried to use it awkward. But after welding a couple corners, it didn't feel so foreign.

After the welding portion was done (which I can proudly say I did ALL of), then it was time to bump and grind. Or just grind, because the welding caused a raised lip which needed to be smoothed out. After grinding for a half hour my Dad finished it up so I could feed baby R.

I then felt guilty for taking so many shots of my project and none of R, so here's one of him.

As you can see there are openings in the corners since the steel is hollow, so I had to weld a long piece over it to cover that up and make it look smooth.


After a few more grinding-touch ups back at my house, I spray painted it with some ORB so it would match with our decor. (First picture is before and second after, although it's hard to tell)

For the top, I used a piece of reclaimed wood I still had leftover. I cut it to size, sanded it to kingdom come, then sealed it with some wax that is chemical-free.

To attach it on top, I used some small rubber feet on the inner corners of the wood piece that act as a lip that hold it in place. This way I can take it off and use it as a serving tray for dinners or clean it if need be. Not that anything in my house is ever dirty. Ever.

I am VERY pleased/estatic/could pee my pants without even having to do jumping jacks first with how this project turned out. The original retails for $119, and this ended up costingabout  $60 to make from scratch (could have been less if I shopped around for steel.... blast).  So 50% off isn't bad, but getting the street cred of being all, yeah, I can weld, that's priceless.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Submission Peak

I am grinding to get this done by Thursday for submission into Creating with the Stars, but here is my progress thus far.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 15, 2013

One Day Late Valentine Post

I confess, I followed YHL's link and printed this picture from Tried and True.

I whipped out the ol' water color paper and ran it through the printer, then attempted to paint in tiny, tiny spaces with too large of a water color brush since my craft area is a mess and I couldn't find any other ones.

Then decided to take this picture off R's gallery wall:

And pulled a switcheroo with my new water color painting.

I almost just typed "much funner" there, but "funner" is not a word, so instead, I will type that this new print adds "much whimsy" to my mini-gallery. If you can see in the reflection of the middle picture, I'm trying to keep the baby chandy from photo-bombing my picture. Sometimes that thing is a real pain in my butt. Now, to finish the top print of R's birth stats, and my gallery wall will be complete. Then, it's off to work on my project from my entry into Creating with The Stars, 2013. Let's just say it involves welding. It will be epic.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Just Don't Call it A Diet, Diet

My new non-diet diet.

The word "diet" often implies something that you do for a finite or set amount of time.

I'm using it though to describe my regular eating habits - so it's something for me that has no end point.

So what is this non-diet diet of mine which hath no end?

The paleo diet.

I'm sure you've heard of it, but in sum, the theory behind it is that our bodies are structured to thrive on fruits/vegetables/meats as opposed to the heavy grain and dairy diet so common to western culture.

There's a lot of information out there concerning some of the ill-effects of our high-grain diets on our bodies, but I think everyone should research the information themselves and decide what is best for them.

Do I think all grains and dairy are evil?

Absolutely not.

Do I think I personally used to supplement most of my calories with food containing grains?

Absolutely. I would go through a bag of Pirate Booty in a day, not exactly what I would call eating a balanced diet. Not to mention my carbo-loading leading to R's appearance most likely played a role in my baby being 10lbs 12 oz at birth.

Let's be clear though, I'm not a purist, I do allow myself small amounts of dairy products (cheese, helloooo) and grains on special occasions (ie the pizza party I was at Saturday).

Otherwise though, my diet has completely been taken over by fruits, veges, and lots of meats and eggs.

On any given day, for the last week my meals closely resemble the following:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, a piece of fruit, coffee (believe it or not, with this I'm full until lunch, and I'm not some dainty little bird-type eater either)

Lunch: 1 meat (whatever we had the night before, so pork, chicken, ham, etc), and a huge huge bowl of vegetable soup, like a bowl as big as my head, no, bigger.

Snack: 1 fruit with almond butter and 1 vege, or leftover soup from lunch

Dinner: 1 meat, 2 vegetables

Dessert: Coconut milk ice cream, or some pieces of a salted dark chocolate bar  (nom nom nom)

Now I know, looking at this it doesn't seem like much food, but the amount of vegetables I'm eating when I say "1 vege" is actually probably 2/3 servings of vegetables, and the meat is a good portion - enough that I'm not getting hungry between meals for the most part. This next week when I go shopping, I'm going to pick up more nuts to make a healthy trail mix to snack on, and well as some cottage cheese.

I've only been on this diet about a week, but here's my takeaway so far. First, I've started branching out a lot more with recipes since I'm trying to incorporate much more vegetables. Creamy mashed cauliflower? Butternut squash apple soup? Broccoli slaw with a jalapeno dressing? Spicy sausage soup with cabbage, carrots, onion and celery? Yes please.

Second, I've noticed that when I start to get hungry between meals, it's not the "sugar crash" hungry where you are ravishingly hungry and then stuff your face with whatever is on hand. It's more of a "oh, I'm getting hungry, guess I should eat" type feeling instead.

Third, when I'm full, it's not a bloated-let-me-undo-the-top-button-of-my-pants full, but a denser and leaner feeling of fullness.

Overall, I have really enjoyed this way of eating. Maybe since I'm only 90% paleo I don't feel too much of a loss since I will still occasionally have foods that aren't paleo-friendly. I'm also really excited to keep exploring new recipes to try since I've always been in a pasta-funk when it comes to preparing dinner.

I know some people might use this type of eating as a way to cut weight fast, but in my opinion, any meaningful fat loss takes time. You didn't gain it all in 30 days so you probably won't be able to lose it, and keep it off, in 30 days.

There is a bigger picture to all this. I gave a goal you see. A goal to have a six pack by July. This is why I'm starting my new way of eating now - to get in the groove and give myself a decent amount of time to see results.

I have never had a six pack, and now I have a bit of a mom stomach, so this is a pretty lofty goal, if I do say so myself.

The other part of this is going to be my work-out plan. I'm planning to get buff. Like, Jillian Michaels buff. But I'm not stupid, I know you can easily negate any gains you make in the gym by making bad decisions in the kitchen, which is why it's important for me to get my eating in check also. 

If you're curious, my work-out plan will consist of weight training 3x per week, with maybe a day or two of some cardio activity thrown in there. Right now I'm what you would call "skinny fat", meaning I'm pretty slender, but it's all mushy. I want to be skinny-ripped, so if you were to grab my arm all you would feel is rock solid muscle.

I'm 5'10 and I'm currently tipping the scales at 143 lbs, but in college when I lifted consistently for softball I was also 143lbs. My body looks a lot different now then it did when the 143lbs consisted of much more muscle.

Now I need to be held accountable. And what better place to be held accountable than in the public sphere? This means entertainment for you because every 2 weeks I'm going to post a picture with an update of my weight and measurements, along with how my work outs and eating have been going.

So let's do this.

Weight: 143lbs
Waist: 28.5 in
Hips: 38.5 in
Visible Six Pack? Hah, no.

Bring it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Quick Art Project

I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but I received some fat quarters for my birthday and one of the fabric pieces looked like a water-color painting to me, so I decided to use it for one of the empty frames in R's room.

Pretty simple process - just cut the fabric to size, place in frame with some tape, hang said frame. Badda bing badda boom.


Then take one crappy shot from farther away so you can kind of get the full picture of how it ties in. Don't ask me way I didn't take it from straight on so you could actually see things better because I have no idea.

In the last empty frame, I'm planning on doing a little artsy print in Photoshop of his full name, birth date, birth time, weight, and length, then get it printed at Kinkos on card stock for like, $2.

Happy Fun Day Monday (it's all a mindset - right?) and here's to getting tons of crap done on our to-do list, keeping within our budgets, and finding free time to relax.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Faux Board and Batten Run Down

 Here is what I was going for:

Here is what I started with (bleh):

Did some painting in a semi-gloss white for the base:

Got my first board up and level:

Went to town with the nail gun while R napped:

Caulked the seams, filled my holes, and sanded the crap out of it:

Did a coat of primer and sanded:

Did a coat of paint and sanded, then another coat and sanded:

Then one last coat of paint and a final sand, and added some hooks I had on hand from a $10 Ikea coat rack I had bought a while back and had taken out of our room:

From start to finish, the project took 2 weeks - if you don't have a 3 month old it should take you 3 days or less. The longest part is waiting for the paint to dry in between coats, and waiting for the caulk to dry before you can paint. 

Not too shabby - now to paint the wall above it and get some pictures up there.

Overall I love it and it adds much more character to my little entrance wall than was there before.

The only downside? The lumber cost me about $50, which is a little steep in my opinion, but what's done is done and at least I have a lovely wall to show for it. Once the bench is in place with the pictures and painted wall, we will do one last side by side comparison to see how I did based on my inspiration photo-shopped picture. All in good time though, all in good time.