Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bathroom Desk: What I learned

As I said, the desk I found to give me some more storage/counter space in the master bath was in not so good shape. I don't have any "before" pictures, but know it was a used kids desk that had been marked down three times before it found its way into my home.

I took Little One (the desk) outside and put it down on a drop cloth. I wiped it down and used some goo-gone on the stickers/tape that was stuck to it. Then I went over the whole thing with sand paper and a couple of coats of marshmallow white paint later, I was (for the most part) pleased. I switched out the drawer pulls with some pewter colored pulls from Home Depot and brought it inside and set it up. I liked it, but something was missing. I looked through some inspiration and decided I needed some cute little birdies on the drawers. Since I am a no good draw-er, I did the next best thing and went to etsy for some vinyl decals. I found these from etsy seller Cherry Walls and purchased them in violet.

I added the lovelies (after the three week wait time for freshly painted surfaces) and I lurve the outcome. So cute! The Mister said he put Garbage Pail Kid stickers to his furniture when he was a kid. So it's the same. Here she is:

See how perfectly it fits in the space? And its just the right size for kitty box!

And the up close at the adorable little birds. See my little attempt at staging on the top?

Admittedly, I am a novice a furniture refurbishing so I learned a bunch of stuff from this first "big" project.

What I Learned
1. Small dings in the surface are magnified with paint. Next time, use wood putty to fill in those dings for a smoother finish.
2. Drawer pulls are kind of spendy. I happen to like the less expensive ones, and only spent $2 each, but there were some that were $6+ each. Yikes!
3. Vinyl decals are fun! There are so many on etsy that you can customize with colors/words. Plus, I just saw some at Target the other day that are fairly inexpensive. Putting a larger decal (a whole wall!) would be quite the undertaking, but could make a (removable) impact on a room.
4. The Mister does not share my vision when it comes to redoing furniture- yet. I think he will come around. Maybe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

People Put Desks in the Bathroom?

Our master bath is pretty small.  As far as storage goes there is a nice above toilet cabinet, space under the sink, and a small medicine cabinet. However, there is zero counter space. Since it is where I get ready in the morning, I started using the space around the sink and the window sill to hold my essentials. I have known for awhile that I wanted some sort of shelving or table to provide that counter space that it lacks. There is an open space between shower stall and the toilet that I wanted to put the shelves/table, however, the floor space is currently occupied by Allison's kitty box. So, I knew whatever I was looking for had to have enough space under it for that. At the beginning of summer I began my search. I started by looking at places like Target and Walmart at the laminate shelves and closet organizers that are easy to put together and cheap. Kind of like this...

But nothing I was finding would fit the box under it. Looking at it now, the box could have gone next to it, but I also never really liked the look of these anyway.

Then I decided I needed to have a drawer. So now I was looking for a table with a drawer, with enough space under it for the box. I moved my search to craigslist and to thrift stores without any luck. I pretty much forgot about it gave up hope after we got back from Hawaii. Then one day I was in Goodwill looking for a stool or tall chair for my classroom when I saw it. A small, beat up kid-sized desk that had been marked down three times already. It seemed like the right width to fit between the toilet and shower, and had 4 drawers: 3 down the side and a small one on the top. With that I picked it up and carried it to the front of the store and bought it. I knew it needed some work, but I brought it home and straight into the bathroom. It fit perfectly in the space and the space for the chair was the perfect size for the kitty box.

When the Mister got home I brought him in to the bathroom to show him my treasure. His response: "People put desks in a bathroom?"

Coming up- my first furniture redo/ what I learned post!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Top 5 update...

Last weeks Top 5 was a list of things I wanted to get done this week. I am happy to announce I completed 3/5 things listed. Of course the ones I left off were the important ones: painting and organizing the decorations in the garage. I will get those done eventually.

Top 5 Friday: Favorite things of Summer 2011

As a teacher, coming back to school after the summer break, is a lot like going back to school as a student. One question that you get asked several times is: How was your summer? Do anything fun? Here are my top 5 things of Summer 2011...

1. Kauai- Duh

The Mister and are fortunate enough that we both have jobs, and have been able to take several vacations together. Neither of us had been to Hawaii before, and it was amazing. I realize that after we have kiddos traveling will get more expensive and much more difficult. Kauai was a fabulous trip. We snorkeled, went boogie boarding, hiked, kayaked and hung out on the beach. I would go again. Tomorrow.

2. Reading-

Growing up I loved reading. then in middle school it wasn't cool anymore, so I stopped. I didn't really start reading for fun again until I graduated college. Now during the school year, I'm pretty busy and I don't read as much as I want to, but during the breaks, I can't put them down. During the summer I read tons. True, it's nothing deep, in fact most of what I read is fluff. A lot of James Patterson, Madeline Wickham, Charlaine Harris etc. I did also finally read The Help. So good!

3. Lazy Days
I will fully admit there were a couple days I didn't get out of my jammies. I was reading, watching episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter and CSI. Those days don't happen during the school year unless I am sick. Sometimes you just need them.

4. Taking Gus to the River

We didn't do this as much this year as we usually do. This summer has been cool and rainy. It really didn't warm up until this month, but Gus lurves the river.

5. Festivals
I. Love. Festivals. I like walking around outside, eating different/new foods out of trucks, people watching and looking at the stuff people have on display. Independence as a ton of these events throughout the summer and early fall. I am still looking forward to our annual Hop & Heritage Festival celebrating the hop harvest. And of course, I will be going to the state fair next weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Allison Kitten is OKAY!!!

Spoiler Alert: The title gives away the ending of the story
I've had a pretty stressful week. The week (Sunday) started off great, in fact my facebook status was something about a great last day of summer. Then, around 7pm my Allison Kitten threw up. Gross, but not completely unusual. Then she did it again about an hour or so later. This time it was a lot of water. I was starting to get concerned, while the Mister was just grumbling about the stupid fat cat. Allison continued to throw up all night long. I barely got any sleep. The worst part of it all was I had to go back to work the next morning so I couldn't take her straight to the vet like I wanted to. Monday morning I did call the vet and make an appointment for that afternoon. I texted the Mister the time, and he texted back saying he would try to get off work early to come with me. I lost it with that.

He has never once offered to come with me to the vet for either furbaby. He still hasn't said this, but I know he wanted to be there for me in case she had to be put down :(

Anyway, that didn't happen. We actually spent two hours at the vet where they took her blood, gave her xrays etc. for them to tell me they didn't know why she was so sick, but they gave her fluids and an anti-nausea shot and a bottle of anti-biotics and some special canned food. Since Tuesday she has been eating her special diet and started playing with her toys again. I am so happy and thankful for that!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Top 5 Friday

I've seen Top 5 Friday around the interwebs, so I guess I'll give it a shot :) Next week is the last week of summer break before I go back to work. Well, I guess this week is the last full week, since we have meetings on Monday and Tuesday, but there are still 5 open days after that (Weds-Sunday) + this weekend. So for my very first Top 5 Friday, I dust off my summer to do list and pick what I really NEED to get done.

Top 5 Things I Want to Accomplish This Week
1. Paint the hall- When the Mister and I got back from Kauai I decided I was sick of looking at the country stencils all over the house, and finally chose paint colors. I completed the living room in two days. The kitchen paint took longer... week and a half ish. (I took a lot of breaks.) I have a gallon of Manhattan Mist that has been sitting in the garage far about a month, so it's time to get-r-done.

2. Finish my new jewelry holder- I was inspired by this post on Better After. I have it started on the deck now. My first How To post perhaps?

3. Organize the Christmas Decorations- Yes, it is August. This may seem like a weird thing to have on my Top 5 now but let me explain. This summer we finally started to clear out our garage and after two large trips to the Goodwill drop off and filling our garbage can AND recycling bin to the brim we were tired. I told the Mister I wanted to go through and get rid of a bunch of the holiday stuff and to organize it. That was about a month ago. (During the same time that I bought the paint for the inside.) The Mister brings it up every few days. I'd like to get it done while he's at work one of these days.

4. Homemade Mac and cheese- When I mentioned I wanted to try to make this to the Mister, he said "I want shells." So I looked up some recipes, went to the grocery store, bought the needed things and now it's time to get on it.

5. Read The Help- Everyone and their mom is reading it right now. I hear about it everywhere. A woman in Costco actually told me it was the best book she ever read. I really don't read much during the school year, and I think this book deserves some attention.

Do you set any weekly goals?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1 Year Since I Do...

We got married in June 2010. It has been a year filled with ups and downs. Like really low downs. Those had nothing to do with the Mister or being married by the way. Looking back, it wasn't a great year. I wish I could say it was it was all unicorns and glitter but I can't. This will also be pretty one-sided. I am the one who is blogging.

June 2010: We became Mister and Mrs. on the 26th. On the 29th I was back in classes working on my grad program. The Mister was back at work.

July- I was still in class, the Mister was still at work. I was also training for my first (and only!) marathon. Yup. That was July 2010.

August- We finally go on our honeymoon! Yeah! We spent a week in San Diego with a quick trip up to Disney. Lots of time at the beach :) We also learned some lessons about travel and how we like to do it (or me specifically)  At the end of August it was time for cheerleading and work to start for me.

September- I ran the Women's Half Marathon in Eugene with Kimberly. Fun, but we didn't get medals. Boo. School starts. This year I am on a cart after 3 years of having my own classroom. This is a hard transition for me. The school year ended on a sour note, and coming back the morale is low in the building. Boo.

October- I completed my first (and only!) marathon, the Portland Marathon on 10-10-10. It was a rush of emotions. I didn't get the time I wanted, but it was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. 6 hours in the rain and cold is no fun. Actually I liked the first 13 miles, second half I could do with out. On the way up to Portland I received a message the my uncle was in the hospital and had been diagnosed with the same cancer my dad had. I decided I would call the day after the race. Then I get a call the day of the race that he had passed away. Shocking. Heartbroken. I am happy he was able to come down to the wedding, but guilty I didn't spend more time with him. My mom and I fly down to Southern California for the memorial service.

November- I decide to quit coaching cheerleading. This has not been a fun year, many of my girls are brats and their parents are even worse. Then I decide I will finish out the year. Then I get fired from it. Boo. We spend Thanksgiving with the Coleman's, which was, as usual, delightful.

December- Our first married Christmas! We decorate, buy presents etc. We spend Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas morning by ourselves. Then we drive over to the Mister's parents and then uncles place for two more celebrations, including BINGO and a cake walk.

January- After months of yuckiness at work, the state releases the budget for the next school year. This is not good. Now we all are waiting to hear if we have a job or not, and where it might be.

February- I have a minor surgery on my wrist that was a pretty rough recovery. Our first married Valentine's day is laid back. I am still recovering from surgery.

March- I can't think of much that happened here. Lucy is really good about writing things down on a calendar so she knows everything that has happened and when it did. I should be better at that. I do know that during spring break-ish time the Mister and I went to the coast during a huge wind storm. Much needed fun.

April- Last term of grad school starts!!! Yippie! One class is a doozie, but I knew that going into it. The other class is the final in a series of three classes that is my ending project. I am just about finished with that project so I'm not too worried about it.

May- Time to worry. My project is returned to me with MAJOR revisions. Pretty much I am asked to rewrite a huge chunk of it. This is not what I had in mind. More bad news. My Grandma dies. This is rough, but not completely unexpected. She was 91, and had fallen in early spring. The Mister and I fly down to Southern California for the memorial over Mother's Day weekend. This was much harder then I had expected. It had been 10 years since I had been in her house, and not much had changed, but everything is different.

June- My project is completed and approved so I get to graduate! You may now call me "Master." Things are looking good for me on the job front, although there has been major shakeups in the building. It is a tough way to end the year, but I am thankful for my job. I even found out that I am off the cart next year and get a room, albeit in the portables outside. The Mister and I decide to take Gus Dog to Newport with us to celebrate our first anniversary.

The rest of the summer- In July, The Mister and I go to Kauai, which was Uh.Maze.Ing. When we get back I decide to get my booty into gear and do some painting in our house to FINALLY cover up some of the stencils we moved into (2 1/2 years ago). So far year 2 is good :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's this?

Welcome to my little blog!

The Mister and I are in the weird place that we are past newlyweds, but pre-kiddo. We've been married a little over a year now, and are watching the majority of our friends have babies or get pregnant around us. While I am so happy for all of them, we just aren't ready for kids yet. He admits to not wanting the responsibility and I admit to being selfish. I like to buy shoes and clothes and necklaces for me. Neither quality is very good for parenting.

So what's this blog about?

I read a lot of blogs. One blog post I read had a post on how to be a good blogger and one tip was to decicde a focus/feel for your blog. Hmm. Is this a cooking blog? Probably not. Travel blog? I would love that, but then there would only be like a post or two a year, along with a smattering of weekender posts. Home renovations/decorating? Martha I am not, but I am trying. Thanks to the blogs I do read. So the answer is... its all of the above, plus anything else I feel like writing. I guess this is a place for me to keep track of our successes and struggles with life in general.