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Gift bags

18 Jan

So either I have a cold or I have the worst allergies ever.  I can’t tell.  It started off really differently from a traditional cold so I’m hopeful that it’s just allergies.  Which is really possible because on MLK day Sean and I raked leaves, cleaned the gutters, and probably stirred up all kinds of allergens.  Sean even climbed a tree to get on top of our roof since we don’t have a ladder. 

See?  Crazy.

But, the point of this post is not to talk about my allergies/cold or cleaning gutters, it’s to talk about the gift bags I made for my sister’s baby shower.  So, I went to Michael’s with an idea of what I wanted and just started looking down the aisles.  I stumbled on some blue gift bags, Martha Stewart stickers and the tiniest clothespins I have ever seen.

The stickers came in a variety of items, not just elephants as is my theme.   But, they were just too cute so I couldn’t leave them out.  And, the “Thanks so much” stamp was something I already had from Impress  So,  I just put them together and got this:

So there you have it, my little thank you bags.  Now I just need to fill them.  What would you want in your bag?


Goodwill Finds

10 Jan

I felt like I hadn’t done any updating of our house in a while.  I wasn’t really inspired and couldn’t find anything I wanted, so there wasn’t a lot of activity around here.  I think I was using all my energy on recipes and Christmas gifts and whatnot.  Now that I don’t have that stuff eating away at my time, I am anxious to get back to home decor.

I decided to head to Goodwill because I usually have good luck there.  It was during one of their auctions so the store was pretty crowded, but people were congregating around the auctioneer.  This meant that I had free reign of the rest of the store.  I stumbled on some cowboy boots that I really wanted.  I tried to squeeze my foot into them, but sadly, they didn’t fit.  Which is pretty shocking because I wear a 6 or 6.5.  No luck though, so I continued on to the home goods.

I’m always looking for a birdcage because my friend Morgana has a plant in her kitchen that she put inside a little birdcage and I think it’s the cutest thing ever.  Well, I didn’t find a birdcage, but I found this instead:

I’m pretty sure it’s for candles, but I thought a plant would fit nicely inside of it.  As if it were fate, I also found little terracotta pots at Goodwill.  So, I brought them home too and re-potted one of my plants in it to complete the look:

Then, I hung it right in my kitchen window:

I also found some really great oval and round frames.  I plan to spray paint the two larger ones, and leave the little one as is. 

I think for the larger one, I want to use chalkboard paint to make it its own little chalkboard.  What do you think?

So, for a grand total of $12 I got all of these great things.  Oh, and one other frame that I’m already using for wedding pictures. 

Do you tend to have good luck at Goodwill?  What’s your favorite find?

Refurbished Wood

9 Jan

So remember when I was talking about wanting to make my own floor mirror and I made Sean carry discarded wood down our street?  Well, this weekend we finally got to work on it.  It’s not entirely finished because I need to figure out how to hold the mirror part in place, but I was too excited to wait, and I thought you all might have some ideas for what I should use to keep the mirror attached. 

We started with the wood and attached metal brackets all the way down to connect the boards together.  We just hammered them in place.  And by we, I mean Sean while the dogs and I watched:

So here’s where things got interesting.  The wood was split in one spot.  I was trying to be positive and pretend like even though there was a huge gaping crack, this could work.  Finally, I remembered that we own a circular saw, so I suggested that we just use that to cut off the unsightly part.   Sean grabbed it, cut it, and we were good to go.  Here’s the aftermath:

Iused a damp cloth to wipe off the wood. And that was it.  We were totally done.  Oh, right except for that part about attaching the mirror which I still haven’t done.   But before we could drag it inside, we needed to figure out where to put it.  I canvassed our house and decided that it would fit perfectly in our dining room.  So in it went.

And here’s Sean trying to hold the mirror in place so that I could snap a few photos:

He got tired of that gig and left me alone, so the mirror is sitting lower in this one, but you get the idea:

So, it’s coming together and I’m really happy with how it turned out!  Best of all, the entire budget for the project was just the cost for the brackets which were around $2/each and we got 3 of them for a grand total of $6.  But, I still need to find something to hold the mirror in place.  Any recommendations?

Home Embarrassment

2 Jan

So, there are a couple of things around my house that embarrass me.   And, I know you’re probably thinking, “Um…haven’t you been there over a year”?  And, yes, we have.  But for whatever reason I’ve done nothing to correct these items.  Finally, I decided that I was tired (enough of one of them) and needed to do something to fix it.  Up first, this beauty:

And because I love you guys so much, here’s a close up:

No, I didn’t make that.  But, I also didn’t take it down either.  To give you a little proximity on where this beauty sits, it greets you when you ring my doorbell while you’re waiting for me to answer.  Oh, and we don’t reserve this for just the winter, all visitors get to see it year round.  I know it has pine and all things winter in it.  However, not only does it have pine, it also has Fall leaves, you know so that it doesn’t have to just be used during the winter.  But I didn’t get rid of it any season. 

I think I was able to ignore it because we usually come in and out through the garage, so I didn’t really have to see it.  But finally I’d had enough.  The problem was that I wasn’t entirely sure what to replace it with.  Each time I went out, I’d search for something, anything to take its place, but I was never inspired.  I was limiting my thinking  to things that could fit in the basket rather than just getting rid of the whole thing entirely.  But, then I was at Target.  I’d gone for something specific though I’m not really sure what it was because I left with curtains and some other items, none of which I went in to get.  One of the other items was a replacement for the basket.  I stumbled on it in the candle section and I don’t think it’s necessarily for outdoor use, but hopefully that won’t be a problem. 

And, I know you’re thinking just stop rambling.  Ok, ok.  I got these:

I didn’t put a votive in it yet, mostly because I don’t think I’ll light one unless we’re having people over.  But, I’m happy with how they turned out.  I think they’re cute and hopefully they’ll be able to survive outside.   So what do you think?  Do you have any other suggestions for what I should put out there?

Animal in my Attic

19 Dec

I think we have an animal living in our attic.  And, I have no idea what kind it is or how long it’s been there.  See, normally things in our house are a little loud.  Not because we’re party animals or anything, but the tv is usually on, or Sean is playing his guitar, or the dogs are playing, so there’s always some sort of noise. 

Well, last week I was working from home because I had a big project and I knew if I went into the office I would be distracted by my co-workers or other assignments, so I needed to sequester.   While I was here, there was absolutely no noise except me typing.  That is no noise except the animal!  All of a sudden I heard this scurrying above me.  I noticed that it moved more whenever the heater came on.  Probably because it was actually cold outside and the animal was trying to get up close to the nice warm heater.  Jerk.   

In my head I started thinking about all the things it could be.  Initially my mind went to the worst things like rats and opossums.  Then I started thinking maybe it’s just a squirrel.  We do have vents on top of our house to let the summer heat out, so maybe while leaping between trees, they decided to come on in and warm up.  But even a squirrel in your attic is bad.  I mean, those little jerks can poop and tear up wires.  I have no idea what’s in my attic, but I doubt that I want squirrels or rats screwing with it. 

So, I called Sean and told him about it.  I know he hates when I do that since there is absolutely nothing he can do from his office, but still, I thought he should know about it.  He said he’d handle it when he got home.   I knew that was a lie because he would be just as scared as me to go up in the attic to confront the unknown animal.  But for some reason it made me feel better anyway. 

Well, it has now been about a week.  No one has gone up in the attic to check out the situation, but I haven’t heard anything lately.  Um…probably because things are back to normal i.e. loud, so I can’t hear it.   But I’m not sure what to do.  I don’t want set up traps and kill the little guy, but I don’t want him here either.  A co-worker told me about an audible solution for getting rid of critters, but the sound it makes can be heard by humans too, and I imagine that it would drive us and our dogs crazy.  I’m not really sure what my options are. 

Any suggestions?  Have you ever had an animal living in your attic?


28 Nov

Wow, this is the second longest blogging break I’ve ever taken, beaten only by my honeymoon. 🙂 I had big plans for sharing all my recipes with you guys, but then I had too many things going on simultaneously so I did a really shitty job of documenting the process.  This means that you’ll get to see the recipes  in various stages of completeness.  However, I figure that no one is really looking for Thanksgiving recipes after the actual day, so it’s probably not a big deal. 

I tried out a few new recipes and some of them worked out well, and others were just ok.  I made a Cranberry Pomegranate sauce.  This was good, but I think I needed to let it cook a little longer because it wasn’t thick enough. 

And, I made some broccoli rice and cheese casserole.  This is my favorite, and it’s so ghetto.  The recipe involves cheese wiz.  And, yes, I probably could have updated it with some real cheese, but I’ve liked it for years, so why change it now?

And the sweet potatoes.  Mmmmm…with marshmallows.  Even better.  It’s just sweet potatoes, maple syrup and butter.  So simple and so delicious. 

I also did some appetizers.  I tried out some spinach and gruyere pinwheels made with puff pastry and some french onion soup stuffed mushrooms

Oh, and the pies.  I did pumpkin, my sister made pecan and chocolate and her fiance made a chess pie.  OMG, I couldn’t pick just one, so I had a sampler plate. 

Also, my brother made fun of me for decorating the table and actually complained about the “dirty acorn” I put on his napkin.  But, I still think it was worth it.  What do you think? 

Overall the weekend was great, we played some games, ate a lot of food, and to round out the weekend, we also found a dog and returned it to its owner.  (Yes, we actually found this dog running in the street and found the owners!) 

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

Wooden Pallets

15 Nov

This past weekend I went to Dallas for some family time.  While I was there, I headed to the mall because really, there is no better mall than the one in Dallas.  I went into Anthropology and immediately was drawn to their housewares.  It wasn’t that it was anything all that new from what I’ve seen recently, but the decor had changed slightly and I was intrigued.  They’ve always done a great job of mixing pretty and rustic elements, but it was beyond that.  They started using wooden pallets to decorate with.  I see those things lying around in alleys all the time, so of course I immediately think that I can recreate this in my home. 

Here’s an example:


They used the pallets to create shelves and display pretty dishware.  Genius!  Not only that, they also used them to show off some artwork:


But my favorite were the shelves they recreated with the pallets to display colorful glassware:


But the pallets weren’t the only wooden item loved by Anthro, wooden crates were also repurposed:


This would be adorable in a nursery above the changing table (without the belts, bag and tights). 

Now to convince Sean that we need to pick up the random pallets we see on the side of the road.