Thirty for 30

I saw this a while back on a friends blog and thought it was great fun, so I had to try. It’s a list of thirty things that I hope to have accomplished by the time I am 30. They are placed in no particular order of priority, just in the order of my brain thoughts (yes, brain thoughts in case you were confused on where thoughts come from :-)). Here goes…

1. run a half marathon
2. paint stripes somewhere in my house
3. actually plan out meals and stick to them
4. travel to Costa Rica (I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid)
5. travel to Europe, Australia, Africa or the Great Wall of China (hopefully I can do all of these at some point)
6. travel with friends
7. try an exotic food
8. make a new friend
9. be an aunt
10. attend a U2 concert
11. fit back into my early college shorts
12. take a bike tour in a foreign country
13. participate in a triathlon (like a sprint or shorter)
14. learn another language
15. buy nice, dressier work clothing
16. get my masters degree (educational leadership)
17. attend a 10 year reunion
18. read 10 books off of my book for fun book list (I tend to not read for fun as much as for educational purposes…)
19. plant shrubs on our fence line
20. start and utilize a garden
21. keep our garage clean
22. hold a multi-course dinner party
23. own our two cars out right
24. add a ridiculous amount to our savings
25. volunteer somewhere regularly
26. learn to play guitar
27. use a slot machine in Vegas
28. hike the Grand Canyon
29. go skiing/snowboarding
30. take a dance or cooking class with David (if I get one in I’ll be pretty impressed)

That was a little more difficult than I thought it would be to make. I better get cracking on some of these or I’ll be out of time soon. Five years really does not give that much time for all of this. Anyone else have 30 things they’d like to accomplish before their 30? Maybe even some yearly goals (10 a year)? Or even 5 goals for 5 years?

The Buffet

The buffet is FINALLY fini! It was not that time consuming to finish, minus the crazy 1 hours turned 5 in reassembling it…

Here is the wonderful oak buffert before it’s makeover. Unfortunately I forgot to take true before pictures, so this one with the missing drawers and door will have to do. Yes, it took up my garage parking spot for a while…I don’t think I’ll have that spot back until all my crazy furniture pieces are finished, sniff, sniff…Back to the point, the dresser before:

BEFORE

PROGRESS - stained, still has a green bottom and no back

I’m very professional with my work you see, I use leftover cardboard to hold my dresser, drawers, and doors, see:

aw the wonders of using cardboard to better the world...uhh...furniture....

Alright, so here is what you have all been waiting for. Drum roll please…(thank you for all of those who banged there desks (banged, that sounds funny, maybe bunged sounds better??)).

AFTER - buffet

The colors are a little off in the picture above, so here’s a picture that better shows the colors, but it is kind of blurry.

AFTER - buffet

I really need to work on my shaky (non-flash) picture taking hands. Here’s a close up on the hardware. I LOVE these knobs.

AFTER - new knobs

Here’s a little side by side before and after picture for those who don’t like to scroll.

BEFORE - buffet

AFTER - buffet

Just a little improvement. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll have the shelves finished and mounted above the buffet to share. Progress, small or large is always nice.

So Long, Farewell…

auf Wiedersehen, goodbye…I know you are all so sad you did not get to hear that in person. I must say, I have an amazing wonderfully out of tune voice.

Anyway, on to the good stuff reason for this post. David and I have talked on and off about getting a new camera (David wants one that will shoot HD video, which I am not apposed to, because that would mean we would only need one camera instead of two). Needless to say we went ahead and did it, woohoo! We decided that since we had credit card points we might as well use them (especially when you can get 20% more for your points by using them at certain stores). Needless to say, David didn’t have to do THAT much convincing after that.

I purchased our camera exactly three years ago before we were married.

photo from Canon

It is a little sad to say goodbye, especially since it is still a great camera, but we really do not need two cameras and the new one shoots great videos and pictures.

Here is the beautiful new camera a Canon S95.

photo from Canon

Picture without the flash up.

photo from Canon

Back of the camera.

photo from Canon

And to go with our beautiful new camera we purchased the waterproof case so it can go to the beach, pool and lake with us.

Waterproof Case

The wonderful thing about the camera is it’s ability to take awesome low light pictures and videos, yea! I cannot wait to start sharing pictures from this beauty. Hopefully I won’t have such a shaky hand with it as I do with my current camera. One can only hope.

Anyone have a hint how to keep the pictures nice and steady without a flash?

Dallas

This past week my mom came in town to help me in my classroom, WOOHOO! She had to help me go through the millions of books she gave me from her lovely collection. Anyway, that’s a different post. After she helped me in my classroom we went to Dallas to visit my Granny (mother’s mom).

mom, Granny, and Erma

We arrived Thursday early afternoon and took Granny out to lunch, shopping, and to dinner. Oh the fun. That night we introduced her to Gilmore Girls; such a fabulous show. Granny was thoroughly enjoying the show; it was fun to listen to her laugh at it so much (I don’t think I’ve seen her laugh that much in a long time).

me, Granny, and Erma

Anyway, on to the main event. Friday night Granny had her annual Mary Kay seminar she attends with her good friend Erma. They were too cute getting all gussied up and riding in a limo. We spend most of the day getting Granny ready (picking out clothing, trying on make-up, and fluffing hair). It was all kinds of fun. They had the same limo driver, Enrique, they had last year. Okay, I really don’t remember his name, but Enrique sounds like a fabulous limo driver, so I’ll go with it. Enrique could not have been happier to jump into the picture with those two.

Erma, Enrique, Granny

While the “Cinderellas” were at the ball mi madre and I went to The Dump (it’s a furniture store) and it was way fun.

A few days filled of eating, shopping, Gilmore Girls, and balls what more could one want on a trip. Mini vacations are fun. I will miss being able to do this when school starts back, sadness.

Homemade (dry erase) Calendar

This past spring break I needed something to do, so I made a calendar. I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Prudent Baby. Yes, yes, David makes fun of me for the name, but I enjoy it. Here’s my version of the homemade dry-erase calendar:

I picked up the frame from Ikea and the fabric, ribbon, and poster board from Hobby Lobby. I chose the green fabric to match my green accents in the kitchen (Like my mixer, YEA! That I’ve finally come to terms with leaving on the counter…It was a processes.).

See...isn't it loverly?? (Thanks mom and dad!)

Onward to the directions:

1. trace frame insert onto cardboard and cut out
2. place cardboard cut out onto fabric and cut fabric an inch or so larger than the cut out
3. mod-podge the fabric onto the cardboard, let dry
4. cut out enough ribbon strips to make desired calendar squares
5. use a ruler and pencil to mark where the ribbon should lay (yes, yes, I’m that anal)
6.  lay ribbon and adhere to back (I just used tape incase I want to change the ribbon out later or change the number of calendar squares, etc.)
7. return to frame and hang
8. enjoy!

Pain Pillows

I have been on a “how to fill my time” kick these past few weeks. Well, here’s something I did to fill that work void; I made rice pillows. You can buy these at the store or make them for cheaper on your own. I somewhat followed the directions from here, but I kind of did my own thing too, just like cooking.

Directions for Making Pain Pillows
1. cut scrap fabric into squares/rectangles
2. lay faces together and pin three sides
3. sew the three sides together (or fold in half and sew two sides together as pictured below)

4. fill with way with rice (you want this to be 1/2 way if it’s small or 1/4-1/3 if it’s a larger fabric swatch). the amount used will depend on your size of fabric (I used 1/2-1/12 cups of rice per pocket)
5. pin fabric on outside next to the rice (you don’t want to pin too tightly next to the rice or you won’t be able to sew it closed with a machin, trust me ;-))
6. add in some type of spice that smells yummy or else you’ll smell like rice (I used tea, but it does not seem to be quite strong enough to mask the rice)
7.  fill next compartment with rice and repeat steps five and six (repeat 5-7 as needed)
8. turn under the ends, pin closed and sew shut

Directions to Use:
1. place in  microwave
2. heat for 1-2 minutes (depending on size, you may even need longer)
3. test the heat before trying any longer, you don’t want to burn your skin. plus, you can always stick it back in the microwave if it’s too cool
4. place on ailment and enjoy the soothing warmth

I made one long one (pictured above) for use on the neck and a few smaller ones for whatever else may ache (back, leg, hip, the possibilities are endless). I’m not sure if it will work well in the freezer as an ice pack, but I think I might try that too.

Summer’s Half Way Over

Well, I thought I’d give a little update on the things I’ve completed or started working on for my summer to do list. Hopefully they are half way completed…

Things to complete this summer:
1. refinish the buffet – FINISHED!
2. refinish our “new” dresser (from craigslist) – started, I need to figure out the hardware and stain the legs once they come in
3. refinish my childhood furniture and move into the guest room – this is may be put on hold until the bed is done (please, honey :-))
4. complete “art” for office – COMPLETE
5. find a place for all of the gazillion photos in the office – they are sitting on the floor waiting to be hung and a few still need to be filled, it’s a slow process….
6. hang mirror above dresser in bedroom – still hanging above our mantle…I’ll move it once the new dresser is in
7. figure out art for above the mantle – Ordered a picture, waiting for it to come in
8. purchase new duvet for master bedroom (queen size really isn’t large enough for a queen bed, we’re going king…I don’t know what we’ll do if we upgrade to a king though…) – Ordered, waiting for it to come in. The comforter has been sitting our bedroom for a month now waiting on this. I was just a little indecisive (but it paid off, because it was on sale!!).
9. create headboard and footboard for master bedroom – once our dresser’s finished I plan to start this (yes, dear I will need you too)
10.  sew curtains for master bedroom (I need to purchase fabric first) – Postponed. I have yet to find something I really like for in there.
11. get everything on our new computer and consolidate – started, I still need to move things over from my old, old computer and a few more CDs…EKK!
12. be more consistent with budgetting – need to get info from Chase to start this
13. post at least 3 times a week on blog (and keep this up when school starts back) – sort of accomplished this more like 1-3 times a week. I’ll get there…I become kind of boring in the summertime. I think it’s the lack of human interaction (not sure I could do the stay at home mom thing).
14. work out at least 3 times a week – fail…I have been walking/jogging in the neighborhood more though, so it’s progress.
15. catch up on brothers & sisters (I’m on season 3 right now and just can’t stop) – DONE! I just have to wait for season 5 to become available on Netflix to finish the series. 
16. find something to volunteer with (I use to do this ALL the time and now that I’m a “grown-up” I just don’t. I think I shall try to remedy this soon) – not yet
17. read at least one “grown-up” book (being an elementary teacher I tend to read mainly children novels) – fail for now…I’ve got a few ready

I  need start adding a few posts on here since I’ve accomplished a few things on this list and started a few more. I’ve been working on using shutterfly for my photos instead of flickr. I’m about to run out of storage on flickr already…I will be updating the “our house” page once I complete this transition.

I’ve added a few more things on my to do list that I will post about in the following weeks. I really have enjoyed refinishing furniture: I think I’ve found a new hobby (yes, dear, I will try to only work on pieces of furniture we already own for now or I acquire very cheaply).

 

Anyone else accomplished any goals? Or set any goals recently?

Happy (belated) 4th

of July! David and I hosted a wonderful party with about twenty people. Unfortunately, I failed at taking pictures of people, but I have a few pictures of items around the party. And I stole some from the lovely Kim C (yea for smart phones and picture people). I’m working on my photo taking skills. Hopefully I will get better very, very soon…

Before the party we installed an American flag.

American FlagWe are very patriotic around here. We love our country. We love our freedom. And even more, we love our soldiers (both of us have military grandparents and love them dearly).

Now, there were drinks.

Watermelon DrinkPhoto by Kim C.

Some tasty watermelon punch in a cute watermelon drink dispenser that I made (I saw this on many blogs and had to try it out. The spout did not work too well, but it was super cute!). We also had sweet tea, beer, water, and anything else people brought. In this photo you can also see the plate where the jalapeno poppers once were. Man those things are tasty and easy peasy (jalapeno halved and seeded, fill with cream cheese, wrap with bacon, throw on the grill for fast cooking or in the oven which takes a while).

4th of July Food

Photo by Kim C.

Continuing on the same topic, food, we had burgers and sausages for the meats. This would be the center of attention at a backyard party, the grill. Surprisingly, it was pretty nice in the yard (our backyard is shaded most of the day), considering the 100+ degrees weather we’re having this summer. Now, if you were near this bad boy, it was pretty sweaty.

4th of July Table

Photo by Kim C.

The more food the merrier, right?!? At least that’s what we believe here in Texas. You can never have too much food. Potato salad, baked beans, grilled corn, burgers, sausage, buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc.

Food Table

The mostly devoured food and now on to the good sweet stuff…

4th of July Cake 2

Photo by Kim C.

YUMMY!! Just look at that beautiful icing job (thanks Kim!). I had a mild freakout when things started to go wrong and Kim finished the outside icing and sprinkles to help calm my nerves. Such a good friend. Drum roll please….

Cake

IT WORKED!! Without supportive friends things like this would never be possible, HAHA!! It’s my owed to our Independence, a cake. I found it on a blog, where I find most things these days. <insert David eye roll> Love ya honey!

Josie watching Addi

Here’s our sweet little friend we had staying with us all weekend. She’s very adorable and tinsy (6 pounds). And just in case you were wondering, here’s what she’s looking at:

Addi Dog

My baby girl, Addi. The not so tinsy pups.

That about sums up our 4th; food, friends, drinks and ladder ball (I don’t have a picture though). Unfortunately, we did not get to shoot off fireworks or have sparklers this year…we’re under a burn ban :-(. Plus, the fire chief’s assistant at the party, we probably shouldn’t be breaking rules around here 🙂 I hope everyone had an fabulous (fireworks filled, minus you Austin people…) Fourth in celebrate our wonderful, free country!

Advise Needed: Dresser

As part of my summer to do list I am working on our Craig’s List dresser we purchased in May. I’ve figured out what color I’m going to stain it (darker brown with a hint of red, if it goes according to plan…there have been a few kinks, but I’m working on it) and the legs (I think), but I have no clue what type of hardware to put on it. HELP?!?!

Here’s the dresser (before stain):

And I believe I want a leg like this:

Anyone have any ideas? I had been thinking possibly something like this:
1. a ledge on top as a handle like this Crate and Barrel dresser (I think I can recreate this type of pull)

2.  Or some more curvy ledge pulls (I love this type, but have NO idea how to recreate, anyone?!?)
 3. Or add some hardware like these
I just want something that will stay in style for awhile, which is why I think I’m leaning a certain direction already….Anyone else have any ideas (I’m up for other suggestions too)? Or draw dilemmas of your own? 

Summer Fun: Mom’s in Town

A week ago, yesterday, my mom came in town to visit. YEA! I thoroughly enjoy spending time with her. Here’s a quick run down of what we did this past week.

Tuesday
– Mom came in.
– We sat around the house and chatting, while I was working on some art for the office.
– Mom opened her retirement present and then we had to play with it, so we started the Sound of Music on Blu Ray and did the sin-a-long version, so FUN! I need to have a party and do this (David came home from work and we thought we might be disturbing him with our “lovely” voices).
– Dinner with mom, David, John, and Kelly at Enchiladas y Mas (YUM!).
– Mom stay with John and Kelly.

Wednesday
– I worked on the buffet while mom and Kelly worked on finishing up their moving stuff.
– I honestly can’t remember what we did that evening…WOW!! I’m getting old.
– OH YEA! I made chicken and rice and everyone came to eat at our house, HAHA!

Thursday
– Kelly, mom, and I went up to Sun “Fun” City.
– Ate lunch at Monument Cafe (good home cooking and a FABULOUS chocolate pie, it has a to die for pecan crust…mmmm….)
– Drove around Georgetown and viewed model homes (WAY FUN!)

Friday
– I worked on the buffet again this morning.
– Mom came over around 1:00 and we had lunch (chic-fil-a that was brought to me, it doesn’t get much better).
– Mom, Brenda (mom’s good friend), and I had a fabulous girl’s afternoon (puppy vet visit, lunch at El Patron Mexican Restaurant, some shopping (Charming Charlie and Austin Consignment Depot), pedicures, and some yogurt at Yogurt Planet.
– Mom stayed and spent some time with David and I

Saturday
– Mom went and dropped on John and Kelly at the airport (California here they come…) and brought home donuts.
– Ate some Round Rock donuts.
– Normal Saturday stuff (David mowed, I lounged, made a trip to Home Depot).
– Worked on the buffet some more and David was getting ready for camp.
– Dinner with friends (Kim, Will, and Doug) at Home Slice (delicious!).

Sunday
– Brunch at Chez Zee.
– Sunday afternoon relaxation time (naps, tv, books).
– Worked on the buffet some more.
– Church.
– Dinner at Chili’s where mom and I ran into Tyler and LaRae.

Monday
– 9:30 left for the San Marcos Outlets
– 10:15 started shopping…
– 1 or 2 lunch at Center Point Station for some home cooking
– 4:45 left the outlets and drove around downtown San Marcos in hopes of finding some ribbon store and failed (it might help if we could remember the name next time, HA!).
– 5:30 made it back to Austin
– went to Target (found cut swim attire)
– 7:15 dinner at Pei Wei
– 8:00 FINALLY made it home
– Finished the Sound of Music sing-a-long we started the previous week.

Tuesday
– Slept in.
– Worked on devising a plan to put the shelf in the buffet and back on it.
– Went to Lowe’s to get screws and door knobs.
– Worked on the buffet some more.
– Went to Home Depot for nails (staples wouldn’t work more on this later).
– Came home and finished the buffet.
– After the 1 hour project turning into 5 hours we rested.
– I worked on some rice pillows.
– Dinner at FireBowl Cafe with Ben and Pima.
– Wal-Mart for some more rice for my pillows and ice cream sandwiches, yum!
– Since our movie day had turned into project day we watch The Diary of Anne Frank, because I’m nerdy like that. It was very cool how the condensed the actual diary into the movie.
– Finished my pillows.

Wednesday
– Lounged around
– “Brunch” at The Original Pancake House
– Mom headed back to the valley.

I think I got a little link happy, sorry! I wish I was better with my camera so I could have some pictures to share with the words (I love pictures, they help me feel like I’m really there). Wow that was a long trip and very eventful! I love when my parents come to visit. Sad I didn’t get to see my dad, but hopefully that will happen sometime soon.

I’m working on uploading all of the house pictures we have onto flickr right now. Then I will actually build the “Our House” page for you all to see. I’ve got a few more projects going on, so hopefully I will be able to get everything up soon. And we have another house guest starting tomorrow night. Hopefully I will take a few pictures this time. Anyone have any fun house guests recently? What did y’all do?