Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Dream House

After taking dinner to a family in the ward last Friday, I decided to take a different route home and do a little exploring.

Remember when I showed you my dream house last year? This one:

Well, I found its big brother. Or sister. I tend to think of houses as females.

*I seem to have misplaced my camera, so all pictures have been from my phone camera*

Ryan saw this picture of it and said, 'too big'. I had the opposite experience. I looked at all the fantastic houses in the neighborhood and thought, "now if only they had an arts&craftsman style home it would make this THE nicest neighborhood in Lawrence" and just as I'm thinking that I start to drive down the road and I catch a glimpse of the back patio with the white beams and stone bottoms. It was one of those experiences where my heart started pounding faster and as I drove up I could hear the angels singing a great big 'TAAAA DAAAAAAHHHH". That's how breathtaking this showstopper house is.

situated amongst friends. like this one
and this one.

My pictures really don't do any of them any justice. I'll see if I can get better ones soon!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, Costco...sigh!

Why is it that every trip to Costco makes me at least $100 poorer? Does anyone else have this problem?

Ryan and I went yesterday. Perfect Saturday afternoon activity. As we browsed the dvds and picked up Fantastic Mr. Fox {I've already told you it's brilliant - you must get it} I turned around and saw a beverage jar dispenser in some chick's cart. Oooooh! Where did she get it! I nudged Ryan and motioned for him to look. He gave me a look that pretty much said, I see it, I see it. And if I would have been looking at his eyes, they probably would have been rolling.
But I was too busy determining which direction I'd need to head to get my grubby little hands on one. haha! Two rows down and I found it.

Best part? $25. This baby holds 3 gallons and is made from SUPER durable, super thick recycled glass. score.

Now I just need an excuse to use it!

Oooh, oooh! Ryan's birthday is next Monday....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Land of Nod Bankable Bookcase Knock Off

Ana from Knock Off Wood is a genius. Pure and simple.

She saw this:

And created these:

Which I used to make this:
Which I already mentioned here.

Most of you said to paint it white or pink. To quote my current favorite film:

"I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice."

{For the rest of that exchange click here or just watch the movie. It's brilliant.}

I bucked the trend and did YELLOW. And I.LOVE.IT. It took a little longer than I hoped, but only because I have project ADD and I had a little snag along the way.

I wanted all my pieces of wood to be flush with one another, and for whatever reason (whether it was my fault for not squaring them up as I built or maybe they weren't cut completely square) I had little spaces between my side supports and my shelves. So the easy solution? A tiny bead of caulk smoothed to give it a polished look. The problem? I bought one tube of caulking to re-seal the shower surround and the drywall and didn't pay attention to the big bold lettering that said NOT PAINTABLE and realized this only after I applied it to every nook and gap on my bookshelf and attempted to paint all the corners before rolling the rest of the color on. OOPS! So it probably took a good day to scrape all the thoroughly-dried silicone caulking off and another day to reapply with a paintable latex caulking.

I chose to leave the curvature off the top of the bookcase for a more modern, adult look, as well as leaving the supports at angles instead of curving. The result is a lot of perfect lines that make it 100% useable storage for kids and adults alike!

If you're sitting there, possibly scratching your head and thinking...hmm...is that a purse down there in that picture? Is that purse the same color? Uh, yes. Yes it is and yes it is. It's obvious that I love that color, no? 'Cuz I really do. Truly.

I really think without Ana's plans I wouldn't have ever attempted this, so a heart-felt thank you goes out to her. WAY out to her {she's in AK}.

What's next? Well, besides two more of these in the works, I think I need a bench with storage for my project room/studio. We shall see, shan't we?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Random Pictures from my Phone

just uploaded them all to my computer and cleared them off the card in my phone. loved going through them and decided to share.even at half off, they were still $50 each. i'm too cheap.
um...he was hungry?
most correct piggy bank ever
i think i took this picture 4 yrs ago. i really raelly like this idea. so simple. it'd be a good super saturday activity.
my bros at their mission farewell last march - can't believe it's been a year!
they came and they are so cute
regretting not buying this at an estate sale last fall. I think they only wanted $60 for it and It would have been an easy re-upholster job. oh, well. next time
how I often find my pup when I can't find him anywhere else

out of my price range visitors last august

light blue leather couch - really really wanted it. I went to visit it 3 times.
that's an airplane barf bag and my ipod. pure genius, no?
took this image in a florist shop almost 3 yrs ago. still love it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

'Baby' Baby Shower

guest of honor, due in a couple weeks. Can you believe how tiny she is?

Everything came together for Alexis' baby shower SO well! Karen, Ashley, and Jane handled refreshments and I took care of decor.

First, the spread. The shower was at 2pm-perfect for light snacks without feeling still full from lunch and not yet ready for dinner.
mini dirt cups, the teeniest bananas I've ever seen, gherkins, petite carrots, grape tomatoes, and melon, cantelope, and strawberries ready for dipping.

Ashley's amazing ginger-lemonadebeautiful diaper cake made by Karen {newborn diapers made THE tiniest layers}Karen also made dirt pudding cups. We used little 3oz cups for these and for the lemonade
Also, but not pictured above, tiny cubes of cheese, fruit kabobs {on pretzel sticks}, a DElicious curry dip {I have to get the recipe-when eaten with the vegetables it tasted sweet but with the fruit it tasted spicy-because it was seriously good} and a fabulous cranberry dip all courtesy of Jane. {See how teeny our silverware is? LOVE it.}

We opted to forgo games and instead had everyone work on pieces of a wall hanging we'll give to Alexis. Ashley came up with the idea and organized it. Everything she touches turns out perfectly, so I can't wait to see what the end result is!

For the decorations I chose to keep it really simple and in a muted color palette of blue and gray/grey {sometimes when I spell it with an 'e' I feel a bit snobbish}. I used scrapbook paper and red/white bakers twine and made about 60 feet of bunting. Since I had all the materials already, all it involved was 4 hours of time--cutting and gluing takes a lot longer than you might think!

The place settings were so simple. I purchased a sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper for $0.25 each, cut them so the end result was 9x12, perfect for a placemat. Used cocktail napkins, 3oz. dixie cups, the most adorable silverware (they were each 4.2"!) and a 6 3/4" plate. Walmart sells them in a pack of 24 for $1.50. Can't beat that.

I purchased wooden squares (about 4"x4") from the craft store for $0.50 each, drilled a hole in the center, spray painted them grey, and inserted a 12" dowel. I should have used an 18" dowel. I'll remember for next time. The little knobs on the top are also from the craft store and were on clearance for $0.06 each. Yup! That's not a typo.

The cake stands were simple, too. I went back on my promise never to go to the local Goodwill again, but I'm glad I braved it this one time. Each plate and each cup was $0.50. For $1 plus paint and glue, I have a cake stand.
{For anyone interested, use duco cement to glue the two together. It can be used on glass, ceramics, porcelain, etc. and you can even put the glued pieces in the dishwasher.}

Here's how it all looks together. Pretty darn cute, if you ask me.

The cakes were a trial and error for me. I wanted something little (about 4" in diameter) to fit on the stands. Did you know they don't make round pans that small? They don't. Even if they did, I don't know if I'd have ended up buying them because then I'd have to store them.

What ended up working was baking the cake in a 9x13 pyrex, letting it cool a little then using the bottom of a whipped topping container to cut circles out of the cake. Each cake had 3 or 4 layers of cake. I ended up with two chocolate, one strawberry, three vanilla. I simplified and used store-bought frosting. Looking at these pictures makes me really, really hungry. I want some o'that cake. What was even more awesome is the fact they doubled as decor AND dessert.

Some of the gorgeous guests chit-chatting while we finished last minute things.

Overall, I think it was a GREAT success. Ashley, Jane, Karen and I worked really well together to throw a great party and celebrate Alexis and her little boy. We are so excited for her and for all the babies soon to arrive.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Out Damn Spot!

We love our dog. We don't love our dog's accidents. {I suspect, however, that some of his so-called 'accidents' aren't really accidental, but a show of defiance.}

Also, he sometimes feels the need to make it known where he's been. Good for him.

Bad for us. I prefer to have nice smelling carpet and a pleasantness in the air when I walk through the hall. Plus, it WOULD be nice not to have stained carpet.


Bissell Black Pro Heat Deep Cleaner

I've been looking for the last two days and the pros and cons of steam cleaners vs. shampooers and the differences between brands, models, etc. I think this one will fit the bill.
I've read tons of reviews and it seems to be hit or miss.
Anyone have any advice before I go buy it?

I think I'll buy the store warranty, just in case.

I need to get those damn spots out!


This is what I ended up leaving Costco with:
Bissell® ProHeat2X® Turbo Carpet Cleaner with DryAire™ and Microban® Technology With Dual DirtLifter® PowerBrushes and TurboBoost® Power Tool