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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Books I'm Lovin' at the Moment






I like to have two lists in life. Ok I really love lists, so I usually have about 13 going on at any given time, but I like to categorize those lists into two main ones ---> the things I HAVE to do and the things I LIKE to do (AKA the things I am prob going to do before the things I have to do )

SO on my list of likes this month are some new reads! I have contacted the Houston Library and they are creating a personalized book list just for yours truly! Doesn't that sound like I am some celebrity? In reality all you need is a library card and 15 mins to fill out a survey. My friend and Life Mentor, Heidi also gave me some new reading material!

Here are the books I am currently tackling (charlotte bronte is prob turning in her grave)

1.) Port Mortuary--Patricia Cornwell. I will have you know that she is a #1 NY times best selling author!! I am also a firm believer in mentally relaxing reading. I will read Slouching Towards Bethlehem another time :)



2.) Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I got excited when I opened the front cover and there was a historical map inside :)

3.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have been enamored with these since they first started appearing at the local bookstore and were so bright and colorful!! The plot also interests me, not to worry!





4.) The Girl who Played with Fire. 

Off I go to take a hot bath, drink some calming tea, and snuggle up with a good book.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Picture Frame to Hang your Memos In--A Pottery Barn Knockoff by yours truly!!

I always get excited when I get my new PB catalog in the mail. Not because I am going to order a ton of things from it, but because I love looking through it to see what I can attempt to make myself to spice up our little abode!!

Right now we are working on our formal living and dining room (I am also trying to finish the front guest bedroom) and so when I came across this in the catalog--(see below) I knew it would be a perfect fit for our 1958 formal living room/entryway!!


The price on this little piece of art was close to $200.00!! No thanks! So I headed to Hobby Lobby with my weekly coupon (you can print this off their website) and bought the following: 
-Picture Frame (choose the size and style that match with your room)
-Clips (also go with the style you are working towards)
-Picture wire (one pack is plenty)

Total cost = 18.47 plus tax. Much better priced than $200 AND much more fun!!


**You also need a staple gun, but I had one lying around!

Step 1.)
Flip the frame over on your work area and lay out the top picture wire where you want it. I just eyeballed it since you will be hanging things on it to make it more or less level.

Step 2.)

Staple down the picture wire then fold the wire back over the newly stapled area and staple again. This will give it some extra strength so you can actually hang things on your wire! Then take a hammer to make sure the staples lie flat.

Step 3.)




Go back to the other side of the frame and repeat the stapling. Here I was testing out to see if two staples initially and then one more on top worked better than the two total. The answer was no. :) 

Step 4.) 



Now that I have stapled on all of the picture wire (I chose to do three rows--you could always do more or less or even zig-zag), I am ready to put on my fun pics etc.!!

Step 5.) 



Here are two pics of what mine ended up looking like!! I love it and think it is a perfect fit for the entry way! I cant wait to get some cards to put on it! A fabulous conversation piece!! You could even put some fabric up behind every once in a while if you wanted to change things up!!


Head over to http://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.com/ to see more fabulous crafting ideas!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What's Your Fav Movie?





It's Saturday evening and many of you are prepping to go out with friends, fam or on a hot date. Maybe you will end up at the show! There are some new movies out that look interesting, esp if someone else is buying.

For some reason I started thinking about an old job interview from college where the boss was asking all the normal interview questions and then threw in a major curveball--"Name your top 3 favorite movies." And right at that moment I felt the floor fall out from under me and my mind went blank! I remember thinking, "lord, why is he asking me this? Shit, I can't even think of A movie, much less 3!! What are my choices going to say about my personality???" I couldn't tell you what I rambled off, but I guess it worked because I got the job (the job turned out to be not so great).

So I decided to name my top 10 movies I love at the moment. I am sure there are a dozen more, but this will have to do for now! Maybe you can tell me what this means about my inner workings :) **I would love to see your movie list too!


(In no particular order)

1.) Tropic Thunder
2.) Bridge on the River Kwai
3.) Meet Joe Black
4.) The Departed
5.) 16 Candles
6.) Arlington Road
7.) Dr. Strangelove
8.) Batman
9.) Meet the Parents
10.) Driving Ms. Daisy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifting Adventures in Houston

What really got me into this blogging thing was when we started our DIY stuff and were milling around on the internet for house ideas etc and came across some awesome blogs for DIY knockoffs to expensive stores. And since we are always trying to save more than we spend, we decided (I decided) that we would start checking thrift stores to see if we could piece together the stuff we drooled over in the numerous catalogs that came to our house weekly.

In the blogs I would come across, the person would describe an item they liked in a mag, then talk about how they happened into a thrift store and found the perfect rare piece to make their dream item into a reality. I thought, how easy is that?!? Well that is not so.

I have been to a few thrift stores and what I envisioned is not really the case. When I think thrift store, i think piles of cheap garage sale stuff for pennies on the dollar. Many of the stores around houston call themselves thrift shops and charge hundreds of dollars for tables or chairs!!

However, yesterday I went with a great family friend and advice guru, Heidi to the Guild in Montrose and found a fabulous jug lamp that looks identical to the one in pottery barn!!




Above is the PB lamp (now I am on the mad search for a shade)


Tomorrow I am going to check out a few more places and will let you know how they are! I have heard the goodwill in River Oaks is nice! We will see what I can dig up!



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ick! Germs!! Cleaning products I'm Lovin'




I am a germaphobe (sort of). Well maybe more than sort of. I am this way because I have an immune system that is worse than my 93 year old granny's. I am also this way because I think about when people go to the restroom, sneeze, are sick, cough etc. then don't wash their hands then touch things the rest of the world has to touch!! GROSS! You should google those 20/20 specials about how dirty escalator handles are etc. It will make you think about a lot of things!!

Take for example a family doctor's office this time of year. Lord knows what illnesses are coming through that door. Maybe the person before you had the flu and touched the door handle to get in, then the pen to sign in, THEN the magazine that you are reading!! ACK!!! Now some people are not bothered by this and that is their prerogative. I am bothered so I have decided to show you the things that I use in and around the house to keep us healthy.

It is OK. I know you are jealous. May I remind you that I will teach you my sanitizing ways and even sanitize your life for a fee!!!

So here are the things that keep me happy and germ free :)

Here is the first and best of my sanitizing tools. I really wish they would make this in keychain form. This stuff is fabulous!! It takes the term anywhere to a whole new level of clean experimentation for me.



Then there is my steamer for my tile floors. Notice the elephant logo. This is half of the reason I chose it!! I love this thing!! It is also a cheaper option to my ex swiffer habit which was a lot of waste and money!

Then there is my love. By this I mean my pink dyson. I vacuum everyday since we have 2 pets that are indoor and outdoor pets. Also because we have all wood and tile so it is super easy to get it clean quick so you dont get the feeling you are walking on dirt--yuck!!



This lil baby is amazing! You have to add a bit of salt to make it really like a humid jungle, but it is great for your cold or to prevent one! Please note that you have to clean it out everyday and sanitize it once a week or you are going to be sending humid mold into your lungs.


I drink one of these babies daily!! They are yummy and great to take on the go! Just a little extra boost to life!



Last but certainly not least it my fab husband gregory. Here he is modeling some things he uses to stay healthy!! Note that he is able to keep working because he is healthy!! I also sanitized his keyboard for him!! Oh yes I did.  :)




XOXO--A fab gift idea if i do say so myself :)


Last night was Valentine's Day--what did you do?? My husband and I had planned a quiet night of re-finishing our new buffet. Well while I did like the sound of that, I had to get him a little something that was creative but wouldn't break the bank!! So here it is!! I have these cute cards on my fridge from Whole Foods that have cool fonts with even cooler quotes written on them and I thought, why can't I make my own quote card?

I picked up the frame, mat and cardstock at the local hobby lobby and came home to brainstorm. I also found this font on the internet to zest it up a bit :) The whole idea is a chronological list of how we met, large milestones, how we fell in love etc. The cards on the fridge have cool to be continued so I had to add it because I L-O-V-E the ... thing and use it whenever I can!!

Here is a close up of my masterpiece!!


My fabulous man made me a wonderful surprise dinner that we enjoyed in our new dining room!! He even made dessert!!! 
 When I thought the night could not get any better, he got in the car and drove to the north side of the beltway to pick up the newest addition of furniture to our living room that I had been lusting over on CL!!! WHAT A SWEETHEART!!! 

So even though Valentine's Day is over for this year, you could use WF card idea and make one for your BFF, granny, momma, or neighbor of many years!!! Just remember your Hobby Lobby coupon!!! 

**I am posting this on http://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.com/ --so give her some love and check out her site!!!!







Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies and Thoughts on Last Minute Parking Lot Gift Stands



Let me start by saying I like Valentine's Day. I think it is a cute idea and if there is a little more love in the air for one day, then that is great!!

I decided to make my honey one so true some heart shaped spritz cookies to celebrate the special day using my new cuisinart cookie maker. So I took out my vintage Betty Crocker cookie book and prepped the dough etc. getting more and more excited to use my new contraption!!

Do you think they know they spelled cookie wrong or was that a hip thing in the 1960's housewife world?

It took awhile to set up everything for this supposed magical cookie maker, but I did it salivating all the while thinking of the yumminess that awaited me!!


So I jammed the dough into the tube and turned the thing on AND...nothing. Yep, that's right. NOthing. The dough was "too thick" for the top of the line electric cookie press. And although it is called an "Electric Cookie Press" the pamphlet says that it works best for deviled eggs. Awesome. I guess it is a good thing that the deviled egg season is coming and I like those!!

Alas, I am off to the Godiva store to buy my sweetheart his favorite heart shaped chocolate box :)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! Make sure to do something sweet!

**Special note to any guys that may be reading this, even if you still do not have a gift or flowers for your gal at this late in the game, do not, I repeat do NOT stop at one of those random parking lots filled with tents and  old econoline vans full of baskets with cheap bears and fake flowers. Your girl will NOT like it unless she is into Carnies, in which case you need to re-evaluate who you are dating.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Great food, friends and fun!

















This has been a looooong week! There have been a seemingly endless list of little things to get done and on top of that the weather is very non-texan!! I am not a fan! I feel as though I live in the south and sweat like a greased pig in the summer so I can wear my nike shorts and a t-shirt around during the winter. I realllllly dislike bundling up to get into the car, de-bundle (prob not a word), re-bundle to get out of the car, then head into a store where they have the heat cranked to Sahara summer!! Hurry up spring!!

Well a bright spot in my week was tonight when some great and fabulous friends of ours came for dinner! We always have the best time with laura and Chris! I have known Laura since before Titanic was in theaters and I am pretty sure we will be friends until the day we die!! We always have a mil things to talk about and have fun story and advice swapping. It just goes to show that no matter what your days and weeks, and sometimes months are like, if you have great friends in your life, they can always cheer you up and remind you why life is fabulous!!

I wish I had old pics of Laura and me lying around, but they are at my parents house so a more recent one will have to do for now!! xoxo laura moore

This is Laura with baby Mason!!

Chairs to go with our new dining table!!

This post is part two of my dining room post from yesterday! We purchased the table in October and had been trying to decide what chairs we should get to match. After searching, we decided on some chairs from World Market. While these chairs were cute, I think that we rushed into them because A.) we were tired of looking and B.) we always do a home project for our new year's tradition and really wanted to get the ball rolling on the dining room.

So we came home with the chairs and put together one of them and liked them just fine. Note at this point we had not chosen a color for the room. We did have some colors in mind, but we could never actually pinpoint the right shade.

Long story short, after we tested 17 colors, we chose an organic paint with no VOC in the perfect color! The only down side was that it was too similar to the shade of the chairs we chose! So we returned the chairs and were back to square one. That is when we discovered 19th street in Houston! We picked up some awesome queen anne chairs that were in desperate need of repair--see below



We worked on the chairs the same as we did the table the painted them black to match. Then we had to decide how we were going to re-cover them so we headed to interior fabrics on fondren to find some fabric!! BTW if you EVER need fabric, this is THE place to go!!


Here is what we chose: (french countryside is one of my fav prints of all time)

Ok Ok, I am getting carried away with the fabric!! The chairs were pretty yucky so here is how we made the chairs nice and beautiful to match our newly done, black table!

**Remove the cushions before doing any of this! You will prob need a screwdriver and hammer for this!
1.) We cleaned off the chairs using a slightly damp rag and then a dry rag. Some people rec to use a cleaner found at The Home Deeps, but we stick with water bc we have seen some paints etc that say DO NOT combine with those cleaners. 
2.) Then we lightly sand the chairs to even them out. We decide not to sand them to the wood because we are going to cover them with Kilz and then paint them black.


3.) We cover the chairs with Kilz. Some of the furniture we do we just put on one coat, but in this case, we put on two coats of Kilz. 





Here you can see the dining room table from my other post that we were working on at the same time!




4.) After the Kilz is completely dry, we wipe down everything with a dry rag one more time and get prepped to paint!! We chose rustoleum and really liked it. The key we found was to paint multiple THIN coats on vs. one or two thick, gloppy ones. This took a few nights :)


And there you are! The frame of the chairs are done! You can see the table in the background! Now we had to put cushions on because the ones the chairs came with were NOT going to do!!



And here is a quick glimpse of how we did the chair cushions:
1.) We used the old chair cushion bottoms as a stencil for our new plywood cushion bottoms! We traced the shape with a pencil then cut the seats out with a jigsaw!
2.) We took the foam we purchased from the fabric store and laid it on top of the seat, then we covered that with one layer of polyester quilting fabric (can you tell I am not a quilter?! Please forgive my lack of proper terms!!) You might be thinking that this step seems silly, but it is important to keep the fabric and the foam separated in order to keep the chair cushion nicer for longer.
This is just showing you how I covered the cushion with the polyester fabirc. I always covered the front first then the back. 
This is what it looked like after it was all stapled on. Many people stress about the corners, but it really comes down to what look you are going for. So I would find a chair you like, make a mental image or iphone image of it, then go home and make that your chair corner!!
These are great 7 am pics, I know :)

3.) Then we cut the fabric leaving 4 inches on each side of the chair cushion so we have room to tug and pull and get the corners JUST how we like them!
This is what the bottom of the chair cushion looks like after all of the fabric has been stapled down. You have the option here to buy some black fabric to put on top of this so in case anyone is on your floor looking at the bottom of the chair it looks presentable...however, we don't anticipate that and if it happens, we will roll with it!!


Almost done!!!


And here is the final product! We added the mirror and chandelier! We are currently looking for the right rug for our dining room! 



This post is part two of my dining room post from yesterday! We purchased the table in October and had been trying to decide what chairs we should get to match. After searching, we decided on some chairs from World Market. While these chairs were cute, I think that we rushed into them because A.) we were tired of looking and B.) we always do a home project for our new year's tradition and really wanted to get the ball rolling on the dining room.

So we came home with the chairs and put together one of them and liked them just fine. Note at this point we had not chosen a color for the room. We did have some colors in mind, but we could never actually pinpoint the right shade.

Long story short, after we tested 17 colors, we chose an organic paint with no VOC in the perfect color! The only down side was that it was too similar to the shade of the chairs we chose! So we returned the chairs and were back to square one. That is when we discovered 19th street in Houston! We picked up some awesome queen anne chairs that were in desperate need of repair--see below



We worked on the chairs the same as we did the table the painted them black to match. Then we had to decide how we were going to re-cover them so we headed to interior fabrics on fondren to find some fabric!! BTW if you EVER need fabric, this is THE place to go!!


Here is what we chose: (french countryside is one of my fav prints of all time)

Ok Ok, I am getting carried away with the fabric!! The chairs were pretty yucky so here is how we made the chairs nice and beautiful to match our newly done, black table!

**Remove the cushions before doing any of this! You will prob need a screwdriver and hammer for this!
1.) We cleaned off the chairs using a slightly damp rag and then a dry rag. Some people rec to use a cleaner found at The Home Deeps, but we stick with water bc we have seen some paints etc that say DO NOT combine with those cleaners. 
2.) Then we lightly sand the chairs to even them out. We decide not to sand them to the wood because we are going to cover them with Kilz and then paint them black.


3.) We cover the chairs with Kilz. Some of the furniture we do we just put on one coat, but in this case, we put on two coats of Kilz. 





Here you can see the dining room table from my other post that we were working on at the same time!




4.) After the Kilz is completely dry, we wipe down everything with a dry rag one more time and get prepped to paint!! We chose rustoleum and really liked it. The key we found was to paint multiple THIN coats on vs. one or two thick, gloppy ones. This took a few nights :)


And there you are! The frame of the chairs are done! You can see the table in the background! Now we had to put cushions on because the ones the chairs came with were NOT going to do!!



And here is a quick glimpse of how we did the chair cushions:
1.) We used the old chair cushion bottoms as a stencil for our new plywood cushion bottoms! We traced the shape with a pencil then cut the seats out with a jigsaw!
2.) We took the foam we purchased from the fabric store and laid it on top of the seat, then we covered that with one layer of polyester quilting fabric (can you tell I am not a quilter?! Please forgive my lack of proper terms!!) You might be thinking that this step seems silly, but it is important to keep the fabric and the foam separated in order to keep the chair cushion nicer for longer.
This is just showing you how I covered the cushion with the polyester fabirc. I always covered the front first then the back. 
This is what it looked like after it was all stapled on. Many people stress about the corners, but it really comes down to what look you are going for. So I would find a chair you like, make a mental image or iphone image of it, then go home and make that your chair corner!!
These are great 7 am pics, I know :)

3.) Then we cut the fabric leaving 4 inches on each side of the chair cushion so we have room to tug and pull and get the corners JUST how we like them!
This is what the bottom of the chair cushion looks like after all of the fabric has been stapled down. You have the option here to buy some black fabric to put on top of this so in case anyone is on your floor looking at the bottom of the chair it looks presentable...however, we don't anticipate that and if it happens, we will roll with it!!


Almost done!!!


And here is the final product! We added the mirror and chandelier! We are currently looking for the right rug for our dining room! 


So You think you want to re-do an old table and chairs? Here are the tools we used:
1.) staple gun 
2.) screwdriver and hammer --to push down and take out the staples
3.) paintbrushes and trays
4.) primer and paint color of your choice
5.) jigsaw
6.) sandpaper
7.) fabric of your choice