Saturday, August 30, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

I finally found my coffee pot! I was so happy to see it. I made my first cup of coffee with my own coffee the living room. Someday it will be in the kitchen. I just don't know when that someday is at the moment.

One of Brynley's socks was left in my car when they came to Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. We are celebrating her birthday on Monday and I can't wait to see her again and give her back her sock.

Libby spent the night last night, so I brought her bed over. While we were doing some running around, she decided that she would take advantage of it being in the backseat. Not a bad way to travel.

Not to be out done, but this little girl was sitting pretty before getting up for the day. I can't tell if she looks tired or was mad at me for taking a picture.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One Mess At A Time - The Bathroom Vanity + A Project Preview

My cleaning schedule has not been very consistent. However, getting ready in the morning (when I actually put in the effort) was getting harder because there was stuff everywhere on the vanity. I had a hard time finding a spot to put my curling iron. Too much stuff and not enough room.

Now I have space. And a clean countertop. It makes me feel much better when I get ready. I may not be an inherently neat person, but a mess can drive me nuts if I let it be for too long.

As you can see from the pictures above, my bathroom has a lovely green tile. It actually doesn't bother me too much and it is in really good shape. The vanity base, on the other hand, is chipping paint and is looking pretty rough. My cousin was going to help me paint the vanity, but she isn't able to make the trip when she thought. So I am going to attempt to tackle it on my own.

It will be my first attempt to paint anything like this. My cousin suggest using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, so that is the plan. I haven't picked my paint color yet. Before I paint the vanity, I want to strip the lovely floral wallpaper that is up, most likely have the walls skim-coated and paint the walls and ceiling a nice crisp white. 

It will be a nice little bathroom when it is all finished. One more project for the list.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kitchen Reno Week 10

The countertops have been installed! They look so fantastic! I really couldn't be happier about how they turned out.

It is so nice to have a flat surface to use. I was really hoping that everything would be finished up because that is what I was told, but that didn't happen. And to be honest, I am really frustrated. There is no reason why I should still be giving updates on a kitchen remodel. Fingers crossed that this is the week it is finished.

But in the meantime, I am loving the view of my countertops and a sink! Because the sink is the in the corner, it is just a single bowl. This will be a little bit of a learning experience since I have always had a double bowl sink. Having a dishwasher will help. I won't have to hand wash everything.

I think the back section of countertop might be my favorite little spot. It will be a great place for the crock pot or cookies to cool. In the meantime, I am unpacking more stuff. I can't believe how much stuff I have, but it is like Christmas morning opening up all the boxes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

When I got home last Sunday night, a package was waiting for me. Inside was a cheeseboard from Cambria for my countertop purchase. It is really nice and heavy!

Countertops have been installed!!!! More on that on Monday.

This little lady had a rough Tuesday. In the morning I looked at her and her head was shaking. So off to the vet we went. They didn't see anything wrong with her during a physical exam. Tuesday night, the tremoring was really bad. I was able to get a video of it so I can show the vet this coming Tuesday for her regular exam. It was a scary time for her and me.

My cousin has really been into essential oils. My mom started taking these a few weeks ago, so I started on Friday. I am hoping to drop some weight, as well as gain some energy.

I was eagerly waiting for this package to come. Berres Brothers was featured on the Food Network and they are located about 45 minutes from my brother. Since I was hoping my kitchen would be done this week, I ordered some coffee to celebrate. I still have to find my coffee pot and my kitchen isn't done.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Letter to My Niece

Happy First Birthday, Brynley!

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since you were born. I remember anxiously waiting to hear from your dad that you arrived on the scene. As soon as the text message came through, I was proudly showing you off all around my office.

I didn't get to meet you until your were a month old. You had a meltdown right before I arrived. Your mom was exhausted, but she was able to get you to sleep. Even from the time you were a tiny baby, music has gotten your attention. One of the songs I sang to you on that first trip was a song your Grandma Jones sang to me when I was little.

You are a promise, You are a possibility
You are a promise with a capital P
You are a great big  bundle of potentiality
And if you'll listen, you'll hear God's voice
And if you're trying, he'll help you make the right choice
You're a promise to be anything He wants you to be

You can go anywhere that he wants you to go
You can be anything that he wants you to be
You can climb the high mountain
You can cross the wide sea
You're a great big promise you see!

Brynley, I pray you will never doubt how much you are loved or how important you are. You are a blessing to our family and have captured our hearts. I can't wait to see you next week to celebrate!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

9 Steps to Making a Beautiful Ribbon Topiary

My cousin's daughter turned one on Saturday. It was a very special day because Abbi had been hoped and prayed for. She became a part of our family through adoption. Also, Abbi's finalization was earlier in August, so she was legally a part of our family. She is a happy girl and such a sweetheart.

To go along with her ladybug theme party, I volunteered to make ribbon topiaries. This was my first experience making them so I am sharing a few hints in your topiary-making endeavors.

1. Pick out really cute ribbon. I used 4 different patterns of ribbon. I don't think I would use a slew of different patterns and colors. You want to be able to see the different ribbon, but also have it look cohesive. I cut the pieces in 3-inch strips.

2. Get your glue gun ready! I mistakenly got foam discs for the base, so I glued them together. I also glued the dowel rod into the base, as well as the head. Glue everything together first before adding the ribbon. Since I was traveling with these, my glue gun became a live saver when one topiary became a little lopsided.

3. Choose a neutral paint color for the dowel rod. The ladybug theme was red, black and white, so it was pretty easy to choose black for the rod.

4. It all starts with one. Choose your starting spot. I decided to start at the bottom and put one of each color at the base. Then I worked my way up.

5. Here comes the pinning. I made a ribbon Halloween wreath last year and I hot glued all the ribbon. This time, I used straight pins. It was much less messy and saved my fingers from being burned.

6. Be patient. This is a project that takes a little bit of time. Put in a good movie and keep working.

7. Marvel at your beautiful ribbon-filled topiary. Because it looks awesome and you created it!

8. Finish it up. I used a little metal bucket from Hobby Lobby as the base for the topiary. I have seen some with flower pots that are really cute too, but I was lazy and didn't want to spray paint one. But in the end, I liked the contrast of the metal. I added a strip of ribbon around the top to spruce it up and stuffed in tissue paper for some frill.

9. Show it off! If I do say so myself, we had Pinterest-worthy cake and dessert table set up. It looked FABULOUS!!

We had a great day celebrating Abbi! Next on the topiary list will be a Mickey-inspired creation for my niece's first birthday party on Labor Day. I better get to work!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

I wasn't feeling very good last Sunday and was wanting something comforting. So some Potbelly's soup it was. There is something so comforting about good soup.

Lysa TerKeurst released a new book last week. She did a webcast on Tuesday and that was fantastic. I highly recommend this book and I haven't even finished it. Some very powerful stuff!

I had an unexpected delay in picking up my brother and his family at the airport. An accident caused the highway to be closed, so I had to detour and so did a whole bunch of other people. I ended up being late, but I eventually made it. Talking about having a test of patience.

But at the end of it all, I got to see this cute face! I love this girl so much. Her first birthday is on Friday. Where has the time gone?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kitchen Reno Week 8

This week has been absolutely crazy! First we had the water crisis which caused everyone in the Toledo, OH area to scramble to get access to water. Even my favorite, Good Morning America, was here.

And then....a scammer put my house up for rent! Can you believe it?!?! I had about 8 people come to my door asking about it. This scammer took pictures from the original sale listing and had it posted to Zillow and other such sites. I can't believe it.

And finally, I found a (what I think to be) stolen bike on the side of my house. It was hidden from view from the street and it was dropped on the side of the house that has no first floor windows. Needless to say, I was ready for the weekend.

The kitchen reno front has been pretty quiet, which I expected. I am in a little bit of a holding pattern until the countertop is installed, which is one week from today! I am so excited to see it finally in place.

I took matters into my own hands to keep the reno moving along and cleaned out the cabinets and started to unpack a few boxes. The cleaning part wasn't too bad. I used my vacuum to clear out any debris from the installation. Then I wiped them down with soapy water, clean water and then wiped them dry.

Since the top drawers are open to the room without countertops, I decided not to put anything in those.

But some of my glasses have found their home. These were the first thing unpacked. Everything will still need to be washed, but getting rid of the boxes is such a nice feeling.

My beloved plastic containers! I was so excited to see these and put them away. I can't even begin to describe how anxious I am to cook. And I can't wait to fill these guys up.

This week will be another slow week, but one more week down means I am one week closer to a finished, usable kitchen.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

Last week, Toledo had a water crises that lasted for several days. At first we were told that we weren't even to touch the water. Of course, I heard about it after I had brushed my teeth and taken a shower. But this was the line outside of the Costco near Ann Arbor. It was a mad rush to get as much water as you could.

My friend Sheri loves olives. I found these to-go containers of olives at Target, so I had to send a picture to her.

I didn't take this picture of the cutest niece ever, but I had to post it because she is so adorable. I get to see her next weekend and I can't wait!

I am working on ribbon topiaries for my cousin's daughter's first birthday party. I am hoping to get a tutorial up once they are finished, so I am documenting my progress.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

One Mess At A Time - The Dresser

When my stuff arrived from Pennsylvania, most of it was put in the garage. I did have a few heavy pieces that were moved upstairs, like my dresser. For quite a few weeks, it was the only piece of furniture with a flat surface so it became a catch-all for everything. But it was time to get a little order because I hated looking at it.

Some things do not have a place quite yet, but i am trying to at least put them in the right room. For instance, I had all my file folders lying on the dresser. Even though I don't have a spot for them, I put them in the closet of my one-day-will-be craft room/personal office. I did throw away a lot of stuff that had started piling up for no good reason.

I was finally able to pull my jewelry box out of the bag it had been sitting in. My jewelry is now accessible so I can wear it. It also got a good dusting.

On the other side is all the stuff I use to make me smell pretty. In my apartment I had a tray that I put my lotions and sprays on, but I think it is going to find a new home in the bathroom once it is unpacked.

Now I have a clean space in my bedroom. Eventually I would like to get a mirror for above the dresser. But that is another project for another day!