30 June 2011

A Need and Not a Want, I Don't Care What You Say.


And they're reusable!?!?

Buy these for me and I'll invite you over for a push pop party.  We can dance and eat push pops and then dance some more to burn off all of the push pop calories.

Two other things I feel like I need even though I really don't.

1.  Silpats.  I need two.  I don't really need two, but I want two.  Okay, I need two.  NEED.  Think of how much money I'll save over decades of baking and not having to buy parchment paper!  See, a need!


2.  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home.  Definitely need.  Definitely.  Yeah, definitely yeah.

That is all.  Off to clean the house (which is decidedly less exciting than push pop holders)!

29 June 2011

Mantle Makeover!

Thanks for being patient with me while I threw a hissy fit yesterday.  Today, per the recommendation of a friend (who likely doesn't want to look at my leper face while we celebrate the birthday of this great nation), I went to the doctor, who loaded me up with more steroids.

I f'ing love steroids.  (It was so easy to ellipt tonight*.  After I finish this post I'm probably going to go pick up a car or pull an airplane with my teeth or something.)

Oh, and I'd also love to show you one of my other favorite parts of our new living room.  Have you ever noticed our mantle?  The smoker's-off-white/gray brick/white brick/red tile mantle?  No?  Here it was.

Note:  I totally took a bunch of actual good before pictures and neglected to load them onto the computer before I deleted the folder.  So you get a bunch of blast from the past shots.  Shooooot.

This one's almost unfair because it was from Christmas, 
and everything is cuter during the holiday season.

Please notice: awful curtains, even more heinous cornices, boring mail slot, and blah mantle.

And here it is now, after I removed the screen, scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed the inside, painted the inside and the red tile black, scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed the outside brick, and painted the mantle itself ultra white.  (Martha Stewart's Picket Fence, to be exact.)

Shoot yeah!

Oh, and, inspired by this photo from Pinterest (why aren't you playing on Pinterest with me?), I decided to get some sticks from the back yard from this bush I hacked to pieces a month or so ago and have yet to throw away, paint them crazy orange, and put them in a $3 vase from Target.

Fun, huh?

Inside our new fireplace is the trash can from my house in college, now full of Iris and Opal's toys and a Magna Doodle, a bit of an homage to my Friends.  I watched two full seasons of Friends while doing the living room last week.

The little mantle makeover cost less than $20, if you don't count the mirror (that was $30) that I got with a free giftcard during last month's HomeGoods adventure.  The biggest expense was the $15 quart of heatproof paint that I used to paint the inside of the fireplace and the hearth.

You may also notice that the curtains are different.  Cassie actually gave them to me a while back, and I hung them high and wide, just like Sherry and John say to do.  They've drastically changed the feel of the room, and I'm in love with them.  The curtains, not Sherry and John (even though they did help me out after that dream drive-by paintball shooting).

All in all, it's brighter and whiter and happier than it was before.  What do you think?

*Also, it may interest you to know that Dylan is having a really hard time deciding between Kelly and Brenda, and Cindy is afraid that Jim is going to have an affair with his secretary.  Donna is still gross.

28 June 2011

This and That

1.  I have been in a terrible mood today, and for no good reason, either.  Well, one good reason, perhaps.  I have poison ivy all over my face.  If you're thinking to yourself, "Man, Mandy sure does get poison ivy a lot," well then you'd be right.  Hey, universe, I'd like to trade in this intense poison ivy allergy for a seafood allergy.  (I don't even eat seafood.)  The only good thing about having poison ivy all over your face (okay, well two good things because I'm milking it like a sombitch--"Matt, can you get me my glass of wine? I can't because I have poison ivy all over my face.") is that I get to say multiple times a day, "I'M A MONSTER" in my best Buster Bluth voice.

2.  Matt's at bar trivia right now.  I'm not there because I was being such a miserable human being earlier this evening and I didn't think it would be nice to subject people to being around me.  Plus, I went last week and I spent the last 10 minutes (felt like ten hundred!) listening to members of Matt's trivia team (including Matt, even though he maintains that he was only in the argument because of a logical fallacy) debate another trivia team about who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman.  Seriously.  That happened.  I've never felt so cool in all my life.  Matt would like me to tell you that those discussion do not happen every week.  Uh huh.

3.  Listening to my Motown Christmas music Pandora station right this second.  I love Christmas music.  But I always give a thumbs down to anything by Chris Brown because he hits ladies.

4.  Had a dream last night that there was a drive-shooting and I thought Matt was killed except that then it was just a paintball drive-by and I got super mad and yelled at the driver and made him feel awful and then John and Sherry from Young House Love were our next-door neighbors and they came over and helped us fix up our house after the paintball attack.  They're so nice.

5.  We had a monster of a wasp in the house today.  Matt killed it with my shoe.  Well, sort of.  He split it in half and then the front half kept on living and trying to kill us for like five minutes. Then I told Matt that I couldn't even wear that poison shoe anymore and he blamed me.  He said that the wasp was a result of my evil angry mood and that I'd just opened my mouth and it flew out.

Here's to a happy, less swollen Wednesday!

Living Room Novella, and Some Cheap Art

Okay, so I had grand plans to paint the living room yellow.  The living room project included about one bajillion small little jobs, most of which were kind of grueling and miserable (spackling and painting a ceiling is a job for masochists), so even though I'd been planning on painting the room since the moment I finished painting the kitchen (in SEPTEMBER!), it took a long while for me to muster up the energy to tackle the project, and to finally select a yellow color for the room.

This is going to sound weird and George W. Bushian, but when I'm looking for something, whether it's a pair of shoes or a new camera or a husband, when I find the one I want I just know.  It's this weird inner assurance, kind of like a little click inside of me that is like, "Oh, there it is."  For example, I hunted and read reviews and stressed about which new camera to select, and then when Hugh showed me the white Pentax Kx, I was all, "Oh, that's my camera."  And there was no more looking. Once I have that realization, I don't go back.

And the problem with the painting living room yellow plan for me, and probably part of why I put the whole thing off for so long, was that I just didn't have that "There you are, Peter" feeling with it.  Once school was out I soldiered on, though, started painting my trim, and selected my yellow color, Custard by my friend Martha.

I painted a little swatch of it on the wall, decided that it was good, and kept painting trim.  I was trying to envision a more grown-up looking room, since there's no place in our house that looks like grown-ups live here.  I was going to do yellow accented with gray and black--you know, something more subtle, more sophisticated.

But the problem with that plan, and the reason I didn't have that inner click about it, was probably that I am neither subtle nor sophisticated.  And Matt doesn't care because he's colorblind and even if he wasn't he wouldn't care.

So when Cassie was here last week, she threw out a suggestion that I should paint the walls ultra white with lots of brightly-colored accents.

Oh, there it was.  The click.  Bangarang!

Now, this plan was kind of terrifying to me.  All that work just to paint walls white?  Shoot.  Plus, the room was white to begin with.  Well, not really white so much as an off-white-smoker's-paradise-dingy-used-to-be-white grossness.

Painting walls white was actually about the most bold thing for me to do in a room.

So, anyway, that's the inspiration for the living room.  And if you're reading this (still!? not so much into the brevity today, huh?) and you're asking yourself if I just do everything that Hugh and Cassie suggest, well, I would say, "Not everything."  Just like 90%.  What can I say?  They make good suggestions.

Now, I'm not showing you everything just yet because the finishing touches are not yet complete.  BUT!  You get a fun preview.  I just couldn't do everything white, so I painted our little entryway/alcove/foyer the same blue color that I painted the kitchen.  (Because I totes had leftover paint and I am more obsessed with this color than I was with hunter green in 1995.)

And then the space totally needed some art.

Well, about four years ago I bought these pictures at Target because I got all four for $15, and although I didn't love the pictures, I figured I could use the frames.  Four years ago.

Cris, post-wrist-surgery, posing with ugly cheap Target art.

Then I had an idea.  I really want to point out that this was actually my very own idea and that I didn't steal it from anybody.  I steal like 99% of stuff I do from other people, so I'm really proud to have come up with something on my own.  

And it was quite simple.  Cheap frames.  Free downloaded fonts.  Some M's.  An exacto knife.  Yep.  That's about it.

Look how fun!

But is it as fun as our mail slot?

Kind of in love with this room now.  More to come.

27 June 2011

I know I'm supposed to be thinking about immigration, but really all I want to do is eat a Snickers.

Rachel Maddow* had this guy on her show tonight.

Actually watch this when you have a chance.  Totally safe for work, too.  

During his interview, he and Rachel talked about their winning spelling bee words.

His, indefatigable.

Hers, absurdity.

Rachel commented on the prescience of those particular words, how much of her life has been absurd, and how he has proved indefatigable.

You know what my winning spelling bee word was?  Nougat.


*I f'ing love Rachel Maddow because she's wonky and goofy and smart, too.  We would be friends if she would have me.

Week o' Fun!

Here's the thing.  I've spent the last eight days of my life consumed by the living room project.    And because of the living room consumption (not to be confused with the consumption that Satine had in Moulin Rouge.  Oh man, I totally need to watch Moulin Rouge again.*), and because of the probably toxic fumes I've been inhaling for hundreds of hours, I haven't been able to think straight.  And add a little bit o' leprosy to that and you've got a girl who's a sloppy mess.


But the living room's basically done now, and I've got some Benadryl (which makes me sleep like a mofo), and I'm entering that part of summer where I don't even know what day it is (shoot yeah!), so hopefully there'll be some clarity on this end.

In the meantime, here's what this week looked like, the mostly black and white version.  So, this is what this week looked like to Matt, that colorblind fool.**

Trivia night with Matt.   

 Girls' Night.

 Big sister, baby sister.

Sammy Green's delivery.  Savannah people, go there to eat.  It's fantastic! 

 Totally taking Reilly to Chick-Fil-A on Thursday.

Celebrating four years married with French dip sandwiches! 

 Big ol' dog thinks he's a lap dog.  It's okay by me.

Never been so happy for glass. 

Laundry monster.  The rest of the house has gone to hell while I've been slaving away in the living room.

 Little dog got a bath and needed to dry off quickly.

Happy Monday to you!

*Speaking of Moulin Rouge, Martha Stewart now has a line of glitter paint at Home Depot.  I really want it, but am torn because I feel like I'm too old for glitter paint.  Thoughts?

**Matt is about one hundred times smarter than I am, so I like to pretend like his being colorblind means that he's not smart.  It comes in handy during Trivial Pursuit.***

***Also, Matt is so colorblind that he can't even see my leprosy, so that's nice.  It's almost like permanent beer goggles.  

25 June 2011

Leprosy Saturday.

So, I woke up today--at noon!  ha!--and was all gung-ho to get some stuff done around the house and to be a productive member of society.  And I actually did some stuff, you know, besides finish off the Sam's club-sized box of Nilla Wafers and talk to Shecky on the phone for an hour.  Everything was going A-okay, until I went to brush my teeth and looked in the mirror and saw this staring back at me.

I totally loved Mel Gibson in the mid '90s, before I knew that he was an abusive anit-semitic asshole. 
 I loved Tom Cruise, too.  As a teenager, I was not a good judge of celebrity character.

Mmm hmmm.  I have leprosy.

For real.  No, seriously.

How does this even happen?

Well, I kind of know how it happens.  You see, I blame these two.

Because they go out in our jungle of a back yard and run around in poisonous leprosy plants, and then they come back in the house and get on the couch, and on the pillows, and I pet them and hold them, and apparently rub their fur all over my face.  My face that has, apparently, the most sensitive skin that a person can have.  I am particularly allergic to leprosy plants.

The good news is that I won't be tempted to go out to eat or go to Target today because of the humiliating leprosy, so maybe I'll actually get stuff done at home.  Like giving the dogs baths and torching the back yard and washing every single fabric thing that touches me.

Does anyone know how to cure leprosy?  Windex?

24 June 2011

What Did I Do Before the Internet?

We're in full on project mode around these parts, and, frankly, I'm tired of painting and scraping and scrubbing and vacuuming.  So I'm finding an escape in my old friend, the world wide web.

Five things I love from the world wide web right now:

2. This explanation for why, perhaps, I never bathe.  It's because I have so many friends!  (Except that it's not because I don't like people enough to have a lot of friends.)

3.  Pinterest.  It's really addictive.  Join it with me and we can pin things and waste time and be inspired.  Let's do it!

4.  This hanging lantern light.  I want it.  I think I need to make it.

Well, with that I'm off to eat my bowl of breakfast cereal and then to tackle my massive to-do list that includes: painting, scraping, sanding, scrubbing, vacuuming, laundering (clothes, not money), puddinging (that is a word I just invented, Mr. Webster), and, of course, taking breaks to explore the world wide web.

What are you loving on the internets these days?





It's technically been summer since Monday, but I've had things to do all week (puppysitting, classroom moving, attending a training that sucked my soul out of my body as though it was a cat and I was an infant) so today was the first day that really felt like summer.  And you know what summer means?

It means sleeping until I don't want to anymore.

It means eating cereal for breakfast when I decide to get out of bed.  (Don't eat breakfast during the year because I wake up approximately 12 minutes before I leave for work.  There's no time.  Hush, Cassie.)

It means calling Caitie in the middle of the afternoon.

It means thunderstorm Kongs for neurotic pups.

It means projects.

It means watching crappy movies on HBO.

It means chillaxin.

And as fun as it is to chillax, after a while I start to feel like too much of a blob, so I need direction.  It's time for the ol' summer to-do list.  Here's mine for the next two months of my life.

Summer To-Do

  • Clean out and organize office (house catchall for all crap, junk, and things I don't want)
  • Move white dresser into guest room; rearrange if necessary
  • Re-do living room (major project)
  • New curtains for bedroom?
  • Ellipt for 4 hours each week
  • Take Mitch for 3 walks minimum each week
  • Get tan responsibly
  • Get a haircut--too hot outside
  • Plan for next year's classes
  • Buy and dye new couch cover
  • Master new camera lenses
  • Paint furniture in living room
  • Have fun with Chloe
  • Go to the lake
  • Go to Atlanta with Matt (FLIP BURGER!)
  • Put together gallery wall in living room
  • Put together gallery wall in bedroom
  • Touch up paint in kitchen 
  • Learn to sew
  • Catch up on Parks & Recreation on Netflix instant (whilst ellipting?)
  • Put quarter round down in Lagoon
  • Freshen up Lagoon
  • Learn to do yardwork
  • Make back yard a place where people could hang out
  • Make front yard a place that doesn't embarrass us and our neighbors
  • Become a person whose car is not filthy 
  • Read five books
So, that's what I've got right now.  Three cheers to a productive and relaxing summer!


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