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New DIY Art for the Guest Room

8 Jul

New DIY Art for the Guest Room

New DIY Art for the Guest Room!!!

10 pounds lighter

6 Apr

I’m down 10 pounds from where I started at the beginning of this year when I started going to OTAC. Its hard to believe that it has been three months since I started, and that I’ve only lost 10 pounds. Its a little depressing but I think I have finally overcome a hurdle recently. I’ve had more “skinny” days (days that I actually feel smaller) and I’ve been getting more and more compliments. I was able to get into a pair of my size 10 jeans, and then I realized they had an unfortunate hole in them…

My mom and I made a deal that if I hit my goal weight of 135 by December 17th then she would buy me new clothes. She got a little nervous and asked where I was planning on shopping because she wasn’t spending $1,500 on new clothes. My first reaction was “Well….I’ve only really shopped at TJ Maxx and Target for a long time, but I wouldn’t mind having another pair of American Eagle Jeans” She laughed at me and said that I can go crazy at Target so she’s on board! Little does she know, I can do serious damage at Target, just keep me out of the home goods section!

For sake of comparisons this is a photo from a little over 3 years ago

Its not a bad picture at all, but good golly look at my arms…and my tummy😦 And this was with Spanx fyi, if I’m going to lay it out there might as well lay it all out!

Well a few weekends ago I drove to PA to spend the weekend with TJ since he was out of state for work.  It happened that he was right near the fabulous outlet malls in Lancaster! We stopped a few places and got a few things and then we wondered into the Reebok outlet store.  Now anyone that really knows me knows that I have a LOVE for Puma’s, the only socks I will wear to workout (or anytime I want no-show socks)= Pumas, I own easily 7 different pairs of Pumas, I love them.  Therefore it was hard for me to imagine spending money on gym shoes that weren’t Pumas, how could I? Well then I saw these:

Ok, those people that know that I love Pumas, also know that I generally hate the color pink. Ok so hates a strong word, I generally don’t choose to wear anything pink unless I have to. Except these.  I love them. I don’t know how I have worked out the past 3 months without them. These are the Reebok RealFlex Transitions, they are super light, ultra comfy, and they look pretty cool too.  I’m one of those people that likes fun shoes. Oh and I had a 40% off coupon making these puppies $53!!!

So I got my cool new shoes, came back to VA and started my gym schedule back with my new shoes.  After a particularly sweaty (I don’t sweat much) Monday night workout I noticed that I felt skinny.  I felt good. I even looked sorta ok. So I took pictures, see!

 

 

 

 

 

These aren’t the best pictures, and since I have my arms up you can’t see the progress there, but the side view picture makes my smile. 1) my tush looks good!! 2) my tummy is getting tighter 3) my ta ta’s are shrinking!!!!

Really there isn’t a ton of change, and the pictures weren’t to show a lot of change, but come December there will be tons of change. Plus I think my outfit looked cute.

I love giveaways!!!

6 Mar

Jena @ Involving Home has a great little giveaway going on.  She is giving away a Key to Wonderland necklace from Shabby Apple.  If you have never been to Shabby Apple, you should absolutely check them out.  They are an online boutique specializing in women’s clothing, especially dresses.  This is one of my favorite’s, how funny that they know me so well that it is my pick (complete coincidence)

Photo Courtesy of Shabby Apple

So back to the good stuff, FREE STUFF!!! Jena is giving away one of these necklaces:

Photo courtesy of Shabby Apple

To enter go check out Involving Home’s post, the giveaway will end March 11th so get over there and check it out!!

Spray Paint and a weekend

28 Feb

I was left alone this weekend.  Well I am also along til probably Thursday, but I’m much more productive on the weekends. I’ve had one project that I’ve been trying to finish since Thanksgiving.  Yup! November…… yeah. I also have another project that I did for Christmas that I never blogged about, maybe I need to get a round to that. At this rate, next month sounds great for that! Christmas in Ireland? Ya’know for St Patties day?

Anywho, back on track.  Two projects.  The first was really simple.  Really Really simple.  One of my parents friends moved houses and decided to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  I scored: a horribly 70’s yellow rocker that is the most comfortable chair EVER, a peacock blue IKEA lamp, an old trunk that she wanted to give her son and he didn’t want, and 3 mirrors.  One of the mirrors is super awesome, perfect size, nice thick frame on it, reflects stuff, its great! Except its gold. Well, was gold.

Here is the before:

Before

I roughed her up a little bit, and discovered that she had also been green (it was a match made in heaven, she has a green heart), pink, cream, and then original wood. I didn’t sand all of the old paint away, but I did sand off the shine and any nastiness that was left (like the coffee that Dad spilled on it, that I didn’t bother to clean off).

Next step: taping the mirror off. You know, so you can still see yourself in it when your done.  At this point I discovered a few things.  1. I have no painters tape. 2. TJ used up the rest of my packing tape. 3. I was almost out of scotch tape. 4. TJ has electrical tape in his work bag! And he’s not here to tell me no! (Example #1 of why I shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time).  I started taping pieces of thick paper over the mirror and then set the mirror up on a box so I was able to get all sides and angles easily.

In Progress

I used this paint for my frame:

I don’t know about the 2x coverage claim, I still ended up doing about 4 passes over the frame.  I’m sure its just a marketing pitch, but it was the color that spoke to me.

And drumroll for project #1 *insert drumroll noises here*

Here she is:

I need to get a better after pic, and one of it actually hanging but this chick isn’t hanging a mirror above the fireplace by herself.  Nope. Not happening.

Cost Breakdown:
Mirror: Free
Sandpaper: Free, had on hand
Spray Paint: $5
Total: $5

Now for project #2! This was inspired by this post that I found on Pinterest (picture is clicky to the blog:) )

Puff Paint Vases

This is what I was starting with, a free peacock blue IKEA lamp.

Before

This project was full of lessons learned.  Unfortunately I don’t have any progress pictures on this but I started off by sketching out my design on the lamp with a sharpie.  Mistake number one.  Turns out spray paint doesn’t stick to sharpie. After that I used white puff fabric paint and went over the final design a few times until I get the desired look.

Now its time to paint.  Originally I picked out a mossy, army green and it was a little darker than I preferred.  Good thing was that it wasn’t sticking to the sharpie spots.  So I primered over the entire lamp until the sharpie was completely covered.  Let it dry for roughly a month (just to be safe😉 ) and then a few coats of my final color which ended up being perfect!

Since I don’t have any in between photos, here is the final product.  This is going in my office, but its a wreck in there and no one deserves to see that.

So final cost breakdown:

Lamp: Free
Sharpie: Free
Puff Paint: $0.50
Primer: $1 (sale)
Spray Paint: $5

Total: $6.50

Warrior Training Challenge

23 Feb

I’m sure by now, you have figured out that this isn’t a blog just on DIY.  Its not a blog just on cooking.  Its a blog on life. Right now my life includes a lot of getting into shape.

The gym I workout at is starting a Warrior Training Program with two different divisions, Body Weight Challenge 1000 and Body Weight Challenge 500.  I’m going to try the Body Weight Challenge 500, which has 16 different exercises that when combined equals 500 reps. I’m beginning to think I’m crazy. As of right now I can’t do a normal pushup, not a one. I can do girlie push-ups, but not sure if I can even do 25 of those.

So here’s what it is:

50: Rope Jacks
25: Squat Thrust
25: Step Up Right
25: Plank Jacks
25: Step Up Left
25: Push Ups
25: Box Jumps
25: Inverted TRX Row
25: Stability Ball Leg Curls
25: Sliding Disc Crunches
25: Walking Lunge Left
25: Rotational Rope Slams:Right
25: Walking Lunge Right
25: Rotational Slams: Left
25: Alternating Power Lunge Slams
100: Jump Ropes

Total: 500

Whew, my body is screaming already! The program starts next week and goes until December 17th, so this gives me something to work towards all year long.  Plus I get a free t-shirt! So if I drop off the face of the earth, you’ll know why.  My gym murdered me.

Awesome little giveaway @ DIY Showoff

21 Feb

DIY Showoff is one of my most favorite blogs, easily in the top 5.  Roeshel does such an awesome job making old things look fabulous and completely liveable.  No couches that aren’t for sitting in her house!

Well she is doing a giveaway on her blog for a $50 Wallums credit.  Wallums is a San Francisco based company specializing in 100% removable, unique, and even custom wall decals.  There are tons of options for about any room or idea and they come in about a million different colors.  I’m addicted and I have yet to buy anything from them!

My favorite??

This would be perfect in the guest bath!

Roeshel made this wonderful piece of art with a little elbow grease and stain, and now she has something that she can move around and work into future bathroom designs. Isn’t it neat?

Click to see how she made it!

The giveaway is open until Saturday (2/25) at midnight EST, so run over there and check it out!!

Pinning my home into perfection

17 Feb

I’m sure by now everyone and their momma has heard of Pinterest.  If you haven’t, you need to, its fantabulous.  Basically, it is the evil love child of pinboards and bookmarks. You have a collection of boards (I’ve been told there is a limit, this scares me.) that you can choose what they are for (LO’s playroom, Bathroom Remodel, DD’s first birthday, etc.) and you can “Pin” things that you see online to them.  They give you a cool little link to put on your toolbar and whenever you see or read something that you need to save for the future you Pin It.  Then you pick which board, add a message that means something, and Voila! you have saved that little piece of internet awesome-ness so that you can find it later.  Even better, Pinterest links back to the original source so that you have that as well, these kids had their thinking caps on!

Well even though we have a pretty new house, and we did get to choose how certain things were done, things are always perfect, and some things are missing.  This is wear Pinterest comes in and makes my home perfect.  Even though we haven’t completely our first project yet, almost though!!

All of these things are completely realistic and obtainable goals, and things that I actually would like to complete in the next year or so.

Cottage Exterior traditional exterior

We currently don’t have a walkway to our front porch, heck we don’t have one to the back deck either.  The builder didn’t include it in the price, and we didn’t think that it was a big deal and we would do it in time.  I’m pretty sure that our pizza delivery guy would hug us if we put in a walkway. I really love the look of square/rectangle slate with natural stone and a slightly irregular pattern.  We would have a larger square landing area at the bottom of the stairs, the walkway would go out towards the driveway and then down the little hill towards the garage, we will need some stairs built into the hill here.  We will probably need a little retaining wall there as well, and conveniently enough, this picture has one of those too!

This picture was posted on a forum I frequent (she’s aware I pinned it) and I am in love with the backsplash.  Our countertop is pretty neutral and I like how this lightens things up a bit.

The lovely Roeshel over at diyshowoff.com made over her stair landing with this great wall stencil.  I’m still not entirely sure where I would put a wall stencil with so many walls sharing spaces (*shakes fist at open concept floor plan*), but I know that it needs a home in my home somewhere.  Plus she made it look easy!

We don’t have a headboard.  Surprise right? The couple with nearly no furniture, doesn’t have a headboard. I have found a few that would work, but I only liked them.  I need to love something in order to spend money on it, if its free I’ll take it, but spending money on it….man its hard. Well this, I love! I would probably do a medium tan linen type material that has texture but no real pattern. And big props to the awesome Beth for making it look easy! I love tutorials (I originally wrote tortillas, I’m hungry) that make things look easy!

We have absolutely horrible builder grade, wall of mirror, mirrors. I hate them. I also hate the price tag on mirrors that I like/love (see previous explanation on things I like).  The Idea Room solved this problem, way to go Amy!

There are a ton of things that we need to do to the house, like painting, and it will be never ending but this is a start🙂

Linking up to:
The DIY Show Off

Inspirational People

6 Feb

I have met several people in my life that have left a lasting (good) impression on my life.  Some are family, some are friends, others are random people you meet at the grocery store, or on the street, or in the gym locker room.

This morning I was running a wee bit late getting to the gym, still completely within my safe window of not messing up anything else today, but still a little later than I prefer. Almost every morning as I’m changing into my gym clothes there is another girl changing into her work clothes, she is much more of a morning person than I am.  We say our pleasantry’s, she listens to music, I change clothes and we go on our ways with a smile and a quick “hi”.

Today was different. We started talking, she asked what days I came (there are sometimes she’s not in there) and how long I’ve been coming.  The typical gym type questions.  We got to talking and turns out this girl who is maybe 5’6″ and 130 on a bad day, used to be over 200 pounds. She showed me the stretchy skin on her belly that hasn’t tightened up yet. She had the same experiences that I had, the friends that told her “Oh your not fat, don’t beat yourself up” “Your “shapely” you don’t need to lose weight”. And just like me she wasn’t happy being that person anymore, so she did something about it.

It is really hard to explain our conversation, but she was the most up-lifting, positive, and inspirational people that I have talked to in a long, long time. She kept telling me that I was doing a good job, and that every step is a step in the right direction. She’s right, every little bit counts. It is nice knowing that there are people out there that are happy to be this nice and supportive of someone they just met.

Taking a step forward

19 Jan

In 2006 I was in a riding accident.  The horse that I was working with had been drugged without my knowledge.  I was thrown and landed flat on my back suffering a fractured spine, rotated spine and pelvis, major muscle damage, and a severe concussion.  I did not know what day it was.  What is worse is that the lady that I was working for let me drive the 2 hours home. Thats right ladies and gentleman, she let someone with unknown injuries and an obvious concussion get behind the wheel of a car and drive off.

The second I got consistent cell service I called my mom, she offered to come get me but I was in a skeevy part of town and would rather keep driving at this point.  She stayed on the phone with me until I got home and then explained to my boyfriend the proper way to handle a concussion.  I refused to go to the hospital, I think I was also in shock at this point. I finally admitted that I needed to go to the hospital 7 days later, which was 6 days too late.  Too much healing had occurred and there was nothing that could really be done to “fix” me. I was put on a chiropractic, physical therapy, sit on your ass and do nothing prescription for the next 12 months.  I continued chiropractic for 3 years.  Over that time period I went from 98 pounds to a max of 180 pounds.

Since 2006 I have used my back injury as a crutch. Until two weeks ago I had never said that outloud. I would never admit to myself that I was cheating myself because I used my injury as a crutch to get out of things. That has changed.

I joined a local gym, check them out they are awesome!!! http://www.otacfitness.com/ They have an awesome program with rewards throughout your first year of membership to really keep you motivated and make sure that you make the most out of you. They gave me a wonderful personalized workout plan that will help strengthen all of my muscle groups and especially my back and ensured that everything was as low impact as possible. The gym is absolutely immaculate, the staff is always smiling and ready to help you out even if you don’t know that you need help.  Oh and the showers. The showers are amazing. I want to transport one of the showers into my own house.  In college I always dreaded showering at the gym, it was a group shower, very sterile looking, and….. well it was filled with smelly girls.  Not these showers! So if you are in the area and looking for a place to workout, I highly suggest checking them out.

Hopefully this helps to kick my butt into gear and get back to a person that I’m 100% happy with.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

30 Dec

So I have been slacking in a major way, but I’m back.  It will happen again I’m sure, but I’m back today for now😉

I hope everyone’s holiday was wonderful and filled with happiness, and that the upcoming holiday will be fun, safe, and spent with those you love.

This post will be pictureless, mainly because I haven’t taken many pictures that have been uploaded lately, part of the reason that I haven’t posted anything.

Over the holiday we went to visit my grandfather, he had a heart attack in the beginning of November and they had to put a stint in an artery to keep him running like the antique car that he is. He is doing better and although he had a minor touch of pneumonia, he is back at home and probably at about 75%.  He is weak, gets tired easily, and can’t do the things he’s used to but he’s 80 years old, living mostly on his own (my uncle is home on the weekends and a home nurse checks on him twice a week), and on very few medications all things considered.  I love my pop pop, what girl wouldn’t.  I like to think that I’m his favorite, but the jury is still out on that🙂

While at my grandfathers me and my mother drove past the namesake of the blog, good ole 305 McConville. I was immediately overcome in anger, disbelief, and sadness.  I have not been past the house since it was sold.  The developers have torn down the garage and part of the green house, there are plants growing up all over, windows are broken, and the exterior doors are standing wide open.  Most disappointing, was the fact that someone removed the house numbers.  My reason for going was in hopes that they would still be there and I could pull them off. We went in and walked around the first level and as I was leaving I looked down at a pile of trash, and peeking out from below a napkin was a slightly broken ceramic owl napkin holder. My grandmother loved owls and I have taken over her owl collection.  I can remember this napkin holder sitting on the counter in front of the window in the old kitchen.  While the part that holds the actual napkins is broken off, the owl part is just fine. I’m glad that I was able to save it.

As if the emotions from going to the old house weren’t enough, my mother and I went on to the cemetery to visit with my grandmother.  My grandmother passed away from complications related to a full mastectomy to remove a large breast cancer tumor December 27th 1997.  I was ten years old. The last time that I was at the cemetery was December 27th 1999, I sat in the car. Until recently I had been against going to the cemetery, I didn’t want to face the truth.  I would dread my mother asking me if I wanted to join her.  This time I told mom that we had to go, it was 14 years to the day and I needed to go.

Am I at peace with her death? Absolutely not.  If she hadn’t have had the surgery I believe that she would still be alive.  She was 60 years old and in otherwise perfect health. They say that time heals all pain, bullshit. Don’t tell me that she’s in a better place or that in time I will be happy with her being gone or that I should be happy that she is no longer in pain. She died in pain, that was the only time she had pain. She died alone and cold. Even today I still break down randomly because of something I remember, or something that happens that she should have been here to see.  This time of the year is extremely hard on me because for the last 14 years I’ve lived every Christmas holiday with a hole. An empty chair.