Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Mr. JCrew loaned me his audio book, Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale. I tried an audio book last year around this time and it bored me to tears. I’m a visual learner. I remember things because I see them how I saw them the first time. I can describe who was where in what room and what they said. It’s just how my mind works. So, when I read, I need to look at the page. Usually I like the actual book, but e-readers are growing on me.
When Mr. JCrew loaned me his audio book, I wasn’t that excited, but I’m hooked! I listen on the drive to and from work, and I listen during my two-pump breaks at work. Maybe it is the content of the book. It is a book I think ALL should read.
I’m not going to re-hash the book in one LONG post, because that would get me in trouble. Instead, I will share with you my favorite quotes (one per post).
This book isn’t just for the career person. It applies to every person. Mr. JCrew has honestly turned into a different person because of this book. (I cannot kiss this book enough! And I’d probably give Mr. Nightingale the biggest bear hug when I see him in Heaven.)
“You are, at this moment, standing right in the middle of your own 'acres of diamonds’.”
There is a Story out there that you can listen to. In summary, you might waste time searching for the greener pasture that you longed for when it was under your feet originally.
If the grass is greener on the other side… it's probably getting better care. Success is not a matter of luck or circumstance. It's not a matter of fate or the breaks you get or who you know.
Success is a matter of sticking to a set of commonsense principles anyone can master. In Lead the Field Earl Nightingale explains these guidelines: the magic word in life is ATTITUDE. It determines your actions, as well as the actions of others. It tells the world what you expect from it. When you accept responsibility for your attitude, you accept responsibility for your entire life.
Monday, April 29, 2013
At the end of the summer, I shared with you how I chopped down my October Glory Maple tree. It was sick as a result of bugs.
I took pictures of the damaged trunk to the local nursery.
They confirmed it was bugs.
They gave me many suggestions. I took the least expensive route: Cut it down and let it shoot some new trunks.
The key was to cut it down to where only a few inches of trunk were seen above the dirt. By Fall, I was suppose to have several trunks about two feet tall and then I would pick a main trunk and cut all the rest.
Fall came and there was no new growth. My guess is the tree was sicker than I thought and the root system was not healthy enough to start over.
So, two weekends ago I borrowed my dad’s reciprocating saw again and cut the trunk all the way down. I first enlisted the help of Little JCrew to remove all the mulch. (His reward was playing in the sprinkler after.)
Then we started removing the dirt. It was mounded up and I needed to get it level again.
Then I could see how much trunk I really needed to cut. Along with the trunk, I had exposed roots. I took the choppers to those and cut them.
Once it was somewhat level, I used the shovel to “hammer” the clay down. Little JCrew liked that part. He wanted to get closer to Mommy using all her might to hit the ground.
Now that the grass is turning green, it will be sending its runners over that patch of dirt and by Summer, there will be no evidence that a tree was ever there.
I contemplated going the more expensive route and buying a new tree to replace it. I even picked out a tree and priced it up. I knew I wanted a big tree so I wouldn’t have to start over with a tiny baby tree, and the price was in my price range. But a number of factors lead me to just cover it up with grass.
Now let’s hope that the tree doesn’t decide to come back! I’ve seen two neighbors do the same thing I did and their trees came back. I’m not sure if they wanted them to. I gave it the good ol’ college try with no luck, so I think it’s safe to say it’s not coming back. And if it does, I’ll let it live! For the love of trees! We always need more!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I mixed up the arrangement of my samples so I wouldn’t be able to guess which was which, and then I numbered them one through six. I knew I would be bias to a color if I knew the name. I already had my favorites picked out, but was giving the underdogs a shot!
I painted the samples in order from top to bottom in seven different locations in the master bedroom.
Yes, I am contemplating painting my master bedroom for a fourth time. Mr. JCrew laughingly joked about it being the fourth or fifth time, and when I said it was the fourth, his reply was, “I was joking!” The color has never been right and it’s because I never did samples in the room. I think it’s a mix of the lighting and the way the sun comes in.
We have lived with the samples up for a few weeks and I love them all. What I thought would be my favorite was my least favorite! It was too dark.
And the one I tried not to like ended up being my favorite.
Revere Pewter is very popular right now. I went against it because it was so popular. And yet, it’s the one I picked.
Parlor Taupe was one I found off Pinterest and loved, but in our room, it looked too light. Yet, now I don’t think so as I write this post.
Edgecomb gray was the second runner up. When I get an upgrade to the bathroom, this will be my color choice.
Seattle Mist was another favorite. When it comes time to update the laundry room, this will be my go to color.
Honestly, all the colors are my favorite. I like them all very much.
And now I have a stash of pretty colors to paint more things! I just have to find things to paint!
I really liked going through the process of finding my colors. At first, I had a favorite based on the location of the paint samples. On one wall, I liked #4. On another wall, I liked #3. Number 2, was the all around favorite I liked on every wall.
I put the samples near the trim to make sure it didn’t make the trim color look too yellow.
I put samples next to my white frames to make sure they didn’t clash. I also painted near the furniture to see how the paint picked up the colors.
I made a decision NOT to paint right now. Mr. JCrew was relieved to hear the news. With painting the furniture (chair, table, chairs), I came to the realization that to make projects, I have to live in a mess. I don’t like living in a mess. Painting a bedroom would take multiple coats and moving furniture. I just don’t have the energy to do it. I want to relax for a little while. The paint samples are still on the wall because I like looking at them. Weird? No. I’m just a dreamer.
UPDATE: Four months after picking out the future color of our bedroom, and mustering up enough energy, I painted it!
Click the picture below to check it out.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Our foyer has gone through many tiny updates.
My first staining job ever was on the table in our foyer. I bought it from my sister at her yard sale. I stained it a deeper color. And I dabbed the mirror above it slightly.
It was more like a paint job. I had no clue what I was doing, but I like how it turned out. I’ve been tossing some ideas around for updating its color, but nothing has stuck yet.
This table kind of serves as a catch-all. I think we subconsciously know it’s too small and we use the dining room table instead.
It only stays clean for a day. Ugh. I’ve got to find a solution.
Going back to the foyer, I had a fake potted plant that has been with me for a while. I’ve very picky about fake plants. I don’t do them, but this one looked real to me. I had it in my apartment in college.
But every time I look at it, I think of how old it is and I want something new to replace it.
I’ve been searching for a while and finally found something!
Meet Mr. Hoo.
He’s a cute little fella. He also got a friend to go home with him.
I picked both of them up for $12.
I didn’t really know what to put in the top of him. Fake flowers was my first thought, but wasn’t my first love.
Until it hits me, the flowers will remain.
Mom thinks I’m asking for trouble with him on the ledge. I do admit that Little JCrew loves to take the red vase down and play with it. So far, Mr. Hoo is still in one piece. We shall see if he remains!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I painted the bottoms of 13 babyfood jars to turn them into vases. Then I painted five of them bright colors to use as crayon storage. I didn’t throw away the lids. No, sir. Treasure jars need lids to keep the treasures inside.
I’ve been wanting to find something to paint with chalkboard paint. I’ve had this itch in my hand to do it. I’ve even entertained the idea of painting a sliver of chalkboard in the kitchen, but it makes me nervous, so I back off and look for something else to do.
To satisfy the chalkboard affair, I decided to paint the lids of the babyfood jars.
The JCrew boys can then label their treasure jars with the date it was collected or what is actually in there. Or they can put their name on it.
I’ve had the tops painted for a while, but was on the search for chalk. I didn’t want to make a special trip anywhere for it, but never saw any other than sidewalk chalk.
I got out the chalk and Little JCrew helped me decorate.
He actually stacked the jars to make a tower.
Then they fell.
I love the chalkboard paint. It’s one of those things I love so much that I want to do it everywhere. But I have to remind myself that less is more. I have to put down the brush and stop.
It’s funny that I waited so long to post about this. It was perfect timing actually. Little JCrew already has a treasure jar full of random things my dad put in his pants when he wears pockets over to their house. Last Friday Mr. Brigglesworth wore pants with pockets so he came home with pockets full of treasures!
I did not discover the treasures. Mr. JCrew did. When I got home he said he had to show me what he found in Mr. Brigglesworth’s pockets. He thought my parents were playing a joke on him. I took one look at the random collection and said, “They are his treasures!”
Now both boys have the start to their collection. And don’t worry, they don’t play with their treasures right now. Definitely not age appropriate to play unsupervised.
Friday, April 12, 2013
It has been absolutely beautiful weather. Perfect for a bike ride. Even in the bad weather, we were still out there on our bikes. We were just too excited and Little JCrew loves it.
At the last consignment sale I found a bike trailer. It can hold two kids up to 100 lbs total. It hooks to the back wheel of your bike and it’s a smooth ride.
Little JCrew instantly loved it. Mr. Brigglesworth fought enjoying it. He only lasts for a 30 minute bike ride. When we stop, both boys cry. One wants to get out, the other doesn’t want to get out.
I think it is so cute to see them in there just enjoying the sites.
I have to admit, I was against the idea. When Mr. JCrew talked about bike riding, I honestly did not think all of us would be participating. I didn’t want to spend the money on a trailer that I was not sure the boys would like or how long it would last us.
I had no problem paying for a used one. I feel even better knowing the boys enjoy it. And I enjoy it, too! We can explore so much more than we can on foot in thirty minutes!
I hope y’all are getting outside and enjoying the weather. Might be a little cold today after the storm, but the weekend should be beautiful.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
My favorite part of the night is when Mr. Brigglesworth wakes up to eat. You cannot hear a sound.
Then you wake up to birds chirping.
It makes me appreciate that our city does sleep at night.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I don’t think our couch has ever been perfectly together. When we bought it in 2009, it did not come with any hardware to keep the three pieces together.
Mr. JCrew is rough on furniture and likes to plop down on things. His spot is the chase part of the couch and you can tell. The cushion is always out of place and the actual piece of the couch is always further back than the rest.
It’s nice that I have the couch up against the wall so I can just hip-check the couch and all the pieces get squished back together. But I was tired of always fixing the couch. I can only imagine what the couch will look like when the boys are teenagers.
I set out to find a solution. There is a $20 product out there called Sofa Snap, but I’m cheap and didn’t' want to pay $40 plus shipping. So, I went to the hardware store and got gate hook and eyes. I got the kind that had a little clasp on them. For $1.18 each, I got four. I also got a roll of heavy duty Velcro tape to put on the cushions.
I turned all the couch pieces over and measured equal distances on all pieces to mark where the hook and eyes would go.
I put two hooks on each piece of the couch. I figured that would give more stability. It had to hold up to Mr. JCrew plopping on the couch.
Putting the pieces into the frame of the couch made my thumbs hurt. I was pushing as I was turning.
Now, the test was turning all the pieces back over and hoping they lined up and hooked.
And they did!
It’s hard to get a picture but you get the idea. I measured the distance between the frames on the couch pieces and thought a 2.5 inch hook would work. It was perfect!
Then I used the Velcro to hold the couch cushions in place.
I don’t think the chase part of the couch has ever been correct. Whenever I would put the cushion on the chase correctly, there would be a large gap. I always put the cushion over some so that you couldn’t tell. Now with the hook and eyes in place, there is no gap!
After I put the couch back together, I just sat and enjoyed my new couch. It really does feel new again. I can sit on a crack and I won’t slowly sink in as the pieces drift apart. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I’ve been missing out on enjoying my couch instead of hating it.
Anyone else fixed a piece of furniture and realized how it could have been all along?
Gate Hook and Eyes – 2.5 inch length (Qty 4) – $1.18 each = $5
Velcro Tape = 4ft long, 2 inch wide = $9
Mr. JCrew is rough on furniture. The eyes that came with the hook were thin and one broke in half! I bought thicker eyes to replace all the small ones and the couch is back together.