Monday, February 28, 2011

faux fireplace revamp

A few weeks ago Rhett's mom gave me permission to test my painting skills on a faux fireplace they used to have in their game room upstairs [but was currently in their storage unit]. I snatched it up, read some furniture painting tutorials on Miss Mustard Seed, and got to work! Here is the starting point: relatively untouched wood.
All I had to do was sand it down a little and wipe it off before I added my first coat: Almond Cream by Behr. I only did one coat because I knew I wanted to do some pretty heavy glazing at the end.
Then I taped off the inset rectangles and painted them Violet Shadow by Behr. After those were dry, I rubbed on a small amount of flat Cathedral Gray for texture. 

After that dried, I covered the entire thing [piece by piece] in Valspar glaze in Leather Chair. You really have to put it on thick in the beginning and then wipe off however much you want. It's a back and forth type thing [put a lot on, wipe too much off, put more on, etc.] until you get it how you want it. The glaze is really forgiving. You can wipe almost all of it off if you don't like the way it's turning out. 
After the glazing was dry, I sanded around the edges and nooks in the wood.

Then all that was left was to put it up in my room and decorate the top! Here is the final product [my apologies for the blah lighting]. 
The old window hung above it is from the church where my parents were married. How cool is that?? 
Overall this was a really fun project to do and I will enjoy it for a long time. That being said, it did not come without its frustrations and touch ups. That's not stopping me from paining more furniture finds! LOOK OUT! Not even your own furniture is safe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

getting industrial--pallets and nuts

WOW! Check out this post on Young House Love!! I hadn't seen this website blog type thing until tonight and I am obsessed with the whole house [though I'm not sure about the light feature above the table]. Can you believe this table was $10 at a thrift store?? Do you love the ottoman and mixed seating at the table as much as I do?? They also use pallet wood in several places which I am currently obsessing over. 
How much do you love this DIY mirror? I've actually been collecting pallets for a few weeks now. Rhett brought me back some oil field pallets that are very weathered and cool [I already have something in mind for those] and we picked up this broken one by a dumpster on campus last week.
I like the wood and it has these cool numbers and stamps on parts. Not sure what's in store for this. I'll let ya know. 
I also saw this little DIY bracelet today on Honestly WTF. I was headed to Home Depot this evening anyway, so I picked up some twine and little gold nuts and tried it out. I'd usually choose silver over gold any day, but since my Aggie ring is gold, I thought I'd bring some more gold into my life. I think it turned out different and cute. I like the pic on their blog where it's layered with other bulky pieces of jewelry. 

In unrelated news, the Rockets traded Shane Battier to Memphis today. What were they thinking?My two favorite athletes in Houston sports, Shane Battier from the Rockets and Kaz Matsui from the Astros, are officially gone. Way to go, Houston. UGH, FRUSTRATION!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Breakaway Update:
This week was all men's breakaway, so I don't have a super official update, but I did see on their facebook page that we have raised over $45,000 in the Shalom Project!! 
Let's observe a moment of silence. Let that sink in. 
This is WAY above our goal, and I'm really interested to hear what Ben says about it next week at all women's breakaway! I'll keep you updated. 

Rhett and I went to the Aggie Basketball game tonight making this night 2 for us and tamu sports. The night was complete with slam dunks, kettle corn, huge laminated heads of the team and coach, fist pumps [and leg kicks??], and baby races. Top it off with a W for the Ags and it was an allover successful evening. 

Did anyone else see the post on painting furniture today on Miss Mustard Seed?? She did a little swap with another blogger and they shared their best painting tips. It's like she knew I was tackling a project this weekend. 

My resolution for this month is not going too well. I have higher hopes for March. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

who's your daddy?

My mom and I love the show Brothers & Sisters on ABC. We've been watching/comparing our lives and family to this show for years [my mom is obviously Nora and I am Kitty]. Rhett, on the other hand, hates this show [but loves to make fun of it] and especially hates these two characters. The episode this week prompted a long discussion of who the members of our families are in tv/movies. Check out our comparisons. I think we did a pretty good job.

It was very hard to pick one for my dad, so I picked two. He is a mixture of Steve Martin in Father of the Bride and Liam Neeson in Taken. I liked Steve Martin because he is a great dad and has a fun relationship with his wife. Liam Neeson is also a great dad and will open a can if a seriously bad situation arises [totally hypothetical]. 
My mom, as I said earlier, is Sally Field in Brothers & Sisters. She is an awesome mom, super involved and can send out a mass text like no one's business :) If something is going on, you can count on her to let everyone know [and if you don't want the world to know, you must state it upfront for the best odds]. Plus she's a good cook which is one of Nora's claims to fame!
My brother is Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. He's smart, sarcastic, and he even kinda looks like him! He will also beat you at any debate even if you went in totally confident of your side. He's not, however, disconnected and mean spirited [for the most part]. These things aren't perfect, you know. 
Rhett chose mine as Jennifer Aniston in The Break-up. In his words--he meets her at a Cubs game [Rhett's a HUGE Cubs fan] and she likes decorating...and she's nice but hardheaded. I'm definitely taking this as a compliment!
I chose Rhett as Vince Vaughn in Four Christmases. I love Vince Vaughn and Rhett has that same big funny guy whose also cuddly and sweet persona. Really any Vince Vaughn character would have worked [maybe Couples Retreat would have been a better pick??], but I like this movie much better, and it's my choice. Also, you should know that I get this face ALL THE TIME. I can just hear him saying "babe, that made no sense."
Rhett chose his dad as Ed O'Neill on Modern Family. This is one of our favorite shows and Jay is one of the best characters [really, they're all great]. He's hilarious and endearing at the same time. In his words--you can find him on the golf course. 
He chose his mom as Jane Kaczmarek in Malcolm in the Middle. I personally have never seen an episode of this show, but I'll take his word for it. In his words--she's funny and is always doing housework. She is also a self proclaimed Lois, so I'd say it's a match.
Rhett chose his sister as Ariel Winter in Modern Family [can you tell we love this show?]. Brennan was a really hard one to chose, and Alex is a little young, but she is smart, sarcastic, and funny. In his words--she draws well, plays an instrument, she's smart and sarcastic. Plus she likes hats!

So that pretty much wraps up our families. We had a lot of fun figuring out each person. Who are your family members on TV? It's harder to choose than you might think! 
Tonight we went to the Aggie baseball game and had so much fun. Tomorrow it's basketball time! BTHO OU!
Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I didn't have internet this weekend, and I've been trying to kick a head cold for the past few days. I have a really exciting project to do this weekend--details to come next week!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

whatever you do, don't run

Last year sometime, Rhett and I read the book Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison. We were in a time [and still are] where we lived for the most part in two different towns, so he would read a chapter or so to me over skype each night [awwww]. It's almost impossible to stay awake while you're being read to via skype, so usually we read the last few pages of the previous chapter [which I had slept through] and then some of the next one. ANYWAY, it's a hilarious account of this guys shenanigans in Africa as a Safari Guide, so if you're an animal person, you'll love it. It's a belly-laugh and if-I-think-about-it-the-next-day-I-may-laugh-while-waling-by-myself kind of book. Right now we are reading the sequel, Don't Look Behind You and it's pretty funny. His writing style changed a bit after he became an "author" and he is more seasoned, so he doesn't encounter as many funny mishaps, but it's entertaining nonetheless.
If you're in the market for a fun, light read, I think you've found it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

how to: use a map

Maps are more functional as decoration than as a means to "find" something. 
How's that for a bold statement from a geologist?? 
Ok, turns out I have quite a history with directions/getting lost/being horrible at making maps. In field methods, a TA showed me on my map where to go and check out a certain feature. Long story short[er], I never found said feature - got lost for 3+ hours - balled my eyes out - decided not to yell "HELP!" so I yelled "HELLO??" - ran into baby boars AND their FREAKIN' SCARY mom - got my pocket knife out for protection - blew my rape whistle - no one heard it - lost faith in rape whistles - decided it was now appropriate to yell "HELP!" - didn't make it back to the van on time - the professor and students searched for me in the wilderness [embarrassing] - someone finally found me, and all was well [minus the emotional scars and ego blow]. But take heart! There are, in fact, better things to do with maps than read or make them. 
A while back I saw this magnetic chalkboard tutorial on Design*Sponge. I bought a plain wooden frame at Hobby Lobby for and my mom found me an old Atlas at the library for like $3. I cut the maps out of the Atlas and used modge podge to adhere them to the frame. I got my metal and chalkboard spray paint at Lowe's. Really simple, cute, and fun to do! 
Turns out writing on chalkboards isn't really my thing [not a fan of the texture/residue of chalk]. However, after watching 500 Days of Summer last night, maybe I'll give it another try??

I think maps are timeless and vintage--a must in home decor. Some of my favorite ideas:

In unrelated news, the bf and I went to the fightin' Texas Aggie basketball game tonight where we BTHO Iowa State! It was support the troops night, so we wore camo :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

oreo cheesecakes

My apologies for being a horrible blogger lately. I have also been a horrible resolution keeper [if you were wondering]. However, I have been an awesome oreo cheesecake maker, and let's be honest, that's important.

Last night I made these for Valentines Day with my honey. We are both cheesecake people and I may or may not have an addiction to oreos, so they're right up our alley. They are super easy and not too expensive. I added a little red food coloring to the mix for festivity. I actually brought the rest to work and school today in an attempt to keep our love day treat from turning into love handles. 

I'll be back soon with fun things, promise!

Friday, February 11, 2011

GIVE! nail polish & freedom

This post contains 2 story lines. Stay with me.

1) A couple of weeks ago, I saw this post by Meredith over at Sweet T Family. I LOVE the idea of a blogger [or any] nail polish swap. I didn't know anyone, but I thought "what the heck, it's pretty impossible to have social awkwardness on the internet anyway." So I added my name to the list... 

2) Every Tuesday there is a huge bible study on campus at Texas A&M called Breakaway. Ben Stuart is amazing, and thousands of people come every week to worship and read through the word together. It has been one of my favorite things about A&M for the past 4+ years, but this past Tuesday I was worn out from two long days at work and school and just didn't feel like going. I had already made plans to go with a friend, so I went anyway and it was AWESOME. We are working through the book of Mark and every week is jam packed [in a good way]. It's funny how God works in you even when you feel you aren't open or prepared for it. Not only was Ben's message awesome, but he told us about a new "Shalom" Project we are starting next week... 

These stories fit together in a not so subtle way.

My partner in the polish swap was Abby. She is a super sweet girl and we ended up texting and emailing about school and nail polish [of course!] all week. I got Abby the color "You don't know Jacques." It's a fun gray/brown color with a ghetto-fabulous name.

Turns out I didn't know Jacques about what's STILL going on in Haiti. When the earthquake hit slightly over a year ago, I thought the celebs and political figures had it all taken care of. Turns out I was really wrong. 
The first organization in our Shalom Project at Breakaway is called Restavek Freedom Foundation
Restaveks are children in Haiti whose parents are not able to take care of them after their lives were shattered in the earthquake. They give their children to "upper-class" families in hopes they will have food, shelter, and education. In actuality, these children become slaves, oftentimes for sex. Restavek Freedom Foundation rescues these children, gives them love, education, and nourishment--all in the name of JESUS! For $360, one child can be taken care of for an entire year! Our goal at Breakaway is to fund 30 children for one year. Whatchu know about THAT, Jacques?!

Abby got me the color, Big Hair...Big Nails! I absolutely LOVE it!! It's such a summery and fun HOT red color that makes me want to sip a cold beverage by the pool. These "wintery mix" weather forecasts got nothin' on my nails! They are pure summer. 

It was SO MUCH FUN to open my mail box and see a little package with my name on it, so I can only imagine how the young girls in India feel when the As Our Own organization takes them in with the promise of a NEW LIFE! 
This is the second organization in the Shalom Project. Their "purpose statement" is amazing and explains the name perfectly.
"Our new name encompasses our true vision and lifelong commitment to each child: to care for her as our own—for life."
These girls mothers are often prostitutes [the amount of prostitutes in India is staggering] and when they are around 5 years old, they are sold in a duffel bag into the sex trade. As Our Own "adopts" these girls into their family and shows them the love of Jesus Christ that they, no doubt, have never heard of or felt before. For $3,300, As Our Own can save one girl for LIFE! Our goal at Breakaway is to give 10 girls a better life through As Our Own. We have a BIG GOD with BIG LOVE!

Thanks Meredith, for organizing such a fun polish swap. I love to check in and see what you and your sweet kiddos are up to. 
If you'd like to know more about the organizations above, check out their websites! I promise they are 100% legit. Also, if you'd like to know more about Breakaway, check out their site or download the podcast! Ben is awesome--he makes even the most confusing parts of the Bible applicable and keeps everyone interested with funny anecdotes. ALSO, Breakaway just released a CD called Breakaway//Live recorded last semester. It's mind blowing [my favorite is track 8, Radiate]. You should download it as fast as possible check it out on iTunes!!

Whew--this turned into quite a long post. Kudos if you made it this far. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

monthly resolutions - february

Let's face it, a year is way too long to make a constant effort on one thing. I haven't made new year's resolutions in forever because I can't stay focused for an entire year! The other day I read this post on Bower Power where she made a different resolution for each month. Genius. She pre-made resolutions for the entire year, but since I can't think of that many resolutions at one time, I'm going to make one at the beginning of each month and update on how I'm doing throughout--something serious, goofy, hard, personal, healthy, fun, etc. Maybe I'll throw in some longer term goals/bucket list items too. I thought I'd wait until March, so I would have time to think/an entire month for the resolution, but I think I've found one too hard to keep up with for an entire month that is perfect for the last 2/3 of February:

I resolve for the remainder of February to keep my car cleaned out. This is HUGE if you don't know me. My car serves as a second room/closet. Kiki and I are so pumped.

In other news, I finally found a jar for my sea glass collected in Kauai. It makes me wish I was back in Hawaii, especially with all this crazy cold weather Texas has been dishing out lately. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

learning from the master

A few months ago my roommate, Lauren, taught me how to crochet. Lauren is a master crocheter and I will be requiring more lessons before she moves out and gets married in August! Crocheting is a winter sport, so with the weather lately, I've been really packing it in. I've yet to venture into patterns yet, but I can see that in my future. I got a book of patterns for Christmas and it's full of weird drawings and abbreviations--this is where Lauren comes in. 
During our snow day last week, I finished up my mom's afghan/blanket. This was the first time I tried tassels and I love them!
With all the chilly weather here in Texas lately, my little guy needed a scarf to wear when he goes outside. He's a doll and looks adorable in his Aggie maroon!
I'm loving these bright colors and patterns. Maybe this will be next??

This weekend my grandma, Nan, gave me this amazing sewing basket. She is a master sewer. In fact, I found out this weekend that she made my mom's and BOTH of my aunt's wedding dresses and ALL their bridesmaids dresses!! She has always had the coolest sewing room and she recently gathered up her favorite things and put together a basket for me. What a special gift, especially from Nan who knows all the tips and tricks of sewing.
Now I'm armed and ready to make THIS and THIS and even THIS! oh ya.

Monday, February 7, 2011

you win some, you lose some.

Just ask the Steelers. 
I just got done with a very long battle with Adobe Illustrator. In the first half, AI was killing me, but with a little help from the coach (thanks Dr. Raymond!), I was able to pull out the W in the end. Though it leaves my eyes wondering, why are we still looking at a computer screen??
For our superbowl party I made 2 items. The first is these pepermint patties as seen on Flythroughourwindow. Darby has the cutest ideas, and I basically did exactly what she says on her blog [heart shape, pink center, freezing before dipping in chocolate]. My shortening was sidelined [literally sitting on the side and just never made it into the mixer], but the recipe still worked pretty well. This definitely earns a W. 
The second item I made was edamame hummus. I love edamame, olive oil, and garlic so it sounds like a perfect [and healthy] choice. I even exchanged parsley for basil [love] and coriander for chipotle chili powder [love] and I still did not like this dip. I guess I'm not a hummus person. Several people at the party said they liked it AND it has a 5 star rating on the food network website, but for me, it gets an L. 
Don't take my word for it! Give it a try. Maybe you'll love it. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

sentences are overrated. finish my attic.

I have this awful habit of trailing off at the end of a sentence or not finishing it at all. If I'm on my computer, forget it. It drives Rhett crazy and when I stop talking in the middle of a sentence he begins shouting out random guesses of what the end of the sentence might be. I say forget sentences will work on completing my thoughts in the future. I will also work on finishing my attic when I get a house. I think my boo will be better at finishing attics as well :) Attics are amazing because they have 1) angular walls 2) cozy spaces 3) trap door entrances. Take a peak at some of my favorite attic ideas.
sleepy bear bed
rock wall

It's official, my junk will have to find another place to chill. These finished attics are too good to pass up. 

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