Friday 5

It’s almost the weekend!! Here are 5 things I am kind of obsessed with this week.

 

1. I am really excited to finally be able to share that I have a new job! I am super excited to start this new phase of my career on Monday.  Yep, you read that correctly Monday! Since we are taking a week of in June for our trip in Jamaica I figured why not just hit the ground running, and from experience I know having a week off between jobs leaves me far to much time to roam the isles of Target and burn up my debit card.

2. This weekend my friend Liz and I are taking a mini road trip to visit our friend Alanna for a very girly weekend.  Not only are going out for a formal tea, we also scored some of the hottest tickets in town to the Downton Abbey costume exhibit at the Winterthur Museum.  Alanna and I are big fans of the show and now that Liz is on summer break from law school we are determined to turn her into another fan.  If you want to see the exhibit word to the wise book EARLY! It was crazy trying to secure our tickets.  Luckily we connections ( Alannas mother is a member of the museum) but there was so much traffic the website went down when we tried to reserve our time.  I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with these ladies and seeing the beautiful costumes in person.

DA

3. Paleo week 2 – The first week of our paleo challenge went really well.  We stuck with it up until last night.  My co-workers held a going away happy hour for me and on thing lead to another and before the night was over I had consumed almost all of an individual size pizza.  Do I regret it…..not really.  As soon as that hot cheese, sauce and crust hit my mouth it was an explosion of flavors.  Seriously the best thing I had ever consumed.  I paid for it later when I woke up in the middle of the night with intense stomach pains and a totally stuffed up nose.  It’s becoming more and more obvious that gluten and I have a love hate relationship.

So after indulging WITH moderation this weekend, we will pick this back up on Monday.  I am sad to report that I didn’t magically drop 10 lbs in 4.5 days like I was hoping, but the number on the scale did go down a hare.  I am scared to look at what last nights pizza debacle did to that number eeekk.  Thanks to Pinterest we already have a full weeks worth of dinner items already planned out.

4. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am pop culture junkie so it goes without saying that I have been obsessed with the whole Jay Z and Solange throw down. My co-workers and I broke down the video almost frame by frame and let’s just say we came up with some rather interesting scenarios which then lead us to talking about the Notorious BIG, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans love triangle…..

5.  I found this on Pinterest and it literally made me laugh out loud….

funny

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday 5

TGIF!!! Seriously this has been a week to end all weeks.  I am looking forward to a weekend full of eating and drinking.  Steve’s mom and my parents are coming into to town to celebrate Mother’s Day so wine is a definite with that crowd.  Here are few things that are on my radar this week.

1. Maxi dresses – I am obsessed with finding the perfect maxi dress for our trip to Jamaica.  I bought one from Old Navy a couple of weeks ago thinking that since I am not 100% sure this look is going to work for me I shouldn’t invest a lot of money.  Yeah well that didn’t work out too well.  It was that kind of fabric that just clung to every lump and bump and only looked good if you were a runway model.  So here are a few of the other options that I am considering:

This H&M number is less than $20 and I really like the color.  Although it looks a little sort on the model, but for that price point it’s worth a try

hm dress

This Gabriella Rocha dress looks super comfortable, but I am slightly worried that it’s too much fabric and I might get lost in it.  Considering that I initially saw  this dress in another blog post written by a pregnant chick (she is thinking about wearing it for her baby shower) I might be better off with another option.

GR dress

 

I love this BB Dakota dress.  It has a cut that can be dressed up or down, but it is on the very high end of my budget

bb dakota dressThis Splendid Tank is probably where I am leaning toward just due to the style and the price point.

splendid dress

 

 

2. Hillwood Museum – To keep our families entertained this weekend we are going to do a tour of the Hillwood Estate museum and gardens.

hillwood

 

3. All things paleo – Don’t worry I am not turning into some health food junkie!  Steve is participating in a paleo challenge with a few of his co-workers and I figured I would join him.  Lord knows I could stand to loose some bloat before I am in a bathing suit for a week.  Plus it would be nice not to come home with extra vacation weight.  Luckily according to what I have found on Pinterest we already eat a lot of the recommended paleo foods we just need to ditch the little bit of dairy and gluten that we eat and swap starches for leafy greens.  Good by sweet potatoes😦  The challenge starts Monday so I will give an update next week.

4.  Katy Perry – I have a deep love for all Katy Perry songs….well maybe not Alien…. and I can’t get her latest song “Birthday” out of my head.  I am sure you have heard it at least once by now, but if you haven’t seen the video it’s hilarious! It’s the perfect thing to watch to put you in a good mood for the weekend.

5. People being silly on social media – Seeing that I have made social media my profession it amazes me how other tech/digital people make complete fools of themselves via social media.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter have been around long enough that there are so many horror stories about people being fired for saying stupid crap on there that everyone should know better than to drink and tweet! Anyway I am stepping off my soap box for a second to share this story that I have been following all week. When people say truth can be stranger than fiction I believe it because each day this story just gets a little stranger.

Well that’s it for this week.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and see you back here next week🙂

Faux Hydrangea Centerpiece

Happy Monday! The weather was as beautiful as they predicted it to be last week and Steve and I took advantage of our first weekend at home to really spruce up the back yard, but we still have a few things left to do out there so I am debating on if I should share is as a work in progress or not.  Until then I thought I would post about a couple craft projects I worked on during my day off last week.  One of these was creating a faux hydrangea centerpiece for the dining room table.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a big beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers on the table, but I don’t have the kind of paycheck to constantly keep that up and Steve was really embarassed when I would clip flowers from our neighbors bushes during Lola’s nightly walks.  With spring finally upon us, daily deal sites like One Kings Lane and Wayfair have had an abundance of silk flower sales. The big hydrangea arrangements really caught my eye, but the price tags of $100 and up are out of my budget for something so small.  I am fully aware that there are different levels of silk flowers and that the ones that are less likely to look fake cost more money. To save some money I decided to try and DIY an arrangement.

Years ago my mother and I put together something similar with stones and faux orchids so I had an idea of where to start.  When we were in Williamsburg for Easter I took this as my opportunity to gather my supplies.  I got the glass bowl from Homegoods for $6! Then the group of four hydrangea flowers were from Michaels where I also got the fake water product.  As I scoured the floral section there was a variety of hydrangea options not only in color, but also in quality and price.  Unfortunately, there was a big floral sale (of course the hydrangeas I got were still full price) so I couldn’t get four of the exact same flower, but I think the ones that I was able to get look pretty convincing until you get really close.

fauxflowers1

Once I had all my supplies gathered it was time to assemble.  First I gave the bowl a good cleaning with Windex and a lint free cloth.  You don’t want to have any dirt or finger prints on the inside before you pour the water and add the flowers otherwise they are there to stay.  Next I trimmed down the flowers so the petals were sitting evenly with the opening of the bowl.  The wire were actually a little more industrial than I thought so I had to grab the wire cutters from the garage.  Next I followed the instruction on the box of the fake water.  I didn’t really take into account how big the bowl was so I probably should have gone with boxes of this project, but with no Michaels close by to run to I had to make due with one.

The last step was to add and arrange the flowers.  The “water” doesn’t fully set for 8 hours so you have sometime to play around with your arrangement.  I did a test run before I even poured it to be sure, but if you are more free flowing person you have time work with it.  Overall all I like the outcome and the cost probably totaled around $50 for all of the components with the highest cost coming from the fake water so it was a much more cost effective alternative.  Things I learned – I could have maybe added one more flower to make it a little tighter and buy multiple boxes of the fake water or add in pebbles.  After all was said and done it struck me I could have used my leftover white beach pebbles in the bottom.

fauxflowers2

Have you ever tried to DIY/copy a higher end floral arrangement? How did yours come out?

 

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Friday 5

In an attempt to be a better blogger I am going to try out this whole “Friday 5” thing I have been seeing all over the bloggerverse.  Basically it’s just a list of the 5 things I am really into this week.  I know, you are all dying to know what I am lusting over, but being the creepy stalker that I am, I kind of love reading other blogger Friday 5 posts.  So here is my first Friday 5!

1.  Sam & Libby d’orsay flats from Target – Steve and I made a trip to Long Island last weekend and originally we weren’t going to come back until Monday, but things at work got crazy for Steve so we had to come back on Sunday afternoon.  Making that drive home on a Sunday afternoon sucked, but I decided that since I already asked for the day off I might as well just take it to get my life back in order from all the weekend traveling we have done.  Well this included a solo trip to Target.  I can not tell you how nice it was to roam the isles in the middle of the day with the crowds and without a husband telling me to hurry up.

sam and libby

However, looking back I don’t know if having all the time in the world to roam was a good thing or bad thing because I left with a bunch of things that weren’t really things I NEEDED, but when I saw these Sam & Libby beige and black d’orsay flats in the sale section I knew I had to have them.  Seriously when did Target start carrying Sam & Libby? When I was little I rocked the original Sam & Libby ballet flats with the bows on the front like it was my job!  Lucky for me (and not my bank account) I found these in my size and threw them in my basket.  I love the color combo and the gold detailing makes them look a lot more expensive than the $19.95 I paid for them.

They also come in a black snake skin which I debated getting, but I found a pair of wedges I really like too and I thought that three pairs of shoes might be a little much for one Target trip.  Sadly, I just looked online and the snake skin version is not on sale there.  I might have to drag Steve back there this weekend because not only are these super cute, but I wore them to work on Wednesday and they are also super comfy!

sam and libby 2

 

2.  BaubleBar monogram necklace – Ladies (and gentleman if you are looking for gift ideas) have you checked out BaubleBar yet?!? If not, get there now! It’s an amazing website where you can purchase all kinds of on trend costume jewelry at really affordable prices.  Like seriously stop waiting for that super expensive necklace you saw on J. Crew to go on clearance because chances are pretty good there is an almost identical version on BaubleBar for a fraction of the price.

I am counting down the days until my next paycheck so I can buy the “Acrylic Block Monogram Necklace.”    I am thinking possibly the tortious shell finish but I also like the idea of doing it in a fun color in hot pink or bright blue.  Then I am also still undecided on if I want to do just my first and last initial or all three.  First world problems I know….good thing I have another week and half to think about it.

BBnecklace2 BBnecklace1

3. Threshold throw pillow – There was a real “Sophie’s Choice” moment in Target when I made my way to the home decor section and found these Threshold pillows on sale. I must have stood in the pillow isle for 10 min look at the pillows and then looking at my shoes deciding if I wanted to buy two pairs of shoes or two pillows.  My bank account would not allow me to have both.  From my number one on this weeks list it’s obvious that I went with the shoes.  This might be the one time I wished Steve was with me so he could have bought the pillows and I wouldn’t have had to think about sacrificing my shoes.  These caught my eye for the color combination and I think they would look good on our living room sofa to bring some new colors in besides blue, white, and gray.

pillow

 

 

4. Being at home! Steve and I have literally traveled every weekend for the past three weeks.  I can’t wait to finally spend a full weekend at home and sleeping in my own bed! Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to get out of town and see friends and family, but three weeks in a row is a bit much for this homebody. Good news! The rain finally ended and it looks like we are going to have beautiful weather so come next week I should have some yard updates to share with you.

5. Jamaica on my mind – With all the traveling and work craziness that has been happening the past few weeks I cannot wait until our trip to Jamaica, and the thought of doing absolutely nothing except for reading by the pool with a pina colada in my hand.

hotel

Easter Weekend Recap

Hello everybody! I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. We headed down to Williamsburg to spend the holiday with my parents.  Due to Steve’s crazy work schedule we decided to relax Friday night and drive down early on Saturday morning, which was a great decision because there was no traffic! For anyone who drives that stretch of the 95 corridor you know how awful driving between D.C. and Richmond can be.  After lunch I had a full afternoon planned for us which included Michaels, Homegoods, and Target.  Steve wasn’t to thrilled with the idea but I finished the afternoon with a tour of the Alewerks Brewing Company.

I am sure you are scratching your head as to why I would drive all the way to Williamsburg just to go to stores we have at home, but the major difference is that these three stores are literally all within a 1 mile distance from each other and it takes less than 10 minutes to drive there from my parents house.  If I wanted to go to all three of these stores at home I would have to block out half a day when you think about distance and traffic.  I was also pleasantly surprised that an Ulta makeup store had opened in the same shopping center as Michaels and Homegoods which meant I could knock out a trip to the mall I had planned for later on this week.  The convenience of  having all these stores in one place with ample FREE parking almost makes me want to move to the suburbs.

At Michaels and Homegoods I picked up supplies for a couple of crafting projects that I hope to work on this week. Here is a preview of the pile in the corner of our living room –

craftstuff

I may have gone a little crazy in the floral department but there were 50% off signs and my heart just started racing.  Sorry to say that I walked away with only the essentials from Target.  We were on a tight deadline to make our brewery tour so roaming the isles.

If you ever make it to Williamsburg and you like craft beer I highly suggest you take a trip to the Alewerks Brewing Company.  It’s a very small operation that is located in an industrial park but they make some awesome beer. Since they are such a small operation their distribution area is limited to Virginia, D.C., and Philly so this is a great opportunity to try their beer if you don’t live in these areas.  Steve and I had tastes a couple of their beers which is how we heard about them.  I had tried to get tour reservations before but they sell out fast so if you want to go plan ahead.  However, if  you have been to a craft brewery before it’s pretty much the same script so you can just sit in their new tasting room and enjoy some pints.  Word to the wise, some of the beers have a very high alcohol content that can creep up on  you if you aren’t careful.  Let’s just say 6:30 am Easter mass was not fun after a couple pints the night before.

Sunday my mother cooked a great Easter brunch, and then pretty soon after that we hit the road.  Good thing we did because we hit horrible traffic about 40 miles from home. It sucked having to spend most of the beautiful afternoon stuck in the car, but we were home early enough to enjoy a couple hours of day light.

 

New Basement Pillows

Wow. You can really tell by that totally uninspired blog title that it’s a Monday.  Well, just like the title implies, I got new pillows for our basement sofa.  Our Bob’s Discount Furniture sofa came with two really ugly throw pillows.  I don’t really understand why discount furniture places do this.  Those pillows are usually a dead giveaway that it isn’t from a high-end retailer.  I guess they are trying to make it more of a package deal because I admit throw pillows can get pricey, but I would rather they make them optional and save me an extra $100 so I can go out an buy my own.

basementpillows

After much research I decided that it was more budget friendly to keep the ugly pillows that came with the sofa and just get new covers for them.  Since I am all thumbs when it comes to sewing, I went to my trusty DIY website Etsy to find pre-made covers. Seriously, just type in “Pillow Covers” in the search bar and a million choices will come up. The “Suzani” pillow cover by “Homestreet Decor” really caught my eye.  It had that same dark turquoise color as the T.V. stand and it was a fun informal pattern.  Another selling point about this item was it’s price – $18 for an 18″ x 18″ pillow cover, yes please!

I chose to use the “Suzani” for the smaller pillows, but I still needed something for the 20″x 20″ pillows. Lucky for me “Homestreet Decor” had a collection of other fabrics that would go with that pattern.  Sometimes it’s nice not to have to think so hard about things like that. For the larger pillows I chose to go with the “Gotcha” gray square pattern.  When the covers arrived given my latest string of DIY challenges I was prepared for the worst.  Well for once the hardest part of the whole process was getting the actual pillows to fit in the zippered opening.  Once that was done all I had to do was zipper them up and place them on the sofa.

Overall I am really happy with the way they turned out.  They add an extra pop of color to that side of the room and they tie the whole color scheme together.  It’s been a few months since I updated my basement to-do list so here is what I have left to accomplish:

  • Paint the walls
  • Hang art 
  • Buy a pull out sofa
  • Buy a T.V. stand
  • Move T.V from the living room to the basement – I used a gift card from Hanukkah to buy a new TV
  • Find some type of display for Steve’s shot glasses
  • Cover ugly throw pillows that came with the sofa
  • Order side table
  • Get rid of the ugly lamp – this got donated to local charity fundraiser back in January🙂
  • Upgrade the coffee table

Only three more items to go until my list is complete.  Too bad I left most of the expensive stuff for then end….

Just a Few Updates

Sorry for the radio silence around here.  It seems like every DIY or home update has just been full of challenges which have left both Steve and I frustrated and in bad moods.  Seriously nothing seems to be easy for us. I am finally trying to step out of our pity party and share whats been happening on the home front.

1. The leaky miss-matched shower head has been fixed! Steve’s Dad Paul spent a good portion of his visit battling with it.  Lucky for us he arrived with tools and a polished chrome connector thingy to replace the brass one we had on there before.  After some investigation Paul figured out that the pipe coming out of the wall that we were trying to attach the shower arm to was actually a shower arm itself, and the way to fix/remove that was to disconnect it from the pipe INSIDE the wall.  To do this we had two options try and disconnect it with the small opening we had and then hope there was no type of leaking once we connected the new arm, or cut out some the drywall to make room to work and watch for leaks. Neither of those options sounded appealing so we went with just having a slightly ghetto set up until we can afford to get the whole bathroom renovated.

showerhead

2. The door knob update saga is over! Well kind of.  During one of our many trips to Home Depot I stopped by the door knob section to see about updating the knobs on the door going out to the deck.  Ummmm those deadbolts are not cheap! The whole deal was going to cost me over $100 and with my other experiences updating the knobs not being 100% perfect, I search the internet for ways to update the current knobs that worked just fine.  My search turned up this tutorial by the Thrifty Decor Chick on how to spray paint your old brass knobs.

I was really careful to keep the knob and deadbolt   pieces separate and I do  highly suggest you use the TDC’s shortcut of using an empty box to prop everything up.  I followed her guideline almost exactly.  I used Rust-Oleum Flat Metallic Universal Spray Paint and primer in one which can be used on any surface including metal.  Granted I did start this project a little late in the day and because the temperature was below 70 degrees (the optimal drying temperature according to the directions) it did take longer than I wanted it to.  Once everything was dry (about 4 coats later because I kept missing spots) I was excited to put the finished product back on the door, but while all the parts were outside drying some evil little troll must have come and replaced them with different screws because when I went to put everything back nothing fit right.

Needless to say there was a lot of swearing and throwing of things, but I got them back on the door and they still work.  However, while this was a pain in the ass, I would have been more upset if I had spent the money to replace them because some parts of the door had been painted over so many times there was no way of getting them out.

door knob

3. The bedroom door is still not fixed.  Long story short we ordered a 30″ wide door when really we needed a 29 and 3/4″ door.  The nice people at Home Depot took back our old door and only charged us the difference between our two orders.  Fingers crossed we will have a functioning bedroom door at the beginning of May.

4. Another find during one of our many Home Depot trips were these sweet outdoor chairs.  You might remember last year that we had four camping chairs – in four different colors because that’s what happens when you let your husband buy the chairs – and we were using coolers for tables. We are all champagne and caviar for summer 2014 because not only do we have a table we now have four matching chairs.  I can’t wait until it gets warm enough to sit out there and enjoy them!

5. We had some company stay with us last weekend and I wanted to bring a little bit of spring into the house so I picked up these tulips and hyacinth at Whole Foods – we were also buying snacks for guests so it was two birds with one stone kind of thing.  I love the way the tulips spread out and really take up the space on the dining table, the hyacinth make the house smell amazing, but I was hoping to put them outside on the deck but it’s just a little too cold.  Until the temps warm up they will greet us as we walk in the house.

 

 

tulips

hyacinth

Well that’s about everything that happened while I was pouting over my DIY fails.  I have an order from Etsy that should be arriving soon so fingers crossed everything will work out and I can share an easy update with you.