Friday, April 27, 2012

The one about Little Bee

Yesterday I was called in to sub Chemistry.  You know me...the mad scientist...I'm all like percent yields and stoichiometry - you ask I'll tell you. not. Thankfully all I had to do was proctor a test...that I can do - here kids, wish I could answer your questions but trust me you don't want me review with each other for a few minutes, now here is the test, don't look at your neighbors paper, don't chat, turn it in when you're done and stay quiet till the last test is complete. Done! Ah yeah...easy peasy...minus the fact that makes for one loooooong day of BORING.

Wi-Fi was a no go on my lap top - I guess the science wing is too far away from the library's router. Damn.  No pinterest. Or blogging. wha ta dooo...Thank God I brought my book. Unfortunately I didn't realize how near the end I was....only 150 pages left. (Yes, I am being facetious - are you crazy?? that's like half the book!!...Don't get me wrong I enjoy reading...but by no means am I the most amazing reader that was put on Earth...I've always been a slow reader...and I like to think of reading like a fine wine - it was an acquired taste - or at least it was for me. Perhaps that's why I empathize with my students...I've assigned my fair share of books - I mean come on, it's school and reading is key...but I do get it...I might have finished maaaaybe one book in high school. I think it was called Harry Potter or something. Internet and cliff notes were two of my best friends. shhhh. anywayssss, I finish lots more books these days.) so back to the few pages I had left. Welp when you're bored for 7 hours straight it's easy to get through that!! I was only sad I didn't bring a second book with me.

Per request of a few of my friends I went out and bought the book titled Little Bee...I was lucky - it was at Costco in paperback for a decent price (books are so expensive!) I took it with me to California (spring break trip) but was so busy exploring and seeing I really didn't read all that much - anyway, it was fantastic. I loved it!!! Totally didn't know what to expect, I didn't read any reviews on it or even the back cover...I just opened it up and started reading it (and now I can hear people being all like haha she went and just bought a book without even knowing what it was about - if her friend told her to jump off a bridge she would...i'm going to leave a comment and tell her to read The Iliad. Wrong, this is a book, not life or death, so recommendations on novels I'll take...and I wouldn't read the Iliad. I'm not a moron.) Anyway, it was about a refugee girl from Nigeria and her encounter with two English (from England) people on a vacation...that's all I'll say about it - I hate any rate, it was enlightening, sad, good, entertaining, lots of sweet moments, several disheartening was a heavy read but not over the top. I totally recommend it!!!
I think next on my to-read list is going to be The Shack...My sister read it a long while back, it's been in our book shelf...I remember her saying that she liked it...but that it was sort of a slow read and also it was kind of sad, so I never really picked it up.  Again, I don't know much about it...but I had a friend recently suggest it to me...and since I have it I thought I would give it a go. So we'll see!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The one about my morning coffee run

There are lots of days when I sometimes think... "I wonder if I will ever meet that guy?"..."one that I wouldn't mind cooking dinner for every night, who'll sit and watch dance moms, the bachelor, and so you think you can dance with me even if he doesn't love it, who will do the dishes or take out the garbage, who'll mow the grass, wipe the dogs muddy feet off when it needs to come in, you know that  kind of guy." ...don't get me wrong I've met my fair share of great people but for one reason or another it never seems to pan out.  He always seems to be all like...the dog, the mud, that's asking just a bit too much out of me...the guys...the game...too busy...working..blah blah..yadaydaaaa

Well today I was reminded that there really are those rare gems out there.  The ones that will wipe off the muddy paws and even go wash dry and fold the towel.  The kind of men that stop you cold in your tracks and you're all like wow, did you really just do that...for me?? That was so nice!! I feel like a princess!

He was 3.

I didn't get called in to sub today so after I did my usual morning email/dancestuff/job-hunt-checking I got up and went to the gym...after the gym I stopped by New Seasons, near my house, to grab some coffee.  New Seasons (at least in Clackamas) has these double walk through one set of grab your cart and then you walk through another set to enter in to the store...well so I walked in through the first set of doors this am and I see a woman with her two little boys.  One maybe 1 1/2 or so sitting in the cart, the other maybe about 3 standing sort of near her.  I briefly heard her whisper something to the little mister - I thought maybe it was like a "hey come here" (to move him out of my way) but instead he toddled over to the door and with all of his might reached up grabbed the handle (with both hands), braced his feet square on and pulled as hard as he could - looking up at me with big round opened maybe a whole 4 inches (his little muscle arms were pulling as hard as they could)...I heard his mom whisper "open it up all the way for her..."
It took me a second to realize what was actually going on...I'm not used to such great treatment!!!
I flashed the mom a big grin...looked down at the little guy (as I gently helped him with the door...) and replied "You are quite the gentleman!! Thank you so much for opening the door for me!"
He let out a big sigh, smiled and dashed over to his mom...
I thanked him one last time - gave the mom a quick grin and walked in to get my coffee.

If I am ever blessed with a son I want to be that kind of mom.  One that raises a kind, thoughtful and respectful guy who opens doors for ladies...

Melt my heart!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The one where I re-did my couch

I know I posted a picture of two of my new pillows on fact, that was actually part of the reason that inspired me to really sit down yesterday and actually START this blog. I wanted to post about it but didn't really have a place that I wanted to. So I was all like hey I guess I'll start that blog now #YOLO (@annaspalds).

I remember the day I bought my first couch. I wrote all about it here...I loved that thing, and I felt like such a grown up! I even build the damn thing myself...well with Laura's help... and let me tell you it WAS NOT easy. Not even a little bit. Over the years...between living in a college type house, my kitten that felt it was necessary (as an indoor cat) to sharpen her nails on the back edges every 17 seconds, 3 moves, and the final straw - my parents old cat (who is now up in kitty heaven) Olivia (yeah the cat's name was Olivia...we're into fancy cat names around here) peed all over it ---and by all over, I'm talking ALL OVER. As in it touched 4 cushions. not just one. four. three throw cushions. and a snuggy. why she decided it was necessary to pee in the middle of the couch on the one area where the chaise lounge connected to the sofa and and where all the cushions sat - I'll never know. but I was NOT happy - and that that was before I even knew what an extreme pain in the ass it is to actually clean OFF the cat pee. It took me about 2 weeks. No joke. I tried everything - until I found THE thing.

I tried a hydrogen peroxide soak. I tried a vinegar bath. I tried a baking soda paste. I tried this pet enzyme remover called Complete (that worked on the down pillows - helped on the cushions but still wasn't all the way better)...then my mom found this all natural enzyme cleaner (supposedly kills bacteria as well) from New Seasons. THAT was the trick!!!! It finally removed the last remnants of pee...(that smell seriously is gnarly). I highly recommend this if you're ever in the same situation. All you smell is a faint scent of lemon when it's dry!

Anyway the cushions were fixed!!! Of course the covers had to be tossed (it was probably time for them to go anyway)...but also let me tell you those babies are not cheap!! At least not the one's I was needed to replace...We're talking something like $400 - I wasn't exactly anticipating that... so I decided to go the cheapest route I could and I'm thrilled I did. It actually worked out better, cause the covers are Ikea's base color - white!! I'm really into white right now. White bedding, white trim, white furniture - it would probably be easier for me to be into something like brown or black, cause of course white is dangerous...but I can't help it, the white always just looks so clean and pretty!! And for a whole $98 bucks and a TON of leg work I was able to re-do my entire couch! It looks brand new and soooo cute! I also bought 4 pillows from Ikea. Two really cheap simple white ones ($4 bucks each), a black and white houndstooth printed pillow (I loved it!!! I couldn't say no - it was $12), and another all black one that I loved (it was more of splurge for $17) - I wanted more - I LOVE throw pillows on a couch...but I knew if I wasn't careful I would spend more money on pillows than my actual coverings - and the purpose here was to actually save money. (Not my best skill). So I decided to pinterest about it...I searched DIY pillows. Of course I found a TON that I wanted to recreate...but I settled on three. Drove down to Jo-Anns to get the fabric...spent $12 (much cheaper than buying 3 additional pillows that's for sure!!) Dug out my mom's sewing machine, opened up my computer, followed some great online tutorials...since it really was one of my first times ever sewing...for real.

Like this one here to create basic slip-back pillows. For my first one (the smaller ruffled shimmery one) I literally came across some clearance fabric that I liked...sewed together two square pieces of basic black fabric in the size I wanted, flipped it inside out, stuffed it up and sewed up the last edge to make the pillow. Then I created a basic black slip cover sewed the front edge of it to my fabric choice flipped it inside out, stuck the pillow in and BAM done!!

My second two pillows were a bit more elaborate. I followed this blog here to create the pulled effects. And this blog here to create the ruching bunched look.

Here are my final products!!!

Here is the entire finished couch! It took way too many hours, but I'm really proud of it!! AND I love it!! I'm not going to lie - I look forward to the day when I can just run out and buy the shit I need/want rather than spending hours and hours and HOURS trying fix, sew, clean, and repair things (especially things that are almost not even worth the time...I Ikea couch? it's not like it's some fancy designer leather piece...but I'm a substitute teacher so let's get real - clearance fabric is about all I can afford.) Anyway, here it is!!

And the couch is just a portion of the room...the room that used to be the playroom, then I turned it into my apartment, then my grandma lived in it, then my sister turned it in to her apartment, then it became storage, and now I am helping my mom to clean it out, brush it up, and make it an actual living space (filled with some of my things until I can get a full time job and actually MOVE OUT!!). Here is the almost finished right side of the Shepherd bonus room.

With Ikea's help I built those two book shelves and that coffee table. I'm thinking it's coming along!! The only problem is now...I came across this when I was looking for DIY pillows. A knock off pattern to a $400 Anthropology bedding set. Uh oh...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The one that will start the rest....

I've been thinking about it for a while now...blogging. See, the thing is, I used to do it ALL the time!! And not just on my own blog...I blogged on lots of sites - I had this one that was all about my adventures when I studied abroad in Europe, I blogged for my old agency, I had this one blog that was actually hilarious (at least at the time) about all things bitchy and fancy (it sounds crazy - and well, it was crazy...), I blogged on behalf of my clients on lots of different sites...mostly though I blogged on my old site This is the way I live. I have thought about going back to that site and starting it back up again. But there was always something that was holding me back... I think sometimes because it felt more like an old journal...not a current one. But I miss blogging - sometimes there are just things you need to write about, or share, or explain...facebook is just like too out there, twitter is not enough space, and pinterest is all great and picture like...but when I find those really important things I need to bake or make or build I need a place to show people how I did it and why it was necessary that I spent 2 hours figuring out how to decoupage an old doily to a pot.

So there it is...the inspiration for my new blog. I'm excited about it...and I'm hoping that I can stay dedicated...I have lots of ideas of things I want to write about - not sure if anyone will even be reading it, but I'm ok with that. Mostly I like to blog for myself...cause it's fun to go back and read about stuff I was thinking about or doing or the story of my old crazy neighbor lady or when I got my little baby girl (she was so CUTE!)...and things like this - my life's to-do list. I wrote it about 4 years ago...I don't look at it all that often, every year or's always funny to me to look at it, because some of the things I forget are on the list...some I say "hey I did that!!" like I haven't actually read it yet - BUT I bought War & Peace about 3 weeks's going to happen!!

Anyway, you get the point. Whether I am the only one that reads this thing or not...I'm excited about starting up again. So here it goes. Cheers to hopefully my first blog that I won't stop writing on. The one that will hopefully start all of the rest...

Now alls I have to do is get me one of those fancy cameras...the one that the really good bloggers have.