Healthy Living Check In: November

Since the summer I’ve been sharing a few personal check in posts, and I thought what with the holidays that it may be a good time to give an update.

Fitness & Weight

  • I have sort of plateaued at 14 pounds of weight loss (since June). I have about 5-6 more pounds to go, but seriously, now is not the time for that. My goal is to maintain my current weight loss throughout the holidays, then get back to trying to lose in January/February. BUT, for anyone, weight loss shouldn’t be the only goal! I want to be more fit and that’s more important then the number on the scale. So, my fitness goal is to run a 5k in April. It’s one my family fund raises for each year so it’s important to me and also doable.
  • T25 has been a great fitness routine so far! My husband and I did 2 rounds of Alpha and now we’re moved up to Beta- which I think we will also do 2 rounds of. There’s a Gamma level as well, but I think I want to try something new (Piyo? Hip hop abs?). Really, I just want to run outside but it’s winter in New England so that’s not going to happen right now.

funny running quote

Health & Mind

  • I’m still going strong with my allergy shots and I’m still feeling good about them! At this point I get them once a month (3 in total), and my arms usually hurt that evening and are a little tender the next day, but it’s no big deal.
  • I overloaded this semester… and I write about time in semesters because I’m a full time college advisor and a part time faculty member. I agreed teach 3 classes this semester (in addition to my 40 hour/week full time position) because we needed/wanted the money, and that was too much. I need to scale back on the work and realize we are financially stable despite how much I want all our debt to be paid off right this second.
  • Trying to give back in small ways has become more important to me. I have a harsh and sarcastic personality, but in my mind all I want to do is save animals and empower women. I don’t think it comes across that way in real life. Hmm. I need to figure something out for this.

she believed she could inspirational quote

Skin & Beauty

  • As much as I tell everyone I stopped aging at 25, I didn’t. Ugh. Skincare is important, particularly because I have psoriasis. Winter is harsh and for some reasons my legs feel it the most. I’ve been using this Aveeno souffle on my legs every night after I shower, except on the nights when I shave my legs and then I use this ahhhh-mazing body oil by Farmhouse Fresh. I super recommend them (and those companies don’t know who I am, these are just products I use and recommend to you).
  • I’m a big fan of all things Dickinson’s, so this witch hazel toner is also amazing on my face after my shower, and I haven’t had a break out in months. Bonus: my husband uses it too!
  • I’m in desperate need of a new shampoo/conditioner combo that isn’t a million dollars, but isn’t super cheap either. Tresumme and Fructis just aren’t cutting it any more… any suggestions?

kindness quote

How are you keeping healthy lately? Got any programs to recommend? Shampoo/Conditioners I’m missing out on?

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See previous healthy living posts here: June / July / October

An interview, a book, & a recipe

I’ve got a little hodgepodge of thoughts for you today…

1. I’m over at Terry’s Fabric’s blog talking about creative trends (colors, textiles, fabrics) that are interesting to mix and match. Check it out here.

trendy fabric material colors

 

2. Have you checked out the Craft Fail book by Heather Mann yet? I got it in the mail and meant to just flip through it and then read it later…. but like an hour later I was on the couch going page by page. Loved it! Makes a great coffee table book and would be a fun little gift for a crafter in your life.

Craft-Fail-Book

3. Tis the season to cook/bake your butt off. Might I suggest the following dish…

pumpkin pie cake

I made it two years ago and it was a huge hit- so so good. And super easy! Check it out on Sawdust & Embryos.

 

What’s happening in your world these days? Share in the comments!

Easy DIY Display Shelf

It’s kind of weird that the room we spend the most time in has gotten the least amount of attention on the blog- but that’s probably because it’s not the most beautiful space in our house, even though it’s definitely the coziest (and the most awesome). Also, it’s a basement so there’s limited lighting andddd we painted super dark walls.

Matt & I are really into movies, and we own over 5,000 of them. Some of them are autographed, some are limited editions, some have collectibles to go along with them. We have plenty of space to store all the movies, but not the space to display some of the stuff we love. So I built 3 super easy floating display shelves using 1×2 and 1×8 boards.

diy floating display shelves

Let’s side track for a second: Not too long ago when I’d read a DIY post and it would have lumber measurements in it my eyes would glaze over and I’d assume I couldn’t do it. YOU CAN TOTALLY BUY LUMBER. That section of big orange or big blue is extremely intimidating… but you can do hard things! Go! Wander around! Find wood!

Ok. Back on track. Shelves.

shallowed floating shelves

I built one long shelf for along a side wall, and then 2 to go above our windows. I used a miter saw to make the cuts (the 1×2 was 1 cut, the 1×8 required me to cut one side then flip it to cut the other). A jigsaw or circular saw would work just as well.

Make pilot holes in your 1×2, then screw it into the wall- if you can find studs that would be best but these aren’t holding a lot of weight so it didn’t matter too much for us. I spaced my screws about a foot and a half apart, and buried them so I could fill them in and paint smoothly over them.

I applied Gorilla Glue on top of the 1×2, then placed the 1×8 on top and screwed it in, spacing those screws similarly and being really careful to drill straight so they didn’t pop through.

display shelf above window

 

I painted the shelves the same color as the walls (City Nights by Clark + Kensington). For the two shelves above the window, I screwed the 1×2 directly above the molding and it blends in really well.

blu ray storageThe 3 light wood shelving systems you see above are for our blu-rays, each one holds 500 so we’ve got plenty of room to grow. We can use the top of those, plus the 3 display shelves to keep our autographed movies and paraphernalia out and about.

Behind the couch is where all our DVD’s are…

built in shelf for movies

 

Those shelves were similarly built- 1×2′s along the side walls with 1×8′s on top. We did that when we first moved in with the intention of painting them (and the whole built in area) white… but… that never happened. And now there’s thousands of movie sin the way. Womp womp.

Got any questions? Leave them in the comments!

(PS- to see how we hid the wires for our 7 speaker surround sound, check here.)

 

 

 

 

#Inspiration Friday

Ok so I totally slacked blogging this week- sorry about that! It’s been insanely busy working my full time job, my part time job, and managing to have a life (those O-Town reunion concerts aren’t going to attend themselves….). But I’ll be back next week with some super easy display shelves that anyone can build. Pinky promise.

As for this week, I managed to squeak together another Inspiration Friday graphic for you, a quote from the magnificent Charles Eames. (See all of them here.)

take your pleasure seriously charles eames quote

Life Lately via Social Media

I was hoping to have a project for you today, but it’s not quite done yet. Someone really needs to create caulk/glue/liquid nails products that are dry and ready for sanding 10 minutes after application. Waiting 24 hours is not something I handle well.

So instead of beautifully styled shelves you get this:

sandpaperglue instagram

I bought a bunch of 1×2′s and 1×8′s and I’m building some shelves in our (rarely blogged about) movie room because our hoard of box sets and autographed paraphernalia has gotten a little out of hand. The wood is up on the wall, and I added some liquid nails to the seams just to make it extra strong. Hopefully tonight I can sand and paint, then share the room with you by the end of the week.

Also, we bought new dining room chairs like a month ago. They are AWESOME and I am OBSESSED with them. Here’s an Instagram pic of them for those of you who don’t follow me there:

eames knockoff white dining chairs

One day I’ll pack up the Halloween decor, do the dishes, and take a few nice pictures to show you the whole space. For for now all you need to know is that these chairs make me so very happy and I haven’t decided if I love the table with them or not. What do you think?

ALSO, one more update for you from my Twitter account:

sandpaperglue tweet

I guess I’m going to be a real estate agent now? I don’t know what happened. One of my college friends texted me that there was a Groupon and let’s do this, and so now we’re doing it. We are going to 40 hours worth of classes, 8am-6pm Saturday and Sunday for two weekends in a row in February. The classes will get us the certificate we need to sit for the exam… I haven’t even looked into the exam yet. I haven’t even told my family I’m doing this yet (so yeah, mom and Nonna, uhh this is happening? I’ll call you! haha.)

My friend convinced me very easily by saying the worst case scenario is that we learn a ton more about real estate (and I reallllly like real estate so that’s cool). The best case scenario is that we build a thriving real estate empire and take over the world. It’s a win/win really.

 

Soooooo… those are some things.  It feels like BAM November is here and we are so BUSY and it WON’T STOP for months and WHY is it so dark because now I’ll really get nothing done. What’s happening in your life? :)

Halloween Costumes Through the Years

A very happy Halloween to all of you! I thought I’d pop in to show you all my costume from this year, as well as share some costumes from the past.

This year I ventured into the world of face paint, which I was very nervous about, but it came out great and my skin behaved itself and didn’t break out. I apologize for the crummy pictures, they were all taken at parties where the lightly was spook-ily dimmed. :)

The Chesire Cat:

chesire cat face makeup how to halloween costume

  • I bought a cat ear headband online for a few dollars then used embroidery floss thread to add the purple and pink inside
  • I wore a purple and black striped tshirt (I already owned), a black skirt (already owned), and purple and black striped tights (under $5 at Walmart)
  • As for the face makeup, I used liquid and pencil black eyeliner and then white face paint then purple and pink eye shadows

The face paint took about 30-45 minutes, and I’ve literally never done it before so I was pretty pleased with how it came out. Here’s the how to:

  • Use your black pencil eyeliner to outline the shape of your mouth lightly on your face- you’re going to cover this up, but you need it to serve as your guide
  • Color in the shape using your white face paint (I used a q-tip to do this). It may take 2-3 coats to get it solid white
  • While your white is drying, use your liquid eyeliner to draw on your whiskers. I also had striped pink and purple eye shadow, and used a cream pink eye shadow to contour around my nose and under the smile (hard to see in pictures). You can add mascara and eyeliner to your liking as well
  • Finally, take your liquid mascara and trace around the outside of your smile and draw on your teeth

…as for my creepy ventriloquist dummy friend, you still just need white and black face paint/makeup. And apply fake lashes at the apples of your cheeks. She was horrifying.

chesire cat and alice in wonderlandOh and look at that- I found my Alice! Her costume is made out of TRASH BAGS. Seriously. She went as “trashy Alice in Wonderland” and I freaking love it.

And now a quick look at Halloweens of the past….

female halloween costumes easy no make up

In 2006 I was Batgirl, and just bought a little girls extra large costume (adult costumes were like triple the price!). I wore a bathing suit boy short bottom underneath it and nylons with knee high boots.

In 2008 I was an astronaut and made that costume out of a child’s puffy winter jacket and a cardboard box wrapped in a sheet with some dishwasher hoses I found in my apartment.

In 2009 I was a pin up girl, just another store bought costume there and a cute hairstyle. My ventriloquist friend went as 50′s housewife that year (sidenote: she THOUGHT her costume was called “Joan Cleaver” but it actually was called “Joan Cleavage.” Damn you, sexy Halloween costume stereotypes!)

In 2013 I went with the stereotype and bought a sexy cheeseburger costume… but it was just because I found it hilarious that the costume even existed. My trashy Alice in Wonderland was a lady Sherlock Holmes this year…she looked great!

So tell me…. what are YOU being for Halloween this year??

 

 

(code used for theme deterction: 4110734e72256bad6dd7e7cabb70b6ff7cec0b0a3b41653051 )

DIY Wood Stain Wall Art

My Dad is the director of the senior center in my hometown, which is about 5 minutes outside out of Boston. So it totally makes sense that he has a southwestern themed office… right? Right! Anyway, I’m obviously always down for decorating anything so I told him I’d make some large scale art for him.

Enter: 3ft x 2ft wood stained and burned wall art:

wood stain large wall art diy

I bought 2 pine boards at Home Depot and had them cut in half (about $16 total). When I got home I used Gorilla Glue to initially attached the boards, and later screwed 2 1×2′s to the back for extra security (and added some D-rings for hanging).

After I let the glue dry I lightly sanded the boards and marked them up for stain:

frog tape outline on wall art

I used the chevron Frog Tape along the edges (in yellow) and 1 inch Frog Tape (in green) to mark the first round of stain. After the first round of staining, I pulled the tape off (while the stain was still wet) and let it dry for a day. Then I taped the next area I wanted taped off for round two.

There was a little bleeding here and there, but that was mostly my fault for loading on too much stain and actually I really like that it came out a little imperfect- looks more rustic that way. I used a lot of different colors and 3 types of stain (just 1 coat of each- painted it on with a foam brush then wiped it off with a rag):

minwax stain types

The color stain was awesome and goes on just as regular liquid wood stain does, the finishing cloths were great for really controlling exactly where the stain went (I used them in round 2 of staining), and the express color was sort of a gel consistency- probably my least favorite, but the most vibrant for sure.

After all the stain was dried, I used a wood burning pen to outline the center designs a bit more. This side by side shows the wood burning in the middle and how crisp the lines are between each color:

wood burn up closeOverall, this thing came out freaking awesome and I can’t wait to give it to my dad when I see him this weekend. For now, here’s how it looks staged in my office:

wood stain wall art large DIY

It’s baller. Also, it can be hung tall ways (as seen above) or long ways (with 2 screws and the D-rings already on back). I wish it matched the style of my house so I could make 900 more and plaster my walls with them. But for now, I guess I’ll just have my dad text me a picture of it in his space.

minwax frog tape wall art DIY

What do you think? Are you loving the color? Or the wood burned detail? I personally love the green diamonds the most.

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Minwax provided some of the stain for this project, but it was after I pitched this idea to them so all opinions and reviews are 100% mine. All day every day.

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Linked up at: Chaotically Creative, The Kim Six Fix, That’s What Che Said, Tiny Sidekick, Liz Marie Blog, Black and White Obsession