High 5 for Friday

Man, I have posted one of these in a while but thought I’d hop back on it today (you can read more about them here @ The Lauren Elizabeth).

 

Here’s my top 5 highlights from the week:

1. I got assigned 3 classes to teach throughout summer & fall which I’m super excited about. I love teaching! I have a full time day job as an advisor at the college, but teach adjunct  whenever I can.

work tips batman job comic

2. We’re going car shopping for Matt this afternoon… and we are going to pay in cash. Holler. NOT GETTING ANOTHER LOAN. It feels good to be able to do that, and I want to do that more often please.

made by me!

made by me!

3. Vacation is only a few weeks away. NOLA HERE WE COME! Can’t wait to spend a week away, see some family, and basically have an awesome time. Matt & I have never really taken a vacation together before and we’ve been together almost 5 years, it’s always been for an event or a group trip, so this is a pretty huge deal. We bought tickets to see the house band at Preservation Hall this week.

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via

4. I’m only working until noon today because I had night presentations Monday and yesterday. WOOT WOO. I’m excited for a sunroof open/loud Rob Zombie ride home. Loud music and an open sunroof make me very happy.

5. The weather is finally starting to warm up and I was able to dump some leaves and do a little yard clearing this week. Looks like lots of my plants are coming back in!

Colgate Optic White (Product Review)

A while back I was sent an Influenster VoxBox to review that included some Colgate Optic White products and they worked great, so when I got a new set of their stuff sent to me I was pretty pumped.

a whole box full of goodies

a whole box full of goodies

Toothpaste, coupons, and a toothbrush + whitening pen combo came in the box, and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been faithfully using my whitening pen:

using whitening pen

The directions say if you use the pen twice a day for 3 days in a row you’ll see results, but I have super sensitive teeth and that made me a little nervous so I’ve used it 5 nights in a row and have definitely noticed a difference.

Here’s what surprised me:

  • There’s no funky taste to the whitening stuff- there’s actually no taste at all
  • You basically just act like you’re coloring it on your teeth, and then you’re done- no rinsing or brushing or timing yourself
  • It did not hurt my sensitive teeth at all
  • It 100% removed tea stains and discolorations on my teeth

ALSO- the pen stores inside the toothbrush, which is the most clever idea ever:

optic white colgate

Have you tried the optic white line of stuff? I felt like the mouthwash was similar to what gargling with lightening might feel like, but that this pen was freaking awesome.

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I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. If you’d like an invitation to join Influenster, just leave me your email address!

5 Random Thoughts

1. I live in Massachusetts, where winter is… wintery. It’s in the 30*’s today and everyone is all It’s so warm! No jacket! Look at the sun! It’s one of the most hilarious and charming things about living with New England seasons.

I have this very image framed in my bedroom.

I have this very image framed in my bedroom.

2. Matt and I talk a lot about our imaginary house #2. We’re locked into our house for 2.5 more years (due to our loan), and realistically we won’t move for 4-5 years, but I love houses check listings regularly in the price listing I hope we’ll be at. Lots of houses around here have catwalk 2nd floors. I want that.

This is a real house for sale right now in one of the towns that's top of my list. I AM IN LOVE.

This is a real house for sale right now in one of the towns that’s top of my list. I AM IN LOVE. (ahem. but not with the decor)

And because I know my grandmother will ask, it’s this house. And yes, it’s closer to you. And I love it so much I literally gasp at some of the pictures. 

3. And on that note… I fall strangely in love with houses regularly and deeply. Maybe one day I’ll become a real estate agent so I can get my fix more often and in person. If there was a such a thing as “professional house stage-r” that you could hire when you want to sell, and I could be one and pay the bills, I would instantly be one.

4. Every time I walk by my updated guest room I smile. I love the new paint. I love the two little pieces of DIY art. I now have a whole shelving unit that corrals my craft supplies into one spot when it was previously scattered all over the house. There’s so much left to do, but I’m happy about it now anyway.

be it ever so humble

be it ever so humble

5. I’m feeling a little stale about blogging and inspiration in general right now. Rambling Rennovators posted this in January and it really resonated with me. Maybe spring will bring fresh inspiration.

What are your thoughts today?

A love day post

Happy Valentine’s day, internet friends. Just popping in with a quick note to show my appreciation for you today and every day.

I've never met my best

 

And in case you’re in need of something for your husband/boyfriend/best friend/mailman/intriguing stranger, here’s a copy of the Valentine I shared with my man today:

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And don’t forget, tomorrow is the real love day– HALF OFF CHOCOLATE DAY!

DIY Play Kitchen

For my nephew’s first birthday, I made him a DIY play fridge, so for Christmas I wanted to add on a kitchen area using another set of old cabinets:

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It’s decked out with:

  • a burner made from a $1 circular cutting board and red craft paint
  • a sink made from a $6 stainless steel mixing bowl and an old faucet
  • a towel hook remnant from my DIY kitchen art
  • vinyl lettering and burner dial cut with my Silhouette Cameo

I decided to make the sink vessel style so the inside wouldn’t loose any storage space, and to accommodate that I mounted the faucet on some 2×4 scraps. The faucet has 2 metal pipes (that would connect it to the water line) and I couldn’t cut them off, so instead I bought a set of spade drill bits and just made holes to fit them in, then used a rubber hammer to set the faucet in:

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After drilling the holes I painted the whole thing and sprayed the hardware metallic silver. It is literally 4* outside right now so to spray in the house I just made a shadowbox out of an old cardboard box:

PicMonkey Collage

 

The burner is just hot glue gunned on, and the sink is currently loose but I think I’m going to hot glue gun that as well:

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Overall, this was a weekend project, but I do plan to put a clear coat of polycrylic over the vinyl as well just to make sure it doesn’t end up peeling.

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There’s about a million play kitchen tutorials in blog land, but they’re so customizable and really easy to make- and honestly, I really like to give him nice wooden toys instead of plastic ones (and things that have storage built in are always a plus because good lord to kids have a lot of stuff).

Did you DIY any Christmas gifts this year?

 

Goals for 2014

Last year I wrote a post called “13 Goals for 2013,” and recently I did an update to see how I measured up. When I started thinking about goals for 2014 I decided I didn’t want a big huge list- just a couple bullet points to keep me on track:

1. Finish all in-progress projects before starting any new ones!

  • Upstairs bathroom needs the painted grout cleaned up & a sidekick to cover the gap between the vanity and the wall
  • Half bath needs about half a wall more of wainscoting, then spackle and paint
  • Basement stairs need to be sanded and painted

2. Build something from scratch!

  • I want a built in desk in the guest room closet (as well as a complete guest room overhaul…) and we need a new console table in our bedroom. I’d really like to build both of these things all by myself, and I think I can.

3. Take better care of myself

  • I’m super neglectful of myself, for no real reason at all. I’m kicking off this goal by going to see an allergist this afternoon so I can get started on allergy shots. I’d also like to be more conscious of what I’m eating and what I’m putting on my skin- I need more vegetables, and I need less dollar store shampoo. End of story.

 

What are your goals for 2014?

 

What’s In a Name

I thought I’d pop in today with a quick little bonus post because while I was scrolling through my personal Tumblr page for quotes for yesterday’s post, I stumbled upon these two pictures that I thought were gone forever.

The very first DIY I ever did…. the reason this blog is called Sandpaper & Glue:

before and after

About three and a half years ago (ish?)…. before owning a house was even in the picture… before I had ever even heard of a DIY blog… I found two sad little school chairs in my aunt’s basement and decided I needed them for my dining room table. So I brought them to my apartment… and sanded and sanded, then wood glued some of leg spindles back on, then painted each chair teal and added a cushion.

I had completed my first DIY without evening knowing what a DIY was!

Oh, and the table they were added to? Why that came from my Nana’s basement… and it was from the 60s. And there were vinyl chairs (which are awesome, BTW). They were in a room with blue Big Lots curtains tied back with old white shoelaces. There was also a $10 green rug from Walmart.

And a built in hutch I totally didn’t know to appreciate . And moulding I also did not know to appreciate:

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I think it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way in 3.5 years.

…but I still totally love that table.

What was your first DIY?

Inspiration for the Ladies

I am feeling completely overwhelmed this month- How is Christmas so soon? How did I not buy all the gifts I need to yet? Also, we don’t even have a tree up. And we’re not going too. Christmas will happen whether or not we have a tree.

maya angelou

And then I thought I can’t possibly be the only one feeling so stressed out right now. So I shared another quote over on my Facebook page and thought I’d take a detour from DIY today to share a few other yeah! I can do it! quotes/pictures, for those of you that are feeling as disheveled as I am:

Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 7.43.36 PM

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Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 7.24.24 PM

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And ladies, don’t forget:

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:)

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Ps- sorry for the lack of sources, these are all from my Tumblr page. And Tumblr is a rabbit hole of reblogs and chaos.

DIY Copycat: Homemade Vanilla Extract

A few days ago Morgan @ Pepper Design Blog posted a how-to for homemade vanilla extract and I immediately knew it would be so perfect  as a  Christmas gift for a few people on my list. I’m not much into the zillions of gift guides happening in blogland right now, but this was the one. So thanks Morgan- you totally helped me cross a solid dozen people off my list.

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The reason this stood out to me was because the only thing I needed to buy was the vanilla stalks- I had the bottles, the corks, the liquor, the and label ties already on hand (because I’m a hoarder). And she had already made a label template that I could just alter and print.

Here’s the easiest how-to ever on making a dozen Christmas gifts in  15 minutes:

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And just to clarify what happens to those vanilla bean stalks:

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Next I added the rum (we had Captain Morgan’s and Bacardi that people left here when we hosted Matt’s 30th bday party), topped with a wine cork, and tied on the label. Done!

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If you need to buy bottles, or are wondering where to get vanilla, check out the post I copycatted from here. She’s got links to both. I used 1 stalk per 4oz jar, and I had a few 8oz jelly jars in my stash too so I put 2 stalks in each of those and will gift them to the hardcore bakers on my list (and, ahem, keep one for myself).

It’s important to note that these need to steep for at least a month, so you’ll notice my labels state “use after January 2014″…. actualllllllllly I just noticed on the label in the picture it says “use after January 2013″ because I am a doof. Soooo… I made a new label just now:

vanilla label

Feel free to save and use it! Here’s a blank one:

vanilla label- blank

  • Right click over the image and save to your computer
  • Optional: Load the saved image into PicMonkey.com (or Paint if you don’t want a fancy font) then add text with your name, then and save it again.
  • Once saved, insert it into a Word document and copy and paste it to fill the page
  • Print & cut out!

 

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Linking up with: Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newlywoodwards and Primitive and Proper!

13 Plans for 2013: HOW I MEASURED UP

Friends, I have so many things to show you. Unfortunately, it requires daylight to take a proper picture of any of them and uhm, I happen to work during all the daylight hours. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get a zillion pictures taken and then have literally a whole month’s worth of updates and DIY’s for you.

Until then, I’m looking back at my 13 plans for 2013 to see where I measured up and where I fell flat:

1. Finish redoing the half bath. For crying out loud!

I am so close to this one, this is one of the things I need to photograph, and I need your opinion on one aspect of it too!

Instagram proof that things are happening!

Instagram proof that things are happening!

 

2. Finish removing the carpet on the basement stairs, and repaint them.

Carpet is removed, stairs are spackled, just need to be sanded and painted (which will, btw, be the death of me. I am dreading it)

 

3. Repaint the sun room with big, thick stripes. (oh wait, I DID THAT ONE EARLY)

I freaking love those stripes.

I freaking love those stripes.

 

4. Do something, anything, to our pit of a yard.

I did lots of things, but the one I’m most proud of is building a garden bed wall.

 

5. Finish the walkway I dug up halfway and then never touched again.

This is a work in progress, it’s so hard to get level and to get the drainage right- but we are making steps and I think after this winter we can re-level and be good to go!

 

6. Create a lovely herb garden outside my sun room bay window

Relocated the spot to a new area in the yard, but all summer long we enjoyed oregano, basil, chocolate mint, and peppermint!

 

7. Switch out the bathroom light plate and outlet plates (to white!)

Done! Will show this when I photograph the whole updated bathroom.

 

8. Refinish the top of the dresser, because I didn’t realize I needed to seal it the first time around.

Haven’t touched yet– but I still have a few weeks!

 

9. Paint the movie room (which is the finished part of the basement).

Done! Not only did we paint the walls, but we hid all the cords too.

 

10. Buy a leaf blower and properly remove leaves before winter.

Bought a leaf blower, totally didn’t remove the leaves before winter. Oops?

 

11. Learn to use more power tools.

YES! I am in love with my jigsaw.

swoon.

swoon.

12. Add the hanging shelf to the master bedroom, because it’s been leaning up against the basement wall for about a year.

Done! And stained!

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13. Even out the color palette for the house.

Done! Check out the paint color house tour:

paint-color-layout

 

How’d you do this year? Anything you’re super excited you got done? Anything you totally put off (ahem stair painting ahem)

 

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