Wednesday, August 25

photo wall project


Happy Wednesday :)

I have completed what I call my "photo wall project."

I have had this awesome idea in mind for months and months, and I have finally decided to do it! It really only took me yesterday and today to do. It is a montage of 8x10's of some of my favorite things about my life with my husband: my hubby & me, our puppies, and some of our favorite places in nature.

Here are the supplies for this project:

And without further ado, I present to you...The Photo Wall:
These 12 8x10s are mounted on thick foamboard and then I hung them on the wall in our guest bedroom/study. I love it! Not to toot my own horn, but I am very proud of this project. I'm always proud of projects that I finally complete after months of having them planned out in my head. Especially when they turn out how I had imagined they should!

This pic is just so you can get some perspective as to where it is in our guest room and how much wall space it takes up, etc:
My new favorite!!!

I also have a bit of progress to show you on a few other decorating items tasks I have been working on the last few days.

The jewelry hanger is now white and looks lovely with the rest of our bedroom:

The vase in the 1/2 bathroom is filled with purple and silvery pebbles as opposed to empty (you could see the fake flower stems dangling in midair...not okay):
And lastly, I found the perfect black cube to go between Penny/Gryffin's shadowboxes:
I just kind of haphazardly tossed that candle on top of the cube...not sure what will go in/on the cube for good, but I love the layout and spacing of it. 

I hope you guys approve of my decorating changes! What would you put on/in the black cube? And FYI - I never really intended for my blog to be so decorating focused, lol. It's kind of funny. I go from these health/weight loss kicks to decorating to fashion to ranting about my life. Random blog, I know. But thanks for sticking with me through all the randomness :) 

In case you're wondering how I got all the motivation to do all this home decor stuff this week, it's because in 3 days we will have been in our townhome for a YEAR! And I couldn't believe that I still had so much to do around the house. I really would say we're not about 85% done with stuff, so I'm happy with the progress. Still some sprucing up and organizing and those darned dressers to refinish (let's not even talk about the backyard = mess), but it'll get done eventually! I just didn't want to be one of those people that had all these visions for what my home could be, but never actually see it the way I want it. Or worse, finish it just in time to show off and sell to someone else without really getting the chance to enjoy it, you know?

I'm done with today's chores - laundry, dishes, etc - so it's off to mail a letter to my great grandma then to the gym for my run!

Toodles & Cheers

Tuesday, August 24

umm...WTF, dogs!!!? seems as though I have a little story to share with you all. 

Sometimes I think my life should be a TV show because sometimes things happen that are just too ridiculous for people not to know about.

Case in point: I spent the last 2 1/2 hours outside because my puppies locked me out. 


You may ask, how did this happen exactly? 
Let me tell you.

So, the way our townhome is set up is like this {please enjoy the following professional image}
Because our garage is beyond the backyard, we ALWAYS go out the sliding glass door from the back of the house and very very rarely use the front door. Because the sliding glass door only has a kind of wimpy lock on it, we also put a broomstick in the door for extra lockage.  Like this:
So, this morning my day was off to a GREAT start because I slept til 11am - nearly 12 hours of sleep! Hooray! I propped up the broomstick, let the dogs out, and tried to decide where to start my day. I decided I should finish painting my jewelry hanger, so I let the dogs in and myself out so that I could spraypaint the jewelry hanger without them getting in the paint and stuff. No sooner had I begun spraying, I heard a loud clatter at the glass door.

This, in and of itself, isn't uncommon. They usually wrestle and smash each other into doors and walls. However, this particular body slam had caused them to knock the broomstick from its precariously propped position down into locked position wedged between the doors. 


At first I kind of chuckled. Tyler got done with school at noon so he would be home by 12:30pm. I could wait an hour and a half. After finishing my paint project, I cozied into my lounge chair and enjoyed the morning sun on my face.

I was thinking about how all we had to do was use Tyler's keys to unlock the front doors...when I realized only I had one of the front door keys. We have a glass door then our real door in the front, and if we go out the front we just don't lock the glass one because Tyler doesn't have a key for it. 

Seeing as how I was accidentally outside, all the doors were locked from the inside...and our one key to the glass door was locked inside as well. Eff. You might be thinking, "Well, that is pretty stupid for your husband to not have a copy of that key." Well, yeah. I know that. Thanks. 20/20 hindsight is awesome, isn't it?

So, at this point I realized we were going to have to break in or call a locksmith. This is what the situation resembled now:
Crap crap crap. In my PJs with wild woman hair, I wasn't feeling like marching over to a neighbor's house. Considering they don't speak to me anyway. *sigh* So I decided to try to get the dogs to pull the stick out of lock position.

I walked up to the glass doors, crouched down, and pointed down. I said, "Take it! Take it!" That command means for them to take whatever I point to, and for a sliver of a second I thought it might work. They both sniffed and even licked the broomstick. But they didn't take it. Damn. 

I must mention that by this point, both dogs were pretty pissed at me. Penny was licking the door frantically, crying, and doing what I call the "wax on, wax off" motion with her paw on the door. Gryffin was sulking with his head on his paws just staring at me. 

Instead of breaking in on my own, I decided to wait for Tyler so I didn't do something stupid without his consent at least. In the meantime, I did squats. I also figured out what I would bring with me if I were ever to be planning to be deserted on an island. Chapstick (my lips got real chapped in this hour by myself), water, food (I hadn't had breakfast!), and reading material. Random, but true. 

Tyler finally pulls into the garage, and I smile at him and say, "We have a problem. Kind of a funny problem. But still a problem." After explaining to him the situation, we went to work trying to break in. I used a flathead screwdriver to try to wedge apart our sliding glass doors so we could have enough space to slip in our camping marshmallow roasters and try to flip the pole out of place. It looked like this:
See how close yet so far we were?!?! (Yes, this picture is taken from inside, after we got in eventually)

Marshmallow roaster idea didn't work. Dammit. We agreed that we didn't want to call a locksmith because we got locked out a house in Georgetown (by DC) and it cost $300 to have a locksmith come (that's a whole different story...)! So we decided to use one of our hacksaws and just cut the lock in the front door. Haha. It would be cheaper to just buy a new lock at the Home Depot than to call a locksmith. 

So there we were, outside the front of our house, hacksawing in. Neighbors walked by and assessed the situation with cocked eybrows. No one asked what was going on, though. And no one called the cops. Apparently no one was concerned at all. 45 minutes of sawing later...with the dogs watching us out the front window the whole time...the lock broke! Hooray! Here is the miracle tool and the lock we sawed through:
Now we are all inside. We will be getting a new lock and we BOTH will have keys to the lock - genius idea, right? I have also decided that upon taking the broomstick out of the door for the day, we should store it in the water heater closet so that it cannot be knocked into the door. Lol.

Sometimes the darndest things have to happen to make us learn. 

So that's my story for this Tuesday. 
Hope it brought you some entertainment!
Do any of you have a ridiculous story that involves being locked out? Maybe your dogs locked you out of your house, too???

Cheers to living and learning!

Monday, August 23

back on the decorating horse!

Hey hey! Happy rainy Monday to you all! It's actually a welcome change in weather today here in in Colorado --- yesterday it was 100 degrees, too much too much heat! Today is much cooler with a bit of cloud cover and a few sprinkles of water and I'm loving it! It made me in the mood to get working on my decorating! A few months ago I made a lot of progress on my living room and bedroom...and then I kind of stopped working on them. Haha. I stopped for two reasons: 1) Lazy 2) Low fund$z for the decorating. Dammit. 

Alas, today I was inspired to get my butt in gear and I have some progress to show you!!!

As you know, I LOVE shadowboxes! Here are the ones for Penny and Gryffin I already made a few months ago and I just got around to hanging them today:
I am going to get a black cube to hang on the wall between the boxes and put a candle int he cube or something. I'll show ya when I do it :)

I made some mini shadowboxes today!These ones have love quotes I wrote in them, are lined with pretty silver ribbon, and filled with green glass pebbles. Perfect addition in our bedroom!
 I even made a pretty little yellow heart to hang inside :)

I FINALLY got a new comforter and sheets! HOORAY! This was pretty much the last major piece to complete the bed area in our bedroom! I LOVE IT!!! It's by Springmaid and I got it at Target.
And yeah, I know it needs ironed :) And I need a white bedskirt, still...
It is brighter yellow than it looks...I  need  want a new camera
The pretty pattern on the bed!!!

I got all my jewelry under control this week! Got a new polishing cloth and I polished probably 50 pieces of jewelry - rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings! Looks crazy better! I also got a pretty new earring holder :) from Target, of course!
You can't tell me this isn't to die for!

I have been meaning to finish our 1/2 bathroom downstairs for quite some time! It was super easy to finish, it was just a matter of finding the right pieces! I found what I needed at Michael's today!

I love the deep purple flowers!!!
Is that picture not gorgeous? $15 for print and frame!
The other side of the bathroom so you can see how the silver stuff ties in. 

I wanted my lovely and now shiny necklaces to be displayed on something that matches my new mostly white bedroom. So here is my awesome necklace rack, and I am going to paint it white!
In the process of being painted...

This is the BIGGEST project I have decided to undertake...the redoing of my dressers in my bedroom. I am going to have to sand it all then paint it white. I am also getting silver hardware on the drawers and I might sand the edges for a shabby chic finish when I'm done! So here's the dresser now:
I've got my work cut out for me!!! I'm tired just thinking about it! Haha. But hopefully I get goin on it next week :)

Well that was enough productivity around the house for one day for's off to the gym now! I have an 8-mile run to do. *sigh* Hopefully once I get started I'll be in the mood for it, because I can tell you I'm not in the mood right now! lol.

Hope you all are having a GREAT start to the new week!

ummmm PS I ordered the CUTEST candle ever today! It's this little silver elephant guy from BlissLiving Home:

Anyhoo - I saw it in Marie Claire and I'm super excited for it :)

Sunday, August 22

this issue deserves attention

Hey y'all :)

I had a pretty awesome weekend that consisted of: attempting to catch up on sleep, Cheesecake Factory with work friends, drinks with more friends, cleaning the home top to bottom, and a lady date with Pro to see Eat, Pray, Love then dine at D Bar. {If you don't know what D Bar here. And if you haven't read Eat, Pray, Love --- read it!}

The movie was, in my opinion, GREAT! I read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert about 3 or 4 years ago, so I have forgotten most of the details {my memory for books is AWFUL}, but I do remember the book's essence. The essence of self-discovery and allowing oneself to enjoy life without having to justify it. I loved this essence, and the movie captured it beautifully. At first, I was skeptical about Julia Roberts in this role. She is a wonderful actress, one that I enjoy watching immensely, but I wasn't sure if she could play the quiet lady laden with heartbroken baggage. In the end, her skills left me impressed, and I thought she portrayed her character as well as anyone else I could think of! 

That being said, after the movie, we went to D Bar for some delectable desserts, keeping that Italian zest for food and "joy of doing nothing" in mind (from the movie, of course). I think I could be Italian. 

Since getting home from our girlfriend date, I have been enjoying relaxing on the couch in our spotless home {thank goodness for visitors...or we'd NEVER clean, I swear! lol} catching up on my huge stack of magazines piled up on the coffee table.
In reading my September 2010 Marie Claire {Mary Kate Olsen graces the cover}, I came across an article that struck a cord within me. Written by Ralph Blumenthal, the article "The Dangerous Rise in Untested Rape Kits" illuminates a serious issue that I had never even thought about. Apparently, there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits in the US just sitting in store rooms waiting to be tested. Women have been waiting for 20+ years for the results of the rape kits. Some women's cases are closed before the kits are even tested. How is any of that okay??? 

The most sickening part of this all is that most rapists are serial rapists. Think about it. If a woman was raped in 1990 and her kit was never tested, how many more unlinked rapes has that perpetrator committed since that first one? All because the kit never got tested. 

The sad reality is that the Los Angeles Police Department has close to 20,000 rape kits waiting to be tested. They just don't have the manpower and resources to get through them in a timely manner. Recently, New York City unveiled a $300 million facility for DNA testing, and now the arrest rate for rapes is 70% --- over three times the national average. Kudos, NYPD! Also, the governor of Illinois recently signed a bill that makes it so that rape kits MUST be tested within 10 days of their retrieval. Double kudos! 

It is with my strongest hopes that more states follow suit and sign bills like Illinois has. Since when is ignoring DNA involved in a crime acceptable? It's not. If you want to read the whole article, here is the link:

Please read it and spread the word about this issue. The government does respond to public outcries against issues like these, albeit admittedly not always in the timeliest of manners.

Thanks for reading my soapbox tonight :)
Cheers to change - and the power we have to make it happen...

Tuesday, August 17

our last hurrah

This last weekend was such a blast! It was our last hurrah - so to speak - before Tyler went back to school {starting his 2nd year of med school}. We sure made the most of it!

After our dessert-filled night Thursday, Lindsey, Tyler, and I went to Cherry Creek Mall on Friday morning for some back-to-school shopping. Lindsey and Tyler went back to school yesterday...and I just thought I should probably be supportive of them and do a little shopping myself! Haha. Any excuse to shop. Well, I did limit myself to Pac Sun & Forever 21, and I kept it under $100! And I stuck to accessories and practical fall pieces like cardigans, sweaters, and zip-ups. Success!

Here is the little sister photo sesh we had while Tyler was doing a fashion show for us :)
Happy shoppers!

After our shopping extravaganza, we packed our CRV full of all our camping gear, and headed across Denver to drop Linds off in Golden where my dad works. Then off to Deer Creek Campground just outside of Bailey for some camping with Pro and her man! The last camping trip of the summer! We ended up finding the most AWESOME campsite! 

To get to it, you had to cross this creek on these tree trunks {yes, we did carry all our camping supplies across this! And no people fell in, but each puppy did once!}

Want to see mountain beauty??? Check out our little tent home:

The babies found a sun-spot to curl up in :) Little twin puppies!

Our campfire kicked ASS!

With my honey!

Penny made a new friend!

We had soooo much fun! And the puppies had their usual camping hangovers all day yesterday = sleep sleep sleep! Here is what they did IMMEDIATELY upon walking through the door when we got home Sunday afternoon:

I hope you all had a great weekend, too! I finally finished the His Dark Materials series {Golden Compass}, and I'm glad I finally read them! Now I am moving on to Water For Elephants {Thanks, Pro!}. Have any of you read that book? I have heard great things about it, and I'll keep you posted on it! 

Happy week to you :)

dessert, anyone?

Friends. I must tell you about one of the most fabulous outings of my life! 

Last Thursday afternoon, my sister-in-law, her girlfriend, and my sister made the little trip to Denver from Fort Collins. We had big plans to go to to the D Bar in Denver!!! I had heard amazing things about this place, and we wanted to get in on that sweetness action. This Dessert bar is owned by Keegan Gerhard - Food Network's Challenges - here he is:

Recognize him?
Well...he was actually THERE while we were eating! 

I said hi...and I was kind of awkward about it. But I wasn't nearly as excited as Tyler (he LOVES Food Network!)

So cute :)

Anyway, on to the delicious desserts!
This was Tyler's - the Cake & Shake {omg can you say DELECTABLE?}

Lindsey & Nic's dessert - Brownie Sundae {So perfectly warm and gooey!}

Erin's dessert - Banana Split {with a sugary crunchy layer around the bananas and raspberry ice cream! YUM!}

And my dessert - Vanilla Creme Brulee! {The creamiest goodness you'll ever taste}

Linds and I enjoyed a vanilla latte after our desserts...and I must say we were all VERY happy campers!

Not only do they serve delish dessets, they have regular meals, too! They also make custom-ordered cakes {hint hint I want one for my bday!!!} and the cutest and most beautiful little chocolates! Perfect little gifts! All-in-all, such a fun evening!!! I recommend it, for sure!

***Oh, and don't worry. With my food splurges come good workouts still. Yesterday I did 9.2 miles! I haven't run that much in a few years! I am very proud of myself :) Over 2/3 the distance to that 13.1 half-marathon and I still have 2 months to train!!!***


Friday, August 13

oops...I shopped...

Yep. Oops.

I've been telling you all about how I have been more financially responsible lately so that I can afford a trip to Seattle in September for a girlfriend's wedding.

No wide-eyed and wandering trips through Target anymore, this girl has been walking through the doors with her eyes focused on the necessities and then straight out the door (maybe with a pack of gum in tow for being so good...).

No impulsive Disney sprees.


And I've been doing SO well! Until Tuesday.

It all started with some online perusing on is dangerous in and of itself. I was looking at cute fall accessories since I am pretty ready for the heat to subside a little and for the cool air to swirl around those pretty green, gold, and ruby colored leaves {I love fall!}. During this little etsy sesh, I found the CUTEST fall accessory! Behold:

I ADORE this! You can buy them in almost any color and it was only $10 for this unique hand-crafted little cutie. I can't wait to wear it when the weather starts to cool down!
So that was purchase #1. Then I had to go to Costco to buy hummus. Yes, hummus. You can get this giant tub of hummus + delicious toppers {red peppers, pine nuts, garlic, and jalapeno} for a whopping $7. I love my hummus, so this is where I get it. Anyhoo...Costco is a danger zone for my wallet! And I was having an awfully grumpy I decided a little tiny bit of retail therapy could help my mood. One Disney movie (Hunchback of Notre Dame for $9), a white 3/4 length sleeve open in the front cardigan ($13), a book (Stephanie Meyer's The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, $7), and a gorgeous spring green fall/winter jacket complete with soft-as-heaven lining ($26) later...I was a happy girl once again. 

So my happiness was bought for $55. Kinda sad. But I honestly have a physiological reaction to shopping. It's like, I can feel the tension leaving my body as my eyes scan the goods. I could just wander in stores forever. Maybe I should start leaving my wallet in the car.

Does anyone else feel that sensation when shopping? Like a little purchase (or 4) could fix everything? I'm not trying to be shallow, and I certainly know that money isn't responsible for happiness...but in my case, shopping certainly can help speed up the process of getting in a good mood! 

Hope you've all had a lovely week :)

Don't worry, I won't be able to shop this weekend --- we're going camping! It's like our summer's last hurrah since Tyler heads back to school Monday! 

Toodles & Cheers!

Sunday, August 8

give a dog a (giant) bone

Well, it's no surprise to you all that I freaking love my dogs. Yup. After being away from them in Aspen for 3 days and 3 nights, I needed to get them a little something special from their mama. I went to Petco for doggie toothpaste...and  found a huge bag of ginormous dog bones - 4 for $20. I think these hefty rawhides are worth $5 each...just you look, and you tell me what you think ---

Upon getting the rawhide, Gryffy started doing laps up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs. Excited much, puppy dog?

This time backing up the stairs. Wild man.

Penny's reaction was quite different! I think she was in shock. She just sat there looking at me. Like, oh my gosh, thanks, mom! See what I have?!? Now what do I do with it?

Mom...look what I have...

Gryff has serious chewing skills...good angle!

Lickin' her chops --- mmmmm!

Haha. I just thought these pics were cute. They portray sheer excitement! Plus, I think they'll be great babysitters for nights when I work and Tyler has to study! (back to the med school grind in one wee! Boooooo)

Cheers to my cutie pie babies :)