In Sight, In Mind

I’m one of those people that NEEDS to have a to-do list to get anything accomplished.  I don’t know if it’s an OCD list tendency or just a love of the satisfaction of “checking” something off, but I work so much better and get so much more done when I have a list to look at.  For this purpose, I grabbed the cutest gold striped calendar notebook on super clearance at Target a couple of months ago but guess what happens?  I write my to-do list out, lay the notebook down somewhere,  forget to check it, little gets done, things get forgotten, “outta sight, outta mind”, yadda yadda yadda…

So I finally got smart and made a dry-erase board to-do list this week. 

Here’s da story:

I grabbed a picture frame (I think it’s “document size”) that I bought from the dollar store several years ago.  It was originally wood but I spray painted it white right after I bought it.  After being moved and stored, it needed a touch-up coat so I quickly gave it a light sanding (fine grit sanding block) and gave it a thin coat of white spray paint I had on hand. todoboard 001

Next, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper I snagged a couple of months ago at Michael’s to fit inside the frame and be a background.todoboard 002

Then, using regular ‘ole super glue, I glued four semi-strong magnets (Lowe’s) to the cardboard backing of the frame. todoboard 003

Like dis:
 todoboard 005
I glued them right to the cardboard knowing if I ever wanted to, I could simply rip them off and reuse them else, albeit probably with a little cardboard residue on the backs but no big deal, right?

The glued dried within minutes so I happily scribbled down my jobs for the day (top) and week (bottom) with a dry-erase marker and pranced over to stick her on the fridge.  A full dose of motivation, coming right up.  Seriously.  It took me from lazy pregnant with a side of sleepy to crazy with a stick of a few magnets and the squeak of a marker…miraculous I tell ya. 

 todoboard 010

It was the perfect addition to our little “organization station” – a calendar (I made it on Microsoft Publisher…such an easy DIY), the to-do list, keys, a magnetic notepad we use for making grocery lists (I loathe grocery shopping btw), and invitations (No, we’re not that popular.  Most of those are old and we just hang on to them for sentimental purposes).  I might have to grab a little vase or something, stick a magnet to it, and stick it to the fridge to hold pens and dry-erase markers.  For now though, they’re tucked away in the drawer below.  As for the magnetic hooks holding everything on,  I got those on clearance at Target awhile ago and they’re awesome.  I know they still sell them.  I’m still dreaming of a way to disguise this black side of the fridge (bead board?) so we’ll see if that ever comes true too!  A piece of bead board and some more magnets shouldn’t be so hard to whip up someday. 

todoboard 011
(Ack!  Sorry for the fuzzy pictures…there is not one but zero DSLR whisperers in this hizouse.)

Anyone else a do-er only with a list telling them what to do?  What about grocery shopping?  Anybody willing to do mine?  I’ll feed you…  Oh but wait, I hate to cook too… 

.           .           .

Have a great weekend!! 

P.S.  I washed the rug!  The number one asked question that came up after it’s YHL debut was if it was washable.  Yes it is.  Yes I did – yesterday.  Yes, it still looks like it did the day I painted it.  Stay tuned for a whole post on it next week!

Bear E-Hugs

You guys!  This might read so darn cheesy but I’m gonna write it anyway – BIG E-HUGS to you all!  Our stamped rug got the honor of being featured yesterday at one of my favorite blogs, not to mention one of theee most amazing blogs on the planet – Young House Love – and my heart melted the entire day through with all the sweet comments on their feature post and on our post and in our inbox.  You guys rock! 

The feature couldn’t have come on a better day than yesterday as I was home alone alllll day into the night with the young’ns (two teething babes, one extremely fussy and kickin’ her act up terrible-two’s style, more #2 diapers than I cared to change, the song-o-the day was a little v-tech diddy…you know the mom drill) while my hubs was on a “business trip” to Six Flags with his youth group.  As I wiped away excrement I could hear the excited screams haunting me from super-fast roller coasters and the smell of caramel apples filled my…ok, so maybe I was being a little dramatic and woe-is-me but, the feature chased any thoughts of some far away theme park right out my head.

So, once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!  Y’all are the best!  

Wood and White

Here’s the story about the wood and white.  You might remember the girls’ hand-me-down dresser:nurserycollagedeets 009

We went back-and-forth, from option to option, thinking of a bajillion ways we could update it.  We’re not huge fans of it’s ornate, curvy make-up so something needed to be done.  I even begged for your opinion of our final option(s) via Instagram, Facebook, and this post.  Well the landslide slid toward painting the drawers white, giving us a two-toned dresser.  Here’s how it all went on.

First we had to fill in some hardware holes with wood filler.  Put some tape over the backs of the holes, overfill, sand, fill a little more, and sand again for a nice flush finish.  We used Elmer’s wood filler from Walmart and a fine grit sanding block for the sanding. dresser 003 The two doors needed new holes that were centered between the door edge and the decorative groove and the two small drawers were just going to get knobbed instead of handled. 

Next step was more sanding.  I gave each of the doors/drawers a quick go over with a medium grit piece of sandpaper.  I seriously spent 30 seconds rubbing each door/drawer.  No big deal…thank goodness because sanding is not how I like to spend most ‘o my days. 

dresser 004The drawer 0n the left isn’t sanded; the drawer on the right is.  See the difference?  I roughed them up just the littlest bit to make sure the paint would stick.

Then it was time to protect.  I was planning on using spray primer and paint so I had to tape off and cover the insides of the drawers.  I also made sure to stick a little piece of tape behind each hardware hole to make sure no spray got inside the drawers through those.  The prepping was probably the most time-consuming part of this whole project because all we had on hand for me to cover with were magazines.  So I tape page-by-page-by-page…

Then it was outside with them where the real fun began.   dresser 006

I used Valspar spray primer in white, spraying two thin and semi-even coats.  I’m not too picky on how the primer goes on as long as every inch is covered and it’s nice and smooth.  That being said, my prime jobs are usually a little splotchy albeit smooth.

Here are the drawers all primed: dresser 008

Next up, the real stuff.  I scored big with the spray paint for this project.  While picking up some landscaping plants a couple of weeks ago at Lowe’s, I found this can of white satin Rustoleum paint-and-primer-in-one.  (Side note:  I still used primer even though I had a p-and-p-in-one so I didn’t have to use as much paint and because I had it on hand anyway.)  It was marked down to $1 because it was missing a nozzle. 
dresser 007

Vvell, if you know me you know I’ve got a stash of spray paint therefore a stash of nozzles.  I simply borrowed a nozzle from another can and away I sprayed.  HOWEVER, even though I grabbed a nozzle from a can of the same exact brand, I still managed to get paint allllll over my right hand as it dripped from the nozzle.  I learned that I had to press and hold the borrowed nozzle perfectly straight or paint would drip.  A little annoying but still totally worth the $1 investment.  I might also mention that this Rustoleum paint and primer-in-one is theee BEST spray paint I’ve ever used!  It sprayed smooth and covered so well!  I’ll definitely be using this kind next time!

Beside the paint all over my right hand (which I donned for two days afterward despite a shower), I had one more minor happening.  While I was inside waiting for the second-to-last coat of paint to dry, the wind whipped two corners of two covering magazines up and onto the wet paint.  Grrr…  When I went out to check for dryness, I found them and ripped them off only to have a little paper left behind. dresser 010

So, adding another step to my almost-done process, I had to sand the area where the magazines had stuck after the paint was completely dry (I was so annoyed I actually called it quits for the day and did the sanding and re-painting the next day) just enough to remove most of the paper.  I didn’t sand all the way to the wood because I didn’t want an obvious dip in paint nor did I want to re-sand the entire drawer.  So, I sanded until smooth and put an extra coat on the drawer while doing the last coat on the other doors/drawers.  All good.

After letting the drawers dry for a full 24 horas, we stuck hardware on them and admired our new beauty.
 dresser 041

Cost breakdown:
Dresser:  f-r-e-e (hand-me-down)
Primer:  already had
Paint:  $1
Sandpaper:  already had
Total:  One Dolla…Holla!

The hardware won’t stay, it’s only temporary.  I’m on the hunt for some so I’ll be sure to update y’all when I find it.  Until then, we’re loving the white-and-wood combo despite the needs-to-go hardware. dresser 044

So what about you?  Painted any dressers lately…or any furniture for that matter?  I’m always all eyes for pictures!  What about clearanced/oops paint?  Anyone ever score any?  I’m gunning for the “oops” paint section first thing next time I’m in Lowe’s to hopefully find more!

Two-Toned ‘Tis

Ugh.  Nausea.  It kicked my butt all day.  Riddle me this – how can a person (me) can go through a twin pregnancy without one hint of that tummy-churning junk but a singleton pregnancy with more than enough.  Weird and not wanted.  I’m really putting all my eggs in this this upcoming second trimester basket that’s supposed to be the end of all things nausea.  The percentages better be right.

I had high hopes to have a two-toning tutorial up today but all I have for you is an after, as promised.  Here’s the girls dresser via an Instagrammer I shot last night (This morning?  It all blends together.):2tone

It’s 90% done.  We have to find new hardware for the thing.  The ornate handles just aren’t ding dingin’.   And the knobs, we need some of those too.  For now, we’ve got cheapo knobs we had lying around place-holding until those knobs are found.  My friend Jesse (who really should start a blog because she’s ah-mazing!) got these green ones from Hobby Lobby stuck in my mind and now I might have to have them.  Hopefully we’ll get that all updated this week.  But, even if we don’t, be sure to look for the tutorial this week.  It’ll be nice and detailed, you’ll see.  :)

Have a great weekend filled with nary a hint of nausea and lots of productivity everyone!  I hope to see you back this week!

.           .           .

P.S.  The twins are turning ONE in less than a month!!!  For real?  Somebody pinch me!  In honor of their first year, I’m going to churn (no pun intended considering my current sitcheeation) out a whole series of posts just about them over the next month – a cloth diaper how-to, how we made our own baby food, the story of their conception (long, long, long), a day in the life (crazy, crazy, crazy), how we save the green with twins, and whatever else comes up.  There’s lots to talk about – double the crazy, double the fun.  Stay tuned!

Hot and Sour Soup

Let’s get one thing straight.  I am no cook.  I will nevereverever turn this into anything even close to a foodie blog.  My diy stops at mixing paint, not ingredients.  Maybe I’ll share a recipe or two that I’ve found somewhere that’s really good and always easy but I’ll never be showing off my cooking skills because, well, they are nonexistent.  The hubs on the other hand, he’s another story. 

So, with that out of the way, I recently found a recipe to the best soup ever in the history of soup.  Hot and sour courtesy of those culinary geniuses, the Chinese.  Hot and sour soup is my fave soup ever and quite possibly my fave food.  A little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in Steubenville, Ohio (miss you Hong Kong…tear) makes thee best h & s I’ve ever, ever had and down here in Mobile, well the Chinese have yet to get it right.  But, whilst in the mood for it the other night, I invoked pinterest and found a recipe that looked pretty easy and pretty good.

Ready for it? 

Here ‘tis.  Click for it.

I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe however - instead of the fresh gingerroot, I added a 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger, I skipped the scallions because I forgot to grab some, I used black pepper instead of white (Google told me the only real difference is looks), and I added a tid bit of extra soy sauce to my bowl de jour before I downed it.  I might also mention that letting the soup sit for an hour after cooking is better than eating it right away.  That way, the flavors mingle and soak into each other and ohhhh, it’s so much better.  This recipe doesn’t make the ‘hottest’ hot and sour so to add a little more kick you might want to add some hot pepper oil or flakes or something of the sort.

Update:  I was wrong-o about the no-difference between black and white pepper.  As it turns out, a wise commenter informed me that – “The heat actually comes from the white pepper. Give it a try, it is really different than black pepper and believed to have many curative properties. Sometimes you can find small pre-filled grinders of white pepper in the spice section. It "makes" the soup.” 

Here are the Chinese ingredients I used:
hotandsour 004 
I found all of them in the “International Foods” section in our grocery store.

Here’s what my hot and sour looked like right before I inhaled it:
hotandsour 001

So good.  So very good.  It was gone in a day and a half because I had it for dinner the day I made it, and lunch and dinner the day after.  I’ll be making it again in less than 24 hours only to have it gone just as quick.

If you try it, let me know what you think!

.           .           . 

P to the S…Lily told me that she’s positive hot and sour soup helped labor commence for both of her boys so if you be of child-bearing age, take note.  I know what I’ll be drinking in t-minus six months.  :)