Friday, May 30, 2014

"Sleep" Photo Challenge

As much as I like the idea of participating in these photo challenges, this month's subject sucks. I guess 'sleep' isn't that bad of a subject when you have a baby who can sleep through anything, but seriously? I tried to take pictures of my cats, but two problems. One, my cats never sleep in cute or convenient places. It's always under the bed or in a balled up old towel. Two, my camera shutter is loud. Incredibly loud. Too loud for any normal creature to sleep through.

So, being pretty uninspired, here's my 'sleep' picture.

It's my stuffed giraffe that I cuddle with in my torn up bed after I wake up. A fairly uneventful subject, but it stayed still long enough for me to play with focus and point of view. It's kind of a cop out, but my only other idea was to take some sort of "My baby caught me sleeping" selfie.

If my camera weren't so heavy, I would have totally gone that route.

And if you'd like to see last month's entry for "Spring", click here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Farmer in the Desert

The farmer down the street from me just reopened its vegetable stand last weekend. I repeat, in case the absurdity of this situation has escaped you, my house, in the boonies of the Tucson desert, is just a stone's throw away from a farm.

That's so weird to me.

Anyway, this particular vegetable stand sells seasonal fruits, vegetables, and flowers every Saturday morning until the Fall. And, it has become my summer challenge.

In an attempt to both get dressed before noon on Saturday mornings and cook healthier meals, every week this season, I will go to the stand and buy some sort of produce. 

I have a feeling it will force me to learn how to cook a wider variety of vegetables than just peppers, onions, and potatoes. That being said, last Saturday all I walked away with was onions and potatoes. Although I did use the onion in a new macaroni and cheese recipe and tried a new way to cook potatoes {Sidenote: I burned my thumb in the process so potatoes are now dead to me}.

Tomato season is coming soon so I'm going to make some kick-ass marinara.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Top Ten Running Songs

I've been running more lately and the only thing that makes it bearable is my playlist. However, it isn't full enough, so I am constantly looking for more good songs to round it out. This list is for anyone else also looking for some random songs to add to theirs.  

Take from this what you will, but according to my iTunes, these are the top ten songs I listen to when running.

  1. "Fell in Love with a Girl" by the White Stripes
  2. "Shark in the Water" by V V Brown
  3. "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore
  4. "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas
  5. "C'Mon" by Ke$ha
  6. "Pork and Beans" by Weezer
  7. "Kung Fu" by Ash
  8. "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol
  9. "Feel Again" by OneRepublic
  10. "Seven Nation Army (Remix)" by The Glitch Mob. 
Looking at the list, most of these songs were found from movies or TV or even commercials. And if you haven't seen the video that accompanies "Kung Fu", it is hilarious and awesome and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Project House Update: Hole in the Wall

On Friday, my boss let us go early for the long weekend. I had a bit of energy pent up and decided to do something with it. And since my skills are limited when it comes to being productive, I became destructive instead.

Here is a lovely shot of the little toilet room in our master bathroom before.

For some reason, I absolutely abhor that toilet paper caddy. The chrome monstrosity is built-in between the studs and meant to also house magazines. It was stuck in my brain and there was no possible fix-up. It wasn't as simple as a coat of white spray paint.

So, four types of screw drivers and a box cutter later, it was free. Seriously, though, people need to learn not to paint things like this in.

For right now, there is a gaping hole in our bathroom. At least it is enclosed by studs so I can't lose a cat in the wall.

It should be pretty simple to patch it back up. I'll just need to:
  1. Cut the drywall back to expose the studs. 
  2. Fill the cavity with insulation, which we picked up over the weekend.
  3. Cut a new piece of drywall to size.
  4. Space it to the proper height and mount it to the studs.
  5. Tape and mud it. Texturize the patch so it matches the surrounding drywall.
In case you didn't notice, I said, "I'll". Don't tell Dan, but I want to do this one myself. In the grand scheme of projects in this house, I don't do much, so it would be nice if I could at least clean up the mess I made.

I did create a temporary solution. For now, the toilet paper sits in the the kitchen cart I assembled and wheeled in there.

This is the best way to get stuff done on the house, right? Just rip things out in boredom and force yourself to come up with some sort of solution? What's the worst that could happen?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Project House Update: Mid-Century Modest

Going back through my past posts a few days ago, I realized I never gave an update on where our awesome mid-century modern find at an estate sale ended up.

For a few weeks, it continued to impede our entryway. However, it must have really been bothering Dan because I came home from work one day and it was gone. All on his lonesome, he moved it through the house and lodged it in the den.

{Sidenote: I'd show you much better the room as a whole looks with it in it, but all the junk that was around it was shoved just out of frame for these pics.}

Of course, I came through and styled it up a bit. Add some lanterns and candles I found at Target on clearance, cut down one of Star Wars posters and properly framed it, and rounded it out with my weapon of choice.

There's not much in it right now, just some loose, unimportant papers. I'm sure that over time, it will collect more stuff, mainly as we try to frantically clean before company.

One day, it will probably land in a future kid's room, but for now, I like its home.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fan of Friday: Week of 5/23/2014

This week, I am LOVING 'Supernatural'!

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The show burst into my life a couple years ago, I think around season seven. I watched the episodes online as they aired and I never felt like I was missing out on the backstory because, for the most part, each episode is basically 'Find the evil thing, kill the evil thing."

However, last summer, since the shows that air are pretty much crap, I ordered season one and decided to start from the beginning. It seemed like something Dan and I could do together. It could be our show. It took us a long time to get through season one, but by fall, we'd made it and I forced him to order us all the remaining DVDs since they were on Black Friday clearance.

Again, progress was slow until about a week ago when Dan told me he isn't as into it as I am and I am free to watch them alone. I have since torn through about 25 episodes alone.

So, right now, I haven't seen Seasons 3 through 6. Apparently all the stuff in the middle where people keep dying and getting sent to Hell and losing souls and yada yada yada. No spoilers, ok? Also, I haven't seen the last couple of episodes of the current season, so again, No Spoilers!

Random tangent: you can totally use 'Supernatural' to bond with preteen girls. At a mentoring lunch with a bunch of middle school girls, the only topic of conversation I could keep going was about 'Supernatural' and it's crazy fandom. One of the girls even told me I reminded her of the character Charlie.

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And you know I have a sweet spot in my heart for Felicia Day, so I was incredibly flattered.

Why didn't we have shows and crazy fandoms like this when I was a preteen girl?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Project House Update: No More Tile to Cut

And now, after a longggg eight months, look at this beauty. It is gorgeous and flawless and I am SOOOOOOO incredibly proud of Dan for pulling this off.

Have you ever seen such a ravishing fireplace hearth? I love every single inch of it.

Dan developed a great system for the crazy cuts by creating a stencil for the tile by making a rubbing of the area to be filled with a piece of printer paper and a crayon. Once he figured that out, he was flying through the cuts.

Don't worry about the back edge being a little rough. It will be covered by the tiles we place on the surface of the fireplace.

We would have made even more progress on it, but you would be amazed how hard it has been to find the right color grout. It took a couple of weekends to find a tile shop that carried a grout that isn't brown based. With the popularity of this color marble, who would have thought there was only one gray grout in existence?

Also, Dan became distracted by finishing the surrounding drywall before grouting. In yet another little fun series of surprises, when we removed the baseboards in the room, we found that there was no drywall under the window. The window that is directly adjacent to the fireplace. It took another weekend detour, but he patched that up, too.

So, we've been scrubbing the tiles in preparation for grouting and investigating the possibility of swapping out the window. It's amazing how easily we can be distracted. Although, the idea having this room completely, 100% finished when we do actually finish is incredibly appealing.

Is it possible for this house to never get finished? I think I'm in my head too much. Let's just go back to looking at the shiny, pretty tiles. Gawd, so pretty...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Project House Update: It's the Little Things

While we have actually been making progress on the never-ending fireplace, I'll write up a full-post on that later in the week. For now, here's a couple of small upgrades we've made recently. {Sidenote: there were originally three upgrades, but one of them went a little sideways and I am currently embarrassed by it and trying to figure out how to make it still work.}

First of all, do you know how obnoxious woodpeckers are at six o'clock in the morning? We didn't until Dan finally got around to adding a chimney cover to the fireplace in our bedroom. Then, every morning, half an hour before my alarm was set to go off, CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG! I gave Dan three days to come up with a solution before I did.

When that deadline came and went, I ordered this guy (Sorry, the picture is a little blurry):

It's solar powered so its head creepily swivels. I should have taken a video of it. It seems to work well, but it is haunting and incredibly unnatural.

Also, after many years of living with a hodge-podge of dishes, we finally upgraded to a real, full set. Our dishes went from this:

To this:

It's just a plain white set of Corelle plates. There wouldn't have been any other style of plate that Dan and I could have agreed on. Also, I'm trying to curb my crazy by buying more neutrals.

And finally, this is kind of an upgrade, I suppose. Dan and I went to see 'Godzilla' this weekend (really good, by the by) and when doing laundry, we realized I have a Godzilla shirt. I bought it at a thrift store years ago and I just sleep in it since it's too big for my. It did, however, look really good on Dan.

I call that an upgrade. Looks much better on him than me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Carolyn and Dan's Day Of Fun

It was just like this, only Dan doesn't violently hate me, I think...

On Saturday, Dan needed to go to Tucson Mall to pick up some tools he accidentally sent there for 'In Store Pick-up' and since Tucson Mall is on the complete opposite side of the world from us, we created a plan. We developed a route to hit all the places we had been meaning to go to but were too far to justify making a designated trip. 

Bright and early, we headed out, first getting breakfast at Ghini's French Caffe. I love French food, but since most meals aren't vegetarian friendly, a breakfast full of flaky, buttery pastries was the perfect compromise. Since I had never been there before, how was I to know it would be INSANELY busy. It was like it was brunch on the day before Mother's Day or somethin'...

We threw in the towel at getting a table and instead grabbed a couple of turn-overs from their bakery next door and eat them, leaning up against a pillar, on the sidewalk in front of the cafe. I would do that thirty minute drive again just for one of those turn-overs.

Oddly enough, our jewelry store was in that same plaza (I know it sounds really snobbish to 'have' a jewelry store, but you know, the store where Dan bought my engagement ring and our wedding bands). Since Dan had helped his best friend pick out his fiance's engagement ring at this shop, they had given us a $50 credit, which we put towards this pretty thing:

No, no, guys, the necklace, not me. (Hahaha, modesty humor...)

Maybe it's just because most of my jewelry is from Forever 21, but standing in a jewelry store, looking at a pair of diamond studs, the smallest ones they had displayed, that cost more than our budget for our summer vacation was quite overwhelming. Fortunately, Dan had the sense to ask, "Do you have anything more costume-y..?"

{Sidenote: if you are looking for a jewelry store in Tucson, try Rainbow Jewelers. They can find or make just about anything.}

And then we were on the road again, finally arriving at the mall. You know what's great about Tucson Mall compared to Park Mall? Tucson Mall has a Sephora, not an Ulta. And you know what Sephora has that Ulta doesn't? Naked 3 in stock! After waiting almost six months, it's finally mine!

Why didn't you just buy one off the internet like a sane person?

Shut up, you!

It's mine and the shades are beautiful and I will wear it all the freakin' time.

The rest of the trip to the mall portion of the mall was basically just me getting a Jamba Juice and window-shopping the entire length of the mall, both floors.

When we went to Sears, we overheard this large guy talking on his cellphone loudly about how he had been at a car show at the U of A that morning, and both Dan and my ear's perked up as we jumped on our phones to find this car show.

It was a huge show. There had to be over 200 cars. Unfortunately, I was not dressed for a car show, meaning all my pale, delicate flesh would combust in the sun in the amount of time it would take to walk all the rows of cars. So, I found a vending machine, bought a bottle of water, sat down on a curb in the shade, and people watched as Dan roamed the rows of classic cars.

After writing out our day, it doesn't seem like that much, probably just a normal Saturday for people who actually do stuff or have a reasonable amount of energy, but by the time we returned home that afternoon, I was completely wiped.

Don't judge me. A nap was totally necessary.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Project House Update: Tiny Cacti

I finally jumped on the succulents band-wagon. And found a use for the planter my aunt gave me without any drainage.

However, since I have a tiny red cat who apparently is also interested in succulents, they now live on the back porch. It took him less than five minutes to pluck one out and drop it on the floor.

My favorite one is the stone plant. I had one when I was little. My mom and I planted it in our garden and the javelina had a tasty little snack. It didn't even survive a whole week.

The clock starts now. Let's see how long I can keep them alive.