Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Color . . . It's a Good Thing!

Here's a random, off-kilter (not sure why?) photo of my kitchen that I found. The French doors are boring. I had read once where you might be able to remove the window grids and have one, nice piece of glass underneath. So I removed it, and there, dangling by a thread, were 15 individual panes of glass. Needless to say, I quickly screwed it back on! So what's a girl to do who every time looks at her boring, but can't afford new hurricane-proof French doors? Add color!

Boring and shows every piece of dirt and scuff mark.

This is the fabric I used for my curtains.
This is a coordinating fabric I have for my pillows
and will use for a few more accent pieces.
I ran up to my local Dyco and found a blue that I thought would be perfect to bring a pop of color to this room and match the two fabrics I used. I went with Benjamin Moore Ash Blue, #2057-40 and I love it!

Looking good.

Done? Well, not quite (gee, imagine that, me blogging about a project that is not done!?!). I will do one of two things to finish this. One, my GTG (my Go-To-Guy) is coming over tomorrow to give me some quotes on some projects around our house that will include replacing all the trim in this room to a dark brown. If we go that way, I will paint the grids on the doors brown and replace the antique white trim with stained wood. If we decide to wait, I will just touch up all the trim with paint so that is TBD.

Again, here's the before -
And the almost-finished!
Sorry it's so dark, it's a super cloudy, rainy day and that was the
best I could do with my iPhone.
So I just love my pop of color. Can't wait to see it completely done, but that is for another post!

Friday, February 22, 2013

I've Hit the Big Time . . .

Ok, not really but two exciting things have happened.

One, I just went over 10,000 page views on my blog. Now I know there are blogs out there who are well in the millions but for my little, almost-always-incomplete projects, never-show-you-the-final-shot blog, that's not too shabby. AND, considering I have only done 95 posts (yes mom, I know you have over 300 posts and I am a lazy blogger), that's over 100 page views per post!

Two, this little gem arrived in the mail this week.

Now, it's only natural that I would assume that I received this invitation to the brand spanking-first in our area Container Store because of my powerful and influential blog and that I was one of the "Must Haves" at their party so I could immediately run home after the party and blog about it (whew, totally long run-on sentence!).

But, in reality, it's more likely that I am one of their frequent on-line customers. I do like a good drawer divider! Did you notice the perfectly chilled champagne, lavish hors d'oeuvres, and dancing to live entertainment? Really, I think a Container Store would be more screw cap wine and an iPod (of course, I have never been in one so who the heck am I to judge? But, if I drink champagne on my first trip there, won't I always expect it, like meatballs at Ikea?).

There's even a host committee. Darn it! I don't rank enough to get on that. Guess I should have bought the elfa Closet Components! I do love that they are donating a portion of their opening weekend proceeds to The Junior League of Tampa. 

So pretty and match-matchy!
There's the actual Golden Ticket.
Wish it came with a coupon.
My friend Karyn and I are planning a trip to The Container Store (not sure I will go to the fancy-schmancy party - as you all know, I really only having painting clothes. No gowns here.) so if anyone wants to make a day of it, we could also hit Crate & Barrel, Ballard Designs and then Ikea for meatballs and cheap frames. I do have a long list of needs wants and now I don't have to spend all that money on S&H!

On a side note, my daughter managed to stay in school all day today as her swelling has gone down and her pain is subsiding. I am off to have a glass of wine and put my feet up. Hubby is still out of town, the house is fairly clean and pizza is on the menu tonight! Looking forward to another project tomorrow but that is for another post!

P.S. Mom, are you proud of me? Four posts in a row, baby! But don't get used to it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hands Down - Worst. Project. Ever. DONE!

Ok, so I woke up this morning totally dreading today. I did not want to have to tackle that second coat of Restore on my pool deck (remember coat 1?) but with rain chances this weekend, it was now or never!

Hubby is out-of-town so I had to do 2 runs to 2 different schools and then I came home and put on my "painting" clothes (unfortunately, I think I have more painting clothes than real-world clothes!). When we are having a party, the deck looks so small and crowded. When I stand at one end with a roller in my hand and with nothing on it, it looks so freaking big! Gonna be a long day!

So I roll and roll and I manage to get about 1/10th of the deck done when I get a text from my oldest. Quick back story - she had dental surgery on Monday for crown lengthening. We were told she should be able to go back to school on Tuesday but that was not the case. She had a lot of swelling, pain and continued bleeding. I finally got her back to school today and darn if something didn't happen and there was a lot of bleeding. Come to find out, she had popped some stitches and it created blood pockets. Big fun! So I had to abandon my painting, go clean up quickly and head out to get her from school. After the Dr's, we ran to stock up on smoothies and buy ONE MORE 4-GALLON of paint. Back home we go.

I drag myself back out there one more time (and I swear last one) to finish this bad boy. Now the good news is it is sunny and there is no wind. The bad news is it is sunny, no wind and super hot - ugh (isn't this February??)!

Long story short, I manage to finish the job, have a tiny, tiny amount of paint left, and now have to wait for it to dry. I have to wait 48-hours before we can put furniture back on it and 3-4 weeks before it will be completely dry - what? I wondered why it was a bit tacky to the touch so I reread the directions and discovered that little gem! Actually, it may take me that long to get over my sore muscles!!

The above photos show what it looks like before this area was completely dry with coat #2 (I was too lazy to take a photo later, after showering, I am totally on the couch with a BIG glass of wine!). Can't wait to finish pulling this all together but that will be for another post!

P.S. I will never, ever, ever do this again. Next time, we are getting pavers put in!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Organizing (Some of) the Paper Clutter . . .

So a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I wanted to go out and have a nice dinner and did not want to spend a lot of money.  Every year at the office, my husband gets a very generous gift card to a Tampa restaurant from his boss and for the past two years, the gift cards have been to Donatello's. It's a swanky Italian restaurant where the waiters speak Italian and the bar is THE place to be seen. I go looking for the gift cards (I rearranged the laundry room cabinets where I usually keep the gift cards and of course, can't remember where I put them!) and 'lo and behold, we can't find last year's gift card, we have this year's but not 2011's. That's a lot of money down the drown! Luckily for us, the restaurant knows the boss, kind of knows my husband and so they honor the old, missing gift card!

Well, I decided enough is enough and finally sat down to organize this mess and here's what I did -

I hit up my local Staples and got my organizing on!
Now, I hate giving any more money to Martha Stewart but
I have to admit, she's got great stuff and I wanted
something that will last and will look nice so she
is my GTG (Go To Gal).
I gathered all the coupons, gift cards (I did eventually find my stash but still no Donatello's 2011) and take-out menus into one binder. This way, when we want to go out to eat, we can just look at the deals we have.

I printed out a pretty label (took freaking forever though -
and I totally blame Martha, not me!
Put the gift cards in a 4 pocket holder.
Menus went in a large single sleeve.
I put similar restaurants together.
I created a sleeve for our favorite locals, chains, pizza, Chinese, and bar-b-cue
(I do live in the south).
I also have one for any good coupons I have instead of shoving
them to the bottom of my handbag.
Now it's all there so next time we want to go out to eat or order takeout, first stop will be the beautifully organized Menus and Gift Cards binder.

Tomorrow, coat two of the project from hell (and there is 0% chance of rain and hubby will be in Atlanta so should be smooth sailing, I pray!) but that is for another post!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hands Down - Worst. Project. Ever!

Ok, so our pool deck needed some love. It had worn at the edges, cracks were starting to show through and it had faded, not to mention the poop stains by the ducks who come back every year to fornicate in our pool!

So, while perusing the aisles of Home Depot, I came across a fairly new product last fall - Restore.

It is a paint-like coating that can be used on concrete or wood. You can choose from dozens of different colors and then have the store mix it for you. At my Home Depot, it takes 10 minutes to mix per every 4 gallons.

Now there is one thing you need to know before I go on with this story, my husband HATES anything and everything to do with Home Depot, Lowe's, the hardware section of Target...you get the idea. He is probably the least handy person (not just man) I know and he is ok with that. If he knows there is going to be a project that weekend, I can already feel the fight coming on. So, I armor up and wake him and say it's time for us to get to Home Depot, I don't want to be stuck painting until 10:00 at night. I hear mumbling I don't quite understand and then he yells he will get up at 9:00. That's not too far away so I go eat and pull up the Restore website to look at the colors again. Finally, he heads downstairs and helps me measure the deck, we do some very poor math, and then we are on our to the store. Every word out of his mouth is argumentative. I shut up. Now for those who know me, that is S.U.P.E.R. hard for me to do. We get there, decide on a color (I already knew the color before I got there but have mastered the skill for him to think it was his choice, hehe!) and we wait for the paint to be made. Heading home, the weather outside is perfect. A cool temperature, a slight breeze and the sun is shining. It's gonna be good!

My hubby borrowed a pressure cleaner from a friend of ours several years ago. It was used once for about 10 minutes and then my husband got sick of that project. The friend is ok with us hanging on to it but I figured time to put it to use and then we can return it. I head downstairs ready to start. We still have to pressure clean the deck and then let it dry before we can start painting. I wait, then I move all the furniture I can, and then I wait, I hook up the new hose we bought, I wait, then I try to start the pressure cleaner by myself. I can't get it. I go look for hubby who is upstairs eating a meal. More mumbled words from him and I head back downstairs to read the instructions on the paint can. At this point, the sun is now moving and is no longer hitting half the backyard so it will take much longer for the deck to dry. FINALLY, his highness shows up, we clear the deck of all the large items I couldn't move by myself (he has a meltdown while moving the last big piece and throws a part of it and it breaks, and I thought toddlers were bad!) but he does manage to get the pressure cleaner running.

He said he would do that so I run upstairs to get a bite to eat and then watch him clean, big mistake. He is just randomly moving the wand around and literally is just moving dirt from one spot to another. I no longer can take it and go downstairs to take over so we can get this project started. I think that was my mistake because he disappears and I only see him one more time in the next 7 hours!

The deck is now cleared, it has been pressure washed and I wait for it to dry. I decide to start doing some touch up on our patio furniture and the paint doesn't match up so I wait. I notice some clouds rolling in and check the weather on my phone. Still 0% chance of rain. The deck is almost dry except for the covered part that no longer is getting the sun. I brush out the puddles to thin them and then I notice it's starting to sprinkle! It's light enough that it's not leaving wet marks so I open the first can of paint and pour that heavy mother out. I do a few practice brush strokes because you have to use their special roller that looks almost like a Brillo pad. Now my hand to God, a full roller only covers about 3 feet and then you have to roll it in the paint again. You can only do that about 5-6 times before you have to pour more paint. This is going to be a long day (which I knew this morning when I woke my hubby up).

I start painting, by now the sun is completely hidden by all the cloud coverage. The wind has picked up and I hear the little pitter-patter of raindrops. Are you freakin' kidding me??? Luckily, I am painting under the covered area so I keep painting. The wind starts blowing even more.

By now, it's pouring rain and there are what some people might call gale winds. Needless to say, leaves are blowing all over the deck, the rain is blowing onto the freshly painted deck, pillows and other light items are flying around the yard and then I hear the sliding glass door above open and then my darling husband yells, "it's raining, you can't paint right now." I am thankful he didn't hear the mumbling I was saying and it is not fine to print here so I will move on. Luckily for me, it's a super quick rain and it moves on. The sun comes back out and dries up the deck and I am back to painting by the inch!

If you decide to take on this project, wear old shoes and socks
because this paint likes to splatter everywhere!
This is the first section done.
I picked off as many of the leaves as I could reach.
This only took about 2 hours and 4 gallons of paint! 
When we bought our house, part of the backyard was little white rocks
so we took them out and had concrete laid.
The girls put their hands and signatures into the wet concrete.
I gently painted over this section because this paint
can fill cracks up to 1/4" wide and I did not want to lose this. 
Also, while the concrete was drying, a bird walked on it.
Needless to say, I painted over this!
This is as far as the 2 4-gallons we bought took me. Not even half-way done!
Remember, I did admit to really bad math and now realize
I left a zero off of my multiplication! 
Now to finish off my story (and I will try to be quick), I needed more paint. While I was painting, I knew my husband had run my one daughter and her friend to a sleepover party. I knew he was back because I heard all the sliding glass doors close as the temperature dropped. I did not know, that he locked me out of the house (probably not on purpose but more by force of habit) and I had to go to the garage door to get in! More frustrated than ever, I grab my purse and head back to Home Depot. Yes, I did not change clothes and I wore my lovely paint-splattered tennis shoes! I do the math correctly this time and order 5 more 4-gallons of paint. This will take 50 minutes to mix so I head out after placing my order. I run to Leroy Selmon's to pick up my favorite salad and a few chicken wings as a treat for dinner. I run to Pier One to look at a piece of furniture I had seen in a catalog.

I think this would look great in my entryway with a large mirror but it's
on sale for $350 and I think that is expensive for this quality of furniture.
Still to be decided . . . 
I do apologize for my appearance the minute I walk in and pray I don't see anyone I know. My girls would be having a fit it they knew I was out in public like this! I head back to Home Depot and still have another 20 minutes to burn so I go to patio and sit on the most comfortable chair they have. I pull out my phone and play on Pinterest (big mistake since I am getting more tired by the minute). Out of the corner of my eye, I see a casual acquaintance of mine and I slink down in my chair a little more to try to hide, she doesn't see me, or at least avoids me so I feel ok. I hear the mixer shut off and head back to paint. I get some good looking loader to put the paint in my car (not a euphemism for anything) and head home with my car smelling awesome thanks to those Selmon wings.  

The sun is setting so I make a deal with myself to paint on one more 4 gallons and then call it a night. I do that and when I head upstairs, it is dark and cold outside and I am exhausted. I have blisters and am super sore.  I shower (boy, does that feel awesome!), grab a bottle (no judgement, please) of wine, my salad and wings and light a fire. I watch Woody Allen's To Rome With Love (scenery is fantastic, story lines are fun) and just chillax from one helluva day. Sunday morning I get up - by myself - and head outside to finish the deck.

Not too bad, a major improvement of the previous deck.

The deck looks much better. I had to walk around and physically remove hundreds of leaves stuck in the paint from the mini-hurricane but it still looks good. The bitch about the whole thing is that I still have to do a second coat!!! I think I have enough paint, 2.5 4-gallon cans, and I was told that the second coat goes on much smoother and quicker. I will be painting that on Thursday so say a little prayer for me (and one for my hubby because I might be talking to him by then and who knows what I am going to say!) and I will show you the finished results, but that is for another post!