Saturday, July 24, 2010

Madam Librarian

I've been on a roll creating skirts.  I found simple, easy tutorials here and here and I've just gone to town.  I made the first one this past Tuesday night and wore it to work on Wednesday.  I made the second on Thursday night and wore it to work on Friday.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my Wednesday outfit - I was running late (surprise, surprise) and by the time I got home from work I was not, uh, let's just say, camera ready.  Friday morning I was blessed with 15 extra minutes and a husband with the day off and managed to snap some pictures.  When I put my outfit together, I definitely felt like I was channeling a librarian.
I don't know how these girls do it.  It was only Byron taking a couple snapshots of me and I felt like I was getting my senior pictures taken all over again.  It was so awkward and uncomfortable.  And somehow I even managed to make my legs look like they were joined at the thigh.  I looked like some sort of one-slash-two legged bird.  Maybe the key is a glass of wine before you take pictures of yourself.  Or maybe it's the glass of wine when you are reviewing them.  Or maybe both.  Either way, I am glad I made him take the pictures but boy, do we have a long way to go to make them interesting.  (Uh, and clear.  Apparently I am fighting with my camera.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rugs Revisited

So...a few of you have asked if I have made any progress on choosing a rug.  The answer, sadly, is no.  I do know one thing, and that is that Option 4 officially got the boot.  And since that seems to be the only rug that people commented on, you may be thinking to yourself "What exactly is going on in that mind of hers?"  Well, let me tell you.
I just like the stripes.  And I like the beachy feel that the striped rugs give.  My mom, for example (yes I'm outing you), just doesn't get beachy.  She was concerned that the striped rugs might not be the right weight for the room.  So I thought to myself, beachy is what I am going for now...but what happens when it is 0 degrees this winter?  Will I still be going for beachy?  The jury is out.
Which also means, I'm still on my search for the perfect rug.  Enter West Elm.  I found a couple of new options that I wanted to try out in my virtual living room, but since one of my new options is apparently no longer available, I will now present to you Option 5.
I'll admit, the picture makes the rug look 1,000 feet long.  I assure you, it will only be a 9x12.  At first I thought that bringing in the gray would add another color to my already colorful living room.  But, after looking at the manufacturer's photos, I see a lot of the same colors in their pictures - steely gray blue, yellow, blond wood, etc.  I really think it could work.  Will I get the nerve and buy it?  Cross your fingers!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is This An Addiction?

Is this my new addiction?  I have so much that I ought to be doing, but instead, I am playing around with the pictures on my computer.  Remember the sunset picture I took at the wedding reception?  Well take a look at it now.
I can't take any credit.  I am still just fumbling around and have no idea what I'm doing.  Every skill I used to create the picture above I learned here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I am behind.  On everything.  I have something special this Saturday that I am preparing for, as well as managing the 10,000 items on my normal to-do list.  After Saturday, I will have an interesting post, but for now, I leave you with what my life looks like lately.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Weekend Wedding Reception

Saturday we spent the afternoon & evening in Clear Lake, Iowa, at the wedding reception of our friends Julia & Stefan.  We had such a great time.  Attending weddings makes me reminisce about my own wedding, and my mind always wanders to what I would do differently if I ever had to do it again (to Byron, of course).  This of course drives Byron crazy because he insists our wedding day was absolutely perfect just the way it was, but I can't help it.  I love weddings and my mind just goes there.  The mood of their entire day was so relaxed and laid back and fun.  If I were to do this again I would definitely make it more like theirs.
But anyway, back to Julia & Stefan.  The reception started at the Clear Lake Art Center.  It was a cute, small town art center and was the perfect space for them.  The first part of the reception was basically like any wedding reception, that is, until they started showing Stefan's German music videos.  They were hysterical!  I had no idea that these existed, but man, they had me laughing.
The second part of the reception, and this was the greatest part, was a two hour river boat cruise on the Lady of the Lake.  There was plenty of food, drinks, music, and friendship to go around.  The boat ride was so scenic, too.  If it weren't two hours a way from home and cost a boatload of cash (get it?  I kill me...), I would do this for every party I had.
An ironic moment that happened to us was when our other friends from Clear Lake actually skied past us on their boat.  That doesn't happen every day!  
Here are a few moments we captured.
Byron and I enjoying the cruise.

Our friends skiing past.

Me and Julia.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fun with Fotos (alternatively titled Phun with Photos)

As I have already tried to make clear, I am not very good at Photoshop.  Honestly, I'm not really that great at photography in general.  But I do have a desire to learn.  So maybe a better way to put this is that I'm not very good at photograhy...yet.
That said, I spent some time tonight reading about Photoshop tips and tricks.  I found most of my information here.
Anyway, I haven't learned much, but I did play around with some layers.  I took my puppy from this
to this

See the difference?  To me it looks brighter and sharper, but I'm still just learning what to look for.  I may have lost some of the definition in her fur, but oh well.  This is just for fun.  On the plus side of my new found interest, there are TONS and TONS of tutorials and tips scattered all over the internet on how I can improve (here and here are a few more).  On the minus side, I'm now on the hunt for a new camera, which, based on a short search, is going to be more expensive that I realized.  Oh well.  If I smile and tilt my head just so, Byron gives in to me pretty quickly.  And with professional photographers in his family, my interest will be supported.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cheap Fix

Although we built our new house from scratch and I was able to hand pick just about everything, there were still several things that ended up being a surprise to me.  For example, in the bathroom, FORTUNATELY our builder was so generous to give us a towel bar.  UNFORTUNATELY, it only holds one towel.  Proof.
Please notice my awesome photoshopping skills.
I am great at distorting images and matching color.  Maybe.
Notice the one towel that fits on this towel bar.  You will just have to trust me that there isn't enough room for two, because my awesome photoshopping skills might not make that clear.  This doesn't work so much for me.  First, I share this bathroom with my husband.  Second, I have long hair.  Long hair = two towels needed for showering.  Follow me if you will, but Byron + me + me = three towels.  So for the past four months, many a towel has found itself on the floor (ack!).
That's where my husband came to the rescue.  On our rainy day off yesterday, I dragged him into TJ Maxx where we picked up some lovely hooks that will hold, get this, four towels!  Woo hoo!  And at only $9.99 each (we picked up two - one for the spare bathroom as well), it was such a cheap fix.  15 minutes later, voila!
Hooks!  I plan to take down the original rinky-dink towel bar and instead replace it with artwork of some sort.  The only thing I have on hand that would fit in the space is a ballerina photograph.  The bathroom is not really the place for a ballerina, but I guess we'll see.  Maybe it would be a good chance for me to try my hand at painting!?!?

Monday, July 5, 2010

How I Spent My 4th of July

I'm just going to start by saying that this post is not very patriotic, and in fact, my task could have been done any day of the week.  I have a never-ending to do list floating around in my head, and for some reason yesterday, I got an itch to tackle on of the items. You see, the back of my husband's car window has this awful, puckering window tint on it.  I don't hate window tint, per se, but I don hate it when it makes it impossible to see out of the back windshield.  Not to mention that's not really safe, either.  It's been bugging me for quite some time.  A few months back, Byron tackled it and removed the upper right corner.  So in I climbed, armed with a razor blade and a blow dryer, determined to tackle the rest.
After I got that middle section done (I went a few inches below where the picture shows), I was done.  Talk about a boring, cramped, HOT task to take on.  This will definitely have to be done little by little, but it makes me feel like I checked SOMETHING off that I have been meaning to take care of for awhile now.  And I feel like when I have to drive this car, at least I will partially be able to see out the back windshield!
We have a couple of more projects brewing around the house these days too, so hopefully I will be back soon to post more house updates.  Till then, I hope everyone enjoyed the nice long weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Popping In the Cork

A few weeks ago, the night before we left to go to Florida to be exact, I got some ants in my pants.  I had to do a project, and I had to do it right then.  I had just read this post and I knew that it was probably written specifically for me.  Since we had moved in four months ago, I had not really revisited my kitchen cabinets, where in a hurry to get settled, everything was pretty much just thrown in wherever a space could be found.
I was dealing with a limited amount of time before I was to be gone for a week, so it would be safe to say here that the kitchen cabinets still have not been organized.  But the one thing I did do before I left was to install cork board on the inside of my kitchen cabinet doors.  This is such a genius idea - I don't know why I didn't think of this myself.
So off we went to Target, and picked up a package of these:
They even came with their own adhesive, which was basically just double sided tape and really easy to use.  My kitchen cabinets have a ridge on both the inside and outside, so I just measured the inside of the ridge, cut the cork to size, and really just popped it into place!  I went from this
to this
in abut 10-15 minutes.  I have also taken much of the junk that manages to clutter the side of my refrigerator like coupons, reminders, and recipes, and conceal them out of sight.  The good thing is they are still within easy reach.  The side of my refrigerator definitely thanks me.
Please ignore the clutter inside the cabinet.  Like I said, that part is still on my to do list!