June 29, 2011

A Game of H-O-R-S-E

I told ya about the new artwork I purchased... I thought they would be posters... but they aren't. They are photographs. 30" x 40"s big.

I told you that I was inspired by Sherry of YHL... I even emailed her for advice. She responded. I love her for that.

The husband and I set out to follow her tutorial to a T.

Even still, it didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped. There seems to be a bit of awkward overhang of picture in some areas. In others, the picture was just not sticking. I think the canvas isn't exact. Darn them.

After several hours, I took them for a test drive.


But there are a few things I need to do...
Like - get out a dab of super glue or a minuscule piece of double stick tape and get those little areas down.
We opted NOT to take an exacto knife to fix the little over hangs.
So, they are NOT perfect. But you have to be all up on them suckers to see the flaws.
There is still a chance - if I find the right frames for the right prices - we may frame them.
But for now - I am super happy.

The pics were $49.99 each, but I found a coupon code online - saved me $20 overall.
The canvas is 50% off at Michael's right now, so I got them for $24 a piece.
And the Liquitex Matte Varnish was $20 (I went for the big bottle, just in case I decide to varnish the front. I tried it on a post card - and it did look cool!).

The husband still needs to hang up the drapes on the left side of that wall. Hopefully I can convince him that tomorrow morning would be the perfect time to do that. As soon as they are hung, I will try to get a better picture of the entire room.

But for now...it's late... almost 2am. I am going to hit the hay. Pun intended.

P.S. A HUGE thank you to Sherry at YHL. If for nothing else, then for finding the perfect artwork and sharing her experience!

June 28, 2011

A tale of 48+ Hours

It all started on Saturday; the kids left us. Nic went to my mom and dad’s and Alex & Isa went my mother-in-law's. On Sunday afternoon, my mom and dad dropped Nic off at my mother-in-law’s house and he stayed the night with his brother and sister. On Monday afternoon, we picked up Nic, but the older two opted to stay until tomorrow (Wednesday). We were actually kid-less for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS! Guess how many trips to Home Depot we made during that 48 hour period?!!?!

I don’t know. I lost count.

For the record (and to admit a flaw) – I hate standing around waiting for my other half for things at Home Depot. Not that he’s bad about it – or takes super long... but drill bits and flood lights are not my thing. I got cranky. Thank gosh he’s super patient. He did also point out that he’s been the victim a time or two when I made him visit the paint or curtain department.


Anyway – Nic came home last night and we decided to make a special dinner for him. We missed him MUCHO!

Chili-Dogs and French Fries.
Do you love my patriotic plates? They are for our 4th (er, 2nd) of July party on Saturday. I broke them out a bit early (translation - I was too lazy to do dishes).

After dinner - we had dessert: Banana Splits.Except they were in bowls.
And except for the fact that Nic had a cone. With no bananas.
But the majority did have banana splits.

Well, I don't like all that junk. Just chocolate, bananas and ice cream for me!

As I was going in to edit these pictures for this post, I found the following pictures that my dear Nic took some time this morning:

Crooks & Nannies. Wow. That there is my scrap paper that I keep on my office desk - I am a doodle-er. I was having a conversation with my mom on the phone - and mixed my words up - and then thought it was so funny, I wrote it down. I obviously meant nooks and crannies. lol...

Finally - last thing to share today... The husband has been hard at work while on vacation. He finished the outside flood lights today. And believe me you, it wasn't as simple as installing flood lights. He had to run wires (why, oh why, weren't they pre-wired?!?!). He had to make holes, cut chicken wire, re-patch, re-stucco, re-paint. I sat on the couch and watched DIY shows. Big helper, huh?

I can't wait to see what they look like tonight! There are two sets, so the whole yard should be lit! YAY for no more scrounging around in the dark for things. YAY for being able to now avoid bugs and scorpions!!

Let there be LIGHT!

So much other stuff to share, but so much to wrap my head around. We made a trip to IKEA... we got our drapes and artwork in the mail, we have 2 more paint colors to try for the master bedroom and we are having a party at our house on Saturday! I am tired just thinking of all that - I say it's nap time! For Nic. Of course.


June 22, 2011

Paint Pickin’ Master

Please... I do not want to lead you to believe, by the title of this post, that I am a paint pickin’ master.

Instead, I am just trying to pick some paint for my master bedroom. Our master bedroom, sorry about that Mr. Roommate.

I’ve never done this before. With the other rooms, I picked one color and ran (man, those cans are heav-eey!).

This time I wanted to do it right, so I picked four colors and got little sample containers. And just now I slapped them up on the wall:

I think it’s important to add that I am looking for a blue/green/gray color – not to go beachy, but to have that cool element in the room. The bed is walnut with a dark leather (pleather?, did I get taken!?) inlay. The drapes are a beige-y gold color and they are staying that way. Eventually, when we get white blinds, we will swag a panel to each of the sides of the window.

We want to add built-ins that will match the baseboards and trip (heirloom, white?!) and the bedding will all be white. We would, of course, add color in the way of pillows and art.  I like this, but it may not stay in the room:

Here is what I think I like - It's John & Sherry's room - look at the walls, that's what I love:

Without further ado...



Oh My [Vacation Day 2]

I don't know why I agree to some of the husband's shenanigans. Especially when he speaks geek.

But this helped:

And so did this:

(don't you love it?! it's from the HobLob! 50% off!!)

And now this is the new (not permanent, I hope) view of my TV niche in the family room:

Lucky gal, aren't I?

The husband's been mumbling about stupid spec home, and not enough lines, and the ever so understandable (not!) we need more CAT5.  He's making holes, running lines and spending dough like it's well, ...dough. But he promises that when all is said and done, we will have the speaker system (indoor and out) and flood lights (outside only, thankgosh!) all installed.

Secretly, I am crushin' on him. I love that he knows his trade so well. And, on a scale of 1to 10, his hotness goes up to a 12 when he steps onto a ladder. I'm just sayin'.  I am so glad that, besides the technical side of things, he also knows how to drywall. lol... He's going to be using that skill for sure during this vacation!

On the docket for the rest of the week?!?! Pick the paint color for the master (and actually PAINT!). I may need your help with that. The picking - of course you'd back out of the actual painting part. I know that! 

We have drapes and artwork coming this week! Yay, more hanging.

We have a garage to THROW OUT. We found another scorpion... so I told the man to get rid of everything. No more pack-ratting.

And finally, I've done a little make-over on desk that I am going to be moving into my office. The office is going to finally get the finishing touches it's been waiting for.  

So - our staycation is going to be jammed packed, but really - we wouldn't have it any other way! I'm lying of course, I'd much rather be on a beach in Mexico, San Diego, or elsewhere with palm trees. Oh well, there's always next year!

June 20, 2011

More Fun, Fun, Fun

Before I get into the meat of this post... I wanted to give a shout out to a sponsor... (you didn't know I took on sponsors?! what, what?!?)...

This post is brought to you by:

That's how many hours Marcos and I have left until we start our staycation! We will both be off of work until July 5. Yay us!

Okay - now to the meat! ;)  And speaking of meat - let's talk about the meat market we were at on Saturday; all of the fathers in my life were in one place (the pizza joint). Combine all that pepperoni and those hunky-hunks - it was a meat market for sure!

But, to bring this to a Rated G post - I will make mention of the all cute kids also in attendance. We spent a few good hours with food, fun, and all of the love we could handle.

Want proof?

We spent Sunday camera-less. lol... My parents came over, Marcos didn't have to work. The day was grand!

We had a lunch of Sloppy Joe's, Salad and Chips. I made the Pineapple Upside Down cupcakes.  (I evidently like Capital Letters) We went for a swim. I was kind of disappointed in the water temp... even though it was over 100*, the water was pretty cool. I think it was due to the wind - we get a lot of wind out this way.

The best part of swimming?! Getting out and laying in a lounge chair - letting the SUN dry you off. I LOVE laying out near the pool.  I think the Valium* I took just before hand helped me enjoy the minutes even more! I fell asleep while the rest of my family continued to play! I am happy to say that even though I slept out in the sun, I do NOT resemble a lobster today. Not at all.

(*Back pain, remember?! I don't condone prescription drug use before swimming. I waited at least 30 minutes after our meal and my pill popping before getting in the water. I had 5 lifeguards family members on duty. I survived.)

All-in-all, I think Marcos and my dad had a good time; on Father's Day, that's all that matters.

June 18, 2011

Me & My Peeps

Normally, when I refer to my "peeps" - I am talking about my cute-as-sin husband and those three tag-alongs we spawned.  However, today I am going to introduce you to the gene pool; my mother's side of the family.

That's right - they all live here in Arizona ( 'cept forJesse who's sun tanning in the big "I" right now).

The picture fest is courtesy of our annual Father's Day get-together (we also celebrated my two nephew's birthdays). We had lunch at Peter Piper Pizza (for you out of towners, think Chuckie Cheese, but not as cheesy).  We are blessed to have so many really good people in our family.

I will note, for the sake of noting it - Marcos has to work today, so he missed the pizza, Mr. Pibb and bloated feeling. His loss. :)  We WILL celebrate Father's Day with him tomorrow (and my parents - my dad must feel sooo special, he gets doted on twice in one weekend!).

Without further  - wait... I should warn you. The title of this post is ME & My Peeps. Emphasis on ME. After you scan the photos below you will learn that I am, in fact, left handed.

Let me break it down for ya:

Grandma and Grandpa have 4 kids (3 pictured)
One is Anita - she's married to Mark. They have 2 kids (1 pictured).
One is Brianne - she's married to Jason. They have 2 kids: Ben and Charlotte.

Grandma and Grandpa's second kid is Julie.
Julie is married to Mike. They have 3 kids (2 pictured).
One is Chell. She is married to Darryl. They have 2 kids: Austin and Evan.
The other one is Carrie. She's my counter-part (a little over a month apart in age!).

Grandma and Grandpa's third kid is my mom, Michelle.
Michelle is married to Dad (duh!) - Charles. They have 2 kids (1 pictured).
One is Jaime (me!) and I am married to Marcos. We have 3 kids: Alex, Isabel and Nic. I assume you already know this...
Their first born and favorite (don't worry, mom... I know and understand! He's special ed.) is Jesse (who has a daughter named Abby).

Whew! (again). We need to stop procreating, huh?
Well, if nothing else, someone can print this post off and show it to me when I am 90 and can't think straight.

I am exhausted and have to get ready for the parents' visit tomorrow. So I will sign off here... but don't you worry, tomorrow I will post all of the action shots!! ;) We were at a pizza joint, after all!

Happy Saturday!!

June 16, 2011

All good things must come to an end...

Especially if you have a 4 year old in the house.

Remember this lil' pretty?!

At 8am this morning, I was jolted out of a day-dream (while I was half-listening to a conference call) - by the sound of a SHATTER.

My cheap glass turned cool and twine-y vase is no more.
At least he spared the berries.


P.S. Hob Lob and Ross shopping yesterday - more to share over the next few days.
But, look at one of the things I got for my office:

Ignore the dust.

It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it!
My housekeeper is on strike.

June 14, 2011

Summer Nights

Seriously... I love summer nights. My fondest memories of my teenage years were when I lived in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. My friends and I would stay out late, either "walking the block" (don't take that the wrong way, it was so rated G. Okay, maybe PG-13), or hanging out in front of our house.

I've always wanted that for my kids - to have a place they can hang out at, stay out late and talk with their friends. Our neighborhood is able to offer that.  I've mentioned a few million times, we have a park and basketball court right in front of our house. I love being able to sit outside and watch the kids, or peek my head out to call them in when I need them for something.

Alex and Isabel asked if they could go out again tonight to play some ball. I obliged; after all, The Voice was on, Nic was asleep and Marcos was working beside me on the couch.

In that first picture... that third person that doesn't belong to me?! I wonder if that's the sudden interest in hanging out late at the park. lol...  Her name is Krystal, she's the niece of our new neighbor - she visits quite often! She's the same age as Alex, yet her and Isabel get along too.

Hey - if they are out doing something active, instead of staying couped up playing video games or Facebooking, then I am all for it!

'sides... that's why momma has the house in front of the park and a camera! =)
I know ALL the tricks!

My thoughts on Blogging

Found this in my draft folder... thought I'd post since I didn't have a chance to do anything fun yesterday, except work.

Sometimes I happen upon a blog - you know the drill: click, click, click, "Hey! How did I end up here?"

But something on that blog catches my eye - so I read and read and read and read.

And then I notice something.

The blog is good. The pictures are good. The "voice" is good. The blogger has been around for a while.

But there are no commenters. I mean - one or two, here or there. But not as many as there could be. Perhaps they are all off reading Layla or Sherry or Shawni?! And while I also read those blogs [daily]; I love finding new blogs and people to stalk "meet."

I love the type of bloggers I am referring to. While I am sure they hope to have readers commenting on every post; they mostly blog for themselves. They continue to blog - even though they may not get a lot of traffic, they continue to share their thoughts, ideas and lives with the world wide web.

I know there are bloggers out there who don't necessary like strangers to post on their blogs. And I know there are bloggers who would kill (not literally, of course, people) to have just one kind person stop and appreciate something they've been working on. I tend to stop, regardless, and leave a kind word. Sometimes it's because I feel sorry for the fact that no one else did. And sometimes it's because I really am impressed!

Maybe there are readers out there that happen upon MY blog [remember? click, click, click] who wonder why I continue to post even though I don't have many "followers." I've been around the blog block a time or two (admittedly, this is the longest time I've kept up a blog) - and while I love comments (thanks Suz, Marcy, Tracy, and Lez - and sometimes Mom [but it's been awhile!!?!]) - I blog because I love sharing. More than that, I want to be able to print this blog out and turn it into a journal the kids can keep for a long time to come.

So, I know I will never be a professional blogger. And I know I blog about everything under the sun. But if I can entertain just one person - even if it's my own self - than I am happy.

If you are passing through - I'd love it if you left a comment. But if you choose not to - well, that's okay, too! Because, regardless, tomorrow - there will be always another post.

June 13, 2011

Don't you love finding new blogs?

I know I do! =)

Somehow I came across 320 Sycamore. Maybe you already read it?!

But I wanted to share this post.

I love the school house light.
I love her corner windows.
I love her drapes.

Off to read more!!

June 12, 2011

A Smorgasbord

Two Posts in One Day: Lucky you!

CHEAP DIM (did it myself) ART:
I got the spray paint out for this one...
I bought cheap picture frames from IKEA a while ago.
In colors like black & red.
So not my colors.

I found some pictures I liked, printed them out on plain paper.
Maybe someday I will update to photos... I have the jpeg's saved.

I saw this cute saying somewhere on the net - and loved it.
So I thought I'd make my own - using the colors in my kitchen.

I put it in my newly painted (albeit, not perfect) frame.
I ♥ it.

We did quite a bit in the kitchen this weekend.
Proof. Right there. And there. And there.
Love them!

And I just got done hanging my new "art."
Like I said, I printed the pics I wanted on regular paper. Nothing to it.
I had four of the black and red frames - I painted them cream and yellow/gold-ish.
I alternated them. Cream, Gold, Cream, Gold.
And I hung them with push-pins (the frames are super light) - that way,
I can change it easily enough if I feel the need later on!

We finally pulled the new radio cabinet out of the garage and got to work on it.

Isn't she a beaut?!?
We actually removed the picture wall that I worked sooo hard on...
because the black/dark brown frames just didn't go.
So, I've relocated those pics throughout the house.

I moved my Goodwill find gold mirror in the picture wall's place.
I know there's a whole lot more to do there (for starters, I'd love a lamp!)
but at least we've got the ball rolling.

We were going to paint the new "buffet" cream... but it's in SUCH good shape,
we opted to leave it alone (for now).

Marcos took out all of the speaker stuff and insulation.
I polished her right up.

We have plans to replace the old gold speaker material with a fabric -
something that compliments our dining room drapes. But that may be a while.

And finally... for your viewing pleasure... an updated look at the front of mi casa.
What I haven't mentioned in a long while is that the whole front yard (pavers and sod) has been replaced; twice.


The grass is FINALLY growing back and looking halfway normal.

But that's not the real reason for the pic.

Look at my new wrought iron "shutters" on the front window.
I love them!
A lot.
I felt that window was just too plain before.
I think it looks nice now (despite the fact that everything needs to be wiped down and swept on the front porch. sorry about that!)

Something else new: In front of my columns, we replaced the dead/zombie/not really there hibiscus bushes and replaced them with little palms.
Love them, too!

That, my friends, is my weekend update. Off to do Sunday night things so that I can be ready for tomorrow morning to do Monday morning things (i.e. work). Boo.

Later alligator.


I wanted to take some time today to talk a little about my older brother, whom I introduced you to here

I don't think I ever told that you some people think he's just a regular ol' Joe... Looks normal enough, doesn't he?

Jess likes to play the guitar. As a teen, he was crazy about comic books and Dungeons & Dragons.
He had some wonderful friends: Chris, Kerry, Sean, - I could go on. They were thick as thieves for years.
He was into the Drill Team and ROTC.
He was a pain in my side; macho-man always telling his little sister what to do.

Now, he has an almost 16-year old daughter, Abby, that is the LOVE of his life.
He's got a wonderful family: his girlfriend Catina and her two kids.
He lives in North Carolina. He's a Paramedic.
We never see enough of him, but that's because of his job.

Besides being a paramedic, Jess has been in the Army for 18 years (this summer marks his anniversary). He enlisted in June 1993 - the same month and year my dad retired from the same branch of service.

Jesse has been trained by the best, to be the best. He has ganas. 
As a medic in the Army - he's probably seen it all.

(No dummies were harmed during the making of this blog post.)
It's fake.
A training exercise.
That's probably ketchup.

What's NOT FAKE is Jesse's will to succeed. To be the best. To help protect our country.
You may think this post is a little off base. I mean... its not Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day,
or the 4th of July.
Nope... not any of those days. That's usually when we do most of our conscience remembering, right?
Eh, it happens.

Today is Day 1 of 365 that Jesse is gone.
Back to Iraq for his fourth tour.

(he's had 5 total tours, none of them rock 'n roll ones, though.)

This one, without a doubt, is the hardest. Jess is in a great place in his life. A great career. A loving (AND STRONG) woman as his partner. He just earned custody of his daughter (his ex-wife gave him a true gift). He has two other great kids in the house (L & K). He has a silly puppy named Mac.  
He has so much to live for and to be happy about.

But for the next year, he is going to do what he does best. He's going to stay alert, watch over his 'boys' and help to save lives. If you know me in real life, you may have heard me joke about him and his job.
"He administers band-aids for a living."

Of course I have to say things like that. Someone needs to put him in his place.
But the truth is Sgt. Aniol is the epitome of an American soldier.

For the next year, he will put all else before him. Again.

You know, I'm proud of all that I have accomplished in my 34 years.
My family, my education, my career. 

But I've never, ever sacrificed as Jesse has. I've never been in 140* degree heat eating rations on a "cool" Iraqi evening. I've never held a fallen comrade. I've never heard constant gun fire. Or seen the aftermath of roadside bombers.

Nope. I am safe and sound. At home.
Because of soldiers like Jesse.

For the next 365 days - I will proudly display the following on my blog:

Just waiting for my knuckle-head of a big brother to come home.
And he will.
Ganas, remember?