June 29, 2009

her favorite color is chrome copper

Is there any other metal that wears and ages as well as copper?

I'd have to say, no.

Don't get me wrong, I love silver and brushed nickel finishes but copper seems to add a special touch--a surprise pop of color where you don't expect to see one. I've already told Hubbs for our seventh anniversary [the copper anniversary] that I want a set of copper pots and pans from Crate & Barrel. He said he'd start saving now.

After yesterday's post, I kept searching for the perfect alarm clock for our bedroom [hel-lo Type-A!]. This morning, I found her--and yes, it's a her.

In all her German glory, this vintage Ferger Anker alarm clock is now all mine! I have no idea how old she is [the seller puts her birth anywhere between 1930 and 1969] but I don't care! When I saw her my heart did a little dance. She was the perfect mix of my tarnished Roman numeral alarm clock, and the cute Ikea alarm clock with the little bell and hammer. Ah, perfection.

So now I'm officially out of DIY-decor-money for the month [ahem!--cutoff more like], but this made it all worth while. She was also the perfect price as well; at just $15 she was a good steal without breaking the bank!

Quick show of hands:
1.) How many of you actually knew the Statue of Liberty was made of copper?
2.) How many of you understand the reference in my post title?

June 28, 2009

budget$ happen

What happens when your budget rears its ugly head and puts the breaks on your DIY-decor-a-thon? Polyvore!

I've really been enjoying their site, being able to put together my room plans and see them all in one place versus one big messy folder on my computer's hard drive. While my layout boards aren't nearly as amazing as other's DIY-designers, they're a great way for me to show Hubbs what my plans are so he can veto or agree with them. Here's a plan I made for our master bedroom.

DIY-shutter headboard: $55
Old fashioned alarm clock: $7-$25
European square pillows: $30
Navy ticking stripe fabric for pillow covers: $32 for four yards
Bed: $0 [already own]
Night stands: $0 [already own]
Down alternative comforter: $0 [already own]
Chests of drawers: $0 [already own]
Total (not including red fabric): $124-$142

Thankfully, our bedroom has good bones. Earlier this year we invested in a nice set of chests and a simple metal bed frame. Now it's just pulling it all together. I was thinking we would end up doing a padded headboard, but I loved the idea of having two huge euro-pillows piled up on the bed--which would negate the need for the headboard. So instead, I decided to go with shutters. I scored a great deal on eBay [let's hope it's better than the last one] and found a set of four shutters for only $55 after shipping. I jumped on them because a.) the size was perfect--14.5" x 60" and b.) they were a phenomenal price--Lowe's wanted about $30 per shutter, and they were shorter than the ones I bought! Mine worked out to $13.75 a piece!

My only qualm about my plan is spending $25 on the alarm clock that I want.

I love its tarnished silver body and the Roman numerals on its face--but $25? It's a little steep in my opinion, especially as it's going to be purely deocration [I haven't used a real alarm clock in years]. The clock in the layout is from Ikea, a good ol' fashion bell chime alarm clock. It's just as cute, but for some reason I'm wanting those Roman numerals. Guess I'd better start visiting some consignment shops!

June 26, 2009

office plans

So, due to an issue with the eBay seller, my table legs have yet to arrive and I'm now in a dispute with him over the whole thing. I'm frustrated to high Heaven and ticked off to boot! If I knew I'd be getting back the $26 I spent, I'd just tell him to hell with it. But he's being such a d-i-c-k, I know he'd never refund me the money of his own free will. So, hopefully the kind folks at eBay will help me. In the meantime, I can't do anything without table legs. Hubbs made me promise not to start it until they came so we wouldn't have another TV stand incident [you know, the one where the TV was sitting on the floor for two weeks because the contact paper took a little longer getting cross country than I anticipated?]. At least it's given me time to envision the office in all it's post-renovated glory, so that's fizzled my white hot rage. We decided to paint the desk Pacific Pleasure by Valspar.

However, I needed to try and visually color match it to a spray paint since the legs probably won't tolerate a brush or roller. So, officially the color will be Sail Blue by Rustoleum. Now, with that blue color in mind, here's my mock up of our office [the desk is just a stand-in I found from Overstock.com].

Markör book case from Ikea: $170
DIY desk by moi: $70
Agen chair from Ikea: $35
American flag outdoor pillow from Pottery Barn: $0 [gift]
Wooden goose from Wisteria: $0 [self thrifted]
Potted palm from Ikea: $12
Total: $287 <----not too shabby for the whole office!

This number can go down if I find another book case. But Ikea's is actually solid wood, and I'm thinking our little particle board book case won't make the trip down to San Diego. I can tell the shelves are already starting to bow from the weight of our books, so it's going to need to be replaced sooner or later.

Oh! And onto even happier news--the table is done!

Sorry for the less-than-perfect lighting, which makes everything look splotchy. The chairs we bought for a song at Cost Plus World Market over Memorial Day weekend. We got the set of four for only $25! They're folding chairs, but I love the way they look--not to mention they seem to fit into the crevices of the table a little better than our white ones. I'm planning on painting those the same espresso color, and then adding some linen slip covers for when I want to table to look fancy. I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

June 25, 2009

one-ninty-nine & lookin' fine!

$1.99 Ram picture frames from Ikea +

Primer and espresso paint +

Colorful card stock = gorgeous wall decor on the cheap!

Seriously, how much money do you spend on frames and mats? The last time we had pictures framed, we spent $20 on the frame and $30 on a custom cut mat because the picture was an odd shape (like my 9"x6" ones above). $50 on one photo! These literally cost me all of $2.14 each after taxes. The espresso paint and primer are such a common product in our household now. We may run out of milk but I'll be a monkey's uncle if I don't have at least one can of paint and primer. The card stock I've had stashed away--a throw back from some long forgotten project [seriously--what did I need three packs of card stock for?!]. I have one more picture left to frame, but I need another frame and red card stock.

I'm trying to find colors in each picture and draw them out with the mats. The blue gray mat totally brings out the colors of the clouds in one photo! How's this for color matching that sunset?

Don't wan to toot my own horn... but for a project that turned at this good for so inexpensively? {toot toot!}

June 24, 2009

big news

Jason received his orders yesterday...

...and we're moving...


But, we're moving down to the coast to one of the world's largest Marine Corps bases--Camp Pendleton! Happily, this is now a short [8 lane] freeway drive away from my family! From the east to the west, from the desert to the beach in less than a year!

image from mysandiegolife.com

At first we were shocked. Jason's instructor had hand picked him and four other Marines to stay here and teach. The monitor [the guy who issues orders] didn't choose any of the five to stay behind. He chose Marines that had actually failed some of their classes and, by Marine Corps standards, were anything but stellar and outstanding. So Jason was pretty upset by the news.

image from superfitness.com

However, as the day wore on we started to realize all the good things that were coming our way. One of the housing areas we may end up in has a very nice view of the ocean, and after seeing all this sand it will be a happy change! By the end of the week we should know which area of the base he'll be working on, and that will help us figure out where we'll land housing wise.

image from city-data.com

I feel like my short little Marine Corps life has come full circle. My very first Marine boyfriend was stationed at Camp Pendleton and I can remember driving around the base wide-eyed, wondering if it would ever be a lifestyle I'd know. After being [what feels like] around the country in just three short years, I feel like the Mother Ship is calling me home!

June 22, 2009

week in pictures

Waiting for the train to take us up to San Luis Obispo.

The reason I love coastal California. I had about seven solid hours of staring at the ocean.

This is how college students decorate.

My art-degree-aspiring sister [who graduated with a journalism degree] pulled out all the stops when it came to decorating her mortar board. Can you see the 2-0-0-9 she snuck into the painting?

Looking for Brittany [this, subsequently, was the shot right before our Del Mar races shot I posted a couple of days ago].

The whole family. Please note: I am wearing wedge flip flops and I am still the shortest! Both of my [younger] sisters have a good three inches on me at least. Front row, from left: Diane [their mom], Brittany, Alyssa, Me. Back row, from left: Howard [Diane's husband], Joe [our father]. Yes, that dark man in the back who looks like an islander is the father of us three fair skinned girls. I'm the only one who came close to getting his coloring.

What we're really like when the cameras are off.

Me [25], Brittany [22], Alyssa [20]. And Alyssa's the tallest.

Our proud graduate.

I took this killer shot of her lei after she decided it was already time to toss it out. Its beauty lives on!

The set up for Britt's graduation BBQ. I was in charge of the decorations. Does this picture scream Pottery Barn or what?!

The yummy bundt cake we got [we added the flower]. It came from an adorable bakery in Poway, CA called "Nothing Bundt Cakes." Is that not the cutest?!

The whole week was wonderful. I've talked Hubbs into letting me take another week long trip in August. Since I'm not working, I see no reason not to spend as much time with my friends and family as I can since we're still waiting on orders that could whisk us away by year's end. Next time, I plan to try and squeeze in some of the events I didn't get to do this last time:

- Visiting Fashion Valley and indulging myself in some scrumptious items from Sephora.
- Spending time at the beach [running around Mission Bay at three a.m. drunk off a Purple Haze from The Tilted Kilt does not count!]
- Having photos taken by my favorite ladies at Bad Kitty Photography
- More beach time--seriously, I just want to sit on the beach and let the salt water turn my hair into a big bird's nest

Is it August yet?

June 21, 2009

new to the scene

Hello all--I'm back! This trip was so wonderful! I spent a full week in San Diego with my family and it was great. Hubbs wasn't able to stay, as work/school doesn't permit him time off right now. I hate to say it, but a week to myself was very nice. Like a sinful little treat. I plan on trying to do it every other month as time permits.

I know I owe you all lots of pictures, but I wanted to hop on and share my newest addition the the blogging family:

My new blog, The Escritoire, is a place for me to show case some of my short stories that I am constantly writing. [For those who don't have their handy dandy thesaurus nearby, "escritoire" means "writing desk."] Some of my yarns are just quick blips that may pass through my head; others come from detailed dreams I've had that transitioned nicely onto paper. I have a few in my vault, so as soon as it's up and running I'll be posting a new anecdote once a week [or so]. After I run out of those it make take me a while to update with new ones since my creative juices tend to dry up for short periods of time.

This blog is also going to be my constant reminder of my goal to finish my book that I started over four years ago. I'm really really hoping to have it completed by the end of the year so that 2010 sees me sending it out to [hopefully] be published!

In the mean time, check out The Escritoire and stayed tuned for more goodies on both sites!

June 17, 2009

class of 2009

My sister is graduating, and I'm in San Diego. Be back next week! In the meantime, I leave you with this picture to enjoy.

[Andrew and I cheering on the ponies at the track Brittany at her graduation ceremony.]

June 10, 2009

before & after

Our old school glass and metal Ikea TV stand, before:

Our new Havana-inspired TV stand, after:

Primer: Free (already had it)
Rustoleum Espresso satin spray paint: $5
Contact paper (2 rolls, from eBay): $22 with shipping
Total: $27
Difference: Priceless!

June 9, 2009


Kona Brown? Not so much!

Does that not look purple to anyone else?! There's no way I was going to have a brown-but-kind-of-a-little-purple dinning room table! So glad we had enough sense to get a little 8 oz. trial size before buying the full can of spray paint. So, we're going to our old fall back: Espresso.

Doesn't that picture make you want a black and white cookie?

[Image from Libby's Cookies]

Almost done with the table!

can we say p-m-s?

Yesterday Jason came home and found me sobbing in our bed. Rushing over, he tried to coax the problem out of me. The problem?

I couldn't open the can of oderless mineral spirits to work on our dinning room table.

He ran out to the garage and easily dislodged the cap. Problem solved? Nope. I just cried harder. I hate being a woman sometimes. Of course, now that the cap is off, I suppose I ought to go and work on the table...

June 8, 2009


Sunday morning we woke up with two more stops on our list before heading back home. The first stop was Michael's, where we bought picture frames for wedding pictures. Yes, okay, I admit it. I still have unframed wedding pictures from two years ago! We picked up a 20x30-inch frame for Jason's favorite wedding shot, one we jokingly call "The Good Fellas."

We also picked up an 11x14-inch frame for one of my bridal shots.

We need one more 11x14-inch for this shot as well; they didn't have two of the same black frames, and I wanted matching ones for the two photos.

Lastly, we popped into World Market to check on a couple items I had my eye on. I've been coveting this metal leaf for months. I envision it on our wall outside the front door. But since we a.) have stucco siding and b.) are technically "renting," neither one of us wants to risk drilling into the wall to hang it and potentially ruin the siding. So, big fat bummer. But it's still pretty.

When we came home, the first thing I did was decorate our bathroom with our new treasures.

Apothecary jar from TJ Maxx, vintage milk glass jug and bowl from eBay, votive candle vase/q-tip holder from our first wedding, pencil star fish from Layne in North Carolina.

The red metal trash can definitely needs to go, I could probably use a rug on the floor, and there's still a lot of blank space on the walls. I want to wait until we hear about orders before I go hanging shelves or anything to fill it up. Hopefully we'll hear something soon, as we were told "mid-June" could bring about orders.

In the meantime, I guess I can continue the work on our furniture. I'm still waiting for my cane weave paper to get here from Pennsylvania. I put a message into the eBay seller this morning, since it's been a full week since I bought and paid for it. Hopefully Mr. Postman will suprise me with it this afternoon! My TV is getting tired of sitting on the ground.


Bright and early Saturday morning, I had an appointment to get my hair cut. ::gulp:: I had one of those über trendy angled bobs done while living back in North Carolina. [This picture was taken almost exactly one year ago.]

The growing-out process has been a P.I.T.A.! I've been terrified to let anyone touch it, lest they chop it all off or make it even worse. But, I figured I could find a reputable salon in Palm Springs, so I went ahead and made an appointment with Salon 119. Of course, me being me, I got horribly lost on my way there [Hubbs stayed behind to workout at the hotel gym]. I called the salon, near tears, planning to cancel the appointment. The owner calmed me down and talked me, street by street, back to the main strip and right into her parking lot! She didn't hang up until I was turning in. That immediately made me feel like I was in good hands!

The whole appointment went very well and by the end I had a cute new cut! I like to call this next sequence "trying-to-find-the-right-light-for-my-new-hair-cut-picture."

Feeling pretty sassy, I talked Hubbs away from the endless stream of baseball games and we headed over to Bed Bath & Beyond. We immediately ran over to the dish department where we started collecting pieces from their Everyday White Collection. We bought eight pieces [4 bowls, and 4 plates] to begin our set of matching dishes. Our other not-so-blog-worthy buys included a bath mat for inside the shower and a full sized trash can for the kitchen. It was the home decor section where we started having the most fun!

I scored these little guys for half off each, a mere $5--they now hang in our bathroom.

This beauty I did actually pay full price for, but that sparkly blue glass was just too gorgeous to pass up. She too, is hanging in our bathroom now.

These bright green palm tress were so much fun, but they weren't exactly on my I-have-to-have-it-right-now list. So, they stayed behind.

Next we ventured over to TJ Maxx to see what other shenanigans we could get into. I scored this great apothecary jar for only $8! I'm thinking I'm going to buy myself some great smelling bath salts and fill it up.

This runner was Jason's big find.

Technically it's a floor runner, and since we have a carpeted house, we really weren't going to use it for that purpose. But he loved it so much he didn't want to part with it. Instead he came up with the idea of using it in a table scape on our dinning room table! My husband! I couldn't believe he came up with that idea all on his own! So now I'm even more anxious to get the table finished with! You'll have to wait until then to see it in all its [$7] glory.

We finished Saturday night with a trip to see Wolverine, which was a great movie! I can't wait for the other X-Men Origin movies to come out!