poor, lazy and desperate for a craving

Some people never change their style. Those are the people who wear the same hair color and cut for decades or brag about still using the same floral duvet that was popular in the 80’s (you know, the motel collection). Jennifer Anniston looks exactly the same as she did around the third season of Friends (we get it you’re so easy-going you can wear the same Lucky Brand jeans you did in the 90’s…I was 10 …I will still always be younger). Then there are the people who change their look more often than they change their underwear. My friend Annika has had more hair colors than the “Queen of Versailles” Jackie Siegel had  tacky crap faberge eggs.

How someone dresses themselves isn’t always indicative of how they keep their home….but if watching season after season of “Hoarders” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has taught me anything it is that 9 times out of 10 it does. There’s the occasional hoarder who doesn’t smell of rotten pumpkins, cat urine and a hint of asbestos…but they’re usually in the very early stages of their hoarding and still have a fully functioning bathroom that has a mirror not covered in dust and cob webs. Comparatively there is the occasional Kardashian wearing something that isn’t black and white and 3 sizes too small (we all know there is nothing small about this family, except maybe the talent level. I meeeeean, Khloe couldn’t even stand their and look pretty long enough to host a show about talent before being replaced…).

Although I am neither as hairy nor rich as the Dash klan, I do have something more in common with them than my obsession with looking at myself in every mirror that comes my way, and that’s my obsession with black and white. I have the dynamic duo of colors..or hues…or shades? whatever they are I have the duo in almost everything I could find: striped throw, eye cat pillows, bowls, paper napkins, tank tops, chiffon tops, maxi skirts, mini skirts, eye make-up brushes, even a chevron basket. But it’s not enough, to quote Ariel the Little Mermaid “I want more”.

Why are there no black and white striped bath towels??  Are they so rare that they’re only sold on the black market? And if so, how much time will I do if I get caught? And even more importantly, will I be allowed to use them once my time is served. There would be nothing more annoying to me than if I went through all that trouble of commingling with all those grimy people shoving and pushing their way around for fake Fendi  just to get thrown in the slammer with a bunch of women shoving their gang tats and corn rows at me. And all of for a set of towels that I would not ever get the chance to stare happily at every time I walked into my bathroom. I’ll admit, it seems like a crazy irrational plan for a set of towels…

Literally the only black and white striped towels I can find that don’t have a mustache or Eiffel Tower on the front of them are either beach towels or come from a European website. There seems to be some type of agreement or peace treaty between the US and Europe that decided chevron print belongs to the states and the stripe to those lucky Euros. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I would have had chevron walls, towels, carpet and tile…but I don’t need to live in Casa de Chevron to get my fix, it is ev-er-y-where. If you looked hard enough you can probably find chevron printed tampons.

Is it so much to ask Walmart to make a simple stripe in black and white? They do in every other color and pattern. The only thing Walmart has that comes close to what I am looking for is the jerseyliciousversion of a black and white stripe, zebra print.

There is LITERALLY nothing tackier to me than a zebra print, and I watch “Don’t be Tardy…“. My mom says hate is a strong word that she thinks I say it all too often (especially when referencing certain pop stars or co-workers)…but I HATE zebra print. It will never be a good look for anyone, or anything.

While dwelling on the hatred I had acquired for zebra print, my search for the anomaly that is the black and white striped towel continued. Nearly giving up on this quest I made a quick trip to the cluster you know what, IKEA. Where Europe gave me $40 for shipping, IKEA kindly and cheaply gave me  Sofia…a black and white striped material. It took me forever to figure out what I could do with her. I thought about using it for napkins or as a table-cloth. But then it hit me that the dining set my parents had passed down to us from 1970 was in desperate need of  my classic  home decor facelift.2013-04-24_12-32-37_65

My mom had this fancy fabric hand-made. So when she handed it down to my sister, 10 years ago, it was all the rage. When she handed it down to me, 10 months ago, I immediately wanted to pull out my paint brush and fabric scissors. My mom cherished this set, the hoarder in her came out when she was nearly brought to tears when I told her about my big plans to paint the wood and change the cushions. If it weren’t in our dining room, it would be in a storage unit for all the spiders and rats to enjoy as a meal. So she slowly began to open up to the idea of letting it go. But because my heart is not completely made of stone, (especially after realizing how frustrating and expensive reupholstering sounded) I decided I would let the old cherry set keep its charm and musty smell. The best solution for this project was the lazy one. No plans, no research, I would just channel my inner Summer Sanders and figure it out.

I didn’t make any measurements, mostly because I came up with this project while aimlessly wandering around in search for towels when this fabric caught my eye and perked up my mood. I used the best technique I have as a DIYnerd, the eyeballing method. So I bought 1 yard, thinking that would be enough…but shockingly it was not. For 4 chairs I needed exactly 2 yards…give or take.

So here was the lazy, but still do it yourself ,reupholstering job I used on this cherry-ished family heirloom.

1. First I had to find the screws holding the cushion down. As you can see, when my mom had originally reupholstered the cushions she had them made about 2 inches larger in diameter than the original seat. Apparently people of the 70’s had smaller behinds than the people of today.

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2. The screws were ancient, rusted and in there real tight. So I could only unscrew the 2 furthest from the back rest of the chair. Partly because they were screwed in tight and partly because my weak delicate hands were starting to form calluses…and I was not going to let that happen.

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3. Once the screws were loose (the ones in my head weren’t far behind) I took 1 yard of fabric and draped it over the cushion, wedging the fabric between the cushion and the back of the chair, fully covering the existing fabric.

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4. I smoothed it out over the cushion and made sure the stripes were running perfectly horizontal, checking that none of the cherry patches of the existing fabric were showing through the white stripes. Then I measured how much fabric would need to be firmly tucked under the cushion, and I cut the remaining fabric. This ends up being about 1/2 a yard per cushion.

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5. Unscrewing the 2 outer screws allowed me to lift the cushion just enough  to tuck the fabric completely under the cushion, perfectly wedged between the cushion and the frame of the chair…

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the fabric is then evenly covering the cushion and is tucked far enough between the frame and cushion it won’t pop out when someone sits in it.

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6. I took a screw driver and poked and pushed the fabric as far back as I could. It was as easy as tucking sheets into a bed frame.

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Because the back 2 screws weren’t loose it was tight enough to perfectly wedge the fabric in between the frame and under the cushion.2013-04-24_12-40-26_456 (1)

7. I screwed the 2 screws I originally took out back in as tight as they were before. Using the screw driver I tightened, wedged and poked the fabric in between the frame and cushion one last time…

8.and VOILA!

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Now I just had 3 more to do, but by the second chair I had it all figured out and I knocked out 3 chairs in 30 minutes.

Before

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After

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This project, thanks to Sofia, satisfied my black and white stripe craving…temporarily. I am still on a mad hunt for those hand towels in my beloved stripe. But until then I will just preoccupy my mind and time with more projects, rearrangements and obsessions. My newest one… stencils! Oh the places you can go with a little stenciling.

Until then, Happy Decorenting!

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Apartment botox

I know I joke how I change my mind all too often, and the botox my apartment gets every few weeks is evidence enough to prove that. But it’s not that I am consistently unhappy or displeased. It is just that I dont’t know what I want until I see what I don’t want. When we first moved into our apartment, it was a lot like Josh and my first date. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. Would it be grown up and sophisticated or fun and silly. I had moved back home and was living with my parents in a world of beige, while Josh was living in a house of penis and beer pong. Five years ago, even two years ago, all I would have cared about was making sure I had a handle of vodka in my fridge at all times; sophistication was taking shots out of a wine glass. So this apartment was my chance to temporarily step out of my alcohol induced fog and make our apartment more than just a roof over our head… through painted furniture and colorful candles! Much like our first date, our apartment started out a little uncomfortable and just like our relationship, through trial and error, it progressively has only gotten better.

On one of my latest Walmart, Target, Homegoods, or Michaels excursions, I found myself wander right into the arts and crafts aisle…fancy that. I said when Josh and I moved into our love shack that I wanted it to be a young, fun, bright and colorful place to live. I wanted nothing to do with black furniture. I had all these big kid ideas of what I would do to brighten up the plain black and boring bookshelves we had.

I think the idea was bigger than my stomach and I feared it would start look like a Lizzie McGuire original movie set. So I stuck to the basic frat boy pieces of Ikea furniture…aaand this is what our living room looked like.

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I was so concerned with getting rid of boxes within boxes within a box (or our apartment) that anything to get our prized possessions crap out of cardboard and up onto the bookshelves so I could walk from the kitchen to the bathroom in 30 seconds rather than 30 minutes was all I really cared about. Much to my dismay, the colorful and fun apartment I had envisioned was a black and white blob with gold accents. When I wandered into that paint aisle it opened up my eyes. I remembered the young fun do it yourself kind of girl I was and that I had 25 more years until gold would be a good look for me. I was able to embrace my quarter life crisis and bought as much paint that $20 would get me, which is actually a lot.

I started out with my usual craft; painting a picture frame here and adding a colorful candle stick thereIMG_9451. I bought colorful rugs and other accent piecesIMG_9449

I finally shooshed up my gallery wall from this

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And remember this

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and how I changed it to thisIMG_8301(picture credit: Josh Branham),

and then thisIMG_9199

and now it’s thisIMG_9438

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So there’s no pink and there’s a bar, that’s manly…. right?

And those candle sticks finally found a permanent home.

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Everything is fitting into the right place, finally. Whats next you may not be asking? I am actually going to paint those bookshelves and bar area rather than just fantasize about doing it. Color makes the world go round, everything looks better when its painted a nice glossy yellow or bright green. Maybe its just the Spring season and all the pastel Easter bunnies that make black seem so boring to me and in a few months everything must be black. But that is why paint is my best friend, you can have an all new piece of furniture with just a simple stroke of the brush.

This past week my family lost someone very special, my Uncle Eric. He was taken too young and too fast by lung cancer. He was an amazing man and he will be missed by more people than he ever imagined. Cancer is scary, but it is real and it can happen to anyone. My uncle was a smoker, like a lot of people, but we need more awareness in the dangers of smoking and as always the search for THE CURE.

As always Happy Decorenting and hug a loved one …. and then flush all of their cigarettes!

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I’m baaaaaaack…

It’s been a long few weeks catching up on the new season of FTS (or Full Throttle Saloon for those of you Google-ing this), forgetting a friends day of birth (sorry girl) and living in the stone age with a broken cell phone…but I’m back bitches! I am all caught up on my DVR, the card is in the mail and my phone is refurbished. I had several weeks of bitching and complaining about my boyfriends serious lack of cleanliness or my 19 year old co-worker thinking of herself as my superior and I couldn’t wait to flush it all out of my system and onto your computer screens, but it’s been so damn long I can’t remember why I was annoyed to begin with! There are plenty of things that annoy me….cars that are pink, 15 year olds, pinatas…but forgetting why I was annoyed in the first place has got to be #1. Josh likes to say that I bitch just to bitch, that I do it because I like to get my way….I like to respond to this with a long confused stare.  It wouldn’t be called bitching if it were welcomed with open arms by the bitchee. And of course I do it because I like to get my way. I wouldn’t nag somebody to do something that wasn’t in my best interest. Nagging Josh to play a video game while the trash can is literally overflowing with red goo is the exact definition of an oxymoron. But at least he takes out the trash, the red goo literally makes me vomit.

But enough about the annoying nagging girlfriend in me and more about my mansion apartment. I have neglected writing about it, but the never ending and always changing Barbie Dream Home of mine has not been neglected. The changes are minor, so minor actually that only I know or even care about them but still major enough for me to stare at and  brag write about. By now you know I change my mind anywhere between 2 and 30 times a day about anything and everything. So when I was over things that were once gold and changed them to a bright green or shiny blue, I knew major changes were coming to our humble abode. Which reminds me, about my gold obsession… What was I thinking, that we lived in Dubais? At our apartment, the paint is cracking off of the walls, the neighbors speak Spanish (and spanish only) and every screen door has broken off of the track and is leaning against the patio walls. There are no marble pillars or mother of pearl bathroom tile, just pink carpet and plastic wooden frames. Gold was made to drape across my neck, poke through my ears and jingle on my wrists, not greet me at every inch of my apartment.

Anyways, it all started with the infamous dresser we had longed for so long. It sat in our room without knobs longer than we waited for it to arrive on our doorstep, which just gave me more time to need, ok want something different. I obviously couldn’t have the knobs be left plain (the DIY-nerd would not allow it) but I also didn’t want a Kindergarten cubby with a hodge podge of different colors (Josh would not allow it). But then I remembered that I was bored with our old (6 months) and gold living room dresser. And I had recently found all of my brightly colored acrylic paints….bazinga! I busted out my paint brush, channeled my inner Van Gogh and  let the magic happen (and yes I just compared my amateur furniture painting to that of The Starry Night as if it were a MindFreak Vegas magic show).

Lime green knobs and I had a brand new chest that didn’t look like it belonged in my Grandmother’s Egyptian inspired condo. (I would like to say that wasn’t true, but she had tiger statues, monkey chandeliers and might as well have had mother of pearl tile. She wore Channel everything all day every day and had an all white room no one was allowed in…she would’v been proud of my Dubais inspired apartment).

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And all I did was a good ol’ wife swap (with knobs not wives, obviously) and I got a brand new dresser out of it too!

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Yes, to answer the question you are asking yourself right now….that is a 42” TV strategically placed in front of my mirror displays. I treated myself to some new knobs and Josh got himself a new TV the size of our “master” bedroom. That’s ok though, because the TV we had before was the size of our dinner plates. And I have plenty of other white walls that can be styled with mirrors.

I have lots of other projects on the horizon at the Hayham residence, giving the patio some colorful love and maybe get some use other than the lazy dog owner bathroom is definitely a high priority. But in the mean time I have an art store’s worth of paint products, a gallery wall that is in desperate need of the faces of our friends and family (only the attractive ones) and I keep busy by saving every glass jar I come across. Right now they’re decorating my counters

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and housing my tulips

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I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something and it’s not going to be baking rainbow cupcakes.

Anyways, I’ll try not to let my love of reality TV shows about biker bars and rich women fighting over who has more plastic surgery get in the way of sharing my decor-journey with you all ever again…all 13 of you. That is of course until the new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County comes around (nope, still not ashamed).

So until then, as always…Happy Decorenting!

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chardonnay wishes and candy land dreams

Last weekend was my delicious niece’s first birthday, Ella. I usually exaggeratedly roll my eyes whenever anyone speaks of their children, nieces/nephews or grandchildren as if they were a giant ice cream cone being eaten by a dozen puppies…because that’s deliciously cute. But once my first nephew, Brody, entered this world I have never been more inclined to do so; talk “baby”, take 300 pictures of a baby in adult sunglasses or shoes or try so hard for their first sentence to be “Can I have a glass of wine?”. But I am in love with all 3 of them, and only for a moment do I wish I could bring one into the world. Literally, only a moment. Because usually, once that moment has passed, one of them screams in my ear or punches me in my face and I remember why I love being the “Cool Aunt” that can give them back. Needless to say, birthday’s and Christmas are crazy and fun (and not the way they use to be, there’s usually no one drunk doing body shots, I try to keep that hidden from the kiddos). So when my sister-in-law told me her theme was going to be “Candyland” I knew to make sure I had a good buzz going so I could tolerate keep up with all the kids and their candy high. There is literally nothing cuter than a baby running around in a tutu and birthday crown stuffing her face with her first taste of sugar. It brought back fond memories of High School.

I was asked to help with the candy bar and seeing that I know a thing or two about getting and giving a good buzz, I was in. I love candy bars, their perfect for all parties but especially for the kiddos; honestly what’s a good party without some type of bar? My mom and I went nuts in the candy isle (of course) at Walmart. Smarties and Skittles and Starbursts galore! There were no boundaries, bags of candy for less than $10 each was all we cared about. We spent 45 minutes trying to pick out the perfect ribbon that would match the colors on the “Candyland” board and which candy would go with what ribbon! It was all very exciting. I know I nerd out a lot when it comes to home decor or DIY’ing myself silly, but this was on a whole other level. I was nerding out over a candy bar, a bar that due to the resolutions the New Year brings with it, most people were probably going to over look. But as I was sitting in my living room, obsessing over coordinating candy, I noticed I had probably eaten half a bag of skittles without even thinking! I forgot how good it tasted. Who, over the age of 14, thinks about candy enough to buy it and enjoy it?…I want to say no one, but then I remembered my dad sneaking M&M’s every night after everyone had gone to bed…so I’ll say most people don’t think about candy that much… unless it’s right in front of you! Even more reason to love and use candy bars at every party I have from now on.

Everything was going well, the ideas were flowin’.I just wasn’t there yet, really all I had done was dump all the candy into bowls and snacked a few or 30 pieces.

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When it comes to dressing myself, decorating my home, or making any quick decision…well it’s never a quick one. I moved the chair in the living room every week for 3 months until I finally found the perfect spot for it. And our “gallery wall” is slowly withering away because I keep finding new and better homes for the frames that once hung there. And until something comes out exactly how I imagined it, don’t expect me to put the nail and hammer down. That was how I felt about this candy bar. I wanted it to be so cute and girly and fun…it was her first birthday, one she will obviously remember forever! It had to be perfect.

I took over the dining room table. Josh made me take a few breaks to watch TV with him, but the entire time I was imagining switching the ribbons on the tall jar to the fat jar and putting the skittles and smarties in the same jar. It was driving me crazy not being able to sit there and play with candy. I would cop my head just a little bit so my eyes could look back at my work in progress. I would get up to “get some more wine” and take a few minutes to stick a lolli here and stuff a few peppermints there. He never knew. And after a few hours of obsessing, snacking and drinking I was finished.

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Or so I thought. Of course the next day a million other ideas ran through my head, many were just not able to get done in the time I had, unless I could somehow make a candy sculpture of my niece in 24 hours, giant lollipops were the most realistic. But where on earth was I going to find those. I definitely did not have time to make a stop at Disneyland, nor did I have $100 to spend on mouse shaped candy. Luckily one day on my break, aimlessly wandering around thinking of ways to decorate candy, I was mesmerized by a huge display of rainbow…they were lollipops! It was a candy shop! Just around the corner from my work, this entire time! I thought they only existed in my dreams. So for $3 each, I bought 10. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, I figured no one would want to eat one, and those that would want one would not be allowed too. But I bought them, and I was going to make them work.

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They were perfect! Just what I needed. Once I unwrapped these bad boys I was on a roll. A few more glasses of wine and a dozen trips to the sink to wash my hands every 30 minutes to prevent them from permanently being covered in sugar and sticking to themselves and I was really done. And proud. And excited. I had fun making this candy bar. It gave me a rush to get new ideas and be able to play around with the theme (or more realistically the sugar and/or wine). But either way I finished, I was proud and I only gained 1 lb…ish.

I don’t have any pictures from the party, I was busy chasing a bunch of 3 year olds around in a red Mercedes toy car…but here is what I do have. A few cellphone shots Josh so willing and lovingly took for me………….

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These aren’t the best pictures, but just imagine a bunch of already energetic children running around excited about a bouncy house, a candy bar and cupcakes…then times that by 13 for when they got their hands on their candy bags.

Anyways, the party was “a hoot and a half” as my 80 year old co-worker would say, the birthday princess was just that, a princess and the candy was flowin’. Again reminds me of high school, except the candy was drugs and the bar was a variety of water bottles full of our parents alcohol (Disorono, warm vodka, and rum…a few of the usuals).

Happy Candy Bar-ing!

Or for most of you…happy bar hopping

My Roommate is back!

It’s funny how attached you get to someone you live with: boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, roommates (not of the craigslist variety). I always thought Josh and I were close, but it’s starting to become a little inconvenient just how close. I have already made the complaint that I should never know what he does in the bathroom or with his boogars, but we’re even past that. Josh went home for Christmas, leaving lil’ ol’ me home alone…again. Our apartment is probably (not) below 0 degrees, the dogs feel neglected all day while I’m at work and therefore need to be taken on hour long walks in order to do their business (when Josh is here, they magically go within the first 2 or 3 seconds he takes them outside…suspect), the trash doesn’t take out itself and the bed might as well be a bed of ice. Lets face it, I complain vent about more than I need too, but I would gladly give up complaining about Josh dropping used Q-Tips wherever he is in that moment because the trash can is in the other room (3 feet away) or thinking that just because he moved the dirty dishes from the table to the sink that he’s done with cleaning them, I would even allow him to use my towel without washing it first, if he never left me alone in this ice cube for longer than a weekend ever again. I was on my 3rd bottle of wine and my 15th run of The Santa Clause 1,2 and 3 (they just never get old) when I realized that his being gone meant I could do more than watch whatever TV I wanted too while having free reign over the couch. I could get stuff done. Much like how I despise going to Best Buy just to browse, he never jumps at the opportunity to go peruse Home Goods or TJMAXX. But while he is deep in the heart of Texas, I can spend all day and night getting my discount shopping on. 3 giftcards, a few bottles of $2 buck chuck and three trips from the car I was ready to get my drink, and my decorate, on.

Christmas brought me many things I very much appreciated, things that don’t come from Santa’s Toy Shop, things that most people buy for themselves when they realize they need them, things that weird Aunt Sue always buys you and you return for the cash; Food Network magazine, giftcards, appliances, an apron. But most excitingly it brought me (and Josh) a dresser!

Finally, our bedroom can be just that, a bedroom and not a hoarders paradise.

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Although I did appreciate the nice tone my stems got from having to lunge through the piles of boxes and clothes, I was happy to finally have a real boudoir. I can try my hardest not to get too girly in the living area of our apartment, but lets face it, once the PS3 was plugged in and the 55” TV was set up, I had to raise my white flag. And that was when the bedroom was mine, no gaming systems or beer cans allowed…unless those beer cans are involved in getting me a good buzz. I wanted a place I could comfortably lay, watch those Real Housewives of mine, enjoy a little ambiance and realax. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta relax. Josh doesn’t get that because his idea of relaxation is just doing nothing…anywhere. It doesn’t relax me to sit and watch somebody pretend to be killing aliens on a couch that frankly, ain’t that comfortable. I only approved  it (like most things) because of its look not its durability.

Anyways, luckily the J man is back and was able to put together our new treasure. But that was about it. Painting it, filling it and cleaning up the boxes it was replacing was all on me. But if I wanted it to get done before next Christmas, I knew I was the best contender for the job.

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Josh isn’t thrilled with the “preschool” red I chose and if he wants to take it apart and repaint it a red he approves of, he is welcome to do so. But I am not worried because it takes him 3 weeks to put his cereal bowls in the dishwasher, and by the time he gets around to it, I’ve already done it… 3 weeks earlier. Regardless of the color, it still needs a few knobs, but there are only so many hours in the day and I still have to dedicate some to work and some to wine.

I put one of my giftcards to go use and went on a Target binge. I went on my lunch break and only had 1 hour, so I grabbed the first thing I found that I liked; bookshelf organizers (30% off) and 6 frameless mirrors. I was very excited about the mirrors because our bedroom walls were lonely, and needed a little flare. I was confused for a while because they came with no instructions, no hangers and they weren’t sticky backs. I was stumped and ready to return them and get me some cash money. But then Mama H came to the rescue again. She suggested the Command brand strips that don’t damage the walls and are sturdy enough to hold up to 12 lbs. They are a.maz.ing.

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On another one of my penny pinching, giftcard spending shopping trips I bought this turquoise curly clock that probably belongs in a children’s playroom. I kept the receipt thinking for sure it would be ve-toed by Mr.B. But I was wrong, he “actually kinda likes it”, and “doesn’t know why”. Good enough for me! Anything could be on these walls, even a Mrs. Bieber poster,  and he and I both would be happy. Anything to make it feel more bedroom and less the place we store the bed.

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It’s finally coming along, slowly (and I mean sloth slow). And hopefully once the bedroom is finished and all that will be left to do will be the occasional holiday candle switch and pillow swap. We obviously desperately need new bedding, an organized closet, and more space. But who am I kidding, I change my outfit for work 3 times before I leave…and I have to wear all black. Once I think I’m satisfied, I’ll decide that we need a new dining room table or to finally get an outdoor set so that or patio isn’t a concrete dog bathroom. But I am nothing if not willing and determined to make this a place we can both relax…however that may be. I’m just glad my roommate is back, the bed is 80 degrees warmer, and the chances of a murderer slaying me are a lot less.

Happy decorenting!

25: a number, a quarter and a crisis

It’s been a good minute since I was able to sit down and nerd out on the computer, what with all of the birthday hangovers and vacay festivities, but it’s good to be back (whether any of you noticed I was gone or not). Turning 25 didn’t feel much different at first. I woke up and it was a typical birthday. I was, rightfully so, a birthday princess. I got presents, free meals and everyones attention. That night my wonderful friends and boyfriend took me out to dinner at Wang’s (best Chinese food…ever) and out for some drink at Seven Grand, a whisky bar. That was when I should have realized I was old, but I didn’t. At that point all I really paid any attention too was the constant flow of alcohol and non-existant dance party I was having with myself. It wasn’t until the day after the celebration of my downfall that I began to piece it all together. There were the little things; my unmedicated early bedtime, my alcohol of choice, my pajama collection. Then there were the undeniable; back aches, waking up stiff, carrying tissues in my pockets. It all came crashing down when I stood up from playing with the weiners Indian style on the floor and it was no easy task, that was when it hit me… I was old…ish.

I had to physically use my hands to stretch out my legs, just to wait a few minutes for my feet to wake up. Then I used whatever, or whoever, was around me to pull myself up and slowly walked to the other room with a slight limp. After about 15 minutes, I was loose and ready to go.  And that was just the beginning. I knew that I had begun my downfall much sooner than my birthday. After a night on the town, which used to be a 4” heal, mini dress, smokey eye, bottle service, Downtown kinda night… is now a jeans, boots, sock bun, $3 well drinks, dive bar kinda night…anyways after an exciting night out I wake up looking like, and being looked at as if I should be living under a bridge demanding 3 questions be answered by every body I come across. I’m not so much worried about my mini skirt making me look slutty enough because I’m too busy thinking about not having camel toe in my jeans or looking pregnant in my maxi dress. Gone are the days of living a free spirited and care free lifestyle. Responsibility is a word I have become better acquaintances with, it’s more than just remembering to take the pill regularly. The future has more meaning than planning a pub crawl for the upcoming weekend. It’s no longer uncomfortable to call myself a woman. I look at my family and friends through different eyes, more strained and blurry eyes. My parents have transformed from an ATM/landlord/warden figure into a couple of elderly people I actually enjoy hanging out with. I am more comfortable shopping at Forever 21 online... there’s something disconcerting about walking out of the dressing room in the same cropped sweater and colored jeans as a 14 year old.

Even though this birthday is the beginning of the end, the top of the hill, a quarter life crisis if you will…I am optimistic. Even though my body weight may go up and the number of wrinkles on my forehead will certainly increase, I am happy to be a quarter century old. It feels like the beginning of a new chapter. The chapter that I don’t wake up with no memory and a screaming headache in. Good bye early 20’s, it’s been real…from what I remember I had a good time.

Back to the boring things we elderly folks find amusing on the weekends, DIY’ing. In between my mid-afternoon naps and catching the early bird special at Home Town Buffet, I found the time to create some cute Christmas ornaments IMG_8489 IMG_8603and decorated our 6 ft. tree.

2012-12-13_20-14-58_968Well the top of the tree anyways. I told Josh to just get a small tree…but in his defense carrying a larger 4 ft. tree the 15 feet from the parking spot to our apartment by himself would have been quite a hassle. And I guess, in lazy person lingo, small and miniature are the same size. But either way, it’s a tree a Charlie Brown-esque tree, but a tree none the less. I poured myself a glass of wine, lit some candles and got to work. 3 sips later, when the scent of cinnamon just began to fill the room, I was done.

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It was also my month to create a Christmas inspired chalkboard drawing. Even though it was hard to channel my inner child, since it seems centuries ago since I was a child, I grabbed the chalk and created what my friend Lindsay called a duck looking Reindeer.

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I also found my huge ziplock bag of bells lying around and created another fun and glittery table setting.

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Again…recognize the glitter leaves? Those have come in DIY handy this Holiday season. Being a drunk wine connoisseur has also come in handy because yes, those are wine glasses (but don’t worry, I have enough to decorate with and drink out of) I have a cute center piece just a few bells, glitter and bows later. Back to being a drunk coming in handy, I also had shot glasses lying around that, much like the wine glasses, I used as candle sticks to create a layered candle presentation on our “mantle” (with some glitter balls and leaves in there…of course).

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Hopefully I’ll make it through the Holidays without a broken hip or needing dentures. And hopefully my late twenty somethings are as fun, memorable and life changing as my early twenty somethings…and hopefully I won’t need botox, lip injections or liposuction before my thirty somethings.

Happy Holidays kiddos

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booze, buttons and bows

As you know, I have been honoring Christmas tradition and resisting every temptation to get into the Christmas spirit before its rightful month. But I won’t lie, it was hard to relax and pace myself with spreading my Christmas cheer when Santa was setting up shop the day after Halloween. Ok, I admit, I put out a few festive candles and maybe a bow… or 2, but that was only to change the smell inside the house from stale turkey sandwiches to gingerbread cookies. Our lovely Thanksgiving table has become a storage space for Walmart bags full of half off Christmas decorations that I probably paid too much for, even at 50% off. But finally, IT’S HERE! I can stop living like a hoarder trying to keep my extensive Christmas stock pile a secret from the outside world. Josh can stop being inconvenienced by the house being a mess from of all my stuff….because obviously Christmas decorations in bags, nicely placed on the table is a messier situation than the trail of clothes he left from the front door, to the kitchen and back to the bedroom. The dogs can stop fighting the urge to disobediently urinate on anything but the grass“mark their territory” on anything that is an unfamiliar smell; specifically the 18” dinosaur I bought for my nephew…but it will be fun to watch my 3 year old nephew rip off the wrapping paper and giant bow only to find an old iron box…to answer your question, yes I have become that aunt. And I, well I can finally pump a few jingle jams, hang the garland and DIY (or drink) myself silly.

Ok so I started the DIY a little early, but now I can freely display my Christmas creations without feeling like I have let my neighbors down. I started with my wreath. I wanted a real wreath, but I was fearful it would die before the season was over, which is Christmas decorating no -no # 1. Luckily I found a wreath that wasn’t shiny or already decorated with purple and turquoise birds, it looked as natural as synthetic pine can look.

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Notice anything familiar? Maybe a naturally glittered leaf or pinecone? Yes, this Christmas (seeing as my wallet seems to be deflating) I went green and took my Thanksgiving center piece apart to add some flare to my equally natural looking wreath.

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A few bells later (because what’s a Christmas wreath without a little jingle) and I was ready to display my Christmas spirit to my neighbors, who live only in my imagination since we never see or hear them.

He seems to like it/he knew I was taking a picture so he did his hair and “accidentally” walked outside (diva).

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Since she is always begging me to make her things she can’t make herself (usually all things food and DIY related), I found a little spare time in between creating a Christmas palace Santa would be proud of and putting bows on everything to create a Christmas decoration for the Christmas wonderland of Mama Bear. A button tree!

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I told her I would need a plain wooden tree cutout, thinking it wouldn’t be a challenge, it being the Christmas craft season. That proved a little bit harder than I had anticipated, since she searched quite a few stores before bringing me back just a big square piece of green foam. I know I can be pretty crafty and creative, but a flimsy piece of foam board was of no use to me. After glueing what I over exaggerate to be hundreds of buttons, the foam tree would bend like a “16” year old Chinese olympian or a slinky. But just before I could come up with an excuse as to how the dogs ate my project, I found these cardboard christmas trees in a pack of about 100 at a DIY-nerds safe place, Michaels. They were thin and white, but they were at least the shape of a tree already. I glued about 6 together to make the tree stable and once it was dry I began to sporadically glue any and every green button I owned to this little cardboard cutout.

IMG_8451 A few glitter splashes later and nail polish remover to separate my fingers from one another, and I wanted to keep this cutie for myself! But I didn’t, I gave it to Mama and you would have thought I handed her a solid gold tree (it’s the little things that maker her happy).

I have put up a few more candles and bows on the TV, door knobs and various other places. I saved a few for wrapping purposes but I still had more bows than one needs, partly because they were 2 for the price of 1 and then half off of that price (how could I not). With all of these left over bows I was planning on putting them away for a rainy day, but then I realized that my lamps (we would be living in the dark if not given to me by my wonderful sister-in-law), were bottomless. So I stuffed, color coordinated and stuck as many bows up there as I could. IMG_8457

I’m still thinking of places to stick bows, then the next day I take them down and glue them onto a cardboard tree or put them on a Christmas card…the life of a DIY(nerd) is never dull.

And what’s a house decorated for Christmas if not decorated with some festive chocolates? Not a very good one. Josh wanted peppermint bark and peanut butter cup christmas trees. The only problem with that was the peanut butter cups were still in orange packaging…that was just not going to cut the candy bowl standards, so Christmas Kisses it was! They almost look too good to eat.

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Before I got too excited too quickly, I stopped myself. We’re holding off on decorating the tree for a few more days and In the meantime we are enjoying the “rainy” San Diego weather and booze we can drink out of a mug!

We also enjoyed the photobooth at our corporate Christmas party last night…a little too much.

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Happy decorenting! :)

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