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Monday, November 12, 2012

MY BEDROOM IS SAD: MAKEOVER PREVIEW

I mean it. It's sad. If you saw it (and you're about to), you wouldn't wonder why I need so much prescription medicine to get through the day. If you woke up in this den of drab, you would be hitting up your pharmacy, too.

And it's my bedroom, which is supposed to be a haven, a beautiful escape, a restful place where one recuperates from the shitshow that is everyday life, and then rises, each morning, ready to kick ass and take names.

Perhaps I'm holding the bar a little high, but still. One's bedroom shouldn't be sad-making, at the very least. The fact of the matter is, even though we have been here for three years, I've concentrated most of my energy/money/time on the spaces that other people see. You know, cause I'm superficial like that and want you to think I have a fab house. Which I do, as long as you don't venture upstairs (or too far into the kitchen, or look too closely at the unfinished floors, or... But I digress.)

I was lucky enough to recently attend one of AB Chao's Design Camps, and one of the things you had to do was send her a few photos of a room in your house that needed help along with a little blurb about what you were looking for from the room.

So I sent in (27) photos of my bedroom. Complete with piles of dirty laundry on chairs, underwear on the floor, and an accompanying paragraph that included phrases such as "sexing up my Smoochie Bear," mostly because I did not realize that she was going to turn everyone's submissions into a power point demonstration and put my words up on the wall in front of a room full of fellow Design Campers, all lovely ladies that I was eager to impress. #ThanksABChao

The Camp was awesome and I highly recommend attending if she comes to your neck of the woods. It also motivated me to start Project: Master Bedroom Makeover.

This is what I'm working with:


Doesn't look too bad from here, sure. I mean, the mirrors are hung too high, and the pillow shams are not ironed, but WTF is the big deal? Well, this is one of the beauty shots. Here's another angle:


Now you can better appreciate the poo-colored paint job, the crack-house style curtain, and the lack of  anything hanging on the walls to detract from said poo color.  And it gets worse:


Here's the view from the bed - another crack-house curtain, random shit on top of the dressers, and an ugly green shelf on my beloved mirrored vanity table. A closer look? Sure, why not:


What the fuck with that green tray? I don't know. And the giant jewelry box that basically has a "STEAL ME" sign on it for the burglars that come in one day through the never-locked front door. You also may have noticed that the walls shift color, depending on the light, so that they look like different shades of diarrhea depending on the hour or which lamps are on. Good times.

As for my vision? Let's have a gander:

Love: The Lamps, The Art Above The Bed, The Fat Duvet
Love: The Mirrors, The Headboard, The Wall Color
Love: The Vanity, The Fat Duvet, The Art Arrangement
Love: The Vanity, The Lamps, The Roman Shade
Love: The Bedding, The Lamp, The Art
Love: The Art Above The Bed, The Nightstands, The Fat Pillows
Other than the fact that I clearly have some sort of obsession with fat bedding, these photos all look pretty similar. And, I feel, not too far off from what I've got. What I'm thinking is first I repaint. The poo-colored walls will be a thing of the past, replaced with this:

It's Benjamin Moore Copley Gray, and it's actually a little darker than it looks above; here's another example:


I love it, and it loves me back. I'm very excited, because paint is affordable and the labor is free (well, free-ish. I'll have to listen to Ted complain about his back the whole time while he paints 1/10 of the room and watches me do the rest).

Next to go are the "window treatments." I'm replacing them with white roman shades from JC Penney (fuck off, they have nice stuff. OK, cheap stuff):


and I'll mount them on the outside, like in the photo, and high above the window. That's a very professional interior design tactic to make the windows seem bigger and the ceiling higher. It's used mainly by very professional interior designers (and everyone on Pinterest).

Also on its way out is the hideous (and I do mean hideous) overhead light/fan combination that was there when we moved in. I hate it so much and can't way to replace it with this from Home Depot:
Totally unrelated, I am selling a lovely ceiling fan/light. Contact me if you're interested. 

We're also getting a new bed:


It's from Wayfair, and it's the "Pewter Velvet" fabric. I had them send me a sample so that I could make sure it didn't clash with the paint. I'm going to switch the mirrors and the framed paper art, so that the mirrors are over/behind the lamps and the two framed pieces are above the bed.

I got a lamp for the vanity ($19.99 at Target, what what?):


and am going to donate the green tray to my kids (they are perfect for Legos). I'd like to replace the awful wicker chair currently used with the vanity with something like this:


that can tuck under the table when not being sat on. But it's $80 (also from Target) and that's, like, expensive and shit for how I roll now. So we'll see. Because I also want a new rug. What's that? The disgusting relic from my 6 year old's nursery that has baby barf and marker stains all over it isn't doing it for me? No. No, it isn't. I want this:
from Rugs USA, and I'm willing to do what it takes to get it. I don't care if I never have another Venti Soy Latte (No Foam) every again, so help me God I will own this rug.

Don't get too excited. We are still brokity-broke, so whatever changes I make now will be the shit I can do fo' free (or close to it). The pricier items will have to be purchased over time, as I save up the cash money to afford them. This concept is new to me, and I am not a huge fan, but Tightwad Ted calls it "responsible spending" and says I have to learn how to do it.

It's a bit of a buzzkill, as of course I want to do everything now now now, but they say patience is a virtue and Lord knows I could use me some fucking virtue.

Besides, I have to finish up Client #7's living room by Thanksgiving. I also have several extremely important (real job) work projects that need to be completed before that, and then I'm hosting 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner. So, you know, it's not like I have nothing to do.

XOXOXO
ABC




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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PIN #1: I SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THIS ONE

Here it is Tuesday already, and even though we JUST talked Pinterest, I did proclaim that Tuesday was going to be the day of the week when I showed off something I pinned that I also managed to accomplish in real life. And it seemed sort of lame to skip the first Tuesday. So let's get our Pinterest on, yo:


I will admit that missing the first Pinterest Tuesday, though lame, wouldn't have been half as lame as the pin for which I am going to claim credit this week. Don't believe me? Wait for it...


That's right. I wore a scarf. Albeit a scarf that I tied in a slightly new and different way, but let's not put lipstick on a pig. Even I was not particularly challenged by this pin.

However, I am including it in the series because not only do I think that tying a scarf this way looks super cute, but I actually got compliments from colleagues the day I wore this. And not even colleagues who like me very much. So there's something to it, this scarf-tying trick.

And if you think I'm not about to show you photographs of me in the scarf, you are sadly mistaken. There are a few things I would like to say before we get to the photos, though.

1. I am wearing my hair in a style that my friend Theresa refers to as "that thing." As in, "What the fuck do you think you are doing with that thing on your head?" I, personally, believe it to be an adorable bun, messy but in a cute way. I may be alone in this.

2. I am wearing a sweater that is the exact same color as the scarf I used. It does not make for an exceptional photographic example of the scarf tying trick. I did it because I wanted to show the actual outfit I wore with the scarf, and this is how I dress in real life. Except...

3. In real life I wear a brassiere, whereas in these photos, I am not wearing a brassiere. To clarify, I am wearing a camisole-type top thing that has a built-in shelf bra. But those of you who have been cursed blessed with a generous bosom know that a "shelf bra" doesn't really do the trick.

4. I also wear make up in real life, at least when I am taking a picture of myself that will be on a public website, even one that about five people read, but since you can't even really see 80% of my face I didn't bother. You can, however, see my double chin. Good times.

Now on to the main event:

Why I Couldn't Have Cleaned Up The Crap On The Stairs, I Don't Know
Close Up, In Case You Missed Something
You accomplish this sartorial feat like so: Double the scarf and hang it around your neck with the loop on one side and the ends on the other. Put one (1) end through the loop.  Here's where it gets tricky, and you have to pay attention: with the one end through the loop, TWIST the loop, like in a figure eight, sort of. Then put the OTHER end of the scarf through the circle you created by twisting the loop. Adjust. You're welcome.

And yes, I am aware that there is an election going on, even as I type. But learning new ways to tie a scarf is also important. I mean, we're only stuck with the elected President, whoever that might be, for four years, but you can use this handy-dandy trick forever. You do the math.

XOXOXO
ABC
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

PINTEREST THINGS I HAVE TRIED IN REAL LIFE

I am an avid pinner. And that is an understatement; I currently have 78 Pinterest boards and 8,104 pins.


How do I manage to hold down a full-time job, raise two kids, find time to sex up Ted, and maintain any real-life friendships, you may be wondering? Well, it's not easy, I'll give you that. But my love for Pinterest knows no bounds. And while the vast (VAST) majority of the things I pin are, so to speak, aspirational, every now and then I am seized with a fit of motivation and attempt to do something that I have pinned.

I have already recounted how the silver de-tarnishing experiment went, and while that particular exercise was unsuccessful, I have no intention of quitting. Not me. I'm no quitter. Unless the job at hand is hard, or the conditions uncomfortable, or I feel like I'd rather be sitting on the couch having a snack... Then I'm definitely a quitter. In fact, I usually don't even start in the first place.

But I digress. I'm here to inform you that I will be starting a repeating blog post on "Pinterest Things I Have Tried in Real Life" (hence the title of this post). I'm hoping it will be a weekly event, but that seems a bit ambitious. But who knows, stranger things have happened, so let's say Tuesday. What the hell else does Tuesday have going for it anyway? And yes, I know today is not Tuesday, but whatever. From now on, the Pinterest posts will be on Tuesday.

I'll start with the first thing I did that was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest. I got a tattoo. If you're thinking, "Wow, that seems awfully permanent, why not just start with that pin on how to clean the blades of your ceiling fan with a pillowcase?" you are probably a sane, normal person with a brain in her head. Me? Well, you've read the blog.

Here's the photo I fell in love with:


If you're on Pinterest at all, you've probably seen it. Some people love it, others hate it. I loved it. Obviously:


They don't look a lot alike in these two photos, but when you see them next to each other they look a little more similar:


OK, maybe not. But that's cool; I wanted it to be different, to be "mine," if that makes any sense. Also, I only did my right arm. I mean, Jesus, what am I? Some lunatic? Beside, I've got other plans for my left arm.

Stay tuned to hear about my attempts at no-sew window treatments, a Christmas wreath made from a pool noodle, my son's superhero birthday party, and much, much more. See, the thing is about this topic is that if the project goes well, you'll learn something - mainly that any idiot can do that specific pin. If it goes badly, chances are it'll be pretty funny. It's a win/win situation, at least for you.

XOXOXO
ABC
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STORMY WEATHER

We've lived in the country for three years now, and every winter there has been one huge storm that results in plenty of people in our area losing power. But not us - we've never had so much as a light flicker. So this time, I had a feeling we were due.

Monday evening, I started making preparations. We had about a dozen battery-powered lanterns I bought ages ago at Pier One in case Ted's outdoor 40th birthday party in our yard ended up being a nighttime party (it didn't):


We also had a whole bunch of battery-powered pillar "candles" that I made Ted buy at Costco so that I could put candles in the windows for the holidays. Yes, I am aware that Christmas is months away, but they were on sale (OMG, I sound like fucking TED!):


Anyway, Monday at around 6 PM, even though the electricity is humming along fine, I get out all the batteries from the battery drawer (for some reason, our family has a ridiculous number of batteries on hand at all times - I have no idea why) and start putting them in the lanterns and candles. Ted's all like, "WTF are you doing? Everything's fine." But I just knew. And sure enough, at around 7, the power went out:


and I quickly went from looking like a over-anxious fool to a prescient genius. Yay! Although being right, in this case, meant that we had no power. No heat. No hot water. No landline. No decent cell service. No WiFi. It's amazing how losing things makes you realize very quickly just how reliant you are on them. Of course, we made the best of a sucky situation, playing board games:


and basically trying not to kill any family members while we were trapped inside the house (due to all the live power lines lying around in the streets) for four days without television or the Internet to help us avoid each other.

The power came back on at 1 AM Friday morning, and I had a perma-grin for 24 hours. But unfortunately, others aren't so lucky - many of them in my old neighborhoods of Manhattan. Sweet Sissy has been volunteering all day, lugging water and blankets up 16 flights of stairs to reach cold and thirsty elderly people, and I'm joining her tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to bed very grateful for everything that I take for granted 99% of the time.

I hope all five of you are safe and sound and surrounded by loved ones, too.

XOXOXO
ABC


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