Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I always love when projects get to the point where you know if your choices are going to be a hit or a miss. Sometimes it's completing a single thing that pulls everything together. Phase 2 was very time consuming. I acted as carpenter apprentice and general laborer for Matt most of the weekend. Once again problems were found as he tore out stuff. The sink had to be replaced (not planned) after a corner cracked and broke off. The paint colors weren't quite the colors I chose; blue wasn't as dark as it was supposed to have been and the gold looked yellowish. Since we had to let the paint dry for several days before putting up the border I kept doubting myself on whether I'd chosen the right colors or not. People commented that it was going to make the bathroom feel small using such a dark blue. On Sunday, Matt put up the border while I was out shopping and that one simple act pulled everything together. The yellow shifted and became the gold I'd wanted and the blue seemed to take on a slightly deeper hue even though it wasn't as dark as I'd initially wanted. It definitely was worth all our hard work. The bathroom is awesome in my humble opinion.

One thing I will remark on is the paint. We used Behr's Ultra (primer and paint in one) for the beadboard and molding (blue). I was not happy with the coverage at all. Being that it was a dark color we knew we would need two coats of paint but we ended up doing 3 and 4 coats of paint. I think I will just stick with my preference for Glidden paints on future jobs.

My celestial theme has been an ongoing process. I bought the shower curtain back in 2006 when I bought my trailer during my divorce. I bought the border in anticipation of redoing the bathroom there but never started that project (good thing). The border sat in a bookcase for 2 years after I moved in before we were able to get to this project and use it. The metal sun that hangs on the wall was a garbage sale purchase. You can take your time and pull a look together gradually. I love how the bathroom looks and feels now. Phase 3 will be choosing flooring and installing it, but that's a fall project.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Matt and I have gotten a jump start on our weekend projects with remodeling the bathroom. This is actually going to end up being in 3 phases.

Phase one was ripping out the tub surround that had cracked and replacing it - HUGE project that Matt completed pretty much on his own (awesome man !) Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pictures of this phase. Of course with this project he found a ton of issues that the person who had previously worked on it had done incorrectly. Only one of the boards was green board (water resistant) and the rest was regular drywall board (NOT water resistant). They'd taken the insulation out of the walls and put what looked like pillow filling into some of the spaces but huge areas were empty of any insulation. Soooo, Matt had the wonderful job of correcting all these problems in addition to putting the new surround up which was made more complicated by the fact he had to cut the surround for the window and frame out the window and put up a new ceiling over the tub. He got that portion knocked out between Friday night and Sunday night a couple weeks ago.


This week is going to be dicey to say the least. My oldest son is coming home on leave before he is deployed to Afghanistan. He thought he would be arriving sometime today, but it might not be until tomorrow. My youngest son got his work schedule last night for the week and his boss has added 2 more days this week, which is not making mom happy since I have to stay up past my bedtime to pick him up. Plus he's scheduled to work on his birthday! Trying to figure out who will be present for dinner each night is going to be tricky. Sometimes my oldest son wants to eat homemade meals and other times he wants to hit every restaurant he doesn't get to dine at while he's gone.

This is just a rough outline of meals I suggested with Matt last night and got approved.

1. Roast with gravy, potatoes, and carrots - possibly rolls.
2. Homemade Beef-a-roni and green beans
3. Chicken and noodles with biscuits
4. Homemade pizza & salad
5. Tacos, refried beans, and homemade guacamole

For the weekend Matt has suggested possibly a bbq cookup with ribs or a rib roast - we'll have to play it by ear to see what the kids have planned.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I will admit that I HATE drinking water. My favorite drinks of choice are Mt. Dew and Code Red Mt. Dew. Water is just so BLAND tasting. I can't use artificial sweeteners and most of those cute little drink packets to add to your water bottles have artificial sweeteners in them. I tried Celestial Seasonings packets but they are a) expensive, b) only come in 2 flavors I like and c) use Stevia. Country Time Lemonade also has packets but I get tired of drinking lemonade constantly and its a little sweeter then I would like.

This morning I had one of the Eureka! moments. I was contemplating that I should really drink a bottle of water instead of going back and pouring myself a Mt. Dew when I looked at the box of Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea in my drawer. I didn't want hot tea and that's when the Eureka moment hit - why couldn't I stuff the tea bag in the water bottle for a couple minutes to flavor the water. It would give me the taste I wanted as well as not needing any sweetener. Obviously this won't work for all teas, but it is a great idea for teas that you enjoy that don't require any sweetening. Since the teabag was only in the bottle a couple minutes I kept the teabag to reuse. I would imagine a teabag could be used several times in a day thereby cutting the cost even more. I will mention that I prefer drinking water at room temp and the water had quite a bit of flavor within 1 to 2 minutes. Cold water might take a little longer.

It may be obvious to some to flavor water this way but it was a Eureka! moment for me. Now I can have flavored water without the calories and without the artificial sweeteners. I'm really excited to see if this helps with my weight loss since I know I drink way to many calories every time I have my Dew. I hope this helps others out trying to break the soda/pop habit or those who don't like bland water either.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


While roaming around Saturday at Target I discovered a couple new mystery novels that looked very interesting to me. I knew they'd be on the fluffier end of the mystery genre, but it suited me for the light reading I was looking for. The first of the books was The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs. It's actually #11 in the A Tea Shop Mystery series. Unfortunately Target did not have any other book in the series in stock so I'll be purchasing them through other venues. It is a new release so Target had a 25% off sticker on the book making it around $5.99 for the paperback version (plus tax).

The mystery solving tea shop owner is named Theodosia. Its about a street of shop owners in Charleston and the activities surrounding the shop district and in particular the Indigo Tea Shop. Being the foodie that I am, I loved the description of the teas the shop carried along with the menus that they served both at the shop and at catered events. At the end of the book were several pages of yummy looking recipes and a variety of tea party themes. There was an amazing amount of information about teas scattered throughout the book that I enjoyed and if you're not a tea drinker this might get a bit boring. Luara Childs definately did her homework on this series. As for the mystery aspect, it was definitely enjoyable to follow. I liked the fact that I didn't know until the very end who had done it. Nothing is worse to me then knowing immediately who did it and knowing it through the entire book. There were a lot of characters, which might be to much for many to follow, but I was able to follow all the charecters easily enough.

If you're looking for a sit on the edge of the seat, scare yourself type of book this isn't it. This is a light refreshing book that might have a couple tingle-y passages of buildup (depending on your fright level) but nothing that would keep you from sleeping after reading it. I guess I could describe it as being similar to some of Nora Roberts series, except without the romance - at least in this book. This is a perfect book to kick back on a snowy or rainy day and enjoy along with several cups of tea and a scone or two or possibly a good book to take to the beach once this snow leaves and summer finally gets here. Happy reading :O)