Thursday, March 31, 2011

My latest Craigslist purchase

I'm in love (or know I will be once I'm done with it):

I am loving the shape, and this guy is solid wood. Sadly, I'll probably end up selling it once I'm done. I'd be in trouble if I got to keep every piece I fell in love with.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mate? Check! couple's shower

Aside from trying not to cough up a lung this past week - I've been planning a couple's shower.

My biggest obstacle for last night's shindig was budget – I didn't want to spend a lot of money on decorations. So I went to Hobby Lobby and spent $21 on plates, napkins, tissue paper and floral wire. Yep, that's it. Everything else I had around the house (or in the backyard), and well, I made it work.

An invitation refresher:

And here's what a graphic designer can do with a $21 decor budget:

I've been saving green wine bottles, for my mom's wine-tasting 60th birthday party in May, so I jumped on the opportunity to get to use some already. The daffodils were from my front yard, and the other flowers were from a kind neighbor who let me do a little chopping to her shrub. :)

Making labels for the food, is one of my favorite things to do. People like to know what they are eating (whether it's a vegetarian making sure they aren't eating meat or just a picky eater), it's a useful thing to have at a party. Plus, they look cute.

Then of course there were the Martha Stewart tissue paper pom-poms. They are time consuming to make, but totally worth it. Most of these were done over a bottle of wine with an awesome friend – so thankfully soberness isn't required.

The dessert station:

I wanted a way to show off pictures of the couple-of-honor without using picture frames – so, I gathered sticks from my backyard and decorated the tree.

And I had to include my favorite photo of them on the tree:
(It's from Brent's and my wedding. We paired them up as bridesmaid and groomsman, and shortly after – romance was in the air. I call this photo "The Look of Love.")

(Side note about Brent's and my wedding: They aren't the only couple now getting married. In 2 weeks, my good friend from college is marrying the woman he took as a blind date to my wedding. Warm fuzzies.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Looking up...literally

There's nothing wrong with the beige ceiling in the man cave (aside from the 1-coat job someone did), but I figure since I have the time – why not go white.

The non-whiteness of the ceiling became especially apparent once the shelves were built:

I'm only a quarter of the way done, it's looking a lot better:

And since I'm on the subject of the ceiling, I figured I'd answer a reader's question about what type of lighting is on the man cave ceiling. We have 3 rows of track lighting (with plans on adding a 4th row above the bar).

But the lighting I love the most is the rope lighting going around the room:

Painting the ceiling is definitely going to be a time-consuming project, but it's going to be worth it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My March Madness

I had no idea lacking a job would be so exhausting.

It's been almost 3 weeks and time has flown by. Of course, March Madness is definitely helping. Brent and I even brought down the TV from the master to help with our basketball fever.

Brent had a friend in town, so we hosted an impromptu watch party last night. We got 2 pony kegs and took advantage of the kegerator for the second time (which were polished off at an alarming rate). It was so much fun. These were the type of gatherings I always wanted to host, and it makes me happy to finally get to.

Other than that, we finished off the side of the built ins. So, thanks to some bead board, it went from this:

To this:

Much better.

I can't wait to start the built-ins on the other side of the stairs (for the evenness and the additional DVD storage). Brent's decided to put a power and cable outlet over there as well, so he can acquire another TV. Such a guy, but I know next March Madness I'll be praising his TV hoarding.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Why is it now that I'm trying not to spend money, I'm finding beyond amazing deals on Craigslist? A leather sectional for $450. A 7-piece patio set for $150. Definitely no fair.

What I've been up to...

Rock Chalk!

This is the 4th year that Brent and I have gone to the tournament, and the 3rd time I've seen KU win it. It's a wonderful experience.

And now it's almost time for the Selection Show. So, so excited! March is definitely the best time of the year.

In other news: I applied for my first 3 jobs on Friday. I forgot how silly cover letters are.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Basically done!

I'm excited to say that the built-in shelves are basically done (well, kind of), but since I now have some free time, I figured why not.

Here are the progress pictures up until now:

Here's the "final":

Granted, the shelf decor isn't done (Brent has more sports memorabilia to dig out of storage), but you get the idea.

The unfinished part on the shelf is actually the side you see when going down the stairs (which I'll post about at a later date). The other thing left is putting the baseboard back up.

But, because Brent and I aren't that simple – the built-in project isn't done. There's more building left to do. See the other side of the stairs:

That, of course, needs a matching built-in with more DVD storage. :)

What I bought


After lots of debate, I decided to just go for it. Plus, I figured it was fate that the new model was released on the day I was laid off.

Now the resume and hopefully freelance work can begin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nothing but time

Last February, I mentioned the place I worked being acquired by another company. In November the companies merged, and yesterday, my job was "terminated."

This is the second time I've been laid off. And sadly, this is the second time I've been laid off via phone.

Fortunately though, this time I wasn't bit on the face by my foster dog several days prior with 3 stitches by my eye, so I never asked if I could just go back to my cube because I wanted my ice pack. Let me tell you, a comment like that receives a very awkward silence after explaining why you want said ice pack.

Unfortunately, unlike last time I wasn't given a 5-week separation date. And while it wasn't effective immediately (to where you're escorted out like a common criminal), I was given the day to gather my things and unsuccessfully try not to cry.

Yesterday consisted of a lot of wine, tears and Ally McBeal. Today will consist of Ally McBeal, filing for unemployment and trying to figure out a computer situation. From there it's working on the resume, hopefully doing some freelance, seeing what the fuss with Lost was about and working on tedious DIY projects I never had time for.

Projects will continue; they'll just be the cheap ones that involve paint. In other words, the plans of a new kitchen countertop/backsplash and new furniture for the man cave probably won't be happening this year. But things I didn't think I had time for this year will be. Give and take (well, mostly give).

I have so many pictures to post, but sadly, my camera was linked with my work laptop, so that is also on my list of things to get squared away. But for now, I'm just taking it one day at a time.