Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daughter's Built-In Bench Update

The on-going saga of our middle daughter's closet "mud-room" got another project done while we were visiting last December. 
I'm hoping she will be able to provide pictures of it painted someday soon (hint, hint, Jaysa!) but for now, I'm just showing what we were able to complete before we had to leave.
Wild Bill took a little saw with him to cut boards since he doesn't like to depend on Lowe's or Home Depot to cut boards when he needs a perfect cut. 

This little Rockwell Compact Circular Saw cut some big, thick boards (as you can see to the left of the pictures above) so he highly recommends it. He bought it for around $85 and, while there are other similar little saws, this is just the one he favors and is not an ad for them. He has big saws and such at home, but we were traveling and this little saw accomplished so much.

There was an unfortunate accident with a drill and a thumb during framing. I tried to find a picture of the framing Wild Bill did for the bottom of the bench, but unfortunately all pictures at this stage had some drips of red that I had to crop out of the picture as best I could...

As you can see he created a frame, then added a slab of MDF board to create a surface for storage baskets under the seat. Next he added six 4x4's he cut into posts to support the bench seat and topped that with another slab of MDF.  His measurements started with how high the bench needed to be for seating and how much space the opening needed to be to fit 12 inch baskets under the seat with room to slide in and out easily. 
Jaysa plans to add a board that will have cushioning and fabric attached, so the quality of the top board didn't matter. Also, she will be adding trim to the bench before she primes and paints it. The trim will match the trim on the upper shelves. Here's some pictures of that as it was being added previously:

Here's a "before the built-in bench" picture...
And here's an "after the built-in bench" picture with Jaysa showing how sturdy it is.
You'll notice all the various shades of paint on the wall outside the closet. Every wall in that little area has about 15 colors on it. We are very indecisive when it comes to choosing our wall paint colors!

This is the closet when we first started the project last year. If you're interested in seeing the original post, click here.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One Month Away

Last April, we put new plants in the planting beds around our house. This is one of the sage plants that was just starting to bloom when we put them in.
Although I love Winter, I'm getting excited about seeing the flowers come back to Texas this year. Here's some lovely landscaping we saw while out and about the state the past few Summers.

 Taking out lawn and putting in planting beds, or even wide walkways, is always on the top of our list. Watering lawns here in Texas gets costly around mid-July until midway through the Fall.
I love the wide driveways and wide walkways that go a long way towards reducing the need for grass. This sweeping one from the street corner to the front door is my favorite.
Just a few more weeks and we'll be seeing everything blooming again. I'm sure you're looking forward to it too. And, if you're not looking forward to watering your lawn this year, you might think about buying fake  faux grass for your yard. 

Would you believe the only real grass in this post is in this picture below?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What I'm Working On Wednesday

From my garage stash, I pulled out this cabinet I bought last Summer. I bought it at a real discount at TJ Maxx. They had marked it down 50% of their original low price. I can only assume they discounted it so heavily because it had a missing hook at the bottom left side. 
No problem with that...the hook was actually inside one of the cubbies and only needed to be screwed in.
Even if the hook had been missing, I would've bought it anyway. I really love the ceramic numbers and may take them off to use somewhere else if I paint it.
I'm not crazy about the white wax they used on the finish. How 'bout you? Are you a fan of the white wax finishes normally? Do you think this one is too much? I really do need some guidance here on this one.

I'd be more than happy to paint it, but for now I'm in a "thinking mode" with it. How about green? I pulled out this boxwood wreath to see how it would go with the wall color.
I love the Boxwood Green color Miss Mustard Seed and some of the other paint suppliers are carrying.
From Miss Mustard Seed's Pinterest

Like I said, I'm in a thinking mode. I would appreciate any ideas you might have.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sundays Without Downton Abbey

Today is our first Sunday without Downton Abbey in our future. So shocked and sad this series has ended!

I've only recently discovered Susan Branch's wonderful blog. She's a published author of many books, who writes a witty recap of each Downton episode the day following the airing. 

Oh how I love her humorous rendition of the madcap antics of the Downton's family and friends, all of whom Wild Bill and I have grown to love! Yes, Wild Bill is a bigger fan of Downton Abbey  than I am -- if you can believe that. He used to remind me early Sunday afternoon that Downton would be showing that night.

If you're a Downton Abbey fan and haven't already found Susan's blog, "pop over" (as the English might say) and catch up on all the old episodes once again. 

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Money Saving Tips At The Movie

Here's a money saving tip for movie goers who usually buy a drink and/or popcorn when seeing a movie:

Our local movie theater is one from the Cinemark movie chain. For at least the last couple of years, Cinemark has offered a special deal for movie goers, which begins anew each January. 

You can buy Cinemark's refillable large cup and popcorn tub for an initial purchase of $7 each and then refill them, on subsequent visits, for $3.50 each. This picture is of our refillable cup and tub from last year (2015), but the ones we bought this year were the same price.
We find this deal worthwhile since it's less than half the purchase price of buying these items normally. I'm sure other movie theater chains probably offer similar deals, but the only theater in our town is Cinemark so this works for us.

I'm showing you last year's refillable cup and tub because I wanted you to see how well they held up. After each movie, I bring them home and wash them with detergent and place them in a plastic bag in the car so they'll be ready for the next movie. The cup and tub hold enough for two people if you don't mind sharing like we do.

As a bonus, you can go to Cinemark's website and join their free club. Each week Cinemark will email you a coupon for their concession stand. 

Usually, the coupon is for a free small popcorn with the purchase of a soda or a free soda with the purchase of a popcorn. Cinemark considers the refillables as qualifying, so that means you pay only $3.50 for the two. 

By the way, Eddie The Eagle got two thumbs up from us! This true story will not only make you laugh, but warm your heart for days after.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Walt Disney, My Sister Cindy, And One Lucky Squirrel

My sister Cindy was born on Walt Disney's birthday. I'm not sure if that's why she is fascinated with all things Disney, but let me tell you she is a FAN.

Yeah...right...who isn't you say? Well, just listen to her story. 
About 4 years ago, on the way home from yet another Disney World vacation, Cindy talked her husband and three college-age children into moving to Orlando Florida. Yep. She did.

So they went home and sold their house here in Texas and moved lock, stock and barrel to be near Disney World. The kids all got part-time jobs at Disney World and life settled down.

Cindy bought a year-round, premium pass and was in heaven -- Disney heaven that is. She went to Disney World a lot.
Until all the family members got tired of going to play at Disney World on every day off.  Cindy would beg and plead, whine and cry...but no one wanted to go with her any more. What's a girl...a 50-something-year-old girl...to do?
Well, Cindy pulled up her big girl pants last year and went and knocked on Disney's door. Turned in an application and got hired! She's now a Monorail Pilot and loves it. People, this proves it's never too late to follow your dreams! Or, as the song says,    Dreams Really Do Come True...


Previously I thought the video Cindy sent me was of her, but she was just sending me an old video of another driver's action. Sorry for my confusion and my error linking the story. 

I corrected the last paragraph below to correct the story.
Recently my sister Cindy sent me a link to an old video of another Monorail Pilot, also named Cindy, who slowed her monorail down to a crawl to keep from hurting a squirrel. 

If you watch til the end, you will see the poor little squirrel fling itself down panting from his ordeal.

Here's a link to the incident of the squirrel holding up the other Cindy's monorail. 

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P.S.  I was born on Einstein's birthday, but I can't do math at all so I don't think they'll let me become a mathematician any time soon!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

RH Furniture Knock-Offs And Paint Colors

For several years, I yearned for a Restoration Hardware (RH) bed. So expensive. 
One day I was in a furniture store right next door to RH and they had what looked like the same bed, but at half the price. And guess what...it was made locally. 
The RH bed comes in several different colors. I would've ordered a white one from RH, but at half the price, I settled for the knock-off. Here's the RH bed frame from their website:
Restoration Hardware Bed

Someday I'll probably paint this bed frame white, but for now it stays the color it is. 
Now--did you notice that, quite by accident, the bed frame, wall color, drapes, lamps and lampshades are all the same golden brown color? 
I say by accident because the builder painted the walls that color, the drapes we already had from a previous house, the lamps and lampshades are from two houses ago, and that's the only color the knock-off bed frame came in.
At Christmas time, I bought two red and cream shams at Pottery Barn. They bring a little color to the brown room, but as Winter fades, the deer-themed shams will be put away. I'm looking for another color to perk up all the brown cabinets and walls. 
Not surprising, the rest of the house tends toward a cream and golden brown color too, which is hard on a gal who really likes bright white cabinets and trim. 
I happened upon this Sherwin-Williams' blue paint color recently. It's kind of growing on me.
As you can see below, our kitchen counters are brown too and our front room, kitchen and breakfast room are one big area.
I found a picture of a similar room painted white, using a similar blue color for accents. Wild Bill is resistant to white walls, but I don't see any other solution.

As you can see from the first pictures, our room is so dark --even with the window coverings open-- I can hardly take pictures in there. I would be thrilled if the white paint lightened up our room like the room above.

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