March 31, 2012

Spring = Replanting Season

I kicked off the weekend by re-potting all of my indoor plants.  I had ignored them for quite. some. time.  I did research before I did the African Violets and Aloe Vera plants and apparently I do everything they say NOT to do, but I've had them for 5 years so I must do something (mostly) right.



African Violet lovers post their tips here and here.

Some have fancy watering pots, some suggest letting the water stand for over a day to reach room temperature before giving it to the plants....Who has time for that?  So here is what I do for my African Violets:

1.  Put just about anywhere that doesn't get direct sunlight.  I put mine on a north facing window sill.
2.   Keep in a small pot (free preferrable).
3.  Water when the soil is dryer, can also feed tea at the end of the workday.
4.  Repot plant when it is about to topple out of the pot by ripping the plant at the base, sticking it in fresh potting soil, and watering it in it's new home.

Aloe Vera plants are even easier:  Place on a sunny windowsill, water when you remember (1-2 times a month) & repot when about to fall over.

I tried upping my planting skills by splitting my aloe plant by getting down to the root of the small shoots, cutting them and placing them in cactus soil potting mix.  They look good right now....I hope they live.....Have a great Spring Weekend, everyone!

March 29, 2012

6-10: The 30 Outfit Challenge Continues

In week two, this wardrobe project saved my rear.  I was running late one morning due to late hours on the job, but I was able to grab and go without wondering where the item(s) were buried in an overstuffed closet.  Racing the clock, I made it to my office right on time.  

I banished all of my non-chosen items to the hallway closet for this challenge, and it has made getting ready a lot easier.  I did cheat (a little) on outfit 6, though.  Since my white t-shirt was out of commission, I wore my neutral colored undershirt instead...do those count?


Outfit 6: Cardigan & Undershirt: Target; Jeans: Banana Republic; Tan Pumps: Nine West
Outfit 7: Shirt: Target; Jeans-Pure Diva IT Jeans; Leopard Flats: Nine West
Outfit 8: Shirt: Banana Republic; Pants: Express; Black Peep Toes: Marshalls
Outfit 9: Shirt: The Loft; Skirt: The Limited; Tan Flats: Madden
Outfit 10: Shirt: Target; Skirt: Banana Republic (old); Shoes: DSW

March 27, 2012

Outfits 1-5 of the 30 for 30

So far, so good!  It got a little cold for a few of days here, but luckily I can cheat a little and wear sweatpants at home.  My highlight of the week was that husband and I had a surprise date on the first day at one of our favorite hole-in-the-walls so I had him take a photo against the restaurant's painted walls. That was the day I was brave and tucked in a shirt that I normally wouldn't, it turned out pretty okay and I may brave it again.  And here they are, the First Five:  



Day 1:  Shirt-Banana Republic, Winter 2011, Skirt-The Limited, black peep toe pumps-Marshalls
Day 2:  Shirt-Ann Taylor, Cardigan-Nordstrom, black skirt, black pumps-Nine West
Day 3:  Sweater-Banana Republic, Fall 2011, Pants-Express, Shoes-Nine West
Day 4:  Shirt-The Limited, Cardigan-Target, Pants-Express, black pumps
Day 5: Shirt-Express, Pants-Gap, black peep toe pumps



March 22, 2012

Our newest project: The Veneer Mid Century Dresser

Part of the reason that it took me so long to post my 30 for 30 Challenge this week is because I finally found a mid-century dresser that I liked on the cheap and we made the drive to look at it and pick it up on Tuesday night.   I have been searching craigslist for over a year hoping for the right one.  This one actually happened!  We were pleasantly surprised when we showed up since the previous owners were younger than we expected (the home was in area that is very hit & miss and the owners are currently replacing the 40 year old linoleum that was in the photos).  The dresser has a veneer top and will need some work before it finds a permanent spot in the house, so I am looking into ways we can refinish it and I've decided to show my favorites here.
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I hope to leave as much wood unpainted as possible, but I'll have to see how it goes when I tackle the project.  I'm excited!

March 21, 2012

The 30x30 Challenge (30 items to make 30 outfits)

I am a little behind fashion world, but thanks to my coworker’s wife, I’m a new fan of Kendi’s 30 x 30 Remix Challenge.  It’s perfect for my ongoing closet makeover goal:  simplify, budget, and clear the clutter.  Budget doesn’t mean boring, I can wear the same piece of clothing twice, and I don’t need to run to the store to every time I get in a fashion rut.

To kick off my closet makeover earlier this year, I purged and started documenting my outfits daily to help assess wardrobe needs, but I was missing out on the remix part of my challenge (and becoming a bit zzzz).   To take the my closet makeover further, I'm going to do Kendi's challenge, Kendi's way.
Kendi's 30 day Challenge Rules:
1.  Use 30 items in your closet (excluding accessories)
2.  Mix & Match chosen items for 30 outfits
3.  Don't shop for the 30 days


I spent the weekend narrowing it down to the 30 items I will be using.  Have I chosen well?  I hope so!  





March 12, 2012

Painting the Guest Bedroom

We finally picked a paint color after months of looking at paint chips and samples on the wall.  The 4 we decided to try samples for are:


Benjamin Moore HC-147:  Woodlawn Blue
Benjamin Moore 1563:  Quiet Moments
Benjamin Moore's HC-143: Wythe Blue
and Benjamin Moore HC-150:  Yarmouth Blue




I spent months agonizing over the color choices available in the blue pallet offered by Behr, Valspar, Glidden, Martha Stewart, and Benjamin Moore.  Benjamin Moore seemed to have the most muted/classic versions of blue so I finally decided to cough up the money for paint samples and made the husband vote on his favorites.


My husband immediately eliminated two of the choices and we were left with Woodlawn Blue and Quiet Moments.  I leaned toward Woodlawn Blue but the husband leaned toward Quiet Moments.  After two weeks of viewing the color swatches in different lights, I finally broke down and bought 1 gallon of the Quiet Moments (only one since we may change colors slightly on the second coat - does anyone else end up having to do this???).


The first coat of Quiet Moments seems to glow in certain lighting, so we will be doing 1-2 Shades darker for the second coat.  I think maybe next time we'll paint larger swatches (2'x2') prior to moving to the next step, maybe this will eliminate color changes after one coat on future projects.

March 11, 2012

The Wardrobe Project...Continues

I almost didn't do this week for two reasons.  1) I've been working a lot at my full time job and 2) I had a leadership workshop/retreat that required presentation preparation and reading for Friday & Saturday.  It doesn't help that I put some of it off, but there has barely been room for sleep much less the fun stuff.  Despite how hectic the end of the week got, I didn't look half bad {if you ignore the photo quality}.  


...so without much more ado, here is Week 4:
1:  shirt-target; cardigan-ann taylor; skirt-the limited; shoes-nine west
2:  shirt-the limited; jacket-ann taylor loft; pants-express; shoes-ann taylor loft; bracelet-family heirloom
3:  shirt-ann taylor; cardigan-nordstrom; pants-the limited; shoes-nine west
4:  shirt-the limited; cardigan-nordstrom; pants-express; shoes-ann taylor loft
5:  shirt-express; cardigan-banana republic; jeans-diva; shoes-nine west


{facts of the week}
  •  My desire for creativity and looking good took a huge nose dive with my work load and lack of sleep.
  • I will definitely be putting those house projects I'm dreaming on hold for a nice long bubble bath and nap.

March 5, 2012

House Projects- 1 Down, Many to Go.

 As part of my “Simplify 2012” kick, I’m trying to finish one house project/craft at a time.  To quickly check something off the list, I finally hung all of my frames that were on the floor leaning against the wall for over 6 months.





Ta-Da!..It can stand additions, but the frames are finally off the floor where the dog and cat can't slam into them and knock them over.  

My other outstanding house projects are:
  •      touch up paint trim in living room
  •      finish Windows in dining room
  •      finish painting baseboards in kitchen
  •      finish painting cabinets in kitchen
  •      finish painting guest bedroom
  •      finish painting master bedroom

My house projects wish list:
  •      paint computer room
  •      paint back door
  •      redo kitchen pantry door
  •      guest bedroom window treatments
  •      computer room pillows & window treatments
  •      computer room lamp
  •      replace ceiling fan in guest room
  •      artwork on walls
  •      master bedroom closet uplift
  •      laundry room overhaul
  •      paint the dining room rocking chair
  •      paint the dining room side table
  •      make the shelves for the $10 ikea headboard I scored

March 4, 2012

Wardrobe Project Week 3 & Clothing Budget

Real Simple March 2012 Issue stated that Washington DC residents spend an average of $263 and Americans in general spend and average $142. I couldn't believe it but then again, I haven't been tracking my spending until this year...so I decided to go back and see how much was actually spent on clothes this year so far.


My Average so far:   $112.  I'm right around the American average {it helps that I got items I was eying as birthday gifts}.  Maybe the average or below should be my new goal.  I also need to stick to my plan of determining styles and purging what doesn't work for me. 


Anyway, now onto the wardrobe project documentation of the week....I've already put some clothes in the "possibly" donate pile based on the photographs.  Also, if I haven't worn year-round every day items by June {and I don't pull them back out of the box of shame to wear}, they will be donated.




1: pants-gap; shirt-express; brown cardigan-nordstrom; shoes-nine west
2: pants-gap; shirt-banana republic winter 2011; shoes-ann taylor loft
3: dress-the limited spring 2011; shoes-nine west; bracelet-jesslong
4: sweater-gap; pants-express; shoes-nine west
5:  scarf-gap; shirt-the limited; jeans-express; boots- dsw; bracelet-New Mexico Silver/from my grandmother (she got it as a wedding gift) 


What I've learned by seeing myself through photographs:
a.  My photographs still stink & I need to find the missing attachment for my tripod.
b.  The theme of the week was purple {unintentionally}.
c.  The short sleeved purple sweater in #4 is a little frumpy.
d.  A colored scarf would be better than the tan in #5.

March 2, 2012

The Big 30


Today is the first day I can't say I am in my 20's.  It's also my first birthday to be alone in the house, my husband is off on business so I'm on my own. 30 used be a scary number, but the closer I got to it, the more excited I've become.  I think the 30's will be a great decade and to make sure it is off to a good start, I have taken a moment to list some of my goals for this year.


12 Goals for 2012 (30 would be too many):
1.   determine style and purge/organize my remaining wardrobe
2.   stop putting off house chores for marathon cleaning weekends & create central family binder
3.   set a budget & log spending
4.   stick to a better skin care/bed time regimen.  I know that skin care is important, but it’s so easy to go to bed instead!
5.   take a vacation with my husband…just the two of us.
6.   finish the house projects…one at a time.
7.   skype with my grandmother
8.   start a girls’ night
9.    pay extra on the house
10.  eat out a little less
11.  doodle more
12.  keep the plants on the porch alive this summer