6.5 Sticks of Butter and a Giveaway Winner

Two days ago, I made cupcakes from scratch. Please know that this is not something I do. I am a baked-goods-from-a-box-all-the-way kinda girl. That is, I was this way until Wednesday, when I realized that 6.5 sticks of butter (plus some other sorta crucial ingredients) can make amazingness. And besides, it's not every day that your husband finally receives his official license to practice pharmacy in New York. (Hooray! He's legal! And employed! God is so good.) :)

But back to those 6.5 sticks of butter. I used them to make two dozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Yes, you heard me right. I don't remember where I first saw the recipe, but the original recipe hails from Annie's Eats and an easier version with canned frosting can be found here.


The batter and frosting, both from scratch, both have a hint of cookie dough flavor in them, and the middle is stuffed with (eggless) cookie dough, also from scratch, which meant that this was not a mix-it-up-in-two-minutes-then-stick-it-in-the-oven deal. Not only was the end product totally worth my time in the kitchen, though, it was also sort of fun to make. If I had a cute apron, I would totally have worn it, a la June Cleaver. In fact, I was feeling so domestic as a result that I announced my desire to try making other kinds of cupcakes from scratch. Rick announced that maybe I should try actual meals first, you know, things with fewer sticks of butter involved. Priorities, I tell you. I think dessert should get first billing.


By the way, my cupcake frosting looked nothing like the one you see directly above. I used this exotic tool called a knife to apply my frosting. Actually, that's not true. All of the knives were in the dishwasher, and of course I didn't wash one, so instead I used the back of a spoon. We are fancy around here. :)

So now that you're all thanking me for this recipe that is delicious in all of its non-healthy beauty, the winner of my thank-you card giveaway is Wendy at Simply Brookes! Thanks to everyone who left a sweet comment. I'm not sure if an Etsy shop is in my near future, but you definitely encouraged me to think about it. :)

Have a great weekend!


Operation Master Bedroom: Phase One

Warning: what you are about to see is not pretty. In fact, it is messy, covered in dust, and probably smells like someone who needs to reapply their deodorant.

When we moved into our house in April, the space that will one day be our master bedroom looked like this:

This past April, Rick demolished an obviously-not-original closet that was in this room. (You can see it in the picture on the right above, right across from the...birdbath...) Since then, we've also ripped out the carpet and re-plastered the ceiling. But since we want it to be our master bedroom, we needed to do a bit more than that, as described in this post about our floor plan. So when we donned our long sleeves, gloves, dust masks, sneakers, and safety goggles and were officially reminded of what it was like to go trick-or-treating in Western NY ("But Mommy! Princess Jasmine didn't wear thermal pajamas and a hat!"), here's what we had in mind (again, see this post if you're wondering why we're getting rid of these things):

Aaaand here it goes:

A regular hammer and a crowbar were our tools of choice for these steps. We tried to reduce the mess by removing large sections of plaster at a time, which we did by using the hammer to sort of "outline" the section we wanted to remove, then using the crowbar to gently pull off that entire section in one big piece (usually about 2'x'2). It's worth noting that we have all plaster walls, and a regular hammer (as opposed to a sledgehammer) might not work if you're dealing with drywall.

See that garbage can? That was our "waste management" system. We looked into renting a dumpster, but even the smallest ones were super expensive, so we instead bought a package of heavy-duty contractor trash bags and filled them with our plaster and lathe. I think total we filled 10 bags, that Rick's dad then helpfully took away on his truck.

(Was I right? Messy. Dirty. Stinkier than a ninth grader who forgot to shower and is now sitting in my classroom after playing kickball in the blazing sun for 85 minutes.)

I should also note that this closet was not load-bearing, which is why we were able to do all of this ourselves without the house collapsing. We got the go-ahead from Rick's contractor dad, who just recommended that we reinforce the door frame before taking down the last section of studs that you see above.

Rick's sister Bethany graciously came over to help do fun things like remove door frames. :)

I got to remove the last section of studs, by the way, because Rick decided that I had mastered the drill and could be allowed to graduate to the next power tool, which he deemed to be the circular saw. I am woman, hear me...saw.

Aaaaaand that's as far as we've gotten. I told you there would be no pretty pictures! Well, okay. Here's a pretty picture for you.

Well. It's the best I can do. I'm feeling sort of...adolescent, what with that lingering scent of someone who needs to re-apply deodorant and/or shower after gym class. I swear I'm not a creepy Justin Bieber stalker. I've managed to cut back my teen heartthrob drooling to once every other Wednesday, and today's the off week.

*Don't forget: if you have someone you would like to show your appreciation to, go here to win four handmade thank-you notes! It's open until Friday. :)*


Our 1897 Floor Plan: The Upstairs

We've been doing a little renovation around these parts lately as we begin tackling what will one day be our master bedroom. I wrote an entire post about the first couple phases, which included removing an entire door frame and a 6'x6' closet, and then realized it would make less than zero sense to anyone that didn't understand why we were smashing down doors and closets in the first place. Therefore, before I show you what it looks like now that we're done swinging hammers around like crazy people, I should clue you in on our upstairs floor plan and how we want to change it, so that you don't think we're completely insane for knocking out a walk-in closet.

So here's my Fancy Pants I-Busted-Out-the-Graph-Paper-To-Make-This floor plan before and (hopefully) after we make some adjustments. (Please note, however, that I didn't use a straightedge or bother to make my lines on top of the lines provided to me by said graph paper. My Fancy Pants-ness only goes so far.) It's not exactly to scale, but since I'm not applying for a job at This Old House or anything, and it's pretty close to being accurate and gives a good idea of what we plan to do, I'm OK with it. Right now, we're sleeping in bedroom #1.

As you can see, our current upstairs floor plan proudly screams "I was designed in 1897." We're trying to make it scream "I was designed in 1897 and lovingly made more 2011 functional by two adorable homeowners." We plan to do this by creating:

1. Better flow for the upstairs. Right now, it's all connected, but not really in a good way. When we're done with our renovations, the bedrooms will be more situated around a common family room area that might, one day, include some comfy seating, a desk for homework, storage for toys, my own personal spa...

2. A "master suite" in the back of the house with a 13'x18' bedroom, adjoined full bath, and walk-in closet.

3. A central family room/playroom instead of a central bedroom that others must awkwardly stroll through to get to their own bedroom. (Hands if you'd enjoy that feature?)

4. A closet for bedroom #2/the nursery. It currently doesn't have one. (Poor future babies. No place to stash their onesies.)

So. Now that you totally understand why we're smashing things with hammers and don't at all think we're insane, (here's where you smile and nod) you're fully prepared to witness the aforementioned closet and door disappear later this week, if you're up for it. :) What floor plan challenges have you faced? Who else has an old house? I'd love it if you shared your stories! :)

*Don't forget: if you have someone you would like to show your appreciation to, go here to win four handmade thank-you notes! :)*


Card-Making Mania and a *Giveaway*

For several years now, I've been boycotting the over-priced Hallmark aisle in favor of homemade cards. My anniversary card for Rick is the most recent example:

I enjoy making them, but what often happens is that it will be the day before a card-worthy occasion (my sister's birthday, someone's wedding, a graduation...) and I'll be rushing to finish. When that happens, I no longer enjoy doing it, mainly because there are generally about 10 other things that I also need to do. Therefore, one of my goals for this summer was to make cards when I wasn't under any sort of time crunch, with the idea that I would have them to use during the busy school year. So this past week, when it was too hot to do anything but sit and sweat (as opposed to move and completely melt into a puddle), I parked myself in front of a fan and made over 20 cards. They're simple, but they do the trick.

As I was doing this, I was inspired to make some extra thank-you notes that I could offer as a giveaway to my readers.

Blank inside, approximately 4"x5", will be sent with appropriate envelopes.

Why thank-you notes?

1. You so often make me smile, and I am thankful for that! I literally laughed out loud at many of the hilarious comments left regarding my recent imperfect homeowner confession. :)

2. One of our personal goals is to be grateful for and content with everything we've been blessed with, and I plan to send more thank-you notes this coming school year, whether to the secretary who takes care of addressing letters home, or the teacher who shares some of her ideas with me, or the custodian who dutifully cleans up after the students, day after day. You know, those things that people do without expecting a follow-up note to appear in the mail. That small act of gratitude is such a nice way to just say "I appreciate you," and I'm afraid many of us--me included--are guilty of not telling other people that enough.

So here's the deal: I give you the four cards you saw above. You give each one to someone else. You make their day. Want to have this opportunity? Here's what you have to do:

1. Leave a comment on this post, even if you've never commented before! I'd love it if you shared something or someone you were grateful for, but of course you can also just think that to yourself. :)

2. OPTIONAL: Earn an extra entry by linking to this giveaway on your blog. Make sure you leave an additional comment when you do this!

3. Sit back, relax, and try not to melt. I'm trying to be grateful for the warmth that I know I'll miss as soon as it starts snowing. :)

The particulars:
This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada only and will end at midnight EDT on Friday, July 29. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified via a follow-up post on Monday, August 1. (Or make your email address visible in your Blogger profile so that I can contact you directly, as well!) The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification and claim their cards. If they aren't claimed within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen via Random.org.

The cards will be shipped by me. The chosen winner will be required to provide their full name and address, which I will promptly flush down the toilet after sending the package on its merry way. (What? Isn't that what you do with all of your private documents?)

And that's all you need to know! Have a fabulous weekend! :)


TCIH: Our Refrigerator

A few weeks ago I started what I hope to be a once-a-month True Confessions of an Imperfect Homeowner feature about the little imperfections that pop up as we discover what it's like to be grown-ups and homeowners, and remind us that it's OK to not be Martha Stewart. (Rick was relieved when he heard that, for obvious reasons.) I hope you'll join in! :)

Today's focus is our refrigerator, which might seem like a weird topic, but it can be a very scary place in our house, and there are things we can get better about doing in order to make it not such a scary place.

For some reason, we like to make science experiments in our refrigerator. Meaning the corn that we ate two months ago is still sitting there, but has now morphed into some blue hairy thing. (Why is the corn that you ate two months ago still sitting in your fridge, uneaten, you ask?) Well. I don't know. Maybe because it's blue and hairy? (But what about one day after you ate it? Was it blue and hairy then?) Well. No. No, it wasn't. That would be weird.

So what's our deal? I don't know. I do like to frequently purge other areas of the house. But I guess the refrigerator gets neglected because I don't have to look at it all day. I simply notice the furry corn, shut the door, and continue on my merry way. And no one is the wiser about the Moldy Little Secret that we have growing next to our milk. Until now, of course.

Are you ready for what I had to shove down the garbage disposal after I cleaned out the fridge--finally--last week?

The Longevity Award goes to the sour cream and mayo. I packed that last summer when we took a trip to southern Pennsylvania. Don't judge. I know it's inexcusable.

Since I'm confessing, I also have to admit, though, that all of that moldiness and stinkiness sort of makes us laugh. It's been our running joke for, well, several months now that when we don't know what else to eat, we can have that broccoli and cheddar soup.Yummmm.


But here's the problem, even though we are guilty of finding it amusing: all of that food was wasted. This is not to say that we waste all of our food; what you saw up there was representing a few months, I'd say. But still. There are a couple reasons, I think, why this happens to us: 

1. There are just two of us. We make a big batch of something, eat it for several meals, then get tired of it, and it just sits and...goes stinky. The soup is a perfect example of this.

2. The full fridge factor. Sometimes, when we're rearranging to make room for new items, we end up carelessly shoving containers of stuff to the back of the fridge, and then we forget about it because we can't see it.

3. We're a little lazy. Really, nobody else sees the refrigerator. There are other things in the house that I'd rather clean, like the toilets. (I'm not being sarcastic.)

4.  We're secretly hoping to find a new mold a'la penicillin so that I can quit my job and stay home cleaning the house all day.

Here's what we're going to try to do about it:

1. Freeze leftovers that we're tired of before they go bad. Or just don't make such a big batch to begin with.

2. Keep the fridge organized so that food isn't just shoved willy-nilly. Cheese in one place, fruit in another.This will also prevent us from buying too much of something we already have.

3. Keep the tall stuff in the back and the short, flat stuff (like many of those containers above) up front, so that we can see what we have.

4. Actually clean--not just clean out--more frequently. I do periodic wipe-downs, but making time to actually do a thorough cleaning will prevent food from residing in our refrigerator for months on end.

5. Have children ASAP so that they can share our leftovers. (Hi Mom.)

Any other suggestions for how to maintain a non-wasteful fridge? Anyone else have this problem? What's the most disgusting thing you've ever pulled out of your fridge? Go ahead. Confess. You know you want to. :)

The Mustard Ceiling

Weekend Bloggy Reading


Blog-crashing today!

Don't tell my cats: today I'm guest posting over at Decor and the Dog! Michelle, who has a slew of impressive projects under her belt, very kindly asked me to share one of my favorite projects, but I had a hard time narrowing it down, so I'm briefly touching on three "favorites." If you've been reading my blog for a while now, chances are you've already seen all of the projects I'm highlighting, but you never know...I might throw in something that surprises you. Like a never-before-seen discussion on how I once used old carrots to decorate my living room. (Well, that would be surprising, wouldn't it?)

But again--top secret from my cats. As in more secret than your middle school diary. If you tell them, they will be likely to make this face, which sorely compromises their air of intelligence:

"My entire sense of ladylike behavior goes out the window when you say the word dog."
(Incidentally, that's the same face I made when I re-read my middle school diary as a matured adult with a more well-developed sense of the things that actually deserve to be treated with extreme drama and irrationally heightened sensitivity. Which is pretty much nothing.)

Thank you again, Michelle, for giving me the opportunity to crash your beautiful blog! :)


A Hometown Hero

First, the hundreds of people lining the streets, even though it was well after midnight. Then, the candles. Then, the Marines Hymn, carried over the crowd by a loudspeaker.

Then the American flag, lit up and suspended high in the air by two fire ladders.

Then the first flashing lights of the police escort.

Then the hearse, with a flag draped over the single casket.

Then the family.

Then the tears.

As I was standing on Main Street of my tiny little hometown at 2:00 AM, surrounded by hundreds of other people, I knew that I couldn't get out of bed this morning and write one of my usual light-hearted posts. I was there with my parents and Rick and countless other supporters to welcome home the body of Sgt. Trevor Cook, a 25 year-old Marine who was killed last Wednesday in a helicopter crash while training for his deployment to Afghanistan. He graduated from high school with Rick, and Aislinn, one of my best friends. I didn't know him well at all, but he was my age. He was married just a month ago.

I can only imagine the emotion his family must have felt to be seeing the same things I was seeing this morning on Main Street, but knowing that it was all there because of their son. I wish that Trevor, too, could have seen the tremendous outpouring of love and support from the community, and it tugs at my heart that the greatest amount of appreciation and respect is paid to our military men and women after they are no longer alive. I am guilty, myself, of not quite paying attention at the Memorial Day ceremony, and flipping the channel when news from the war comes on the television, and taking for granted the rights and freedoms that we have because of other men and women who, like Trevor, have lost their lives as they served our country.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Please join me in praying for Trevor's family and friends, that they will feel the peace and love of our Heavenly Father's arms around them, that His promise of an eternity of life and joy within the veil of Jesus Christ will comfort them in their time of grief. My heart aches for them, and I pray that good will come of this, that Trevor's loss of life will leave an enduring legacy, and serve as a reminder to everyone, including me, that we must not live expecting tomorrow, because we have no promise of that. We truly never know what a day will bring. Trevor is clearly not the first Marine to have lost his tomorrow, but for me, his loss of life has not just hit close to home: it has hit home. If I never again have to attend a military processional, I will, of course, be glad, but I feel blessed to have been able to experience that kind of outpouring of patriotism and pride. 

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. 


Cupcakes for the pharmacist in your life (or mine).

Rick's birthday was last Tuesday, but he had to work (boo life of an employed grown-up who doesn't have the summer off...), so I decided to surprise him at work with cupcakes. But these weren't just any cupcakes: these were Special Pharmacist Cupcakes. (No, they did not have narcotics in them.)

Here's what really made them Special with a capital 'S'.

Reason 1: I made them from a box. A shiny Pillsbury Stars & Stripes box.

Reason 2: I sampled one of the cupcakes. Or three. Just to make sure they weren't, you know, deadly or anything, or would require medical care after consuming. How awkward would that be?

Reason 3 (The real reason they are Special Cupcakes for the pharmacist in your life): I used decorating icing to put prescription abbreviations on them. "PRN" means "as needed" (get it...eat this cupcake as needed...hahaha) and "PO" means "by mouth." If you can read the handwriting on your latest or next prescription, check it out! Immediately! One of those might be on there! (I bet you're dashing there right now, right?!)

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate myself on the wise decision to pursue teaching as a career path instead of cake decorating.

As needed...by mouth! Perfect amount of job-related dorkiness for Special Pharmacist Cupcakes.

It just occurred to me that anyone who just scrolls through pictures is going to be ridiculously confused by this post, unless, of course, they are a medical professional. Hopefully nobody thinks I wrote abbreviations for...um...questionable merchandise sold by adult stores in shady alleys.

I figured that the arrival of these cupcakes would either make the pharmacists laugh or think I was completely nuts, and luckily they found it quite amusing. They even lamented the fact that I hadn't written "qid" on any of them (four times a day), giving them permission to eat four. And here's the expression Rick made when I handed them to him:

This has made me wonder if there are clever (dorky?) job-related things that could be written on Special English Teacher Cupcakes, or Special Lawyer Cupcakes, or Special Stay-At-Home-Mom Cupcakes, or Special Accountant Cupcakes. Any ideas? :)

Big thanks to Michelle at Decor and the Dog for helping me out with her pharmacy wisdom so that I didn't unwittingly present my husband and his co-workers with cupcakes that said things like "PR". (Per rectum.) They would've been like, "Wow, never knew that Betty Crocker made enemas."

And this has officially gotten out of hand. Completely un-ladylike. Post ending. Now.


Our vanity: A brief study in how and why we DIY.

Here's a multiple choice quiz for you: Why do Rick and Erin DIY?

A. We find dust masks and safety goggles to be comfortable attire for lounging about during the summer months.

B. If we don't, we won't have anything better to do than sit around and watch Enchanted repeatedly while mindlessly eating homemade popcorn. 

C. It keeps us within our budget and allows us to spend our money on other more important things like Prada bags and souped-up BMWs.

D. None of the above

If you selected letter D, congratulations! You passed the test! Your honorary dust mask will be arriving in the mail shortly. (Sorry if you were hoping for a BMW.)

But seriously. The real reasons we DIY? It gives us a hobby we can enjoy together (that's huge), and it also allows us to be good stewards with our finances while accomplishing things that we want to. There's no way on God's good earth that we could have done much of anything on our house so far if we paid full price or a contractor for the work.

The vanity Rick built for our half bath is the most recent example of a big project we've decided to DIY.

We had a few issues with the vanity that came with the room: the bottom was rotted away from leaky pipes, the sink was super small, it made even my 5’2” self awkwardly hunch over to wash my hands because it seemed unnaturally low to the ground, and it had bird poop on it.

OK, well, everything but the bird excrement part is 100% truth.

We thought first about moving down the single vanity from the upstairs bathroom (we hope to install a double vanity there someday) but that was too big for the room. So, we began thinking of how we could build one ourselves, one that would be the exact size and style we wanted, while also keeping to a budget that would allow us to eat more than Spaghetti-Os for months on end. (I like to have projects, but the thought of an endless canned pasta diet would be enough to make me say a quick “NO THANKS.” Although you can make clever hidden Mickeys out of O-shaped noodles.)

Anyone else ever tried to find the Hidden Mickeys in Disneyworld?

Let's face it, though: it's not always cheaper to break out the power tools and get building. A quick stroll through the lumber aisles at a home improvement store will help you see just how not-cheap wood is. So when we decide to do something ourselves, we have to figure out how we can do it so that, in the end, it was actually worth the sweat, blood, and tears. (Though we don’t tend to get emotionally involved with our projects. It’s just stuff, after all.)

All combined, the vanity, sink, faucet, and drawer handles cost about $200 out of pocket. That "out of pocket" bit is key. Here's the best way I can describe our expenses:

1. The lumber came to $150, but we used a gift card, bringing our total to around $50.

2. We purchased this sink from Overstock, currently $132.99. When we purchased it several months ago, it was $149.99 and we used a $100 gift card earned through our Discover Cashback rewards program, making the cost just about $50.  Rick noticed that the price dropped to $132.99 about a week after we bought it, so he contacted Overstock and they gave us the $17 price adjustment to use toward a future purchase. (Yay for being a squeaky wheel!)

3. We used that $17 Overstock credit toward this Vigo faucet and drain combo, bringing our total for the faucet to about $70.

4. Satin polyurethane=$14. We put three coats on.

5. Our last purchase was the drawer pulls, which were $4 each from Home Depot.

To save on other expenses, we painted the vanity with the leftover paint from our living room walls (Glidden Seal Gray).

The other thing we do is link through our Discover page when making online purchases, because, for example, when you link to Overstock.com, you get an additional 5% cash back on the purchase. Bonus! With the extra money we saved, we can afford to buy cleaning supplies and toilet paper to stash in the vanity's drawers. (We made it look like three drawers, but we wanted a taller one for helpful things like Lysol, hence the false front on the bottom drawer.)

I'd write a tutorial about how to build this thing, fancy false-front drawers and all, but, as my bloggy friend Kelly from View Along the Way says, that sort of thing makes me want to "poke myself in the retina with a fork."

A really giant meat-spearing fork.

A really giant meat-spearing fork that was recently sharpened.

A really giant meat-spearing fork that was recently sharpened and scorching hot from sitting near the grill.

(Do you get my drift? Writing tutorials about building stuff=my boat is not floating. I like to have fun with this little blog.) :)

I'll enlist Rick if anyone wants some more specifics, because he will be less inclined to inflict pain upon himself in the process of describing how he drilled holes and made drawers, etc. If you're wondering, our loose inspiration was this vanity from Pottery Barn, the purchase of which would've caused us to be eating Spaghetti-Os for the rest of our lives.

Why do you DIY? What are your money-saving tips? This money-saving DIYer would love to hear your ideas. :)


Welcome, DIY Show Off!

My morning was officially made when I read the super sweet email from Roeshel at the DIY Show Off saying that some of our projects were going to be featured today. I probably would have done a happy waltz while singing "Good Morning Baltimore" but I had just woken up minutes before and I like to properly stretch and warm up before beginning such antics. Plus "Good Morning Baltimore" isn't really relevant to the reason I was happy. And we don't even live in Baltimore.

If you're visiting from the DIY Show Off, thanks for taking the time to stop by! :)


New bathroom lights, courtesy of Wegmans Applesauce.

Long ago, I confessed my habit of recycling bin hunts. Unfortunately for Rick, this was after we were married, so too late for him to say "thanks but no thanks" to the crazy lady who runs around at dusk with a plastic bag, triumphantly pulling fancy vodka bottles out of her neighbors' recycling bins. Fortunately for Rick, I kicked this habit when we bought a house and I had to make myself at least seem presentable to our new neighbors, since frantically digging through their trash isn't exactly the way to say "Hey! Come borrow a cup of sugar from me!" or "Sure, we'll cat-sit while you cruise around Jamaica!". (Please note that this didn't stop me from doing a U-turn and plucking three royal blue bottles out of an unsuspecting stranger's recycling bin on my way to work two weeks ago.)

But when we were in need of new lights for our half bath, I laid eyes on two old applesauce jars from my digging days of yore and a lightbulb went off (no incredibly lame pun intended): why not use them as the glass globes for the lights? And use them as the globes we did.

As you can see from the picture above, we used as much of the original fixtures as we could. Rick pried off the weird droopy leaf thing, we ditched the seen-better-days shades, and gave the rest a fresh coat of white spray paint. The only thing we bought for this whole project were new round 40 watt bulbs to replace the original flame-shaped ones, making our grand total for two brand new lights a whopping $4 and change.

It was Rick's idea to attach the jars using their lids. I'm pretty sure I never would have thought of this, which is why we are completely a hers AND his team. Without the "his" side, I would have probably ended up hot-gluing them or something, then wondered why it fell on my head as I was flushing, and then super gluing them, and then trying to figure out how to un-glue them when the bulb blew and I had to change it, which would be made even more difficult by the fact that I had suffered a head injury shortly before.

Like I said. We're a team.

Before I spray painted, Rick used some fancy drill bit to cut through the jar lids then glued them on with an industrial strength adhesive that warned about death and toxins on the label. I made him use that particular brand of scariness outside.

After deadly gluing but before spray painting.

Unless you are 8 feet tall, you can't see the not-so-pretty drill holes and seeping-out deadly glue once the fixtures are hanging on the wall. In fact, if you are 8 feet tall, you can't easily make it into our bathroom in the first place, so all in all, it works out swimmingly.

We were a little concerned about the glass overheating, so we didn't tighten the jars on all the way, and then left the lights on for 30 minutes as a test for how hot they'd get. They did get slightly warm, but 30 minutes is way longer than we'll ever need to leave those lights on, especially once we get the new ceiling light fixture installed. (I could make a potty joke about why anyone would need to be in there for 30 minutes, but I'll refrain.) If we get to the point where we do need to leave them on longer, we might try reducing our bulb wattage from 40 and our diet of pork and beans from twice a day to once. (Wait! I thought I wasn't going to make one of those bad jokes! Clearly it's time to wrap up this post.)

Okay, okay. I have to go make Rick's birthday cupcakes, anyway.

P.S. A huge thank you to everyone who left such sweet notes about our half bath updates! Your comments always make me smile. :)

Update: We've gotten a few questions about the bulbs being able to air out. We've had these installed for over a month now and have probably had them on for a grand total of 5 minutes: the room gets a ton of natural light and since it's only the downstairs half bath, we really only use it during the day. So, for our purposes, overheating is a non-issue, since the sconces are {mainly} just a decorative touch. If you need your lights to be used more than 5 minutes/month, though, you'd definitely need to figure out a better way to let the bulbs breathe! :)

Funky Junk Interiors

Visit thecsiproject.com


Up close and personal with some bathroom updates!

Last time I used the words "half bath" in a post, it was the 21st of May and I was wrapping myself in painters tape in an attempt to make stripes on the walls. (I considered doing that again in red, white, and blue tape as a "GO AMERICA" salute to the upcoming holiday, but I decided that wouldn't be all that cute. Sorta like a Lady Gaga ensemble, but with less need for controversial refrigeration.)

Anyway, we still have some more things to do (ceiling light fixture, finish painting the trim, cover up the washer and dryer that currently share this space, update the sockets and switches so they aren't beige with all of our white...) but a month and several weeks of Rick singing Kumbaya to coaxing under-sink pipes to stop leaking, we finally have some more updates on our half bath!

Rick built that vanity with his own blood, sweat, and tears. He's my hero. And we also "built" the two lights for $4 total out of applesauce jars.

The mirror is the product of spray paint and a ridiculously cheap yard sale: it was $25 for that mirror AND another one just like it. It took me approximately 0.00009 seconds to fork over my cash, because most other mirrors I've seen for that price are plastic and made for dorm rooms. Here's what it looked like when I stumbled upon it in its dusty gold $12.50 glory:

Our little bathroom is all grown up and birdless. Looking at these pictures reminds me that I still need to remove that extra toilet paper roll holder from the back of the toilet, but I'll get to it eventually. Imperfections, embraced. :)

Like I said, I'll be sharing more specifics about the vanity and our DIY lights in posts next week. For now, I must go brainstorm a new 4th of July outfit since I've nixed the tape idea.

Enjoy this holiday weekend! :)

Linking this up to Thrifty Decor Chick!

Psst...here's what the bathroom looks like now! 

Check out the details here!

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