If Snow White had lamps from Goodwill, she’d name them Brassy, Dusty, and Stinky.

Is it just me, or are lamps getting more and more expensive? It seems like the majority I look at are now hovering around $50, which is too many dollars for my taste. So I was content with my recent lamp makeovers that cost me about $20 each.


I found the formerly brassy bases at Goodwill a couple weeks ago. They aren’t identical twins (more like fraternal or just that cousin that everyone thinks is you from across a crowded room) but they’re close enough and won’t be right next to each other. $12 for the two of them.


Before I spray painted them off-white, I gave them a quick coat of frosted spray paint so that the top coat would adhere better. I’ve had issues with scratches when spray painting metal and wanted to cover all of my bases.



In explanation of this post’s title, one of the lamp bases came with a seriously janky, stained shade that I deposited in Goodwill’s dumpster immediately upon leaving. Well, not immediately. First Rick dropped said shade on the ground and it emitted a gag-inducing cloud of dust and stench. Then I shrieked and did a dance similar reminiscent of the one I rocked out when I found the dead mouse on our bed. And then I deposited it in the dumpster.


Why does Goodwill even put stuff like that out on the shelf? Is it because crazy people like me continue to buy it even if it’s practically hazardous?

The two non-janky shades that don’t make me want to wash myself vigorously are from Target. I contemplated making some just like that when I saw them in the store, but decided that A)the cost difference wouldn’t be worth it once I bought plain shades, fabric, and ribbon (I got them buy one get one 50% off, so they ended up being $15 each) and B) I might not be able to find shades that size and shape, anyway. The self-adhesive one I used here is smaller.


Like this side table, these lamps are also for our living room, but, like I mentioned last week, that room is going through puberty and isn’t ready to show its face yet. Soon.


How much are you willing to spend on a lamp? What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever found at a thrift store?



Dear cats,

I know you love us. You give us presents. A little lick on the hand, a toy left at the door when we come home, a snuggly purr on the couch.

But this time, you really outdid yourselves. This time, you gave us a mouse. A dead mouse.

On our bed.

Of course I didn’t take a picture, which you were probably hoping for as a sort of permanent tribute to your victory. That would have required sustained proximity, and besides, I am incapable of recognizing any Kodak moment when I’m too busy shrieking and flailing around like I’ve just seen a disgusting dead rodent on my pintuck comforter.

Oh wait. I HAD just seen a disgusting dead rodent on my pintuck comforter.

If your dad hadn’t been home to dispose of the carcass, I probably would have slept on the couch.

This is the second murdered rodent you’ve left for us. I’m beginning to think that when we aren’t around, you morph into fire-breathing, homicidal demons.


Please work on that. I can’t have my naively-ignorant-of-all-natural-cat-instincts view of my angelic babies tainted by such events.




$3 Side Table Makeover

This time last year, we were shoveling our driveway.This time this year, I’m spray painting in my driveway. Given the near-70 degree weather we had over the weekend, I decided it was high time I did something about a $3 side table that I picked up at a yard sale last spring. Here it is after it spent some quality time with me in the driveway:


And here it is before our QT in all its fake wood glory. I took this picture after I took the stained brassy handles off and was too lazy too efficient to put them back on just for a blog photo.


I used this spray paint on the handles…


…and I used Rustoluem 2X for the table itself, first giving it a coat of oil-based spray primer since it isn’t real wood and the spray paint might not adhere as well.



It’s going to live in our living room, but that room has been going through some serious puberty lately and is not ready to show its face. Something about growing pains.



So that’s one of the ways I took advantage of a beautiful March weekend. Our cats are loving it as much as we are, evidenced by the fact that this picture was taken approximately 0.136 seconds after I opened the windows.


I don’t even think the kitties were in the room at the time. They can sense fresh air/birds that are now no longer protected by a pane of glass from anywhere…

What’s the weather like where you are? Did you get anything accomplished this weekend?

***Linking up to Primitive & Proper and Imparting Grace!***


Mirror, mirror on the…floor.

I would have called this post “Mirror, mirror on the wall” like the saying most of the world knows, except there would have been two minor flaws with that title:

A) None of our mirrors are actually on the wall.

B) I would most likely have been the 10,000th blogger to use that title, and chances are a hole would have opened in the sky and confetti would have poured out on me with a big banner that said “CONGRATZ ON BEING THE 10,000TH HUMAN TO USE THAT TITLE; YOU ARE THE WINNER OF A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF PICKLED BEETS.” Or something.

Why are none of our mirrors on the wall? Because I hoard them, then do nothing with them. My hoard sits on the floor because I don’t know where to put them—yet. But when you find used or clearance mirrors for so cheap, and brand new mirrors practically cost more than a year’s supply of pickled beets, and I have a big house with a lot of naked walls, who am I to pass them up?

Let’s take a look at my stash.

We first have this yard sale one, the twin sister of our half bath mirror.


Then this full length leaning mirror, also from a yard sale.


Next, this cute one from the clearance shelf at Target.


The next one is one of my favorites: it’s a sunburst mirror that used to belong to my mom’s mom, my Grammy. I can’t picture where it used to hang in her house anymore, but I like that I have something of hers for my own home. The orange things are from someone using it as a prop in a musical. My mom rescued it and gave it to me.


This dusty pile sits in my dusty AND scary crap room junk room black hole room craft room.


This one hails from Bed Bath and Beyond’s clearance section. It used to be black and gold, but I already spray painted it the fun aqua. It’s going to be hung in our closet/stairway soon. I hope.


The next ones are small but heavy, and came from Goodwill forever ago. I’ll probably use these with that dusty pile above to make a mirror collage in our dining room.


These three black ones have also been around for a while. I like their chunkiness.


This pretty now-white one is another yard sale purchase. It was gold.


And the last two are my most recent victims, both from Craigslist. This one is huge and I’m hoping to put it above our future double vanity.


This one is just a little smaller than the previous one. I don’t yet have a plan for it.


So that’s my mirror stash: 23 in all. (That number is even startling to me.) Rick has already filled out the paperwork for my insane asylum admission. If he sends me off for rehab, I’ll give my mirrors away to you. Which ones will you take? Or would you prefer that year’s supply of pickled beets? ;)


How to Expedite Your DIY Process

Friends, I’ve discovered the secret to fast-moving DIY projects. You may have formerly believed that quick project turnaround involved things like impeccable organization, brilliant planning, excellent follow-through, enviable determination, or mad skillzz with power tools and/or a hot glue gun. I am here to tell you that none of that is really true. Well, it is true. But it isn’t as true as something else. And what is that something else?


Yes. Inconvenience. Having our clothes in a pile down the hall as we gave our closet a much-needed makeover was a minor inconvenience.

Not being able to watch Castle for a whole two weeks because our living room was MIA as we redid the ceiling was a major inconvenience.

For two whole weeks, a ridiculous bucket of joint compound and a dust-infested living room sat between me and my favorite homicide investigators. (I know so few.)  I’m pretty sure that they were as bummed about it as I was.


In my dreams, their conversation is significantly more brilliant.

Thanks to said inconvenience, we were Super Motivated to finish the terrible task of hanging new drywall for the ceiling, finishing it (mudding, sanding, painting), and repainting the walls and wainscoting within two weeks time. Not bad considering we both worked full-time and Rick is busy with Legally Blonde pit rehearsal. Would we have finished it so quickly, though, if we hadn’t been so inconveniently inconvenienced? Absolutely not.

So the next time you begin a project, I suggest any of the following forms of inconvenience to help you expedite your process, too. Use alone, or combine with others for a truly inconvenient experience.

1. Exchange your car for a horse. A really, really old horse. A really, really old horse with bad breath.

2. Place your alarm clock down the hall and set it to wake you up an hour early every day with the most annoying song you can think of. Recommended titles are “The Song That Never Ends,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “It’s a Small World.”

3. Place all chocolate or other favored food item of your choice in a locked cabinet with a small bomb inside. Set to detonate in a very limited amount of time.

4. Disable your Pinterest account.

5. Install a fire-breathing dragon in your toilet.


What are your suggestions for how to inconvenience yourself in the name of expedited DIY? Who wants to have a Castle marathon with me? We don’t watch much television, but Castle is one that I really look forward to. Suspense + humor + well-written and unpredictable storylines = yes, please. You’re all invited to the season finale in our again-livable living room. I’ll make sure that the dragon has moved to a less moist climate by then.


Are YOU the one googling fish and butts and Bieber?

It’s been a while since I pulled together some of the zany keyword searches that land people on my blog, and since their sheer weirdness makes me laugh, I thought I’d share some more with you. Read on to see if you can figure out how searches for tiny black pool fish, medical spas, and butts cause Google to say “RIGHT HERE! VISIT ERIN! THE ONE WITH THE CATS AND THE FISH AND THE BUTTS! YES, HER!”


Ahem. What will I do if my students ever discover this blog? My projected image of partial sanity will be forever destroyed.

the couple who had ‘Black and White’ twins… twice

Say what? I’ve given birth? To “Black and White” twins? (What does that even mean?) You’d think I’d remember something like that, especially since it happened “…twice.” Dramatic ellipses for effect.


examples of blank floor plans for medical spa

You’re in the right spot! Except…not.


tiny black fishes that swim in in ground pools

A relaxing inner tube…an ice-cold glass glass of lemonade…a gang of tiny black fish slithering around my ankles. Yes. Sign me up. Maybe that medical spa should consider this?


man lampshade dancing table underwear

This person was clearly looking for Bachelorette Parties-R-Us. The lampshade probably costs extra.


singing at the top of my lungs while waiting for some dork

That dork is probably busy. Busy dancing on a table in his underwear.


i inspire my smile from nature

How very zen of you.


cat sign welcome to our bathroom hope you survive

Survival is always questionable in our bathroom. Particularly after a fibrous meal. How the cats fit into that, I’m not sure.


butt background

You know, I’m not really feeling the current background of this blog….would any of you be offended?


i bought a rug



justin bieber printable

If I were to actually make a Bieber printable, who would want a copy? I know my little sister would snatch up several. (Hi, Beez.) ;)


cat condo made from a dresser

BRILLIANT. I like the way you think. Something like this?


Okay. Be honest. It’s one of YOU searching for these crazy things, right, just because you know I like silly keyword stats? Confess, please. You’re going to pop up someday and go APRIL FOOLS and spray me with silly string or something, right? Because seriously. Seriously! “Black and White” twins?  Dancing lampshade men? What is this world coming to?

On a happily unrelated note, it’s supposed to be close to 60 degrees here today! I am so ready for spring. Spring=sundresses and spray painting. And now that I mentioned that, the next person to search for “stringing spring twins” or “painting spray-on dresses” will surely find themselves on this page. Welcome.


The “Good Morning” Song

If you’re anything like me, you don’t like workday mornings. Especially Monday mornings, like this one. I don’t exactly leap out of bed shouting “Gleeful golly gumdrops! Another work week has begun!” (Maybe I would if “gleeful golly gumdrops” was actually a part of my vocabulary.) But I recently discovered a song that seriously makes me dance. Picture me dancing frenetically with awkward fist pumping, jumping up and down and causing the cats to flee under the nearest piece of furniture for safety.

True story.

It’s called, appropriately enough, “Good Morning.” Remember Mandisa from American Idol? She sings it. (She, by the way, is a perfect example of how God’s way is not our own: she wanted to win Idol, no doubt, but the Lord had a much better plan for her. Idol was only the beginning.) Seriously, it makes me dance. I’m putting this song on a CD to listen to every day on my way to work. Because why shouldn’t I begin my day dancing? Why shouldn’t I begin my day with a smile on my face?

Some lyrics that speak to my heart:

Mandisa Good Morning - Official Lyric Video - YouTube - Mozilla Firefox 342012 31215 PM.bmp

Each new day is an opportunity to start over. I dwell on discouraging yesterdays too often—and what is it doing for me? Absolutely nothing. Wave it away.

Mandisa Good Morning - Official Lyric Video - YouTube - Mozilla Firefox 342012 31306 PM.bmp

This song reminds me that every morning should be a good morning, not just the mornings on Saturday or the mornings on a day I have something fun planned: every morning I’m alive is a good morning, because I’m incredibly blessed and I’m resting in the promise of the Lord’s faithfulness and justice.

Mandisa Good Morning - Official Lyric Video - YouTube - Mozilla Firefox 342012 31418 PM.bmp

He will give me all the strength that I need to get through everything the coming day will hand me. And let me tell you, I have had some rough days at work this year. But when I can not only acknowledge but truly believe that everything that comes my way is either decreed by Him or allowed by Him, suddenly the weight of circumstances disappears. Suddenly every morning is a good morning. Truly, what is there to be grumpy about?

So—let’s see if you can resist dancing like a maniac and scaring away your cats or your coworkers. And just try not to smile or tap your foot. I dare you.

Good morning!

LOVE it. And I love that it gets stuck in my head, making me feel like dancing all day long, even when the kid with the droopy pants tells me to stop bugging out and the girl with the ginormous fake nails tells me that she doesn’t care about passing. Inside, I’m still dancing. And it’s glorious.

Are you a morning person? What do you do in the morning to help you get started with the right attitude?


A bucket of joint compound once laughed at me.

Let’s play a game of Three Truths and a Lie, shall we?

1. I’ve never sent a text message.

2. I’ve never had a cavity.

3. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

4. I know how to open a bucket of joint compound.

#1-3 are all true. #4 is the lie. The big, big lie. In fact, a bucket of joint compound recently spent 22 minutes laughing at me.


True story.

But before I tell that story, I need to tell the necessary boring backstory. Basically, we’ve moved on from our closet for now and are focusing on the living room. This involves putting up a new ceiling because the original plaster one wasn’t in good shape, and after doing some research, (This Old House to the rescue) we decided that drywalling over it would be the best thing to do. That was done last weekend, and now I am in charge of mudding the cracks because Rick is playing the piano for the local high school musical (Legally Blonde!)and has pit band rehearsal just about every night of the week from now until the end-of-March performance. And I want my living room back. End of boring backstory.

I now present you:

22 Minutes in the Life of Erin

Or, Why Erin Needs Muscles, and Serious Help in General.

7:01. Locate giant 4.5 gallon bucket of joint compound to begin mudding the drywall cracks. Flex lack of muscles.

7:02. Attempt to move giant bucket of joint compound. Fail miserably. Think I hear soft giggling. Blame it on the cats.


7:03. Attempt to move giant bucket of joint compound again. Take a rest after moving said bucket approximately 3.72 inches.

7:06. Finally move giant bucket of joint compound the four feet into the living room.

7:07. Contemplate the need to begin lifting weights.

7:08. Notice that a safety strip needs to be pried off of the lid.

7:09. Pull on the safety strip. Pull on the safety strip again. Pull on the safety strip again and possibly detect faint snickering. Blame it on the cats.


7:11. Realize that merely pulling on the safety strip is doing nothing. Sit on the bucket and yank on the safety strip with hands tucked in sleeves because it hurts.

7:13. Fully remove safety strip with a flourishing final yank. Instant cat toy, ideal for tug-of-war.


7:14. Attempt to remove the lid. Wonder why it won’t move. Hear definite cackling emanating from someplace to the left of the instructions for use.


7:15. Realize that the little plastic sections around the edge need to be snapped up. Attempt to snap one up. Pull hands away in fear of breaking a finger. Catch a hee-haw.


7:16. Sit on the bucket and attempt to snap the sides up. Glare in the direction of the hee-haw.

7:18. Stand on bucket and attempt to snap the sides up. Shake my fist at the hee-haw.

7:20. Get the crowbar and attempt to snap the sides up. Hear a full belly laugh.


7:22. Slip with the crowbar and slice finger open. Cast a withering glance at the giggling bucket and smack it with the crowbar.


7:23. Give up and write this post instead.


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