Get pregnant. Get other people to get things done. {Upstairs Renovation Progress}

If you’re in need of some motivation to get things done around your house, I recommend getting pregnant. If you’re in need of some motivation for sitting on the couch while your husband does all of the work around the house, I recommend getting pregnant.

How Rick spent his weekend:


How I spent my weekend:

DSC_1507 (2)Yep. This will be the post my students find.

See? It’s foolproof.

No, seriously, I didn’t sit on the couch the entire weekend. I did get up to, you know, urinate. But it goes without saying that renovation and pregnancy don’t necessarily play nicely, especially when the playground is a house built in 1897. I am not willing to take any risks with this avocado-sized being inside of me. So if I have to make the sacrifice of couch-sitting while serious labor goes on overhead, well, then, by all means, I will.

DSC_1511 (2)Somebody pass the brownies.

We do have a deadline for getting some key things done on this house of ours so that it is as ready as possible when baby arrives in October, AND so we don’t have to be tackling these projects when we’d rather be hanging out with baby…on the couch. ;)

Major part of that: Phase 3 in Revise the Upstairs Floor Plan Plan. (Phase 1 was our bedroom overhaul and Phase 2 was our closet/hallway revamp.)

floor plan upstairs

Thus, over the weekend, Rick and his parents and my dad did some serious drywalling and closet building. We opted to drywall over the disastrous plaster in our upstairs common room because  the walls were like the skin of a 48 year-old person who tanned too much in their youth. And then you have the sponge paint texture that would still subtly be there even once we painted and you have a splotchy orange spray tan ON TOP OF said over-tanned skin, adding insult to injury. (Note: I’d show a picture for comparison but I just about barfed when I googled it, so you’ll just have to rely on my vivid imagery.) Spending $100ish to drywall over it was the best and easiest solution—and now we will have nice smooth walls no longer riddled with leathery orange wrinkles and age spots. I mean…giant dings and cracks.

Friday morning:


By Saturday afternoon! Magic! I felt like one of those people on HGTV who goes away for the day and when they come home their house is improved. I even shrieked and sobbed tears of happiness. Except not really.


These magical beings also framed out and drywalled the walk-in nursery closet, which cuts into the common room but still leaves a good-sized space. There was no closet space in the nursery before, and we obviously need somewhere to hang the 800 onesies that we will get at our baby showers.




New view from the baby’s room. (The freshly skim-coated and sanded walls ironically resemble a sponge paint treatment. Hmm.)


Overall, a giant step in the right direction. Not bad for a weekend on the couch, eh?


Was your weekend more like mine, or Rick’s? Any predictions as to whether the nursery will be for a boy or a girl? We’ll find out in about a month. :)


Radioactive Martian Chandelier {Bathroom Lighting Color Conundrum}

Our half bath was recently overtaken by aliens. This particular breed of alien is known to masquerade as overhead lighting. Its MO involves devouring boob lights. The fluorescent green color commonly known as Rustoleum Key Lime? Another red flag. Er, green flag.


Key lime? Seriously, if your key lime pie is this color, do not eat it. It is probably radioactive and made by aliens and you will probably spontaneously begin growing extra elbows, and teeth will probably sprout out of your head. And then the world will blow up before Tom Cruise can save the day.

rustoleum key lime spray paint

(All because you ate some pie. For real.)

In case you were wondering, this is the chandelier before it was abducted by space creatures. I imagine this is what the soul of Sigourney Weaver’s crewmate looked like before a cute li’l alien burst out of his chest.


To be honest, such an electric hue is really outside my comfort zone. Good thing it’s only spray paint. My goal was to use a color in my current spray paint stash, which meant my choices were limited to a few. A few dozen. But I can change it again in just a few minutes if I decide that Alien isn’t my preferred decorating style.


I actually also pondered the idea of repainting the stripes to better match the chandy (what was supposed to be gray is more a pale purple) but then Rick, in his superior intelligence (he’s currently killing the medicine category on Jeopardy), said “Why, because you loved painting stripes on our crooked house so much the first time?” And then I remembered.

half bath 011

Alien or not, I still think it’s all an improvement over the other creatures of the sky that formerly inhabited the room.

half bath

What do you think? Can I make it work? Or should I send this alien back to Mars and pick a less extraterrestrial color? All kind thoughts and ideas are welcome. :)

Linking up to That DIY Party!


Six Easy Designs for Handmade Cards

It’s been a lot of years since I bought a card from the store. This might have something to do with the fact that I have enough card-making supplies stashed to build a small village out of cardstock and then fuel said village indefinitely using solely scrapbook paper.

One thing that sometimes gets me stuck, though, is deciding on a good layout for any given card. So as I was making a birthday card for my mother-in-law, I thought that I’d put together a little post on easy designs for handmade cards, just in case any of you want to make your own (perhaps for Mother’s Day? Father’s Day? Flag Day? My birthday is coming up in June…) but aren’t sure where to start.

easy layouts for homemade cards

Bonus tip before we begin: The key to any handmade card is layers. It’s sort of like putting together an outfit: everything that is added to the base via accessories or pattern only adds character and dimension and interest. (Within reason, of course. There is such a thing as too much bling. And too much mullet. Okay, so not everything you can add is helpful.)

Anyway, the birthday card I made for my mother-in-law has five total layers: the black card base, the polka dot paper, the ribbon, the aqua paper, and then the text. I guess you could count as a sixth layer the red dots that I added with marker.


With that in mind, here are six easy layouts (with multiple layers illustrated) for making your own handmade cards. They are so easy your dog could make them. So easy your husband could make them. (Okay, let’s not push it. Hi Rick.) ;)

easy layouts for homemade cards

Layout #1: A basic layout with predictable centered alignment. Keeping the sentiment and ribbon in the upper half divides the overall space in a less-uniform way.

easy homemade card layout

Layout #2: Same as layout #1…but with the focus shifted slyly to the bottom half of the card instead of the top.

easy homemade card layouts

Layout #3: This one shifts to landscape. The ribbon divides the bottom half of the card and placing the sentiment to the right instead of the center makes the overall design look neat but not too contrived. 

simple homemade card layouts

Layout #4: Here we get wild and crazy and use not one, but two ribbons. The two ribbons add a bit more visual interest since everything is in the smack center of the card.

simple homemade card designs

Layout #5: Two ribbons again, but here the sentiment and ribbons are shifted to the right half to divide the space in a more unpredictable way.

simple homemade card design

Layout #6: In more wild and crazy news, here the ribbon has the audacity to hang off the page and not even be cut in a straight line. The nerve.

simple homemade card layout












Of course these are just six of the many possibilities, and the sizes and shapes used in each can be adjusted for even more variation. And adding a blinged-out mullet would be a variation, too. Perhaps when celebrating National Mullet Awareness Day.

Are you a handmade card person, or do you prefer to buy? Will you ever attempt a handmade card? If we pooled our card-making resources, could be build a small country instead of just a village? Now accepting recommendations for the name of said village.

Linking up to Tater Tots & Jello!


Thirteen-Week Bump Check Comedy

You’ll have to humor me. We’ve been taking bump pictures every four weeks and, well, at 13 weeks, my pants no longer button up: a fact that I am way too excited about. Seriously, I love my baby belly…at least for now while it isn’t making me tip over and/or want to expunge its contents immediately because hello a human being has been shacking up in there for like a million months.

I call this 13-week one “Blown Away By Bump.”


See what I did there? ;)

Here’s hoping my next bump check lives up to the high standard of comedy established by this one.


Magically Magical Den Updates

Contrary to the popular belief established by me not mentioning our house progress in like 9.38 years, we do still live here and, believe it or not, we do still complete projects. We’ve even done them in the past 9.38 years. They just haven’t made the blog because, well, let’s face it, not much at all has made the blog lately unless you are a tiny human being inside of me and/or a mermaid. And/or a tiny mermaid inside of me.

Wait, that just got weird.

Anyway…today, friends, that all changes! Because today, I am going to do a magic trick. It is a magic trick in which a room transforms slowly over the past 6 months but not that you would know within minutes before your very eyes. It’s magical. (Like most magic tricks.) So blink six times, wave one big toe above your head, then spin around shouting SPARKLY YELLOW PONIES BY THE SEASHORE KAZIZZLE KAMIZZLE KABLAMMO in your best Mongolian accent.



When you started reading this post, that same exact room looked like this. I swear.


Magic, right? New rug, new sofa, new curtains, new-to-us giant ottoman (seriously, it’s 38” across) new-to-the-room pillows and blankets and lamps.


Aaaand new fireplace, new-to-us mirror, new-to-the-room desk and computer. (This trick keeps getting better and better.) When we got the couch and the fireplace in there way back in December (erm, I mean, way back 3 seconds ago), we decided we wanted the space to be more functional overall, so we moved the desk in. Using an entire room for a computer always seemed like a waste of space to us, anyway, and we love it being out of the “office” and right here in the middle of our living space.


If the mirror below looks like it’s going to fall over, it is. Note to self: attach giant heavy specimen of mirror to the wall. I mean, make Rick attach giant heavy specimen of mirror to the wall.


The current end tables are the nesting tables I got at a yard sale a while ago and are temporary until we find new ones that fit better.


My next scheduled magic trick involves hanging stuff on the walls. So if you know the right combination of spinning-kablammo-ponies-chanting to make that happen for, like, free AND while I sit on the couch eating my 28th meal of the day watching Parks and Recreation, let me know.

liv rm before and after

What would you like magically done on your house? Who else loves Parks and Recreation as much as I do? Anyone need a physical therapist after following my toe-raising magic instructions? If you want to sue me, my name is Cordelia Swingleflop and I live in the deep woods of Colorado and I have never heard of Parks and Recreation or magic.

Linking up to Tater Tots & Jello!


Three Ridiculous Things I Have Cried At in the Past 24 Hours

The conversation goes something like this:

Erin: (Upon seeing something highly emotional like a fairly hideous cat eating Fancy Feast food out of a ceramic dish) *Sniffle* *Snuffle* *Pbbbhhhfftt* (That’s a nose blow, obviously, like you had to ask.)

Rick: Are you crying?

Erin: No…I’m just…it’s just…so cute…

I embarrass myself.

I’m going to blame the mommy hormones, but the truth is that I’ve been tearing up easily since around the time I got married.*

*This is no reflection of how I feel about my life as a wife.

But my condition has become exaggerated in, oh, the past 12 weeks. And possibly the past 24 hours. Why do I know so? The proof:

Ridiculous Thing That Made Me Cry #1: An article in Parents magazine about a family who visited all 50 states. So sad. I mean, so happy. I mean, so Iamgoingtogohidemyfaceinshamenowbecauseitwasinthemiddleofthecardealershipservicearea.

Ridiculous Thing That Made Me Cry #2: John Dipasquale telling me on Channel 8 news that it is going to be 73 degrees on Thursday. *Sob.* Darn you, John. Next time, give a less miserable forecast, for real.

Ridiculous Thing That Made Me Cry #3: A Toviaz commercial. Toviaz is used to treat frequent urination. But really, it is an unfortunate malady; who wouldn’t cry? (Um…the entire known world.) What if that someone is shopping for her daughter’s wedding dress and can’t *sob* stay in the room because she needs to GO? (The answer is still the entire known world and possibly also the inhabitants of Neptune, who have never heard of Toviaz.)


cat puke

Do you cry easily? What ridiculous stuff has made you tear up? Are you crying right now? Confess.

Want to read more?

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