Monday, March 31, 2014

Picture This: Week 13, 2014.

Last year, I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent was and is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Netflix for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that I care, guys. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. I don't want to get preachy. If you do this, I want to know so I can nose around. In the least creepy way possible. You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. Steph created one mid-year. Veronica does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. 


March 24, 2014

I'm trying to get back on the workout train with the "never miss a Monday" mantra. It's difficult when the gym is in the hotel lobby, however.


March 25, 2014

Something about light waves, as I lay on my back procrastinating sit-ups.


March 26, 2014

It's no wonder my package was missing items. Thanks, Target.


March 27, 2014

I've had the most injury-ridden start to 2014 - the latest being a near slice-to-the-bone after the knife went too easily through the cheese. Cheese is always my downfall. It's difficult to type when you won't stop bleeding.


March 28, 2014

I like to think that Henry feels a little remorse for the fact that my ankle is still swollen and I'm a club foot.

Friday night paint party. Note the apathy. Also, two different colors. The change between wet and dry isn't that drastic.


March 29, 2014

Birthday celebrations started with wine flights.


March 30, 2014

Birthday treats: Oreo blizzard with a bit of cake crunch.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Read This: Volume VIII.

I'm recapping some things I read this week that I found interesting, not to force you, because I can't, but because sharing is caring. This also holds me accountable and keeps me from zoning out on Pinterest every hour. 

This week is brought to you almost entirely by Zach. Some days, he sends so many articles that I question what he does at work (just kidding), and then that's all I read because they're coming in fast and furious. We're running the gamut here.


  • Biggest Star of March Madness is an 8-Year-Old Girl Fighting Cancer. In basketball, I'm a State fan first, loyal to the alma-mater, Ohio State, second. In a world where college athletes are highlighted for their missteps, this is a story of MSU's star and his friendship with a local girl fighting cancer. Their relationship is beautiful and genuine, and just so sweet. 
  • Caesarian Section Performed on Multiply Pregnant Turtle. I have a love/hate relationship with science and medicine sometimes, because I think we create problems and fixes and it can be a never-ending cycle. But when you can take a turtle to a hospital and they can perform a c-section to save her and the babies? That's pretty cool. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Window to the Oven.

There's really no use in making this post exciting. I cleaned the window to my oven, and it's novel enough to me that I'm going to write about it. It's also something that I've never experienced, which is odd in my lifetime of living with an oven.

When we moved in, our oven was gross. We cleaned it multiple times, but the front still looked like this - 


I found myself apologizing for it anytime someone came in the kitchen, explaining that it wasn't in the oven, and that I didn't know what to do about it. But the food's safe to eat. There were streaks of grossness weren't inside or outside the oven - they were in between the glass, in the door. How it got this way, I don't even way to imagine. It's nasty, and even a towel on the handle couldn't adequately keep it covered. Or I just knew it was there.


Finally, I got sick of it and went looking for a way to permanently fix it. I flipped down the door, and there were three screws. I didn't know what was what, so I just went about unscrewing any that I could get a grip on with a phillips head screwdriver. It turns out, the top screw (pointed out with an arrow below) was all I needed to undo to pop the door apart, and drop off the handle.


I kept my toolbox under the door to keep it from falling on the ground completely. That seems like it's easier than trying to hold it on and screw everything back together. I'm getting ahead of myself. 

The door popped open once those two top screws were out, like this:


I cleaned it with Windex and a vacuum. It was oddly dusty in there. When that was done, I wound the screws back in and folded the door back up.


I'll give you a moment to pull your jaw back off the floor. Right?! I promptly moved to towel storage options because I'm on a constant mission to de-clutter the room that it apt to be the dumping ground. 

I wanted an under-counter sliding towel rack. My parents have one and it seems to fit the bill: hides and holds towels. I couldn't finding the sliding version for the price I wanted (it was at Home Depot for $35), but I found this Decko #38190 Swing Arm Kitchen Towel Rack, Chrome for $7. That was much better. 


I bought that baby plunger because I thought we would need one designated for the kitchen sink. I don't think we do, but I go nuts when I'm in Lowe's.

It came with two screws, instructions on what size drill bit to use (I love that) and three functional, swinging arms. It's perfect. It holds the dish drying mat and a towel so easily, with room for one more.


And that is the only update to the kitchen thus far. But oh, what a wonderful update it is.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Picture This: Week 12, 2014.

Last year, I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent was and is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Netflix for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that I care, guys. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. I don't want to get preachy. If you do this, I want to know so I can nose around. In the least creepy way possible. You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. Steph created one mid-year. Veronica does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. 


March 17, 2014

Slowly, but surely, all of my major travels are being made into photo books from Shutterfly. No affiliation with them, I just drink a lot of Diet Coke and use the Coke points to get books. I find it easier to reminiscence this way, when I actually see the pictures outside of a random computer folder. 


March 18, 2014

Even when I'm 200 miles away, the kitten paws are on the windshield.


March 19, 2014

Daily vitamins.


March 20, 2014

When Steph visited, she brought Dinah to play with her cousins. That lurky cat cracks me up in this picture.


March 21, 2014

I finally watched Frozen and it was everything I dreamed it would be.


March 22, 2014

Cake tasting leftovers may be better than cake tasting.


March 23, 2014

Steph made catnip pouches for the beasts, and it must be some potent stuff. They jumped on the counter, got the sealed plastic bag of them, and ripped it open, all while smashing their faces on them. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Read This: Volume VII.

I'm recapping some things I read this week that I found interesting, not to force you, because I can't, but because sharing is caring. This also holds me accountable and keeps me from zoning out on Pinterest every hour. 


  • The Tragic Price of Ivory makes my heart heavy. I'm very partial to elephants, even participated in research when I want a tween, and know that these animals and their relationships closely remember that of humans. They're tight-knit, emotional, amazing animals. I'm so upset by their needless killings out of greed.
  • This professor's reaction to being told that his Big Bang theory was correct, and confirmed, is priceless. Dad, you'll love this.
  • 15 Reasons Why You Need Sleep is an article I feel like I read every six months, get real serious about sleep and taking care of myself, then I fall off the train to watch House of Cards. But #8, #9, and #12 are all me lately, and that needs to change. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Frosty.

We have a window in our shower. It looks straight to our neighbor's house, and Zach was insistent that you could see straight in. I was more skeptical as we have a decent sized backyard and the neighbor's house doesn't face us (it's perpendicular to us, so we just see their garage side), but the window is at chin-level, so I guess that's odd. In reality, the true concern is deer creeping on you. 


Sorry for the extreme nostalgia I'm imagining this post is causing. I'm lusting after my green lawn. Also, fall.

One of the first house projects was frosting that window. We'd love to put in glass block with a middle vent one day, but that's not in the cards money stack just yet.  That day is nowhere near, so we picked up a roll of window frosting, specifically this one: Gila PFW486 Privacy Residential Window Film, Frosted, 48-Inch by 6-1/2-Feet. They have coatings in all sorts of finishes and designs, but we opted for the most basic one that obstructed the view but not the light.  And after applying, you can 100% not see through this. We also grabbed the Gila RTK500 Window Film Application Tool Kit, Complete, because I wanted to install this baby without having to go back to the store. The kit seems just like Windex, a squeegee, and a razor, but everything was in boxes and either at the apartment, house, or my parent's house in Pittsburgh, so counting on finding any of those things was slim. Otherwise, I would've skipped the kit, and think that in a fully stocked house, you can apply this thing with Windex, a credit card/putty knife/other straight edge, and an exact knife.


First, I cleaned the window really well. The window frame had started to experience some rot, which is understandable in its high-moisture location, and little bits of grime kept sliding up when I sprayed it down.  Up, down, you keeping up? 


Once I had scrubbed and sanded out as much as I could, I measured the window. I rolled out the film and cut out the dimensions, allowing for an extra inch-and-a-half on each side. I added a strip of tape to each side of the film so that it would more easily peel off of the backing. All of this is in the instructions, but if you're reading this first, maybe you'll remember the tape when you read the instructions again. It really helps. Then, following the directions exactly, I sprayed the window directly with the application spray (which I think could be Windex). Next, I had my mum peel off the backing as I held the film. She then sprayed the film (the side that would hit the window pane) with the application spray. Obviously this was all impossible to photograph as two of us were both using both sets of hands. I then applied the film directly to the window and started smoothing out air bubbles with the mini-squeegee (i.e., credit card). When that was set, I used the razor to cut the excess. 


I gave it a day, then I ran a line of caulk where the glass hits the frame to further hold down the film and seal the area where the moisture could seep in. 


Since doing that, we've taken multiple daily showers for the past five months and it's held up very well (knock on wood). There aren't any signs of peeling or bubbling, and we don't know if our neighbors are trying to creep on us in the shower. It is still freezing showering in subzero temperatures, though. 


I'm reluctant to open the window when showering, but he's also fairly adamant that we do that for steam/mold/whatever purposes. It's a weird experience, showering and chilling in the winter. Even more strange, I know of spas that try to illicit that experience, so maybe we're just classy. The point of all of this was to show that even with the window open enough for venting purposes, you're still not going to see inside. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Picture This: Week 11, 2014.

Last year, I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent was and is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Netflix for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that I care, guys. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. I don't want to get preachy. If you do this, I want to know so I can nose around. In the least creepy way possible. You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. Steph created one mid-year. Veronica does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. 
March 10, 2014

As I write this recap, the latest snow threat seems so far away (we can see 80% of our yard, and it's a swamp). Here's to spring!


March 11, 2014

I had dinner with Zach's college friend on Monday, who recently found the deal of all deals in 18 bottles of wine for $80. Lucky for us, he shared the news and we jumped on it as well. It's over now, or else I'd share!


March 12, 2014

It's so weird working in Columbus and not being in college, having my college friends around, or my college-level of responsibility. I'm nostalgic, and wondering how I pull off my Columbus eating tour solo without too much shame.


March 13, 2014

A rare warm day calls for an overdue car wash.


March 14, 2014

Henry, my constant telework companion.


March 15, 2014

Steph was in for the weekend, so we did what we do best: accomplish a million project, one of which is the Olive Garden throw down. 


March 16, 2014

One such project: framing the bathroom mirror so it looks more polished than the standard. I'm in love with this upgrade - it was so easy, but makes the bathroom look like a million bucks. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Read This: Volume VI.

Sorry it's late! 

I'm recapping some things I read this week that I found interesting, not to force you, because I can't, but because sharing is caring. This also holds me accountable and keeps me from zoning out on Pinterest every hour. 


  • Ban Bossy is the newest in the crusade for women's equality. I love it, but I'm a not-so-closet feminist. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Picture This: Week 10, 2014.

Last year, I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent was and is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Netflix for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that I care, guys. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. I don't want to get preachy. If you do this, I want to know so I can nose around. In the least creepy way possible. You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. Steph created one mid-year. Veronica does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. 


March 3, 2014

We washed all of the bedding Monday night, and Copper was more than happy to help remake the beds.


March 4, 2014

After the aforementioned air cast, I was stuck working from home for the week (and unable to drive). Henry sat next to me, confused, for most of the week. This also has accelerated our desk plans because worked from a kitchen island isn't ideal.


March 5, 2014

This gnarly gash is from cleaning a picture frame. I popped out the glass to give it a shot of Windex and flip out the picture, and sliced myself up. Put this next to glue gun burns, for problems I never thought I'd experience.


March 6, 2014

When I left DC, I left my safe. It's almost ironic. Luckily, my friend Ellen was able to rescue it, and sent it this past week with the addition of Reese's eggs, that didn't stand a chance, and some chicks.


March 7, 2014

We received our first registry gift on Friday. It makes the living room feel more cozy and complete, and I'm impressed with Zach's skills in pattern-picking. Henry approved as well.


March 8, 2014

I visited with baby Charlotte on Saturday, who loves taking selfies. She's the sweetest.


March 9, 2014

I was brutally exhausted on Sunday, for no real reason. I hope this doesn't mean I'm getting sick. I worked on something, then would pass out for an hour. Repeat. Henry was happy to snuggle, but I think she's still feeling guilty about my swollen ankle.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Read This: Volume V.

I'm recapping some things I read this week that I found interesting, not to force you, because I can't, but because sharing is caring. This also holds me accountable and keeps me from zoning out on Pinterest every hour. This is quite the hodgepodge of topics this week; I've inadvertently covered all of my Internet-reading-bases. 

  • Microsoft: Finally, a PC for All Your Lady Stuff (Weddings, Pinterest). I hope you can read the extreme sarcasm in the title. I didn't mean for this to suddenly take a wedding theme (though I am deep in the planning trenches), but I couldn't take this outrage alone. And I'm still perplexed as to whom it coming up with these marketing ideas, who's missing in these meetings to shoot them down, and why I'm being talked to like a child.
  • Poor Leo is just one depiction of the Internet's obsession with Leo's lack of Oscar. I assumed he had one, and I hope the hilarity of this is some condolence to him. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tick tock, ya don't stop.

This idea for this post and project started months ago, in February of 2013.  I can't remember the name of the store, but that's not important because every store in Sweden was fantastic and I wanted to buy everything everywhere.  


As soon as I saw this book clock, I knew the perfect recipient: Veronica. I also saw a potential for this costing less than 339 kroner, or $52, and posing the threat of valuable luggage space. So I covertly snapped a picture because I wouldn't be able to talk myself out of a legal situation.

Once back in the States, I started scouring thrift stores for favorite hardcover books, or, more realistically, hardcover books with fun titles and fonts. The one book I really wanted to include was Alice in Wonderland, and since I couldn't find it in a month of thrift and library sale shopping, I ordered it online. It took a few months, but that's only because I was particular. You could raid a Goodwill in ten minutes.

I'm getting ahead of myself. I started with a clock. Specifically, a clock that resided in the kitchen for a few years and had a bad rap of 'ticking' too loudly. I found it soothing, but every roommate I've ever had (that would be three in that time frame) hated it.


I tore into it to get to the clock piece, which consisted of the battery box and hands that easily popped into the pin in the center of the box.

Then I played around with book placement. The box needed a certain amount of space behind the book spines, and I wanted to minimize the number of books I would be sawing through, thus the wider books in the center. I'm sorry I'm using my foot as a hand in the picture below. It's creeping me out.

I marked the placement lightly with a pencil before breaking out the exacto knife and cutting in. Pun intended. 


When I lined up the three books, I had a hollowed box. That's where the mechanical clock box will go. 


Is this making more sense? I pushed in the clock box and estimated where the center pin would line up and the hands would snap in. You can faintly see the marking on the white book in the middle of the author's name. I cut an 'x' on that stop with the exacto knife.


I was feeling pretty industrious at this point, and things were going so smoothly for just seeing something and then making it happen. It was too calm. I lined up all the books and realized the balance was off. Worse, I hadn't lined up the book spines. When I made my mock-up with my monkey feet above, I lined up the back of the books. What matters is that the spines, the fronts, are flush so the clock face is flat and the clock hands can tick around the front of the books. Whoops. It was nothing a little rearranging couldn't solve, but it did mean a bit more slicing.


I also had to dig out the spine. Apparently I took no pictures of this, but I had to separate the pages, or the thin, thin slivers of what was left of them, backed with their glue, from the spine. In effect, all that was left was the fabric spine cover. The clock pin could more easily punch through that.


Finally, I was ready to assemble. I fired up plugged in the hot glue gun, and coated the covers where they overlapped between books. The picture above helps to further show that the books immediately surrounding the clock are flush against the spine (front) while the rest are flush against the pages (back). I thought that configuration helped to make it look more like a real stack of books on a shelf. To keep the middle spines from flopping around (the ones with sections of pages cut out), I dragged a thin vertical strip of glue between the spines on the backside. Between the pages, I ran a line of glue across the top so individual books wouldn't pop open. I did that on the back, where it wouldn't be seen.


I didn't know where to keep my masterpiece, but had to hide it before it's reveal on Veronica's birthday. I'm not very good at keeping present secrets, especially when I'm excited about the present, so I hid it in plain sight, half hoping for her to find it. She didn't.

I did find that the clock hands weren't working perfectly, though. They were getting caught in different places because the book spines weren't completely flush. 

I went where I always go for a quick fix (both practically and for shopping withdrawals): Amazon. I found this Walnut Hollow 3 Piece Clock Kit, 3/4-inch kit that listed its dimensions, so I knew the pin would pop far enough through the book and have clearance to move.  


I inadvertently got a clock-hand upgrade, too. It's much better - the color contrast allows for the clock to be readable, the pin is long enough to allow for clock clearance, and the style is old-timely librarian to me. 

I didn't put numbers on the clock, partially because this clock isn't really for the practical, and partially because it's an addition to Veronica's clock collection, and not every clock in a collection needs to be able to tell time, I would venture. The kit did come with them, though, so there's always that possibility later. 

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