Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dear Pottery Barn: anything you can do, we can do better :)

Are you singing the song in your head right now? Ha! 

Pottery Barn - $149
It's been a part of our DIY to-do lists for probably going on 2 years now.  In a push to get some things around the house crossed off our list before Misty's baby shower (which is Saturday!) the hubby finally got going on making this fixture a reality. 

I purchased the white cords from IKEA, I think in the same trip as the farmhouse sink, so as you'll remember that was well over a year ago.  Joey make the wooden box from scrap materials he has lying around.  I give him so much grief for keeping every piece of scrap wood, so I will admit it, it came in handy this one time.  We stained it to resemble our kitchen table and countertops.  I love the little beadboard detail that he threw in there too. 

Our previous builder grade light fixture had 5 arms and produced plenty of light so I figured that we didn't need to add another 11 lights like this PB fixture.  You would have to wear your sunglasses at the dinner table! 

After some intense moments holding it up while standing on top of the dining room table we got it put into place and the power turned back on and PRESTO!  Our glorious shining mason jar light fixture is operational.  It gives off ample light and i think maybe even makes the room look a little bigger.  I just love it!

Another project that has been on my to-do list for a long time is the wooden ruler growth chart.  We bought the wood for this project back in February and it's been sitting in the basement for several months.  I don't know why I wait so long to do stuff like this because it really was a quick project.  I stained the wood with Aged Oak, let dry overnight.  The next evening with the help of my math superstar husband we got to work on the ruler portion.  I was a little scared, okay a lot scared, of messing it up.  But, with this nifty gadget, square level thingy it was pretty easy.  I used a sharpie marker so there was no dry time involved here! 

Online the ruler sells for $59 and the mason jar fixture $149.  The 16 jar fixture sells for $399!!!  We tried to figure up how much we saved and we figured between the wood for the ruler (probably about $10, already had stain on hand and a sharpie marker) and the cords for the light fixture (maybe $20 total?, already had wood and stain) and I did buy new mason jars so they would be nice and clean (less than $10) we saved at the VERY least $168 and really more like $418 because our fixture is more like the $399 version!  I wish someone would give me the $418 because think how much I could do in our house for that much! 

In other house news, Joey is currently working on building a small deck that will eventually step down to a stone patio.  I'm narrowing down paint colors for K's room.  I picked about 5 different shades similar to the kitchen island and the laundry room and when I got them all home and held them against the laundry room wall I realized they were all almost identical.  I guess that means I like that color?  When the deck is complete we are going to get started on the screen door for the laundry room. 

In other, other news, I am FINALLY completing the 5K off my 29th year bucket list.  This Saturday, the morning of Misty's shower, because you know, why not?  I will be the first  to admit I am nowhere near ready to run it, but I know I can walk it.  I can't believe it, just another 20 days left in my 20's!  But, ready for a fun party and then ready for vacation! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the benefit

It's taken me a week to finally get my thoughts together on the wonderful, marvelous night I experienced last Thursday.  So glad to finally be writing these down. 

I haven't give you much of an update on my bestie, Misty and her journey with cancer as she enters her last trimester of pregnancy.  I hope that you have been keeping up with her blog too.  If you haven't stopped over yet, do it right now! 

For a brief update, Misty and baby boy are doing well.  She's almost 2 months away from getting to meet his sweet little chunky face.  I can't wait.  I want to kiss his face and just tell him how much I love him and his mommy.  EK! 

I'm hosting Misty's baby shower next weekend.  Misty requested an evening shower in an effort for it to resemble more of a girls night and I was more than happy to oblige!  It's going to be a super fun and chill evening with lots of good food, laughter and lots of sweet memories made. 

So, back to last Thursday.  It was a night I'll never forget.  Along with about 12 other girlfriends, we hosted a benefit in honor of Misty.  The purpose was to raise some funds to give directly to Misty to help with her medical expenses.  Our little planning committee only met twice, we had about a month to prepare, and together hosted probably the best damn benefit EVER! 

This awesome tavern in Covington, Blinkers, so graciously offered for us to take over their entire restaurant for the evening.  They donated a portion of their beverage and food sales directly to Misty.  Over 200 people packed that tiny little tavern and spilled out onto the sidewalk all the way down the block. 

We gathered the most incredible raffle items ever.  People were going crazy buying tickets.  My dear friend Beth made us girls who were selling tickets the most adorable aprons ever to wear that evening to hold the money from the raffle sales.  I had so much money in my apron I could barely get my hand in there to get it all out.  Times that by 12 girls with aprons. 

The outpouring of love that was shown to Misty was incredible.  The friends who drove hours to be there for Misty on a Thursday night was incredible.  The random people who didn't know Misty from anybody that came anyway to support her was incredible.  The waitress who emptied her pockets of her tip money for Misty was incredible.  I don't think I can say it enough, it was just an unbelievably touching experience to be in that restaurant with so many wonderful people. 

Misty was able to be at the benefit for a few hours.  She looked radiant.  And so happy. 

The benefit was for Misty.  It was to honor her as our courageous friend. On that night, it wasn't about cancer.  Cancer didn't even get an invitation to the party.  This benefit was a celebration of her friendship to all of us.  It was created for her because each of us know that if we were ever in need she would have done the exact same thing for us and even better! 

We sold (are are still selling) bracelets with the words Peace. Love. Hope.  I wear this bracelet everyday with my watch.  Every time I look at my watch I see those words and say a silent prayer of peace, love and hope for my best friend.  I pray that she will find peace with her diagnosis someday.  I pray that she feels the love of all of her friends and family around her all the time.  I pray that she finds hope in something everyday. 

A special shout out and thank you to my momma too.  Your unwavering support of me and Misty throughout the years in the numerous "big ideas" that we've concocted means more to me than you'll ever know. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

cross it off the list - 2012 Kentucky Derby!

As I inch ever so close to the big 3-0 birthday, I'm also inching closer to finishing off my bucket list items.  One big one was to attend the Derby, hat and all.  This past Saturday, May 5, 2012 I did just that.  It was fun, crazy and HOT.  We made lots of memories that day and it was a day I won't soon forget!  

Our chariot picked up our crowd of around 30 in the parking lot of a furniture store at 8am.  I actually had to get up earlier than I do on a normal work day.  Funny how I sprung out of bed this day, but can barely get it together to get out the door to work...

Anyway, we picked our seats on the bus, got cozy with some nutritious breakfast.  Yup, that would be a sprinkled donut and a giant coke from McD's.  What? Weight Watchers?  Not TODAY!  

Remember, another reason for this trip is my friend from high school who is married to one of my hubby's friends from high school was turning 30.  And it was Cinco De Mayo.  The trifecta of celebrations.  
The birthday girl!

The "fillies"
We arrived at Papa John's stadium after 10am.  We would park the charter bus here and then take a short shuttle ride to Churchill Downs.  I had heard this is where a lot of the college kids go to "tailgate" before the Derby.  Oh. My. Gosh. Tailgate they did.  I still think of myself as a spring chick, but man did the sight of those college kids make me feel old.  And apparently they thought we were celebrities.  They swarmed our group.  We were definitely the most dressed up group in the lot.  And probably the oldest, like by 8-10 years.  And they COULD NOT get over the idea that most of us had kids.  But, nevertheless, it was fun to hang out there and thank my lucky stars that I'm no longer in college and that I can afford the finer things in life, like cold beverages in bottles and clothing that does not include cut off overalls.  

This girl.  Cut off overalls.  Tiny sombrero hat.  Hot. Mess.
After heading into Churchill Downs we found our way to the paddock area soaked in the sights.  We attempted to find Joey's brother and sister in law who made the trip from Miami, Florida.  But, if you've ever been to the Derby you know that cell phone service is spotty at best and we never could connect with him.  We even went as far as searching the infield for nearly 2 hours in the muddy disaster looking for a blue pop up tent with no avail.  BUT, we did run into my friend from college in the tunnel leading to the infield!  

My friend, Alex!

We left the infield and joined back up with our group we traveled with and spent the rest of the day enjoying the Derby.  We had a front row seat to the parade of owners and handlers as they made their way through the paddock area and to Millionaire's Row.  

It was a loooooooooong day, my feet were throbbing, but I wouldn't trade that day for anything!  We had SO much fun with our friends who we never get to do this kind of stuff with.  To Nikki, you did 30 proud!  Thanks for having a birthday and thanks to your awesome husband for getting it all together! 

So what's left on the ol' to-do list?  

Run/walk 5K - scheduled for June 2nd!  Have I started training?
Take some video with my 8mm app.  - can't believe I still haven't done that.  
Try a yoga class.
Get to the Findlay Market 
Get some kiss my 20's goodbye pictures taken. - I'm chickening out, these might turn into family portraits :)  

And yet again, my 30th birthday party is being taken down another notch.  Life just got BUSY.  I am headed to my favorite restaurant on Sunday to check out their party room.  Let's face it, this way I won't have to clean up!  HA!  

Hope ya'll had a fun Cinco de DERBY weekend!