Monday, February 27, 2012

My Opinion Monday - renovation realities

They don't show this stuff on HGTV so I'm going to show it here on my blog -mostly so my mom - hi mom! - can see the disaster progress that has taken place.

We start with a seemly normal kitchen, the standard 1995 remodel - navy blue was in during the 90's for sure (my mom's kitchen has blue accents too and a floor very similar to this one - which we both hate - seriously manufacturers, white flooring in a KITCHEN??? really though WHITE FLOORING?? what are you thinking? and what are WE thinking for even considering that as a choice?? but I didn't pick this, the previous owners did. phew!)

So here are the BEFORE pictures of this accidental remodel:

It's clean now...but just wait

A whole bunch of wasted space in my opinion...

Then I bought a couple shelves from IKEA and that's where this all stems from:
New wall color, new panel color - obviously
Even though I'd like to blame it on this:
"This is easy babe!" Um yes I know this is the easy PART.
It all sucks from here. Remember how I've done this before?
I just realized I didn't post that remodel of the Jefferson casa.
I came home to this the other night after work. I was less than impressed...but look at how nicely his pants match his "Palin Stanzi 2012" shirt! Luckily his parents were coming the weekend to help out. I'd seen his painting skills...they were best left on the golf course tee markers and such. I am uber particular, as is his mom, so I was awaiting her help with painting the cabinets. 

In the meantime, this is what the place started to look like:
No worries - the booze has not left the kitchen. 
You only get one picture, it pretty much sums it up. 

Then I bought some cabinets off Craigslist and things started coming together with the help of his dad:
The 2 smaller cabinets are upper cabinets so they built
a base for those, complete with a toe kick area. 

But first we had to do this:

Which sucked since we'd JUST painted all that damn trim. It's still behind
the cabinets though...well, behind the smaller cabinets I should say. 
And this is what we had before our ambitious evening: 
I need the doors to be back on. The 'open shelf' concept
will not work in this least this side anyways.
And without the backsplash now:
Looks better already!

And this - except these have been painted with the charcoal gray color that you see on the frames above:
The punching bag has gotten a bit of use during this project...but only
because I kept bumping into it by accident. And yes, it's from Goodwill too.
So there you have it.  The stuff they don't show on HGTV that all of us who have been through a remodel before has experienced. 

And if none of that makes sense, here's the color palette:

Imagine concrete countertops, a mable slab on the accent cabinets wall and some new flooring....and none of the mess!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Need to hem your jeans? Check out this tutorial!

I'm short. I tell people I'm 5'1 1/2" - like the 1/2inch makes a whole bunch of difference. I use to wear heels a lot so I could pass for 5'4" on a good day. I wear flats WAY more than I like to admit and in turn need to hem every.single.pair.ofjeansIown. I had to do this when I wore heels - well, should have - but now it's more of a necessity than a "oh, I can just roll those up, no biggie..." now. I recently hemmed about 3 pair of jeans and thought "I should take some really crappy cell phone pictures of this to post on my blog in case anyone else feels the urge to do this!" So here it is: my attempt at a tutorial.

You will need the following:
* 1 pair of really long jeans (if this your first attempt, you might practice on a cheap pair)
* 1 pair of pinking sheers (or scissors - the pinking sheers will help prevent fraying though)
* a sewing machine
* a few straight pens
* ruler or tape measure
* glass of wine (optional - but recommended)

Step 1 - Try your jeans on and roll one leg up to the desired length. Place a straight pen in the SEAM of that fold - that will allow you to unroll the leg but still have the length marked. Lay the jeans out on a flat surface and cut one leg to the desired length. Cut ABOVE the pin just slightly - if you cut below the pin, your jeans may turn out a bit longer than you'd hoped (which is fine if this is your first rodeo). I cut above the pin as you'll be adding a bit of length back in a following step. Cut the second leg using the first legs cut as a guide.

Step 2 - Cut the excess material about 1/2 inch above the factory hem. This will allow you to keep that factory hem so you don't look like a second graders whose mom just turned the jeans under and sewed because it was good enough....I speak from experience. Doing this will keep the professional hem and no one will be able to tell you shortened them on your own!

See - cut 1/2 inch above the factory hem. 
 Step 3 - Turn the small piece of jean circle INSIDE OUT. This is very importante - you always want to sew right sides together in order to get this right - right?

Have a drink of wine. You're going to need it for this next step.
Step 4 - Now FLIP the piece around. This part is kind of hard to explain. Essentially the side that was on the right will now be on the left and the side that was on the left will now be on the right. Then wrap the smaller section AROUND the jean leg and match the cut edges like so:

Have some more wine if you can't figure this out. Then call me. 

Here's a close up of that step. Put a pin near the side seam - this will ensure that those match up when you sew. If the seams do not match up, everyone will know you did this on your own. You don't want people to know that until AFTER they compliment you. If they say it looks dumb, you do not take credit for it. If they say it looks great, by all means, tell them you did it!

Step 5 - Sew the two pieces (meaning the jean leg and the piece you cut, flipped around and pinned) together. I like to keep my sewing foot right about 1/4 inch from the factory hem. When you're sewing, you'll want to make sure you're not pulling or stretching too much or else you'll end up with too much jean on one side. I start by sewing over one side seam and holding out the other side seam and sewing. That will give you some control over the stretch factor.

Step 6 - You are almost done! How's the glass of wine? Now's a good time to work on that too. This is what your leg will look like after you've finished sewing. Pat yourself on the back if yours even closely resembles this.

Step 7 - Plug your iron in and heat that up to the appropriate setting - cotton unless your pants have way more elastic than cotton. Iron the seam open. You don't really have to do this but it just makes for a nice finished product and will make the new hem lay properly. If you're in a rush, use a hair straighter to do this - those work fantastically on this type of seam!

Step 8 - slam the rest of the wine because you are FINISHED! Trim extra frays (I should have taken my own advice huh?) and viola - your jeans are hemmed to your perfect length and are ready to wear!

If you find that you were too generous with the length and need them shorter, just take out the seam and cut the leg a little bit shorter and then sew back together again. If you find that you've cut them too short, make them into jorts. Everyone loves a good pair of jorts, no? (Jorts = Jeans + Shorts)  Or you could make them capris. Or just drop them off at the local Goodwill, run inside and grab yourself a new pair to practice on and try again before attempting on your expensive jeans.

I've done this so many times and if I don't f* it up in the first couple steps, I can be start to finish in about 15 minutes. Did you know you would have to pay someone between $15-$20 to do this for you? Look at all the money I'm saving you! But if you can't figure it out, I'll do it for $10.

I hope that you find this tutorial easy to follow - if not, please tell me. I have a way of over explaining things. Did you like this tutorial? Would you like to see more? Leave some feedback in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Opinion Monday - Chris Brown and the Grammy Awards

(forgot to post on Monday!)

So I watched about 15 minutes of the Grammy's last night. The only 2 performances I wished I'd never saw were Chris Brown (with a whole bunch of other people) and Nicki Minaj. I'm only going to talk about Chris Brown because I have a lot to say about him...but I can sum it all up in what I posted on Facebook after his performance:

"wonder how excited the crowd would be if pictures of rhianna's beaten face flashed on the screens behind chris browns performance..."

If you want to see the picture of her face, you can click here and the read some really dumb Twitter updates (from really dumb girls) while he was performing. 

I just think it's absolutely ridiculous how he is still popular. I'm pretty sure I didn't care for his music in the first place (I wouldn't buy it if I had an ipod) but after he beat the crap out of Rhianna, I really dislike him. I'm just not sure how everyone still supports him and feels okay about it at the end of the day. 

I know that people make mistakes and bad decisions. But this decision deserves a consequence. Making him rich and famous is not a consequence. It only shows others what you can get away with. I just find it really sad and I do not and will not support him or his music. 

What I would say about Nicki Minaj pales in comparison to Chris Brown so I'll just leave it at that. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Opinion Monday - about Monday

It's here. The dreaded Monday. According to all my friends on Facebook, this is the most loathed day of the week. I wish I didn't agree. I wish Monday meant more than peeling yourself out of bed from the NyQuil induced coma you put yourself in a mere 8 hours before and throwing on something that looks remotely professional and getting to work on time - but still late. (I'm a late on-timer. Like I'm late everyday, but I'm on time everyday. 8:20(ish) is when I start - see, late but on time...maybe this only makes sense to me?).

On Monday I always feel like I'm coming down with something - a cold, strep throat, being pregnant (kidding) - and most of the time if I can just get myself out of bed, into the shower and off to work, I'm doing just fine by noon and can make it through the rest of the day knowing that my bed is awaiting me when I get home. Along with everything else I neglected to do over the weekend because I was too busy being 21 and drinking all day Saturday and then couldn't function on Sunday to do anything more than make chicken for dinner since we ate breakfast and lunch via fast food. Needless to say, I'm too old to be day drinking. 

But today I'm feeling like I really am getting strep. Strep and I have this long standing winter relationship that normally takes over about 3 times a year. Knock on wood - I've not had it this year. I really hope it's just a case of the Monday's and it's just a sore throat from the change in weather. Thanks to that stupid groundhog we got 5 inches of snow a couple days later. I feel like if it were Friday and I had awesome weekend plans (which I do have this weekend so I am hoping to goodness this is just a scratchy throat), I would be just fine. Monday just does something to all of us.

Monday makes  us cranky, irritated that the weekend is over so quickly, pissed that we didn't get what we wanted to get done in our mere 2 days of rest, tired because we have to get up 5 days in a row and be somewhere (late) on time, sluggish because we fell off the diet bandwagon, and completely not prepared for the week. Why is that? Am I the only one that feels this way? I know I'm not, it's all over Facebook - and even Pinterest, with all those catching "Monday Sucks" posters and such (I'm sure they exist, I can make one with black sharpie and copy paper if needed).

The only thing I look forward to on Monday is knowing that in 2 days, it's Wednesday and then in 2 days it's Friday. But sadly, 2 days from that is Monday. Oh the vicious cycle. I use to work with an older gentleman that would everyday remind me that it was not yet Friday. Picking up trash on Monday "It ain't Friday." Picking up trash on Tuesday "It ain't Friday." Seeing him in the hall on Wednesday "It ain't Friday." And then on Friday "It's Friday, but in two days it'll be Monday."

Maybe someday we'll all learn to love Monday. I have a feeling we'll only do that when Monday is considered part of the weekend (because we're all only working 4 days a week at that point and we collectively decided that Monday should be on the weekend and not Friday because Friday already rocks).

In your best Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex in the City peeps) voice:  "Would we then loathe Tuesday as much as we loathe Monday now?"

Ponder that, or tell me how much you love Monday in the comments below. I'm off to take some NyQuil and wait for Tuesday.
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