Saturday, June 16, 2012

Unwinding and Redecorating

The last 48 hours have been rather emotional for me. I am sure I will blog about it later after I sort out my feelings and set aside my anger, frustration, and tears about the situation.

I decided to allow myself to have a well-deserved adult beverage, a bowl of ice cream, and unwinding on Pinterest.

Slowly but surely I have been updating all of the rooms in our home. I still have the ruffle curtains to make for the master bedroom.

In navy blue of course!
And I have the toy box makeover to do for my daughter's room. I want a special place for her to put all of her dress-up clothes.

Now I starting to find ideas to update the living room. Everything is pretty neutral, but I have a vase full of flowers from Pier 1 that are my inspiration.

I really like to "pop" the purple flowers add, so I want to add little bits of purple throughout the living room.

Our micro-suede couches came with like a million pillows, so I would like to make 1 or 2 pillows with a deep purple felt flower and pillowcase fabric like this:

Joel Dewberry - Aviary 2 - Lodge Lattice in Lilac

I would also like to make this window:

Look like this:

Suspender curtains!
Here are a few of the fabrics I like:

Swavelle/Mill Creek Chichester Khaki, I would use dark purple suspenders!
Riley Blake Designs "So Sophie" by My Minds Eye
Joel Dewberry Blockprint Blossom in Amethyst
It seems like everytime I complete a project, I add 10 more to my list! I am excited about getting all of these projects complete. I wonder what Hubs will think when he gets home, I wonder if he'll even notice HAHA!

I will get to all of these after I finish turning the pile of fabric and ribbons into pillowcase dresses for one of my friends :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wanna Run?

I decided this week to do something that I have always wanted to do, but I have been too chicken sh*t to do: I WILL run a half-marathon! 

I don't know exactly what inspired me to finally take the leap; maybe because I'm in the best shape I have ever been in and I figured, why the hell not?

I have been pestering my friends for all sorts of advice. I found a 10 week plan to prep for the big run. So far, I have ran twice. Each time was 3 miles and I had no problems with it. Hooray!

2 years ago when I was 65lbs heavier, I never imagined I could be training to run a half-marathon. I can't wait to share my journey to the half-marathon with everyone!

While I was online searching for a training plan, I came across some inspiration I wanted to share:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

DIY Painted Curtains

I am so excited about sharing this project! This one has taken a little longer than others, mostly because I am a perfectionist and I could only work on this at night when Little Miss was asleep. Why? Because everytime she saw me with a paintbrush, she wanted to "help"! Oh goodness I think I am raising her to be crafty like her momma....

Here is what I used:

1. A Navy blue Room Darkening Window Panel, 84" long. 
             - I found this at WalMart, on sale, for $5!
2. Acrylic Paint
             - I was trying to match my new bedding set, so I was 
                trying to make a greyish silvery color. I mixed a grey
                with a silver, and voila!
3. Fabric Painting Medium
            - This was to help the acrylic paint stick to the fabric so
               it won't wash out. I found it at AC Moore. 
4. Stencil
           - I found this printable stencil here at Jones Design
             Company. However, I suggest if you are planning
             on painting the ENTIRE curtain, that you buy a big
             stencil! You can find those on Etsy.
5. Paint Brush
6. Chalk
7. Something to put under the curtain to prevent the paint
    from bleeding onto your floor or table, I used newspaper. 

Okay now that you have all your supplies, you are ready to begin!

Layout your curtain and grab your stencil. I used my daughter's chalk to trace the outline of the stencil onto the curtain.

I only wanted to paint the top third of my curtain, so that is all I had to stencil. Again, if you want to paint the entire curtain I strongly suggest you purchase a large design stencil and forgo this step altogether!

Then came the fun part, painting! I moved my project to the dinner table so I wouldn't have to be sitting hunched over on the tile floor for hours. I laid down newspaper under the curtain.

For my paint mixture, I did a big blob of grey paint. Then used approximately half as much silver to add the shimmer. I mixed it all up. Then I added the fabric medium, it says on the directions to add it in a 2:1 ratio to the rest of the paint, then came more mixing.

I traced over my chalk markings with the paint and tried to be as careful as possible. But since we are using acrylic paint and it is water based, if you mess up you can just wipe it off with a damp cloth! Phew.

These curtains were thicker, so it took 3 coats of paint total. I allowed it to dry about an hour between each coating. The first layer was the hardest to do, the curtains really sucked up the paint quick! The next two coats went pretty quickly.

I painted from left to right, top to bottom. Notice how the designs to the right and bottom have fewer coats of paint.

After it was all said and done, the paint dried over night, then I ironed that all to seal the paint (it said to do so on the bottle of paint medium). I used wax paper between the hot iron and the curtain just in case the paint decided to do anything funny. I took down the old curtain, hung up the new one and here is how they look:

Curtain open!

Nice and dark with the curtain closed!
See how nicely the curtain matches the bedding set...please note that I finally have all the pillows:

This project was fairly simple. It mostly took time, patience, and a steady hand.

I was so excited to finally hang the painted curtain. But now I am left wondering, should I paint another one and have both curtains on that same window? Its a rather narrow window and I am afraid if I have two curtains you won't be able to see the design I spent so much time painting...what do you think?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So Yummy, So Yummy!

Thanks to my addiction to Pinterest, I have been trying out some new healthy recipes. I tried two new ones this week: Southwest turkey meatballs and an avocado, tomato, and sprout sandwich with creamy chive spread. 

They look yummy right?!

I discovered the recipe for the southwest turkey meatballs at SkinnyTaste, check them out they have lots of healthy recipes that look easy and delicious! I used my small ridged baker from Pampered Chef to cook the meatballs, they turned out fantastic and it only took 15 minutes to bake! I love cilantro and even though these are considered "southwest", they were not spicy at all. In the original recipe they have creamy cilantro dipping sauce for the meatballs. I didn't prepare the dipping sauce this time, I just ate the meatballs with steamed veggies. 

This recipe was very simple to make and I could definitely see myself making this for a potluck!

For the sandwich, you can find the original recipe here at KeepItSkinny!

Instead of using two pieces of bread like a traditional sandwich, I just threw everything on a whole grain sandwich flat. I used reduced fat cheddar cheese instead of pepper jack, it still tasted amazing. 

I love finding new ways to use greek yogurt, I am just amazed at how versatile it is! By itself, I do not care for the taste but when you mix it into stuff it tastes great. Plus its so much healthier than mayo, sour cream, and all that stuff.

What I really liked about both of these meals: They actually filled me up! I hate when "eating healthy" means starving yourself and eating tasteless food. For sure I will be making both of these again, if Hubs is lucky I will make them for him when he gets home :)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cleaning Out My Closet

No, I'm not talking about the Eminem song (even though it is now stuck in my head, doh!). I am talking about literally cleaning out my closet.

My closet! It has 2 sliding mirrors for doors, so I did my best to get both halves.

About twice a year my closet gets out of control and I either run out of space or notice I have too many clothes I don't wear. Its been over a year since I last tackled these issues. Oops. I guess between back-to-back deployments and raising a kid I put off this chore. I mean its a closet, all I have to do is shut the doors and POOF! the problem disappears. 

So I decided that since I couldn't walk into my walk-in closet, it was time to tidy it up. The last time I did this, I remember having more fun: I had lost most of my baby weight so I was cheerfully taking out all the clothes that were too big for me. That was fun. This time, not so much. This time, I realized I may have a problem.

Hello, my name is Shannon and I think I may have a slight addiction to cute clothes. 

I have waaay too many clothes and though I eliminated about a dozen pieces, I still have more than I need. The bar my clothes are hanging on is starting to sag. The shelf above my clothes that holds MORE clothes in bins is starting to sag. Drastic times call for drastic measures folks, it is time for me to make a change.

For the rest of the summer, I will buy NO MORE clothes! 
*With one exception: If I need to replace a damaged piece of clothing, like my sole pair of khaki shorts with the huge mystery stain.*

I called my mom and told her my resolution. She laughed. I emailed Hubby to tell him, he was indifferent. I told my friends, they want to "shop" in my closet!

From here on out, I will try my best to NOT buy anymore clothes. This includes workout clothing, bathing suits, and shoes!

I am actually excited about reaching this goal. Quite a few of the blogs I follow show photos and talk about how versatile clothing can be. So I can start trying out new outfit combinations, who knows I might be good at it! Plus, my bank account will probably thank me too :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Finding My Motivation

My first Monday back home, the beginning of a new week, time to start taking care of stuff around the house! Except that didn't happen today. I came home from errands this morning and ended up taking a 2 hour nap with Little Miss, when we woke up my motivation was no where to be found.

So as incentive to take care of things around the house, I've decided that once I complete my to-do list I will finally make the curtains to match my new comforter! I know, I am super-nerdy. Most people would reward themselves with a shopping spree, a massage, or even chocolate. Nope, my reward is crafting. I am so frickin excited about making these dang curtains I am determined to complete my to-do list to tomorrow. I think I am more excited about the end result, completing the facelift in our master bedroom.

This is the *NEW* comforter set, there are more pillowcases I just need to buy pillows for them!
Okay I have 2 windows in my master bedroom I need to coordinate with the comforter. I don't want to do the same thing on both windows though. I also don't want to do anything super-girlie since I do occasionally share the bedroom with Hubs :)

I desperately want to make these ruffle curtains, in navy blue of course. I found the tutorial thanks to Pinterest, and it costs less than $10 to make! I want to add the black-out lining to the back because I don't like the sun, haha! My only concern: Is this too girlie? I am thinking about doing these on the window that my craft desk sits under, so only the top half of the curtains would be visible. 

I want to do the stenciling (see how it matches the comforter?!) on the largest window. I would only do the stenciling on the top third of navy blue curtains though, I think the pattern would be too overwhelming on full length curtains AND on a king-sized comforter. Of course I would add black-out lining too. You can find the stenciling curtain tutorial here

So those are the rewards! And I can get to them as soon as I go to the gym, organize my closet, unpack my final suitcase, hang up the pile of clean clothes, and bug spray the inside/outside of the townhouse....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sante Fe Chicken Recipe

While on the hunt for healthy and yummy recipes, I found this gem on Pinterest (I know you are surprised, right?). I decided to try it out last night but didn't want to wait for it to sit in a crock pot for hours, so I just put it all in my deep covered baker from Pampered Chef instead. After an unfortunate mishap with the brown rice that involved a minor explosion in my sink, the meal turned out great!

You can find the original recipe here at SkinnyTaste. 

The original recipe calls for a crock pot but since I was short on time I used my deep covered baker. I just cooked the chicken first in the dcb, drained it, shredded it, then added in the rest of the ingredients. I put it all in the oven on 350 for an hour while I cooked the brown rice. 

Since I am by no means a domestic goddess, I managed to burn the rice and had a minor KABOOM! in my sink. Luckily no one was hurt and only my pride was damaged. And no, I didn't take any pictures, I didn't want any evidence of this incident!

Once the Sante Fe Chicken was done, I put a whole grain soft tortilla in a bowl and poured the chicken over it. I added a dollop of fat-free greek yogurt and a pinch of shredded fat-free cheddar cheese. Honestly, the greek yogurt tastes just like sour cream when it is all mixed up.

It was very tasty and it made alot, much more than I need for just myself and Little Miss. I ended up freezing half of it for later. I love that I have a deep freezer!

This recipe did turn out a bit spicy, I would rate it about medium-hot. If you want it milder, add less cayenne or just don't add any at all and season it individually. 

You could also easily pour this over a bowl of tortilla chips (like a frito pie). Of course that wouldn't be as healthy, but I won't tell :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Is it too early to find a Homecoming dress?!

The title says it all folks...we are about 13 weeks into deployment, not even halfway yet, and I am thinking about what I am going to wear for homecoming! 

Why am I already planning so far ahead? Well, I won a giveaway over at No Model Lady and its for a free item at eShakti! If you haven't checked out her blog, you are missing out. She is a Marine wife, mother, and she is hilarious! Plus she dresses super cute, I love seeing what outfits she is wearing.

Okay back to my problem: Is it too early for me to find a homecoming dress? Well, since I won this giveaway I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pick out "the dress". I have a photographer this time since it will be our last homecoming. I want to make sure I won't look back at these photos and cringe so the dress must be perfect, okay maybe not perfect but dang near close to it! I am at/near my goal size (if only I could get bigger boobs, HA!) so I'm not worried about the dress not fitting if I get it now. I know the weather may be a factor, but that is what they make cardigans for :)

Here are the possibilities:

The Admiralty Blue Dress: I would have it customized to knee-length
Go Red Strapless Dress: I would definitely pair this with a belt, I love the coral color
Her Fifties Colorblock Sundress: I am not too sure that I could keep the cream color clean...but I love the top part!
Contrast Trim Knit Maxi: I think I would get it customized to knee length, I love long dresses but Hubs likes to see my legs LOL
Passementarie Trim Poplin Dress: Perhaps with the deep-v neckline, I love this bright color!

Here is the great thing about eShaki: they offer free customization! That means on certain items you can have the length altered, the sleeve type changed, or even change the neckline!

I guess the best thing for me to do is to "sleep on it" and look at all the dresses tomorrow to see which one I really want!

What do you all think? Am I crazy to think about a Homecoming dress so early?