August 9, 2011

Hallway Project Part 1

I had to go back to work today... I've been on summer break since June 4th- just enough time to get used to sleeping in and doing nothing all day really comfortable. Actually, I had a pretty productive summer. I was able to clean/reorganize the house, do some crafty things, go to the gym pretty frequently, go camping... oh, yeah, get married and go on a honeymoon. :)

But going back to work means no more of this...
More importantly, no more of this...

Not getting to hang out with that face all day is probably the worst part. But although 2 months is a very nice break, and I totally could see myself being at home every day, eventually I would run out of things to paint and I suppose I would get bored. So back to work I go!

This whole week is meetings, so no new and fun stories about the kids yet. Too bad, because meetings are B-O-R-I-N-G. I hate them.
I made sure I brought a pad of paper with me and I was pretty much making lists of things I need to do the entire time. Well, switching off between that and playing solitaire on my phone. Don't worry, I was listening too!

Today's meeting was for the coaches and it was all pretty much common sense stuff. There were some inspirational quotes that I liked that you may see popping up here soon. And we watched this video (which made us all laugh out loud because it's so true)...
But enough of the work stuff and back to the fun stuff... as you can see in my chicken scratch drawing above, I have plans for the hallway going upstairs and I started this project yesterday. It's already an improvement from this...

It was funny how the project came about though...

It started off with this 16x20 canvas that our photographer gave to us a wedding present.

Look familiar??
It's one of my favorite pictures of us- we both have our eyes open, I'm hiding my muffin top behind him, you know, important stuff like that. Really though, we both look happy and playful, and that kind of sums up who we are. Oh, and I really like the colors. Yellow is one of my favs. But nothing around the house is yellow. And I don't want to scare people with a gigantic picture of us greeting them every time they come over.

So I was looking at this canvas and trying to figure out where the heck to put it. I was lost. So I put that down and decided to work on a project that I liked from The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart where she made a silhouette of her dog. Using her basic instructions, I created this little guy...
Before I put a back to it and framed it, a thought occurred to me- I could make a collage with the canvas and some frames I already had. I grabbed some green scrapbook paper and this frame, and put this Kevin silhouette together. Love! Then, I painted another frame with with a yellowish green accent (grellow, for those of you YHL followers) and searched for a picture to put in it. I knew I didn't want a picture of the dog right next to his silhouette and I knew I didn't want a picture of us since I had our gigantic 16x20 grills paired up with this frame.

After looking through so many wedding photos on websites and in magazines these last months, I've learned that a lot lies in the details. So with that in mind, I looked through our honeymoon pictures for two things- greenery (in Hawaii, that's easy to find) and details that would bring back memories. The winner was a picture we had taken while we were on a hike on the Road to Hana. We were overlooking a HUGE canyon and I wanted a ring shot. And if you know anything about out honeymoon, this was after The Incident, so our pictures were important and few and far between.
I played around with it on Picnik a little bit to make the colors a little more artsy and matchy-matchy.

I was just going to hang up these 3 pictures, but I thought that would be boring. Then I remembered some black shelves I had from Target that I haven't used yet. I though it might be fun to rest the canvas on a shelf and hang the other frames.

Then while in the garage putting laundry in the dryer, I looked up at a frame that the previous owners had left almost 4 years ago and I had never touched.  

Epiphany!!! What if I used the frame to enclose my little picture collage? Done. So I brought it in, dusted it off, slapped some black paint on it, and less than a half hour later, I had this:
 I had originally wanted the bottom frames to be lined up with each other and contrary to my Sorry Dad posts, I had actually measured these goofy little frames. But this turned out to be a happy little accident. Forced to find something to fill that empty space on the bottom left, I spotted my collection of starfish. I nabbed one that fit the area, painted it white, and done!
It makes me happy. And this is the beginning. I have more plans for the rest of the hallway going up the stairs!

What projects do you guys have going on right now?

Do you have any art or pictures that you love, but just don't go with the rest of your house?

August 8, 2011

Beach Dog Jog

I guest posted over at Tara's blog today, so head over there and check it out! It was all about my DIY wedding projects- fun stuff!

I head back to work this week after a much needed break this summer. In honor of the end of my summer break, Kevin the dog and I went to the beach to exercise and enjoy the 65ish degree weather (as opposed to the 95+ degrees in the Valley).

We started off with a jog at Zuma Beach in Malibu. Unfortunately for Kevin, dogs are not actually allowed on the beach there, so we had to stick to the sidewalks.
This wasn't all bad- like I said, the weather was way more enjoyable and I could still see the water. Kevin, however, was too short to see over the wall. If you look in the picture above, you can see that the wall opens up every 30 feet or so for beach access from the parking lot. And so every 30 feet or so, Kevin would stop and look at the water.

See, Kevin is obsessed with water. He'll just keep drinking it if you let him and he loves playing in it. Blame it on being a labrador, I guess! I felt bad since he's not allowed past the wall, so I told him if he did a good job running, we would go up the coast about 5 minutes to the dog beach.

I swear, he understands English, because after that, we were cruising and he did an awesome job. We probably only went about a mile, but I was satisfied with that. We were both huffing and puffing, I was sweating, his tongue was practically touching his toes... so onto the dog beach we went!

Post run- check out that tongue!
I love watching Kevin at the beach. It never fails to make me laugh the entire time. He used to be afraid of the waves and he would act like a little kid- like when the waves crashed, he would run from them, and when the water went back out, he'd chase after it. Well now, he full on attacks the waves! When they would crash, he run up and pounce on them. Adorable!
After a bunch of wave-pouncing and seaweed consuming, we decided to call it a morning. We were both feeling good- just enough exercise, just enough sun- time to head home.
Before we even made it back onto the highway, Kevin climbed up into the front seat and started to fall asleep. You know you've had a good day when you fall asleep before you even lay down!
He's so cute! I love him and I'm going to miss him so much when work starts back up. Hope your summer days are so much fun you fall asleep sitting up!

August 4, 2011

10 Meaningful Things

I recently started following Tara over at Dashing in Pearls, her post today is a sort of project started by Lindsay over at Cotter Crunch. The idea is to go through the photos on your smart phone and pick out the 10 most meaningful ones. Well I just got my iphone in May and- as I shared before- my phone was stolen on my honeymoon, but found with all of the pictures erased. So my pictures choices were limited, but meaningful nonetheless. So here we go...

This one is special for a few reasons- it was taken before the wedding (that desk was actually used at the reception), and the only reason I still have it on my phone after all of the pictures were deleted is because I had sent it to Brian, and my sent messages were still in my phone. Plus, my mom and dad were helping me work on the desk and they're pretty goofy. I just like the whole pre-wedding/family vibe this picture has to it.

Kevin. He's so funny. He isn't supposed to be upstairs by himself (because he still tends to chew on underwear whenever he gets the opportunity), but he managed to sneak up there one day and I caught him hiding from me. I love this picture! :)

Honeymoon ring shot on a beach in Maui during sunset. 'Nuf said.

So Brian will probably hate that I put this up, but it was also during our honeymoon. We had just woken up and I looked over at him and he just looked so cute and I remember feeling so happy that this is the man that I will be spending my life with. I wanted to take a picture right then to always remember that moment. ♥

I don't remember what we did that day- dog park, swimming at my parents? Not sure. But what I do remember is that both of my boys fell asleep while cuddling with me on the couch. For a point of reference, that's my hand that looks like it's growing out of Brian's neck. And the pink is a breast cancer awareness ribbon on my shirt. ♥ ♥

Kevin watching Marlie and Me... Brian and I had never seen it, mostly because we know how it ends and we didn't want to have to think about it. But it was on TV one night and I was curious, so we all watched it together. It was the most emotional I think either one of us has ever been in front of each other. And Kevin was enthralled by the movie. I'm pretty sure he thought he was watching his life story. (For the record, Kevin and Marlie are pretty much the exact same dog. Kevin was even a discount puppy!)

The original 4. Obviously, I love Brian and Jeff's girlfriend Jen. But it's rare that it's just my mom and dad and me and my brother. We all hung out for my dad's birthday on July 21st, and it was nice just getting to spend the day with them. I can't even remember the last time it was the four of us before that...

Later that night at my dad's birthday dinner. He's so cute! And he just turned 57... looking good, right?

Jeff and Jen were laying in the grass in front of my parents' house (where I may or may not have seen one of their dogs pee minutes prior and didn't say anything) and I saw a photo op. So I grabbed a step stool and my iphone and snapped away. I really like this one of them.

This one is actually from yesterday afternoon. Kevin was laying on my lap (see my pink toe nails next to his ear?) and he curled up and stuck his nose into his own leg. He was pushing his face up, kinda giving himself a pig nose. It looked pretty uncomfortable, but he stayed like that for a while, so Brian and I got some good laughs and a couple pictures out of it! :)

So that's all. Not bad for just a couple of weeks' worth of pictures!

August 3, 2011

Mike vs Wood, Rachael vs Fire, Rock Beats Scissors

We went camping this last weekend with some of my favorite people that you may recognize... Rachael (bridesmaid), Human Kevin (best man), Mike (groomsman), and Dog Kevin (whom I wanted to be the ring bearer, but I was out voted). We went up the coast to San Simeon State Park.

Rach waited for Human Kevin to get off of work on Friday, but Bri, Mike, Dog Kevin, and I went up earlier to secure a good spot. We had an extremely full car and Mike was crammed into the backseat with Dog Kevin.

But I kept Mike's mind off of his confined area by yacking his ear off the whole way up. (It was about a 4 hour drive.) And Dog Kevin does really well in the car, but even he was a little freaked out with his own lack of space. He wouldn't lay down and at one point, he even fell asleep sitting up. But the time in the car seemed to pass easily and once we got there, it was all business.

It was a little after 4:00 when we arrived and we went right to work finding a campsite that would fit all 3 of our tents. Once we found the perfect spot, Mike helped us set up our tent, then we helped him with his, and we left a spot for Human Kevin and Rachael in the middle. We were figuring it would be dark- or at least darn close to it- by the time they got there, so we also set up a canopy and rigged a lantern to the top of it. Then we busted out our new camp stove (wedding gift from Mike!) and got to making some carne asada tacos... I wouldn't camp any other way!

So here's the fun thing about the camp stove. On side is a burner (hence, stove) the other side is a grill. You are not supposed to use pots or pans over the grill because it could damage the grill. We should have read that sooner.

It was fine the first night, but when we tried to use the grill side to cook pancakes on in the morning, the grate heated up so much that it melted into itself. FAIL.

We still managed to use it the whole time anyway (just more carefully) and it should be good as new once we order a new grate!

Anyway, once Kevin and Rachael got there, the fun really started. I finally had some extra estrogen around to balance out all of the testosterone  We got the fire raging, popped open a couple of beers, and had a deep conversation about the String Theory... which I intend to do more research on (because one day, I will be able to explain what I was trying to that Friday night)!

Camping nighttime is always a great time. I love the smell of campfire, I love laughing with my friends under the stars, and I love licking melted marshmallow and chocolate off of my dirty camping hands.
*Side story... While Rachael (I love you Rach!) was roasting one of her 'mallows, it accidentally caught on fire. Like Marshmallow fireball from hell. She was kind of like, "Whoa!" and flung her roasting stick. (It's all in the wrist, baby.) Fireball from Hell landed on Rachael's leg. As I watched a ball of fire sitting on my friend's thigh for what felt like forever, a million thoughts rushed through my head. It seemed like everyone was in slow motion. She finally flung it off, but she did suffer some minor burns on her fingers and her pants were ruined. I think we were all in shock.

That was towards the beginning of the first night, but Rachael is a trooper and she shook it off and was able to have fun despite her blisters. :(  While the nights were exciting (we didn't go to bed til 1:00 both nights- that's like, 4 hours past our bedtime!) the days were very relaxing...
Rachael and I mostly just hung out and relaxed. The boys played some cards games and then tried to light things on fire. Their inner 5 year old pyromaniacs came out to play. It took all I could to keep my inner mother from coming out, but I'm pretty sure I may have handed out a couple of lectures here and there. (Sorry guys.)

I gotta say, the only misbehavior I was actually expecting was from Dog Kevin, and he was GREAT!!! I told Brian we should always live outside because he behaved better camping than he does at home. He was so cute and he just chilled out on his blanket for most of the trip! And at night he had his little own area in the tent, although he did come cuddle with us for part of the night on Friday. :)
One of the best parts of our day on Saturday was when the boys attempted to break a large piece of wood that they found into several smaller pieces of wood. We had a little camping axe that Mike tried on it. The wood was so strong that the kickback almost made Mike hit himself in the face. Which wasn't funny at all.

So Kevin decided he would do something about this wood problem...
It was definitely valiant effort, but unfortunately, still not strong enough. Luckily for our boys (who were driving themselves crazy over this log), once the guys across the way were done laughing, they came over with a life-size axe and a wedge and offered these tools for our use.

It still took Mike almost 10 minutes to split this piece of wood. About halfway through, I decided I should probably be documenting this, so I busted out the recorder. The following video is my first attempt at editing a video on iMovie. It's not quite ready for Hollywood yet, but it cracks me up every time I see it...

It was pretty exciting. :)

We had a really fun trip. The next time I'm up there, I would like to explore a little bit more. This trip was really more about relaxing, and that's always nice, but my ADD starts to kick in and there were a lot of antique stores up there... that's all I'm saying. :)

We stopped in Ventura on the way home for some fish 'n chips- always delicious. And that was that! I already miss the smokey smell on my clothes and roasting marshmallows. (Not the flaming ball from hell kind, just the normal ones.) I can't wait for the next adventure! ;-)