Monday, November 28, 2011

Hectic Holidays

I'm back. :)  I had to take a little break for a while.  

For the past week I've found myself super involved in making Christmas gifts for people, which left very few fun/interesting things for me to share.  I also found myself needing to take a break to enjoy my time with Kent while he had a week off for Thanksgiving.  

I'm still not quite finished with my gift making, but I'm much closer than I was, and I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving here.  It was just about as good as it could get without my family close by.  I cooked my family's traditional Thanksgiving spread all by myself.  It was my first time making my Mimi's famed dressing, and it turned out pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself. We also had baked macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, a congealed strawberry salad, green bean casserole, turkey, and deviled eggs. Needless to say, I was very busy in the kitchen for a few days.  

Despite the break, it seems to be that time of year where everything speeds up for me... hence my sporadic posting over the past couple of weeks.  Does that happen to you guys?  You try so hard to enjoy yourself, not get into the hustle and bustle, and get things done ahead of time, yet somehow you feel yourself getting stressed for no reason.  I'm not sure why it happens, but it does every year.  This year I'm trying to just go with the flow.  I want to finish my projects that are gifts, and not get myself too worried that I'm forgetting something.  The important thing to me is being with family.  That means more than anything.  

On that note, my mom called me the other day and wanted a picture from me and Kent for the family's yearly Christmas card.  Now I like taking photos, but I don't care as much for being in them... especially when I have to coordinate with Kent and his ever-changing repertoire of unknowingly ridiculous faces and stances.  Thankfully, his brother is still staying with us, so he was gracious enough to play photographer and take about a million 500 pictures for us.  

It took us a while...

But we finally got one that would work. :)

Hope you guys have a great week!  (And I hope you're not stressing about the holidays just yet.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Project! Jewelry Holder from an Old Drawer

I'm so excited to show you guys me newest project!

It's a jewelry holder made out of an old drawer.

I had some drawers left from a coffee table I found on the side of the road and tried to save.  The table had been the target of little kid crayon attacks, and it was to the extent that I couldn't sand it all off, I couldn't prime it to cover it-- even with Kilz, and no matter what I did the paint seeped through.  I gave it to Kent so he could take some of the wood or do whatever with it, but I took the drawers.

The inside was already painted from when I attempted to save the coffee table.

I went to Home Depot and spent $7 on enough trim to go around the drawer, and then I asked Kent to pretty please cut it so that it made a sort of frame around drawer. (I didn't get a photo as soon as he finished. I was too excited to start painting it.)

Once the trim was in place, I painted the frame and the sides of the drawer.

I wanted the back drop of the jewelry holder to match my room, so I went to the craft store and picked up a few pieces of matching scrapbook paper for about $2.

I already had Mod Podge and paint brushes, so I got to work creating the back drop. 

I'm not ashamed to say that my first attempt turned out pretty terrible.  The paper bubbled and just didn't look right, so I turned to YouTube for hints on how to do it better.

I found this tutorial, and when I followed her directions, it turned out perfectly.

This is what it looked like when I was in the process.

When the Mod Podge was completely dry, it was time to add hooks and wires where I would be hanging my jewelry.  I already had these things laying around, so it was no extra cost. 

I used small hook screws on the inside of the drawer, and I attached twisted wire across from one screw to another as a place to hang earrings.

When I finished with the inside, I decided to add a few larger hooks on the outside of the drawer so I could hang necklaces and bracelets.  

With everything painted, the backdrop finished, and the hooks in place, it was time to hang my jewelry.

I think it turned out quite well.  :)  I'm super happy that I can now see my jewelry and remember what I have.  What do you guys think?  Have any old drawers that you might repurpose now?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for the Small Things

I've not been writing much this week because I really didn't have a lot to say.  It seems that with the holidays drawing closer I've found myself in more of a homesick funk than usual.  I don't seem to want to do much of anything, and when that happens, I usually don't have much to share.  In an effort to remind myself of the good things around me and the things I'm thankful for, I've decided to name a few of the highlights of my week... however small they might be.

1.  I finally got a wonderful beach morning the other day.  It was raining at our house, but Kent didn't have to go into work until later, and his brother who is staying with us for a while didn't have to work either, so we ventured out to try to find a beach with sunshine.  When we found one, I sat by the water reading a total "fluff" book for several hours while the guys spear fished.  It was glorious.

2.  I've been experimenting with lots of fun, easy recipes in the past week, and I've had some success.  We've had lots of yummy foods... everything from Lone Star Enchiladas to Buffalo Sloppy Joe's to breakfast quiches.

3.  Kent was finally able to help me with a jewelry holder project that I've been planning for several weeks now.  It's suuuper close to being finished, so maybe I'll be able to share it tomorrow.

4.  I had a fabulous morning run yesterday.  It started raining on me halfway through, but it only made it all the more wonderful.  The sunshine was still peeking through the rain clouds, the warm Hawaii air was all around me, a nice breeze was blowing, and the cool raindrops were hitting my skin as I hit the pavement with my new favorite barefoot running shoes.  It was a very free feeling, and to top it off, I was blessed with an exquisite rainbow.  I only had my cell phone camera, so the photo doesn't do it justice.  It's just proof that it was there.

5.  This one might sound corny, but I don't think it ever hurts to be reminded of it.  My furry guys Murphy and Duke love me.  It never fails.  Even if I only run down to the mini-mart for 15 minutes to pick up an ingredient I forgot, they are as happy to see me as if I'd been gone a year.  It never gets old to me.

One more thing I'm thankful for today and every day is this country's veterans, those who currently serve, and their families.  Their sacrifices enable all the things I'm so thankful for in this wonderful life.

Hope everyone had a great week, and hopefully I'll have a cool project to share with you in the next couple of days. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Active and Accomplished

I don't know about you guys, but I had a busy weekend.  I almost feel like I need a weekend to get over my weekend. Ha!

It started Saturday morning with my favorite Spinning class.  The instructor is great, and I always feel like a million bucks in a dog-tired, worked-my-tail-off kind of way.  On the way home from class, I was anticipating a nice shower and a lazy afternoon of crocheting since the weather couldn't seem to make up its mind between mostly cloudy and rainy.  However, just before I pulled into my driveway, I got a call from Kent saying not to get too spiffed up because we were going on a hike.  

Even though I was a little pooped, I wasn't going to miss out on a new hike.  We went to a trail on the North Shore of the island that we hadn't done before-- the Kealia Trail.  (Truthfully, we haven't done nearly as many hikes as I would like... Sometimes the weather here just will not cooperate while Kent is around.  It barely cooperated for this hike... hence the cloudy looking phone pics.)

Kent, his brother Luke, my big fur baby Duke, and I all hit the trail and climbed the mountain,  It wasn't my very favorite hike, but it was fun, and it had some cool views.  Duke had a great time, and was completely tuckered out when we got home.  Poor little Murphy couldn't go with us since it was so rocky and had some steps that were taller than him.  He just took a nap at home and got super pumped to see us when we got back. :)

Duke wasn't the only one tuckered out when we got home.  I was too, so I made sure I got plenty of rest because Sunday was going to be a looooong day.

Yesterday I went to a nine hour class on the Air Force base here.  I learned a few new things and got refreshed on others, and now I can officially teach Spinning classes!!!!! I'm pretty excited.  It was my first step in moving towards a new "job."

                                                                                                         Source: via Erin on Pinterest

I was soooo nervous before my class.  It's so silly (stupid social anxiety), but since I hadn't been in any kind of classroom in two years, I was a little scared.  With my introverted, pretty much type-A personality, I don't like to fail at anything, and the thought of not being prepared or not being good enough kills me.  Luckily, Kent and my mom gave me some "you've got this" speeches, and I got myself together and headed off.  When I got there, though, it was not bad at all.  I actually really enjoyed it (well, most of the 9 hours... I did crash a little around 4pm).  It also got me really motivated to continue my education in the fitness arena.  I don't think I could ask for more than that.  

All in all, my weekend was pretty active, and I feel pretty accomplished... gotta love that. :)  Did you guys have a good weekend?  Anything cool and exciting?  Did you get much accomplished on any front-- work, rest, learning, family time? 

Hope your Monday is off to a great start! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday Fun

Since my old computer took a fall and I was still waiting on my new one, I didn't get to share the details of my birthday.  Now that I finally have my new computer, though, I can give you a little run-down of this past weekend.

1.  I got a MacBook for my birthday!  (Granted, I was going to get one anyway since my old computer broke... but it was still something exciting for my birthday. )

2.  I got a new dress... and I love it.  I wore it for date night/birthday dinner on Saturday night.  We went out on the town in Honolulu and had a great dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. So much fun...

The new dress is made by Tori Richards, and it's a multi-way dress. :)

Here's some of the ways shown on her website.
Pretty cool, huh?

3.  On my actual birthday Kent made me my requested breakfast of eggs and toast.  He's a sweetheart sometimes.

4.  I also got to open some sweet gifts from my wonderful family.  New workout clothes and some moo-lah are certain to make any birthday great. 

5.  I got tons of sweet Facebook and bloggie birthday wishes, and I thank each and every one of you guys.  You rock!

I'm thinking 25 might be pretty tough to top.  :)  

On another note, I can't believe it's already Thursday!!!  This week has flown by for me, and I haven't done near as much as I had planned.  It seems like I've spent a lot of time catching up on errands, going to the grocery store, and cooking constantly.  Hopefully this weekend and next week will be productive ones.  Anyone else feel like this week was really fast?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Little Spooks

I wasn't able to get this post up on Halloween itself, or even yesterday, but I just had to show you guys my "boys" in their Halloween costumes.  I thought they looked pretty darn cute. 

My guys dressed up as Batman and Robin this year.
Don't let Murphy's face in this photo fool you.  He seemed to enjoy wearing his costume when all the trick-or-treaters came.

I bought Duke's Batman costume because it was only $8, and I wouldn't have been able to make it for less.  They didn't have a Robin costume, so I had to make one.

It was really easy, and really cheap-- probably less than $8.  I bought a red toddler t-shirt, one piece of green felt, and one half yard of yellow fabric from the $1 per yard section.  I cut the sleeves off the shirt and sewed on some green felt for the sleeves.  Then, I cut a circle of green felt, embroidered an "R" with some yellow yarn I already had, and sewed it on.  I finished the shirt by using my yellow yarn to add a few stitches down the chest.  Finally, I finished the outfit by creating a little cape with the yellow fabric.  Simple, but pretty cute. :)

They boys really enjoyed sitting outside and watching the trick-or-treaters with us.

Duke looked like he was guarding the candy.

And Murphy was the friendly face welcoming everyone...

All in all it was a great Halloween!

How was Halloween for you guys?  What were you?  Did you dress up your furry friends?  I'd love to hear about it!

P.S.  I finally got my computer in the mail and have it up and running.  I'm still in the learning stages of my new Mac, and I'm having to get used to all the differences that I'm not used to.  It's slowed down my blogging as I'm trying to get everything set up the way I like it, so bear with me. :)