Monday, September 29, 2014

App Crack: OverDrive

True story: When I was a kid, I was such a bookworm that I routinely tried to get away with sitting at the dinner table holding whatever book I was reading at the time with my left hand, while eating with my right hand.  Until my parents would tell me to stop being anti-social and made me put the book down to take part in whatever the dinner conversation happened to be that day. Which was never as interesting as what The Baby Sitter's Club or Sweet Valley Twins were up to (sorry, guys), but was an important part of keeping me connected to my family.  Eventually books got banned at the table completely, but up until that time I remember many dinners spent fighting for my right to party (ie. read at the dinner table). 

I was a total wild child, can't you tell?

And not much has changed over the years.  I still love getting lost in books, and would certainly rather be reading than doing half of the other mundane things I have to do around the house.  Which is why I'm so totally, crazy in love with my latest app addiction: OverDrive.

I'm pretty sure that OverDrive has been around for awhile, but I just found out about it within the last few months.  It lets me borrow library books on my iPhone and Kindle for free.  And not only book books, but also audio-books!  

I first became interested in audio-books decades ago, when my Nana and Pop Pop would listen to them on their loooong drive to Florida....

Now I'm really making myself sound cool, using the habits of my grandparents to explain my current day interests :) 

...but they are expensive, and the selection at my local library leaves something to be desired.  Plus, they're on CD's...which aren't exactly portable.  But now that I can get audio-books that I actually want to listen to  on my devices so easily, I love using them to keep my mind occupied while I'm doing all sorts of things around that house that would normally be boring.

 Especially yard work. And those million of hours that I spent sanding down the closets.

  I've long been a fan of music during these tasks, but getting lost in a book is an even better escape!  I just pop in my headphones and am content for hours.  

It's the best.


So how does it work?  Well, once you download the free app, you'll need to link it to a participating library in order to browse and borrow from their collection.  If you live in PA, I recommend using the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA residents can apply for free here), which has a fab collection of current books.  

How fab?  Here's a sampling of what I've read (or listened to) through OverDrive lately:

Side Note:  If you read Andy Cohen's book, which you totally should if you're a fan of Andy, the Housewives, Watch What Happens Live!, or basically any element of pop culture, I highly recommend that you listen to the audio-book.  It's read by Andy himself, and his tone and inflection totally makes the experience.
Cracked. Me. Up. 

Pretty great, right?! I'm on hold for a bunch of other titles that I've been wanting to read, but didn't want to pay for on the Kindle store, and find that waiting times are usually a few weeks for new books, and non-existent for books that have been out for a while.  

Have you made the conversion to e-books?  I was so against it, but obviously my opinions have changed!
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favs 51

Yay for Friday!

What a fab week this was....but now that it's almost over, I'm pretty excited to sleep in tomorrow. 
When am I not??

So here's some of the things that made this week so great!

Fav #1
This. Soup. I can't stop eating it. I'm kind of ashamed (but apparently not that ashamed since I'm putting it on the internet) to admit that I ate it for lunch 4 out of 5 days this week....and once for dinner.  The creamy tomato version is amazing too.  And since a local grocery store carries this stuff for $1.29, I'm clocking in at around 30 cents a meal, and I don't see an end in sight. Oh,and it's gluten free...which I don't really care about.  But you might!

Fav #2
I bought these boots this week, and I'm in love!  Not only are they cute, but the 2 1/2' wedge heel makes them totally walk-able!  I can run around in them all day at work without being in misery, which is by far the best thing about them.  I bought the gray, but have found them around the internet in other colors. I need brown?!

Fav #3
Now that our closet doors are finally re-installed, I'm on the hunt for the perfect hardware.  These brushed gold beauties from Kohler are exactly what I have in mind, but are not an option at 25 bucks each, especially since we need 8.  Let the search for a suitable replacement begin!  But I'd better hurry...I kind of want to wait until the closet is completely done to do a reveal, and I can't wait much longer! 
It. Is. Fab.

Have a great weekend!!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

State of the Closet Address

Happy Monday!  I'm at jury duty all depending on whether or not they have wireless, you can expect either a ton of blog-productivity out of me...or none.  I've never had jury duty before!  I hope it's interesting.

You may remember that a few weeks ago I shared a plan to brighten up our master bedroom by painting our honey-toned built-ins...

Well, the project is in full swing, and already the changes are SO GOOD.

I used a palm sander and the Dremel Multi-Max to remove the finish from the face of the frame, drawers, and both sides of the closet doors.  After they were sanded down, I primed and painted two coats of white paint on the frame and drawers, while Mr. M. cut and and added molding to the closet doors to bring in some architectural detail.

(Please don't mind the hot mess that is our spare bedroom.)

Aren't they going to look amazing?!  Getting them to this state was no easy task. He had to shave about a quarter of an inch off of the width of the front of each door to allow room for the doors to open and close due to the increased depth the molding added to each door, before cutting and attaching the moldings using wood glue.

We're currently in the process of priming and painting the doors, and I just can't wait to see them once they are hung.  The paint has already made such a huge difference in the brightness of the room. I'm also looking forward to styling the window area....although I'm a little stumped on what I'll put there.

Any ideas?!

I can't even tell you how hard it was to have 90% of my wardrobe displaced. At least now the drawers are back in place, so all of the items that live in them are back in their regular spots.  But restoring the contents of the closets themselves is a work in progress. I have so many clothes that I never wear! Right now, the majority of my clothes are hanging in the cedar closet and I'm trying to be very selective in what I allow back in.  Now that my closets are going to look good on the outside, I want them to look just as good inside, so I'm trying to pare down.

This is the most excited I've been about a project in a while!  Hopefully it lives up to my expectations!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Friday Favs 50

Heyyy!  Long time, no favs.  

I'm so pumped for the rapid approach of autumn.  I love's the season that makes me want to light a scented candle, sip a pumpkin latte followed by a pumpkin beer, use my crockpot, and cut my hair into a sleek, new style....all while wearing a scarf and boots.   

So in honor of my favorite season, here are some of my favorite things about fall!

Fav #1
Fall nail colors.  Unfortunately I'm not able to get regular manicures, but when I do splurge on a mani, nine times out of ten it's during the fall.  I just love the colors!  My fav as of late has been a mushroom-putty color.  And if I'm doing my nails at home (which I suck at), I go for Sally Hansen's Slick Slate.

Fav #2
The return of non-curly hair.  My hair has a lot of wave to it and doesn't survive heat and humidity when straightened, so I wear it curly pretty much every day in the summer.  Which I love...but get sick of.  I'm always dying to cut and style my hair in the if I could only get better at the styling part.  It's kind of like I have two left hands :)

Fav #3
Porch decorating. Mums! Wreaths!  I'm trying to hold off on buying my mums until October, so they last through Halloween.  But I feel my resolve crumbling daily...I can't wait to do up our front porch.  Here's a flashback to last year's fall porch decor in the meantime...

Fav #4
Fall beers. While I love my pumpkin spice latte, I really love my autumn-inspired brews. There's nothing better than a pumpkin-ale on the patio on a Friday night in the fall, a theory that I'm pretty sure I'll be testing out once again this evening...

Someone's gotta do it.

What are your fav parts of fall??

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Better Late Than Never: Summer Family Room

With Labor Day 2014 in the books and summer (un)officially over, it's probably a little weird that I'm sharing our summer family room today.  Oh well, call me a weirdo. I never got around to showing it to you this summer, so it's now or never.

The plan for my little summer overhaul actually began last fall when I snagged this piece of aqua colored faux coral in a summer clearance sale.  Initially, I planned to spray paint it white or gold (of course), but I realized that I kind of liked the color combo when I set it next to the red walls of our family room.  Inspired, I searched the web for other red and aqua color schemes and found plenty of great inspiration.

From there, it was just a matter of picking up/creating some aqua accents (like my upcycled planter and wood shim art) to incorporate into the room.  I particularly liked how the aqua pillow covers paired with the army green of our couch and love seat.  The blue/green combo brought a much cooler feel to this typically warm-palletted room.

So now that you've seen it, stay tuned for fall version of this room.  With its red walls...autumn is what this room was born for.  I'll even try to post it during the right season this time :)

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Radio Silence

 So.....I haven't written in about a month. 

I know that I kind of left you guys hanging on the IVF thing.  I shared with you that we were finally going for it, and I even shared some of my nursery inspirations with you during the two weeks when we were waiting to find out if our IVF was successful.

I got you excited with gorgeous images like this....

....and then.....nothing.  

Worst blogger ever.

So here's the scoop:  Our first round of IVF was successful, and life was grand.....for about 8 weeks.  But at one of my routine ultrasound appointments...the baby's heart had just stopped beating, and it was over.

And so, I just sort of lost my motivation to create, think, blog, talk to anyone for while....
But, it's coming back :)

It won't ever really be over, of course. This is not our first time at the rodeo, and I know from experience that these losses are permanent. They'll be a part of who we are forever.

But our first round of IVF is over, and so we are moving on to try it again.  I'm going to try to be a little more transparent this round, and share with you what's going on as it's happening.  After all, when I stalk other bloggers who are going through IVF (and I do stalk you guys!), my favorite posts are the ones that give the little details that help me know what to expect.  So I'll try to pay that forward this time.

Oh, and to those of you who emailed or messaged me to check in during the last're amazing.  Your concern and words of encouragement meant more to me that you know.

In fact, you should totally find a way to use this awesome printable from Sarah Hearts, because it totally sums up how I feel about you guys.  Plus, it's super cute!
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Master Bedroom Changes

Monday already?! Where do the weekends go?

  This is my last full week of summer vaca....I guess I'd better get used to weekends flying by before I know it.

Recently, I shared with you the debate Mr. M. and I had over the new ceiling fan for our master bedroom....

...well, I lost that one.
And at a savings of $250, I'm kind of glad that I did!

The fan we ended up with is the Westinghouse 7216100 Solana, which is incredibly quiet.  I like it much more in person that I did online, and think it's a nice update from the old fan that was here when we moved in.


New.  'Bron loves the breeze and was mad that I turned the fan off to take a pic.

No need to watermark these pics.  I'm pretty sure no one wants to steal them. 
Also, I've got to get some art on that wall. (How many times have I thought that?)

But the BEST news of all is that we are in the process of sanding down the orangey-wood built-ins so that we can paint them white!  

I'm thinking that I may want to add some trim to the flat doors before I paint them to add some dimension. Something like this...

 Either way it's going to be so much brighter in here.  

Stay tuned!

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

July '14 Recap

Even though I would swear that July 4th was only a few days ago, somehow we've reached the end of the month already!  Summer is flying by!  I hate it...

I shared a little bit about the beginning of our IVF journey with you in June (update on that coming soon), and the multitude of appointments associated with that process have resulted in another light month on the DIY front.  So. Many. Appointments.  
Even so, here's what you might have missed this month!

- I shared some patriotic mason jar vases from our front porch.

-Told you about the great ceiling fan debate....and will show you the outcome next week.

-I gave the Midas touch to some seashells...

-...and used them to create some seasonal decor.

And that's it!  August has GOT to be more productive....right?!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Seashell Decor

Hey guys!  I shared this post over at Sweet Haute a few days ago, but here it is for any of you who missed it!

I love finding ways to incorporate the seasons into our home!  For me, the perfect seasonal decor is both affordable and easy to store.  Bonus points if it uses things that I already own, especially objects that can be transitioned from one season to another.  

Today's project  is a winner on all fronts.
Love when that happens!

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I started by giving the gilded treatment to some sand dollars that I had on hand (I picked  them up on summer clearance last fall, certain that I would one day have a use for them).
  I pretty much find a way to paint everything in our house gold. I'm a modern day King Midas.

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I decided to use the golden sand dollars to fill some of the picture frames that we have around the house.  I love swapping photos for seasonal inserts, because it is just so easy to put things back to 'normal' once the time for seasonal decor has passed, and it leaves me with very little to store.

To create these fun frames, I started by removing the photos and the glass from the frames.  Then, I simply cut a sheet of white paper to fit and used spray adhesive to attach a piece of burlap that was also cut to fit each frame.  I put the sheet of burlap into the frame, secured it by replacing the back, and attached a golden sand dollar to the center of the burlap using hot glue.

Incredibly simple, but oh so cute!

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I had a few leftover seashells, so I glued them to a piece of pre-stained scrap wood that I had on hand. I think it makes a nice compliment to the sand dollar frames! Also, once summer is over, it will pair nicely with the wooden pallet sign that I shared with you guys a few months ago, which will be a nice little reminder of summer once the air turns brisk and the leaves begin to fall...

Ah.....fall.  Love that season too!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favs 49

Hi guys!  Long time, no post.  Sorry.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind week....
I thought summer was supposed to be my downtime?

I'm sharing what I made with those gilded seashells that I showed you last week over at Sweet Haute today.  Be sure to check it out!

Fav #1
Look what Bath and Body Works has!!  Fall scents are starting to arrive.  I'm so excited. 

Fav #2
I shared some of my fav items from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale last week, but then I found these boots. I really shouldn't buy them, but my brown boots are kind of beat and I feel like the the black at the top would make them even more versatile.......we'll see.  I loved them last year, but the full price of $200 was definitely out of the question.  And $135 is more than I would normally spend, but I'm feeling like I could wear them with a LOT.  Thoughts?

Fav #3
Check out these great shoes I get to wear in my friend's wedding tomorrow! Seriously, what would they NOT go with?!  I love them, and there have been so many occasions this summer that I would have loved to wear them (you know, if the wedding had already happened).  They're pretty comfortable too, so I'm super excited that after tomorrow they'll be fair game!  Yay for friends who have good taste! Also...they're on sale for $25 right now, so it's the perfect time to grab them for yourself!

Have a great weekend!!

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