Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

self healing and self care books
I have been in a funk since the move (tip: don't ever move with teenagers-wherever you live when your kids are 12, just plan on staying there until they all graduate). Since I am happier when I am working on a goal, my good friend Suzanne forwarded me a reading challenge she was working on in 2015. I finished my first book yesterday (in red) and now I am ready to move on to the next.  I was hoping some of you might help me round out my list. So check out my categories and give me some suggestions-pretty please.

2015 Reading Challenge

1.      A book with more than 500 pages
            The Count of Monte Cristo   
             Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson      
2.      A book of short stories
             Me Talk Pretty One Day- by David Sedaris
3.      A classic romance

4.      A book that became a movie
            If I stay -Jan21 ***

5.      A book published this year                                                                       

6.      A book with a number in the title
            Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury  Jan 28 ****
7.      A book written by someone under 30
            Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
            Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
8.      A book with non-human characters
            A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron                               
9.      A funny book
            The All Girl Filling Stations Last Reunion by Fannie Flag   
10.    A book by a female author
            A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall                        
11.    A mystery or thriller
            The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall                      Smith
12.   A book with a one word title
            Ireland-Frank Delaney
13.   A book set in a different country
            All the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr     
14.   A non-fiction book
            The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau  Jan 29 **                     
15.   A popular authors first book                                                                                  
         This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
16.   A book from an author that you love but you haven’t read yet
          The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
17.  A book a friend recommended       
             The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
              The Skies Belong to Us:Love and Terror in the Golden                     Age of Hijacking by Brendan Koerner
18.  A Pulitzer Prize winning book
            Gilead by Marilynne Robinson                                              
19.  A book based on a true story
            The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell
            Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
20.  A book at the bottom of your to read list                                                               
             1776 by David McCullough              
21.  A book your mom loves
22.  A book that scares you                                                                           One Second After by William Forstchen
23.  A book more than 100 years old
            Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy
            A Room with a Veiw- E.M Forster
24.  A book based entirely on its cover                                                        Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper     
25.  A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
            The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway                           
26.  A memoir
             Tina Fey Bossy Pants                         
27.  A book you can finish in a day
            Paper Towns by John Green                                                              

28.  A book with antonyms in the title
            Lost and Found by Jaqueline Sheehan

29.  A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
            Turn Right at Machu Pichu by Mark Adams             
30.  A book with bad reviews
31.  A book from the year were born (1972)                                               Watership Downs by Richard Adams      
32.  A trilogy
          Mara Dyer byMichelle Hodkin
           Across the Universe-Beth Revis
33.  A book from your childhood
34. A book with a love triangle                                                                         
           Catching Jordan by Miranda Keneally
           The Seamstress Sara Tuvel
35.  A book set in the future
             Across the Universe-Beth Revis

36.  A book set in high school
            Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

37.  A book with a colour in the title
            One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus 

38.  A book that made you cry
        Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince
39.  A book with magic
            Red Rising by Pierce Brown
40.  A graphic novel
            The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

41.  A book by an author you’ve never read before
            What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty                                               
42.  A book you own but have never read                                                                                                                 The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards                                                    
43.  A book that takes place in your hometown (San Antonio? Houston? Stuttgart, Germany?)
44.  A book that was originally written in a different language           100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez                       
45.  A book set during Christmas
46.  A book written by an author with your same initials        TG                                                                 
47.  A play
            A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (122 pages)
            A Raisin in the Son by Lorraine Hansberry (160 pages)

48.  A banned book (or previously banned)                                                                                                                 
49.  A book based on or turned into a TV Show
50.  A book you started but never finished
                Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Flippin Sweet Halloween

We've haven't done a family themed Halloween for years and years, and so I thought our rendition of the cast of Napoleon Dynamite was blog-worthy:

My neighbor is Jewish and doesn't celebrate Christmas, but goes all out for Halloween.  I asked her to take our picture and she was disappointed that I wasn't dressed up. I obviously need to up my fashion game if she thinks side pony tails and hip packs are normal for me.
I posted these on FB and my mother was so concerned about my daughter's attitude that she called her. She didn't read the t-shirt closely and thought she was just a disgruntled teenager in her PE clothes and didn't realize that she was just being the perfect Summer Wheatley. I made her shirt using the freezer paper technique btw.

 The Happy Couple
Pedro Sanchez was the only one that actually went trick-or-treating, and I was a little worried without the rest of us, he looked very racial insensitive.  I made his buckle and tie out of cardboard, shoe-lace, and tin foil.
 I was mostly able to throw this together from stuff we had around the house.  I only had to buy black hairspray, plain blue t-shirt, and 2 pair of glasses from the dollar store so it only cost $7 for all 5 of us.  It may not be my favorite movie, but it has been my favorite since we dressed up as Beauty and the Beast.

My big kids went to a party and my daughter bribed my son w/ the last cupcake if he'd dress up as Bert. She had the Mary Poppins costume from a few years ago. He would only agree if he could wear whatever shoes he wanted.  I think they were adorable.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

DE Chalk Paint Dresser

Several years ago I posted pics of my tween girl's bedroom.  Tween girl is now driving and wanted something a little more grown up.  She wanted to paint her dresser "grass green" and so I let her. (The color is grass stain from Lowe's)  She used the same techniques and chalk paint recipe from when I did my side tables. She has never painted anything before and I think she did an excellent job. 

One of these days we will get around to decorating the entire room and do some big reveal, but so far this is as far as we've gotten.

BTW: This dresser was mine when I was little and I think several of my sisters as well.  It started as a fake dark wood veneer.  Then my dad painted it white for my daughter, and now it's green.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back To School Candy Jar

 Hobby Lobby had all their jars on 50% off and so that inspired me wanted to do some back-to-school themed candy jars.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

DE (diatomaceous earth) Chalk Paint

I've been wanting to try chalk paint for years (hopefully the trend isn't over yet).  I found this recipe using DE on pinterest (I'd love to give credit, but it didn't link back). Since I had a 25 lb box of it sitting in my garage, I figured I'd give it a try. 

1/4 cup DE
8 Tb Water
1 paint sample (7.2 ounces) Valspar Mercer Blue

Mix the water and DE, then add the paint and stir with a plastic fork until smooth.  Paint.  Wait an hour and lightly sand with 220 sandpaper until smooth.  (Don't be scared-this took under 5 minutes)

Honestly it was fool proof and created a smooth buttery finish.

It ended up looking more gray than blue, so I mixed a little of my glaze with some turquoise craft paint, then it looked too blue, so I glazed it again with some Behr Espresso Bean. (Here's more detailed info about how I glaze).  

I still haven't gotten around to applying a layer of finishing wax.

I have no experience with other chalk paint, but I can't imagine any other kind working better.  DE can be found at any hardware or pool supply store.  (or beg some off a friend that has a pool) The original recipe suggested "food-grade", but I don't think it would have made a difference.
I forgot to take a "before", but I found it in a corner of a picture from Christmas morning). I actually got these at a garage sale about 7 years ago and painted them black. (BTW black furniture is not the best idea for someone who dusts as often as I do)


These tables make me silly happy!

I also painted a dresser and mirror for my daughter so stay tuned. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I Spent Way Too Much Time on This

We have left the military and have entered the civilian world. This means that my husband needs to market himself to drum up business so we can still eat on a regular basis.  

I have the recipe for the world's best chocolate chip cookies and so he asked me to make a few batches that he can leave at offices around Houston.  He also asked me to make them cute. I was inspired by this. (I got the gable box at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents.)

I attached a little pocket so he can insert his business cards.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What I'm Reading -While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

We absolutely feel that we are where we are supposed to be and we have a fabulous house and my husband loves his new job.  I really should have nothing to complain about except for the fact MOVING SUCKS!

One day feeling a little lonely and completely overwhelmed at my attempts for my house to stop looking like an audition for Hoarders, my daughter brought in a package from Amazon.

My friend Suzanne, knows that a great read is just good for the soul and sent me a book. (How blessed am I to have her as a friend?)

If you need a fun summer read, check it out:

The  British concierge of  "The Alexander", a luxury apartment building in Atlanta, organizes weekly screenings of Downton Abbey to promote community spirit. These screenings provide the framework for a story filled with unlikely friendships, southern charm and snark, romance, and personal triumphs.  

UPDATE:  Since writing this post, I went and signed up for a library card and check out a few more books by the same author.  I then pulled out my sewing machine for the first time in months.  It was just to tailor a pair of pants, but I feel both are big steps in getting settled and returning to my trophy wife self.