Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eurovision Love

My dear friend Deanna is, like me, a ridiculous fan of ridiculous European music and on Saturday our favorite annual event, the Eurovision Song Competition, was held in Azerbaijan.  Since plane tickets to Baku were out of the question, this year we held our viewing non-party at my house.

Going into the competition, my Top Three were:
- Cyprus (La La Love has been stuck in my head for days)
- Turkey (I love boats <3 )
- Ireland (What can I say?  I also love me some Jedward!)

Also, an honorable mention to Russia!!  :)

We invited Summer (a new teacher at our school who used to live in Sweden) and decided to go international for our snacks: I made my famous French onion soup, and German pretzels, and bought Italian wafer cookies, melba toast from Holland, and German herring.  Deanna brought French bread and brie, Italian red wine, Belgium "Abbey ale" beer, and these Israeli cookies that I used to buy all the time in Connecticut.  Summer made a real Greek salad and brought Swedish coffee.  Yum!!

In the end... Sweden won.  Perhaps it was Summer's presence! :)  We were bummed about Cyprus's dismal finish... oh well, though!  We still had fun!  :)

What's your favorite international music hit?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Indiana Jones and the Bathtub of Doom

I have a confession to make.  I've been spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately.  Not very glamorous?  Well, I've been in the master bath, actually.  In the bathtub.  Tragically it's still not glamorous.

It turns out the bathtub was not properly sealed and there are giant cracks just asking for a water damage party on my downstairs ceiling.  Last Sunday, I spent a few hours peeling off the small amount of caulk that happened present.  I used a baby screwdriver to 'cut' the seal and it worked pretty well.  While I was at it, I also cleaned off the paint on top of the bathtub, because someone had a heavy hand when it came to painting.  Shocker.  :)

When I got to the section where I suspected water damage (where the tub part meets the shower wall part, on the water end of the tub [see above]), a quarter-sized chunk of wall came off with the sealant.  The drywall was squishy underneath.  Is that called wetwall?

I didn't take a picture of the final 3/4-inch deep hole I ended up creating as I removed all of the squishiness.  Trust me, it was awesome.  I had to keep digging - I just didn't feel right about the pink film I was seeing...

On Monday, I found some leftover Spackle in the garage, so I filled in the hole and cracks with it.  It was surprisingly rewarding.  I've never Spackled before, although I've iced a lot of cakes.  Using Luna Lovegood's movie logic, how different are they really?  Plus, I watched a ton of Bob Ross growing up and he could make beautiful happy trees with a putty knife, why couldn't I fix my wall with one?  After the Spackle dried, I caulked the daylights out of every nook and cranny of the bathtub as well as the baseboards.  I think I did a pretty good job.  :)

Are you a weekend warrior?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In a White Room

I'm testing some color palates for the master bedroom... and I put the down comforter on so I could look at the duvet cover.  It's white with pale lavender fern-like designs.  My current obsessions (as evidenced by my Pins) are pale grey walls, yellow accents, and a few fuschia pops.  Note: the walls are not yet painted (chips are currently all over the window seat), and I am itchy to move the former owner's curtain rod up to the outside of the deeeeeeeep window.  Drives me crazy about four times a day.  It's on my to do list.  :)

As always, a work in progress:

What's your ultimate bedroom color scheme?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Poor Poly

The cat's food bowl was mobbed by ants last weekend.  :(  Poor kitty cat looooves strawberries and tragically, didn't finish the last bit of her snack.  The anties came out of the woodwork (literally, I think they squeezed in through a crack between the kitchen and the garage).  I tried my usual cleaning supply (vinegar) and that did nothing.  Since I don't have a lot of chemicals in the kitchen and zero bug sprays, I grabbed the only thing I could think of: the oven cleaner.  Those buggers haven't been back yet.

Poly's pretty happy:

What treats do your pets enjoy?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ace is the Place (for Candles)

I'm on a crusade to find a magnetic hook strong enough to hold my aprons.  I've tried Target, Big Lots, Fred's, and now Ace.  Ace has ginormous ones and not quarter-sized ones.  So, Ace is not the place for smallish strong magnetic hooks.

They are, however, the place for candles.  The local Ace Hardware has votives and tapers on for 50% off... and they were only 35c to start!  Since someone burned all the candles I got at the Yankee Candle flagship store in S. Deerfield (who would do such a thing?), I stocked up on colors that match the current decor:

I managed to sneak out a precious antique cupboard from my mom's house when I moved out time #2, I now store my candles in it, just like she did.  Hi Mom!  I keep vases, candles, fancy soaps, and my Hanukkah items in here.  Also, two bags of potpourri Ace gifted me.  Thanks, dudes!

And it sits nicely between the Harry Potter closet and the powder room:

Picture of my lovely parents on the front right.  Unframed Paris art (three of countless) here until frames are located... Mah jongg set chilling on the bottom because I keep forgetting to put it away... :)

Where do you keep all of your smelly-good stuff (and 50lb Chinese games)?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mr. Basil Comes to Dinner

Recently, I wanted to make caprese salad for lunch, so I looked for basil at the grocery store.  While Publix had pre-packed basil for $2, they had actual basil plants on special for $3.

Mr. Basil has been going strong for several weeks, and finally this weekend, I had to split down the plants.  I re-used a mushroom container and the bottom of a strawberry container for the new temporary pots.

I've been putting basil in everything lately, including salads and soup.  I don't typically use recipes when making dinner, so this in an ingredients list only for the soup.  I'm sure it's not healthy, yet it used up some leftovers, and sometimes that's the goal!

Potato Basil Soup
- pre-cooked red potatoes, diced (leftovers from the previous night's dinner)
- lots of fresh basil leaves
- milk
- rivels (flour/water mixed together and dropped into the boiling liquid)
- garnish with pepper and fresh grated cheese

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

List Party

I really like lists.  I like daydreaming about lists, I like writing down lists on lined paper, regular paper, and especially graph paper (those boxes are so satisfying).  I like typing up lists, crossing items and tasks off lists, reading other people's lists, ranking items, grouping items, making sub-items for previously listed items...  It's all delicious.  Here's a list I've typed up to organize all the (current) projects I would like to someday tackle in my home.  Oddly enough, each list and sublist is in absolutely no particular order.  Except that #1 is the toilet in the master bathroom.

Wanted and Needed To Do's for Someday


Master Bedroom:
- exchange broken ceiling fan for chandelier or prettier fan
- paint walls (grey?)
- sew new curtains (hybrid from two sets I have (yellow + grey)
- new bedframe (queen platform)
- new mattress
- new duvet cover

Master Bathroom:
- fix the toilet (won't stop running)
- caulk around bathtub
- fix the broken drawer (bottom right)
- move main door to outside of frame

Master Closet:
- add extra shelves at far end

Baby's Room:
- paint (bye-bye Winnie the Pooh)
- fix master ceiling fan/install instead of the butterfly fan
- add a bed, small dresser, another bookcase
- add a table for my sewing machine and materials

Baby's Bathroom:
- caulk around bathtub
- install shower rod, curtains

Laundry Room:
- buy a washer and dryer :)

- ahh something that doesn't currently need anything

- add a shelf over the bottom window?
- add art, pictures, or mirrors


Powder Room:
- fix toilet (leaking?)
- remove all the little blue paint dots from the fixtures because the former owner got paint EVERYWHERE
- add shelving (pedastol sinks are form and not function)

Stair Closet:
- add another section of shelving (or three)

- no current needs

Living Room:
- paint (pale yellow?)
- remove the nonworking Dish cables (also remove Dishes from roof)

Dining Room:
- paint (green?)
- install a new light fixture

- add knobs the doors and drawers
- update stove (I miss my glasstop!!)
- install new countertops or glue (instead of packing tape) down the popped up pieces

- get extras out of there (the seller left sooo much junk!!)
- add shelving, peg board, anything for organization!

And hardwood floors for all!!!  Someday!!  Except the garage and stuff, that's just crazy...

What's at the top of your To Do Wish List?