Archives for July 2012

Miscellany (As Well As Whatnot)

Well, I have started re-painting the cabinets that I started re-painting last week. And I can’t help but feel that the second color is much more soothing and a lot less HEY! IS THIS WHERE MARDI GRAS HAPPENS? than the first. Hopefully I’ll finish covering up all the green on Monday, and I will definitely take some pictures when I do.

Not that I haven’t worn y’all slap out with all my cabinet drama already.

We’ve also replaced our dead refrigerator with a new one, and once the delivery guys installed it yesterday morning and carried off our old one, the three of us sat in the kitchen for a few minutes and stared at our new appliance friend.

It was tricky to find one that fit in the allotted space since our house was built in the 70s – a simpler time when things like French door refrigerators were non-existent – so when we finally ran across one that wouldn’t block the entrance to our dining room, we were all over it. It’s a lot taller than our other one, and isn’t this the most fascinating content you’ve ever read? A comparison of refrigerators?

Up next: toasters!

Anyway, here are a few things that I’ve been meaning to mention but haven’t because of an overall lack of organization as well as a good measure of forgetfulness. It’s a winning combo.

Where’s My Perry?

Everybody in our little family absolutely adores this game. I actually finished it last night, and I will probably play through all the levels all over again. I had no idea that the laws of physics could be so much fun.

The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story

I bought this Bible for our little guy after JMom recommended it to me. I figured that it might be something he would look at from time to time – or something that we’d use to supplement his regular Bible – but he picked it up the day it came in and read it like a novel over the course of a week. Totally captivated by it. If you have a kid who likes superheroes, I bet they’ll enjoy this Bible, too.

Cowbell Tales

If you’re a Mississippi State fan, you need to check out Cowbell Tales. It’s such a neat way to commemorate one of State’s most beloved traditions, and you can be a part of it by submitting pictures or stories for the upcoming book.

The Worst Case Scenario: Amazon

This book has been a big hit in our house. HUGE.

– Strawberry Cake from Joe’s Italian

If you live in the Birmingham area and have not yet tried the strawberry cake from Joe’s Italian in Alabaster, I have a question for you: WHY? It is beyond delicious. Well worth the drive. The entrees are great, too, but the strawberry cake – well, it is magical.

– Not Crafty. Again.

A is really into Batman and wanted a bat signal. I told him to bring me a flashlight, some paper, and some scissors. Then I tried to cut out a shape like what I saw on his Batman cape. It turned out more like a dove signal than a bat signal, but it works like a charm when you shine it on the ceiling. Unfortunately, Doveman isn’t really in high demand these days.

– Zaxby’s Ice

I consider myself a bit of an ice connoisseur, and in my opinion Zaxby’s ice is finest ice of our time. I know that’s blasphemy to Sonic loyalists, but the Zaxby’s ice, while similar in its pellet shape, is a bit bigger and chewier. Perfection. Anyway, did you know that you can buy bags of Zaxby’s ice for $1.99? YOU CAN. You can buy it through the drive-thru or in the restaurant (as I have done twice in the last three days). And then you can enjoy said ice in the comfort of your very own home. It’s certain to add an exciting new dynamic to your ice consumption.

Hope y’all have a great week!

We Must Never Speak Of This Again

So, at first glance – and in the dark of night – you might think, Hey, that’s not so bad.

Sure, it’s a little bright, but it might be a little punch of happy when you’re cooking. It might make you smile when you walk in the back door.

It’s cheerful, after all. Such a happy color!

But when the sun comes up? And the light of day hits those cabinets? And you see the contrast between what was and what will be?

That’s when you throw down the paint brush and text the professionals and CRY OUT FOR COLOR SELECTION ASSISTANCE.

Hopefully it won’t be long before we can move past this sad moment in my decorative history.

And by the way, our refrigerator died today. Just quit. Healthy as a horse one minute, dead as a doornail the next.

Quite frankly I think it got a good look at one of those green cabinets and keeled right over. The visual shock was more than it could take.

Needless to say, the rest of our appliances would appreciate your prayers.

Stay Apple Green, Ponyboy

Yesterday I painted all day. Well, I painted during all the parts of the day when I wasn’t playing the Where’s My Perry? game (so delightfully addictive) or watching a certain reunion special on Bravo. But I painted A LOT. And while I was painting, I was good with the color. I recognized that the apple green was on the bright side, but unlike the mint-y green that’s been on the cabinets, there was nothing wishy-washy about the apple green.

And yesterday, at least, I appreciated that.

But this morning I got out of bed and walked in the kitchen and before I even knew what came over me, I said, “OH, NO. NOOOOOOO.” I said it a couple of times. And I meant it, too.

Because in the morning light, the apple green color is, well, neon-esque in its intensity. It’s just too much. Plus, in the spots where the apple green bumps up against the blue walls, it looks like I’ve tried to paint my kitchen to look like a nursery. Or at the very least a room that overstimulates four year-olds to ear-splitting levels of excitement.

I told myself to give it a few hours to see if the color calmed down, but I barely made it past lunch before I 911-texted my friend Bubba (who is an interior designer and not really named Bubba) and begged him to stage a cabinet color intervention. Bubba understands my tendency to get a little over-enthusiastic with my colors, which is why, when D and I bought our first house eleventy hundred years ago, Bubba mailed me a list of paint colors that he recommended. The colors were gorgeous, of course – very muted and rich and neutral – and I followed Bubba’s suggestions to the letter. I actually only fell off the Responsible Paint Color Selection Wagon twice when we were living in that house: once when I painted large stripes in our bedroom, unintentionally creating the effect of a carnival, and again when our dog went into labor in the back bedroom and I responded to the canine medical drama by painting my kitchen purple while my neighbor tended to the animals.

The puppies turned out way cuter than the kitchen, by the way.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that the Apple Green Cabinet Experiment of 2012 is now drawing to a close. It was a tender time with some hard lessons. I took a chance, and it didn’t work out. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be walking through the grocery store next week and suddenly decide that my life won’t be complete if I don’t paint my bathroom a shade of coral that leans toward orange, but this particular citron-colored chapter of my decorative life is over.

I understand if you feel that you may require some time to adequately grieve and process this development. I know that the apple green option was wildly popular with approximately four of you. It’s to be expected that it may take awhile for us to get our emotional bearings again.

Fingers crossed, though, that I’ve gotten this round of Impulsive Decorative Disorder out of my system. I don’t want to move too quickly – there’s some healing that needs to happen, of course – but I’m ready to get some new paint and finish these cabinets. My apple green aims were honest, mind you, but like Randy Travis sings, “I hear tell that the road to OH MY WORD THAT’S THE TACKIEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN is paved with good intentions.”

Or something like that.

So just as soon as I gaze lovingly at the apple green cabinets and shed a single tear, I’m going to grab some sandpaper, rub off the tacky, and move on.

It’s the right thing to do.

(Feel free to begin playing some inspirational music.)

(I’ve always been partial to the theme from Chariots of Fire).

(But any of the Rocky themes would be totally appropriate as well.)

Impulsive Decorative / Snack Cracker Disorder

Listen. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

But this morning, around 11 or 11:30, I was checking my email and minding my business and listening to the little guy laugh with our next door neighbor, and out of nowhere I thought, I kind of feel like painting the kitchen cabinets.

And then I looked around like Who? Who just said that? Who would suggest such a thing? STOP IT WITH THE CRAZY TALK ONE TIME.

So y’all know what I did. I listened to the crazy. And then I hopped in the car and drove to Sherwin Williams and bought myself a quart of paint.

Oh, sweet fancy Moses.

But here’s the thing. When I repainted the cabinets three years ago, I never did love the color. I liked it fine. I appreciated the fresh coat of paint that made everything look cleaner and more updated. But the color was way more mint-y than I thought it would be, and I sort of had my heart set on an apple-y green. I chickened out on the apple green because I was scared it would be too much color, and I went with something that I considered a little bit more safe.

Today, though, I decided that if I paint the cabinets apple green and they’re completely obnoxious, I can paint them again. Because part of the fun of having a house that was built in 1974 is knowing that at one point it was made of groovy, and heaven knows that I do enjoy the groovy. Plus, I think there are people who create spaces that are subdued and elegant – and I think that I am not one of those people. I love living in the middle of a whole bunch of color. Anyway, I guess we’ll see how it all turns out. I’ll post pictures whenever I finish.

Unless it’s all a disaster, of course.

Now. Let’s talk about something really important. Let’s talk about Jingos.

What are Jingos, you ask?

Well, I didn’t know until today. Target was kind enough to bring me up to speed.

Y’all know that I can’t resist a new snack cracker product. And it looks like they’re Jingos! instead of just Jingos.

Apparently Jingos! are enthusiastic! They’re also snappy.

I don’t know about y’all, but I think that “snappy” is an underutilized adjective. We need to give it more attention in our day-to-day conversation.

So. There were three or four varieties of Jingos! at our Target, and we picked the parmesan garlic.

Once we were home, I carefully opened the somewhat oddly-shaped box before I tore into the foil bag.

I was immediately struck by the crackers’ strong, cheesy notes with an undertone of roasted garlic. The smell was stronger than I expected – way stronger than a box of CheezIts – and I decided that Pepperidge Farm must have approached the Jingos! with a go big or go home snack cracker philosophy. After all, you can’t take challenge the CheezIt empire with some watered down cheese flavor. You have to create a cracker that’s cheesy enough to make the consumer think, “Is somebody cooking Italian food? Because I’m pretty sure that I smell Italian food right now.”

The Jingos! are actually really tasty, and I will buy them again. However – and I can hardly believe that I’m saying this – they’re almost too cheesy for me. There’s a mildness about the CheezIt that’s comforting, and there’s nothing mild about the Jingos! parmesan garlic. It’s a snack cracker with attitude. It’s also a snack cracker for grown-ups; I think the flavors are a little more intense than what most kids expect from an afternoon snack.

This is merely the opinion of an amateur snack cracker aficionado, mind you. I am certainly not a snack cracker professional, but I have dreams, people.


In Which I Am Indebted To My Sister And Also Pinterest

I mentioned last week that I’ve been in “spruce up” mode as far as our house is concerned. This mode seems to hit me about once a year, and it’s usually accompanied by numerous trips to HomeGoods and no small degree of standing in front of various pieces of furniture and staring off into space.

It’s a very precise, scientific method.

One of the living room dilemmas that seized my attention last week is that we have a large, gigantor, enormous coffee / cocktail table that sits smack-dab in the middle of the room, and sometimes I wish that there was something a little less, um, LARGE in its place. Plus, since it’s so big, its surface area tends to stay covered with remotes and books and whatnot, and that drives me even crazier than the size of it. So, I looked around on Pinterest and found a couple of replacement ideas that intrigued me – but they cost more than I wanted to spend. I found a great-looking table on Joss & Main, but it was sold out, so I decided to scrap the whole idea and give up and FINE, FORGET IT, THE SPRUCING UP IS OVER.

While I was sulking about my new table plans being RURNT, JUST RURNT, I thought about a coffee table that was sitting under the windows in my bedroom. D bought it when he was fresh out of college, and while it’s real wood and rock-solid and all that, I never cared for the light oak stain and the utilitarian look. Even still, we’ve always found a place where we could use it, and for the last two or three years it’s been sitting next to a couple of chairs in our bedroom. I’ve never thought about giving it a make-over because using it always felt temporary; plus, it didn’t really strike me as something that fit into the over-all look of our house.

Last weekend I off-handedly mentioned to D that I was thinking / pondering / considering / activating a prayer chain about maybe re-purposing that table, and much to my surprise, he was all for it. I thought he might object to putting paint on top of that real-live wood, but he told me about sixteen times that it didn’t make a bit of difference to him if I painted it / stained it / sawed it in two if I thought that I could really use it.

(I couldn’t help but think of our first year of marriage when I asked him 95 times if we could please buy a TV armoire to replace his black laminate entertainment center – complete with smoked glass and magnetized doors – and he honestly couldn’t fathom why I minded that the bottom door liked to fall onto my toe every third time that I opened it.)

(We’ve come a long way in fifteen years.)

When Sister arrived on the 4th, I barely gave her a chance to sit down before I started talking about all the little projects I had in mind. The first big thing was picking out fabric for new pillows in the living room (more on that in another post), and the next big thing was D’s old coffee table – and what we might be able to do in the way of a make-over. Once those two topics were out of the way, I segued into I DON’T THINK I LIKE WHERE ANYTHING IS DO YOU THINK WE COULD ANGLE THE RUG AND I REALLY WISH I COULD MOVE THE FIREPLACE, AMEN.

Really, the best thing about me is that I’m so even-keeled and rational.

Initially our plan was to move the big coffee table out of the room and replace it with a re-made version of the smaller one. BUT, over the course of a couple of days – after talking and shifting and moving some furniture around – we realized that the smaller table was completely dwarfed by my sofas. Looked like dollhouse furniture. For better or worse, that area by the sofas needs something bigger and chunkier there. Clearing all the books off the big coffee table’s glass top helped to create some much-needed visual space, though it still left us with one final question:

What in the sam hill are we going to do with all of these books?

And that, my friends, brought us back to the smaller table, Pinterest, and my sister’s mad carpentry skills.

(I should add that taking books out of the living room is not an option in this house.)

(Because books multiply in this house.)

(And I have to have somewhere to stack all the books that are currently in rotation or I will start throwing said books through the windows.)

(Seriously. They’re everywhere.)

(So what I’m saying we decided that some sort of library table would be a great option. Nothing for permanent storage – just a place for the books to rest in the living room while they’re being referenced and/or read.)

(And if there was any way to wrangle a little extra storage out of said table, all the better.)

(I have officially over-parentheticaled myself.)

Here’s the before picture of the aforementioned utilitarian coffee table.

Only took me about 850 words to get to the first picture. That is some serious wordiness, my friends.

Sister and I talked about what sort of look I wanted to achieve in the end, and we made a trip to Home Depot for all of our supplies. I can’t take any credit whatsoever for getting the right stuff, but Sister knew exactly what we needed: a cut piece of wood, casters, screws, washers, and paint.

Once we got home, I rounded up the drill, then spent the next couple of hours lending moral support. That’s all I seem to be able to do when any sort of assembly is required.

Sister, on the other hand, got after it.

She drilled holes in the center of each coffee table leg.

And after she drilled holes in the new piece of wood (she’d measured and lined it up with the coffee table legs), she used screws to attach the wood to the table.

Then she attached casters and flipped over the table. I helped with the flipping, but for all intents and purposes, that was the finale as far as my helping was concerned.

Next she added the first coat of paint.

I know. The light was lacking.

But here’s the final product, and y’all, I love it (thanks, Sister!). In addition to giving us storage (basket on the left is for all our emergency stuff – weather radio, flashlights, etc. – and the basket on the right is home to the little man’s DS, games, and charger), it gives me a place to put some books. Plus, it fills up what has always been dead space in our living room, so I feel like I’ve gained a new little area.

I sealed the table with two coats of polyurethane. I added the books and baskets after it dried, and then I just smiled and smiled. I would’ve never, ever believed that D’s old coffee table could look so much better – and add so much function to our living room at the same time.

I’m tickled, I tell you. TICKLED.

And I’m now free to stand in front of other pieces of furniture and stare off into space before I make a few more trips to HomeGoods.


A Very Happy 236th

Well, I think we’ve finally recovered from the 4th. My parents, sister, and brother-in-law were at our house for the festivities, and I cooked way too much food, including seven-layer salad, a dish that I WORE SLAP OUT when D and I were first married but was just as tasty as I remembered. After we polished off our lunch with some homemade ice cream, we all pretty much backed away from the table and threw down a white napkin of surrender.

This is riveting, isn’t it?

Anyway, there was all sorts of fireworks fun and etc., but the thing I’m most excited about telling you is that Wednesday morning I stepped way outside my comfort zone and tried something that some of you have been encouraging me to do for years.


I did! I baked it! I normally fry it on the stove because, in my opinion, that makes it far more delicious than microwaved bacon, but for whatever reason, I decided to give baked bacon a try yesterday. So, I covered a cookie sheet with foil, laid about six strips of bacon across the cookie sheet, put it in a cold oven, turned the oven to 400, then baked it for 20 minutes.

IT WAS PERFECT. And delicious. And wonderful. And all the things that bacon should be.

I’m pretty sure that it’s going to completely change my morning routine once school starts. What with the not getting popped by grease splatters at 6 AM and all.

Today Sister and I didn’t bake any bacon, but we did do some other fun things: pedicures, Home Goods, fabric store, Steinmart(s), etc. I found some fabric for my living room pillows, and I was so oddly decisive that I wondered if I hadn’t been secretly medicated. Not that I’m aware of a medication that makes a person more decisive, mind you, but it was an odd change of pace for someone who has been known to stand in the cereal aisle and just AGONIZE over what would be the best purchase.

Completely normal. I am completely normal.

By the way, Sister and I ran across this little fella when we were in Home Goods this afternoon, and we feel that it bodes very, very well for Mississippi State’s 2012 football season.


(Before you make too much fun of me, please remember The Symbolic TJ Maxx Trip of 2010.)

My only hesitation is that I’m not really aware of any point in the college football regular season when a team is crowned as king, but I will not let that pesky detail interfere with my unbridled (blind) optimism.


Anyway, I hope y’all had a great 4th – and I hope you get to bake some bacon very soon. While picking out fabric. And getting a pedicure.

Just as the good Lord intended.

Happy Weekend, y’all!