Friday, May 30, 2014

Fri!Day! High!Lights!

Woot! It's Friday, y'all! I know several of you who are teachers that just finished up the school year, and I just gotta say:

No feeling better than finishing another a school year and entering the bliss of summer vacation. Congratulations to all you teachers out there who get to enjoy LIFE for a couple months. :) :) :)

So now it's time for my:

It's been a good week! I completed two makeover projects. So that feels great.


I finally, finally, finally purchased a smart phone. Baby's First iPhone. I am excited. :)

Of course I have already set my lock screen to a cat photo.
You probably already guessed that.

Even though the packaging said my bulbs would take 80-90 days to germinate, my gladiolas are already coming up!

I went on an awesome 4 mile hike with my friend H on Wednesday afternoon. I used my new iPhone and the MapMyWalk app to record our time, pace, distance, and a map of our route. Very cool! I can see how this app is going to encourage me to go on more walks and maybe even a run or two...
Anyway, on our hike, we came across a pond where there were, literally, THOUSANDS of baby frogs hopping about. 

We had to dramatically slow our pace (which, humorously, is reflected on the MapMyWalk app graph) to avoid trampling the hundreds of frogs in our path. It was c.r.a.z.y.

Tomorrow is the highly anticipated Oxford Wine Festival: 

Tickets include 5 wine tastings and a souvenir wine glass! I plan to be there for the full 8 hours. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Makeovers! Part II

Hey there! Remember this little table from the winter?

Womp womp...

Originally a floor sample from my Crate&Barrel days, it's a sturdy little table that's kind of dark and boring. In February I filled in all the gouges in the wood, sanded it down real good, and then patiently waited for the temps to warm up so I could spray paint it! Well the time has finally come...

I decided to go with classic white rather than the yellow color I had been planning. This way it will be more versatile and maybe look a little more 'grown-up'. :) So welcome to my painting studio...

Primer Coat #1:
I've learned to do 2-3 thin coats rather than trying to cover everything on
the first go-round. It prevents drips and gives more even coverage. 

Glossy White Coat:
I found it easiest to get all angles of the square legs when the table was on
its side. I did one side, let it dry for 30 minutes, then flipped the table over
and did the other side. 

 Today it's all dry, so I popped the glass back in and set it up in the living room! Yay!

It's much brighter than the dark wood and looks much cleaner.

So that's it for the spray painting... for now. Next up, I'm thinking of doing a bit of rearranging of the living room furniture. Now that I'm on summer vacation, it's time to get some projects done!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Makeovers! Part I

Last week all the college students moved out, leaving piles upon piles of curbside garbage in their wake. First of all, let me just express how disgusted I was with the amount of waste I saw. House upon house had burped up mattresses, box springs, and sofas still in useable condition. There were bureaus with missing drawers, hampers full of hangers and clothes, and all sorts of household products such as Swiffers, brooms, and garbage cans. I cannot believe how much these students threw away. Is it like this in every college town?? I don't remember it being that way in Boulder, however we lived apart from the student section of town, so maybe I just didn't see it.

If Ted and I had the storage space, I would have rented a U-Haul, picked up as much usable furniture as I could, and sold it back to students in the fall. I'm pretty sure I saw a few people driving around town doing just that. There really ought to be a better program for collecting large items - maybe they can give it to Goodwill or something.

Anyway... I digress. This post is not supposed to be about garbage. That was just an introduction to what's really on my mind, which is:

It's spray painting season!!

From the trash heaps around town, I salvaged two small trash bins, a step-stool, a broom for outside and garage use, a large pallet for getting our cardboard boxes off the floor in the basement (in case it ever floods), and this small lamp:

It had a pretty clean shade, despite the fact that it was unceremoniously thrown in the grass by the curb, and the base was in decent condition. The only apparent problem was that the bulb had been broken off, which made it difficult to unscrew the leftover base of the bulb from the lamp.

All it took was a pair of pliers and a little ingenuity, and I got it out. 

And then it was time for a makeover! I decided to go with black paint because the design of the lamp was a little too cutesy for my taste, and I didn't want to accentuate that with a cutesy color. 

I knew I wanted to decorate the lampshade somehow, to make the lamp a little more exciting and give it some personality. After searching for ideas on Pinterest, I decided to try drawing on the shade. I went to this website to download an image I liked, shrank it down to the size I needed, printed it out, and taped it to the inside of the lampshade.

It was a little hard to see the details through the shade, so I ended up only tracing an outline of everything. Then I turned off the light, took the shade off the lamp, and sat on the couch for a couple hours free-handing the details while watching The Office.

I used a black, fine-point fabric pen. (Before drawing on the shade I tested the pen on a piece of scrap fabric to make sure it wouldn't bleed. It wasn't perfect on the shade - it did bleed a bit - but you can't really tell in the end.)

The finished drawing

I also bought a white pom-pom trim, which I glued to the base of the shade using a hot glue gun. In the end, I'm very happy with how the lamp turned out! It's a little hard to photograph since it's black and white (usually either the white is too bright in the photo or the black is too dark).

So there's my first completed spray painting project of the season! I have another project to share very soon...

(We haven't had the best light for photographing in the past few days...)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Milo Update

Milo made another visit to the vet this morning. Last night he was very lethargic, and he's still mostly making little pees in the litter box, so we were more than a little worried about him.

He had a full blood work-up and urinalysis, and the doctor concluded that he's dehydrated, which is slowing his recovery from the blockage. Dr. Molly also said that Milo may have some anxiety that's causing him to avoid drinking water and peeing, so Milo came home with a fluid injection and a prescription anti-depressant.

Yep, our cat's on Prozac.

Hopefully this will help him get back to normal, at which point he can go off the meds. The fluid injection was still sitting underneath the skin when I brought him home and made him look like a little football player.

It's a little hard to see since he's the same color as our wood floor.

Minnie gave him a full inspection when he got home and concluded that everything was satisfactory. I'm sure she was secretly glad that she didn't have to go in the cat carrier to visit the vet.

As you can see, Milo is quite the gentleman when it comes to cleaning himself in the middle of the living room floor.

We're anxious for Milo to get back to his normal, lovey self. He's a big presence around here, and things just haven't felt the same with him being a little 'off'.

Friday, May 23, 2014

High Five for Friday!

It's the first week of summer vacation! Woot! I got my hair cut to celebrate the warmer weather (and to get rid of the destroyed ends - the hard water here is brutal!).

For some reason that photo makes me look a bit fat... I would just like to set the record straight and inform you that I have not gained any weight. I blame Photo Booth.

While walking around our building looking for the cats on Tuesday, I spotted this guy in our neighbor's garden:

He's about the size of a golf ball. Pretty well camouflaged, eh?

The midwest has some pretty stellar thunder storms, and this Wednesday night we had a doozy! The lighting was so bright and continuous that I couldn't sleep (the light was coming through the closed blinds, through the drawn curtains). I finally just got up and watched it for awhile. I didn't take any pictures, but it looked something like:

...and it would strike about every 5-10 seconds. Very cool. 

I spent hours and hours yesterday updating my Resume, writing Letters of Introduction, scanning copies of my transcripts and teaching license, and filling out the longest, most tedious online application I have ever been forced to fill out. Why is this a highlight, you ask? Let me tell you: 
Because there are not one, not two, but THREE elementary classroom job openings at the school right behind our house. I am hoping to snag one for the upcoming school year. Perks include:  A 2-minute walking commute, full-time salary, and, well, that's enough to get me excited right now! 
Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

Tonight we are having dinner with our cool neighbors. One is a vegetarian, so I am making these vegetarian enchiladas, which I made when Ted's parents were here. The catch is, she can't eat tomatoes (and enchilada sauce has tomatoes in it), so I am going to experiment with making a red chile enchilada sauce that I found on the internet (at first I typed 'red child enchilada' and almost didn't catch the typo). It sounds tasty! I'll let you know how it goes.

Source: Recipegirl

So those are my highlights of the week. It's been pretty quiet around here since all the students left, but we don't mind one bit. We've practically got the town to ourselves! 

I should mention, there was one other highlight, which was going through some of the trash heaps that students dumped on the curb the day before they all left. I didn't score anything amazing, but I did grab a few good essentials and a little lamp that I'm going to makeover. I'll do a blog post about those next week. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Visit from the In-Laws

Somehow we managed to time Ted's parents' visit with graduation weekend here in Oxford. Saturday was the main Miami University graduation, and the town was pretty crowded with celebrating families, so we made sure to get well out of the way after lunch.

We headed down to Cincinnati to the William Taft house, where our 27th president grew up. After all, how can Ted resist the opportunity to visit a historical site?

The tour guides were very strange, and the house wasn't the greatest since it had had several other inhabitants since the Tafts lived there and none of their original furniture remained, but we got a couple good photos out of it.

The ground at the Taft house were very well tended. Your tax dollars at work!

After the Taft historical site, we went to the Cincinnati Art Museum, which is free.

We were impressed with the Chihuly glass sculpture inside the main entrance.

We didn't have much time since we arrived an hour before closing, and the museum staff was setting up for an evening event, so we just did a quick whirl through.

One interesting exhibit was this one where the artist, Todd Pavlisko, saved every coin he found on the ground for 10 years. He then coated each coin in gold plate and grouped them on the floor based on the year he found them.

They were mostly pennies, but Ted calculated one year's square as equaling around $80. I wonder how much the coins are worth when plated in gold...

After the museum we drove up into the hills and had a nice Italian dinner at Primavista Restaurant overlooking the city.

View of Cincinnati from the restuarant

We used this opportunity to take some updated couples photos.

On Sunday the weather improved tremendously (it had been seriously cold and rainy all day Friday and on Saturday morning), so we walked uptown and strolled around the Miami University campus.

We enjoyed watching the new grads taking photos with their families all over campus. After our long stroll, we had a well-earned lunch in a German basement bar called Steinkeller.

Today we have another beautiful, sunny day, but Ted's parents had to leave after lunch. We're glad they got to come see where we've been living for the past 9 months! Who's going to be our next visitor? :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Friday. Time For...

I didn't get around to posting a Top 5 last week since my 'baby' was in the kitty hospital, so this week is a mash-up of the past two weeks, in no particular order.

Ted had the five students from his seminar class over to our house for dinner last Wednesday. It was nice to meet his students (all seniors). Ted baked up a delicious ziti, and I made a way-too-big salad. Then this week my students came over for a BBQ, which I posted about on Wednesday. The cats were very jealous.

Today was the last day of final exams for the Spring semester!! Whoo hoo! Let the summer begin!

Ted's parents are arriving this afternoon for a weekend visit. We bought a new bed for our guest room  since all the hotels in town are booked for graduation. Ted's excited because it's a firm mattress.
Oh yeah, and because his parents are coming.

I received some end-of-the-semester gifts from my students this week. My favorites were some Chinese tea and a Swarovski necklace in a... unique... shape.

And of course, the kittens continue to be highlights of each and every week. If you find yourself needing a minute to relax, just turn up your volume and watch this snoozy kitten.

And since Milo always gets the spotlight, here's Minnie, too. She's a princess.