YHL Book Signing

EDIT:  Why didn’t anyone mention the fact that I forgot to post the picture with me and YHLers?  Check it out below.

Were you wondering why I didn’t bring my personal photographer to Goodwill to take pictures of me instead resorting to the awful camera phone pictures?  Well, only days before I had dragged my personal paparazzi (and the baby) to the Young House Love book signing.  It didn’t go quite as I expected so I was a little embarrassed to ask for another favor.

I knew we either had to get to the book signing really-early or really-late.  If I set my mind to it, I can make it to things early on time.  Unfortunately, we have a reoccurring theme of something happening with the baby to cause us to be late.  I can’t remember the exact fiasco which happened that particular morning, but we only left the house at 10:30 for an 11am book signing.  Boohoo.  So we decided to go for the really-late option and grab breakfast before the signing.

I thought arriving over an hour after the start of the event would have allowed us to be in and out within 30 minutes.  Nope, we waited for 2 hours.  I know you’re thinking, “That’s crazy.”  It was.  The first 30 minutes, I felt like the line was moving pretty fast.


The next 30 minutes, the baby went to the car for a diaper change and feeding so waiting by myself didn’t feel like a long time.  By the time they got back, I had been waiting so long we couldn’t just leave.

yhl3are we done yet?


To make time go by faster, West Elm served delicious treats like mini chocolates shakes and YHL logo cookies:


It was a great marketing idea to make everyone wait inside because I wanted quite a few things by the time I left.  After one hour and forty five minutes, C finally said, “So why do you like these people so much?”  Well, they have inspired quite a few projects in the house including the rain barrels and painting our wood paneling and even cloth diapering.  I was professing their coolness when he interupted me and said, “You’re not going to tell them all of this are you?  That’s embarrassing that you’re copying them.”  Um, hello.  Isn’t that why people blog?  So people will love their projects and copy them. Of course that’s not why I do it.

yhl7we’re almost there!


Anyhoo, we finally get to the front of the line and I hand them my book to sign.  And I smile.  They ooh and ahh over the baby.  And I smile.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think of anything to chit chat about, but all I could blurt out was, “My husband thinks it’s embarrassing that I copy your projects.”  They graciously say it isn’t embarrassing and we take our picture.


I have to admit it was kind of anti-climactic.  But I attribute it to the fact that we were too pooped to be excited about meeting two of our (the baby and I) favorite bloggers.

As we are standing in line to pay for my newly graffiti-ed book, C says, “OH, NO.”  Me, “What?!”  Him, “You have lipstick on your teeth.”  Yeah right.  As I wipe my teeth with my finger, beads of sweat form on my forehead.  When I look down and see lipstick, one tiny drop of perspiration lands on my hand.  Embarrassing.  Seriously embarrassing.

Oh well.  I’m sure neither of the YHLers saw it.  Even if they did, I’m never going to see them again so c’est la vie.  Would I do it again?  Yup.  Exactly the same way?  Nope.  I’d leave the two anchors at home and get there early as planned.  Oh well.  On the bright side, any time I can spend with the family is worth the moaning and groaning of waiting in line.

I know you’ve been waiting to see my prize.  I’ll be putting it next to my autographed Ben Stein book.


Did anyone else go to one of the YHL book stops?  Anything more embarrasing than my experience?  I won’t ask if you experienced anything better because drinking one more mini chocolate shake would have been cooler.

Update:  My suspicions have been confirmed.  Other people had a much cooler experience at the book signing than me as documented by YHL. Is it weird that we posted about this on the same day?

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YHL Thrift Shop Challenge

Young House Love challenged me (yes, me personally) to a thrift store challenge which was inspired by the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Store song.


And of course I accepted.  The rules were to take a picture at a thrift store with $20 in your pocket.  Let me apologize in advance for 1) cell phone camera pictures 2) the awful lighting at Goodwill 3) which led to an awful picture of me:


The second rule was to take pictures with objects from the lyrics of the song.  Score 1 for me since I was at the Goodwill.  Another object was a keyboard.  They actually had 3 full sized keyboards, but I thought it would be funny to take a pictures with the kid sized one.  The kid I pushed out of the way to get to it did not think it was so funny.


Other objects from the song are house slippers and boy does Goodwill have a wide assortment.  I decided to try on the monogrammed ones (the clean one of the pair) because I’m fancy like that.  Of course I didn’t let my skin touch the inside of the slipper.  That would be gross.  I walked over to the hosiery section and borrowed a sock for protection before I Cinderella-ed myself.


The final rule was purchase some items with said $20 bill.  There were few things I had my eye on.  My first stop at thrift stores is always the houseware section to see if they have any goblets which match my collection.  My heart pitter-pattered when I saw the tell tale crystal balls during this particular trip.


But, they were not the right glasses.  Although they were made by Bohemia Crystal, these ones were skinnier and engraved.


I found this mirror for only $16.  I almost bought it, but I already have 2 other gold mirrors which have yet to be hung.  I made a promise to the hubby about buying things only if they had a place in the house.  If I break it, I want it to be for an unbelievable deal.  I did walk by it about 7 times to make sure no one else had bought it (it was still there when I left).

mclmr4 This little cabinet was a contender, but it was more than the challenge amount at $40.  I think I might have a spot for it.  I may buy it if it is still there the next time I go to this store.


Then there was this guy.  It was a rrruff decision to not buy him, but I had to paw-rt with him before I left the store.  Although Sherry of YHL loves to spray paint ceramic animals to make them look chic, I didn’t think it would match our decor.


If I didn’t buy any of that stuff, then what did I go home with?  These two things.  A milk glass footed bowl and a mini cardboard suitcase.


I did a little research since the milk bowl had Cleveland Co markings.  It is worth about $25 so I just quadrupled my money with this purchase.  Woohoo for my $5.99 milk glass.


Bonus points!  A suitcase is another object from the song. I recognized the mini suitcase right away since I have purchased them from Paper Source.  It retails for $11.50 so the $2.99 price was a steal.


I heart thrift stores and would have gone regardless of the (unofficial) Macklemore challenge.  The one by my work is in an affluent area so there are quality goods at bargain prices every time I go there.  I peruse the store a couple times a week month during my lunch break.  Click here to see what everyone else in YHL challenge picked up.  It’s pretty hillarious.

Final thoughts:  How do other people take such good pictures of themselves with their cell phones?  Is it my lack of social media accounts which are limiting my abilities to take pretty self portraits?  Or was it the fact that I was using the face side camera instead of the front side with a mirror?  It was pretty hard to take a picture of myself while extending my arm and pressing the touch screen while keeping my hand from shaking.  Suggestions please!

Posted in thrifting | 7 Comments

I’m Back! (Maybe)

I was taking a survey on one of the blogs I read daily.  One of the last questions was:

I snarked at the option of  “Yes, but I hardly ever update it”.  As I was entering my info, I shamefully couldn’t remember the blog’s URL and had to visit my own site to see what it was.  The date of my last post glared back at me.

Yikes.  9.12.12?  Was my last post really 4 months ago?  Sadly, I had to change my answer on the survey.

I haven’t stopped nailing, polishing or painting things.  In fact, I’ve been taking pictures along the way so I could share with you.  Here is that $5 luggage rack with a quick coat of paint.


I know you miss/crave/need to read my witty words and pretty pictures, but my priorities have changed. Instead of staying up late at night to sew, I stay up to fold one last diaper:

back5Instead of stirring a can of paint, I stir a batch of baby food:

back1pea and carrot mush is yummy

Instead of catching up on TV time, I catch up with mommy-and-me time:

Am I back to blogging?  Maybe.  If a certain someone continues to go to bed at a decent time.  Maybe not.  If MTV decides to renew Teen Mom or give Macy her own spin-off.

p.s.  this post is dedicated to allison who also noted the lack of recent posts.  hope this is enough to tide you over for a bit.
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Looking at My Loot

A few weekends ago, my friends and I went to a baby shower in a neighborhood that was having blocks of garage sales. This wasn’t your normal couple-of-house-in-a-row type of sale, but about 7×2 streets worth of treasure.  It was in conjunction with an organized antique fair and people were slinging their stuff to ride on the publicity.  The sellers had their goods strewn across theirs lawns and the buyers were trailing their wagons with their finds.  The quality of the goods was outstanding.  People weren’t selling their freebie t-shirts, but their dining sets they had inherited from the grandparents.  With my baby shower gift in hand, I haggled to get best deals.  Look at the loot I was able to get for $37!

A glider rocker and ottoman for $30, a side table/stool for $2 and a luggage rack for $5.  I only wanted to buy the ottoman, but couldn’t pass up the entire set for $30.  The unique duck/swan head detail on the arms won me over.

excuse the poor focus, my camera is still in the shop and i don’t know how to use my loaner

Aside from the granny style floral fabric, the chair is in good condition with no tears or funny smells.  The same can’t be said for the matching ottoman, but that will be fixed with new fabric.

I wasn’t sure where I would put the little table or luggage rack, but once again I couldn’t pass up the prices.  The little table looks like it could have come from Ikea, but the luggage rack is definitely vintage with its cute curves and Victorian looking straps.

My friends also came away with great deals.  50 cents for a pair of glass candlestick  holders and $2 for an oval coffee table.  I can’t wait to start on these new projects.  Although I’m sure the rocker is going to sit around for a few months.  Considering the fact that I also have 4 folding chairs, 2 arm chairs and 2 side tables in my to-be-fixed backlog, I’ll be surprised if I get to it within the next year.

Posted in furniture | Tagged | 4 Comments

Musical Chairs

There was a giant furniture void in the pool room after I moved the chairs into the living room.  Of course I have a stockpile of furniture to fill all vacancies so the corner was only empty for a few minutes.  After a game of musical chairs, the old sofas were out and a new ottoman plopped into the last empty seat.

We actually made the ottoman before the baby was born and we’ve been moving it around to find a good spot for it.  It was originally made to replace the oak coffee table, but it didn’t match the sofas or pillows.  It has been hopping around a few other spots, but it never fit in anywhere.

We made it from scrap wood and materials we had sitting around.  I was going to turn the oak coffee table into a large ottoman, but forgot to figure in the foam when I bought the fabric so I was short several inches.  So the foam and fabric sat around for over a year before I got the bright idea to make a new frame so I could use the materials I had.

First, we made a frame from scrap 2x4s and plywood and Kreg Jigged the whole thing together.  We drilled holes into the plywood so I could secure covered buttons to the bottom.  I also added the frames for the legs, but realized I should have done this after I added the batting and fabric.

Next, I cut the foam down to size and cut little holes in the same spots as the plywood.

I added batting and cut holes in the same location as the previous two layers.

I forgot to take pictures of how I finished with the fabric and buttons, but I simply stapled the fabric to the wood underneath the cushion.  I made buttons and threaded/stapled them similar to the way I did it for the covered headboard I did awhile back.

Lastly, I screwed the leg frames to the wood and the legs to the frames.

Ta-da.  The ottoman is complete.  Between the fabric, foam, and legs, this was not a cheap project.

-Wood:  Free scraps (from the house demo and previous projects)

-Foam:  ~$35 for 20″x40″x2″ high density from a local foam shop

-Fabric:  ~$27 for 1.5 yards of crushed velvet from a local fabric store

-Wooden legs: ~$8 each=$32 from Home Depot

-Leg frames:  ~$4 each= $16 from Home Depot

You could probably buy an ottoman for $100, but at least this is the exact fabric and color I wanted.  It compliments the buffet very well even though I didn’t originally intend for it to go there.

I also had a Chinoiserie style folding screen laying around the house and added it to my little corner vignette.  I borrowed it from my mom awhile back and never gave it back.  It is too heavy (even for the man of the house) to easily move so I’ve been storing it in the office.

What do you think?  The first comment I got was, “Um, it looks very Asian.”  It could be worse.  My mom has been trying to give me her excess collection of blue and white china for years.

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