Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric!!

The living room continues to evolve and change. I love the fabric on my pillows in the living room, but I'm bored with it and the tiffany blue poms fabric is starting to fade and look dingy. With my very tan/grey living room with my new couch I knew I needed some bright colors. I also wanted to draw out the aqua in the blue rug I just got and keep up my love of tiffany blue and tie in my bright yellow dining room rug. 

When I walked past this pillow in Target, I knew I had to spin around and put it in my basket! I crossed my fingers that it would match the fabric I'd ordered online. Today it came!

And it does!!! So perfectly!
Here are the fabrics in more detail:
The blanket like this but a different color for $26 at Target. 

I will show an "after" pic of the reupholstered pillows when they're done, but rejoice with me for now! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The "We" Project

I am in a relationship that's actually happy and functional! It's a shocker! He wants me to change my sidebar about my bad luck in dating but it's not quite time for that. Even so, it is time to quit thinking about me and me alone. I'm dating a renter that would come over to my owned house when the next step happens. We've had some talks about where he would even fit in in my big old house. I've managed to fill alot of the space quite nicely myself and I don't share well! 

So after much thinking and a few projects here is my attempt at beginning the "we" shift. 
My bed is shoved far into the corner which gives me plenty of room for me and my night table, but doesn't leave any room for one on the other side. I thought about buying a table but just wanted something small, cheap, and cool looking. 

Lately I'm obsessed with this white lacquered wood collection from the Container Store. 
I have the tray and box on my bedside table:
I also replaced the 4 green boxes:
 With these

So when I saw this desktop file box that matched I immediately had an idea. THIS would be my other bedside table. I had just enough white lacquered wood in the room to make it not stand out as strange. Plus, my fresh white walls would keep it from sticking out. 

So, here she is:
 And, I got her on sale! Even better!
 I started my project by drilling two holes in the back of it. The back is not the same heavy wood, so I wasn't sure how it'd turn out, but it went well!
 Then I held it up to the wall and marked with a pencil the two holes once I had it leveled. Then I drilled! 
 I had plastic wall anchors that I tried to install, but they wouldn't open in my plaster. I ended up buying some toggle bolts and washers for either side of the wood back so that pressure wouldn't force the screws through the wood.
 After the toggle bolts went in this thing was up for good!
 Isn't it great? It's just a plain little table top with a cubby, but I knew once I dressed it up it would be perfect!
I may eventually paint the back to keep from seeing the washer and screws, but for now it is perfect!
 It's a little strange that it's so much higher than the other table, but I can't stand how low the table is. this one is perfect! 
 And, it doesn't stand out on the walk in!
 And, my boyfriend patiently waited while I installed and photographed...

In addition to my nightstand project I also was forced to make my bathroom more functional after a pipe under the sink completely disconnected while I was trying to unclog it. 
After my dad and brother took the whole thing apart they found all kinds of things down the drain. 
 One of the things was these stones, thanks to the cat! So, the stones had to go. 
 I figured I'd switch that out for something with a little more storage (oh and I got the white lacquered trash can too!) and added the basket with a tissue holder, a closed box for things like cotton balls and makeup sponges, and a glass jar with q-tips. Moving these things out of the drawer will help open up some room for someone else! 

 I also added a couple of baskets to the door of my coat closet (I'm adding 1 more for gloves, hats, etc.) for all of my flip flops, insoles, and so on to free up the floor (and by the way, this is the the best way to store flip flops EVER! I wish I'd done this years ago!).

 And, I freed up some pantry space by adding a door rack here. He's a wine connoisseur and suddenly I have way more than I ever did before!
 So there you have it. Thanks for coming along on my journey to free up space!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quick Tip: Greatest Beauty Product Ever

What's the secret to my clear skin?

I seriously keep it in my bathroom drawer, instead of my kitchen. This stuff is amazing. I won't waste time telling you all about it. Here are some awesome links. 

And just 1 more quick tip: It's a great pimple blaster and an amazing face wash! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To Declaw or Not To Declaw?

Yes, I'm going to write a whole cat post. I'm that person:
I justify it by having a dog too... But yes, I love my cat. Many times I wonder why. 
Linus is so cute. He's now 5. When I got him I was dating V. V convinced me not to declaw the cat. That it was cruel. He sent me pictures of mangled paws, and my googling revealed that it wasn't necessary at all! I decided he was right and I left his claws alone and enjoyed my little kitten.
Oh he's so cute! Right around 1 he started scratching. A lot. He started ripping in to my leather chair and the side of my love seat I'd just gotten:
I'd yell at him. I'd swat him when I'd catch him scratching. I'd spray him with a water bottle. But it wasn't that bad... 

I asked at the vet and they suggested some hundreds of dollar pheromone spray. No way. So I lived with it and bought lots of scratching posts...

He started really making some marks on my leather chair and read about tin foil deterring scratching. 
He rolled all over it and ate the foil...
I tried buying him stupid looking, distracting, toys:

Then he started peeing on the things he didn't scratch. Pretty soon I couldn't leave any bathroom doors open because he'd pee on the bath mat and unroll the toilet paper. I couldn't leave a blanket on the couch or he'd pee on it. I couldn't leave my bedroom door open or he'd pee on the bed if I didn't make it. While peeing he was still scratching. 

I tried everything I could find in the "behavioral" section of the pet store:
He was wearing a calming collar:
While living near the plug in:

While wearing his cat Thundershirt:
While walking near furniture sprayed with this:
and while I walked around on tin foil so he didn't pee on my white rug:
Not our best time. I will say that the shirt and the plug in did work... They stopped the peeing! The scratching didn't stop though. 

He scratched through the Thundershirt:
He destroyed my bedroom chair, which inspired this project:
He destroyed the leather chair:
 (and ottoman)
And, a week in to this new couch I see a couple of marks. 
I knew he wouldn't do well with this fabric so I thought about finally getting him declawed when I got the couch. Then I decided I'd lock him in my room during the night and in the guest room where he naps while I work. He hates being locked up. This is him on the way to the vet, but the night sounds something like this:

During the day he seems fine. But then as soon as I let him out he makes a beeline for the couch to scratch...

I finally got fed up and made the appointment to get him declawed. I felt selfish for waiting so long and worried that the horror stories are true! I go to a "walk in" vet, where everything but emergencies and surgeries are walk ins. Last Wednesday I took him in to get his blood work done. I always have Wednesdays and Saturdays off, and go in later on Mondays and Tuesdays. The plan was to bring him back on Monday to get declawed and pick him up on Wednesday so that I could be home with him all day (because he is 5 they wanted to keep him 2 nights to make sure he was doing ok).

So I took him in and they grabbed him and his carrier to draw blood and told me I could hang out in the living room. A couple of min. later he was back by my side and they were asking when I'd like to schedule him. I asked if Monday was too soon and they said "you can leave him here now. If his blood work checks out we'll do the procedure in the morning and you can pick him up Friday or Saturday. I reluctantly agreed. I hadn't said my "just in case you die" goodbyes, but it might be good for all of us to just get it over with. So I gave him a wave and was on my way.

His blood work came back good and it was a go. Of course I decided then to look up mangled paws and other declaw horror stories. I was scared to death and the house was so quiet and laid back without him! I could leave doors open and cups on the counter without fear of him peeing or throwing things to the floor. But, I seriously missed the guy.

I'm not sure what I expected when I picked him up. But, I expected bloody paws, gloppy glue on them or stitches, a limping cat, crying, etc. I got none of it!
This is him about 30 min. after getting home. Not the paws, or the cat I was expecting!
They sent him home with 4 days worth of pain meds to give orally. That definitely left him stoned and out of it. Now he's off the meds, seemingly pain free, very mellow, and we are all SO happy! 
I'm kicking myself for not doing it years sooner, when recovery would've been even easier (and the procedure would've been cheaper) and I hadn't had to go through 2 couches and chairs. So... If you land on this page while having an internal debate about declawing like I did... I say go for it. I did everything I could to try to train him and curb the behavior and the only other step would've been throwing up my hands and surrendering my house to my cat or giving him away (NEITHER were an option). It's one of the hardest and best decisions I've made and we're all happier for it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Ever-Evolving Living Room

The rug came today! It's smaller than I thought it would be, but I hear it makes the room look bigger so it's staying!
I thought about painting in the stripes and layering the two together but that looked funky...
This summer I came across barn wood frames for $2 each. I'm not sure what pictures to put into the frames, so they've laid in the basement while I figure that out, and if I should sand and lacquer them like I  did with the dining table. 
The 4th would replace these 3 prints. 
I put some stuff on the barrel. I'm thinking about staining the rockers the same color as the barrel and thought about painting the chair something bold. I'm still on the fence.
a) I have the cutest dog ever! b) I'm now shopping for fabric for the pillows!
So here it is. 6 months ago compared to today:
I'll keep you updated!
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