Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning Continues

So, as if I hadn't had enough cleaning for one week, I tackled the laundry room and pantry over the last two days.  Oh, I also cleaned the garage, but didn't take any pictures of that.  That's one of those, take everything out of the garage, throw stuff away, and put it all back as fast as you possibly can!  Miserable job.

I started with the laundry soap cupboard:

I was in a hurry, so bad photo.

There was a lot of random stuff on the top shelf.  Paper plates, cups, Swiffer thingies, bath soap, and other oddities.  Not sure why, but I guess over time, you just look for a quick place to stash something.  

Much less clutter now!

The next cupboard was even more of a mishmash.  More bath soap, light bulbs, hummingbird food, doggie shampoo, you know, the usual stuff.  Nothing really left this cupboard except the candles that were in there, but it is much more organized:


And I found a place for all those tall water bottles!

Under the sink wasn't too bad, but definitely in need of some organizing.  

Too many weird cleaners!

The bucket on the right has all the weekly stuff.

I was hungry, so I opened the pantry and noticed that we had gotten into the habit lately of putting stuff on any available shelf.  Might be why I have 3 bottles of canola oil.  No before photo, but here's the after:

Is a 2010 expiration too old?  Ha ha!!

In the cleaning frenzy, Fish & I had also gone through our respective closets and taken things out that we might be able to sell at the local resale shop.  We took a laundry basket full of clothes and a bag of shoes.  After waiting for over an hour (they forgot to look at the shoes), we ended up with $80!  Prom is coming up and we headed to the mall across the street to see if we could find a prom dress and shoes.  Here's Fish's invite to the prom from her boyfriend:

All of these little slips pf paper were folded and put inside a bouquet of balloons.  One of the balloons said "Pop me!" on it.  She did and had to sort all the letters out.  Pretty creative, although I really don't remember anyone ever being very creative when asking me to prom back in the day.  In fact, I think I could barely hear the kid who asked me to my junior prom.  He was probably terrified to ask.  I said no.  Bet he wished he'd done the balloon thing!!  

I like shopping with Fish.  She headed to the same store where she found last year's prom dress.  She picked out five dresses and off to the dressing room we went.  She didn't show me the first one.  It wasn't really what she was looking for anyway.  She was hoping to find a white dress, so she could wear Tiffany blue shoes.  The first dress was back and from what I could tell had Judy Jetson sleeves!  Fish hated it.  She tried another one on that was cute, but the top was faux leather and looked dirty.  The next one was great!  I thought for sure that was it, until she tried the 4th one on.  Done!!!!!  

Best part??  Under $40 for the dress.  It seems these days, that shopping at these crazy couture stores is in and spending $300+ for a prom dress is the trend.  Not in this house!!!!  Anyway, dress.......check!  Off to find shoes.  I figured it would be easy in the sense that looking for the Tiffany blue would make looking faster.  It was.  We didn't find any for quite a while.  We must have gone into tem stores, and nothing.  I had to go to the bathroom and Fish walked into a store that seemed to have blue shoes.  I got an urgent text.  "Get in here!"  Success!!  Unfortunately, they didn't have her size.  I took lots of photos and decided to search the internet.  Found them and they should be here Monday!  Easiest prom shopping ever!!  Now we just need to find a little necklace of some sort to go with the shoes.  

Yesterday was garage cleaning day and that took a few hours, but the results are nice.  Today, I started on our spare room.  Key word:  Started.  I gave up after a while.  I took all the bags of "donatable" stuff to the local thrift shop, since my car looked a little like a homeless mobile.  The lady at the thrift store got a little overzealous and was trying to take everything in sight in my car.  I think Husband would have been mad if she had taken his rugby bag.  Anyway, got that taken care of, bought Easter goodies (thanks Mom!), got a few more organizing things at the Dollar Tree and Walmart and then came home to tackle the giant (!!!!!) mound of laundry I forgot I had dumped in the spare room.  Now, I'm going to hang out and do nothing.  Husband took Fish fishing this afternoon, so I can watch whatever silliness I want.  I think that might be the end of the projects for a little while.  I was hoping to paint, but cleaning was far more important.  We'll see what the next vacation or weekend brings!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kitchen Makeover

Yeah, it's Spring Break, and while many are traveling and having fun, I'm making several rooms over.  I'm having fun too, but that will be another post.  I started with the kitchen because the kitchen is a huge thorn in my side.  HUGE!!  First I took a photo of every cupboard and drawer and then made a plan.  After visiting the new Walmart and the Dollar Tree, I was ready!  I started yesterday at 10:00 a.m. and finished (with a few interruptions) around 6 p.m.  Here's what I did:

The "Tupperware" cabinet...

...has become the "Tupperware" drawer!!!


Silverware all nice & neat!  Steak knives easily located!

And the veggie peeler is where?????

Aaaaah, I can see stuff!!

And the last drawer that had miscellaneous giant bbq tools, kitchen towels, and stuff.

Hair ties come in handy with those out of control tongs!

The drawers being done, now what did I do with the drawer of miscellaneous Ziplocs and other nonsense?

Thank you Pinterest!  Magazine boxes to the rescue!

On to the cabinets!!  The "alcohol" cabinet was a clusterf*ck of epic proportions!!  As was the baking cupboard...and the bowl cupboard.  Ha ha ha!!  They were all bad.  Here we go:

Here is the "after" alcohol cabinet:

The bottles can all stand up!!

Here are the before baking/oven cabinets:

Lower baking cupboard!

Upper baking cupboard...yeah, avalanche time!

Here are the after:
I guess I have no excuse to cook now.

It all fits!!

I forgot to take a photo of the alcohol cabinet before, but there was a collection of random stuff, including a 2 year old phone book.  Who uses those anymore???!!!  Now, the cabinet has bowls and party stuff that I forgot I even had!

Mixing bowls & party stuff!

The coffee cup cupboard was pretty ridiculous as well.  Not a lot of room in this little house.  I looked for a kitchen island, but all the ones I found were either super expensive or shoddy construction.  Husband and I discussed moving the kitchen table to the dining area and getting a little island.  I had a vision and here is what I started with:

This piece has been sitting out on my front porch for 3 years gathering dust and black widow egg sacks.  I cleaned those, got a piece of plywood, some spray paint (of course) and this is what it became:

The coffee cup cupboard was a fright:

No way to make a quiet cup of coffee...

Here is what I came up with:
The piece I tried to sell, but didn't really want to.

This piece, with a little thought, became this:  

My own coffee & tea center!

The kitchen has so much room now!!  I love it!!!!

Now, the pots & pans and under the sink were the last things to get organized:

From this... this!
You can't really see it, but there is a large plastic tub to hold all of the lids for the pots.  I might be able to cook quietly!

And no photo of the under sink cabinet before.  Too gross!  I can't even begin to tell you, but this is the after:
All organized & a place to dry to dish mat!

Now I have to do this with the laundry room cupboards!  That might be a job for tomorrow!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Early weekend!!

Playing hooky today!! It's a beautiful spring day and Husband and I are headed for some Delta fun! Still have to pack. Better get moving. If I write nothing until Monday, that means I'm having too much fun. :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring is Springing & Free Starbucks!!

Check out Thursday!

This was my weather app this morning.  Love the crisp morning temperatures and going out in the afternoon is nice.  Right now at 2:20 pm, it is 70 degrees.  Perfect!  Thursday is starting to get a little hot for me.  Ha ha ha!  Hot.  I'll be wishing for 84 degrees mid-July when it's a blistering 100+.  The joys of living in the Central Valley of California.  Yeah, not what people think when they think of California.  Yes, we have lots of palm trees here.  And on the first of the month, if you go to Walmart, you can see the latest in beach wear.  Even in December!  Egh!!!!  

Now to celebrate the nice weather, I found a coupon for a free tall Starbucks Caramel or Hazlenut Macchiato!  Yummo!!  Here's the link:


Monday, March 11, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

The weekend was wonderful!!!!!!  So wonderful, in fact, that we are doing parts of it again this coming weekend!

Saturday, we got up at the promised 4:30 am...for some reason, it wasn't nearly as awful as I thought it was going to be.  We got loaded up and started off on our journey to the Delta.  Three stops, much coffee, and a lot of good chatter later, we arrived at Orwood Resort, where we launched the boat.  This was our view as we pulled into the channel at 8 am.

Certainly a view I never tire of.
The fishing was slow, the wind was blowing, and we nearly got the boat stuck on some under (barely) water structure.  The tide was the lowest I have ever seen.  After that complication got resolved, we decided to fish the docks around Discovery Bay to stay out of the wind.  Fishing ended up being more like casting practice.  Other than a couple of bites that Husband had, and the two head butting my bait instances I had, we got nothing.  Still, not a bad way to spend your Saturday morning.  Out boating with Husband.  I could get used to that as a lifestyle.  

After fishing, we stored the boat at our friend's house and took a look at a house for sale in the Bay.  Then we headed to the place in Orinda where Husband was to play rugby.  After crawling traffic, several looky-loo type situations on the side of the road, and battling GPSs, we finally made it.  Really nice sports complex there in the works.  They had a couple of fields in use already and the boys took the field.  It wasn't a pretty game (they lost), but it sure was entertaining!  Let's see.......Husband got punched, which he politely returned the favor.  Some people yelled foolish things, to which I had a snappy retort.  More people got very violent, but no blood shed or death occurred.  I guess that's good.

That's Husband there in the back!

After the game was over, we skipped the pizza social held in the dug out behind the turf and headed off to meet our new niece.  Ordered pizza on the way and had that while oooooh-ing and aaaahhhhh-ing over little Keelin.  Man, she is probably the cutest little thing I have ever seen (other than my own children, of course).  She was asleep, as she had just pounded down some nutrients for about an hour, so all we got to do was look.  That was plenty for me.  She is, after all, only a week old.  Luckily we got to get a round two visit in the next day.  Auntie Seren got to hold her.  I forget how small they start out.  My boy was the same size when he was born and now he's 6'4".  Guess birth size has nothing to do with how big you end up.  

Baby Keelin & her amazing aunt & uncle!

So, after our little visit, we stayed at the Bed & Breakfast also known as the in-laws house.  My mother-in-law wanted to take me to a barrell tasting at my favorite winery up there.  I could not say no to Bella!!  Off we went.  The boys (Tactical & Husband) weren't going to stay, but then decided it was too beautiful a day to be in the car, so they stayed.  

Roughing it on a Sunday morning!

Cardio and I went on the tasting and I was not disappointed.  The wine was delicious as usual and I, of course, had to buy a couple of bottles.  Oh, and I stole a glass.  Not the first time THAT has happened.  The winery is really cool, definitely my favorite one.  They have a cave where you taste all the delicious red wines.  It was decorated with a western theme for barrel tasting.  The lights were all mason jars with votive candles inside.  That's me in the cave!!

Love this part of the cave @ Bella!

After exiting the cave, we stayed a bit longer and soaked up some sunshine and took some pictures.  This one is my favorite:

After our little visit with Keelin, we finally headed home.  By way of Bass Pro Shops of course!  Great weekend!!  Looking forward to the next one!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Humongous! And Why is the Weekend Taking So Long to Get Here??!!

And what is "humongous" you ask??  You would know if you had read my blog a couple of days ago.  Of course, it is the fish I am going to catch with my new reel and rod Husband bought me this week!  It is so pretty!  I tried to take a photo, but unfortunately the lighting in the house wasn't conducive to capturing the super cool colors.  I will make sure to take a picture out on the Delta tomorrow.  Hopefully with a hog of a fish attached!  I'm pretty sure the fat momma fish out there will be attracted to it and will wait in line for a chance to be caught.  Too dramatic and unrealistic?  Probably, but I'm hoping.

We are getting up really early tomorrow (sounds like a good idea right at 4:30 AM, it will seem dumb) and driving up to the Delta.  We're gonna fish for a little while tomorrow and then head to someplace called Orinda to watch Husband play rugby.  The boy is going to meet us there, so I'm pretty excited about that.  He is too, since momma bought him a bunch of Girl Scout cookies.  Yum!!!!  After that, we head to Santa Rosa to go see the new baby! Then Sunday, we might go an d fish a little, and then home, by way of Bass Pro...duh.  

I really should stay home and work on our yard, which has been completely overrun with weeds.  But really, given the choice of fishing or pulling weeds, the weeds are going to have to wait.  I did find a bright spot in my yard though.  

This little guy makes me smile!  

An update on the thrifty things I bought the other day.  I washed all the items and was able to get the stain out of the navy and white striped shirt!  Boom!  The cute gray ruffle tank is going to take a little more effort, I'm afraid.  I thought the stains might be deodorant stains, but they look more like some sort of greasy schmutz.  Currently, the tank is sitting on top of my washer with my magical stain potion working.  

I mentioned the other day that I had gotten Husband to go to a thrift shop.  He even went with $20 in his pocket.  Ha!!  So, he found me a great fishing jacket and I bought some clogs. Bonus?  50% off at the register!  BOOM!! I like my new shoes.   I got to wear them yesterday and they are stupid comfy!  I know because I wore them all day...even to volleyball practice because this girl forgot her tennis shoes!  Ha ha!!  

So fashionable!
Hoping that my next post will include pictures of the humongous fish.  I will also update you on the latest in Chick-world.  Happy Friday!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

If only...

If only I could follow my own advice...ha ha ha. I have a friend who is trying to lose weight and is getting frustrated with her lack of success. So I gave her all sorts of advice, tips, and generally good ideas. I told her to resist the urge to eat mindlessly and to keep herself accountable for what she puts in her mouth. Huh.

Guess what I've been doing tonight? Eating mindlessly. Ugh. I have no idea why... I've been really good all week, but for some reason, everything bad for me sounds delicious. I should probably stop writing about it because this is making me think of food...lots of food. Ugh!!!

Okay, I have returned with a large glass of delicious water. Hmmmm... It's not working. I'm going to go to bed. I'll probably dream about cakes, cheese, bacon, and other deliciousness. Hopefully I won't sleepwalk and sleepeat! I'll update tomorrow. Good night!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finding My Inner Cheapskate!

I have a confession.  I am obsessed with shopping for nice stuff at a cheap price.  Yes, I love Walmart and Target.  I love getting things on sale, but I like to take it a step further.  Thrift stores, Salvation Army, Goodwill, consignment shops, estate sales, and yard sales!  Love, love, love them!!  I have spent the better part of a day roaming through these types of places looking for the right piece to go in my closet.  Sometimes I come away with lots and sometimes, nothing.  I definitely have to be in the mood for that though.  I've been in the mood lately!  

My latest find is the Hinds Hospice Thrift Store here in Clovis.  I went there the other day and found a few really nice things for not very much.  The old ladies that work in there are awesome too.  I wandered in and was pleasantly surprised to find that all red tag items were 50% off.  Yippee!!  Here is what I got:

Now, I have to clarify that the red pants are going to be redesigned.  While they are uber fashionable (cough cough), I would not wear them the way they are.  The striped shirt and the red pants were both red tag items.  Woo hoo!!  The white sweater was not, but still reasonably priced at $4.50.  

Love that total!!

So, being the deal seeker that I have unashamedly become, I ventured the next day to the Salvation Army store close by.  I found tons of cute designer clothes there.  Unfortunately most were made for petite skinny folks.  I did manage to find 2 tops that met with my size requirement.  The one tank has a stain of sorts on it, but I am a master at stain removal and think it is something that will come out.  

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You can see the stain, but hopefully it will come out.  It sort of looks like a deodorant stain.  Hopefully I can work my magic.  Neither of these items were further discounted, but here is my receipt:

Look where my finger is...

So, either I look super old, or they were giving the discount to everyone.  I got the "senior" discount!  Woo hoo!!  So, 5 items for under $20.  Not too shabby...

"I'm gonna pop some tags...I got $20 in my pocket..."  Yeah, I not only love that song, but I live it too!  Stay tuned for updates on my fabulous finds!

Oh and the best part?  Husband is going to go to the thrift store today for the very first time to find a windbreaker to wear on the boat.  Have I created a convert?  Hope so.  Always more fun to go with someone..well, someone that isn't the same size as you or has the same taste as you!  We'll see how he fares.

Speaking of the boat.  We are going fishing this weekend!  I'm planning on catching the "humongous" bass that I know is lurking out there in the murky Delta water.  We are also going to Husband's rugby game and going to see our new little niece!  Looking forward to a great (busy) weekend!