Tuesday, January 20, 2015

fixer upper, cockroaches, jiplap, and yoda

Ask me how long that "no sugar" thing lasted. Go ahead, ask. None of your beeswax...how rude.
Anywho, have y'all seen the newest season of Fixer Upper? Did you see Chip eat a cockroach? OH MAH GAH. Please Chip, no. Just, no. You are my favorite t.v. husband. You really are. You make me laugh. Your work is amazing. You are married to an angel. Please, for the love, do not eat insects ever again. You have scarred me for life.
Ew Chip, EW!

So, can we talk Fixer Upper? Chip & JoJo have, yet again, turned a sow's ear into a silk purse. If you don't know what that means, well then, you aren't from the south. I am always amazed at the vision that Joanna has. That JoJo, she has The Force y'all. She's like Yoda. A Southern Yoda. In the south, she'd probably be called "Yoder"...but I digress...
Lookie here...

Where do I begin? The shiplap (or as my husband calls it, "jiplap" because he thinks he's hilarious and knows it makes me twitch...bless his heart)? The subway tile? The open pipe shelving? The dreamy island made from reclaimed wood (by Harp Design Co.)? Yes to all of the above.
Then we have the dining area with it's walls and shelving and walls and chandelier and those walls. I like the walls. Really. That wall color is Sherwin Williams "Dovetail". I want to paint every single wall in my house this color, and possibly the barn, the exterior of my home, my dog, and my car. It looks somewhat similar to what I currently have in my home (Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter), but maybe with a little less grey and a little more taupe (By the way, the word "taupe" is like a combination of "tan" and "nope". While we are talking about words that I have an opinion on, "moist" is the grossest of gross words.).

And this shelving. Looks simple enough, but I don't think my paperbacks of Beverly Cleary and An Idiots Guide to Pick-Your-Title would look quite as swanky. I guess I'd have to go raid my grandma's bookshelves, and maybe her old moonshine bottles. Just kidding, my grandma doesn't drink. She is quite a pool shark though.  

And OHHHH the jiplap shiplap. Be still my fluttering heart. I have a fireplace that this would look just spectacular on. It was ugly shiny brick, and I have painted it white. It definitley needs some shiplap though, and a better mantle, and Joanna to come style it for me. Not too much to ask.

So, are y'all tuning in tonight? What will Chip eat? What baby farm animal will make it's debut? How many times will Joanna say the word "shiplap"? Will Shorty make an appearance? How many times will Chip be topless? 

By the way, now that the weather is nice, I hope to get back into the workshop this week and paint some more. I have several pieces that are THHHHIS close (imagine your thumb and pointy finger mere millimeters apart from each other) to being done. Oh, and the round pedestal table in my shop is $100 off!!! We're stacking 'em deep and sellin' 'em cheap :)

Y'all tune in to HGTV tonight at 8:00 (Texas time) and let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter @linenandgrey1. I might just post of pic of my goat and me for the Fixer Upper contest. I mean, who doesn't love a picture of a baby goat? No one I tell ya'. No one!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

first post of 2015 (I have no clever title because SUGAR WITHDRAWALS)

Well, it's over. The holidays are behind us and we must all return to life as usual. I am fairly certain many of you had holidays much like mine. Lots of sleeping in, lots of sugar, lots of kids all up in your grill every minute of every day, and zero routine. All of these things are a recipe for disaster upon re-entry to "normal life". We are diving in head first tomorrow morning. Alarms are being set, lunches are being made, mid-morning cocktails may or not make an appearance. Just kidding (no matter what you may have heard).
So, as you can tell, I have mixed feelings about the post-holiday schedule. BOO to alarm clocks, YAY to children outta my face. I do love my kids, but the constant barrage of new toys + lots of sugar + no schedule = grumpy mom who is totally over it in all of the ways.
So, since we are talking about changes, did you make a New Year's resolution (or as I affectionately call it "what you will be feeling guilty about completely giving up on by mid-February")? Don't feel bad, I have tried to lose weight for about 15 years now. Stretchy pants and carbs love me more than skinny jeans and celery apparently. Also, closing in on 40 is a whole different level of "what in the world is going on with my body?". It's okay. I am just going to do the best I can. I got a Fitbit, and threw out the Christmas candy. I'm not going to make checks my body can't cash (and my body is currently overdrawn).
Sorry, it's the candy withdrawals. It's been like 2 hours. This is going to be rough, man.
Speaking of furniture, I have lots of pieces I am working on right now, but it is going to be like -217 degrees for the next couple of days, and the last piece I worked on in the freezing cold didn't take the paint well, so it will have to wait. I will also be detoxing from sugar, waking up before dawn, and getting back to our routine, so I will need all of my strength and body heat to survive. I'll get back in the shop later in the week when it doesn't feel like the Arctic Tundra outside. You know us Texans, we can power through the blistering August heat like nobody's business, but people lose their minds when it dips below freezing. I am trying to prepare myself for the "Arctic Blast" reports breaking in to my regularly scheduled programs for the next couple of days.
That's all I've got. I have to do some Downton binge watching now considering I am about one-and-a-half season behind and the new one starts tonight.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

how not to pull your hair out & lose your will to live during the holidays

Christmas might just kill me y'all. So, in the small chance that I actually survive, I am writing a letter to my future self. Think of it as a how-to guide for a stress-free holiday season. So without further ado...

How to Not Pull Your Hair Out & Lose Your Will to Live During the Holidays

1.   Do not agonize over coordinating wrapping paper, tags and bows. I do. Every year. I was so over wrapping by third hour this year, that I was ready to throw everything in a sack (or in the trash for that matter). I have never wanted to throw my hands in the air like I just didn't care in all of my life. 

Note to self: Next year, one paper. One ribbon. No tags. Do something like this (except on the actual package and with their actual name, or it will get really confusing, and Uncle Bob might end up with some lovely lavender hand cream and a subscription to Ladies Home Journal):

via: bloglovin 
2.   Do not agonize over Christmas cards. I haven't nothing against Christmas cards. In fact, I have sent them out every single year since forever. I even mailed out cards before I had a pet or child to plaster on the front. Can you even? What kind of cards even exist if there aren't pictures involved? Oh, and don't forget the annual newsletter. Seriously, how are you supposed to keep up with our family? Oh yeah, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I'm pretty sure my family and friends, and almost strangers (also known as Facebook friends) know what my kids look like and what events have transpired pretty much every day of our ever-so-glamorous lives. Oh, and cards are many levels of freaking expensive. Okay, so take cute pictures of kids (check), upload adorable (and printable) card from Etsy (or print from any various source - check), have them printed at local office supply store (or online print shop - check), address all 100 cards (which takes approximately 3 lifetimes to do - check), stick a stamp (aren't they about $5.60 a piece now? - check) on all 100 cards (this is what children are for, so YAY for that - check), and lastly, haul them to the post office (check). Wipe your brow and go sell organs on the black market to pay for them (check). 

Note to self: Next year,  whip up a cute little "card" on PicMonkey (or any other photo program) and post on various social media. E-mail to everyone else. Then, sit with hot cocoa in hand and pat yourself on the back because you have just saved approximately $4,590 and 86 hours. You are a genius.

3.   Your home is not going to be on the cover of a magazine, so don't make yourself insane trying to deck your halls.  Honestly, this is the biggest stress for me each year. I love these "Holiday Home Tours" on my favorite "home" blogs. Their homes are perfect. Every hall is decked beyond all recognition and every stocking his hung by the chimney with ALL OF THE CARE. To their defense, many of them ARE on magazine covers, and most of them blog for a living. The rest of them probably just wait all year for it. I love decorating my home for the holidays as much as the next person (or even more), but the time and effort it takes is exhausting. I simply didn't have time to finish this year. I had other things that needed my attention such as feeding my children, buying groceries, and bathing. I stressed about decorations. What is wrong with me?

Note to self: Next year, simplify. That can mean lots of things, but most importantly, don't stress. Pick a few places to focus on...a few things that are really meaningful and ROCK IT OUT. I love the idea of just adding some simple greenery, having a beautiful tree with decorations made from salt dough and macaroni, and a few preserved boxwood wreaths. We'll see how that goes. Good luck with that Christmas of 2015 self. 

Also, do yourself a favor, and before you turn yourself into a tinsel tossing lunatic, read The Nester's post on undecorating for Christmas

"If decorating my house for Christmas is a burden, then I stop. I have to." ~The Nester (Myquillyn Smith)
{Genius. Sheer genius I tell ya.}

So, to clarify: No crazy Christmas shenanigans next year, k? Easy peasy. No matchy matchy gift wrap, Christmas cards are not essential to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, and decorating (or lack thereof) doesn't need to send you on the next bus to Crazytown. 

Have a wonderful and stress-free holiday, and please, by all means, do not don your gay apparel and troll the ancient yuletide carol without posting it. Put a filter on it. Hashtag the heck out of it. Then, don't forget to put it on that annual newsletter next year...or not. 

Merry Christmas y'all. Here's to an awesome 2015.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

the struggle is real

Y'all, I love Christmas. I mean, I love it like a blue-haired grandma loves her BINGO. I love the sights, the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the tastes. Mmmmm, the tastes. Soooo, I have love love loved all of the blogs and their "Holiday Home Tours", but I simply don't see how they do it. They have their entire home decorated like a window display at the North Pole Mall, and I can't even get my tree finished.
I have accomplished something though. I made snowball-like pom poms out of yarn. Yes, I did make them at 1:00 AM, and yes, I did bypass a shower to do so, but as Taylor Swift says, "Makers gonna make", or something like that. I am making them to DIY something like this...
source: Anthropologie
It is $38 for a 6 ft. long garland. Not a horrific price, but I definitely wanted more like 60 ft. of garland instead. Yes, haven't you heard "more is more"?  Well, I don't want to spend $400 on garland, because that is insane, not in my budget, so DIY it is. I might even make one of these if I'm feeling up to a pom pom making frenzy.  
Source: Anthropologie
It is $138. I think I can make it for less than $15. Sure, it will only take approximately 14 gazillion hours, but I haven't nothing else to do. *Ahem*

Also, I am thinking of making this as well, but using pre-made pom poms instead of felted balls because I am not working in a sweatshop and this many felted balls would take an eternity plus 18 days. (If you want to make them, here is a tutorial. Knock yourself out. Be sure to grab a stiff drink and put on some holiday music 'cause your gonna need it when you are elbow deep in wool and soap.)
felted ball garland via Pickles
I love the vibrant colors of this, but it really isn't my color palette. I'm going white. You know, once you go white, you never...oh never mind. Sorry. I can't help what pops into my head, and it's late, and my kids have been cranky all day, and it took them 2 hours to go to bed tonight. The struggle is real.

So, my tree isn't completely decorated, I need to clean the chicken coop, my dishes are piled up in the sink, I have Christmas presents to wrap, I have no decorations outside, have about 8 canvases to paint, approximately 10 loads of laundry to do, and all I can think of is making pom poms and wreaths. You know, priorities. 

I'll be back to show you the Great Pom Pom Event of 2014 this week. 




Saturday, November 29, 2014

stretchy pants and Celine Dion

Okay, so how are y'all? I am flat out pooped. The holidays are going to turn me into a lunatic. But seriously, I love it. I love the decorating, and the people, and the food, and the friends, and the food.
Did I mention the food? My mom made my favorite for Thanksgiving, and it isn't one bit Thanksgivingy. Coffee angel food cake with coffee icing and toasted almonds. I do believe the angels made it themselves...thus the name. I mean, it tastes like sugar, and coffee, and toasted almonds, so there is no better dessert. End of story. Thanks mom. You are my favorite person in the history of all the world for making it. Instead of hiding in the closet and inhaling it in one sitting, I ate one piece and told her to take the rest home. I am still hating myself over it, but I know my weakness and I don't want diabetes.
So, the fall decor is gone, the Christmas decor is halfway up, and I'm doing my best to not think about how much I have to do. I have lots of work to do to get my shop stocked for Christmas, I still haven't finished decorating, and I have needy children. Something has to give. Sorry kids, it's been nice knowing you.
I am going to go to church in the morning, then come home, eat the last bit of ham on a sammich (then Thanksgiving leftovers, you are dead to me...I can only handle so much), put on my stretchy pants, and nap like I have never napped before. Before I nap, I will threaten my children's inheritance if they come in my room asking for the freaking password for their electronic device. (Happens every freaking time.) After I awaken (that is if I actually sleep, because $*#!! rooster, and password needing  little people), I shall have a snack, a cup of coffee (because I am 85 years old and drink coffee all the live long day), then take my kids back up to church. They have a Christmas musical to practice for. I can hardly handle the cuteness of kids in Christmas musicals. The nose picking (usually my child), the crooked halos, the VERY passionate singing of what may or may not be the correct lyrics (again, usually mine), the crying child, the shy child (not usually mine...bless), the child who thinks they are Celine Dion in her final Las Vegas performance (ahem...). They are all so darn cute.
So, I will have something more along the lines of Christmas decorations and such later in the week. I am barely forming words at this point because I might have mentioned that I am pooped. I have had no less than 30 people in my house this week. Peace out y'all. Have a restful Sunday.
P. S. Can I just say that my favorite thing about college football are the losing coaches in the post-game interviews. I heard these things come out of various coaches' mouths. "It just sucks." "Yeah we lost, whatever." So honest. So over it. So tired of annoying questions. Bless their hearts. Love it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

thrifty thursday...turkey day edition

Don't let the title fool you lovely readers. This post has zero to do with Thanksgiving other than it is 9:30 PM on Thanksgiving evening, my stomach is embarrassingly distended, and I am in a food semi-coma.
I only have one thrifty Thursday tip. Olive oil. For your face. For real. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
I learned about this little miracle from a friend of mine, although it is splattered all over the interwebs and Pinterest and such. Apparently, I am not Pinteresting enough, and apparently I just made up a new verb.
I have 100% replaced my face washing routine with olive oil. EVOO because just regular olive oil would be weird. I just keep a little travel bottle in the shower. Just pour a little in to the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, then rub all over your mug. It takes eye makeup off like a boss, but makes you smell like a salad (until you wipe it off). After I rub it in like I'm massaging butter on a Thanksgiving turkey (cue the Thanksgiving reference), I get the water as hot as possible, soak my washcloth in it, and wipe the oil off. I continue until it is all off and the make up is all gone. When you get out of the shower and dry your face off, you will be amazed at the difference. You will look like a supermodel, guaranteed or your money back.
There is a whole science behind why it works, but I can barely form thoughts and words, so higher level thinking is just not happening a this juncture. You can Google it, or just click the link in the last sentence. Also, there are all sorts of combinations of different oils to use for different skin types, but I like to keep it simple. You can do whatever you like because I am not the boss of you. If I were, I would tell you to get off this computer/phone and go wash your face so I don't sound like a loon.
Have a lovely post-Thanksgiving, football watching, Tums devouring evening y'all.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

thrifty thursday: better late then never addition

It is cold. Like freezing. I will not complain though because I prefer freezing over hotter than surface of the sun any day. I will say one thing though...Texas weather, you are drunk.

So, because I am totally on top of everything and have my life in perfect order, I forgot the Thrifty Thursday post for last week. Additionally, because my schedule is so precise and impeccably executed, I didn't even realize I had forgotten it until 2 days ago. I would like to say that it was because I was deep in a philosophical book about world peace or nuclear fusion, or that I was in my lab finding a cure for scurvy or something, but my life is nowhere near that exciting, or cultured. 

I was going to do a double post to make it up to you, but you are lucky that I'm sliding this one in today. You're welcome. I will try to make it worth your while. 

So, I have been perusing Pinterest (not as much as I would like, but honestly, I don't think I really have a limit), and have come across some wonderful homemade & homemade-ish Christmas ideas. Yes, Christmas because I don't want to beat a dead horse, and by dead horse, I am referring to fall. Sorrynotsorry fall, I really love you, but I am ready for Christmas already. It doesn't even feel like fall anymore. We got about 1.5 days of fall this year in Texas. Honestly, I was in flip-flops a few days ago, and now I'm all, "Where is your coat? You are going to freeze, and honestly, I don't have time to attend your funeral. I have a blog post to make up. Geeeeez", and "Oh my WORD, am I in Antarctica? I can't feel my face", and "For the love, get your tongue off that pole!"

Anyway....here is a rundown of some of my favorite el cheapo Christmas ideas. Also, please note that these are an average of about a 2-4 on the "Craftiness Scale". They also can be made with things that you should have easy access to, and I am being serious. You won't need leaves from the sacred Japanese Christmas Maple of Northern Timbuktu, or yarn made from the fur of a chiru you can only find in the Himalayan mountains on the second Friday in December, or some such nonsense. I know, I was just as shocked as you will be that every American household doesn't have both of those.
Well, here goes nothin' (click on the picture to visit the how-to link):


This one looks super fun, but a little messy. I could see making this outside then putting it up somewhere where it won't be touched until it is taken down, unless you want it to look like it is snowing inside your home. If so, then this is perfect for you, and you should make dozens of them & have lots of little children over to your home. I PROMISE, you will definitely have fake snow in places you didn't even know fake snow could hide. You won't even have to ask them to touch it. Kids are thoughtful like that.


Now this one is near and dear to my heart. I have a magnolia tree in my backyard. It has only grown approximately 2 millimeters in the 9 years that we have lived here, but whatever. I love the green and brown of magnolia leaves, so I wouldn't paint them, but it is your decision and I won't judge you or call you a magnolia hater if you do.


I have actually made something similar. I used an embroidery hoop and natural wood clothespins. I just hot glued them on and added a wide plaid bow at the top. I found that facing the clothespins in opposite directions worked better. If you have them all going to the outside, you can't fit as many photos/cards/photocards on it. I also liked that it made my wreath wider and more substantial.


I have made this one as well. You could use yardsticks (as shown), or rulers, for a smaller version. You could also use old fence pickets, branches from fall tree trimming, paint stirring sticks, or any other stick-like things (just got to Lowes and ask for these...I promise, they won't make fun of you). 


The tool girl in me LOVES this project. (Tool Girl...a new superhero? Yes, yes please. "I volunteer as tribute!" Name that quote for 30 points to District 12.) Anyway, I will definitely try this one this year. So many fun options here. Did I mention how much I love this? Well, I do. Love. Old wood & ribbon...hands to the heavens.


I saved the best for last. If you hung around until now, congratulations! If not, well your loss...and you won't be reading this anyway, so never mind.
This is my fave. I know it isn't necessarily for everybody, but you could always do just one color (I prefer white) if the techicolor thing isn't your, um thing. This post (if you read it) would have seemed daunting, and you would be calling me a big fat liar considering it ranks at approximately an 8+ on the Craftiness Scale (um, it is also rude to call people names). However, if you use pom pom balls (they come in bulk packages at any craft store), and hot glued them to a wreath form (I would use a straw one covered in fabric) then it takes the Craftiness Rating down to about a 3, 3+ at the most. You could also use small yarn balls which would be {*cough}amazeballs...

So, there you go. If you take on any of these fun little crafts, please send me a picture. I would love to see how they turned out!

Jenn