Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dreaming of Canoeing

Last night I had a dream that me and the Hubs were canoeing. It was warm and beautiful out. We were river canoeing with a few rapids...I even think our pup was there for some of it!

Ahh, such a nice dream. I am so ready for spring and summer!

Monday, March 28, 2011

#99 Move the hope chest upstairs and organize sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers

Completed tonight, this makes 14 projects so far!

Organizing our bedding for our room and the guest room, has always been a challenge for us. To help, we moved the hope chest that my hubby made in high school upstairs from the basement, and put all of the bedding for room in it. We separated out the guest room bedding and put it in the storage cubby in the guest room. Simple, easy, didn't take too long, and now its done.

Bedroom Fix Up

After our trip to Arizona, we had a few days before we went back to work. So what did we do but cross more of our Lenten projects off our list. Since we had a little more time than a normal weekend, we tackled some of our projects in our bedroom. I forgot to take some "before" pictures until after we got started taping and moving stuff around. Kinda weird to post pictures of our bedroom online, but here it goes...

When we first moved in, the Hubby took off about a week to do some work around the house. This bedroom  was actually pink, but I found a green color I liked, and Hubby went to painting. While I was at work, Hubby called and asked where he should stopped painting, and I said just to paint everything green. Its difficult in Cape Cod homes, where there are slanted ceilings, to know where to "stop" painting and what is the wall and what is the ceiling. When I came home to see the Hubby had painted the entire room green--which I had said I wanted--I immediately realized how dark it would make the room look. The room was lightened up a little with a white rug, but two cats and dog later, that white rug is not in the best shape. Since we are not all done in the bedroom, I'll wait to post "after" pictures. But here is what has been completed so far...

#13 Hang Sconces next to the bed

#14 Paint Ceiling in bedroom

#15 Hang Hooks on the back of the door

#19 Paint doors and door trim white

#20 Drill holes in bed to plug in alarm clocks

Sunday, March 27, 2011

#4 Fix Vent that Rattles

Okay, another of our 40 Projects is marked off the list. My hubby-poo fixed the vent in our living room that would rattle when the heat was on. Not sure what he did (tightened a screw or two, I think) but I know I am not constantly irritated with the heat is on now. The rattle was very "grate"ing, so I'm glad its fixed. Forgive the pun, but I had to.

We also completed #13, 14, 15, 19 and 20, but those projects come with pictures and it is late. I go back to work starting tomorrow, so I need to go to bed now. Post more tomorrow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

#97 Clean and Organize under the sink in the kitchen

It didn't take long, which begs the question why I just didn't do it before. I took out everything under the sink, there were a few surprises but mostly it was cleaning products and our recycle bins. We use two recycle bins, one for aluminum, glass, plastic, etc and the other for cardboard and paper products. Under this area was quite dirty with soda splatter and the like. I organized the cleaning products too, and realized a couple of things: 1)Our disorganization leads to waste. When we can't find something, we just re-buy it, as we had duplicates of a few different products and I didn't realized we had some of the stuff that was in there. Organization is good for the soul and the wallet, I guess. 2) I would like to stop buying so many cleaning products and start making more of my own. I very recently started using white vinegar and water as an all-purpose cleaner. These home-made cleaners are more often eco-friendly, pet-friendly, and very inexpensive. I'm going to finish using what I have first, of course, but then would like to start. 

Any suggestions on home-made/eco-friendly cleaners you use at home?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Chino Bandido

While in Phoenix, we ate at Chino Bandido, which was featured on the Food Channel's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Chino Bandido is located in an unassuming strip mall, and their food is a mixture of Asian, Mexican, and Caribbean and all delicious! I had black beans, chicken fried rice, Jade Red Chicken, and Chinese BBQ Pork in a quesadilla; Hubby had black beans, pork fried rice, Hengrenade Chicken quesadilla, and Chinese BBQ Pork in a burrito. Both meals were topped off with one of the most yummy Snickerdoodle cookies I've ever had. Portions are generous and the food is absolutely delicious. It is a little confusing to order, but the staff are really nice, they walked us through it.

And for your viewing pleasure, here's the segment from Triple D on Chino Bandido...

Phoenix, Arizona's Capitol

We didn't spend much time in Phoenix, but the little bit we did, we spent in and around the capitol building.

On the road back to Phoenix

Coming back from my baby brother's on Tuesday, we stopped to drive around in the country. The following pictures were taken near Bumble Bee, AZ.

We also took a little drive just north of Phoenix. I, of course, took a few pictures then too. Here's my favorite!

The Beautiful, Wonderful, Amazing Grand Canyon

Of all the places we visited on our Arizona trip, the Grand Canyon was my favorite. I guess that's not a huge surprise, I've heard people talk about the Grand Canyon in awe many times, seen pictures, saw it on TV, but none of it was like seeing it in person. The Grand Canyon is absolutely breathtaking. 

We went on a Sunday in March, and the park was relatively empty, a perk because I've heard one of the worst things about the Grand Canyon is the crowds. It is $25 per car to get into the park, but we didn't spent a lick of money once we were there. (Not that I'm opposed, support your National Parks!) Since we had a limited time and could not linger at the park, we decided to take the shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest. Shuttle buses run all over the park and are free. Before embarking on our shuttle bus journey we stopped at the main visitor's center for the South Rim to get a stamp for our National Parks Passport and shuttle bus map, and then went out to Mather Point to see the canyon for the first time. 

The above pictures are taken from Mather Point and do not come close to really looking at the Grand Canyon. Mather Point was the most crowded place we stopped along the Grand Canyon, but a must see at any rate. 

On to the shuttles. From the visitor's center we hopped the blue shuttle to the red shuttle transfer. The blue shuttle services cafeteria's, guest lodges, and gift stores; all great places to stop if you have time, but for us, this was boring and took us away from mission of seeing the canyon. I would recommend parking as close as possible to the red line to skip as much as possible of the blue line (unless of course you would like to use any of the handy services mentioned). The blue line-red line transfer is the trail head for Bright Angel Trail, the trail for donkey rides and many hikers and yet another amazing view. 

Above is a picture of the view and trail by the blue line-red line transfer. After getting on the red line, you have a choice of stopping at every stop, some stops or just riding as a sightseeing tour. We choose to stop at Powell Point, Mohave Point, Pima Point and Hermit's Rest. Below are a picture and little blurb on each...

Powell Point

Powell Point has a memorial to John Westley Powell, which is cool in and of itself but can be climbed to get an even better view of the canyon. To get out to the memorial you walk on a thin land bridge without guardrails so if you don't like heights this maybe a scary place for an outlook. If you have time, I would suggest getting off the shuttle at the previous stop and walking to Powell Point and/or walking to the next stop Hopi Point, all of these stops are close together and the trail runs right next to the canyon. 

Mohave Point

Mohave Point was probably my favorite stop of the day. From here you can see the Colorado River, the outlooks are expansive (both railed and not), and the point is large giving you lots of view points of the canyon. This outlook is not to be missed on the "West Rim". 

Pima Point

Another beautiful lookout area, though we weren't there for either, I would guess this point is prime for sunrise and sunset, as Pima Point jets out into the canyon giving amazing views in all directions. 

Hermit's Rest

Along with it's amazing views, Hermit's Rest has restrooms, snacks and a gift shop. The Rest was designed by Mary Colter in 1914. It is the westernmost stop on the South Rim, and the trail head down to Hermit Camp in the canyon. After stopping here, we boarded the bus back to the red-blue transfer, this trip was significantly faster on the way back. That is until we got to the blue line, at this point in the day the stops in this area were tedious, with the only highlight being that we saw a coyote from the bus. All in all we were at the park for about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, which is not enough time to scratch the surface of amazing things to do and see here. We are already planning our next trip which will surely include seeing sunrise and sunset, the Watch Tower (also built by Mary Colter) and some hiking below the canyon rim...who knows maybe even a donkey ride the canyon floor. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuzigoot...I just love that name!

Our last stop on Saturday was to Tuzigoot. The area was once again absolutely beautiful, and the history of this park was very cool. To get to Tuzigoot, we traveled through Cottonwood, an absolutely cutie town, and from the ruin we could see Jerome, a mountain town we stopped in last year. Here are some of the pictures of  I took while we were there...

Montezuma's Well

Montezuma's Well was beautiful! Located about 5 miles north of Montezuma's Castle, another small site, but will a beautiful views and short hikes. If you go there, I highly recommend taking the trail down into the "well". We weren't going to, but I'm so glad we did. Here's my photos of our hike...

Montezuma's Castle

So before this trip to Arizona, I thought it'd be easy to keep up my blog daily. It wasn't. We did and saw a lot of stuff on this here it comes, a blogging marathon. Let's start with Montezuma's Castle. Montezuma's Castle is about 45 minutes away from my little brother's house (and about half way between Phoenix and Flagstaff on I-17). Not a huge park, the trail is paved and flat and easily accessible to all. The main trail leads by the cliff dwelling, then Beaver Creek and back to the visitor's center. There is a fee of $5 for adults, but it is worthy stop. Lots of fun picture taking too. Check out my photos...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Heading to Arizona!!

And we're off on our 3rd annual spring visit to Arizona to see my little brother. This time we are hoping to see the Grand Canyon and Montezuma's Castle and a lot of sunshine!! I brought 2 pairs of sunglasses, if that tells you how excited I am to have the sun shining on my face. I'm going to try to make daily blog updates, so if you're interested, stay tuned!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

#96 Organize/Put away winter wear

Last night we picked up a long storage box, that fits perfectly in the top of our long coat closet. Today I organized all our winter scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, earmuffs and ski goggles. For just two of us we have tons of this type of stuff, so I was happy everything fit into the box! I even had room for the hubby's snow pants. We did keep a pair of gloves and a hat out each...just in case...but at this point in the year I'm pretty much gonna refuse to wear such things!

Done and done.

#32 Organize cubby hole in stair way, and clean up back door area

Our stairwell has a nice little cubby hole in it that is a great place for extra storage. Today I cleaned it out organized it into two crates and two bins. The bins now hold shoes since the back door area is ideal for shoes, since this is where they like to congregate anyways. One of the crates holds extra or specialized cleaning products, and the other holds paper plates, cups and napkins. And the best part, there is still room!!!

At the same time, I cleaned up and re-organized our back door area.

We have four hooks (great for jackets, purses and hats), three Ikea shoe organizers (stacked one on top of the other and mounted to the wall), white board for messages, and cutie bull heads for key holders.

The bull heads were actually part of our Lenten projects last year, and they've worked great every since! On top of the shoe organizers we are able to keep sunglasses, a catch all, and at least for a few more weeks a box with gloves and hats.

#12, #5 and #11...More work in the bathroom

#12 New cabinet pulls for the vanity in bathroom

We found these pulls at Ace Hardware. They match the facets in the shower and sink perfectly and they were about $2 each. Easy to install and they look great!

#5 Put up shelf, towel rack, toothbrush holder, and robe hook

So for this project, the hubby and I had to do something neither of us had ever done before...drill into tile. Now it may not sound hard, and it wasn't really, but it was a little intimidating since there is no good way to patch tile if any mistakes were made. Luckily, there weren't! Another challenge, was marking where to drill once we'd measured out were the holes went. We accomplished this by marking on painters tape since we didn't have anything that would write on the tile. Hubby says the key to drilling into tile is going slow and applying very firm pressure to the drill bit. 

We bought the glass shelf, double towel bar and toothbrush holder from Lowes, along with the two robe hooks, the cost was about $50. We love the way they look, take a look for yourself...

Unfortunately, the toothbrushes we have don't quite fit right, but hey, it's nearly time for new brushes anyways! On the shelf, I'm displaying some of my "finds"; a blue glass hand that I got at a flea market and I put my jewelry on and my round Asian guy I found at a thrift store, I'm not sure what he is supposed to be used for, but I'll use when I burn incense cones. 

#11 Wash, and switch shower curtains. 

Pretty self explanatory. I just thought the solid color shower curtain would look a little better in the bathroom the striped one is now in the downstairs bathroom. Here's a look from the hallway...