Sunday, April 24, 2011

The 40 days of Lent are over...

For the past two years during Lent, my hubby and I have "given up procrastination" for lent by writing out a list of projects that we never get around to, and trying to accomplish as many as we can over this time period. I call it 40 Days 40 Projects. Here's how we did this year, below is a list of completed projects:

#3 Make summer camping reservations
#4 Fix Rattling Vent
#5 Put up shelf/towel rack/hook in the bathroom
#9 Paint mirror white in the bathroom
#10 Replace switch covers in the bathroom
#11 Wash and switch shower curtains
#12 New pulls on the bathroom vanity
#13 Hang lights in the bathroom
#14 Paint bedroom ceiling
#15 Re-hang hooks on the back of the bedroom door
#16 New ceiling fan in the bedroom
#17 Remove bedroom TV
#19 Paint bedroom trim white
#20 Drill holes in bed for alarm clocks to plug in
#21 Trim out bedroom ceiling
#28 Put away camping gear
#32 Organize cubby hole
#37 Fix hole behind TV in the red room . *This one is only halfway done, the cover has been painted red a few times, but it's still streaky. We'll do another coat or two and then it will go on the wall.
#39 Paint covers for in the kitchen. *Ditto for #37.
#52 Plants. We've added a large plant to our living room, and gotten two plants for our bedroom. Plants are supposed to help the air quality in your house, and they look nice! Loving them!
#53 Completed today. Edit shelves in the living room.
#56 Plates over the wall in the living room
#63 Kinda done...Get ready for another garage sale. Not that we're totally ready, but all this organizing has helped weed out the things that we can sell in our next garage sale.
#93 Entertain at least once during this time, today, Easter!
#94 Start planning a party. We have officially started planning my Hubby's graduation party; invitations are out, room is reserved, menu is rollin'.
#95 Drop off to Reuse-A-Shoe
#96 Organize/Put away winter gear
#97 Organize under the sink in the kitchen
#99 Move hope chest and organize bedding
#100 Add new handles to camping gear storage

So that's 30 projects (3 of which are in progress), it's not 40, but hey, it's more than last year. And I'm proud of us; with Hubby finishing up grad school and a vacation there was very little procrastination going on around here and that's was the true goal. Yeah us!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

127 Hours, another Red Box pick

So last night's pizza and movie night featured 127 Hours, the real life story of Aron Ralston.

For knowing the movie's premise and, for the most part, what was going to happen, the movie was very engaging and interesting; it moved along, with the help of flashback and dreaming sequences and video diary recordings. The actions taken for survival left Hubby and I thinking, what would I do in the same situation? I did have to cover my eyes during some of the grosser scenes, but would recommend this movie as worth the watch, but maybe while eating.

On another note, Aron Ralston was recently on "Minute to Win It" I missed it when it aired, but watched it this morning. Aron ended up winning $125,000 for Wilderness Workshop!

Monday, April 11, 2011

#9 Paint Bathroom Mirror White, #10 Replace Old Switch Plates with New White Ones

The titled tasks kinda describe themselves perfectly...

Here's where we had left off...

Here's now...

I'm glad we decided to reuse the mirror and paint it white--it was more economical and earth-friendly. I really like the amount of white in the bathroom now! That door across from the mirror better look out, it might be painted next!

#21 Trim Out Ceiling

So we completed another big project on our list of projects, we trimmed out the ceiling in our bedroom. The project started a few weeks ago when we did a few other projects in our bedroom. Here's a picture of the nearly completed bedroom ceiling...

Here's what we did to tackle this project...

1) Measure in an even amount (you choose what you'd want to do, for us it was about 14" on each side) around the entire ceiling. We measured in every foot or so and then connected the dots with a straight edge making a solid box on the ceiling. 

2) Prime and then paint the entire square.

3) Then measure the lengths of the painted sides and cut trim accordingly, cutting at 45 degree angle at the corners. That kind of over simplifies it a bit, but that is basically what you do. Tip: 1) Cliche as it might sound measure twice, cut once. 2) Remember, the trim will be stuck to the ceiling bottom side up, so either cut with the back side of the trim up, or remember to angles will be reversed if cutting back side down.

4) Paint the trim pieces.

5) Put the trim pieces up on the ceiling using liquid nails or adhesive caulk and finishing nails. Use a lot of caulk to ensure the trim pieces stick and put a nail in every 6" or so. Tip: 1) We found two length finishing nails at the local hardware store. We thought the shorter ones would have been fine, but that would have been a mistake, use the longer finishing nails to sink as far as possible into the ceiling. 2) Get ready for lots of caulk jokes like "squeeze my caulk", "this caulk just exploded all over", "the tip of caulk is all sticky", etc--have fun with it, because there is truly no escaping them.

6) Using a paintable spackle, patch nail holes and trim piece seams.

7) Paint over spackle. (We actually haven't done this part yet, but it is next on the list!)

8) Enjoy!!

Check out the cool new ceiling fan too!

Just a few more finishing touches and the bedroom will be complete and I'll post all the "after" pictures!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Redbox, You're My New Favorite!...The Kids Are All Right

Before last weekend, the Hubby and I had never used a Redbox and now we're all over it!

Last Friday, we watched "Red", then on Wednesday we rented "The Fighter", and then just yesterday we got "The Kids Are All Right". "The Kids Are All Right"--not to be confused with "Everyone's Fine", a 2009 title which I had inter-switched at some point-- is about a long married lesbian couple, their teenage children, and the kids recently found sperm-donor dad. I would say the movie is a positive portrayal of a double mommy family; not positive in an unmarred sort of way, but in a very realistic and "normal" (what the hell is normal?) sort of way. Annette Bening was fantastic, and I can certainly understand why she was nominated for best actress at the Oscars. The entire cast was very good, and the movie was shot very simply, which I really love. The movie is certainly worth the watch and most definitely worth the $1 Redbox fee.

By the way, the movie taught me a new vocabulary word: interloper. I even used it in a sentence today!

#56 Plates over the blank outlets in the living room

When we repainted our living room in the summer 2009 (yes, nearly two years ago), we took two plastic plates off the wall (the kind that cover blank outlets) and they never went back up. The blank spaces are behind a piece of furniture, and really I rarely if ever think of them...but I did when I was writing our 40 Days, 40 Projects list!

Instead of just replacing the covers, I primed the plastic with spray paint and then painted them with same color as the wall. Painting the plates is a lot better than holes in our wall, and quite a bit better than stark white plates on a light brown wall too.

Recent watch: "The Fighter"

We recently watched The Fighter and I really, really liked it!

It's hard not to like an underdog sports movie, but this boxing movie about boxers "Irish" Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund is really great. The movie follows the rise and fall--or should I say, fall then rise--of these brothers played by Mark Wahlberg (who also produced the film) and Christian Bale. I am constantly impressed by Christian Bale as an actor, he always holds his own on screen, and in the past few years has done no wrong. And I was really impressed with "Marky" Mark's performance as well. I am not sure why, but I'm always surprised that Mr. Wahlberg is actually a good, but he's a solid actor, with the "The Fighter" being no exception.

As I mentioned, the underdog story is always a hook for me, but I was also pulled in by the story of the family dynamics, boxing (which I'm usually a sucker for), and that it is all based on a true story! The Ward/Eklund family is nuts! For most of the movie, the family is kinda like a train wreck you just can't turn away from, but as the movie goes on you see a little more depth and a lot more love. Dicky and Micky's mother, played by Melissa Leo (who one an Oscar for this role), is hard to watch at times, but she is raw and very real. The movie accelerates time from the true life events, and the movie actually ends before some of Micky Ward's most famous fights. After learning this I thought it was a really interesting choice, but I think it makes the movie more concise and focused.

Two thumbs up for me. Watch it if you haven't. The video is the real fight that concludes the movie, take a look-see:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

#16 New Bedroom Ceiling Fan

Continuing with last weekend's projects, we did a little bit more work in our bedroom, by hanging a new ceiling fan. To be honest, I don't love the way ceiling fans look, but I love love love sleeping with the fan on pretty much year round. So we went with function over form on this one. We found our ceiling fan at Walmart for about $50 which is exactly how much I wanted to spend on it. It was pretty easy to install, and I think it looks good...MUCH better than our last one!

Still waiting on the "after" pictures for when we've completed all the work in the bedroom, which will hopefully be next weekend. Stay tuned!

#28 Put Away Camping Gear, #100 Add Handles to Camping Gear Storage and #3 Make Summer Camping Reservations

Only a few more weeks of the Lenten season, and we're still marking projects off the list!

#28 was to Put Away Camping Gear. We actually organized this area of our basement really well in the fall too. When we renovated our kitchen in the Spring of 2009, we moved some of the old cabinets into the basement. These cabinets now hold laundry supplies, tools and camping gear. In addition we are using some of the furniture I've had since I was 4 years old to hold camping gear. Both the re-purposed cabinets and kid shelves and drawers are perfect for this kind of storage. And even though we haven't used any of the camping gear since last fall, we were generously given a lot of great camping gear for Christmas. While the new gear had previously been corralled to the basement, it now has a permanent home with the other camping gear.

At the same time we completed #100 Add Handles to Camping Gear Storage. When we got my old childhood furniture from my mom, the first thing my Hubby did was paint it. And while it looks much better, some of the drawers now stick from being painted and living in the humid basement. Easy fix, we added inexpensive 4" drawer handles today, and now the drawers work just fine!!

After the organizing of the camping gear, it seemed fitting to do #3 Make Summer Camping Reservations. We are now planning a trip to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (which we learned actually does not take reservations) and to Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Park. We decided that while we hopefully will do more camping than this it is difficult to make reservations too far into the future, since stuff always seems to pop up. But I am not uber excited for these two trips!!!