The post with the house hunt + a chicken.

I already shared some of our house-hunting adventures in this post, but have just one more moment of amusement to share:

Yes, that is a chicken. Parading through the backyard of a village home (we weren't out on a farm or anything!). And yes, this is Rick strutting his stuff behind our new friend.

I couldn't get a better picture because the fowl thing (ha, ha) kept moving.

We checked the MLS again, but nowhere did it say anything like Exterior Features: garage door opener, patio, vinyl siding, chicken. 

Guess we just got lucky. :)


The post with the thank you card.

In honor of Thanksgiving: the thank you card I made last week?

Lame connection, I know. Sorry. To be honest, I never, until this year, even considered decorating for any holiday except Christmas, which is why you find nary a fall reference on my blog, with the exception of this post in which I spray painted a ceramic pumpkin. Go me. :) This mindset might have something to do with the fact that the only Thanksgiving decor I can vividly remember from growing up is a felt turkey head (complete with googly eyes) attached to a pineapple that my dad brought home as a joke. If he breaks that baby out this year, I'll be sure to snap a picture. Have I mentioned that I love my family for their sense of humor? :)

Now that I've been introduced to the wonderful world of decorating blogs, though, and I have seen with my own two non-googly eyes the tasteful and gorgeous non-pineapple ways other people bring the holidays into their homes, I am really excited for next year, at which point we will (God willing!) have our own house for me to decorate seasonally. In my anticipation, I already bought some stuff for 90% off at post-Halloween sales (fake gourd for ten cents? I'll take it!) just so I am prepared for next year. Rick only rolled his eyes a little bit.

Speaking of Rick, he's the whole reason I made a thank you card last week, and no, it was not to thank him for letting me use his credit card to buy our future fall decor. He actually needed a thank you card for his preceptor, officially marking the halfway point of his last year of pharmacy rotations. Yes, that excessive hollering you just heard was us cheering...6 1/2 years later, he's almost there! :)

I've been making my own cards for several years now, a decision I made after A) working in a gift shop and learning of the racket Hallmark calls card prices and B) I realized that I liked putting my own personal touch on the cards I was giving to people. My Cricut (and the program Sure Cuts A Lot) has made that especially easy, as I am now able to cut out any word, in any font, that I want. Really unique, infrequent words, you know, like "thanks." :)

The colors are a little off in these pictures; the scheme is actually a lime-y green with crisp white and black, but the setting sun made taking a natural-looking picture nearly impossible.

So, even though this is the best attempt I can make on my blog to show a Thanksgiving-y project, that doesn't mean I am not 100% grateful for so many things this year. And any time I need reminding, I just take a look at this gratitude project that Rick and I did a while back.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :)


The post with the sad little plant.

I bought a plant this past summer. A pygmy date palm, to be exact. It used to look something like this:

The tag said it enjoyed moderate light (check) and damp soil (check check). What the tag didn't say, however, is how much it does not enjoy cats chewing on its frilly leaves. Maybe because that's common sense? I don't know.

At any rate, I thank God that I can sleep at night knowing the plant isn't toxic to kitties (which I made sure of after finding this incredibly helpful list from the ASPCA), because our cats eat that thing like it's chicken. But non-toxic or not, the purpose of having the plant (beauty, air purity, a place behind which to hide newspapers) is lost when the cats treat it as their personal grazing station. We like to spoil our furry friends, but, come on. A personal grazing station? The thing has been bent and chewed like a nervous fingernail biter competing in the national spelling bee. Take a look at our sad little Phoenix Roebelenii (can I have the language of origin on that one, please?):

Sad face.

On another sad face side note, it occurred to me today that getting good pictures is going to be difficult for a while since I now leave and come home from work in the near dark. Yay winter. :)

Anyway, this thing looks like it belongs in the Addams Family house or something. Only it's not flesh-eating.

So here is my plea: HELP! I have 0/2 green thumbs and my resume of plant care consists of watering and, well....well, just watering. Can I keep my cats away? Is it really all their fault, or is it partly my approach to plant TLC? Shall I phone Morticia and tell her I'm sending an early Christmas present? If you're an expert or at least know how to do more than water, please share your tips. We (and our plant...but probably not the cats) would be ever so grateful. :)

And speaking of cats, here's one of the guilty members of that party now, perched so sweetly near her favorite late-night snack.

She only LOOKS innocent. When we're not looking (and, actually, sometimes even when we are), she becomes a ravenous plant-eating fiend. Like Little Shop of Horrors. Only she's doing the plant-eating, not the other way around...

Okay, I'm done now.


The post in which I go on a spray painting spree.

This past weekend, I went on a mini spray painting spree. The kind where I get so impulsive about pushing and aiming the little nozzle that I almost spray paint my cats.


I decided the glossy look wouldn't suit them.

It all started when I wanted to experiment with using frosted glass spray paint to achieve the "etched sans hazardous chemicals" look. I try to save the hazardous chemicals for the member of my family that sports a white coat from 9-5 and whisks me off to dreamland with bedtime stories about loop diuretics and hypertension. (That is a true story: whenever I can't sleep, Rick volunteers to start talking medicine. Works like a charm.) My process (which, I'll assure you, is not earth-shattering ingenuity...I'm sure countless others have used frosted spray paint to achieve the same look) consisted of four very simple steps:

1) Find glass to spray paint. In this case, I used two recycled Yankee Candle jars.

2) Tape design to jar. I used regular Scotch tape on the tall one and didn't have any problems with the spray paint bleeding through.

I would love to try this same thing with shaped stickers or custom adhesives cut with my Cricut. But I'll save that for another day.

3) Spray paint jars with frost spray paint. I used Rustoleum Frosted Glass.

4) Peel off tape. Ta da! Ambiance shot:

That lantern in the above grouping started off like this, purchased for $.75 from the recent Ronald McDonald House Charity Sale (talk about a yard saler's paradise: this event overflowed an entire vacant Dick's Sporting Goods from front to back with donated--and cheap!--treasures):

Clearly, it was the next victim on my serial spray painting spree, because it is now white.

And on the other side of the mantle is my subtle $1.99 Goodwill hint that it is fall, which I also spray painted white.

Spray paint=wonder paint. You'll never look at gleaming faux copper pumpkins the same way once you can picture them with a new coat of paint. And you know you talk too much about the "potential" and "possibility" in things when your husband, out of the blue, says "Hey, that vase has good lines."

I was so proud. :)

Any favorite spray paint fixes? Feel free to share or link to your work!