Thursday, August 30, 2012

Postponed Birthday Plans

Well the plan was to check another item off of my 30 before 30 list by watching the Texas A&M Aggie football team play Louisiana Tech in Shreveport, Louisiana for my birthday today.

Sadly, due to Hurricane Isaac the officials have decided to postpone the game to October 13.  Better to be safe than sorry!

It appears that my birthday and the state of Louisiana just do not seem to get along! In 2008 we tried to celebrate my birthday in New Orleans before being evacuated for Hurricane Gustav after a short 16 hour trip.

Since the game was the main reason we were making the drive to Shreveport this weekend, we decided to nix those plans and just chill out at home. Thankfully the hubs is going to take me out to dinner so my birthday won't be a total wash.

In related news, my mom's co-worker Anita surprised me with a very sweet welcome to the SEC basket!

The card even plays the Aggie War Hymm!  Other fun items in the bowl (which will be great for chips or popcorn while watching the game) included wine, chocolates, cocktail napkins, maroon and white popcorn, car magnets and a very useful reusable bag.

This just made my day and got me so excited for college football season to kick off!

Are you an avid sports watching fan?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Santa Fe & Taos

Our birthday trip in Albuquerque included a road trip to Santa Fe and Taos!  After breakfast Sunday morning we made a bee line for the highway and headed up to Santa Fe to check out the Indian Art Market.

Our Inn Keepers were not kidding when they said be prepared to walk because parking was horrible.  After driving around for 15-20 minutes we finally found a legal spot and hoofed it to the market.

There were rows and rows of artists showcasing jewelry, pottery, paintings, baskets and more.  There was no way we would be able to see it all, but we checked out a good sampling.

From Santa Fe we hit the road up to Taos which (according to USA Today) is considered one of the top 10 places to see in the US.

During our guided tour we learned about their way of life including how the kids are schooled within the walls up to grade 8 before going to public or private school and how it is up to the parents and grandparents to teach the children the native language since it is not written down.

We rounded out the road trip with dinner back in Santa Fe at a quaint little Italian place before heading back to Albuquerque as the sun set.

Another fun birthday trip in the books!  Can't wait to see what Chris plans for next year!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sew Some More

The sewing experiments continue!

After learning the envelope method to create a pillow case, I decided to test out making a case with 2 different fabrics.

I used a 14x14 pillow form (taken from another pillowcase), some green fabric and a smaller blue fabric quarter.  After cutting everything to size, I knew I would need to pull out the iron to lessen the creases in the fabric quarter.

A little better

While the iron was out, I went ahead and used it to help create the folds for my hems.  Much easier to sew this way, I should stop being lazy and use it all the time!

After cutting the front piece of fabric in half, I sewed a strip of blue to the middle.  It took a minute or so to make sure I was sewing the right ends so the seam would be on the inside.

Another pass under the iron...

..and sewing around the entire pillow to get to the finished product.

I was so happy with the first one, that I made a second (really because I already had the material need to go to waste).  I need to pick up another form, but for the purpose of the shot I just stuck a long pillow halfway in.

I made a couple of covers for mom's Euro Shams, but I feel much more at ease with the smaller size. I'm loving the envelope style and have plans on making more covers and switching them out with the seasons or as our moods change.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Another birthday trip is down in the books!

We always try to pick a place that is within driving distance or a short flight from Dallas, and this year we landed on Albuquerque, New Mexico to celebrate Chris' 29th birthday.  We stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast in Old Town that served delicious starts to our mornings.

We enjoyed walking around Old Town and spent Friday checking out some local wineries.  Unlike our road trips to San Antonio or Fredericksburg where we would be driving the wine home, we had to be selective of the wines we purchased and flew back with.

We were prepared to bring back two bottles each, thankfully all bottles made it home in one piece!

We had some standout eating experiences including our first time trying tapas and Chris enjoying wild game and truffle fries at High Noon for his birthday.

Mussels, Chicken Skewers, Scallops, & Lamb Sliders

Wild Game Trio, Crab Stuff Rainbow Trout, Truffle Fries and Chris' birthday dessert

Other than eating and drinking, we continued our birthday tradition of massages and then ventured 10,378 feet up into the Sandia Mountains.

Stay tuned next week for a recap of our Sunday drive to Santa Fe and Taos!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Envelope Pillow Case

After my initial rounds of making pillows, I thought it might be helpful to learn how to make pillow cases.  This way I would be able to switch up the cases without having to cut them off of the pillows I covered.  I headed on over to trusty you tube and followed this 8 minute clip for a quick lesson.

The video has great step by step instructions which I pretty much followed to a t.  I started off with this decorative pillow and some more left over fabric from mom's summer set.

Following the steps I measures out my material, sewed the hems and then sewed the around whole case. 

Flip inside out and stuff with the pillow and you're good to go!

With how quickly these steps were to pick up I'm ready to make cases for all of the decorative pillows lying around!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Battle With Spray Paint

During the trip to Builder's Surplus that resulted in our new vessel sink, mom picked up a new vanity for the half bath.  Only problem was that it was white and she wanted a darker base.  With a little advice from her friend Mary Ann and the Home Depot guy, we opted to spray paint the base.

Sounds easy enough, but with that thin plastic coating on top and the notorious Texas heat we were in for a battle.  The first round was going along just fine until we realized that the two cans were not going to cut it.  Mom made a mad dash to Home Depot before it closed just to find out that that location was all out.  Determined to finish that night, she headed over to Wal Mart to pick up a couple of cans.  Same brand, but not the same easy to use can which ended with sore fingers.  Nonetheless we finished up and let it dry overnight.

The next day we figured that the doors were dry enough so that we could turn them over, spray them and leave them to dry again overnight.  Sadly something happened overnight with the heat and when we went to pick them up in the morning, the front panels (first painted) stuck to the drop cloth and peeled off some of the paint.


You live and you learn.  We did the best we could to just spray a couple more layers to cover it up and let it dry inside.

It may not have been the best experience with spray paint, but in the end we got it done.  Have you had any issues with painting?

Monday, August 13, 2012

30 Before 30: Jason Mraz & Christina Perri

A random trip to our local grocery store turned into another chance to cross off an item from my 30 before 30 list!

Mom and I have wised up to make our money work for us by buying gift cards at Kroger before shopping trips to stores like Home Depot or Jo-Ann's.  This way we can get double the fuel points for gas, win win.  Well on Saturday we headed over to pick up some cards before buying paint for the kitchen when we noticed the 106.1 KISS FM (local top 40s radio station) truck in the parking lot.  Inside the store we noticed a table set up and headed over to see what was up.  They were there to promote buying school supplies for local kids, and anyone who came up to the table was able to take a chance to pick a "winner" card out of 3.  Lucky Mom was the winner and let me select the prize out of t-shirts, CDs and concert tickets for that night's Jason Mraz concert.

Chris and I had no plans for Saturday night so we packed up a blanket and some cushions and headed down the highway about 2 and a half hours before the concert.  I'm glad we headed out early because we ended up running into an accident that turned our 25 minute drive into a 50-60 minute ride.  Good thing I threw together a playlist of Jason & Christina's songs to enjoy during the traffic backup.

Once we arrived at the Gexa Energy Pavilion (for those in the Dallas area it's the same place that has also been called the Starplex, Smirnoff Music Center, and Center), we waited in line until they opened up the seating about an hour before the show.  Those lawn seats filled up pretty quickly!

Located right behind Fair Park 

We passed the time playing games on our phones and drinking strawberry margaritas while enjoying the fact that there was no one sitting in front of us. 

Jason's opening act was Christina Perri who you might recognize for singing one of the popular songs off of the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack along with her hit Jars of Hearts.

Her 45 minute set list included:

Black & Blue
Cover of Be My Baby (from Dirty Dancing)
A Thousand Years (from Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1)
Jar of Hearts

After the sun went down, and a 45 minute intermission Jason Mraz took the stage.

He played for a good hour and 45 minutes with songs from a variety of of his albums including his latest Love Is A Four Letter Word.

Tonight, Not Again
The Remedy (I Won't Worry)
You and I Both
Living in the Moment
Frank D. Fixer
Details in the Fabric
Please Don't Tell Her
The Woman I Love
A Beautiful Mess
You Fckn Did It
Cover of Jimi Hendrix's Angel
I'm Coming Over (the "hidden track" on his most recent album)
I'm Yours

My butt was starting to go numb so I told Chris we could leave after hearing I'm Yours.  I'm glad we stayed for that song because we got to witness a guy propose to his girlfriend, so sweet!

With Chris working a double on Sunday it was a good idea to get out before the mass exodus. My guess (and some google skills) is that during the encore he played his first single off of the Love album "I Won't Give Up", and possibly another song or two off that album. 

All in all, it was a great freebie date night and gave me some new songs to add to my iPod!

Have you been to any concerts lately?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Get Your Colors Brighter

And I do mean brighter!

While replacing the floors in the kitchen, we made the most of an empty laundry room to brighten it up. 

I have to admit I was really surprised when mom decided to step out of the comfort of her warmer paint tones to add a pop of color that would coordinate with her blue and green rug.

Mom and I knocked out the first coat of paint while trying to break for the Olympics and Dad followed up with a perfect second coat to even it all out. There may or may not have been comments about Ray Charles doing the first coat, but I'm sure that person was mistaken.

It's even brighter once the lights are turned on.

I'm so glad mom went out of her comfort zone with this room's color! I think it really brightens up this small space.

Have you gone with a bold color in any of your rooms?