Monday, July 25, 2011

Light Switch.

Recently I saw this light switch on Anthropologie's website for $18. Although it's pricey for a light switch plate, I figured that it was ok because I only wanted one.

Tin Roof Switchplates, Single
So, I emailed Bill and asked what he thought. He came back with a link to an online company who was selling some VERY similar for under $7. Awesome! Until I went to go check out and shipping was $9.95. Insanity! How on earth does something so small cost almost $10 to ship??? Because it doesn't... Well, we were able to find this different plate on many sites... the cheapest was Sears at about $3, but they were out of stock. Otherwise they all had high shipping costs that was still ending up at around $15. Bill finally found it on Home Depot's website - online only, no actually shipping costs. Woohoo!

Creative Accents 1-Gang Arabesque White Toggle Wall Plate
Plate cost: $6.82
Shipping: $0.00
Shipping Charges: $0.49 (not sure what that's all about but it works for me...)
Tax: $0.53
Total: $7.84

About the same cost as the first one Bill found! I wish smaller businesses would figure out that high shipping is not the answer. They totally would have made a sale if shipping hadn't been so unreasonable. Instead I had to go to the big box store...

Here are some "before" photos, which don't really show off too much.

Anyways, it came a couple days later and...

Strangely, the metal is actually cut out. So, those flat parts you see in the left photo are actually this paper/card stock that is on the back side.

And up on the wall...

I like it, I'm just not sure how much... Part of me thought about painting it. Probably because I'm on a spray painting kick and have some things to spray paint but it's been way too humid out to do any of it. So, I'm just going to leave it for now and see how I feel later.

Moral of a not so great story, shop around! And don't pay $10 for shipping, that's just insanity.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Excuse the grainy photos, but I needed to share this...

Last week, my wonderful Corgi, Behr, decided to fall asleep in a rather strange "position"...

And just in case you needed a better view...

I got quite a few pictures of him in this very strange state. I had to try really hard to not laugh hysterically and wake him up. Eventually, he did wake up and sort of glared at me, as if to say "Quiet, I'm trying to sleep!" After giving me the evil eye, he did fix himself and sleep like a normal dog.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Many of the flowers around here are all out in full bloom and they're all looking great. Just thought I would share some from around my house and work.

At work...

At home...

A couple more from work...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bedroom Paint.

Every since we bought this house, I've wanted the bedroom to be fantastic. But, it's the place I always get caught up. Sometimes it's the color, sometimes the "artwork" and sometimes just how to make what we already have work.

Our room started off yellow. A really pale yellow. At the time, I hated yellow. Worst color ever.

I originally wanted to go grey or gray, which ever you prefer. I bought a sample, just to be safe. I originally tried it out in the living room, thinking that would be the gray room, but I wasn't feeling it so I thought the bedroom would be a great spot. I was wrong. The color was just bad. Way too much blue in it. Not the nice neutral gray I had imagined. Color fail. I ended up just fixing the wall back to yellow with left over paint in the basement.

I left it for quite awhile before it really started to bug me. Then, last spring, I had a brilliant green idea. Green seemed like something that would work well with the things we already had and I had just found one of those floor cushions in a great green color that would work great for a dog bed. Well, for the first time in history, I may have found the color that was not dark enough. Sadly, in the room, it looked very close to a neon green. I loved the color, but it just wasn't working in the space.

 I gave up on green completely. I just couldn't find what I was looking for. I feel like I had the color in my mind, but just couldn't find that paint swatch to match.

Somehow, I got on this purple kick. But I wasn't sure that purple was right for the bedroom, so I expanded that to include Bill and had Bill help me out. We generally have the most success when we don't think about the color too hard, don't bring those little swatch things home, and don't get a sample to test it out. The more we think about it, the worse it ends ups.

So, we went and looked at paint colors and bought one right away. We chose this great red color, very deep and warm. I love(d) the color. We went the extra mile and purchased the paint with the primer in it. Well, being red made it difficult. We were coming up to the fourth of July and I really just wanted it to "look" done. So, not everything got enough coats and behind things didn't really get painted. A few months went by and I finally used the rest of the paint to get behind everything, except the wall mounted TV, and attempted to get enough coats on all walls. Well, there wasn't enough paint. And somewhere in there the color became different. I think that originally the paint wasn't mixed well enough and because it was so full at first, I had a difficult time mixing it more or to where it needed to be. So, after the first main time of painting, the color changed.

I've been meaning for a very long time to go get another gallon of paint so that it could finally be done. Well, recently I found this fantastic quilt. I kept trying to ignore how much I loved it because it was both expensive and in a yellow-mustard. Somehow, I convinced myself that it would look great with the red walls, brown curtains and other accessories and the large amounts of white.

The quilt became on sale and with a 10% off coupon, I went for it. Bill became convinced that our bedroom looked like a "burger." Before the quilt purchase, I had started to think about going a totally different direction with color. The continuing burger comments and a trip to Ikea where I spotted the perfect curtains made me decide to go for it. So, with another trip back to Ikea, I bought the perfect curtains and a couple other accessories. Then, it was off to Home Depot with a fabric swatch to find the right color. My thought was to find the curtain color on a swatch and go the shade lighter.

I think I got the perfect color.

The room looks much more "grown up" and makes all of the wood look better. I officially finished the painting on Saturday and I still am surprised every time I walk in the room. The room is so much more calm and relaxing. I loved the red color. But I actually love the room now. Fantastic choice.

I still have a few things left to finish up, but I will post the whole room soon!

Note: We used Behr paint from HomeDepot in Anonymous #780F-5.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chocolate Filled Oatmeal Bars.

Every year for the 4th of July we have a BBQ type party and have a bunch of people over for food and fireworks. We happened to pick a great house for 4th of July fireworks. There is a park just a few houses up from us that shoots them off every year.

Lately, I've been trying to do more baking and to try out new recipes. So, this year for the 4th I tried out a new bar recipe... They were amazing. Bill said that "this is what chocolate chip cookies should taste like." Lots of chocolate, less of the dough/cookie part.

Anyways, I wanted to share this recipe, so that others can enjoy it as well... It's from the Cambridge Lutheran Cookbook.

Chocolate Filled Oatmeal Bars

Bottom Crust:
-3/4 cup butter
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 cup quick oatmeal

-1 (13oz) can sweetened condensed milk
-1 heaping cup real chocolate chips, not imitation
*The real, not imitation chips is totally in the cook book... I'm not sure what sort of "fake" chocolate chips are out there, but I used semi-sweet ones.

Mix the butter, sugar and salt together well. Mix in the dry ingredients. Pat 2/3 of the mixture into buttered 10x13 jelly roll pan. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture for the top of the filling.
*Make sure the butter is soft or it won't mix well.
*When putting bottom crust in pan, pat firmly with a wide pancake turner.

Heat in microwave or double boiler the condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted and combined with milk. Stir until well blended; spread on crust in pan and strew rest of crust mixture on top of filling evenly.
*Be careful spreading, if you're not, the bottom crust will come up.

Bake in 325°F oven until light brown. About 30 minutes.

I did bake this for the full 30 minutes, but it will probably depend on your oven. I used a large glass pyrex dish, about the same size as mentioned above. I do think that when and if I make this again, I will make more of the crust, maybe an extra half or even double what the recipe calls for. I feel like the bottom crust could have been a little thicker and I would have liked a little more on top. What I had left for the top didn't completely cover the chocolate.

These have been marked with a stamp of approval in my cook book along with some notes. I've also been given the go ahead to make them again at some point.

*Indicates my notes.

Not Minnesotan? What's a bar?

4th of July.

Happy belated 4th of July!!!

I've been too busy the past couple days for an official 'Happy 4th of July!' in a timely fashion. I've been cleaning, cooking, hosting, working and playing volleyball. I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July!