Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It was my birthday last week. Friday to be exact. I'm one year closer to 30 and it kind of freaks me out...

I took the day off of work and spent the day doing nothing too exciting. It was a good day though. I "slept in." Not really. My plan was to sleep in, but between the text messages and facebook alerts, that didn't really happen.

I eventually got up and went and got my hair cut. Nothing fancy, just a trim. I couldn't decide if I actually wanted to change anything so I just got all the icky ends chopped off. Then I spent the afternoon over at my mom's house chatting and preventing her from working.

That night, Bill and I went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Best of India. So freaking good. Our waiter (who may have been one of the owners) was really nice and I got to chat about how I've actually been to India. We got our usual favorite dishes. Mine is Paneer Mahkani and I can never remember what Bill orders, a dish that I would say is like the Indian version of fried rice. It's all mixed together with chicken and some veggies (maybe). Then of course we ordered Naan, because that's basically required. I tried out Flying Horse beer and Bill had the normal Taj Mahal. Yum.

Later that night, we went to the late showing of "Don't be Afraid of the Dark" with my sister and her boyfriend. I'm not sure if I liked it. I really like trying to be scared, but I don't usually get scared. It was a little freaky, but it didn't prevent me from sleeping or give me nightmares. I liked the story line of it. But... it did do a lot of the jumpy things. And there were a lot of scary movie cliches... not turning on lights, parents not believing what the kid is saying, etc.

Anyways, the day was good and I got 3 great gifts. 2 actual things and 1 gift card. My dad got me a gift card, which I need to find something awesome to buy with it...

My mom got me this fantastic Jo Totes camera bag that I've been eyeing...

My hope was to use it for work and be able to fit my camera, hard drive, and files in it. After re-arranging it multiple times, I've concluded that it will work great for my camera and hard drive but not so much for files. So, my goal is to now not have files to bring back and forth.

Bill got me a new camera...

A Nikon D3100. It's wonderful, but it's nothing fancy. It's one I've been looking at for awhile now. I have/had an ok camera, but it wasn't anything spectacular. I think just the advances in the technology over the past few years has really helped. The new lens that I now have has vibration reduction, which is pretty sweet. I've already got my eye on another lens and hopefully I'll make the move and purchase that soon.

I'll put up some pics from it soon (this week?). I haven't done anything too interesting lately, so it will probably just be photos of the dog and flowers I have outside. We're planning on going to the Minnesota State Fair this weekend, so I think I'll bring it with and try to get some good shots.

And actually I got more than 3 gifts. Bill gave me the camera a week before my birthday because he has this need to give gifts as soon as he hands them in hand. He's always way more excited to give than to receive. So, we made a deal... If I opened it now, there would be no more super early gift openings. So, on my actual birthday, he came home with a box of truffles and a new key chain for my shiny new car keys (which is another story...).

Can't wait to try out the camera some more!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


When we purchased our new bathroom light fixture, we also picked out a new one for our bedroom. It was a brand new light fixture and they only had the floor model, so we had to wait almost a month before it came in.

Portfolio 2-Bulb Chrome Chandelier
It was kind of exciting... All the light fixtures in this house were horrible when we bought it. The bathroom and our bedroom were really the last two major ones that I wanted to switch out. We knew the instant we saw it that it was the perfect one. Then of course, I had to do my, 'are you sure?' deal. Making sure that Bill actually likes it and it's just liking it because he knows I like it. If that makes any sense.

This what I've had to look at for two years...

Let me tell you, this was one of the worst lighting fixture installs ever. It was not fun. It didn't help that it was evening, it took a million times longer than it should have, and nothing went right. 

Luckily, I was smart enough to put down an old towel over the bed right underneath the light. There was a lot mess... The old wiring that is wrapped in fiber is a pain. Bill always has the need to fix it so it isn't a mess and unraveled everywhere, which, I guess, is probably a smart thing to do. 

Bill finally got everything all wired up and we go to put the light fixture UP to mount it and the screws aren't long enough.... Or rather our electrical box thing is up too much into the ceiling. Ugh. So, it took some work and a lot of light holding by me. Let me tell you, holding sucks. A lot. We finally got it done. 

And some decent during the day ones...

Now what I would like to do is sway the light over to the middle of the bed (did you see the extra chain?). That requires finding a hook of some kind... And that's for another time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spray painting.

For our wedding in May, I spray painted the Ikea Ung Drill frame a purple to display our menu in.

Ikea Ung Drill Frame - $29.99
The frame itself, turned out really good, but I wasn't really impressed with my menu skills. I had bigger and better plans, which involved going to Kinkos, but I just ran out of time. I'm not sure if I'm willing to share the semi-disaster I created and still used, maybe I'll edit this later and throw it in... It really did seem fine the day before the wedding when I made it, but looking back at the lone picture of it, it's sort of lacking.

Anyways, I wanted to put this frame to use. I didn't want to just spend that $29.99 and have it sit in my basement forever. After painting my bedroom and doing some of the other work I've been doing in there lately, I decided that this could make the perfect addition to it. So I went on a mission... A mission for the perfect yellow spray paint. You may wonder how hard that could really be... Have you checked out the spray paint section at your local home improvement or hardware store? Well, they have yellow. Just straight, nasty, normal, regular yellow. That's it.

I remembered recently being at Dick Blick and seeing Montana Gold Spray paint... Montana Gold happens to come in the most fantastic array of colors! If you click that link, you can see all the wonderful colors, including the regular ol' yellow and the wonderful Banana I bought. I have to say, at least on my computer screen, the color is different. Maybe not as dark.

Montana Gold boasts that it is works on almost any surface and that it covers well. I figured this paint would be perfect and maybe even better than using just a regular spray paint. Note: I did actually spray prime before I ever spray painted this frame purple for the first time, so I wasn't going to be spray painting straight onto the original plastic. The paint covered really well and dried fast too. I was able to put on a couple coats in one day. I did have to go back and touch up later because, let's face it, my spray painting skills aren't top notch yet.

I think the only thing that would have made this go better is if I had maybe not had such a dark paint underneath, then I wouldn't have had to do as many coats. Or it just wouldn't have been as noticeable that I'm not that great at spray painting... Also, it would have been helpful if the ants could have refrained from walking all over it, especially while the paint was wet.

A couple days ago, I finally got around to hanging it up! It will probably end up moving, staying on the same wall, because I have more plans for the room...

Edit: Ike Ung Drill Update

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roasting Marshmallows.

On Saturday, we had a small fire in the backyard. Right after we bought our house, it was one of the first things we bought. Having friends over for a fire and beer sounds like a great plan. Well, it got used once that summer and we didn't have enough small stuff so it didn't really go all that well. Last summer, we didn't use it at all... Saturday we busted it out for the first time this summer and it was great!

I forgot how calm and relaxing it can be to just sit, watch a fire and chat!

We in invited my sister and her boyfriend over. She had to work, so by the time they got there we had already gone through most of the wood. We had some beer. We roasted some marshmallows and made s'mores. YUM!

It was a good night. Simple, but good. Bill even suggested we do it every weekend until it gets too cold out. I told him that might be a lot to do, but definitely more often.

Moral of the story: have more 'camp' fires.

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Year.

It has been 1 year since my family lost two amazing people...

On August 15th, 2010, my gramps died due to poor health. Two days later, on August 17th, my gram died. Probably of a broken heart. It was probably the toughest week of my life.

Even though it's been a year, it all still seems so fresh. There is still a hole in my heart that I'm afraid will never close. I think about them both every day and that hole aches every time. A large part of me is afraid that I will always feel this way. I wonder if that could be good or bad. If it always still hurts this much, I won't forget about them...

There are so many wonderful things that have happened in the past year that I wish they could have been apart of... my wedding and the birth of their beautiful granddaughter are probably two of the biggest. I especially hope that my gram saw that I wore her pearls at my wedding. They were the pearls that she wore for her wedding. I don't think anything has ever meant so much to me before. It was a huge honor. All I hope, is that no matter where they are, no matter what they are doing, that they some how know what's going on and can see these great events that are taking place within our family.

It's been an entire year of not going up north to visit them for holidays. Thanksgiving was the first major holiday after their deaths and I don't think I've ever felt so "out of whack." It felt so wrong to not be going to visit them. Holidays sort of seemed a little less special, a little less great without those visits.

And if they can see this...
I love you both so much. I would probably give anything to just give you both one more hug and to spend one more weekend in Squaw Lake, enjoying your stories, cooking and company.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Bathroom, Part 2.

This summer has marked a full two years in our house. Ever before we moved in, I had a running list of things that I wanted to change or update. The bathroom was at the top of that list. For about two full years now, we've been working on the bathroom. Not all at once obviously... One thing here, half a thing there, another thing here.

I'm quite certain that we've been looking for a light fixture the entire time we've lived here. So, that is the wonderful light fixture I've been looking at for 2+ years.

A couple weeks ago, we FINALLY found a new light fixture at Lowe's. I'm not sure why, but we could never find one that we liked. Most were all too... I guess like what we had. Awful. Well, we were just wandering around Lowe's one day and decided to just walk down the aisle with bathroom light fixtures and stumbled across this one. 

Portfolio 3-Light Brushed Nickel Bathroom Vanity Light
We bought this one along with a new light for the bedroom. It has been sitting in our living room for a few weeks now and we finally put it up last night. 

This one was at least easy to take off. Just two screws on the top. Unscrew what's left from the wall and take apart the wiring.

And of course the wall isn't smooth behind there... It looks like someone patched something to the left at some point and only took off the 'decorative' part of the fixture. And of course, the wonderful 1950's wiring. This is actually the fist thing we pulled out and it wasn't a huge mess.

So, for now, I sanded it and painted. I'll have to go out and buy some new stuff to fix up the uneven-ness, which you can kind of see below when the light is on. Hopefully it is something I can do while the fixture is still up. I think I will be able to...

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I like it, but... I feel like it's really high and I don't think there is much we can do about it. I guess I'll have to see how I feel later after I fix the wall...