Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thinking Thursday - Lent

Thinkin’ Thursday 

I’ve been thinking about Lent.  It’s my favorite holiday.  OK, I know it’s more a season, a preparatory time as we prepare for Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.  Still, once Ash Wednesday comes and goes, I feel different.  I am not a religious person, but I am a Christian.  

NOTE:  I attend a Catholic church although raised Lutheran, and I find that it doesn’t matter at all where I worship, as long as I am welcome there.  We have found a warm, wonderful congregation that is inclusive and generous with all types and classes of people.  We’ve had all the babies baptized there, and it truly feels like a “church home”.
Anyway, Lent.  In my heart it’s tied so closely to springtime, that I can’t separate them - the thawing, the rebirth of the soil, and the tender new growth all over the place are completely part of my anticipation of Good Friday and Easter.  

This is just my opinion, but I HATE that Good Friday isn’t actually a “holiday”.  Seriously, the miracle of the resurrection wouldn’t exist if Jesus hadn’t taken on all of our sins, issues, problems and damnation. He had every chance to back out, and instead he took the nails, the ridicule, the pain and the sword.  Tell me that THAT’S not really the miracle!

I’ve been working hard to put together an Easter vignette.  It’s hard for me because the bunnies and the candy and the plasticity of what’s out there is bothersome to me, in the same way that the pervasive plastic Santas get on my nerves at Christmas.  I spent a whole lot of time today looking for items that would fit my vision (Thank you, Mom! She watched the kids for 6 HOURS!!!), and came up with remarkably little.  Yes, I could just walk in to the Christian store and load up, but I was discouraged by how little of what is available in the larger arena has anything to do with what I consider to be the real message of the season.  I’ll be working up a few crafty things today and tonight that I can use, and I’ve been poaching scripture and just plain words that I will try to incorporate, too.  Like:

God * Grace * Gratitude

I’ll post some how-tos as soon as I can, and will hopefully have something worth showing in the next couple of days.
Well!  That concludes the homily for today, folks!  I really don’t mean to preach.  Lent just gets me thinkin’,  that’s all.  :)
Oooh, and about that thinkin’ thing...  an old friend has joined the blogosphere as of 

yesterday, and her blog is titled “What’s Theory Thinking??”  When I say old, I’m telling you we met in 1976.  Enough said!  She’s writing about her life, where it’s been and where it might be going.  Please jump on over and give her a look!
Have a great day, everyone!  I’m off to purge the house of, well, crapification!  Time to move some stuff out  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I finally get a chandelier!

Gaudy to Gracious Chandelier
Well, hello!  Today I’ll walk you through a really easy, reaaallly cheap little makeover that makes me so happy!  I have been coveting a chandelier for our bathroom redo, but the ceilings just aren’t up for it (Get it?  Up for it?  I make me laugh!). 

Anyway, when I came across this little candle chandelier (candlier?) at GoodWill, I snapped it up, even though the finish was ugly.  Plus, it was half off of the whopping $3 they were asking originally.  :)

It wasn’t really brass, but it was brass-y, and it had some weird mottling all over it, even though you can’t really see it in the pics.  
Still, I could picture it in a rubbed bronze, candles flickering above the tub, and knew I had to have it.  Unfortunately, the weather here in Wisconsin hasn’t been very conducive to spray painting, so this poor baby sat around around for a long, long time, waiting for a little TLC.
We FINALLY got a little thaw in February, and I headed out into the spray room (screened porch) and got to it.  I’d spray a really light coat, then hustle my little box full of beauty back into the house, so the cold temp didn’t mess things up.  

About every half hour I’d head back out to layer another thin coat on, 

and eventually I had a rich, bronzy effect.

So why did it take me so long to post?  Well, those little peg votives, of course!  
It’s tough to find what I was looking for, much less matching ones, and there are 8 spots on my little pretty.  I now have 6 of the straight sided ones, and only 4 of the rounds, but I keep looking!  I actually don’t mind the look of the combination, so maybe I’ll just keep it as is.  Well, I’ll probably clean the glass...
Let’s break down the expenses here...
Candlier ~ $1.50
Paint ~ already had, so free
Globes ~ 6 @ .45 = $2.70 
                4 @ $1 = $4
Total = $8.20
Pretty proud of that total, plus I’m reallllly looking forward to that first candle-lit bath!
UPDATE on my face...

It’s so much better!  My morning shower helped soften and relieve the skin, and a nice layer sloughed off.  Even the scary scabs are looking (and feeling) much better.  The areas that have cleared out are very smooth and soft.  You DO know that I haven’t learned a lesson here, right?  I’ll be reapplying just as soon as I can!
Have a great night!
linking to:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking a class is not the same as having some...

I’m gonna be so PURDY!

All right - I mentioned that I would be taking a skin care class on Monday night, right?  No, maybe not; I’m such a scatterbrain sometimes!  Well, I did go, and had a really good time learning about a very nice skincare line called Bioelements.  

I had certainly heard of them before, but since the school I attended (Gill Tech Academy) works closely with the Dermalogica educators, we were taught the Dermalogica Way and techniques, and encouraged to delve even deeper into their specialized education if we had further interest.  I like the Derm brand, but I am really nosy!  I wanted to see what was different, special, and maybe even better about Bioelements.  The class was at a beautiful local salon called Samsarah, and it’s the best experience you’ve never heard about in Appleton!

Here’s a disclaimer:  The same woman who helped me learn about Dermalogica at the school  

Click here to enter Ann's site

is also a practicing aesthetician, licensed massage therapist, and now a Learning Coach for Bioelements.  She has spoken highly of the line since I’ve known her, and when a class became available with her, I jumped at it.  I was not compensated for this post, and paid for the class just like everyone else.

First off, the class was very small, with 6 of us in attendance.  Ann was able to address each of our skin concerns directly, and help us locate the right products for our desired results.  She walked us through an entire facial, letting us try whatever was appropriate.  She also explained the ingredients of what we used ~ the active ingredients that give us the results, and the inactive ones that make or break the experience, like fragrance and texture enhancers.  Bioelements stays as close to nature as possible, and as a result, there is much less of a chance for an allergic reaction.  Some of the active ingredients are pretty strong, which is what gives the excellent results, but it’s a very good idea to consult with a skincare expert so that you don’t exceed what your skin can handle.
We went through cleansing, toning, exfoliating, a mask, moisturizing, and target area (eye) cream application.  Although it would be wonderful to be able to do all of those every single day, it is often not possible, so Ann stresses that it is necessary at a minimum to Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize in order to keep your skin in it’s best shape.
I found two new products that I will invest in and give a prolonged try.  As y’all know, my cheapness is overruled by my lust for quality beauty products (although I do shop the sales, and as a professional, I get a really good discount on things like this).  
Flash Foam Cleanser

  • Instantly dissolves dirt, dead cells and makeup
  • Provides mild daily exfoliation
  • Leaves skin smooth, soft and refreshed
  • Acts as an exfoliating 'booster'


  • Helps purge pores of their impurities
  • Smoothes and brightens
  • Uncovers fresh, revitalized and clearer skin
My skin is weird for my age.  I’m still oily, and have breakouts like crazy.  Both of these products are good for those issues AND the incipient wrinkles that are trying to sneak up on me!

Any new skincare product or line needs a commitment, too.  You have to be able to stick with it for 4-6-8 weeks to see the best results, since it’s often a cellular change that makes all the difference, and those don’t happen overnight.

As I try these out, I'll keep you posted on my results.  I also have a peel in my near future- D will be my assistant in documenting just how much improvement can be had, as well as what one has to go through in order to get it!

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More delays (wasn't 5 years enough?)

Totally delayed!
Just a teaser:
How much would you expect to pay for a 50” custom-built vanity?

How about a beautiful new countertop/sink/faucet to put on it?
Gorgeous new tiled floor?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say your guess will be NOWHERE near what we’ve invested.  The bulk of the installation will be done by day’s end, and there will be full disclosure at that time.
Update:  I started that post 3 days ago!  Our vanity topper has not come in yet, the “toilet in a box” we purchased is missing a vital piece, and we had an emergency water situation in the basement. So much for completion over the weekend!  Still, we got a lot done, and now when the final pieces arrive and are in place, there are far fewer details that will need adjusting.
None of the photos above are actually what we have - I’m not showing until I am satisfied with the look and functionality of the room.  All are fair comparisons, though.  So, go ahead, give me a guesstimate!
I’ll be back tomorrow with some more interesting items, but until then...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A task (almost) completed!


All but the last .5% are up - those are the ones I’ll have to custom cut, and I’ve pretty much burned out on doing that in the confined space of the bathroom.  
Up at the ceiling, and in the right corner.  Stupid sloping ceilings!

I never appreciated how truly grody ceramic dust can be if you let it permeate your pores, get up your nose, into your hair or, worst of all, into your mouth - because then you taste and feel the grit for what seems like hours.  

This is after cutting only 4 tiles.

The coolest thing about cutting tiles?  That I can totally do it!  By myself!  And I appear to be better at it than D :)
Does anyone else have one of these? 

It’s a Rotozip, and it made the tiling so much easier.  (I am blessed to have a honey that loves tools of all sorts - if we don’t already have one, all I have to do is show D what I can accomplish with it, and it will fairly quickly come to the Crazy House!)  I honestly would have done this YEARS ago if I had known how easy and rewarding it would be...  I always figured I had to have hubby around to do the the cutting - I wrote off my own capacity to learn!  
Now I find that I’m eager to try all sorts of things.  I can’t wait to start cutting the trim that I found for $3 at the Habitat ReStore down the road... 
$3 (for the whole 20+ feet!)  Gonna be painted... perfect!

Click here to find your own!
I’ve always enjoyed mitre cutting, figuring the angles and stuff, so this will be an adventure!  Like most older homes, there is not a single square portion of this house.  And, since we now have one of these handy-dandy tools --->
I can be pretty cavalier about how easy I’ve got it!
(Once again, “Thank You, D!”)

So, I've gone from this...

to this.  :)

Even though there is so much yet to do, (um, ceiling?) I am loving each little bit I get done.  As I work my way through these very necessary steps, though, I find my "to-do" pile growing exponentially.  
Look at all that potential!!!

Anyone else have a pile of makeovers waiting to happen or partially completed?

If you're enjoying my journey to my inner tool freak, please consider becoming a "follower", on the right side of my page.  It's just a way of tracking how many of you come to visit, and it gives me a huge thrill each time someone signs on.  Since I've started on this little escape of mine, people from 8 countries have taken a peek.  I feel so cool!  If you're looking in from anywhere that's NOT my own backyard, please feel free to leave a comment - I look for them every post, and it makes my day to find one (THANK YOU, A & H!!!).

Your reward for coming along with me today is some eye candy...

Li'l T with her new baby sister, Sake!  Aren't they beautiful?

Enough for tonight.  Gotta put the kiddo diddos to bed, and catch up on some Jodi Picoult  :)

G'night, all!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Busy Birthday


It’s been a crazy busy couple of days...  scrubbing the bathroom walls and replastering what felt like 99% of them on Friday; 

priming and putting on 2 coats of paint (and it’s STILL not covered!) 

in preparation for a dinner party for 17 on Saturday,

and painting the trim and window casing out on Sunday in addition to celebrating my birthday. (One candle on my cheesecake - we start over after 40, right?)
Today... today I began the tiling.  I wish I’d done it years ago!  I’m exhausted and have a ton more to do, but it’s coming together, and I can see an inkling of what it will be when it’s finally completed.  

We need to put the new toilet in, and the vanity/sink will be here any day.  I CANNOT wait to put down the new Allure vinyl tile floor-
It's done!  Oh, wait...

Just kidding!

I am looking forward to that maybe as much as the wall tile.
So, lots of pics, not so many words today.  Forgive me!  Here’s a final thought, courtesy of Ms. Lucille Ball, another crazy redhead...

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”       Lucille Ball

With a little luck, and lots of dusty labor, I'll be back tomorrow night to show off the completed wall tile.  'Til then...