Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas House

This year I am so excited about Christmas. It could be that we have our own house to decorate this year,  or perhaps that McBaby is old enough to know that something awesome is happening. Whatever the reason, I am SO EXCITED. I already had Bryce set-up our tree:

Here is a close-up of our chandelier:

And the sliding-door vinyl that we got from Tara:

While we are looking at fantastic things from Tara, here's this:

And these:

There is really no point to this post except to show you pictures of my house. Maybe that makes me vain, like someone who tells a long story just to impress you with this one witty come-back they had once...

Eh I don't even care, I love my house and I love Christmas. Also one time I said a really good zinger, and man, did I look cool when I was saying it. The end.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turkey Trip

This Thanksgiving we went back to Orem, UT, to visit the McEwens. It was so wonderful to see and spend time with them, we miss them so much. I am so thankful that both Bryce and I have such fun and loving and fun-loving families. We had plans to try and visit a lot of our friends too, but the week went by so fast that we barely got to see any of them. You guys understand right? I'm thankful for you too! :P

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but I have found that there is one thing that it is lacking: piñatas. 

This year I decided to remedy that problem by making a turkey piñata! I covered two balloons in paper mache, one big and one small. I did two layers, but they were thin, you could probably do three layers and it would be better. When they were dry I popped the small balloon and cut the paper shell in half. Then I made these frilly bones out of scrap printer-paper:

I also made wings out of paper and then glued them all onto my big balloon:
 For my paper mache I used a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water. It dries faster than the flour and water stuff.
 It helps to tape the pieces onto the body, with scotch tape, to hold them in place while the glue dries.

 Then I painted the turkey and cut a hole in the top and filled it with candy. To suspend the turkey I took a rope and tied it, to holes I had punched, in the center of a sour-cream lid. I rolled up the lid and inserted it so that it opened inside the cavity making it too big to pull back out. It was really fun to watch the kids beat the turkey up. I am thankful for nieces and nephews and cousins!

I think this will be my new Thanksgiving tradition, (along with my personal tradition of waking up early the next day and eating all the leftover pie for breakfast).

 I am really thankful for Bryce's sister Tara and our friend Tadd who helped us on my quest to get some family pictures taken of our little family.

I am most grateful for Handsome Bryce and McBaby; and for the opportunity to spend eternity with them. Also pie.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sideboard Refinishing

I keep telling people how excited I am about this sideboard, and everyone says something like, "Cyborg?" It is a real thing ok? Traditionally sideboards are used for serving food in a main living area of the house, not the kitchen, but I wanted one for storing all of our electronics. I found mine in the thrift store for $35.

 I fell in love with it right away, but it wasn't perfect yet. I carefully cleaned all the surfaces, firstly to prepare it for refinishing, and secondly because it came from a thrift store, so who knows where it has been.

 Gross. Then I took off all the hardware, including the cabinet doors.

 Then I wiped on two coats of my favorite Gerneral Finishes Gel Stain, the color I used was "Java". I really love that stuff. Everything it touches becomes pretty. Also it is dark and thick so you don't have to sand down to the bare wood if you don't want to, and I never want to.

 I also sealed it with two coats of poly urethane, and put on some new hardware. Finally my sideboard was reborn!!! Handsome Bryce drilled some holes in the back of it so our electronics could hide inside and remain plugged in to the TV and wall. Now he just has to hide our TV cords inside the wall and our once messy corner will be pristine and tidy.

This messy corner is another story though.

A few notes about the hardware:

1. The little drawer pulls on the top drawer were a non-standard size. Did you know there were standard sizes? I didn't, and it turns out that a width of less than 3 inches is very difficult to come by, and almost no styles come in both 2.75'' and 3'' widths. To deal with that, I used two little knobs in place of the handles on the top drawer.

2. The hinges for the cupboard doors are on the outside of the sideboard, I knew I didn't want those to be bright nickel like the handles so I just saved the original hinges and screws and spray painted them black. They blend in well and I didn't have to buy new ones!

3. The drawers didn't move very smoothly, but Handsome Bryce told me to rub finishing wax on the wooden parts that were rubbing and causing the problem. This really helped them to move smoothly. I also sprayed WD40 in the metal drawering-tracks. I think little things like that make the difference between a nice thrift-store find and a nice piece of furniture.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Here are some pictures of my little 1 year old.

He wasn't sure about cupcakes...until he discovered that they were made of cake!

 One day he was playing in the backyard, he was really curious about this PVC pipe that the previous owners had sticking out of the ground. (I also have no idea what it is there for.) Then he went and got this pine cone.  

And carefully placed it on top.

It fell off, but he kept working on it.

And the mystery was solved! These are pine cone stands!

Here is his birthday cake. It was really fun and easy to make. Special thanks to birthday-buddy Clairice for making the perfect orange frosting for the traffic cone candy-corns.

And here he is on Halloween, being the cutest skunk.