Monday, July 20, 2015

Finishing Touches/Next Project

This weekend we completed the finishing touches to our upstairs; that is to say, Jeffrey finished above the basement stairs and I framed photos and we rehung them all. 
Switched out the red lights for blue. Excuse the picture hanging clutter on the ledge.

Decent photo of our galley kitchen. Excuse the dirty dishes on the sink.

Living room
Now the kids want neon for the basement and I’m not sure about neon but here are a couple more views of the basement:
It's like a fucking Toys R Us in here!

Uh, the stuff was on the couch to make way for vacuuming. It's usually on the floor against the wall. Which is obviously So. Much. Better. (GAH!)

Need to sell exercise bike I never use. Maybe get a treadmill I will never use.

Wood paneling and cobwebby/crappy patio/busted up drop ceiling- oh so lovely
I had the idea of putting up dark red curtains all around, adding some theater lighting and viola - movie room! But Jeff said NO, he will NOT put curtains around - they only collect dust (no painting though!) I DID find some awesome theater ideas on the Internet though, but I have no idea what it costs to make these happen:
I mean, this is SICK right?!  But I am LOVING the ceiling/wall lights.

My curtain idea that was knocked down (WHAHH)

I like this color green. Not really a "theater room" other than the giant screen

Man cave! 
We are also thinking about doing our kitchen sooner rather than later and NOT knocking down our wall that separates the kitchen from dining area (even though that’s the FIRST thing any designer/contractor would do if this house was on HGTV) and getting a new microwave, oven, backsplash, counter top, flooring, and refinishing the cabinets (stain darker, add hardware). But right now we need a break from big projects. Except it keeps me entertained late at night while he’s watching golf or the ball game; I love to scroll around on the Internet looking for ideas/inspiration. And I like to be busy so I want to go-go-go.

I also would LOVE to get the ceiling fan installed in the sunroom, which I purchased FIVE months ago. And to replace our table. And TV stand. But we haven’t found anything we are in love with yet and Jeff is SUPER picky about how comfortable the chairs are so it’s kinda’ hard to shop online for such a thing. And I’m really too lazy to take a picture of the room as-is right now.

Hearts without Limits - UPDATE

We raised $360+ for the Ruelles last Thursday evening! Thank goodness Jamie’s family and TT’s family came otherwise it wouldn’t have been much of a crew as nobody Sophie & Taylor gave out the flyers to came. But one friend from work did provide a donation, and another friend came, and Dominic and his Aunt from down the street joined in as well. 

It was still 90 something at 6pm in the evening so we only did about a mile total but it was fun and l’m very thankful for the girls’ big hearts and for the generosity of this crew:

Oh and GUESS WHAT?!? Speaking of Summar, I'm so excited! I just can't hide it! I booked a ticket last week with my miles to bring my "sis" Summar Breeze Ruelle to the 'Lou at the end of next month! We desperately need this girl time together to catch up, relax, hug, cry, laugh and I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Weekend Update/Next House Project

So this weekend was fun but kinda’ weird. What was fun about it was the pool was open and it felt FANTASTIC in the heat. Actually, there was no way in HELL I would be caught outside UNLESS I was in a body of water.

It was weird because Jamie and Sutton (Sophie’s half brother who is 4 ½) came to swim on Saturday and then Jamie, Sutton, TT, Sutton’s BFF, Taylor & her brother and mom; me and Sophie and Ethan all played a soccer “game” (boys vs. girls) together on Sunday morning. (Jeff opted out)

Friday night was fun because our friend from church was performing in a “teen talent” show at the Maplewood street festival and Grandma and Grandpa came and so did Jeff & Ethan. The boys were troupers; I don’t think it was really their thing but Ethan got to eat fries and ice cream so what the hell, right?!:) Saturday night Sophie spent the night at Taylor’s, I went shopping at Marshalls and bought cute Calvin Klein tops for work at $20ea (too bad they are all blue – that’s what they had in my size. I LOVE blue, but it’s too much the same, you know? Still, they were cheap enough to justify), and then me, Jeff and Ethan watched the baseball game (the one that went into 13? innings – Cards vs Pirates OMIG I thought it would never end).

This weekend we are kid free and I want to finish touching up the painting and putting the house back together and re-hanging photos (forthe record, photos of Sophie vs. Ethan are even). [Yes I counted but not to ‘prove’ it to anyone – I was dusting and re-arranging piles of pictures and seeing which had broken frames that needed to be replaced, etc.] 

Next project: Basement? I need to take pics and then ask for ideas – I’ve already looked through hundreds of “cool tween basement ideas” on the Internet and am still not finding exactly what I’m looking for. Also, we would like to do it cheap if possible. Well actually, I would like to have someone fix ceiling, do drywall and paint but Jeff doesn’t want to spend that kind of cash. ACTUALLY I would LOVE to have a DESIGNER come over and just TELL us what to do and what colors to pick and how to do it. I don’t want to buy all new furniture or anything though. Oh and CRAP. We need a new TV upstairs. Like, NEED: there are little white dots all over the screen; it has something to do with a part that costs $300 but for a 10year old TV, fuck it, we should just replace it.

OH! And I think our sunroom could look 8,000 times better – I would love a designer for that too.

Anyway, I need to post some pics of the current basement I guess.

Oh, wait, here we go: These are from Sophie's last bday party.
First order of business: Get rid of the utility shelves holding toys we haven't played with since age 5. 
We did get rid of the "house' over there in the corner but see how that back wall is just plain concrete? 
Hallway to laundry area. plain. boring. ugly. 
I'll try to get a better 360 type view.

Hearts without Limits

Sophie came home from her friend Taylor’s on Sunday talking a mile a minute. The girls decided they wanted to do a fundraiser for TheRuelle Family  like they did last summer with Ethan.  Ethan however is currently in the Bahamas on a cruise with his mom’s side of the family (jealous!) so he won’t be participating. The girls decided to put on a “race for the cure” event, and they wanted it to be on Thursday because that’s what worked out with their busy social schedules. So Sophie wanted me to make a flyer RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND PLEASE and copy them in color so she and Taylor could spread the word around the neighborhood. They decided to offer cookies (Taylor) and lemonade (Sophie) post “race” for all who participated. Donation for racing and for the treats: $5. All proceeds go to the Ruelles.

Sophie was ambitious – she even wanted to make T-shirts and hand out Summar & Sapphire bracelets to all participants. Well, the t-shirts turned out to be too expensive and there wasn’t enough time to order bracelets, but that’s okay.

BTW, the “race” is just basically a loop around the neighborhood that Taylor’s mom and I often walk together.

Sophie called TT that night (Sunday) because “TT and her friends do 5k races all the time!” and TT said it was short notice but she would see what she could do. Then yesterday, the girls made a video commercial about it that was super cute and Sophie was walking and talking like a teenager in it. Jamie loved the video and said “LMAO.”

Right now only 5 people might show up. I hope more come though because the girls poured their hearts out into this and I don’t want them to be crushed.

The “Race” is at 6pm this Thursday if you are interested, and in the St. Louis area – email me and I can send you details:)

Oh and hey – guess what?!?? Speaking of The Ruelles: I had enough miles that I was able to book a ticket to bring Summar to the ‘Lou at the end of next month! It’s a kid-free weekend, but she will get to see Sophie some, and it’s when the kids are back at school but the pool is still open, and we are very much looking forward to some one-on-one girl time just hanging out, laughing, relaxing, spending quality time together:)

This is Why I Love My Husband (& No It’s Not a Sappy Post)


I started my “couch 2 5k” program again yesterday. And by “program” I mean my “Get Running” app on my phone. I’ve done started this program many times before over the past three years and have yet to actually COMPLETE it or RUN A 5K because I usually end up starting it in the fall when it gets cool out and I can hide my fat under long-sleeved shirts and I crave comfort foods like spaghetti and lasagna and mac & cheese and meatball sandwiches and other things that are bad for me. Anyway, I start it in the fall and I’m all gung-ho and then winter comes and guess what? It gets cold. At that time, I can no longer run in the mornings because it is still dark outside and barely above freezing. (Maybe instead of “can no longer” I need to state “am not willing to”). So then I drop it and have to digress all the way back to say, “week 3” of the program, then rebuild my stamina up all over again.

Anyway, I “ran” this morning and yesterday morning – that’s two days in a row, whoopee! Let’s see if I can stay ‘on the wagon’ throughout the week (I think many of us start the week off strong with our exercise program, but by Thurs/Fri…it’s questionable). (Okay maybe it’s just me). And by “running” I mean my dog was walking and I was making jogging movements with my feet. In other words, a turtle could have beat me around the track (I walk to the elementary school, run around the track, walk back to cool down). But here comes one of the points of this post. This is the conversation I had with Jeffy this morning:
Jeff: How far did you run?
Me: It’s not how far or how fast, it’s a program to build up stamina. Today I walked 5 min, ran 3min, walked 1 1/2min, ran 5 min, repeat.
Jeff: Well you look skinnier.
Me [smirking]: Thanks deary but I certainly haven’t gotten skinny by just going for a jog two days in a row.
Jeff: No, really. Your legs look more toned, your tummy is flatter…
Me: Well I have a long way to go.
Jeff: What, are you trying to waste away to nothing?
Me: Uh, no. I’m trying to lose 20 pounds.
Jeff: 20 pounds! What? So then you’ll weigh…98?
Me: Hahaha, you are hilarious.
Jeff: 105?
Me: You better quit while you’re ahead.
I know he’s lying and he knows he’s lying and he knows I know he’s lying but it’s nice to hear anyway.

What do serious runners do in the winter time? Do they have treadmills at home? Do they join a gym and run around the track? Just GETTING to the gym takes So. Much. Time. Are treadmills worth it? Or are they like my exercise bike where you have to work twice as hard to make any progress? (My bike will tell me I’ve burned 300 calories but my fitbit will say I only burned 150). Should I just rely on my Zumba videos and Jillian Michaels kill-me-now yoga? (It’s not your mama’s yoga, let’s just say that). HOW can I possibly even THINK about cold weather when it is 101 outside?? (I’m a planner).

I should really sell my exercise bike and then use that $ to go toward a treadmill. Santa? (My parents have one I HIGHLY doubt they ever use). 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I Feel Like I’m on an Episode of “This Old House”

Why do you feel like you’re on an episode of “This Old House” Farrell and not HGTV? Because our house is old with problems and fucking textured walls! Do you know how hard it is to paint textured walls? You really got to go over and over it and cover, cover, cover because it’s all bumpy and swirly and stuff. We have a textured ceiling too but at least it’s not popcorn. 

I fucking painted for 30 hours between Friday and Sunday; 10 hours each day and what pisses me off the most is I didn’t lose a single fucking pound! Jeff is telling me I look skinny and more toned but I don’t know if he’s just saying that to make me feel good or if he really means it. Maybe it was the five hours of drinking each night after the 10 hours of painting that prevented the losing of pounds? Well at least I didn’t gain. 

Anyway, I love, love, love our new colors and I feel like we’re in a brand new house! We still have some baseboards to put up and electric covers to replace and some touch ups but overall it is 98% done and it looks FABULOUS. To us. Maybe not to Marcy who is “not a blue person.” And I love, love LOVE my front door as the hideous rusty orange is gone, gone, gone. 

These photos were taken either with my ipad or iphone and they aren’t great, I apologize (Sophie took a bunch of them) but you get the idea ["before" on top; "after" below]. It’s really hard to get a 360 degree view since our house is NOT “open concept.” You could watch Sophie’s house tour video for that if you’d like. 

Next up: I have to strategically re-hang all of our photos instead of slopping them up on the wall wherever there happens to be a hook like we did before. I’m contemplating reframing some of them so that the frames are uniform, but that might be too much of an investment. At the very least I now have to lay out all of the photos and count how many are of Sophie and how many are of Ethan and ensure it is even because Marcy said “It upsets Ethan that there are more photos of Sophie than him.” Ugh.

Then after that the kids want to paint the basement neon something - they have to both agree - and the basement is carpeted (nice, fairly new carpet) and I am the MESSIEST painter in the universe - I get it ALL OVER ME. I mean, ALL OVER. I turned the bathtub blue. I had it on my face, in my hair, all over my nails, on the bottoms of my feet. There is NO WAY I can paint on carpet is what I’m saying. Not unless the carpet was about to go in the trash anyway (which is what I did in Sophie’s old room and that was pretty fun - to make a mess on the carpet knowing it didn’t matter because it was coming up anyway). Plus, the reason I worked so hard and the reason why Jeff took breaks to go jump in the pool and I did not is because I wanted to GET IT DONE. He could start a project and then….nothing. It just stays started and never moves into completion. I think that is a guy thing because typically they care less about the decor of their house than girls. So what I’m saying is, I would love to just pay someone to drywall the three walls we have down there (currently concrete) and then paint. But I don’t know how much that costs. I don’t know if it is a few hundred dollars or above a grand, which may make all the difference. The other thing is that before we redo the basement (I want to turn it into a super cool tween/teen hangout - photos and ideas welcome!) we have to get rid of the shelving that holds the toys that Sophie has had since age 3 and hasn’t played with for the past 3 years, but try convincing her of that, eh?

It does feel good though to make this home more “mine.” I moved in two years ago and while I’m glad I didn’t do this then (too many changes at once for Ethan), I’m glad we got rid of the old colors and that Jeff and I chose new ones together. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Marcy, Marcy, Marcy

Oh the woman GETS ON MY NERVES sometimes!!!
So we’re doing the painting project right? Well before we started Marcy came over to pick up Ethan on OUR weekend for YOGA with the moms and baseball team *rolls eyes*
We had MY previous color choices on one wall – the ones Jeff rejected – and Marcy comes in and says, “Oh! What color are you painting?”
And under my breath I was like, “None of your fucking business” but after she left Sophie (reading the expression on my face) said, “Mom, she was just being curious.” You say curious, I say nosy and judgmental. I DID have PMS though so…
Anyway, she came BACK later on [much later: after lunch and a ‘play-date’] to drop Ethan off and Jeff had made significant progress in the living room so that it now reminded us of the Caribbean Sea (ahhhh) and Marcy walks in (I wasn’t there – was at Sophie’s softball game tending to her sprained wrist), makes a face, and says, “Yeah, I’m not really a ‘blue’ person.” Well that’s good because you aren’t fucking living here, bitch!

So Marcy talks to Jeff either Sunday night or Monday and he doesn’t usually tell me this stuff because I get upset but I like for him to tell me this stuff, which was this:
--I know Farrell doesn’t like me and I mean I don’t care – I don’t care – but it’s affecting Ethan
[BULLSHIT the ONLY thing I’ve said even remotely about her recently is “I think it’s ridiculous to buy a 10-year old a $600 iPhone.” Because she is planning on getting Ethan one. And I would tell her that to her face]
--Ethan didn’t really ‘appreciate’ you taking him and Noah [cousin] swimming on Sunday
[I’m sorry – a kid didn’t appreciate going SWIMMING on hot summer day with his cousin and dad???!]
--Ethan said he didn’t get to do anything he wanted to all weekend and that Sophie always gets her way
[Now this pissed off Jeff because he was ready to lay into Ethan. This was Ethan’s weekend:
Friday night, dinner with Marcy and her cousin, then baseball game (he pitched)
Saturday morning, Marcy dragged him to Yoga, but his baseball buddies were there, they went out to lunch, THEN he got to go to a friend’s house, then he might have had 2 hours of entertaining himself at our house (video games) until his dad took him to the theater to see the Jurrasic movie.
Sunday, he got to have his cousin over all day, play video games all morning while it was raining, get ‘dragged’ to the pool in the afternoon when the sun came out, then played catch with his dad
In other words, there wasn’t anything he wanted to do that he DIDN’T get to do.
But I tried to remind Jeff: Listen, you don’t know if she’s (Marcy) just saying that, or if she’s interpreting, exaggerating, reading into comments, etc.
It very well could have gone like this:
Marcy: Hey Ethan, what’d you do all weekend?
Ethan: Nothin’
Marcy: No, really, what did you do today?
Ethan: Oh. Noah came over.
Marcy: Oh really? What time? How long was he there? What did you guys do? Did you have fun? Was Farrell home? Was Sophie home? What did your dad do while Noah was over? [She INTERROGATES HIM, We know this for a FACT]
Ethan: Oh, we played video games and then Dad took us to the pool but I didn’t really feel like going [because I was playing video games and I’m a 10 year old boy and could play them for 16 hours straight if Dad let me] (he doesn’t)
Ethan: “…”
Remember: She is a 14 year old girl in a 48 year old body. What do 14 year old girls do? They exaggerate. Okay, calling the kettle black I know but still.
In the end, Jeff never got to talk to Ethan about it because he ended up picking him up from Marcy’s dad and they all went out to dinner (Marcy’s step-dad is kind of like Tom. Older and very smart and nice and Grandpa-y).
Ethan still doesn’t listen to me, and I didn’t get to see him all week because he had two very late baseball games, and I feel like I barely got to see him all weekend. I have trouble connecting with him:(

Also, Ethan got upset because he said there were more pictures of Sophie on our walls than him. Which is probably true, but not by much, because I’m a girl and when I get a school photo I think ‘put it in a frame and hang it up!’ and Jeff’s a guy and when he gets a school photo he shoves it in a cabinet or drawer.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Subtly Sophisticated"

So…Jeff and I decided to repaint every room in the house except the bedrooms and bathroom. BIG PROJECT - WILL OUR MARRIAGE SURVIVE? STAY TUNED…
That should be HGTV’s next show. Instead of all of these happy couples doing home projects for others with happy faces and hugs and kisses like on Flip or Flop or Fixer Upper, they should show the REAL story about normal (not professionals) couples trying to stay married throughout the duration of a home project (Okay I guess they kind of do in Love it or List It)

Anyway, I have a tip for the ladies. Ladies, here is how to get your husband started on a painting project that he would otherwise likely keep putting off. Are you ready?
Start painting.
He comes in, doesn't like how you're doing it and suddenly, the project becomes all his and actually gets done!
At least, that's how it works in my house.

As with many home projects, a simple patching and painting turned into “Let’s change everything and give ourselves a brand new look!”
In other words, it snowballed. 

It all started when we had some issues installing a new ceiling fan in the living room/piano room/my office area. This house was built in the 60s and the electrical is all fucked up. I’ve lived here two years now and it STILL takes me 5 tries to figure out which of the FIVE switches by our front door in our living room turn which light on. In the other room, you have to turn one light on before you can turn another on. It’s all wacky. Anyway, that fan turned out to somehow be connected to something in the kitchen because installing that fan caused our microwave and oven to turn off which is…WEIRD. In the end, we had three or four patches repaired on our walls due to this electrical switch fixing thingy and so we let these big white patches sit there on our walls for like three weeks and then we thought “Hey we could just paint over in the same color OR since we have to paint anyway, WHY NOT JUST REDO THE ENTIRE HOUSE?!?” 

It is fun and exciting though but only if you and your husband trust each other to pick out paint. Jeff and I have similar tastes but the only way we were, in the end, successfully able to pick out paint is because we went to Lowe’s and now they have these paint in groupings like “Urban Classic;” “Traditionally Warm,” “Cool & Coastal,” etc. and they have these booklets which give you sample photos and TELL you “THESE THREE COLORS GO TOGETHER DUMMY AND HERE’S HOW IT COULD LOOK IN YOUR HOME.” 

Here is before:

We chose from a color grouping labeled “Color Pizazz” and here is the look we are going for:

And now our house looks like this:

And what we used to think was “green” now looks brown to me against the new green-blue. 
And what used to be purple looks pink to me against the aqua blue.

We haven't begun the kitchen or the office/piano area and NO, we are not leaving our house like this; we haven't done all the trim/cutting in and we are going to do a very light second coat, so please don't think these are our "after" photos! 

I made it very clear to Jeffrey that although I was VERY thankful he STARTED this project (at my prompting; see above), I did NOT want our house to stay in THIS state for the next 3 weeks - ie. happy 4th of July weekend to us. 

As Sophie reminded me, “We still haven’t finished painting the playground!”