Saturday, August 27, 2011

Always A Blogsmaid, Never A Bride

I mentioned here that we were trying to get our bedroom ready for my friend Katie's bachelorette party and it didn't work out as well as planned. Although the bedroom debacle didn't work out, the party went very well if I do say so myself.  We had an adult "toy" party and a potluck style dinner to kick the night off. The theme was "Paint The Town Red" so everyone wore red themed items.

Ms. Katie holding up her new octopus massager courtesy of Passion Parties by Amber.

Here's a group shot of everyone.

With all the house updates and whatnot, I had to get creative with the way I spent my money for the wedding.  Part the reason half of the bachelorette party was a potluck. Another way was with my dress alterations. I found out from the other maids it was going to cost me around $50 to get my dress shortened and a little slit on the side stitched up. With my less than perfect sewing skills, after seeing Sherry from Young House Love (if you like my blog, you will love theirs) get super creative with hem tape, I figured I would give it a shot. Hey for $3.97 at JoAnn Fabrics you really can't go wrong.

This was the dress to start. Pretty but just needed the minor alterations. Luckily, I didn't need any fixin' in the boob area otherwise I wouldn't be telling you this story.

I started by examining the underside and carefully using a seam ripper to take out the slit's seams.

I needed the dress shortened to above my knee so I folded the slit in half, measured and then made little marks with a red pen (think teacher's correction pen) to give myself a guide on where to cut. I also noticed that when you aren't in school anymore you don't tend to keep rulers around the house so I had to bust out the old tape measure.

With a deep breath and a little anxiety I made the first cut knowing if I screwed this up, it might be the end of a friendship (jk I think Katie would forgive me???) I went just below the cut line to have room to fold the hem over properly.

I did a test on the part of the fabric I cut off to see the proper temperature of the tape. The box said just to use the recommended iron settings for the fabric you are using, in my case, 100% polyester. Then I tried it on my hem. I went on the lower part of the hem line I made so when I folded the hem over it would be even. The tape is lightly adhering. I had to run my nail over it to keep it stuck until I could get the iron on it. Then just using the iron on the proper fabric setting, evenly ironed the area for about 10-15 seconds as the box directed. So far so good.

Closing up the slit was a breeze. I had to shorten the liner of the dress as well so I wouldn't have it poking out the bottom so I cut a chunk long enough to close the slit up out and used it as a patch. I lined up the outside of the dress and used four pieces of tape to make sure the glue covered evenly and close to the two open seams. I then just folded the liner up and hemmed that as well.

This was the closed slit seam. You can barely notice where the stitching ends and the glue begins.

VoilĂ ! Not too bad for a first timer. Glad I saved the $46 for my hair!

If I wasn't crafty enough with apparel, my bride Katie, was not feeling our options when it came to dying our Touch Ups Flash shoes. Every option for dying, gave a muted feeling keeping that satiny feeling, was expensive for everyone and they would not do only one shoe (we are wearing all different colors matching the decor). Since she didn't mind if the satininess was kept or not and just wanted the vividness to match her decor she took matters into her own hands.

These were the original.
She ended up hand painting the shoes. She color matched her decor with acrylic craft paints. Then after lightly diluting the paint in water she carefully painted the shoes preventing any streaks. She swears practice makes perfect, so if you have a scrap piece of satin laying around, try it on that first. She let them dry completely. A quick layer of spray-on Scotchguard and they were as good as if one had bought them from the store like that.

Amazing huh?!

The shoes perfectly match the gorgeous handbag she got us as bridesmaid's gifts off of an Esty shop called Mermaids Dream. Thanks so much Katie!

To tell you the truth, compared to normal dyeable shoes, these are ten times more fabulous. I beg you to tell your brides if you are in a wedding! The you can't beat the color.

There you have it, you can still be a bridesmaid and get by on the cheap! Can't wait for the!

Friday, August 26, 2011

How To Get A Dog To Take Pills

Alas, Turk is sick. About a week ago, he started going to the bathroom in the house quite a bit. He had stopped going inside way over a year ago with the exception we left him home alone way too long. This made me suspicious something was wrong with him. Max played it off as he was just being a naughty puppy. Then a couple of days ago I noticed he was scratching at his ear and moving his head funny. That was a tip off that something was definitely wrong. So possible urinary tract infection and ear infection?

I'll be the first to say, I haven't been a very good dog mom and it had been about a year and a half since he had his last shots. Around the time he was supposed to get them we started the house search and it was put on the back burner of things to do. I knew I wanted to find a veterinarian closer to our house and someone would treat him more like a patient than just a slab of meat like his old one in downtown Milwaukee, St. Paul Veterinary Clinic. We found one about a mile from our house the Advanced Veterinary Care Clinic. It was a smaller practice so I was hoping we would get more specialized care.

Come to find out, Turk had an ear infection and would need to have a professional ear flush before we could start antibiotics. Since he doesn't like vets very much, first they had to muzzle him just for the exam and then for the flush he had to be sedated. He had to be left there all day to ensure everything went well. We made sure to get him up to date on all his shots and heart worm medications as well. Basically, like an oil change for the dog. ha.

After his rough day, this was our little buddy...

Pretty adorable using his dad's foot as a headrest. This is also a typical 30 minutes at home after work. Max + Turk + beer + video game

So now little Turk has to take an ear ointment twice a day and two antibiotic pills twice a day for 10 days. On the plus side, if he did have a urinary tract infection, his ear infection medication will clear it up as well.

To go along with the post title, how do you get a dog to take pills?! Lots of people will just shove them down the dogs throat or try to put them in their food. The throat thing isn't pleasant for the dog or you. Many times the dog will eat around the pill if it is in their food.

A way I have learned to get a dog to eat pills that hasn't failed me yet.

Peanut butter.

Super easy steps:

1. Take a normal dog biscuit and smear a little peanut butter on it. Try to have a jar just for the dog because you don't want dog biscuit particles in your own PB & J's later.

2. Smash pill far enough down so that it covers the top of the pill and gives it the peanut butter taste.

3. Let dog devour.

I also want to include more videos on this blog. Although I don't have a fancy HD Flip video camera yet, Christmas present anyone, here is little demonstration.

Now get well Turk!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Football Fever

After the lock out had us all scared, its finally football season! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love NFL! That being said I have my fantasy football league waiting for the draft and already have been to first preseason game. Yes that's right, "Go! Pack! Go!"

Before I give you game day highlights of my Green Bay trip, a little Pintrest love to get ready for those football parties this fall. 


I love the little planted grass centerpieces, the AstroTurf cutout coasters and the beer glasses with the players numbers attached.

This is from a birthday party but I love the chalkboard with the plays on it.

Everyone loves a nice wreath! Football is definitely a holiday season!

Source: via Maureen on Pinterest

A loaded baked potato bar means everyone gets something special.

Can't wait for your own party now? I can't blame you!

Onward to Green Bay for the Packers vs. the Arizona Cardinals. My friend Grace every year has a "guy" she gets tickets from and this year his other patrons dropped out giving her four tickets for the price two. Pretty sweet. So a few of us ladies headed up to GB to honor our Packers.

Here I am in front of a giant replica of the Super Bowl XXL trophy.

A group shot of all of us at a Packer tailgate. P.S. They let you bring your own beer.

Grace and I met his Holiness, St. Vince. If you don't know who he is, he's basically one of the most famous Packer fans. I happily paid my respects.

Game time and the stands were filled, for a PRE-season game. Got to love Wisconsin sports. Take note of our goal line seats!

And a fun treat... I have never seen a better wave at any stadium than at Lambeau Field. This clip is almost three minutes long of just a wave. GO PACK GO!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forecast: Patchy Holes With A Mild Stripe

After tackling our master bedroom, we felt very confident that our guest bedroom/office would be a breeze. Oh, were we mistaken.

This was the room when we began. After learning from our neighbor Mike that this room once housed three children and our future dining room housed two more we knew that this house was full of history. You can also tell if you look carefully on these photos that you can even tell that it was quickly painted over to house more children. If you look carefully you can see a hint of a "Caitlyn" were left under the paint. As much as I wanted to change the room, part of me loved the little hand prints immortalized on our wall (now just in these photos).

Another way you could tell kids were in here, paint on the closet doors.

This is another example of the previous owner's handy work. He had a faux trim with paint on the wall. It looks like he just drew a line in pencil over the primer and that's where he stopped painting. Classy.

So back to us. We are officially holding our first official house gathering this Saturday, a bachelorette party for my friend and sorority sister, Kate. In preparation of the night we wanted to get this bedroom painted in case guests had a few too many cocktails they would have a place to safely sleep. This also goes along with getting more bedding from the previous IKEA post.

With every project we do, we learn a little more. The last room taught us if we are going to be redoing trim anyways to remove it from the wall so that you can get a nice crisp line. Easy enough right? It probably would have been if the previous owner had not seemly attached his trim while the paint was still wet. We are not big fans of this guy if you can't already tell. When we went to remove the trim. Part of the drywall came with it.

So not fully knowing what to do, we Spackled over and sanded the area smooth twice and then applied textural primer. The next day I found out that was the correct thing to do from our maintenance man from work *phew. 

Also while taking the trim off I punched three holes in the wall with the trim crowbar. I need to stop having such Herculean strength.

That fix was actually quite easy. We used a few layers of self-adhesive drywall tape for about $4 and then Spackled right over the top of it.

After all that, we were finally ready to paint. We primed the walls with our five gallon bucket of Olympic primer we bought to carry us through most of the house. The color I selected is called Chilled Wine from Pittsburgh Paints. We color matched it to Olympic Premium low VOC paint, like we used in the master bedroom.

I even tried out at new trim brush hoping that this would help cut in a few areas in the corners of the trim around the windows and walls.

From the next stage, neither of the boys were impressed.

I trimmed out the room and the stripe from before still was really showing through. We stopped and put another coat of primer on immediately.

We put the first coat of paint on. Got these results.

After our second coat, we ran out of the one gallon of paint we thought it would take to do this small room.

So the room won't completed before the party (sad face) but guests will have a place to sleep.

What sorts of projects have you done that you thought were going to be really easy and then turned out to be anything but?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

See Ya In IKEA

With the construction continuing and the small expenses piling, I was really was getting antsy to start to decorate this place! I have been very adamant about not decorating the walls until we get them painted to make sure we can Spackle up old holes first before I start to make new ones. That being said, who says you can't ready for the prettiness when the time comes?

Saturday my friend Tiffany and I made the trek down to Schaumburg, IL to the nearest IKEA to get some of those little cute purchases. The major purchases being bedding for our guest bedroom that we are currently working on since it awesome to have beds with no bedding.

I know many of you may not think a trip to IKEA is a post worthy trip but the fact I had to drive over two hours to get there makes it so.

Tiffany and I also decided this is our dream kitchen. We both walked by, heard a heavenly "ahhh" and the cell phone cameras went up. Quite fab, I know.

The craziest part of the trip was the ride back to Wisconsin. I'm sure many of you heard of the storm that where many people died from fallen scaffolding at a concert at the Indiana State Fair. Well we were driving in that storm home from Chicago before it hit the fair. We were just getting our car to load it and it began to rain and hail. The sky was a very dark gray. We literally just were chucking things in and then we "Duke's of Hazzarded" it in to the car. OK not quite through the window but with that sort of excitement. The next hour was literally us getting pelted by hail and only seeing the about 40 feet ahead of us. Neither of us being from Chicago were just clutching our smart phones for navigation since we couldn't see the signs until we were right on top of them. Right before we hit the state line the rain let up (because Wisco is better and God agrees, obviously).

I'll show you most of my finds when the time is right but here is a little taste. Time to start layering in some fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We Are Men

Ahh... the joys of some piece and quiet and a little time to work.

My dad stopped by the same weekend as the infamous "girls retreat". It was great it gave us guys a chance to get together to get some good work done on a house. My dad and I decided to start by tearing down all the junk in the bedroom and and making it look nicer.

These are the "lovely" colors we started with
As you can see there wasn't a whole lot to work with in the first place, between the green shag carpet and the fake wood laminate walls, we decided to tear it all out and refurbish what we could. Taking down the laminate wall was pretty easy. We didn't even need tools.  I just grabbed the corner and just tore it off. Too bad the rest of the work wasn't that easy...

The wall after taking the laminate off
After removing the carpet we got a chance to inspect the wood floor underneath. Thankfully it was the original hard wood floor. We realized instead of replacing the carpet we could just refinish the floor. Thinking about it was the easy part, there where a couple of problems with it. First, one of the boards was missing from the floor. It turned out that we would have to fit and finish a new piece of flooring. Second, the old carpet we tore out wound up being stapled directly to the floor so I got to spend a few hours on my hands and knees tearing out the old staples one by one. By the time that I was done I wound up getting pretty good and tearing them out and had a nice sized pile of staples. Sadly, we didn't take any photos of the piles.

The missing part of the floor, after we ripped out all the Spackle that was standing in for the actual floor
But we being Anderson men, were able to make short work of the problem and get a new piece of floor after running to Menards.  I'll skip some of the boring details, but we eventually we finished it and got the new piece of floor to match up.

Replacement floor
Before we started on the floor, we decided to finish the wall, the one idea that I wanted was to insulate the wall for sound proofing.  It would make it easier to sleep when people where being loud in the next room (i.e. me). It turned out to be extremely easy to install.

Insulation just shoved in
With a little more elbow grease we where also able to install the new pieces of dry wall, which I was surprised to find that they weigh much more than expected.  

My dad attaching the last few screws
We also got to start mudding the cracks and sanding to make it nice and even. 

Love that my dad is tall
The next part turned out to be the really fun part. The sanding. We rented a floor sander and started sanding thinking that it would be a nice easy process, it turned out that we had a few obstacles. Because the floor was never cleaned in the last 20 years or so (judging from when green shag carpet was last fashionable), there was a bunch of gunk on the floor that wound up ruining the sanding discs, we needed to take a couple of trips to the store to grab more.  After a few hours of sanding, staining, and finishing we had a great new floor to show off along with a nicely matched wall.

After all that, in the words of my dad, Mr. Fix-It Mark, "Isn't this nice?"

"Isn't this nice?"
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