Monday, September 16, 2013


Makeover Monday 
Well, kinda

This is where it started.


this is where it ended.

Let's just take a moment and soak it all in.

I'll even put them together for you so you can experience the full effect!

Isn't it beautiful?

Don't get me wrong. The room still has issues.
1. There is still no overhead lighting.
2. The girls' computer chairs match nothing
3. No place for guests to sleep.

But, for right now.
I love it!
It makes me smile every time I walk by.

Here's an "around the room" series of
Before and Afters.

 Feel free to "Oooh" and "Aahhh".

Thank you for your support through this journey.

Honestly, it would not have been finished if I hadn't known someone was watching.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Magic of a New Coat of Paint Part 2

Makeover Monday

        First, I must apologize for missing last week's Makeover Monday. It was the first day of school for me and my girls. That took every ounce of energy I could manage. Anyway, I promised to show you what some paint did for this beauty. We have two of these for the girls' computers. They were both in this condition. I was going to sit them out on the curb but my friend suggested cutting off the side and giving them a few coats of spray paint.

She's pretty brilliant.

This is now the perfect size for the computer without allowing much room for clutter. 

            The same friend was awesome enough to spend an entire day with me painting the Mama Elephant room.  I paid her in books and pizza. 

It was very, very, very blue. 

We started off using Kilz. Lots and lots of Kilz!

Then we got a little high off the fumes. Laughed until we cried and had to take a snack break. 

We recovered and two coats of "Antique Beige" later. 

Became this!
 Please ignore the random dog rope in the middle of the room. They were slightly fascinated by the empty space and one of them may or may not have walked around with paint on his tail for a week or so afterward. I'm not saying. 
(yes, it was him.) 

 NEXT WEEK will be the big reveal to prove the Mama Elephant has been tamed!
 Please come by to "ooh" and "aah".

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Magic of a Coat of Paint

Makeover Monday
The Magic of a Coat of Paint 
(or Why My Husband is Awesome.)

This chest 
is actually 
in this picture. 

This was the "Dress-up corner".
 I had dreams of my girls digging through the chest, 
trying on costumes 
and using the cute mirrors to admire their new looks. 
Um, yeah, that happened...oh, let me see.... NEVER. 

I've had the chest since before the girls were born. I have a matching table and stool. All that I planned to paint someday. Remember when I said I've had it since before they were born? My oldest is eleven, just so you know. 
Poor, poor, neglected chest. 
I even broke and lost the lid years ago. 

Enter my hero husband.

New lid and a coat of paint!
Isn't it pretty? 

It goes perfect in the new playroom 
(which we are currently trying to rename "the study" 
because heaven forbid our tweens have a "playroom".)

Next week, I'll show you the wonders a coat of paint did for the room itself 
as well as this beautiful piece of furniture. (You know you wish this lived at your house, don't lie.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 hours in 12 seconds

Makeover Monday

Remember my living room looking like this?
My girls and I worked on it a few hours at a time 
with a little help from our dogs who kept climbing right
into the middle of the pile to lay down. 
I preserved the process for you in pictures. 
Watch below for 12 hour in 12 seconds. 

Looks like fun, right? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Meet Mama Elephant

Makeover Monday

As I mentioned last week, I'm not done with the Baby Elephant project. But, Mama Elephant broke loose and had to be dealt with before I could continue on either. 

So, today is the grand introduction. 
*Warning: The images below may be disturbing to some readers*
This is my children's playroom.

Um... Four years ago.
This is it now. 

Please come a little closer...

The room has no overhead light. 
So that beautiful standing lamp in the corner...
 Yes, the one with only two working bulbs, provides all the illumination needed. 

Maybe you'd like to
read a book 
or play a game 
or scale a mountain of God-knows-what the size of Everest. 

If you are musically inclined, there is a fifth grader recorder 
precariously balanced on the top shelf for your enjoyment. 

A chest of dress clothes to the left, complete with full length mirror for optimal viewing 
and a science table to the right with craft projects conveniently stored in removable bins. 

Older daughter's computer desk and art cubbies on the left. 
Lego table  and additional lamp (not plugged in, by the way) on the right. 

Art easel in the back corner. 
Lego table (yes, there is a table under there) in the foreground. 

Evidence my strict rule against eating in any room other than the kitchen/dining room and certainly not in front of the computers is being followed without question. 

Let's not even talk about how it got this way 
or how long it's looked like this
 because at this point I don't remember
 and it doesn't really matter. 

The room has several issues: 
1. It has no door. There is no hiding this monstrosity of a mess. 
2. It is painted a dark blue. Yes, I picked the color and at the time it looked pretty good. Until I realized it turned a cute play room into a cave. 
3. My kids are way too old for most of what is in here.

So, say hello to Mama Elephant. I've already started working on her. I've got two weeks before school starts and want it done before I go back. 

You'll come on this journey with me, won't you? She's REALLY big and I'm kind of scared. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Life on a Puzzle Board

Makeover Monday

Image Credit
Have you ever played with one of these? 

Right now, I'm living in one. 
It's called My-House-Is-A-Wreck-and-I-Don't-Know-Where-To-Put-Anything.
You see, 
Mama Elephant escaped last week, before I could completely finish up with baby. 
(If you don't normally read my blog, the above sentence is probably incoherent to you. No, I'm not a zoo keeper. I have two rather large organizing projects going on. Baby Elephant and Mama.) Due to scheduling and other logistics, I had to empty out the Mama Elephant room (You'll get to actually meet her next week) before I could finish the Baby Elephant area.

Now my living room looks like this:
I can't describe how much looking at this makes me want to cry. 

You see the Baby Elephant space there in the background and my pretty new empty bookshelf on the right? 

It's empty because the floor behind the couch looks like the picture above. 
I can't get to the bookshelf to put stuff on it. 

I have to keep moving the puzzle pieces around.
 Furniture item X must be moved into room A, but that means furniture item Y is going in to room C, but room C doesn't have a space for it yet because I have to clear out that corner which requires making a decision on furniture item Z. 

And, this is why I'm sitting on the couch paralyzed with anxiety instead of diving into that pile. Which is large enough I could literally dive into it. I'm not sure the flooring is even present anymore. 

So, what do I do with all this stuff? 
Feel free to resume your regularly scheduled life now. 
I'm just going to here and breath into a bag. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And this one time at band camp...

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Like I said yesterday, I'm at ASL Teacher Camp this week. Okay, that's not what it's really called. But, that's pretty much what it is.

So, tell me your best camp story. Pranks, homesickness, sneaking out of the cabin and meeting that special someone (not that I ever did that!)

You know, this one time at band camp....

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sneak Peek

Makeover Monday

I'm actually not here. I'm at ASL Teacher Camp in Austin. But, it is Monday so I wanted to share a sneak peek of how well my baby elephant is coming along. Remember this? The place where I store all my family's priceless picture and mementos?

Well, in the process of sorting through everything else. This happened.

So, I took the hint that it was time to start sorting. For now, I just have everything divided by person. I have big plans of making each family member an album. But, that wasn't going to happen this week. Each picture went into the appropriate box. The awards, game tickets and other souvenirs went into crates. Then, my awesome husband rewarded all my hard work with a new book case. 
 Isn't it pretty? 

Before and After 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why We Are Moving Out Today!

*I had a completely different blog post for today. But, after a harrowing experience yesterday, I decided to share this instead. Below is an email I sent to my friend to try to work through the trauma*

The story of why we are moving out today.
By  Dawn Alexander

The puppy is the tan one.
She's 5 months old. 
The puppy is getting better on house training, but still has accidents. Friday, I was playing with her on my bed and she got excited and dribbled..alot. So, had to wash the bedspread. Huge-heavy-denim-takes-FOREVER-to-dry bedspread. Usually, I wash it, put it in the dryer for a cycle, take it out and turn it over, put it in the dryer for another cycle, then spread it out on the spare couch for a day before putting it back on our bed.
Well,  around 7pm on Friday night, I basically fell into a coma and slept until Saturday morning, then spent the day running errands all day on Saturday, so when I remembered to take it out Saturday evening, it smelled kind of mildewy. I spread it out in the laundry room and left it all day yesterday. Still slightly smelled this morning, so I put it back in the washer. Immediately took it out, cycle in the dryer, flipped it, cycle in the dryer. 
Decided to spread it out on our bed instead of the spare couch because I've got boxes of pictures all over the couch right now (whole other story)
Took it to our room, started spreading it out and FREAKING COCKROACH FROM HELLLLLLLL came crawling out of one of the folds! 

It looked JUST LIKE THIS! Only bigger with more teeth!

Let's just say, I might have screamed like a little girl and did the heebie-jeebie sprint into the living room 
Scott, being the hero he is, drowned it in bug spray and flushed it. 
So, new to-do list for today:
I'll send you our new address. 

For my non-Texas readers, there is something very important you must understand. We do not have little  scurry-when-the-lights-come-on cockroaches here. We have I'm-looking-for-water-and-will-kill-your-whole-effing-family-to-get-it Palmetto bugs.
I was going to add more pictures, but just looking at them was freaking me out!

So, tell me your story. 
Any fascinating encounters with our insect friends you'd like to share? 

You can read about me other creature encounter here. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

30 minutes or...more.

Makeover Monday

I really wanted to title this post "30 minutes or less". I'm taking a momentary break from my elephant and working on some other small projects around the house. Don't worry. I'm still making progress on the biggest project. Just giving myself breathing room to avoid burn out.

Anyway, my youngest daughter is a gamer. Serious gamer. This is her game area.

I thought we could manage this in 30 minute or less because we were only focusing on that drawer right there. The massive amount of Pokemon cards, Skylanders and random Halloween pumpkin could be addressed later. Just this drawer. No problem.

we opened it.

Then, I closed it and walked away. 

Okay, I wanted to close it and walk away. But, I didn't. 
*Deep breath.*
Step one: 
Empty the drawer. 

Step Two: 
Manage this.
Actually, I made my daughter manage this because I don't know a Play station from a Nintendo. 

Step Three: 
Find a way to contain all of this without spending any extra money.

Only my daughter gets in this drawer. I wanted to use what I had on hand.
 (Plus, she refused to make a trip to the Dollar store with me.)

Ta Daaa!

A left over desk container from a desk organizer, an apple container and two shoe boxes later.
She can actually see what she owns!

And, it only took....Okay, it took over an hour.
But, it was totally worth it! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Spoiler Alert

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

My oldest daughter, who is much older now than in the picture above, made a confession last week that forced me to reevaluate everything I thought I knew about this sweet child.


I fear I have failed as a parent.

I blogged before about her reading obsession. She is almost never without a book. Takes two or three with her for any kind of overnight stay and, when we recently changed the sheets on her bed, I found she was sleeping with FOURTEEN (!) books every night. 

The child is by all definitions a reader.

But, she reads the end first! 

Shocked and confused by this admission, I took my argument to the best place for public opinion.

Me: Michelle just confessed that she reads the end of books first...I don't even know her anymore...

Male Childhood Friend #1: I do too! If I don't like the ending, why invest my life in the story? For me, reading fiction is an escape from reality. If I don't like the destination, I'd rather not buy the ticket!


Isn't that what the whole reading experience is about?)

Fellow Mommy Friend: Funny! [Her daughter~same age as mine] reads the last book in a series...what's wrong with their generation?!?!? 

Male Childhood Friend #2: I've always read the end of books first... Agree with [MCF #1] on this one.

Me:  [MFC #1]while I have to admit on the surface your argument has substance...It's just wrong. wrong. Wrong. WRONG! 
 You, too,[MFC #2]. (I say this with love, of course!).

Is this some kind of widespread epidemic of which I have lived blissfully unaware? Do YOU read the end of a book first? Is there some kind of 12 step group I can get my daughter in before this gets out of hand?