Friday shiny: week ending July 8

I mentioned a few posts ago that the CatMan and I are moving to the apartment across the hall from our current apartment. One of the first things we are going to do is purchase a queen-sized platform bed and mattress. Of course, we are going to try to do this without breaking the bank. We already know the mattress we want: now to find the bed.

I’ve always liked the bookcase headboard idea – look at this beauty! via Pinterest

But I think we’ll go simple –

Queen bed

Priage Queen Platform via

I think this will look pretty and could easily be decorated if the mood strikes. Say,  greenery-wrapped in the winter, maybe some fairy lights?


Catch up time!

So what’s going on, peeps? Actually I’m mostly up-to-date on my blog reads, it’s just this blog that is still hanging out in March 2016.

It’s all been good stuff for the most part on this end: work is a little complicated right now since I’m training someone. But let’s see what’s happened since we chatted last.

1. I got a tattoo! The CatMan and people at work call me “Queen” – I thought it was high time to make that official. It’s been two weeks now, and the peeling and itching have subsided. My little blue ‘jewel’ didn’t take too well, but overall I’m pleased with how it turned out. 20160613_135655

2. Also in this picture, you can see my nails are looking a bit longer than they have in the past. I was so tired of them flaking and splitting, so I had gel tips done in April. The tips have long grown out, but I continue to have a “dry” manicure with builder gel, then polish every few weeks. I am very pleased with how my nails are growing and holding up to daily wear and tear. Nope, I’m not going to be dragon lady long, but having nails that extend past the end of my fingertips makes me very happy indeed (and yes, I’m wearing SPF 50 when I have them done. My goal is to find a salon that uses LED lamps, but in my corner of New England, that might be a while.)

3. We’re moving! Ok, it’s just to the apartment across the hall, but there are some great perks. We will have two bathrooms (*insert happy heart eye emojis here*), the apartment is on one floor (currently we are on two floors), and the apartment has been renovated recently. We will also have windows facing the lake which means a great cross breeze (right now, our second floor doesn’t have that feature, which means things get toasty fast upstairs). In September, we will have lived in this building for 20 years, so I’m looking forward to some new, updated features and a bit of a smaller space to clean and decorate.

4. Crafting has been keeping the blog company in the back seat. I am knitting: still working on the blanket for Rexie and also a wrap based on this pattern –

Ropedance by Mairlynd (Melanie Berg) Picture via Ravelry

         Ropedance by Mairlynd (Melanie Berg)                                      Picture via Ravelry

5. I celebrated my 1-year yoga anniversary in May. Still enjoying it: my favorite is the weekly yin class. Being able to just relax deeply in a few poses for a whole hour is actually quite revitalizing.

6. I finally went through all my Pinterest boards (using some of the tips found in this blog post), deleting stuff and re-categorizing the boards I already had. Oddly cathartic and I’m enjoying my “Konmari”-d account.

So life keeps on keeping on here. My goal is to move the blog back to the passenger seat so we can go on this ride together. I promise to stop for bathroom breaks and Starbucks iced vanilla lattes. 



Winter comfort

Here are two items – though small – are making a huge difference in my comfort levels this winter.

The CatMan has been having some sinus issues, so he wanted to try a humidifier. We had a cool mist one a few years ago and it never seemed to do the trick, plus it was a hassle to deal with the filter. So this time around, I went with a warm mist, filterless system. It’s relatively quiet (except for the occasional gurgle) and pretty unobtrusive. So much so I didn’t think it was doing much, until I didn’t use it for two nights when the CatMan was away. After getting up with sinus headaches for those two mornings, I’m a believer!


Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier photo via Target.

The second item is strictly for me: a new pair of slippers! So comfy and warm without being foot-stifling (and yes that’s totally a word!)


Clover Moccasin Slippers photo via Target

Getting comfortable: The Hall

Some of you have been readers long enough to remember what our hall used to look like. And how we attacked one of its many eyesores. Then we transformed a bookcase into a closet. And that’s where it ended.
bottom of stepsI went as far as purchasing trim and paint to redo this staircase. The stuff is somewhere in the house.
But I’m wondering if something else needs to be done or rearranged to make the hall a little more welcoming. Here’s a not-to-scale layout: unfortunately, the cat litter area needs to stay where it is. Should I change the bookcase arrangement to wall hooks and a small dresser? Should I finish the steps first and then re-look at the situation? Thoughts?
hallway layout

‘Tis the season.

No, not Christmas (nevermind what the stores and catalogs say.) Nope, it’s pumpkin season. I am not a PSL girl (too sweet and chemical-tasting for me) and I enjoy a good pie, but really don’t need the crust calories. So I’ve been making pumpkin custard, which both the CatMan and I are scarfing down regularly.

I use a standard pumpkin pie recipe, but modify it by decreasing the sugar to 1/2 cup, decreasing the salt to 1/4 tsp, and bumping the eggs up to 3. I also substitute regular milk instead of evaporated milk, and then bake it in a greased loaf pan which sits in a hot water bath.


Pumpkin Custard
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.)pumpkin (not the pie mix, just straight pumpkin – I use “One-Pie” which is local here in New England)
1 cup 2% milk (sometimes I mix 1/3 cup 1/2 & 1/2 with 2/3 milk)

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased loaf pan. Place loaf pan in a 13 x 9-inch pan on oven rack. Pour very hot water into larger pan to within 1/2 inch of the top of the larger pan (or the loaf pan – whichever one is lower.) Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between the center and edge of the loaf pan comes out clean.

Remove from oven (be careful the water doesn’t splash you!), and place the loaf pan on a cooling rack. When the loaf pan has cooled down to the point where you can pick it up, place it in the refrigerator to finish cooling off. To serve: slice and serve with whipped cream. Keep leftovers wrapped in the refrigerator. Makes a darn fine breakfast!

The Bubble

So here’s a little glimpse into my office bubble. I shared last month that I’m back working on-site and part of that transition was that I would have my own office space. I was given an office back on the manufacturing floor; it’s a pre-fab room with no outside windows, but I do get an air conditioner (hormonal me is ecstatic) and a window overlooking the machine shop. The office is located next to the person with whom I’ll be facilitating projects, so the location makes sense.

This is my desk space: note the lamp!

Across from the desk is a small table with another Habitat ReStore lamp. This table also is home to a scented soy candle (because it makes the space a little less sterile) and – not pictured – a plant.The wall art is a Rothko print that has moved around several offices and homes during its life with me. There is also a piece of thrifted crewel work (another Goodwill find) and two small pictures that are excerpts from a botanical coloring book I’ve been working on. Draped on the back of the side chair (yep, also from ReStore!) is a cotton rag rug I’m using to comfy things up!
from desk

This last picture is immediately to my right as I sit at my desk. I don’t think the refrigerator is a permanent fixture (it’s not mine), but I am currently using the top as a hot beverage station. There are some K-cups, tea tins, mugs and saucers, and other drink paraphernalia arranged on a tray. The wall display is made up of thrifted items from my local community thrift shop.

I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from my co-workers – everyone seems to like the homey, personal vibe. As I’ve been telling them, I might not be working from home, but at least I can bring home to work with me.

Still to do: figure out a place to hang my heavier winter coat, find another thrifted side chair so I have two for my table, and something to hang on the wall over the refrigerator.

Friday Shiny – week ending August 28

I came across this YouTube video a few weeks ago. It resonated with me because I easily default to an anxiety/procrastination mode when my home’s physical environment starts spinning out of control. With 5 cats and a hubby with some packrat tendencies, my house will never be as clean as I would like it to be. However, the ‘reset to zero’ mindset stops my “it’s never going to be clean, so why even bother” selftalk. Many times as I’m resetting my home, I find I’m motivated to keep on cleaning. And really sometimes, that’s all I need.

And the finished stuff just keeps coming!

Remember this? outside
I found this vanity case a few years ago at a community yard sale. It took me a few months get around to cleaning it and then spray painting it avocado green.

And it’s been in that state in my craft room ever since.

In the spirit of this year’s word, I vowed this would be the summer I finished it! I used my Martha Stewart jewelry paint to paint most of the exterior metal trim poppy red, then applied one of my favorite washi tapes to the band between the lid and bottom of the case.

And then it became my sewing basket! The bottom of the case is home to all my sewing machine paraphernalia, including the foot pedal. The top tray is perfectly divided for little things like elastic, needles, and novelties like belt buckles.

In case you are wondering where some of the more common sewing basket items might be: my scissors are in the drawer of my craft desk and all my thread is on a spool organizer hung on the wall.

And yes, that is my very own Village Bath Lip Licker tin holding hook and eyes, as well as snaps. Even as a teen, I was all about repurposing cool little containers. Don’t remember Lip Lickers? Here ya go!

Friday Shiny – week ending June 5

One of my favorite stops when we are in PA is the Street of Shops in Lewisburg. While the upstairs is interesting, I make a beeline to the downstairs – it’s like one big awesome yardsale/thrift store.


Here’s this trip’s haul:

  • Orange crewel wool (because I’m trying to finish projects and I didn’t have enough orange for one of the canvases. Of course, I wasn’t sure which shade of orange, so I just bought a bunch). $4.00 for all
  • A lacquered paper mache tray (this now makes the 5th one I own, so I guess I’ve got a collection?) – $4.00
  • A vintage wooden shoe brush (in great condition) – $3.00
  • An oval embroidery hoop (I’m a sucker for the oval ones) – $.50
  • 3 pretty handpainted watercolor bookmarks (2 of which will be gifts) – $1.50 each
  • And the score of the trip: a wooden standing picture frame for $2.50. My plan is to refinish the frame and then get a piece of mirror glass cut at Lowes.

So for less than $20.00 and 1 hour in the store (to keep the CatMan happy and us on schedule for other events), I don’t think I did too badly at all.