Friday, April 19, 2013

The Deck

When we moved in one of the things I knew I was going to miss like crazy was the screened porch.  I had the deck extended to allow for the sliding glass door and I had hopes that somehow the deck would be comparable but part of the fun of the screened porch was letting the cats have free access and hanging out with them on the porch.  The deck would just never be like that.

Also, the space is exposed.  There's no cover, it's completely exposed to the elements and two very large trees and their droppings and because of that I wasn't sure really how to decorate this space.  Now that we're going into our second summer here, I can tell you one thing:  buy furniture for your deck that has no cushions. I'm just sharing what I've learned, you will thank me later.

Last spring I had to have this white wicker loveseat I found at Pier One and I also picked out this beautiful yellow cushion that was something crazy like $80 but it was so pretty I bought it anyway.  And the year has not been kind on this cushion.  I have washed it a couple times in the washing machine but it's too stained now to make much of a difference.

I also bought a chair cushion for the wicker chair I already had from One Kings Lane that I just washed and it doesn't come clean anymore either.

I've looked all around for cushions that a) fit my outdoor furniture and b) zip off for cleaning and it appears to not exist for any sort of budget mind.  I was debating replacing the cushions with solid black cushions that I found locally for a pretty decent price but I'm having a hard time parting with perfectly good cushions.   Plus I want that area to be a little more jazzed up than just black and white (though, I still may go in that direction).

What I have decided is to try to make my own slipcovers that I can easily zip off and clean at will.  I decided to go with this fabric that I found on

Fabric Link

I'll let you know how it turns out.  I've done slipcovers like this before and though I thought they were passable someone stole the cushion off the front porch so I must have done a fine job.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Conference Room Makeover

I forgot to take photos of the finished conference room.  This room is very dark, just to warn you and I was just using my iphone for photos.  This is the entrance from the lobby to the conference room.  As you can see it's a pretty small room and doesn't have any windows.  I decided to go with Benjamin Moore "Moonshine" for the walls.  It's the same light neutral to warm gray I have in my house and I love it.  I was worried about painting this room because paint looks very different in this building than other places I have painted.  But this gray turned out fine, it didn't turn blue or purple or green like grays sometimes do.

You can also see the new ceiling fixture.  I thought this would do a great job of lighting the table and it's fair but even with a 100w light bulb it doesn't give off much light at all.  We are happy with it other than that.

The chairs were a last minute decision.  We went to our local Office Furniture Salvage store to order the conference table and get some chairs.  They had regular used office chairs there that we put on hold but when we went back to get the table they had reserved the wrong chairs and I did not like them at all.  These chairs were laying around for I think $60 for 4 chairs.  The material is old knobby turquoise and they are tufted with buttons and I was smitten.  I know they aren't really right for the room but I looked upstairs for other chairs but couldn't find anything and I love these.  The price cannot be beat and we can replace them later with more boring chairs ;-).  I'll have to find a place for these chairs though, I really do love them.  They are a little rickety (they are very vintage) so we are having our handy man glue the weak spots.

Originally I wasn't going to use hardly any books but I realized pretty quickly that two bookcases need a lot of stuff to fill them.  I ended up using a few sets of my husband's old law books and we used some fancy German mugs he has and I used some stuff from the house I was ready to part with.  It's not the greatest staging but funds got tight at the end, maybe I'll revisit accessories later.  I think it would be nice to have some sort of plant in here, maybe one day.

This is the view from the other end of the conference room back towards the front of the room.  My husband wanted to hang the diplomas in the conference room because no one sees them in the attorneys' offices.  The lamp in the back corner is from Ikea from another trip to get some items for the second office.  She ended up not really liking this lamp, it's pretty modern, and I love it so we brought it back here.

The room still needed more light so I ended up getting a new floor lamp.  I shopped at my usual Home Goods and TJ Maxx but couldn't really find what I was looking for.  I noticed Target had this shiny lacquered white lamp for a really great price.  I was happy to find it holds two bulbs and really helps with the light situation.  This honestly might be the best lamp deal I've ever seem as far as price and quality.  The shade is fabric not paper and it's very good quality and sturdy.  I would use this lamp in my house in a heartbeat.

We looked all around Ikea for bookcases.  I think were were leaning towards the Billy Bookcases with glass doors when we saw these.  We had seen them on a previous trip and loved them and now was the time to buy them.  I love the curving on the sides, it really jazzes them up and gives them a little femininity.

We got the rug at Rugs USA online and I'm pretty happy with it.  I do wish the star pattern was a little smaller, but the quality and brightness I really love.  I seems to be very durable.  Rugs USA has great sales, this one we picked up for 50% off and they run these deals all the time.

The mirror I found on Craigslist.  Home Goods was having a down period for great mirrors, a few weeks later they quite a few I liked but at the time I couldn't find anything.  This mirror was very affordable and I spray painted it black.  In retrospect, I like that the room has something old in it (like the chairs but they aren't permanent), I think all rooms need something old, it helps give the space character and warmth.

Sources: Bookcase, Floor Lamp, Ceiling Light Fixture, Rug

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


So the plea bargain finally happened today in the case for the guy who broke into our house last year.  I went to court this time and got to see the guy who broke into our house.  I've already seen photos of him, I've even read his twitter account, but it's always different seeing someone in person, especially like this.

He's 18 years old with an 8th grade education and he already has 3 felony convictions.  I'm pretty sure, thanks to google and a very odd name, he did some juvenile stuff too.

And I wrote this letter, actually it's the second letter, the first letter was more for the judge, the second was for U, and I'm not sure what I thought, I write, that's what I do, and so I did.  And Brian gave it to the DA because he knew he couldn't read it or he would cry so she read it out in court today.  I was already emotional and trying to will myself to not be emotional, which is pretty hard to do, and I knew I was in trouble when she was going to read it, and she did and I cried and Brian cried a little too.

Then the judge asked U. if he had any thing to say and he just wanted to be sure he was going to get time served in jail towards his prison sentence.  That was all he cared about.  The judge said he would and U. grinned (I know that he grinned because another attorney told us this after the plea). 

There was also a matter of restitution for his other felony that happened before us, he got probation for that case and broke this probation with his new charges so the restitution was being revisited.  It appears U. stole someone's moped and caused a lot of damage to it and then disputed the restitution the victims were asking for.  I just can't tell you how insane I think this is.  Now due to all the new stuff that's going on and knowing that he doesn't have to pay restitution, it only hurts your personal credit score to not pay the restitution, he's agreed to paying the extra amount.

He's been in jail for a while now, I think since October, and I think he has about another year in prison.

It's pretty evident that my letter was pretty moot but I guess the point of it really was to make me feel better and for me to get closure.  So there you go, it's closed now, that chapter can be filed away for good now.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Here I Go Again...

I got a fitbit over the weekend, thanks to a special friend, and used it for two days, Brian made sure we increased the total from Saturday to Sunday (he's OCD with numbers and goals like that).  And the thing is, why would I make such an effort to increase my walking if I'm just going to eat away any benefit?

I was using Lose it last year and I really liked it but I guess My Fitness Pal links with my fitbit so I'm going to give it a try.

My first day using my fitbit I logged in 5551 steps.  That was with 2 walks!  So apparently I don't take long enough walks.

The second day I logged 6058.  That day we made a point to drive to a walking trail with a 1.3 mile loop.  We also walked to breakfast (six blocks) and walked around Costco.  Heck, Costco gave me like 1000 steps.  So 10,000 steps isn't all that easy.  Even so, it's kind of fun to beat my steps and see what each activity does.  We often walk the mall when it gets hot or rainy and I'm curious how long that is.

I don't know if this will work, I'm really quite frustrated with my weight and lack of control, not even being able to maintain.  But right now I'm in a happy place about this new toy so I'm just going to go with it and see where it takes me.