Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sprucing up my Burlap Wreath

Like my new wreath decorations?

To see my DIY Burlap Wreath tutorial, read this post. (My most popular blog post ever, thanks to Pinterest!)

To see how I added the flowers and decorated it before, read this post.

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I think the magically floating “H” is a nice touch, don’t you? Dental floss. Voila! Obviously I need to get a bigger letter because it does look a little silly, but it will work in the meantime. I used 4 pieces of dental floss on each corner of my “H” and fastened it to the wire wreath frame. I secured all 4 corners tightly because I didn’t want the “H” to tap my door and creep me out late at night.

The main reason I updated my wreath is I saw so many cute burlap wreaths on Pinterest using that gray chevron burlap. It’s the most adorable thing ever! I just pulled my lace strand out and switched it for the chevron. I started with one end where the flowers are and just picked a spot here and there to pull the chevron under the wire frame. The opposite side of the ribbon doesn’t have the pattern on it, so I did have to work with it a bit so the chevron was always showing.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out! sig

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Chickfila Secret Sauce Recipe

Using ketchup at Chickfila is like eating chicken fingers at a Mexican restaurant. You can, but you’re kind of missing the point.

The Top 2 Best Things About Chickfila:

1. the sweet tea

2. amazing sauce selection

If I haven’t been upfront enough, I love Chickfila. I know it’s not good for me, but I eat there about once a week because there is one close by my work. As a Chickfila regular I know the best sauces.

3. spicy salad dressing (for sandwiches, nuggets, and fries)

2. honey roasted BBQ (Do people not know about this one? Ask for it. It comes in a squeeze packet, not a dipping one.)

1. my “secret” concoction

You may be wondering “Why are you giving away your secret?” The last time I went to chickfila and asked for Polynesian and Buffalo sauces the cashier said, “Do you mix them together? I DO TOO!”

My secret is getting out. I need to lay some sort of claim to my invention. This is the best I got. Whenever Chickfila starts marketing Spicy Polynesian sauce, at least you’ll know it was my idea first 🙂

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Here’s how you do it. The order is very important. First dip your nugget/fry in Polynesian, then dip it in Buffalo. Is it high maintenance? Yes. Delicious and worth it? Totally. Haha.

Did this really call for it’s own blog post. Probably not 🙂

Oh well.sig

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Obligatory Pretty Little Liars Reaction Post

Let me just go ahead and say there will be *spoilers* for the summer finale of season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.

I had a lot of things I needed to do tonight. A whole list in fact.

  • sign a contract and mail a check
  • finish online portion of VitalStim course
  • call Verizon about my deposit
  • put away clean laundry
  • unpack from last weekend, etc.

Lots of boring things. Yet here I am sitting in front of my computer reading tweets and fan theories about Pretty Little Liars, totally aghast.

I love it. Best finale ever.

EZRA. IS. A.

They better not pull a Toby.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Ezra. He is one of my favorite characters. How can you not love him?…well after you get over that whole teacher student relationship thing…

But I’ll take an amazing storyline any day. There is no character, other than one of the 4 main characters or a parent, that would have been as shocking. I sincerely hope that Ezra is and always was A.

I immediately became the double rainbow guy. “What does it mean!???!!!” Now I have to go back and watch all the previous seasons and look for clues.

To be honest, it wasn’t a total shocker because I read this blog ages ago. Like before we knew Mona was the first A. If you read that blog, they were betting on Ezra the whole time, even as the first A, citing that “A can’t be Mona because the producers said it’s someone different that the books.” It seemed like a crazy fan theory, but it definitely sparked something in my brain, so I’ve never ruled him out as a possibility. But I flip flop all the time. I never thought the show would actually do that! Okay, okay. I’ll admit it was a total shocker, but my friend Nikki will confirm that mere moments before he was revealed I said “It’s Wren, NO! I BET IT’S EZRA!!”

I love it. I can’t wait to read more of the clues people found pointing to Ezra.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS??

There was never an Aria/Ezra relationship. It was a a ruse. He has been obsessed with Allison the whole time. It took a while for that to sink in. That time in the flashback episode I thought he just had a little cameo at Hollis…Nope. Actually major clue.

I can’t even.

Do you know what my biggest question is though? WHO TAMPERED WITH EMILY’S CEREAL?! For real. How did ol’ Ezra get all those cereal pieces to be the letter A? He must have a contact at Kellogg. 🙂 Haha. That happened. That was about the time in this show when I almost gave up on it because A’s stunts were getting so unrealistic.

Obviously we still don’t know everything. Who killed Allison? Did anyone kill Allison? Is she alive? Are we gonna do the whole crazy twin thing? How are all these suspicious people intertwined? Do we know that Cece killed Wilden?

Right now I think yes, she did. I think Wilden and Ezra were friends. Cece was with Wilden and Ezra was with Ali. Ezra took that one picture. Ali and Cece were both trying to get rid of crazy ex boyfriends.

I don’t know. I’ll change my mind I’m sure.

Here’s what I thought was stupid. Mrs. Grunwald (she plays creepy very well). I didn’t like how there was a little bit of a supernatural element added. So she had a feeling and just knew Ali was being buried alive, drove to her house, looked in her backyard, and saw a hand coming out of the ground? Stupid. Also, did we ever know the connection between Ali and Grunwald? Why would she call an old lady all the time? Was it like a secret psychic hotline or something?

So many questions. Now I need to get back to my list of things to do and go to sleep.sig

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Funfetti Dip: No Mixing Bowl Required

2013 Goal #2: Make ALL the practical recipes on my Pinterest.

I’ve got to get started somewhere.

I’ve pinned lots of “batter” and “dough” flavored dips before. To be honest I’ve never made them because, well you see, when I want to eat something “batter” or “dough” flavored…I just go for the hard stuff.

Haley + roll of Toll House + spoon = successful evening in.

And hey! No salmonella poisoning in the 24 years I’ve been eating raw dough. Just call me Gaston.

I decided to try this recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny because it only called for 3 ingredients (plus cookies for dipping).

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Ingredients:

1 box of Funfetti cake mix

2 cups of fat free plain yogurt

1 cup of Light Cool Whip

I was at Aaron’s apartment trying to make this and he did not have a mixing bowl.

Aaron: “Just use a pot.”

Haley: “How am I going to blog about this if I mix it in a pot? I can’t take pictures of a pot!”

Aaron: “Just make fun of me for not having a bowl.”

I present to you Aaron’s pot.

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Put all the ingredients together.

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Mix well until the consistency is smooth (and very photogenic).

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The directions say to then cover it with plastic wrap and let it chill for about 4 hours. Obviously I went ahead and ate some prior to chilling because I have no self control.

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Tasted just like cake batter! Very rich though.

I dipped animal crackers in it, but graham crackers would probably be really good too.

While I let the rest of the dip chill in the fridge, I made sure to lick the spatula clean. It just seems like the most natural way to eat cake batter 🙂

One more Pinterest recipe down, a bazillion more to go!

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My Invisalign Experience Part 1: Consultation to ClinCheck

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I did it!

If you recall, I had a yearly goal to get my teeth straightened this year. As of right now, I have had Invisalign for about 14 weeks and I am half-way through all my aligners! There are a TON of Invisalign blogs out there, and I feel like I read most of them at the beginning of this process. And hey! I have a blog. I want to share my experience too.

I initially thought I could fit everything in one blog post, but I was wrong. Instead I am going to break this up into a series of 3 posts.

Part 1: Consultation to ClinCheck

Part 2: Getting My Aligners

Part 3: Daily Routine and Advice

First Visit: Consultation

I started putting this whole process into motion in January. I called an orthodontist in my area that I knew many of my friends used for braces in middle and high school. The consultation was free. This was a pretty easy appointment, especially because I had already read about a bajillion blogs on Invisalign and knew a good deal about it. (It’s “invisible” braces. You get a series of clear retainers/aligners that slowly move your teeth around as you change them every few weeks). The orthodontist looked at my teeth to make sure that I was a good candidate. I was.

He talked a little bit about my bite, and how it may not be perfectly corrected with Invisalign. This was not really a concern for me. Anything wrong with my bite was minor, and from my point of view, traditional braces were not an option. It was Invisalign or nothing (because I’m vain like that.)

My main concern was crowding on my top teeth. I don’t think my teeth are/were THAT bad. If you looked at me straight on, I think the crowding was hardly noticeable (so others have told me). What really bothered me was the way it looked from certain angles. Sometimes pictures were really bad. One tiny overlapping tooth would cast a shadow and make it look like I was the girl with the brown tooth. Not ideal. Haha.

Check out some examples of my “bad teeth” pictures.
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And here is the best example of the “brown tooth shadow” effect. Haha.

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I know it’s not awful, but it bothered me.

Part of the consultation involved talking about if I needed or wanted aligners for my bottom teeth. The only (very minor) issue with those teeth that I could see was the two center teeth ever so slightly angled back. Totally not noticeable. I was quoted two different prices for uppers and lowers vs. just uppers so I could think about what I wanted.

Here’s what made me decide to do both:

1. The price difference wasn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things.

2. The bottoms don’t bother me now, but after I’ve spent all this money making the top perfect, those two crooked bottom ones would drive me crazy.

3. The way they explained it to me was that if I decided to do the bottoms later, it would involve starting the whole process over again (imagine $10,000 total) because that’s the way the company works. They charge per case, map out the course of treatment, and send you your aligners. Bing Bang Boom. If I decided I wanted it later, that would be a whole new course of treatment.

Second Visit: Impressions and X-rays

I don’t remember how long it took to get to this appointment. I think it was a while because something was wrong with their computer system and they couldn’t schedule appointments for a couple weeks. Not really that important. They didn’t make me commit to top and bottom or just top yet because the impressions would be the same no matter what.

I read a whole lot of complaints about having impressions done, but it was really not bad at all. Or maybe I’m not as sensitive as some people. Anyway. They started out by taking before pictures with me pulling my lips back with those hook things.

Then they took the impressions. Big pile of goo in a tray. Hold it in your mouth for a couple minutes. Not a big deal. They did one set for in-house records, and another more important set to send off to Invisalign. Those had to be perfect, and the orthodontist had to check them and everything. I think I had to re-do an impression once. But like I said. No big deal. I didn’t gag. I didn’t choke. Just relax and breathe.

Then they took some x-rays. There was a funny moment when they were like “what is THAT?” before realizing it was my hyoid bone (which I know about because I’m an SLP). Apparently mine was really high or something. But that was it!

Third Visit: Checking the ClinCheck

This was a really short appointment, but very cool. After they send off the impressions, Invisalign sends back a little video (called a ClinCheck) that shows how my teeth are going to move with the course of treatment. You can find a bunch of these on YouTube. They didn’t give me a CD of mine, but I may ask for one next time I go back. Apparently most people get a copy for themselves.

It was really cool seeing how much my teeth were going to change. Even the bottom teeth were so different! If I hadn’t already decided on getting aligners for both top and bottom, the ClinCheck would have definitely helped me make up my mind.

We talked about attachments. (I have them). These are little pieces they cement to your teeth to help the aligners get a better grip and move specific teeth easier. They are just tooth colored bumps. I have (or should have 12). There are six on top and six on bottom, but not on any of my four front teeth. It’s three on each side starting with my incisors. I think they would be much more noticeable if they were on my front teeth.

I asked about IPR (interproximal reduction). That is shaving between your teeth (sounds awful doesn’t it?) At that point in time it was not in my course of treatment…but you just wait. Haha.

The orthodontist made some notes about his concerns to individualize my treatment. Things like making sure my midline stayed centered on my face and all that. The changes the orthodontist made affected my course of treatment. For example, I did have to have IPR (lots) and the number of aligners changed.

After the orthodontist and I OKed the treatment, he sent off his changes. All I had left to do was wait until my aligners came in!

Payment

As an adult, I do not have insurance coverage for orthodontic treatment, so I’m private pay. My orthodontist set up a payment schedule for me with a down payment due on the day that I get my aligners. Before that I didn’t pay for anything.

That’s all I have for today! Next post I will cover getting my aligners and the first couple of days after that!sig

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Desk Makeover: The Big Reveal

Hey y’all.

I know it’s been awhile, but remember my $25 Waterfront Mission desk that I brought home before a hurricane?

Well it’s been complete for a while, but I haven’t shown it off since I took my little blogging hiatus.

The big reveal…

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Here are some links to previous blog posts that show my methods and progress all along.

My $25 Waterfront Mission Find

Sanding and Priming

My OOPS with Oil Based Primer

A Couple Coats of Paint

Hardware Hassles

The most expensive part about this furniture re-do was the “feet.” I didn’t realize when I bought this desk that it was so short! I looked just like a typical office desk, but when I sat at it, the drawer hit my legs. It was not functional.

I tried many different kinds of bun feet before deciding that these plain square ones looked the best with the geometric patterns on the cabinet doors.

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Close-ups of the hardware.

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The cabinet hardware was a bit of an ordeal too. The space between the holes was not standard, so I had to get creative. These are actually just fake doorknob wall decor that I found at Hobby Lobby (so you know I got a good deal).

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Here’s a peek inside my cabinets.

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I love the painted interior of my drawers. It makes me happy every time I open them.

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Here I go showing off my organizational secrets. 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

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2013 Goals Update

So I’ve taken a little break from blogging over the past few months…

But like I mentioned in my last post from forever ago, people are still reading! I think most of that is due to my burlap wreath tutorial going crazy on Pinterest. Anyway. I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. Housegirl Haley has recently gotten a few new followers, and that has made me more motivated to write and share adventures again 🙂 Thank you and welcome to all my new readers!

I figured it was time to do a little update on my yearly goals (original post):

1. Read all the books I’ve bought at Goodwill/bookstores (at least 1 a month) so I can rationalize buying a kindle. This is the one goal that I have really been on top of this year. Even though I haven’t been blogging regularly, I have been updating my booklist page as I finish my books. 14 books so far, so it’s safe to say I have met my “at least 1 a month” goal. I don’t really want a kindle anymore though. I still have the problem of coming home from the Goodwill with a huge stack of books. I just can’t help myself.

2. Make ALL the practical recipes on my PinterestYeah. I’ve made like 3 recipes. It’s sad really. Time to kick this into gear.
3. Start a cleaning schedule (start off slow, like 1 day a week at a time). Also not really happening. I have started a new thing that has been keeping my house cleaner though. First off, I’m making my bed before I go to work everyday. Then, when I get home from work I try to do at least one task really quick before I settle in and get too comfy on the couch watching TV in my pajamas. If you really want insight into what a loser I am, I motivate myself by saying “Do your homework first.” When I was in high school I was very academically motivated. Everyday after I got home from school I would immediately start on my homework. My mom never had to tell me to do this. I just did it. I was a nerd. What am I saying? I’m still a nerd. Anyway, if I do one thing like clean my bathroom or put laundry away, it usually makes me feel super productive and I end up doing more. It’s not a very organized system, but it’s working for now.

4. Meal planning…do it again. Including eating breakfast before work everyday. Also not happening. Ok that’s not totally true. I did a 4 week dietbet and used my Blogilates meal plan for about 2 weeks of it. That isn’t a long term thing though. I need to link goals 2 and 4 together and get this show on the road. 

5. Lose ten pounds. Not a joke this year. I did a dietbet and “lost” 5 pounds for the challenge. I say “lost” because I think my body weight naturally fluctuates about 5 pounds throughout the day. When I realized how easy it was going to be for me to “win” the dietbet (by losing 4% of my bodyweight in 4 weeks) I wasn’t very strict with myself. I also started going to the YMCA for exercise classes. I have a treadmill. It’s very nice. I bought it from my neighbor for $50 when they were having a yard sale. It was a great deal. I brag about it every time I see a treadmill for sale. Anyway. I’m working on losing weight…I have some new motivation now *wink wink.*
6. Be prepared to run Disney Princess ½ marathon in 2014. This goal is no longer valid. I had tentative plans to register to run this with my sister, but it is not going to happen due to a change in plans *wink wink* that I will update you on later. One day I will do this though.
7. Buy a saw and learn how to use it to build something cool. (Like a frame for my TV when I mount it on the wall). So this is kind of a funny story. For Valentine’s Day, Aaron and I bought supplies to build me a workbench for my garage. I still have the supplies in my garage, because that’s just how life is sometimes. Aaron had a saw. We borrowed another one. I ended up buying one. We had so many issues with these saws that I am now kind of scared of using them. One had the wrong types of blade, one had a safety guard that would get “stuck,” and the one I bought had really bad kickback. No thank you. That’s why I still have a bunch of supplies and 2 out of 3 saws still sitting in my garage. Maybe we will try again.
8. Invisalign. Straight teeth need to happen. (Start this process by the end of January…at least call and schedule a consultation). Check! Blog post on this process coming soon.
9. Complete Insanity. Haha. Nope. I’ve been thinking about doing this… Does that count? Here has been my logic with this. I’m paying to go to the gym. If I do insanity at home, then I may not go to the gym as often, and that would be a waste of money. Plus they are adding a Turbokick class at the YMCA, so I don’t want to quit going now. I need to get my crap together and just do it. I have too many excuses. I used to go to the gym and do Brazil Butt Lift in the evenings when I was in grad school.
10. New blog design. Obviously has not happened. Let’s get back on the blog train and THEN I’ll address this.  🙂

Not too good, huh? Only 1 goal crossed off! I need to get my hiney into gear.

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