Star Trek, Ants, and Painting

Well, we decided to go see Star Trek last Saturday for my birthday. Rather, I decided and Matt said, “Sure…it’s your birthday!” But he laughed during all the appropriate parts…sometimes during inappropriate parts too. Like, when one character is dying, and there is intense grieving on-screen, he turned to me and said, “Spock says, ‘Whaaaa??'” I did tell him that Vulcan’s don’t have much emotional expression, but I neglected to tell him how Spock is part human and therefore, capable of expressing emotions. Moot point. I shrugged it off and went back to my tears.

We stopped at Red Robin for dinner. My first time. *First times!* I got the Chili Chili Cheeseburger. Can you say yum?

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All that was left. It was so tempting that I forgot to take a before photo.

We got a box of gift cards to restaurants and such at one of the wedding showers, so my birthday date night only cost us about $10 max and that was leftover cost of meal and tip. Very nice afternoon/evening.

I’ve been trying to make this place more homey and together. It’s been hard because there are still boxes about that need to be unpacked. I can’t do that until I paint the bookshelves and start getting things on the walls. It’s a mess.

But I did manage to pull out the tablecloth and napkins and iron them out. I’m just saying, tablecloths are my least favorite thing to iron.

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Sure looks pretty, but I’m still not sold that it was worth the effort. Not to mention, it’s a round tablecloth! Ugh. Anyway, those are the flowers from the Huz. We’ve actually had two meals at the table now, since I put it together. That’s nice.

I’ve even been cooking. I had bought some various kinds of meat and thrown them in the freezer until we got around to doing something with them. I’ve been eyeing the tilapia that’s been in there for a while now, but I’ve never made fish before…besides fish sticks as a kid, and I have long since thrown those out of my diet. So, I went to good old Allrecipes.com and searched, “Easy tilapia.” No joke.

Here’s what I got:

Healthier Easy Baked Tilapia

and here’s what my version of it looked like:

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Ok, the fish IS in there, and it tasted yummy. I forego most things with lemon, and I went ahead and increased the amount of melted butter. It was pretty wonderful. There was so much seasoning on the fish, that I didn’t put much more than salt and pepper in the mashed potatoes…which I made from scratch. Go me! 🙂 You have no idea what an accomplishment this is for someone like me. I have never felt comfortable in a kitchen unless I was baking something, and then I’m right at home. Cooking is too ambiguous for me; there just aren’t enough rules. But I think I’ll keep trying at it. Matt certainly hopes that I will.

Speaking of kitchen, I walked into mine last night and found some tiny black ants crawling on one of the counters. Just in one little spot. You could tell they were just starting to explore. Ugh. I pulled everything off that section – they weren’t in anything yet, so it was a good catch. I stopped by Home Depot after work today and picked up some bait things and some spray.

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They caught on pretty quick. I went down for a nap and when I woke up 30 mins later, they were all over the trap. And then taking it home to their queen….to MURDER her! muahahaa! I let them go back and forth between the bait and their lair for a few hours and then sprayed the perimeter. The stuff must be pretty potent because there is little to no movement in that corridor now. Maybe I’ll leave the carcasses for Huz to clean up. 🙂 That sounds great!

I mentioned that I have some bookshelves to paint before I can really start putting the house together. Well, here’s one!

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This used to be my dad’s…way back in his college days. I didn’t know that until a week or so ago. This isn’t its finished state. I am just getting started. But i think it’s going to be good. It’s a short one and then I have its two big brothers to paint after it. Wish me luck! I love painting. 🙂

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Garden Update:

Not much to report, except that I was weeding the other day and came across these!

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Yipes! Those things were huge! I don’t know what I’m going to do with this garden bed. There’s no telling what will come out of it. Ugh. Good news, though, my Impatiens are doing beautifully and starting to really fill in! Yay! Off to finish painting!

Getting Married: 7 Weeks – Postcards, Painting, and Spring

One of the things we are excited about (well, me way more so) is our idea of a guest book for the wedding. I might have mentioned it before in this blog series, but I absolutely love postcards. When I was out of the country, I would try to send postcards to friends and family and even some to myself. It was a fun time. I remember taking about an hour to sit in a cafe in Hiroshima, filling out postcards to send home before I hopped on the train back to Shimonoseki. That was a special time for me. A time to reflect on the crazy day I had, the things I had seen, and enjoy the scenery. There were even couple people with dogs who walked by and the dogs let me pet them! That was a rare occurrence in Japan. It was the saddest point of my time there.

So, I have a bunch of postcards from all over that I’ve collected. But also, I have a bunch of friends and family from all over who may or may not be able to attend. Our guestbook will be all postcards that people have either mailed to us, or brought themselves, or just picked out at the ceremony/reception and filled out. We were so excited to get our first one in the mail from my Aunt Brenda a couple weeks ago!

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Isn’t that fun?! It’s just the kind of thing we want. If YOU are picking out a postcard to send or bring with you, it can be whatever you like, but I would love it if it’s from something local to your area. Who knows, maybe we’ll take our postcards and visit each site in order throughout our marriage. That sure would be fun. If you want more instructions, check out our wedding website here.

I absolutely love to paint. I’m a crafty person (if you can’t tell). Sometimes when I’m stressing, or overwhelmed with stuff, I just need to sit down with a paintbrush and go. I did that this week. It’s purposeful painting, not just for pleasure. I’ll be able to do more of that after the wedding, but right now, everything I do just about needs to be purposeful. I’ve had this bunny shelf for years! I mean, years!

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The project room is one glorious hot mess. Don’t look at it.

I can’t remember when I got it, but I know I had it through elementary school. That was when I was most into bunnies. Then I loved wolves. Then I loved elephants, and that’s been a regular thing since. But I wanted to incorporate this into the wedding and then into the house afterwards. That will take some tweaking post-wedding day, but in the meantime, I needed to prime this baby and get some paint on her. I like to use flat house paint as a primer. It’s what we used in art class in high school and the habit just stuck with me. When I pried open the lid of my small paint can, this is what I found.

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This used to be white…

Gross, huh? Tell me about it. I thought it was weird that nothing was moving inside when I was shaking it up. Yep, spoiled to the core. I’ve never seen anything like it. Thankfully, there is a lumber/quasi-hardware shop right down the street from The House, so Matt and I drove there and picked out a fresh can.

week 7 new paintIt’s better if the paint is not completely white. For some reason it’s harder to cover with darker colors. So, I got a tint called “Violet Puff.” Bahaha, so funny. But it did the job! And the bunny shelf is well on her way to lovely readiness. I’m pretty pleased with her. There are some other things I’m painting too, but I don’t like to give all my secrets away.

Last Fall, I planted a bunch of bulbs outside the front of The House. I have so many wonderful ideas for those garden beds. The biggest issue is that they don’t get much sun, and there isn’t much drainage. Oh, and about 12 ugly bush stumps spread fairly evenly throughout them. Those are going to HAVE to go. Matt and I dug up some weeds and were working on one of the shrubs the other day. After we finished, I asked if he felt any great satisfaction from it. He shrugged. Me, being the prophet that I am, balked and said, “You are fulfilling a command of God here! You were made and commanded to rule and subdue the earth and that’s just what you’re doing…doesn’t that bring you satisfaction? You are living to the full potential of who God made you to be!” He didn’t seem quite as impressed as I was. Go figure.

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I’m starting to think that those daffodils are supposed to be that short and NOT because they get hardly any sun, but those crocuses are HUGE!

week 7 crocusesCrocuses are such a happy flower to me and remind me that winter is ending and spring is on its way. That makes you happy too, right?

While we were weeding (significantly less weeds than were rampant through the bed last year…ahem), I found a whole walnut and decided to crack it open. I had a chopper looking tool (Mom just informed me that it’s a spade) and went at it. This was the result and how fun is that?!week 7 walnut

We set it down and weren’t thinking about keeping it. Seems another creature thought it was just as yummy, er, lovely, and took off with it before we could try and keep it.

In a few minutes, I will be heading out to my first wedding shower. I’ve been to several, but this will be MY first one. It’s up at Matt’s church and I’m really excited to go and see his family and church family – get to know them a bit better. It’s hard living further away from where I will be living and not be able to spend quality time with everyone. I’m sure I will have pictures for you next entry!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 20 Weeks – DIY Invitations #2

This week, I started working on the invitations some more. You’ll remember that last year, I started working on the hand stamps I planned to use for them. You can find that post here.

First came the wording and the placement of the text on the card stock. I have been saving wedding invites, save the dates, programs, etc for years now. I gathered them all into bag and have been reading through them, getting ideas on verbiage and layouts. Matt and I discussed certain details we wanted, needed, and didn’t need in the invitations. One detail was that we didn’t necessarily need to have the names of our parents in them. We love our parents, but we are kind of pressed for space. Also, it seems that couples include the parents’ names when the parents are the ones throwing the wedding. Given our age and stages in our careers, we’re able to handle most of it on our own, so we’re throwing our own wedding. We, therefore, settled on including the line “Together with their families.” This includes more than just our parents in the invitation as well, since we are both close to our siblings and others.

Another tricky wording was that of the reception. Our ceremony is open, but the reception is a closed event and by special invitation only. However, how do we convey that in an invitation that we will be sending to everyone? After some wordsmithing and testing phrases out, we decided to include after the ceremony details this sentence: “Private reception to follow.”  For those who are invited to join the reception, there will be a separate insert with reception information and instructions to RSVP on our wedding website.

Now we’re just trying to figure out how to print them from Matt’s printer. It works really well, but so far, I haven’t been able to save the file as a .pdf  with the right parameters of the invitations. Oh well, that problem is fairly easily solved.

Next is how to easily replicate the same pretty look of the invitations using my homemade stamps. I really wanted to use paints instead of inked stamp pads. One major problem with the stamp pads is that I could not find a good, sweet looking yellow. I looked in a bunch of different shops and couldn’t find anything…even on the Stampin’ Up page. I was shocked!

So, I opted for my old reliable medium: acrylic. I grabbed a paintbrush and painted some yellow over the stamp and then pressed down. The image was alright, but I knew I’d have to rinse off my stamp before the paint dried. FYI – acrylic paint will not wash off after it has dried onto a stamp. Wash it off immediately. This went directly against the “easy to replicate” stipulation.  When I bought the rubber pads and tools to make my stamps, I also picked up a Speedball roller and some paint for it. I tried it out just for the heck of it, but that paint is also acrylic, so that’s a no-go.

The next idea was to get some washable markers and try inking the stamps that way. The image turned out a little faint and I ended up having to use the markers to fill in spots that didn’t transfer. Also, I wanted to have more of a watercolor image and that meant using a wet paint brush to extend some of the ink. This also went against  “easy to replicate” so I went back to the internet to search for some yellow ink pads.

Success!! Amazon carries a couple different shades of larger ink pads, so I ordered them and now I just have to wait for them to arrive before I can test them out more. The following pictures will give you an idea of what my Thursday afternoon looked like.

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I can’t wait to finally get a finished product and get started on the rest of them. It will be quite a project, but I’ve got some wonderful ladies who have volunteered (right? You all did volunteer, right?????) to help me finish them. Just have to find what works best!

Did you buy your own invitations? Did you make them? What kind of roadblocks did you have?

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com