Posted on 14-02-2014 | Posted in Uncategorized
- Happy Valentine’s Day, Muffintoppers! It’s getting to be tradition here—time for my annual ode to the hubs. Cheers!
- NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO. Just, NO!!!!!!
You’ve nothing to fear.
1. Google hypothyroidism and hope you have it. I feel tired! I’ve gained weight! My face IS puffy!
2. Shop online for swimsuits that you know will fit better once you get your thyroid in check and the three thousand feet of snow melts!
3. Open the hall closet and vow today will be the day you finally organize it. Walk away.
4. Go back to closet and hide with coffee and Oreos while a melee ensues in family room during Wii u.
5. Twist ankle in closet on weights you would be using if you didn’t have an obvious thyroid condition.
6. Limp to unload dishwasher and realize you forgot to run it last night. See! My hypothyroidism is making me forgetful! Or was it the vino? Wait.
7. Text your friends to see if they want to come over for a playdate
8. Answer the door, invite your friends in, don’t hang their coats in the closet because it’s a mess covered in Oreo crumbs and coffee splatter, and explain to them over a random assortment of party snacks you had in the house that you have a thyroid problem.
9. Google hypothyroidism and show them your awesome WebMD’ing.
10. Drink more wine and call endocrinologist to see if they offer group discounts. Indignantly shout, “NO! This isn’t a joke!” when they challenge you, and tell them, ”Then we’re happy to book with the place I saw on Groupon that comes with a free trip to Mexico!”
Last year I bought a very well loved (aka grungry) kick butt Ethan Allen French Country arm chair with ottoman. You can read the post here. For multiple before pics, please visit the original post.
Here is the after:
Here is the chair a year later, after I painted and rearranged the room:
And we are sidewards again! My point in posting the chair a year later is that every DIY project can look great when you finish, but you have to wonder how some of the “Pinterest” pins or blog post projects hold up? How do you know that shitz doesn’t all fall apart once the shot it taken?!! The chair has held up very well over the past year I think, considering that I flop in it every, single day with my unskinnay bod-aaay, it’s had kids jumping on it, off it, around it, and, because of the way I did it (as in, not at all correctly!), I cannot flip the cushions! OH MY. My small investment is crazy comfy and has served me well as I’ve slurped many a coffee and beer on it while I check Facebook or read a classic piece of literature
I had originally planned to get it professionally reupholstered and then…dun, dun, dun, our dishwasher kicked the bucket. Poverty (all right, I’m embellishing but you know what I mean!) breeds inspiration, and so I thought I’d take a stab at redoing it myself! Shazam!
Since then, I’ve gotten emboldened to try other upholstery projects. This fall the plan was to big boy up the bedroom my middle and youngest share. Enter the ugly ass $7 chair. Hubs woudn’t touch it. Deemed it “disgusting”. Made THE FACE. At me! ME! Prima. Donna.
The random, grungy corduroy, the dirty arms, and the flipping tacks that I had to take out one by one–owww! I can understand why someone would doubt my skillz. I only bled a little (hear me roar!), I washed the hell out of the wood with Murphy Oil soap, primed and painted it in a lovely Benjamin Moore red I had left over from my son’s desk project, and then, had the idea to reupholster it in Red Sox material. I found this awesome fleecy Red Sox fabric that I thought would be forgiving and soft–and it is. Bonus, it was only $11 bucks a yard! You can get this material in other Major League baseball teams but not sure why you’d want to!? (I’m waiting for Big Papi to call me with his order. Cue up Blondie, “Call meeeee! Call me any, any, any-timeeeeee! Call ME!!!”) Who needs PR people? I got this! (No.)
Here are some after shots:
For a total cost of less than $20, I’ll take it. It’s a perfect size for the corner of the room, and could easily transition to a rec room or family room if future plans change. It’s an awesome spot to read a book, or, if I’m being honest, drop a pile of folded laundry til I can put it away! I will say that reupholstering a chair is not difficult–this chair was 800 times easier than the French chair because of it’s size, in part, but mostly because there were no cushions that detach to contend with. I took the old fabric off carefully, used it to make a template and traced it onto the new fabric, and stapled—that is IT. It’s like putting a puzzle back together–after you see how it comes apart, you can see how it will all go back together again. Honestly. That is IT. If you had staples showing, and you don’t know how to sew upholstery welting, aka, piping, like moi, you can hot glue gimp like I did on the French chair–and you can see how I did that in that post–sew easy! (Sorry.)
Dare to think outside the chair–you can’t buy something like this at the store, and any chair that you can buy, is at least a few hundred bucks.
After I did this chair, naturally oldest bro was all, “What about a chair for MY room!” Fair enough. He was over the blue gingham glider in his room. I took to my beloved Craigslist to find an appropriately sized chair and boom—$19 (I know, random price and now that I think of it I handed the woman $20 and she did not give me mah dollah–but I was in no mood for a tete a tete in her random garage in the sticks–know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, people!). $19 was a steal for this vintage, caned chair. It is SO COMFY. It was a pecan colored wood and slightly beat, with a 70′s gold velourish type material. AND THERE ARE NO BEFORE PICS THANKS TO TOILETTE IPHONEGATE OF 2013. I’M NOT BITTER, SON!
This chair took some brute strengh to take apart, and it was tufted so BUTTONS, ALL THE BUTTONS, dude. I was not gonna rebutton it. No way. I spray painted this chair in a high gloss red paint and primer combo—likey! I thought that woud be the best way to cover the caning and it didn’t disappoint. Love the gloss. Here are some after shots. To be different, I did this chair in similar fleecy material, but chose Patriot’s instead of The Sox to mix it up. (Brady? Call me. How perfect would it be to sit in this chair and read Jinxelle bed time stories in your Uggs. Check it! Ya think Manning has a cool chair like this, Brady? Um, no.)
Here’s a brighter pic! ( I LOVE FOTOGRAFY–ha ha ha.)
Check out the curves and the legs–oh my! Flutter!
That’s it, peeps—I’m living the DIY dream!
From shizz to shine, all on a dime.
I gots to save mah money for fun shoes and wine!
And remember, dare to think outside the chair! What do you have to lose? (Besides some blood and burnt skin. Wo-man up!)
Who wouldn’t love a secretary?
“I’m terribly sorry, Muffintopmommy cannot come to the phone right now, she is rather busy watching the Biebs burst into flames, whilst snacking on a Pop Tart. May I take a message and she will return your call when Real Housewives is over and the keg has runneth dry?”
Dreams are free people, come on! Come fly with me—-it’s one degree out and life is too short!
Ahem….if you can’t afford a real, live secretary…..tada! How about a flip top desk aka secretary? A year ago, the husband and I decided to paint our family room—when I looked at the gold I’d chosen years earlier, a French’s mustard nightmare is all I saw. What was I thinking? Add those walls to the list of personal and societal transgressions—pegged pants, banana clips, Caillou…need I go on??? This of course set off the inevitable chain of decorating and DIY events. One thing we despised about our family room were two indentations, roughly three feet wide, on either side of the fireplace. Total wasted, awkward space; they screamed for built ins. Finally, we decided to get a quote. And….nooooo. Moneymoneymoneymoneeeeee! Thanks for playing…..If only these pesky kids didn’t need to eat all the time.
Type B, Plan B. Craigslist ho’ing. I love the lines of the old secretary desks, and just like the sideboards, they are as sturdy and practical as they are beautiful. Dood! More drawers to hide stuff in style—I’m all in. I wanted one with a serpentine aka curvy front for added interest, and I held out until I found the right deal. Scored one for $75, solid cherry, Dovetail drawers, a little banged up but overall a solid piece. Due to the unfortunate 6 year old dumping my phone in the toilette incident of 2013, I do not have any before or during pics (but I do have eyewitnesses who saw me painting in the driveway!). This is a different one currently for sale on the CL, and is roughly what it looked like prior:
Why are my pictures sidewards again???????? *puts down Pop Tart to investigate…..
*finishes Pop Tart….yeah, I still don’t know….*&^% Too bad I don’t have a secretary to ask! Damn!
Anyway, this is how the DIY went down….I painted the drawers and the outside of the piece in Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white, distressed it lightly, and added a coat of clear wax and a coat of dark wax, just like the demilune shaped sideboard in my last post. The biggest benefit to using Annie Sloan paint is that you don’t have to prime first. However, in this instance, because it was a reddish toned wood to start, I found with the old white it needed one more coat than usual—I did experience some reddish bleed through. Something to keep in mind if you’re doing a similar project.
Also, Annie Sloan paint dries to a flat finish, and that’s why you add the wax step after painting—the wax protects the piece, but it also adds a lovely silky feeling to the finish. As for distressing, that’s totally a personal preference. Some hate it, some love it. I like it but try to limit it to places on the piece that might have naturally worn away over time. On this piece I chose to keep the hardware because it’s classic and I really can’t imagine any other hardware on it. I painted right over the hardware and distressed that in places as well, and I do like how it turned out. You could always unscrew the hardware and spray paint it if you wanted a different look for a minimal price, as I did with the demilune.
I kept the inside of the secretary in the cherry finish because it was in decent shape and it cleaned up well with a coat of Restor-A-Finish. It could probably use another coat as it’s been several months. And check out the cool compartments inside the flip top! You invest in a piece like this and it can truly perform so many functions—it could be used as a writing desk, a lovely addition to a dining room to store dishes, or even a bedroom piece. If you had an old school bathroom, you could use it to store linens. I have a feeling my little secretary friend will serve me well for years, even if we wind up moving from the house with the awkward indentations some day!
AGGH! For now, my little workhorse can house stuff like this…
As you can see, it is not perfect. And that’s okay— just like C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me! I’ve already found Lego’s and Beyblades bouncing around in there, so until the Queen of England comes to stay, we are good! (And even then? Pfft. What has she done for me lately?!!)
So that’s it—–if I can do it? You can too. Any questions before I go get my Bravo TV on?????
I know, it’s been a while.
Anyone still out there?
I couldn’t stay away. I mean, I could. I did. I even forgot how to get on this thing. Dude, seriously. I did. But, I’ve been doing a whizness business of DIY’ing over the past year and it seems like I can’t stop. So? I thought I’d share some of my projects and hope they can inspire some of you, while still reserving the right to rant about nothingness if the mood strikes. This is not Martha Stewart’s blog. This? This is more like her wicked bourgeois step cousin once removed who drinks beer out of a can, buys store bought Valentine’s in the box, and produce in a bag because she’s too lazy to wash her own damn greens
always sometimes. Hey ecoli, give me a shout out if that triple wash promise on the bag ain’t true, would ya?
See, it all started because I got really bitter that my three sons would bust everything nice I had. Literally. But I still wanted my house to look cute, and so, a type B DIYer was born. Once I found Craigslist and realized I could buy stuff, not get murdered (yes!), and make the stuff actually look halfway decent for short dough, I was all in.
This is the DIY blog for Type B, laid back
lazy, and/or economically challenged mamas who choose to feed and clothe their offspring rather than shop at the store we all have lovehatelovehate relations with, Lottery Barn. Btw, if you are breaking out in hives right now and your OCD is kicking, get off my lawn now–you will not survive my ‘eyeballing it’, ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’, and ‘meh, no one’s gonna look THAT close’, attitudes. You will want to smother me in my sleep and really, that will help no one. So you ready to get this party started? Sing it!
From shizz to shine, all on a dime.
I gots to save mah money for cute shoes and wine.
So let me not briefly review some of my projects—some of which I shared with you in more detail last year when I didn’t know if this was just a phase like exercising and avoiding alcohol on weekdays! (Also, I have some bad news–many of my pics are a. iPhone quality –let’s review, type B, and who would trust me with a good camera? and b. many were lost due to a tragic incident where 6 year old might have dropped my old phone in the toilette….and now you know why I shop on Craigslist!)
Anywho! Let’s do the best we can with what we have! Today we’re gonna talk sideboards. Let me say, my love affair with sideboards came to fruition when it dawned on me that they not only make a lovely statement in a room and add lighting, HELLO, they are a place to hide crap when your OCD, Type A friends are coming over and you fear they will sign you up for Hoarders. Score!
Sideboard #1, this is my dining room and this is where all the magic started. I got it for $25. No, seriously. Here’s the original post and here are some pics:
This was her before:
Ok, this one still bothers me because I bought it from a lovely newlywed couple for only $60 and it came with a mirror that I now have hanging in my dining room above sideboard #1. (Pics to follow!) I painted it a champagne color. I feel like I stole it but they just weren’t into it. Here’s the before–look at those lines! Look at those legs!
And…….after. She was sort of banged up on the top, so I used some stuff called Restor-A-Finish because I had no clue how to strip something and restain it but wanted a two tone look. Enter the lazy girl solution! You wipe the stuff on and boom. For real. And no, I am not getting anything to pimp Restor-A-Finish since this is my FIRST official DIY post of 2014 AD! (But feel free to call me, sponsors. Mama needs new Spanx!) It worked great and has held up. The bottom got two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white with clear wax and dark wax (wax on, wax off!) and I spray painted the hardware in oil rubbed bronze. Dude. So easy. Be not afraid.
Here is a closeup of the hardware which I just think is so pretty, and the sideboard in action today, a year later. (Of course I’m not opening those drawers–but yes, they are dovetailed and yes, they do have crap in them!) And yes, I know Christmas was a month ago but how can I take that fabulous deer wreath down so soon????
So just proving that decorating can evolve and it’s fun (and free!) to move stuff around your house, please see the mirror from this sideboard over the green one, post spray paint. I updated it for the very LONG holiday season with an ornament wreath.
Finally! Sideboard #3. My MIL had this for years and gave it to us last year and we shoved it in our garage and gasp! used it for storage. It was banged up, mostly I’m afraid after being in our garage for a year. I regret there are no before pics but I sanded the top down with a palm sander, primed it, and it got two coats of semi-gloss black–it took me all of a few hours out of my day.
I do have a pic of the original color because I didn’t paint the inside of the piece. I’ll get to that soon
never! Really, why would I bother? Are you gonna come to my house and open my drawers? Good luck to you if you do!
So the deets….The acrylic glass knobs are from Home Depot and I bought the fork and spoon hardware on Amazon because I thought it would be fun for the kitchen. The lamp I moved from a hall table upstairs, the wine cork jar was on the cream sideboard and I still want to move that to a smaller jar, the cookbooks I had on the other sideboard, the owl was in another part of my kitchen, and the vintage scale I scored at a local shop for only $20! Oh and the framed print of wine country above is from a pre-kids trip from another lifetime!!!! So for very short money–about $30, I got a whole new look for this part of my kitchen! My MIL came over the other day, exclaimed she loved it, and wanted to know where I got it. Not kidding. So there, that makes this blog VALID! You can totally change the look of something with a little elbow grease and some imagination–it might even be lurking in your basement or garage and cost zeros dineros! (You don’t even need imagination! Go on Pinterest and steal other people’s ideas, hello. It’s not even a sin you need to confess to your local padre–that’s the whole point of it!)
Close up of the hardware or, the bling that makes this piece SING!
So I hope this was fun and you feel inspired to go DIY something up or have a beer in your mitten–whatever rocks your world? Wanna come back next time? I hope you do!
School is starting next week and I’m…..well, might be, not totally sad? Last year, I wrote this…I was emotional about middle starting kindergarten. But, last week, I’ll say, the full moon was coming and that didn’t help. I suddenly felt religious! I changed a well known prayer! (The Vatican hasn’t called. I guess they’re just not into new stuff? Frankly, I don’t think it would kill them to mix it up but WHO am I?)
God, grant me the serenity to accept that school doesn’t start til the 27th,
The courage to change happy hour if need be,
And the wisdom to know that while I love my boys with every fiber of my being, even prisoners get an hour of free time, yo.
Summer started and I was all, “Whee!!! We’re going to the beach! We’re gonna enjoy lazy days! We’re gonna sit and sip lemonade and look at stars and read awesome books!”
And then little people burped. And farted. And literally waved their tushes in my face and inquired, “DO I HAVE POOP IN MY BUTT?”
And so now, I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.
And kind of tired.
Flush the toilet!
Wash your hands!
Put on your bike helmet!
Who crunched Cheez-It’s all over the couch?
Stop leaving your undies under the bathroom vanity!
Don’t use your shirt as a napkin!
Keep your hands to yourself!
The questions! The thousands of questions, mostly from one of them. Not just questions for me, questions for randoms. On vacation, he asks the 75 year old woman next door, “So, do you rent or own?”
Who asks people that? We don’t!
We get new neighbors at home, and he goes for it….
Man child: “So, where do you and your husband work?”
New Neighb: “We both work at Fidelity.”
Man child: “So…is that like a restaurant or a store? What is it?”
ME, nervous laughter: “It’s sort of like a bank, where your tiny college fund is!”
Which you will clearly not need, because you have no boundaries, and will probably start selling time shares in the 5th grade! Which is good, because then I will have lost my ever loving mind, and will likely need round the clock care. Don’t skimp now! Remember who wiped your arse 5,439 times!
This one won’t sit still. The energy is boundless. But he is sunshine and light—the sweetest–and the most loyal. When the doctor asks him this summer, “Have you been reading every day?”, he looks back at me, looks at her, and says, “Possibly?” because he’s trying to stick up for me because knows we should be, yet despite our grand plans, sometimes we shower off the dirt, and plunk ourselves in front of a show instead. We do. We did. I admit it. (Stop. We have time shares to fall back on. He’ll be fiiiine. He could have at least showed her how he knew all the lyrics to “Red Solo Cup”–he’s no dope!)
Someone picks on this kid’s brother, he is first in line to stick up for him. Look out.
But if something doesn’t go his way, his temper flares. He’s the first to pitch a fit. To challenge me. And wind me up. And ask me why, why, why, why, a thousand whys. I wonder if he has ADD? So I Google it. And then wonder if I am just that impatient as I struggle to fill the up the days, know all the answers, refill all the drinks while the two others jump from family room chairs, yelling, “Cannonball!” and ask questions like, “Who is your favorite American?”, “How many miles away is the moon?”, “Why would a child die?”, “Is Jesus skinny because all the blood runned out of him when he was nailed to that board?” I fear I just don’t have all the answers–I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. (My Jesus answer was good though—I said I thought he was skinny because there were no McDonald’s and no cars then—people ate right and walked everywhere! Again, Vatican, call me!)
Pickets are missing from my fence. Curtains are askew. Nothing stays clean. Things are sticky, and every morning is ground hog day as I pick up the assortment of socks and shoes and Beyblades around the house and howl after I step on an errant Lego barefoot. Pinterest is a distant memory. How would I ever make cupcakes that look like minions and create my own art when I can hardly keep my floors and my kids clean?
And when we have a playdate over–brother’s friend from school and his mom, whom I don’t know well, this kid whips out a Bud Light 40 from the fridge (*My friend gave me 4, 40′s for my birthday. I know, genius!) , swings the bottle with gusto and shouts, “This is mah mom’s drink!”
At 11 AM.
And yet, when I smash my pinkie toe on a clunky basketball sneaker left astray in the middle of the kitchen floor tonight, the one who chose to stay behind to hang with mama to look at family photos while daddy took the other two on an errand, rushes to help. It’s throbbing and I’m fighting back letting loose a litany of choice words.
“Would you like some ice? I can wrap it in a towel?”
“Why don’t you sit down?”
He pushes the ottoman toward the sofa, puts a pillow on the ottoman.
“Here, put your foot up.”
He leaves the room, comes back with a water and a pack of frozen corn for my toe.
And I realize that there will be plenty of time for reading–a lifetime. He has so much to learn, and he will learn, but being loyal and loving and compassionate, he already has in spades.
We’re ready for school. We’re ready. Amen.
Forty years ago, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was at the top of the charts, Archie Bunker curmudgeoned his way into our living rooms on All In The Family, the MRI was invented, Billie Jean King kicked some tennis arse, and the Oakland A’s were World Series Champs. And in Boston, a little squawker was born. The thing about being born in 1973 to parents who were 40 and 45, who already had kids who were 13, 12, and 7, is that after a while the writing’s on the wall. Irish + Catholic + ohgawdmygawd. They must have hit one of the DiGirolamo’s infamous parties and, to quote Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey, “Brown chicka brown chow.” Too many Schlitzes? Too many VO and waters? No Catholic birth control. BOOM.
Well, all I can say is, thank God we weren’t Presbyterian. *waves hello *no offense God faring Presbyterians and all other birth control loving denominations
My family was so loving about it though. While one sister told me my parents bought me on the corner for a dime and got change, the other told me when my mom found out she was preggers she banged some pots and pans together. When the doctor called our house to share the great news a new sister was born, the third chick to make my brother wait for the bathroom, bro reportedly went behind the couch and cried.
Pussy. He would be sorry when I turned out to be full of awesome. Not really. When the doctor called back, he refused to take his call. My how times have changed!
But hey, NO hard feelings!
This all explains a lot, doesn’t it?
My parents were kind enough to soften the sibling barbs and say I was a”happy accident” and that I “kept them young”.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and……
Lights! (But not too bright, my wrinkles will show!) Camera! (Um, not too close, and let me tilt my face to hide my three chins!) Action! (Brown chicka brown chow! Shut it. I’m 99.9% sure I will not repeat history as a card carrying cafeteria Catholic heath-en!)…….
Now that it’s spelled out, it seems like a lot. 28 more than the Electric Company song. 40 years on fast forward……Walking, talking, falling of my biking, awkward buck teething, first dating, kissing, missing, soaring, oversleeping, dancing, boozing, schmoozing, marrying, birthing, parenting, writing, flighting. That was FLIGHTING, not FIGHTING. Who do you think I AM?
40. It’s just a number, right?
40% off is a lot.
$40 dollars. Not a lot.
40 lbs. Not a lot. Unless you lose 40 lbs. Then it’s a lot.
40 boyfriends, husbands, hook ups, mystery illnesses? Yup. A lot.
40 miles. Not a lot. Unless you’re running. Or swimming. Or spelunkswimhikingbikingtriahaloning. Then it’s a lot.
I know I should probably look like this right now:
But seriously. 40 is the new, what, 11? It’s all good. I’m happy. I’m healthy. (The holes in my liver will close up after summer, c’mon!) I have a wonderful family and much to be grateful for. A few months ago, I came across this quote, “Growing old is a privilege that is denied to many.”
It is. And I well know it.
So on my 40th, and for the next hopefully 40 or 80 years (you never know—this kid brought to you by Schlitz and VO—here’s hopin’!), I’m going to heed a line from my favorite writer Erma Bombecks’, “If I Had My Life To Live Over”, “I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa was faded.”
WORD. Let’s do it everyone, whether you’re 30 or 40 or 50 or 99.
We’ve earned it. With every bad breakup, boss, unfortunate hair style, trauma, scar, and loss. Every hope, dream, goal achieved. We’ve earned the right. To know who we are, who our friends are, who will gain the privilege to grow old with us and pop a squat on our faded sofas.
So bring it. 40 more years or bust. We meet here. At dawn, we ride!