Bucket List

Turning 39 did not excite me this year. Being with my friends did, so I found a fun way to make them do some work for me!

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Have at it, party people!

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A quick Goodwill trip and a staple gun provided a DIY way to showcase my bucket list ideas.

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Lots of great ideas. A few questionable ones.

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Thanks to JW, this thing follows me around at every birthday since my golden. Luckily she forgot the real deal at home but happily sent a phone pic later. Those are not caterpillars. Those are my eyebrows before this girl learned what sculpting was.

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My event coordinator and I taking a breather after the meatball debacle.

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Black and gold was a fitting color scheme this year.

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We leveled up this year by adding live music. Our youngest guest was loving the Guitarist by cutting it up on the dance floor!

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I love being surrounded by friends and family. I felt loved!

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I don’t throw birthday parties to get presents, but AV picked something special out for me, so I was excited!

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A cupcake puzzle! Can’t think of a better birthday gift! Just need to pick which weekend I’ll be working on it. As the birthday girl, I tried to make the rounds and mingle with everyone which caused me to lose my cup every now and then. Oh well, we can double fist it.

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After all that fun, clean up day was bittersweet.

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After the weekend festivities, a good workout was needed but damn, JL outdid himself. Who needs training?!

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I was ready for a good dinner and a cocktail. I think a martini pairs nicely with filet. Or anything.

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I’m ready to tackle 39 and rock into 40…. I think.

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Boos Booze & Carving

Previously. A bit previously. And waaaaaay previously.

I built a pumpkin cairn so our 22 RSVP’d guests could find the party!

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Thanks to Joann’s 50% sale, I added a lot of new pieces to the Halloween theme.

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Mom RSVP’d for 3. Huh? Mom + Dad + ? = 3. I was scared they were bringing a dog which they planned on leaving here. No time for that right now. I was delighted to meet Mannie instead!

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His face just says “wwwwwwwwwwoooooooooaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh”. Mannie welcomed our guests to a delightful spread courtesy of CS, me, and Carole. CS made his world famous chili, homemade salsa which accompanied my meatballs, taco dip and Carole’s devil eggs with eyeballs! Our guests were well fed, which is always our goal.

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Based on what we learned last year, we brought out the heavy equipment. “Bring out yer drills!”

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We had plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep the youngsters entertained. Paint, chalk, Sharpees. Ok, maybe Sharpees wasn’t the best.

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Who wants pumpkin glasses?! This kid!

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Thanks to karma for the great weather! It was a beautiful outdoor day to spend with friends and family.

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Finished product by SJ, who was in love with using a drill. Such a cute design!

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I was a bit nervous about my bat design choice. It wasn’t looking great during day light. Come sun down, I was surprisingly pleased!

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I think we have a great tradition building.

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I’ve been wanting one of these for years. I even tried to use work as a reason. I finally caved and shelled out the cash myself.

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What is it?

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All the reviews said the circular cutter that came with it was crap. Recommended you download the 1 inch template and just cut yourself.

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Load it in, and out comes a BUTTON!

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994 buttons to make until I run out of supply!

Reality Check DIY

My Dad forgets he’s 70. I needed to find a way to remind him of this fact that he could appreciate. Patent pending, I introduce Reality Check CardsTM.

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The goal of this DIY was to remind my father, he didn’t have to save the world anymore. He’s worked hard, so take a break. 1/2 of the cards are uplifting and sweet. That half of the deck also has images of him with family over the past 10 years.

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Every day, he pulls a card, reflects, then shares it with Mom. Of course I required proof. Started getting texts w/ images. These 2 are up to no good some days!

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Then he found his favorite card.

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Point made and point taken.

Next comes that friend who just picks the wrong girls. I asked “Is your red flag radar broken?” I made him one to replace it.

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There are 8 categories to consider. It includes questions he needs to ask himself when continuing a relationship with females. Once he finds 4 red flags, she has to go.

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It’s effectiveness is currently being tested. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a slam dunk and the hottest Christmas present for 2016!

Man Down

Fighting off a sinus infection this weekend. So the only thing I want to do is lay on the couch and watch TV. As I catch up on my Ellen marathon, the TV makes sounds like it was eating a giant bowl of Snap Crackle Pop cereal then goes black. Son of a beech.

I jiggled the cord, very technical solution. I unplugged for a while to “reset” it, very Help Desk like. Time for Google. Google says its bad electrolytic capacitors. Ok, Google image please!

Good ones:

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Bad ones:

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All articles say the ends are raised up, split, or look puffy. Give me my drill! Let’s get the back off and check this out.

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The electrolytic capacitors pictures above are from my TV. I think I found the culprits but it’s too late in the day to get replacement parts. Good thing I have spare TVs all over my home to sustain my laziness for the weekend. Day semi-saved. Stay tuned. <-- Get it? See what I did there!

2 Degrees Lower

Here’s why…

My condo had the original windows from the day the building was erected. Over the past 10 years, they have really broken down. You could see moisture forming between the glass and the screen. I had full plastic covering on all the windows upstairs that would seriously blow out like a giant bubble when the winds were strong. Air was just coming in and out as it pleased. It was time. Since my community has standards, I had to have casement windows. Which of course, are more expensive. My old ones had gold handles that stuck out and locks that weren’t sexy.

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My new ones were going to be slick! The team of 3 arrived at 9 am and quickly got to work. This window was our problem child. The guy is standing right in front of the spot that had rotted out. This was also a major factor for getting these windows done now. We didn’t want the rot to spread and require all new framing.

They were able to save the frame and replace the boards. You can see the hard line towards the bottom of the picture that shows what all they dug out.

Once they got all the insulation packed in, they went around to finish the trim work. Almost there!

Damn they look good!

On the inside, the white handles fold down and look like a seamless part of the window. It was kind of a shame that I had to just hang my curtains back up and cover them up. Already, they are saving me money. I turned the thermostat down to 70 degrees and my furnace isn’t working overtime any more. Looking forward to using them in the warmer weather! And the 2015 tax write off!

Tool Organization

My brain never stops trying to organize every aspect of my life. When CS asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for him to help me at something I knew he’d be able to make happen. In my laundry room, I have open wall space around a mounted shelving unit. Over the years, I’ve put random hooks to hold stuff, then moved them, leaving me with scarred walls that could provide some much needed storage. Then I had a tool bag that the tools ripped the pockets because of how I stored the screwdrivers and pliers. It was time to upgrade! I explained I wanted a pegboard environment so I could move things around as I increased my tool box and wanted things easily accessible instead of digging in a box. Also, was tired of my nails, screws, etc in tupperware. I wanted a drawer system. He planned, shopped, then went to work. Started with pieces of this….

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CS had to build frames for each side so that the hangers would actually go through the pegboard. This is why I never tried this myself! He cut an angle piece for the left and put up a full one on the right. As soon as he showed me them, I dreamed of making them fashionable instead of just utilitarian. A quick trip to Wally world and $6 worth of contact paper left us with this beautiful result! Left side:

Right side:

Next came the pegboard accessories. CS got a variety of hangers that allowed me to organize all my tools visually to put those I used most at my finder tips! It helped me clean up my shelving bins too!

I am over joyed with the final result! CS delivered exactly what I wanted. Kudos to his engineering skills! I am running out of things to organize at my place. Call me. I’ll go into withdrawal soon.

My Oasis

Previously.

I was recently inspired by a (sing it) “Save Big Money At Menards” ad. This picture appealed to me. 

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No idea why this spoke to me, a person with a black thumb. It just did. So I got online to study the architecture of it. Woah! Way too big for my space. I knew I had to make my own dimensions. I tried to use Excel to plot it out. Wasn’t working. Tried to use a whiteboard next. Wasn’t working. Screw it. I’d have to wing it. And wing it we did. I had the overall size planned, but no clue about the number of bricks I’d need. Instead of using 3 different sized bricks, CS spotted 8″ and 12″ bricks that would be easier to navigate. Perfect, one less variable. I started guesstimating. 4 here, but 7 there, then 3 up, and 2 over. Ok. I wanted 60 medium bricks and 90 large. Now let’s accessorize.

I happened upon this moon chair and bright pillow to enhance the area.

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Got my first outdoor couch and spruced up the fire pit.

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Over a few days, CS and I went to work building the new planter. The trick was incorporating a garden area using a pre-built patio box. If I’m going to try a green thumb, might as well go all out. 

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Once it was built and ready, I asked Mom to be my plant advisor. We went to Habig’s after the Mini and consulted with their staff. My requests were:

  1. No maintenance
  2. Really, no maintenance
  3. No dead heading
  4. Full sun exposure
  5. No bee/insect attractions.

Our result was lots of perennials, with some sprigs of annuals.

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Still have the garden to do. Not sure how I feel about my new project. This may go terribly bad or I may host a farmer’s market next year. At least I remembered to water it today! Break-in-the-patio-party coming soon!

More Snow Please

After the Midwest snowmageddon and Michigan trip, it was time for some Colorado snow! A blizzard hit Indy the day we were suppose to leave, which resulted in me having my first airport-run-to-the-gate experience. We checked our bags and sped walk to security. I quickly asked each person in the security line in front of us “Excuse me, we have a flight leaving in 20 minutes, can we move in front of you?” Everyone graciously stepped aside and made it to the gate with our boarding group up next. Then we sat at the gate for over an hour waiting on water and clean shitters. WTF. Our lateness and the plane delay resulted in our ski equipment not making it to Denver with us. Lord, how does this work?! A nice SW lady offered to have the luggage delivered to us when it arrived. Thank you lady!

In all my travels to CO, we’ve always gotten there without problems. Not this trip. The drive there took 5 hours instead of 2. We barely went 10 MPH once we hit the mountains. They were only letting so many cars through the tunnels at a time. Guys were hopping out of their cars, like this guy, to relieve themselves. I was jealous.

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So without equipment for our first day, we opted for play time at the cabin. I finally got to see the tepee!

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CS fit better once inside.

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Our view, not shabby at all.

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As we were out playing, I recognized how well the snow was packing as I fired snowballs at the girls. I decided it was time to build my first and biggest snowman of my life. Sydney was on board and started rolling a ball for the head. I took the bottom portion. I kept rolling. And rolling. And rolling. Syd kept asking “Is this head big enough yet?” Nope. Keep rolling. Mine got so heavy I couldn’t budge it anymore. “CHAD!” He helped us with the last 5 feet of rolling and our snowman found his resting place. I started work on the middle section. “CHAD!” needed him to lift it! And put the head on since this thing was way taller than any of us girls!

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Since our skis still hadn’t arrived, it was a perfect time to get out the ole’ snowboard and attempt to not injure my tailbone again! CS was ready to test his 1985 skateboarding skills. Proof that he got the hang of it!

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Snowboard maps are not as smooth as ski maps. Our trek around Ski Cooper.

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Prior to my trip, my sister-in-law sent me a picture of a birdhouse made out of corks. I was intrigued. YouTubed a video and sent her a supplies list minus the corks. I knew a restaurant that could help me out and we used every single one! So fun playing with hot glue and 8 to 10 year old girls! Our masterpiece…

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Spent the next day at our fav spot, Copper Mountain. The amazing Fuller skiing trio!

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CS and I had our skis back so we were all on track to stay together. Except, someone (Reagan) was a speed demon and Brandon had to keep up with her. (At her/my fastest, our speed was 37.4 MPH!) I kept taking Syd in and out of the trees while Chad sloped beside us. Then… where’s B and Reagan? Texts were exchanged and we had lunch separately as we were on different ends of the mountain! Then at the end, we found B & Reagan, but then lost CS. Didn’t matter in the end since we all got to ski our butts off!

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Since the wind kept us from going up Green Mountain on our last day as planned, the Fuller shopping habit had to be satisfied. The littlest booger joined us giving Mom and Dad a break from some madness!

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Always sad to leave, Always looking to come back!