Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A penny for your thoughts...

After seeing this image on Pinterest...

I am completely OBSESSED with doing this to the floors in our house.  I showed Eric and he asked, "I wonder how much it costs per square foot? Get it? Because it's money on the floor?  Get it??"  See the ridiculous Polish jokes I have to put up with?  It's no wonder my sense of humor is so warped.  Aaaaanyway...

I seriously LOVE this look, and I'm coveting it for my kitchen and bathrooms.  Here's some pictures of the project in progress (Gosh I wish this was my home!!):

Sorting and checking to make sure none of the collected pennies are of any serious value.

Laying out the pattern - look at that coppery sparkle! *sigh*

Grab a few friends, some pizza, beer, and $3,400 in pennies, and you'll have yourself a showstopper floor in no time!

You'll have to seal it with some resin, I'm sure.  But in the end, your floors will look like this:

Are you in love??  Because I am!  Now all I need to do is come up with $3,400 in pennies and lots of willing friends, and I'm good to go.  Happy Tuesday, friends!

PS - Going to try to be a daily blogger as usual this week, but my lovely sister is graduating from high school TOMORROW (holy cow, I'm OLD!), and we will have a lot of crazy partying tasteful celebrating to do, so forgive me if I'm not around as much as normal.  AND I'm hoping to show you may awesome party decorations later in the week; stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Still alive but i'm barely breathing

Holy busy!  Sorry I've been MIA, but I'm working on digging out of my grading hole...  I found this picture on Pinterest (my new ADDICTION), and it made me laugh out loud last night.  I think it may be one of the cutest/most hilarious things I've seen in a while... enjoy!

I'm laughing out loud again, it's just so darn cute.  Either this is the best thing that's happened to me today, or I really am going BATTY from all of this grading.  You be the judge.  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Happy Anniversary to my wonderful mom and dad!  They're 32 years strong and they've been such an inspiration to both Eric and I in our marriage.  Today is also the birthday of my lovely mother in law, Diane!  What a great day May 19 is - go celebrate!  Happy Thursday, friends.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring/Summer duds

Another short post since I'm crazy-busy (still).  This is what I wish I was wearing today...

Love that navy blue with the bright pops of color in the Indian-themed bracelet.   And that bright Zara bag? Yes, please!  Fun fun fun...  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My two guys

Another AMAZINGLY busy morning - but I thought I'd share something with you...  A few months ago we were all hanging around at my mom's house, playing dominoes (best game EVER!) and I snapped this shot of my husband and our sweet little Ted...

Aren't they goofy?  I love that they look so concentrated on our game. Ted really is like our kid... so sweet - my two guys! Happy Tuesday, all!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheater Before and Afters

So, I know I promised before and after pics of my table/lamps/any of my projects that I'm supposed to be finishing (sorry, Eric!).... but that would require that I actually worked on them this weekend.  Instead we spend Friday night with my grandparents celebrating Mother's Day, Saturday morning/afternoon with Eric's parents (Happy early Birthday, Diane!), Saturday night attending my school's production of Hamlet (AMAZING job, Amanda!), and Sunday morning/afternoon was split between church and a baby shower (great to see you Rachel!).  Whew.

By the time Sunday afternoon (prime project time!) rolled around, I desperately needed to get some work done in preparation for the last week of regular classes at school.  Here was my list of things that needed doing:

1. Complete Algebra Portfolio
2.  Complete Pre-Algebra Portfolio
(both of these ^^ have GIANT lists within themselves)
3.  Figure out what to do about our anniversary trip, as the resort we were headed to BURNED DOWN last week, and they're not offering full refunds?!?!? (wtf?!)
4.  Laundry (it NEVER ends)
5.  Write 2 forms of a test for my Algebra students (to be taken the following day)
6.  Write 2 forms of my Algebra final exam
7.  Write 6 forms of my Pre-Algebra final exam (two for each section I teach)
8.  Sleep at some point
9.  Fill in students names and current grades on their evaluation forms
10.  Finish details on my sister's grad gift (she's graduating from high school in 2 weeks. What?!?!)
11.  Finish planning the details of my mom's birthday trip to Disneyland
12.  Sell a desk and a chair on Craigslist
13.  Clean house
14.  Maintain sanity (or some semblance of it - at least enough to fake almost everyone)
15. Complete Semester evaluations for each of my students
16.  Train for summit of Long's Peak (in CO) hike
17.  Lose 5 lbs 

Did I mention that all but #16 and #17 have to be completed by June 1?  While I work 50 hrs a week?  Holy crap.  Fortunately, I think working on #16 will cause #17 to happen, so that's a nice bonus.  At any rate, I decided I needed to show you some sort of a before and after pic, since I promised one. 

Because I waited until the last possible moment have so much crap going on, I headed out to Target to buy a baby shower gift a mere 2 hours before needing to leave for the event.  I had my trusty friend, Meaghan with me to help me navigate the baby section (it frightens me).  I decided to grab a whole bunch of the smaller items in twos (Rachel is having TWIN BOYS!), and make little baskets out of them.  Several baby-chewy-thingies, washcloths, accessories, and two baskets later.... I came home with this....

And with a little time, raffia, scrapbook stuff, and TLC I turned it into this...

Cute, no?  But you can't really go wrong with adorable (and cheap!) organizing bins, baby stuff, and raffia.  Plus everything is cuter in twos...  Rachel, thanks for having twins and making it easy on me! =)  I hope today finds you well - hopefully I'll continue to be as productive this afternoon as I've been this morning (or more!). Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger bummer & Friday relaxing

I had a fantubulous post all prepped, but I lost it in the blogger outage yesterday =(   So for now, I'll just share a "Happy Friday" pic while I do boatloads of work to prepare for the end of the school year.  Wow, that came quickly!

Shall we sit together for a bit by Ellen Pompeo's pool?  I think yes.  Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pillow talk

After school on Monday, a teacher friend and I went to explore the Scottsdale Quarter, a swanky newish shopping center where they won't even let us into half of the stores.  We were disappointed by the lack of a selection at H&M, and Pottery Barn was LOVELY and OVERPRICED as always.  *Sigh*  However, West Elm has a location just down the way from Pottery Barn, and I wanted to do a bit of exploring.  I was overcome with decorating lust from the word "go."  Here are a few of the things I cannot live without and must have immediately admired:

I'd trim this beauty with nail-head and slop a gorgeous Ikat throw over the side, if it were mine...  Love.

Oh hey pretty rug, how have you been?

Mmmmmmm, gourd shaped table lamps with linen shades... Yummy!

But the most important thing about this trip to West Elm was the extremely nice saleslady who informed me that all of their pillows were 20% off.  WHAT?!  While I certainly can't justify spending $40 on a pillow (I KNOW this is a low price for most of you, but my budget is $0, so anything I spend comes out of our food budget.  Good thing I'm moderately talented in the kitchen ;)), their pillow inserts were also 20% off.  I got two large throw pillow inserts and one medium sized lumbar pillow insert for under $30!  Cue the happy dance (sales lady was freaked out, but whatev).

Now I just have to head on over to Tempe Sales (an industrial fabric house that sells to upholsterers and large clothing manufacturers) and pick up some of their 1-2 yard remnants!  This will have to wait til next grocery cycle, but I'm thinkin' I can have 3 GORGEOUS pillows with SEVERAL covers for under $50.  Boom.  Thanks West Elm!

I'm think I need to add in a few pops of bright green in my living room (color scheme is navy blue, tan, and creams/whites).  What do you think about a fabric similar to one of these?? 

Love me some Greek key...

This has some hints of blue in it as well...

Or perhaps something that incorporates both colors equally?

And even though I can't quite afford the pillow fabric yet, I'm soooo excited to get rolling with all of my projects this weekend from my Goodwill adventures last Sunday.  I promise some after pics on Monday - get excited!  Happy Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eye Candy

Have you seen the latest Lonny?  If you haven't, take a few minutes and peruse all 209 gorgeous pages! Here's a taste of what you'll find...

From gorgeous rooms and outdoor spaces, to accessories and shoes - it's delightful.  Go look now, and give those tired eyes a much-needed vacation from your work week.  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Table "before," and haricut "after"

Goodmorning!  I took some pics of my table last night that I'm planning to refinish.  Here she is!

The honey-brown color of the wood is quite pretty, but it has some pretty deep scratches and nicks that wouldn't work well with a different varnish.  Also, see how it's 1/3 on my rug?  Yeah, that's beacuse one leg is about 1/2 and inch shorter than the other two!  Enter some shiv-wood and paint.  It's going to be ebony colored... and GORGEOUS! 

In other news, here's a pic of my new haircut (it's a self pic of me in my office at work that I took 5 minutes ago.  Don't judge!)

Also it's blurry.  And I'm breaking out.  I guess I'll chalk this one up to "keepin it real" in blogland.  I'm really enjoying the length and it's very versatile.  Here's a pic of it completely down (if you can see it past the GIANT puppy on my lap) at our mother's day party...

And yes, that's my adorable grandmother.  And a red solo cup.  Don't you wish you were at OUR mother's day celebration? ;)  I hope today finds you well, and stay tuned for the transformation of the pedestal table!  Happy Tuesday, friends.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Haircut and weekend details (plus Pinterest!)

I chopped off all my hair!  It feels a little strange, I must say, but it was for a good cause.  I needed a haircut desperately, and I'd wanted to donate my hair for sometime, but didn't think it was long enough.  When I went in for my trim, I had the gal measure it, and she told me that as long as I was ok with a bob a little shorter than my shoulders, I could do it - so I went for it!!  I'll post pictures tomorrow (I don't have any right now that aren't me in front of my macbook cam - ghetto!), so you'll have to wait to see the before and afters.  Speaking of before and afters.....

On Friday night, I dragged took Eric to Goodwill, and BOY did we find some winners!  I snagged a vanity bench ($10) that has some amazing structure (but needs some love, of course), and a pair of ceramic lamps ($6 each) that need a lil' spray paint and some new shades (here we come, week of projects!!), and they'll be just adorable.  As if that weren't enough to keep my busy, on Saturday morning, the people across the street were having a yard sale, and I snagged an ADORABLE little pedestal table ($8).  A little bit of black paint and it'll be all set.

I definitely have my work cut out for me this week/weekend, that's for sure!  Here are my plans for each of the projects.....

~ Bases spray painted blue

(my lamps are a different shape and don't have the brass base, but you get the idea with the color, at least)

~ Add new shades made from basic drum shades and sisal rope from the hardware store

I think they'll look very "beachy" when I'm through!

Pedestal table:
~ Give it a thorough sanding...

~Paint the yucky oak finish BLACK...
This is EXACTLY what mine looks like, just oak colored and poorly stained.  I'm so excited to see it when it's done!!

Vanity Bench:
This about what it looks like now, except the seat is a different pattern of gold

I think the lines are amazing, but the gold has got to go!  SO, I'll....

~Spray paint it silver/ white(?) haven't decided completely yet...

~Sew it a little nautical-striped cushion

I can't wait to show you the real before and after photos!  I'm hoping to complete the lamps by Thursday evening (wishful thinking??), but we'll see.  And in other news, I was so pleased yesterday when I hosted our family's mother's day gathering, to hear so many of my relatives tell me how lovely and homey our house is.  I'm so enjoying decorating it on the cheap (we're still under $1200 for all of our improvements/projects/furniture so far!), and I'm loving that others feel instantly comfortable the moment they walk in our doors: mission (although still in progress) accomplished.  I hope you all had wonderful weekends celebrating your mothers!  Happy Monday, all!

PS - I was invited to Pinterest (Warning!  It's COMPLETELY addicting!), so feel free to follow me there!  Go here to see my page.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I am so BLESSED to have such an amazing mom.  She's my super-hero, and she comtinually proves to me how strong she is and how strong I can be.  Mom, you are an amazing role model, and I LOVE you!  I'm also blessed with my grandmother, who is so kind and generous, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.  I love her so much!

(mom, me and grandma at my wedding)

I am also TOTALLY blessed to have such an amazing mother-in-law!  Diane is so sweet, and loves us so much, I can't believe I got lucky enough to marry the best guy in the world and to marry into the best family of in-laws a girl could ask for all in one day!  Awesome.

(Diane and me at Eric's graduation)

To all the mommies out there - you are loved and appreciated!! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wine Weekend

We made it! It's Friday!  For those of you with weekend plans, here's a little inspiration via Design Sponge...

Take a little bike ride in the nice spring weather this weekend.  And while you're at it, bring some wine in your wine bike-holder. =)  Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 Met Gala: Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty

I know you're all been on tenterhooks waiting for my fashion assessment of the Met Gala, celebrating Alexander McQueen... and here it is!!  It's the ticket that everyone LIVES to receive, and I think I might have preferred to attend this over the Royal Wedding.  And that's  SAYING SOMETHING coming from me.  So not wasting any time, let's start it off with the trend of the night: Nudes/skin tones...

 My wannabe BFF, Gwyneth Paltrow was rockin' this Stella McCartney number and she looked SMOKIN.  Simple lines always look hot with an up-to-there slit.  *sigh*  And can I just say: Tracy Anderson gets RESULTS - look at her post-two-kids bod!  However, she does have some amazing genes working for her.  Blythe Danner still looks gorgeous, and she's in her late 60s.  Lucky. 

Love me some curve-a-liscious Salma Hayek.  She looked stunning in this Alexander McQueen dress (fitting since the event featured his designs and significant contributions to the fashion world), that fitted her like Goldilocks: juuuuust right!

Also wearing Alexander McQueen, my gal, SJP!  Although this dress makes her look a bit short, she's skinny enough to pull it off.  I love the sparkles, too.  If you're going to sparkle, then the Met gala is a great place to do it!

Ok, So T. Swift isn't my fave.  I don't hate her, but the UBER-whiteness of her skin is a little off-putting to me.  I'm NOT advocating orangeness (see any recent photo of Valentino for an example of this.), but a little sun never hurt anyone, Taylor.  However, this dress is Drop.Dead.Gorgeous.  The curvy sculpted lines are so intriguing and, let's be honest, I'd wear it all day long.

Trend Numero 2: Black lacy detailing (<- nice specific name, right?)

Enter Tory Burch, my personal goddess.  I love almost everything she designs and wears - why hello GORGEOUS earrings, be MINE!  She specially designed Kanye's look (who I DO NOT adore), and it makes him look like $1,000,000.  But, back to the point... how much do I love this black details on this dress.  A LOT.  <3 Tory Burch <3

Christina Ricci is sporting her usual half-creepy, half-fabulous style.  She and Helena Bonham Carter are in a class all their own  (much like Bjork.  Weird.) I think she might be the only one who can rock this spider-webby Zac posen gown.

Trend Numero 3: Looking Absolutely Ridiculous.

Case in point.  C'mon, Andre Leon Talley - if all it took to get in to the event was a Snuggie, I'd have been there.  What kind of a look was he going for?  It made him look bigger than he was, and saying it was poorly fitted is the understatement of the YEAR.  Maybe he was headed to his graduation?  Ugh.

 Blog readers, meet the Odd Couple, Aimee Mullins and Oliver Theyskens.  Nothing like a gingham dress with a long train.  Don't get me wrong, I get that this is a costume ball, and that bold patterns are completely in, but this train looks lank and lifeless.  If you want to see how a train is done well (with structure and volume), see Gisele Bundchen (coming later in the post).  And Oliver, please shower next time.

Speaking of the Odd couple... Ashley looks good (not amazing, the sleeves are dramatic but unrelated to her gown), but Mary Kate...  The Met gala is NOT the appropriate forum to channel the fashion spirit of Yoko Ono.  Were is your cute figure in that sack?  Did you not have time to hit up the salon to have your roots touched up?  Have you lost all sense of what is appropriate for such an event?  So many questions, so little time.

Apparently Emily Browning only had time to hit the Dress Barn.  In 1997.  I KNOW it's a Marc Jacobs dress, but... I'm gonna go there.  I hate it.  I don't think it's flattering, and the cut is dated, and not in the good "vintagy" kind of way.  Yuck.  Mooooving on...

Holy applique overkill.  Naomi Campbell is so GORGEOUS, but this dress is too much.  Look at Gisele, girl.  THAT is what a supermodel is supposed to wear!

Stella, I LOVE YOU.  But why is this dress puckering so much??  The neckline isn't very flattering, and the sides are pulling oddly.  Also, I'm not rail thin, so I can't get behind anything that flares weirdly at the hips.  it just generally makes people look wide.  Sorry, Ms. McCartney, this look is a no-go for me.

 Ok, Twilight fans, I apologize right now, but I think Kristen Stewart is Ms. Frumpy McFrump pants.  She walks around like she's some misunderstood creature or like someone who has no confidence.  She's gorgeous and has an AMAZING body. Kristen, wake up and show off whatcha mama gave ya!  This dress looks great from the back but from the front...

Welcome to Mumu town, population Kristen Stewart and Andre Leon Talley.  Sorry, I just can't "back" this gown...  haha, get it? ;)

 Dress? Gorgeous.  Renee Zellweger's intense need to eat a cheeseburger? Hideous.  While the Carolina Herrera dress is amazing, I can't get over her super-skinny back and protruding bones.  Please eat something, Renee!

Trend Numero 4: Hottie Men  (It goes without saying that I am married to the hottest man on the planet.  But, the men below are doing well trying to approach Eric's status...)

Oh Colin Firth, you are awesome.  I just adore you.  He was such a great host for the evening (I hear - I wasn't there, obvi), and a classy guy in general.  Love.  Love, love love.  And your bow tie is adorable.  Win.

 My hometown guy!  Amar'e Stoudemire is adorable.  And gorgeous.  Love him.  But wait a darn second... HOW did he get invited???  He's an amazing athlete, but seriously, the MET GALA?!  So jealous.

My name is April, and I am an Edward Norton addict.  I admit it.  I'm secretly totally in love with him.  I LOVE all of his characters, and how he is so selective about his roles.  Not to mention he's totally gorgeous.  How much do I wish I was Madonna in this picture?  A lot.  Lot, lot, lot. *sigh*

Hamish Bowles is so chic!  In true Alexander McQueen fashion, he wore a stunning suit of tartan.  And I'm completely in love with the embroidery.  Mr. Bowles, will you design my wardrobe for me?  Kthanksbye.

Michael Kors. Love him, love his clothing, love Diana Argon as well.  How AMAZING does she look in this red dress and sleek pony?  This is how glam is done.  Take note, co-star Lea Michele!

Trend Numero 5: Feathers!

Jenna Lyons (the inspiration behind everything lovely at J.Crew) is wearing one of the less formal tops of the evening - a J.Crew sweater, but she dressed it up nicely with the feathered skirt from the bridal line for J.Crew (How many times can I plug J.Crew in one paragraph??).  But is it just me, or could she have done something with her hair??  See Diana Argon and her lovely sleek pony.  But, I am loving me some of that feathered skirt.

Mmmmmm, Margerita Missoini wearing a dress of her own creation.  I'll take this in my size please.  While it looks kind of heavy, I love the volume at the bottom, and the metallic belt adds a bit of glam to a softer look.  Win!

Liv Tyler is about the most gorgeous thing on two legs, and as always, she makes this Givenchy Couture gown look GOOD.  The soft progression from cream to yellow proves that almost any girl can wear yellow and rock it, if it's done right. 

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for... Best Dressed list of the evening...

  Carolina Herera is such a fashion ICON.  Her desses were worn by many to the event, yet she sows up in a classy and understated gingham dress.  The coverage and structure look AMAZEBALLS on her, and she is absolutely radiant.  I hope to look just like this when I'm her age. *crosses fingers!*

As easy as it might be to look HOTT in anything when you're half the bombshell that Diane Kruger is, it takes an extraordinary amount of class to carry yourself like she does.  This Jason Wu dress is classy, and the high slit gives just enough sex appeal without looking vampy.  I LOVE this dress and how gorgeous she looks in it.  Diane Kruger, you're a class act and I want to be you.  Or maybe just your BFF.  You, me and Gwynnie - lunch date.  Whaddya say?

  While I MUCH prefer the red-head Emma Stone to the new blonde version (stay with your roots, ladies!), this Lanvin gown complements her youth a beauty perfectly.  Her hair is styled so sweetly and her coy little smile just make you want to photograph her.  I might have gotten at least a little tan before hand if it were me, but she matches the white on her dress, I guess.  Love her.  Plus she's from Scottsdale, so I have to love my Phoenix (metro area) peeps!

 Evan Rachel wood looked S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G in this eggplant colored number from Gucci.  Love that deep V-neck, the sheerness, and her whole look is so elegant.  I'll take one (in about 5 sizes larger), please! 

So just beause you're a super model doesn't mean you make good fashion choices (see Naomi Campbell above).  However, Gisele is a BOMBSHELL.  Holy cannoli, even I want to be her date; she looks gorgeous!  This is how you work a red dress, take note all others!  If only her hottie boyfriend would  cut his hair - then they'd be unstoppable. 

What a lovely lady.  This dress is perfect for her - it hugs her in all the right places and makes her newly-fit bod look like a million bucks.  I'll forgive for now that it's a Vera Wang gown (I'm still upset with her for using her anorexically thin models and looking like she needs a piece of pizza herself... or maybe 50 pieces of pizza...), and just say that he looks fantastic.  Dress, hair, understated jewelry - it all works!

 Lee Lee Sobieski has sort-of  disappeared from the big screen lately, but this look puts her on the map as a stylista!  She looks perfectly made up for the evening.  The Vionnet gown accentuates her figure and height, and that belt looks amazing.  This is how to do draping without looking Grecian, people! 

Michelle Williams is about the cutest girl at the party.  I always love her hippy-chic fashion choices, and tonight was no different.  She chose a Mui Mui gown that expresses her playfulness, but at the same time accentuates her figure and complements her hair very well.  She looks young, playful and yet sophisticated.  Bravo!

Just imagine all of them filtering through the met, chatting with one another, eating gourmet food, and enjoying performance by Florence and the Machine.  *Sigh*  I want to go!

WHEW!  That was a project.  So, what do you think?  Any looks you love/hate?  I hope you enjoyed my run down... Maybe next year I'll get an invite and I can give you all the inside scoop.  A girl can dream, right?  Happy Thursday, friends!