Friday, April 12, 2013

Pinterest Success

I must admit, I am a bit of a Pinterest addict. I visit many times a week (ssssshhhh, don't tell, but it might actually be daily). It is a sumptuous distraction, of course, but it has also completely replaced bookmarking for me. No more out of control lists of bookmarked sites and articles, just the visually pleasant, uncluttered, way better than real life pin board.

I've seen a couple of interesting Pinterest related discussions. Before Christmas the Pinterest folks were challenging users to actually make something they'd pinned. I did: a pretty winter hanging basket,

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

reusing an existing plant pot, boughs cut from evergreens in our yard and outdoor lights, ribbons and Christmas decorations that I had on hand.

Now the other Pinterest discussion I've seen has been around #failures. Folks that try the craft or recipe they've found, but just don't quite get the same result.

While my basket wasn't exactly "picture product" as we used to say way back when I worked at McDonalds, it was still pretty and hung proudly on our porch all season.

Okay, so really not picture product, but it still worked for me!

I use Pinterest to collect ideas for redecorating and renovating, for dreaming of garden projects and travel destinations, for wish lists of photography equipment and for font and color schemes for future logo redesigns. But recently, I've been having great success with recipes collected via Pinterest. If you know me, you know I'm not a kitchen super star. I tend to make the traditional, no fail things that I grew up with: roast beef, bbq steak, spaghetti sauce. I do well with those things. Our chief chef has always been Daryl and he is both more comfortable and more adventurous in the cooking department. He makes the most phenomenal breads,

and his style of dish is almost always saucy and spicy.

With him now working more conventional hours (out of the house 8 - 5:30), I've accepted the challenge of prepping most of our evening meals. And with that comes the challenge of meeting the lofty standard set by Mr. Chef. Pinterest to the rescue!

Some of my recent successes have been with chicken

and pork tenderloin entrees.

But the biggest out of the park hit so far have been the homemade "nutter butter" cookies.

and Mine:

Pinterest: it isn't just for collecting dreams!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The teal is gone, long lived the teal

This post is brought to you by hours of research on color palletes on Pinterest, and an impulse decision to buy a new shower curtain. But first, the background.

When we bought this house, we intended to rip it down, or at least gut it and completely renovate it. The existing paint colors were never considered when making our decision to buy this property. So the fact that the color scheme, inside and out, house and garage, living space, kitchen, hallways, bedrooms and baths, was teal green, pink and white, really did not matter. When we had to come up with plan B, and live in the house without a complete reno the teal was among the first things to go - that and the pink plush carpet in the bedrooms.

With one exception. The main floor shared bathroom kept it's teal green paint color as it waited for it's total make over. Well, we've been here almost 9 years, but that make over could come at any minute (if we bought lottery tickets), right?

The shower curtain was in need of replacement and I was looking for something that wasn't brown or beige. I was at the local WalMart, and the selection was pretty slim, but I settled on a geometric pattern in greys and mauves, and also bought dark purple bath mats.

When we were shopping for our first home, our realtor Sally Munro described the  '80s decorating phenomenon of light purple bathrooms in the homes of middle aged women as 'menopause mauve'. It's just one of those descriptors that sticks with you. When I was a kid, purple was my favorite color. I had a purple bedroom once upon a time. We've always used color liberally in our homes, but we have never used purple. Til now.

On Saturday morning, the main bath looked like this:

There had been a wall paper border separating the teal and white, but I removed that long ago. The vanity looks like it's been riden hard and put away wet, as do the light fixture and taps.

The previous painters didn't bother with painters tape and so there was teal on the edges of the shower tiles, in the grout between the counter top and wall. They painted the door pull on the closet bifold door with this teal. It was just everywhere!

I've been spending quite a lot of time looking at color palettes because the time has come to redecorate most of the main floor. I love the bright gold that we have on the walls, but I've been trying to find a great blue palette. What I've found no end of are teals, light teal, dark teal, blue green, what ever you want to call it, it's too close to the pervasive shade that once ruled this house.  I've also seen a lot of gray. Gray just wouldn't be a first choice for me, but I thought I should find out if I could grow to love it.

So almost as a joke, I put 'repaint bathroom' on a list of possible suggestions for what to do this weekend. And now, the bath looks like this:

To my delight, the teal covered really easily, and we only needed one coat. The wall color is "Pewter" and we splurged on a metallic paint  for the cabinet and mirror. It's a little too close in tone to the pewter or else it picks up/reflects it too well, as it is almost tone on tone. I kind of wish I'd picked the much darker version. It's only sold in gallons too, so we have a crap load left over.

We bought a package of 'tile' stickers; basically mactac, and installed that as a make believe backsplash:

And we replaced the wooden drawer pulls with silver.

Now, this little face lift doesn't solve the fact that the cabinet is barely holding itself together. It hasn't replaced lights or taps, both of which desperately need to be done. It doesn't solve the improperly grouted floor tiles or get rid of the ugly peach colored ones of the tub surround. It doesn't give us a proper tub, with a drain plug, so that it can be used as a tub.

But it gets rid of that gawd awful teal. The last teal standing. Gone. Perhaps now I'll be able to look at a blue green palette and not want to vom. Improvement. Victory. Even if I've replaced teal with menopause mauve.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

If challenge is good for me, menopause mauve is better

Today has been one of those days. So much so that I grumbled on Facebook:

"The problem with young adults living at home is that you are no longer parenting them, at least not in their minds. Watching their decision making is tough. Putting up with their stupidity ditto. Quite possibly more frustrating than parenting the terrible twos - at least then, you could use time outs."

Our gaggle of offspring are 22, 20 and 18. The older two are firmly entrenched in post secondary studies, one living at home and the other on a campus 3000 km away. The youngster is working full time, with post secondary plans down the road. All three have a toe dipped into the adult world, the other foot firmly in the safety net of parental care.

Today's challenge actually started more than 24 hours ago, and involves the youngest little darling. He's type 1 diabetic but he's an adult now, and so I'm not supposed to be worrying about him or how he manages his diabetes. He's got it all under control, really. (If I could I'd insert a picture of my childhood friend making her best 'you're kidding me' face, where she rolls both eyes in toward her nose like no one else can).

Anyway, late Tuesday night child 3 informs me that he is 'almost' out of one type of insulin, thinks he has enough to handle the night and morning dose. Nothing like giving me some time to take care of this issue, son. Well, not only did he tell me at the 11th hour, I promptly forgot. #momfail #momguilt

Boy leaves for work about 7:30 a.m. as usual, and ends up working late. Comes home disgruntled about all of the overtime he is making (really!), showers and goes out with the girlfriend. Despite the cold, hubby and I've been out for dinner, spitting distance from the WalMart pharmacy, but the needed insulin has completely slipped my mind.

11:30 p.m., I bolt out of a nice deep sleep at the sound of rumbling in the kitchen, realizing that I failed to buy insulin. I utter a string of expletives and apologize profusely to the boy (but wait, is this really all on me?), who's reaction is to say

"Why are your eyes so red and bloodshot. Are you baked?" followed by

"Don't worry mom. I'll figure it out." "You're sure being a worrier, mom"

And at that point, despite his reassurance that he has it all under control, I'm wide awake with no hope of falling asleep anytime soon. I doze through some conversation between the lad and his father at the crack of dawn but I'm not sure of the details.

9:30 a.m. the boy sends me a text message:

"Can you get Insulin ASAP. I might need to come get it."

As I'm leaving, I pass him arriving home, and we have a brief and unpleasant conversation. He's upset with his job: too much work, too much overtime. He's thinking he'll quit. I'm thinking 'this is blood sugar talking', because that's an irrational decision if ever there was one. There is no reasoning to be had. He's angry, he's not going to wait for the proper insulin, he's going to have more of the fast response stuff and get back to work. I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. Or banging my head against one.

Such a conundrum: quitting because I'm working too much. Why, just this past fall he left a pretty sweet gig with a rugby academy because he wasn't able to find enough work in Vancouver. Came back home to the booming Edmonton economy, to a job he has repeatedly says he likes (loves perhaps?), and now thinks it reasonable to quit over too many hours.

"Hey, kid, you do know that all those hours means mucho dinero in your banko, right?" (and more importantly, keeps you out of the bank of mom).

The challenge here is that I know that, no matter my reasonable and knowledgable thoughts on this topic, he'll do what he thinks is best. I'll "let" him make his bed and lie in it (as my mother said to me ad nauseum in my youth), but I'll have just as many feelings of guilt over it as I do over forgetting to buy his insulin. Even though 'he's an adult, and managing just fine'.

I'm so logical that I dealt with my frustration by buying a new shower curtain and bath mat, in menopause mauve just because I can. Mauve is a spring like, happy color, and it will inject a bit of whimsy into my day.

Came home to find he'd left muddy boot prints all over the bathroom floor.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2013, and all of the potential for good things that you are dangling in front of us. I'm really looking forward to what the world has in store for us, so much so that I'm willing to make public two resolutions.

I'm jumping on the 'get fit and get slimmer' bandwagon. Not sure which one I'll hitch my horse to but I've finally gotten to the point where I dislike my size enough to try to change it. Been thinking about this the whole holiday season but reached that point of utter revulsion that inspires change yesterday. This started with the need to buy new undergarments to be able to carry off the party dress I wanted to wear for the wonderful New Years party we were invited to. Steeled my courage and went out shopping, but first I'd asked Daryl to help me moisturize my Alberta winter skin by putting lotion on my back. Body Shop body butter in excess - feels great, but creates a challenging environment for pulling on clothes. Getting my jeans on in order to go shopping was humorous - shades of the Friends episode where Ross can't get the leather pants up.

Fast forward to the dressing room at the Bay. Ultra hold undergarments. Skin still oily with body butter. Flashback to Ross in the bathroom with the baby powder and the failed attempts to get his pants back on. Sigh.

My second resolution is to be much more social. We made some great new friends in 2013, and of course have some really great old friends as well. Thanks to Travis and Angie, Richard and Sheri, Bruce and Nancy, we've been going out or getting together to cook and eat (and drink). We've hosted at our hovel and the world didn't end even though our bathrooms are in desperate need of renovation. It's been so much fun, and I'm inspired to do much much more this year.

I hope that all of my friends, new and old, have a healthy, joyful and prosperous 2013 and that we find ways to spend more time together this year.