Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Feel Good Kind of Quote

One of my girl friends has this quote on her fridge. It's one of those feel good types of quotes that we all need to be reminded of regularly...

~Below: Actual fridge pic :)


-Asha Tyson

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I've always thought of myself as crafty, but only to a certain degree. If you give me a good idea with instructions, I can definitely complete the task & make it look good. But I am not one of those people who can come up with a brilliant idea & just "make it work". I like instructions or a little guidance from someone who knows what they're doing. I got just that last weekend when my mother-in-law, Annette, came to Va Bch to visit. Now jump back about two weeks: my mom was going through her attic looking for stuff for me to sell at the Wareing's Gym Garage Sale/Swap Meet when she came across an antique piece of furniture that she thought I might like. She took a picture of it (in low light in the attic & with a sad little camera phone) and sent it to me. It was in good shape, but too old looking for my taste. So, that's wehn I decided to bring it back to life with a little paint and of course, my mother-in-law's help.

BEFORE (towel rack):Pic is kind of dark, but you can still see the color of the natural wood...

AFTER (towel rack):

BEFORE (toy box):

AFTER (toy box used as storage chest in bdrm):

In this case I actually lowered the value of an antique piece of furniture (the towel rack) by painting it, but to me it'll always be worth more in my guest bedroom than sitting in a dark attic.

If you have an old piece of furniture you want to bring back to life with a coat of paint, keeping reading... FYI: If you don't curently own a piece of furniture you want to paint, you can always shop at yardsales & thrift stores.

1) Furniture item you wish to paint
2) Paint brush & paint roller
3) Liquid sander (IF your furniture item has a protective finish. I used a 1 quart can of Liquid Deglosser by Crown)
4) Primer (I used a 1 quart can of Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer for all surfaces)
5) Paint color of your choice (I used a 1 quart can of the color "Dive In" in hi-gloss finish by Valspar. That was more than enough for both pieces of furniture, FYI.)
6) Paint tray
7) Screwdriver (to remove knobs/handles, etc)
8) Old rags (for spill cleanup)
9) Tarp or old sheet to protect surface you're painting on (driveway, garage floor).

Total Price (minus free items #1 & #7-9): $49.


1) Prepare your stuff & set up shop.
a. Find a good location for your project- preferably outdoors due to fumes from the liquid sander, primer, & paint. However, you don't want it too be too hot/humid (paint will dry too quickly while you're still painting), so early morning works well. Lay an old sheet or tarp over the surface you're painting on.
b. Gather a couple old rags for spills &/or correcting mistakes. Gather paint brush, roller, paint tray, primer, & liquid sander (if using sander).

2) Sanding &/or Priming.
(ABOVE: toy box lid with one coat of primer. It took 2 more coats over the original designs...)

a. Preparation- remove any items that are attached to your piece of furniture with a screwdriver (like the lid to a toy chest, drawers & doors, knobs & handles, etc). You'll (obviously) need to paint attached items like lids, drawers, & doors separately/while they're detached.
b. Determine what you want to sand/prime/paint. For example, I didn't paint the backside of my towel rack stand b/c it will always be up against a wall. The backside wood appeared to be "raw" where it had never been painted in the past, so I knew I wouldn't want to paint it now.
c. Apply liquid sander to the surface area you're planning on priming & painting. But 1st, determine if you need to sand your piece of furniture. My toy box had an old layer of paint & appeared matte. It was obvious that it didn't have a shiny protective layer on top; So, it did not need to be sanded. My towel rack/stand, on the other hand, appeared shiny & felt very smooth to the touch. It DID have a protective surface (to protect from condensation marks, etc). So, that piece did need to be sanded. Sanding will "rough up" the surface so that the primer & paint will stick. I prefer liquid sander. It's super easy- you just rub it on with an old rag/cloth. Some of the finish will rub off onto your cloth, but my mother-in-law said to imagine that you're rubbing the liquid sander on, not trying to rub all the finish off. Read the instructions on the can of liquid sander, but you'll need to let it dry for at least 30 min before you prime.
d. Primer. Priming prepares the wood for paint. It looks like white paint. You'll paint the primer on the same way you'd paint on color. If you use good primer you'll most likely only need one coat. If the wood you're painting has old paint designs on it that aren't covered up from one layer of primer you'll need a 2nd coat. The primer container will have instructions, but you'll need to let each coat dry for at least 30 min.

3) Finally- Paint!
a. Paint the same area you primed.
b. Use the roller on the larger flat surfaces for a more even finish. Use a paint brush for the detail work- flourishes ingrained in the wood, corners, small edges, etc.
c. Try to avoid repeatedly going over the same area multiple times. Painting one thin coat, letting it dry, then painting another thin coat is better than painting just one thick coat.
d. Drips= no good. Using a thin layer of paint will help you to avoid drips, but they do still occasionally happen. If the roller makes the paint really thick & drippy in one area, use the paint brush to spread out the paint & get rid of the drip. (FYI: When using latex paint it's really easy to wipe off wet paint that you accidentally dripped onto the garage floor; but you have to do it quickly!)
e. Remember to let each coat of paint completely dry before you apply the next coat. The 1st coat is always the most time consuming b/c you're painting all the tiny details. The 2nd coat is much easier/quicker because it's just a "touch up"- just like a 2nd coat of nailpolish.

4) Finishing Touches
(I used the original knobs b/c I think they're perfect for my finished product, but you can always buy new knobs for a different look.)

a. Put doors, drawers, knobs, etc back on after your final coat of paint has dried completely.
b. You may notice that you missed a couple spots (like inside a door where the door closes further in than you expected, for example). It's easy to touch up missed spots afterwards using a small paintbrush. Usually you don't even need to remove drawers, doors, etc to do so.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010


My 1st Phish concert: Portsmouth, VA on 6.15.10. I had never even heard a Phish song before, so I was super excited, not knowing what to expect. The tailgating... the people... the dancing... the beat... AMAZING.


Monday, June 14, 2010


1) Online Clothing Company: PLUM PRETTY SUGAR

-Bohemian-inspired tunics, dresses, tanks, robes, lounge wear, etc. Super soft cotton & silk- most were purchased from trips to India.
-I love how they advertise sets that are perfect for wedding parties & wedding events- great gift ideas!! (MOB set, bridesmaid set, honeymoon set, getting ready set, etc.)
-Take a peek at Plum Pretty Sugar’s feedback on their Etsy site- 100% positive!

* BELOW PICS: Plum Pretty Sugar tank (pattern/color: "darling jardin bleu")

This tank is very versatile. The fabric is beautiful, but very sheer. It can be worn as a pajama top (they sell matching lounge pants) or as a regular tank with jeans/shorts/capris.

2) Website:

-An online community where you can buy (or sell) everything from vintage jewelry to “Geekery” (like cassette vinyl decals).
-You can browse items via Category (like weddings, holidays, furniture, pets), Color, Editors’ Picks, Featured Sellers, Locally (just type in the name of your city to shop locally), or post a request for an item you’d like someone to hand make for you under “Alchemy”, etc.

3) Funny Website:

-You can probably guess the premise of this website. Choose either “Got a Notice?” or “Give a Notice.” & let the fun begin! (Well unless of course you actually did get a notice…) You can print parking notices to inform someone of their a*hole status & how to improve upon their a*hole parking job. Just slap the notice right on the car’s windshield! Common notices include: a little too close, too close to my driveway, over the painted lines, diagonal parking (cool car or not so cool car). HA!

4) Local Va Bch coffee shop (& more): PERKED UP!

-Homemade muffins. Home of the best muffin I’ve ever had. Ever. Freshly baked muffins vary in flavor daily, but here are some of my favorites: Blueberry, apple oatmeal cinnamon, chocolate chip, & cinnamon streusel.
-Best cupcakes in town. Have you noticed that our local cupcakeries are not worth the calories? Perked Up! Features The Precious Cupcake & these mini babies are DELICIOUS!
- OK so it’s not all about the food (I guess). Perked Up! Also serves coffee, espresso, lattes/cappuccinos, frozen coffee drinks, hot & iced tea, chai lattes, & smoothies (Not real fruit though. The only bummer about this place.)
-Links for more info on Perked Up!/The Precious Cupcake:
*Perked Up! On Yelp:
*The Precious Cupcake:
(Within a 20 miles radius & for a $5 charge, they’ll deliver the cupcakes to your front door!)


-100-calorie flatbread for sandwiches, burgers, mini pizzas, etc. A sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without bread. Arnold’s Sandwich Thins have less calories, less sugar, & less fat than regular slices of bread. They taste great too!
-Honey Wheat, Whole Grain White, Multi-Grain, & Seedless Rye
*check out the Arnold Bread website for nutritional info, product locator, & tasty ideas.


Friday, June 11, 2010


I need to lose 7-8 lbs to get back to where I was last summer; but I want to lose 10 lbs. I completed a 4 month long yoga teacher training program & during that time I was doing at least 5 hot yoga classes a week, but I completely abandoned my regular weight training sessions at the gym. A lot of my yogi friends are vegetarians & have ridiculously healthy eating habits, so yoga is all they need to stay in shape. I am NOT one of those people & I’ve gained 7-8 lbs to prove it (not on purpose, of course).

I've been working out at a local gym since I was fifteen. I’ve never been over weight, I’ve just worked out to maintain & tone up. I typically eat what I want with a few very simple limitations:

1)Drink water. (No more than 1-2 glasses a week of soda, sweet tea, etc.)
2)No Fast Food! (I’ll eat Chick-fil-A no more than 1-2 times a month)
3)Pack lunches during the work week. (This helps me maintain rule #2)
4)No condiments. (This works in my favor, but isn’t really a rule because I just happen to hate the taste of condiments. So “rule” #4 just comes naturally.)
5)Limit junk food. (I never snack on Ho Hos, chips, etc. I will eat a handful of chips w/ a sandwich for lunch, but I never just snack on a bag of chips.)
6)Limit chai tea/coffee. (I do occasionally reward myself in the morning with a chai tea from Bad Ass or Perked Up. BUT: I only order a small or medium size & I limit myself to 2 chais a week. Ok maybe 3 if I’m desperate.)

So, you’re probably noticing that I’m good about not eating fast food & not snacking on junk food, but you’ve probably also noticed that I didn’t mention what I do eat. And that’s where the problem lies. I eat A LOT of carbs & I have dessert following lunch &/or dinner almost every single day.

I’ve decided that eating the way I normally do & exercising the way I normally do is great to maintain, but not so good for losing weight. I’m not “hard core” or dedicated enough to commit to a major lifestyle change though. So, I plan on starting with a couple adjustments & will reevaluate if within a month I’m not seeing any results.

1)Add 2 morning runs to my normal workout schedule. (My normal weekly workout consists of at least 2 days of weight training with a 3rd day of either a 1 hr Total Body class or an extra weight training session.)
2)Eliminate dessert after lunch & limit dessert after dinner. (Instead of eating ice cream, brownies, etc. I’ll have Yoplait whipped chocolate mousse style yogurt or fresh fruit w/ a small scoop of vanilla flavored Cool Whip. These desserts may seem like cheating but I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, so this is a big deal me. And I won’t eat these desserts every night. If I can restrain myself I may even skip a few nights of dessert so I can go to my all time fave once every other week- Skinny Dip!! )

I’ll keep you guys posted! If this works then I will have figured out how to lose those last 10 lbs that just love to hang around…


Thursday, June 3, 2010


This happens to me most frequently in the building where I work. If I pass you in the hallway I’m gonna say hi, or smile at the very least. Every now & then I’ll pass by someone (usually a woman) who refuses to return the greeting. It’s not that big of a deal, I just find it to be so bizarre that someone could just look at me & stare like they didn’t hear me say hello. I’m not looking for a long exchange of pleasantries, just a simple “hi” will do! If it happens more than once with the same person I get this urge to turn around after I’ve walked by them & scream, “I SAID HELLO!!!!!” But so far I’ve managed to resist the urge to do just that. So far…

Ummm… hello? I’m driving the speed limit in the right (slow) lane. The left lane is as open as can be… So, change lanes a*hole! There’s no need to tailgate in the slow lane when the left lane is wide open. (And the opposite is true as well- get out of the passing lane if you’re driving like a grandma.)

I just don’t understand mean girls. In high school & sometimes in college it’s common for girls to be mean because they’re insecure. But later in life that just doesn’t fly as an excuse anymore. Grow up & be nice already! We’re all in this together ladies, so join forces instead of tearing each other down. Hear me mean girls!?

Ok I’m not knocking you for loving little Johnny, but living with & loving a 3 month old doesn’t give you an excuse to set manners aside around grownups. I do not have children, & I may feel differently when that day comes, but for my childless life right now- the following things drive me CRAZY:
it’s totally cool to post a status update that you had a great time at baby & me yoga, or that you think you have the cutest kid on the block… HOWEVER it is NOT ok to post a status update that has anything to do with: projectile vomit, diarrhea, gas, etc!! I’ mean, come on!! Gross.
Why is it that some moms seem to “misplace” their first names when they start having children? Suddenly they start referring to themselves only as “mommy” when they’re not even talking to their children. (i.e., Mommy needs to get a massage! Mommy wants a new car!)
I can only imagine how great it is to be a mother… (are you sensing a “but” coming on??)… BUT why do some moms lose their identity when they have children? Not only have you misplaced your first name (see above), but now you’ve taken on a new persona as “Johnny’s Mom”. So you can’t be Sarah anymore? You can only be Johnny’s Mom? Why can’t you be Sarah who happens to have a sweet baby boy by the name of Johnny? You are a hard working wonderful mom, but you’re also an individual with your own thoughts, opinions, dreams, etc. So, change you license plate to “Sarah Rocks!” & trash the “Johhny’s Mom” plates! Your child does NOT define who you are!!

Ok, I’m done venting (for now).


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Married Gals vs. Single Gals

My husband, Ben, & I will be married 2 years this September. It has become glaringly obvious that I don’t party as much with my single gals. There seems to be this married vs. single tension among girl friends that I wasn’t aware of until I tied the knot. Maybe you’ve noticed this as well among you & your girl friends. I know you single girls think that we (the married gals) have turned into old hags who don’t know how to have a good time anymore, but that just isn’t so. The truth is this: you’re right, we don’t want to party as much as we did when we were single & we don’t want to stay out until the bar closes every time we go out. HOWEVER, we do still want to go out & we can stay out late (when we want to, not every single weekend)! The key here is everything in moderation. Us married gals still know how to party & we still love to party, But let's be honest here-

When you're married there's really no reason to regularly force yourself to:
“single gal night”

-party hard until 2 AM
(& regret it the next morning)
-in a crowded bar
(what?? I can’t hear you!)
-full of obnoxious drunk people
(ya know, the drunk girl or rude guy who bumps into you every 5 seconds causing you to spill your drink)

When you could be:
“married gal night”

-partying until midnight or so
(& still have the energy to work out the next morning)
-in a more intimate environment
(where you can actually carry on a conversation)
-where your company is limited to the people you actually want to spend time with
-oh & one more bonus here: you can still dress sexy, of course, but there’s no reason to wear 5 inch feels, a mini skirt, & “boob top” to fit in with all the other girls in the bars.

Ok now before you single girls think I’m majorly hating on you, let me say this: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the single gal night described above! The problem is when the single girls don’t understand why the married girls don’t always want to join in. Instead of planning a night to go out around 10 PM until 2 AM, plan a night to go out for dinner @ 7:30 followed by drinks. That way the girls who want to party hard can keep on drinking while the other girls can choose to go home whenever they please. This way the girls get to have a girl’s night & spend time together, & everyone is included.

I want to conclude by saying that us married girls do still like to party late (& party hard); we just don’t want to do it all the time. Well, maybe some married women do, but this married gal doesn’t. When I was single I spent a ton of money on “going out” clothes & drinks at the bars. But once I got married the bar seemed less important (after all, I’ve got my man!) & the people I spend my time with became a lot more important. So if you single gals want to spend a late night out bar hopping in search of the best “crowd” (aka hotties), that’s totally cool; just don’t hate on us married gals if we’d rather be doing something else!