doing a lot…and gettin’ nothin’ done

Hi, hi!

Nothin’ like waiting all off-season to get wrecked on the 2nd lap.  I can’t even imagine the disappointment for the team.  😦

Anyone else watch the Daytona 500 last night?  Or, just judge me for the habit?  🙂

And I move on…

Do you ever feel like you’re working on so many things but not really accomplishing anything?

That is where I am right now. (more…)

Advertisements

when I’m five

Hey there!  Happy Monday.  Hopefully you had a fab weekend.  I have to admit we’re stoked in this house about the start of the NASCAR season…rain delays and all.
Don’t try to tell me you don’t collect scrap metal, get it autographed by the car owner and get all giddy, happy to have your picture taken with the military men who flew the pre-race fly by.  I won’t believe it.  😉

But, before we settled in for the big race weekend I got a little lost in blog world last week. In a good way.

It kind of started when a blog was lost. (But later recovered, Phew!)

Then I came across a Build Your Blog series Kelly put together at Live Laugh Rowe. (more…)

so all is not lost

Want to hear something scary?  Other than my mix up of Thursday and Friday in the order of days of the week after getting it right for so many years.  If you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll need to go here for this to make sense.  :/

Well, at least scary to me anyway…

Someone lost their blog this week.

Like when you try to go to her blog, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, you see this…

I know, sad.  😦

And yes, my computer kindly translates EVERYTHING to Dutch since big brother can see we are in the Netherlands Antilles.  Gee, thanks!

You can still find her on Facebook…and I’m sure she could use some encouraging words right now.

Update:  Kristin’s blog was recovered yesterday!  You might have noticed Foto Friday went up on Thursday…apparently I had some calendar confusion as this post was supposed to go up yesterday and Foto Friday today.  Oh well.  Note to self – Friday comes after Thursday.  😉

Then, I read that Beth broke her Mac.

And I decided to get backed up.  So all is not lost.

Honestly, we’ve been on the external hard drive bandwagon for some time now. Photography is a long lost hobby of my husband, and I like to think of our vacation photos as a never displayed museum collection.

These are from Tamaya in 2004.
Ok, that second one probably doesn’t belong in a museum…but should probably be on our wall somewhere.  (No, I don’t still have that shirt De, but Joel still sports the Grateful Dead one.)

And, the untanned strip on my arm…that’s just from a spot where I had a temporary tattoo.  That’s how I roll.  🙂

These shots are from Spain in 2009.

What, you don’t take pictures of random fishermen and road signs on vacation?

We do…it’s so funny how many great memories a picture of a tree shadow on a stone wall can conjure up.  Smile.

Anyway…before we made the big move to the little island we got our first laptop.  Ha, yes, we got our first laptop in 2009.  🙂

And, I had a techie friend of mine swipe our desktop clean so we could donate it.  In the process, he put everything we had on the desktop on a handy dandy little external hard drive…and I’ve been addicted to backing up since then.  Well, let’s not stretch the truth, I will be getting caught up after this post is finished.

Seriously peeps, it’s so easy…and that’s what I keep telling myself every time I procrastinate getting our external updated with our newest photos.  How mad at myself would I be if I lost this forever…
That, my friends, is a blurry picture of my husband watching Team USA in the world cup in 2010.  🙂

So, this is what works for us.
We first got external hard drive #1 in 2009.  It’s a 150 GB Toshiba, easily found at Target or Walmart.  My rule for what goes on the external…

ANYTHING THAT, IF OUR LAPTOP CRASHED, I WOULD BE PISSED TO LOSE.

It’s a simple rule really.  With all of our photos, music, etc dating back to 2004, we have only used 55 GB.

Then, in November of 2010 we took a 2 week vacation and it just so happened that Tropical Storm Tomas hit Curacao at the exact same time.  Good for us!  But, somehow, water got into our house and onto our laptop AND external hard drive.  (If you want to see a short video of kids wake boarding in the street click here.)

We were very lucky that they weren’t both ruined.  Well, the laptop has to be plugged in at all times now…and the cord to the external doesn’t work – but no loss of data.  Phew!

So, bring on external hard drive #2 (that has a compatible cord to external #1 so they now share).  It is a  300 GB Toshiba, also easily found at Target or Walmart.  My rule for what goes on external #2…

EVERYTHING THAT IS ON EXTERNAL #1…and some movies

Another simple rule.

So, the train of thought here is that external #2 is the true back up.  I actually keep it in a safe deposit box…I don’t know why…can’t ever have photos of memories (can you really have a photo of a memory?) locked up too tightly I guess.  🙂

I actually don’t save too much to our laptop.  I think it helps prevent it from getting bogged down with data, slowing it’s functionality.  And, if we were to ever get our laptop stolen or lost our important data wouldn’t go with it.  There I go with the logic again.  😉  External #2 with the addition of movies on it has about 155 GB of space used up.

Now, you see the honkin’ big external hard drive #3 is the picture above?  That one is just for fun.  That one needs to be plugged into a power source all it’s own (the others don’t, just USB connection to computer) and holds like 800 GB or something.  (Read:  too lazy to get up and plug it in right now.)  We just got this at Target last fall when we started collecting some movies, and other things that take up a lot of space so we got those things an external all it’s own.

We didn’t want movies taking up all the space on external #2 so any new movie we add just goes to external #3, so technically, they don’t have a back up, I am ok with that right now…but that might change.

Seriously, so simple.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it.

And, I found a great tutorial on how to back up your wordpress blog in 60 seconds here.

What about you?  Do you have a system?  Do you use an external hard drive…or 3?  Have a better idea?  Dress up, paint your face and wear a silly hat during world cup soccer games?

Now, since it really IS Friday now, I can say…Enjoy your space this weekend and see you next week!

(Just so you know Dana, I will not be walking off any short piers this weekend so please stay safe!)

Have you gotten signed up on the new Linky Follower tool? If so and want to follow me please let me know you did in the comments so I can follow you back.

Click here to follow this blog and view my other followers…

I am sharing this tip here and at:

BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative and Sugar Bee Crafts.

foto friday 2 {curacao}

I got so many encouraging comments and emails about last week’s photos so I’m continuing the trend…sharing a few fun things I saw throughout the week here in Curacao.

Thanks for all of the support.  I sure do appreciate it.  🙂

Now, most Saturday mornings I can be found here…sorry for the sunrise directly behind the sign.

And then here.

Well, not actually at the dumpster…the dumpster is outside of the bakery.  This is a pic I took last year.  Apparently I haven’t seen anything interesting at the bakery since.  🙂

On the US President’s Day holiday…otherwise known as Carnival here in the Caribbean…also a holiday…we brought these hooligans to the beach. 🙂

And they quickly made friends with this lovely couple happy to give Marley attention and feed Mico chips…aka Doggy Heaven.

We watched a young boy fishing.  What are the chances he knows he can hang a whole gallery wall with fishing line?  😉
And we watched the sun set.
And…

…I may or may not have test painted the back of one of our couches…

Let’s hope today isn’t the day Joel decides to start reading the blog.  😉

Have a great weekend!  See you next week.

If you’d like to see the first foto friday you can click here.

I am going to share Foto Friday with the Wordless Wednesday gals.
Flip Flops & PearlsLive and Love … Out LoudNap Time Mom TogProject Aliciaand then she snappedThe Paper MamaParenting by DummiesA Fresh PerspectiveNOLA MommyBaby Baby LemonDagmar’s MomsenseBetter in Bulk

it IS award season after all

And, I have been bestowed upon some really cool blog honors.  (Is that even proper English?)

Hello, hello.  How are you?  By the way…  🙂

Truth be told, I probably should have blogged about these long ago.  But I’ve been putting it off.  I’m not sure how fun these posts are for those who follow, but aren’t bloggers themselves.  My “real life” friends, my family…blah blah blah…someone I don’t know, gave an “award” I don’t really understand…blah blah blah.

Sometimes I wonder, how bloggy can a blog get?  You know?  🙂

But, the truth is, these awards are a great honor in the blog world and I am super duper thankful that someone thought enough of my little blog to think of me when passing the award on.

In lieu of red carpets and designer dresses blog awards are more about answering a few questions and sharing a little bit about myself.  Instead of taking home a trophy I get to pass along the award to blogs of my choice…and I even get a little bling for my sidebar.

So, before the music starts playing over the end of my acceptance speech, I am so thrilled to thank Bri from The Modern Parsonage for giving me the Liebster Award.

So what is the Liebster award? Well, it means beloved, favorite, dearest in German. Best of all, it’s given out by fellow bloggers to up and comers with less than 200 followers, encouraging new friendships and community.

Upon receiving the Liebster award, you do the following:

1. Post the award on your blog for the world to see! – Ok, so it has taken me about 3 weeks to do this, I’m all up to date now.  🙂
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who awarded you the Liebster by linking back to them.  – THANK YOU BRI!!!  Just a little tid bit, Bri married her husband exactly one month after Joel and I got married.  🙂
3. Reveal your 5 picks for the award and let them know they’ve been chosen.  – Please see below.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogosphere…other bloggers!  – I normally bask at the beach so I’m headed there right after this.  🙂
5. Finally, the best rule of all, have fun and spread the love!

So now, who who who to bestow with the Liebster Award?

Please check out these 5 lovely blog friends of mine (in no particular order).

Kelly from JAX does design has a blog that I just get lost in.  So much eye candy, so little time.  And, she participates in something called Extreme Makeover:  Kindness Edition – clearly my kind of gal.  🙂

Look at this awesomeness she just created to hang above her mantel.
To find out how to do this and see so much more be sure to pay Kelly a visit here.

Now check out Samantha from Tuffet Whimsy.  I have totally fallen in love with this little under the stairs space she created for her son.  My nephew would LOVE this!!
She is also in the midst of a dining room and craft room update…many fun projects to follow along with here.

And talk about fun projects to keep up with.  Ashley and her husband JUST bought a house…like just closed on Valentine’s Day.  And look where they went to celebrate. LOWE’S!!!  I love these guys!  🙂

You have to head over to Attempts at Domestication to get a sneak peak of some of the ideas she has for projects to tackle at the house.

And you should also check in with Kelly at Corner of Main.  She participated wholeheartedly in our Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge.  And not only ended up with some awesome pillows, but she also painted the piping on her sofa.  This whole idea has had my wheels spinning.  (But don’t tell Joel, if he doesn’t like numbers on tv stands I’m pretty sure he’s not going to like a painted couch.)  🙂
And Cindy from Oakview Cottage has a home that reminds me of home.  I mean growing up in a house filled with so many vintage and eclectic elements…Cindy’s blog is a true wealth of inspiration!
I give a big HIGH FIVE to these five gals and say “I’m glad this is an award we get to share together”!

It really is amazing to me what a blessing this little blog has become.  I truly appreciate you all (non-bloggers and bloggers alike) being along for the ride.  🙂

Enjoy your space today!!

Is that a white wash you’re wearing?

Well folks, the big a$$ tv has a new home.

You’ll remember it used to live here.
If you want to see how I upgraded an old dresser with some fun maps and stenciling, click here.

Yes, that is in our bedroom.  :/

And we had this little cutie in our living room.

Wait…is that a plain, dirty piece of plywood hanging above my tv?  Hmmm, odd…more on that another time.  🙂

Why?  You ask, do we have our little tv in the living room and large tv in the bedroom?? Well, we have this great outdoor space (being as we live on an island and all) and we will often move our tv outside when we are just hanging out on the roof.  It is a space I have been keeping under lock and key…well not really, it IS outside.  But, I have yet to share it on the blog.

The outdoor space is one of the best parts of this house.  No, I take that back, the outdoor space IS the best part of this house.  🙂

But, after over 2 years of living here we find we’re not lugging the little tv outside quite as often as we used to and… really people…the house is the size of a bread box so moving the little tv into the bedroom adds an extra 12 steps when we do decide we want to take it outside.  Yes, I just paced it off.  🙂

But, clearly the big a$$ tv wasn’t going to fit on this gal.
No, not the dog, the cute little Ethan Allan 4 drawer I got for….wait for it…$10.  Now…where to put her, hmmmm.  A decision for another day.

But, I did have this, not real special, hutch.

Some of our neighbors actually gave it to us when we lived in MD.  They had sold their house and it was the morning of closing day and whatever was left in the house was being left…unless we wanted anything.  Hahaha…they had no idea who they were dealing with when they innocently came over and made the offer to husband and I to “take whatever we want”.  Ahhh, so many pieces of junk treasures we acquired.  🙂

The hutch made the trip to Curacao, you know, along with all of the essentials.  😉

That’s a joke about all of the items my husband gives me a hard time about bringing on our island adventure.  There may be a still un-upholstered chair and some yarn lying around.  😉

Anyway, I figured the hutch =
1 – a piece we didn’t care about if anything happened to it, and
2 – good storage.

So, take that husband.  That’s called logic  😉

One cool part about her is that she is two pieces.  So I thought, if I just take her top off she’d make a great tv stand.  Who needs a top, er hutch, anyway?

But, if she was unremarkable all together, now she’s less than half of that.
Those are close ups of left) cute idea…coral handles, middle) cute idea gone wrong, scratches from coral and, right) top of the bottom of the hutch.

Am I right?  She’s a mess.

I was hesitant to paint her because of the sliding doors.  Wouldn’t they just rub, scratch and get haggard looking?  No, really, wouldn’t they???

Then I saw this beauty hopping around Pinterest.  Seriously, at least 3 of my blog buddies had pinned this, including Roeshel, Kari and Sherry.
Now, it’s going to take more skill than this girl has to turn my hutch into this.  haha

But, I thought a finish like that might give the bottom of my hutch a little pizzazz.

So…how does one get that finish?  Is it a white wash, is it a dry brush, is it a stain?

Let’s say it’s white wash.

How exactly to does one white watch?

Well, if you don’t know Shaunna, you’re missing out.  Not only does she write a beautiful blog, but she has an eBook that is all about different furniture finishes.  And, she wrote a great post way back in 2010 about the difference between white washing a dry brushing.

She gives all kinds of great details and tips so definitely check her out.

Following Shaunna’s advice, I added some water to my paint.

I brushed on my watered down paint.

And then I wiped it with a lint free cloth to get rid of any paint strokes.

I ended up doing two coats and do have a few tips:

1- Less is more.  Brush on your paint/water mixture very thoroughly.  It helps with the look, dries faster and saves paint.
2- Wait a few minutes before wiping if you want a whiter finish.  I wouldn’t have needed to do 2 coats if I had learned this the first time.  🙂
3- If you have a spot you don’t like, STOP wiping it.  I had a few OOPS! spots and realized that the more I wiped the worse they got.  I had much better luck just letting the spot dry and then reapplying and wiping.
4- If you put the paint/water mixture on areas to, say touch up a bit and maybe, just hypothetically, forget to wipe it off and end up with a few spots that are a little more painted then you’d like…don’t panic.  🙂  I just dipped my brush in pure water and brushed over the same area and it evened out the look a bit.

It’s hard to see in the picture but the top has two coats and the side only has one.

Now, of course, I don’t ever take the time to take pictures when I’m rectifying an OOPS! moment.  Somehow my body just doesn’t react this way.  As, I was evening out my OOPS! spots I was definitely thinking, “I should have taken a picture”.  But I just can’t seem to stop the quick reflex action to Fix. OOPS. Now!

Similar to when I was balancing the one screw gallery wall.  🙂  No pics of that hazardous moment either.  :/

Anyway…

After I had the two coats we had her in place for a couple of days before I thought…STRIPES!

I have been wanting to do stripes for awhile and thought this would be an easy little first go round.  Then I thought…DRY BRUSH!  (Yes all of these thoughts came in all caps, exclamation point strength.)

Why not dry brush the stripes in a gray color (they really are gray, I know they look blue in the night pic), over my nice new light, light gray white wash.  Or would that be gray wash?

Then I wrapped a few of the handles I took off of the mapped dresser with twine.
And then…I thought….NUMBERS!

I am clearly loving numbers right now.  So I picked a couple not-so-random numbers, the same copper stencils I used for the HOME art here, and added some numbers.
My stripes were measured at 5 inch height (the whole cabinet is just about 30 inches tall) which worked perfect when I pulled out my stencils and realized they were 5 inches high. Score!

I traced the stencil and then  painted in the lines.  You know how I roll. 

Then I sanded them down a bit…and called her done.
Dare I say she’s nautical and beachy?  I love her.

Joel’s reaction…

…what are the numbers for?  Sigh.

You can’t please everyone. 😉

I am sharing this project here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative and Sugar Bee Crafts.

imperfection is the new black

Seriously.

I mean, who’s into perfect anymore?

Well, I’m sure there are many out there.  But not this girl.

Is there really any better way to set yourself up for disappointment…than to expect perfection?

For starters, I would never be living in this house.  Oh, how you are imperfect…let me count the ways.  But let me only point out the tile…oh the tile of which you have an abundance.

But what was it that someone once said…where ever you are, I am home…or, my favorite thing about my house is who I share it with…or, as long as we’re living here together I can overlook the tile…it was something like that.  😉

And it really isn’t about the structure, or even the things in it, is it?!?

Oh, if it were about the perfection of the things…

I would probably shudder at the sight of that silly, un-level driftwood shelf in my new one screw gallery wall every time I walked in the room.
 Or, I might have finished re-upholstering that chair by now…8 years later.
Or, I might not have gotten disproportionately excited when I bought these hideous couches for $65 for the pair.
I can’t even tell you how hard it is to find “American” sized furniture for a reasonable price on an island.

As an aside, if you’re looking for perfection, definitely don’t move to a Caribbean island…I know some people who learned that lesson the hard way.  Please refer back to that comment I made earlier…something about the expectation of perfection = surefire disappointment.  🙂

Now, I have to give a shout out to the Nester for the idea of Celebrating the Imperfect with a link party.

And, in contemplating her idea, I realize, that through my never-ending search for a steal deal, my need to find ways, albeit more difficult or time consuming, of doing things that hardly cost me anything, and my complete and total aversion to keeping up with the Jones’, I live in a space full of imperfections.

And that, my friends, suits us absolutely perfectly.  🙂

I crack my knuckles, I shave as infrequently as possible, I don’t clean as often as I should. I overlook dog hair everywhere on the couch, I leave unfolded, clean laundry lying around for days, I love to swear.

I often waste time, I don’t keep in touch with people I love, I am not nearly as involved with my nieces and nephews day-to-day lives as I’d like to be.

I am emotional, often times erratic and sometimes just a plain ol’ pain in arse.

But just call me Ellen because “I want to be clear and here are the values that I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need.”

Everything else…in all of it’s imperfection…is just gravy.  🙂

%d bloggers like this: