Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boring Home Updates

There are super-exciting home updates and then there are boring home updates. These are replacing your A/C unit, replumbing/wiring, re-roofing your house...you get it. 

Well, I am currently working on boring home updates. These are things that people on a blog do not want to see and really don't look dramatically different when they are done.  Things like:

1.  Removing rotten wood and replacing it with Hardie Plank.
2.  Pressure washing the house
3.  Scraping off old lead-based paint in the enviromentally correct way
4.  Repainting shutters, window sills, the side of the house

You know what would change this update from boring to exciting?  Painting my brick.  I visualize a nice cream color, but I am going to stuff that vision back in a drawer for two reasons:

1.  I refuse to add an element that requires upkeep to a substance that requires no upkeep. 
2.  I can't afford it. #1-4 above requires my whole "external" home budget.

There is a tiny part of me that wants to take my housing budget and buy a new wardrobe.  Who cares if the side of my house is chipping?  I sort of do...but what honestly motivates me to do the work is my mother's voice echoing in the back of my mind.  "Bethany, do not put off home repairs. The issues do not get better with time and only lead to more costly repairs."  Oh, ALRIGHT!

As for the inside of my house, I have several projects before my nest is fully feathered. My goal is to have these all done by Spring.  However, if I need to divert my finances elsewhere, I can and still be happy living in my home as it is - its up to the Lord! We'll see! The list is: 

1.  Pick out and put up black-out curtains in my bedroom. 
2.  Clean out the back closet (and I mean years of things that need to be discarded)
3.  Paint the back room
4.  Turn the back room into a study/additional guest room - I need a place to have my quiet/study time that is not my bed. 
5.   Replace the tile in the bathroom
6.  Install a backsplash in the kitchen
7.  I also know I don't have too much longer on my A/C unit - so this may trump 1-6. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I tend to notice interesting trends.  Random trends.  For instance, I have noticed that everyone at my gym stands around with their hands on their hips.  This picture captured three people - but there are times that I look around and everyone who isn't lifting something has their hands on their hips.  I do it, too. Are our biceps too large?  Hmmmm...the crazy, fun life of an observant single gal.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What to do with Digital Pictures

I have a question.  Digital pictures change everything.  When you broke-up with someone before digital pictures, you packed up their notes and pictures in a shoebox and put them in a back corner of your closet. The only time you found them was when you moved and at that point you decided what to do with them.

Dating in the digital age is different.  Everytime you go in to find a picture to post, you see the pictures of your ex.  What do you do with the pictures? Do you delete them - gone forever?  Do you quarantine them to a space on your computer where you barely ever go and decide what to do with them next time you "move computers"? Do you just leave them where they are as a reminder of the past?

Any thoughts on this one?  Completely fictional scenario, of course?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Perspective is so much of our battle, isn't it?  I will feel great one day, have a spectacular attitude, am excited about life and the next day I can feel dejected and hopeless.  It drives me crazy.

I am not discounting true down periods in life. I have been through them and I have several friends going through them now. There are times when we are legitimately grieving and wounded.  In those moments nothing is worse than hearing, "You just need to focus on what is good. You are very blessed."  It invalidates everything you are feeling.  You would love to feel good and blessed, but your heart is broken and you need time on the bench to heal.  That is totally ok.

What I am thinking about today is general perspective.  I personally think that I was born an optimist.  I see things on the bright side.  I was, however, brought up in a pessimistic environment. I think they would call it being realistic. My family is fantastic - godly, generous, loving, intelligent, and funny...but there is this 'calling it like you see it' thing that tends to focus on the negative.  That little dialogue in my mind is what I learned growing up, but it isn't congruent with who I really am.  It drives me crazy sometimes.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was wonderful. I was full of so much joy and just loved the whole day.  Today I woke-up and started thinking about all that I don't have and may never have.  Talk about a quick downward spiral.
How do I get back to that positive place?  For me, I have to focus on giving thanks to God for all I DO have.  I may not have met my weight loss goals yet - but I have lost 40 pounds.  I may not be married yet - but I am much healthier emotionally than I have ever been and I am surrounded by an amazing family and friends.  I may not have children - but I have many who call me Aunt B and would snuggle me in a heart beat! I may not have the financial freedom to get up and go on vacation - but I have a stable job, paid time off for rest and refreshment, and an understanding leadership team when I need a break.  I have a fantastic life. I am thankful.  Even when my feelings betray me, I will remind myself of the goodness in my life and press ahead knowing that He who began a good work will bring it to completion.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Most Beautiful Bride in the World

My mother was the most beautiful bride in the world. I have looked at her wedding album often over the years and I am always stunned by how beautiful and classic the wedding was...just perfect.  My Mom and Dad will be married 50 years this year and they would look just as gorgeous if their wedding were today.
Kate Middleton made a very wise wedding dress choice - one she will enjoy for years.  In fact, when I have sketched my wedding dress it looks very much like hers, but with 3/4 length sleeves.  I am hoping her choice will bring more sleeved dresses onto the scene. Come on knock-offs.  Oh wait, I suppose I should let the groom find me first ; )
I love you, Mom and Dad!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pretty Things

Let's move beyond heartache to pretty things. I love pretty things.

I found this gorgeous orchid necklace on Etsy.  So feminine. 

I may decorate my backroom as a den in the colors of this vase from Anthropologie:
By the way, can I please share how genius it is that they create every picture so you can download it?  Talk about a blogger's dream...way to go Anthro. While I was there, I saw this outfit. I'm losing weight and in my mind, this is how I would like to be able to dress...

There are so many pretty things in this world, aren't there? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Bedroom Reveal

It is the world's tiniest room, but cozy.  I hope they enjoy staying here!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Mirror

I wanted you to see the mirror.  With a few coats of high gloss white spray paint, it is a new mirror.  By the way, I will be peeling specs of paint from that mirror for months - all of the detail made it impossible to tape and there was NO room between the mirror and frame to slide in a piece of paper.  C'est la vie.  The back of the mirror says 1971.  I can't reveal the finished room until my parents are on their way to my house. I don't want to spoil the surprise!

The room is coming together...although it is SO small that it is hard to capture in pictures.  Regardless, I think my guests will be comfortable.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I have had this mirror stored at my best friend's house for over a year just waiting for the right space.  I absolutely ADORE it.  I wish my house was full of bright colors and I would leave it as is. Unfortunately, it is not so I will be painting it a white or soft cream color.  Regardless, it has finally found a home on a wall in my guest bedroom.  The pineapples, a symbol of hospitality, make it the perfect fit!  This mirror is HUGE and HEAVY!  It has to be 5 feet tall.  I am going to need some major reinforcements to hang this.

A big thank you to my friend Meredith who gave this mirror to me. GAVE it.  Isn't that amazing? I love it.  I can't wait to finalize the guest room and do the big reveal!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stuck: Help a Sista Out!

Alrighty...step 1 is done. The beds are in. I have to attach the headboards..so they will be higher - right now they are just leaning.  I painted the night table teal and it was too much so I used ala mode (my bathroom color) to repaint it.  Now, I need your help.  What kind of lamp? I have been to every store this side of Texas and nothing is speaking to me.  Crystal bottom?  Silver bottom? Gold bottom?  How high?  What kind of shade?  That's the first place I need help.  I have more challenges, trust me. This is the first though. Help this sista OUT!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Beds are Coming, The Beds Are Coming....

I ordered the mattresses/bed frames for the guest room today.  I have everything all stacked up in the room and I am DYING to assemble it.  Disclaimer:  This room is not going to be how I want it to be long term. I want to paint the room a soft neutral and so I'm building my bedding around the future paint - probably in the Summer. As you can see in the picture below, it is yellow. Why in the WORLD did I ever paint walls yellow?  Who knows?!  It will be good enough for a visit from my parents.

I want to get it set up enough to take some pictures and ask for your feedback.  I need to buy some blackout drapes for the window..and I need to decide which way to go. I'm tempted to just buy the blackout backing and make some drapes in a print since everything else is so plain.  Hmmmm....we'll see.

Oh how I wish I was at home putting it all together right now! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One Headboard and a Bedside Table

One headboard has been sanded and glazed.

I have one more to go!  I bought a bedside table at a local flea market - it's a queen anne style - really would have prefered a straighter leg line..but I think it will be fine once I get the bedskirts on and the ruffled blankets... I am painting it a light aqua and will sand and glaze. I want to add a piece of decorative trim but I have searched everywhere and cannot find a piece. UGH!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Guestroom: Piece by piece...

The guest room is coming together much differently than I anticipated...piece by little tiny piece.  I had no idea how much mattresses and bedding would cost.  It's been so long since I have had to buy either.  So, here I go...cobbling together a room piece by piece.  Mattress pads at Sears in-store.  Sheets and blankets from Sears on-line.  Comforters yet to be found...but this morning I found this throw on Coldwater Creek. I had a 20% off coupon with free shipping and I thought, "Let's do it!"  It also allows me to use the rug from my room in there - it's a neutral with this color border.  Piece by piece we go.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Project GR (Guest room) is underway.  First, I had to paint the headboards that I bought about 4 months ago on Craigslist. They have been waiting for a few coats of paint.  I am distressing them - not because I distress every piece of furniture.  I like the look but I'm not sure every piece you paint needs to be distressed. I am distressing them because I have already done 3 coats of paint and they still have streaks. When in doubt, distress it out!!

Here's step 1.  I left my glaze at work...will show the finished headboards when I get them done!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Nothing like sparkly eggs to make you smile.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Daylight Shot

It looks better in the daylight...notice that I strategically shot so you can't see the stained areas of my carpet...lol...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rug on Carpet

I found a brand new Ballard Designs rug on Craigslist for $55.00. It's an outdoor rug but who will know?  I really needed to start to layer some texture and color into the room. I'm also struggling with carpet that desperately needs to be replaced but I can't afford to replace it right now. I plan to professionally clean it in the next couple of weeks to see if I can squeeze out another year before I replace it.  I really wish the person who redid this house before me had just done hardwoods throughout. Oh well.  On a budget and we'll work with what we have. When I replace the carpet, I will go darker.  Without a doubt.

Sorry for the lighting - it's really dark and I need to get this post up tonight.  I REALLY do need to work on the pillow situation for the couch.  Just too many things right now to do - the guest room is my first priority as my parents will be here for Easter.  Also, I need the white chair steam cleaned.  Guess I'll have that done with the carpet!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Well, I thought it would take 4 hours.  A friend told me that I should take my estimate and multiply it by 3. That is the truth in this case -- it took me 12 hours!

Here's the closet cleaned out:
Here are the shelves...why were they all different colors?!

I decided to paint the sides white and the back Classic Brown from Benjamin Moore.  I was going to use white paint I already had but it was FRIGHTENING when I opened it.  It was in my shed and I think it lost the battle with the extreme temperature changes.  No problem, hopped on up to the paint store for a can of white and I was off to the races.  Here we are in process:
Finally, here is the finished project. 

Wow is it organized! It helps that I got rid of most of what was in the closet. I'm in extreme clean mode. If I don't use it or haven't used it in a year, it's gone. Merciless. The clutter in my life is slowing me down. I want organization people! Down with clutter. Up with simplicity!
Oh yes, I had to do it in two parts...tiny bathroom. It really is irritating...but you'll get the jist! By the way, how many exclamation points did I use in this post? Holy Cow!!!!

Thank you to Traci at Beneath My Heart for the idea!!  One closet a weekend until my life is simplified.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Houston, We Have a Problem: Bathroom Closet Before

I live in a 1950s ranch. I love it.  The downside is it only has one bathroom. Apparently bathroom needs have drastically increased over the last 60 years. No one would build a house with just one bathroom now.  It's real estate suicide.  The bathroom is the size of a sardine can. Well, not really.  But it's small.  In fact, so small that I can't get a full picture of the bathroom closet. I can't get back far enough. 

I'll have to show it to you in segments.  It's worse than I thought. This picture reminds me of seedy 1970s movies that leave you feeling creepy.  How did it get so bad?  I am so ashamed of my closet.  The time has come.  Please don't always think of me this way.  Please come back and see the finished results tomorrow night.  I can't believe I'm about to show this.

I am fairly sure there is a professional organizer out there who just swooned.  I'm so sorry.  Here's one reason I have put this off. My towels are HORRIBLE.  Ratty. Tatty.  I need new towels. I don't want to spend money on towels but I bristle at the thought of doing a closet makeover and putting those ratty towels in there.  They don't fold well. They don't look good.  It's going on the list....but that won't happen this weekend.

What will happen this weekend is merciless discarding. Old medication.  Empty cleaning supplies.  Broken hair appliances. Old make-up cases. Old make-up.  Half used bottles of shower gel, bad shampoo, old self-tanner, and glycerin soap. I hate glycerin soap. It's a personal thing. If it smells good, it works perfectly as a sachet. Otherwise, no thank you.

Alright. I must do my day job - but this is where I'm spending my leisure time this weekend. Wish me well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I am going to start more home projects. That means this blog is a going concern, again. I realize I am the world's most inconsistent blogger. I am going to work on that..I swear!  This weekend, I am going to paint and organize my bathroom closet.  Please don't get too excited.  It's probably something only my Mom cares about..and I'm not 100% sure she cares about it.  Regardless, I'm doing it.

In the process, I am going to try out a new color for the bathroom.  When I moved in, I painted it a shade that I thought was a super soft, muted blue.  Nope, it's sky/baby blue.  Bright.  Not at all me.  I suppose I should have repainted it then but I had just paid a painter and I wasn't confident enough to try.  Now I am.  So, I figured I would try the new color in the closet.  What color? I have no idea but it is something I plan to figure out by Saturday. I can't spend weeks picking out paint colors - I could never justify that time to Jesus.  I will simply go, pick up a swatch book and go with my gut. 

It's how I roll.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Check Out This Blog

THIS is a great day in blog history.  Why?!  My dear friends, Luke and Laura, are now bloggers.  I have BEGGED them to be bloggers. Their taste is impeccable and they have amazing backgrounds that I can't share right this second because it's snowing and I have to get on the road.

I sooo wanted them to blog.  They are starting a new house project and you get to be in on it from the start.  They are just starting out so be kind - and helpful.  But PLEASE check them out.

Visit Luke and Laura at MagPie's Nest and follow them!

Friday, January 14, 2011


As I shared earlier, I have some redecorating to do this Spring.  My roommate moves out (sniff, sniff) in late February.  This leaves me two open bedrooms.  I live in a small house - 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom.  It is a 1950s brick ranch.  A long, long time ago I said to myself, "I love brick ranches. If I ever have a house, that's what I would want."  I didn't share that with anyone.

Several years later, my house came on the market and a friend said, "You should look at this house, it looks like you."  She was right. It was exactly what I always wanted in my mind.  The Lord remembered and the way He eased that house into my life could have only been from Him. I'm still shocked to think I have owned a home for close to 6 years.

I didn't do too much to it when I moved in. I wanted to sit in it. Frankly, I was scared to death to do anything. I was afraid I'd mess something up. I also was afraid I wouldn't have enough money to fix big things one day if I spent a cent on decorating.  Finally, last Fall, I realized that I was living in someone else's house. It didn't look like me. It didn't feel like me.  I had hand me down furniture and wall colors from the previous owner. The time had come.  It took about 3 months but I redecorated the living room, dining room and kitchen.  The kitchen still needs a backsplash but the rest is done. I have LOVED it.  LOVED IT!

Now, my roommate is moving out.  I have two more rooms to claim and make my own.  I'm scared, again.  Scared of spending the money. Scared of making a mistake.  Scared of living alone.  Still, I am moving forward. My goal is to buy all second hand furniture and to use my network on this one. 

Here's my broad idea.  I am scouting pictures but I have thoughts in my mind. I'll share more as I go along here.  One room is going to be a guest bedroom with twin beds. I see lush, sinkable beds on either side of a dresser loaded with guest amenities...lush towels, water jars with glasses, flowers, magazines, and of course delectable snacks. I want my guests to read and snack in bed. I want my place to be a get away. Come, rest, and be refreshed when you leave.  Hopefully luggage racks will fit at the foot of the beds. 

I bought gorgeous mid-century twin headboards from a woman on Craigslist. CHEAP!  I love Craigslist.  I will buy the mattresses new because used mattresses gross me out.  I may make the bedding on my handy dandy sewing machine. We'll see.  I want delicious, meltable beds.  Oh yes, you can crank down the air to snuggle in at my house.  I'm on budget billing ; )

The other room will be a study/craft room.  I will share more about that later.  It is coming into focus in my mind and I love it. It's my retreat.  It's the place where I can study, read, write, and be creative.  It's the room I have always wanted!  More to come!

Sorry there aren't more pictures here...I have too much work to catch up on after 4 snow days!  Love to all.  If you have any cute ideas...post links. I'm open to inspiration.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You Can Breath a Sigh of Relief

Simply Single Serving will go on as I am remaining single.  C'est la vie.  For now, I will focus on the Lord, working out, decorating soon to be vacant rooms of my house (don't worry, I'll share pictures), and enjoying those friends who God has most graciously blessed me with.

I do love a good decorating project.  I will be creating a guest room with two double beds and a craft/study/work room.

I don't have a lot to spend on these projects but have learned how to create something out of nothing from the world's thriftiest and coolest bloggers, so I should be fine!