August 28, 2014

How To: 1970s Fixer Upper

One of the first and easiest projects I did myself was to reupholster a set of folding chairs and a table that Matt's mom gave us (Hi, Carol!). When I first moved to South Carolina, we did not have a table to eat on, nor did we actually acquire one (at least, not until we moved). In fact, she gave us the table not because we wanted somewhere to set our plates at dinner, but we actually had on-going game nights with friends and no where to play when we hosted the event at our house.

Priorities, people!


Anyway, she gave me the set which is made of real wood and vinyl. It's a nice sturdy card table. My only qualm with it is that it's a burnt yellow color that was all the rage in 1975. 



Pretty, eh?

August 26, 2014

My Small Foyer: A Love Story

I like many of you, suffer the difficulties that come from dealing with ASF (A Small Foyer). And today, I will share with you how I overcame the challenge of transforming a small foyer into a practical and functional entry space that I love.

August 24, 2014

The Biker Gang

During the first week of home renovation, while I was off celebrating the wedding of two very dear friends, Matt was by his lonesome (and loving every second). One day, whilst minding his own business and listening to a Podcast he heard a knock on the door and encountered a small cluster of children. They shared with him their names and welcomed him to the neighborhood and were very friendly. 

[Shortly thereafter he texted me to say that he didn't know how to talk to children and that I needed to come home.]


The day after I got back, I drove straight from my office to the house to jump into some heavy lifting. Not five minutes after I had crossed the threshold and changed my clothes, I heard a woodpecker pecking the house. So I stopped what I was doing to listen. I heard it again and started walking around to locate its origin. It stopped while I was in the guest room, so I peered out the window to see what was there if anything.. which is when I noticed a fallen bicycle in the yard. Ah ha! Not a woodpecker. A child. And its tapping my door!


So I answered the door where I found the same children from Matt's experience, who introduced themselves to me and declared themselves Neighborhood Watch. They wanted to know if we had kids or a dog and to inform us that our house used to be the place to hang out. We spoke for a few minutes and while talking to them I realized that these kids mean business and it is inevitable: we were going to have to be the cool young couple on the block at Halloween - the ones that give out the full size candy bars.


When Matt got home we had a discussion about our little neighbors and headed out for dinner. On our way down the road they appeared en masse: 20 children, all on bikes, all under the age of 12 and all frantically waving. And the girl who knocked on the door is at the head of the pack. Standing at 4' 6" with mousy brown hair and a pink tank top. The leader. We have a biker gang!


And apparently we're not the only ones who call them that. Our friendly next door neighbor warned them about their shenanigans and told us to be on high alert. I have no idea why and that terrifies me.


I guess we'll find out! 


Coming up this week, a sneak peek at my entry way organization expedition. Stay tuned!

August 22, 2014

I Don't Need Much, Just Three Million Dollars.

I have always been one of those people who lives paycheck to paycheck. This is not because I have an excessive spending habit nor is it because I am careless. I don't buy expensive shoes or designer handbags. I've never been on a cruise or to Hawaii. My car is 11 years old. The simple fact is this: I help too much, I eat out too much and I make too little money to sustain these habits.

I majored in Finance in college and am very passionate about people being educated in their own personal finances. I like to keep people informed and will challenge them on how they allocate their funds (I do this to my father and sister constantly. And surprisingly they still talk to me!). But imagine my shock when I realized that I was spending more a month than I was making. While I can chalk up my last few months of spending to helping out my family, a travel-heavy summer, a number of wedding and graduation gifts as well as unexpected expenses like getting my car fixed, I don't have an emergency fund (should be about ~$1000) nor do I have a savings account of any kind (should have at least 3-6 months worth of monthly expenses). Somehow in trying to educate other people, I lost sight of my own monetary situation and I needed to get control.


August 14, 2014

The Great Dinner Depression

Anyone who knows me also knows that mornings aren't my thing. Although I do like to get up early because I hate wasting daylight, I am more often than not: disgruntled, disorganized and disoriented...until at least my second cup of coffee.

Moving into the new house has only made my mornings more frustrating. I have trouble locating things (we haven't totally unpacked yet) and I have so many on-going projects that my commute to the kitchen is often comparable to a dash through a ROC Race. 

[Side note: If you've never heard of one, the "ROC Race", also known as the "Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge" is a 5K held at various locations throughout the country. I haven't personally done one yet, but Matt did and said it was a blast. You can check out dates and locations by clicking here. But even if 5Ks aren't your thing, you get the picture.]

So color me thrilled the other day when I not only remembered to defrost chicken for dinner, but also to put it into the crock pot and to turn the crock pot on. I had prepared very fancy southern BBQ chicken for supper. My recipe goes something like this:

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 breast per person)
  • Barbecue sauce of choice (I used the Jack Daniels kind)
WHEW. Watch out, Rachel Ray. This is serious cooking business.

Directions

  • Place chicken in the crock pot.
  • Pour some bbq sauce on the chicken.
  • Flip the chicken around with a fork until completely coated or until you're tired of doing it. Add a little extra sauce for good measure. 
  • Turn crock pot on low (in this case for 8-10 hours).
It's a complicated process. I'm a complicated person. Perhaps some would call me Top Chef? Get on my level.

Clearly this is not a complex dinner prep. Matt is a bit of a picky eater, so I try to keep things simple and somewhat healthy whenever possible. We make it work.

You know that smell... the barbecue one? That smokey deliciousness that lingers in the air after a piece of meat has been slow roasted all day? It's a smell that pleases me immensely and one that reminds me why I love summer so, so much. The very thought of coming home to some sticky, barbecue slathered chicken made my mouth water. So imagine my surprise when I walked into the house after work on Monday and it stunk. Awful. Not kidding. Really terrible. Like something had died

I thought maybe the chicken had burnt? Did I not put in enough BBQ sauce? What could have happened? Did someone break in and steal the crock pot while we were working? Is the kitchen aflame? WHERE ARE THE CATS? (FYI: They're in their respective bedrooms. They get separated during the day because Rocket is too little to be running free and also because we have yet to get him tested for FIV. Don't panic - we're getting him checked, but he's only 8 weeks old and we want an accurate test. We're responsible cat-parents.)

Luckily, the cats were fine, the kitchen was flame-less, the crock pot was still plugged into the wall and there was no sign of smoke. At this point, I walked over and peered inside. I was momentarily stunned and gazed awkwardly downward onto the glass top of what was supposed to be crock pot glory. Inside sat the saddest sight I've ever seen.

Totally raw, uncooked chicken, with a pathetic dripping of some dried sauce sitting in the pot on the warm counter. For ten hours.

Insert enormously exasperated sigh here

While I had, in fact, taken all the appropriate steps to guarantee that dinner would be ready and hassle free, I failed to check the "reset" button on the outlet. The crock pot never even started to heat up. #newhousefail

So we improvised. 


Mmmm. Mexican. 
'Til Next Time... 

XOXO



August 13, 2014

Welcome

Well, hello!


Make yourself right at home. Pull up a chair. Or a cushion. Or a hammock. Or maybe a bar stool, if that's your thing. Whatever. Judgement free zone, folks.

I started this blog because I am a Pinterest-Reddit-DIY-aholic.
Hi, my name is Kristy and I have a crafting problem.


I spend hours and hours of my time picking through the plethora of projects, ideas, re-dos, do-overs, reupholstered, un-reupholstered, revamped, recycled, improved, and otherwise "fixed" pieces of furniture, various arts/crafts, and organizational demos created by other bloggers on the web. I spend so much time digging through the many creative endeavors of my peers that I barely have time to complete any of my own projects! (I blame the many talented people out there.)


Anywho, the point of all this is: if I'm spending all my free time looking at projects online, I may never actually get to accomplish any of my own. So here you have it: this is my first little project.


In the posts to follow, I hope to share with you some of my own creative ideas, the "re-modeling" of my new home, my attempts to live more frugally, my review of various products and services, recipes, books I'm reading, lifehacks and a multitude of resources to get your own creative juices flowing, with maybe a few rants and raves mixed in.


This is my blog and you can call me Queen Bee.

Just kidding. But seriously, like they always say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"

Welcome to Castle DIY. I'm so glad you're here.





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