April 29, 2015

Last Day - Teacup Candle Giveaway!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter for your chance to win. Entries will be accepted through 11:59PM today and a random winner will be selected and contacted within 48 hours.

Eligible winners must have a mailing address within the continental US. 

to visit the post and enter the drawing! 

April 28, 2015

A Word on Upward Mobility

Last week during my commute, the morning host on the radio show I've been listening to started babbling about the episode of Grey's Anatomy that had aired the night before. I won't spoil it, in the event you're behind an episode or two and Facebook hasn't already totally ruined it for you, but so many people discussed the happenings and how they just could not believe what had occurred - that they had been watching for so long, and it felt like time stopped, and they have never felt so sad.

April 25, 2015

Thrift Shop Madness & Giveaway!

I don't know that I've ever mentioned my new found love of thrift shops, but in DIY land, there is little you can do to keep from becoming a bit obsessive about money-saving shopping techniques. I do a lot of crafts, most using inexpensive stuff that I have laying around or that I pick up from the dollar store, but every once and again I feel the urge to stretch my decorating/craft loving dollar just a bit further.

As of late, I am addicted to thrifting brass planters, mirrors, baskets and worst of all, picture frames. My picture frame hoarding has gotten so bad that I have more than twenty frames sitting in a pile on the floor in the living room waiting for me to commit and just hang them up already. Ideally I'd like to put up a gallery wall without a bunch of extra nail holes, so I'm going to wait until I've acquired just the right pieces before I take the plunge. Still, I've got to do something with my collection, stat. Especially because we're expecting company for dinner on Friday. They're going to think I'm a crazy person.

Although, let's face it, I am a little crazy, but who's keeping track?

April 23, 2015

Currently Reading Vol. 9, 10 & 11

I'm reading books faster than I can post about them (or than you'd care to know). I'm still on Michael Connolly's Lincoln Lawyer Series, including the last three books:

The Reversal
The Fifth Witness &
The Gods of Guilt

I skipped the "third" one, Nine Dragons, because the character I'm currently following had only a small role in that one. But the next one isn't scheduled for publish until later this year which means I'm going to have to check back to my Goodreads and Library e-book arsenals for other recommendations.

What are you reading?


April 21, 2015

Listening To

The local country station.

I don't know what it is about warm weather, but as soon as the summer sun starts to shine, my radio stays tuned to the country channel.

Warm weather identity crisis.

PS/UPDATE: Castle DIY has almost 4000 views? Well I'll be darned. This calls for a celebration! Let's see what I can come up with.


April 17, 2015

Sneak Peek: Wall Bed Edition

Matt has been working on my wall bed for over a month - after work and on the weekends and even his seldom days off. He planned it, sketched it out, bought the materials, hauled them home, put them together, took them apart, put them together again, added hinges and screws and nails and glue and shelves and just general awesomeness. And then he came in and cooked me dinner (once). He is the absolute best.

With his help, I primed the unit on Saturday, followed by two coats of paint. Honestly, it could have used one more, but I am so excited that I just couldn't wait. Two coats will have to do.

We brought it in from the garage (a story for later!) and squeezed it into my office/craft/guest room. I still have some painting to do, and there are some parts and pieces to add, but it is [THISCLOSE] to being finished. I'll be blogging about it eventually, but I just wanted to share a little sneak peek...

April 15, 2015

Currently Reading Vol. 7 & 8

Over the end part of last week and the weekend, I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Many of you probably know this book, have probably read it as young adults, but I was seriously late to the party. This book had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion and given all the seriousness in my life as of late, it was much needed comic relief. My only disappointment was the the end was incredibly abrupt and I wasn't ready to continue reading the series because I'm already hooked on another and I had to go back to it...

Which brings me to the Michael Haller series (the second of the Lincoln Lawyer Saga - a continuation from my last Currently Reading post) by Michael Connolly. The Brass Verdict is already off to a good start. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the author's style of writing and since I am a crime buff by nature, I can't help but be addicted to these novels. If you're into this kind of thing, it's definitely interesting and the suspense keeps me on my toes at all times. I borrow mine from the e-book section of my local library, but these books, plus many millions of others, are all available on Amazon Books.

PS - and this is just something I learned a few days ago - did you know that if you have Amazon Prime you also have access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library?  According to Amazon:
"The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is available for Amazon Prime members—paid Amazon Prime, paid Amazon Student, 30-day free trial, and customers receiving a free month of Prime benefits with a Fire tablet—who own a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone, and features hundreds of thousands of titles. Books borrowed from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library have no due dates and can be delivered to other Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, or Fire phones registered to your Amazon account."
How cool is that? I can't wait to try it.


April 11, 2015

How to: Easy Tile Coasters

At some point along my life journey, I became my father. It may have been the first time I said the words "THIS IS NOT A PLAYGROUND," or the first time I started looking at things and thinking that I could make them myself, but more likely it was around the time that I started hoarding junk to be used for future projects.

If you ask my dad, he will tell you that I give him a hard time for keeping a bunch of other people's crappy stuff leftovers laying around; and he would be right. I have accused my dad on more than one occasion of being a hoarder and have threatened to call the producers of the show to feature him on one of their episodes. My dad is afraid of throwing things out because you just never know when you might need a rusted metal slab or a broken wicker chair.

This seems to be a trait that I have picked up, as I have been carting around a handful of scraps and materials from miscellaneous places for the last few years. One item that I've had for a particularly long time is a stack of plain, white tiles that I acquired from... er... well... somewhere. I have no idea where they came form, actually. I had decided quite some time ago that I would turn these tiles into coasters and it has taken me up until now to do so. If you don't have tiles just laying about, you can get some like these from Lowe's or Home Depot for a couple bucks.

Castle DIY

April 9, 2015

Wish List: Spring Edition

I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and Amazon lately, ooh-ing and aah-ing over spring fashion trends and cutesy little do-dadds that I'd like to have. This happens to me when I have a lull in my otherwise crazy life (or more accurately, when I'm trying to ignore responsibilities). The items vary in price, naturally, because my wish list has no reservations about the clearance rack. In fact, if I could buy everything on clearance, with a coupon, and a small (preferably washable) spot on it that I could use for additional markdown, I totally, totally would.

April 6, 2015

Currently Reading Vol. 6

The Lincoln Lawyer - Michael Connolly

I haven't seen the movie, but I had flagged one of Connolly's other books in my library queue until I realized it was the 5th of the series. So I downloaded the first of the series to my kindle - and we're gonna give it a go!
"Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers -- they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice. 
A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal -- this time to save his own life."


April 4, 2015

How to: Corkboard Jewelry Organizer

My grandmother is a very special lady. She is one of my best friends and my biggest supporters. She knows about home remedies and gives good advice. She can tell me when to plant my spring flowers and what kind of voodoo to curse my grass with to make it grow. She is all the wonders that a grandmother should be.

She is also one of the most ridiculous people I know. 

Two years ago, while tidying up her apartment, I noted that I liked her jewelry box. Her natural response to this comment was that I could have it when she died and to go ahead and write my name on it now. I said that I would just wait. But a few weeks later, she had cleaned it out for me so that I could have it in time for my move to South Carolina. (Don't worry guys, she's still alive and well.)

So now it sits on my dresser in our bedroom harboring as much jewelry as I can stuff into it. The necklace carousel is lopsided due to the weight of my necklaces, which are relatively jumbled and tangled together in a mess. My earrings are all tossed in the little drawer all together so that I have to dump out the whole drawer in order to find a pair. 

So while scouring Pinterest a few weeks ago, I saw a board on jewelry organization and it got me thinking about steps I could take to organize my everyday jewelry for easy accessibility and separate them from my more special-occasion pieces. Ultimately I settled on a corkboard for my necklaces. It was simple to make and serves its purpose well. I only needed a few bits and pieces to put it all together, and it cost me nothing as I already had all of the stuff at home (and you might, too!). So without further ado:

April 1, 2015

Currently Reading Vol. 5

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

I've never read any of Agatha Christie's work, but I always hear about what an exquisite story teller she is - so I'm putting her to the test. I just borrowed this one from the e-book selection at my local library and I haven't even started yet, but my kindle is charged and ready and I cannot wait! I'm a big fan of the game/movie, "Clue" which is based off this novel. Surely then, it must be good! If you're in need of a book to read, here's what the summary entails:
"First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion."
Goodreads users give it a rating of 4.2/5 which is a pretty decent score considering the wealth of literature snobs that railroad the comment and review sections of the site. I have high hopes!



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