Friday, April 30, 2010

Looky what I did today!

I created some new buttons today!  If you would like to add my new button to your blog, here's how!

To add a button (in Blogger):
  • Copy the code below (choose larger or smaller button)
  • Go to Layout
  • Select " Add a Gadget"
  • Select "HTML/Javascript"
  • Paste the code you copied
Larger button:

Looking Glass Jewels
Smaller Button:
Looking Glass Jewels

Please leave a comment or email me
 if you have any questions!

Want to create your own button to share on your blog?  I used this great tutorial from A Heart For Home to create mine!  It was a huge help to me, I hope it helps you as well!  Of course, if I can answer any questions about how I created mine, I am happy to do so!

Thank you! :)

P.S. Here is another extremely helpful tutorial with great blog tips & tidbits from My Repurposed Life that really helped me!  It is truly worth the read!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brain Makeover

I have to admit something.
I am a messy person.  I procrastinate.  My house is usually messy, my laundry is almost never put away, and pretty much 100% of the time, I have dirty dishes in my sink.  I never have clean socks, so I steal my husbands, and then he never has clean socks.  I never make my bed in the morning.  Or any other time of day, for that matter.  My carpet always needs to be vacuumed and the glass shower is frightful.

The worst part?  The very worst I cannot believe I am telling you this part?

*takes deep breath*

I don't have a job, and I don't have children.  It's just me and my husband (and our pets).  That's it.

I have plenty of time to take care of my home.  It should be beautiful - always, not just on special occasions or when someone comes to visit.  And I am so angry with myself for allowing us to live this way.  It is embarrassing and depressing, and I don't know what is wrong with me!  I truly don't understand why I do such a horrible job at such a simple thing.

The most confusing part is that I want to be the person who takes care of my home.  When I had a job, I fantasized about not having to work, making breakfast for my husband every morning, keeping my home beautiful, about how, if it wasn't for the pesky 8-5 job, my house would be perfect.  After losing my position to downsizing, and because of my husband's job, I was able to stay home.  And... nothing changed.  If anything, it is worse because now we are both in the house, messing it up, all day long.  (My husband works from home.)

I don't get it.  It should be simple, right?  Just clean already!  

I'm truly not lazy by nature.  At least not any lazier than your average person.  When I have a craft project, or fixate on something I want to get done, watch out!  I am all energy and effectiveness!  Life is beautiful!  Look at me go!  But then.... boom.  I hit bottom again, and everything comes to a standstill.

Now, if this isn't getting real enough for you, I will get even "realer". (I know, not a word, but whatever.)
I suffer from depression (which I imagine you could have guessed) and I am super sensitive to criticism, which my completely frustrated husband has every reason to dole out.  The whole reason that he agreed to letting me stay home was because I painted this picture of how wonderful our life would be if I could stay home and take care of everything.  I believed in that picture, I could see it, sometimes thinking about it was what got me through the day.  I simply have never made it happen with any consistency.  And my inner bully tells me every single day how much I suck, how severely I have failed, and how I will never ever make that picture a reality.

It hurts.  It hurts me, it hurts my husband, it hurts our marriage (which has all it's own problems without the addition of this one). 

I have to stop listening to all the negative.  I have to replace it with something better, something positive, something that doesn't pull me to pieces. 

I am trying.

I am trying to believe in myself.

I will believe in myself.

I would never talk to anyone -ANYONE- they way I talk to myself.  I don't care how rotten a person is, I would never ever say (or think)  the mean and damaging things about them that I think about me.  It's NOT RIGHT that I do that, it's evil and wrong and I WILL stop! 

I am praying for help, and I believe that God hears me.  I ask Him to clean my mind and heal my heart and to guide me.  The obstacles I face are not that I hide from housework.  The real obstacle is I have sold myself on the idea that I cannot succeed.  I must overcome and find my faith in myself again.  And that means that negativity and criticism HAS TO STOP.  It breaks me, and I cannot allow it in my life anymore.

I don't know why I am sharing this here.  I meant for this to be a safe place, with happiness and crafts and pretty things.  Don't worry, it will be - for me it is!  But the words are just spilling out of me today, and perhaps it is for reasons which are beyond my knowledge.  I believe that God works through us in ways we may never know, and I truly believe deep in my heart that He will teach me a way through this destructive jungle I am lost within.  And most of all, I believe He loves me, even when I don't know how to love myself.

Thank you for sticking with me.  It matters more than you know.

Speaking of God's work, I read a wonderful idea at Spying on the Swinney's (I can't find the actual post to link to, grrr) about making a chore list with planned breaks.  I created one for myself and am using it today to great success!  Hooray!  I ROCK! (See that positive affirmation?  Aw yeah.)

Here is my list:
It is long, yes, but I am not pressuring myself to get everything done All At Once (which has been one of my stumbling blocks, instead of cleaning methodically, I get myself all worked up in a cleaning frenzy which scares the dogs and wears me out for days afterwords.  No more!)

I don't have to think when I use this list.  I'm not planning what to conquer next, worrying about the most effective way to clean the wholelivingroom now it's timetovaccumeverywhere bright shiny object hurry hurry this is such a mess, I suck.

Nope.  Just nice and simple.  Follow the list.  Mark it off.  TAKE A BREAK AND BE PROUD OF WHAT I ACHIEVED.

Thank you, Lord, for guiding me to a blog that had just the right idea for me.  Thank you, Connie Lynn, for writing it!  (Sorry that I can't find the actual post, if I do I will add it here, but she has a wonderful site that is truly worth reading, so it's okay.)

* UPDATE:  I found the post!

Maybe someone out there needed to hear my thoughts.  I know I needed to share them.

Thank you.

*takes deep breath, hits publish*

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mantle Makover - Part One

Are you ready for a transformation?

A mantle transformation, that is.

Okay, I am fibbing.  More like a partial mantle transformation.  Step one of many.

Do you remember me complaining about how incredibly boooring my mantle is?  If you met my mantle at a party, it would discuss the weather.  For an hour.  In detail.  And you'd have to listen because my mantle is the boss's wife and you can't be rude to the boss's wife, right?  And then she'd start to talk about her varicose veins.  And you are all, "No!  I can't see anything!  You look great!"  even though her veins are, like, POPPING OUT and about to EAT YOUR FACE and she keeps making you lean over to look really really close and now you wish she's go back to talking about the weather, because, ARGH, this lady is giving you HIVES and you are going to SHOOT your husband for abandoning you and please someone bring me a vodka.

That is what my mantle is like.

It needs a change, is what I am sayin'.


(click on pictures to biggify)

Ergh.  Blah.  Annoying.

The first things I wanted to fix were the golden candlesticks.  See how they do nothing for the mantle?  The color is washed out and the symmetry is so tedious.

Here they are about to get some cosmetic surgery.  Begone varicose veins!


The primer is, er, primed and ready to go! 

So much better already!

Ooo, flat black spray paint, I love you so. 

You are the olive in my martini.


Darn it!

I forgot to take a picture of the candlesticks with their coat of black paint before I distressed them!  Argh!

Anyhoo.  Sorry about that. 

SO - imagine them solid black. 

Can you see them? 

Now picture me sanding just the edges to make some of the primer show through. 


Okay, quit imagining.

Because here they are!

(click on pictures to biggify)
See how the slight distressing just "breaks up" the black a bit? 

Don't they look expensive?  I loooooove how they turned out!

I love taking angled pictures.  Sorry if it makes you a little seasick. 
I'm an artist and I WON'T COMPROMISE!

Um, yeah.  Or not.


I think they look a thousand times better!  The deep red of the candles really pop - and I adore my little turquoise birdy!  I think he looks so cute with the candles all clustered around him!

So that was Mantle Makeover, Step One.  Yay!

The next target is the mirror you see in the upper left corner of the above picture.

I love this mirror, it is solid wood, and I spent $80 on it from Pier One years ago... and at a time that I really did not have $80 to spend.  I just fell in love with it and knew I would have it forever.  The raised carvings are all distressed, showing the wood grain underneath.  I think I want to paint it black, like the candlesticks, but I am so nervous about not being happy with the results.  But as it is, it is almost invisble against the builder-white wall color.  So, if I can keep my courage up, I'm 99% certain that it is next in line for the black spray paint! 

Unless you talk me out of it.

(Please talk me out of it.)

Unless you think I should do it.

(Please talk me into it.)



BEFORE:                AFTER:

(click on pictures to biggify)

I would list their buttons here individually, but there are too many! 
Many thanks to the hostesses for all their time and effort!
You can be sure that, if my post fit their category, I linked to it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Giveaways from around the Blogosphere!

Here are great giveaways I couldn't resist sharing! 
(I try to remove the giveaways that have ended)

Enter to win a 20lb box of Organic Grass Fed Lean Beef at Only Natural Food!
Ends 5/15

Enter to win your choice of 4 items at Comfy Cook
Ends 5/4 at 11pm EST

Enter to win a Hana Professional Flat Iron fom Who Doesn't Love Coupons!
Ends 5/10 at 11:59 EST

Win a Healthy Home Starter Kit from I'm Just Your Average Mom
Ends 5/22,  midnight

Enter to win a $60 CSN Store giftcard at Keeping it Simple
Ends 5/9 at 8pm CST

Enter to win a Canvas Press canvas at Making the World Cuter
Ends 4/29 at midnight
UPDATE: I won!  Hooray!

Enter to win Vintage Art Supplies at Tatertots and Jello
Ends 4/30 at midnight MST

Enter to win a Xtrema 10 inch skillet at The Ahotaeiloa Family
Ends 5/13 at 10pm MST

Enter to win a Daisy Patch Watch at The Ahotaeiloa Family
Ends 5/10 at 10pm MST

Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to KAMsnaps at The Ahotaeiloa Family!
Ends 5/19 at 10pm MST

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to ATGStores at Survey Junkie!
Ends 5/8 at 9pm EST

Enter to win a $20 CSN giftcard at Frugal Home Designs!
Ends 4/30 evening
Horray!  I WON! 

Enter to win a $100 giftcard to ATGStores at Let's Just Give It Away!
Ends 5/20
Enter to win a $100 giftcard to ATGStores at Coupon Clippin' Mommy!
Ends 5/3 at 11:59PM EST

Enter to win a Jewelry Armoire from Hayneedle at J. Leigh Designz!
Ends 5/31 at 11:59PM

Enter to win a Scotch-Brite spring cleaning set at Mom Start!
Ends 5/6 at 11:59pm PST

Enter to win a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores at WAHM Resource Site!
Ends 5/6 at 11pm CST

Enter to win a $75 gift certificate to CSN Stores at Struggling to be Stylish!
Ends 5/5

Enter to win a Lipo in a Box $50 gift certificate at Born 2 Impress!
Ends 5/8 at midnight EST

Enter the Calphelon Skillet Set Giveaway worth $60 at Seven Clown Circus!
Ends 5/2 at 11:59PM PDT

Enter to win 2 Contempo Candles at Nuestrasa Venturas en Texas!
Ends 5/6 at midnight

Enter to win an $100 gift cerificate to ATGStores at Toronto Teacher Mom!
Ends 5/6 at midnight EST

Have a giveaway you want me to add? 
Leave a comment with a direct link to your giveaway!
Or share your giveaway link party! 
Good Luck everyone!

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