Archive for March, 2012

If I had $640 million…

I just bought my first ever lottery ticket. I couldn’t help myself. It’s lottery mania here in the DMV; plus, Conor and I did the math last night and worked it out to a $31,000 WEEKLY allowance for the next 25 years if we won the jackpot (AFTER taxes).

So I figured it couldn’t hurt to waste spend $5. I did the easy pick since I had no idea what I was doing. Plus, I don’t have lucky numbers…at least not yet.

Of course, then I got to thinking. What would I even buy/do with $640 million?

The once-in-a-lifetime stuff

  • Make a calendar of festivals and travel the world based on that schedule
  • Open my own puppy play world
  • SHOP
  • Live a year off of Groupon/LivingSocial deals…just for fun
  • Travel every state (with Cesar in tow, of course)
  • Open a boutique
  • Quit working and continue my education, but in fun things like make up artist or hair stylist or wood shop extraordinaire!

The logical stuff

  • Pay off my college loans
  • Invest/Save 75% of it
  • Buy a not-so crappy car
  • Buy real estate in the city
  • SHOP

The day to day stuff

  • Hire a cleaning staff
  • Hire a personal chef
  • Buy a yellow Vespa
  • SHOP
  • Buy/build a walk-in closet and organize the shit out of it
  • Create a mini green house where I can grow veggies year round
  • Have my own sewing and craft room and sell crap on Etsy. I mean, I’d sell millionaire crap on Etsy.

And somewhere in the middle of all that, I’d make sure I was happy. That my friends and family were happy. I’d keep it simple…just with a lot more money!

But in the likely event that I don’t win a single dime, I’ll just be content that I played and donated $5 to VA public education.

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DIY: Coasters

A few years ago, I visited Scotland on a regular basis for work and pleasure. While there, I purchased many fun items that are essentials in my wardrobe or room decor. However, I also purchased many silly items that now need an update or they would certainly end up in my Goodwill bags…like this set of Scottish flag coasters.

These aren’t exactly extra special coasters, but I do use them regularly throughout my room for traditional functions like drinks and slightly less traditional like under small potted plants. So I headed to the craft store and stumbled across sheets of solid and patterned duct tape. Not only is there an adhesive component included, but it won’t easily be ruined by water marks. Plus, it’s quite cheap ($1.99 per sheet).

Note: I started with only the patterned sheet, but after a trial run, I realized I needed the solid white under the pattern as a base since the flag was visible through only 1 layer of duct tape.

The rest, my dears, is all quite simple. Take your coaster and trace around it on the back of your duct tape sheet. They even have a handy grid for use, if you like.

Cut, peel, and stick! And voila – a new set of coasters!

ps. You can easily peel away the duct tape if you ever get tired of the pattern and want try out a new one!

From Ginger Lemon Girl…

I rarely re-post other blogs. It’s just not my thing, but after a tough week and an even harder weekend, this one just seemed to fit and I don’t want to forget the final message:

It’s okay to feel and express being hurt, it’s okay to let yourself feel the pain of disappointment. And that as hard as this life is, you should never, ever stop hoping for the best.

You can read the full blog here: A Dog’s Life — Lessons on Strength and Hope

DIY: Pillow talk

Ever since I brought my Grandma’s sewing desk up to VA and got a folding craft table, I’ve finally felt like I can do a bit more crafting without getting in anyone’s way around the apartment. I just don’t have the time or energy to finish a project in 1 sitting, so I like to do it over the course of a few days. I started my new project last week and finally finished it up today!

I first found the idea of a chalkboard pillow on Etsy, and I figured it would be a great gift to give to my roommate who is an elementary school counselor. I thought that a pillow young kids could write on would be handy as a way to express their feelings.

With no pattern in hand, I set out on a new DIY adventure and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.

First, I laid out all my materials:

Next, I worked on placement and started to sew the basics together:

Next, I cut out my speech bubble from oilcloth materials. I laid out a pattern I printed from Word:

But, I knew I didn’t want to pin the pattern to the oilcloth, so flipped it all over and drew on the wrong side of the oilcloth. Make sure you flip your pattern too if you want it to sit a certain direction.

Here’s my cut out. You may notice a few creases in my oilcloth, but just set it in a warm room and the creases will work out on their own. There’s really no other option.

Next, I pieced it all together and pinned everything in place. You’ll notice, I’ve also created a small pocket to hold the chalk (just whip stitch the top so you don’t have any raw edges & sew the rest into place). I only pinned my oilcloth at the edges as I wasn’t sure how the oilcloth would react to pins and I didn’t want to mess it up with pin holes:

If you’re like me and new to sewing, then you’ll probably find that you don’t know a thing about sewing oilcloth. So I googled a few tips first. The 2 I found most helpful was to put tape on the bottom of your presser foot so the cloth moves under it and to make sure your stitch length is wide. Both of these tips worked like a charm. Below you’ll find my speech bubble, chalk pocket, and back of the pillow sewn together. This is everything flipped right side out with a hole to stuff it with pillow fluff.

If I had to do over again, I would have picked a different place to stuff pillow fluff. Why? Because my intention was to just run the hole through the machine and not fuss too much that you’d maybe see some stitches in the gingham. However, I left my hole at the yellow bit and no matter what color thread I used, it would be too obvious on either side. So I had to blind stitch the hole together, which is probably better anyways.

*Note: it’s probably a good idea to include a zipper and only use this as a covering; however, I consciously chose to not include a zipper to make the project easier for me.I knew my roommate wouldn’t care.

And voila…a chalkboard pillow for kids to write on. Sorry, I didn’t have any chalk to experiment with, but I tested with a chalking tool and it wiped off clean!

Not bad, eh? 🙂

The Head and the Heart

Last night, I went to Baltimore to see The Head and the Heart play at Rams Head Live. I didn’t really know much of their stuff, but based on a friend’s recommendations I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

I was far from disappointed. The venue was crackin’ and the band certainly brought their A game. So much in fact, I felt compelled to download their album and share them with anyone looking for a new band to obsess about.

To put it into perspective, The Head and the Heart will likely be the next Mumford & Sons. My friend told me they will be opening for Dave Matthews this summer, so get in while you can. They’ll be mainstream before you can say ‘folk revival’ 5 times backwards.

Need more convincing? Here’s a little tune for your Wednesday morning:

Bitches

There is a difference in working with dogs and working with bitches. At least when you’re working with dogs, you know when you’re about to get bit. You don’t get the same warnings/courtesy at the office.

What is wrong with people today?

3.14

March 14.
Pi day.
Steak & BJ day.
Also, apparently the day Rebecca Black released Friday to the world – a sad day.

But today, this year – it’s the day I found this…squee!

Hai red panda!

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