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Pinterest Challenge: Christmas Chandelier

November 29, 2011

**So, I took a bit of a break from blogging for a while.  Life got crazy.  Grad classes got difficult and time consuming.  I am sure it was heart breaking for you all to be without me for so long, but I’m back now and hope to keep up a more regular posting schedule.**

Seeing as this is our first Christmas in our new place, I have been trying to find some inexpensive projects to pump up our Christmas decor.  So, of course, I turned to Pinterest and decided to do my own version of Young House Love’s Pinterest Challenge.

I pinned this beautiful ornament chandelier and thought I could try something similar in our apartment.

Isn’t that just so elegant?

Of course, the one hang up is that we don’t have a chandelier.  We have a ceiling fan. With a light.

Undeterred, I decided to try to make it work.  With some suggestions from my crafy mother-in-law (along with a generous donation of some crafty supplies), I set to work.


  • Metal ring/frame (I believe I used some sort of gardening thing to hold up top heavy plants)
  • Ornaments of various sizes
  • Clear string
  • Christmas themed ribbon
  • Glass of wine (makes the tying of ornaments easier)

My first task was to find a way to hang my metal frame at an easy height for me to reach to be able to tie on the ornaments.  Enter my crazy pull up bar hanging system (at least the pull up bar is getting some use for once!):

I started with the large ornaments, hanging them up close to the top of the frame.  Then I used the medium size to create a lower layer and fill in the spaces close to the top.  Finally, I used the small size to fill in all the gaps.

Then I had to do some major trimming of all of that excess clear thread since it was hanging everywhere (as you can see in these pictures).  You can’t see it nearly as much in person, though.

Once I had everything where I wanted it, I then had to figure out how the heck to get it hung up on the ceiling fan.  There was much trial and error.  And sighing.  And drinking of wine.  I should have waited until I had a second person to help me hang it, and much cursing could have been avoided.  But D was asleep already and I am not patient.

Finally, I settled on using a small piece of Christmas ribbon on each fan blade and tying it to the metal frame.  This helps keep it stable and even.

I’m not sure if I am 100% satisfied with the final product.  There might still need to be some major tweaking.  The ceiling fan, since it’s an ugly ceiling fan instead of an elegant chandelier, doesn’t lend itself to that pretty “grape cluster” look from my inspiration picture.  I think I’ll live with it for a few days, get D’s reaction on it (my prediction for his effusive praise: “No. Uh. It’s nice.”), and see.  Let me know what you think and if you have suggestions.

The view from the living room:

Are you working on any fun holiday projects?


Happy Friday with a video

October 14, 2011

I know I normally have a song on Fridays, but instead I wanted to post the following video, which explains why I am totally jonesing for the new iPhone 4S:

Until I saw this video, I wasn’t really clear about why in the world anyone would want the ability to talk to their phone (and worried that I would find talking to my phone annoying/crazy-person-looking on the order of people who walk around the grocery store talking on their hands-free, making it seem like they are talking to themselves.

But now, both D and I have decided to upgrade out current iPhones (by woefully old 3G and Dan’s newer, but quickly fading 3GS) to the 4S model.  That is, once we have found the requisite $400 in our budget for both of us to upgrade.

Are you guys feelin’ the new iPhone?

And in case you need some music for your Friday, I’ll give a birthday shout out to BFF Jules with some Disney awesomeness (and our favorite road trip duet):


Happy Friday with a Soundtrack: I curse you, Statistics! Edition

October 7, 2011
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It’s a lovely fall Friday, here in the DC area, but I still hate my statistics class with a fiery and stabby passion and will be doing Stats homework all weekend.  But that’s my problem, not yours.

Good things on tap for the weekend:

  • Taste of DC is in town this weekend, with some of the city’s best restaurants offering samples of their deliciousness.  I’ll be headed down there on Saturday with D, my sister and niece (who are coming into town for the weekend– yay!), and an awesome co-worker who invited me along.  Beautiful DC weekend + cheap and delicious array of fancy food– yes please!
  • Since it’s Fall, there is football.  Glorious football!

And of course, a lovely song to get you through the rest of your Friday workday: Tell ‘Em by Sleigh Bells.  The beat of this song is freaking amazing.  But, I won’t lie– I can’t really make out about 75% of the lyrics.

Cocktail Time!

October 6, 2011

Why, hello there…new piece of furniture in our living room.

Piece that perfectly fills the awkward space between our TV and the door to the office… Your doors are lovely.

Let’s look inside, shall we?

That is a thing of beauty.  (and yes, I know my wine rack is looking pitiful at the moment.  A trip to Trader Joe’s is needed, stat!

D and I were trying to figure out what to do with the odd space we had next to our TV, and I suggested we get some sort of bar cart or something.  D was totally on board with the idea.  I found this beauty at World Market and we were sold! (Many thanks to my Father-in-Law whose birthday gift this year helped make this bar possible!)

And my post title was a jibe at Sandra Lee-of-the-very-boozy-food-network-show-and-awkward-too-long-catch-phrases.  For those of you who have been spared “Semi-Home-Made with Sandra Lee”, I invite you to watch this Sandra Lee Re-mix.  The cocktail time part starts at 1:20 or so.

Angus says “Hello Again”

October 5, 2011

It’s been a while since Angus has made his way onto the blog, so I figured I’d post a few pictures of his cute face.

Also I’m posting these to prove to you guys that while I do forget to water my plants, I do remember to give Angus food and water. (Though it does help that he reminds me by sitting on my chest every morning until I get up and feed him)

And finally, I’ll leave you all with this one, from when we had to give him a bath after we discovered some fleas.

I like to think he is trying really hard to flip me off in this picture.

Any way you frame it

October 4, 2011

So, I’ve been talking about this gallery wall project I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.  I have a ton of amazing old family pictures that I want to have displayed in our home (101 in 1001 goal #62), and when we were visiting D’s mom over the summer, she gave me some of her family and baby D to scan and use as well.  I have been so excited, because to me it doesn’t really feel like home without family photos out on display… we had a gallery-ish wall in our house growing up that I loved to look at, and I miss it.

But, I kept hitting road blocks.  I needed to buy all of these frames!  Oh, no wait, I should scan the pictures first and pick which ones we wanted, and then buy frames.  Oh no wait, I can’t afford to buy a zillion new frames.

Finally, on Sunday I realized how many frames I had sitting around the apartment.  Some of them weren’t in amazing shape, and they certainly didn’t match.  But, I started messing around with layouts on the floor of our bedroom and I realized, that as Stacy and Clinton say, “It doesn’t match, but it goes.”  Indeed, I decided my hodgepodge mix of black, brown, and gold frames would work out just fine…. and if we decide it bugs us later, that’s why there’s spray paint, right?

As for finding a layout, I tried the Young House Love method of tracing the frames onto paper and hanging them on the wall, but it was too tedious for me.  I opted to come up with a layout on the bedroom carpet.  I chose to have frames that went above and below a center line, like this one I saw on Pinterest.

First, please note that most of the photos in the frames in the photos below are NOT the ones I am planning on using, they just happen to be the pictures currently residing in those frames.

I taped off the 2″ wide “Line of Demarcation” on the wall (and skipped taking a picture, so pretend those frames aren’t already there!)

then went to town hanging up frames above and below it based on the layout I had on the bedroom floor.  All of the pictures are spaced 2″ apart from one another, just to try and keep the lines clean.

Here is the current progress… I still need to hang frames on the top of the center lines on the right and left sides.  I need to get one more IKEA frame for one side, and need to add new hanging fixtures to an old frame for the other side.

Would you like to see some of the awesome photo highlights?  Of course you would!

These are some of the photos that will definitely be making the cut (but may scanned, re-sized and put into different frames)

My parents’ wedding photo– so deliciously 70’s

My mom’s baby picture.  Adorable.

My Grandmother’s college graduation photo.  Wasn’t she beautiful?  That hair! I die!

And finally, the shadowbox I made of our wedding invitations, our Terrapin cake toppers, and photos.  It didn’t work anywhere else in the apartment, so why not on this wall?

My next steps are getting all of my photos scanned onto a CD/DVD so I can order new prints in the sizes I need.  Does anyone have any recommendations on the best place to get photos scanned for you?  Our scanner is not high-res enough to do the job.

After that, on to matting!  My awesome mother-in-law has a mat cutter she is going to let me borrow so I can get all of these to fit into the frames I already have.  Hooray for not having to pay for custom framing and matting!

Have you tackled any projects lately?

Happy Friday with a Soundtrack– It’s Finally Fall! Edition

September 23, 2011

This has been a week of big highs and lows for me:


  • My birthday was this week, and it was delightful!  Birthday risotto was made, a small party filled with wine drinking was had, lovely and thoughtful presents were received (I made D look at D Discovered my Pinterest page and bought these beauties for me:)

From Etsy Seller Tiger Lilly and Clover

  • I have friends getting married this weekend!
  • I got to see and catch up with a ton of friends over the past week, and it was great to see them all


  • I had to have an emergency root canal on Monday night (a welcome lessening of the horrible tooth pain that I had for Saturday and Sunday).  It was… less than fun
  • My Grad class this semester is very frustrating.  I don’t think Stats and I are ever going to be friends
  • Tooth pain.  It sucked so much I had to put it down twice.

But, it’s Friday, and despite the rain and the residual aching of my root canal, I’m happy for that.  So, onto the Soundtrack for your Friday: Jack Sparrow by Lonely Island (this song has some NSFW Lyrics).

D showed this to me this weekend (Not sure how I managed to miss it up until then?) and I laughed hysterically, despite the tooth pain.  How can you not love a Lonely Island song that features Michael Bolton?

I hope you all are looking forward to you weekend?  Anything special going on in your life?  Do you also love Lonely Island’s ridiculous music?