Candace’s Crafty Corner: An Afternoon Pumpkin De-white

This is my corner of the world to make things and post them on the Internet.  Whether they are ugly or not.  You’re welcome.

The leaves are changing and that’s got me itching to Fall-ify my little casa (which is still for sale).  While the Hubs thought I was going grocery shopping, I skipped over to Hobby Lobby instead.  Fall ceramic goodie decor was 50% off and I had my credit card locked and loaded.

And that’s where I bought these lovelies fuglies.  Yeah.

 

I don’t think the picture does them justice. They had a shiny iridescent sheen that reminded me of how the Gulf probably looks right now which is SO SUPER SAD, please get me started.

The 16 year old cashier looked at me in horror as she wrapped up my purchases and sent me away with the silence that I knew was JUDGMENT.  I didn’t blame her.

Then, I went to Menards and picked up some supplies to transform these little monstrosities.

 

First, I tried to sand the oil slick coating off with the sand paper sponge I had bought from Menards.  It didn’t work.  That crap was shellacked, cemented, not-going-anywhere with this wimpy sandpaper.  So, I used some general purpose sand paper that I already owned and that seem to rough it up enough for the paint to stick to (and probably loosened up an ample amount of wonderful fugly dust for me to inhale).  I wiped it down and let it dry.  I’m not really sure if this is necessary and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what I am doing.  You’ve been warned.

I moved straight to the spray paint.  Until now, I was a spray paint virgin.  But, that all changed this past weekend.

I got some great spray painting tips from a few blogs I stalk:

1. Don’t buy cheap spray paint. Rustoleum is a great brand (especially for metal projects).

2.  Shake the product as noted on the can (shake it up really, really well and count it as your workout for the day like I did).

3.  Start spraying outside of the object and make straight, overlapping, LIGHT, passes (left to right, for example) starting from the base of the object.

4. Plan to do a few light coats to get even (non drippy) coverage.

 

And.  Here.  My finished product.  Ooohs and aaaaahhs are appreciated.  And if you gave birth to me, they are required.

Cool, huh?  They remind me of these sexy versions.  Now, I have to brainstorm where to put them.

You probably couldn’t give a crap but here is what I paid for this fall fun:

  • Ceramic Pumpkin/Squash:  $5.50 and $4.50
  • Spray paint: $3.44
  • Sandpaper sponge that I’m using for my next pedicure: $2.94
  • General Purpose sandpaper:  $FREE (from my paint bin)
  • Hubs relief that I was busying myself with a project instead of bothering him:  $priceless

Total: $16.50 which, coincidentally, is about the same amount of money that I spent on fun clearance scarves this weekend.  I bought 4 of them, upping my collection to 9.  I can’t wait to wear them and add an instant 15lbs to my face.  Go me.

Also, the probability of my house selling fell from 0.005% to I-probably-will-have-to-pay someone-to-buy-it% because now the front yard looks like this:

 

Did anyone else DIY this weekend when they should have been grocery shopping?

Bag it up

I love a good bag .  I love having stuff to PUT in bags.

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It’s in my DNA.  My Mom has the same problem…affinity for an uber kick butt bag.  If I were to access my bag Situation

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…I would say I have just enough but with plenty of room for 1 (or 15) more.  Holla if you are with me.  No, don’t do that.

There are places to go, people to see, and stuff to cart around.   In BAGS.  *claps*  So, that got me thinking.  What the heck am I packin’ that makes mine so dang heavy?  It’s not the Benjamins weighing me down.  So, wanna find out with me?  We can hold hands, if that helps.

Bag Interrogated:  Target, $13 clearance score, so yummy I could gnaw on it.

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Here, the bag puke:

Three pairs of sunglasses?  Excessive.  Cherry tomatoes??  Random.  Look at that phone.  It might bring in the bling if I inquired about it at the Antique Road Show.  Ibuprofen and Pamprin?  Concerning.  A pair of mittens?  AND a pair of socks?  Those are not even mine.  It’s a long story.  Anyway.  I cleaned up my bag life and now I’m toting around a lot less stuff and even less Benjamins (cursed Old Navy).

Speaking more of bags – even though I have a sneaky suspicion you wanted this post to end even before it started – did you know if you bring your reusable bags into Target, they’ll knock 5cents (for each reusable bag) off your total?  A good friend filled me in.  It’s not much but every little bit counts and I’m not a huge fan of hauling all of those plastic bags home every grocery run.  Here are my grocery/farmer’s market bags that I keep in my car:

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Cuteness factor: A lot  Happy Mama Earth Points: 37.6

I’ve got to round up some “manly” reusable bags for the Hubs.  The pink plaid makes him uncomfortable.  Plus, he needs keep his grubby paws off of it, that bag is MINE.

Do you hoard bags like I do?  Should we start a support group as an excuse to hit up a great restaurant and eat dessert for dinner?

These are some soggy days

My week started out like this:

thecandace peeks out at her running buddy: “Think we should still run?”

Becky: “Let’s do it, I can’t imagine it’ll start raining any harder than it is right now.”

thecandace: “You’re right.  Let’s hit it.”

But, Becky was not right.  We got soaked.

And you know what?  The rain hasn’t stopped coming.  It’s been raining, no, POURING since then.  Basically, Minnesota is sinking into the ocean and I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen until 2012?

Stay dry? And try to make it to Friday.  Flashback Friday.

Update: This flood was a nasty one and Minnesota is still reeling from all of the water it received and the damage it caused. I know many houses and roads (and everything in between) were destroyed. I send out my best wishes of healing and hope during this very sad and crappy time.

A Fall Run

Dang.  Summer sure high tailed it out of here fast.  It’s almost hard to remember back to our warm summertime runnies when we…

Wait.  Side story.  On my Facebook profile, I proudly noted “Runnies” as one of my interests because I made up that adorable little word and have slowly convinced my running buddies to use it too.  But, remember when Facebook tried to be all smart-like and updated your interests with actual corresponding pages?  And do you know what page corresponded with Runnies?  I’ll tell you.  It’s a page for Mommies to find solace in each other because their kids are dealing (or have dealt) with the trauma of DIARRHEA.  You know, the Runs.  Or, as these Mommies fondly call it…Runnies.  So, for a squeamishly long time, one of my “interests” has been explosive CRAP.  Although I always love a good poop story (sorry, are you still reading?) I decided to remove ‘runnies’ from my interests and general running vocabulary.  But, bad habits die hard.  Anyway….back to my fall ruN (phew).

The cooler weather rushed in and these morning runs have a different feel.  Don’t fret though.  There is still Morning Peace.  There is still Drama that needs fixing.  But, now our runs start off a little hurried.  With a little more urgency.  Because we are FREEZING OUR KNEE CAPS OFF.

The sun stays snuggled up in bed for a little while longer and we have to pretend that it’s ok to be up even though the sun is STILL sleeping.  How totally unfair is that??

But, once we settle in…it’s actually pretty nice to enjoy the dark quiet.  The Morning Peace, if you will.

Our legs warm up and soon enough, that sun comes out to join us.  And once again, I’m glad I got up on this fine morning.  It feels good to move my body, clear my mind and suck in some of that fresh fall air.  We finished off our little fall run with some yoga in a random patch of grass.  It doesn’t make sense but making sense isn’t my forte.  Doesn’t Becky have nice form?  How disturbing is my headless tree pose?  Maybe it’s the Ghost of Runnies past??

Hope you are not scared off, these run(nie)s are only going to get colder. …

Fancy Pants

Weddings.  It’s a chance for two people to make some powerful promises and for us to shower and wear something fancier than smelly workout clothes.  Without further ido ado, here we are all schnazzied up.

Ben & Melissa’s Rehearsal Dinner.  We don’t know why Zack decided to wear jeans.  Strike 1.

Ben & Melissa’s Wedding.  This pic was taken at an awkward angle,  from really far away with a foggy camera lens.  Strike 2.

Nate and Cathy’s Wedding.  We are sitting with a classy plastic beer cup and Zack’s tie had mutinied against us. Strike 3.

Jill and Weston’s wedding.  We had a little time to kill so we stopped in for some hot eats, cool treats and a redunkulous self timer picture.  Also, my hair needs highlights ASAP.  Strike 4 (because we require leniency), and we’re out.

This is the time where you shower us with compliments anyway.  I’m waiting.

Get In My Belly: Fist Pump Worthy Pasta Salads

Take a deep breath because the unprecedented TWO FOR ONE Get In My Belly post is here.  Can you believe your luck!?!  Savor it (a play on words!) because it probably won’t happen again.

RECIPE 1: Greek Bowtie Pasta Salad.  See,  I keep my promises.

Ingredients:

  • box of bow tie pasta
  • green pepper – sliced
  • 1/2 red onion – sliced
  • jar of kalamata olives, drained
  • sun-dried tomatoes (sliced/drained if needed)
  • fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Greek salad dressing (you could make your own but why?)
  • crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

1.  Prepare the pasta as instructed.  Let cool.

2.  Add peppers, onions, olives, and tomatoes.

3.  Toss with Greek salad dressing & let it chill in the fridge for a good while.  Take this time to shop online for clearance sandals.

4.  Just before serving – toss with more Greek salad dressing and the feta cheese.  To secure your celebrity pasta salad status, casually place it next to the carton of crappy Walmart potato salad that someone else brought to the BBQ.

5.  Give Hubs The Look if he mentions to anyone that this is the first time you’ve cooked in weeks.

RECIPE2: Broccoli Bacon Tortellini Salad

  • fresh tortellini (I usually use the cheese one in the refrigerated section)
  • broccoli florets
  • sunflower seeds
  • golden raisins
  • bacon, cooked & crumbled (or if you are a lazy fool like me, buy the bag of real bacon bits)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Dressing:  2 c Mayo (I like the one with olive oil)
  • Dressing: A big splash of balsamic vinegar (to thin the mayo)
  • Dressing: 1/2-ish c white sugar (maybe more)
  • Dressing: cracked black pepper

Instructions:

1.  Cook tortellini as instructed and let cool.

2. Add broccoli, sunflower seeds, raisins, bacon, and onion.

3.  Make dressing.  I guessed on the amounts because you know I don’t make a habit of measuring much.  It’s one of my many faults.  If you make this salad ahead of time – you should prepare extra dressing because it gets absorbed pretty fast.  The coverage shouldn’t be thick – there should be just enough so the sunflower seeds/bacon/raisins stick to the tortellini.  Taste the dressing before you dump it on – it should be sweet and creamy.

4. Serve it and tell people that it’s fat free.  Because you only live once and that would be hilarious.

Of course, I neglected to snap any pictures of the finished product.  But, instead, I decided to take this strange self timer picture (while the Hubs was away) of me donning my cutest mixing bowl and wooden utensils.  Don’t judge me.

SpotLife: Road Trip Part 2

I know you were concerned we might not make it to MI.  But, we did.   And here is Part 2 of my fantastic story…

Meet our dear friends, The Cooper Clan (minus one cute – but on the move – almost 3 year old).   This is Matt, Gina and baby Elin.  Yes, good memory.  You have met her before.  Don’t we have attractive friends?

They had dinner (and coffee) waiting for us.  We snarfed it down.  Then, despite the excessive caffeine and creamer intake, we crashed.

The next morning, we enjoyed blueberry pancakes (plus more coffee) and we were off to Touch a Truck Day.  You heard me right.  Touch a Truck.  It was insanity.

Like the upstanding citizens we are, we did our part and touched trucks.

Little Everett was in heaven.

Then for lunch, guess where we ate??

It seemed as though the stars had aligned for us.  This was going to be a very good day.

We packed up the car again and headed north to Gina’s parent’s lake cabin.  Once we got there, we decided to take a little boat ride.  Unfortunately, there was a small swimming trunk mishap which (fortunately) resulted in this complete adorableness.

It was a beautiful evening to be out on the lake…

And when we finally docked, it was the perfect end to our day.

We spent all of the next day on the lake.  We parked on a little island (called Grass Island) and had ourselves a good time.  It was so relaxing in fact, that I took zero pictures.  Zero.  Two important things happened.  1.  I made my Greek Pasta salad (coming to a Get In My Belly near you) and 2. The sun, sand and fun tuckered the kiddos out.

That evening we ate tacos and smores.  Special smores.  These special smores.

Let’s just say that they were a good idea.  My idea.The night couldn’t get much better so we headed to bed.  I’m wild and crazy like that.

Our little weekend getaway was coming to a close so we wrapped it up with one last boat ride the next morning and then headed back into the city to enjoy the evening reconnecting and stuffing our faces before the Cooper clan could finally be rid of us.  But, we snapped a few more pictures so that we could be reminded of the great time we had and what nice friends we had ambushed in Michigan.

Oh Captain, my Captain.

Sigh.  They are so sweet.  We like them.  It’s debatable if the feeling is mutual.   But, regardless, it came time to say goodbye.

The Hubs had been moonlighting as Everett’s scaly companion (Blue Lizard) so their parting was especially difficult.

I was sad to leave too.  But, all good times and coffee creamer binges must come to an end.

So, we got gas.  You can decide which kind.

The ride home was fairly splendid for me (and the Hubs) because I did this for a majority of it.

After 10 hours of driving, we made it back home (which is still for sale, by the way).  We were just in time for our volleyball game because we are hard core like that.  And we’re looking to play in a league this winter so call us if you need players that are hard core.

Thanks for coming along on my road trip.  And because I’m a caring person,  I’ll leave you with this public service announcement:

JUST SAY NO TO GARDEN GNOMES.  SAY NO.  SERIOUSLY.  They are terrifying.