Saturday, November 27, 2010

My First Reupholstering Job


We were in need of some extra seating for a holiday gathering and I found these chairs for $5 each on Craigslist. I know they're technically dining room chairs (I also know we don't technically have a dining room) but I saw the potential to give them a more modern makeover and have them fit in with our traditional yet modern style. Plus I've always wanted to take a stab at reupholstering and for $10 it seemed like a good time to experiment.
Luckily, this was a simple reupholster job. After watching a three-minute tutorial on YouTube, I was good to go. I unscrewed the chair cushion, pulled out the staples that held the old, stained rooster fabric in place and uncovered the original tan leather seat cushion--still in usable shape, just scratched up, but I could cover that with new fabric.

I repainted the chipped black paint with my ever-lasting mocha (Espresso Bean paint from Behr) and went to Joann Fabrics to pick out a new seat pattern. Joann Fabrics has a good selection but they are by far the most inefficient and disorganized shop I have ever been in. Next time I think I'll go to a small shop or check on Etsy for fabric.
The finished chairs have a nature, graphic design pattern on them that Tommie and I both like and it fits in our living room a lot better than the dirty roosters. The colors also go with the other earthy tones in the room. All in all, I would say it was a successful first attempt at reupholstering.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Thoughts

I am the type of person who needs to be reminded to be thankful. I'm an eternal pessimist; I also really like to complain. I wish I had come across these crafty ideas for making a "Thankful Tree" or a "Thankful Jar" sooner so I could have done it this year. It would do me some good to stop to appreciate the good things, such as having a soulmate in my life, having a super special dog, having a supportive family who also happens to be pretty entertaining, having a nice place to live, having a job where the people are nice and the cause is good even if my work isn't...see me slipping into negativism already? I think I'll quit while I'm ahead; I do have things to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best Thing About Football When You Don't Like Football

I am not a "sports person." When I "watch" football, I am watching the fans in the distance with their funny painted belly's, or I'm laughing at the way that guy grabbed that other guys butt on the way down. And I used to always hate the way that Sunday football cut four hours out of our precious weekends. But over time I have learned to appreciate those four hours. Football freezes the majority of men and some whole families in front of the TV for an allotted amount of time and it's a time when non-sports fans can run errands without waiting in long weekend lines. It's my favorite time to go to the gym or go for a run. Aside from the cheers/screams echoing from peoples windows, it's quiet outside and there are hardly any cars on the road. I know that while the game is on nothing important is going to happen so I can do all the laundry, reupholster my chairs, and blog uninterrupted. I never thought I'd have a reason to wish football into overtime, but lately I've been excited to have the extra time to myself.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Have a Winner!

The winner of the fabulous $55.00 shopping certificate to is lucky commenter #79...Nikki! Congratulations,'re holiday shopping just got easier!Thanks to everyone who took the time to check out my blog and enter the giveaway! That was fun. I hope to do more in the future.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soup Can Luminaries

To go along with our SoCal-themed reception, I've been experimenting making soup can luminaries. I like the idea because it accomplishes three things: The "tin" look of the cans can be compared to Mexican tin decorations. I like anything that provides unique lighting. And, lastly, they are cheap and obviously a great way to recycle. Here's how I've been doing it:
1. Clean out and peel off the label of the empty can.

2. Fill the can with water (about an inch below the top).

3. Put it in the freezer for the day/overnight.

4. Once frozen, take a hammer and nail and punch away!

5. Once you have finished your pattern, run the can under warm water to melt the ice.
6. Insert a small candle.

* If the ice expanded the bottom of the can, just hammer it back down when you're done. I also read somewhere that you could draw a pattern on paper, wrap it around the can and punch it out, but I found that's difficult when the ice starts melting making your stencil soggy. I just hammer and nail freestyle...I figure it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm also gluing some ribbon on the top so it looks a little less like a can when it's not lit.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


***CLOSED 11/18/10**
Thanks for entering!

If you're anything like me, you love a good deal, and what's a better deal than a

Ladies and gentlemen, I have for you the chance to win $55.00 for an online purchase at CSN. I was given the chance to host a giveaway and thought it would be a fun thing to do! Who doesn't like getting a prize? is a group of online stores where you can find anything from a counter stool, to a set of cooking pans, to a new pair of boots. They have over 200 online stores to choose from (all of which I have probably browsed at some point during my recent moves). They are also a Boston-based company here in my home state.

If you would like to be considered for the drawing, just leave a comment (it can be on anything...say something home-related; comment on a past post, or that you don't even know why you're here--just that you take part in anything involving the word "giveaway"). One comment per person please. I'll draw the winning comment number using and announce a winner on Thursday, November 18th. Check back then to see who won (and if you do not have an e-mail address linked to your profile, please leave one so I can contact you). Good luck!

(*Please note: CSN only ships to the US and Canada and Canada is subject to international shipping charges. Sorry to those in other areas! Fulfillment of the prize is through me.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Savory Eats In San Diego

Tommie and I are planning our first trip back to San Diego since we left 18 months ago. To give you a sense of our travel priorities, we haven't booked our flights yet and we haven't made our hotel reservations, but we have compiled a list of must-hit restaurants.

Here's a short list of local eateries we intend to visit and which we would highly recommend to anyone living in San Diego or vacationing there. There are a lot of good restaurants in San Diego, and it should be noted that our personal criteria for these must-hit restaurants is based on two things: well-made, unique food for a very good price.

Sushi Deli: Located in Hillcrest, Downtown, and Clairemont, the secret about this place has been out for a's always busy. That's because they offer good sushi for extremely good prices. We used to wait in line before they even opened and get whole platters of sashimi and nigiri for about $.99 - $1.50 a piece.

El Indio: Located at the bottom of Mission Hills (close to Old Town), this place was featured on The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and we know why. They have a way of packing the most deliciously seasoned pulled chicken into a tortilla shell and frying it just right so that it's not too hard or too soft. And it's not San Diego without good Mexican.

Vagabond: This eclectic little place is in our old neighborhood of South Park and offers a kind of world-food fusion menu. The best time to go is during lunch when you can get a reasonably priced panini with their most delicious pom frites and bread with garlic aoli butter...I don't know what's in this stuff is, but it's amazing.

Crest Cafe: A funky place in Hillcrest that offers a unique twist on home style recipes. This place convinced me to like mangos and brie cheese in a quesidilla (it's one of their appetizers). Tommie's family loves their "East Texas Fried Chicken" (a buttermilk, garlic, jalapeno and tobasco batter). Crest Cafe has inspired us all to recreate these recipes at home but there's still nothing quite like the real thing.

BJ's: This restaurant and brewhouse was a favorite when we lived in UTC. The most impressive item here is on the desert menu. My sister and I first went here with our neighbor who told us we had to get a pizookie. "What's a pizookie?" we asked. We were sold on the words "giant cookie pie" and "ice cream on top." The pizookie arrived in a deep dish pizza pan, warm, gooey and delicious (their deep dish pizza is also good, if you don't skip right to desert). Our friend turned for a few seconds and when he looked back down he yelled, "That thing is almost GONE!" My sister and I agree it has to be eaten in rapid speed before the ice cream melts.

Gelateria Frizzante: We've tried a lot of gelato since falling in love with this gelateria in La Jolla and Downtown, but still nothing compares. Tommie was clinically addicted to their mango sorbeto and I never tried a gelato flavor there that I didn't like (mint chocolate chip was my favorite). The nice thing is that they switch up flavors every so often so you have new ones to try. As an added bonus it's healthier than ice cream and a small cup with its dense consistency will fill you up surprisingly fast.

There are a few more places on our list, but I have to stop before I start drooling.