Chalk paint

IMG_1803One of my Memorial Day home project had to do with chalk paint.  I had some chalk paint tinted to match our cabinets at Home Depot.  And I started small. The inside of one set of cabinet doors.

I didn’t know how I would like the chalk paint and good thing I did start small, because I am not a huge fan.  Writing with chalk gets chalk dust all over the counters. Which, in itself, is not a huge deal. But it turns out I am not the best at writing with chalk.

IMG_1802Until I learned the trick.

The trick, I learned, is to print out what you want on the computer in the font and size you want. Then, you cover the BACK of the page with chalk and tape it up on the surface.  You essentially trace the font on the front with a pencil or something. And voila! The chalk you had put on the back is transferred to the surface, IN the font and size you had printed.

IMG_1801It takes some practice to get the right font and size, but it does work! Now I know how all of those fancy chalkboard signs are really done!

Home Depot does have chalk paint that can be tinted in a variety of colors to match your project.  It was very simple to apply and harder to wait for it to dry!

Coffee Corner

I did say I like to rearrange things.

I don’t really like a lot of things on the kitchen counters.  If we use it on a very regular basis, then okay.  Otherwise, store it away.  And then I saw a picture on Pinterest that had me rethink how I was using my glass jars and my coffee station.

We don’t really use those pod drawers except to store KCups that we don’t use on a regular basis (mostly tea).  So those went into the cabinet.  And there had been some tins of tea on top that also went into the cabinet.

So it went from this to this:

Membership has it’s privileges

Zoo_Map_WINTER_2014_eps_-_Phoenix_Zoo_Map_pdfI am a member of the Phoenix Zoo. Zoo members get in an hour early. Here in Phoenix, that means 6am in the summer.  So I thought, why not? Why shouldn’t I run at the zoo?

Because it is hard. Much harder than I was expecting. I knew it wasn’t a flat loop. But it also had killer camber.  I managed a loop that was about 1.5 miles. I did stop just a handful of times to look at the animals. But not nearly as much as I thought I would. I did surprise quite a few unsuspecting jackrabbits over by the bighorn sheep.

The big pro’s, it was shady and there were animals! But I still only managed a slow, hard 4 miles (was supposed to be 5).  But it is definitely a cool option and runs should be hard once in awhile!

Office Rearrange

Old layout

One of the things I do on a regular basis is to rearrange the furniture.  This house is new and like a new pair of pants, you don’t really know how you like it until you wear it for a while. Rearranging the furniture can really make a room feel new, or better, or both.

I work from home full time.  I have a dedicated home office with french doors, a single door and a large window with plantation shutters.  One reason I wanted this particular room was the view of South Mountain out the window.

This is not the first time I have rearranged the furniture in my office.  I moved things around a few months ago, all to be closer to the phone outlet. In hindsight, that was a really bad reason for moving things around.  And I did not like the layout.  So it went back to where it was originally. I face the window, am next to the dog and don’t feel like I am behind the door.

The new layout reunites me with the dog on the couch, makes the room seem bigger and gives me back my view out the window. The phone is not really an issue since it is cordless anyway.

Yes, I did this all on my own, including the moving of the furniture. It took less than two hours, start to finish.  I was rewarded with pizza.

You may notice a map on the wall. That is a map of the mountain park that is my view.  I saw a cool thing on Pinterest about using maps as a sort of wallpaper.  I may do that as an accent wall!

IMG_1790

New layout

Mid-Life Crisis

IMG_1718Can a blog have a mid-life crisis?  Or is it the blogger?

Either way, I have been doing a lot of thinking (and reading) about blogs, but not much actual blogging. Too much time on GOMI perhaps.  The question that is raised is this: What kind of blog is this?

I like to think I have a life, but it is not really a lifestyle blog.  Anyone who has read it knows that it is NOT a Mommy blog. Not really a fitness blog, although I do work out. Or a food blog, though everyone knows I love to eat and bake.  And it is not really a travel blog, even though we do leave the house from time to time.

I don’t think I have to fit into any one category, but it helps to have a focus.  Not everyone cares about how far (or slow) I run.  Or what I had for lunch. Or what my dogs are doing on any particular day.  I seem to be spending a LOT of time rearranging my house, decorating, making decisions on pool designs, etc.  But I can barely articulate any of that to myself, let alone to you.

Is there a hodge-podge category? Does it matter? Here is what I think I am good at….research.  I research every product I contemplate buying (right now, a toaster oven), every city we visit, every hotel room we stay in, who watches my dogs, every race I run, everything.  And then I make the decision I think is best, which I can articulate. My opinions are my own. I am not sponsored by anyone or anything.  I have no master except my own checking account balance.

I don’t promise to blog everyday. Or that you will be interested in every post.  But it will reflect what I have been doing with my time, other than working, eating and running.  I will be rearranging some furniture, doing some summer decorating, researching some new products, getting rid of some old products, planning some trips and generally doing what I do. I may even recap the past few months of similar activities.   You never can tell.

And just because I can, a cute prarie dog picture.  I spend a fair bit of a time at the zoo.

Laying low

The Devastator

The Devastator

I haven’t been sharing much lately because there just hasn’t been much to share.

Hockey is over (insert sad face). Baseball has started (also insert sad face).

I have been running and some feel good and some don’t. I did make it to the top of the Devastator today (it is us there)!  Not as a run, but a hike.  That was fun. I have new trail shoes, the Brooks Cascadia.  I love them so far.

I really have just been laying low. The alarm clock is about to creep earlier again and that is always tough. The temps are climbing. Summer is almost here.

I have made a few new recipes lately. Mostly from Pinterest. I tried a taco casserole that was awesome.   A chicken francaise that was good.  I am going to try a Chocolate Mousse Pie.