Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And the Oscar goes to. . .

Amy's 9th Annual Oscar Party

For the last three years I have been fortunate enough to be invited to my friend, Amy's, awesome Oscar party.  The party is awesome for many reasons but the top 3 reasons are:
1.  Girls only.
2.  It's a charity event.
3.  It's an excuse to buy a formal gown (basement bargains are highly encouraged).

Now if you know me, you know that thrifty is right up my alley and I consider it an extra challenge.  I did find a gown at JCPenney for $17, but I didn't really like it and knew I would never wear it again.  Which means it wasn't really a bargain.  So my search went on.  My gown this year came from Lord and Taylor.  Regular price of $190, but I got it for $34 (tax included).  What gave this dress an extra bonus in the frugal department is that after the party I took a chance, and threw it in the washer on hand wash.  So now it's all clean and new again at $0 additional dry cleaning costs! yeah me! 

This years party was at Coratti's in downtown Milford, MI.  They did a great job of hosting, but I am sure they never anticipated how loud 60 women could be!  The party is a formal affair, however you are encouraged to dress as an Oscar Nominee or any movie character from any era. 

The artist --> 
<-- classic formal wear
 Miss Piggy and Kermit

Narnia's Ice Queen and the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, a Kardashian, and Margaret Thatcher

This is Amy!

Some of the girls

Me and Amy

This year's charity, was chosen because Amy knew so
 many people who have 
lost a loved one this past year. New Hope Center for Grief Support is a

 non-profit bereavement outreach center in southeastern Michigan that

provides grief support services.  Providing financial support to a worthwhile 

charity is the cherry on the sundae at this event.  I can't thank Amy enough

 for being so sensitive to all of us that have lost a loved one.  It really 

touched my heart. :)  

more beautiful people
We are all given ballots and we vote for our favorites of the night.  Categories include: Sexiest Shoes, Best Cleavage,  Best  Dressed (which I won!), Best Bling, Vintage Vixon, Amy's New best Friend, and costume categories, among others. Amy hands out little Oscar's and certificates to the winners.  It's one of the most exciting parts of the night.  
Sexiest Shoes winner

Speeches are a fun part of accepting the awards.  

I hope you enjoyed hearing about this great party.  I love that people are willing to take so much time and effort just to give joy to others.  Amy works so hard to set this all up and really pours her heart into making sure the decorations and small details are not over looked.  From the red carpet to the baskets of vanity items in both the bathrooms (there are no men so we take over), to specialty drink menus, and great food selections.  Nothing is overlooked.  It's obvious everyone appreciates her efforts by the way the event sells out every year.  So thank you Amy! and no pressure,  but next year is your 10 year anniversary!  I just know it's going to be great!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

UnPainted in a world of painted

One of the pieces I featured in my basement remodel was the ice box I had recently been left by my mom who passed away in October (RIP Mum).  I had restored this piece about 8 years ago as a mother's day present for her.  The ice box was left at an old house by the previous tenants.  My dad had used it for years in the garage to store all his oils, greases, paints, and other garagey type stuff.  My dad passed away in 1986 (2 days before my 18th birthday), and my mom started talking about wanting to have the piece restored.  The only problem was she really didn't have any money to do it at the time.  That's when I decided I might be able to do it.  I'd never done anything like that, and I knew it might not be the most professional job, but I really wanted to try.  Here's what it looked like when I got it.

What is sorta funny is that back even 8 years ago, painting old furniture was not all the rage it is today.  Some people may look at this old patina-ed piece and think it is just lovely the way it was.  It certainly has the look with it's crackled old paint and multiple layers of paint.  But mom wanted it back the way it was meant to be.  I'm still hoping to this day that the paint wasn't lead and that I didn't expose myself to a bunch of harmful chemicals that will some day be my demise!  But what transpired is a really beautiful piece of furniture.  The oak grain is so beautiful and all of the old hardware cleaned up nicely.  I really poured my blood sweat and tears into it, and I am still proud of how nice it turned it. The piece is pretty much intact with all the inside shelves.  I love that she left it to me.  And I love even more how I was able to work it in to my basement decor.  Here's how she looks today <3.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some days aren't made for from scratch!

Today I found myself at 3:30 and no plans for dinner.  I'd already had a busy day, did lots of cleaning including steam cleaning some carpet, and a lot of heavy duty thinking try to plan out a project.  I had downloaded a new crockpot recipe book onto my Kindle earlier today, and started looking through.  I came across a recipe for chicken tacos, which sounded good, but it was a made from scratch recipe.  Cut up green peppers (didn't have any), chop onions, mince garlic, blah, blah, blah.  Just wasn't in the mood.  So here's the abbreviated  recipe I came up with.

Found some Progresso  Tortilla y Pollo soup in cupboard.  Has chicken chunks, onions, peppers, and spices, check.  Tossed it in the crockpot with a frozen chicken breast.  Yep, I said frozen, in a crockpot, at 3:30pm.  Let it cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.  Now it's 6pm.  Hubby home in about 20 minutes.  Took out the chicken and cut it up.  Tossed it back in pot with soup.

Found some shredded cheese(about 1/2 a pkg), around 4 oz of cream cheese, and a can of black beans.

Dumped in crockpot.

added around 2 cups of cooked white rice. And stirred.  Replaced lid and waited for the hubby to come home in 20 minutes.

Voila.  Chicken Tacos.

And they were really really good.  Good enough for seconds!  The bad news is my husband didn't understand why I wasted my time making dinner when we had leftover pizza from yesterday :(  I forgot!  
The good news is I am freezing the leftovers and then we can have this again another day! :)

Hope you all had a good day!

Momma Hens Coop

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hobby Lobby, my maiden voyage

This may sound crazy to some, but I had never been to Hobby Lobby!  It's not really that close to my house and I just never found the time to make the trip.  But, I was looking for a boxwood ball (and frankly, who isn't?) and I had seen somewhere on the web someone who bought one at Hobby Lobby.  So finally, I cleared a day and went.  Words can not adequately describe the emotion I experienced when arriving.  I just didn't know what to expect, and  I was so happy at finally being there, and they have so much stuff, and oh the accessories.  I know this sounds silly, but I was almost crying, seriously.  Now some of you will not understand this, but I really really loved the place.  And I was passing employees by, and I wanted to say, "I love this store!!", but I knew if I spoke I would actually burst into tears, and well, I just didn't want to be some weird customer that the employees would talk and laugh about in the break room.  So instead, I started texting my friend, Linn, who also has never been, but wants to go.  So I'm sending all these crazy texts, and finally she sends a text that says, "I'm in bible study right now!"  Gulp!  So sorry Linn, but I know you really wanted to be with me at that moment and not in bible study.

So here is what I went for:
And here is what I came home with:

Isn't that mirror awesome?  It was regular $250, and I thought it was on clearance for $125, but when I checked out it was an additional 50% off for the unbelievable price of $68!!  (insert crying here again)
I actually got some more things to make some wall art for the kids room.  Here  is the sign I made for my son's room I am starting to redecorate.

I then proceed to Parisian to find a pair of grey suede boots and a pair of Calvin Klein flats for $18 each!!

It was a very very good day.  The only thing is I wished I had bought two of those boxwood balls. . . . , so I think  I need to go back.  {snicker}

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The project that didn't want to be

Alright, we've all been there, don't try and deny it!  Sometimes you start a craft that just doesn't go like you planned.  In your mind, it looks so different, but the end results, well not so good.

I started this latest craft with the intention of finishing it in an afternoon.  The reality?  A week sitting on the kitchen table.  This is a jewelry box that I've had in the basement for a few years.  Cast aside by my daughter who deemed it "no longer cool", and alright, maybe it was a little bit uncool.  I've had a few garage sales since then, and every time I forget about it and think, next time.  I actually bought it at a garage sale for $2.  Something inside me has always had a soft spot for it, so maybe that's why it's been forgotten for the garage sales.

 I figured I could paint it and be done, but it started off badly.  When I went down to get it I realized that it had a velvet paper top.  Didn't remember that.  So I removed it, only to discover that underneath was only a pressed paper unfinished top.  Grrrr, road block one.

My solution for this was some old wallpaper I had left over.  Just happened to be the right color for the box, but changed the whole look to a little more formal.

From there it was one thing after an another.  I had originally thought I would remove the knobs and replace them with some cool pulls.  But the screws for the knobs were hidden under a layer of paper and a screw driver didn't fit inside the box anyway.  I would have had to disassemble the whole inside of the box just to get to them.  It just wasn't worth it.  Instead, I decided to cover the knobs with string.  

I added on some stenciling to the boxes and used a trick I recently saw on Pinterest to paint some wooden do-dads I picked up at Michael's on clearance for .05 cents each!  Of course, I needed 9 of the shape below, but they only had 8, so I compromised and mixed up the shapes.

In the end, I think it ended up kinda cute, but definitely not what I was going for in the beginning! That's the thing about crafts and life too.  You need to roll with the ups and downs and in the end be happy with what you have created.  

After all it's just somewhere convenient to store my rubber bands, paperclips and other office supplies!