Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Songs of the Week!

Well, I was going to do a curtain play-by-play for you all, but looks like Blogger's photo server is down :( So, we'll have to wait until tomorrow! Instead, here are the songs of the week!

  1. When I'm Alone by Nevertheless which you can listen to here!
  2. Whatever It Takes by Pillar which you can listen to here!
  3. Let It Go by Tenth Avenue North which you can listen to here!
I hope you enjoy!! And that you're having an amazing day! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Busy Bees!

Around the McDermott house, we have been busy little bees! Once I got those curtains from Ikea, I wanted to get them up as quickly as possible. But, I'm not the handiest woman in the world (although I am trying to be!!), so I needed to wait for Blake to have a free moment to help me (I'm convinced he's one of the busiest people in the world). Which, that wasn't a huge deal because I had quite the preparatory work to do before we could put them up anyway! I needed to decide on a new layout for the furniture, move the couch, move my desk, and vacuum like crazy before we could put them up. Then, once we put them up, we needed to move the piano and accessories, and then attempt to put all of our stuff back to where we could find everything again (namely our floor)! 
As usual I got ahead of myself and moved the couch before I took a Before just imagine with me! Here's the office before all the lovely changes!
 My desk (disregard the unorganized chaos ensuing here...I'm working on it!) :)

And here's Blake's piano!
So, I moved my desk out of the way and vaccuumed and then was like " ready?" **imagine Blake sighing** and then we went to putting up the curtains! (I'll give you a full play by play of that action tomorrow) :)

Then we put everything back in order (after moving the piano a million different ways and being like "I don't know....let me think about it" More sighing....and finally....I like that! (cue yays!) :)
Then we have this result:
(don't judge my white balance...I still just haven't conquered that camera yet...)

Here's Blake's pictures (waaay better than mine...jealous)

And here's where my wee little desk in its new place!

And here's some before and after action:
It really looks way better in person....I'm gonna figure out the white balance issue and when I do I'll be sure to let y'all see some more accurate to color images :) Also, that red table is going to be painted black as soon as the temperature gets back to the 70s (so I can paint outside)!
What do you guys think? You like it? The curtains make all the difference for me!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Happenings: Success!

I mentioned in this post that Blake and I were going to Ikea for the first time and I am super excited to say it was a success (and we are officially impressed with Ikea)! Here's what we got:

These curtains (which were the less expensive ones mentioned in Friday's post, because Blake said the others were too girly lol) we got for $19.99 for two panels! I am so impressed with these, they don't feel or look like I paid 20 bucks for them! (Pictures soon to come!) :)

We also got these: They were only $4.99 a piece and I am going to be diy-ing some art for the kitchen soon!

And finally we got these! (I knew we would get the better looking table!) We got the chairs for $24.99 a piece and $34.99 for the table. When we first put the table out there, we thought the table was a bit too tall for the chairs, but after we kept looking at it, it grew on us (and it really is the perfect height when you're sitting in the chairs). I think the wood color is perfect also! It brings in enough red to coordinate with the lava rock but still looks great next to the house. We'll be bringing in some more color soon to help it stand out more like maybe some pillows and some flowers!


And here Blake made me sit in the chair...he wouldn't let me not do it! So here it is ;)

We ended up getting all of this stuff for $124! Yippee! We're super excited! It is safe to say that Ikea has my heart (unfortunately, the closest Ikea is 2 and a half hours away...sad face), but now we know how awesome Ikea is (and their!) so if we're ever in the Atlanta area, we are sooo there! :)
I hope you all had an awesome weekend! What did you do? Get out and work in the yard? Just relax? Went shopping? Focused on The Brighter Things? (I know you did) ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

For The First Time!!

That was a Taylor Swift reference, but I'm pretty sure that only my hubby and I would get it (until you now!), but Blake always makes fun of Taylor for writing songs about "the first time" (We were both young when I first saw you...You put your arms around me for the first time...and I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head!)
Anywho! Back to reality!
Blake and I are going to Ikea tonight for the first time and I am sooo pumped!! I am always looking at their website and it seems like every blog I read talks about Ikea at some point, so to be able to go see for myself all the awesomeness in person makes me feel like I swallowed a teddy bear! (all warm and fuzzy on the inside)
There are a few things that I am definitely going after tonight! Here are a few:
We have decided to do a blue color scheme in our office, and I just can't find the right blue....
until I looked on Ikea's site!
These are only $19.99 for both panels!! How awesome is that!?!
These I like because of their pattern! They bring in more than one blue and have a really modern aspect to them, unfortunately, they are $59.99. That is for both of them, but when comparing the ones above...the price difference is really monumental! So, we'll just see if Blake and I fall in love with the more expensive ones!

 We have also been keeping our eyes out for some outdoor furniture for our porch to compliment our new curb appeal, but everywhere we've been looking has been a bit more than we want to spend for what we're wanting. We don't want it to look like we spent next to nothing, we want it to look awesome and only we (and you guys of course) know that it was super cheap :)
So, tonight we're going to look at these things for our front porch! 
This table is only $19.99! Can you believe it?
 This one is $29.99 but I have a feeling the hubby is going to like it waaay better than the other one. He's pretty picky sometimes ;) Which, hey! I'm always up for having something that looks more legit!
 And I'm totally in love with this chair! And its price! Only $19.99! Too exciting! I have a feeling this little guy will be coming home with me tonight :)
I'm also going to looking around for some frames for an upcoming kitchen artsy stuff and scowerring the clearance section for anything that's totally awesome that says "BUY ME!" :)
So, that's the excitement of today (other than the general awesomeness that comes from it being Friday YAY!) :)
How is your Friday going? Any big plans for the weekend?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Shoe box, Some Fabric, Some Tacky Glue, Scissors, and A Spoon! Sounds Like Party Time To Me!

I have a crafty post for you today! Yesterday I was looking at Better Homes and Gardens' organizing profile for myself (after taking a survey, which you can take here!) and one of the ideas for my kind of organizing personality (which was "Schoolteacher" bee tee dubs) was getting shoe box sized containers to hold craft supplies or fabrics. Well, I didn't have a plastic one like the one on the website (it was all cute and clear and organized), but I did have a shoe box! So, I decided to make a fabric/sewing supplies box so I can be better organized!
Here's what I started out with:

**Notice the mountain dew can...aka my bff** ;)
And this fabric I already had from over-zealously buying fabric to make a pillow, then realizing I didn't have the rest of the stuff to make it (nor the knowledge).

I started out sitting at my desk,

but attempting to assemble something while taking pictures on a 5" surface=not-so-good! 
So a tip from me: Take it to the table...or the floor if you're like me :)
Then I basically wrapped it like a Christmas present! I measured about how much fabric I would need:

 Then I cut that out! (side note, I'm not actually left handed, but I haven't quite figured out the art of cutting while taking a picture) :)

Next, I got my handy friend Mr. Tacky Glue (because I haven't gotten around to getting Mr. Hot Glue)

Then I tried to squeeze the glue out and wow was it difficult!!! So, I introduced Mr. Tacky Glue to Mrs. Spoon and we all just had a grand ole time!

And this was the end product of the lid:

 The lid was waaaay easier than the actual box part!

Next, I moved on to the box using the same wrapping paper method, but when I got to the actual gluing part, it got a bit difficult...I kept ending up with the lines not going the right way or the fabric getting wrinkly. So, I did what any wrapping paper veteran would do...I cut it!

But, when I put everything together, I ended up with some kind-of icky seams...

 But, I didn't want to start over, so I'm doing a trial method. I glued down the seams so they weren't sticking out awkwardly and put some yarn that I had lying around around the box to draw my (and anyone else's) eyes away from the ickiness. Giving me this:

So far, I love it! But, if I notice the seams too much *slash* they get on my nerves, I'll just redo the bottom part without cutting the fabric and just fold like a crazy person :)
I'm super excited about this project! I just love the fabric! It looks so "I'm cute but I can totally get the job done," which is basically my goal in life! ;)

What do you guys think? Would the open seams totally drive you nuts? Or are you one of those super cool people that are completely chill about everything? How would you have fixed my little seam issue? Or the glue-not-coming-out issue for that matter?

I hope you all are having a wonderful day and are focusing on The Brighter Things! After all, Spring is just around the corner for all of my Western hemisphere natives, so that's something to be excited about, right?! I think so :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Focusing On The Brighter Things Has Health Benefits!

Well, after coming back from Spring Break, school has definitely kept me busy! With two quizzes, two tests, and a homework due this week, I've definitely been missing those days of lounging on the beach with my beautiful sisters!!! But, amidst my studying for my Psychology exam, I found some pretty cool info!
I've always tried to focus on the silver lining of life, not ignoring the bad parts, but finding the "silver" in the solution (constantly moving towards a solution instead of standing in the midst of the problem freaking out), but I didn't know that focusing on The Brighter Things was actually good for my health! So, I figured I would pass along the super information along to you!! :)
According to research, higher levels of hope were associated with reduced risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and respiratory tract infection and higher levels of curiosity were associated with reduced risk of hypertension and diabetes!
Being generally positive has been shown to make your immune system better and more efficient! (Marsland, Pressman, & Cohen, 2007)
People with positive attitudes not only have enhanced immune system functioning, but also have greater longevity than those with less positive attitudes. They also have fewer illnesses after exposure to cold germs and flu viruses! (Cohen, Alper, Doyle, Teanor, & Turner, 2006)

Here are some tips to make your life a bit better and in turn more healthy :)

  • Allow God to heal you! (The Word says that He will give us "peace that passes all understanding." Let Him! Spend time in prayer and in the Word! The Holy Spirit is called our Comforter, so spend some time with Him and feel better!)
  • Learn to relax (stress can cause some serious health problems if it stays around for too take a deep breath and go read a book or watch a funny movie! Take a chill pill) :)
  • Learn to cope (seek advice for problems, try new solutions, distract yourself with happy stuff, make jokes!)
  • Build a strong support network (friends, family, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, spouses, and church family are all great for this, but make sure you're going to go to your Positive Polly's instead of your friends who lean more towards Negative Nancy, remember you're trying to build yourself up!)
  • Write about troubling events in your life!
  • Keep active (you don't have to kill yourself, just go for a walk or do some crunches while watch a funny movie)
So yeah! I'm super excited! This has made me even more motivated to focus on The Brighter Things! Who knew that being Positive Polly would have been so wonderful biologically! So all of you Negative Nancy's out there, find that silver lining! I promise it's there! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Songs of the Week!!

Hello Lovelies!

I have some new songs of the week for you all! This week's songs are:
  1. Unbreakable by Fireflight which you can listen to here!
  2. Walking on Water by Lecrae which you can listen to here!
  3. White as Snow by Haste The Day which you can listen to here!
What do you guys think? Do you like these songs? Not a fan? What are your faves? 

I hope you all had a fantastic Spring Break or weekend, whichever is more applicable to you! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Landscaping Excitement!

Well! There has been some movement on the landscaping front! How exciting!
A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that our front garden area was kinda icky and that we hope to spruce it up for some awesome curb appeal. Well, we got started on that last weekend! Thanks to a belated wedding present from Blake's parents, we had the means to get started, and I was (and still am) SUPER excited!
Well, we got started a bit late, so by the time we decided what we wanted and got everything back to our house and unloaded, it was right at sun down! But, I was going out of town the day after we bought all of this stuff, so it had to be done that day! So, that's why most of these pics look like they were taken in the's because they were!
This is what we got:
Three boxwoods

10 bags of lava rock and 12 edging fences

Once we got everything on the porch, we got started digging:

(Shout out to my mother-in-law totally dominating this bush!)

Then, we placed the bushes where we wanted them to go!

Unfortunately, after we dug two holes for the new bushes, we realized they weren't placed the way we we had to recover the old holes and dig new ones....sad face
Finally, we got them in the ground, but when we started putting the lava rock down, we realized we didn't get enough...not by a long shot....we ended up needing 7 more bags, putting the total at 17 bags of lava rock!
Then, Blake put all the fences in the ground, and we ended up with this:
(Disregard the random bush on the side...we're craigslisting our old bushes but until then, they'll be chilling next to our new bushes) :) 

Here's a close up picture of the fences. I totally love these, because they show the lava rocks, look like metal but are actually plastic, and were really inexpensive!

We're super thrilled with how it turned out! We still have a few more things to do like get some flowers to go in between the bushes, add something to the left (where the "private residence" sign is), and add some sod to right in front of the fences where that icky mud is! So, still a little ways to go, but for now, it definitely looks way better than it did, and it totally looks way Brighter to me!
Just as a reminder, here's what it used to look like:

So, have you guys been bitten by the it's-warm-outside-so-I-want-my-house-to-look-amazing bug? Any new landscaping projects you've taken on? Or have any ideas to make mine more amazing??

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spaghetti-o's=Pencil Holder? I think so :)

I have a craft for you guys today! And it's super easy and cheap!!
I made a pencil cup out of a spaghetti-o's can!
Step One: Eat yummy food!
Step Two: Take off the original wrapper and wash out all the remnants of the yummy food, so you end up with this: (disregard the mess, more on what caused that mess a little later)

Step Three: Find some super cute scrapbook paper that appeals to your inner awesomeness! (like this paper did for me):
Step Four: Find some tape and scissors and go to town! (It's easier if you cut the paper a bit too big, then cut slits in your paper at the top and tape as you go around so you don't have lots of icky wrinkles!) Mine ended up like this:
Step Five: If you're like me, this can just looks way to plain, so find some extra scrapbook paper laying around, like this:
Step Six: Find some cute pictures online and either print out a stencil or free-hand it! (I did three different birds, because if you don't know me, I am SUPER indecisive) :)
Step Seven: Cut out your super cute design and tape it on your can
Step Eight: Admire your hard work! Add pencils (or whatever you need to store) and Voila! Your own custom pencil holder!
This is what mine ended up looking like:
I wanted something that makes me smile sitting on the desk at which I do so much work, and this definitely does the trick! I mean who doesn't love a cute little birdy?? It totally helps me to focus on The Brighter Things! And what's even better was I did all of this for less than $1! (Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale on all scrapbook paper and I all ready had the can, but if you include the can it was still less than $3!) YAY! :)

So, have any of y'all taken on a fun crafty projects lately??