shelves! (and crochet and cross stitch!)

You guys. I have good news. The best news. Squeal a little news. We finished our huge wall unit shelf. It looks so cool and huge and empty and full of promise. I will be writing a full post with pictures and tips, but not a tutorial because there is no tutorial in the world that could explain building this thing. It was really a plan a lot, adjust, plan some more, adjust, mess up, and just keep pushing through kind of project.  
Now the fun part begins – because building that monster was no fun at all. Really. Anderson and I are terrible home DIYers. We are nervous and whiny and we just don’t enjoy it. That’s ok. There’s something for everyone. We’ll leave the home improvement to you ambitious, Home Depot on a Saturday morning types.
It doesn't look like much now (Hello, cords!), but I am excited to style it and re-style it and then make Anderson pretend he can have a say in it and then restyle it some more. I'm working on a solution for the ugly cord situation we have going on. (Side note: I cannot use the word situation without thinking of the guy on Jersey Shore lifting up his Ed Hardy t-shirt, pointing to his abs, and smirking at the camera and saying “I think we have a Situation here.” I spent the first 3 months of Sawyer’s life up all night watching Jersey Shore re-runs, so I guess that hideous show will always be ingrained in my memory. Why did I do that to myself? I blame the lack of sleep.) I think we have an idea for hiding the cords but we are just going to chill out for a few days and bask in the accomplishment of a finished project. I also have to finish decorating the room – curtains and art work and all that good stuff. That’s the fun part.
So that’s where I’ve been. Sanding wood and painting pipes and weeping into my American Walnut stained hands. I’m only kind of kidding.
I also decided that I was going to crochet a blanket. Cause you know, I've got so much time. I’ve made progress but I’m extremely bored with it so I am taking a break for a couple weeks. 
 The pattern is the granny ripple and all of the yarn came from Michael's. I have no idea of most of the colors or brands because I lose those little papers. And if I don’t lose them, Sawyer takes them and adds them to his piles of stuff he has strategically placed in front of doorways or around corners in attempt to cripple and destroy us. I think he calls the yarn papers receipts. He is a receipt magpie lately. He has taken to asking for receipts and even throwing a fit when he doesn’t get one. Weird. That’s my boy.
While I break from the blanket, I started a new cross stitch project. The pattern is this one from SatsumaStreet on Etsy. 
 It’s very Mary Blair inspired and I just love it. It’s colorful, geometric, and the perfect mix of retro and modern. I jump around a lot in my crafts, but I always come back to cross stitch. I think it’s my thing. It’s perfect because watching tv is also my thing and they marry so seamlessly. There’s nothing like sitting down with a cold Diet Coke, turning on a show, and cross stitching. It’s the simple things, folks.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. This is me not apologizing for not being around much on the blog by saying that I'm not apologizing. Doesn't work does it? If you just don’t get enough of me in my bi-weekly to monthly blog posts, follow me on Instagram. I share cross stitch progress pics (riveting!), home decor stuff (ooooh!), and the obligatory cute picture of my kid every now and then (awwww!). My name on IG is allisonmaestri or you can click here (I think) and see my IG page on the ol' internets and follow me there. 
 Have a great week, guys. 



2013 goals: march results

(Hey, I know it’s the middle of April and I’m just now reporting on my goal results for March. I have no defense other than I would rather be cross stitching than admitting how terrible I am at keeping my goals.)

Read about my 2013 monthly goals here.
Read January's recap
Read February’s recap here

And I thought I was going to do so good in March. 
Yeah. Notsomuch. Let me share my shame with you.

Our Goals Together:
1. One date a month. We went to the movies for my birthday and saw The Host. I’d read the book and enjoyed it and I also enjoyed the movie. Anderson LOVED the movie and told me about 10 times. Then again, he also loves terrible Sci-Fi movies so pretty much don’t rely on us for good movies to see. If I can stay awake, I call it good.
2. Host a dinner once a month. FAIL! Again.

My Goals:
1. Read 2 books a month. Done, but a couple days late. I read Life of Pi (not a fan) and Stolen. I don’t know why exactly I didn’t like Life of Pi. I guess the whole “This is a story that will make you believe in God” was pretty ridiculous. If I didn’t already believe in God, this book sure wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere. Just, I didn’t like it. I did like Stolen, and reviewed it on my Goodreads. You can also read a synopsis of the book there. I’d recommend it –it’s interesting and a book I didn’t want to put down.
2. Finish one embroidery/stitching project a month. FAIL! I started a project, decided I didn’t like it, and don’t know if I’ll finish it ever.
3. Run 30 miles a month. FAIL! I ran about 17. I took a whole month off after my half marathon (I still haven’t shared that on the blog yet, have I?) and picked up towards the end of the month. I’m really hoping that the nicer weather will help me stay committed in April.
4. Complete one craft book project a month. NOPE! I picked up a few of my craft books and thumbed through but stopped there.


Two out of six. So sad. The overachiever in me is disappointed. The tired, slightly lazy person in me is like whatever, let's watch tv and cross stitch. 
I have been watching Splash – the celebrity diving show... and I love it so much I have watched one of the episodes twice. Also my Grandma was at our house and I made her watch it. Like she cares. What is wrong with me? Also, Dancing with the Stars always gets me. SO MANY SEQUINS, SO MUCH FAKE TAN. CAN’T LOOK AWAY. So obviously I try not to put my brain cells to any good use in the evenings. Here’s to hoping I can be a better, more productive human being in April. But if that means giving up Splash, I’m out.
In other news, we are hard at work on our living room makeover. We are in the process of constructing a huge, 10-foot wide wall shelving unit. Here’s an idea of what it will look like. This project is so big and so messy and my living room literally has boards stacked up on one side and plumbing pipe stacked up on the other. (Least kid-proofed room ever.) It’s so hideous right now that I can hardly bear it. We will forge on because we have no choice now, but also because it is going to be so awesome. Even the guys in the plumbing section at Home Depot were impressed. Since I live for validation and approval from strangers, I feel good about this. Our finish goal is mid-May so let’s just see if I get one goal accomplished. Maybe my only goal for April should be FINISH BIG HUGE 10 FOOT WALL SHELF.



contact paper cabinet makeover

In my last post, I got really dramatic about how needing the walls in the living room repaired was making me have anxiety attacks. GOOD NEWS! Our walls are now fixed thanks to the help of a friend. I only had to paint the patched up walls and clean up drywall dust. The walls look amazing and so very chair rail free (!!). 

In the midst of all the chaos, I managed to complete a little project I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while. I have this white cabinet that I got at Target on clearance probably 5 or more years ago. I think I paid $30 for it. It has a broken drawer that I had every intention of fixing (yeah, right), but other than that it was in perfect condition and as long as you don’t pull out the broken drawer, you’re good. I love it, but I wanted to go a different, less glamorous route with it. Those big ornate silver pulls are pretty, but not really fitting with the direction I am attempting to go with our house. Even though I wanted a change, I didn’t want to make any permanent changes because who knows if I’ll go on another “chail-rails-must-come-down” like rampage and wish I hadn’t spray painted this lovely cabinet.
First thought – change out the pulls. Easy enough. Could be a cheap project. Problem - I like expensive things (just ask my poor husband) and I was picking out pulls that were $8+. Times 12 pulls and there goes feeding my kid. Next thought – paint the drawers a different color and put on simpler pulls. Problem. Remember, I didn’t want to do any permanent damage and also I’m scared of color in general and can’t commit. The next thing I thought of makes me pretty much a genius so don’t go searching on Pinterest and telling me 50 other people were geniuses first.

Wood grain contact paper!
Would you look at that? It’s so pretty and retro modern now. All I did was cut out squares of the contact paper, adhere them to the front of the drawers, smooth with a credit card, and then cut off the excess with an exact-o knife. I bought some drawer pulls from Home Depot for about $1 each and spray painted them gold. Bam. Under $30 cabinet makeover. Plus I have most of the contact paper roll left over to use for other things. I mean, I don’t know what else, but I have it.

Sometimes I just come and look at this space and dream about what my living room is moving towards. Having a job and a kid really slows things down though. Oh, well. Next on the list is a HUGE wall unit that Anderson and I are going to build. We drew a plan and made a supply list and took out a second mortgage to pay for it (kidding, obviously) and now we just have to get going. It’s just that the shows on the DVR won’t watch themselves.


delusional, dramatic, and a little crazy

Have you been wondering where I’ve been? Have you even noticed that I haven’t posted for a couple weeks? It’s ok if you haven’t. I’m delusional about many things (like the period of time in Jr. high when I only wore stirrup pants and knock-off keds and thought I looked awesome), but I don’t think that hundreds of people are hanging on my every word. I’ve just been plain old busy with work and life and tearing apart our living room and trying to keep my child from hurting himself/everyone else on earth. I just haven’t had time to blog or really do too much crafting or even look at Pinterest [insert collective gasp]. This is the first time I have opened my laptop in 2 weeks. 
Now this isn’t one of those posts where I go on about how I realize my life is full without blogging or I am quitting or blogging is so shallow and I am above it now. Not at all. I like blogging and I wish I had more time for it. I mean, my house has looked like this for a month since I went into a rage and ripped down our chair rail. 
JK. I didn’t go into a rage. I just temporarily lost my mind and thought if I took down the chair rail I would have enough time/magically gain the manual labor skills to repair dry wall. Remember a couple paragraphs up when I mentioned I am slightly delusional? Proof. I am crazy. Anyway, since I have no shame and I don’t want to be fake about what my life looks like, here you go. 
Oh yeah, take it in. Chair rail missing, exposed nail holes and blue stripe. Mismatched furniture because I am literally too lazy to even list anything on Craigslist. Toys, puzzle pieces, shoes. My new beautiful couch always covered by a ratty old blanket because I don’t like Sawyer to even touch it. (Note to self: look into plastic cover for couch.) Mail piles. No curtains. Just a mess.
After telling Anderson that this room is the reason for my gloomy mood and anxiety attacks (DRAMATIC), we have called in help for the wall situation. Hallelujah. As I write this a week after I took these pictures, our wall is fixed and I've painted and the anxiety attacks have stopped. I have to list a majority of the furniture on Craigslist and sort through what stuff is staying and going, then Anderson and I are going to start on the new wall unit we are building. Guess when I will have time to build a wall unit? Never, but remember I’m delusional so let me live the lie.
So if you feel like your house is a wreck, hey, here’s mine. And if you feel like you are stretched way too thin, I’m right there with you sister. And if you miss my posts (bless you), I do too. Stick around. I have stuff to share.
p.s. Google reader is going away and the world is over (so I’m told). I don’t even know what Bloglovin is so I guess I am going to work on that. I will look into it this weekend and then I will do the blogger thing and come back and tell you all to follow me on Bloglovin, facebook, twitter, Pinterest, flikr, email, etc. Just basically stalk me ok because I don’t want to lose you.



2013 goals: february results

Read about my 2013 monthly goals here
Read January's recap here

After the success of January, I was ready to take on February's goals. It was a busy month though so I fell short a bit.
 Here's how we stacked up:

Our Goals Together:
1. One date a month. We went out the weekend before Valentine's Day to the new Dine In Theater to see Identity Thief (very funny!). The theater is just like a regular theater except you get to sit in these huge comfy recliners and you have a waiter to bring you food and refill your drinks. On top of that the level we chose was 21 and older so no noisy teenagers allowed. It was heavenly. If it wasn't so expensive we'd never go to a regular movie theater again. 

2. Host a dinner once a month. Waaah-waaah. We failed on this one. Our weekends were busy and we just didn't get it done.

My Goals:
1. Read 2 books a month. 
 I finally got a chance to read The Silver Linings Playbook. I didn't expect it to be such a light, quick read, but it really was a feel good book. The Kitchen House was not a light book. It dealt with slavery, murder, and abuse. It was a heavy read, but the story was well developed and interesting. 

2. Finish one embroidery/stitching project a month. Done at the last minute, but still done. 

Read more about this deer here

3. Run 30 miles a month. Thanks to running a half marathon this month (more about that this week), I finished February with about 40 miles. Now that my marathon is over, let's just see what happens with my running. I have plans to keep up with it so I'm hoping that I hit 30 miles for the rest of the year. 

4. Complete one craft book project a month. Done, and again at the last minute. Maybe in March I'll get my act together? 

  Read more about these cute little cards here


Not bad, I suppose. I've already chosen March's projects, planned for a date, and plan to start running again this week. It's going to be a good month.