Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Shame in this Cone!

My best friend Nikki just recently found out she passed her boards and is officially qualified to be a veterinarian!!!! I am SO proud of her. She has been working so hard since high school to make sure she has been on the right track for this career. Vet school has tested her to the max and she came through it with flying colors!! All she has to do is finish rotations and she graduates from NC State in May as Dr. Schweizer!! Crosby is especially excited to have free consultations...she's so material.

I decided to make a Congratulations Dr. Vet present for Nikki and got inspired by this pillow I saw on But come on...she's going to be making the big bucks here, not me so I decided to make one of my own!! I mean, seriously, can you get more perfect decor for a veterinarian? I'm hoping she likes this pillow and lets me decorate her waiting room one day.

Here's my version. I think it turned out pretty well. I've included a tutorial below so you can read on or not.

Cone of Shame Tutorial: 

First Step, find a dog! The Fab one looks like a dachsund but after googling some silhouettes, all of the dachsunds looked sick or weird. Nikki's dog is part maltese and part beagle, so I changed my search to beagle silhouettes and found a great one. Print it out as big as you want. I wanted it pretty big so I opened up the picture in excel and printed from there. That created a 4 page puzzle I just had to cut out and piece together with some tape.

I used felt for the dog and the cone. That way I didn't have to mess with hemming it and also didn't have to worry about the edges fraying. Use a silver sharpie or light colored pen and trace out your shape on the back of your felt. Before you do this step, figure out which way you want your dog facing on the pillow. Trace your dog facing the opposite way on the felt so when you cut it out, you can flip it and it won't show your sharpie marks. Then cut that pooch out! Use sharp scissors or short strokes so the felt doesn't stretch or warp.

Once your dog is cut out, it's time to make the cone. This was the most difficult part because I couldn't get over the shame the shape I wanted. What I ended up doing was holding my felt up to the computer screen and tracing it directly off of the pillow. This created the right angles. Then I just eyeballed it and scaled the size up about 2x. You'll need two parts for the cone...the front that will go on top of the dog, and a small sliver that goes behind the dog to create the back of the cone.

Try it on your dog and make sure the scale is right. A chihuahua will wear a different size then a great dane so scale appropriately.

Now you need to cut out your pillow pieces. Nikki had some old pillows she wasn't crazy about so she gave them to me to re-cover. I took the cover off and used it as my guide so I could get the same size. I also ran an iron over my fabric after cutting out the pieces so my finished pillow wasn't wrinkled.

Now, it's time to whip out your sewing machine. I would definitely recommend pinning your dog down. My pillow fabric was slippery and the felt doesn't give much so it's very easy for your shape to get crooked if it's not pinned down. When you place your pup, give enough room around the edges of the pillow to account for the seams of the pillow. At least 1 inch from the edge should do it, but give it more if you don't want it starting right at the edge of your pillow.

Also, you'll want to go ahead and place the small sliver of the back of your cone behind the dog's head. You'll just sew right over it, but test out the angle with the other piece of the cone when you pin it down to make sure it's how you want it. Also, make sure your thread matches your dog or you'll see your stitch line all the way around.

Now, change your thread to match the color of your cone and pin the top of your cone into place. You'll want to overlap it with the back sliver just barely. This makes it connect and also gives it a 3-D look.

Then just sew around the edges of the cone. Go all the way around the front piece of your cone and along the edges of the back piece. Every edge of white should be sewn down.

Now, get the other side of your pillow and put the front sides together, pin around the entire pillow and sew. Leave a 4-5 inch gap on one side for your stuffing. I did two rows of stitching around the edge of the pillow for extra stability. Here's my finished pillow cover after sewing and turning the pillow right-side-out.

Here are the old pillows and the stuffing I was re-using. You could also use new batting or an already made pillow.

Stuff that pillow up and beat it flat! Mine was super lumpy so it took some extra beating to get it normal-ish. The last step is hand sewing the gap that you left in the bottom to insert the stuffing. It was at this point that I realized I don't have a hand sewing needle!!! I can't believe it! I was so anxious to finish, I ended up sewing it on the machine and it actually turned out really great, so if you do it that way, it can work! I didn't take a picture of it though....It's just a boring seam.

Anyways, here is the final product again! I'm so pleased with how it turned out and I can't wait to give it to Nikki! I hope she loves it. Now I need to try to figure out how to do our pup Crosby!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coffee Table Update

I've been perusing Craigslist for the last few weeks for a new coffee table. Here's our old one:

It was a hand-me down from my parents when they decorated our apartment after the wedding and it's served us well up to this point. But, because of the glass top, it was always smudgy. Plus I wanted something with a little bit of storage so we didn't have remotes and papers all over it all the time. It's only cleaned off in this picture because this was the picture I took to sell it on Craigslist. The other bad thing about this one was that Derrick and I are feet-on-the-coffee-table people and sometimes during a particularly frustrating NC State game, we'd push off of the coffee table, raise the glass up on one end and have it crash back into place. I was sure it was going to shatter one of these days.

So I searched that list that dear old Craig keeps until I found a bargain! We wanted a nice piece of furniture that was sturdy and looked a little more expensive then your generic college dorm room coffee table. Our college days are sadly getting farther and farther away. I did not want to dish out the dollars for something super nice though. I was willing to take a fixer-upper and totally wow you guys with my DIY skills but then I found this baby:

Looking at this picture now, it kind of looks like it has some dings on that closest leg, but it doesn't. At least not that I've noticed. It's sturdy as a rock! Derrick was conveniently out of town for the pick-up so my friend Holly accompanied me to pick it up and keep me safe. She also helped me lug it up the stairs and into the apartment. It was originally listed for $70 but I haggled her down to $60. :)

 There is a lot of brown going on in the living room now but I have plans for that end table!

Here's my favorite part: The remote drawer!! It's awesome...and I'm lame. It's ok, I embrace it.

Mom thinks I sell things to cheaply on Craigslist so before I say how much we got for our old one, here is my disclaimer to my cheap-o ways.

1. Having the item I'm selling gone and not having to waste space with it is more valuable to me then the cash-o-la. Maybe when we have a garage or an extra spare bedroom I'll be willing to hang on to things for a while longer to get more $.  I tend to erratically purge the house of things and Derrick has to step in and be the rational one, so obviously, hoarding is not an issue here. Except for maybe scissors. I have 7 pair in my desk, 3 in the kitchen, 1 in the knife block, 1 in the bathroom, and 1 in the car...........

2. Selling it cheap means it's gone faster!

3. The table was broken. One of the supports along the bottom was completely broken off. You'd have to weld it or gorilla glue the heck out of it to fix it.

I sold it for $ a man named Jody...who drove a big white van. I'm glad I made him wait til Derrick returned home before coming to pick it up. It's too classic of a horror story and everybody knows I scare easy.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Frosty Cros

So Derrick just touched down in Daytona Beach, FL earlier today for work and is wearing short sleeves! Meanwhile, all of the Triangle area is shut down with sleet and snow! So...Crosby and I  went out to play :)

For anyone who doesn't know us well....and even if you don't know us well you probably know this, Derrick and I are obsessed with our dog Crosby. She was featured in our engagement pictures, was the subject of our Christmas card, and her name works well as a replacement for any prominent word in any song you might be singing. Try'll see. This post is mainly just pictures of Cros in the snow, so unless you want to see lots of pictures that are essentially the same, you don't have to read the rest.

Except if you're one of Cros' grandmas or grandpa. It's just training for the endless pictures of grandchildren you'll have to look at in fifteen years. You'll be pros by then :)

Fighting the Blizzard

These ducks are CRAZY!

Intensely focused on the Duck dinner she is planning

Iced out...I'll be iced in tomorrow I think
And now Cros is passed out at my feet. She was frozen when we got back in so I threw her in the hot bathtub. That combined with the icy walk conked her out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I feel like a Facebook celebrity! Thanks to everybody for the kind words and "likes" :)

Today I had my first closing as a realtor for Coldwell Banker HPW. It's been an awesome experience! I had the most fantastic clients. Seriously....they were dream buyers. Kari was on my club ultimate team this past year and she and her husband Eugene (also an ultimate player) are expecting their first babies this May. Identical twins!!

Kari emailed me in December to talk about working together on this sale and I couldn't be more thrilled. They found a dream home in Durham, NC with plenty of time to settle in and prepare for their baby boys! I am so glad that they put their faith in me, especially as a new agent. It was a learning experience for all of us. The best part of the entire process was seeing how excited and happy they were at closing this morning. It made me feel so great that I could be a part of that. I think I've definitely found a career I can live with!

Congratulations Kari and Eugene!! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cord Storage...Corage...Cordage...Stordage

Two posts in one day...what??

So I've been really annoyed with our home office/guest room recently. It's turned into our dumping ground..especially after Christmas. So, that room became a main focus of mine during my organizational mid-twenties crises. I'll get more into it later, but for now, I wanted to show off my awesome cord storage solution! We have lots of random cords for charging things and connecting cameras to the computer. I'm notorious for never knowing where the cord I need is. One of the reasons Derrick chose the camera he got me for Christmas is because the cord is pretty generic. I had to buy a new one for my old camera almost every time I wanted to put pictures on the computer....not cool.

So, to wrangle all these annoying cords I made a cord box!

I had this old picture/filing box laying around. I've had it for years and it's just tagged along with every move I make. I decided to upcycle it from junk holder to cord organizing extraordinaire!

All I did was take a couple pizza boxes from our recycling bin and created some fancy schmancy dividers.

Then I just covered the ugly cardboard with some extra scrapbook paper I had lying around and Ta-Da!! Now there is a space for every cord! And it's labeled! Oh..and Santa? I want a label maker next year :) Thanks Big Guy!

Now if only something to store extension cords and surge protectors could be so cute.

New Real Estate Blog!

So I've expanded my blogging into Real Estate. It is going to be almost entirely about Real Estate and it even gets auto-filled with canned articles every few days. It's nice because it's low maintenance, but I'm going to be putting my own posts on their pretty regularly and once I start to get really busy, I'll hopefully eliminate the auto-filling all together. I want to try to infuse some of my personality into it while still keeping it professional. I mean..let's be serious..I don't think a post called Yellow Snow is going to cut it in the professional world! Any potential client would take one look and head for the door! Unless of course they too have snow-loving-yellow-snow producers.  Maybe it's worth it for that 1 in a million....

Anyways, the real estate blog is: . You can copy and paste that link or you can look right over here ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> and you'll see it on my blog roll. See it? Down and to the right? It's called Triangle Real Estate Blog. It will be moved to the top anytime I update it.

I think you'll be able to tell the canned posts from the Laurie posts. Although, I do go in and edit the canned posts so they don't sound so stuffy sometimes :)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sew, I Like Pillows...

I updated our pillows tonight! The ones we had were nice, but they felt a little dark. I'm trying to brighten the place up a bit. I just found some fabric I liked, took the covers off the pillows we already had, and recovered them! I even added a zipper! Easy peasey!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Defy Gravity

Last night Derrick and I met up with Courtney and Jeff and went to Defy Gravity! This place was awesome and we are soooo sore today. I wish I had taken pictures but I wasn't sure about bringing my camera inside. I'll definitely take some next time we go.

Defy Gravity is a gigantic warehouse full of trampolines! They have a foam pit that you can trampoline flip into. They have trampoline dodgeball, trampoline basketball. Or you can try to jump as high as you can to hit these punching bags. It's crazy.

I stole a picture off of the website so you can see it.

We went around 5:30 and realized that next time we should book a little later. There were a lot of youngsters there. Once we got in there, we didn't really notice them though so it turned out ok.

We'll definitely be going back and I'll make sure to get some pics of us in action!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Goodwill Globe

I had a huge impulse buy today and I love it! After my organizational tantrum I had a trunk load to drop off at Goodwill. While there, I found this awesome Replogle 16 inch floor standing globe. It was set off to the side of the store by the cash register so I almost didn't see it. It was priced at $40 which made me hesitate. That's a pricey impulse buy for any store..let alone Goodwill.  I checked it out though and found the Replogle logo. After a quick search on my phone, I found out these things were not cheap! For a floor stand 16 inch, you'll pay anywhere from $150-$200! 

Well of course I took it home! I was worried Derrick would wonder what the heck I did, but I sent him a pic and he loves it too! It's just such a cool and random conversation piece plus Derrick is a fan of history/maps so it's nice to have something cool that speaks to his interests. 

 Right now it's next to Derrick's chair. This chair was a gift that my mom gave my dad way back in our first house so I was probably 6. That was always Dad's chair. It is definitely showing its age so my dad just got a new one last year. He gave this one to us for our new apartment and declared it to be Derrick's chair. I love having that piece of my dad in our apartment and I think it's so special that he passed in on to Derrick without hesitation as if he was his own son. I think the Globe looks really good next to the worn leather and the gold curtains! Oh, and my mom got me that adorable house pillow for Christmas :)

On a side note, my organizational spree also made me get on a project that I started forever ago! I finally trimmed out the seat on the chair I upholstered. It's officially done!

Stop by if you ever need to use our globe for some geography lessons! I know Mom and Derrick will be glad I have that sucker close by. Geography is not my strong point!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Got the Bug

And no..I'm not talking about this lingering cough that won't.Go.Away!

I have the organizing bug. Bad.

I really love reading blogs. I think it's mostly because I'm nosy and I like to know what's going on in everybody's lives. That's why I think each and every one of you should start a blog. So I can be nosy into your life! Anyways...I found a new blog. It's called I Heart Organizing . And I have no idea who this girl is but I'm pretty sure we're sister soul mates because I heart organizing too!!! (I 10000% blame my Dad for this and I love him for it :)

So after stalking her all day, I now have the organizing bug and I'm about to whip our dysfunctional house into shape!

Derrick thinks I'm crazy, but I see so many ways we can de-clutter and prettify the apartment. Hope he's ready!

I'll keep you posted...obviously.

Oh..also...update! I used my scanner for a real life real estate purpose. It was awesome.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holy Scanner!

I don't know why I didn't open this Christmas present sooner! This thing is awesome! I just opened it up, tested it, and now it's charging up! I'm talking about my Visioneer Mobility Scanner. I could be their new spokesperson! My parents got this for me to use for real estate. This thing is cordless, scans to a camera, memory card, ipad, or computer, and has a carrying case! I tested it out immediately with a business card I had lying around.

Here's the original:

Then I pushed one button on my scanner, it fed the card through, I popped the memory card into my computer and BAM!

How cool is that??? I can take this thing anywhere! I'm already planning on taking it to my inspection on Tuesday so I can have a digital copy of any reports!

This thing is awesome! Thanks Mom and Dad!

Starting off 2013 with a win!

Derrick and I started out 2013 doing what we love...playing Frisbee!! We signed up for a hat tournament through the local Ultimate organization here in the triangle. A hat tournament is just a one day tournament where you are randomly placed on a team and play 5-6 short games. I was assigned to the Green team and Derrick was put on Black. The New Years hat tournament is usually a lot of young high school players mixed with a few experienced club players. It's great to see so many people playing ultimate at such a young age, but it can also be frustrating when the play gets sloppy. Derrick's team didn't have very much experience on it. He was definitely the star player and even told me about a kid who idolized him the whole day. My team was also fairly young, but they had been playing for a bit longer then Derrick's team. My team actually ended up winning the whole tournament which was pretty cool. Derrick's team took 5th.

Oh...did I mention it was 48 degrees and raining? Yeah...we're crazy.

Here's the championship team!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ringing in the New Year!

We had a great New Years eve last night! Our friends Courtney and Jeff suggested a nice laid back New Year's Eve and we were all for it. We started out at the NCSU vs. UNC-G basketball game. This was Derrick and my first game of the season. It was a tight game through the first half but we put it away in the second half.

Courtney and Jeff being adorable in their matching shirts.

After that we headed back to our place to change and then went to Firebirds for dinner. The restaurant lost our reservations but squeezed us in earlier then our reservations were even for because they felt bad. The food was delicious!

I wish we had gotten a group shot but you can just picture these photoshopped together.

Afterwards we went back to the apartment to play some games and watch the ball drop. It was an awesome night!

This is how Crosby lived it up.

Perudo decisions

Crosby was in charge of the secret Perudo cup. She helped out a lot.

CK and Irene got us this awesome game for Christmas. It's kind of like Jenga Scrabble.

Happy 2013 from all the Marceys!!