Monday, January 30, 2017

Coaching Wolfpack

Our high school team had our first tournament of the season last weekend and Derrick and I couldn't be prouder of our guys. This year looks a lot different than last year. We had tryouts, we made cuts, and we're running a lot tighter lines.

Coaching is exhausting! Derrick and I think it's just as exhausting as playing in a tournament. Maybe not physically...although we both woke up sore from being on our feet all weekend...but mentally you have to be ON the whole time. We care so much about these kids and we love being out there with them so we wouldn't have it any other way. They are all so NICE and hilarious. Derrick and I are constantly talking about them and their individuality. We feel lucky to get to coach them.

We came into the tournament as the 11th seed overall. On Saturday, we had two losses at the beginning of the day and then ended up ending the day with two wins which sent us into the championship bracket.

After a couple close losses on Sunday we still finished the tournament in 8th which means we broke seed by 3 places! We've got at least three more tournaments this year and we're practicing three days a week. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season goes for these guys!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Chalkboard Wall

Derrick and I set a goal for ourselves to eat in at least 3 times a week. Doesn't that sound crazy that we have to set that goal? Here's the problem's so hard! It seems like we're always doing something from 6:30-10 at night so we either have to be super organized and know what we're making before that or be energized enough to cook at 10 PM. No one is that energized!

All this to say, I used this goal as an excuse for another house project! It's not one that I've been thinking about for a long time. It came to me one day and, now that it's done, I love it!

This wall on the side of our pantry is really only visible from the kitchen so it was the perfect wall for chalkboard paint. 

I picked up a quart of paint and did three coats. It didn't even use half the quart but, after some research, some people suggest painting another coat on every year or so to keep it working well.

I was even patient enough to patch the holes.

The other thing I learned about chalkboard paint is you have to condition it. It's porous so they suggest rubbing the entire wall with chalk and then rubbing that in. Then you can erase it. If you skip this step, the first thing you draw on it will never erase. You can't condition it for three days though so read the instructions!

This took 5 sticks of chalk and caused a huge mess.

Now that it's done, I love it! I love the black and I love the location. You can't see it from the living room which is perfect.

 If you write your menu in chalk, it's permanent right? No more forgetting to put the chicken in the crockpot?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Not So Helpful

Crosby has gotten into this very not helpful habit lately.

She goes to all of the beds after they are made and messes them up. She likes to burrow through the pillows and throw the covers around.

So now, all of our beds look like this on any given day.

She can't get under the quilt on this one but the pillows are free game.

Guard your eyes...the yellow is intense.

Thanks but no thanks Crosby!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shelf Fail

Well...I messed up on my craft room shelves. Nothing that can't be fixed, it just means more $$$. 

You'd be shocked to know that my craft room looking like this is not the thing that I messed up. It's not totally normal but not too far from what it typically looks like. It's one of the reasons these shelves are in progress. Once these shelves are up I'll be moving on to getting the rest of the room in order. 

I made a ton of good progress on the shelves during the snow day but work has been so busy I haven't had much time to do anymore. It was actually a blessing in disguise because I came up with a new way to finish them off.

I was able to rip my six inch boards down to four inches and I was really happy with how clean I managed to do that. Then I cut them down to size to fit the front of the shelves.

The plan was to butt them up to each other like this around the corner of the shelf. I didn't like the raw edge but I hoped lots of sanding and an extra coat of wood conditioner would make it less noticeable.

Well then I remembered.... I have a miter saw! Duh! I can miter those corners and it will look amazing! Here's where the mistake came in...I already cut my boards down to length before I realized I needed to miter them. If I use them now, there will be a one inch gap where the shelves meet the wall. I could try and rig something but I really want these shelves to look good. I could go with my original plan but now that I've thought to miter them I don't think I'll be happy with them otherwise. 

So...I'm going to have to buy 4 new boards. 

It's too bad and it's not the cheapest wood but Derrick agreed that I should do it they way I want it so that's the plan. Live and learn I guess. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fresh Start

I've been MIA this past week because I was making a big career change. I've been with Coldwell Banker HPW since I started 4.5 years ago. It is a great company that really got me to where I am today. Their mentorship program is unbeatable and my broker in charge was the one who nominated me for the 30 under 30 award without my knowledge. I owe a lot to that office and I'll always be grateful.

After 4.5 years though, I found myself in a position to make a change that would be better for my business and better for me personally. It's still with Coldwell Banker, it's just a smaller office with a business model that sets me up for success. I'm excited to have joined Coldwell Banker Advantage last week and the transition has been keeping me very busy! My craft room shelves are sitting in the same state they were a week ago! I think I'll be able to stabilize and get some balance back but, for now, I'm excited by this change and my future with this new company and that's where my focus is.

If anyone needs anything, it should be a fairly seamless transition from a client's point of view so don't hesitate to reach out! 2017 is going to be good!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dishwasher Drama

Nothing like replacing your dishwasher at the same time your bank account is recovering from Christmas! Such is life though and today was install day. We've had our dishwasher looked at twice by our home warranty and nothing ever was really fixed. 

Our old dishwasher was fine looking...Derrick and I aren't really picky as long as it cleans our dishes. 

The problem was the soap dispenser. the design of the dispenser meant that when the lid flipped open to release the soap, the lid hit the upper rack of the dishwasher and never fully opened which meant the water could never fully rinse the soap out. Some days were better then others if I used a really small amount of soap but when we got home from Christmas this was what we found after running a load.

That, and our silverware was covered in dried soap. Our dishes have also been covered with soap spots for a while. We decided to cut our losses and spring for a new one that was more efficient and, most importantly, dispensed the soap.

The weather delayed our install a little bit but today we said goodbye to this guy...

And hello to this pretty lady...

It turns out Derrick and I are pretty low maintenance when it comes to dishwashers. We really just want one that cleans and dispenses soap. But...while we were going through the trouble and expense of replacing it, we did find a couple cool features that weren't too much extra money but felt a little more luxurious.

Apparently stainless steel interior means higher efficiency...who knew?

Hidden buttons made the front more streamlined and we did pay a little extra for an extra quiet one.

Fancy third row seating!

And my favorite, bottle sprayers for our nalgenes! The top rack even lowers so extra tall cups and bottles can fit!

I think my business makes me less tolerant of little fixes that need to be made around the house. We probably could have waited a little while longer and toughed it out but I'm much more into the idea of upgrading while we can still enjoy it instead of down the line when we're selling because we have to. Not that we're's just that mindset that leads us to tackle a problem when it crops up sooner then later.

Tell that to my guest bathroom light switch that needs to be replaced though and it would sing a different Lowes trip that switch is switchin!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Blizzard Day

We were told to expect 9 inches and we woke up to about 1 inch of mostly ice. It did keep snowing for most of the day so there was a little added fluff by the end of the day but it wasn't quite the blizzard we were promised. One of the best parts about snow days is it turns into a true forced day off. If no one can drive then no one can look at houses and I can stay in pajamas all day long!

Our day consisted of Netflix, puzzling, playing board games, building shelves, walking Crosby, and watching football. So actually...pretty productive!

I'm building floating shelves in the craft room so Derrick helped me get the frames into place today so I can finish them off. They are over 6 ft long so it was definitely a two person job.

Crosby LOVES the snow. She would play in it all day so we took a family walk and then played a little frisbee.

There was a lot of snow licking.

And a pretty fantastic ice beard.

Tomorrow will probably be more of the same since it's supposed to reach a whopping zero degrees tonight. Our friends gave us a 5000 piece puzzle that barely fits on the dining room table so we'll be chipping away at that, drinking cider, and staying warm by the fire. Perfection.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Escape Room!

Well...Derrick and I got the crazy idea to create another escape room for my family. It's especially fun for them because Jay buys in immediately and Mom, Dad, and Jack go right along with it too. We discussed creating a bigger and better room that we could surprise all four of them with.

Last year we used the garage and Mom and Dad were in on the plan. This year, we wanted to figure out how to keep everybody in the dark until Christmas morning. It was quite a challenge but we pulled it off!

Our room at my parents house has a walk-in closet and attached bathroom that is actually broken into two rooms. In other words, we had four spaces we could use. The main issue was, it's our bedroom, so it has a bed in it! And nightstands, dressers, bathroom stuff, etc.

Well, long story short..we transformed the room on Christmas eve without them knowing. We have a
 dormer in our room so we broke down the bed and hid it in the dormer, we hung decorations, and set everything up so it was ready to go at the end of presents. We wrapped up three Christmas movies and gave them to Mom, Dad, and Jack throughout the morning. It was weird. They thought it was weird. They weren't even good movies but we told them we were trying to add to their Christmas movie collection.

Then Jay got this.

A locked picnic basket and three cut outs.


Those cut outs perfectly overlaid with an image on each of the movies we'd given out earlier in the morning. Each of those movies had a number that was also revealed (The Santa Claus 3, Four Christmases).  Those revealed numbers gave him the code to open the picnic basket and then it was on!

This year, the theme was Jack Frost. They were locked in Jack Frosts home theater and had an hour to escape before they were sentenced to a lifetime of watching bad Christmas films. It was so fun to watch as they realized the whole family was going to be doing it and it was also amazing to see their shock when we took them into our room and the bed was missing and it was transformed.

Oh yeah, and they started out handcuffed.

Here's Derrick explaining the rules of the room in his vintage lumberjack shirt.

To us, we'd been picturing this room for  a while and, if you know me, my visions for things are usually way bigger and more elaborate then they turn out in real life. I was a little disappointed in the room transformation but they helped me realize how much of a change it really was. I mean, they were expecting a bed in the room and it was gone!

There were movie posters lining one wall. Snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.

A chair facing a TV in the corner and a underwhelming movie curtain on the back wall. In my head that curtain was bigger :)

Ugh..that leg lamp! I made it with an Ebay mannequin leg and a goodwill shade because they cost $150+ online but I broke it on Christmas eve at 11 o'clock. See the number that shines through the shade when you plug it in? I broke the lights we were using but Dad unknowingly came to the rescue with a string of Christmas lights. Some hot glue and a piece of cardboard and  we were back in business but I was stressing when I broke it!


Waiting and watching. It is SO hard to stay quiet when they were so close to an answer but just missing it.



The pictures probably don't really make sense without explaining the whole room but that's sorry! But I will tell you they made it out with 8 seconds to spare! A couple other of my favorite props we made were these. The battle map that Kevin McCallister drew up in Home Alone.

And the gigantic nest thermostat hanging in the bathroom. Derrick programmed a rasberry pi so there was a light in the middle of the nest that was blinking Morse code. It was pretty brilliant, but also really hard to de-code!

Apparently we've set a precedent and this is expected every year! I'm not sure if we can keep living up to that but we had a ton of fun pulling off and I'm glad my family buys in and participates! Derrick is the total brains behind the puzzles and I have fun with the set design and figuring out how to make what he needs for the puzzles. Turns out we make a pretty great team!