Mar 27, 2011

Calligraphy, Visit from my Parents, and Company Coming

Well Nick's wish has come true...the projects have come to a stop (not forever, but just for now).

I am booked with calligraphy business from now until June and it all started up this week.   Right now I am writing out the invitation and reply set and will begin addressing the envelopes in the next few weeks.

Secondly my parents came for a quick visit this weekend!  It is always great to see them, and we had a great time catching up! 

Lastly this little one is coming to see us this week!

Anna Kathryn is my best friend Kiley's daughter.  She will arrive (with Kiley and Mark) on Thursday.  I cannot wait for them to get here!!!  We have a fun weekend of shopping, golf, grilling out, and basketball watching planned!

Hope everyone has a great week.

Mar 21, 2011

Painting the INSIDE of the front door BLACK

I know at first the idea seems strange, and when I first mentioned it to Nick he said absolutely not. But then I showed him some examples of what I was talking about, and he caught the vision and was on board with the idea.

This idea all started with the two pictures I posted earlier this week.  Such a simple concept and makes the door pop rather than blend in with the rest of the molding.  Once I started thinking about doing it I began to notice that many other people have done the same thing.  Isn't that the way it always goes...once you start thinking about something you start to notice it all the time.  Below are a few examples of other black doors I have come across.

Do you notice what else is painted black in most of these pictures???  The railing and newel post.  I think it looks great....maybe I will put that in the lineup of future projects!

Since last week was Spring Break week in Birmingham (and I was the only person in my office on Friday afternoon) I decided to leave a little early and start painting.

-First I washed the door with soap and water.
-I taped off the hinges and lock mechanisms with painters tape (however in the end we decided to take the lock and door knob off all together)
-Then painted.  It took two coats to fully cover up the white.

I used a quart of this paint.

It is premixed and in my Lowes is was next to the spray paint.  Ask them to shake it for you at the paint counter.

I used a 4" foam roller and a foam brush (to get in the crevices and around the edges).

I am really pleased with how it turned out and once again just wish I would have done it a long time ago.

Please excuse the quality of my pictures... I am a horrible photographer.

Mar 17, 2011

Front Door Revamp

Check this out:

Doesn't painting the back of the door black make a big difference!  This is not my front door, but mine is very similar to this and it will be getting a coat of black paint very soon! 

Stay tuned for pictures.

Mar 15, 2011

Like, Love and Don't Like * Special Edition

You knew it was coming. I can't let the recent ESPN documentary about Michigan's Fab Five pass without responding. Here's a special edition of LLDL.

This week, I like the documentary about The Fab Five. I really did like the film. These guys came along about the time in my life when basketball meant everything to me. They definitely changed the game: from their shorts to their black socks to their insane amount of trash-talking. The film did a great job of telling how these five freshmen became starters and reached the NCAA title game in their first two years. The documentary also showed how this group of players were the center of questionable recruiting and ultimately tarnished Michigan's basketball program.

This week, I love the Duke haters. Watching The Fab Five was made even more enjoyable after watching Duke defeat North Carolina for the ACC Tournament championship earlier in the afternoon. See, even before I watched the documentary, I knew there was going to be a slant against Duke. The Duke program was arguably flying at its highest during the beginning of the Fab Five era. Duke defeated Michigan in the Fab Five's first appearance to the NCAA title game (1992). At the time, the game was billed with a racist, white vs. black undertone. Duke had previously found itself in this position in its battles against a predominantly-black team from UNLV in 1990 and 1991. And for some reason, that label sticks with Duke across the nation. Coach K and the Blue Devils are viewed as elitist, white, upper-crust basketball players. The Fab Five's Jalen Rose (and ESPN employee) best sums up this perception in the following clip. SALTY LANGUAGE WARNING.

Nice, huh? That's not to be outdone by fellow Fab Five member Chris Webber the following day on his blog in which he likened Duke to the Jim Crow era of the 1950's. Seriously. He said that.

This week, I don't like ESPN's proclamation that the Fab Five was the greatest recruiting class ever. This statement in the film's promotions sparked a heated debate with my good friend Clay Branch. I told Clay that it all boils down to what criteria is used to define "greatness" in this instance. The Fab Five didn't even win their conference title, much less a national title, so the group can't claim the title of greatest using their ability to win. It's better to argue recruiting rankings if you want to crown them the greatest. There's no doubt that this Michigan class was talented but I wasn't going to accept that they were the greatest class to ever be assembled. I did some homework to prove that I was right. You know what? I was wrong. Well, sorta. High school basketball recruiting rankings weren't as robust in the early 1990's as they are today. The gold standard is the McDonald's All-American Team, which selects the top players from across the nation to participate in an annual all-star game. I obtained a list of every player that's ever played in the McDonald's game. In 1991, four of the Fab Five played in the McDonald's game (Rose, Webber, Juwaan Howard, Jimmy King). I was blown away! I scanned the list to see if any other schools had duplicated this feat. Going back to 1977, many colleges have landed 3 McDonald's All-Americans but only two schools have signed four players: Michigan and........Duke. Coach K welcomed Carlos Boozer, Jason Williams, Casey Sanders and Mike Dunleavy in 1999. And if you want to go back to the "success" element, the Duke group won 4 conference tournaments, lost the 1999 national title game and won the 2001 national title - with lots of individual awards earned along the way. As I left the debate with Clay, I think it is best to say that the Fab Five were great in there ability to influence the culture of college basketball. And....I guess you could say they were very talented too.

UPDATE....Former Duke forward Grant Hill has written a reply to the documentary for The New York Times. The last line is priceless.

Mar 14, 2011


I am working on a new "project" and I need your help.  Would you choose


Tongue and Groove

or Board and Batten

Today I am leaning toward Beadboard, but I have changed my mind about 18 times already.  Let me know what you think.

Mar 12, 2011

Bathroom Tile

Last weekend while spending a lot of time in my guest bathroom working on my mirror framing project I noticed the the floor tile (more specifically the grout) was nasty!  I am somewhat embarrassed to even post this, but I figure we are all friend...right!  Not to mention that I get great ideas from reading about other peoples who knows maybe someone reading this has nasty grout in their bathroom too.

All that to say that I got down on my hands and knees today and gave this bathroom a massive scrub down.

I used Scrubbing Bubbles Extend a Clean, but honestly you could use most any bathroom cleaner.  The key is the wire brush!

See the difference.  Probably 6-7 years of ground in dirt!  Please know that I do mop this bathroom often, but mopping unfortunately doesn't always do the trick.  Here is another close up of the results.

I am beyond pleased!  Now I need to do this in the master bath, but it is much bigger and will take more energy than I have today.  Maybe next weekend.

Mar 11, 2011

Framed Mirror

Over the past few weeks of reading various blogs about DIY projects I have noticed that many of the DIYers have framed their bathroom mirrors.  Honestly I thought about doing this a while ago, but I didn't think I had the tools to be able to pull it off.  But after seeing the process these other ladies used I was convinced that I could do it.  So I decided to try it in our guest bathroom since the mirror is a smaller than the one in the master bathroom.

Nick was playing golf on off to Lowes I went to get supplies for my little project.

This is what I needed:
Miter Box
Liquid Nails

For the actual frame I bought (pre primed) casing.  Basically the stuff the that you woudl use to frame out windows and doors.  I bought and 7' and 10' piece and had them cut each of the four pieces to the size I needed.

Next I bought this little gem...a miter box!  This is the part that got me a few years ago when I thought about doing this.  I thought you had to have a miter saw in order to cut molding and trim at an angle.  Well that is not the case you can get a miter box for about $15 and it comes with the saw!  Awesome. 

This is what the bathroom looked like before.

First I had to cut my molding at 45 degree angles to form the corners of the frame.

Once all the pieces were cut  I painted them.  (Tip - Be sure to paint the back side of the molding as well because when it is up against the mirror you can see some of the back.)

Once the paint dried I applied a generous amount of liquid nails to the mirror.

Then placed the molding on the mirror and held it in place for a few minutes.  I repeated this step until all pieces where in place.

The next day I used caulk to hide the small gaps in the corners where the pieces fit together.  This caulk is awesome because it goes on pink and dries clear!

Once the caulk was dry I lightly sanded it and painted over the corners.  All Done!  What do you think?

For $25 I think it makes a big difference, and it will be even better once I debrass everything! 

Mar 9, 2011

Like, Love and Don't Like

I've been taking full advantage of opportunities to play some golf lately. My scores indicate that I could have a much bigger impact on this planet by blogging more. However, I hope to have some new golf videos soon.

This week, I like the Federal Reserve. I just returned from a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta with some coworkers. Working with the Federal Reserve is not part of my job but I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this place where banks and credit unions send their cash and coins. And brother, I saw a lot of cash today. And I saw where a lot of that cash gets destroyed. I even brough some home!

This week, I love NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. I've always wanted to be a game show host or news anchor. Brian Williams is the suavest man on television. He is very knowledgable of worldly events, he's a very good reader, he is funny as heck when he appears on late night shows and gets away with only having 3 neck ties in his rotation. And the Nightly News set is the best set in the industry. It's just a green screen and an awesome desk. I record Nightly News each night and even though it is always systematically BAD news, I will always be loyal to NBC. Do you know who the celebrity announcer is that introduces Mr. Williams each night? Leave your guesses in the comment section. When I learned this nugget, my mind was blown.

This week, I don't like the high praise for Charlie Sheen. I'll admit to to finding Charlie's catch phrases very funny at the beginning of his latest downfall. 10 years ago, I would have been the first person selling Tiger Blood t-shirts. But now I'm beginning to be disturbed by the number of people that are approving of his carefree lifestyle. I'm afraid that too many impressionable people are buying into his theory that life is about doing whatever you want to do. Life can't be that way. We're free in America but we're fortunate that (some) people know that nothing good comes from living a selfish lifestyle.

Mar 5, 2011

I've Been Tagged

This is first for me!!! 

In light of the Academy Awards (last weekend) several people in blog land have been listing their favorite movies and then tagging other bloggers so they will do the same.

Well my friend Anna from Recipes for Newlyweds recently tagged me so now I get to post my five favorite movies!

1. Childhood Must: Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz
2. Chick Flick: The Notebook, Dirty Dancing
3. Husband Approved: Gone With The Wind
4. True Story: The Blind Side
5. Holiday: Miracle on 34th Street, The Grinch (cartoon version)

Now I'm tagging She who dies with the most fabric winsThe Bright Side of Life, The Mize Family, and The Lloyds to share their five favorites!!