Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Changes to Pleased as Punch


I'm tired of my name.  There, I said it.

I liked it at first.  But now it just sounds "cutesy" to me.  Like, the "trying too hard to be cutesy" sort of cutesy.  I don't believe that I am trying too hard.  I don't believe that I even want to be a "cute" blog - not that there's anything wrong with cute blogs...they're fun to look at.  I'm just pretty sure that's not me, but I think my name says something different.

And honestly, lately, I feel a little stupid when I have to tell someone what the name of my blog is.

Ummmmm...that's not good!  At all!

But even more than a name change, I've been thinking of a whole shift for what I'm doing over here.  Maybe not a big shift, maybe just a little more focus perhaps.   I just used "maybe" and "perhaps" in the same sentence.  Does that just scream "decisive" or what???

I have some ideas.  But I'm interested in knowing what YOU think.  Please don't leave me with the sound of crickets chirping!  :)  I really want to know!

Why do you read my blog?  What do you come here hoping to find?  (I mean BESIDES my hilarious, witty and engrossing posts. Obviously.) What do you wish you saw more of here?  Why are you NOT reading anymore (and I realize that if you're reading this now, that question probably doesn't apply)?

You can be honest; you won't hurt my feelings!  Inquiring minds want to know.  :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Reading List

Oh, the dreaded summer reading list.  I used to have one of those from 3rd grade on up.  Every summer, I would wait until about a week before school started, and then do nothing but read...cramming all the books in, and then skimming the ones that didn't hold my interest.  (That was most of them.)  Books like The Hobbit...all I remember is the description of Gollum, those endless songs and poems in italics, and some place called Murkwood.  I'm sure if I read it today, I'd find it more interesting, but it was pure torture for me back in high school.  I'm also pretty sure that at this point in my life, I'll just wait for the movie.  Don't judge! ;)

Life is so ironic.  NOW, I can't get enough reading done.  My "to-read" list is a mile long.  If I finish a book and don't have another one to start that night, I get irritated.  Emergency trips to the library happen.  (I'm pretty sure I'll be the last person on earth to get a Kindle!  That's OK with me.)

My new year's resolution to "read more" is actually going awesome-ly.  Being on Goodreads helps - it keeps track of the books I read, and it's a great place to find which books I want to read next.  Tons and tons of reader reviews.  Here's my profile - if you're on it too, friend me!  I love to see what my friends are reading!

Anyway, this summer I've read the following:

The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones by John Rucyahana

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by David Platt

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(well, I read half of it.  I didn't finish this one!)

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
(currently reading)

It's purely coincidental that I read two circus books in a row.  I don't have a big interest in the circus, really!  But I have to say that Water for Elephants is my current "summer favorite" so far.  I loved that book.  But be warned: there's some language, which I can usually handle, but in this one there is a fair amount of using the name of Jesus as a curse word and that just makes me queasy.  There is also a smattering of sexual content that in my opinion, is more detailed than it needs to be.  But the scenes are short, and there are only a few.  OTHER THAN THAT, the story and characters are so engrossing...I actually felt sad that it had to come to an end.  And speaking of the end: one of my favorite endings ever.

My other favorite book this summer has been Radical.   But it totally deserves its own post.  I'll do that someday soon.

So...what are YOU reading this summer? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Downstairs progress: Inspiration Rooms

When I re-decorate a room, I like to do what they did on a show called "Design on a Dime."  (Is that still on?  I have no time for HGTV these days.  Well, except for Design Star, but that's on at night.)  ANYWAY.  On this show, they would have an "inspiration room," which was a photo of a high-end, expensive room - and then they would duplicate it in their own house with similar, more affordable things.

I'm no interior designer.  I can't just look at a room and dream up beautiful things to do to it.  But (I'd like to think) I can execute the ideas fairly well.  So I love the whole "inspiration room" thing. 

I had an inspiration room for our bedroom...

photo source
that turned into this (still a work in progress)...

....hmm.  Now I actually feel kind of lame.  Well, in my defense, our room is tiny - about 10.5' x 11'.  I kid you not.  Tiny.  Aren't old houses "charming?"  But still, there's no excuse for the bare wall behind the bed - gotta do something about that, it would look so much more finished....


In my search for a nice color palette for the downstairs, I found this room in a BHG photo gallery and fell in love with it:

photo source
Ahhh.  Isn't this beautiful?  So fresh and light.  I love those gray-ish walls with the green and brown.  This became my inspiration room, love at first sight.

First things first, I painted our walls.  I went with a neutral light gray, called "Gentle Rain" by Behr.  What a breath of fresh air!  The previous color was this yellow-ish, caramelly color that had been there for quite a few years.

before - old color
after - new color
 Vive la difference...

So that was that for the paint. (I did paint both rooms, if you're wondering!)

Next up was the curtains.  I dubbed the ones in the inspiration photo "the curtains of my dreams."  My mom actually found the specific fabric online - Waverly "One Wish" in Mint Julep.  Herein lay the problem: I needed 12 yards to do both windows.  At Joann's, that fabric is $40 a yard.  That just ain't happening.  Even if we had the sort of budget where $500 for curtains was do-able, I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to actually do it!  At, it's $16 a yard.  Much better...but still not justifiable for me.  That's still $48 a panel...I just can't do it!  Not when there's fabric like this...

...on sale at Joann's for $7.99 a yard.  Normally $20, it goes on sale once a year for 60% off.  It's from the Waverly Modern Essentials line, called "Fun Floret."  So at $100 for all 12 yards...we're not talking "cheap," but we're now finally talking "do-able." 

And how FUN is this beautiful fabric???

radiators under windows...the bane of my existence!
I could not be happier with these curtains!  They are a fun, fresh pattern and color, and they do so much to brighten up these rooms!

It's coming together, but I still have lots to do.  Next up: wall decor.