How to make someone smile

It’s been a rough year. If you’ve been reading what I’ve written this year, you already know that, so I’m not going to rehash anything.

All I will say is that I appreciate my friends and family that have been there for me in recent weeks, and I couldn’t make it through the day without you. To those of you that chose to take this opportunity to kick me while I was down – it makes me sad that you would do that. It happens, though, and life goes on. I ask that you think about what you say to a friend when they are going through some issues. What they need is for you to lift them up, not push them back down. Push them down later, when they get out of their slump!

Anyway, today at work we were joking around and my employees came up with a list of why they loved me. It made me so happy, and it all started out as a joke – but I don’t think they know just how much it meant to me. It made me laugh! It’s good to know what it is about me that they like.

I’m thinking of making some “reasons I love ____________” lists for others. You should too. You just never know when it might be the difference that makes or breaks someone’s day. 

Who would you write your list for and what would your reasons be?





On being “mid-thirties”

I didn’t care about turning 30. I thought it would be some huge thing, but it really wasn’t. It’s funny how the older you get, the more your idea of “old” changes. I can remember being in high school, thinking 35 was ancient. Ha!

I work at a store with a few older women (no, I don’t consider any of them “old” – they don’t act it, they don’t look it) and things are changing. All of my “moms” are leaving me. Abandoning me. On October 3, my beloved manager is retiring and will leave me as the oldest person in the store. I’ve never been the oldest person at my store. I’m “only” 35. It’s been a tough year at work, and although I do not blame any of them for leaving – I feel like I’m being abandoned. It’s hard not to feel that way when you’ve worked together as long as we have – they are my people, my chosen family, my “extra” moms and sisters.

I’m not where I thought I would be at 35. I don’t know what I thought that would be, but this isn’t it. I have great friends, great husband, great family, great puppies – but I’m just unsettled, I guess. I am luckier than a lot of people, and I am grateful for what I have – but something just seems off.

I’ve been so busy trying to grow the other blog that tonight I just had to come back to my familiar little corner of the internet and talk. While I would like for the other blog to get bigger and more popular, is it wrong that I want this one to stay the way it is and has been? Everyone needs their safe place, and up until now, oddly enough – my safe place was work.

I don’t have that anymore.

I think my work life is screwing with my head. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the big 3-5 that is messing with me – it is just coincidental. It’s a year of change. Hopefully it will end up being a change for the better, but right now it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Think of me on Thursday. I have a feeling that 35 is going to hit me pretty hard.

Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

Royal Design Studio Stencil Review

I met up with Regina from Royal Design Studio at Haven Conference – she had a booth and her booth was a popular one! They were doing a make and take craft, which is always popular with us nerdy blogger types. Everyone got to stencil a file folder to take with them, and that file folder came in handy for all of the handouts we were given at the conference!

Upon learning that they have a program especially for bloggers, I was pumped. After I got home from Haven and wound down a little bit, I emailed Regina and we worked it out. Their website showcased SO many designs to choose from, it took me days to decide which one I wanted. Royal Design Studio sent me a fun, youthful stencil to try out! I decided to use it on my chest of drawers in my craft room.

I knew I wanted a bright color for the chest, and was leaning towards green/lime green – in fact, that’s what I set out to buy when we headed to Dallas to buy our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Once we got to the store, my sister and friends talked me into the Barcelona Orange. I like orange, but I don’t LIKE orange – the color orange is still growing on me, but after seeing the chest of drawers finished, I think I’m a changed woman.

The chest of drawers that was transformed actually used to be in my nephew’s room, until my sister bought a different dresser and painted it. I couldn’t let a cute chest of drawers go homeless, so of course I took it. It was boring white and was begging for color – not to mention, it was going in my craft room and I want my craft room to be a fun, happy, bright room!

Once we got this beast painted (no sanding, no priming! Thanks Annie Sloan!), it was time to bite the bullet and stencil. We had spent so much time painting this chest and I had an irrational fear of stenciling and messing it up.

Armed with Frog Tape, Martha Stewart Arrowhead craft paint, daubers, and stencils, we set to work.

Since I twitch when things aren’t symmetrical (my sister’s OCD is rubbing off on me), I decided to stick with one stencil for the whole project. The stencils I chose actually came with 5 different flowers! The one I used was the smallest one since the drawers were more narrow than I thought.

(We had to do a trial stencil on posterboard to make sure we were doing it correctly!)

Action shot of the first stencil!

One down, seven to go.

I decided to center the flower stencil underneath the knob. That way, they would be evenly placed and centered. Once I got started, it went relatively quickly – I would say I finished all 8 flowers in less than 30 minutes. They’re not perfect, I got a little crazy on a few spots, but nothing major!

(Keeping it real)

My five year old nephew wanted to help, so we had him do a “trial” stencil on the posterboard. Well, in typical five year old fashion, he did great for about 10 seconds and then started dragging the paint across to finish. No! I am a sucker for my nephew, as you can see.

*So easy, even a five year old can do it!*

(That one actually turned out to be the best one on the whole chest)

After letting it dry overnight (even though the Martha Stewart paint dried pretty quickly – just wanted to be safe), my sister and I put a coat of polyurethane over the whole chest of drawers. That took about 20 minutes total.

Why polyurethane and not wax? 1) I’m lazy, hence the name of the blog, and 2) I wanted a really glossy finish. I love the way Annie Sloan wax goes on and looks on certain pieces, but it’s not what I had in mind for this project.

I purchased cheapy knobs at Lowe’s ($1.02 each) and put them on – and it was ready to go! This fun chest of drawers will have a new life as a scrapbook paper/embellishment/mod podge organizer and I can’t WAIT to put it to use. Fun fact: I also have a second chest of drawers that I am going to paint the same way this week to hold my fabric, but I needed to get one done to see how it went. It’s a win!

And now I present to you my very first sponsored blog review item –

Barcelona Orange chest of drawers with Japanese Flower Stencils from Royal Design Studio!

* This stencil was provided to me by Royal Design Studio to review and give my honest thoughts on. My honest thoughts? I can’t wait to order some more stencils from them! Thank you so much for the opportunity, Regina! You are awesome.

Follow Royal Design Studio on Facebook

How to Stencil – lots of tips and tricks for newbies like myself! Remember – if a five year old can do it…

I also posted this at my group blog! Check it out!

Which stencil is your favorite from their website? 

Martha Stewart, Royal Design Studio, and nerves, Oh My! {Sneak Peek Part 2}


Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

Here goes nothin’. Pics will be up on Tuesday, bright and early!

I will be using Royal Design Studios Japanese Flower Garden B Stencils, Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Arrowhead, and Martha Stewart Foam Pouncer Tops. Wish me luck!

PS: I would kill for that basket of Martha paint up there.

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange – or, the day I lost my mind {Sneak Peek}


Oh. My. Goodness.

It’s growing on me. I wasn’t too sure at first.

I’m not finished with this beast either.

I promise.


{Also posted over on RCHOTX}

Poor little neglected blog

I haven’t disappeared, I promise.

I’ve been busy. Starting up another blog. I might be crazy. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of begging, a lot of coordination with 5 other people, and a lot of learning. It has also been fun and frustrating at the same time 🙂

After attending Haven Conference, my friends were inspired to start a new group blog. We want to do this up (semi) big. The ones who have never blogged before are learning that it’s not as difficult and time-consuming as they thought it would be. The ones that have blogged before are behind the scenes, pushing for posts, tweaking the site, messing with html (yeah, that would be me), looking for sponsors, and just trying to make it work in general so the newbies don’t have to do anything BUT post. It’s still very new and there isn’t much on there {yet}, but we’re getting there.

I’m not abandoning you, Lazy Wife, just taking a little vacation. I’ll still post more personal things here and more recipes here, just as I’ve done for the past FIVE (what?!) years.

Come see me at Real {Cheap} Housewives of Texas. It’ll be fun! Come on!

My first “commissioned” jewelry order!

Since I work at a jewelry store, I am familiar with how jewelry is made/put together. As a hobby, I have made jewelry for myself – nothing crazy, just simple pieces. Obviously I don’t have a solder machine or welder at my house, so I can only do so much.

Well, my husband apparently bragged about my latest jewelry-making session to the ladies he works with. A few weeks ago, he came home with a baggie of assorted brass-colored pieces, a large octopus pendant, and a chart for a three layer necklace – from his boss.

Seriously? I do this as a hobby for myself! No pressure, right? Well, the ladies he works with made my craft room blackout curtains – he works at a rug and fabric store, isn’t that handy? – so I felt obligated to at least try to do what she wanted. After threatening him asking him nicely to not talk about my extracurricular activities while he is at work, I stared at the pieces for a week or so. Then I bought some “antique gold” chains and findings, and some sea glass looking beads. No, this is not real gold. I’m not made of money, and I’m not great at making jewelry – so this was all from Joann and Michaels. With coupons. Never pay full price at either one of those stores!

Today, I decided to get with it. I woke up in a bad mood and probably didn’t need to be around people any more than I had to be, so I locked myself up in my craft room for the afternoon and ended up with this:

I went a little crazy. I taught myself how to do a wire wrap on a bead (holy crap! Now I want to wrap everything!) and went to town. I sent my husband out to Harbor Freight, land of cheapass tools, for a precision plier kit because my tools just weren’t working out.

Once I made the necklace, I had extra chains, pendants, and beads left. I went ahead and made a matching bracelet. Then I felt like I needed to complete the set, so off I went to Joann again to buy some ear wires.

I hope she likes it – my husband says “the gaudier, the better” – since Kevin has talked me up so much, I feel like I have these really high standards to live up to!  We shall see tomorrow…

Also posted at RCHOTX