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?






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? 

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!

No words.

OK, I lied. I do have words. I freaking LOVE my new craft room curtains! I want to paint all of my furniture in bright, obnoxious colors now.


What I’m listening to… Beastie Boys. My high school/college soundtrack. Their songs bring back so many good memories. RIP MCA.

What I’m eating… Cookies n Cream Muddie Buddies. What?

What I’m watching… Nothing, because Major League Baseball has taken over my living room TV. My stuff just keeps piling up on the DVR. I *did* go see Five Year Engagement, though. It was okay. I think I expected a lot more from it, but it was cute.

What I’m thinking about… So much my head is spinning. Our trip next month, work stuff, friend stuff, sister stuff. I need a drink.

What I’m loving… Maxi dresses. Who knew? Of course, I probably look like an Oompa Loompa in them, but I’m 34. I don’t care what people think of me or my short round body!

What I’m anticipating… Haven Conference and our trip to Savannah afterwards! I’m also anticipating a few other things, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so I will anticipate alone for now 🙂

What I’m feeling thankful for… A very understanding, thoughtful sister. I wish I could just run out and get her pregnant (wait, that sounded really weird) but she knows what I mean 🙂

What’s coming up on the blog… I’ve ventured into jewelry making. It’s only natural since I work with jewelry all day, right?

Pin of the Day… I know I am not the only freak out there who can’t deal with socks while sleeping. Or really at all.


How to kidnap your best friend

This weekend was a whirlwind! I am still best friends with two girls I went to high school with, and one of them turned 35 today. Remember when you were in high school and 35 sounded so freaking old? Yeah, well. It’s our year.


Source: Uploaded by user via Heather on Pinterest


We’re old.

Anyway, two of us (the ones that live close to each other) decided to drive 3 hours, kidnap Brittaney, and whisk her away to the thriving metropolis that is Houston, Texas (yet another 1.5 hours away). We planned this in less than a week. It was a nightmare for me, since I am a huge overplanner. I do not fly by the seat of my pants. Not well, at least. Thanks to Brittaney’s kickass husband and kickass mother-in-law, we pulled it off.

We left Friday morning (I had scored a rare long weekend off) for our three hour jaunt to Aggieland. We finally arrived, and of course, 2 minutes before we pulled onto her street, my sweet nephew called me and had very important questions about a Wii Sonic game that I apparently own. He wanted it and he wanted it NOW. I love talking to him, but now was not the time – my stomach was turning flips hoping we could pull everything off! I told him to call my husband and that he would bring it to him, and I gently told him I had to get off the phone and for him to send me a picture of his new “scorpion hot wheel car”. I still feel bad for not talking to him longer! (And I got that picture less than 1 minute later, of course).

We parked in her driveway and ran to the front door. Christie rang the doorbell while I tried not to puke.  No one answered.  I was starting to freak out! I told her to keep on ringing it – we were holding a number 3 and a number 5, so she was the one on the doorbell side. What seems like an hour later, the door opened. I WISH I had gotten a picture of Brittaney’s face.

Her first word was, “What?” and then “Is something wrong? What’s going on?”. We pushed our way into the house and told her to pack a bag and that she was being kidnapped! Brittaney is an overplanner as well, so this threw her completely off. Amazingly, she had makeup on due to a doctor’s appointment earlier that morning so all she had to do was get some clothes and PJs together. Somehow, we got out of the house about 30 minutes later. I couldn’t believe it!

We ate lunch at a little place in Navasota called “Martha’s Bloomers“. It was highly recommended by my boss, so we decided to check it out. Christie is a bona fide tearoom freak, so I knew she would love it. We got there, looked around in the little store and garden, and then made our way back to the restaurant part. We waited. And waited. And waited. No one was at the host stand, there were people waiting, and we weren’t sure what the heck was going on. Finally, at least fifteen minutes later (not even exaggerating), a very frazzled lady walked into the waiting room. She basically ignored the three of us, and we had to tell her that we needed to get on the wait list. She said it would be 15-20 minutes. Ugh. Of course. We should’ve just left at that point.  Thirty minutes later (at least – again, not exaggerating) we saw people that walked up after us get seated. That was it. We had wasted 45 minutes just trying to get seated at 2 pm on a Friday! Come on! We walked back up to the room, and were ignored again. She finally spoke to us and said, “You’re next on the list to be seated, I’m the only one hosting and cleaning up tables today”. Sorry, but not my problem. Having worked in a restaurant and retail, I’m pretty forgiving – but I have my limits. Then, not 5 minutes later, she calls out for *another* party. Christie gave her the look from hell, and the lady had the cojones to say, “You’re next”. Hello? Christie continued the death ray glance and the lady finally gave in and seated us. Seriously. What a bunch of crap. THEN, we finally got a waitress (after watching others that came in after us be helped) and they were out of basically everything we wanted. If you’re out of things, you should probably erase the menu off of the chalkboard outside of your restaurant. We all ended up getting the same thing, something we knew would be simple and quick to get to our table. Whatever. The food was good, prices weren’t too bad, but we should have cut our losses and left when we were ignored for the first 15 minutes to even get on the list.

I had reserved a hotel room at the Hilton Post Oak near the Galleria. It was okay, not what I would expect a “4 star” hotel to be (that is the supposed rating for this hotel – I’d probably go more with 3 stars, but I’m a hotel snob). I got a good price on it, so it was just fine for what I paid. Due to good old Martha’s Bloomers, we hit Houston at prime rush hour traffic time. We made it to the hotel and laid around for a good hour just talking and laughing – it was great.

We had reservations for dinner at Backstreet Cafe. We were so excited about this, because we rarely get to go out for nice dinners – ever. Nice for me is pretty much Chili’s, if that gives you any clue. We were seated right away, on their awesome patio. I wouldn’t sit out there in the summer (no way Jose!) but the weather was really nice that night. We started out with a pitcher of the red wine sangria and some of their fresh sourdough bread and butter. I could’ve eaten that bread all night and been completely happy! We had the artichoke flatbread for an appetizer – I don’t branch out much, and the only artichoke thing I have ever had is spinach artichoke dip – it was good. I did find out I’m not a huge fan of artichoke hearts – no real reason, I think it just has a funky texture that I can’t get with. Christie had the scallop special, Brittaney had the lobster special, and I had goat cheese stuffed chicken. I don’t do seafood AT ALL, but I decided last year in Los Angeles that when I travel, I will try other foods, even if it means gagging.

Well, I will just say that I hate scallops and I don’t like lobster. And also that Brittaney had to remind me to breathe and swallow. We’re talking tears running down my face because those scallops were so buck nasty. I’m sure if you like lobster and scallops you would love both of those dishes, but I did not. My goat cheese stuffed chicken, however, was fantastic and I would like to replicate it for dinner someday.

They brought out an itty bitty mini almond cake with ice cream and a candle on top for Brittaney. It was on a tray with “Happy Birthday” written on it in chocolate. It was awesome! Then we ordered a Petit Trio of desserts, which included a dark chocolate raspberry cake with coffee ice cream, a pear crisp with vanilla ice cream, and a creme brulee. I only tried the pear crisp and creme brulee and loved them both equally.

We were there for 2.5 hours. It did not seem like that long because we did do a lot of eating and a lot of talking and drinking – but the service lacked a little. For the prices we paid, I expected better service, but I will go back next time I’m in Houston and give it another shot. Our waiter was attentive when he was there, but he just wasn’t there enough 🙂

We went back to the hotel, drank some more wine, ate a couple of cupcakes we brought from Market Street, and went to sleep. We fell asleep watching Storage Wars: Texas. How sad is that? I do believe we were OUT by midnight.

The next morning we got our stuff packed up and checked out of the hotel. We went to Katz’s for breakfast and it did not disappoint at all. Christie and Brittaney had mimosas, I stuck with water. Brittaney ordered challah french toast, I ordered buttermilk pancakes topped with bananas, and Christie ordered blueberry blintzes. Everything was SO good. I wish we had one here, I would go there every chance I got. Their lunch and dinner menu looked great too.

We did a little shopping at the Galleria, and then decided it was probably a good idea to head back home. We could only be gone for one night because Christie had to be back Saturday night. We ate at Chuy’s in Cypress (always a favorite – give me Chuy’s any day and I’m a happy girl). We planned to stop at Buc-ees again on our way back, but missed the exit. I’m still thinking about Beaver Nuggets and how delicious those crack-laced treats are.

I’m so glad we could pull this off – I know it was nice for Brittaney and Christie to have a night away from their kids and just enjoy themselves. I had a blast too. I’m glad we surprised Brittaney, and shocked. She does not let anything surprise her, but she can’t say that now.

Happy birthday, B. I love you!

There’s an app for that. Well, of course there is.

So, thanks to good old Facebook, I found a pretty cool website called AppSmitten.

I have an Android phone, and I rarely use apps – if you looked on my phone, you would think I had a kid or something because 90% of the apps I download are for my nephew. I haven’t let him play with my new phone yet, but now that I’ve found this website that narrows down some of the choices I feel quite sure he will be playing on it soon enough.

AppSmitten lumps apps into category, and you can choose which platform you want to view apps for (Android/iPhone/iPad). Pretty cool!  It’s got lists, trendsetters, and best apps by category. For Android, it links you right to the app in the Android Market – makes it very simple.

So far I’ve downloaded:

Pocket Penguins

What’s Different?





Big Oven






Sherwin Williams Color Snap


I think I’m in big trouble.

What are some of your favorite apps?