How To Turn Closet Doors into a Chalkboard

Step 1: Lightly Sand & wipe down (here is the sander on amazon: http://amzn.to/2vXThMH)
Step 2: Prime the doors
Step 3: 2 coats of Chalkboard Paint (I used Benjamin Moore and tinted it in Wrought Iron)
Step 4: Wait 3 days for the paint to cure & prime it with white chalk then wipe down and it is ready to use!

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DIY Corkboard Fail

I was at Lowes to pick up a mirror and was inspired to make my own DIY bulletin board once I saw this roll of cork for $9.  I thought it would be a great place to pin inspiring quotes and images that I could see in my home office.  I had a good idea in my head but the execution was a major DIY fail.  I found these precut pine boards that were 2 feet and 3 feet long.  The four pieces cost about $8.

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I rolled out the cork and was planning out how I would do this but was rudely interrupted by these fluff balls.

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I finally had it planned out and then Tag decided he looks better framed rather than this boring cork.

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I already had this wood stain that I am a huge fan of!  It’s so easy to apply with hardly any mess.  It is costly at $13.

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I use this sponge thingy that I found in the painting section of Lowes to apply the stain.

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I had to get creative on how to dry this because it is like 20 degrees out still.  Here Chester is and I believe he thinks this is as boring as watching paint dry.

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Here’s the beautiful stained boards with the cork rolled out and a huge hole caused by a cat claw by someone who will remain nameless.  This is where my plan came apart.  I either had to attach the boards and then glue on the cork or find something to stiffen up the cork and attach the wood.

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Unfortunately, my plan didn’t work.  I decided to use an amazon box and super glued it to the back  of the cork and it did not whatsoever work.

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In the end, I am left with stained boards, the cork is in the trash and I should have just bought a premade corkboard.  Oh well, it was fun trying to create.

I’ve been considering buying this $10 corkboard on Amazon here.  My idea is to see if I can attach my boards over the smaller, boring frame but I’m afraid I’m throwing a good $10 after a bad $17.  I think I need to find something else to do with these stained boards.

Infallible authority or guide on something

Infallible authority or guide on something.  A place which divine advice or prophecy was sought.  These are definitions I found when I googled the word Oracle and for $1,999 it better be infallible.  I am speaking of my latest have to have really want.  Look at this beauty.

The Oracle

The Oracle

The Breville Oracle is like a hybrid of an automatic and manual espresso machine where you can make a delicious joe in 90 seconds.  In our garage sale last year we sold our beloved Nespresso machine for $25.  A lady showed up in a huge red Hummer at 6:30 in the morning in 18 degree weather to buy our machine.  Sadly, I miss my morning cappuccinos and my husband misses his café cubanos (espresso with a ton of sugar).  He was hoping Santa would bring him a new Nesspresso maker this year but I had to explain to him that Santa said we are a Breville family now.  Seriously, this company is like the Apple of kitchen appliances.

We have our beloved Breville Grind and Brew Coffee Maker from them.  With a touch of a button you can grind whole beans, then the grinds drop into the filter and then the coffee automatically brews.  You can brew a cup or a whole carafe.  Sorry Keurig but no more K cups for this family.  Check out this beauty here.  Then last summer we got a Breville juicer.  Seriously, these Aussie engineers are genius.  It’s so easy to use and clean.  I make juice once a week now.

So, because I would need to take out a personal loan for the Oracle I doubt we will be getting it any time soon but a girl can dream.  You should watch the video they have on their website (link below).  I was immediately seduced.  Heston had me at his hipster glasses but I have no idea what his opening line is.  I’m hearing “Coffee is one of the first things I delve into in detail after you open the fat duck.”  Any Aussies out there that can translate?  I’m lost.

Although I’m all good with delving into coffee with detail I don’t see what a fat duck has to do with anything.  Next they bring in the coffee guru, Phil, to explain the machine with amazing marketing buzz words that just roll off his tongue as if he is spontaneously inspired by the machine in front of him.  Then cue the sexy music, soft lighting and again we have hipster glasses with a black tshirt.  Brilliant!  I imagine once I buy the Oracle that Heston & Phil will join me in my kitchen tasting my first cappuccino and Heston will tell me what the heck a fat duck has to do with exceptional coffee and Phil can bring his tranquil music and slowly speak his buzzwords while I sip.

Phil the coffee guru

Phil the coffee guru

Here’s the link to the video.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/CaEwJiWCCTE

My more affordable Breville have to have really want from Breville is their pizza maker. It’s on sale for $149 and it heats up to 660° and they say it replicates a brick oven.  Sadly, there is no video for this and no pizza guru.  Although I did find one on Williams Sonoma’s website here.  They could step up their video sexiness and next time get a guru with an accent please!

Breville Pizza Maker

Breville Pizza Maker

I would love to have this for the spring to make fresh veggie pizzas.

Side Note:  I love having a blog. I found my healthy chili recipe from 3 years ago. I’m going to make this for Superbowl Sunday. Check it out here.

What I’ve been up to! (Moving, Crying & GTL)

So, I haven’t blogged since April 3, 2012.  Why?  Well, Life!  I will bullet point it for you.

  • My dog walking business in Kansas City grew fast and I had to hire my first employee in April 2012.
  • My husband and I bought a house in May.
  • November we found out that my husband’s company is moving us.  (The stress began)
  • We remodel our kitchen and paint it to get the house ready to sell 6 months after we bought our house.  (Stress on top of stress)
  • December we put the house on the market and sell it ourselves.  It went under contract in 2 weeks but for $5,000 less than we paid and after spending money on fixing it up.  So, we lost money.
  • Also, we didn’t know where we were moving to yet.
  • I had to shut down my beloved dog walking business that I had for 3 years and let my 2 employees know.  (The crying began)
  • We find out we are moving to the Bahamas with a monthly living allowance.  (crying stops and celebration begins)  Then I find out I can’t get a work permit and I will be a 36 yr old retired beach bum.  (Woohoo Life rocks!)
  • Then we find out that the Bahamas has a very high import tax and the cost to ship everything is ridiculous.  So, we have to either store everything or get rid of it.  So, we do the most Zen, cleansing thing a person can do.  We sell, give to friends and neighbors, donate and throw away about 90% of our material life.  I use my selling furniture funds and head to the Saks outlet and buy sunglasses, designer frocks that may make me look like Mrs. Roper and bathing suits for my new beach life!!!    (Fun!)
  • We get our 2 ragdoll cats registered with the import department of the Bahamas and we get them their shots.  Then I google many articles and blogs about taking cats on planes.  Holy Moly is it a lot.  Then we buy them Sherpas and do test car rides with them.  (Smokey sounded like a dying monkey).  Here’s a picture when they first got the Sherpas.  Before they hated them.

Sherpas

  • We close on our house the first week of January 2013.  The 2 pieces of furniture and 40 boxes we kept are moved to storage.  Me, my husband, our 4 suitcases and our 2 cats in their sherpas load up into our cars and head to a hotel in Kansas City for the week to finish up work and close down my business.  (Tears, tears and more tears…that is until we discovered that the Marriott provided free beer and wine on weekday nights.  Woohoo!)
  • We are still waiting on our move date so we head back to Pennsylvania so my husband can work out of corporate awaiting the Bahamian government to sign off on everything.  We are driving separate cars and my husband has the cats in the back of his hummer in the sherpas.  Within one hour of leaving Kansas City our cat, Sadie, shows up on his lap and has left blood all over his pants.  She clawed her way out of the netting of the Sherpa.  Her paw is bloody and she pulled out 2 nails and broke 2 more.  Not a good beginning to a THREE DAY ROADTRIP.  (Yes, I was crying again)
  • We stop at Walmart and get her a small hard cased carrier.  The 2 of them freak out because well they are cats and this is very stressful.  So, I decide they need to be together and an hour later we find another Walmart and put our self declawed cat in with her brother in a huge carrier.  They did much better but now we have 4 pet carriers for 2 cats.  They have the same amount of luggage as us!  So high maintenance.  Here’s my husband in a Walmart parking lot somewhere in the middle of Missouri putting together the first carrier we bought.  He’s so happy I snapped a pic of this.  Haha.

Roadtrip

  • So we get to our 1 bedroom suite that accepts cats in the suburbs of Philly with our 2 cats, 4 cat carriers, 4 suitcases and 2 cars at the absurd price of $4000/month.
  • So, it’s about mid January 2013 and we are awaiting on the small government of an island nation to give us the go ahead.  My husband would come home every night from work and before he took his coat off I would shout from where ever I was “So!  Did you hear anything?”  Well this went on for about another 2 months and in the end the contract for the Bahamas fell through.  (yes, major tears)
  • During those 2 months I did really enjoy myself and I prepared for my new retired life of GTL.  I went to the Gym 2 hours a day, okay well I didn’t tan but I did use a self tanner and I did laundry that was across from the gym in our hotel.  I never cooked or cleaned because we lived in a hotel so I was able to get mani and pedis and they actually stayed for a long time due to my life of leisure.  Well, all of that relaxed life ended and my beautiful long nails were ruined by opening our 40 boxes that had lived in Kansas for over 2 months and all of the Ikea furniture I had to put together.
  • We ended up staying in the Philadelphia area and we found a place in March of 2013 and we had only 2 pieces of furniture.  An antique desk and an entertainment console.  We had my laptop and his gaming computer and Playstation.  So, what did we have to buy?  EVERYTHING!!!  Tv’s, couches, coffee tables, desks, mattress, dressers, trash cans, pots and pans, appliances, forks, shower curtains, towels, plates, mugs.  It took about 6 weeks to get settled and we still don’t have everything.
  • So, this was the worst thing that happened.  Our precious ragdoll, Smokey, got sick.  He had cancer and passed away 2 days after taking him to the vet.  He was only 3 years old.  We took him to an oncologist and they even tried a blood transfusion hoping we could save him and he would live for another year or two but the transfusion didn’t work.  This was the hardest part of all the changes and I cried for a week straight and we still miss him every day.  He was full of personality and he was so loving.  Here are some cute pics of Smokey:

Smokey 1 Smokey 2

  • We ended up getting 2 more cats 3 months later.  Smokey’s dad was being retired but there was one litter left to be delivered.  We asked the breeder if we could have a male from the litter.  The litter came and there was only one cat and it was a boy!  It was perfect.  To socialize the only kitten in a litter the breeder put another kitten in the room with him.  Well, we fell in love with him too and we ended up with 2 more cats.  His name is Tag since he was our little tag along cat.  We named the Flame kitten, Chester, for the name of the county we live in since all four of our ragdoll babies started their lives with us here in Chester County.  Here is Chester (the white kitty) and Tag:

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  • So, we are settled in Pennsylvania now with our 3 ragdoll cats.  I put on 8 lbs of holiday weight (Ugh!  Holiday cheese balls are the enemy!) and now it’s time to get healthy and happy!  Let’s have fun and make 2014 the best year yet!