The Early Bird….

If any of you have ever traveled with me or lived with me, you’ll know I am a royal crab in the morning when I first wake up. I don’t think I’ve ever been a true morning person.  I think this some deep rooted shit from my childhood, because Lois has ALWAYS been a morning person.  She wakes up at 4am willingly and seizes the day, everyday. I remember as a kid I would cry, scream, and nap all morning because I was sweepy! But, honestly I can’t pretend this was when I was a small kid – all through high school I wasn’t trusted to wake up alone so she would have to call the house to make sure I got my ass up.  Lois also turned to insane tactics to wake me up – my least favorite was her singing Dean Martin’s ‘Volare’ at the top of her lungs.  I still can’t even listen to that song without getting sickening chills down my spin.   In Chicago, I had some progress in getting up, I would start my work shift at 7:30am BUT only so I could leave at 4pm. At my current job we don’t have clockin/out so the motivation to go in early is low since I’ll get stuck there until 5/6 anyways.  Anyways back to the story, I hate waking up early, but over the past year and half I have developed the worst SNOOZE issue.

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you would think a naked cat butt to the face would get me up…

What is a SNOOZE issue?  Well for me it’s acute and it involves hitting the snooze button for up to TWO HOURS…. I know it’s insane.  I have to set my alarm for 5:30am to even dream of getting up at 7:30am…

I had picked up a ‘retro’ (read 1980s) alarm clock a few months ago that was literally just for show over the summer.  It sat right next to my head (like my phone) so whenever my phone alarm sounded I would just naturally hit SNOOZE and go back to ‘sleep’ for the 9 minutes I was allowed.

Well over the weekend I turned 29 and decided I needed to make a few changes to my daily schedule.  SNOOZE issue was top of the list.

So here’s what I did:

I moved that 1980s alarm to the other side of the room on our new dresser.  I set it for a realistic time (6:15am).  Now that’s all good and well, in the past with the my phone I would do the same thing and then still find the time to SNOOZE for hours. So I had to make a promise to myself to not lay back down, not to hit SNOOZE. I literally had to tell myself, SNOOZE does not exist.  I also had to have a ‘chore’ or something I wanted to do in the morning (i.e. harvest tomatoes in the garden, crochet for 30 minutes, journal, answer work emails). Notice I don’t have ‘go for a run’ etc becauce those ‘chores’ although make you feel great are not the motivator for me anymore.  I hate running in the morning and know myself well enough to know I’m not getting up for that shit. SNOOZE.

Now it’s been 5 days of actually waking up on time (6:15am) and I love it! I’ve been able to do a lot of things that I would normally not get to do until later in the day.  I get to show some extra love to the tribe, play in my garden, clean, do laundry, type this blog post, and plan for world domination.  It’s funny how a seemingly small change can have such an impact on your day and attitude. I haven’t felt grouchy, frazzled, or foggy walking into work.  It’s really been enjoyable.

I may not be a morning person, but I’m sure enjoying pretending I am!🙂

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i have time to make leopold take pictures on the porch
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i have time to take morning light pictures of my pug hair covered crafts.
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i have time to see a raccoon has been in my squash! 
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i have time to harvest some pole beans!

Paddle Boarding

Last week I was invited to attend Lois’s company summer picnic at Chatfield State Park.  It was a wonderful afternoon, with a full roasted pig, delicious Whole Food’s sides and paddle boarding!  We got an hour lesson and then an hour of free time to drift around the reservoir.  I didn’t really think about how hard it would be until I was walking the board out to knee deep water about to get on.  It was then that I remembered, I’m not the most graceful. I also realized I was the tallest of the group and therefore, gravity was not going to be as kind to me as to others. But, the instructor was great and I got on the board stood up and got away from the group.  The only thing I didn’t not like was having to go back as a group to the instructor – collision probability was at all time high then. Anyways it was a beautiful day and thank you to Jagged Peak for having a wonderful event!


 

Chalk Creek Camping

Well, we broke our National Park camping stride this summer, but it was definitely worth it.  We went to Chalk Creek at the base of Mt. Princeton and Mt. Antero – GORGEOUS.


We went to a ghost town:



We let chipmunks eat out of our hands – not me though that sh*t was nasty..


We rafted down the Arkansas River thru Brown’s Canyon:


We fished:


We cooked biscuits and gravy:

 It was a great weekend. Beautiful campsite, wonderful food, fabulous friends. It feels great to be living in Colorado and experiencing its beauty.

Western Floor Pouf

A month or two ago, I got this western themed duck fabric for $6 a yard! SCORE.  I bought 3 yards of it because I knew I wanted to make an Amy Butler Floor Pouf with it. I finally got around to doing this last Saturday Afternoon – it took maybe 2 1/2 hours total (including a trip to the local craft store to buy 10lbs of polyfil).  I forgot how easy this pattern is – remember back to 2+ years ago when I made my first AB floor pouf.  Go ahead, click on the link and imagine the wavy lines and harp music as you travel back in time…..

Okay welcome back to 2016.  So I remembered one of my greatest complaints about this pattern was that you a) have to hand sew it shut and b) can’t really do anything once you get it dirty.  Sadly the floor pouf from 2014 was thrown away in the great migration west in 2015.  Well, to solve that issue – I decided to sew a zipper on the bottom of the pouf to prevent that from happening again.  Now if I need to wash it, I can just remove the polyfil and wash the pouf easy peasy!

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is that a cactus or are you just happy to see me? 
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zipper with polyfil coming out
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he’s sticking his tongue out at me.
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pretty boy and floor pouf

Astrodelic Quilt

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I finished this quilt a few weeks ago, but finally delivered it to my new niece so I can finally go in depth with it here.🙂

I found the Astrodelic Quilt on a great website of Fat Quarter Shop.  They have a ton of free patterns and really cute fabrics. I chose this quilt because it looks really stunning and actually is very simple.  The angle cuts are made with the same method of making binding so this is a true beginner quilt. Due to the large pieces it was also easy to line up and piece together.  I kept this incredibly simple with just a cross ‘x’ quilt.  I looked at other people’s quilting choices online and decided I wanted my fabric and clean lines to show more than the quilting so I literally did the bare minimum.  If I did it again, I would probably hand quilt or machine quilt the seams. Overall, it took 2 hours to iron/cut, 3 hours to piece/sew, and 3 hours to bind. So a wonderful weekend quilt. Here are my pics!

Feel free to ask question in the comments – I would also love to do a small class or tutorial of this online/in person if people are interested!

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prepping to join batting with front/back
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prewashed, post binding – it looks so good in my living room😉
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this finished result! 

Bathroom Before & After

So this is A LONG TIME COMING I’m pretty sure I’ve been promising the before and after here for months…. well it’s FINALLY HERE!

Boy oh Boy was this bathroom a project. When I first started this ‘mini-refresh’ I thought it would be new paint and a shower curtain………

Here’s what I really ended up doing:

  1. Removed shower stall
  2. Re-did all caulking
  3. Restored Window
  4. Restored Medicine Cabinet
  5. Painted walls
  6. Painted vanity
  7. painted heating vent
  8. Replaced toilet
  9. Deep Cleaned
  10. Changed cabinet hardware
  11. Replaced broken soap dish tile
  12. Repaired vanity drawers
  13. Lined vanity drawers

It took ~30 full hours to restore all these items over the course of 4 weeks.  I had to sand and strip almost every surface to remove rust, paint, caulking, and calcium build up from the untreated well. Well enough chit chat – PICTURES!

BEFORE:

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just grimy – shower stall covered in calcium – toilet filled with rust and calcium

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mmm moldy calcuim

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rusted out window in the shower

Please feel free to go shower now after you’ve looked at all of those grimy/nasty pictures.

and now…. drum roll please!

AFTER

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I made the shower curtain from IKEA fabric.

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I chose a light mint green and I love it. 
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this cabinet is one of my favorite things. 
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I worked so hard on this damn rusted window – just need to fix the cracked sill. 

Mesa Verde!

Since it is the 100 year celebration of the National Parks we’ve really been hitting the parks this summer and came to Mesa Verde in late June. This is our second park this summer and our 3rd this year (Carlsbad 7/15, Sand Dunes 5/16).

It was a really magical place.  Ancestral Puebloans lived in this area for several hundred years on top of the mesa before spending the last 80 years in the area in the cliffs – due to horrific ‘drouth’ (poetic form of drought lol) theAncestral Puebloans left the area for good to relocate to modern New Mexico and Arizona. I was surprised at how ‘active’ the park was.  Generally, you think of parks as being look/no touching and well if you aren’t into outdoors stuff you can ride the tram/elevator/moving escalator or just sit in the visitors center.  This park was still no-touch, but ALL of the activities were strenuous and physically demanding.  Plus, even when you are in shape – it’s not like I practice climbing ladders – it was hard.

We hit up the Balcony House (SUPER TOUGH), Long House (THE BEST), and Cliff Palace (The most popular).

Cliff Palace was the 101 of Cliff Dwellings – nice way to dip your feet into the cliff dwellings and had the least physically demanding route/layout.

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View from the start of the tour
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View from the side entrance
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Park Ranger telling us all about a kiva – or spiritual room 

Balcony House – this was the most physically challenging cliff dwelling. We had to climb one 30 ft ladder, multiple 10ft ladders, crawl thru a 18 inch x 18 inch tunnel, and climb up the side of a boulder holding on to steel chains. It was quite the experience and I couldn’t imagine living in a place that required so much entry/exit dramatics. Seeing their little foot and hand notches all over the rocks was insane. I mean, the dude gives me shit when I try to take all the groceries from the car to the house in one trip, imagine trying to carry all your harvest stuff down with you…. I would have died. Of course, I think the name Balcony House comes from the fact that they built a little retaining wall to keep from falling off the side…. ‘balcony’.

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view from Balcony House
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the 32 ft ladder – Alisha is excited. 
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that black stuff on the ceiling is smoke from 800 year old fires!

And now everyone’s favorite the Long House – this required a little less than a mile walk into the dwelling.  It was really hot on the mesa but thankfully there was a lovely breeze as we embarked on the hike.

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the hike into the dwelling
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gorgeous view

 

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partners in crime
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notice the hand print on the center top…. it’s 800 years old. 

It was just a beautiful place.  So much to see. I would love to go back in the cooler months and be able to do more hiking around the area.

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