Friday, January 30, 2009

Book # 5: The Know-It-All

One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
by A.J. Jacobs

In this book, A.J. tackles reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z. This daunting task is made fun through his insertion of stories from his life and connections between the entries. Not an extremely fast read, as you would expect from such a quest, but there are lots of interesting facts to be learned. He does a good job at keeping it entertaining and balanced between fact and story. He works for Esquire magazine, so he can tend to be a little liberal in his viewpoints. He also wrote, The Year of Living Biblically, where he tried to do what The Bible said literally. I read this one last year, which was what made me interested in reading this book.

Next book to read:
What Every Mom Needs

By Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall

The Curtain Saga--The Finale

So first it was this. An incredible deal found at TJ Maxx in the clearance section no less. But it was decided that they looked like the big top found at the circus.

Then I found these, which I loved. I thought we had found our solution. Of course, I still needed to make the balloon style blinds, and make a window cushion. But the idea was there. However, as the days became weeks, and frankly, months. I realized that I had been a little too influenced by other blogs that I was looking at. A lot of them decorated with a cottage-type style, which I like, but it isn't really me. So ultimately, these had to go.

So, I went to a store, instead of searching online, and I found these. And these, I can say 100%, no way I'm taking them back, are perfect! They are totally my style. A little contemporary, simple, yet subtle. I love them!

They even match our hideous slate-blue leather couches. So until money grows on trees, or we sell our other house (that's right we own two right now, well, pay mortgages on two right now, or as I like to think of it, we have a summer home), but until that happens the slate-blue will have to do. But you can picture a chocolaty-brown sectional in that corner, if you'd like. With the curtain color accent pillows. And a nice big ottoman for your feet. But you see those big bare walls? I took care of those. It only took me a few months to find the frames, and the pictures.

The frames are actually supposed to sit on a table top. And the pictures are printed off of our computer. I love doing that! It saves you a ton of money, and no one has ever figured it out!

Here's what is above the love seat:

So the living room is starting to look like a living room. And it only took 7 months. Perhaps in a decade, I can say the same for the rest of the house.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Entry Hallway: After

Here they are, the after pictures of our entry hallway, and only a day late. You can see the color of our kitchen as well, just please ignore the primed white parts. Our cat loves to sink her claws into newly spackled walls, so they had to be redone.

We (well, Josh) even replaced the old outlet covers with fresh, crisp, white ones.

Opposite end of the hallway:

And here's a bonus for today. This was another project of mine--a picture wall that followed our staircase. It took some time to hang them all and pick all the pictures, and if you look closely, one of those pictures still contains the people that were framed when I purchased it. Oops!

Check back tomorrow, as I'll have pictures of my new living room curtains! What's that you say? I already showed you my new curtains, well. . . I decided I didn't like those. So I found some new ones, and I promise, these are the ones to stay. I also found some artwork to cover those massive walls behind the couch and love seat. The pictures are already uploaded to my computer, so the likelihood of them actually appearing on tomorrow's blog is pretty high! What better odds could you have?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Entry Hallway: Before

Here is what our entry hallway looked like a few weeks ago.

I bet you are excited for tomorrow when I post after pictures.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Book # 4: The Princess and the Goblin

by George MacDonald

If you like C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, then you'll most likely enjoy this book and author. He uses similar fantasy aspects, and has Christian undertones. A quick read, and during a second reading, I'm sure I'd catch a lot more of the Christian meanings.

Next book: The Know-It-All: One man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world
by A.J. Jacobs
(He undertakes to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hooray for Hand Dryers!

So you know those hand dryers in public bathrooms, the push-button ones that cause you to stand there for hours trying to dry your hands, and generally cause you to leave the bathroom slightly annoyed while gently dabbing your still soggy hands on your pants. Well, today I celebrate them!

Let me explain: Madilyn has been going through more diapers as her liquid intake grows. Consequently, it has become a necessity to change her halfway between breakfast and lunch. Well, today we got too busy, and I forgot. So we were sitting in Wendy's, and Madi starts pointing at her leg and going "uh, oh". Silly me, I ignored her, as everything these days is an "uh, oh" from a dropped pea to a piece of food turned the wrong direction. Turns out the poor kid's diaper overflowed, so she had a wet behind. Normally, I keep an extra set of clothing in the car just for such an emergency. Of course, as life works, not today! So off to the bathroom, and low and behold, no changing table, but a push-button hand dryer. Off with the pants, new diaper goes on, and pants go under the hand dryer. It worked wonders, and we were able to safely go to our library play date without embarrassing explanations of why my daughter was pantless!

So for a few outings, I promise to not silently grumble or berate the owners who installed those slow working hand dryers! I will instead offer a smile of gratitude as they came to our rescue today!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Book # 3: An Irish Country Christmas

By Patrick Taylor

This is the third is a series about an Irish country doctor. Barry joins Doctor O'Reilly's practice in the town of Ballybucklebo. The adventure starts when Barry goes to ring the bell of the practice, and the door swings open, and Dr. O'Reilly thrusts a patient out into the bushes criticizing him for not having washed his feet before coming to the office to have his injured foot looked at. It is a fun, fast read, and Dr. O'Reilly proves to be just as entertaining in each of the three books, yet proves that he has a big heart. Highly recommended if you need something light-hearted to read! My only precaution is that you will be hungry afterwards, as their housekeeper makes amazing meals, and a lot are described in detail.

Next to read: The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I forgot to tell you which book I'll be reading next:

An Irish Country Christmas
by Patrick Taylor
3rd in the Series An Irish Country Doctor

Book # 2: The ACLU vs. America

By Alan Sears & Craig Osten

As Josh keeps me pretty informed as to the actions and real agenda behind the ACLU, most of this book was not new to me. However, I enjoyed getting some of the facts straight, and truly seeing the depth and duplicity of the ACLU's agenda. I think the most enlightening part of the book was the first chapter that explained the origins of the ACLU. It was founded by Roger Baldwin, and let me give you a taste of what his beliefs were. He refused to fight in World War I as he was "opposed to force to accomplish any ends, however good." (page 9) He looked to his grandfather (a "iconoclastic and non-conformist anti-Christian crusader" page 7) and his aunt, a Socialist, for guidance, comfort, and inspiration. He considered Maragaret Sanger, a eugenicist and the founder of Planned Parenthood, a friend, as well as Emma Goldman who was an anarchist. As for his agenda which he fully took into founding the ACLU, I think this quote sums it up:

I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. (page 7)

I would highly recommend reading this book, as it gives a clear picture of the ACLU's intend, and provides knowledge on how we, as America's, can combat their efforts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Belated Christmas

In the spirit of procrastination and to help celebrate the post-holiday season, I thought I would post some pictures of our Christmas tree this year. As I was removing the ornaments, I realized I had not taken any pictures of it this year. And well, better late than never, right?

Monday, January 12, 2009

1st Book: For Parents Only

By Shaunti Feldhahn & Lisa A. Rice

This is by the authors and in the series that includes For Men Only and For Women Only, both of which I would highly recommend. Through a series of surveys, group discussions, and interviews, the authors dive into the lives of teens in this book. It was insightful, a fast read, and frankly, a little obvious. I found the other two books much more intriguing, but that could just be the stage of my life. Either way, I recommend these books, as they do help you to better understand men, women, and teens. I also discovered that they have a For Young Women Only book, which I will probably pursue reading, especially as we have a daughter who will one day be a young woman.

Next book: The ACLU vs. America--This is one my husband got for me/us. Sounds soo fast paced! I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Reading Competition

I know, I've been missing in action. Part of my promise to you was to try to post more about home renovations, so I've been trying not to post unless it's about the house. As you can tell, that is going great. I will try to post this week about it. In the meantime, I wanted to share a competition I've entered with a fellow friend and blogger, Megan, over at Mommy Meg. After reading an email forward that discussed how Pres. Bush competes with a friend to see how many books they can each read in a year, she was interested in trying the same thing. So we are officially keeping track of the books we read this year. I've added a list to the side of my blog, as you can see no books yet, though I'm almost done with my first. So if you're interested in reading, feel free to check out what I've been reading. And if you have any new recommendations, I am always looking for ideas!