A look back and a plan forward

 It’s a time of year made for reflection. When you look back to see where the hell the year went and try to make plans for capturing more of the year to come.  And to lose weight/get organized/etc. So, here’s a look back at my Top #3 Most Popular Posts.

3.) Coming in third place is an oldie but goodie, my pantry organization post. It was featured in a post by Jen at iheartorganizing. Love that blogger! She is awesomesauce and I would totally be BFF with her, even without her sweet comments about my post. And if that wasn’t the most stalkerish comment ever. She would probably fear for her safety if she read that.

Original post here.

2.) The numero dos spot goes to my first paint chip art attempt. This particular project went through a few phases before I settled on the final draft. Proof that you can always tweak a project until you love it. Sadly, this piece is sitting in a closet right now because it has not found a new home in our office since I got my new desk and Husband took over my old desk. Don’t feel bad for it though. The art around our house is being revamped as we speak and it may find a wall to call home yet.

Original post here.

1.) The (coveted) first place for most popular post here on Zodirowe goes to ….drum roll….. another paint chip art! This time, I took on a Pinterest Challenge hosted by some lovely bloggers and did a different paint chip art project.

Original post here.

 I’ve really enjoyed making this kind of art and I’m working on a few other pieces. Shocked? Yes, I’m sure you are. Although, I’m using scrapbook paper instead of paint chips this time. I sure know how to shake things up! *sarcasm* The idea is still the same. Punch out shapes, make a design, call it art. Done. I’ll post about those as I make them. Fingers crossed that Husband likes them too!

My favorite transformation so far has been our office. I love my new desk, chair, light feature, and the fact that it has become a space where Husband and I can work together. It has been wonderful to have an organized space where supplies are easy to find. I find myself spending more time in there and getting work done, Christmas aside of course.

Now that I’ve looked back, let’s look forward. Here’s where I make grand resolutions and struggle to keep them all year. That’s the way you’re supposed to do it, right? Well, I want to break tradition and keep things simple. My biggest goal for next year is to sell our condo and buy a house. O wait, I like lists. Let’s do this in list form!

  • Sell condo
  • Buy house
Seems simple enough. Except that a lot goes into accomplishing those goals. Here’s how the list REALLY looks:

  • Fix molding in condo (True used some molding in parts of the house as his own personal scratching post. Not cool.)
  • Repaint dining room (Making it more universally appealing to buyers and going with a neutral color instead of the red.)
  • Repaint kitchen cabinets.
  • “Stage” the condo. (Meaning make it look modern, clean, depersonalized and spacious looking for interested buyers.)
  • Tackle any other little updates/fixes that might help us SELL!SELL!SELL!
  • Get another appraisal and probably inspection.
  • Put in on the market!
  • Pray. A lot. To whomever we need to.
  • If all goes well, sell the damn place.
  • Find a new home. (Oy. We’ll try to keep it fun but it might get really stressful.)
  • If all goes well with buying a home, move!
  • While all of this is happening, save money like squirrels save nuts. (Heh. Nuts.)

Ok that may not be so simple. Our goal is to put our condo on the market by March-ish, so many of our projects at the start of the New Year will revolve around those first couple of resolutions. Early March shall already be dubbed “The Month of Tons of Painting” since we have to wait until the weather warms up to paint. Because, you know, doors and windows must be opened for ventilation lest we all die from the fumes. Certainly don’t want to die from the icy death know as winter if we paint any sooner in the year. No icy death at Casa de Zodirowe, thankyouverymuch.

I do have my own personal goals. They are the usual:

  • Get healthy/Workout regularly
  • Become a punctual person (Toughie for me.)
  • Continue to organize my home and life.
  • Get Ty in shape.
  • Take better blog photos.

That dog needs to slim down for the sake of his little daschund back. True can stay fat because he’s a cat. Cats are meant to be fat.

So, that’s the plan for 2012. Looking back at 2011 again, I think my biggest accomplishment has been starting this blog! I considered starting one for several months before finally taking the plunge. I knew I wanted to blog about home d├ęcor and organizing. I remember agonizing over the name. I spent weeks trying to come up with something I liked but wasn’t already taken. That was hard, yo. I had actually written a couple of posts before I had a name picked out. Who knew that would be the toughest part for me! My poor Husband and friends had to listen to me try our different blog titles constantly.

Husband was extremely supportive at the start of this blog and has continued to be that way. Message to Husband: Thank you for being so wonderful! Whether by helping me hang a canopy for our patio, encouraging me not to give up, making useful suggestions, or just by reading my blog, I really appreciate all you do! 

My mom has also been supportive of my blog and reads it regularly. Everyone say hi to Mom! Thanks Mom!

Here comes the corny part, thanks to everyone who has read and commented on my little blog! It always makes my day to see that I have new comments and followers. I get giddy every time it happens! It is so amazing to be a part of the blogging community. There are some really great people out there who are extremely encouraging and helpful. I can’t truly express how grateful I am to everyone who has helped me out as a newbie or featured one of my posts. You’re all fabulousness! Thank you thank you thank you!!

 Happy New Year everyone!!

Office light feature

The holidays are over! Life can return to it's regular programming! Blogging definitely took a backseat this season. I wasn't even keeping up with my usual blog roll. I feel like I've been neglecting a dear friend. Is that weird? Eh probably but I'm at peace with it.

I've been working on creating an inspiring space to work on projects and blog posts for myself. I've been making good progress. I found a cool dumpster chair, painted my desk white, and upcycled a memo board. I still felt like my office area needed a little kapow. Just a little unexpected extra.

During my usual internet surfing, I came across these two beauties.

Source here.

Source here.
I thought that a combined version of these two light features would make a great piece of useful art, which is all I have space for in my little corner of the office. I quickly got to work, gathering supplies.  First things first, the veneer pendant light.

Materials needed:

  • Veneer wood strips
  • Glue
  • Binder clips
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Rope light
  • Paper lanterns
  • Small "S" hooks
  • Fishing line/Clear string
  • Ceiling hook

I made two pendants, one pack of veneer strips for each. I decided to stain one of the pendants a darker color, to tie in the wood tones of the desk and every other piece of furniture we own.  I left one in the natural color to mix things up a bit. I cut the veneer roll into strips and stained them with some leftover stain.

I taped the ends down with painters tape to keep my strips from curling.

The color I used!

Confession time = I applied a coat of stain, took a photo, and promptly walked away before I wiped off the excess, like you're supposed to do. So, the stain sat there for about oh. . . 4 hours. Oops. It all came out ok though.

I did have some issues with bleeding along the sides. Not sure if that would have happened if I had wiped the stain properly. It's only noticeable it you get reallllllllly close and friends/polite company should know better than to do that. At least, at my house.

After the strips were completely dry, I glued the ends of the strips together to create circles. I used the binder clips to keep the ends together while they dried.

True is helping me make sure the circles dry correctly. Keep up the hard work, True.
Once those were dry (yes, this project spanned over several days for drying times), I glued each circle together to create a sphere.

Binder clips strike again!

Once I had my spheres, it was easy enough to put it all together. 

Quick tip for you, check your rope light before you hang anything. I got all of my paper lanterns and veneer pendants strung up, suspended from the ceiling, and (when I plugged in the light) only half of the rope light lit up. I had to take everything down and restring everything back together after I exchanged the light. Please, be smarter than me. Check it first!

I knew the veneer pendants would stretch out if I hung the paper lanterns from them (because of the extra weight), so I had to rig things a little. I used fishing line to string the paper lanterns together, leaving gaps to fit the veneer pendants. Then, I attached the "S" hooks to the pendants and hung each from a paper lantern. Make sense? Probably not. I tend to make things sound more complicated than they are. Thank goodness for pictures!

S hook and string attached to the veneer pendant.

Easier to see now? The paper lanterns don't hang from the veneer. The other end of the string is attached to the paper lantern above the pendant. No extra weight stretching things out!

Here's the end result!

It looks even better all lit up.

These are just lagniappe shots because I worked hard on this and you have to indulge me. Please indulge me.

I really love it. It makes me happy and inspires me. Here's hoping it inspires me to get back to regular blogging. What do you think? Do you have any useful art in your office? Any unique pieces that make you happy? Were your holidays crazy busy too?

Heaux! Heaux! Heaux!

For all you yankees, that means Ho! Ho! Ho! in Cajun country.

Tis the season for Christmas decor posts! Despite our "Week of Plague" (as I'm now referring to the week Husband and I were ridiculously sick), I was able to get some Christmas Spirit put up in a few rooms of the house. Just like Halloween, I have been building our decor stock slowly over time; adding a few pieces every year.

I keep our mantel pretty simple because we are TV people and we can't have anything too distracting near the glorious boob tube.

I bought these white stockings from Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago and added some iron on letters to personalize them. Since Ty and True both start with a "T", I added an iron on bone and a paw print to distinguish their stockings. God forbid the kids mix up their stockings and True gets a squeaky bone while Ty gets catnip. I mean, what are we? ANIMALS?!?

I made these faux mercury glass candle holders using some mirror shine spray paint. Post about that to come...well, let's be honest.... eventually.

These are some of my favorite pieces because of sentimental value. The Santa is a music box that my mom bought for my dad when they were first married. It started my dad's Santa collection, which is epic to say the least. The camel is a Christmas camel my mom bought me when Husband and I first lived together.

Let me explain. The first Christmas that I moved in with Husband, I wanted to decorate for the holidays. My sister (the Martha Stewart-ish one) gave me the inspiration to do a "non-traditional" Christmas theme, meaning I would decorate in teal, green, silver, and everything would have a Morrocan vibe to it. Husband was ADAMANTLY against that. He wanted a traditional Christmas and thought we were crazy for wanting a Morrocan style Christmas. He made some kind of comment about how we couldn't decorate the entire place with camels. Or something like that. So, naturally, my mom tried to find a Santa with a camel or some sort of Christmas camel. She couldn't find one so she painted a red nose on a camel.

You gotta love that woman. She's still on the hunt for a Santa with a camel. Email me if you see one!

I added a few Christmas-y touches to our shelves with some simple red & silver glass votives and stars. I also threw some extra ornaments up there for even more sparkle.

Our dining room table consists of a runner I picked up at Target last year, but it's still on the shelves this year! Target also provided the small red glass bowl. I added some greenery and a white candle I already had on hand. The clear glass candle holders are from World Market and were on sale for $3 each. Sa-weet! I added some jingle bells and small green ornaments to the bottom portion for some holiday pizzazz.

Even our guest bathroom got a little holiday treatment with some poinsetta hand towels, glittery ornament, and a cylinder vase filled with ornaments. I added the silver band on top with mirror shine spray paint. That stuff is fantastic.

Ty's looking for his presents under the tree. Santa Paws knows better than to bring him presents early because he would just sniff them out anyway.

Last but not least, our little tree. It's a small table top tree some friends gave us (Or maybe we just supposed to borrow it. Sorry Cormiers! Mine now!!) that I placed on top of a corner shoe rack. That gives us more space to place presents, which have tripled in volume since I took this picture. Our tree is decorated a little sparse this year because a certain furry thing *cough cough* TRUE *cough cough* has become very interested in the ornaments and has knocked off a few already. Of course, he only likes to bat at the glass ones. Never plastic. So, all of our special glass ornaments were kept in storage, where they are safe.

Luckily, this one isn't glass so it could make the cut.

This was taken last year but it's still adorable.
From our family to yours, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas and a fabulous holiday season! Thanks so much for reading and supporting my little bloggity blog. It has been the best Christmas present ever!!

Vacation Post? Oh yeah. . . .

Back to regular posting, after a week in Mexico, during Thanksgiving week? What was I thinking? This is actually my third time writing this post. I had some issues with Blogger not saving my previous post attempts and then gave up. Then I was hit with a terrible stomach bug, which was closely followed by a cold I caught from Husband (as in the day after I got over the stomach bug). I'm still fighting the cold. Oh did I mention Husband caught my stomach bug right after he got better from his cold, so we've both been sick?

The house has been a wreck and I'm so behind on my Christmas To Do's, it's exhausting.


I have Monday off of work so I'm planning on using this three day weekend to get better and get my never ending To Do list under control. I'm determined to write this vacation post though. So, onward!

We went to Cabo, Mexico for a week with Husband's parents, sister, and her husband. We take a trip to different parts of Mexico with them every other year or so. Husband and I were glad to go because we usually have fun and it was nice to get away. Since we're planning on buying a house next year, this may be our last big vacation for awhile.

It's a family thang.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel called the Grand Mayan in San Jose. I took more pictures of the hotel than anything else. Sad but true.

I loved this tree stump table.

There were several really neat light fixtures throughout the hotel. I love me a good light feature!

I dug this chair. Yup, I said dug. I'm bringing it back, even though I don't think it ever really went anywhere.

More cool light features.

This was our room. Swanky!

There were a set of doors on the side of our whirlpool tub that opened into the rest of the room. You could watch TV from the wonderfulness of the jets. Heaven, I tell ya!

When you first enter the lobby, it's very dimly lit (aka nearly impossible to photograph) with these huge Mayan-style statues. It is a very bold impact.

We alternated between relaxing on the beach and/or pool and touring around the town. It was also tons of wonderfulness.

There were several levels of pools and the lowest one was an infinity pool right on the beach.

When you sat in these built in lounge chairs in the infinity pool, it looked as though you were right on the water. The water was a bit chilly on the bum but the sun kept us warm.

Next time, I will do this.

My favorite part of the trip was a boat ride out to the Arch.

Boat Buddies!

We went out right at sunset so it was gorgeous. The wind was light and perfect and it was just the right temperature. Awesomesauce.

There were lots of seal because there is a colony of seals that hang out at the Arch.

We spent another evening touring the downtown area during the Art Walk. Husband  and I had gone on an Art Walk in Puerto Vallarta during our honeymoon. I love Art Walks. They bring back great memories.

Beautiful beadwork. I love all of the inspiration I get during these things.

Ok, so this is less inspirational for me, more funny.

More awesome lights but these weren't at our hotel. They were at The Office, which is a neat little restaurant where the tables are right on the sand. Such a fun experience!

This was heaven for my brother-in-law.

Other than some crappy flight delays, the trip was great. The food in Cabo was amazing. I highly recommend Habaneros for a steak and their homemade chocolate dessert. Delicioso!

Well, I guess that's it. Back to work. *sniff* I miss you vacation.
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