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Wednesday, August 12, 2015


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Craig's List Dresser Makeover

When I bought my house, the first thing I noticed was that I have almost zero storage. Seriously. There's a smallish closet by the front door (this is actually the biggest closet in the whole house), there's an open nook in the front bathroom, and each bedroom has a teeny tiny closet. Apparently, people in 1924 weren't all that into storing stuff like lawn mowers, out of season clothes (or any clothes at all, really), and luggage. So I decided that any furniture I buy will have to also store stuff.

I stumbled upon the world's ugliest dresser on Craig's list on New Year's Day and by January 2nd, I was the proud owner of not only it, but also an IKEA mirror I had on my wishlist which was randomly sitting in the seller's garage (this one, they sold me theirs for $20, win!).
This is actually the seller's picture.
When I got the dresser home, I realized someone had painted it using latex paint on the bare wood. It was peeling like crazy.
While the paint was not adhering well at all, scraping it only got me strips of paint. So I resorted to sanding. A ton. I started out with this 3M Rubber Sanding Block (Amazon Affiliates link), but then once I started using Bondo as a wood filler, I bought this power sander (Amazon Affiliates link) and life got a lot easier. 

I filled all of the holes from the hardware and a couple super deep gouges. Then I pulled out the paint I purchased just for this project, Southern Belle Decorative Paint's Talladega Tar (grey) and Granny Smith Apple (green) chalk paint. This was my first time using chalk paint and I wasn't looking to invest a ton in these colors. I did not prime this piece because everything I read about chalk paint said not to bother. 
And then this happened.
The furry culprit.
If I could go back and change just one thing about this project, it would be priming. I wasted so much paint due to the crappy adherence of the latex paint (even roughed up with the sander). That photo above where Cokaya walked through the wet paint was just the first coat. Wow. It also took about a million coats on the top to get smooth (Kai walked through it as well, but I didn't get a picture). 

I want to say this was the second to last coat. They all sort of blended together in my mind after a while.
After sanding the drawers down again and repainting, here's the second first coat:
So much better. 
Once I got everything smoothed out, painting got a lot easier. I tried out Minwax Paste Finishing Wax (Amazon Affiliates link) for the first time ever and have decided I don't like it (note to self: chunks do not turn clear). This was 100% user error though. It is by no means a bad product. I just epic failed at it and the fumes bothered my asthma. 

I love it!
That brings us to the final result. I found lionhead hardware (Amazon Affiliate link) for dirt cheap on Amazon in brass, roughed them up, and spray painted them using Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Metallic Spray Paint(Amazon Affiliate link). I am so happy with the final result. It looks great in my entry way and I plan on using the drawers for DVD storage if nothing better comes along before I unpack my DVDs (but that's a whole different story). :-)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rusty Fischer's Zombies Don't Cry

Phew, according to Blogger, the last time I wrote an actual book review was back on 5/2/2011. Wow. I have read hundreds and hundreds of books since then (seriously, I had to switch to using an app to track the books I read because I was starting to pick up the same book twice and I don't have time for that when there's new stuff in the world). 
Here's a blurry iPhone picture of my iPad with the book on it... 
I received an ARC of the third book in the Living Dead Love Story series, Zombies Don't Surrender, from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers but hadn't read the first two books. You know how I am about series, or you should, but thankfully, the publisher was super nice and sent me the first two books as well. I blew through Zombies Don't Cry ninja fast. It's a fun story, definitely YA, but not sickeningly so (there is mention of panties, and some language).

I tend to steer clear of the YA genre because a lot of the time I feel like the authors are pandering to what they feel parents want their kids to read and not what the kids actually want to read. There is a line between "adult" material and "teen" material that is pretty blurry, but the experiences I've had with YA over the last few years have been way too squeaky clean. I'm not asking for graphic sex, or even any sex, but an understanding of what kids are thinking and the experiences they're having everyday is essential when writing from the POV of a 17 year old.  I felt that Rusty Fischer was able to capture that teenage mindset really well, and all without a single mention of teen pregnancy!

If you don't know how much I love zombies by now, then you totally don't know me at all. Really. I have a serious thing for the undead. Zombies Don't Cry starts off at the end (or near end) of the story and then backtracks. This works really well in that you don't know which of her two potential love interests Maddy digs up from his grave until the very end of the book (probably one of the best pieces of literary misdirection I've ever read), and it keeps your interest because you're trying to piece together what you know of the end along every step in the journey.

A lot of the book centers around third period Home Ec class… now, I went to high school in Florida not all that crazy long ago, and Home Economics was not an available course. Is Home Ec still a thing? Anywho, it is useful and fits with the story. Students have been going missing from this one class since the beginning of the year, and it's only October. Law enforcement doesn't seem to care; all the deaths have been ruled accidental (by Maddy's dad, the coroner, no less), what's a missing brain here and there? No biggie. So this girl, Maddy, and her best friend, Hazel (who's totally evil btw, and Maddy just doesn't seem to get it. From our first encounter with Hazel she just comes across, to me anyway, as totally toxic) are in class, trying to deal with the dwindling class attendance and creepy bullies (who turn out to be bad zombies, aka Zerkers) that just wreck their days. Then things start to get weird (as if they weren't weird enough when a good chunk of the kids from one class just up and died) and Maddy meets a super hot guy, gets asked out, breaks all of her dad's house rules, and dies. Yup, break your father's rules and die. More kids need to learn that lesson, lol.  

So once Maddy becomes a zombie, she has to go meet the "elders" and be sworn in or whatever, and it's all very strange. The elders and their zombie cops are the one part of the book that wasn't totally clear to me. Let's run this down.

In this z-verse, there are:
1. "Normals" aka Humans
2. "Good" zombies, the ones like Maddy who are made naturally and who subsist off of non-human brains.
3."Zerkers" bad bad zombies who are bitten and go crazy and like to kill kill kill.
4. Elders, who I guess are really old good zombies and are described as being icky and gross and made me picture stereotypical mafia bosses… only more skeletal.
5. "Sentinels," these guys are the zombie cops. I think.

Now this is all great! Have a zerker uprising in your small Florida town? Call in the Sentinels! Wrong. You don't call the Sentinels. You handle the uprising yourself and then run and hide from the Sentinels. Really. I'm hoping this whole Elders/Zombies/Sentinel dynamic is explored further in the next books because the Elders seem pretty cool. They put out a book called The Guide to the Proper Care and Feeding of Zombies (now in its 24th edition!), so how bad and uncaring can they really be?

Other than my confusion about the perfect solution to the zerker problem, this was a super fun read. It's got loads of angst (seriously, the main character is not only in high school and having boy trouble, but she freakin' dies in the beginning of the book) but is balanced out with plenty of humor and witty repartee and everything fun and awesome I look for in a good book. I highly recommend Zombies Don't Cry, you won't be disappointed, unless you're not looking for a funny zombie romance. Then you will be sadly disappointed. I'm now off to read book two, Zombies Don't Forgive.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 273

Oh look, it's another nearly-frozen selfie of Kelly working... I think that giant window is one of the worst architectural features of all time brrrr...
 I received this updated picture of the most awesome puppy gift of all time... it's totally not Invincible, but she's still able to play with it :-)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 272

The first thing I have to say about today? It's freaking cold! Seriously, this is Georgia. We don't usually do cold...

 I got up and clocked in for work, Calli decided to camp out in front of the heater...

Cokaya jumped up to look out the window (notice she's on her tiptoes) and then jumped down because it was too cold. 

Calli stepped away from the heater to curl up in my lap for a bit (don't judge my Best Buy snuggie, it's COLD!)

Then, I turned off the heater after I clocked out from work and Calli looked at me like I'd broken her heart...

When it came time to go to bed, Cokaya was there to keep an eye on me again. :-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 271

Today, I tried to work. I really did. But my asthma has gotten so out of control that I couldn't even take a deep enough breath to speak on the phone. It was no bueno.

So here I am now with my trusty "Dog" Cokaya firmly attached to my side in bed.

While I was trying to work earlier, I was doing breathing treatments and noticed these weird notches cut into my nebulizer. They are a perfect fit for two different parts of to attach to it. The standing up version is totally cool and useful to keep your solution in case you need to pause during a treatment. Not so sure what the point is of the sideways orientation. 

 One last ditch effort to make myself feel better... hot chocolate in the fancy Beauty and the Beast mug my sister got me for Christmas... it was yummy at least.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 270

Remembered to take a pic right before bed... yes, that is a giant mountain of tissue paper behind me. I'm trying to reorganize my wrapping supplies before I put them all away. I hit the after Christmas clearance at Hobby Lobby today and my total discount was over $50... my total that I actually paid was $14. Win!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 269

Phew, today was a busy busy day. But totally worth it and a ton of fun :-)

I started out the day driving to Atehns to go shooting with my boyfriend and his parents. This was tough for me because it was the first time I've been shooting since I broke my wrist. I didn't make it too far, only through two clips before my hand/wrist were too achy. I shoot left handed, so I can only imagine how bad the pain would have been if I were shooting with my right hand. Here's a pic of how I did... I've done worse...

Later that afternoon, my family FaceTimed to let me know their presents from me had finally arrived!
Sterling, Kristy, Isaiah, and Stella. Sterling and Stella are the "bonus kids" aka my sister's boyfriend's kids.
My family! My sister (Kristy) and my clone (Isaiah). 
The unwrapping begins...
My boyfriend got my nephew a super cool XBoxOne prize pack...  
After that, things got a little bit crazy... 
Remember the zombie doll? It turned out to be her favorite Christmas present! She even made it a bed and everything, lol. It's okay, her favorite show is the Waking Dead.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 268

One of the best things about working from home is that nobody cares what you wear. You can be comfy cozy all the time. (This is also one downer of working from home, because you can easily lose any sense of proper attire, lol). 
So tonight I was on Skype with my coworkers and had video on (since we've all got Skype Premium for a year, woot!) and stood up to get something and they saw my shirt:
There's a story here (don't all of my shirts have fun stories?), right after I first became Hiring and Training Coordinator a million years ago, I went shopping at a ridiculously expensive thrift store in downtown Athens with my roommate. While I couldn't afford most of what they had in the store, they did have this totally random t-shirt that could be taken several ways. I thought it was a pretty awesome descriptor for my new role :-) 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Kelly - Day 267

Hey! Today's picture may be yet another bedtime pic, but at least I made it to bed at a decent time. Woot! I am going to try and get some rest tonight. Wish me luck!
Fancy filter is one of the built in iOS7 filters... I hadn't played with them at all until tonight.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 266

It's New Year's Eve! Yay! ... or Who Cares? I'm not doing anything. I worked tonight, but otherwise I have no plans.
When I clocked out from work, I noticed Calli was under my desk, I guess she was hiding because fireworks are scary:
 So I crawled under the desk with her... and she seemed confused:
I've never done New Year's resolutions or anything, but in the next year I want to be happy. I don't think that's too much to ask, right? I just have to make sure I keep that in mind... it's all about mindset. 

Have a safe and happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 265

I feel (somewhat) accomplished today. I finally managed to get to UPS and send out my family's Christmas presents. Better late than never, right? Maybe?
Calli has been obsessed with the whole bedsheet change process since the day I brought her home  from Animal Control. Seriously. One day I will get a video of it, she's all about being made into the bed. Here we are together (the duck face is more a product of me trying to make noise to get her attention on the phone than an artistic decision):
I promise you, that cat-shaped blur is really a cat. Look:
I think she really wanted me to get on with the bed making and stop trying to take pictures. As I said, she takes it all very seriously. 

Today is the 265th Daily Kelly... there are only 100 days left in my one year commitment. Right now, I'm toying with the idea of continuing. Or maybe doing something completely random and taking the exact same picture of myself every day from my 29th birthday to my 30th so that I can capture that slow descent (ascent?) into my 30s that I joked about when I first started this thing. Who knows, I've still got a couple months to make a decision.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 264

And another night of not sleeping. Fail. You know it's bad when your cat looks exhausted.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 263

I went to bed at a decent time, I promise! I just seriously can't sleep. I don't like it. There is no reason at all for me to be awake at 5am unless I've got a flight to catch. For serious.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 262

I worked today. And Calli decided that she would sleep on me whether I wanted her to or not. At one point, she was half on the arm of my chair, half in the air. Seriously (and don't judge my snowman pants, they're awesome):
By now, you've probably read all about Skippy the Drunken Elf... he wraps all of our horribly wrapped Christmas presents and is responsible for anything random that occurs around Christmas (he's also loosely related to Stocking, the Creepy Elf). Well, my dad uses voice text for EVERYTHING, it was really awful on his old Android phone, on his iPhone, it is a little less random, just mysterious (check out this screen shot sent my by sister):
 One bonus of epic failing on sending my family's Christmas presents was that I was able to locate the unlocatable present my sister and I wanted to get my dad. I wrapped it tonight, using only scraps from around my dining room table... this one is a truly epic Skippy Did It!:
Finally, I grabbed some food (ice cream's food, right?) tonight! Yay food!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Daily Kelly - Day 261

It's Christmas!! 
I have been all over the place today. I started out at Casa de Kelly in Lawrenceville, GA, went to my boyfriend's house in Athens, GA, then we went to his parent's house in Anderson, SC, and then back to his house and then I headed home to do Skype/Facetime Christmas with my family. 
I have always put the bows from presents on my head, I'm weird, it happens. 

Here's the first bow I encountered today (it totally matched my outfit):
 My sister sent me this picture of my nephew with the two video games I sent him. These were the only presents to arrive in time for Christmas for my family (from me, they totally had other presents):
 In Anderson, SC, there is a furniture store called "Wood You"... I have seen it before, but figured I might as well take a picture when we stopped across the street to get gas.
 Back in Athens, my boyfriend's dog Lola was totally enjoying her new "Invincible" toy (it wasn't really all that invincible, but she enjoyed it):
When I got home, we tried Skyping, but my sister's computer wouldn't update Skype at all and it was kind of an epic fail, so we just did FaceTime-ception. Here's my view (I took the picture on my iPad):
 My sister and nephew's view (yeah, another bow, this one's a bow-bonnet):
 And my dad's view (notice how they both captured the same moment? lol):
 And here's my Christmas present collection! Not pictured is the totally awesome coat that my boyfriend got me. It is a coat, so it didn't really fit on the bookcase.
I epic failed on getting my family's presents to them on time... they're actually still sitting in my dining room. But soon... 
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

What I Talk About:

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