Link Party: THRIFT SHOP Awesomeness

1 Feb

In case you haven’t heard/seen it yet….

Yours truly (Nina^2) decided to join this party, hosted by my favorite bloggers at Young House Love – to see what we could scrounge up.

Update: Here’s the link for the original creators of this challenge!

We first attempted Psycho Sisters in Sandy Springs. And I say attempted because this is what happened:

All Thumbs DOWN

All Thumbs DOWN

Apparently, many thrift stores close early on the weekdays.  And for those who get off a little later than usual (like the ONE time I had to stay behind….), no bueno.

No matter.  Goodwill never fails!

Hence….. the THRIFT SHOP CHALLENGE put on Young House Love!

Basically, up to $20 to spend on whatever you can find.

Nina R

Nina E

Though I wish we could have had a longer amount of time for this, our brains must have been fried because we didn’t find many items we really wanted.  Maybe our hearts were crushed because of the Psycho Sister letdown, but I did manage to get away with some toys that I wanted to add to my office stash (plus there’s my #3 item of an image with *multiple* broken keyboards):

Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

And Nina walked away with a pretty nice tennis racket for like $3.50…. and her #3 item was footie pajamas:

Nina's Macklemore Thrift Store Challenge

Though we probably could have had more fun if we were able to plan ahead a little more, but it was still so much fun to spend the evening together in the middle of a work week.  Plus, Nina finally found a chair just for her size:

Classy Lady

I kid, I kid.  Happy Friday, everyone!

180 Degrees aka New Office Space

30 Jan

I almost made this title, Doing A 180, but then I got hung up on the grammar.  Grammatically, it’s supposed to be, Doing aN 180, since the “1” starts with an “O”, but I don’t think that’s what people say… right?  Maybe that’s why I got my first B in English 101.  Yup.  totally happened.  OH, the shame.

Anyhow, last time I mentioned how sad I was, reflecting on Allan’s departure.  Jerk left us all behind in Georgia.  But the ONLY exciting part about it was being able to change the wall color.  It was previously a poo poo color.  Literally.  Apparently I was on some serious cuckoo medications when I made the decision to “go bold” with my color choices.  Brown in the sunroom/office and red in the guest bathroom.  Oh, and we’re choosing to ignore the lack of editing on these photos.  Let’s call it laziness. 

Poo Poo Brown

I know, I know.  Looking back, there were so many red flags.  SO. MANY.  But, you live and you learn, right?  Oh, and for the record…. never, NEVER use bold colors with Valspar’s paint. The paint chips so easily, it’s ridiculous.

I figured that I talk about painting so much that I thought I’d go through some “tricks of the trade”  aka “shortcuts that work for me.”

Note: This is not about painting itself… for that you can google hundreds of tutorials. like this one

(1)  Find a good paint.  I’m absolutely adoring Olympic’s ONE series right now.  Paint + Prime = Fewer coats of paint.  Plus it’s Low-VOC (that’s the nasty environmentally-unsafe stuff) and it’s easy to deal with.  And, it hasn’t chipped still!

(2)  Pay the extra money for decent brushes. Please. And it’s not even that much more… Like, $3 vs. $5-6.  Here’s the one that I swear by:  Premium XL Polyester Tight Spots 2″ Angled Brush with Short Handle.  I rarely have to tape off my edges now so that saves an hour or two of prep time.  That’s precious time, people!  And I’ve heard that the only place you can find them is at Sherwin-Williams (where I got mine) or Duron (never heard of it).  By the way, if you need tape, don’t use the 3M Blue… go with the green Frog Tape!!!!

(3) I use Glad’s Press’n Seal as liners for my sturdy paint trays.  It’s easy to clean up and I don’t have to keep buying the plastic paint trays.  The cost of one box of the Press’n Seal is how much you’d spend on 1-2 liners, but I’ve used the same Press’n Seal for 7+ painting projects and have just now run out. If you choose this route, double the layers because it might bleed through one layer.  You can kinda see in the photo below where I lined just the bottom of the tray and then added the bigger piece to cover the whole thing:

Makeshift Paint Tray Liner

(3) With this particular paint brand, they recommend 3 hours before doing a second coat, but it dries to the touch in an hour.  So, in the meantime, I use the same Press’n Seal stuff to wrap the rollers and brushes:

Wrapped Supplies

Ghetto Fab? Or Genius?

I was able to do the bulk of the work in 2 coats while all the areas done by brush required 3-4 layers of paint. Brushes just provide a thinner layer so the previous color sneaks through more easily.  You can see the difference two coats make compared to the one coat below the window and you’ll notice peeks of brown under the moulding in some areas:

1 vs. 2

Hence, Tip (4): Have patience!  And don’t forget to stretch while you’re working and crouching to get every. single. nook. and. cranny.

As for the paint color… I was really trying to go for an almost-white, but my subconscious was apparently screaming BLUE.  So it’s a really really pale blue (Olympic’s Evening Mist), which goes nicely with my light blue living room walls (Valspar’s Woodlawn Sterling Blue), and the blue-gray kitchen walls (Olympic’s Pewter Vase).  Whoops?

Color Choice


And the saga will continue….. 

Things to Change (Attempting Counts) in 2013: New Year Resolutions

28 Jan

Chris and I haven’t even talked about resolutions this year.  And we are almost into February.  So let’s run through some, shall we?

(1)  Apologize less for not keeping up with the blog.

I don’t have a set deadline for blog posts.  They just kind of get done whenever I can get the time to edit the pictures and write the words.  I am usually not apologizing to any single person except myself.  I set the expectations for myself pretty high and though I’d LOVE to hash out 2-3 posts a week, I just don’t have the time to do it.  So I apologize when more than a week passes without a single glimpse at NinaSquared.  I gotta stop doing that.  It’s starting to get annoying.

(2)  Last year, I had hoped to save up for a new DSLR and my parents made that dream come true.  Therefore, this year, I am setting a goal to save up my own money for a new lens or two.  Oh, and a new desktop would be oh-so-lovely.  (*ahem*Chris*)  I’d love to do more with my camera and though I’ve been able to have fun with it (with Mommy & Me moments and even doing a shoot for Wendy and Henry’s Save-the-Dates and Nina and James’ Christmas cards), I know more opportunities are yet to come.  And it’s so. much. fun.

(3)  Since our roles in the home have reversed – I am no longer a student and Chris is now in B School – I am going to work on getting more at-home meals under my belt.  We’ve already gone WAY over-budget for the monthly restaurant portion this month because we are hardly ever around to do any cooking.  We’re going to kick ourselves in the butt when we have children (not now, calm down)… they’re going to get so fat.

(4)  Live it up.  While we are childless, Chris and I plan to do more traveling.  You know, start walking the walk instead of always talking the talk.  We are native Georgians and it makes me sad to think about how much we are missing out on.  Hopeful spots for this year: Asheville, Denver, California, Mexico, and Florida to name a few.  Oh, and I can definitely add Texas already!  Thanks, Allan!

So, there we go.  Ready, 2013?  I am.

One Less Choi

25 Jan

… in the hizzouse, I mean.

Almost a full month into 2013 and I’m only working out my 3rd post.  Yikes.  So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I haven’t even figured out my resolutions yet.  (Luckily I met most of my goals last year)

Christmas was wonderful and Chris and I have decided we will not be the type of people to pay a bunch of money to get into a bar for New Year’s Eve anymore.  And we’ll leave it at that.

January 2nd, I was on the road for 18.5 hours with Allan and our mom because Allan got a job…. in Texas!  Midland/Odessa to be more accurate.  The car ride was exactly what you’d expect.  Allan basically threatened me though because he got tired of me asking for stops.  In that loving, brotherly way.  totes.

A few days in Odessa and Midland though… won’t lie – it’s pretty comfy there.  They have everything you could want… besides a decent mall.  But restaurants, Starbucks, Target, Marshalls.  Got ’em.  We were pretty sad to leave him behind and I can’t wait to go back again.  Maybe I’ll buy cowboy boots for when I’m in Texas.  And buy a truck.  Everyone and their mother has a truck there.. not like the little ones either.  Atrociously large ones.  Including Allan:

Allan's Massive Truck

Can you imagine him driving that thing? Yeah. Exactly.

And I have many more pictures of his new and humble abode (let’s also add super nice and new) to come soon….

Since returning from Texas, I’ve been doing a lot of that work thing.

But whenever I have a moment, I try to keep on working on the house:

Office_In Progress

More to come! Enjoy your chilly weekends!

Get Groutta Here

8 Jan

I hate a messy kitchen.  Even worse, I hate when the grout or tiles get dirty under your feet… it’s because you can never feel clean if the floor itself isn’t clean.   And we are a no-shoes-in-the-house-household.  I’m sure half of you think I’m a crazy germaphobe… but no, I do not carry hand sanitizer with me.  Simply a clean kitchen and bathroom = some semblance of self-cleanliness.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to use a bunch of chemicals because Kade stays so close to the ground and licks the floors randomly.  Not sure why… it’s about as random as a cat who runs quickly out of one room to another.  Go figure.

I simply made a mixture using OxiClean Detergent and water… I tried a pasty consistency at first, but realized that was silly.  Just make a thick mixture so that it’s still mostly detergent but easier for the brush to work the mixture into the grout:

Go Away Grossness!

See the difference?  All the area above the bowl has been cleaned… while the area next to the bowl was the next target area. I worked in patches and used a rag to wipe up as I went along.  And when my arms got tired? See below. 

Working Away

I have to say that I am incredibly happy with the results.  It’s been nearly 2 months and the grout is still holding up very well… just a couple of patches here and there that have become discolored again — all due to spilled food.  The mixture doesn’t eat away at the grout and it was SO easy. I finished it in one evening and it was well worth the knee pains.  We even had friends ask us if we got new tile…. THAT’S how spotless it was when all was said and done.  Plus it makes the tiles look brighter.  Pros > Cons. I can guarantee you that I smiled and looked down every time I walked into that kitchen for the next week.

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

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