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The games we play

30 Apr

When Bogart wants to play down and dirty he barks ferociously and loves nothing more than for you to bark and snarl back. Between barking and snarling in such a way that sounds like he would like to take off your face, he gleefully prances and bounces about the house like he’s playing a very strange game of tag.
Even though I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying this would be to someone who didn’t know him, I do. So when he wanted to play last night,  I got down on my hands and knees and growled in his face. He sneered like Elvis, tried to nibble my nose, slurped me across the face, then plopped down on the floor. I won. I usually do.

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Help a girl out, would you?

12 Apr

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Late last week I saw or heard or someone brought up the game Candy Crush and I downloaded it to my ipad, thinking I would play it sometime when I was stuck somewhere and bored.
Fast forward to a week later and someone just shoot me now, ‘cause I started playing Monday of this week and I’m a teensy bit obsessed. The game gives you five lives to start and if you run through them, it makes you stop and wait 25 minutes for a new life or you have to beg the other suckers your dear friends who are also playing to take pity on you and gift you with one. Which you will immediately play because you are determined to win are an obsessed sucker just one more level before I give up, damnit!
I couldn’t even explain to you how this game sucks you in, but I am writing this because if I fail at the level I’m on one more time, I may never eat candy again. (Ok, not really.) You can play on your phone as well as on facebook and your various other app driven devices. I would tell you to be smart and don’t even get started, but I need more facebook friends so I can keep a steady flow of lives going. Get on that, would you? Momma’s got some jawbreakers to bust up so she can get to the next level!

Last Week on Chronicles of an Accidental City Girl…

19 Mar

Last year?

Last  decade?(Or, you know, whenever.)

This is actually the…um third time I’ve tried to write a blog post since….that last time. When you last heard from me, I had moved in with my parents until I figured out my next move. Then I got a job. It was horrible and every day was misery, for very little money. And then I realized that in order to get my financial shit together, I was going to have to continue to live with my parents. Possibly forever. And then I died. Not really. But nothing much happened other than, you know, woe is me, life is hard.

Bogart was happy, he isn’t alone much and he successfully figured out how to manipulate my parents, so no problems there. Life was boring and I didn’t feel like I had stories to tell. Then I lucked into a job as a legal assistant, made friends, started working out for the first time in my life and things are starting to look up. I’m about to turn 36 in a couple of weeks and there is nothing wrong with my life that a little more money wouldn’t fix, so I’d say I’m doing pretty good.

And now for a short dog story. Bogart at 4 years old is a typical bulldog. Laziness with occasional glimpses of crazy.  Last night I was watching TV and he had the doorway staked out to prevent my escape when I noticed him snarfling the throw rug he was laying on. (Snarfle is the best way to describe the sniffing/grunting noises he makes when he is SERIOUS about a smell.) As I watched, he scooted up the section of rug that had his attention between his front paws and opened his mouth to…..I don’t know what. Taste it? “Bogart!” He froze and his eyes rolled around to look at me without actually moving his head. (Lazy. Or efficient. One of those.) “Are we chewing on rugs now?” I could actually see his little brain working out whether he was going to ignore me or stop the mischief. Thankfully he went with stop but showed his displeasure with a big, put upon sigh and turning his head so he could no longer see me.  My dog, ladies and gentlemen.

 

If you have been checking back occasionally and are even mildly excited that I decided to write again, thank you.  If you stumbled onto this post and this blog because you googled what to do when your dog chews on your rugs and you actually read all the way to the end of my silliness, thank you too. And good luck with that. It sucks. (Also, feel free to look around. I’m occasionally funny.)

Side table looking for a good home!(updated)

8 Sep

UPDATE!!

I have the etsy shop all set up now, you can find it here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/accidentalcitygirl

The craigslist ad is here:

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/fuo/1940321473.html

 

Remember all those times I hinted about a project in the works and how painting furniture is what I want to do? Well, I’ve been slowly collecting a variety of small furniture through various sources, most notably freecycle.com and I’m making plans for all of their new lives as pretty things again.

I started with this one…..

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(please ignore the dust/cat hair bunnies on the floor)

I found this lovely lady in Hyde Park, she was a freecycle find, prompted by a woman moving out of the apartment she had lived in for 8 years. She had to purge, and I got 3 free side tables out of the deal. 😉 Win-Win!

Her top had come unglued so I put all her pieces back together and glued every piece in tight, then  I had to brace one side that was sagging and needed to be given a boost.

I had a half quart of paint left over from my last apartment called “Scrumptious” (it was the color of my dining room) so after a quick prime, that became her base coat.

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I found an image online of a zinnia stencil, printed it out and very carefully cut it out of a stencil blank in front of the tv. Then, I mixed up a couple of colors with a little more orange in them, one lighter, one darker and stenciled the pattern all over her. (I love zinnias!)

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The edges got a light distress, which gives it that shabby chic look and highlights the fact that this lady has been well loved for many years. 😉

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A little poly to give it a lasting finish and she’s ready for her new home!

Nothing makes me happier than to find an old piece of furniture, beat up form a long life with someone else and with a little TLC on my part give it a whole new life with someone else.

This is my start and if you like her or you know someone who would, she is for sale for $60 right now on craigslist. She is available for pick-up or I would be willing to deliver in the city for $10.

I’m putting together an etsy shop so that I can add things as I finish them, but they will always show up here first. 😉

 

Thanks for listening,

citygirl

p.s. I would appreciate any feedback you have for me, constructive or positive!

Shit my boyfriend says Volume 2

31 Aug

Him: “I make a much better housewife than you.”

Me: “Sad, but true.”

 

Him: “I love being unemployed!!”

Me: “You are not unemployed! You have two days off between jobs, that’s just a tiny vacation!”

Him: “Being unemployed is awesome!”

Me: sigh.

 

———————————————————————————————-

The car is still broken. It has to be taken in to a shop to figure out what is wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s the starter. (Keep in mind, I’m not terribly car savvy, but I can Google like you wouldn’t believe and I have a BASIC understanding of how car engines work.)

So, I had a decision to make. I need a job. I like my job. I needed some way to get around. We bought a bike. Biking is very easy here and we were talking about getting a bike for both of us to putter around the neighborhood and wander down to the lake. The bum car sort of made our talking into reality and I decided it was the best solution to our immediate problem and hopefully the car won’t need more than basic repairs. (fingers crossed)

And I’ve been riding the bike around my route and to and from a convenient bus route in order to work. And make money. That pays for the broken car. And I’ve never been so hungry or tired in my life. Nearly every night this week I’ve fallen asleep over my dinner. Yes. I did. You see, the problem is that I’ve never been terribly athletic or even remotely in shape and that has been made very clear to me as I struggle to get around by the power of my legs. It’s pretty pathetic. Muscles burn and pull that I didn’t even know that I had.

You know that feeling you get after exercise of sore muscles and the next morning you wake up feeling like you are going to die? But if you work through it, everything gets better and you stop hurting? Yeah, still waiting for that part. Yep. I’ve been waiting on it all week. Lol.

The good news in this debacle is that I started this blog post several days ago and fell asleep over the laptop but the auto shop called this morning and I was right, it WAS the starter and I’ll be able to cover most of it with my first paycheck. Any time you can pay for a car repair and make rent that month, it is a good thing. The shop was awesome, by the way. If you live in Chicago and need a recommendation for a car guy, I can point you in the right direction!

 

Aaaand one more for the road, since that’s probably why you came….

Him via text message, referring to the campus where he is working as of Wednesday:

“This campus is friggin’ cool.”

“It’s like Star Trek architecture.”

That’s right, everyone, I’m in love with a geek.

 

Thanks for listening,

citygirl

Apartment crazy (Is that better or worse than boy crazy?)

23 Aug

Somehow, last night, we got it in our heads that we should look at apartments to “get an idea of what is available in our target neighborhood”, and by “we” I mean “I” decided and talked BFP into it. Considering he has spent the last 2 days complaining about how much our neighborhood sucks, it wasn’t that hard, but still, what was I smoking?

BFP called a couple of craigslist ads this morning and we we set up an appointment to see a place for really more money than we were wanting to spend, but it had a really interesting set-up. But.

Y’all, we have 4 months on our lease, we have no business falling in love with a new apartment that is available NOW. But we did. 3 bedrooms, 3 levels, washer and dryer in unit, open kitchen, parking spot in a garage(free), two small balconies and our own patch of back yard. CENTRAL. AIR. And about a $100 more a month than we should really spend. Oh, and our current lease. sigh.

We decided to talk to our landlord about subletting our place and about the leaking kitchen ceiling and the dead ceiling fan in the dining room(pretty sure those are related) and see what happens. If we are stuck here until the end of December, it’s not the end of the world, but if we can get out of this neighborhood, out of this building, whether the landlord lets us out or lets us sublet, we’re gonna take that opportunity. WE WANT OUT OF HERE. And if today taught me anything, I’m more determined than ever to move to Pilsen. I just can’t describe the vibe there or why I love it so much, but I did take a few photos today to show you some of what I see. 😉

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This blue door says a lot, really. It’s old, artistic, colorful and just shabby enough to be interesting.

detail of blue door

The glass work is AMAZING, makes me want to start working with stained glass again. (Too many hobbies, not nearly enough time in the day or space to store the supplies.)

gelato

The gelato I gobbled down in an Italian restaurant housed in an old theater. Absolutely GORGEOUS inside, I really wanted to take pictures of the inside, but I got enough looks when I took this one. 😉

pink bakery

A lot of the buildings are painted bright colors, this pink one houses a little bakery down the stairs. There are bakeries and ice cream shops and little mom and pop operations everywhere, an endless number of yummy places to eat.

We had lunch at Honky Tonk BBQ at 18th and Racine, a place I’ve been wanting try since I saw it featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” (LOVE that show!). SO GOOD! I can’t believe we didn’t go sooner, everything was absolutely delicious. I had St. Louis style ribs and mac and cheese, BFP had a brisket sandwich with black eyed peas and the cole slaw that came with my ribs. While we were eating, a man serenaded us with a little blues and old school country, it was like taking a quick trip to Memphis without leaving the city. We both HIGHLY recommend that you try it. 😉

 

Thanks for listening,

citygirl

Fabric covered books for a pop of color

22 Aug

One of the biggest stumbling blocks of our combined move to Chicago was the sheer number of books the two of us have collected over the years. We love books and love reading, but we vowed not make the situation any worse before we moved again by getting a library card, an e-reader (whoohoo, ipad!*) and donating our not-so-favorites to charity or offering them up on my favorite thing, freecycle. 😉

I bought an Expedit bookcase from IKEA with some tax return money in May, I think and it took me this long to get it the way I wanted.

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I love the look of a rainbow of books but I hate the look of most book jackets now. I almost always take them off when reading and tuck them into the book like a bookmark. That left me with a ton of hardback books that look the same with most of them having a black spine. I wanted more color, and this is what I did.

Using basic white copy paper, I Modge Podged over the cover to give it a smooth light base to work with…

step one

You can barely read the title on the spine, but under fabric, it creates a blank canvas….

step two

For the next step, use masking tape to secure your book into a corner of your fabric, leaving enough around the edges to fold to the inside. (I didn’t go exact here, since I will line the inside with scrapbook paper as soon as I pick up some more Modge Podge, this project finished off my jar.)

step three

Now wrap the fabric around the book and trim to size (Didn’t photograph this step since scissors and cameras don’t mix.) I used quilting quarters that I found at walmart for $1, I just grabbed a few that caught my eye, but you can use whatever you have on hand to keep this project as cheap as possible. 😉

step four

Keeping the masking tape in place, move the fabric out of the way and coat one side in Modge Podge…

step five

and smooth the fabric into place, making sure you press the fabric into the dip where the spine and cover meet. Do the same for the spine and the other side.

step six

Now that the fabric is secure, remove the masking tape…

step seven

And “paint” the Modge Podge along the edges of the inside cover then

step eight

smooth the fabric over the edges, stretching the fabric a bit to make sure it covers securely.

step nine

I found the easiest way to get sharp corners is to trim the fabric a bit…

step ten

and fold in place (I put a little extra Modge Podge at the corners, dampening the fabric a little so it would not only stick to the book but itself.)

step eleven 

Before folding down the top and bottom edges, make a cut in your fabric at the edge of the spine on either side (no photo of this, again scissors/camera bad) You will be left with this sort of flap of fabric that you will moisten thoroughly with Modge Podge and allow to dry. When the fabric is dry, it will be stiff and you will be able to carefully trim it close to the spine without the danger of fraying. (It’s dangerous, I’m telling you. Mostly because you will be unable to stop picking at it until the whole thing falls apart. Not that that has ever happened to me. Ahem.)

step twelve

When you have covered the outside with fabric, you can use the Modge Podge to attach the cover art to the inside front as I did here. (Queen Betsy!) See, now you can’t see the edges of the fabric….

step thirteen

and you have a stack of colorful vampire books to add to your shelves. 😉

step fifteen

And more than enough colorful books to arrange by color to bring life to your bookcase. 😉

Now if you stress about finding your books or have so many that you need a more traditional way of organizing them, this system and project is not for you, but I love the look of the bright books in the dark shelves and we have managed to cull our collection down to this one and one more wood one in the dining room. Between the library card and the yet to be decided on e-reader, we should be able to keep the books under control and if you are an apartment dweller like us and a frequent mover, keeping the book collection under control is important. (And believe me, your movers will thank you. Heh.)

 

Thanks for listening,

citygirl

*We are saving up now, I wanted one and a few trips to Best Buy to play with them convinced BFP to my way of thinking. 😉

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