Monday, January 13, 2014

Sand Magnification

I never really thought about what sand would look like closeup. I assumed it was small chunks of smooth rock, shells and maybe glass. But, here are some exquisite closeups of what sand really looks like when magnified up to 250X. The shapes, colors and textures all vary. It's amazing and so beautiful to think this is what feels so good between our toes when we walk on the beach. I have a new respect for sand...I think I'm going to start collecting sand!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy 2 Year Blogiversary

Has it really been 2 years since I started this blog. really has been. This past year has been crazy in so many ways big and small. I'm not going to list all of them here, but the last 2 weeks were the tip of the iceberg for me, more on that in this post. Sadly, I have not been as active on my blog as I had planned this year, and a lot of that has to do with my work load. A PhD program is not forgiving. I can't promise to be any more active this year, as my one and only new years resolution is to advance to candidacy and that means getting my head in the game and pushing forward. My blog, as much as I love it and love posting things on it, is a distraction, and well, distraction is my way of avoiding work.  I will keep posting here and there, but it won't be a post a day :(

The past 2 weeks have been crazy, not because it was the holiday season. No, that would have been lovely.  It was because 2 days after Christmas our landlord(s) decided our apartment had to be fumigated for termites and by fumigation I mean tenting. Against my wishes, better judgement and wisdom, we had no choice but to accept. I tried to fight it, sent email after email, but being just one person against a board of MORONS who make decisions based on their pocket books, we were forced out. Yes, I know, tenting is common practice for riding your house of termites, but it is the WORST option. I did a lot of research into the harms of Vikane Gas, and I was going to do a post about it, but every time I think about this topic or bring it up I get fuming mad and so, it is best that I just move past this episode. Suffice it to say, we moved all our food out (including freezer and fridge food), plants, fish tank, cleaning chemicals, lotions, shampoo...anything that could have a chemical reaction to the gas and anything that the gas could leach into (plastics!!!!). Don't bother with those nylofume bags...gas leeches into them.

Long story short, they released our apartment for re-entry last week and I got sick - vomiting, nausea, headaches...all the side effects of the gas. We stayed out of the apartment for 2 days after they allowed re-entry, but I was going back and forth moving things in, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, airing things out...and well, lo and behold, I got sick.

I'm going to leave this post as PG as possible, but there are many a curse word and insults flying through my head that I wish I could spew forth, but being a proper lady (cough), I will keep them to myself.

My holiday was not a holiday and I have started this new year off exhausted and on a bad foot, but things can only get better, I hope.  With that, happy new year to all, happy 2 year blogiversary and wishing everyone a great year ahead :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Glass Etching

I have a handful of tea glasses and some that I use all the time, but I have wanted to "spice" them up a bit. They are very simple and plain and I have had plans on doing something to them, but just haven't had the time. Today I decided I would test my idea out on a glass cup (former candle from Ikea) to see if my idea would be even possible and if it would look nice.

My idea: etching flower patterns onto the glass. Yes, cause I have nothing better to do with my time :D

Here's what you will need:
  • Armour Etch - etching cream
  • Sponge brush - any brush will work
  • Stencils - I used Martha Stewart Blossoms
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • Gloves - optional, but this stuff is toxic
  • Painters tape - optional, but good to tape off areas you want to prevent etching
I didn't do this, but I would recommend taping off the area around the stencil to prevent any drips ending up on the clean parts of the glass.

  1. Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints and dust.
  2. Apply the stencil. I had sticky stencils so it made life a bit easier. I used two separate stencils and applied them separately.
  3. Mix the bottle of etching cream well.
  4. Apply Armour Etch carefully with the brush (avoid drips). Be careful not to get any on the outer edge of the stencil. This was hard. I should have just taped the edges.
  5. Leave the etching cream on for 5 minutes. The directions said no longer than 1 minute, but that didn't do anything, so I left it on for 5-6 minutes. It was enough time. 
  6. Wash off in the sink with luke warm water. Remove all the cream.
  7. Remove the stencil carefully. Add the second stencil and repeat steps 3-6.
  8. Voila, you have an etched cup :)

I used two of the brushes to hold the cup from rolling.

Apply the cream to make sure you cover every inch of the stencil. The more the merrier. As you can see, the cream was very close to the edge of the stencil. This is why I say, tape the edges with painters tape. I didn't have any and was too lazy to go buy some. Tsk tsk!

One stencil more to go...

I would do one stencil at a time. I wanted them close together and I also didn't want to fuss with cream running off the edge of the stencil because of the curvature of the cup.

It's hard to see, but it looks fabulous, if I do say so myself :D


 Yay!!! I really like them. So, now onto the real tea glasses. 0 down, 12 to go.

DIY Gift Bag

We had a white elephant gift exchange at my work and we were also celebrating one of the post-docs in my lab leaving for bigger better things. Celebrating isn't the right word, as she is going to be greatly missed and it was a hard leave for her as well, but alas, tis life.

I put together a few things for her on behalf of the lab, but I realized too late that I didn't have an appropriate gift bag for the white elephant gift, nothing Christmas related or festive enough, so I had to improvise.

I had bought a handful of plain bags a while back and I also had a ton of bows that I have been using slowly, but not fast enough. If I put the two together...

Voila, my very festive gift bag!
Plain paper bag

Plain paper bag with bows

Yes, I think it works and I think I like it. What an earth shattering idea I tell you, just earth shattering!!!



The hubby officially has weekends again and for the first time in all the years we have been married, we have a Saturday together. Long story short, he's been working two jobs and I have been looking forward to some time with him for such a long time. In honor of his special day, I made one of his favorites for breakfast - pancakes.

I love me some homemade pancakes. It's the same recipe I always use, see the recipe here!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Shoe Rack Organized

I hate the sight of shoes in a house. They're dirty and messy and most of all, disorganized. We don't ever wear shoes in our place and so, the shoes pile up, especially when we have guests. In our tiny place we have a small area by the door that had room for a shoe rack, and it has been the bane of existence since we moved in from day one. The apartment has a lot of these "bane of my existence"...but for the sake of this post, the shoe rack was at the top of them :D

So, one day, I had had enough. I had been keeping my eye out for some way to make the space look cleaner, and had been searching high and low for some sort of cabinet that could house shoes and yet still be functional. It also had to fit under the counter and be thin enough so the front door wouldn't slam into it. I was also not going to pay $200 bucks. Well, I finally found one and decided, well, regardless of whether it's made of laminated particle board (aka crap!) and it doesn't look that great, it's better than the rack we have now. I bought it and put it together (took me forever...who came up with the instructions...bad English and bad grammar). Anyways...alas, my corner is a bit tidier.

The color doesn't match the room as much. I really wanted a beech color cabinet, but oak was the closest I could find - it was either that or white or black. Neither would look nice.  It also does not fit all the shoes it says it's supposed to - 30 shoes. Ya, maybe if all you have are a women's size 6. Men's shoes were hard to fit in, but after some squeezing and cursing, they fit. I'm satisfied. I'm not ecstatic, as it's not the prettiest thing ever, but I'm satisfied.

Oh the eyesore...uh...yuck! Here's a tidier version of a before...

Yes, I have a lot of shoes, yes most of the shoes are mine...who's counting... 

Clean and organized. 

It has 3 rows for shoes, 6 rows in total. It's hard to fit anything but flats, but the tennis shoes fit in the first row and the racks are moveable.

The only thing it doesn't fit are tall boots...which is fine. I only wear tall boots if its freezing and/or raining. It's neither of those two ever, here in SoCal.  

I needed a place for my bike helmet. As much as I would have loved this to be hidden, a hook was the best I could do.

It does the job. It makes me cringe a bit less. I'm thinking of changing the handles to something a bit nicer looking, maybe that will make me like how it looks better, but for now, it is what it is.


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