November 30, 2020

Handmade Ornaments Are The Best!

We set up our Christmas tree today. Jerry loves Christmas more than any other time of year and he really looks forward to setting up the tree. We had plans of decorating the tree and making Christmas cookies with the kids.

I get anxiety on "Christmas tree day" now--ever since 2017 when Jerry broke down out of nowhere. It shocked all of us at how genuinely upset he was. I don't even know if the kids had ever seen him cry before! (I wrote the whole story in this post: A Very Personal Post I've Been Questioning Writing for 10 Months.)

For the past couple of years, I've gotten super worried around Christmastime because it reminds me of when Jerry had such a hard time with depression and anxiety a few years ago (even going to the emergency room during a panic attack thinking it was a heart attack). He'd never had depression before and it scared me. He's always been my stability!

Today was no different. I wanted to make sure that things went nicely and that Jerry enjoyed it.

After dinner, Noah and I got into a really good conversation. It's super rare that we have a "real" conversation anymore--our interests are totally different and I'm his uncool mom ;) However, he's taking Psychology 101 (a college course!) and I LOVE talking psychology. Psychology was my major when I went to Eastern Michigan University. I never finished, but I loved the courses.

Anyway, Noah has to write a paper and was given several topics to choose from--most topics were different mental illnesses. He had to choose one that he could somehow relate to. Surprisingly, bipolar disorder wasn't on the list. He actually emailed his professor to see if he could write about bipolar and was given the go-ahead. So he chose the topic of what it's like to grow up with a parent who has bipolar disorder. 

I was really excited about his choice, although a little nervous about facing anything negative he'd have to say. I told him that I didn't want him to hold back anything out of fear of hurting my feelings. I even said I wouldn't read it if he didn't want me to. 

We talked about his paper and different points he could make: the difference between bipolar I and bipolar II; why bipolar is frequently misdiagnosed for depression; treatment with meds and therapy; how bipolar usually coexists with some sort of addiction--food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling, etc.; and of course, parent/child relationships as well as parent/parent relationships.

I assumed that he would focus on the negatives of growing up with a bipolar parent, but he brought up something that made me feel so proud of him--that having a bipolar parent who is very passionate about mental illness/health has made him more compassionate and understanding of those with mental disorders. 

I love that! And since he's going to be a nurse, it made me wonder if he might go into psychiatric nursing. He'd be great at it.

Thankfully, setting up the tree went well. It was actually really funny to watch the kittens experience Christmas decorations for the first time. Duck was all over the ornaments while Chick was into the box that the tree came in. It was nearly impossible to get a picture of Duck because he was moving so fast.

We got a new (artificial) tree this year; our old one was super nice but extremely large and when I was working on the garage, we decided to get rid of it for something smaller. I gave it to my brother, so it went to a good home :)

Even though I'm a Christmas Grinch, I really like looking at the ornaments for the tree each year. I like "homely" looking trees rather than the immaculately decorated, color-coordinated ones. The handmade ornaments from the kids are adorable--I have them from back when they were in preschool. 

Jerry chose a cookie recipe for us to bake, although he and Eli did the work. Noah and I were just taste testers ;)  They were delicious! The recipe can be found here

Here are some of the kids' handmade ornaments... I love them!

I love this one that Eli made because of the way he used to write his name! He was four years old when he wrote his name on it...

Thankfully, today turned out to be a good day. Jerry enjoyed decorating the tree and making cookies. I really enjoyed the conversation with Noah. I hope we'll talk more about stuff like that while he's taking this class!

November 29, 2020

An Update on November's To Do List

Just a quick look back on my "To Do" list for November...

I periodically forgot that I'd even made a list of some random things I wanted to get done this month. Now, here it is, November 29, and I wanted to see if I completed some (or any) of the things on my list! (I really should write out a list to hang on the fridge or something to keep things at the front of my mind.) 

Buy the materials to build nightstands for my bedroom. I actually did go to Lowe's to get the materials (I was all set to finally do it!) and then I was told that they couldn't cut down the plywood I needed with their saw because it needs a special blade (for hardwood). I was frustrated once again. I really want to build nightstands!

I've been looking on Facebook Marketplace for a pair that I like in order to repaint them or something to make them a project--but no luck finding what I want yet. Jerry's sister, Laura, offered to meet me with her truck to get the boards home from Lowe's, so I may end up doing that. I just feel bad asking that of someone.

Mend some clothes. I was actually just working on this today! I did spend some time at least three times this month with the serger (which was my main purpose for wanting to bust out the sewing stuff). There are two pairs of black pants I stuck aside because I have to fix a seam on each and I forgot about those. I'm excited that I found them today because one pair was my favorite until the seam came apart on the side.

I was working on a light colored shirt today (I altered the sleeves a LOT and it took forever... I'll try to get photos to post soon), and I want to finish up the light colored clothes before changing the thread on my machine to black for the pants.

Make cuffs for my jacket. I haven't done this yet--but I think about it a lot, if that counts! Haha. I actually switched to a warmer jacket this month, so I haven't needed them as much.

I did find a size 3XL gray jersey-knit maxi dress at Goodwill for super cheap and I thought it would be perfect to buy for the fabric (taking the dress apart). The fabric feels like a super soft t-shirt and it's in great shape--and since the dress is a large size, I'll have quite a bit of the fabric to work with for other items as well. 

I definitely want to make a pair of sleeves/arm warmers(?) with long cuffs with thumbholes. It sounds odd, but when I walk in the mornings, they would come in very handy.

Clean out my closet. I haven't done this at all, and I wish I could say that I'd attempted it, but I have just been avoiding it. I'm just not sure what to do with everything. There are clothes that I LOVE and I hope to be able to fit into again someday; but I also don't want to hold onto the past and constantly strive to get back there.

Yes, I want to lose the extra weight. Clearly, I'm having a very hard time doing that. I haven't been able to fit into some of these clothes for three years, so how long do I hold onto them? I may pack up my very favorites and put them in the garage for a time limit of, say 18 months. If I can't wear them in 18 months, then I get rid of them. (Or something like that.)

I especially love these jeans. I bought them from Salvation Army (they were just plain denim) and then I used sandpaper and a seam ripper to make some (carefully crafted) holes. I also cut out fabric patches and sewed those on. I only wore them a handful of times, and I loved to wear them again! (This photo from was November 2017.)

Touch up the paint in the kitchen. I still haven't done this. I think of it EVERY time I am cooking, too. I need to set a day and time for when I'm going to spend the time doing it. It's also time to remove the caulk in the kitchen and bathrooms and replace with new. 

Organize the pantry. I did organize it very well at the beginning of the month, and it's still looking much better, but I could certainly tidy it up again. I really ought to just make this a weekly chore--it's "easier to keep it clean than to keep cleaning it" (something I always tell my kids about their bedrooms).

Start a gratitude journal. I haven't made an "official" gratitude journal, but I have been writing things I am grateful for here and there in my regular journal. I've been trying to think more positively in general (I really wish it was as easy as, "Hey, think nice thoughts and you'll be happy!" but we all know we aren't in control of how we feel). 

I think what I'll do about the journal is to buy a second "Some Lines A Day" journal (Amazon affiliate link) and use it just for gratitude. Then I'll think of three things every day that I am grateful for, rather than keeping a long list (so it doesn't get redundant). 

Well, I guess I didn't do TOO bad on the list this month. I can't believe how fast the month went by, actually. It feels like Halloween was just last week!

November 28, 2020

A Funny Birthday Gift Story

This is a funny story that played out over a few days, and I just wanted to share. 

I went to Dick's Sporting Goods a couple of weeks ago and bought a basketball and some basketball shorts (they were a gift for an 18-year old boy). I stopped at another store to buy a box to ship them in, and there were a couple of choices on sizes. I didn't have the ball with me, and I had no idea how tall a basketball would be in inches, so I sent a quick text to Jerry to ask if a box that was 15x15x16 would be big enough. 

He wasn't sure, but then said yes, he's pretty sure it'd be a good size. So, I bought it. When I got home, I put the box together to get it ready to ship and I nearly died when I saw the size of it in the box. I was WAY off in my guesstimate! Clearly, a 15x15x16 box is way too big. 

I didn't want to ship it in that box (because who wants a gift box that looks enormous and then the box is half empty?) so I waited to get another. I rarely go out these days because of COVID, so I didn't pick one up. We get a lot of boxes from Amazon, and one arrived that would be a good size to ship the ball.

On Wednesday, I FINALLY got it packaged and ready to ship. I was procrastinating going to the post office (it's very out-of-the-way), but I knew if I didn't go on Wednesday, it likely wouldn't ship until Monday because of the holiday weekend. 

In the eleventh hour before they closed, I bribed Noah with $5 to drive the package to the post office (actually there were two packages--the other was just a smaller envelope for my sister). He'd never had the experience of going inside and shipping a package on his own, so it would be good for him to go anyways. I told him to just let them know that he wanted to ship it as cheaply as possible. I figured it'd cost like $20, which is a lot, but it's fun to get gifts in the mail!

So Noah took the packages and when he got home, he handed me the receipt. I nearly shat myself when I saw that they charged me $43.55 to ship a box that weighed less than 3 pounds! (This wasn't going to Australia or anything! Just the west coast.)

I knew there HAD to be a mistake and I inwardly thought that this is what I get for not going to the post office myself. But when I looked at the receipt, I saw that I had been charged $35.20 for "Sesame Street" (I didn't know what that meant, and neither did Noah). I kept asking Noah if they offered him Sesame Street stamps or something, but he said no.

So I figured that they accidentally charged him for Sesame Street stamps in addition to the postage from the packages. The receipt was a little confusing:

It showed $43.55 minus $34.80, for a total of $8.75 on that package. And then the random charge for 4 Sesame Street items at $8.80 each. Noah had explanation.

I was ready to take the receipt to the post office to explain that Noah didn't buy Sesame Street anything, but to save myself the embarrassment, I wanted to fact check before I went. Thank goodness I did.

Using the online postage calculator, I discovered that it did, in fact, cost $43.55 to mail the package with those dimensions and weight. (Crazy, right?!) I figured that the woman had just charged the postage differently for whatever reason, and the actual cost of shipping was not a mistake. 

I couldn't get over the shock of how expensive shipping was--the cost of the ball and shorts, after sales tax, was $70. And then shipping was nearly $45! I felt like I should have just bought a gift card for $100 and sent that instead. But, it was already paid for and done, so I just made a mental note to start using UPS or FedEx or anything other than USPS now. 

So anyways, the box arrived today... and NOW I know what the Sesame Street charge was for. BAHAHAHA, the whole box was covered with Sesame Street stamps!

I burst out laughing when he sent me the photo. He thought it was stickers that I'd used to decorate the box (odd choice for an 18 year old) but then realized they were stamps. 

So, the post office, for whatever reason, had Noah buy 4 books of Sesame Street stamps and then they put them on the box after Noah left. Noah, Jerry, and I were cracking up. At least the Sesame Street mystery charge to my credit card was solved ;)

November 27, 2020

I Finally Did it! (well, kind of)

As I mentioned recently, my sister asked if I could make her some scrub caps with a ponytail holder on it to cover her hair when she's at work. (She's an occupational therapist and works closely with COVID patients.)

I said sure, and I was excited to sew something. It's been a while since I made all the masks, so I think I'm ready to look at the machine again ;)  

However, I have been having SUCH a hard time learning how to use the serger! I can thread it no problem, but I have trouble figuring out the correct tension on the threads (there are four threads and they each have their own tension). 

The pattern for scrub caps that I received from my friend/reader Gail said to serge all the edges before sewing them together. I was excited to get to use the serger! I felt ready to figure it out. I got an email from a reader who helped me troubleshoot a little, and then this morning after my walk I watched several YouTube videos about it.

After Jerry left for work, I went out to the garage and set up my sewing machine and serger, ironing board and iron, and a fabric cutting station. It was nice to have so much space out there! 

I spent about 45 minutes making tiny adjustments to the tension, trying to work out which thread's tension needs to be changed. Eventually, I found the sweet spot! I don't think it's PERFECT, but it looks much better than the piece I'd already tried. 

This was the first attempt:

See how messy it looks?! I didn't know what to adjust and I felt like each adjustment made it worse. But then today, after my reader's email and watching the YouTube videos, I made a much nicer edge today:

Since I got the tension to the correct adjustments, I then switched from the practice fabric to the actual pieces of the pattern. It went really well! I'd even watched a video on YouTube today about how to turn a corner with the serger (something that I couldn't figure out) and that was super helpful because I got to try it today.

Making the pattern was fairly easy. The instructions weren't very good so I had to do my best guess on parts. Anyway, I managed to figure out the tension for the fabric so now I can start doing more with my serger! And then I finally made a scrub cap for Jeanie, but when I tried it on, it was a little big, hahaha. I'll just consider it my practice one and maybe I'll try another tomorrow. 

This is what it looks like:

It has a cover for her hair and then you wrap the ties around it to make sure all of your hair is covered.

I'm excited to learn more about the serger and maybe make a few projects while trying it out. :)

November 26, 2020

A Locked Down Thanksgiving

Like most families, we decided not to do a traditional family Thanksgiving dinner because of COVID. Usually, my siblings and I would get together at my parents' house. This year was a bummer for the whole family, but especially for my mom. She loves having everyone get together.

She did the most amazing thing for my siblings and me today. Since we couldn't all get together, she spent the last couple of days making a huge turkey dinner to portion out and deliver to Nathan and his girlfriend, Brian's family, and my family.

She thought of everything! Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (my favorite!), stuffing (both homemade and Stove Top in case someone doesn't like homemade stuffing), corn, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie and whipped cream, and even some pumpkin spice cookies. I was so grateful--getting to eat an amazing meal that I didn't even have to cook? Yes, please!

Thanks to my mom's dinner, we had a very relaxing day and delicious food. (At one point, however, Phoebe snuck outside and we spent nearly two hours looking for her. Thankfully, she is home now.)

Despite having a nice day, I've still been feeling down lately. I think that the COVID lockdown is really getting to me. Back in the spring, I was fine with it--being an introvert and having to stay home away from people wasn't a big deal. I loved working hard on the garage and it made the time fly by. But fast forward months and months of this, and I miss the little things that I used to take for granted. 

I feel like this is never going to end and nothing will go back to normal. I think today was especially hard because of not being able to get together at my parents' house with my family. I worry about everybody else, too, and what this lockdown is doing to their mental health. My mom mentioned that cooking the dinner for everyone helped a little to take her mind off of it, but I know this is super hard on her.

I imagine that a lot of people are feeling the same way right now. When all of this (with COVID) first started, I never imagined it would still be going on so much later. Like everyone else, I just want it to be over! 

But I don't want to be too negative on a post about Thanksgiving. I am very grateful that my family has stayed COVID-free throughout all of this and I hope that it stays that way. I'm grateful that my mom took the time and energy to make dinner for us even though she couldn't have us over to eat with her. I'm grateful for the fact that even though the kids are schooling from home for COVID reasons, it gives me more opportunities to spend time with them. I'm grateful that Jerry still has his job and we haven't had to take a financial hit because of this pandemic. There are lots of important things to be grateful for, so I want to try to keep that in mind when I'm feeling down about all that is going on. 

I'm absolutely sure that when this is over, I'm not going to take little things for granted anymore! I rarely used to go out for date night to the movies or bowling or even to play Keno at the bar... but I miss those things now that they aren't an option anymore. I look forward to doing them again someday!

Anyway, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. My only pics from today are actually of Duck! He's HILARIOUS in the way he likes to lie down. I know I've posted pics of him in a sploot position before, but this one is something even beyond that, hahaha.

And then he was chilling like this with his arms dangling down. He's so funny!

November 25, 2020

Baby Laughs!

I don't really have anything to say today--it's been a busy day--but I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving! Here is a video of Luke when he was just a baby--three years ago already! You can't listen and NOT laugh--babies have a superpower! 

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow! :) 

November 24, 2020

Gifts To Buy for YOURSELF This Holiday Season

 ...because it's wacky 2020 and why not do the untraditional thing this year?

I like to make a gift idea list each year (well, when I remember to!) but this year is so DIFFERENT in just about every way possible. And since the things I typically recommend are things that I have and use myself, it makes sense to buy something (or several things!) for yourself :)

I apologize for the redundancy of some of these items. When I really love a product, I write about it a LOT. Unless specified, everything listed here was bought with my own money (not sponsored in any way). Also, any Amazon links are affiliate links--just meaning that if you purchase something through those links, I may get a small commission for recommending it.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite gift ideas... for oneself! :)

A Piercing (or Tattoo)

I may be approaching my 40's, and sometimes I wonder if I'm too old for piercings (other than the traditional one in each lobe) but I LOVE my piercings and I don't care if I look too old to pull them off! I have a nose piercing and several ear piercings--lobes, tragus, conch, helix, and rook. Yes, those words were foreign to me, too. When I went into the shop, I just pointed to the spot on my ears that I wanted pierced! Haha. I really would like to get an industrial piercing, but my age is definitely what is holding me back... I really need to just do it and forget about my age!

I wanted to post the video of when I got my conch piercing (below) but there are a couple of f-bombs in it, hahaha. I'd just had my rook pierced moments before and I didn't even flinch. The conch one hurt much worse! (But there is something so fun about the environment of the piercing/tattoo shop! And needles have never bothered me.)

Special Teas

There is tea, and then there is TEA. And I was thrilled when I discovered that there are teas beyond the typical Lipton's. I started ordering tea from David's Tea online. They have the most amazing flavors! (This is an assortment pack on Amazon.) I love black tea with a little cream and sugar, and the dessert black teas from David's are my favorite. These are loose leaf teas, and this is my favorite item to make brewing them super easy. (I had no idea how to make loose leaf tea, but it's very simple!)

Kindle Paperwhite (10th generation)

I know, I know, I know. I write about this WAY too frequently. But I can't help it--I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite! I was never interested in e-books until I bought a Kindle Paperwhite on sale (I figured I could return it if I didn't like it) and I was completely sold. In love. I read SO much once I got it. Borrowing from the library was instantaneous! I love mine so much that I even bought one to give away to someone in the Cookies Fall Mileage Challenge :)

You will NOT regret trying out the Paperwhite--I promise! The look of the screen is exactly like a paperback book--I don't use the backlight, so the page looks identical to a "regular" book. And there is no glare on the screen (it has a matte feel as well--not like a cell phone or a tablet), so you can easily read outside. The charge lasts FOREVER and it weighs less than a typical paperback. I can't say enough good things about it!

Paperwhite Case

To go with the Paperwhite, I have this cat case, which I love! There are lots of variations in designs from that link. Jerry bought this one for me. It folds all the way around to lie flat, like you see in the above pictures.

Audible Membership

I've also been listening to a TON of audiobooks this year ever since I started my walking streak back in July. I used a lower-priced trial membership of Audible for a few months during the summer and it was really nice! I currently don't have an Audible membership because I use my library as much as possible, but if you don't have access to a library, an Audible membership is awesome. And there are some books that are only available on Audible, which makes me consider joining again.

You get an audiobook each month to keep with the Premium plan, but with both plans, there is a huge library of books on Amazon that you can borrow through Audible (if you have a membership). You can try out Audible for free if you haven't already used a free trial. Here is the Audible page to see the different options. Below is a brief comparison. I'm willing to bet they'll have a special deal for Black Friday shopping.

A Boudoir Photo Session

I cannot stress enough how life-changing it was to have a boudoir photo session! I felt AMAZING and so beautiful and sexy and all the positive words you can imagine when I was doing this photo shoot. I wasn't even at my goal weight! I encourage ALL women to do this, even if it's just for yourself. Photographers who are familiar with boudoir will know just how to have you pose so that it's most flattering for your body type.

Even if you really dislike your body (I certainly wasn't happy with mine) the poses are extremely flattering. I have always hated my stomach, even after having the excess skin removed, but this is one of my favorite photos that I had taken. You can still see my stretch marks if you look closely, but I asked the photographer not to remove them with Photoshop. I wanted to look like ME, but just with the best angles ;) And using the black and white in this pose helped, too. It's funny--when I look at my boudoir photos, I think, "I want that body!" and it's so strange to think that it IS my body. 

Everyone always says that they want to wait until they are at their goal weight before doing a boudoir shoot. But I PROMISE YOU that you will love your photos, no matter what weight you are at! The shoot itself will make you feel like the prettiest, sexiest woman on the planet. (Assuming that you have a good photographer--mine were done by Catherine Kellie.) Regardless of what my weight is, I plan to get another session for my 40th birthday (just over a year away). You can read a guest post here by my friend Caitlin who lost 240 pounds and let me talk her into a boudoir shoot!

Brooklinen Sheets

This is another product that I tout WAY too frequently, but I just can't help it. I adore my Brooklinen sheets! I have two sets--I've used the Luxe Sateen for a few years, but I recently tried the Percale and I LOVE THEM. They are my new favorite and I plan to buy another set to rotate when I wash the sheets. They are SO comfy and the percale sheets feel like the "cool side of the pillow" all the time.

If you use this link to buy $100 worth of stuff, then you'll get $25 off (and I'll get 1,000 points to use in the future). 

A Hammock

This is completely random to put on my list, but it's truly one of my favorite things. I wish I was able to use it more often! I first tried one when I ran the Ragnar Relay Key West (my brother brought one with him and I tried it out). After that, I knew I wanted one!

I read a ton of reviews on Amazon and ended up buying this one by Winner Outfitters. I'm more than happy with it! I was very intimidated to try to hang this thing up, and then I was shocked at how easy it was. It took me about 60 seconds. I love to lie in it and kind of curl the edges around me so I am in a little cocoon with a book or playing Best Fiends on my phone. (I bought the two-person size so that it was roomier.)

Goal Journal/Planner

Just like I'm a sucker for water bottles, I definitely have a hard time holding back on buying all sorts of journals. There are two that I have kept consistently and have really enjoyed writing in. The first is a five-year journal where you write just a little bit every day (one sentence, one line, just something short). There are 366 pages, so that each day of the year has its own page. Then there is room on each page to write something for five years in a row! For example, when you write in it on today's date, November 24, you can see what you wrote last November 24 and the one before that, etc... all on the same page. It's fun!

I also really like this journal/planner by Clever Fox. It has goal prompts in the beginning to get you thinking about what you'd like to accomplish (daily, monthly, even years ahead). I just ordered one called the Goal Crazy Undated Planner that looks very similar to the Clever Fox planner--only it's a 3-month journal, so it's more detailed. I haven't written in it yet, but I'm excited to get started on it!

Sewing Machine

After Jerry broke my sewing machine my sewing machine fell out of its case and onto the floor, breaking into several pieces, I was super upset. I used my sewing machine a lot! I missed it, but I just didn't feel like trying to find another to buy. I searched on Facebook Marketplace with no luck, and I tried not to think about it.

And then on Christmas last year, Jerry gave me a new sewing machine that he picked out himself. I was shocked! It's perfect and does everything I need it to (and more). I love that he picked it out--but it's honestly something that I would have picked myself. He did good ;)

I set this up in the garage recently to avoid having sewing stuff all over my dining room. Notice the little baggie of nuts on the left--haha, those are for the squirrels that come begging while I'm working in the garage ;)

Novelty Pajamas, Shirts, Mugs, Coasters, etc.

I LOVE novelty items. Maybe they are tacky, but they are so much fun when given as a gift to the right person. (I admit, I do buy them for myself sometimes.)

When I'm at home and I'm not going anywhere, I put on pajamas! It's a guilty pleasure of mine. And there is nothing more fun than a novelty pair of pajamas. (The top and bottoms shown here weren't together as a set--but the top can be found here. I'm can't find the bottoms on Amazon, but they were part of another pajama set.)

When remodeling my kitchen, I found some mugs that worked well with my theme. 

A few years ago, someone left me a blog comment calling me a "smug c*nt". It became a joke among my friends, which is how this t-shirt came to be ;) 

You can never go wrong with something nostalgic! I played hours of The Oregon Trail in school--elementary? Junior high? I don't remember, but I loved that game! 

Some fun coasters that I bought while I was visiting friends in Kansas City:

A Puzzle

Call me 100-years old, but I really love to put together puzzles. I especially like the 1,000-piece puzzles because they take a lot of time to sort and then work on. I used to do them all the time, but after my neck/back/carpal tunnel problems (like I said, 100 years old!) I've not been able to work on them. 

An Electric Toothbrush

This isn't a very "fun" gift, but I bought this one on Amazon in early October. My hygienist recommended an electric toothbrush because she said that I brushed too hard, which was wearing on my gums. I really didn't understand how it could be much different from brushing manually, but I tried it out. This is the one I bought.

Jerry and I both love it! I can't believe how much cleaner my teeth feel. I always felt like I did a good job brushing before, but now that I have been using this, I can see why my hygienist recommended switching. This one alerts you if you're brushing too hard, which is good for me. Even though I've only had this for six weeks or so, I highly recommend it!

Well, there you go! Some items that I enjoy and recommend. If you have a product you LOVE or really wish for, please share! Lord knows my Amazon Wish List couldn't get any longer, haha ;)

November 23, 2020

Fixing My Favorite Chair

I have been working for HOURS (literally about eight hours) on a blog post for gift ideas for the holidays, and I just can't get it done tonight. There is no way. So I'm just going to have to post it tomorrow (hopefully!).

I wish I had something great to write tonight, but because I've been working so hard on the other post, I'll just tell you a quick story about my orange arm chair. So interesting, I know! ;)

You may remember when I bought the orange chair--it was the first piece of furniture I bought for the house when I was remodeling. I found it on Facebook Marketplace and it was PERFECT. I loved it so much! Jerry and I made the drive about an hour or so away to buy it.

And a couple of weeks later, while looking for a couch, I happened to come across my arm chair's twin in couch-form. It was CRAZY how much they looked alike--they had the same fabric! I knew the couch was made in 1976, based on a receipt that was stapled to the inside of the couch; I wasn't sure about the chair, though.

Anyway, the chair remains my very favorite piece of furniture I've ever owned.

One day, when we were having a family movie night, Noah sat in the chair (he'd rather die than sit on the couch with me and his dad--*eyeroll*) and he turned sideways in it to drape his legs over one arm while his back was against the other arm. He pushed his feet too hard into the arm while he was adjusting himself, and I heard a loud crack. I was super upset! I couldn't believe it. The arm was loose on the chair and it had clearly been broken somehow.

I tried my best to figure out the problem by feeling around and poking here and there (even though the fabric was in the way). I just resorted to keeping the chair pretty much off limits because I didn't want it to get worse. But the chair was so comfortable that I couldn't just let it go to waste by sitting there, unused.

A couple of days ago, I finally got up the courage to bring it out to the garage and see if I could fix it. It was terrifying!

I'd bought a pneumatic stapler several months ago (after borrowing my brother's, I just had to have one of my own!) so I knew I could take the fabric off and be able to staple it back on. I really didn't want to do that, but I wanted to fix the chair.

So I went out to the garage and turned on my beloved true crime podcasts that I've gotten so far behind on and got to work. I used the staple remover that I bought when I decided to try to reupholster a couch (what a nightmare that turned out to be! Haha.) 

I began by removing the cambric fabric underneath the chair (the "dust cover"--I had to look up the word for what that piece of fabric was called). From there, I could see the "bones" of the underside of the chair. I didn't want to remove the orange fabric if I didn't have to.

I continuously moved the arm of the chair back and forth to try to figure out where the problem was. It wasn't obvious by looking at it. I knew I'd have to remove some of the orange fabric to get a better look. That's where it got really scary! I was SO worried I was going to ruin something and not be able to put it back together.

I removed staples all along the side of the broken arm and toward the back of the chair to open it up enough to see. I finally discovered the break in the wood that happened when Noah threw himself like the boy teenager he is across the chair. 

(Yes, you can clearly see the pet fur on the chair from this angle--I hadn't noticed it until I brought the chair out to the garage!)

I busted out my trusty Paslode trim nailer. (This was the first "real" tool that I bought by myself when I was DIY'ing the house! Got it for a steal on Facebook Marketplace.) I used the nailer--very liberally--to secure the pieces back together. 

And just for good measure, I placed a couple of screws AND I threw in a couple of L-brackets. That arm ain't goin' NOWHERE now!

Once I was sure that it was good and stuck in place, I began to replace the upholstery in the reverse order that I removed it. And surprisingly, it went very well! I had the chair back together in no time and now the arm is fixed. I'm thrilled to be able to use the chair without worry again :)

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