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On Flying Time

It’s almost the middle of 2015, and as with most years, progressively faster as I get older, it kind of just snuck up on me. The good thing about being an adult is that you can have unlimited, unfettered fun. The bad thing about being an adult is that time absolutely flies when you’re busy and enjoying life.

Even when you aren’t enjoying life, and instead are experiencing lots of hard prickly parts, time just slips by, allowing you less space to fix whatever feels wrong or incomplete. It’s at those exact moments that I wish time would sweep out from under me and run fast into the future. I wish I could skip the bad parts, or speed them up: grab the minutes and hours when I feel completely lost and unsure and toss them deep into the ocean.

Sage advice-givers will correct me and say that these moments are what truly build the essence of us. They’re what create the fabric of our character and personhood… it’s always the struggles (internal or external) that make us who we are. And YES you are right. This is true, I bow to your wisdom.

But that advice will never assuage the really difficult times when I question who I am, what I’m doing, the decisions I’ve made and the future I’ve envisioned for myself. I struggle with relationships, my career, my personality (perceived and real)… in figuring out what I really want in life and in love.

As with every year, every month, every day, I’m working on improving myself and feeling better about who I am right at this very second. I’m working on treating people better, focusing on the really important things and going gung-ho after what I want.

It’s all trial and error. I guess LIFE is just trial and error. And if we’re lucky we have a person or two to mumble through all that with. It feels important to say there are a few people that love me for me, personality flaws and all. Those are the people I carry in my heart, and in my mind, when I’m psyching myself out about something or edging close to a mini-breakdown. So thanks, handful of people who likely won’t read this — you make my life a little more awesome, a little more solid-feeling and a lot more hopeful.

My mission for you today: find those rocksteady people in your life and be the person to them that YOU need.

Psych Fest 2015 - Brett and Shrie

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Lazy bones

This weekend I didn’t do much of anything.

Okay, I lied. I did some homework, ate a load of delicious homemade eggplant parmesan and alfredo fusilli, folded a bunch of clothes, did all the dishes, painted my nails, watched a lot of TV, went swim suit shopping, hit some yard sales and walked the dogs. There was NO volunteering, NO freelancing, NO busy work. It was free Shrie time. I was totally and undeniably lazy (for me) and I loved every second of it.

I think I may need more weekends like that, now that you mention it….

the cheesy homemade nemesis

yard sale haul

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Impromptu BBQ

On the weekends the Spangler household can usually be found filled to the brim with yummy home-cooked food, scads of close friends and a bevy of potluck dishes sitting all lined up in a row on our long kitchen bar. We are the potluck household, and more often than not our weekends are spent in preparation of/enjoying/cleaning up a BBQ, themed potluck or snacky get-together.

awaiting BBQ friends

Brett loves to cook, and to entertain, and I… well, I just like to eat and hang out. So when Wednesday rolls around and we start contemplating our weekend plans, inviting friends over for food, merriment and booze is usually in the cards. Last Friday we had some dear friends of ours and their two adorable littles over for an evening of pot pie and wine (they brought dessert!). If you only make one pot pie in your life, use this Ad Hoc recipe. You can thank me later.

Ad Hoc pot pies

This past weekend, since Brett just got his new Weber Smokey Mountain smoker (the super expensive smoker he bought has never worked right and has caused him a whole lotta grief, but that’s another story…) he was itching to try it out. Our maiden smoker voyage was a might tasty brisket! Brett also made deviled duck eggs, vegetarian baked beans and a pink lemonade icebox pie. YUM. About eight of our amigos came over with their potluck goodness, including: roasted cauliflower, vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, fresh corn and zucchinni salad, sliced watermelon and German potato salad.

Weber Smokey Mountain

smoke rings in the brisket

After the BBQ madness, on Sunday I took Clem for a long walk along the lake on a sunny mid-80s day here in Austin. It was gorgeous, and a great mother-son field trip away from the house. We let Dad stay home and mow the front yard (with Iris enthusiastically looking on from the front porch). And then I promptly tripped and fell taking the trash out when I got home and sprained my ankle. </weekendfun> At least I ate good food and drank nice booze eh?

Clem dog

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A wee taste

So you want to know what’s up in the world of Spangler? We’ve slowly been hanging art and such in our house. The process is slow… we got burnt out after our painting marathon. Want a wee taste via really grainy Instagram (follow me @shrielenee) photos? Sure you do!

Hang tight for a real deal house tour… you know, when we get everything set up just right. So FOREVER from now.

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Paint fumes

So we’re painting. And taping. I swear, I probably spent six hours JUST taping everything off. I mean, we may be newbies to this homeowner/DIY home project stuff but I don’t want it to look sloppy!

But the painting… painting one or two rooms turned into painting every room but one. Once we patched some holes and got matching paint to fix it up, we realized our “matched” paint doesn’t really match. So we had to paint that whole room again.

It’s going to look good (at least I’m clinging to that idea), so we’re trudging forward. Word to the wise though:

If you have a 1400 sq. ft. house to paint + one week in the evenings to accomplish it + one other relative newbie to painting = you should GET HELP. And I don’t mean your friends. No one wants to help you paint your house. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing to at least lend a hand and speed the process along.

That being said, we now know how to paint an entire house now. And I’m riding high (and almost throwing up) on those glorious paint fumes…

the whole set of BEFORE pics of the interior of the house

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I can see our new house from next door

So we’ve closed on our house and are in the process of acquiring the multitudes of “house stuff” that we need. Since we didn’t use all of our downpayment money for the downpayment, we have a little bit of wiggle room. Instead of getting sparkly new countertops (we’ll do that in the summer with our work bonuses) we opted for brand spanking new appliances! Stainless. Fancy. Brett’s going to be doing a LOT of cooking with our new doo dads. And hey look! Our new stove comes with both a chicken nugget AND a pizza button. Neat. (guffaw)

We’re also going to do a little painting, some storm door installs, more attic insulation and some house weatherizing. For the attic insulation and the weatherization we’ll get a bit back from the city energy company to help compensate for the cost. Plus, our utility bills shouldn’t be quite as high as they normally would. Which is good… have you lived in Texas in the summer? Yeah.

We bought this cute buffet hutch thing from Modern Salvage here in Austin, and we think it will be just DARLING in our open kitchen/dining area. I want to put our vintage mugs, antique percolator and other fun kitcheny items in the top glass shelf area. I’ve been on the search for the perfect, affordable vintage dining table but so far have come up empty. In lieu of vintage we may purchase one these expensive (I’m kinda cheap, okay!?) Industrial Dining Tables from West Elm, though I wanted this angled leg table because it was expandable AND cheaper. But now it’s discontinued. BOOO.

True to my crafty inclinations, I’m also slowly working on a larger-scale embroidery of the front of our house. I wanted to commemorate our first house purchase! I’m excited to get it finished, though I’m in the very beginning stages of making it. I can’t wait to hang it up on the wall of the very first house we have ever owned!

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Just so you know, I’ve been bewitched and beguiled by Pinterest. I resisted, OH HOW I RESISTED. But it nabbed me anyway… and at the most perfecto time because we… just bought a house!

The journey so far in house-buying has been a bit stressful. We didn’t win a bid on the first house we THOUGHT we wanted. Then we had our other option picked out and we were just SO sure of it. So damn sure. It was perfect for us, mostly. The backyard was perfect. And I mean that… perfect.

But then, we just couldn’t get our neighbor’s house out of our heads. We’re good friends with our next door neighbors and had been to their house many times. We admired it’s style from the first day we moved into our rental. And then it went up for sale. We joked HAHAHAH we could move in next door. That idea was so funny… but we didn’t want to stay in our neighborhood. Or so we thought.

We finally gave in. We decided that even though it was a bit smaller than we were hoping for, and it would be super duper hard making a large financial deal with a good friend and neighbor, that it just seemed like the house for us. And it was right there, all along. I don’t want to jinx it y’all (waiting on final financial dealings to clear!) but we’re SO excited to have a place of our own! It means so much more that we’ll be living in the space that our friends and their wee little girlies (and four pets) have called home and cared for over the years. It’s a good step in the right direction for us…

I won’t tell anymore, for fear of spoiling the surprise (and jinxing our first home-buying ordeal). But we love our new place. And I’ve ALREADY put together a Pinterest inspiration board for it. What do ya think?

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Tempting Tutorials: twisty ties, custom tiles, newspaper bags

This is “Tempting Tutorials” round two! I’m loving that I can gather these ideas that I see everywhere in one place so I can refer back to them later. I sooo wish I was independently wealthy so I could sit around all day doing project after project, crafting awesomeness at every turn. Oh dreams..

Here are four very practical, simple and pretty tutorials to brighten up your lives. I REALLY want to go make these twisty ties right this second!

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Tempting Tutorials: hydrangeas, bows and household cleaners

I’m trying something new… sometimes more scheduled and organized to help me break out of my blog rut and be more productive! Let’s start with “Tempting Tutorials”, a new feature I’m going to try to put together every so often (maybe once a week) to showcase some tutorials and DIYs that I really wanna get my hands dirty with. I see so many fab projects, and my little hands only have so much time to complete them… so I’m passing them on to you. A little inspiration perhaps?

I used to LOOOOVE taking those little tissue paper pieces, sticking them on the end of my pencil and then gluing them down on paper to make shapes or artwork when I was a kiddo in school. It’s so inexpensive and fun, and Cathe over at Just Something I Made takes it that elementary school idea and turns it into a bright and elegant project with her Tissue Hydrangea Pins. Plus, you’re reusing and recycling items you may already have around your house. Win – win!

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The Adventure School

Once upon a time, after already completing a regular degree, I decided to go back to school to learn Web Design. One wedding and a while living in the (expensive) NW later I had to take a sabbatical.

This website has reaffirmed my longing for my web design goal. I WILL learn it. I will… someday. (Be sure to click through to the awesomely animated site)


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