Category Archives: Dogs

Goodwill – Pounds of Fun

It’s been a little while now, but St. Louis was recently blessed with a Goodwill by the Pound.  It’s a lot of crazytown where books and glassware are 79 cents per pound and everything else is 39 cents per pound.  They have these giant weigh scales at the checkout that you just roll your cart up on.  My kind of party.  I went when it first opened and it was pretty quiet.  JT and I went a little more recently and it was CROWDED!!!


It’s like a last chance Charlie for all this stuff.  They push out these giant blue bin/trucks every fifteen minutes or so and take others away (for good!  Exterminate!  Exterminate!  Sorry, husband started watching Dr. Who and even I can hear the evil shrieking from the next room.)  The furniture here is usually T.O.A.S.T. but there’s always at least something to be found of interest.

Here’s what I brought home:


Sometimes I wonder why I buy things but the thought of it maybe going away (forever!) means you just have to snatch it up and sent it back to Goodwill in a few months when you’ve regained your senses. (PS – Photo-editing faux-pas – that was supposed to say “produce” not “product”.  Chalk that one up to a Friday!)

So, random I know.  Next door to the Goodwill by the Pound is Warehouse of Stuff where we picked up two somethings for my basement lair/studio-in-the-works.  But I’m still stringing that one out for another day . . . .

Here’s what was going on while I was taking my “stuff” photos.  Idiot, ridiculous, lazy-a$$ dogs.


That couch’s days are numbered — it’s soon to move into the Black Horse Studio where the guys have been recording!  See more at (Also I think JT is going to post up his latest Craigslist find there soon.  He drug me up to Godfrey, IL last week for this thing.  And that’s how I got my rugs.  #lifeisatradeoff)

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter everyone.  I should have some good stuff in the hopper next week (semi-Easter pun intended).  Cheers – CT

Fashion, For Dogs

Sophie and Shenanigan’s last set of collars, from Earth Dog, were getting a little grungy and they were starting to make us crazy with the constant jingle jangle of their tags clanging together.  So we took them off a while ago and they’ve been naked ever since.   At one point I had found a tutorial and was going to try my hand at making them new ones myself but finally realized that was just not in the cards.  We were looking like very bad pet guardians with these little wild animals in our house — what if something happened and they got out — No ID!  (they are both microchipped but when you see a dog running loose without a collar you don’t usually assume it’s someone’s pet . . . )

So I called on my good friend, Etsy!  I ordered and they did arrive.


We got them both collars and leashes from Learned Stitchworks. (Visit shop here).  Sophie’s collar is  a pattern called “Hearts Galore”  and Shenanigan is sporting “Silent Cinema”.


Learned Stitchworks also makes bow ties or flowers in a matching ribbon/fabric to the collars . . .  I’m not really supposed to dress the dogs in clothes (per the husband’s request) but I think I might have to get these . . .

They’ve been wearing them for a few weeks now and they are great!  We use the martingale style so they are a little looser while we hang out at home but then can tighten down to fit more snugly if we needed to grab them or when you clip a leash on.  This style has worked best for us because Shenanigan is kind of a “no neck” and I would feel bad if he had to wear a tight collar all day everyday.

To avoid the tag jingling, we’re going to get the name tags from Petsmart that will rivet right to the collar . . . still haven’t done that — we need to TCB on that one.

My only complaint is that the backside of the leashes are black but this is pretty standard for most of the custom leashes on Etsy.


Here’s Sophie looking regal on her sheepskin covered throne (I mean couch):


And Shenanigan — I rolled over one morning and he had taken JT’s spot on his pillow.


This is a bad iPhone picture of him saying “scratch my face”.  Because that’s what dogs say.

Can I just tell you how hard it is to get two idiot dogs to sit still for these photos?

OUTTAKE 3 copy

There were a lot of outtakes.

January – Time for changes, even if little

A new year means a new fridge right?  Not quite.  The one we bought with the house is still chugging along and while I’d love to chuck it into the alley sometimes, I just can’t quite reconcile myself with replacing something that is working.

But I did tweak the big ugly blank side of the fridge last May with some craft paper.  (See the whole post here.) My how time flies when you’re having fun.  And as the time has passed, so has the paper worn.  Turns out paper and water droplets (from the hand drying towel hanging there) don’t really mix so well . . . .


I was still reluctant to actually paint the fridge with chalkboard paint instead so I ordered a roll of contact paper that is also a chalkboard surface from Amazon.  The roll wasn’t nearly as wide as the paper was which I don’t love but until I can get on board with painting the fridge (or buying a Smeg!), this is what we get.  There were a few air bubbles that didn’t come all the way out but it was a pretty simple install process.  It was definitely a two-man job though — JT and I took turns holding the bottom away from the fridge while the other smoothed out the contact paper with a large piece of sample laminate I had on hand.


I think the contact paper chalkboard could be a great option for renters who don’t like the look of a door or cabinets — just stick a chalkboard on it (the new version of put a bird on it!).

Since the chalkboard paper was sticky-backed it freed up a bunch of our heavy-duty magnets to stick some more knives and utensils to the side of the fridge.  I gave them a crime scene-esque chalk outline so we’d know which one was in use or in the dishwasher.  Now that the holidays are behind us, we’ve been cooking at home a lot and from scratch, so having these knives within easy reach is great.  We also got a juicer and started down that path so many, many fruits and vegetables are being murdered in our kitchen.


JT wrote a little note to the dogs down at the bottom reminding them to behave.  I got very different results when I tried to coax them into modeling for the blog: Sophie was terrified and Shenanigan was nonchalant and/or impatiently waiting for the treat I bribed them with.


Little dude had to go to the vet on Saturday because we found a weird bulge on his side.  Turns out it’s a fatty but benign tumor.  Sophie’s been having problems with one of her back legs that the vet said is exacerbated by her weight so it looks like both dogs will be on the eating healthy bandwagon with us in 2013!  Good thing that the kitchen is fine-tuned and ready to go.  I’ve been doing a little work to the pantry as well and that will be an up and coming post.  Have a great week everyone!  Cheers – CT

2013: The Year of Wine

So I think we are fast forwarding through the holiday recap.  I mean, they’re done.  Gifts were given and received, food was made and (hopefully) enjoyed and fun was had by all.


(Here we are at church on Christmas Eve.  Sit up straight girlfriend! See — trying to be in more pictures equals total fail.  But I’m posting it so maybe not a total fail.)

At the end of the day Christmas had me a little worn out.   It’s definitely first world problems — we have three houses to go to and three sets of presents to distribute and open, three meals to eat . . . there are way worse things in the world to have to contend with.  But the thought of spending the holidays poolside on a cruise ship or nestled into a ski lodge with just the husband always pops up in my mind as we hustle and bustle back and forth down the highway from one house to another.

Here's where Shenanigan crashed after Christmas.

Here’s where Shenanigan crashed after Christmas.

So in an effort to relax and unwind a little more and not let the stresses get at me so much, I declared 2013 the Year of Wine.  My family was happy to comply and we were stocked up and ready to go . . . .with no real place to keep all this great fermented grape juice. I also paid a first-time visit to St. Louis Cellars for a few more . . . just in case we ran out.

They happened to be having a bubbly tasting that day (it was December 31st) so had got a bottle of Luxe for our New Year’s Eve AND 8th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

I did navy blue nails for NYE.  Blue's my color for sure.

I did navy blue nails for NYE. Blue’s my color for sure.

And yes those are our party favors from 8 years ago.  The loudest party horns known to man (and frightening to animals).  But back to the matter at hand.  Storing all this great wine.

When I started rearranging things all over the house, I had a plan for where I wanted to hang the Ikea Lack floating wall shelves.  Well I “shelved” that plan and focused on this wall instead:


(The wall with art that was an anniversary gift!) Along came a handy template for hanging purposes:


And now the Year of Wine can begin.


The wine rack was a wedding gift from friends and has been hiding in the basement waiting for a good spot to live in our tiny house.


My plan is to sip a little vino and relax in the evenings.  I guess husband will be drinking the whisky because I haven’t acquired those taste buds yet.  If you have a minute, hop over to “From the Right Bank” and read Ally’s post about living La Belle Vie and enjoying everyday moments.  It’s important to slow down and appreciate what is happening around us.  That’s what I’ll be doing when I sip my wine. Savoring my surroundings and my time with family and friends.  What will you be doing in 2013?  Whatever it is, be sure to sip, savor and enjoy!  Cheers – CT

It’s that time again . . .

. . . time to watch “Love Actually” while putting up your Christmas tree, of course!  Bill Nighy is my favorite in this movie.


I’m a little bit on the grinch-y side of things when it comes to the holidays but really I don’t mind any excuse to decorate.  Actually I think everyone might benefit from having twinkle lights up year round.  The world would be a happier, more peaceful place.

Every year I look at what we have in our Christmas bins and try a different combination.  Some years have been red and silver, one year was chocolate brown and cream,  last year I used some wicker/wood garland and so on and so on.   I decided my decorating theme for this year was “white and bright”.  That meant stringing up my new white paper-punch garland, putting all white candles on the mantel and finishing it off with Elvis in a white jumpsuit as the tree topper.  Have a look.



I need to switch out the green painter’s tape for white duct tape.  Pretty much everything is held up and/or together with some combination of painter’s tape, fishing line or green or clear metal paddle wire.


I edited down the table top to things that seemed to go with the scheme and found these cute striped napkins hiding out in our McCobb bar/secretary.  I put them out on the table with strict instructions to the husband not to actually USE them . . . That’s normal, right?

Here’s the dogs as they always are each time I take these pictures:



Sophie made a cameo in last year’s photos and I think she was in the exact same place this year.  Funny the difference (or not) a year can make.

Christmas 2011

XMAS 2011

Christmas 2012


Basically all the furniture in this room has been changed out since last year except the sofa and that’s about to be off the island soon too.  The difference in the fireplace from last year to this year is dramatic.  Here’s another view:

Christmas 2011

XMAS 2011 #2

Christmas 2012


And just for grins (or grimaces!) I found an image from Christmas of 2010.  No Sophie the dog this time, just really bad photography:


Yep, we are really loving our new accent wall and fireplace.   Once again for the books – Christmas 2012 with a bullet:


(PS – That errant power cord has been tucked back in under the sheepskins where it belongs!  It’s amazing how I notice things when I review my photographs that I never noticed in real life!)

So what’s your favorite part about decorating for the holidays (besides the twinkle lights)?  Does anyone else change their color scheme and decorations year-to-year? I know I’m not the only one!  Cheers – CT

Let’s Get Large

Large art I mean!  Art that will cover walls and have a “presence” (said in a singing Oprah voice, right?). 

Back in 2010 I got a crazy idea that I wanted a very large art piece for the bedroom.  We made a trip across the street (almost literally across the street) to Home Depot and picked up some simple trim lumber, angle brackets and a canvas dropcloth.  It was fairly simple to put together, although once we stretched the dropcloth around the frame and stapled it into place, the outer frame bowed in slightly.  We added a few more intermediary members to try to straighten it back out (to mostly no avail).


A few coats of gesso later (which you can get pretty much anywhere that sells craft paint like Michaels or Hobby Lobby) the Home Depot canvas dropcloth became a bona fide canvas.  I experimented with a few different paint layouts before deciding I liked none of them and just went with a simple brush coat of our living room wall color. (All pictures from the basement of shame.)


While it was hanging in the bedroom which had white walls from the previous owner, it worked out.  But the furniture shuffle started once again when new owners came and took away the dressers Friday after work.  That left a big blank wall in the living room.  We can’t have that!  So I looked around my piled-with-furniture basement and pulled out a low slatted Nelson-esque table and brought it upstairs.  It’s twin was under the tree (Little Walter) so I swapped that out for a stool and voila . . .


A new place for the large art.  We’re about the start painting the rest of the bedroom walls so the canvas needed to be relocated temporarily.  Now it  was maybe 9pm on Friday night (I know how to party, folks) and JT was out at a gig.  The tone on tone color was so boring . . . .


So I did what any normal/impetuous person would do and I painted it. (Sorry for the middle of the night no lights on in the living room picture.  All I got.)


I did the bottom band in the Urbane Bronze of the living room accent wall and the middle band with the paint color for the bathroom (and I already can’t remember the name or if it was the first one that we discarded . . . I’ll have to check the can).  The top band I left the wall color which is Amazing Gray (Sherwin Williams genius).  Here it is by the light of the next morning and I think Sophie likes it.  Or she’s concerned about what’s going on at the back door.  Who knows what that dog is thinking.  (And yes, if you look really close Where’s Waldo style, you can see that our kitchen counter is a mess.  Real life things like cooking and coffee-making and giving the dogs their vitamins take place in this house.)

Here’s a sneak peek of the canvas yesterday, after Christmas decorating had hit the house. . . .


More on the rest of the holiday decorations soon!  I finally got to string up my little punched circle garland and I was so happy!  Cheers – CT

Hello November.

Hello internet friends.  Where has the time gone?  It’s November and I’m not sure how we got here!

I mean I guess I realize that time has passed . . .


We had fireworks in October!  (To make up for the ones cancelled in July due to excessive heat/dry grass/fire risk).  It’s a lot different when it’s 40 degrees out!

Halloween of course.  Shenanigan was Evil Kneivel and wanted to eat the few trick-or-treaters we did see.

Perhaps that’s because the front porch light is dead.  Hey husband, can we put up the new one this weekend? 

(Found for $10 at St. Vincent de Paul and patiently awaiting its time to shine in the basement of doom.)

A sister visit and a trip to Casa Loma ballroom to see her swing it.

(Picture borrowed from sister’s friend’s Facebook page.  The wonders of the internet.)

There was a family friend’s wedding and subsequent reception at the Randall Gallery downtown. (This is my mom and her boyfriend.  Hi Mom!)

There’s another wedding on the horizon and that requires bridesmaid dresses. So there was bridesmaid dress shopping. 

And those elections!!!  This was the first year husband and I got to go vote together due to some laziness on my part in getting my voter card updated from our first apartment’s address . . .

And every chance I get I sneak down to the basement and slave over my armoire project.  I almost have it all painted (Annie Sloane chalk paint newbie here) and next up is waxing.  This thing has required so many coats and has so many sides that this may be my first and last chalk paint project.  We’ll see.

So that’s a few things that have passed the time.  What about you guys?