Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I wanted to share a new service I found that I really like. I'm always looking for easy ways to shop since I loathe the mall, so if you have any tips for me, pass them along. Pretty please!

I spotted a Facebook ad (yes, they actually work sometimes) for a company selling jeans through the mail and offer long lengths. Needless to say this caught my attention.

***Oh my gosh, as I was typing that last sentence, the nanny came running in my room saying Davis was climbing out of his crib. Good thing the conversion kit came in today.

OK, back to the jeans. I ordered two pair and really like the quality and material. I had a little issue with the fit only because I have a smaller waist and a big booty, so I will need to have the waist taken in. Also, due to my booty problem, the low-rise is a little too low for me so I am exchanging them for the higher-waisted option.  These fit problems are very minimal for me due to my height and inability to ever find jeans that aren't $300.

Speaking of price, these are in the $65-$85 range, which is really reasonable considering how they look.  The fabric is a little lightweight so they will be great year-round in the south.

The return policy is super easy.  They just include a prepaid shipping label and a bag when they send them to you, so all I have to do is drop them at the post office.

Anyhoo, I am in no way affiliated with DSTLD, I just like what I have seen so far and wanted to share the wealth.

I just looked and I have two $25 gift cards to give away with my account, so if you want to try the service let me know and I will send you one.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Game of Eye Spy

We went to the ranch on Saturday to check the progress of the house and meet with the builder. They had only been framing for 24 hours and were making great progress.  

As soon as we drove up, I noticed something that made me unhappy, to say the least. See if you can spot what it might be.

These are the beams that will be on the front and back porches. They are pretty awesome.


I swear they haven't forgotten to do the middle. The living area will all be one big open space with vaulted ceilings that will be 18' in the middle. The front and the back of the house will be 99% glass.  It will definitely be the highlight of the house.  

From this view, the framing on the right is for two bedrooms and a bathroom. The left is the master bedroom, master bath, and mud room. The mud room was #1 on my "must haves" list. There will be a great bench to sit on to take off your dirty shoes and everyone will have a cubby to store them in. Let's see how long that will last.

This is the view from the front porch looking out into the meadow. 

Can anyone guess what I was upset about yet? 

This is the back porch. Steve had the builders extend the slab so we can have an uncovered area for a fire pit. Well, that's what he wants. I want an area to lay out and work on my tan.

Laying on the slab are the sliding doors for the front and back.

They. Are. Huge. (and awesome)

Here are the views from the back porch. Tranquil.

 The guest bedroom will be on the rear of the house and Davis' room will be on the front. We plan to build a really long table to have on the back porch and will probably eat most of our meals out there.

The master side. The door to the mud room is on the right side of the slab. The kitchen will be on the back of the house sharing a wall with the mud room.

We are going to simply stain the concrete slab for our flooring. This is a ranch house, no one has time for carpet.

Here is the view from the front porch all the way around. The hunter's cabin is right past those trees. 

This is straight off the front porch. Holler when you see the proverbial thorn in my side.

This is the last view from the front porch. Steve's parent's house is on the other side of those trees. It's nice that we are able to at least feel secluded.

All of our windows. Our builder said he has 'window envy' and told his wife they need to replace theirs. I could never be a builder; I would need a new house every year to keep up with all of the goodies my clients had.

So, that's it.  Construction is so much more fun when you don't have to do it yourself!

The framing should be done by the end of this week, then the plumber and electricians will do their thing, and then we will go up in 2 weeks to stain the floors before they hang the drywall. We figured less prep work would be required this way and the floors would be sealed in case anything spilled on them. Internet research has caused me sleepless nights when it comes to all of the things that can leave marks and ruin your floors.

If you weren't able to guess what has my blood at a rolling boil, let me help you out.

That thing is no more than 30 yards off the front of my porch. You know, the porch that you can see through the windows that make up THE ENTIRE FRONT OF THE HOUSE. It has added so much to our view. 

I am still so angry I can't really talk about it yet. I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus and say who trenched the ditch for the power line and thought that would be a great place for the utility box, but I will say that it has affected our marriage the last couple days. In his defense, no one would have expected the power company to set a box outside that would support an entire street, but still horrible planning. 

Now I have to think of a clever way to hide it. Because it sits out in the open, I'm afraid planting bushes will look awkward. I suggested a nice water feature but am not sure how safe that would be on a power box. Any suggestions??? I am DESPERATE for solutions. 

If we can't think of anything, I will be forced to paint it orange and blue.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Back to my roots.

A few months ago, as we were driving away from the ranch (not my favorite place), I finally gave in to the reality that has become my life and had this conversation with Steve:

Me: I have come to the realization that neither the ranch nor I are going anywhere anytime soon, so we have to learn to co-exist.

Steve: Welcome to the real world.

Me: I think the only way I could really be comfortable staying up there, and taking Davis overnight, would be if we had our own place. Nothing fancy, just a little place that could be ours.

Now rewind with me just a little bit. I have been saying that I want to paint the inside of our house, take up the carpet and put down wood on the second floor, redo our bedroom, etc for months but have been told that now wasn't a great time financially.

I have this ONE, SINGLE conversation with Steve about the ranch and wouldn't you know, they poured the slab for our new house last week. Within 2 weeks of that conversation, an architect was working on plans, Steve was looking into builders, I was looking for decorating ideas on Pinterest; things were underway.

I'm not complaining or resenting this project though. We have already decided that our bedroom furniture and several other pieces will go to the ranch, so I get to do some decorating here at home!

Since this blog began when we were renovating our rental house, I feel like I have come full circle and this can be the Tool Belt Chronicles again.  Huzzah!

I will try to post pictures when I can, but because the ranch is 2 hours away and we are busy, I won't have regular updates like I did with the last renovation. Maybe I will leave a camera up there with our worker (and Davis' favorite person) so he can document the progress.

About a week ago, a friend from college posted an article on Facebook that said two spaces after periods are now obsolete. Please know that I just went through and removed all of the extra spaces.

I'm trying to stay hip to the times.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Winter Has Come!

Well, not really, but Davis is all about Frozen all the time.

He puts his blanket around his shoulders and tells me he is Elsa.

He runs around the house yelling for Christoph.

Contrary to the last video (how embarrassing), he knows most of the words to the songs.

(You will need to turn up your volume for this one....he's not one to show off.)
(Also, that isn't your oven going off, it was mine telling me it was ready for my fritatta to go in.)

He holds our eyelids open and asks, "Do you wanna build a snowman??"

Then yesterday I saw him laying on the ground with his arms stretched out saying, "I can't!  The sky's awake!"

He is also convinced that thunder comes from this guy:

I thought with a boy we would avoid all of this...

What the what????

I was putting pictures in a different post and something happened.  Look at this:

Those were a bunch of individual photos that have magically been transformed into these little clips.  I would love to take credit and let you all believe I am clever enough to do this on my own, but if even one of you were to ask me how I did it, I couldn't even make something up.