Nablopomo 2015, because why not?

It’s November! And you know what that means…

 


I haven’t had the best track record with National Blog Posting Month. I’ve tried and failed epically the last few years. But I like the challenge of it. And this year, my goal is to try some of the prompts this year, no matter how ridiculous I think they are, because it’s good practice. I’ve fallen out of writing with direction, so what’s the worst that could happen?

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So, let’s do the thing again. Or at least… give it a go. Who’s with me?

TwiSnark

One of the things I love about the internet is how it brings people together, made the world a little smaller and let us experience things together, and we don’t even have to be in the same room. Our even the same country.

Sometimes, it lets us come together to experience terrible things together. And I’m inviting you all to one of those terrible things this coming weekend.

This weekend, as part of 31 Days of Twilight, we will be having a Snarkathon of the crap that is the movie Twilight, an adaptation of this horrible, horrible book I’ve been recapping the last month with my friends over on the Snark Squad website.

Join us this Saturday, October 24th at 4pm GMT, where we will live tweet while we watch the first movie. Grab your favourite snacks and booze, and tweet and follow along with us using the #snarkathon hashtag.

Jacob

I mean, you don’t want to miss out on this wig, do you? DO YOU?

HALE-NO

Currently Autumn and I’m not a complete shill

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a ‘currently’ post, so why the hell not. Here’s what’s current in my life these days.

Currently

watching: Besides watching Avengers: Age of Ultron a million times, new Fall TV. How to Get Away With Murder. It’s so bad, but I became hooked on it last year when Snark Squad recapped the first season. And I can’t say enough about Viola Davis.

But otherwise, this show is bad. And I feel that the answer to ‘how to get away with murder’ is to commit more murders seems flawed somehow…

I’m also watching the new season of Doctor Who. I really wasn’t sold on Capaldi’s version of the Doctor at first, but he is quickly becoming my favourite Doctor, second only to Eccleston’s Doctor.

And the Blacklist, because I have a love for James Spader that I can’t explain.

reading: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know. But it’s all Snark Squad’s fault. I’m one of the recappers for the 31 Days of Twilight, so really, I’m rereading it for you guys. I’m also reading Felicia Day’s book, it’s been good so far.

I finished the Allegiant series, too. And just… nope. No more futuristic distopian worlds, please.

listening: Vance Joy, still. For always. I’m really digging Georgia by Vance Joy. And I’ve basically been listening to this playlist on repeat.

making: I baked a lot of bread for Thanksgiving last weekend. Like, a LOT. Otherwise, I’m mostly just making a mess.

feeling: Unsettled and restless.

planning: How to survive the next two months without completely loosing it. And yet another home reno.

loving: Snark Squad’s 31 Days of Twilight. Okay, so maybe I’m shamelessly plugging this a lot lately. But we put a lot of work into it and it’s been such a fun project. I’ll be sad when it’s over.

My Funko Pop collection.

The fact that the Federal Election is tomorrow and I won’t have to put up with anymore of these terrible political ads for at least a week or two before they all start campaigning again.

Autumn and all the things that come with this time of year. The leaves turning colours, the cooler weather, long walks with my dog on the weekends, sweater-clad coffee dates.

 

31 Days of Snark

So ten years ago, a horrible, horrible young adult book was published.

It took everything you thought you knew about vampires and turned that on its head. It threw in werewolves and a horrible, hard-to-like heroine for good measure.

It romanticized controlling, stalkery, creepy behaviour and reinforced for teenage girls everywhere that those were the kind of traits you should look for in a boyfriend.

And we haven’t even gotten to how horribly written it was.

i'm edward cullen

In celebration of this young adult phenomenon, Snark Squad will be recapping Twilight, the first book of The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer during the month of October! We’re going all out Twilight with Twilight-themed vlogs, Snarkathon and even a giveaway or two.

Join me, Mari, Catherine and Kirsti as we recap Twilight. Starting tomorrow, head on over to the Snark Squad website for all the sparkly vampires you can handle.

Welcome to our own personal hell. Hashtag 31DaysofTwilight, yo.

 

31days

GFM Tested: DIY Countertop

As I’ve already mentioned, my chosen summer project this year was to update the main bathroom in our house ahead of the arrival of our house guests in August. It’s mid-September, so I thought it might be time to share how that project went.

I went into the project with two major goals in mind: To actually get the thing done, and to do it as budget-friendly as possible, without it looking like rubbish.

So when it came to the bathroom vanity, which is the original, built-it, metal-doored vanity, with ugly laminate countertop and rusting sink, I wanted to do my best to update the look and function of the vanity, without actually ripping the thing out.

Looking at it, though, I was starting to doubt this was possible.

The sink had to be replaced. And the plumbing redone. There was no getting around that. So, we ripped the sink out. And after a trip to a Restore (where the proceeds of the store go to Habitat for Humanity), I found a white ceramic sink for $25. It was slightly bigger than the original sink, but as luck would have it, it fit into the countertop as it was.

We cleaned out underneath the sink, the cabinet itself was also metal and cleaned up very well. So far, it was looking like the vanity overhaul was going to be a success.

But what could be done with that countertop. I’d started pricing out a small portion of counter, when my sister-in-law told me about the research she’d done into countertop-refurbishing when she was working on their bathroom. They ended up having to replace their counter, but she still had all of her research. Plus, she’d found a really fun looking tutorial that involved spray paint.

SPRAY PAINT.

So we decided to give it a go, figuring if it turned out to be a complete disaster, we could always just replace the countertop.

We used this tutorial from Pinterest as a guide into the wonderful world of countertop painting.

The sink was already out, so we didn’t have to worry about working around a sink. I’d recommend that, if you’re able. It just makes things so much easier.

My sister-in-law and I sanded down the old countertop, then wiped it down and dried it with microfibre cloths. The tutorial warned that you really have to make sure the walls and other surfaces that you’re not doing to be painting are covered well, so we taped off the walls around the countertop, then covered the walls and vanity cabinet with many layers of newspaper.

Then it was time for the SPRAY PAINT.

We were so excited. But the actual spray painting went fast.  Too fast, if you ask me.

We followed the tutorial pretty closely, except for a few minor changes:

  • We used a white base coat
  • We used 4-5 coats of the stone accent spray paint, but that was because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I screwed up a spot on the counter top and had to fix it
  • I didn’t sand it nearly as much as was recommended in the tutorial
  • We used the Minwax as a sealer from the beginning and I did 3 coats of that

I’m fairly happy with the final results. We’ll have to see how it stands up to use, but I figured that if the woman who wrote the tutorial had success with this method in a kitchen, it should hopefully holdup well in a bathroom?  We’ll see. Either way, this was my favourite part of the bathroom project and now I totally get the appeal of being a graffiti artist. Watch out, Banksy!

Sometimes, I write things elsewhere

I think one of the reasons why I’ve kept a blog of some form or another for the last eighteen years is because I like to write. It’s a pretty selfish endeavour. When I studied journalism at school, I always toyed with the idea of making a career out of writing.

But then life happened, and writing became more of a tool I stuck in my toolbox along with my ability to develop strategic media plans and wrestle vendors.

I do still enjoy writing. I like to use it as a creative outlet. A lot of the stuff I write never sees the light of day. A lot of it is rubbish. Most of it is self-indulgent.

Snark Squad!

But then, sometimes, I get asked to recap a horrible teen drama from my youth. And I jump at the chance. So go see my writing published elsewhere. This week, I’m recapping an episode of the OC over on the Snark Squad site. Check it out.

 

Tackling home improvements, DIY style

For someone who claims to hate the upheaval that comes with home improvement projects, I certainly engage in that activity often. In the six years since we bought our home, we have undergone four major home improvement projects. And we’ve decided to tackle another one this summer.

For the most part, we’ve been pretty hands-off with the actual work. We know our limits and have hired professionals to install the new vanity and sink in the ensuite and the new kitchen. Last summer’s main level floor replacement was the result of water damage, so again, professionals were involved in that six week process. Painting is something I feel comfortable handling myself and my brothers helped install new floors in all four bedrooms, as well as the main entry way and kitchen. I’ve never been super confident in my own handiness, but this summer, with M back at school, there wasn’t exactly room in the budget to hire pros.

Unfortunately, a leaky toilet, stopped up sink and general ugly gloom of the main bathroom wasn’t going to cut it when we have guests coming to stay with us for a week in the middle of August, so…

This room has been in desperate need of an update. We didn’t paint it when we moved in. I’ve been ignoring the paint stains on the floor from the previous owner. I’ve tried not to look too closely at the out-of-date countertop. I pretended not to notice that the toilet was while and the sink was off-while, caulked with almond-coloured caulk. It’s the only room on the entire upper floor that hasn’t had any work done to it. So it’s time.

Time to tackle another home improvement project. And this one, it’s going to be DIY all the way.

The plans for this hopefully cost-effective bathroom up-date are:

  • Replace sink & plumbing under the sink
  • Replace toilet
  • Update countertop
  • Paint walls & ceiling
  • Update flooring

Fingers crossed that we’ll survive this and that the main bathroom will be useable once we’re through with it…