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Feel-Good Monday: How to Swindle Your Neighbors

When I woke up this morning, the first thought that went through my head was, “Why am I still here?!”

I know that’s not an ideal mantra to start the day, but I couldn’t help it.  I wasn’t supposed to be laying in my own bed.  I was supposed to be sitting at the airport, waiting to get on my flight to Central America.  But now as I sit at my kitchen table, breathing in the aroma of my freshly brewing coffee, I’m realizing – if I was supposed to be there, I’d be there.

By the way, if you’re curious, here is a demonstration of how I drink my coffee (excuse the extra wide aperture and shaky hand.  I obviously hadn’t yet consumed any of the much-needed coffee at the time – which was a few minutes ago – these pictures were taken):

First pour cream into bottom of cup.

katie's coffee cup

Then pour coffee.

katie's coffee

Finally, dump in prolific amounts of sugar.

katie's sugar

Basically, the resulting beverage should taste like sugar-laden cream with a hint of coffee.  I like the smell better than anything.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

So.  I guess the fact that I’m sitting here drinking a cup of coffee-flavored cream instead of having my naked body scanned in 3D at the airport means I need to figure out what to do with my unexpected, extra un-paid week.

If I really feel like getting dirty, I could paint all of our trim or clean out the garage – two things that could desperately use my attention.  And knowing me, I might just decide to start one of those projects late Thursday afternoon when I should be getting ready for the long drive up to Frederick, MD so I can chill with Erin for a couple of days before we leave.  I find I work best under pressure.

But considering I still need to pack and take care of a few other mundane things before I head out, I should probably stick to small projects for now.

Our neighborhood has a community garage sale twice per year.  Yuck.  There are so many other things I’d rather do with my time than dig through other peoples’ unwanted crap so I can let it sit in my own garage until I donate it to Goodwill because I never did figure out how to affordably reupholster that old chair that would’ve been so perfect if it weren’t covered in that awful maroon velvet or where to hang that one painting that could’ve looked so cool in a retro sort of way if my entire house was cool in a retro sort of way.  Which it’s not.

And yet every six months I find myself getting up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday (which actually isn’t unusual anyway) to get to the “good stuff” before someone else nabs it.  What can I say?  We live in the stix and garage sales bring out my competitive side.

Plus, I love, love, love haggling with people.

At the last sale I snagged this set of mirrors.  The old lady wanted $15 for the pair, but I got her down to $8.  Sucka!

gold mirrors

Now I’m no designer, but I’ve watched enough HGTV to know nothing says style like gilded gold mirrors.  Right??

Okay, maybe not.  But I thought they might look cool if I spray painted them, because while the color is awful, the detail is kinda interesting.

mirror detail

So I covered the mirror part in frog tape and newspaper, bought some semi-gloss white spray paint, and went at it.  I don’t really care for spray paint with its non-environmentally friendly qualities.  But.  I wasn’t about to try to take a brush to the little nooks and crannies of these puppies.  In the end, laziness won-out.  But if anyone has “greener” suggestions, I’m open to ’em.

Spray Paint Mirrors

I’m actually pretty happy with the finished product.  Alaina thinks I should sand off some of the white for a more antiqued look.  I think Alaina should get her ass back in her kitchen and get it finished so we can see the final pictures already.  (You know I love you, A!)

What do you think?  I think I’m done.  Unless I decide to paint them a funky teal or something, which I’m seriously considering.

Now, as usual, I just need to figure out where to hang ’em.

finished mirror


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I heart your blue-guts coffee cup and badass mirrors and your posts that make me laugh :-) I’m so glad your trip is back on track!!!


And I heart… YOU!


Thanks, Kelly! I’m not quite up to your level of artistry, but as far as wielding a can of spray paint goes, I’m… well… almost decent. ;)


Yay! This project is on my to-do list.


Everything can be improved with spray paint. :)

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