Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Porch Potty

When I move to South Carolina later this week - I will be moving to the fourth floor.  You might be thinking wow!  that will be a hassle.  And I did to, until I learned that there was a four story parking garage and my parking spot was near my apartment, so I am in fact going to be going less distance then if I were on the first floor.  The only bad part?  Baylor will need to go to the bathroom and that IS a hassle.  So I decided to build a porch potty for mornings that I am just running too behind to take Baylor 4 floors down to use the potty.  I think Baylor really liked it and I hope that it will work.

I went to Lowe's to get all of my materials and the most expensive part was making sure I had the correct equipment.  I met the nicest Lowe's employee, Anthony, and he helped me with everything!  I told him that I didn't know anything and he became my personal shopper.  I built everything in my storage unit, which was the best decision I could have ever made.  At the end of the project, I took my porch potty with me, swept the floor, and was done with it.

Not that ANY of you are interested in the porch potty... but I thought I would share with you my experience anyways if you are ever interested in building one.  This is my shopping cart before I bought the wood... nice fact to know about Lowe's - they WILL saw your wood down to the correct size.  This is a nice aspect because a good saw can become quite expensive.  As you can see I bought a staple gun (love this thing! A drill, and you definitely get what you pay for, mine was the cheapest $29 Black and Decker drill and it charged overnight and held the charge for maybe 30 minutes of continuous drilling.  BLAH.  So frustrating!  I also got a wood stain, a paintbrush, and a finish.

This was my shopping list as you can see everything that I needed.  They ended up cutting the fake grass, plywood, and vinyl matting.  You will see that my list includes bread crates - this was used in the original plans I was looking at, but decided to use stiff chicken wire instead.  The point of this layer was to create a gap between the grass and the vinyl matting so the potty stuff doesn't just sit on the vinyl and begin to stink.  We will see if this really works.  I am a little skeptical.  The stain I got is Rust-Oleum and is a oil based stain that is dark walnut.  I almost got mahogany, but they had too much purple/red in it for me.  There was definitely a need for the stain - it just completed the project and now I have it for the table I am working on.  I will give you a little hint:  the paint will not just come out of the brush by itself with water, you MUST USE ACETONE.  The acetone breaks up the oil and allows the brush to separate from the paint.

Okay here it goes the list of things to do:

1.  If you didn't get them to cut your wood.  Cut the wood in the dimensions you want.  I wanted to do a two square foot box.  Well I shouldn't have cut 4 2 foot boards because then they didn't all fit. So I ended up having to go back and cut the plywood, but it was a learning experience :)













2. After I cut the wood and nailed it together, I cut 4 scrap pieces of wood and nailed them into the wood so that when I put the plywood into the box it landed on an angle.  (it's on an angle so the potty stuff will drain out)






3. After I put the plywood in I cut the vinyl and stuck that through.  As you can see the vinyl fit through the hole at the low end of the box.  The board at the low end was cut in half so that 'everything' could drain out and I just stapled those in with my fancy smancy new staple gun.


4. Next you are going to cut the wire of your choice (just make sure it is sturdy enough to raise the grass off of the vinyl), the length and width of your box.  I chose chicken wire and folded it in half and stapled it in, the stable gun makes things so easy to place and put together.  I love it!  
5. Lastly, before you stain the wood (which I might do before next time so you don't stain the grass...), cut the fake grass and place it in the box.  I cut my a little longer on all sides, stapled it in, and then used my box cutter to cut the extra on all of the edges.  
6. Finally, I stained it - just once and I didn't put a varnish or coating on it.  By this point I was just ready to be finished with it!  I put Baylor on it and he stayed just long enough to smile and take a picture, but he wasn't too fond of it.  It will be something he needs to get used to... I might even go by a couple of squares of real grass to set on top of it??  Not sure, but I will be glad to have it, I am sure.  

Abby

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Favorite App

I have just recently bought an iPad Mini.  I heard a lot of reviews and for the most part I heard DO NOT GET IT.  But I was determined to get it, take it with me everywhere, take notes on it, and read books.  If you know anything about me - you know that when I am determined... I am determined.  I bought it and began immediately downloading apps in order to make the most out of my purchase.  I also bought this nifty portfolio thing that has a keyboard installed in it sot hat I can type on my iPad mini and on the other side of the portfolio it has a legal pad.  I took it with me to my conference in June and loved using it.

Then I began reading books off of my iPad Mini. That is a blog for another day... but my count is up to 3!  And I began another one yesterday - they just go by so fast.


The best part of my iPad Mini though is this new app that I found, and maybe y'all have found it too, but it is new to me.  Powered by Feedly.com, it is called NEWSIFY.  I got on my computer, because it was easy to maneuver and add blogs that way, but I never get on the website anymore... solely just my app.  So I began adding all of these blogs to my reading list (another perk - it uses the blogs you already follow if you are a blogger on blogspot), and putting them into categories.  Because I am moving to South Carolina, I have been following several news and local blogs from Columbia, which I obviously put in the Columbia category.  Side note:  One of the blogs, I believe it is powered by the Visitor's Center in Columbia, but every Wednesday the blogs about the top 5 things to do in Columbia the next weekend.  Let's just say that I can NOT wait to get to Columbia, man it's like a cookie jar, I can't wait to try some of these things that are going on there.










Here are some bullet points of the app:


  • Front page has both content, pictures, and title
  • After you read the story - it turns grey to show that you have already read that blog
  • It is the perfect collaboration between Google Reader and Flipboard
  • At the bottom of each blog page there are arrows, so that you can skip and go to the next story, a star so you can star the blog, a share button that connects you with different social media outlets on your device, and an unread/read button to mark each blog manually if you want.  
  • It automatically syncs when you load the page and I have not had any trouble with it.  









When I first downloaded apps to try for blog reading, I tried Feedly, Google Reader, and Flipboard.  None were as user friendly and as compatible with what I was looking for as Newsify is.  With NEWSIFY's home page, I can scan for topics that I really want to read and it is easy!  There are so many items that can fit on one page (much like my walls at home, I can fit so many different pictures and decor on them :)  I like a lot going on, it's "creative" to me.  This snapshot on the left is from my friend Kati's blog over at Kati's Get Away.  I love reading all of her stuff and I love most of all seeing these pictures.  As you can see, her blog is in my "favorites" group, much like all of you are!  If you click on her title - it opens in Safari and will take you to the actual blog page.  This is definitely the greatest app ever.  Oh and one more thing, it's kind of like mail, or messaging, it has the number of new blog posts that you follow as it updates.  As of 20 minutes ago, I had 153!  AHHH Thank the Lord for skimming and the "Mark as Read" button.  I urge all of the bloggers out there to get to know the NEWSFIY app!  You won't regret it.



I HATE NEW HAIR STYLISTS

I have a hair stylist in Conway, Arkansas that I love.  Her name is Robin Moore at Harrington and Co off of Oak Street.  If you are in Conway - use her.  If you are in Little Rock, use her.  and If you are in South Carolina... use her ( I know I will!)  I have tried, several times in several locations, to try and find a new hair stylist - each time... I end up calling Robin and setting up an immediate appointment to fix my hair catastrophes.  Today... is the worst by far.  


I have gotten perty darn good at knowing exactly what I need/want.  I like my hair more platinum, but not white - usually a 10 (with a purple or blue base) works wonders to break my base.  I NEVER have other people hi light my hair, just because my hair is so light anyway a base breaker is usually all I need.  Well home girl today didn't know what she was doing and this is what happened.  Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  My hair is lemon yellow.  Her excuse, well you said you didn't want it white.  Well, I didn't say I wanted it yellow.  Who wants yellow hair?  I looked like one of those crazy high schoolers who is trying to get Barbie hair and uses an at home kit, and it comes out looking like too much lemon juice.  Gosh it was terrible.  She has fixed it a little - Now it just looks like I have Strawberry Blonde hair which totally messes with my whole skin tone and coloration, but on Wednesday night (yes on my way to South Carolina), I will be stopping in Conway to get this hair fixed.  "A'int nobody got time for dis!"



I thought I would leave you with my little nugget of joy.  My sweet Baylor will be 2 years old on Thursday.  I can't believe this little one has had my heart for 2 years already.  I love him so much, I don't know what I am going to do with a kids one day, let a lone a husband (if that ever happens). haha

Oh and I am looking for some fun link-ups to do.  So if any of you have some to recommend, I would love the advice.  
Thanks!

Abby