March 2, 2014

The Krewe of Kowalewski

Since this year I'm not participating in the raucous behavior of Mardi Gras (or St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or summer boating days, I need to plan this better next time), I decided to have a little carnival season fun with our Facebook pregnancy announcement and gender unveiling.
The Facebook announcement seen by many.
Digital invitation for Gender "Unveiling"
My main goal for having this party was to do something easy and affordable. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, because any extra money we have, I want to be able to buy stuff for the baby. Rather than buying lots of blue and pink stuff, I figured at least Mardi Gras decorations would be used again.

Now as far as gender reveal parties go, 1) they get real cheesy in a hurry and 2) we knew the sex of the baby, our guests did not. It was hard to find Pinterest examples of how to do it, so I kind of went rogue and did my own thing. Three weeks ago, our doctor was 90% sure the baby was a boy. Three days ago when we went for our confirmation, Baby K is a girl. So there was that component thrown into the mix, as well.

What we ended up with was a Mardi Gras-themed gender surprise for a few of our closest family and friends. Our house is tiny, so that was another challenge, to keep the crowd at a minimum.

I decided on Thursday that since the surprise was for our guests and not us, that we would do something interactive. An entire batch of cupcakes with King Cake babies in them. One cupcake would have a special baby with a blue or pink ribbon tied around it. I went on a quest to find ~20 plastic babies... On the Friday before Mardi Gras... Not my smartest move ever. I was nearly cussed out and got hung up on by a lady in the bakery at Rouses. Wal-Mart laughed at me. It would've cost me $63 to have 24 over-nighted from an online site. Finally, I decided to call Michaels. They weren't "king cake babies," but rather baby shower favors. Nevertheless, Friday night I acquired my babies for Saturday morning's party.

Enough with the my blabbing. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. If the way I feel today is any indication of how the party went, then it was a great party because I AM WHOOPED. My entire body hurts as if I actually was out partying at a ball all night. 
Whew. 
Pregnancy is letting me know who's boss.

Saturday morning I made the cupcakes. I shoved a baby (head-first, Kevin insisted it would be bad luck to put the babies in the cupcakes in the breech position) into each cupcake.
All the cupcakes have been babied.
The final two. I marked the bottom of THE cupcake with a piece of
ribbon and tape so I would be able to feel it without looking as I passed
out the cupcakes. Yes, I had an intended receiver of the lucky cupcake.

It's party time!
Living room decor.
Dining table decor.
More living room decor.
My first time working with deco-mesh. That stuff is not as easy to work
with as it seems. Sheesh. It was a chore to get this little swag done.
I cleaned for days and decorated for hours and this is where everyone hung out!
But we had beautiful weather, so I couldn't complain.
More of my outdoor guests.
It wouldn't be a good southern, Mardi Gras party without a tasty menu, right? Here are a couple shots of what I actually remembered to snap:
Corn salad. And yes, I added some colorful ingredients
to match the theme. I was proud of my cabbage cutting skillz.
Kevin's jambalaya. The rice had overcooked and gotten mushy by
the end of the party when I remembered to take the picture. :)
My first stab at a chicken and sausage gumbo. It was excellent.
Some shrimp did sneak their way in, though, too, accidentally. :)
 And now for the roster of who was Team Girl and Team Boy:
8 for girl, although Aunt Debbie (upper right corner) thought
there were two, so she was on both teams.
7 for boy, counting Aunt Debbie again. LOL
Apologies to Caitlin and Hugh, I forgot to get individual pics of them, so I had to crop them out of random crowd shots I got... Oops. SORRY. ;)

And for the big announcement... drumroll please... 
Grammy-to-be got the lucky cupcake, IT'S A GIRL!
We had a great time and I'm glad we had the party, but I forgot how much work it is to play hostess! Hope you've enjoyed the long version of how we pulled off a Mardi Gras-themed gender reveal party. For our friends and family who weren't able to be there, we hope you can feel like you were there with us through the pictures! :)

February 13, 2014

Blog Revival

My hero/endocrinologist, Dr. Waguespack
Hello? Oh hi, there blogosphere! It’s me. I’m still here. Alive. And kicking. I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading lately, but embarrassingly enough, NO writing. The sad part about this situation is I FINALLY have fun, happy news to blog about!

Shortly after my last post wishing the ol’ blog a Happy Birthday, I went back for a 6-month checkup at MD Anderson in Houston. My bloodwork and ultrasounds looked GREAT and I got a clean bill of health, so much so that my doctor doesn’t need to see me again for a year. JACKPOT.

In the days following that good news, we celebrated and almost bought a house (whew, what a mistake that would have been). A few short weeks later, one trip to the bathroom would change our lives FOREVER.
Dramatic, right? Don't worry, our toilet is nowhere near this clean.
I peed on an over-priced piece of white plastic and it said something like,
“OMG SHEILA, YOU ARE PREGNANT!” 
Okay so the test itself didn’t exactly say that, but that’s what I was thinking as I quietly went into the other room and said, “Kevin, will you come look at something?” I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t crazy and there was DEFINITELY a blue plus sign there. I was afraid to even touch it for fear that the blue dye would erase like an etch-a-sketch.
The faintest blue line I've ever seen. But it was there!
I even asked the ladies in my NFP group for reassurance!
(12/2/2013)
Thirty dollars and a few more tests later, I decided it was time to call my doctors. Yes. More than 1. More than 2 actually. I have a TEAM of doctors on the case for this little bambino to make sure we both stay healthy.
This is the snapchat I sent Kevin
from the Ritz in NOLA. I was on a
work trip and just had to do another test.
CLASSY! (12/3/2013)
The third and final test I took before Kevin told me I was
insane to keep buying tests! (12/5/2013)
I immediately started the lovely Lovenox injections in my stomach twice a day because of my history of blood clots in 2012. It’s a good thing I’m not the type who’d want the bare-bellied maternity shots taken, because this bruised stomach is not pretty. I’m already storing these kinds of nuggets away for when I have a piss-ant teenager who I need to put in line, “I did not give myself shots in the stomach twice a day to be talked back to by a smart-aleck teenager!” 
We told our families on Christmas Day (the Kowalewskis in Missouri) and a few days later (my parents in Mississippi). 

I’ll save that for a later post.

P.S. We have videos and they’re great.

October 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Blog!


The Project Chick lives, y'all! I have risen from the piles of thread and scraps of fabric from which I've been hibernating and leaving you, my faithful readers, to wonder what in the world I'm up to! 

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been a busy bee selling dog bandanas and have new items I'm rolling out soon. I've had two whopping big events for work this month and Sunday my handsome husband and I will celebrate one full year of a roller coaster start to our marriage.
I have high hopes that our 2nd year of marriage will be less dramatic. Well, at least I hope it will involve less surgeries. :) 
I'm going to take this ol' 2nd birthday of the blog as a segue back into writing here again. Even if no one reads it, it's good for me to keep writing.
Happy 2nd birthday to The Project Chick!
Quick request for ideas on how to celebrate a 1st wedding anniversary?! We have Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday and are trying not to break the bank... AND GO!


August 4, 2013

New look and big news!

Well hi there faithful followers. You may notice a new look to the page, well we have even bigger news to go with the new look!

We are now... The Project Chick, LLC.!

Almost 2 years ago I hatched this name to use for my blog as a way to catalog my crafty projects and now, my medical melodramas. And really, the name just kind of stuck. I am the project chick. Following Relay for Life in April, I began getting requests for more of my Dog Bandanas that I'd made to sell as a fundraiser for my team, Check Your Neck.Well my dutiful husband decided that I couldn't just start selling these things on my own, that I needed to become official. He filled out the LLC paperwork, and here we are!

Once I get going, I'll transition to a real website and/or Etsy store, but for now I'm taking orders through my Facebook page, you'll be redirected there if you follow: theprojectchick.com.

Happy shopping!

July 13, 2013

Refinishing Our Bedroom Furniture

I realize the vintage/rustic/shabby chic look is on its way out (for now, it'll be back one day), but I've had this vision of distressed furniture for a while. We've only just now gotten around to doing it. It all started with me needing a bedside table when I moved into my apartment over 3 years ago. I just happened to pick out this nightstand at an antique store that was a deadringer for one I knew used to be mine (but had made its way to my dad's hunting camp). After reclaiming the hunting camp table, I was so pleased to find out that they were, in fact, matching pieces, albeit a few differences.

Fast forward 2 years and Kevin has just moved here and is living in our barren rental house. We manage to find a beautiful chest of drawer and dresser set, in very good condition. Mix all of that together and we have nice pieces of furniture but a very mismatched look.

Ladies, you know how you can nag your man OVER and OVER and OVER about something and it never gets done? That's how this furniture has been for us. Guys, you know how you've finally been nagged enough about something that one day you snap and just say, "OKAY, FINE, we're going to Lowe's to get the stuff we're doing it today!" - well that was what happened two Sundays ago and how I finally got my furniture refinished.

Enough talking, I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

View of our bed with the 2 same-style, mismatched-stained nightstands:

Doesn't Louie have quite the "come hither" look?


My side, hence the excess of junk.
Excuse the cords, I have to keep them hidden from Louie.
Kev's side, hence the lack of junk.



The great part about the distressed look is we didn't have to aim for perfection. We had a great time doing this project, spending many late nights on our back porch sanding
priming, 
then sanding again, 
then painting, 
and sanding again 
before a second coat of paint. 
After one final sanding, we applied Minwax Polycrylic as the top clear coat. 
As fun as this was, I think Kevin is convinced that I won't be doing any painting whenever we buy a house... I am very messy, in fact I still have paint in my hair and on my arms!

Here are a couple extra photos from the bedroom:
Check out the picture of my pup the night we got him!
View of the entire bedroom from our bathroom, all 4 pieces in sight.
There is SOMETHING about that dresser leg, he's already gotten it after we finished the project!

I hope you enjoyed these photos of our bedroom upgrade. Our goal is to use this in our guest bedroom whenever we buy a house and get an actual bedroom suite for us (to include a kingsize bed).
Tell me about any funny bloopers in your home improvement projects...

June 23, 2013

Cloth Napkins, Be Our Guest

Have you ever wondered what The Project Chick does on a Saturday night at 10:30?
She gets a wild hair to make cloth napkins.
That was she does.

I'd pinned the idea a while back and like most of the other things I 
lust-over-for-a-second-and-then-forget on Pinterest it got pushed aside for other projects. 
I also had the idea when Mr. K and I were at Crate and Barrel on Black Friday
and I saw what they were charging for something I knew I could do...
So I finally did it and I'm going to make more. Super easy.
I'm hoping we'll use them instead of so many paper towels.
Plus, using a cloth napkin is just plain fancy.

If you're a faithful follower, you may recognize this Civil War fabric from the quilt I made in my 
Beginner's Quilting Class at Janet's Quilting Bee. I had enough left over to make 4 napkins.
I started with 12.5" squares.
Next time I'll make them bigger, though. 
My clever napkin folds look a little silly on such a small napkin.
I cut the corners so I could miter them later.
Folded the edges down 1/4"(ish) and then folded the corners in. 
The iron is your friend for this part.
I forgot to take a picture, but after that, I folded it down again and then sewed a continuous seam 
around the edges. Next time I'll make them bigger and might try a double sided design.

In my line of work, I see a lot of unique napkin folds, but I kind of made this one up. 
I also tried a fan design.
I had fun setting the table with our casual china. I don't believe I've ever shown it to y'all, but we still love it. 
It's Mikasa Antique White. Our fine china (not shown here) is Mikasa Cameo Platinum.
Maybe I'll bring that out once we have a bigger house. :)
I love our table settings. The flatware is Easton by Oneida.

And lastly, I just have to brag about our vegetables from our garden. The orange and pepper are store-bought, but everything else, we grew! Don't you just love that bowl? 
It was a wedding gift from Elise, a good friend of mine from college who's got a 
beautiful family of both 2 and 4-legged babies.
Thanks for humoring me by checking out my 10 pics of our old, hand-me-down dining room table. 
One day we'll have a fancy one, but for now, I love the history of this one. 

June 17, 2013

Bedtime for Louie! Doggie pillow case

I can't believe how long I've been without posting. It's kind of embarrassing. I would've updated you all on the cancer situation but I'm really just tired of talking about it.
Long-story-short: We went to MD Anderson in Houston, I'm cancer free, am not going to be having radioactive iodine, and I have this BRAF genetic mutation that I'll find out more about when I go for follow-up in November. Oh. And right now I have shingles and a new blood clot. So that's all we're going to say about that.
I've actually been getting around to doing some projects again and that's made me really happy.

Today's post is about something I made for my little guy, Louie. He's almost 8 months old now so we thought it was time to give him his own bed. Not sure if he'd destroy it right away, we didn't want to spend a fortune. So I found this super comfy bed at Marshall's for only $10.


 Only problem - it's pink and fluffy. And Louie was clearly not impressed.

Have no fear! I was able to quickly whip up a Louie-themed pillow case to match his placemat and voila! My boy now has a manly looking bed and as an added bonus I'll be able to wash the whole thing!
 So far, so good, he hasn't destroyed it!
Yet.
Yes, he drooled on it as soon as I gave it to him. He loves it!
Fun doggie print. Dogs at the park.
More projects to come! And look for an exciting development to be announced soon (and NO, it's not a baby).

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