Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Last Dresser for a While

Happy Sunday!  Happily, though I am stressed out and nervous about finding a house, affording what we need, this weekend was busy and I sold a few dressers!  Yay!  Less to take with me, thank goodness!  I have one last dresser project for you for a while... You guys will just have to bear with me as we go through this moving process.  Hopefully you will stick around?

Crickets.

OK, well here's hoping you stick around anyhow!  As soon as we find a house, just think of all the projects coming your way- room designs, furniture rehabs, TONS of goodness.  You just have to wait for it.  But for now, I will share with you my last dresser for the time being.  I found this guy the day before I flew to join my family at the beach.  He was hiding in a back corner of Goodwill.  I caught a glimpse and was quickly moving furniture out of my way.  I took a look at the price tag which read, "$30".  I ripped it off and raced to the register, throwing old ladies with walkers, and moms with kids out of my way!  Kidding.  I wouldn't do that.  You know that, right?

Crickets again.

Anyhow, I had to leave it in my car as I could't bring it into the house myself, so it sat there in my car til we returned from the beach.  Here is the before:

I knew I wanted to paint it a blue, but didn't know what blue.  I am also on a time crunch at the moment and just wanted to get it done without sanding or priming, so I wanted to use chalk paint.  I didn't have enough of any blues left.  I mixed some greek blue with the mint green I had already mixed, and threw in some old white for good measure.  All together, it created a very pretty dusty blue.  He got two coats of that blue, then I distressed him, waxed him, and added his awesomesauce hardware back on.  And here he is now...



And I remembered I do have one more big piece of furniture to share with you in August, which starts TOMORROW!!!  How did that happen so fast?
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Sharing here:
The DIY Show OffUndertheTableandDreamingDomestically Speaking

Glittery Butterfly Art and Giveaway Reminder


Today, I am sharing one of the easiest projects i have EVER done.   And I only needed 3 supplies.... a great canvas, glitter fabric paint, and a brush!  You can check out the full tutorial over at The DIY Club.


Also, a quick reminder that TODAY is the last day for my U Printing Business Card Giveaway.  Go enter!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

POWW Faves and Updates

Today was a busy busy day and I am tired!  Ever since we went under contract I haven't been able to sleep much past 5 am.  I get up and teach early classes at the gym 2-3 days a week, but on the days I don't I normally sleep til 7:30  Not this week.  So last night when I went to bed I set aside my running clothes, knowing I would be awake at 5 or so.  At 5:30 I woke, and hit the trail at 6:10.  I have to admit that at least it feels good at that time of day to burn off the anxious energy, and I get to see deer and adorable little bunnies, so it's peaceful and head-clearing, too.  After that I had a delivery to make this morning, followed by a quick lunch, back out the door for an extensive house-hunting trip, then onto a baby shower.  So tired may be an understatement... burnt out?

Househuting, ah yes, househunting.  You want to hear about it, don't you.  We found the perfect house in the perfect location for the perfect price.  It was old, charming, oozing with character, and I was excited to get my hands on it and make it ours.  It was the last house we saw and we were thrilled and going home to get our finances in order to make an offer.  Then when I was at the shower I received a text from my agent that it was a short sale.  UGH!!!!!  We had weeded out all the short sales, but we somehow missed this one.  And apparently it is double mortgaged and owes the county money, so it will be a looooong time before that is sorted out and actually sold.  What a let down.  We did find one that has all the space we need, over an acre, and just needs minor updating.  We both really love the house and land, but it's just a little more removed.  But, I think I could love it.  And the thought of this winter sitting by the window sipping my coffee while the kids sled right in my own front yard is very appealing!  It is set up on a big hill.  It could be the one, but I am going to see another that is similarly out there and has similar space, so that at least we have another option.  I will keep you posted!

Also, and update on Cora.... There is now a facebook page up and running and there is also a Caring Bridge page where you can sign up to receive updates.  She had her first blood transfusion today, and that made Heather nervous, but she was assured it was pretty standard.  We wait another 7 business days to see which (because it WILL be one of them!) of her siblings is a bone marrow match.  I had a very tearful conversation with Heather on Wednesday.  She read my blog and new I was calling to tell her we were under contract, and when I called her she answered and immediately said, "Don't talk, don't say a word.  You listen to me, do you hear me my friend?"  I said through tears, "Yes, but..." Cut off by Heather, "Just listen.  I am so happy for you, so thrilled.  You go and do what you need to do and be happy.  Be with your family and do what you need to do for them.  I have people helping me and I will need you again soon and have a list of things you can do for me at that time, but right now don't worry about me.  You take care of you."  I am crying as I type this because I was and still am in aw of her strength.  She knew I was calling because I was devastated to be moving and leaving at this time in her life.  Fortunately, we will be close enough for me to still help in many ways, but right at this very moment, I have to get my family out of this house in less than 3 weeks.  And I needed to hear what Heather had to say, because I had been feeling terrible.  She is an amazing person.  And Cora is a beautiful baby girl.  I sincerely hope you will visit her facebook page and see for yourself the smile that lights up the room.  There also will be fundraising started soon which will somehow be linked to that page I believe.

Ok, I have written enough without showing you some pictures, so let's get to POWW faves, shall we?

I am totally into this awesome dresser from European Paint Finishes!!!  Come to mama!


This table from Emily's Upcycled Furniture is super cute!  Love the mix of colors used along with the finish.  It is indeed boho chic!


This desk from Back Porch Roots is awesome!  The pattern and pop of red take this black desk from a classic black desk to funky and hip!


And finally, how smashing is this peacock colored desk from 551 East Furniture Design?  Love it!


Signing off for the night!  Maybe I will sleep past 5 am... wish me luck!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Guest: Andi from Jane of All Crafts; And Where I am a Guest Today!

First of all, not only do I have a great guest for you today, but I am a guest over at one of my favorite blogs, 3 Sun Kissed Boys  Yanet has a humorous, warm, creative, and sweet blog, and I am honored to be her friend and guest today.  Yanet also has a feature called "You're Throwing What Away?" where she reports on her own dumpster diving adventures.  So today, I am over there sharing my own trash to treasure finds.  Hope you will come see me!

And now...I am so excited about today's guest because she happens to be one of my very best friends.  Andi and I met last summer/fall when she purchased a piece of furniture from me.  We began talking, and began hanging out regularly a couple months later, when she started coming to wine & design.  We share a love of aqua, running (slight sarcasm here), 80's rap, and off color humor.  We're basically perfect for each other.  Recently Andi has put some awesome finishing touches on her living room, which I am able to see in person, and love!  I knew you had to see this room, too- I think the lampshades might be what completes it for me.  Without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Andi!

Hello fellow Primitive and Proper lovers!!  I'm Andi from Jane of All Crafts.  I am so happy and excited to be guest posting here today!  I am lucky enough to know Cassie in real life and count her as one of my best friends.  She really is as genuine and sincere as they come.  But you guys already knew that!!  My love of DIY and furniture makeovers really started with Cassie.  The first piece I bought from her inspired my living room makeover and planted the seed of my MAJOR obsession love of aqua.


 And if it wasn't for Cassie I would never had tackled my first or second ever furniture makeovers.



 I have slowly been making over my whole house but the room that has had the biggest transformation is my living room.  I'll spare you the sad before.  Just picture dark and cave like.  But if you must look you can see some pics here.  I have since had a design intervention.  Here's how it looks now:


Does anyone iron their slipcover?  Maybe I should start.
I started the living room redo almost a year ago and until recently this is what it looked like above my couch (please excuse my dirty slipcover).


 I just couldn't decide on what I wanted to do with this space.  Not sure how or when but I decided I wanted mirrors.  So I went on a quest for mirrors.  My first was from Cassie actually :-)  It's the bright yellow one :-)  After I found enough frames, I picked an arrangement.


And then spray painted them all glossy white.  Using craft paper I cut out the shapes of the frames so I could get the arrangement centered and level.  This was actually the first time I have used this trick and it was AWESOME!!  If you decide to make an arrangement on your own make sure you start hanging from the bottom up!  Another option would be to secure all the mirrors together as one single piece and only have to worry about getting that leveled and centered.  If only I had come up with these tips prior to hanging mine! ;-)


 And here is the end result.


 I love the pop of color with the yellow and how it ties into the frame on the table and the colors in my pillows.  Oh and it was all done for under 30 dollars!

I hope you guys come see me at Jane of All Crafts and say hi!  You will find everything from a recipe for the best pancakes EVER to a tutorial on how to make your own Elf on a Shelf.  Oh, and I like to throw in awful but hysterical pictures of myself for your viewing pleasure.  I'm here for you.


Thanks again Cassie!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

UPrinting Business Card Giveaway!

Standard Business Cards
About 4 years ago, I started my own business, Primitive & Proper.  I was so excited to have found a way to stay home with my kids, do something creative that I loved, and make money!  As a small business owner just starting out, one of the most important tools you need for networking and getting your name out there is....




I was on a very tight budget when I started the business and wanted needed cheap business cards.  At the time, I didn't know about fabulous companies like UPrinting and I made my own and printed them out.  I would be embarrassed if you saw them today.  So we won't show you. :)
Lucky for you people just starting out, you have access to UPrinting, and can design your cards there and order them to be delivered to your door!  They even offer great die cut business card templates so that your cards can stand out from the crowd.  Check these out!
Aren't those cool?  I love the fun shapes!  And guess what?  Or as Emmy likes to say, "And you know what?"  UPrinting is giving one lucky reader their very own business cards!  Here is what you could win...

Prize details:
250  pcs Die Cut Business Cards for one winner
2 x 3.5" Rounded Corners, 2x2" Rounded Corners, 1.75x3.5" Rounded Corners, 2x3.5" Leaf, 2x3.5 Rounded one corner, 2x3.5" Half Circle Side, 2x3.5" Oval, 2.5" Circle
14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated,
6 Business Days Turnaround *Free shipping
* die-cut business card templates available for download
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.
Please  note that if you have won a UPrinting giveaway before, you are ineligible for this giveaway.
Prize claims will be sent August 31st as the latest.


Here is how to win, and make sure you leave a separate comment for each chance!
1. Be a public follower of my blog.
2. Tell me what type of small business you own, or if you are still in the dreaming phase, what are you dreaming of?


That's it!  Easy Peasy!  You Have through Sunday July 31 at midnight EST to enter.  Winner to be announced on Monday, August 1.


This business cards giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given for hosting.. For more information about online printing services, please visit UPrinting.com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is That Confetti in Your Hair....

Party Confetti

Because Miss Mary Mac (my laptop) is throwing a celebration!  After 3 weeks on the market, we are under contract!
And now that it is real, I am totally freaking out....
deep breaths..... deep breaths....

How bout a little psychic reading...  In my future I see....

...a glass or two or four of wine to celebrate tonight! (and calm my nerves!)

...a messier house now that I don't have to have it "show ready" at all times!

...househunting... like yesterday!

... one of these bad boys:







... Lots more freaking out since I have just about 3 weeks to pack up and get out!




... Tons of new DIY and home decor projects coming your way!




...and of course the start of a new venture.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Piece of Work Wednesday Furniture Link Party Number 46: Mint Green for Michelle!

Happy POWW!  Starting the party early today as I have too much to do later... It certainly has been quite the week here, and I am kept busy with VBS this week as well (I am the photographer!)  This weekend is also already booked with deliveries, baby shower, house hunting, and spin class.  It's only Tuesday and I am already looking forward to a slower pace next week.  I also can't thank you all enough for the prayers I know you are sending out for Cora.  Hopefully we will know this week if Andrew or Grace will be a bone marrow match.  I will keep you posted on that as well if there are any fundraising efforts that are put forth.  If one of the children is a match, Cora will be home for a few weeks in August before the transplant which would be at the end of the month.   I will happily find out what items might be needed and people could ship them to me, and I will deliver to them.  Anyhow, I will certainly keep you all  up to date, and am so grateful for all of you.

Over a month ago I found a great bowfront dresser on craigslist for $50.

When I went to pick it up, the seller removed her clothes and realized there was a hole in the bottom drawer and asked me if I would still take it if I could have it fro $20.  Yes please! I know how to replace drawer bottoms, but since this was a curved front drawer bottom I wanted a hand from my dad.  A couple weeks ago I finally was able to get to my parents house and my super handy dad who can pretty much figure out anything helped me with it.  So once the drawer was fixed, it was ready!  I had a plan for it, but sometimes plans don't always work out.   I hit some glitches.

After I commented on this post by Michelle, which featured beautiful images such as this...
Michelle asked me if I had ever painted anything mint green.  I had, but it had only been the inside of a cabinet.  I thought I would give it a whirl.  I mixed up some Annie Sloan chalk paints- some Provence, some Antibes Green, and some Old White.  And it created a beautiful mint green color!  I started to remove the hardware. 
Glitch one: One screw was so stripped that it was not coming out.  I put all the rest of the hardware back on and decided to paint the hardware with it.  Thankfully chalk paint sticks to metal!
So I painted it all with two coats of my custom color.
Glitch two:  It was such a pretty color, but I wanted to antique it a little more after distressing so I waxed it and then I tried the Annie Sloan dark wax and I hated it on this color.  My soft pretty color went from a soft pretty mint green to a dirty green.  So I painted back over it and was happier again.
And here it is now... it's not my favorite color, but it certainly was fun to do something in this mint green.


So whatcha got?

RULES:
1. Furniture PROJECTS only.  No crafts.
2. Must be a new project to this party- it can be an old post, but never before linked here.
3. No Etsy shops
4. Must be a follower here.
5. Must link back by either placing my button in your post or sidebar, or a text linkback will do, too.
6. Leave some comment love for other party-goers!
I am sharing here:
Domestically Speaking

Monday, July 25, 2011

Update

Hi all.  Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers.  Please keep praying for Cora.  She needs it.  This is what I heard from Heather today from her Caring Bridge journal.   Heather was also able to have a few moments to call me today and update me before this news was received.  She is so strong and I am in awe of her strength.  Please just keep praying- that is all I can ask right now.

"The Bad and Ugly
I am sure you can tell by my title that the news today was not good.  But, if you know anything about me, I can handle anything if I can make a plan.  I can see the two tracks we could take and I can get a plan for each track.  We might fall off the track here and there but I can handle that.  (Aunt  Suzanne is gagging at the cliche'!) 
Cora needs a bone marrow transplant.  There are two tracks that this will take.  The best option would be if Grace or Andrew were a match.  There is a high success rate with this.  We would come home for a few weeks and while the transplant is prepared (whatever that means).  Around the end of August, we would do the transplant.  Cora and I would be in the hospital for several months.  I have already made it my goal to be home by Christmas. 
The second, and less desirable route is medication.  The success rate isn't as high.  Enough said!  Outside donors have the same or lower success rate as the medication.  It is also more complicated to put in outside donor marrow so medication is more desirable. 
Grace and Andrew will have simple blood tests in the next day or so.  We will know if there is a match in 5-10 days.  In the meantime we wait in the hospital and try to get into a routine with Cora.
Tomorrow afternoon I will spend a few hours with the big kids, take them out to dinner, and read a few chapters out of our book "Winn Dixie". 
Thank you to the family that sent us the gift cards.  I will use them to take the kids out to dinner tomorrow as that is their favorite place to go.  I will also stop off at Target and get Cora some pj's.  She needs short sleeve tops that will fit over her "power arm" (iv port) and long pants because she is chilly.  Thank you for your kindness!  You obviously know about the financial strain this is going to put on our family.
So, keep praying that she doesn't get an infection and her body stays strong.  Also, pray for a bone marrow match in Grace or Andrew. "

Grateful Today and Some Prayers Please

Today, I am grateful for so many things.  And today, I am asking for you to please keep a friend of mine in your thoughts and prayers.

I am grateful that we survived a 9 hr car ride home yesterday with no arguments or snags.

I am grateful that we received an offer on our house today, even if it is not quite where we need it to be.  It's a start.

I am grateful today that VBS at our church started, and Sawyer's girlfriend from his kindergarten class happens to be there.  So cute.

I am grateful that I won a giveaway at The Mustard Ceiling for an awesome Plum Street Prints poster, and I chose this one for Emmy's room... (but have yet to hang due to being in limbo with the house)
Ballerina Silhouette Print Series - 8x10 Printable Art
And if you haven't yet visited Elizabeth's blog, you need to so you can see such awesome things as this laundry room...
Photobucket

I am grateful to Andi who allowed me to barter with her.  I traded this desk for 4 poufs for my kids rooms.  Aren't they adorable (there are two of each!)


I am grateful to Rene who knew my love of owls and sent me this adorable glass paperweight!


I am grateful to my friend Heather, who is in need of your prayers right now.  Heather and I met over 4 years ago, shortly after I moved to Maryland.  Emmy was 3 months and Sawyer was 20 months when we met.  Her son Andrew was a month younger than Sawyer, and her daughter Grace was a couple years older.  We shared much in common- a love for spinning, sewing, decorating, and crafting.  She and I don't get to see each other a lot, but we are always there for each other.  Emmy suffered from ITP 3  1/2 years ago, and it was a very scary time for me, even though it was short lived.  Heather was the friend who was there for me, watched Sawyer so I could take Emmy to the hospital to check her platelet counts, and just let me cry or talk.  She was so strong for me.  She spent a couple years after that trying to get pregnant a third time, and finally after treatments was blessed in January of 2010 with Cora, the sweetest and happiest little girl  Cora is currently in the hospital, I learned while I was away this weekend.  Cora's platelets were low, just as Emmy's had been.  But it is not ITP, and it is not leukemia.  At this point in time, it looks like it could be a diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia, which would require a bone marrow donation from a matching sibling.  I am asking all of you to please just pray for Cora and her family.  And at Heather's request, I am urging anyone who is able to be a blood donor.

Lastly, I am grateful to all of you.  I know your prayers are what helped Juliet rid her body of leukemia.  I know that again, your positive prayers and thoughts will help Cora.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

POWW Faves and Weekend Surprises and Fun!

Some of you know I have had a wonderful time flying solo at home for a bit while the kids and Chris were in Seabrook Island, SC.  Wednesday night was my last night alone, so I watched a romantic movie, "Letters to Juliet", ordered sushi, and had a bottle of wine and had a nice romantic date night.... alone. :)  Then Thursday my pal Andi gave me a ride to the airport, and I flew into Charleston, greeted by my excited family!  We have been having a blast, relaxing, and hitting the pool and beach, and searching for sea shells.

Yesterday morning I saw that one of my blogging friends, Carmel of the gorgeous home and blog Our Fifth House wrote a post about having to leave beautiful Kiawah Island, SC.  If you are familiar with the area, you know that Kiawah and Seabrook are right next to each other.  I commented that we just missed each other, but it turned out she was here til Sunday, too!!!  So I had the pleasure of meeting up with her for coffee this morning.  And let me tell you that I am always in awe of Carmel's beauty (I hope I don't embarrass her too much), and I can honestly say she is even more stunning in person.  Absolutely gorgeous.  And we talked and talked, and could have kept talking if we weren't dripping sweat all over, it was so hot!  We talked about our kids, our families, our homes, and a little about how we got to where we are and where we want to go.  I felt instantly connected and could have talked her ear off for hours.  And the lovely people at the table next to us took this picture for me to remember it by:

 If you haven't been over to Carmel's blog, go pay her a visit!  She is talented and sweet, and her house is amazing... here is a little taste to whet your appetite...

And thank you again, Carmel, for meeting me for coffee!  I am looking forward to hanging out again in the future on Kiawah or Seabrook!

When I returned from coffee, the kids and Chris were all suited up and ready to hit the beach!  Here are some shots from our morning.  I tried to make sure I was in one, since I am usually the family photographer.  Here I am with my favorite bathing beauty (who is bracing herself against the wind here!)...  And I just noticed it looks like I am not even wearing a top and just have one of those black bars across my chest.... trust me that is my bathing suit top.  There's just not much in it.
 Sawyer getting ready ti hit the waves...

Emmy posing in the water.  This girl is not camera shy.
See?


Dad helping Sawyer build a sand castle....

Now we are just relaxing before heading to the pool later, then home to pack up as we will hit the road tomorrow morning.
Since I will be busy packing this evening, and probably also busy finishing the bottle of wine I opened last night (can't let that go to waste!) I thought I should take this opportunity to post my POWW faves!

I think that this idea from Katie at On the Banks of Squaw Creek is pretty darn genius for book storage in a kids room.  It looks good, is totally functional, and perfect for saving space!
img_9644
Love the colors and style of this dresser from Reloved Rubbish, but it also includes a fabulous tutorial on repairing bubbled veneer.  Check it out!

And this little table from Anne at Hello Newman's turned out sooo soft and pretty..... on the second try.  Anne decided to try something fun and funky with purple, wasn't feeling it, and went back to a color she loved.  And in the end it turned out perfectly!
And finally, I love this desk from Wildwood Creek.  I love everything about it.  I love the color  I love the wood top.  I love the legs, oh the legs!!!!  And those feet!  It's just plain awesome.

Well folks, that is all!  Tomorrow we drive home.  Meanwhile, our realtor is holding an open house, and we have some people coming back tomorrow as ours is a final contender in their search.  So send happy thoughts our way! :)  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Guest: Nicole from Home for Hire

I am so excited about this post!  When I asked Nicole of Home for Hire to be my guest I told her she could share any project or room she wished.... and when she sent this over to me 2 weeks ago, it took all my strength NOT to hit publish because it is so cool, especially for us furniture restylers out there!  Nicole has some fabulous projects up her sleeve, one of my personal favorites being this lovely reclaimed love sign!

You love it, too, I know.  Because I just heard your heart start to race.  It's that awesome.  Not only does Nicole share great projects on her blog, but she also has a fabulous etsy shop and happens to be one of my fabulous sponsors!  She has awesome upcycled and created home goods you need to see!  Anyhow, I know you will be as excited about this post as I was, since it features a project on my very own to do list!

Hello! I'm Nicole from Home for Hire and I'm thrilled to be guest posting for Cassie today. I absolutely adore Cassie's blog and am so excited to share my DIY clay knobs with all of her lovely readers :)

I've seen clay knobs floating around the blogisphere and have been itching to get my hands on some. I wanted to change up the cheap looking knobs on our TV cabinet, but I didn't have the money to buy a set of eight.

So, I set my mind on figuring out how to make my own. In the end, it cost me about 2.00 per knob. Would you like to learn how to make your own clay knobs? This project is far easier then I expected, and it was so fun to do!

Here's what you'll need:


1. Molding Clay. I used Sculpey, but there are other options (you can find a bunch at most craft stores!)
2. Simple metal knob. I picked mine up for .98 cents a pop at Home Depot.
3. Ink. I used StazOn, but I think regular ink would work as well.
4. Stamp

Here's the how to:

1. Roll clay into even sized balls. Mine were about the size of a cotton ball.
2. Roll out clay into an even circle; place knob bottom side up.
3. Mold clay around the knob; work the clay until it is smooth and even.
4. It should look like this. Or better, if you are more precise than I am! I'm not the most patient (or detail-orientated) worker :)

Unfortunately, a few of next steps were zapped out of my camera by the Nikon mob. Thankfully, they aren't top secret and I can share them with you.

5. Stamp the top. Stamp a design. Or, be weird like me, and go stamp happy and over-stamp. 

6. If you are using oven-bake clay, stick it in the oven for the time recommended. Take it out and let it cool.

Here's what mine looked like after they popped out of the oven:


7. If you are a sucker for extra-durability, you also have the option of giving them a nice coat of sealer. I did, and I think it gives them a polished look!

8. Put them on your furniture. Simple as that.



Here are a few other tips that I found helpful:
1. Make sure you like your stamp. I like how mine turned out, but I can't say I'm in love. I later realized that I should have gone with stripes! Trying to "unstamp" clay is pretty much impossible (unless you want to have smears of ink in your clay). Not cool. 
2. Take the time to make everything even and circular. Unless you're like me and a little imperfection works for you. My knobs are not all completely equal is size or perfectly round and smooth. I'm okay with that. If you're not, prepare to spend some time working your clay!
3. Just try it! It is such a fun way to add your own touch to your furniture and there are so many ways to make your knobs unique. Plus, you can make fun tags with all the leftover clay!

I hope that you enjoyed my tutorial for DIY clay knobs. If you have any other questions, feel free to hop over to Home for Hire and contact me! I'd like to hear from you :)

Thanks again, Cassie, for letting me stop by and guest post!