Friday, January 29, 2010

Still Progressing

The kid's section at the new Macon store is almost "done"...done in quotes because it'll never be completely finished--we'll always have more books to put away, straighten up, sell, etc.  But almost done to open in time on the 6th of February. 

What looked like this a couple days ago:

Now looks like this:

Yes.  Thanks.  The applause is nice. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to Get Things Accomplished: Pantry and Valentine's Book Wreath

It's all about the hair.  You have to make sure you put your hair up properly to get things accomplished.

Last night I worked on the pantry.  It went from this to this:


Here's how...
First, put your hair up (remember, I told you it was all about the hair):

Then empty out your space.  You'll be amazed at how much you stuffed in there!

Not so pretty, but clean it out really well and then put in the paper.

Then you have to decide how to organize things.  I basically put everything that Shane could fix for himself in the front so he can get to it easily (ok, this pretty much means just the canned soup....), baking stuff in the back, and then threw the "loose" items into a couple baskets (From Pier 1).  By loose items I mean anything not in a box or can.

I'm really pretty pleased with the result.  You may or may not have noticed that I don't have doors on the pantry.  And that it's tiny.  And that it's not really a pantry at all.  And it isn't.  Not a proper pantry, anyway.

It's where the oven used to be when we moved it.  It was one of those ovens separated from the stove so we had to take it out, cut into the cabinets to install a new stove/oven and we were left with the big hole in the cabinets.  It just hasn't been worth the time, effort, and money to do anything with it.  Anyway, at least now it's semi-nice to look at.

In other and more exciting news, I made my copy-cat version of the Valentine's book wreath I showed you in the last post.

Of course I had to put my hair up first:

I got a haircut today, can you tell?  Anyway...ta-da!

I know Flower Patch Farmgirl put a lot more time and effort into hers, but this is what I had energy for tonight.  I also know that she used a cute red ribbon and I just used a ponytail holder that was sitting around to hold it up, but that's ok with me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine Book Wreath

I'm working in Macon again today (and tomorrow) but I wanted to make sure I showed this:

Flower Patch Farmgirl may say she's not crafty, but she's obviously telling a fib.  Here's how she made it.  This is definitely NEXT on my project list!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here's what I was working on yesterday.

This is the back section of the new store in Macon--the Teen/Young Adult/Children's section.  Yes, it is as bad as it looks, but pretty soon we'll have all these books sorted, priced, and the shelves filled up.  We are making progress.

Plus, we get to spend time together.  Not really quality-time together, but being-in-the-same-building-time together, and that's good enough for me.

I have also been working on the pantry and hope to finish it up tonight.  I like progress.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Working Hard Today

Shane and I are going to be working on the Macon store today.  We have less than 2 weeks to go until our target openning date of February 8th.  Hopefully will get some good pictures today I can get up tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Got Nothing

Got nothing today.  Shane and I are working like crazy people to open our new store in Macon by the 8th of February.  The Macon Telegraph did a story on retailers in the area where we're moving in and included us.  You can see the article here, scroll down a little until you see "New Bookstore Coming" about halfway down.

Or just read it here:
New bookstore coming
Another midstate-owned business, Gottwals Books, expects to open in the North Park II shopping center the first week of February, said Shane Gottwals, who owns the business with his wife, Abbey Gottwals. Some renovation had to be done, such as installing shelves and painting, to get the space ready, he said.
The company, which sells used books it gets on trade in, first opened in Warner Robins in March 2007 and opened a store in Byron this past summer.
“It has done well enough that it prompted a Macon location,” Gottwals said.
Also, the rocky economy contributed to the decision to open a Macon location, Gottwals said.
“We had been turned off by Macon ... the good areas have been so expensive,” he said. “With the recent downturn in the economy, we have been able to get lease terms ... we can afford.”
About 95 percent of its nearly 50,000 books it sells are used, but it has “a lot of new releases ... and we special order new books,” he said.
It’s not a Christian bookstore, but Gottwals said, “we’re definitely a Christian-run company. We do weed out the trashy romance novels and things like that.”
“Anything bought from here is guaranteed for half back in a store credit, if it still has our sticker on it ... even five years down the road,” he said.
Gottwals said he has hired the two people who will work at the store, but he may have to add workers if business picks up.
Tentative plans are for the store to be open 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, except Wednesdays, when it would close at 5 p.m. It will be closed Sundays.
“We see a lot of potential for this side of town, especially with Carol’s Linens coming.” he said. “It has a lot of visibility. If people can see the name, they will come in.”

 In other news, I got to hang out with a couple of my favorite people Monday and Tuesday.

My Uncle Paul and Aunt Laura are missionaries in Argentina.  We see them every couple of years when they're in the States for furlough. 

I'll try to take pictures of the new store next week so you can see the progress we're making on it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Curtain AHA! Moment

Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating an apple, waiting for Shane to get home, and staring at the curtains in our den.  All at once.  I know, what skill.  Anyway, I was thinking about the curtains because I hate them.  I have no idea why, but I liked them when I first got them...

{What do you mean it's time to take down the Christmas wreath?}

So there I was, munching on my apple and thinking about how much I wanted new curtains for the den, and it hit me.  BAM!  I could just swap the curtains from one of the guest rooms!  I thought that MAYBE they would be perfect for the den.

Five minutes later I was very happy.  These curtains are beautiful and they'd been hidden away in the little-used guest room.  Now I can enjoy them every day.  They even tie all the green in the den and kitchen together nicely.  They are raw silk and look a lot like these.  I got them with a gift card we got as a wedding gift.

So that got me thinking...what other things in my house can shuffle around to give a space a fresh look?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm not a very cool person.  But I wear these shoes and pretend that I am.  Or someday could be.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Valentine's Day Decoration

NEVER EVER have I EVER decorated for Valentine's Day.  But my apothecary jars were looking a little sad after Christmas so I Valentine'sed them.

Red feathers in one (I'm not crazy about the glass etching on that one--I may turn it back around), Sweethearts (the self-proclaimed "The official candy of Valentine's Day), and some red hearts I cut out of of some left-over-from-Christmas velvet ribbon.  I may (or may not) get around to replacing the candles in the lanterns with red ones.  Wish I had pink pillar candles.

Do you decorate for Valentine's?

Currently Reading

I kept hearing about this book after I read Graceling last year and loved it so much.  So when I got a copy of Princess Ben in at the store, I saved it for myself to read.  It's not my favorite, but it's pretty funny and lighthearted so it's a good right-before-bed read.

At work I'm reading Friday Night Lights.  Partly because it's on the reading list for one of the high schools around here and I want to be able to recommend it.  Mostly because I'm obsessed with the tv show.  Seriously.  I love it.

In my car, I'm listening to Born to Run.  I've had a couple customers ask for this one so it got me curious.  I'm about 1/4 through it and really enjoying it.  Definitely glad I got it in audio and I'm not trying to read it.

In other news, two of my favorite people in the whole wide world are coming to visit today.  My Uncle Paul and Aunt Laura, who are missionaries in Argentina are on furlough and coming by.  Hooray!

Linked to J. Kaye's Book Blog for What are you reading Monday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Favorite Things Friday + VOTW

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday.  I like to take Fridays to look around my house and appreciate the things I have.  I seem to spend a lot of time in I-wish-I-had and so Fridays I take a step back and go to I'm-so-glad-I-have.  AND I'm linking up to Amy over at Design-Aholic for her Victory of the Week McLinky.

Today I'm going to make good on my promise to organize my kitchen cabinets and drawers. 

Monday I showed you this:

 The truth is, I don't think this picture looks too bad.  What you can't see, though, are the knives hiding underneath everything else and the way that the drawer doesn't shut unless you shake everything around to make it fit.  You also can't see the junk drawer to the left and the equally messy drawer to the right.  You CAN see my yellow measuring spoons, though.  I love those little guys!  You should get some yellow measuring spoons.  I promise you will love them!

Now the drawers look like this:

I got a couple drawer dividers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I found these in the closet organization section.  They have a ton with their kitchen stuff, but none that were the right size for me.  I took everything out of the drawers and decided what stuff I needed to keep (actually, I think I kept it all).  I moved all the junk drawer stuff to a smaller drawer on the other side of the kitchen.

Then I got to working on the lower cabinets.  What once looked like this (notice the potholders on the door):

Turned into this:

And finally this:

This really requires no explanation.  I just emptied everything out onto the kitchen table, got rid of the lids that didn't have matching bowls anymore and such, put down some pretty green contact paper from Target, and put everything back in.  Easy-peasy.  Turns out I don't have too much stuff, I just had a lot of stuff thrown in there haphazardly. 

Remember this picture from Tuesday's post (from Real Simple)?

Here's what I did with the cooking utensils I use most often:

I didn't have a cute orange spatula, but I do have a pink rubber spatula from Williams Sonoma.  The summer my cousin, my brother, and I all got married my aunt brought all the girls in our family rubber spatulas in different colors.  I picked pink because it made me smile.  Still does.  I just love that little guy.  And see that white milk jug?  I picked him up at Goodwill a few weeks back.  I didn't know what to do with him and turns out he is perfect for holding my wooden spoons!

Earlier I told you to notice the potholders on the door of the lower cabinets.  Putting them there always seemed like a great idea.  It's right by the stove and the pans, after all.  It just never felt right to me.  I always wanted to keep them on the counter.  Then I saw a picture somewhere of potholders hung up along the backsplash.  Duh.  That makes so much more sense.  And since my mom got me some pretty green striped pot holders for Christmas, I like looking at them!

So there you have it.  A BIG thanks to Amy for hosting Victory of the Week.  It was a great motivator for me this week!  And thanks for letting me point out a few of my favorite things, too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The people of Haiti are in my prayers today. 

Hurricane Katrina 2005: At least 1,836 people lost their lives in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods.

10,000-50,000 expected deaths as a result of the earthquake in Haiti yesterday.  And even 50,000 is a conservative number compared to some estimates.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dayspring Customized Signs

You know I LOVE The Nester.  So when she told us about Dayspring's new customizable signs you know I had to go over and play with them.

Like everyone else, I'm obsessed with seeing my name on everything.

And monogram

Or how about the last verse and chorus from my favorite hymn?


Looks like the signs are all $39.97 and customizable enough to be unique but not so customizable that you have to come up with a design completely on your own.  I like that.  I like being creative without necessarily having to be creative.

New Chandelier

Here's my first "crystal chandelier".  I have to use the quotes because she came from IKEA for $39.99.  I somehow don't know that she counts as a real crystal chandelier.  I don't hold that against her, though, because to me she is beautiful and just perfect for our new downstairs entry!

Check her out here at IKEA's website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kitchen Organization Plan

I'm been reading up on the best way to organize kitchens and here's the best advice I've found.  It came from Real Simple's website:
  • Take inventory. Pull all items out of the cupboards and place on a large table. Put things into groups, creating a loose hierarchy based on how often you use the pieces.
  • Let usage dictate storage. Keep frequently used cookware immediately on hand. Stow things you use every now and then, like muffin tins and cookie sheets, in a less accessible cabinet. Move items you use only once a year, like the roasting pan for the turkey, out of the kitchen altogether.
  • Organize cupboards with access in mind. Position heavy things below the counters, lighter things above them. 
  • Organize items by type. Pots and pans should be grouped by kind and placed one inside the other, from smallest to largest. If you have room, it’s best to keep lids atop their pots or pans; otherwise, arrange them from smallest to largest and keep their partners close by. Put all the bowls in one cabinet and all the baking pans in another to ensure that you’ll always go to the right place
  • Put walls to work. Hang up racks or pegs to keep favorite utensils, pot holders, and dish towels in plain sight. 
They have a lot more tips in the article, these are just the ones that were more relevant to me.

I also found something to do with all my white pitchers!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mission: Kitchen Organization

I've really had my kitchen on my mind lately.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to wash all the dishes every night before I go to bed.  I really hope this resolution sticks and turns into habit!

Last week I cleaned my refrigerator.  This week I want to tackle this:


Lower cabinets


I MUST deal with this before I go crazy.  I also keep telling myself that having a clean and organized kitchen will make me like cooking more.  I don't know if it's true, but I think it is.  

I got drawer dividers today and am planning on repurposing some baskets I have for the pantry.  Any ideas/tips are welcome.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday.  I like to take Fridays to look around my house and appreciate the things I have.  I seem to spend a lot of time in I-wish-I-had and so Fridays I take a step back and go to I'm-so-glad-I-have.

This is definitely a work-in-progress.  Shane got this frame free from someone who was moving.  I'm not sure why they gave it away.  It could be the fact that the frame is almost entirely plaster that is chipping away.  And it's hideous.

So one day I had Shane lug it outside so I could Heirloom White the frame.  (What do you mean that's not a verb?  I just made it one!)  It turned out pretty nice and worked well in our den during Christmas.

But then it looked too blah after the decorations came down a few days ago.  So I've started to do a light glaze on it.  It's a light gold-silver kind of color. I started at the bottom of the frame since that's what I could reach easier.  You can see where I stopped, just about in line with the flash from the camera. 

I meant to finish it last night, but I had to fix dinner and just never got back around to finish it.  It's nothing fancy, but it gives it just enough shimmer to add a little something special.  And something special sounds nice right now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clean Fridge

I cleaned my refrigerator today.  I took out the shelves and scrubbed them down.  It was super easy and took me about an hour.  Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and I are best buds now.  After I cleaned everything the food applauded.  The pickles were especially happy to have such a clean home.

Linked 01/08/10 to Design-Aholic for VOTW.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


THIS is what we had for dinner last night.  It looked so pretty coming out of the oven I took a picture.

And then I opened the oven and took a picture of the bread.  Because I'm cool, that's why.

And then I took a picture of my half-iced cake.  Sorry you don't get to see the final product.  We started eating it pretty much right away.

Since I'm sure you're dying to know it, here's the recipe for the Ziti Pasta:


  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped (I usually leave this off because we don’t like onions)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (something seasoned with lots of flavor—I like garlic & mushroom best)
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream (I tried ricotta and cottage cheese, too but we liked the sour cream in it the best)
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (I use more, to cover the whole top--like, 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I usually leave this off, it doesn’t really add anything in my opinion)
  • Breadsticks!


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, 7 minutes; drain (don’t worry if it’s not cooked completely, it will finish cooking in the oven).
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes (I usually am too impatient to wait that long and it turns out fine).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter/spray a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Mix ziti pasta with spaghetti and ground been to let sauce get into the noodles.  Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti and sauce mixture, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 of the ziti and sauce mixture, mozzarella cheese.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted. (I like to uncover it about 28 minutes in and put on high broil so the cheese on top will melt and turn a little brown).
  6. Don't forget the breadsticks!

The bread I used last night was the Great Value cheese and garlic Texas Toast.  I should have just made my own garlic bread.  Oh well.  The cake is Duncan Hines extra moist yellow and their whipped chocolate frosting. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Favorite Picture

For some reason I love this picture Shane took of me while we were in Savannah.  Not because I think I'm a supermodel or anything.  Just because I rarely see a picture of myself and automatically think "I like that".  Maybe because I'm a girl, or because I'm American, or because part of Generation X or whatever. I'm self-conscious.  I worry that I'm not pretty enough.

Anyway, it's refreshing to be satisfied with how I look, however temporary it is.  I don't want to be someone who obsesses with looks, but in all honesty I am.  But not today.  And maybe not the rest of the week.  And the rest of the month.  In fact, I'm going to declare January my "don't worry about my looks" month.  I'm going to still shower and stuff, don't worry.  But I won't spend extra time getting ready or staring in the mirror or (this one's especially important to me) complaining to Shane.

Sound cheesy?  Oh well.