Monthly Archives: January 2015

Master Closet Makeover

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We finished our master closet makeover a few days ago.  There wasn’t much left to do after the “in-progress” post I did last week.  We ordered all of our wooden hangers and they arrived.  This is one of the best investments.  They’ll last forever and they sort of give me that “I’m shopping in my own closet” feeling!

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You can also see from this pic that we finished that upper shelf for extra shoe storage.  I love being able to see all of my shoes!


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I also posted last week about these DIY chalkboard labels.  These baskets are working out fantastically!


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In the above pic you can see that I added hooks on both sides of the dresser for all my scarves.  I also put my sewing supply jar in the closet since it is mostly used for hems that come undone or buttons that get loose.


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Another favorite part is this jewelry bar.  We removed the original shelf and rod that was in this location and added an additional shelf above.  Since the braces were still in place, we added a 1×4 that I could use for all my jewelry.  I love it because I can now see everything I have.  That has been the best part of this closet makeover, organizing things in a way that allows us to see what we have so that we don’t forget… and buy the same things over and over…  or WEAR the same things over and over for that matter.


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This is a peak at Matt’s side of the closet.  I can’t take many pics of this area because the wall to the right contains all sort of secret stuff… Let’s just say we have a very sophisticated security system at our house…  He has plenty of room on that side.  Under his hanging clothes we have 3 baskets for our laundry – you can see two of them in the pic.  This is also a good shot of the built-in shelf.  When we redo our bathroom cabinets, we may have this one restained as well.  For now, I like how the color matches the hangers and baskets.  I use the built-in for sweaters and purse storage.


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I am loving the new space.  It’s much easier to keep organized!

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Movie Review: The Boy Next Door

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Okay, here’s the deal.  There is a lot of chatter in the movie world about all the Oscar nominated flicks out there right now.  In fact, the last few movies I’ve reviewed or even watched are nominated or SHOULD have been… Well… *insert awkward silence*  This is not one of those movies.  However, the majority of movie-goers out there aren’t necessarily looking for a film with Oscar buzz.  People just want to be entertained.  I’d say this one is entertaining…

Single mama and teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) has recently separated from her cheating husband and on a particularly vulnerable night (and after several glasses of wine) she has a moment of weakness and has some hot steamy relations with her much younger next door neighbor (Ryan Guzman).  Young hot neighbor turns out to be a tiny bit obsessive and pretty much a total nut job and stalking and terrorizing ensue.

The characters are SO stereotypical, the acting is meh (although JLo did a pretty good job…) and the plot is beyond predictable.  BUT… you will be entertained, if not for the scary moments that have you jumping out of your seat the long-sweaty-moaning sex scene should impress you.   I swear JLo must work out ALL.THE.TIME.  You won’t leave the theater excited to have a deep discussion with your friends – in fact you’ll probably forget the movie when it’s over.  But it’s mindless and sometimes that’s what we’re looking for on a Friday night.

This movie is rated R because is says ALL of the REALLY bad cuss words, it’s got a few crazy violent scenes and plenty of T&A.  Not for the young ones.  Fans of JLo and hot sex will like this film, otherwise, it’s one of those that in a few years you’ll stop on when your flipping through the cable channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

2.5 stars.

Movie Review: The Imitation Game

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It’s no secret that I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan.  I think he is a MAHvelous actor to put it lightly.  I was excited to see The Imitation Game end of last year and even more excited when a screener arrived in the mail for Mungleshow to review in early December!

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Posted this on instagram last month, perfect Saturday night “in”.

The Imitation Game is based on the life of mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch).  Turing was a brilliant cryptanalyst and pioneer in the computer industry.  His advancements in those fields helped the Allies win WWII.  He received a great deal of backlash from his colleagues and superiors who thought his “code breaking machine” was a waste of time and money.  He did eventually gain their support but Alan Turing faced adversity again when his homosexuality came to light after a break-in at his home.  He was prosecuted and convicted for gross indecency – homosexuality was a criminal offense during this time.

The movie makes the creation and process of building the code breaking machine exciting.  The personal experiences of Turing and the struggles he faces are complicated and sad when you think of what he accomplished and why he was held back.  Cumberbatch was fantastic in this role, his social awkwardness that he plays so well is perfect for this character.  Kiera Knightley and Matthew Goode also do well in their portrayals of members of Turing’s motley crew of highly intelligent analysts.  If you are drawn to films about war history (not violent but still suspenseful), technology advancement or maybe you’re just a member of the Cumberbunch fan club – I think you’ll enjoy this one.

4.5 out of 5

For more movie and entertainment information, visit http://www.mungleshow.com.

Easy DIY Chalkboard Labels for your Baskets (or whatever)

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When we started giving our closet a makeover, I knew we were going to remove some of the rods and add shelves that would house baskets.  After we put the shelves in and I purchased the baskets from Ikea, I knew they needed some type of label so I wasn’t pulling each of them out when I was searching for something specific.  I wanted chalkboard labels, but I also wanted something that was pretty sturdy (so the sticker ones were out – I considered them but they wouldn’t work long term for a basket).  I thought about using the little wooden ones you can buy at the craft store but I wasn’t sure how I would attach them.  I didn’t want to use glue because I wanted them to be removable.  So that’s when I came up with using blank outlet covers.  You can stick them through the weave of your basket with the already pre-drilled screw holes.  No damage and you can remove them later if you want!  I picked up 10 from Home Depot for .59 each.  So cheap.  I already had chalkboard paint, no so cost there.  Here’s what I did:

1. Buy blank outlet covers in the electrical section of your home improvement store.

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2. Set them out on your workspace.  Make sure you protect your table if that’s what your using!  Also, I used a piece of cardboard to stick the screws into so I could paint those as well.  Don’t skip painting the screws!

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3. Paint them with your chalkboard paint.  I’m sure you could use the chalkboard spray paint too.  I don’t have that.  I think it’s a little more pricey and I use this stuff all the time so I purchased the quart a long time ago.

You'll need to do 3 coats.  This pic shows bottom piece with one coat, top piece on second coat.

You’ll need to do 3 coats. This pic shows bottom piece with one coat, top piece on second coat.

Make sure to paint the screws.  Get in the little groove too.

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This is after 3 coats, allow time to dry between each coat.

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4. After allowing a couple hours of dry time, season your chalkboard plates by rubbing a piece of chalk over them and then lightly rubbing off with your hand.  Don’t skip this part!

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That’s it!  Label anyway you see fit.  Simple and cheap!

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We are almost finished with our closet makeover!  Yay!

Pin pic.

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Closet Makeover – in progress

There are a few projects on our to-do list for our house this year.  Some big, some small.  Since it’s January and everyone goes into purge mode, I thought I’d start with our master closet makeover.  I also moved it up on the list because it’s something I can do mostly by myself.  With Matt’s back injury, he can’t do a lot of physical activity, so any “builds” have to be simple enough for me!

Milo spending quality time at Lowe's with me.  I love that the guys there will cut the boards for me, one less step I have to worry about!

Milo spending quality time at Lowe’s with me. I love that the guys there will cut the boards for me, one less step I have to worry about!

This is an “in progress” post, hopefully I can get this done in the next week or so and actually take some decent pics.  For now, it’s all iPhone photos!  Let me show you where we started.  I’m ashamed… okay, not really. But seriously, our closet has been a mess for months.  Everything just gets sort of thrown in there.  We have a giant walk-in closet and a huge bathroom.  The closet was actually designed to be a dressing room.  A large doorway opens into it from the bathroom.  The previous owners put big mirrored sliding doors up – I guess they wanted to block the closet, but I was not a fan.

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See how big our bathroom is? More area for us to make a mess! 😉 Also, I spy a tiny toothbrusher.

Above is a shot of the mirrored sliding doors.  They were one of the first things to go.  Here’s a before shot just as you walk inside the closet…

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This is what you would have seen a week ago.  hahahaha!  Awful, huh?  The layout just wasn’t working…  Here’s an in progress shot, we’re not done, but most of the big work is complete…

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Because these are iPhone pics I had to use the pano feature to get more in and I’m awful at it.  That’s why it looks a little wonky. After waking in the closet, Matt’s section is to the right.   When we finish, I’ll try and take some nice pics.  Here’s some of what we did:

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So far we have:

  1. Removed double mirror sliding doors.
  2. ripped out both back wall shelves and rods
  3. painted and repaired walls
  4. removed door from built-in cabinet
  5. replaced top shelf on back wall, and built a middle shelf on the back wall.  Made the old bottom shelf into a jewelry bar.
  6. brought in my dresser and a new lamp
  7. added a sparkly chandelier!
  8. added baskets to the shelves.  Those will hold off season clothes and all the other random stuff we had stored in there.
  9. Added hooks for all my scarves and belts (not pictured)

Here’s what’s left…

  • Finish top shelf on left side (needs to be painted and then installed).  It’s another shelf for my dress shoes.  Yes, I will have 3 shelves for my shoes!  2 above my clothes for heels & flats.  One below my clothes for boots.
  • Add a bench or ottoman (spoiler alert – I already ordered it, it’s a tufted storage bench, and I looove it.  See below..)
  • I’m making cute DIY labels for all those baskets.  Will post about those this week as well.
  • Bring in the rest of the closet stuff that is currently residing on our bedroom floor..

Bench info… Here’s the one I wanted.

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900 bucks… PB of course!

Here’s the one I ordered.  It was $400 but I got it for more than 50% off!!!  And it’s extra storage.

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So that’s the update and what has been keeping me busy the last few days.

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Hopefully I’ll have another update soon!

Book Review: Silkworm

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I mentioned that after spending several weeks in November/early December working on my manuscript, I went into “receive” mode.  I wasn’t in the mood to express, just absorb whatever was happening around me.   I listened to lots of music (and even started the Serial podcast), watched tons of movies, and read several books.  One of my favorites was Silkworm.  I’m a fan of J.K. Rowling’s writing style (hello…Harry Potter).  Since the HP series she has branched out and started to write books targeted at adults.  I wasn’t immediately drawn in by Vacancy (I may need to pick it up and try again), but I loved 2013’s The Cuckoo’s Calling. Cuckoo’s Calling is book one in a mystery series that she writes under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

Silkworm is book 2 in the series (also known as the Cormoran Strike series).  It’s the story of a writer that goes missing.  The missing writer’s wife contacts Cormoran (he’s a private detective) to help find him.  As the investigation unfolds, it is discovered that the writer had a secret life and quite a few skeletons in the closet.  A book surfaces that is supposedly by the missing author and it is JACKED UP!  Like it’s gross and perverted and based on people the writer knew…it’s no wonder someone wanted the guy dead!

I love the writing style in these novels (smart and witty) and I love that they take place in the UK.  The language and descriptions are so good that you feel like you are actually on the investigation with Strike.  I should mention that these books aren’t quick reads.  Both Cuckoo’s and Silkworm took me several days (I had to recheck it out at the library).  If you’re looking for something to start and finish in an afternoon, this isn’t it.  You need to take time to digest the chapters, no skimming!  I can’t wait for the next one.

Oh wait, here is another reason it took me longer to finish... FEETS all in my face

Oh wait, here is another reason it took me longer to finish… FEETS all in my face

I gave this one 5 stars on Goodreads.  I’m participating in the Goodreads 2015 reading challenge, feel free to follow along!

Movie Review: The Theory of Everything

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The Theory of Everything

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This movie was NOT on my radar initially, but several weeks ago my 14 year old daughter came home and told us she *had* to see it.  I suspect that her reasons had more to do with a crush on Eddie Redmayne (who portrays Hawking in the film) and less about the accomplishments of Hawking in the fields of mathematics and theoretical cosmology.  I could be wrong though, she loved the film as much as I did.

Although Theory addresses Hawking’s achievements and touches on the success of his best selling book A Brief History of Time, its main focus is on his condition (ALS) and the effects of it on him and his wife Jane (played by Felicity Jones).  It portrays the aftermath of his diagnosis in a realistic way and it was sometimes heartbreaking to watch.  The movie covers several decades (60s through 90s roughly) and catalogs the onset and eventual paralysis of Hawking.  In the film, Hawking’s wife is his main caregiver and the tender and intimate relationship they shared is apparent on screen.  Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones did an exception job in their roles and will surely be recognized during awards season.

I honestly cannot say anything bad about this film.  The sets and scenery were flawless (I appreciate when a film gets the clothes, hair and scenery correct for the decade), the writing and story were poignant and the acting excellent.  There are no explosions or gratuitous sex scenes in the film, so if that is your thing you might skip this one.  But if you are looking for a well acted and moving story, this one more than qualifies.  You’ll leave the theater with a better understanding of Hawking’s academic abilities and a greater respect for those fighting ALS.

4.5 out of 5 stars

For more movie and entertainment information, visit http://www.mungleshow.com.