Try It Tuesday

try it carpenter

Happy Tuesday, Tryers!


Sometimes, I can’t think of a Try It or I’ve just been so busy that I can’t do one. Enter: my awesome friends and family (aka, “Guest Bloggers”). Today’s GB is Huff the Hubs’ bestie (aka, my bestie’s hubs), Anthony!


Take it away, Anthony!


Jessica’s father is a master carpenter. I happened to see a sliding barn door he made at his daughter’s house to separate the kitchen from the laundry room and it gave me an idea to make one to separate my master bedroom from my master bath. Below are the steps I took to accomplish this.


First I had to make a “header” in the opening for the barn door track to it attach to:





Then I had to paint it, but since I hate to paint; I recruited help:



Next, I had to build the door: Materials: 5 – 1X10s, 4 – 1X4s, 4 1X2s, lots of screws

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Be sure to trim and stabilize both sides.


The next step is to attach the brackets (that allow the door to roll on the track) to the wall. This is so the center of gravity is correct and the barn door does not lean or sway. You can purchase some online for around $100.00 or more. But then you are not doing it yourself and that is weak sauce. Luckily, Jessica’s dad gave me extra rollers he had because I’m in the Circle of Trust.



I only used the wheel, nut, and bolt. I then purchased a strap of 3/8’ X 2” X 3’ steel, cut it in half and drilled all but 1 hole in each piece.


As you can tell I got into a hurry and did not clamp the steel down and that was unsafe. More on that later.



The next step is to bend the metal to make the bracket that will align the roller to be offset to the center of the barn door while it can be attached to the barn door at the same time.






When you are finished it should look something like this:



Now you have to drill the final holes in the bracket that will allow you to bolt in the wheel.



This needs to be done with caution.



As I mentioned before, the first time I drilled I was careless and did not clamp it down. In the photo below you can see the drill bit actually bending a little between the first hole and the new one.



Well this caused the first on I drilled to spin uncontrollably and hit me in the wrist.



This picture doesn’t look to bad, but for 15 minutes I could not move my hand, and it took a few days to get all the feeling back. So CLAMP IT DOWN EVERY TIME. It was a scary few moments. Moving on…We stained the door, and painted the bracket.



And, once again, I recruited help.


Then, you attach the bracket to the door, making sure there is a 2-inch gap for the metal track to run through.



Next you mount the 2” wide, 3/8” thick strap to the wall, using a 2×4 that has been cut down to an inch and seven-eighths by 8 feet as a spacer to keep the track off the wall. I used 5/8” X 4” lag bolts to secure all this into wall studs.



The last step is to hang the door and enjoy!











Disclaimer: This project is not for the novice craftsman, but I am not a master by any means; I run a camera for a living and do these types of projects for fun.


Mommy Monday

Mommy Monday2

Motherhood is hard. The other night I literally started sobbing as I was putting the kid to bed. The past two days had been super stressful. Nothing world shattering, just busy, rushed, and overwhelming. I had had enough. She wouldn’t calm down, she scratched my face and I was just D-O-N-E. I felt like a crap mom.

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It wasn’t supposed to be this way. She was supposed to be so well-behaved. She was supposed to go to sleep when I laid her down and not cause a ruckus. I was supposed to be calm and patient and endure everything with a sweet spirit. I was supposed to keep my cool when she swatted her hands, not grab her wrists and say “Stop!” so forcefully that Huff the Hubs had to say, “You need to take a breath.”

I was supposed to have fun, educational activities planned for us to do, daily. Not finally relenting to letting her watch Veggie Tales after she has a “throw-herself-down-on-the-floor” tantrum.

I was supposed to lose the weight quickly and instantly be able to slip back into my old clothes, not walk around with hair I hadn’t washed in five days and a t-shirt that “wasn’t too stained” to be worn in public.


I was going to be the epitome of grace and poise. Huff the Babe would want to be me and all the other mommies would see me and think, “Wow. There goes a fantastic mom! And what great hair!”

kate middleton

Instead I’m singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” at the top of my lungs in the Target bathroom to my kid so she won’t touch the dirty floor while I hover over the germ-infested toilet.

And just when I think I can’t do it anymore, that I’m a terrible excuse for a mother, and that Huff the Babe will resent me forever for not letting her have cake for breakfast, I feel tiny arms wrap around my legs. I look down and see the most adorable, five-toothed grin shining up at me. And suddenly, I’m a great mom.


Fan Girl Friday

Fan Girl Friday


Get ready to squeal with delight, fanboys and fangirls! I’ve got movie, book, and fandom news GALORE! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

I belong to many fandoms. But the two that take up the most space in my heart are lightning bolt-shaped and Tardis-shaped. So when I read this article, my little HPWhovian soul could barely take it!

The spin-off to the beloved HP series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may have finally found their leading man in none other than the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith!

"Do I hear a Crumpled Horn Snorkack?!"

“Do I hear a Crumpled Horn Snorkack?!”

Yep, we could see the fezzed timelord as wizard naturalist Newt Scamander! Fingers crossed!


And speaking of the wizarding world, check out what a bunch of BYU students did over there spring break!

“Fill my goblet, put some fire in it!”


When I was growing up, Nickelodeon had some AWESOME shows: Rocko’s Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and of course, Clarissa Explains it All. I miss those shows. The line-up on Nickelodeon these days is–how do I saw this diplomatically?–crap. I feel so sad that I don’t know what happened to my favorite characters as they grew up because iCarly took their place.


But, thanks to Clarissa creator, Mitchell Kriegman, I can dry my eyes. A new book chronicling the life of Clarissa Darling as she becomes a young adult is about to hit the shelves! The novel, titled Things I Can’t Explain, starts around Clarissa’s 20th birthday and, according to Kriegman, will have our heroine dealing with “new issues that are pretty unexplainable.” The book hits stores this November! EEEEEEEE!!!


The Walking Dead season finale is this Sunday! And, from the sound of it, I think we need to keep the hankies handy. The producers of the show have been hinting at “big losses” to the main cast for quite some time now. (*Spoiler Alert*!) Fans of the graphic novel know that our sweet Glenn met his demise not too long ago, and I’m afraid that we will be saying goodbye to Stephen Yeun this weekend.



On the bright side, the spin-off series to TWD finally has a title: Fear The Walking Dead. Not too original, but at least fans will know what to look for in the TV Guide!


Excited about any of the movie/TV news? Know any? Tell me in the comments below!


Her’s Day Thursday

hersday thursday4

Sorry about no post yesterday, folks. Oklahoma decided to kick off spring with tornadoes. So my family and I were hunkered down in the bathroom as an EF1 tornado blew over the top of our home. It may not sound like much, but it ripped apart a school and flipped a semi. I even saw an uprooted tree on the way to the grocery store today! So, yeah, I didn’t have time (or energy or focus) to blog yesterday. But, enough of that. On to today’s kick-a la-day!

I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day and saw an amazing stream of photos. No, not from the set of the new Star Wars flick, but of a female member of the European Parliament taking her young daughter to work with her. That member is Licia Ronzulli.




A member of the New Forza Italia party, Licia started bringing her daughter, Vittoria, to parliamentarian sessions when she was only 6 weeks old. {Sidebar, how beautiful is that name?!} Ronzulli’s photos of her and her child have brought the question of mandatory paid maternity leave for working mothers back into conversations (one that the U.S. desperately needs to discuss!). 

She is also a member of the Commission of Women Rights and Gender Equality and on the Subcommittee on Human Rights. In 2009, Ronzulli was elected to the position of Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Africa-Caribbean-Pacific-UE Assembly. This group promotes human rights and democracy.

This hard-working momma is definitely an awesome gal in my book!


Do you know of any other women you’d like to see on Her’s Day Thursday? Tell me in the comments below!

Try It Tuesday

try it tuesday new

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to shake up our daily menus. But, I really need healthy items for our family’s table…evidently its harder to lose weight in your 30’s. Womp, womp. But, luckily, I found this!

original pin


Its Easy Crockpot Italian Chicken!

Here’s what you need:


~4 chicken breasts

~1 bottle Fat Free Italian dressing

~6-8 red potatoes

~1/2 chopped onion (or 2/3 a cup frozen onion like I did!)

~1 pkg baby carrots

~1 cup water


First, put the thawed chicken breasts into the crockpot and pour the entire bottle of dressing over the chicken. Add the cup of water.



Then, you can either add all of the other ingredients, stir, and cover OR you can do what I did.

I put the veggies in a medium-sized bowl, sprinkled them with sea salt, Italian seasonings, and garlic. I stirred the veggies all together and poured them into the crockpot on top of the chicken.



Seven hours later, we feasted!



This was pretty good! I liked it because I didn’t have to worry about making sides. I just scooped it out on a plate and dinner was served! I think next time I’ll make some rice to go with it. The Italian dressing had such a punch to it that I needed a bland flavor to kind of tone it down. Huff the Hubs LOVED this! So I guess its a winner!


Have you ever tried this before? What were your thoughts?

Mommy Monday

Mommy Monday3


Sometimes, I have to steer clear of Facebook. Not because its such a waste of time, but because people will often post articles about child-rearing that either make me cry or get my really fired up and test my self-control. However, when a friend posted this a few months ago (I know, I should’ve posted this a while back!), it made me smile, laugh, cry, feel guilty, and ultimately, empowered.


What do you think?

Fan Girl Friday

fan girl

Happy Friday, all!

I’ve found some squee-worthy finds this week, so let’s jump right in!

A certain movie came out last weekend about a shoe-losin’ Disney princess. We all know she lived happily ever after, but did you know she has mad rap skillz, yo? Check out Sara Michelle Gellar as Cinderella in this epic princess rap battle!


Ever since Mockingjay: Part One was released on DVD, I have been ITCHING for trailers/info/pictures for MJP2. And even though this teaser gives NOTHING away, it still gave me chills! I dare you to not get goosebumps!


You guys. Remember how movies were made about things from our childhood and most of them were total crap? Well fear no more, children of the 80’s! Someone’s got our back for a MAJOR project about to hit the Henson Company!


Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to star in and produce a live-action Fraggle Rock movie! Cue the Kermit arm flails! According to Variety, the reason JGL wants to make this movie (which has been in the works for nearly a decade) is because he’s a HUGE Henson fan! Fraggle Rock: “The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on ‘Sesame Street,’ and then on ‘Fraggle Rock,’” Gordon-Levitt said. “Jim Henson’s characters make you laugh and sing, but they’re also layered, surprising, and wise. From Oscar the Grouch, to Yoda, to the Fraggles. I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood…I’m grateful and excited to be working with New Regency on this project.”


Today is the first day of spring, and you know what that means: your Facebook newsfeed is about to be blowing up with people doing marathons, 5K’s, and crazy zombie runs! And I’ll be one of them! I just signed up for my first color run and I am so excited! Maybe I need to get me one of these fandom workout shirts to train in…?

workout tee hogwarts



See the rest of them on Buzzfeed, right here!

Writer Wednesday

writer wednesday

It’s the middle of the week and you know what that means: its Writer Wednesday!

Here’s today’s prompt:

Write the opening line of your solo show.
A genie grants you three tiny wishes. What are they?
What the person nearest you at this very second is really thinking about.


Opening line:

“Welcome to an hour and half of your life you will never get back.”


Tiny Wishes:

  1. I magically go back to my best fitness level ever after I give birth.
  2. Every time I go to buy something, I’ll reach in my pocket and pull out the exact amount I need (and I won’t have to be taxed/claim it on my taxes).
  3. The house next door to my sister becomes available and we get to buy it and its move-in ready.


What The Person is Thinking:

“I am so done. I hate this. I don’t want to be doing this. OMG, its only been fifteen minutes?!”  ~ My Sister on The Elliptical


What about you? What would yours be?

Try It Tuesday

try it laundry2

Happy St. Patty’s Day, to ya, boyo!

I really wanted to make an irresistible Irish treat for you today, since its Saint Patrick’s Day and all, but then I saw that Sonic’s shakes are HALF PRICE all day long. And I thought to myself, “Self, you can either spend calories on something YOU make or spend calories on something someone else can make.” So I opted to let Sonic make me a DELISH shake and give you something practical for today’s Try It!

If you’re like me, when you fold a fitted sheet, this happens:



But, thanks to Pinterest, I finally found a way to fold a fitted sheet!

First, lay out your sheet:



If you have small children, this will be no easy feat. But, trust me, its worth it.

Next, bring up the corners to the top corners; like so:


(Apparently Huff the Babe needed to be in every single shot)


Then, tuck the corners that are on top into the corners that are on bottom:




Then, fold it into thirds:



After that, fold into thirds again (although I had to fold mine into thirds-and-a-half, ha!):



And voila! a perfectly folded fitted sheet!


I’ll admit, this was a little time-consuming…and rather difficult with a toddler and dog constantly walking on the sheet, but it was worth it to save some space in our closet.

Have you ever tried this? Do you have a different technique?