Monday, November 8, 2010

Catch of the Day!

Some of you may know our love, (and my obsession) for sushi. And some of you may know my love for fish, the alive- and swimming- kind. But what only some of you know (as it is oh-so-shameful of me) is that I do not keep fish for very long. It's ridiculous, I cannot even begin (or admit) just how many casualties I have had from my tank that I purchased back in 2006 as a gift to myself. It was to celebrate my first job out of college and I was ready to become the fish expert I had always wanted to be. But I think I'm the exact opposite. I started way back when with a cute lil guy I named 'Samule'. But unfortunately, I went through far too many Samules before I finally retired the name and moved on. There was Lucy, Talula, Franny, an adopted fish from a friend named 'Einstein' and re-named to Francesca, Norm - yes, named after Tommy's brother, Tito... oh man, I have to stop before PETA contacts me. Anyways, to put it lightly, whenever Tommy and I would go to the fish store he would put his face up to the glass as I eyed them up and would continue to say "Swim away! She's going to kill you!"

It seriously has brought me to such levels of aggravation as to how many fish I have gone through that after my last and present fish, 'Flo' I have contemplated of getting rid of my beautiful 25 gallon fish tank...of death. I feel like I'm known as the 'fish killer', with or without Tommy taunting me at the fish store, and the fish experts clearly know who I am, because they know how big my tank is and how many (or lack there of) fish I have in it (this is a standard question in the world of fish sales) as they are always very willing to try and help the crazy fish killer.

Anyways, no, I did not get another friend for Flo, risking the (knock on wood) chance of killing her and sending her to the porcelain Gods where all my other cold-blooded friends are, but we did get two new unique fish to welcome to The Blooming House.

The first one: both Tommy and I are very happy to welcome into our home because it came from over seas and is quite the beauty. And not to mention it weighs about 25 pounds. So, NOW you ask, umm... isn't your tank 25 gallons? Yeah, I may kill fish (on accident of course!!!) but I'm not that dumb. We packed it up quite nicely in our carry-on suitcase, were stopped by Bahamas' Customs and traveled back to the great state of Minnesota with our beautiful honeymoon souvenir.

We absolutely love this hand carved, wooden fish by a local artist while in the Bahamas. We even asked the artist to carve his name and date it so we'll never forget how special this big guy is to us. We got a few questions bringing it back as it is the size of a small suit case, but we love it!

The second welcomed fish took some prep work. Being that he's 73 inches long, we had to get The Blooming House ready for this guy! We inherited a beautiful mounted Sailfish from a family member who had caught it off the coast of Mexico during his world travels in the 60's. After repeatedly asking Tommy's parents if it was okay to do what I was about to do, being that the family fisherman and previous owner of the Sailfish had passed away this year, I began my biggest (again, 73 inches) craft project of all time!

I wanted to mount the big lug none other than it's true home, above a great big mantel. But I wanted it to pop off the freshly painted "graceful gray" and "fashion gray" to be exact, living room walls and give it a more sophisticated look. So we picked up a can of glossy white spray paint and began our extreme, but extremely easy makeover in the garage.

Tommy's giving him a lil spay of 'Fin-aca' breath freshener here.

This was after only one coat, but he was definitely on his way! And we couldn't be happier.

We wanted to put just a few more sprays here and there to make sure we would catch any signs of blue from under the belly and whatnot so I trucked out to the garage one night, where he was safely stored away to do some touch-ups. After learning that spray painting in the cold does NOT do wonders, we ended up with some bubbling action, which made me feel like I just killed the already dead fish. I just could not catch a break! 

We decided to haul it into the basement to thaw out and do a couple rounds of light sanding in the bubbling areas and then hit up with some primer and then again with the glossy white paint and he was back in action!

We hung it up tonight proudly, as if we had caught it ourselves, but really we just graffiti-ed the heck out of it. And as I have said in most of our reveals, voila!

Unfortunately, this shot shows my laziness of not getting to the bottom half of our two-toned gray wall paint, but eventually we'll get there. I'm just hoping the 73 inch Sailfish on the wall will distract you from it for now. We are still working on getting the basement done. (new project post to come!) We haven't finished the upstairs living room because of the basement renovations so we have a few random items stored in not-so-practical locations. (notice our stairway railing seated at the foot of our fireplace)


We're moving along with projects in the house, checking off plenty of little (and big) tasks as we go, but in the meantime, we now have what I like to call "Mantel Jewelry". And it truly is a piece of art for us as weird as it may be to some of you reading this post. We like to think Mr. Sailfish is a great catch! (Thanks to my brother for letting me steal that line. I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Stroll Down Elm Street, er, I mean Memory Lane

In lieu of the great holiday of Halloween, I thought I would take a look back at all the fun Tommy and I have had together making our costumes (before The Blooming House even existed) and show you some of our Halloween costumes before we, the Mr. & Mrs. even existed! We both have so much fun on this holiday so why not share and show just how much fun?!

The first year that we decked ourselves out was the year we sadly admit we were hooked on a certain trashy television show on VH1 back in 2007. It was a story about how one man was on the journey to find his one true love. But along the way there were cat fights, a mass quantity of women in lack of clothing and many, many laughs of just how trashy these people really were, that we knew we would have to proudly support our guilty pleasure. That year, ladies in gentlemen, we became Bret Michael, lead singer of the 80's hair band, Poison and third place runner up, 'Heather' from the show called ROCK of LOVE.

(courtesy of googles images)

It was just too perfect! We loved how ridiculous these people were and couldn't pass up the opportunity for one night to be them. We thought we'd be taking a chance since we didn't think too many would know who we were dressed up as, but little did we know the Rock craze that year.

Every episode consisted of an elimination ceremony where the girls running to become Bret Michaels' 'rock of love' would get all dressed up. Some like they were getting paid to dance on a pole, if you know what I mean and some like it was a high school homecoming dance, with a mix of the whole pole dancing thing as well. And Bret would one by one drop these train wrecks off the stage by telling them "It was their end of the tour" and take away their "Backstage Passes" as they blurted out profanity for not getting picked .... C'mon! Of course this was all too perfect to poke fun of! We loved every minute of it and actually it was such a big hit that people at the party (that we didn't know) came up to us, asking if they could get their picture taken with us. So apparently we weren't the only ones out there watching this garbage!

OMG - I 'heart' Bret Michaels!

For our 2008's costume I wanted to do something really fun and a little less trashy. We had been searching for the right idea and there it was, a blast from our past and way too funny to pass up. We were going to accept the Double Dare.

This year was pretty easy for costume shopping and preparing for the late 80's family tv show on Nickelodeon. (we side-stepped the trashy tv series this year) All we needed was two tees for me to design an iron-on logo, red sweatpants with the elastic waist and ankles, some knee/elbow pads and tennis shoes. The googles and hats were found online, but what really made the costumes, I thought, was the slime. I found the most perfect, lime green vinyl to give it the whole 'Nickelodeon' effect.

Like the year before, we had a great time and by the end of the night, Tommy tried to smash an egg on my head during a 'Physical Challenge' in the middle of our annual Halloween party that we go to, but the joke was on him because no one knew it was going to be a hard boiled egg.

So, now we move onto 2009. This was a good one. Well, I just think the costumes keep getting better because we love every year of this holiday! We didn't think it had to be a couple's theme, but it just so happened to work out that way again. 

My thought on a couples theme for Halloween costumes work so well because they play off of each other. I couldn't play the trashy 'Heather' without my Bret Michaels. And I certainly wouldn't be anything without my Double Dare partner. The other person just becomes an addition or an accessory to each other's costume. 

We went to our favorite resale shop during the Halloween craze and found this ridiculous red and white polka-dot jacket, equipped with puffy shoulders and lace sleeves. We then decided I was going to have to hunt down a long, red dress because this Valentine's Day baby was going as the Queen of Hearts! Once I found my core pieces for my costume, we decided it would only be fitting for Tommy to go as The Mad Hatter.

Without even thinking of the Alice in Wonderland's remake that year (and not to mention this particular couples costume idea was in the top 10 popular costume ideas) we found the remaining pieces and hoped it would live up to the standards of The Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter. After realizing the connection to the movie remake, we decided to go the more cartoon route for the look since the movie had some hard core costumes to live up to!

Being that my birthday is on Valentine's Day, I have always considered myself "The Queen of Hearts" since I have quite the collection of hearts and have been very proud of that special, red day. So I was very much excited about this one.

It's funny to see us standing in front of the wall-o-tools, but here were are again, back in the garage party that we go to every year and have a blast!

We were lucky enough to celebrate and sport our proudly made Halloween costumes to not one, but three costume parties and taking home a winning prize from one of them!

 I felt like a dog coming out of surgery in that collar, but it truly came together so well for pulling a bunch of pieces together and creating one of my favorites!

And here were are, now: October 30th (since the party was on a Saturday) 2010. This was the year that was tough on us for the Halloween planning since we had so much going on this year. We bought a house to start it off in January, a project house that is. And we also got hitched in October so we were planning for a little over a year for that one big day. Lets just say that our enthusiasm for Halloween costume planning fell short, which was a big deal since as you can see we love planning for our Halloweens. 

So there we were on our honeymoon, less than a month (in fact about a couple weeks away!) from this year's Halloween in the beautiful Bahamas when the idea hit Tommy.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort in Nassau where the drinks were cold, the food was coming at you left and right and the staff was amazing! I kept telling him how I loved the costumes that the entertainment dance crew wore when we went to a private island party. And that my friends, is where our costumes became.

With my good friends "Crazy Ray" and Mr. Halloween Costume Inspiration, Tommy came up with the idea of going as professional wrestlers. I have never been a fan, so I was unaware of the reference when he said the neon "fringey" look that I was loving so much was very similar to a beast-of-a-man by the name of "The Ultimate Warrior". 

Umm, Whoa-

I was able to barrow a muscle body suit from a friend, so at least I had that covered, literally! Now the spandex, that was a different situation. I went to my favorite store, JoAnn Fabrics and found the BEST and crazy close-to fabric I could find and made my fringes. But after that was done, I feared the  speedo. I decided to just give it a shot and try and make it since it would be waay too hard to find the right look. After about an hour with my sewing machine, while babysitting (after hours, of course) I kinda took a step back and thought, "Huh, not too bad. Not much there, but not too shabby." I had already found white patent leather boots (crazy, I know!) and just decked it out with all the spandex I could never want.

Now, for Tommy, he wanted to go as "Rowdy Roddy Piper" equipped with his very own kilt. I had to figure out where the heck I was going to find a kilt, BUT again at our favorite resale store for Halloween, I found Grandma's Scottish-plaid, flannel night gown and turned it into a skirt. I didn't think the puffy sleeves and detailing of lace would cut it, so off it all went. Because we were short on time, I agreed for Tommy to order the screen-printed t-shirt off ebay since I wouldn't be able to design and do another iron-on like I had for Double Dare. He had the boots and the knee pads were from Double Dare, so really it was just cutting off handles on an resale bought purse and adding some chains to create his "pouch". The pouch was awesome because I didn't have much "pocket space" you could say for my phone, chap-stick and whatnot so Tommy carried it all in his purse, er I mean pouch!

I had the hardest time getting into character, as you can see with my cheer leading stance.

But it didn't take that long...  :)

And others were there to teach me the way.

So there you have it. A look at all of our costumes since have met and now married. We look forward to Halloween as you can see and we're even more thankful for having such a fun, creative crowd to sport them to every year. We have one or two wins under our costume belts, but this year, I was the Ultimate Winner.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween, we sure did!