Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The top 5 ways to limit road rage... according to me.

One of the most noticeable differences between Abilene and Lubbock is the traffic. Let's be honest... I'm a pretty impatient driver. When I moved back to Abilene last year, I feared that I would lose my mind due to the ever-so-slow "Sunday stroll" drivers that Abilene is famous for. Surprisingly, most of the roads were typically pretty dead, so I almost turned back into the patient driver that I was pre-college. There was almost always a way to quickly get around anyone who happened to be driving me nuts.

And now, here I am back in Lubbock. The city that I blame for my deeply ingrained road rage. I'm pretty sure it returned the moment that I passed the city limits sign. As any impatient driver knows, there are a few strategies that can cut down on driving frustrations tremendously.

Before I share my personal strategy list with you, please know that it might not be the most politically correct list you've ever seen. My apologies in advance, but what good would this list be if I wasn't completely honest? :)

The first two pointers are CRUCIAL.

1. Pass anyone who has a handicapped sticker on their car as quickly as feasibly possible (no-brainer).

(Right after this picture was taken, the light turned green. The van, who was turning right just like me, turned and then paused in the middle of the road, too confused to continue driving. All I'm sayin...)

2. Additionally, find a way to pass large trucks, buses, vans, people pulling trailers, people hauling furniture or dogs in the backs of their pick-ups, people with huge dents on their bumpers, and people who are driving any vehicle that appears to be a year model that's over 20 years old.

3. If you're pulling up to a red light, choose a lane that will allow you to be first in line.

4. When approaching a construction zone with only one working lane, QUICKLY pass by as many vehicles from strategy #'s 1-2 as possible before filing into the correct lane.

5. Lastly, if you're driving down a street with 2 lanes, never drive in the right lane. If you are lucky enough to be driving down a street with 3 lanes of traffic, always stay in the middle lane until the last possible moment. You are guaranteed fewer encounters of people slowing down (often unnervingly nearly to a complete stop) before turning.

There you have it. My top 5 guaranteed tips for getting from point a to point b a little more quickly with a little less stress. And a look into a not-so-nice part if my brain. But I can promise you this - my strategies, however awful they may be, keep me from completely losing my mind multiple times a day. And that, my friends, is never a pretty thing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

I've been eyeing several chalkboards on Etsy for a while now because I decided that one would be a necessary addition to the mantel. However, the ones I liked were all $100+ which seemed a little much for a chalkboard. So a couple of weeks ago I dropped by Hobby Lobby and as my luck would have it, custom frames were 50% off that week!

Here's what I came up with!

You'll need:

- Frame (mine was a 36" x 24" distressed frame)

- 1 can of black chalkboard spray paint

- Staple gun and 1/4" staples

- 1 large piece of black mat board (* I chose to use mat board because I was looking to make the cheapest chalkboard possible and knew that I would be using it primarily for decorative purposes. However, if you will be using your board for daily use, I recommend something a little more sturdy such as plywood.)

First things first. Cut your mat board to fit snugly inside your frame. A box cutter works best to get a nice straight cut. I actually cut out two identical pieces of mat board to make my chalkboard a little more sturdy.

Next, take one of your pieces of mat board and lie it on some newspaper with the smooth side up!!! (I made the mistake of painting the rough side the first time and had to completely re-do everything.) Spray 4-5 even coats of paint on your board, stopping for an hour or two between each coat to make sure everything dries.

Let your board dry for at least 24 hours after the final coat.

After your paint is nice and dry, break-in the board by rubbing the entire area with the side of a piece of chalk. This step is extremely important!!! Otherwise you won't be able to fully erase anything that you write in the future.

Now you may erase all of your beautiful artwork.

My lovely assistant wanted his picture taken too. 

Place your mat board in your frame. If you are doing a second layer, place it behind the first.

Now for the fun part! Using a staple gun and 1/4" staples, place a staple in each corner of the frame as well as one along each of the four sides.

...And just like that... you're done! So easy!

I'm still not sure what to write on mine but you get the idea. I love it and am so glad it didn't cost me an arm and a leg!