Wednesday, December 31, 2014


*FTC Disclosure: I was provided a month free of classpass to try out in exchange for promotion of the program, all opinions are my own. 

Every once in a while this little blog affords me the opportunity to do something really neat. 
This is one of those times. 
I was contacted by Jess to participate in the launch of classpass in Minneapolis. 

What is classpass? 

Since they'll explain it better than I ever could: 

Basically it's a REALLY SWEET alternative to a traditional gym membership. 

I have a lot of friends who love Pure Barre and Corepower Yoga, and other boutique fitness clubs. BUT like most people, I love some variety. This is, in large part, why I haven't ever committed to joining a single studio. Classpass lets you do just that: for LESS than the cost of a traditional gym membership, you get to take unlimited classes at multiple types of studios (no more than 3 times at each studio). 

Another plus is it lets you discovery new studios that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend! AND even better? No yearly membership requirements. It's month by month, no commitment. 

Check out to see a list of participating studios as well as the FAQ page for more details! No better time to start on those New Years resolutions...right? ;-) AND Classpass is already in NINETEEN other major cities- check out the FAQ for a list of the cities! 

Me? I'll be yoga-pilate-cycling it UP this month. Follow along on IG (kellybea14) with #classpass  #livingthesweatylife #ClassPassMinneapolis. I'll post some studio reviews and updates on here as I go as well!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Checking in after a long and relaxing Christmas weekend chock full of family and friends. 
We had Matt's dad and his girlfriend, two sisters, and a 60 pound German Shepard named Elsa under our 1,800 square foot roof.

It was cozy and chaotic, name because TJ spent the better part of those 48 hours terrorizing and beating on Elsa to the point that the dog was keeping a 2 foot wide berth away from TJ. Hilarious. 

Elsa opened her own gifts, which was equal parts adorable and messy. 

I didn't spend a lot of time taking photos, in fact beyond the usual snaps of TJ, these two were all I got. 

In other news, an update on my hit and run drama. 

I'm knocking on wood as I share this because it hasn't been wrapped up in totality, but I have a good feeling about where it's headed (barring a battle with the insurance company). 

Last I shared, I wasn't hopeful anything would come from it because MPD seemed to indicate that a no-injury hit and run wouldn't be pursued in the same manner as an injury one. Shortly after that call I got a letter from MPD saying they sent a certified letter to the vehicle owner asking them to identify insurance within 15 days or they would flag his car, impound it if the saw it, and revoke his license. 

Shortly after receiving the letter, I was contacted by an officer. He asked me again for a brief narrative of the situation and a physical description of the driver. I gave it to him and he asked if I thought I could identify him if I saw him again. I said yes, I most likely could: I've always prided myself on my memory, so I was feeling pretty confident. He then told me he'd put together a photo lineup for me to look at. O_O. 

Last Monday I was contacted by the officer saying he'd assembled the photos and asking if I could come in. It's not at all how it goes in the movies- I was only allowed to look at one photo at a time, which was printed on an 8x11 (not that 6-photos-per-page stuff you see on TV) but I could go through the order as many times as I wanted and spend as long as I needed with each photo. There were 6 photos that he shuffled into a random order. I remember getting through a few photos and then getting to one and instantly thinking, "YEP, that's him." ... I set that photo apart a little and continued through the rest. I went through them again rather quickly, and was even more confident he was the right guy. The whole thing took me about 2 minutes. 

The officer never indicated clearly whether I had gotten it right but say immediately after he had a feeling the city attorney would be bringing misdemeanor leaving-the-scene charges, and that he'd be supplementing the report with insurance information-- turns out the guy had called and provided his info between receiving the letter and the lineup. 

We got the updated information yesterday and are sending it through my insurance. The irony is we both have the same provider, so.. it remains to be seen whether that complicates or helps the process. Ha! 

The moral of the story is, don't hit someone and drive away. Especially after they tell you they're a lawyer. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Sometimes trolling pinterest leads to a false sense of confidence regarding your woodworking and furniture making abilities. 
Other times it finally inspires you to try something you otherwise wouldn't have.
After oogling farmhouse tables on pinterest for eons, last weekend M and I decided to take action. 
There was one small problem- we didn't want to invest TOO much money in one since in a future home, we know we'd want to have a much larger table for entertaining. That being said, our current table wasn't cutting it. 

Here it is again, as a reminder. Lots of crap on it for special effect: 

We actually bartered with the previous owners for this table, and got them to leave it behind. It fit the space well: since we don't have an actual dining room, it's just kind of butted up against the wall. It was fine for the two of us.. or even four people (we'd pull it away from the wall to seat 4 around the table), but any more than that and we were doing a "move all the furniture out of the living room, drag up a folding table, connect the two for one giant table" song and dance. No bueno. 

So, after hearing dozens of bloggers rave about the kreg jig - I decided I was brave enough to con Matt into a weekend project with me. A kreg jig is a small tool that allows you to drill pocket holes in wood. In other words, it's the preferred method to join a bunch of plans of wood together seamlessly from below without any nails showing. At first we discussed just covering our old table with wood to use it as a "form" for the table. I was a bit nervous to build something from scratch. As he was drifting off to sleep he said we should look at salvage yards for a metal base. That got my wheels turning, so as he snoozed.. I scoured pinterest for a game plan. 

Lo and behold I found this!

There were several tutorials on Pinterest on how to build an industrial pipe base table. They were modeled after a West Elm table that runs $2,000. O_O. 

The above pin used a butcher block counter top, but we wanted the look of planked wood. So, after spending some time over coffee sketching out plans and dimensions and calling Home Depot, we were off for supplies. 

The best part about this table was, most of the pipe segments we needed were already pre-cut lengths. This means the only one we had to have cut was the long support pipe that ran the length of the table- which Home Depot cut for us and threaded the end of the pipe for free. Our shopping list for pipe and wood went like this: 

  • 5 2x6 planks of wood cut to 30"
  • 1 1x3 plank of wood cut to 4 segments of 28" (to brace under the table top for added stability)
  • 4 3/4 inch pipe at 8 inches
  • 4 3/4 inch pipe at 18 inches
  • 8 floor flanges (4 for the feet for support, 4 to go into the bottom of the table to attach the top)
  • 4 threaded only pipe connectors (the entire piece was about an inch and a half of just threads to connect the feet to the base) 
  • 6 T-connectors
  • box of 3 inch screws for pocket holes
  • 1.5 inch screws for bottom supports
of course if you don't have stain for the wood, poly, or spray paint for the pipes, you'll need those in your desired color as well. All the pipe we bought was galvanized steel, and I wanted it darker, so we bought Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Total for all the supplies was just under $200. 

We took the pipes and wood home and began assembling the base. (I should note - the original post called for 18 inch pipe, a connector, and 8 inch pipe to make up the height of the pipe base. We realized that would make it essentially a bar-height table and knocked out the 8 inch pipe- which made it the perfect height!) 

Taking out that 8-inch segment meant we needed something threaded to connect the T's at the base the flanges- this is where the small "thread only" connectors came in. 

Our original plan was going to be to attach the tabletop to the base as it was sitting above- in other words, that support brace wouldn't have been seen since it would've sat 2 inches below the tabletop. We realized the feet didn't feel sturdy without some braces, so we flipped the entire thing upside down (you'll see in the finished pic) and it worked wonderfully! 

{sanding the planks}
Before we screwed all the wood together using pocket holes, I beat the wood up a bit with a crowbar and hammer to give it an aged/weathered look.
{you can see the pocket holes above, each one has a screw in it connecting it to its neighbor board}

We also added some cross support underneath in the form of some 1x3 boards cut to 28 inches, so they came just short of the edges of the table. 

Next comes stain and poly. We only did one coat of red mahogony stain, wiped off pretty quick after application, to give us this look. Then comes the test of patience. Dry, light sand, poly.... dry... light sand.. poly. We ended up doing 4 coats of poly since this is going to get a lot of use, so we had to wait a few days to attach it to the base. 

We brought it upstairs for assembly, attached the top to the base, and added some carpet samples underneath the floor flanges to prevent scratching. If it's wrong to admit that I find myself just staring at it, then I don't' want to be right. 

We added about 15 inches in length compared to our old table, which still leaves plenty of room on that wall for it to sit..and only about 3-4 inches of width, which doesn't make much of a difference either in terms of space. 

While we were at it, I picked up some new chair fabric and recovered all the chairs. They were covered in a black felt-like material that held TJ's hair way too well and were gross. Slapped this pretty new fabric over it, and it really all ties together wonderfully.

This project actually got done 2 weekends ago. This past weekend, just in time for hosting Christmas (my real motivation for getting this done when we did!) we made a matching bench for the other side of the table. No more borrowing chairs or dragging inside our patio chairs- the table now comfortably seats 6 (7 in a pinch, since 3 could fit on the bench easily). 

Just wanted to stop in and share. :) 

I also may have an update soon regarding Zipper Merge Asshole and an update to my anticlimactic update: hint, it involves a police lineup. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Mostly, lately, my life has been about food. 
We've done a lot of hosting of different varieties, including Thanksgiving. 
Christmas made a brief appearance in our house as well, which I've preserved for posterity below. Brief, because the Grinch* insisted on chewing on the tree and then vomiting several times in succession over the course of a week below said tree, so the tree is on vacation in the guest room until Christmas proper, when it IS COMING BACK OUT- come hell or high water. 

Hope the holidays have been good to you all so far. 

*Grinch being TJ, naturally. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This is going to be anticlimactic, but such is life sometimes.
Based on an early estimate, the damage to my car is going to be under my deductible amount, thus we likely won't be making a claim on it.
This is great! Except it is looking like my only shot at finding out who this a-hole is, is filing a claim - which is apparently the only way to run his plates and get a name and address. Per MPD, a report won't be generated with that info because it was not an injury hit and run.

A part of me is ready to let it go and be done with it-
the other part of me reaaaaaaaaaaaaalllyyyy would love to send a certified letter telling him I am about to take him to small claims court (for shits and giggles) because it seems asinine that someone should be able to get away with something like that.

Moral of the story, folks- if you're in a fender bender, even if you don't think it's worth it, CALL THE COPS. When the cops show up, you can tell them a short story of a sad little girl from MN who got SCREWED and therefore, you are simply protecting yourself.

I'm going to make one or two more attempts to force the issue with MPD because I've been told a few different things depending on who I speak with at the records unit (typical governmental red tape).. so maybe I'll have a cheerier update coming soon.