Saturday, August 30, 2008

Glossary of Tools

In response to some comments and questions (mostly from Jane) about the Do It Herself projects I've already featured, I am starting a Tool Glossary. This will be a pretty long list. Eventually. For now I will start with some of the tools I used in my last project, the pegboard in the boys' room. I have other tools listed below that I will add pictures and explanations to in the future. If you have a question about any tool please e-mail me and I will address it, even if I have to get some help!

In doing some research, I found a very valuable & comprehensive resource and will link to it often below. I also found other tool glossaries at HGTV and Be Jane, which is a really great Do It Herself site that I will be posting about more in the future. Neither of those have pretty pictures, though!

Drill, Cordless

Drills like this use "bits", which are small metal pieces that attach to the end. You can use different sized drill bits and screwdriver bits that effectively turn your drill into an electric screwdriver. The important drill aspects for women are weight & the feel of the drill in your hand. If it's too heavy you'll have problems holding it up for projects above your head. You need to have plenty of power, but if you will just be doing little projects around the home that isn't as important and you can get a lighter model. I think you need at least 12 V though. Drills with two, interchangeable, rechargeable batteries are nice. Home Depot has a great selection.


For when hand torque is needed. I love my 4-in-1 screwdriver. It has both Phillips (star or cross) and flathead (slotted) bits, each in two sizes.

Stud Finder

When you need to secure something heavy to your walls, you should screw it to a stud. But since you can't see them, use a stud finder. You press the button, run it across the wall, and it beeps and lights up when you hit the edge of a stud (2x4 piece of wood under the drywall - studs make up the frame of your house).

Note: This tool will not find studs of the male variety. Sorry to all the single Do It Herself-ers out there. And any married ones who just like to look.

Screw, Wood has a great explanation here. I am quoting from them.
"In the United States, a wood screw is sized by its length, gauge, head style (for example, flat head), type of drive (for example, slotted or Phillips) and increasingly by style of screw. A few decades ago there was one basic style; today any hardware store has alternatives, typically with sharper threads and uniform body diameters."

Most wood screws have a Phillips head, and a smooth shaft under the head, with sprial threads on the rest of the shaft. And a pointed end, of course. The are perfect for attached two pieces of wood together, or attaching something to your wall on a stud. My pictures show a flat head, but you can buy a round head (often called metal screws) or an oval head. The following illustration, from again, shows the different types of head and how they measure length. The flat screws end up flush with your surface (hopefully) but the round head sticks out. I think that's why they are called metal screws. If you attaching metal to wood, obviously the screw head can't eat down into the metal, but sits on top - so better to use a round head.
When you use a wood screw, you generally drill a pilot hole first, which is larger than the diameter of the shaft, but smaller than the diameter of the threads, so the threads can still cut into the sides of the wood.


Bolts have threads too, but a flat end. The come in many varieties, with different shaft diameters and head sizes. You attach two pieces of metal/wood/plastic together by putting a bolt through holes in both pieces, then attach a washer and nut on the backside of the bolt.

My pictures show two differently sizes bolts, one with a slotted head and one with a phillips head.


A round, flat piece of metal that goes over a bolt, right in front of the nut. You would put the bolt through whatever material, then add a washer and nut on the backside. See Washer, Lock, Bolt, and Nut.

Washer, Lock

Just like a regular washer, but lock washers are really good at keeping the nut in place, rather than loosening and falling off.


Screws onto the end of a bolt to attach two pieces of wood/metal/plastic.

Allen Wrench
Circular Saw
Miter Box & Hand Saw
Nails - finishing, roofing. For everything you ever wanted to know about nails, check out this article at
Pliers, Needle Nose
Rubber Mallet
Staple Gun
Utility Knife
Wrench, Socket
Wrench, Pipe
Wrench, Locking
Wrench, Adjustable (Monkey)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Project Runway Take 7 - Fashionable in Saturn

After watching this week's episode of Project Runway, I just have a few questions:

When did Heidi get sent to prison? That dress she wore when she introduced the challenge was pretty awful, it looked like a dress version of prisoner's stripes. Good thing she has a rockin' body though - and she's beautiful! I continue to be impressed with her.

Why is it that all the guys that are left are so weird? Blayne has got to go, but his designs just aren't bad enough, you know what I mean? Suede's stuff is okay, everyone just hates his third person habit, though I noticed it has gotten better. Kieth must get over the fringing soon and Joe just isn't edgy enough. I imagine Joe is the only straight guy there, and have been glad to see him do well in a few challenges. I keep forgetting about Jerrell, who has had some decent stuff too - I'm reserving judgement on him. But I do think the girls are much better.

When will the designers get to do a challenge with beautiful fabrics instead of groceries, recycled materials, candy, or car parts? As far as innovation challenges go, this one was pretty cool. The designers came up with some amazing garments out of crazy stuff. Did you see the sneak peek for next week? Diane von Furstenburg is a favorite of mine! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for full-on beautiful dresses and designs.

Why is Kenley so destroyed by the change of models? She is not the first designer this has happened to - and other people have had it happen at the last minute.

What is up with Jerrell's clothes? He looks like a vagabound most of the time and wears some really strange hats. And his necklines... beyond the boundaries of what I want to see. But he did come up with a stellar mini-dress this week (on the right, below)and made the top three. I really liked the suded and the black leather inserts trimmed in silver.

Where can I buy Korto's coat design? Except in lightweight satin or something that doesn't weigh 60 pounds. Rachel Zoe (Who is she?) wanted to take it home too (above, left). And speaking of guest judges, it was great to see Laura back. She has such classic taste.

Why did it take Leanne so long to win a challenge? She has done some fabulous work and continues to grow on me. I loved her dress this week, although I kind of hate this picture. The close-up shot is much better. I hope we get to see a full collection from her at Bryant Park. Congratulations, Leanne!

On to the losers...

What did Blayne think his dress was going to look like? The bodice fit was so bad, it was very distracting. I loved Michael Kor's comment about the bottom looking like a car wash. I was glad to see someone use some mirror though.

How much longer can Stella skate by in the bottom three? And how does she think she can wear wide, horizontal stripes as leggings? With black, leather panties over them. Where can I throw up?

Why is Keith such a whiny baby. He was so offended that the judges can't "see his vision" and that he has to tailor his designs to them. So he reigns himself in, during a challenge in inovation - bad idea. And he was so defensive during judging, blaming everyone else for his boring design. Who does he think he is?

Auf Weidershen, Keith! Let's look back through his designs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best Eighties Love Songs, EVER

I have a mix CD with this title: The Best 80s Love Songs Ever! These songs were near & dear to my heart during those formative junior high years. I fell asleep every night with my headphones on and my walkman tuned to 99.9, The Affection Connection, with Karla Foxx. I was always dreaming of my one true love, whomever that might be at the moment. When I heard a song I liked, I would write it down on a little square of paper that soon became filled with titles and artists. I still have that paper somewhere. Over the years stand-out favorites rose above the one-hit wonders and I came up with a list of the best. Here's my top 13, in no particular order.

1. When I'm With You- by Sheriff. I remember hearing on the radio that the last note of the song holds the record for the longest-held not. Or something like that. This song reached #1 in 1989.

2. Faithfully - by Journey, 1983. This song might be on everyone's top 13 list, even though they topped out on the charts at #12. And Journey is still touring! I'm throwing Open Arms in here too, as it's on my mix CD. It was on the 1981 Escape album, which scored three #1 singles, including Open Arms.

3. I Can't Fight This Feeling - by REO Speedwagon. This hit #1 in 1985. This was the song dedicated to any boy that I was friends with first. Including (much later) my husband! And it's eternally dedicated to him now!

4. Every Breath You Take - by The Police, 1983. According to Billboard, this was the #1 song for 1983. No question why.

5. After All - by Peter Cetera. This was a duet with Cher that came out as a movie soundtrack in 1989. My friends and I repeatedly watched this movie, Chances Are, which featured this song as a major part of the story line. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal, and Mary Stuart Masterson - if you haven't seen this, get to Blockbuster right now!

6. Take My Breath Away - by Berlin. This song is the ultimate for sexy and sultry, I love the slow beat. And of course, was made popular by Top Gun. I didn't see Top Gun until I was in college (mid 90s) but this song hit #1 in 1986, when the movie came out.

7. Right Here Waiting - by Richard Marx. Ahh, this was the ultimate song during the "TRB ♥s RJP Forever" phase. Which lasted about four years, a long time for teenagers. Richard Marx had a slew of top 10 hits in the late 80s - this song was on the 1989 Repeat Offender album, which had three #1 hits!

8. Crazy For You - by Madonna. This is my favorite song by Madonna, it has always made me melt. I guess I loved it at the time because I went to every Saturday Night Dance for the 14-year-olds and I dreamed of having this kind of chemistry with someone. This song hit #1 in 1985, along with almost every song Madonna put out in the mid 80s. Superstar!

9. All I Need - by Jack Wagner. Reached #2 in 1985. Apparently Jack Wagner was a soap opera star before he came out with one album. He was on General Hospital, Santa Barbara, Melrose Place, and The Bold and the Beautiful. I had no idea. I still like this song.

10. Babe - by Styx. This song actually came out in 1979 - but hit #1 in 1980. I was three. I have loved this song since the first time I heard it and it seems impossible for people not to sing along when it's on the radio.

11. Forever Young - by Alphaville. According to Billboard, this song (from a 1984 album of the same name) reached 32 on the "Hot Dance Music/Club Play" Chart. And then in 1988 it reached 65 on The Billboard Hot 100. I can't believe it never made it into the top 10! This is a staple of 80s songs, full of nostalgia and meaning for almost everyone. It certainly makes my top 13.

12. When I See You Smile - by Bad English. Bad English was made up of an ex-Journey member, John Waite, who did that awesome song Missing You ('84), and a bunch of other guys. When I See You Smile was their first single, and hit #1 in 1989. Their second album was a flop and they split up. But left us this great song!

13. Groovey Kind of Love - by Phil Collins. This one gets me right in the heart and I always want to close my eyes and sing at the top of my voice. And usually do. A #1 hit in 1988, this song was part of 13 straight songs to hit the Top Ten for Collins. That's some good music.

Honorable Mentions:

Lady in Red - by Chris DeBurgh. #3 in 1987, he wrote it himself

Hands to Heaven - by Breathe. #2 in 1988

The Search is Over - by Survivor. #4 in 1985

Sometimes When We Touch - by Dan Hill. smash hit in 1977 but still playing in the 80s!

Endless Love - by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross. #2 overall for 1981.

What Are Your Favorites?
Check out other Thursday 13 posts here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Many Push Ups Can You Do?

When my husband came to me with the idea of doing push ups together, I was mildly excited. I'm not a big exerciser, but I always say I want to be. And silly him, he believes me. And silly me, I always think I want to get in shape too. And I do. It's just that it's so hard!

But doing something together with my husband sounded kind of fun so we took up the challenge. Check out this website for the details, but essentially you take an initial test (see how many push-ups you can do at once) and then follow one of three levels of work-outs, all of which supposedly lead you to being able to do one hundred push-ups. All at once. I am a bit skeptical, but after only two weeks, I am impressed that I have kept with it and my strength and endurance have increased a lot. My favorite part is not feeling like a failure. As long as you do the three work-outs a week, you win. The website is great at allowing for different levels of fitness. You re-evaluate several times, and can drop down or move up a level. And it says if you have problems with one week, just do it over. Which feels good to me. So maybe it will take me longer than six weeks, but I want to get there. And my husband & I like cheering each other on.

Right now, push-ups are working for me! For more Works For Me Wednesday tips, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

The Rest of My Fitness Plan (just to get this down in writing):

Right now I'm in serious need of getting my body in shape. Sure, I need to lose weight, but mostly I need my body to act more put together. I've had mild back problems on and off, and sometimes a knee or ankle hurts - and I'm pretty sure most of these complaints could be resolved with good old-fashioned physical fitness.

Here's my plan for the fall. My oldest just started preschool three times a week, within walking distance from our house. He can ride his bike there while I put the other two in the bike trailer and I can either walk/run with them, or pull them behind the bike that I hope to be buying soon. And after we drop off at preschool, there is 30 minutes for me to exercise before the baby needs to take a nap. Good plan, huh?

But push-ups work right into this plan. And hopefully some other strength training soon too. Any suggestions?

An Exclusive Interview with My Son

Wow - 2 kid posts in a row! I must be loving on the monkey-boys lately. This was a meme I got tagged for and posted on my family blog first. But I had some requests to put it here too because apparently my three year old is a hoot. And thinks I am a professional dishwasher.

That reminds me of a little funny story from Parents magazine. Kourney Reynolds from Broken Arrow, OK sent this in:

My 3-year-old son, Tyler, and I were reading a book about knights and
castles. The story mentioned servants, and Tyler asked me what a servant
was. When I explained he said, "Oh, like you are my servant."
Yeah, that's what I feel like. Here are my son's thoughts on me, his beloved mother.

1. What is something that Mom always says to you? No snacks until a long time

2.What makes Mom happy? to be nice

3.What makes Mom sad? if you be mean

4.How does Mom make you laugh? funny faces or tickle me or doing me upside down

5. What was your Mom like as a child? like a girl with pretty hair

6. How old is your Mom? 10

7. How tall is your mom? a lot

8. What is her favorite thing to do? wash the dishes

9. What does your mom like to do when you're not around? be with Daddy and go on a date

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? doing the dishes

11. What is your mom really good at? helping

12. What is your mom not so good at? not doing the same things with your other hand, can't help me & Emmett while you take care of the baby

13.What does your mom do for her job? wash the dishes

14. What is your mom's favorite food? meatballs

15. What makes you proud of your mom? blowing up balloons for me

16.If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Nemo

17. What do you and your mom do together? help each other

18. How are you and your mom the same? we are not the same but we have the same color of my pants, so we match

19. How are you and your mom different? we have different hair

20. How do you know your mom loves you? 'cause I know

Friday, August 22, 2008

If It Doesn't Look Like Poop, and It Doesn't Smell Like Poop...

We interrupt the normally glamorous and interesting posts here at The Well-Rounded Woman for a poop update. If you're not interested in poop or are easily grossed out, please feel free to skip this post or click away now.

I glanced into the family room where I saw some smears of dark brown on the wood floor, which I assumed to be chewed up bits of the raisins I had just given my 2yo. When I went to clean it up, I was distracted by the ... um... fat, hamburger-patty shaped loaf of brown stuff on the rug about two feet away. I said, "What the heck is that?" And I actually scooped the whole glob up with my fingers. The thought of poop had crossed my mind, of course, with two boys in diapers. But I had glanced at the sitting baby and hadn't seen any signs of poop, so I thought I was safe.

I tested the texture with my fingers, and smelled it several times. It didn't feel like poop. It didn't smell like poop. I was still trying to figure it out while I walked to the trash can with it. Then the baby went to all fours and I saw a wet spot on his rear end that was a perfect match to the size of my mystery goo. I was pretty much freaking out at this point, having just touched poop. A lot. And sure enough, there was lots more goo in the baby's diaper.

The moral of this story is - even if it doesn't look like poop, and it doesn't smell like poop, if it's coming out of your baby's rear end - IT'S POOP!

Lands' End

I love catalogue shopping, especially Lands' End (and other sporty lines). Especially now that Sear's carries some Lands' End and I can try on or return things there. Right now Lands' End is offering a chance to win a $100 gift card. You just have to complete a survey about outerwear - it took me about three minutes. Take the survey here.

I put together a cute fall outfit - my favorite item is the shoes! Hmm, maybe for my birthday coming up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Project Runway Take 6 - Drag Me Down

Hmmm, drag queens are so not my thing. They kind of make me shudder. Call me close-minded, call me non-PC, but I was turned off by this episdoe. The runway show was interesting though and I'm so glad to finally get ride of Mr. Impeccable Taste-Pink Tie. I don't know what else to say. I just want to know where they find shoes to fit the "models."

The judges liked Joe's pink sailor outfit and Terri's kimono-esque design. Did you see how mad Terri was that she didn't win? I thought Joe was the clear winner and the judges agreed. Korto also did a good job but I can't post the picture of her queen - WOW! And not in a good way (for me). I didn't care for the Kimono job, and actually liked Suede's green Hedda Lettuce outfit and Kenley's silver & feathered Marilyn Monroe dress better than Terri & Korto's designs.

In the bottom three were Jerrell, who was definitely the best of the worst, Keith with another fringey dress, and Daniel, with a pretty flamenco dress that once again, completely ignored the challenge. Can you say - Can't follow directions. Keith was lucky to skate by - it's amazing how fast you can go from the best to the worst. He better come up with something new next week. But thank goodness the judges agreed with my expert opinion of Daniel's inflexibility. Auf Weidershen!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopping, Shopping Everywhere... (and not a credit card statement in sight)

I have been on a serious shopping kick lately, and my husband is about to take away all one of my credit cards. And my debit card. Because even when I am getting the smoking-est deals on everything, $5 items start to add up.

I don't go into Walmart often anymore, although it was a bi-weekly occurrence when I lived in Florida. But since the others stores closed at 9pm and there was a Walmart right across the street, I happily moved my car to the other end of the parking lot and ran in. And felt like I hit the jackpot! Sometimes I really love that place. They have some super-cute stuff for super-cheap. Check out some of my finds.

I'm really trying to get into the green thing as much as I can, which for me means using our recycle bin. And I want to stop using plastic grocery bags. In the past (like, last week) we have used them to wrap dirty diapers, but I feel like we have a lifetime supply saved up now (only about 2 years until we're done with potty training altogether!) and I'm ready to stop adding to the landfills. It seems like every store sells a reusable tote now, and I just started buying a few at Sprouts, where they are only $1 each. But I found these darling ones at Walmart and want to buy three or four. They are half off the original price of $10. Okay, for $5, maybe I'll just buy one or two.

Remember OP? Those short-shorts and cool surfer styles. This line is still going strong and is sold exclusively at Walmart. I loved these corduroy tote bags! There were a bunch of styles but I couldn't find them on the website - hence the terrible picture from my phone. You get the idea though. This Star Wars shirt is coveted by my husband and 4yo son alike - even though they only come in boys sizes. They were mysteriously missing at my Walmart and are sold out online. For $7 though, I will be checking back!

My other Walmart finds are collegiately related. My husband and I are from different Alma Maters and have a very good-natured rivalry. But since we live here in Arizona, the Sun Devils win out more often. I think it's just because it's so easy to get ASU stuff at Walmart here! This trip I finally picked up a baseball hat ($9) for myself, that my husband has been begging for me to get. It makes a tiny concession to femininity and uses pink lettering. I wanted a picture and thought I'd throw in the beautiful scarf/wrap I found at Marshalls. It's hardly ever cold enough here but I fell in love with it and it was only $10. Once I got it home I discovered it was 75% cashmere and 25% silk and was thrilled to find it a permanent place in my closet. I promise I will never wear the hat and scarf together again. And I found this sweet backpack for Aaron! He was so excited for the early b-day gift and will be using it to carry work stuff back and forth.

And to what do I owe my shopping inspiration? My favorite magazine, Lucky, of course. The September issue is usually my favorite, and the thickest of the year. I love the little sticky tabs Lucky and domino provide, and this is what my Sept. issue looks like now. Let me share a few wonderful things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Review: Eighteen Months

Foreword (as if I'm writing a real book):

This book is written by a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints about the experiences of women missionaries for the church. If you are not a member of this church, I would still recommend Eighteen Months, mostly to women, because you will still appreciate the issues of relationships, faith, and love. If you have questions about the Mormon church, check out

I bought Eighteen Months: Sister Missionaries in the Latter Days at Seagull Books, at a special event, and my copy is signed by the author, Melissa Baird Carpenter. She is my sister-in-law and goes by Missy most of the time. Missy has a Masters in English, is a talented writer, and has always wanted to put together a collection of essays by sister missionaries. Last fall her book came out and it is wonderful! It will get you all fired up and you might even decide to serve a mission yourself. You can see how it would be perfect for prospective missionaries, but I was so inspired I'm thinking about opening up a savings account for Aaron & I to serve a mission when we retire.

I loved reading the variety of stories from sisters who served all over the world. You get stories from South America, Europe, Asia, and the US. It's like mini-slices of the world's cultural pie. Another thing I liked about Eighteen months is that it doesn't sugar-coat missionary work. You see all the exhausting hard work. You feel the emotional toil and heartbreak as these sisters pour out their souls to the Lord in prayer. There are great stories of investigators who change their lives and get baptized and there are great stories about dissapointments and people who aren't ready for the gospel of Christ. But you are hooked by the stories either way.

The essay titled, Being Sister Frandsen, by Rosalynde Frandsen Welch is one off the most well-written pieces I've ever read, although not quite as compelling to me because I was distracted by her beautiful prose, and by all of the big words I didn't understand.

I enjoyed The Bold Rooster and Four Months on the Island of Terceira for their cultural views, and for their stories of sharing the gospel even when people are not receptive.

When I got to Missy's essay, I thought it would be a story I had heard before. But I learned so much. Her relationship with her Guatamalan companion, Hermana Mildred Tejada, was formed in the early days of her mission and has lasted to this day. They haven't seen each other, despite Missy's attempt to attend her friend's wedding. Turns out you shouldn't travel to a foreign country when you are eight months pregnant! But time and distance can't dimish bonds formed in the mission field. And now, my sweet, 5-month old neice is named Milly, after Missy's treasured companion and friend. It was wonderful to hear some of the experiences that helped to form this life-long relationship.

I thoroughly enjoyed Eighteen Months: Sister Missionaries in the Latter Days and would recommend it to anyone who follows the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wants to share that message with the world around them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

One-Armed Cook Winner!

I just used to choose the winner of The One-Armed Cook, which has been waiting impatiently on my bookshelf to find it's new home. And as random luck would have it, the winner is commenter #18, Becky.

I am really excited because I kind of know Becky in real life. She lives across the street from my Mom and when my Mom was telling Becky that I have a blog (thanks, Mom!) she asked for my phone number and gave me a call. Becky has a great blog here and just published a book called, Adventures with the Word of God. It's all about reading the scriptures with your children and looks like it will be successful for even my small children. We actually started yesterday! Becky graciously gave me a book to review, so look for that review coming up, along with another giveaway for your own copy.
Congratulations, Becky! And thanks for saving me a little money on shipping.