Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blue! No Gray! No....Aahhhhh! - Dining Room Color Choices (Pt 2)

If you didn't get the reference being made in this entry's title, here ya go.  You're welcome.

Continuing on from this first post when we started this project, we had two colors we chose and painted on the dining wall.  The winners were Admirality, and the lighter color on its swatch, named Blue Zephr.

Buuuut......neither of them work.  The landlords don't want it to be too dark a color (Admirality) so it's not hard to paint over it again in the future.  The lighter color (Zephr) is a nice color, but it's not quite what I was picturing - it's too much of a gray-blue.  

Back to lowe's, this time to look at brighter blues, and again at grays.

Now it's down to Mountain Lake, and Volcanic Ash.

More pictures:

Gray w/ only one coat
This blue is definitely blue.  I rather like it.  It goes with the picture I was inspired by in the last post.

As for the Gray/Volcanic Ash - it's a color that could be nice.  Safe, but nice.  Here's another pic to help ya picture what I'm trying to do if we go the gray route (wall color-wise):

I still wouldn't be opposed to having gray, but I would prefer not to go 'safe'.  After living with plain white walls for upteen years (since college, really), I'm feeling adventurous.

This'll come down to the landlords....hopefully we'll have a verdict soon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bottom Dollar Haul

Please tell me you have a Bottom Dollar near you.  It will change.  your.  grocery. bill.

I've been a loyal customer of BD since my sis-in-law and fellow penny-stretcher, Chelsea, took me shopping with her at it last fall.  It didn't take long to see the benefits:  $0.78 for a carton of a dozen large eggs.  Boxes of pasta for $0.89.  Bananas at $.44/lb.  See what I mean?

I find myself amazed every time I walk out of BD, and this past trip was no exception.  They are not a "damaged goods" or "expired" grocery store; everything is fresh.  From what I've seen at the store, I believe some of the savings are able to be passed to the customer from not having lots of the veggies and fruits pre-packaged, and they have a lot of store-brand or non-brand items (they have name-brands as well tho).  Another is they don't provide plastic bags at checkout.  Instead you can bring your own cloth bag, or use their cardboard boxes in the front that are leftovers from their shipments.

To get the "member discounts", all you have to do is fill-out a small slip with your name and email, and that's it! (a.k.a. FREE)  You'll get lil cards for your keychain and wallet (keychain ftw), and off you go!

I've got a few hauls to show how consistent the savings are.

Today's haul was this:

- 3 powerades (1-quart each)
- green pepper
- 1 lb.strawberries
- bunch of green onions
- 16 oz. Ragu alfredo sauce
- 24 oz. herbed tomato sauce
- 2 dozen large eggs
- roll of paper towels
- pack of chicken hotdogs
- pack of hotdog rolls (apparently i forgot to put the rolls in the pic)
- veggie 'garden' pasta

Total amount due: $12.54

Here's my proof for any naysayers.  ;)

The only coupons tendered in this haul were the member discounts.  Not bad, eh?  Imagine if you had manufacturer coupons in addition...

Here's the pic and list of items from another haul:

- box of garden rotini pasta
- 16 oz. alfredo sauce
- 2 cans of 24 oz. tomato sauce
- 2 lbs of red seedless grapes
- 2.5 lbs of bananas
- 3 lemons
- 2 dozen large eggs
- can of tuna
- bunch of celery
- 3 lbs. rice
- english muffins (6-pk)
- 1 lb. of unsalted butter

This could easily feed a person on a tight budget for a week.  It'd be safe to say a list like this would normally be around $30, right?

The total for these items came to a whopping $15.15.  Holy crap!

As I sort of mentioned, they also accept manufacturer coupons, and even have coupons of their own that print out with your receipt.  However, unlike a lot of grocery store receipt coupons, their coupons are useful.  Instead of them being geared towards certain items you may never get, like a brand of frozen dinners or spaghettios, they have coupons such as, "spend $10 and get a free carton of eggs", or "$2 off of $5 worth of produce", "$3 off of $20 total purchase", etc.  I think this is one of the smartest things I've seen a grocery store do in a looong time.

Hopefully some of you have a Bottom Dollar near ya.  If not, demand it!  Here's their Facebook page.  ;)

Guests - Film Fest Announcement

What was it I said about slowing down the film fest circuit with Guests of a Nation until this Fall?  Well, scratch that!  We're officially selected for the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, which will be taking place at the end of next month!  We're still waiting on show time/s and venue/s, but I'll be updating as soon as they let us know!

It'll be rather fitting to show a film about a country's fight for independence in the city known for declaring our own independence.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dining Room Color Choices (Pt 1)

Who knew there were so many shades of dark blue?

With temperatures warming enough lately to allow us to open our windows (so wonderful!), Karl and I have realized this is a good time to paint a room we've been hankering to do a makeover for.

Paint where?

Think, purple walls.

A.k.a. our current dining room.

Oooh yeah, baby.

We've been accepting of the lavender-colored walls in our dining room since moving last fall, and initially I was planning to work around it with decorating.  But now that it's spring and we have yet to even hang anything on the walls in the dining room, it's as good a time as any to give the room a makeover more to our style.  So, not wanting to miss our earliest opportunity to take advantage of the warm weather, we recently asked our landlords and have gotten the "ok" to get our paint on!

What our dining room looked like after we moved in
Better example of what the true color is (snapped this today on cel phone)
We wanted a somewhat "regal" color, so dark colors were the ticket.  A dark color contrasted by our already-white baseboards and window frame.  Oh happy days.  At first we were leaning towards grays, like these:

Source: via Draven on Pinterest

But when I got to Lowes, I got drawn to the blues.  Bonus: blue is Karl's favorite color, so I knew it would have an automatic stamp of approval from him.  I picked up a few swatches of both grays and blues.  Then I went for groceries and saw beautiful orange tulips.  It made me picture how well the blue would still go with the accent colors I was originally going to do in the dining room: orange, green, gray, and white.  And I got excited.  I also got the tulips.  Blue it was.

Getting on pinterest again for some examples of what's in my mind's eye:

Source: via Draven on Pinterest

Now to just decide on which dark blue!

Annapolis is like a cobalt bright dark-blue, Admirality is a  middle-ground navy blue, Sailor's Coat is like a dark teal-blue

It's hard to get the colors exactly in these pictures compared to real life, but hopefully you can at least see the small differences in the colors...

I'm leaning towards the Admirality.  What do you all think?

Guests of a Nation - Montclair & Diamond Screen Film Festivals

Two weeks ago on a Friday night was the screening of Guests at the Montclair FF, a rather prestigious film festival, attracting well-known artists, filmmakers, and Stephen Colbert!

(Those of you on mobile, if video doesn't work, click link here)

Our screening block for Guests sold out weeks in advance of the showing, which as you can imagine, is exciting.  Definitely another festival to be proud to show Guests at.  :)

Finally, Guests was shown last week at the Diamond FF, where we had been nominated for Best Fiction Film.  This little film has certainly been getting around.

I think upon entering the summer season that we'll have a bit of a respite, at least until the Fall season.  We're pretty proud of what the film managed in the Spring season of festivals, and hope the momentum stays.

In the meantime, we're starting to get Infinite's engines revved, so I am crossing fingers that I'll have some news about it in the near-future!

Friday, May 10, 2013

What I'm Digging {May}

A few things have been making me get sparks of creativity to turn my brain cogs this past week.  So naturally, I wanna share!

First, the Go Pro! Footage from these little cameras is always amazing/crazy/beautiful.  Many times you sit there and wonder how they even got some of the shots they do.  I love their videos, and this one is one of the best imo.

I've also stumbled across a music artist that recently came on my pandora radio, named Blackmill.  Wanting to hear more, I dug into youtube, and have been on a chill dubstep (a.k.a. chillstep) mix for several nights now while doing some brainstorming and creative writing.  Seriously, if you think there's no redeeming faction of dubstep, this music will make you reconsider.  It is relaxing and blissful.

A few weeks ago I also discovered "Hurt" from an amv (it's weird how I find many artists this way).  I dig the dramatic tone of his music.

Finally, my friends/colleagues are inspiring me.  Daniel Speers (Dir), Mark Sullivan (lead Actor), and Matt Joffe (DP) all worked on Guests of a Nation, and this is their newest collaboration.  They just wrapped the shoot this past weekend, and the stills (unedited, may I add) I've seen from it are gorgeous.

Go and support the film at their Facebook page here!

Still on the friends providing inspiration: a good friend of mine surprised me with GF lemon cupcakes last night that were delicious.  She claimed she owed me cupcakes b/c of me finding Lincoln in the painting within the dome of the National Archives, something of which I'd completely written off as a joking matter and forgotten about 2 minutes later.  Apparently she didn't, which is so endearing of her.  She even enlisted Karl's help so that she was sure they were ok for me to eat while secretly getting the ingredients for them.  They're both too good to me, more than I deserve.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guests of a Nation - West Chester Film Festival

This past weekend was the screening of Guests at the West Chester FF, and we felt so welcomed and inspired, if not honored to be able to have our film screened alongside the caliber of films we saw there.

West Chester is a quaint, historic town that is freakin' cute.  Lots of great little shops and restaurants and coffee shops with tons of character.  Ample parking garages (free parking on Sundays!), brick sidewalks, and a pretty safe atmosphere with the nearby University providing a college-town safety vibe.  I want to film something there now...

We got to meet some wonderful filmmakers, one of them being the "Ryans" from the short documentary film, Invincible Pep, which was about Ryan Quinn's Grandfather's lifetime story of working as an iron man who built many landmarks in Pittsburgh, and survived several near-death experiences on the job.  We got to also meet the Grandfather, who was a fun guy, and promised to get us strong iron men for husbands if we visited Pittsburgh.  ;)    

Some of the films I was able to see and that stood out to me were Record/Play, Invincible Pep, and Harry Grows Up (hilarious!).  I wish I could have also seen The Framing of Joe Paterno, Voices of Time Before They Are Silenced, and El Invento, but alas.  Maybe someday at another festival.

one of the venues filling up before a screening
The reception of Guests by people took me a bit aback (in a good way!).  It seemed like as soon as word circulated that we were the people involved in the making of Guests, people would approach us just to express how much it touched them.  Several people from the film festival's board came up to say how much the film stood out to them when they were going through and selecting films for the festival.  Truly, it was kind of unreal how many people the story seemed to not only resonate with, but felt the need to tell us how it made them feel or how much they enjoyed it.  It made me feel both delighted and humbled at the same time.

The screening we attended was very full, and there were audible gasps and murmurs during it.  A fun Q&A time after a screening got us questions such as if we filmed it in Ireland (I wish!), and if our actors were Irish.  We got some chuckles when we told them the actors were from NY to PA to DE.

Overall, we felt the West Chester FF was fantastic.  The organizers did a great job: provided nice venues, workshops, galas, good attendance at the screenings, and overall made filmmakers feel like a valued part of the film festival.  I hope to get the chance to return with more films in the future!

Mesah with writer and fellow producer, Alex, and actor, Shawn
Tomorrow (Friday) night, Guests will be shown at the Montclair FF, and we recently learned that we were accepted at the Diamond FF in Philly, and nominated for Best Fiction & Best Student Film!  Looking like another busy month!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Getting Organized

April was a dud around here, huh.  One post all month!  I knew life would be busy last month, but dang...  Oh well, it's a new month, time to get back!

I recently got inspired by the awesome Jessi from Vintage Canvas when she did a series on organizing one's life, one of them being your closets.

We had only one closet in our old apartment, so when we moved to our current house where we had a closet in every room and more (and an attic!) had us in closet shock.  However, we hadn't done more than just hang our clothes and wedge some boxes on the shelves when we first moved, and things kind of stayed that way....until now!

The two things I wanted to organize the most were my shoes and purses in our bedroom closet, because as you can see below, they were "organized" into a pile on the floor.

Furthermore, because of the lack of room on the floor, I did not have all of my shoes in one closet.  Instead, I kept some shoes in our coat closet and office closet.  My purses were also not all in the closet, but spread around the house, such as on chairs in the dining room.  Having to juggle between 3 closets when getting dressed in the morning was reminiscent of the juggling we did back at our apartment with our dressers and one closet for all our combined clothes, all located in different areas of the apartment.  Definitely not ideal or what I wanted to continue to do now in a house, lol.

So, something was needed to organize my purses and shoes.  $25 later, may I present to you, our redeemed closet!

Look at that!  ALL my shoes, in ONE place!!!  I can now also see my purses and don't have to worry about them getting dirty.

Subsequently, we now have more room in our coat and office closets, hehe.  I re-organized them a bit as well while in closet-organizing mode (sorry for no before or after pix).

The last thing I've organized were my bobby pins and hair ties in the bathroom closet, using two small glass bowls I got for .79 each.

Muchos better.  It's always neat how doing such small changes can make a huge difference.

Anyone else been in a spring cleaning/organizing mode?

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