Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Loves

I think it's pretty evident that since I haven't blogged in nearly a month, that there has been a lot going on in the month of December. Who didn't have a crazy December though? I'm proud to say that most of the work craziness is behind me, and I'm focusing on 2011 and the renewal it brings. I'm thrilled. Plus, I can deal with the daily non-work crazy... that's what makes life fun, right?

There are some things that I'm loving as January is upon us. I call them my "January Loves". In no particular order, here we go:

1. Wii Fit Plus

Mr. Married gave this to me for Christmas, and I LOVE it. Seriously LOVE. I'm finding it great for a quick workout when I can't don't have an ounce of motivation left to get to the gym after a long day. I'm still getting used to all the settings, but I'm finding that some of them can be quite challenging! I think it's really what you put into it. Hardwork in = results out. Junk in = Junk out.

2. Hooked on Houses Blog

I think it's a fact that I was either a real estate agent, an interior designer, or Sabrina Soto from HGTV in a previous life. House Hunters, Designed to Sell, Candice Olson's Divine Design... I could watch them ALL day... just ask my husband. Now, I never said I was actually good at decorating, but I love the shows and all things houses.... which leads me to my next "January Love": The Hooked on Houses blog.

I came across the blog because I had just caught part of the movie Something's Gotta Give, and I remembered how much I ADORED the house that they used for filming. Remember this house?

Holy Moly. I could live there in a heartbeat. I googled the house in the movie and came across The Hooked on Houses post. Apparently the exterior of the house is actually on Long Island in the Hamptons, but the interior was created on a sound stage. But the sound stage/sets, I believe, were based on the real house.

Regardless, if you love houses, this website it for you. They have so much more than just movie houses, too!

3. The Container Store and particularly the Elfa Closet Sale

I've blogged about my closet before, and to be perfectly honest, there aren't many updates on this project. We are about 80% complete, and the project has just stalled. It's frustrating. Sure, I have bought some neater storage, so the shoe boxes aren't a disaster- aka this mess is NOTHING like this anymore:

(I suppose I should post a picture of what it really looks like now. I will get around to it!) 

But there are still some things that just need to get done. Hello carpet! Anyway... the reason I am blubbering on about this closet has to do with the image right under the #3 "January Love". Take a good look at it. See that beautiful white storage contraption and how nicely it fits into that funny sized space?

Now take a good look at this image from the construction phase of the closet (I think the caption says it all):

It's like the stars have aligned and the people at the Container Store (God Bless them!!) came into my house when I was sleeping and designed a solution for MY roofline. I hear the angels singing, for real I do! Call me nuts, but I'm excited about this one! 

I think a serious purchase is about to happen on their website since I unfortunately do not have one of these stores in a bazillion mile radius of my house. You would think I lived on an abandoned island somewhere. 

What are your "January Loves"? I hope that whatever they happen to be, they're putting you in a great mood for the year ahead! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

"I Don't Get It"- Christmas Shopping Edition

Have you ever had an experience where you just think...."Why is this so backward?!"

I had just such an experience last night.

I needed to track down a Christmas gift game for the Wii. Sims 3 for Wii to be precise. I checked all the usual suspects.

Amazon (shockingly the most expensive!) at $51. 

Best Buy at $49.99.

Target also at $49.99.

After my research, I thought I was pretty much stuck paying $50 for the game, which is pretty typical for these types of games. My plan was to hit up Target, since it's on the way home, buy the game, and call it a day. 

When... what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a miniature price and twenty bucks off of the reindeer At Toys 'R' Us! I never even thought to look there.

I quickly made sure it was actually the game that I wanted (it was), and changed my plans to head over to the store (also on my way home) and swoop up the game. 

When I got to the store, I quickly found an associate, asked for the game, and double checked the price. The store's shelf said $49.99. I pulled up my blackberry, showed the associate my screen and pointed to the $29.99 price. 

He blinked. Blinked again. Looked confused. And went to get his manager. 

The manager, in her most unprofessional tone possible, (seriously, she was quite rude) stated that "Toys 'R' Us the store, and Toys 'R' Us the website are 'different companies' (huh?!) and they can't price match their website."  She went on to say that, "With shipping and handling, the item would probably be more than the $49.99 price that they offered in the store."


$29.99 + $2.98 shipping + $2.10 tax = Drum roll please....$37.07. 

Almost $13 cheaper to have Toys 'R' Us pay someone to ship the game to my house vs. me picking it up in store. Since when is that ever the case? 

The manager wasn't budging, so I smiled, politely said, "Okay, I'll just buy it online, and left. Thinking to myself the whole time, this is so backwards... but I'm still getting a deal.

Now if I could only figure out a way to get off their mailing list that I will probably be on until the end of time.... eh, what the heck? Maybe it will come in handy when I have kids someday. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I’ve always been a "glass-half-full" type of person, and that little person inside of me comes out even more during this holiday season that is upon us.

I am going to get these numbers wrong, but I’ve heard it said that life is something like 10% of the situation you're faced with and 90% how you react to it. Maybe it’s even higher than that, I’m not sure.

I believe we all have a choice when we wake up every morning. We choose to wake up on the positive side of the bed, or roll out onto the negative side…. And although it’s not easy, I fight like the devil each day to wake on the positive side.

This week, one of my colleagues was whining about how she didn’t have any remaining vacation days to take off for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I just smiled and nodded, and thought to myself… I don’t have any days either, but I’m THANKFUL that I’m earning a paycheck for doing my job for three days, and then I’m still being paid to be at home with my family for the remaining two. I wasn’t complaining about the three days I was working, but I was focusing on the positive two days that I had off.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize this is an over simplified example. Finding the sliver lining in everything is. Not. Easy. Sometimes, it's impossible. I get that. I’ve been there. But on the other hand, when there are simple examples around me where I can just flip my mindset from complaining (about not having three days off), to celebrating (that I have two)… that’s one more life situation that now has a positive spin, rather than a negative one. I’ve found when I add up all of the tiny positives in my life, you better believe I can flip the positive side of the balancing seesaw scale to outweigh the negative side… even if I'm facing some daunting negatives.

I hope that your Thanksgiving brings the out even the tiniest positives in your life. Whether it's being able to have a small (or huge) gathering with your family tomorrow, reflecting on good health, recognizing a milestone you achieved this year, or something else that is special to you, I hope that your Thanksgiving is joyous and reflective. We are all so blessed.

I remember as I was planning my wedding, my mom's favorite saying when people would ask "Are you stressed about how much you have to do?" was "We're too blessed to be stressed."

Amen, Mama! Her saying applies to far more than just wedding planning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Earlier this week I tweeted about the urge I've been feeling to put up one of our many Christmas trees. We put up three trees last year, and let me tell you, those babies do not decorate themselves. So this year I've been thinking... the earlier... the better. Plus, Christmas is the biggest, merriest, and most wonderful holiday of the year for our house. Why not stretch it out as long as possible? I love Christmas!

I have also been thinking about our holiday Christmas cards that need to go out. I've read about the Shutterfly giveaway offer, visited TinyPrints, perused Minted, and looked at tons of Etsy shops and I still haven't settled on a final decision yet, but I know I need to get moving!  I have written many blog posts about my love for all things paper and all things stationery, so I don't know what is wrong with me, but writing this post has put me back in the mindset.

Christmas cards were a big part of the way that my family celebrated the holidays when I was growing up, and I remember running off the bus and heading straight to the mailbox to see which family greeting had arrived in our mailbox that day.

I like to think that there are kids on our Christmas list that do the same thing, so I always try to make our cards personal. Here are some of the contenders for this year:

 First, two from Shutterfly:

And two from Minted:

One thing I have learned from this... I guess I like red cards, but the search continues.

Happy shopping if you are still looking for your cards.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lists Keep Me Sane

I love lists and spreadsheets. I make make them for everything because they help me to keep myself organized, and therefore, feeling sane.

For example, we went vacation next week... the entire week was on a speadsheeted. I just feel like I have a grasp on what I need to do when it's on a list or on a speadsheet. Blame it on my type A++ personality. I can't help it, so go easy on me in the comments section.

Remember back in the day in... FEBRUARY.... when I blogged about my closet? I'm almost embarrassed to type the would February because it was SO long ago. Sheesh.

MrMarried and I had been making great progress with the framing, the drywall, and the closet components all winter long, but when I moved my clothes into the new space in early March, all progress towards completion came to a screeching halt.

I will admit that we had a busy, busy summer and didn't have a lot of free time to work on the closet, but now that the weather is cooling off and our summer commitments have ended, it's time to finish this dang closet.

And I'm going to do it the only may I know how.

I'm making a list.

I've seen so many bloggers that publish inspiring and thoughtful life lists that detail items they would like to accomplish in the upcoming year or before they turn 30...well, I'm taking the inspiration down a notch and just publishing a "nose-to-the-grindstone-just-get-this-crap-done-list".

I'm know that if I put it in writing, I'll stick to it, or you guys will keep me accountable, or something!

Here is where we are (notice that this outline starts with #1... it goes up to #4 because that's how many rooms have projects that are in progress, but I will spare you all the details):

1. Upstairs Attic
    - Hang Bridal Shower picture
    - Hang other art on side wall
        - Guest Book sign
        - Kim's Art
        - "All Because" sign
    - Buy Container Store shoe storage
    - Donate old shoes and throw out old shoe boxes
    - Clean and organize top shelf
    - Buy "prettier" storage for top shelf
    - Hang other closet doors
    - Hang trim
    - Hang blinds
    - Buy and hang curtains
    - Select, buy, and have carpet installed

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Fast Forward the Clock to Friday

I've been a bad blogger lately.... so what else is new? I am noticing this is becoming a recurring theme for me. The trouble is that I LOVE TO BLOG... but I just never can seem to find the time to sit down and get my thoughts onto paper... errr, the screen. I certainly know that I'm not alone in this, so I will just roll with the punches, and blog when I find time to blog....C'est la vie, right?

I have so much I'd love to write about centered about my job, but because I work for a publicly traded company, and I'd like to keep my job... my mouth will mostly stay shut. I will say one thing. I could write the next Devil Wears Prada with some of the crap that one of my bosses pulls. Unreal.

If you are a fan of The Office on NBC, you might remember a hilarious episode that they did on Ethics...he needs to watch it. Enough said.

On a positive note, I'm thrilled that this is last week of work until November! It sounds like November is still  months away, but somehow in reality it's only 12 days away! Where does the time go? MrMarried and I are talking the last week of October as vacation time for some serious rest and relaxation. I can't wait. This girl needs a vacation BAD :)

Not a super pleasant forecast for some of our vacation next week... but hoping this turns around!

Regardless, I'm still looking forward to every second of our time away! (Side note- I love Wednesday's link on "Handling Mean Drivers" from Kind of random for a weather website).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Counting the Days

Come onnnn vacation! October (vacation month) is finally here, and I'm counting the days.

MrMarried and I have worked hard this year, waved goodbye to colleague after colleague as they, one after another, took off for a week of relaxation and fun. All. Summer. Long. Now, it's our turn.

We were married in September of 2009 and wanted to take a week away for our anniversary, but the timing didn't work out. Instead, we've decided to take a fall trip rather than take an anniversary trip.

We will be home basing for some of the trip here (a cute little harbor hotel in the finger lakes of NY):

And here (Downtown Boston):

And plan to do a whole-lot-of-nothingness other than site seeing and enjoying each other's company. Just a few more weeks to go!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Year of Wedded Bliss... and a Gift for Us!

I almost forgot!

I was so excited to blog about this little baby, that it somehow fell off my radar in the last post. I was excited, yet I forgot... strange, I know.

I have this dreadful college- dorm-ish bulletin/cork board in our living room. I was inspired by the image from Ballard Designs below, and I wanted it to be a fun keepsake board  and look something like this:

...but it ended up looking disorganized and uninspired. Plus, it looked too "office like" for a living room. Probably why Ballard Designs had their cork board above a desk. Imagine that.

So... I am bagging the whole cork board in the living room idea, for something that represents a more mature style, and represents where we are as a couple.

Enter Etsy. One of my great, true loves.

I've always liked the "Family Established" signs, and I thought as a one year anniversary gift, I would give this little sign to us. I came across a great Etsy shop with some hand painted signs and decided to purchase one similar to this one:

I have some botantical art that has been tucked away for a year simply because I haven't found the right place to hang it that will compliment the sign quite well. We will see how it goes!

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Year of Wedded Bliss

Yesterday, September 26th, marked MrMarried and my 1st anniversary. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was writing a post for our six month anniversary!

We had a blast this weekend reminiscing about what we were doing one year ago, and I never seem to get sick of hearing our wedding story (even though I lived through it!) I love how MrMarried remembers little details that I can't recall, and it's just fun to remind each other of the magic of our day.

To celebrate, we headed downtown to the restaurant that catered the meal for the wedding, and we reserved a room in the hotel where we stayed after the wedding. Even though we were in our hometown, it still felt like a weekend getaway. 

MrMarried called the florist who did our wedding, and asked her to create something to greet us in the hotel room. She made a beautiful arrangement of long stem roses, and my blackberry's camera doesn't do them justice. Note to self: bring the nice camera to anniversary celebrations. 

Since my parents ate the top of our wedding cake (HA! I told them it was okay to do so since many of our friends have told us that year old cake tastes terrible), they dropped off a replacement fresh cake for us to enjoy. The cake was even better than I remember. Yum! There might only be a tiny, tiny sliver left this morning. Oops. 

I did want to share something I learned as I was planning our anniversary dinner. I had thought that the restaurant was in the Entertainment Book so I looked for a coupon, but when I discovered they weren't, I tried based on a suggestion from a friend and a few twitter people. My friend swears by the website, but I was a little leery at first. The website sells deeply discounted gift certificates ($10 for $25 worth or food, for $40 for $100 in food) to select restaurants.

When I was checking out on the website, I saw a very large area to enter a coupon code-- which is a dead giveaway that the website not only publishes coupon codes, but that they are usually easy find online. I checked out my favorite coupon site, and sure enough, found a code for 80% (!) off. I thought it was too good to be true, but the website took the code and charged me $3 for $25 in food.

I picked my chin up off my desk, printed out the paper gift certificate, and prayed it would work when we went to dinner on Saturday. Dinner went off without a hitch, and the waitress happily accepted our gift certificate. If you use the website though, read the fine print, because most restaurants only let you use one gift certificate at a time.

Have a great start your week! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Delicious Dinners: Penne with Ricotta and Bacon

I haven't been cooking much lately because it's just been too darn hot to be standing over a stove after work. To beat the heat, I've opted for grilling over inside cooking, and we can enjoy the few months where we don't have to pile on the layers to keep from freezing!

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, I have been transitioning into an inside cooking, decorating, and nesting mode and thought it was a perfect time to try a new recipe.

I subscribe to Rachael Ray's magazine and really like the section it each issue that she calls "Take 5." These are meals that include 5 ingredients or less, and I have found that even though they are short on ingredients, they aren't short on taste, and that's what I love about them! Plus, MrMarried has no idea if I used 50 ingredients or just 5, so on weeknights, I vote the simpler... the better! I leave the big, complicated dinners for the weekend when I actually have the time to cook.

This meal took about 15-20 minutes, left plenty of left overs for lunch the next day, and even tasted better the 2nd day! What is it about pasta left overs that are that much better the 2nd time around? I think it has something to do with the chilling and the congealing of the ingredients. Anyway... I digress.

Onto the recipe!

1 pound penne
8 slices bacon, about 1/2 pound --I used turkey bacon
½ large onion, sliced
15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature --I used low fat ricotta
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente. Reserve one ladle of cooking water, then drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl.

2. In a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.

3. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir the onions and ricotta into the pasta along with the reserved pasta cooking water.

5. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it over the pasta along with the basil.

As I said, this was honestly better the second day! When I make it again, I may try to figure out a way to make it the night before and refrigerate it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Brain Dumps

I have seen a few brain dumps on blogs lately and I love the idea. Not only will it be a great post for me to look back on in a few months and remember what was going on in my life, but since I am an A++ personality, and therefore THRIVE on lists, this sort of modified list makes me feel like I have a grasp on what’s going on.

• Work trips, work trips, work trips. I'm leaving on the first of a series of work trips today. Usually, I don’t mind traveling for business, actually I usually enjoy it—I get to see new cities, interact with new colleagues, rack up frequent flier and frequent guest hotel points for free personal travel with MrMarried, etc--- but when all the trips tend to get crunched together… which they happen to be doing at the moment, it can be stressful. I get flustered that I will lose a receipt and not be able to get reimbursed or confuse a departure time or something along those lines. I hate worrying, and think it's such a wasted emotion, but for some reason business travel can bring out the worst of my worrying. I will get through it, and I will smile when we are using the points for an up coming vacation. Yes.... think silver lining.

•I’m going to be a sister-in-law! This is a big deal for me. I’m an only child, and though I had a fantastic childhood, I always wanted siblings. My BIL (my husband’s brother) has been dating his girlfriend for almost six years, and he came over to our house a few weeks ago to tell us that he had been ring shopping, and wanted me to come along to help. I was so thrilled to help with the process. He found a beautiful ring and is proposing in October. I can’t wait to celebrate. Keeping my mouth shut is killing me, but I owe it to my future sister-in-law because she knew all about my proposal and didn’t say a word. My lips are sealed.

•My undying love for audiobooks continues. I have been reading listening to books religiously on my commute and have been getting into biographies, political biographies in particular. And yes, I am listening to POV’s from both sides of the aisle. I certainly lean one way more than the other when it comes to political parties, but I still think it’s important to broaden your horizons and listen to both sides of the story, so I am doing just that. It's very enlightening!

•Eyes on the prize. MrMarried and I are taking a week of vacation right before Halloween to drive to upstate NY, Boston, and a few of the cape towns of New England. It is sort of a 1st anniversary trip, even though he will be taking it a month after our first anniversary. The timing just worked out better that way. We are wine tasting, whale watching, bed and breakfasting, history chasing, fall leaf looking, and NOT thinking about work. I can't wait. Get here. Please get here fast.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is always such a wonderful, yet sad time of year for me.

It's sad because it marks one of the last true weekends of summer and the shift towards shorter days with darker mornings--- sure makes it harder to get out of bed, doesn't it?

But, at the same time, it brings crisp cool air, light jackets, pumpkins, fall leaves, harvest festivals, and a cozy time before the bleh of northeaster winters.

So this past weekend I was determined to make the most of every possible second and spend time outside enjoying the cooler temps and sunny skies. MrMarried and I went for a 21 mile (!) bike ride on Sunday.... which is certainly the furthest I've ever gone on a bike, but I enjoyed every second of my time with him.

We saw some gorgeous sites along the ride, and it really put me in the mood for fall. Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

About a month ago I got a call on my cell from an unknow number, and surprising even me... I answered it.

Caller: "Hello MissMarrieeeeeedddddddd...." (The caller didn't actually address me as MissMarried, but he really did drag my name out. It would have been something like "Lindssssaaayyyyyyyyyyyy..." if my name was Lindsay... anyway I digress).

Me: *eyeroll* "Yes?"

Caller: "This is Insurance Agennntttttt ABC with ZXY Insurance."

Me: "Yes, hello." (I'm holding myself back from freaking out about all the extra syllables at this point).

Caller: "When you got married a year ago, you decided to drop our coverage, and since it's been a year, I was hoping to have an opporunity to rebid for your business."

Me: "Yes, well, it was easier at the time to join my husband's insurance since the homeowner's insurance was in his name, along with 3-4 other reasons."

Caller: "Well, can we take a look?"

Me: "Sure. Why not?"

At this point I was dreading the process. Transitions from one service provider whether it's your cable provider, the gas company, or an insurance agent are never easy. Emphasis on never.

Lots of paperwork has to change hands, and in the case of changing insurance brokers you have to hear the HARD last ditch sales pitch as to why you should stay with the agent you're trying to break up with.

To make a LONG story short, the agent that drawwwws out his worddds was able to save us about $600(!) a year with our car and homeowner's insurance!

If he had come back and said, we can save you $50, I probably wouldn't have gone thorugh the hassle, but since my parents have done business with the man for 23 years, and we painstakingly went through the poilcies side by side, I knew I was getting a good deal and could trust this agent. He even told me he would "break up" with our old agent for us. Hallelujah! We signed some forms, he faxed them over, and we thought it was a clean break.


Little did I know that our old agent would call,  promise eminent bodily harm would to strike at any moment, and that the new insurance company wouldn't cover us like she would. And then I dealt with a 10 minute lecture on the importance of being responsible. Ugh!

We've been with the new insurance agent for two weeks now, and so far so good. I do keep an eye over my shoulder for the old insurance agent ready to rear end my car just so she can tell me "I told you so."

I wish I was kidding.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Who Doesn't Want to Get Out the Door Faster?

Don't you dare call this a sorry excuse for a blog post... I did this the other morning and it saved me at least five minutes during my get-out-the-door routine. And I've got news for you, five minutes, is five minutes to sleep longer, linger in the shower longer, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, pick up the living room.....I could go on.

Although I can't take credit for the image, I've used this trick since college to save time as I head out the door, and Real Simple did a beautiful job of capturing the little time saver in an image, so here you go:

There's not much (I say not much because I can probably list a half of a dozen things) that I dislike more than being wrinkled. I know it's a fact of life, and often unavoidable, but when I have the time to iron and make myself look presentable, I really try my best. There are days, however, when ironing gets pushed to about #30 on my priority list, and I can't be bothered... on those days... shirt collar... meet hair straighter.

If you are careful to keep the straighter on a low enough setting, and stay away from buttons, you can make your wrinkled collared shirt look like a million bucks in seconds. And hey, I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Note to Self.

When you are on a movie date night with your husband, try not to:

1. Park on the opposite side of mall from where the movie theater is located.
2. Believe your husband when he tells you that the mall will "probably be open to walk through to get back to the car following the 9:15 show".

Time for some mental math, my friends: 9:15PM + 2ish hour movie = 11:15PM = mall closed = doors locked.

Or.... go out on a limb and do it! MrMarried and I had our first date night in a long, long time... and I was looking forward to some time with him. We had a delicious dinner, and headed over to the mall to catch a movie. After some quick shopping between dinner and the movie, we decided to not move the car to the other side of the mall. MrMarried figured since we were already inside, and could just walk back to the car after the movie. Wrong.

Fast forward 2 hours. The movie was great, but it was 11:15 or 11:30 and I was ready to go home and crawl into bed. I wasn't in the mood to walk all the way around the perimeter of the mall at almost midnight. Queue me either getting really crabby, or finding the silver lining in the situation.

I'll take silver lining party of two, please.

We had a blast walking back to the car. The stars were so bright and the conversation was so cheerful, I would have walked another 5 miles. Well, maybe.... my feet were starting to hurt.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Water for Elephants

I just finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It came recommended by a friend and I was thrilled to take the recommendation since I've been in funk lately with books that I'll start, get 100 pages in, and lose interest. I think Water for Elephants pulled me out of the funk!

The story follows Jacob, a Cornell educated almost-vet, during the summer after he would have graduated from vet school. After getting terrible news right before he is about to take his final exams, and realizing he has no where to turn, Jacob joins a circus. He falls madly in love with the poorly treated animals who are underfed and kept in horrible conditions, and sets out to try to make the situation better.

After I was halfway through the story, I discovered that the movie is being adapted for film with my girl crush, Reese Witherspoon. Reese plays Marlena, who is the the wife of one of the main circus officials, and later, the object of Jacob's affection. She will be a fantastic Marlena.

 I started doing a little research on the film and I'm already and looking forward to it's release... and I don't always feel that way about books that are adapted for film. I find that there's often something about the way the characters develop in my head that never matches what a casting director puts onto the screen. Do you find that happens to you?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Musings and Lessons

Two key things I learned this week...

Always have an extra pair of heels in your trunk. On Thursday, I was on my way to a MAJOR client meeting. While I was walking from the parking garage to the office, my low kitten heel-ish sandal strap decided to break free from the base of the sandal, thus totally stranding me with no choice but to walk to my meeting without a shoe! Through downtown! With my boss right next to me! Classy! The sandal just wouldn't stay on a my foot and I had no other options in the wardrobe department. Luckily, the client laughed about it, and it was a great icebreaker.

Not my shoe, or even my picture... but a similar situation to what happened to me.

Mustard helps burns. I like to cook, and I'm pretty dang good at it... but baking? That's another story. I was channeling my inner Martha Stewart this week (HA!) and decided to make some some break-n-bake chocolate chip cookies. They were on sale at the grocery store, so I figured, why not? That's where my luck ran out. I managed to burn the inner part of my forearm on the cookie sheet when I was taking the cookies out of the oven. Ouch. Back in my college waitressing days, we were always told to put yellow mustard on a burn. I managed to get out of my waitressing career unscathed in the burn department, so I wasn't able to test this remedy... until last night. It really works! I was amazed at how it took the sting away. I've been trying to keep the skin covered with aloe and bandages and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for quick healing.

My real arm, and my real picture. Ouch.

Have a great weekend and try to avoid shoe and cookie sheet hazards! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Blood, Sweat, and Tears from this Week...

...yielded this beauty. Well, the picture isn't exactly beautiful, but what is INSIDE the box is truly beautiful. Not long ago, I had a stack of manialla folders that were a mess to try to file paper into. Now, orgainzed hanging file bliss that travels anywhere I need it to go! Yes, I am an organizing nerd, and I'm fine with it. Thank you, my dear sweet Container Store, for helping to organize my life.

For as obsessed concious as I am about cleaning, purging heaps of garbage each week from the far cormers of our basement, and organizaing... I don't know why I didn't start a beautiful love affair with The Container Store years ago. Mr. Married better watch out.

Now that the end of July is upon us, the summer heat is putting me in a mood to shed heavy, excess baggage from my life. Whether it's clutter from my basement (this is an ongoing battle), spammy emails from my inbox, or papers from my desk, summer has really inspired me to get rid of, or at least organize, the messes in my life. It feels great.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Bedroom Transformations and #50!

50 posts? Really? I feel like I just started my blogging journey! I'm thankful for the blogging and twitter friends that I have met during the course of the first half of 2010, and for the encouragement to keep writing and documenting my thoughts.

When I look back to where I was in January when I started this blog, I am blown away with how far I have come as a working professional-- hello, I quit my job and started a new one. How much fun we have had with home improvment projects--yes, really, it has been fun!  And some of the wonderful breakthrough that MrMarried and I have had as a married couple!  All good stuff!

For those of you that follow this blog, you know I've been posting a lot about the decor transformation that I have been putting our master bedroom though. It was beige, and blah, and full of mismatched furniture. A night stand from here, and a lamp from there. You get the picture.

I've found that living in a house that is always somewhat torn apart with renovations, having one room that can be your haven to escape the drywall, paint cans, and endless piles of supplies is critical... and I chose to make that room the master bedroom. For me, haven = matching. Don't know why, but it does.

I still have a little bit or work to do, but I give you... the matching lamps and nightstands in our master bedroom.

Before... please excuse the dark picture. 

And... after!

Another side bonus from this project is my new found confidence in spray paint. It comes in dozens (and probably more like hundreds) of colors, and when done right, can really change the look of any piece. I will certainly be reusing items and spray painting them in the future! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A DIY Painting Project

I recently sought some help in bringing color into our master bedroom because I am... ahem... a beige-a-holic.

Since I can be a little bit a raging type A personality, one area that was driving me nuts was the fact that I didn't have symmetry (and in mind, any sense of order) on either side of our bed in the nightstand department. We had mis-matching nightstands and mis-matching lamps, so I set out to change that.

I searched far and wide for matching lamps that wouldn't break the bank. I was even open to painting the lamps if necessary. (Spoiler alert: I painted the lamps). I found a set of lamps that I really liked, but they were a pale spring green that just wasn't working with the color palate I was trying to achieve. So, I bought the lamps and a $4 can of spray paint from Home Depot and went to work.

Here are the original lamps from PB's website. They were sold out of the white, so I ordered two of the green. I'm thankful I looked past those hideous shades that they are displaying with the lamps. I can't say that I care for them too much...

I headed outside to see what kind magic I could work on the lamps.

I made sure to carefully cover the lamps with my high tech paint blocking technology-- aka, a ziplock with a rubberband. Kind of looks like a ponytail, right?

The "ponytail ziplock" worked like a charm!

I moved on to the second lamp and repeated the process.

Not bad right??

I paired them with simple white linen drum shades and I know that they look crazy blue in these photos, but they don't look crazy blue in the room. The white shades help to tone down the color a bit too.

I think spray painting might be a knew found hobby of mine.

I was going to save this post for when I actually had pictures of them in the room, but that will just have to wait until I get the new nightstands into the room. They were shipped to the store, and I haven't had the time to go pick them them. The master bedroom redecorating marathon continues :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Epic Reading Fail

I haven't been shy about my love for audio books, and I've even divulged my little scheme to get them dirt cheap, or a special technique to MAKE money on the audio books.

Recently, I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like scheming to get my audio books for pennies, and wandered into the local library, which I pass almost 3-4 times a week, and embarrassingly haven't visited or supported in the year and a half that I've lived in the community. Oops.

I was in a  bit of a hurry so I quickly headed over to the audio book section and found what I thought would be an interesting title. My excellent (HA!) skimming skills told me that the book was something about stories from women under 25 about life, love, and getting through it all in one piece. Comedy mixed in. Light, easy listening. Perfect for the car ride to and from work. 

Oh. Was. I. Wrong.

This is what I actually picked up....

Somehow I missed the part about "midlife" and "Women over Forty". Both descriptors were in the title. FAIL. Not exactly my demographic.

I will be returning the book promptly. As in, after work tonight. Hopefully my 2nd trip to the library will result in me coming home with something I actually want to read/listen to. Hey, at least I made it into the library. Baby steps, right?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm a Beige-aholic, Part 2

As promised in the original I'm a Beige-aholic post, I quickly took some pictures last night to make the beige overload look a bit more real.

Here is the introduction to the beige (and sorry this 1st photo is so dark):

  • Chocolate brown headboard wall
  • Art above the bed, except the pictures are crooked, oops
  • Our nightstands and the lamps on them don't match-- but I'm shopping! I know everything doesn't always have to be matchy-matchy all the time, but sometimes having two matching night stands brings tranquility. At least for me it does.
  • Regardless of the fact that they don't match each other... I'm not crazy about the actual lamps on the night stands. I've ordered two new porcelain lamps from Pottery Barn-- they are green, but I plan to paint them blue-- so this problem is likely solved.  I'm still working on nightstands.

Here is a close up of the beige bedding, beige bedskirt, and tiny snip it of the beige carpeting.  Can you say overload much? Yikes. I'd like the duvet to say, but the bed skirt can of course go.

This is a such a great reading nook for us and I love this feature of the room. This photo also give some context for the drapes and the color of the art.  The art and chair will definitely stay, but I'm up for switching out the the lamp or the shade.

Thanks for everyone's feedback so far. I have been really inspired! I'll certainly do an update with the lamps soon, and other changes and efforts to de-beige the master bedroom. Thanks again!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm a Beige-aholic

I could use some advice in our... ahem... bedroom. DECORATING ADVICE, my friends.

I love beige. I know that sounds lame, but I do. I'm not afraid of color, but for whatever reason, I use color pretty sparingly. Currently, our master bedroom (which I really do like) is decorated with:
  • Beige- Surprised? Carpet, 3 walls, most of the bedding including the bedskirt. 
  • Chocolate Brown- Headboard wall is painted this color, all the framed pictures in the room are in dark wooden frames
  • Soft Blues- bedding, curtains, candles, some glass art on my dresser, etc.
Hard to picture? Don't worry, I have photo help.
This is our bedding (but not our bed or wall colors).

Instead of ALL of that beige, I have a little color in two euro shams that are pictured in the back of this photo. They are the same pattern as the duvet.

And one of these fun pillows in front of all the beige.... So we have blue in the back, lots of beige, and some blue in the front...sounds like a mullet... party in the back... business in the front. Anyone? Anyone? Ha... I digress. 

I also have blue and chocolate brown patterned curtains which nicely complement the blue in the shams, (and I like them, too. So no need to change these.)

Here is where I need your help.

We have already established:
  • I have 3 beige walls
  • I have beige carpet
  • I have a beige bedskirt
I'm starting to think that I need to go to beige-aholics anonymous! 

Where can I add more color?

The carpet is brand new, and we can't afford to rip up and replace new carpeting, and I don't really want to paint again... so I'm thinking about a blue bedskirt. But, it looks awful in this photo, and I can't picture it in our room.

A complementing rug? But... ahhh! More beige.

Before I spend a dime on de-beige-itizing the master bedroom, I thought I would ask for some help.

Any suggestions?

I will try to get a picture of the real room on the blog this weekend. I'm at work-- and should be working-- but this has been on my mind, and it's a Friday-- so I thought I would write!

Have a great weekend!