Granite.

October 27, 2010

Ok, this post is about my kitchen.

No, we don’t have granite counter tops–I wish!  Frankly, there’s no way we would ever recuperate that expenditure, so we took an alternative route on that one (post to come!), but just so that I could say I have granite in my kitchen–and because, obviously, I love it–the kitchen sink we chose is one that is made of granite.

We purchased this sink at Menards (our house is a living, breathing Menards ad!), and I believe in it was in the neighborhood of $230 or so.  I didn’t look at or price any other sinks because this one had it all!  It wasn’t ceramic or stainless steel (nothing against those materials–just not my preference in this case!), it had a contemporary look to dress up the kitchen, and it was affordable.

The left side of the sink is 9″ deep and the right side is 7″ deep.

Some people have asked me if it stains, marks, or anything else…well, after more than a year of abusing it (hello, I decorate wedding cakes–pink food coloring stains EVERYTHING!), I can gladly say that not a stain can be found!  Sometimes it does look a little dirty, but it’s nothing that a little 3-minute scrub with Comet can’t cure.

The faucet is Delta brand.  I believe it was in $150 and we purchased it at Lowes.  I wanted two three things: a pull-out design (check!) and a matching soap dispenser (check!)…oh, and the price had to be less than $200 (check!).

I adore the soap dispenser.  It’s soooo easy to use and way prettier than a bottle of soap sitting on the sink!  The faucet is perfect because I use it to fill up my Brita pitcher and must have something that will reach (I hate putting the pitcher in the sink to refill it).

Overall, I’m super, super happy with this addition to our kitchen.  In the beginning of the remodel, the kitchen was supposed to be mostly left as is.  It just goes to show you how things can change!!

While I’m showing you this, please take notice of two things: my awesome, awesome back splash that I couldn’t live without and my under cabinet lighting–another non-negotiable item in the kitchen.  Posts on those things to come!

Also, don’t discriminate against my ugly window trim that desperately needs to be scraped and repainted…I’d gladly allow anyone who is handy and willing to come over and tackle that project for me!

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Blog Sprucing.

October 26, 2010

I’m not a techie.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft Office and I are BFFs-4-life.  Seriously.

But when it comes to making this here blog more unique beyond typing up stories about my own life, I’m completely out of my realm.

One of my goals of my 25-by-25 is to make this blog a little more exciting.

So, this is my plea…help!  Does anyone know of any good websites, want to throw in some of their own help, or have any suggestions of what I should do??

It doesn’t need to be fancy or overdone.  Just fun and maybe a little more unique.  I do love all of the white space on the homepage, so I want to keep that as much as possible, but I know I could use a personalized header and maybe I could add some more pages.

K, I’ll be waiting for suggestions.  🙂

Ok, in May of 2011 I will be 25.  It’s getting closer and closer.  It’s the next major age-related milestone in my life.

I’ve never been a goal setting kind of person.  I generally aim high and hit my target nearly every time, but this is my personality.  It’s not something that I’ve ever had to work at, so I typically don’t consider it goal setting.  I blame it on being so darn stubborn.

Anyhow, I’ve seen over and over when people make lists like these and I thought I’d give it a shot.  Other than at work this is the first time I’ve ever written down typed out any of my goals.

Now, I only have about 7 months to accomplish this list, so these goals might seem a little superficial in some ways–and yes, I’ve already accomplished a couple of them or am almost there, but they’re a big deal to me right now!  So, here’s my first attempt at setting some goals for myself and applying some (gasp!) limitations.  Maybe I’ll dream up a prize for myself if I actually stick to all of this and get it done.  Me and limitations are not always the best of friends!

I plan on updating this page as I go along and complete these things.  I’m sure I’ll make update posts, too!  For now, read on and see what I’ve already accomplished and what I’m planning to do next!

Here goes:

1. Complete master’s degree. Completed on August 25, 2010!!  I officially am a Master in Leadership and Management!
2. Apply to doctoral program. Beginning November 1, 2010, I will be attending Northcentral University to obtain my PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.
3. Refinance house so that all debt is on one mortgage (instead of two).
4. Get down to ONE car payment.
5. Purchase life insurance policy for both Mr. & Mrs. Windows. Done!  We’re both heavily insured and saving for our retirement now!
6. Sell the Gilbert House.
7. Finish blogging about the remodel on the ugly house.
8. Take Ralphie and Andre for walk at the downtown riverwalk.
9. Lose weight.  I’m good with any amount, even if it’s just a pound.
10. Visit family in the South.
11. Clean up my office (seriously, it’s tornadic in there).
12. Develop a monthly budget and stick to it.  Halfway there on this one!  I’ve made the budget and so far so good!
13. Hug Mr. Windows everyday for a month (believe it or not, I hate am extrememly uncomfortable with hugging people!).
14. Try a new church.
15. Finish cleaning out the garage so that a car will fit in it.
16. Seek out greater opportunities at work.
17. Make the bed everyday for a week.
18. Hook laptop up to gigantic TV/monitor in office and sit on loveseat to work.
19. Figure out how to get a nifty background on this here blog.
20. Don’t crash new computer (seriously, if this were a job, I’d be rich because I’m SO good at killing computers).
21. Get out the Writer’s, Inc. book and learn something new about the english language.
22. Go to the YMCA everyday for a month.
23. Eat at a vegetarian restaurant.
24. Organize hallway linen closet.
25. Quit baking cakes…at least while I’m in school. I officially retired from cake baking with the exclusion of cupcakes. Piece-A-Cake Confections is now solely providing cupcakes!

So, there you have it!  My 25 by 25.  I’m making a good start here…here’s hoping I can make an even better finish!

Today I’m sharing a really big happy with all of you.

My friend, Danielle, is having a little baby boy just before Christmas!

Last weekend we had a shower for her (which was also the same day that she and her husband and their 3-year-old daughter moved into their new house–busy, busy day!).

My dearest cousin Megan and I  threw the shower.

Now, we’re all aware of how ugly my house is, but it’s important that I also tell you that it’s very small and unable to accommodate more than a few people at a time (seriously, one bathroom can only handle so much!).  So, I asked Megan if she would let me invade her beautiful home–luckily for all of us, she was happy to have us!

First, you should probably see the invitations.  Click that link to see the full details (including the cute envelopes I made to go with!).

Being the part-time party planner that I am (har har), I left no detail undone.

Megan and I diligently made bunting (the little flags) out of blue and white yarn and scrapbooking paper, tissue paper poms, floral arrangements, a couple of games, and a whole lot of food–including a personal favorite, macarons!

The bunting even decorated the bannister! 

For food we had lots of fruit, chex mix, snickerdoodles, cupcakes (made by me, of course), and my favorite punch to drink.  We also had this awesome dip that Megan made, but I didn’t get a picture of it–oops!  Sounds like I’ll just have to make it sometime and dedicate a post to it entirely!

I found the little blue trollies at the Dollar Tree (!!) and they happened to fit our “theme” perfectly.

The doilies are all from my grandmother’s collection and I thought they’d be a nice touch (Megan and I share this particular grandmother, so I left some of them with her to keep).

I did the floral arranging–I bought 5 sets of white flowers for about $20 and that made the big arrangement (that Danielle took home and put on her dining room table in her new formal dining room), 6 wine bottle arrangements, and 4 little square glass arrangements.  I was on the hunt for some spider mums, but unfortunately all I could find were daisies and a few other types–oh well!  They still turned out pretty!

I made macarons for the favors!  I bought the little boxes at JoAnn’s (I believe they’re Wilton and come 20 to a package) as well as little blue pacifiers.  I tied some of our blue and white yarn in a bow with a pacifier and used a glue dot to secure them to the top of the boxes.

That green bottle was a gift from my dear friend April.  Last February I was doing the same thing for her–throwing a baby shower for her new baby on the way!  Who, by the way, is one of the sweetest babies in the world.

The macarons were dark blue (yes, we all had blue teeth after eating them!) with homemade green whipped cream in the middle.  Macarons are the epitome of earthly happiness–and worth every ounce of effort it takes to make them.

We played a couple of games–guess what’s in the bag and guess how many candies are in this bottle.  I’m not one for the crazy smell-the-diaper or taste-the-baby-food games, so we just kept it pretty simple.

Here’s Danielle guessing what’s in this bag!  All of the items were baby related, by the way.

The guest of honor!  She’s quite possibly the cutest pregnant person I’ve ever seen!!  On this day she was exactly 7 months pregnant and exactly 8 weeks from her due date.  I can’t wait to meet her little boy in December!!

Danielle–you’re amazing.  In a matter of 7 months I’ve watched you grow a little beach ball for a belly and even felt your son moving around in his temporary habitat.  While you’ve been baking this baby, you’ve been one of the greatest friends and happiest rays of sunshine in my life.  I’m so excited for you and Sam (and your kid and a half) and can’t wait to see what the next 7 months has in store for you and for our friendship!!

Side note–Isn’t Megan’s house amazing?!?!  It really is. 

So, that was Danielle’s shower that Megan and I threw for her.  Frankly, it was an awesome time. 

Happy Friday, ya’ll!  Enjoy your weekend!!!

Frustration.

October 21, 2010

Ok, I didn’t plan on spending an entire post on this  topic, but nothing is working right the last couple of days, so I’m just going to lay it out.

  1. We didn’t get our couch because it’s not here yet. <–this is entirely my fault.
  2. Yesterday, suspicions that I’ve had for about 2 years were finally confirmed. <–no, my husband isn’t cheating on me.  It’s not personal, it’s professional.
  3. I’m considering not going through with my PhD so that I can seek out some other options sooner. <–not excited about this reality.
  4. I can’t get images to load on this here blog today for whatever reason. <– lame.
  5. I can find only 1 of my favorite black sandals. <–even more lame!
  6. I’ve been diligently trying to lose weight for 2 weeks and I’ve lost 3 pounds–wtf, body?!<–again with the lameness.

All of these things combined together make me super whiny, irritated, and borderline mental.

I haven’t cried over any of them just yet, but one situation in particular could get worse and there could be an emotional monsoon.  I feel it brewing.

So, my dear friends, I am frustrated.

Without my friends, companions, and daily dose of exercise, I’d probably be jumping off a cliff (not literally, of course–no suicide for this girl!)…an emotional cliff.

This weekend I get to see my mommy, my nephew, my nieces, my sister, and my dad….maybe even my brother.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to hug each one of them.  They all think I’m pretty awesome, and frankly, I really need some people in my life that think I’m pretty awesome right now.

I promise for a cheerier post tomorrow–full of pictures!

Pickin’ and Choosin’

October 20, 2010

I’m guilty of always picking favorites.

I have a favorite dog.  His name is Ralphie (sorry Andre…it doesn’t mean I don’t love you!).  He’s just my favorite.  I’m pretty sure I’m his favorite, too.

It seems no matter what I’m doing or what I’m experiencing, some part of it becomes my favorite.

When we were installing our hardwood floors, I was rumaging through the boxes and picking out my favorite pieces.  I still pinpoint those pieces in the rooms they were laid in.  I was meticulous in my preference for their distribution throughout the house.

I have favorite clothes, favorite shoes, favorite blankets, and favorite toilet paper (yes, I went there).

Some day I’ll probably have a favorite kid–although no matter how many kids I have, they’ll all be my favorites for different reasons and in different ways…I hope it’s all evenly distributed.

I’m a girl who knows what she likes.

Do you have favorites?!

Complete Chaos.

October 19, 2010

If you know me at all, you know I’m a cluttered mess all the time.  At least that’s what it appears to be.

The reality is that the more cluttered  things are, the more I know where things are.

Welcome to my office 🙂

I don’t exactly remember when I took this picture, but it was long before I did any organizing in this room. 

It’s likely that if you were to step inside my brain and hang out for a while, this is what it would look like.  Piles of stuff everywhere with no place to go because each pile serves a purpose.

I’m pretty sure this happened when I was planning a wedding or baking a lot of wedding cakes in a row.  My organizational habits go down the tubes when I’m doing those things.

And we do have doors for  the closets…they’re just not painted or hung yet.  Work in progress–definitely.

So, there’s an intimate look into the embarrassing reality that is my cluttery life.

Today, my office looks nothing like this because it’s actually being moved to another room in the house!!  This room will eventually be a work out room (once we save enough dinero for the equipment we want). 

Also, I promise that it doesn’t look quite like this right now in terms of the mess.  I’m pretty sure it’s still not very welcoming, though.

Do you live in clutter?!  What’s your secret for staying organized??