Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Furbabies

Just a quick post.  I wanted to give some love to my two babies.  I love them!  
My baby girl Lexi :) 
How can you not love that face???
My baby boy Paddington (Paddy for short)

Love those crooked teeth!
Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Closet Space!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our new family budget, and all of the house projects that I wanted to plan out.  Well, we finally were able to accomplish one of our my projects...the master bedroom closet!  Now, amazingly enough, I was able to transform this closet for about $50.  The closet in our master bedroom was just so not working for two people.  There was only one level of dowel rods, and one level of shelves all the way around.  Also, some of the dowel rods were behind other dowel rods making it nearly impossible to see or get to the clothes in the back corners.  Hopefully the pictures help that last part make sense.  Here are some of the Before pictures

So as you can see, all of our things just did not have places to live inside the closet.  Once I put on my "organization" hat, I could tell that this space had so much potential.  So, we got to work!  The first thing we did was clear out the entire closet.

This also meant that our room was kind of a disaster for the time being...

Once the closet was cleaned out, we hubby began with the demo of the old shelving.  The demo, and the fact that he got to use almost all of his power tools, was definitely a selling point to get the hubs to help me in this project!

Once we got all of the old shelving out (required some of the power drill, some pounding with the hammer, and some football watching on my part - heehee) I was ready to paint.  I have learned from Jen over at IHeart Organizing that to make a space like this more like a room, you need some color!  I chose a really soothing blue/gray color from Lowe's that is a paint and primer in one.  I thought the contrast of the blue/gray walls with the white trim and white shelving would look really sharp.  So I set to work taping all the edges and wiping down the walls to get a clean surface.

I used Frog tape.  Finally after an hour or so, and some awesome paint fumes inside that little room (I highly recommend using some sort of fan or air circulating device...whew!), we were done painting!

Looks so much better right??!  Already an improvement over the dirty white walls with crayon on them from the previous owners.  We let that dry over night.

Then we moved on to the shelving.  Now, here's where I got lucky.  My parents own a Sign Shop so I was able to get some "scrap" wood (referred to as MDO) from my Mom.  MDO generally comes in a 4'x10' sheet, painted white, and is 1/2" thick (SCORE!!)  So hubby and I picked up some of that scrap, brought it home and cut it down to size.  Here was my plan:  All shelving on the left side of the closet, two dowel rods with shelves across the length of the back wall, and one dowel rod and shelf along the right side of the closet. Can you picture it??  Well, hopefully these photos help.

We used little strips of the same MDO to create supports for the shelves and used drywall screws to put them in place.  We also had bought some support brackets at Lowe's to hold the long shelves along the back and the dowel rods (the hook looking thing in the picture above).  After some more time of measuring, cutting, and leveling, we finally had all the shelves in.  We made sure to leave one shelf taller than the rest so that I could fit some of my boots in there.  I was so excited, that I couldn't even wait to start organizing!

Once all of the shelves were in, I spent the next couple of hours giddily organizing and arranging our new closet :)  Hubby got the top row - since he's taller, and I got the bottom row.  The row on the right is up at the same level as the top row, which I use for long dresses and such.

I still plan to do something similar to this on the walls just inside the door way for some of my heels.  But for the most part, our closet transformation is complete!  We did it in one weekend and I am loving the new space!  Here is our cost breakdown:
Paint - $30
Dowel Rod - $8 (we also used the original one to save on that)
Brackets - $11
Wood - $0 ( I recommend trying to find a sign shop or something similar around your area that might have scraps that you could get either for free, or cheap)
Time - 2 days

And what transformation would be complete without some Before and After pictures??

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Save Me San Francisco!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted!  This past weekend hubby and I went to San Francisco to see the SF Symphony.  I love the city.  Visiting the big cities always just puts a huge smile on my face.  I'm not sure what it is, I'm just always in amazement.  Unfortunately I didn't take my camera (stupid move I know!).  But it really was a fantastic weekend.  We left Saturday early afternoon and drove to Walnut Creek.  We stayed in a hotel there (wayyyy cheaper than in the city).  We checked in, and got ready.  We then took B.A.R.T. into the city.  We had received a restaurant gift card as a wedding present and finally got around to using it.  We ended up going to Roy's.  The food was great, ....the dessert was fantastic!!  Chocolate souffle....'nuff said.  From there we took the B.A.R.T again over to a stop closer to the symphony hall.

We got there just in time for the performance to start.  Our seats were way up high, but it was nice because it kind of gave us a bird's eye view of the whole orchestra.  The first piece/half (yes the first half was all one piece) was quite.......interesting?  I guess that's a good word for it.  It wasn't at all quite what we expected.  It consisted of a few string instruments, and two singers.  The singers sang in Opera-esq voices....and it was all in Russian (queue crickets...).  So obviously we had no idea what they were saying, and on top of that, Opera is not our favorite style of singing.  But, we made it through the first half - with some giggling done on our part (heehee).

The second half was wonderful.  The rest of the strings came out, the woodwinds, the brass, the percussion.  Such amazing musicians with so much talent.  The piece was Pictures at an Exhibition.  It was fantastic.  If you have any sort of appreciation for symphonies or orchestras...I highly recommend the SF Symphony.

Afterwards we rode B.A.R.T. back to our hotel.  The next morning we checked out, went to breakfast and made our way home to pick up our fur babies from my parents house :)

I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend as well!  More updates to come soon I promise!  Ohh, and PS...I kinda chopped my hair off on Saturday!  Pictures to come ;-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let the Countdown Begin!

Some months ago, my friend Linda and I decided that we wanted to do something to get in shape/stay active.  But we both knew that motivation was hard to find! (Seriously, where did it go? If someone finds it, please return! Thanks!)  With that in mind, we decided that having each other as a motivation buddy/workout partner would probably be our best bet for sticking with our  new plan. What was our new plan you ask? Well, let me tell you!

First, some background:
To me, running was always the best form of exercise.  I thought this, because it's probably one of the exercises I disliked the most (go figure huh?).  Growing up, I was a sprinter.  I played softball and never really had to run farther than around the bases.  I always hated running the mile or mile and a half in PE.  I dreaded it to be honest.  My endurance was made for short bursts of energy = I have no endurance. Or maybe I should say HAD no endurance.  That has recently changed (woohoo!!)!  I started trying to run when I was attempting to get in shape for the wedding.  I mean, who doesn't want desperately to be in the best shape ever on a day that big?!  I never went more than a couple miles.  Which for me, was a huge accomplishment.  After doing that by myself for about a year, I got pretty bored.  Music got old, trying really hard to motivate myself got even harder, and the couch just looked better and better.

Once Linda and I started talking, we realized we both had the same goals, and the same problems.  So naturally it didn't take me long to figure out that we should make a goal together, and help motivate each other.  It's way easier to motivate someone else, than it is to motivate yourself!  So, one day back in May, we decided together that we would start training for.....wait for it....... a half marathon!  Wait, wait, wait...half MARATHON?  Did I just say that? The girl that could barely finish the mile in the required time in school is going to try for 13.1 miles?  YEP!  That's right, I did say half marathon.  I did some searching online, and found a training schedule that we could follow, and then we decided on the river trail for the location of our runs.

So, the obstacle was the fact that the training schedule began at 3 miles the first day....uh........yeah, ok, sure....Neither of us had ever run that far at once.  But, we had to start somewhere!  And after all the chatter about "How are we gonna do this? I don't think I can finish! I'm so tired already (at a half mile)!" We managed to finish the first day,....and the second,...and the third.  Before we knew it, here we are today running 5 miles twice a week, and 8-10 miles on the weekend.  Without stopping!  We  hit some other road bumps along the way (pun intended), but we rearranged our schedules, and made things work when we needed to.  Having Linda there with me the whole time has been the one and only reason that I have kept up with this.  Knowing that I had a scheduled time to meet her, and that she was expecting me there all those days is what motivated me to go.  Otherwise, I would have had all sorts of excuses I'm sure!

Now it is October, and our race is at the end of the month.  October 30th to be exact.  2 weeks away!  I'm super excited that we've come this far.  We started with alternating walking and running every couple of minutes to get through 3 miles, to being able to run 8 miles with out stopping at all.  It has been a very rewarding experience.  And I'm so glad I was able to accomplish this goal with such a fantastic person!  We have become really close friends and now, instead of thinking about all the running we have to do, I look forward to getting to talk with such a good friend for an hour and a half+ (with some running thrown in there ).

We have come such a long way and now I'm really nervous excited for our race.  And a tiny part of me is excited for it to be over (shhhh).  So, 16 days and counting!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Fall Products!

I just recently received my latest shipment in from Mary Kay.  The new fall catalog came out, and I just HAD to have some of the fabulous products that they came up with.  And I must say, they did a wonderful job!  I have gotten a chance to use all of my new fancy products and I love them.  I'm pretty honest with what I like and don't like because I don't believe in selling something that I wouldn't wear myself.  So in that respect, you can count on me to tell you the truth on products.  But just be  mindful that these are all my own OPINIONS and they in no way reflect the opinions of Mary Kay.  I am not paid by or asked by Mary Kay to do this, I just thought, as an Independent consultant, it would be good to show my potential, and existing customers the ins and outs of the products!

And without further are some photos that I took of my new MK fall products:
The whole bunch!
These are all of the products that I personally ordered.  As far as new products for the season go, there are more lip colors, but they aren't really my style so I didn't purchase them.  But they are gorgeous colors, so if you are interested, pop on over to my website and feel free to look around :)

First we have the "mini pallets" as I call them.  The large section is blush, and the three smaller sections are eye shadows. They come in two shades, one a little lighter, and one a little darker.  The website shows these better :)
  • The concentration of color.  It really bugs me when I get a blush or eye shadow that I have to put on 50 layers just to see color.  Not the case with these!  
  • The hint of gold shimmer.  I'm loving the gold for this fall!  You can see it a little better in the close up picture below. 
  •  These mini pallets fit perfectly in any size of the MK compacts.  They are equipped with the magnetic backing so they sit comfortably inside your MK compact. 
Not so loves:
  • It's just a tad bit difficult to get JUST the blush on your brush since blush brushes tend to be a bit bigger.  It only takes a little practice, and it's totally worth it!

Second, we have the liquid eye liner.  Now MK already has liquid eyeliners that are not specific to the seasons, but this one is a little different in the application style.  It's more like a pen.  It is felt tip and is super skinny at the end for precise application.  LOVE!  I really have no complaints about this product at all.  It comes in a black, sable, and plum (perfect colors for the fall season).
  • Pigment concentration - so true to color
  • Dries quickly
  • Precise application
  • Doesn't smudge (usually a huge problem for me)
Not so loves:
  • It's seasonal :(

Lastly, we have the lipstick.  This is a special edition lipstick and proceeds from this product go to charity to help end domestic violence, which is a reason in itself to buy it!  There are three beautiful colors to choose from.  You can't go wrong with MK lipstick.  It's very creamy and again has great pigmentation.  I don't usually wear lipstick very often, I'm more of a gloss kinda gal.  But with this new one, I'm finding excuses to wear it!  I love to wear a clear gloss on top to  help the color last a little longer.

So those are my awesome new fall products!  Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if you are interested in these or anything else Mary Kay!  I would love to help you find products that work for your skin and lifestyle :)  Also, leave comments of other posts you would like to see!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekend Catch-up

This past Saturday was John's company softball tournament.  It was an all day event that he and two other friends/coworkers organized for the company.  There was a total of 15 teams that played on 3 fields.   So John had flown in late Friday night, and then we got to wake up Saturday morning and be at the fields by 8:30am.  Since this was the first annual tournament, there wasn't a huge budget to pull everything together.  That meant that they (we) had to do some things ourselves.  The guys and some of their colleagues/friends were the umpires of the games (and some of them played on teams as well, talk about well scheduled!),  my mom made the banner to hang (thanks mom!), another spouse ran the "softball central" booth which had bracket print outs, team line-up templates, and first aid, and I got to walk around and be resident photographer.  Oh, and I can't forget that any one of us that was a volunteer that had a free hour, was helping keep score for the volunteer umpires :)

Unfortunately, I was using a friends (very nice) digital camera (you know, the kind that has interchangeable lenses and all that fun stuff?!).  Therefore, I do not have any of the pictures to display on the blog.  But take my word for it, it was an extremely long successful day.  Even the CEO of the company was happy and impressed!    I'm pretty sure that this time next year, we'll be preparing for the 2nd Annual Company Softball Tournament!  Kudos to everyone that helped organize!

On Sunday we went over to some friends house (same friends from the softball tourney).  They were having a 3 year birthday party for their son/Thanks for helping at the tournament party.  It was a fun time sitting and relaxing with friends, playing corn hole, eating some good food, and watching the little kids help the birthday boy unwrap all of his presents.

It was a great weekend overall and we got to spend it with great friends!  Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend :)

Mail Organization: Final Touches

While hubby was away, I was able to play :) with some crafts that is.  I showed you in my earlier post about how I spray painted some wall hanging baskets and painted the trim.  Then I hung them on the wall with little picture hanging nails.  But, I wasn't quite done with the final touches on those babies.  I needed a little decorative *something* (that would also help cover up the fact that my painting was not exact) and I needed some way of labeling the baskets so we would know which is which.  So one evening after work, I popped on over to Michael's and picked up some ribbon, Modge Podge, and some little metal letters that had loops on top.  As soon as I got home, I got to work, and cut two pieces of ribbon that would wrap around the basket just under the rim.  Then I got out my sewing kit (thanks mom!), brown thread to match the ribbon, and sewed some of the metal letters to the ribbon.  Then I wrapped the ribbon around the basket and modge podged it together at the back.

And Voila!  Now I have labeled baskets.  I think they look a little more finished now :)  What do you think?

Technology Revolt!

Hi All!  I'm sorry it's been so so long since I've posted - or at least it feels like a long time to me since I tell myself daily that I really should post today!  Technology decided to turn against me last week.  All at the same time.  I blame it on the fact that the hubby had to go out of town for work for the ENTIRE WEEK!!  Yep, he was gone from Friday to Friday, and all things electronic decided to go haywire pretty much the next day.  First it was my laptop.  Some sort of security encryption decided to magically install itself over night, which resulted in me not being able to log into my computer at all.  Way too secure if you ask me!  I'll spare you the details...but it was about a week and a half long process of trying to get in, getting security codes, downloading re-image software, attempting to re-image, etc, etc... Ultimately, I got it working and got all of my data back :)

However, in the mean time, the three sets of lights we have in our kitchen decided to one by one, go KAPUT on me!  Then, while trying to leave one night to go to Ross (LOVE the new one by my house btw!!)  the garage door refused to close.  It would stop halfway, and then go back up.  After about 10 minutes, I finally got it to go all the way down, and stay down.  Next (yes, there's more), on my way out of Ross, the battery in my car key that locks and unlocks my doors - you know, the click button things? - was apparently done working.

And lastly, when I was going to attempt to make something in the oven, I went to pull out the drawer under the stove....and it's stuck shut!  I know it's not technology related...but it is ONE more thing that went wrong while the hubs was gone.

So, thankfully he came back and what do you know...all the lights in the kitchen started working again, the garage door hasn't acted up at all, my computer is now fixed, and my car key decided to work for a couple more days (now it really is dead though).  So you see, I guess I was just not meant to post while he was away. that he is back, I will have some final Mail Organization photos for you!  Check back soon!