Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Goal Review

photo credit
I feel like I did ok with my year-long goals this year. Just ok. I seemed to have trouble with goals a lot this year. But alas, I'm still insist on making them so at least I'm persistent, right? Right.

2011 Goal Review:
1. Read 25 books. Um, yeah. Not even close. I didn't get much farther than 7 and kind of forgot to keep track after that. I did a lot of re-reads this year. Re-reading favorite books is like my comfort food. Here's to more reading in 2012!

2. Make a Master Birthday Calendar. Hey! I actually did this. I stalked friends and family on Facebook and put everyone's birthday in my computer calendar (complete with reminders). This will help with one of my 2012 goals....

3. Hit my persoanl savings goal. I did this, but not quite the way I would have liked. I'd like to make some new savings goals for the new year. :)

4. Start and Finish 10 Cross Stitch Projects. HA! I think I started about 10, and finished about 2. Sigh. Here's to more crafting in 2012!

5. Run a 1/2 marathon. Totally did this!...and blogged about it!

6. Obtain my CSCS certification. This was something for work (sort of) and I totally didn't do it. Maybe next year...

Ok, so I didn't do quite as bad as I thought but I still would like to hit a few more goals in 2012. Though I guess I did have a lot going on with the deployment and wedding planning and all. :) Hopefully 2012 will be an even better year than 2011! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Goal Review

I know it's a little early, but I only had two goals this month. And had they not been accomplished it would mean that something serious had gone down. :) Fortunately for all of us, I completed both goals this month with flying colors.

1. Get married.
2. Have an awesome time on our honeymoon.

I even managed to get several other things accomplished this month!

1. I officially changed my name.
2. I bought and wrapped all of Manny's Christmas presents in one afternoon.
3. Had a lovely Christmas with friends.

December was pretty nice if I do say so myself. And because I love y'all so much, a pre-wedding photo. ;) I haven't decided how many (if any) of the professional pictures I'm going to post, but here is one my step-mom took while we were getting ready.

bridesmaids and mom trying to get me in my dress :)

Hope everyone had a great December!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Story, Part II: Facebook or something...

If you missed it, last Monday I posted Our Story, Part I. We all know how it ends but the beginning is pretty fun. :) Enjoy!

As the plane lands and then taxis towards the gate I sit still and do not gather any of my belongings. I was determined to wait until the last possible minute to get off that plane in hopes that the cute guy next to me would give me some sort of opening to give him my phone number, email address,...anything. After slowly gathering my things and walking silently off the plane (damn it, why didn't I just grow a set and give him my number?!), I realize that cute boy from the plane has stopped and was searching in his wallet for something. I stop too (Why? I have no idea. I think I was wracking my brain for a last ditch attempt to give him my number) and kind of just stand there awkwardly for a second. He says, "Well, Miss Christine, it was nice to talk to you." I said it was nice to talk to him too and told him to have a safe flight back to Dayton. He hands me a piece of paper and says "Here, if you want you can look me up on Facebook or something."

Before you judge him too harshly, just wait and see what I do when I get home...

As I turn to walk away, I look down to see what it is he has given me. Turns out, have gave me a luggage receipt...with his name on it!!! YES!!! I immediately call my mom to tell her about how I met this adorable guy on the plane. As I'm going on and on about how cute he was and how we talked for the whole plane ride, I pass him walking the other way...embarassing! Hope he didn't hear me! But he was on the phone too so maybe he didn't hear me.

I found out later that he was on the phone telling his mom about me! Bahahaha.

I finally make it to my car and drive the hour and fifteen minutes to the town I lived in at the time. The first thing I did when I got home?...looked him up on Facebook and sent a friend request. :)

I also learned later that the friend request popped up on his phone as soon as he landed in Dayton. Good thing he was already pretty interested in me too or I could have looked like a real stalker. ;) My excuse was is that I wanted to make sure I didn't lose the receipt before looking him up. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

What happened next is kind of a blur. We talked through Facebook for just under a week, messaging each other almost daily (if not more). Finally, he finally asked for my phone number and asked if I would mind if he gave me a call (he's such a Southern gentleman). I could barely contain my excitement and that night when my phone rang with a strange area code popping up on my Blackberry. I literally made myself stop and take a deep breath before answering. We talked for over 3 hours that night before realizing that we both had to work in the morning. I have no idea what we talked about.

Stay tuned...Our Story continues next week!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Secret Santa Preview

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my awesome Secret Santa! It was Brittany from over at Aviation of Love. She got me some awesome stuff from Bath and Body Works. I'll have to take a better picture later but for now you're all stuck with this crappy iPhone picture that doesn't really show anything. Bahaha.


I have never been a "backup my computer every so many weeks" kind of person. Even after watching the Sex and the City episode where Carrie loses everything on her computer, I didn't ever feel the need to create a backup system. At work, I very recently started typing up some of my documentation at the high school (rather than hand writing it). When I left for the wedding, everything was fine. Then I come back to work today and the USB drive is complete toast. The computer won't even recognize that something is in there! I took it to our IT people and "it's toast" was the general concensus. :( Thankfully, I've only started doing stuff electronially within the last month so I really didn't lost all that much. But it's still a pain and it's still documentation that I really need to have record of. :/ I think until I figure out a failsafe method I'm going back to paper. Though I should probably start keeping that in a fire safe box.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Handmade Gifts

I love the idea of homemade and handmade gifts. Unfortunately, my projects rarely become actual gifts and sit, half completed, in a box somewhere in my house. I have probably 5 cross stitched gifts that have been stitched but not put together. :( I've also pinned lots of stuff on Pinterest that I would love to make and send as gifts...but I haven't even tried.

This year I've been really good at blaming Manny's homecoming and the wedding for distracting me but truthfully, I've never been successful at completing handmade gifts. But I really want that to change in 2012! I've gotten a bit better at other things I've been historically bad at (such as sending birthday cards/gifts on time) so maybe I can change this too! I would love to be able to make gifts, and ones that people will actually like!

Here's my list of things to try this year:
1. Hand sewn little girl dresses.
2. DIY Bath Fizzies
3. DIY Soy Candles
4. Recipe Jars

I'm sure there are others but that's all for now!

Do y'all handmake gifts? What have you had success with?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Story, Part I: Why I Believe in Fate

Ok y'all! Here it is...the first of I don't know how many! I haven't finished writing all of the parts yet, but I'll post them each Sunday until I'm done. Enjoy!

Unlike many love stories, ours has a very definitive beginning. There was no friends first, no knowing each other for a while before realizing this guy I already knew was really awesome, no bumping into an old friend years later. Once we met, that was it. Our fall was fast and as close to love at first sight as I believe can happen in real life.

 In June 2009, I decided to take an impromptu trip home for Father's Day to surprise my dad. (He was super surprised by the way, and it was awesome.) I took this trip completely on a whim and didn't even buy a plane ticket until two days before I left. I spent the whole weekend relaxing with my family and it was wonderful. It was the first time in my adult life that I can remember being completely unattached and perfectly content with my life.

Also in June 2009, Manny was at home for a pre-deployment visit with his family. He had spent 10 days in New Orleans visiting with family and reconnecting with old friends before his first deployment.

We both happened to book 7am, Monday flights out of New Orleans (really? who does that?).  Apparently someone noticed me first in the TSA line (as it turns out, I have "nice legs" ;) ) and again when we were waiting at the gate for our plane (I swear he's not a stalker). I got on the plane first and got settled into my seat. As the rest of the passengers were boarding the plane, I kept my eye out for my potential seat mate. I always tend to get stuck with rather large, oftentimes smelly, people. So when this cute guy starts walking down the aisle, I notice him but am sure that there's no way he's sitting next to me. Life could not be that fair. As he gets closer, I notice that he's fumbling with his things a little bit and almost dropped his computer. I think to myself "poor guy, he looks a little frazzled." Before I know it, he's telling me he's in the seat next to me and I stand up to let him get to the window seat. He sits down and says "Hi, how are you this morning." I said "Hello" and that I was "fine, thank you."

I found out (much) later that the reason he was fumbling with his stuff and almost dropped his computer was because he freaked out a little when he realized the girl whose legs he'd been tracking through the airport was, in fact, sitting next to him on the plane.

We made more small talk as everyone got settled and the plane taxied down the runway. We quickly found out that we were both from New Orelans and had graduated high school in the same year (but from different schools, of course). We had a shared interest in Apple and he asked me if the giant book sticking out of the seat pocket in front of me was the latest Harry Potter. (Of course it was, duh.) We talked about everything from our careers to our families and I remember thinking, as the plane made it's way far too quickly towards Atlanta, of how I could give him my phone number or email address without looking like a complete loser. We literally talked for the entire flight. It's not that long of a ride, but seriously, who talks on a 7am flight? As the flight was descending into Atlanta, I distinctly remember wracking my brain for ideas on how to give him my information. I didn't even know his name! How would I ever talk to him again!? This guy was so cute and so nice and....oh well, I guess I'll never see him again....

from the Mrs.

Hey y'all! We're officially married! And we'll be home sooner rather than later! I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season and I'll be back for real in a few days!

Friday, December 9, 2011


1. If you're my secret Santa partner and I haven't said thank you I'm so sorry! We have been out of town for our wedding and will be back soonish!

2. I'm so glad my secret Santa liked her gift! I'm totally doing this again next year.

3. I had big plans to schedule posts for while we were gone for the wedding but...yeah, I got really busy. I promise to come back with lots of fabulous wedding stories!

4. I'm getting married like REALLY soon!!!!!!! :D

See y'all on the flip side!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Goals

I don't have many goals this month. We have some really important stuff going on so I'm just going to focus on that. ;)

1. Get married.
2. Have an awesome time on our honeymoon.

Done! I'm not committing myself to anything else, or I may have to be committed! (bahaha)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Goal Review

I kept my goals pretty simple this month since I knew I would be incredibly busy. (Though I'm pretty sure I still wasn't very prepared.) I did manage to complete some goals, but those were mostly the ones that were going to happen whether or not they were goals. ;)

1. Share Thanksgiving with friends who are like family.
2. Put together a couple cross-stitch projects that have been stitched, just not finished. Not even close.
3. Put together Christmas gift list.
4. Start Christmas shopping.
5. Put up Christmas tree. We even got a new one!
6. Give cookies to neighbors. Maybe later... 
7. Order rehearsal dinner food.
8. Purchase attendant gifts for wedding.

Maybe one of my 2012 goals should be to do better on my monthly goals. Maybe I should just keep saying the word goal?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 29

Today I am thankful for my wedding dress!

I am so happy and truly blessed to be able to wear such a beautiful dress on my wedding day. Now I just have to keep it safe until then! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 26 - 28

Wow. Apparently I've been forgetting to be thankful. ;) Not really, I've just been sucking at writing it down.

Day 26: Today I am thankful for someone else being around to take the dog to his appointments.

Day 27: Today I am thankful for Manny's birthday!

If he didn't have a birthday, he wouldn't be here, duh!

Day 28: Today I am thankful for my job (again), but this time because it forces me to focus (somewhat) on something other than the wedding so I don't (quite) lose my mind.

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on clothes and accessories for the wedding week/honeymoon.

2. Today I am thankful for the ability to buy new clothes just because I want to look fresh and put together the week of my wedding.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was decorate our tree and fall asleep watching Muppet Christmas Carol.

4. I will consider this week a success if I pack for the wedding before Saturday night!

5. My favorite Christmas song/album is Carol of the Bells! And I love Transiberian Orchestra...yep, I'm that girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

War Stories and a New Frontier

Since when do stores open at midnight for Black Friday?! This is new, right? I remember back in the day, there were only a couple stores that opened at 5:30am and it was a BIG deal. And then Target always opened at 6am, which was a BIG deal. I'm honestly not sure I like this whole opening at midnight thing.

In years past (when I lived at home/was home for Thanksgiving), my step-mom and I would sit up Thanksgiving night and plot our attack on retail establishments the next morning. We not only had a game plan of which stores to hit, but we also sometimes had battle strategies for within each store. We would wake up at 4:00 or so, dress, and off we went. When my brothers and sister were small, we began our day at KB Toys, which used to open at a record 5:30am. The first year I can remember, I don't think we arrived at the mall any earlier than 5:00am and we were not too far back in line. A couple years later, I remember getting in line at Target at around 5:00am for the 6:00am opening, and we were around the corner. There were several great deals we wanted for the younger ones that year and I remember as soon as we got in the door we took off in different directions to ensure maximum coverage of the store. We had a pre-planned rendevous point and I think we got almost everything we went for. One year in college I was stuck in Alabama because I had to work (Roll Tide, we were headed to Auburn that day). My step-mom and I employed the divide and conquer strategy by both hitting our respective Target stores for the 6am opening, and making sure we kept in contact about what we could and couldn't find, therefore doubleing our chances for accomplishing our goals. Whenever I Black Friday shop with my step-mom, we always end the morning with a sausage biscuit from McDonalds before heading home to relax and then head out later with the rest of the family.

Last year I didn't Black Friday shop at all, or if we did, it wasn't until the late morning or afternoon. This year though, we have a lot to buy with the wedding coming up and everything so we figured Black Friday would be a good time to do some of this shopping. Most importantly, Manny lost a good bit of weight while he was deployed and hardly any of his clothes fit. And since we were going to Black Friday shop anyway, we decided to see what this midnight craziness was all about. (I had the best intentions of forming a plan for Black Friday, but we ended up just winging it.) We went home after Thanksgiving dinner, took a very short nap, and left the house in time to get to Macy's for midnight. The first thing we tried to find was a dress for the rehearsal dinner. After trying on about 10 dresses, I gave up. We then headed to the men's section to get some stuff for Manny. We were marginally more successful there but I'm still not sure how we spent 2 hours in Macy's. By the time we left Macy's I was pretty cranky (read: need caffeine) so we went out in the mall to Auntie Anne's Pretzels for a snack and a diet coke. After some cinnamon pretzel bites and a diet coke I was in a much better humor. We ventured over to American Eagle (where everything was 40% off) and got some stuff for my brothers (and a thing or two for me too) and then to Bath and Body Works. We were about to head home (about 3:30am) when we noticed large crowds outside of Victoria's Secret. There was a large sign advertising buy one get one 50% off on bras....yes, please! We waited for about 20 minute to even get into the store (that was our first mistake) and then when we got in there, the lines to check out were so long that we gave up and decided to come back at a more decent hour. By the time we got home and in bed it was 5am. I'm thoroughly convinced we could have done this in half the time with a better plan.

We had a good time (though honestly most of it is now a blur) but I think that next year I'd rather just get up and go to the stores for 5am or 6am. It just didn't quite feel like Black Friday, and it was a very strange experience to be in the mall basically overnight. I think that other thing that was weird is that I've never done personal shopping on Black Friday, I've only ever done Christmas shopping so I think that made it feel odd as well. And next year, whether I'm at home or in Ohio or wherever, I'm not going without a plan!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Off My Game

I am so off my game this year. Last year for Thanksgiving, I was so prepared. I had lists and plans and timelines. This year I'm lucky I got up and dressed on time. Manny (fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) was up incredibly early and finished cooking all the food before I was even awake. We watched the parade, had coffee and breakfast, and then showered and dressed and packed the car to go to our friends' house. (She has a blog too!) They just moved into a big new house and it was awesome to have so much room for Thanksgiving!

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I realized that was had completely forgotten that we had agreed to bring some hors d'oeuvres. Oops. We went in, finished up our casseroles and whatnot and then ate waaaaaayyyyyy too much super amazing food. I also forgot to have a plan for leftovers. Last year, I brought lots of disposable Gladware and paper bags and sent everyone home with food. This year, I didn't think of it until after dinner. I blame wedding brain. Even so, the day was really nice and it was awesome to spend the day with our friends.

I also had big plans to take lots of pictures and blog all our recipes after Thanksgiving. Um, yeah, I kind of forgot about that too. I feel like right now, it's all I can do to just get from one day to the next. Don't get me wrong, it's not a depression thing, it's just a we're-so-freakin-busy-I-can't-hardly-keep-up thing. Even though I sometimes feel like I'm running in circles, I'm so so so thankful for all that is happening in my life right now. I am, however, looking forward to things slowing down a little in 2012....I hope....

November Thankfulness: Day 23 - 25

Day 23: Today I am thankful for our new Christmas tree!

Yes, we put it up a little early but it's new and we had to make sure we liked it! ;)

Day 24 (THANKSGIVING!): Today I am thankful for having friends who are family to share holidays with when we can't make it home.

Day 25: Today I am thankful for 5 hours of sleep and coffee. And Black Friday. And shopping from midnight to 5am with my future hubby.

You would think we bought TONS of stuff. We didn't. I'm not really sure why we were at the mall for 5 hours. It just happened. Call it quality time together. My 2am snack of Auntie Anne's cinnamon pretzel bites were also quality.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 22

Today I am thankful for a job in which I can sometimes do other things while at work.

There are some days where my job literally involves sitting around waiting for someone to get hurt. It sounds morbid (or so I've been told), but that's just the way it is sometimes. Today I was able to send several wedding emails and pay a stack of bills while at work. :)


I've been posting a lot of fluff lately, lots of fill-in posts and of course my November Thankfulness series. I've tried writing about a few other things but I either get distracted or decide the topic is stupid. The truth is that I've been insanely busy and I feel like I can barely keep my head above water. Manny just came home, Thanksgiving (and his birthday) are this week, we leave for the wedding in two weeks, and the wedding itself is in just three weeks! Now don't get me wrong, I'm totally ready to get married, it's just making sure that all of my little ducks are in a row before the wedding! We've been so busy since Manny got home I feel like I don't know which way is up. I kind of knew it was going to be like this but...I'm exhausted. I'm pretty sure that's why I'm sick. I'm so happy now that we decided to do something low key for the honeymoon. We threw around the idea of going to Europe or somewhere equally as exciting, but I'm glad we decided against it because I honestly don't have the energy for Europe.

Anyway, my point is that I'd really like to get back to writing about stuff, not fluff. (Hehe, see, I tried to rhyme.) Last winter I had a lot of fun pretending to know how to bake and take pictures of it. This summer I went on an organizing, party planning, waiting for Manny to come home rampage. Now I'm up to my eyeballs in wedding planning and just like every other bride 3 weeks from her wedding....I'M JUST READY TO FREAKIN' BE MARRIED!

I realize that this is all very random, but if you know me in real life...I'm pretty random. Or ADD. Take your pick. ;) Here's where I usually pledge to write about stuff, not fluff! But honestly, I'm getting married in three freakin' weeks, I make no promises of bloggy goodness......but I'd still like to try.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted over at My Pretty Pennies!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries! Although, considering we bought groceries for the house and for Thanksgiving, the bill wasn't that bad.

2. Today I'm thankful for lots of stuff! Check out my updated November Thankfulness!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was hang out on Sunday with Manny and the dog (even if I was sick!).

4. I will consider this week a success if I get a few last wedding details nailed down.

5. This Thanksgiving we are celebrating with friends. We're bringing baked mac & cheese, green bean casserole, apple pie, and sweet potatoes.

November Thankfulness: Day 18 - 21

Oops. I kind of missed a few days here. :) We were crazy busy Saturday and I was sick all day Sunday. :( I have no idea what happened to Friday. I think I worked late?... Anyway, here's what I've been thankful for.

Day 18: Today I am thankful for honest friends.
I really like when people are honest if they have a problem, it's much better than bottling it up!

Day 19: Today I am thankful for all of our friends who came to our house for Manny's welcome home party! It was nice to have so many people come out to welcome him home! :)

Day 20: Today I amthankful for a puppy dog who will snuggle with me all day when I'm sick.
Maybe it was because I was warm, but it my head it was because my puppy was concerned. ;)

Day 21: Today I am thankful for R&R.
Meaning Manny is home getting stuff done while I'm at work. Yay to having help with the house again!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 17

Today I'm thankful for the lack of drama in my relationship.

A lot of people around me recently have had lots of drama in lots of their interpersonal relationships. Drama just exhausts me so I'm very happy to at least have no drama with Manny. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 15 & 16

Day 15: Today I am thankful for coffee night!

Every Tuesday I get together with some girlfriends for "late night coffee." It's so nice to have some designated time with the girls every week.

Day 16: Today I am thankful for date night!

I'm so excited that since Manny is home we can have our Wednesday date night again! (Why Wednesday? It's my only guaranteed "early night" at work.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Couponing, Cross-Stitching, and other Old Lady Stuff

Last Winter I had lots of hobbies. I cross-stitched, couponed, blogged, and baked my way through my first Ohio winter. Then Spring came and wedding planning, running, and Manny's impending deployment took over. Then I trudged my way through Summer and Fall, largely just keeping my head above water and awaiting Manny's return. (It sounds bad, but it's kind of true, I feel a bit like most of what I did was just try to pass the time until he came home.) And now Fall is nearly done, and Winter is upon us once again. Even in the few short days since Manny has come home, I feel like I have more free time. I feel like it's ok to take more time to myself because there's someone else to help with all that day-to-day stuff that seemed to take up so much time. I did have free time while he was gone, but I spent a lot of it doing.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my "Winter" hobbies. I bought a new cross-stitch book last night and have already started one of the patterns. (pictures soon!) I received a leaf-shaped cookie cutter from a friend at work and would like to try these.
photo credit and link
I think once we get married I'll have even more free time since I do spend a fair amount of time wedding planning (usually making phone calls, updating spread sheets, or sending emails). I know there's always going to be something to plan for or spend time on, but I'm looking forward to that time of year when (in Ohio at least) there's little else to do but hunker down indoors with some warm socks and a cup of tea.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 14

Today I am thankful for my independence.

I'm thankful that even though I'm in a wonderful relationship I can still be my own person. I'm thankful that even though I have someone to lean on when I need it, I know I can do a lot on my own. I'm thankful that my parents taught me to be strong enough to handle things by myself if I have to.

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on stuff for the house from a few different stores.

2. Today I'm thankful for my independence. (If you want, you can check out all of my November Thankfulness posts!) I'm so happy and thankful to have someone to share my life with, but I am thankful that within that I can still be my own person. This also comes in really handy when that other person has to go overseas for 6 months. ;)

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was welcome Manny home!!!!!

4. I will consider this week a success if I find the time to both relax and be productive. I have a hard time finding a happy medium. :)

5. I am looking forward to a fun Thanksgiving with friends.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 12 & 13

Day 12: Today I am thankful for my job.

I had to work on Saturday. And I complained about it. But then I realized that I should be thankful to have a secure, well-paying job.

Day 13: Today I am thankful for relaxing Sundays with Manny.

After so long apart, it's nice to have a lazy day where neither of us has to work and we can do as we please.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 11

Today I am thankful for my freedom!!!

Happy Veterans Day to all, but especially to my future husband (USAF), my late grandfather (US Army), my other grandfather (US Coast Guard), my step-dad (US Navy), my cousin (USMC), my friend Sarah and her husband (US Navy, USMC), and of course all of my military friends here in Ohio. (Sorry if I forgot anyone!) Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 10

Today I am thankful for fall weather!

Ok, so I was freezing my butt off this morning but I love being able to wear fuzzy boots and sweaters. Mostly I like wearing them when I'm inside drinking coffee and thinking "Wow, it must be really cold out there." But I've grown to really like this time of year and it's even better now with someone to snuggle with! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Thankfulness: Days 8 & 9

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, but keep reading and you'll see why.

Day 8: Today I am thankful for the safe return of the love of my life from overseas!!!

Yep. He's finally home. And I'm beside myself with happniess. :)

Day 9: Today I am thankful for the ability to have breakfast with my fiance, in real life, and not on Skype!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 7

Today I am thankful for Diet Coke.

Ok so this is trivial. But there are some days when a Diet Coke so just makes things a little better. 

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a trip to Target. But this time it was for necessary house stuff, not personal spending. ;)

2. Today I am thankful for lovely fall weather and the fact that everything is pumpkin flavored.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was have dinner with a friend. It was free because we ate at my house using stuff I already had in my cabinets!

4. I will consider this week a success if I...this week will be a success. Details later. :)

5. I have no strong feelings about Daylight Savings Time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 6

Today I am thankful for my friends.

Enough said.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 5

Today I am thankful for my parents.

Most of the time when people divorce and get remarried, the new step-parent is just some guy/girl that your mom/dad married. That is so not the case with my family. I am so truly blessed to not only have a wonderful mom and dad, but two have two step-parents who are just as much my parents as my "real" parents. Even when my parents drive me crazy, it's mostly because they care so much and just want to be involved in everything. So, I'm giving thanks today for four wonderfully over-involved parents.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 4

Today I am thankful for my legs and feet and the ability to run.

So often I complain about having to go out in the cold to run. Or what a pain it is to find time in my schedule to go for a run. But there are a lot of people who would love nothing more than the opportunity to use their legs and go for a jog.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 3

Day 3: Today I am thankful for the school I'm assigned to.
I had absolutely no control over which school I was contracted out to. I know I complain about it sometimes but it really is an awesome place to work. I get to work with some great people and for some wonderful families.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Thankfulness: Days 1 & 2

I've seen a couple people (though I can't find the blogs anywhere now) posting about purposefully giving thanks for one thing every day in November. I really like this thought and think I'll participate. I haven't found anywhere to link up just yet so if you know of a host, let me know! I'll have to do two today since I didn't decide to do it until today. ;)

November 1: Today I am thankful for my supervisors.
So often you hear of crappy bosses who are mean and uncaring towards their employees. Even though I work for a fairly large hospital corporation, my direct supervisors are so caring and have been incredibly supportive during some difficult times I've faced while working here.

November 2: Today I am thankful for my dog.
My dog has kept me such good company while Manny has been away. He's the best little snuggler and makes me laugh all the time. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Goals

Omg! November is here!!! I'm getting married next month! Woohoo! November is going to be full of happy, exciting things and I'm so so so happy to get it started! I love this season right before Thanksgiving and Christmas where everyone gets all happy and holiday-like. ;) It's my very favorite time of year, and I plan to fully enjoy it! But anyway, we're here to talk about goals! ;)

1. Share Thanksgiving with friends who are like family. 
2. Put together a couple cross-stitch projects that have been stitched, just not finished.
3. Put together Christmas gift list.
4. Start Christmas shopping.
5. Put up Christmas tree.
6. Give cookies to neighbors.
7. Order rehearsal dinner food.
8. Purchase attendant gifts for wedding.

So there you have it! November goals! Some of them are kind of cheat goals, but whatever, they're my goals. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on....I don't want to answer. Haha. I spent $50 at Target on a couple household things and some new makeup. I also spent about as much on a couple clothing items for myself. Again, need to slow down on the personal spending.

2. Today I am thankful for my high school's football season being over. I know there are lots of athletic trainers out there looking playoffs in the face but I'm thankful to be done with outdoor sports. :)

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spend Satuday night on my couch watching a Bones on Netflix.

4. I will consider this week a success if I complete my "to do" list.

5. This year for Halloween I will be hiding from the small children since I didn't buy any candy. In my defense, we were more than ready last year and not a single trick-or-treater visited us.

October Goal Review

my pumpkin (sorry for the crummy picture) ;)

I was a little nervous about reviewing my goals this month because I've been super busy and haven't even glanced at my goals since I wrote them. But...I actually managed to get a couple accomplished! Read on for details! ;)

1. Find some motivation and get back into the workout/running swing.
I did ok with this. I ran twice last week, but that was the most I've run all month. I hope to run or workout 3 - 4 times per week during November.

2. Organize the cabinet under our sink. 
I don't know what it is about this goal, but I can not seem to get it done. Here's hoping for November?

3. Organize our closets after the roommate moves out.
I totally did this! Manny's closet still needs a little more work but it's not more than about 20 minutes of work! :)

4. Pick a photo challenge and begin working on it.
I did not do this. Not even a little. :(

5. Order wedding cake and groom's cake.

6. Begin dress alterations. (for my wedding dress)
Done! I brought the dress in, got fitted, and will be picking it up at the end of November!

7. Switch out summer/winter clothes.
DONE! :)

8. Write three letters. 
I only wrote one.

Did you set goals this month? How did they turn out?

And Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up: 10/24

Hosted by My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a trip to Target. (and they weren't all exactly necessary purchases) :/ Naughty, I know. But in my defense it did include a present for Manny. It's actually been a rather expensive week in general. Need to cut back a bit this week.

2. Today I'm thankful for the people in my life. I know I say this a lot but I really couldn't do it alone. :)

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this past week that made me happy was giving my puppy dog a bath and continuing to reorganize our house. Manny gets home really soon and I really want to have it mostly done before he gets here!

4. I will consider this week a success if I keep my house clean, and continue to make more progress (but it is looking great if I do say so myself)!

5. The next big trip I'm taking is to the airport to pick up Manny! It's not a long trip (only 25 minutes) but it is definitely a big deal! If we're going to answer this question more traditionally, it's down to New Orleans for our wedding!!! Which is both a long distance and a big freakin deal!

Hope y'all have a good week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Time

For most of this deployment, I've felt like time has gone by pretty quickly. I'm sure I've complained about him being gone a lot, but for the most part I've felt pretty ok. And I was overjoyed when the month of October not only finally arrived but seemed to be flying by at lightning speed. At least it was until the beginning of this week. :/

At the beginning of this week I realized that he would be home soon. Like really soon. Like in a matter of weeks. And that's when time seems to have come to a screeching halt. So. not. fair. I've even had a super busy week at work, which usually helps move things right along. But not this week. It seems to have had the opposite effect. I've tried not to get too down about it but I'm really struggling. I vaguely remember this feeling from his first deployment, that he was going to be home so soon that it seemed nearly unattainable. I've even tried making a list of all the stuff that's going on and everything I want to do before he gets home. It's not helping. All I want to do is crawl in bed and not come out until it's time to pick him up from the airport. Pathetic, right?

Seriously, even looking at the calendar makes me sad. Because even though it's so close it seems so far away. Maybe it's because I don't know exactly when he's coming home yet. And that information seems so much more pertinent now that he's coming home in a matter of weeks. I've even tried making a list of all the stuff I want to get accomplished in the next few weeks (broken down by day of course), but I got stuck.

Any of you ladies have any advice for making the next couple weeks easier? Or do I just need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it?

Edited to add:
Ok, so the week is over and I feel a whole lot better. I'm not sure why. I just do. I had a little mini-meltdown on Friday and afterwards (in addition to feeling like a fool), I realized that it's really all going to be ok. Manny will come home. I will make it through the rest of football season. Everything is fine. Sometimes I lose sight of that and get very overwhelmed.

Anyway, I feel better now and am determined not to get so down and overwhelmed. I only have a couple weeks left, I can do this!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home Office Help

Last weekend, our good friend and roommate moved out. As much as we're going to miss him, I have very much been looking forward to having a whole other room (complete with ginormous closet) to expand into. I've been fully convinced for the last year that the biggest challenge to keeping our house neat and organized was the fact that we simply did not have enough room. That being said, moving stuff into this room in a neat and organized fashion is a slightly bigger task than I anticipated. I've already cleaned the carpets, moved the desk/computer upstairs, and set up the television. But now I'm kind of stuck. I really want to move stuff in here and get it out of other rooms (our bedroom in particular) but I'm afriad of ruining this lovely space with clutter! My biggest concern is the "home office" type stuff. I need a good way to organize papers and envelopes and such. Of course, I looked to Pinterest for help, but that made me feel even more overwhelmed! ;) Everything on there is so crafty and cute and perfect.

Any of you fantasticly organized people (or even recovering clutterbugs like me?) have any advice or ideas?

Until then, here's my to do list for this room:
- clean bathroom
- move extra bath products into bathroom
- move luggage into closet
- move wedding presents into room
- put away summer clothes
- find space for winter hats and scarves

I'm sure there's more, but that's it for now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on some miscellanous home items at Target. It's been a pretty tame week. :)

2. Today I am thankful for less than a month!!!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was start moving stuff into our newly vacated 2nd bedroom.

4. I will consider this week a success if I continue to make progress on organizing the house.

5. The colest place I have visited is Italy! Rome was my favorite city we visited while there.

Click on over to My Pretty Pennies if you to check it out everyone else's posts!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Sprinkle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, so these cookies are not really anything too special, but they are definitely adorable! All I did was mix up my regular chocolate chip cookies and then roll them around in sprinkles. :) I do suggest, for this type of cookie, to put the sprinkles, colored sugar, or whatever in a bowl, and dipping/rolling the balled up cookie dough in it.

I would like to note that the one in the middle was rolled all the way around in sprinkles rather than just dipped. You use a lot more sprinkles that way but it's also really yummy.

I used a couple different kinds of sprinkles as well as colored sugar. I definitely prefer the colored sugar and round sprinkles pictured above. They still look good post-baking.

And there you have it. Fall sprinkle chocolate chip cookies. I'm a big fan of anything festive and I've been excited about fall for a while now. :)

Ps, I got my sprinkles at Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure there are about a million other places to buy sprinkles as well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Wow. I can't believe I haven't written since last week's check up. Suffice to say, life at work has been exhausting and by the time I get home, I just want to collapse. Anyway, let's move on to the Weekly Money Check Up (hosted each week by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies).

1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries.

2. Today I am thankful for friends who become family.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this week that made me happy was bake cookies using my new fall themed sprinkles! (ok, I did have to buy some flour and butter but it was still pretty inexpensive!)

4. I will consider this week a success if I take it one step at a time, and don't get too stressed out.

5. Today I plan to go to work for 14 hours. Hint: I just got home. :/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Every week, Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies hosts the Weekly Money Check Up. Click on over to check it out!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on my phone bill. But at least there were no overage charges this month (I know, it hurts my frugal soul).

2. Today I am thankful for the support of my fiance. When things were really really bad, rather than letting me quit, or even consider quitting, he reminded me that I'm strong enough to take on whatever is in front of me.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was getting tons of things accomplished on a Sunday evening. Oh! And I got to Skype with Manny, that always makes me happy. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I keep the kitchen clean! The whole house gets a little messy when I'm really busy but the kitchen is the only part that bothers me part that bothers me the most/grosses me out.

5. I like snuggling with my puppy because um, who doesn't like snuggling with an adorable spotted dachshund!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Goals

It's October! It feels like fall! Manny is coming home soon-ish! This all makes me really happy and I'm really hoping that this gives me motivation to stick to my goals this month!

1. Find some motivation and get back into the workout/running swing.
2. Organize the cabinet under our sink.
3. Organize our closets after the roommate moves out.
4. Pick a photo challenge and begin working on it.
5. Order wedding cake and groom's cake.
6. Begin dress alterations.
7. Switch out summer/winter clothes.
8. Write 3 letters.

I know my goals are a little random, but hey, I'm a little random. ;) I know this is much shorter than my usual goals post but I think most of my goals are pretty self explanatory. :) Also, I've had trouble finding the motivation to blog so I figured I'd keep it short and sweet.

Have a great October!

Friday, September 30, 2011

September Goal Review

It's the end of September! Which means we're that much closer to Manny coming home! Eeee!!! I'm pretty sure I ignored most of my goals for September but lets review them anyway. Just for giggles. ;)

1. Use reusable shopping bags. I actually did a bit better on this than I have in the past. I'd say I used them about 50% of the time.

2. Keep up with my household planner. Big, fat, ugly fail.

3. Organize linen closet. Also a fail.

4. Organize the cabinet under our sink. Yeah, I didn't do that much any organizing this month

5. Get our room organized and ready for "the switch". Fail. But I kind of have a reason. I still need to clean/organize our room but I'm not planning on changing everything around before Manny comes home anymore.

So if August was my super busy month, I guess September was my drama month. This have been absolutely ridiculous at work. I really can't go into it but I've been stressed beyond belief this month and am sincerely hoping things calm down a little bit. I've been trying to have a better attitude about it which has certainly helped but has not solved any problems. But if a good attitude can keep me from going over the edge...well then I'm going to do it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Each Monday, the Check Up is hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries. Yay for purposeful spending. :)

2. Today I am thankful for my job. It is damn near driving me to insanity right now but it helps to stop and be thankful that I get a paycheck regularly.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week was clean my kitchen...and it makes me SO happy to have a clean kitchen. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I keep calm and carry on.

5. A talent I wish I had is something artistic. I used to be able to draw pretty ok...but I'm not particularly artsy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Half Marathon

I did it! Last Saturday was the big day and despite a bunch of bumps in the road during training I did it! It was SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously, I never expected running 13.1 miles to actually be enjoyable but it totally was! Race day totally made up for all the training.

Thursday morning I went to pick up my race bib and goodie bag (which, might I add, contained TWO tubes of chapstick. win!). There was a small design flaw in the pick-up process in that you had to walk in this building (which was a multipurpose arena type place) go allllll the way around, down to the bottom of the arena, pick up your bib/bag and then go back up about a million stairs to get back to where you could exit. And then because I'm especially smart, I decided to take another lap to check out some of the vendors, but then got lost/stuck, and had to go alllll the way down and back up the stairs again. You should also know that (because, again, I'm really smart) I got Starbucks that morning because I was really tired, and then my calves started cramping (yes, 2 days before the race) and I had seriously sore calves for 2 days.

Anyway, Friday came around and it was like the longest day of work in the history of ever. Even longer than my regular Fridays. :/ And of course like forty eleven people had to get hurt at the football game so I was sprinting around like a lunatic for most of the night. Nothing like a litlte sprint workout the night before the half marathon right?

Despite all that I was bright eyed and bushy tailed mostly conscious when my friend (whose awesomeness I shall proclaim shortly) came to pick me up. This amazing friend (who doesn't blog, or I would totally link her up), who was not running in the race, woke up at the crackass of dawn, picked me up at my house, came with me to the race, stayed the whole time, cheered me on, then brought me to Chipotle later. See. I told you she's amazing! I digress. Anyway, so we sit in the mile long line to get to the parking area and then make our way towards the starting line. And since it's me, I of course had to stop and pee. The lines for the bathrooms were sooooo long. I guess everyone was a little nervous. ;)

Once we make it up there we part ways so I can head to the starting line where of course I waited until the last possible minute to take off my layers. :) I was amazed at the amount of people. I knew it was a huge race and everything but once I got in that crowd at the starting line I started to get really excited nervous excited. Ok, I was really nervous and really excited. I was mostly nervous because my brain picked this exact moment to inform me that I had no plan. Several of the runners around me were talking about goal times and at which miles the planned to eat/ingest their Gu. I realized then that while I had joked for weeks about how my only goal was to "cross the finish line, and preferably not in an ambulance"....I had made no plans on how to do so (other than the months and months of training of course). So now that it's about one minute to the starting gun and I'm completely panicked, I decide that I'm just going to do it. Just jog and jog and jog some more...and if I get really exhausted, I'll walk for a while. Yep, that was the extent of my plan. Brilliant, I know. ;)

At the beginning of the race, I felt a little like I was in a herd of cattle, which was probably for the best. Helps calm the nerves. ;) Around mile 3, I realized I was really hungry. I had a protein shake and a power bar before the race, but had been so crazed the night before I didn't really think to pack anything else. Thankfully, some wonderful race volunteers were right around the corner handing out some Gu (see above). My flavor was strawberry banana. It tasted like ass but it was very helpful. Around mile 5 I kept thinking to myself "omg. omg. i'm actually doing it. i'm acutally running a half marathon." Then at mile 6 I rememberd that I wasn't even halfway finished yet. Oops. Minor mental setback. But I was quickly distracted by something or someone on the course and was back on my happy trains of thought. That was one thing that was seriously helpful...just when you thought you were getting bored, there was someone or something to look at. Or a hoard of volunteers at a water station cheering everyone on. By the time we got to mile 11 I just wanted it to be over. I was tired, my legs hurt, and I was ready for some Chipotle! Finally the finish line was in sight and I could not have been happier! Heading down the chute and crossing the finish line was the coolest experience. Spectators were cheering for anyone and everyone. After the finish line you were coralled into another chute to recieve your finishers medal. My legs were so tired that I almost fell over and head-butted the fancy officer guy who was trying to put on my medal. Oops. Sorry mr. fancy officer man. :/

All in all it was an amazing experience. And I never thought I'd say this but I can't wait to do it again! Now that you've made it through the are some pictures. ;)

crossing the finish line!
i'm a hot mess but i finished!
Any of you fellow runners out there have any tips for my next one!?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's September what?!!

I feel so behind. I can't keep up with house cleaning. I can't seem to keep up with blogging. I'm doing *ok* on keeping track of my spending. And I'm even behind on some stuff at work. :/ I feel like I don't quite have enought time for anything. With the house, it seems like I'm home just long enough to mess it up a little then run right back out the door.

However, even as I'm sitting here writing this, I know it sounds like I'm just complaining. And I am a little. It also sometimes takes me getting it down on "paper" to realize that rather than just complain about it, I need a plan. It's true that I'm really tired when I get home, and on my mornings off I don't always want to spend my whole day cleaning but something has to be done!

So, until my house and car are back in order, I'm going to have a schedule for my down time. I'm not saying that I'm going to have myself cleaning every minute that I'm home. We all know that wouldn't work. ;) But I do know that I work well on a schedule so that's what I'm going to do. :) And maybe if I post my schedule here I'll get some good old fashioned guilt working so that I'll actually do it! (And maybe even take some pictures in the process *gasp!*)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

no subject

I know I've been absent again. Work has been stressing me out to the point of emotional and physical exhaustion. I'm trying to get better at compartmentalizing so that even when things get rough I can leave it at work!

In other news, the half marathon was this past Saturday! It was the most awesome experience! Details (and pictures) to come later this week!

Hope y'all had a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I know it's a little late, but I just had to share.

photo credit

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

1. The most I've spent this last week was on my phone bill.

2. Today I am thankful for great friends who keep me going!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did this week that made me happy was  have an impromptu gathering with our neighbors when we were both out of power last night. They were barbqueing and we built a fire and just hung out and waited for the power to come back on.

4. I will consider this week a success if I'm a little more productive at home this week.

5. I am willing to splurge on running shoes.

Head on over to My Pretty Pennies to see what the Weekly Money Check Up is all about!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September Goals

Yes, these are a few days late, but better late than never. ;)

1. Use reusable shopping bags. 
I am the worst at this. I own several reusable bags, but they never seem to make it to the store with me.

2. Keep up with my household planner.
I think this was sort of a lofty goal given that August is by far my busiest month of the year. However, I should be getting back to my "normal" fall schedule here soon and I would really like to keep up with my wonderfully clean house.

3. Organize linene closet.
Seriously, this has been on my list since the beginning of summer. It's time.

4. Organize the cabinet under our sink.
There is quite the assortment of stuff under there, and I've even bought plastic bins to put it all in. It just needs to get done. Like, now.

5. Get our room organized and ready for "the switch."
Long story short, Manny and a friend of ours were already living in the townhouse when I, much earlier than planned, moved up here and we've all lived together ever since. However, our friend is moving out sometime in October and I plan on moving our stuff into the master bedroom and turning our current bedroom into an office/reading/craft/whatever room.

I think that's enough since I clearly had trouble with my goals last month. ;) If for some reason I become insanely productive in the next 30 days, maybe I'll add some.

What are your goals for September?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Goals Review

August definitely went by as quickly as I anticipated. I also did not have a chance to get all of my tasks accomplished. Work has been completely insane, but hopefully it will become a little less stressful tomorrow (I'll fill y'all in later). The tasks I didn't complete in August definitely still need to be done and will be bumped to September. It doesn't seem like it but Manny will be home sooner rather than later and there are still some things I really want to get done before he comes home.

August Goal Review:
1. Keep up with my household planner. I did a lot better with this during the first part of the month, which makes no sense because that's when I was working the most. I have managed to keep my downstairs pretty clean but it could use a good scrubbing to make sure it stays that way.

2. Pick out and order wedding invitations. DONE! :)

3. Make a wedding "To Do" list. I started this, but have nowhere near completed it. I do feel like the wedding is a little more under control though because we have been making some decisions lately. :) But, I still want/need to make this master list to make sure nothing falls through the cracks!

4. Complete several organizing projects. Sadly, not one of these got done. I even looked at my last weekend and planned to complete a couple of them but it just did not happen. They're definitely going to appear on September's goals though!

So only one out of four is completely done. :/ Could be worse. Now that the school year has started, I'm hoping to get back into a rhythm. I have several mornings per week off due to the late-night nature of my job, so I'm hoping to put those mornings to good use!

Did you set goals in August? How did they go?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up (a day late)

I apologize for lateness of this post. Things were a little crazy yesterday...

Each week Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies hosts a financial fill-in. Click on over and check it out!

1. The most I've spent this last week on... if we're talking a singular purchse. I spent the most on this hydration belt for my long runs. I used it for the first time yesterday and it was fantastic! Other than that I spent the most on groceries. :)

2. Today I am thankful that we are closer to the end than the beginning of this deployment!!!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did this week that made me happy was have ice cream with a friend. (Although, I must confess I also indulged in a little retail therapy this week.)

4. I will consider this week a success if I get some things straightened out at work.

5. The thing I will miss most when summer is over is all the free time I had.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lizzy's Christmas Ornament

I was thinking the other day about how I had not done any cross-stiching in at least 4 months. I finished a couple bookmarks several months ago (Happiness Bookmark, Bibliophile Bookmark, and an awesome Robot Bookmark for Manny that I didn't manage to get a picture of), but after that I took a rather long hiatus. To get back in the swing of things, I decided to make my best friend a Christmas ornament to hang on her very first "big girl" tree (this will be her first Christmas in her new house).

Here's some pictures of the progress...
Poinsettia Heart
from Ornaments Galore: Volume 2
stitched on Oatmeal Aida 14 count
with suggested color choices

My only issue now is I can't decide how to finish it. I made a couple ornaments last Christmas, but I'm trying to decide whether to do this one differently. Any of you cross-stitchers have any ideas?!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mama's Potato Salad

Prepare yourself for a rare recipe post! (Maybe one day these will become common. ;) ) Anyway, I had a barbque to go to for work this weekend and volunteered to bring potato salad. I contemplated just buying some from Kroger but then guilt got the better of me and I called my mom for her recipe. Enjoy!

3 lbs. small new potatoes
6 eggs
3 celery stalks
1 can black olives (drained)
yellow mustard
salt/pepper (or seasoned salt)

boil your potatoes until soft
set aside to cool
boil your eggs
set aside to cool
(mama's trick: after draining water, put ice in the pot to speed cooling)
chop celery and drain olives, set aside
once cooled, cube potatoes
once cooled, peel and chop eggs
mix together, adding mayonaise, mustard, salt and pepper to tatse
mama's advice: sprinkle a little paprika on the finished product to make it prettier

Yum! I taste tested some and it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. ;) I think I may try making some on a smaller scale for next week.

Oh, and if you're prone to dropping ice on the floor, you might want to keep one of these handy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up

Two weeks in a row?! I'm slowly but surely getting back into a good blogging habit. :) For any of your who are new, Weekly Money Check Up is hosted weekly by MPP over at My Pretty Pennies. Click on over and check it out!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on personal/home purchases at Target. Though I'm about to go to the grocery...that will probably win.

2. Today I am thankful for not having to work until the afternoon. I don't really like getting home so late at night but I do enjoy having my mornings to myself a few days a week.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was work on/finish a cross stitch project for a friend. Pictures coming soon!

4. I will consider this week a success if I get through it without complaining too much. My schedule is pretty awesome now that I'm back to my "normal" fall schedule and I really need to appreciate it. :)

5. The best prank ever pulled on me was...honestly I don't remember. I'm pretty gullible/trusting though so there have been some good ones!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Free Eggs Taste Better

I love coupons. I don't always use them and I'm not one of those people who uses them to get hundreds of dollars of stuff for three cents but I still love them. Even if I just get fifty cents off an item, that's fifty cents I would have had to spend otherwise! I'm thoroughly convinced that it really does save money over time.

Anyways, I do most of my shopping at our local Kroger as it's right around the corner from my house. Of course I have a KrogerPlus card and load ecoupons on it before grocery shopping. Well every once in a while, Kroger will mail out these little coupon packets and they are my favorite! Why? Because from this last packet I got a FREE dozen eggs and a FREE jar of salsa. I would show you pictures of the salsa but I already ate it all. So instead, I'll show you what I did with some of my free eggs. (No, I'm not going to post a recipe because it's just scrambled eggs and I doubt anyone wants to follow my spazzy cooking directions.)

Voila! Yummy cheese eggs! And they were even better than usual because they were made out of free eggs!!!

This weekend I plan to further put my free eggs to good use by making cookies for work. Do you ever get coupons for free stuff? Am I the only one that gets THIS excited about it?! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Operation Organize Update

I'm pretty sure everyone thinks I've completely abandoned Operation Organize. I haven't, it's just kind of on hold. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, you can check out Phase I and Phase II here. I've also done some organizing without blogging about it. I know. Shame on me.

A week or so before my friend's bridal shower, another friend came over and we spent 11 hours cleaning/organizing the bottom floor of my house. Yes, it took that long. Yes, I felt like I was on Hoarders. But now it looks amazing! It's been several weeks and much to my surprise, the house still looks great!

It's ok. I won't be offended if you're surprised too. :) All too often in the past, either my best friend or my mom has come over and help me overhaul my house, only to find weeks later that it has slipped back into its normal messiness. No more! I am determined! Like I mentioned in a previous post, I'm using a chore planner to try and help me remember to do all those little things around the house I usually seem to forget about. In addition, here are a few helpful hints from someone with serious clutter/hoarding tendencies on keeping up with the clean!

1. It's ok if you don't put something away the very second you're done using it, but doing a quick put away at the end of each day is very helpful.
2. If you fall  a little behind on chores, do them when you can rather than ignore them.
3. If your house doesn't look like it fell out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine...that's ok. Your house doesn't have to look like a show room to be clean and organized.
4. If you need to, call in reinforcements. So many times, I got so overwhelmed with cleaning and organizing I just ignored it altogether. But having someone else to help and keep you focused can really help get things back in order!

I still have several medium/large organizing projects on my list, so stay tuned for more organizing!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

I haven't done this in ages! I have no idea why I stopped but I seem to have also stopped keeping really good track of my spending. Maybe participating again will help me get back on track!

For those of you who are new, MPP over at My Pretty Pennies hosts this fill-in post every week. Enjoy!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a pair of really good, properly fitted running shoes. Most of you probably know I'm training for a half marathon, and since my shoes were starting to wear out I decided to go to a specialty running store and get some shoes that are really good for my feet. And, they weren't any more expensive than what I was going to get at a regular store!

2. Today I am thankful for first world problems. I read a post last week about first world problems and it made me really think about the "difficulties" I face while living in a first world country. I am thankful that my problems do not include not being able to feed my family or not having clean water.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was Skype with my honey!

4. I will consider this week a success if I stick to my running schedule. I was doing really well before things got really busy at work and I dropped a weight on my toe. This half marathon is in a little over a month people!

5. If I had today off I would organize our bedroom! I would probably also take a nap. :)

If you want to participate, just head on over to My Pretty Pennies to check it out!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm Back!

I think things are finally going to slow down at work. Ok, I really shouldn't complain...I had two really really busy weeks and now life will become (somewhat) normal again. :) Back in the day this super busy time of year would last at least three weeks and right on through the football season. Working for a hospital makes life much more reasonable. ;) Anyway, I did manage to have some fun this weekend! Saturday night I went and saw The Help with a friend. It was awesome! And then we went and got ice cream...which was also awesome. The today the same friend and I met up for a trip to Target, and then I went to the grocery. Why am I telling you this? Oh, because I did some really sweet couponing today! Seriously, I saved $3 on razors at target and got FREE eggs and a FREE jar of salsa at Kroger. Go ahead. Judge all you want. I got free eggs. ;)

Hope y'all have a good week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

We made it!

Ok, so my little football team made it through two-a-days! We did not escape without a few bumps and bruises but, hey, that's what I'm there for. :) Hopefully I'll have some time for blogging this weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 5, 2011


I'm up to my eyeballs in work. I've been at work by 6am everyday this week. I will work over 60 hours this week. For once I actually have a legitimate excuse for not blogging. ;)

Hope everyone is having a great week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Goals

Starting this past December, I began making a list of monthly goals and posting them here. I find that posting goals on my blog helps keep me a little more accountable. :)

Ok, so I know I've said this a lot this year, but it really is hard for me to believe it's already August! Summer is over, and the crap hits the fan at work today. But the good news about that is I'll be up to my eyeballs in work from now until when Manny gets home, hopefully it makes the time go by faster. The only bad part about that is there are quite a few wedding things I need to get done in the next four (eep!) months and I'm not going to have a whole lot of free time on my hands. I think my biggest challenge over the next few months is going to be to not freak out and remember to breathe. :) Ok, now that I've taken a few calming breaths, here are my goals for August. :)

1. Keep up with my household planner.
A few weeks ago, I posted about how I'm trying really hard to get my house in order and keep it that way. Part of that is using a household planner a friend recommended that helps you keep track of daily and weekly chores. 

2. Pick out and order wedding invitations.
I mentioned in my July Goal Review that I had narrowed my invitation choices down to two. This month, prefereably sooner rather than later, I need to make the choice and get them ordered.

3. Make a wedding "To Do" list.
I have a lot of the big things covered. And has a really good list that I refer back to, and I also have a binder from my parents that has a big list of To Do's. The only problem with both of those is that I rarely refer to them. I think if I could get one list piled together I would hopefully be more likely to refer to it. :)

4. Complete several organizing projects.
I won't have a heck of a lot of free time this month but here are a few things I'd still like to get accomplished:
     organize bookshelf in master bedroom
     organize linen closet
     organize cabinet under sink in bathroom

Ok, I think that's plenty for my busiest work month of the year. Wish me luck!