Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where have you been???

I logged in for the first time in a long time today only to realize that I've not posted since May.  On one hand, it's hard to believe, but on the other, I know everything that's happened this year.  I've been lucky enough to have quite a few people ask me where I've been these past seven months (it means you were actually reading this!) and I'm blessed to have so many people who care!

In as short of an explanation as possible, 2011 sucked.  It absolutely, positively was brutal.  The spirit of this blog was happiness in the face of adversity and to be honest (as I've promised to be) I did not have the capacity to be happy for most of those months.  The thought of finding something to even attempt to be happy about and share with you all made me want to crawl deeper under the covers.  When I found happy moments - let's be honest, of course I did - I just wanted to live them. 

Lucky for me - and maybe you - I'm back!  2012 is on the horizon and hubs and I have so much change coming for us. 

First off, he is headed back to school!  After two and a half years of being laid off/unemployed, he made the decision to recommit himself to being a student and is heading into our local community college to begin their Pre-Engineering Program.  He has high aspirations and I have all the faith in the world that this is the path he was meant to be on.  (Take it from a girl who has to physically remove the remote from his hands to stop the constant barrage of Discovery, Nat Geo, History Channel, etc., etc.) This is gonna be awesome!

Second on the list of "most awesome" new beginnings - I'm making the switch from Account Service to Public Relations.  It took a post from my favorite Red-Headed Blogger (read it here) to finally propel me into action, but she inspired me to reevaluate myself and find my "higher banana". 

For those who don't want to read it all - here's my favorite snippet:

Whatever your Higher Banana is, it’ll make you cry a little. And that’s because it has the power to break your heart – business, love, life in general. It’s a silly shape for something we should have aspirations for and what do I care if you decide to call it your Higher Artichoke or Higher Hippogriff? It doesn’t matter a damn to me. What matters is that we bust our asses to reach it (because it’s higher than we might think), we open our hearts to everything that will bring it closer (because it’s never going to be a yellow brick road) and when we find it, we refuse to become complacent. We keep striving to fulfill our promise to the Higher Banana.

I took a look at where I was, what I was doing everyday and how happy it made me.  What I realized is that I had professionally backslid, I was bored to tears and I hated doing it.  So, I stuck my neck out and reached for a role that I thought maybe, JUST maybe, I could be a complete rockstar.  The look on the face of the guy in charge when I said I was interested was one I'll never forget.  The one on mine when they told me I was the front-runner hands-down was one I wish I had a picture of.  Moral of my story - don't be afraid to fail.

So, 2012 is coming.  I don't know if this blog will keep its theme of being where I try to find my happy place or if it will evolve from here.  But, I do know that I loved interacting with you all and sharing my ramblings.  I hope you keep checking in and throw down a comment or two to let me know you're out there.

Have a fantastic holiday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ahhhh validation!

I've been nervously awaiting today for the last week. 

For four weeks I've been following the Self Magazine 2011 Challenge - eating from their meal plan and suffering through their ass-kicking workouts.  Today marks 31 days since I started the program and my first visit to my doc since then.  I don't own a scale, so this was the only way I was getting weighed.  (No, I didn't intentionally schedule it this way, but it worked out quite well!). 

I didn't follow the meal plan every day, nor did I get every single workout in, but..... drumroll pleeeeease......I lost SEVEN pounds and FOUR inches!  WOOT WOOT!

Insert crazy-Carlton dancing all over my car and eventually my house tonight!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sweet Victory

Once upon a time, there was a couple of crazy kids who thought it would be a great idea to DIY/on the cheap redo their master bedroom - on a Sunday.  While in theory, this was a grand plan, in application, it was quite the disaster.  Those kids lost many a battle that day, but they did win the war!

Let me lay today out for you - in all of its ups and downs:

1) Put old bed on Craiglist - emails start coming in within an hour - this is great!

2) First buyer never shows, but hubs and I spend over an hour taking apart and transporting old bed down to the garage (bonus: lots of stairs = no need for a workout)

3) Start to put together new bed frame.  Bought via CL over six months ago, brand new in box, and IT'S BROKEN.  There aren't holes where there needs to be.  Hubs has to cut two pieces off and proceeds to break two drill bits before breaking down and going to Lowe's for a superman version to create new holes.  THIS IS NOT GREAT.

4) New buyer is found, picks up old bed.  Again - this is great!

5) Hubs gets new bed frame to work - GREAT! But we realize that we are going to need a box spring unless we want to sleep three inches off the floor.  NOT GREAT.  Bonus: I remember new buyer saying  he now has a box spring he has no need for since our old bed frame didn't require one.  And he's even nice enough to bring it back across town to us (because we sold hubs' truck we have no way to pick it up).  GREAT!

6) New buyer drops off box spring - we give him his money back from the bed and call it an even swap. Everyone is happy! Until we try to put the box springs on the bed frame, only to realize that our buyer has a California King - which is even more fantastic because he now has a mattress that won't fit in our frame and we have a frame and mattress with too big of a box spring.  NOT GREAT.

7) Great idea - let's just swap mattresses!  It's only new buyer's third trip from completely across town.  Why wouldn't he want to do that!?! Oh wait - we had to modify our original frame and cut a piece off, the piece that allowed us to expand out to a Cali King size.  Now we are going to have a box spring and mattress with no frame.  New buyer to the rescue again! He brings his old frame (after he had already left and went back to pick it up).  SO GREAT.

8) New buyer helps us move his mattress upstairs and ours out to his truck.  We are lucky and all current bedding fits the new bed, though the comforter is a little small.  The mattress might end up a little hard for me, but time will tell.

We started our adventures today at 10:30am.  It is now 8:30pm.  And it's time for the big reveal!!!

I've been working for the last 6 months or so accumulating the things I wanted for this room redesign, so let's check out the goods already.

First, the before shot.  This was from when we very first moved in to the house 3 years ago.

And the progress shot - I've added the sconces and we still have the super ugly shelves above the windows and in the corner (even though we told previous owners we didn't want them...reason forthcoming shortly).

Progress shot - we've taken down both ugly shelves only to find that the previous owners had painted AROUND them.  So, I had some spackling, sanding and painting under my belt that week.  I only painted over the areas that needed it and to my joy and surprise - you can't even tell! YESSSS!

 Drumroll, please!  Below is many months of collecting the perfect/in our budget items to pull off a new bedroom!

Not only is Lilu taking advantage of her new California King throne, but we hung curtains that match the bedspread perfectly, found two matching nightstands from, gasp, of all places, and I absolutely LOVE the new lamps we got from Target for a whopping $17 each.  We also had the art gifted to us (Thanks Aunt V!).

Isn't this freaking adorable? I love the print!

Hubs is absolutely over it.  All he cares about is having somewhere to sleep tonight.

Clearly the kids are cool with the new setup.  They supervised the numerous breakdowns and weren't surprised at all when we conquered the day.  

Keep your eyes peeled, a DIY headboard, a new dresser and a sitting corner are still additions that need to be made.  All in good time...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gettin' my head on straight

So, in my last few posts, I've referenced the fact that I just haven't been feeling "with it" the past six weeks or so.  Things just weren't gelling in my life and I couldn't put my finger on exactly what the issue was.  I talked to a few friends, my wise woman and hubs, and didn't find much help.  Then, I got sneaky smart, and started rereading my old posts.  Who better to tell me what my problem is than me!  Shockingly enough - it worked!

The real difference-maker was this post, which reminded me of exactly where I was toward the beginning of this year, and why I'd found myself so comfortable and happy there.  I had stopped focusing on what might be wrong and started focusing on what I knew was right. So, in an effort to replicate that, I've spent the last few weeks really refocusing myself and finding those little bits of happiness.

First, I just stopped doing yoga every day.  Something that precious to me should not be something I loathe.  I've come to the realization that nothing in my life can be required every single day.  It is a box I cannot check, and if I make myself, I will only resent it.  So, I've gone back to twice a week (one being my class on Saturday mornings) and I am officially back in love.  It's become relaxing and rejuvenating once again.  And for your information, last week I came THIS CLOSE to pulling off crow's going to happen soon people...I'm telling you!  Next time you see this picture, I will be the model.

Second, I've signed up for Self Magazine's annual challenge.  I decided to this primarily because I wanted to try their meal plan and change things up in my daily diet.  Overall, I'm generally a healthy eater, but I was working out all the time and not getting anywhere, which made me realize it had to be my diet.  Now, I'm using meal planning, which is FANTASTIC.  I spend an hour each week planning literally every meal, I buy about $60 in groceries (lots of produce!) and I'm all set.  I adore not having to ask hubs every night, "So, what do you want for dinner"? I also have transferred my workout loathing to the SELF challenge workout.  It is kicking my butt, but I'm already seeing results and I'm in week three.

I have to say though, what I'm most proud of myself for is the fact that I'm not beating myself up if I blow the diet (yesterday's afternoon brownie at the office...YUM) or miss a workout (I for sure slept through my 4:45am wake-up call this morning).  I'm trying to create a lifestyle and life doesn't allow for perfection so I shouldn't expect it from myself.  Big words for a type-A crazy chick, I know, but I'm giving it a shot!

If you have any suggestions on how you made being healthy a priority - without driving yourself insane - I would love to hear them!

Stay tuned...I've got a DIY project I'm pretty darn proud of coming to fruition in the next few weeks and a big trip planned for the beginning of May.  Good times ahead!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun things are coming

I realize I've been slacking off in my blogging duties as of late - don't hate the player kids, hate the game.  Life's been pretty busy in my hood, but I haven't forgotten about you! 

I have quite a few posts lined up in my brain, but I need some circumstances to come together before I have all of the content I need (I won't lie...I have cleaning to do to share my DIY project, and I have one last class before I can officially post about my volunteer efforts). 

The last few months have really flown by, so I haven't accomplished everything I'd hoped for, but some life lessons have been learned and overall balance has been achieved.

Stay tuned----

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A whole new meaning to "R&R"

In true "Making the most of it" fashion, I took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work.  Why you ask?  Well, not to sit at home and be a bum!  My girl Cera let me know via Facebook a few weeks back that she would be home on leave from Afghanistan and Tuesday was her 29th birthday!  So, of course, hubs and I took off for CR first thing Tuesday morning.

Birthday = cuteness.  Always.

What she didn't know however, was that her hubs (who was also deployed and going to be home on leave) had planned a crazy surprise day for her.  We started off with lunch with the ladies, then had mani/pedis, and finally he took her to a fancypants dinner while the rest of us decorated and set up for her surprise party at her fav bar. 

Not only was she shocked to see us, but also to see her favorite local band set up and ready to rock in the corner!  Of course, her and I started the night off right - with shots of red-headed, ahem, ladies.

It was a priceless to get to spend some time with her, I feel like she's been gone forever, and just four more months and she'll be home for good!  Huah!

The hubs'

Got to have one of the three college besties.  And, as always, hubs has to make it interesting!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Latte Ninja!

Hubs and I decided to make the ultimate splurge last week and I had to show off my new latte ninja - the Tassimo!

This bad mamajama not only brews coffee (like a Keurig) but even better - it makes lattes, cappuccinos and chai!  Before this little man came in to my life, the only way I got a latte was if I paid for it or hubs got up early enough to make one for me.  Our current latte-making capabilities are beyond my reach - there's all kinds of math involved to make sure the water to steam to espresso ratios were all correct.  So, in anticipation of hubs hopefully going back to work soon, and the FANTASTIC deal I got for being a Nook owner, we are the proud owners of one super-crazy-smart breakfast-enhancing machine.

Not only did we get a deal on the machine, we got free shipping and two free sets of Tassimo T-discs!

Hooooollllllaaaaa for the caramel machiatto baby!  This girl is living the caffeinated life!