Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Not Lost

Hey everyone! I hope you aren't thinking I've abandoned you! If you missed it, I've moved over to my new blog My Everyday Life.

Please come on over and check it out!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Today is the day! My new blog is officially live! Please head over to...




Thank you all so much for your readership and I can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I've Been Up To

'Tis the season for change around here I suppose. In case you missed it, I accidentally quit my job last week. If we're being honest, it was good that I got out when I did. This also gives me tons of time to work on my new blog. You heard me! I'm starting a new blog. :) Now don't get all excited, it's nowhere near ready for the public eye yet, but I promise to let you know the minute it's launched. 

Right now I'm trying to wrap my mind around Wordpress. It's so different and honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. I think I'm taking it a little too seriously but that's what happens when your biggest concerns at the moment are laundry, job applications, and your new blog. 

My biggest problem at the moment is the look of my new blog. I want it to look nice and clean and readable without having to pay a fortune for a custom theme. I do intend on paying for a custom theme eventually but for now, I just want something that's not going to turn readers away.

I've heard from so many that the switch to Wordpress is just oh-so-awesome and I really hope I feel that way soon. I think it will be much like the switch from a PC to Mac. A little painful at first but awesome in the end.


I also need to remember that I only bought the site/got on Wordpress yesterday....these things take time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recipe: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

I see stuff on Pinterest all the time that I like. Food. Clothes. Makeup. Nails. Every once in a great while (actually, I think this is only the second time this has happened) I decide to actually make/do something I see on Pinterest. So yesterday we decided to try the aforementioned scalloped sweet potatoes.

According to Manny, they get a husband approval rating of 3 out of 5 and could "use some work." If we made it again we'd try some different cheese so that it's a bit more melty. We love us some melty around here.

Here's our finished product.


Doesn't look quite like the one on Pinterest but, hey, this is real life. ;)

We mostly followed the recipe, but made a couple of substitutions. Original Recipe Here

What We Did:
Ingredients:
2 regular sized sweet potatoes
1/2 of one medium onion, grated
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 tbsp flour*
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
black pepper*
a little bit of nutmeg*
1 tsp salt*
1 tsp of Fresh Sage, finely chopped*

Instructions:
1. In a bowl add the milk, grated onion, swiss cheese, salt, sage, flour, nutmeg, and black pepper.
2. Grease a 7x11x2* casserole dish and put one layer of sweet potatoes and then pour some* of the milk mixture over the top. Continue to layer until you have run out of potatoes and milk mixture.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

*The italicized items are ones for which we did not follow the recipe exactly.


Monday, October 15, 2012

How I Accidentally Quit My Job

Last week, I went in for my normal Friday meeting with my boss. It was a rather frustrating meeting because upon presenting him with information I had gathered for a project last week, he basically told me it was all wrong. I had asked for guidance and direction on this project beforehand and was told to just "do whatever [I] thought." Things like this have been getting me more and more frustrated with my job but felt like I needed to stick it out until I found something else. The universe had other plans.

We got into a conversation about how I was feeling about the job. I had been having doubts for a few weeks but was trying to remain positive and I really didn't want to tell my boss that. Because let's face it, I was thankful to be employed. And to be honest, I really did think at the outset that this was going to be an amazing job! Maybe the pay wasn't great, maybe I was still working nights and weekends (something I swore off when we moved), but for some reason, I really wanted it to work! After a little prying I told my boss that I didn't think this job was going to work out long term. I felt foolish because I had been trying so hard to make it work and since I had only been there for about a month and a half. I guess that's why they make 90-day probationary periods, right?

I left the office on Friday totally deflated and in tears. I mean, I didn't really want this job anymore anyway but I still felt like a failure. So what gives? Why the tears? Some may say that I'm a little too emotional and that could account for the crying. And while that may be completely and totally true, I also felt guilty for being happy about accidentaly quitting my job. And I also felt guilty about no longer bringing home a paycheck, small as it was.

Fast forward a few days and I'm feeling much better. I already have some leads on new jobs and am excited to spend a little time being a SAHW (stay-at-home-wife) again. The last time I didn't embrace it like I should have. I also want to be a little a lot more discerning about my job selection this time around. I'm pretty sure I said something like that before but I didn't follow my own advice very well. I don't want to look back on my time in Nebraska and see my resume littered with 2-3 month stints at various jobs. I'm sure I'll find something, I just need to have some patience, something I am usually sorely lacking. ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

discouraged

Now that I've gotten this idea of a new blog in my head it is all I can think about. One problem, I cannot for the life of me think of a name for the new blog. I had one all picked out and I swear I thought the domain was available, but alas it was not. So my dreams were squashed. *exaggerated sigh* I've asked for help from friends and family and some of them (Dad) have had some really great ideas but nothing has really "clicked" yet. Well, except for the one that wasn't available of course.

I'm sure I'll come up with one eventually but for now I just want to get started on my new blog but I can't without a domain. So frustrating. And I'm trying so hard not to get discouraged because that would just defeat the purpose.

Ok. Rant is over. Hope everyone is having a great Saturday night and has a nice relaxing Sunday. :)

Random Acts of Kindness

Thursday evening after work we decided to head out to the Apple store to get a case for Manny's brand new iPhone 5. Unfortunately, the Apple store had zero iPhone 5 cases. Um, what? On our way home we decided to pick up Chinese food for dinner since Manny was in a hurry to get home for the debate and neither of us really felt like cooking.

As we're turining into the parking lot, we notice two people in the road with what looks like a whole load of wood...that had obviously just fallen out of their truck. Huge. Bummer. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my husband and I are incapable of passing these sorts of situations by without offering assistance.

While we're helping them re-load their truck, another guy comes by with some sort of tool called a "load blocker." The problem was that the bed of their truck was too short and the wood kept sort of flipping out the back. The load blocker was like a magic wand. So Random Guy #1 loans them his tool, not even knowing whether he would really get it back or not. Then, Random Guy #2 pulls up in his big giant pick-up truck and offers to load to wood in his truck and drive it to their house! Y'all, Nebraska is the friendliest place ever!

We ended up helping them get the wood all loaded and then went to their house (just a mile or so down the road) to help them unload and to get the tool to bring back to Random Guy #1 (since we were heading back to the Chinese place for dinner anyway). During all of this we  made some small talk and learned that they had recently honeymooned in New Orleans (our hometown!). We ended up exchanging phone numbers and plan to have dinner sometime soon!

Sometimes the strangest of circumstances can lead you to new friends. Or even help restore your faith in humanity, at least a little.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Guest Posting...sort of

In all of the craziness of this week, I forgot to mention something super awesome!!!

Today I have a "Reader Profile" post up over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Crystal is an awesome blogger and if you're looking to make a little money from your blog, you should definitely talk to her!

Please click on over and check it out!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

at a crossroads

I've been thinking lately. About my blog. I think I've decided to make the switch to Wordpress. (Shhh. Don't tell blogger.) But here's the thing...paying someone to migrate my blog is not something I'm into doing just now. Doing it myself seems like a disaster waiting to happen. So now (it seems) I'm left with two options...

1. Wait until I feel like paying someone to do it.
2. Start a new blog.

*gasp* I know. But here's the thing, this blog doesn't have that much traffic and I'm really hoping that most of my readers would follow me to a new blog at this point (please?). 

But then I also feel kind of like an abandoner since I've been with this blog for about 2.5 years. 

And I'm not really sure whether I really want to start anew or bring all my old bloggage (blog baggage) with me.

I've actually thought of starting a new blog before. This blog is/was my very first ever venture into blogging and while it holds some sentimental value (we can talk about my inappropriate attachment to webpages later), I kind of like the idea of a brand new blog.

I'm totally at a loss.

So here's where you come in! Give me your opinion! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

why we had to buy dinner twice in the last week

Yes. Twice. Yes. Had to.

See, what had happened was, one day last week I decided to bake some chicken. No big thing, I've done this dozens of times. Except that this time I was cooking bone-in chicken and I had decided to sort of slather it with butter first. (Don't judge.) Right. Anyway, as I'm cooking the chicken all manner of grease and other stuff starts to make its way to the edges of the baking stone. Did I mention that I was baking this on a flat stone with no lip at the edge? As all this oil/grease/butter makes its was to the edge of the stone I started to get very nervous thinking that this is going to cause my gas oven to catch on fire. Fortunately, it did not. But by the time I pulled the chicken out of the oven there was a less than appealing collection of grease and butter at the bottom of the oven. But since I was finished cooking and had turned the oven off, I decided not to worry too much about it.

Fast forward a couple of days and I decided to bake some chicken again. Except this time I was going to be super smart ;) and use a pan with a lip at the edge. I turned on the oven and after about 3 minutes a terrible smell began eminating from the oven. And then came the smoke. Apparently there was a lot of grease at the bottom of the oven and heating it up was not a good idea. It was actually so bad that we had to open several windows downstairs, put a fan on to vent the air outside as quickly as possible, and leave the house. It was awful. The house was still stinky when we returned several hours later.

That was the first time we had to buy dinner rather than eating at home.

On Sunday I decided that I finally needed to clean the grease out of the oven as I couldn't avoid using it forever. The puddle of brown...stuff...on the bottom was, well, a bit larger than I expected. It took several rounds of covering it with soapy suds, letting it sit, and scrubbing like my life depended on it. We eventually decided that by the time it was clean enough to actually cook anything, we would be starving. So we broke down and ordered pizza. 

After my other spending mistakes last week, I wasn't exactly thrilled about spending more unnecessary money but that's what happens when you have a puddle of grease on the bottom of your oven.

Oh, and as a random side note, my arms are literally sore from scrubbing the oven. It's a little pathtic.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two Financial Mistakes I Made Last Week

Last week, well really just Friday, was not great for my financial decision making resume. I made two mistakes that were really more annoying than devastating to my cash flow but if I continued to make these types of mistakes, I'd be in serious trouble.

Financial Mistake #1

My car was in near-desperate need of an oil change. So like the good frugal girl I am, I printed of a $10 coupon before heading to a nearby quick-lube place. Once there (and once I had already been in the waiting room for 20 minutes) they called me out into the shop to show me all the things that are "wrong" with my car. We then started talking about what sort of oil they were going to put in my car. They started talking to me about all these expensive oils and didn't even mention the "conventional" oil (and I didn't ask). They had me really convinced that I needed the $60 oil. I didn't even get to use my coupon because they were doing a $15 off "customer appreciation" event. Ha. With tax and everything I ended up paying $47 for the oil change. *choke* The conventional would have come out to about $27 after tax. (Sidenote: They also tried to tell me I needed replace my days old air filter, tried to convince me that replacing my windshield wipers would cost me $40 even if I did it myself, and tried to replace a belt that I had replaced about 4 months ago.)

Mini Mistakes within My Big Mistake

  • Not researching prices before going.
  • Not researching what kind of oil I would need.
  • Letting them convince me I needed more than a standard oil change.

How I'm Going to Avoid Making This Mistake Again

  • Change my own oil (or, you know, have Manny do it)
  • OR Do my research before going to the shop.
  • AND/OR Don't let myself get talked into something I don't need! 
  • Never go back to that particular place.

Financial Mistake #2

Saturday morning I was scheduled to go to a Farmer's Market with work. We had a booth there and were going to be standing outside for about 5 hours. It was forcasted to be about 32 degrees in the morning and only get up to 40 by early afternoon. Last spring Ella ate my good gloves. :/ I decided Friday night (nothing like waiting until the last minute to fuel a bad financial decision) that I needed some new gloves. We had looked at some gloves at a local sporting goods store a week or so ago and I decided that I would just invest in a good pair since I live in a place with pretty cold winters (and a pretty cold Fall apparently). I picked out a pair that was $45. Yes, a little pricey, but I live in Nebraska people. I deserve some good gloves and I had made a conscious decision to invest in a good product. It was closing time by the time we got up to the register (seriously, I waited until the last minute) and I was shocked when my total came to $62. *gulp* I stuttered a question about how my $45 gloves could have come to $62. The cashier showed me the packaging of the glove with a price tag of $55. Now here's where things got weird. The price tag on the packaging did not look like the price tag I had seen on all the other gloves. Also, she pulled the packaging off the gloves. Weird, right? Since it was late, the store was closing, and there was a line behind me, I decided not to make a scene right then. We left there and went straight to Target for some $20 gloves (which kepy my hands very warm by the way) and I plan on returning the over-priced ones.

Mini Mistakes within My Big Mistake

  • Not asking for a price check.
  • Not asking why she had pulled the gloves off their original packaging.

How I'm Going to Avoid Making This Mistake Again

  • Always ask for a price check if things don't add up. (hehe, see what I did there?)
  • Double check the price before I get to the register.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to purchase something that is a necessity.
  • Don't let the time of day or attitude of the cashier keep me from asking questions.


Have y'all made any silly but costly mistakes lately or in the past? What have you done or will you do to avoid them in the future?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How I Coupon and Actually Save a Few $$

You've seen them on TV. Those crazy people who are all "OMG I bought 52 tubes of toothpaste and 47 packs of disposable razors and only spent $0.13!!!!!" Yay! Good for you! Now you'll have fresh breath and hairless legs in the event of a zombie apocalypse! I want you on my team! Not.

Too many people watch these women on TV and get to thinking that if they use coupons they can seriously decrease their monthly grocery bills with the use of a few coupons. Yes and no. Unless you're an extreme couponer and have a serious need for 52 tubes of toothpaste, you really shouldn't expect to save more than a few bucks each shopping trip.

Here's the thing...I save between $3 and $5 each shopping trip with coupons. (If I ever have a week where I save $7-$10 I feel like I've won the lottery. It's the small things people.) I shop once per week, so that adds up to about $208 per year. Give or take a little obviously. I know you're thinking that $200 isn't that much money but would you turn your nose up if someone handed you a check for $200? Didn't think so.

What you do have to be careful of with coupons is spending money on things you don't need. That's where a lot of people get into trouble. They end up spending more than they originally intended because they "had a coupon." Thus negating the point of couponing in the first place. Don't buy 6 packs of yogurt because you have a coupon if you don't like yogurt. No matter how much you swear you'll eat it because it was on sale, you won't.

So here are my rules of engagement when it comes to couponing:

  • DON'T spend a ridiculous amount of time cutting coupons. If you spend hours each week pouring over coupons, you're probably not even covering the cost of your time.
  • DO use free coupon websites like coupons.com and redplum.com. A lot of store websites now even have special coupons on their website.
  • DO NOT buy things you don't need with coupons. My policy is that if I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I don't need to buy it with a coupon.
  • Don't expect couponing to seriously impact your monthly budget. If I save $20/month with coupons I am thrilled.
  • DO pair coupons with weekly store specials! (I am terrible at doing this, I don't have enough patience.)

There you have it. My $0.02 on how to actually save a few $$ with coupons. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a few sparkles in an otherwise crappy day

Yesterday was a weird day. I had planned on being home from my morning errands by 10am at the latest. Somehow I didn't make it home until 11:30am. Odd. I sat down and tried to get some work done since I had an appointment at 3pm that seemed to be appraoching rather rapidly.

As I'm sitting at my computer typing away at some emails and other things I hear my dogs in the backyard barking as though the world is ending. So in a huff I run down the satirs to go yell at the dogs for barking. As I get to the back door, I see my neighbors at the fence with their children and I hear my neighbor scolding his son. I couldn't hear exactly what he was saying but it was something to the effect of "don't try to hit the dog with the stick." Um, what?!?! Your kid was trying to hit my dog with a stick? Granted, he's a pretty small child and there is a fence so he really can't damage my dog but....what the hell has my dog ever done to you?! Then my neighbor proceeds to ask if his daughter can feed my dog a hotdog. The appropriate response would have been "Oh, gee, I 'd rather you not. It would probably upset his tummy." But I was so dumbfounded by the whole situation I think I just stared at him and muttered something about how Louis will eat lettuce off the floor given half a chance.

Sigh.

I then ran off to an appointment with the surgeon for my stupid hip. I almost ran out of gas on the way there in awful traffic. I'm not even going to talk about how long it has taken me to get this appointment. The point of this little story is that I spent 50 minutes in the office to be seen by both a PA and a doctor only to be told that I had been sent to the wrong doctor. Double sigh. Even though I had explicitly told everyone in Nebraska who would listen that I needed an hip arthroscopy specialist I had somehow ended up with a guy who does hip replacement but not the repair of a tear like mine. And then I found out that I couldn't even see a doctor in their office because....well it's a long story and I suspect you're all bored already. I am.


Now on to the sparkly parts of the day. One of the reasons my morning errands took too long is that I went to Target. Hehe. And bought these. On clearance.

Yes, these shoes were first featured on my 365 blog. :)


I'm pretty sure they're my new favorite shoes. They also come in a black sparkly color and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy them.

The second sparkly part of my day was that I got to have dinner and some girl time with a friend! We had some awesome sushi and awesome cupcakes and awesome company. :) But I forgot to take pictures of either the sushi or the cupcakes. I was too busy stuffing my face. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

pretty please?

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going great! And if it's not...it's Wednesday, so it's nearly halfway over! Today I'm asking for some favors.

If you don't already subscribe to the blog...please do. :) See the right hand side of the page to subscribe in pretty much any way you'd like. :)

If you haven't seen my 365 photo blog, please check it out! And if you like it, could you subscirbe to that too? :)

Let's talk Twitter. You can find me here... @louisianagirl16. Check it out, could be fun. :)



And I probably don't say this enough but thank you, thank you, thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

on being masterful

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

Recently I talked about "better that what?" and the concept of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Though somehow I forgot to include the above quote. But I also feel like we shouldn't lower our expectations to "good enough." This may sound counter-intuitive but it's really not. There is a difference between good and good enough. While I do feel like you shouldn't let your fear of not being perfect get in the way of doing something, I also think that if you're going to do it, you should strive for mastery.

This is something I'm guilty of not doing most of the time. I get the "good enough's" and convince myself that whatever I've done must certainly be good enough and the best I can do. Usually not true. My husband, however,  is the king of striving for mastery. He prides himself on constantly being a student of everything he does. I want to be that way. Can you imagine how much awesome stuff you could do if you tried to learn and do the absolute best job you were capable of every time? We would probably go far beyond our own expectations. But it takes a lot of work and effort to be masterful. I think that's why I don't even try sometimes. And that's where "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" comes in.

It's like this:
I want to learn to take nice photographs. I should not expect myself to be perfect at this immediately and thus scare myself away from starting. But once I begin, I should constantly strive to take the best pictures I can each time I pick up the camera.

Sounds exhausting. But I also think it's a mindset. It never even occurs to my husband to do a project or a job half-assed. It's just not the way his brain works. Others of us (*ahem*, me) may need to train ourselves to think this way. And even though it is a lot of work, it's so rewarding to look at the task you've just accomplished and be proud of what you did.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Goals


1. Write goals on paper and post in office.
2. Write 5 letters.
3. Read 2 books.
4. Visit a pumpkin patch.
5. Try baking these cookies.
6. Find a desk or other piece of furniture to repurpose into a vanity.
7. Finish unpacking office boxes.
8. Set up spreadsheet to track monthly household expenses.


All of this is stuff I wanted to get accomplished anyway but mostly just forget. Hence the very first goal. ;)



What are your goals for the month?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Goal Review


Well the end of September just snuck right on up there didn't it? I can't even remember when I last looked at my goals. Ah well.

1. Read 3 books.
I've been reading the same book all month. But it's not one you blow through. It's a ponderous sort of book. :)

2. Update my photo blog daily. (rather than getting behind and backdating :/ )
Uh, yeah. I might have JUST gotten finished putting up some photos from the weekend...oops

3. Try a new recipe (and blog about it!).
Totally forgot about this one.

4. Finish unpacking my office.
Sigh. I am just one big fail this month.

5. Try one new restaurant (and blog about it!).
I did actually go to a new restaurant for a work meeting, but I didn't blog about it. But I'm still counting it complete!

6. Ride over 100 miles on my bike.
I did! I rode just over 104 miles!

7. Write some letters.
I wrote one. That's "some." ;)

8. Bake something, anything.
Sadly, no. But the weather is getting cooler by the day so I'm sure I'll be even more inspired.


Ok, so I kind of forgot about my goals this month. I've been working hard at my new job and trying to keep my house in order and trying to keep unpacking. Hopefully I'll have better luck next month.

Did you set goals this month? How did you do?!


Oh, and if you don't already know about or subscribe to my photo blog, please do! Click here or on the tab on the top that says "365 Blog."

Friday, September 28, 2012

better than what?

I've been talking a lot lately about doing/being "better." Well, I've been thinking about it a lot and Manny mostly listens when I talk about it. ;) I've been talking about doing better work. Being a better writer/blogger. Getting in better shape. Eating better. Blah blah blah.

A lot of times I get overly excited when I think about bettering myself or my habits but then I get nervous because I get "being better" confused with "being perfect."

Here's how it goes in my head:

I really want to eat better. I'd better start eating all organic stuff and no carbs and no Diet Coke.
...3 days later...
OMG THIS IS TOO HARD I CAN'T DO IT!!! <insert pasta/Diet Coke/Reese's binge>


Something I've learned this time around is that you have to "do better" just a little at a time. And "doing better" does not mean being perfect. I'm not sure when I decided I wouldn't even try if I wasn't perfect right away. That's no way to go about doing things. Since when was anyone perfect at anything right away?

Right. Anyway. What I've decided is to just go about my day trying to do each thing a little better than I did yesterday.

For example:
Yesterday I left all my clothes on the floor when I changed after work. Today I will put them away immediately.

Does this make my house instantly spotless? Heck no. Does it make my bedroom perfectly clean and organized? No. But it's definitely a step in the right direction.

To get back to the title. The only person you need to be better than is yesterday's you. Don't compare yourself to others, that will only end in sadness and disappointment. I always have this feeling that if I'm not doing better than everyone or being the best, it's just not good enough.

So. Not. True.

Friday, September 21, 2012

quarter-life malaise

I've really struggled with whether or not to write about this. I may have mentioned it here and there with a sentence or two but I've never truly addressed it. (Not on the blog at least.)

I think I'm experiencing quarter-life malaise. I don't know if it's a "real thing" or not but I'm reading this book where the author describes her experience with what she calls midlife malaise (except that I'm 26, so it's quarter life) and I was like...omg, that's me! She talks about how she has this wonderful life with this amazing husband, beautiful house, etc etc but that she wasn't truly appreciating those things. She talks about being constantly irritable and taking her wonderful family and wonderful life for granted.

I was hesitant to put this into words for several reasons:
1. I don't like airing my dirty laundry on the internet.
2. My family reads this blog and I don't want to worry them.
3. I'm afraid of what others will think.

Don't worry guys. I'm not sad, not depressed. Just experiencing a lack of motivation, lack of excitement, and lack of general optimism and positivity that used to really be a part of who I was. I don't feel bad, I just don't feel good!

So I've started this book called The Happiness Project, and have had lots of in depth talks with my awesome husband and feel like I'm on the road to getting out of this rut I'm calling my quarter-life malaise.

On of the ways I'm trying to do this is really working on myself. I'm not trying to change myself, just trying to get back to being me! I'm not the kind of girl who lazes about and doesn't do anything for days on end and yet I've been doing that a lot lately. There's a whole mess of projects to be done in my house and I just walk past them every day. I want to do them and I want to have the motivation to do them!

I expect I'll be talking about this more frequently now that my "secret" is out. There's a lot of principles I'm reading about in the book and just things I'm learning while doing this soul searching that I'd love to share.

One of the first things I rediscovered is that I love to write. That would seem pretty obvious since I have this blog but you'd be surprised how many bloggers don't actually like the writing part. Anyway, my point is that I like writing. I like writing quality posts so one of the things I want to do more of is spend time on my writing. (I've also always wanted to write a book but that's a whole other post in itself.) It's not enough for me to just slap some words on a page and call it a post. I don't get enough joy out of that. And I fear that's what I do more often than not. So one of the first things I want to do is focus on writing and really feeling good about what I've written before posting.

I'm not sure what else I'll be sharing along the journey but hopefully in the interest of working on my writing (and just sharing in general) I'll be posting quite a bit about what I'm learning and experiencing.

Ps, just in case you're concerned...I feel happier already. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

review: e.l.f. eyeliner

Remember that time I got all excited and was going to share with y'all my favorite books, products, etc...and then didn't? Well, I recently bought something that I just had to review.

I was doing some research on bargain cosmetics because this girl has come into her makeup obsession a little late in life and makeup can be ex.pen.sive! I'm not saying I regret having spent...well, a lot...on my Urban Decay eyeshadows (that I'm still obsessed with) but the frugal girl deep in my heart really wants to know if some of the bargain stuff is just as good. So anyway, I was recently doing research on good substitutes and I heard that the e.l.f. eyeliner (sold for $1 at Target) is super awesome and just as good as the expensive stuff (I think it was even specifically compared to Urban Decay). So I decided why not give it a try?! Even if it stinks, I've only wasted $1! And I've been really wanting Urban Decay's "Flipside" which is a really awesome teal. But to be 100% honest, I really don't have the expendable income to spend $19 on one eyeliner at the moment. So I decided to check out e.l.f.'s "Twinkle Teal" and see what all the fuss was about.

photo credit: e.l.f. webiste


Likes:
- is a really pretty color and totally satisfied my teal eyeliner craving
- only $1
- comes with it's own sharpener

Dislikes:
- if I had to have one, it's that you have to go over it a few times to get the true, rich teal color
- it isn't super "creamy" (the hot word in eyeliners), but that really doesn't bother me

Worth the $:
Um, yes!

In fact, I went back a couple nights later and bought the purple, a shimmery black, and a liquid gold sparkly one. Because, hey, they're only $1. :)



Do you have any bargain brands that you love even more or just as much as the expensive stuff?! I'd love to hear about it!




Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for reviewing this product. I'm just SUPER excited about my eyeliner. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

omaha bucket list update

In case you don't remember, a few weeks ago I created an Omaha Bucket List. There's still not much on there but I've already done one of the things! When my mom came to town we went berry picking at the Bellevue Berry Farm. I wish I had taken more pictures and of the ones I did take, this is the only one worth sharing.


As you can tell from the watermark, this picture first made it's appearance on my 365 blog. We had an awesome time and next spring/summer I'd really like to make berry picking at the farm a more regular occurrence.

What kinds of fun local stuff have y'all done lately?


Friday, September 7, 2012

September Goals


About time, right? Sigh. Things have been a little busy, but you know that because it's pretty much all I talk about whenever I do get around to blogging. But anyway, let's do some September goals.

1. Read 3 books.
2. Update my photo blog daily. (rather than getting behind and backdating :/ )
3. Try a new recipe (and blog about it!).
4. Finish unpacking my office.
5. Try one new restaurant (and blog about it!).
6. Ride over 100 miles on my bike!
7. Write some letters!
8. Bake something, anything.

Ok, I think that's enough for now. ;)

And in case you missed it, I started a 365 photo blog, you should check it out. :) And subscribe to it. Please? :)

Alright, that's enough begging for one day. :)

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In: 9/7/12



Wow. It's been a minute since I've done one of these. I figured I'd jump back onboard because I haven't found any new milspouse blogs lately and, well, it's nice to connect. :)

1. What's one thing in the past month you would have changed? Hm. I let myself get a little too stressed out/overwhelmed with all the craziness of moving and settling into a new place. This is hardly our last move so I need to learn to just roll with it. Ps, it's really ironic that I could.not.wait. to leave Ohio and then freaked when we moved. C'est la vie, I guess.

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in August? Moving into our new house. I know it's ironic but I LOVE this house!

3. What did you do to celebrate Labor Day? My mom came to town!!! And left far too soon even though she was here for like 4 days. :)

4. What do you HAVE to have handy by your bedside? Phone. It's my alarm clock, flashlight, and regular clock. ;)

5. What are you looking forward to in September? Cooler weather! I'm sure when winter comes I'll be complaining about the cold but right now I'm ready for it to cool down a bit.

Hope everyone has an awesome Friday!!!

Ps, as always, linked up with Wife of a Sailor.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Goal Review

Oh, is it Septemer? When did that happen? Oh well, here's my goal review anyways...

1. Move into our new house.

2. Unpack all boxes. (I traditionally have a problem with this.)
Ok, so it hasn't happened yet but I'm doing way better than usual!

3. Check out the bike path that's this close to the house.
Done! I've ridden 94 miles since we got here!

4. Find a job.

5. Play with the dogs in their new yard.
Done and done!

6. Scope out where to put next year's vegetable garden.
Done! But I'm not sure I've made a final decision yet.

7. Bake in my new kitchen.
Unless you count a few recipes that include crescent rolls (from the can) and call themselves dinner....no, I have not baked in my new kitchen. But fall is coming and I'm sure the boys in Manny's office will need some tasty treats!

8. Wash clothes in my awesome new washer and dryer. 
If I hadn't done this yet, I think we'd all be a little concerned. I think I've done approximately 1234089128 loads of laundry. ;)

9. Watch the Olympics.
Yeah we did! We watched more TV during the Olympics than we had in months!

10. Take the dogs for a walk in the park near the house.
Yeah, they have a yard. Walks are no longer a huge priority because they get TONS of exercise in the yard.


Did y'all make August goals? How did you do?

If you're curious, here's my original August Goals post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

things that have been happening lately

I cannot corral my brain or thoughts enough this evening to conjure up a real blog post. So you will get a random series of updates. Sound good? I hope so. ;)

1. My mom came to visit over Labor Day weekend. It was a lot of fun and I kind of wish she was still here.

2. We're making awesome progress on the house and I really need to take some pictures.

3. My dogs L.O.V.E. having a yard to run around in.

4. We bought flowers. And we planted them. And they're awesome. I need to take pictures.

5. There are two giant creepy spiders living near the front of my house but I'm too scared to kill them myself. Maybe I'll ShopVac them tomorrow...


I think that's all for now. Maybe eventually I'll get back to posting fun projects and recipes and cool things I did that day. ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

busy busy busy

I know it seems like it, but I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. See, what had happened was...we moved. And then I got a job. And my mom is coming to visit in like...tomorrow...so yeah, I have a lot to do. And what I'd really like to do is sit down and crank out a few blogs posts but I so do not have time for that today.

So, hi.

I'm here.

I'm alive.

I'm super busy.

I'll be back soon!!!

:)

Monday, August 20, 2012

weekly money check-up: 8/20/12


1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries. No room for extraneous spending when there's only one paycheck. :)

2. Today I am thankful for my new fence! This means I an let my dogs out to play without worrying that they're going to escape!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this week that made me happy was organizing my office! It's nowhere near done, but it's much better!

4. I will consider this week a success if I do a lot of unpacking/organizing all over the house. The untidiness is starting to drive me a little crazy. (You know, more crazy than my usual crazy.)

5. This time of year makes me wish I was starting classes. Mainly because I want to buy school supplies. Buy maybe also because it's the symbol of a fresh start? This time of year also makes me begin to crave pumpkin/spice/autumn scented things.

As always, I'm liking up with Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

announcement

No, I'm not pregnant. But I have started a 365 photo blog. (A blog in which I post one photo every day.) I've been thinking about doing this for a while but kept telling myself I shouldn't because I'm not a photographer, not even an amateur one. But why shouldn't I be? I'm still very timid with our camera and thought this might be a good way to get me more comfortable and taking more pictures (though I can't promise there won't be an iPhone photo or two over there)!

Click on over and check it out! :)

The URL is http://mylittle365.blogspot.com


Friday, August 17, 2012

random miscellaneous things

I keep wanting to write. But I don't have anything to say. Ok, that's not true. I always have something to say. ;) It's just that none of these things that I have to say warrant an entire post of their own. So buckle up and get ready for some rambling, and at the end some pictures of my dogs because they are so cute that it's annoying.

1. We are shoulder deep in house projects. We're finishing replacing the fence this weekend. We're halfway through painting the living room. Oh, and we're still unpacking as well. Both projects are going to do wonders for the house in terms of modernizing and just making it look fresh. Yes, pictures coming soon. Actually, here's a picture of the living room being painted.


Too much brown. Even though it looks like we're painting the wall white, I promise we're not. :) I'll do a better picture once it's all set up.

2. I got a job. :) I'm really excited and a little nervous at the same time. Don't really want to divulge here, maybe another time. But the point is I'll be working. And I'll be working from home some, which will be awesome.

3. Working from home (at least some/most of the time) means I get to continue in my role as housewife. Well, part-time housewife at least. ;) I'm actually really starting to enjoy my role as housekeeper/cook/snuggler of the puppies. Who would have thought. ;)

4. My dogs are adorable. Seriously. I don't care that I'm biased. They are so cute that it's annoying. Here they are, as proof. :)




That's all for now. Hope everyone is having a great Friday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

weekly money check-up: 8/13/12


Here it is! The Weekly Money Check-Up, hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on wood for our fence. We've replaced about half the fence so far and holy moly is it a lot of work! Good thing the next half should be a bit easier!

2. Today I am thankful for two job interviews this week!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was play with my dogs in their new yard! They've never had a yard before and they are JUST SO EXCITED about it. It's really fun to watch them run and play.

4. I will consider this week a success if...I'm not even going to say it. I don't want to jinx it. But it has to do with number 2.

5. The last thing I won....um....yeah, I have no idea. It's been a while. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

recipe: faux panera salad

So I'm obsessed with this salad at Panera. I can't even remember what it's called but it has chicken and avocado and feta cheese (and other stuff). By the way, I'm obsessed with avocado at the moment. So rather than going to Panera every other day we decided to try and make our own. And it was awesome!


Our Ingredients (for two salads):
2 Romaine lettuce hearts
2 Roma tomatoes
1 avocado
2 boiled eggs
4 slices of chicken (from the deli counter)
some feta cheese
light Caesar dressing


The great part about salads? You don't have to cook anything. Ok, we did technically have to boil the eggs but we did that the day before so it doesn't count. ;)

Confession: I dumped way more salad dressing on this thing after the picture was taken. I like a little salad with my dressing. ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

diy hanging earring organizer

I have lots of earrings. Like, lots and lots. Unfortunately, I don't wear most of them because they're tucked away in a drawer in my jewelry box and I never see them. A few weeks (months?) ago I began researching better jewelry storage ideas and found this.

photo credit/tutorial link

So cute, right!? I found this idea while still in Ohio and knew I had to do this in my new house. :) So on Sunday when hubby and I set out to run a few errands and I told him we had to stop at the local Goodwill. And wouldn't you know, right across the street is also a little place called Thrift America. I ended up with a total of 6 picture frames for a total of $9.33. I could. not. wait. to get them home and start painting.

I decided to paint them white. I actually used the same white as we're going to use for all the trim in the house so I think they'll make for a really nice accent once the bedroom is repainted.

I've only completed one so far but I could. not. wait. to finish all of them to show y'all! The first one actually started out as a mirror and looked like this.

Ew. Am I right?

But then, with some paint, a few eye hooks, some wire, and more than a few mess ups (more on that in a minute), I had this!

I am beyond excited. I plan on eventually hanging all these frames on the wall once they're all finished but I just could not resist setting this one up with some earrings! And blogging about it of course. ;)

Materials:
old picture frame
paint/paintbrush
small eye hooks (I used Alambre #216-1/2 x 1/2" - found at Lowe's)
steel wire (I used .73mm)
pliers
wire cutters
tape measure

How To:
1. Get rid of picture in frame/old mirror.
2. Dust/wipe down with damp cloth.
3. When completely dry....paint!
4. Measure on back desired length between wires.
5. Screw in eye hooks.
6. Attach wire.
7. Hang awesome earrings.

Time:
...awhile?...I didn't really sit down and do it all at once. I painted, then put the hooks in. Then put a few more hooks in, then put the wire across.

Helpful Hints:
Please for the love don't try and put nails in the back of this thing and think you're going to attach your wire that way. I'm not sure why I thought that was a good idea, but it wasn't. I broke one of the picture frames, got really mad, and went back to Lowe's at like 6:30pm on Sunday. ;) The tutorial referenced above (the link is with the first picture) does hers with a staple gun. I just like the way the eye hooks look. Though they are kind of a pain in the ass....



I really can't wait to finish the rest and hang them all on the wall. I'll be sure to post pictures! Has anyone else done any fun DIY stuff lately?

Monday, August 6, 2012

weekly money check-up: 8/6/12



Yay! I finally have time to do a money check-up! I'm really hoping to take this time at home to get some good blogging done.

1. The most I've spent this last week was...can I just say Lowe's. We've spent quite a bit of money on supplies for our new house. New front door fixtures, paint for the front door, wall sconces (to replace some awful ones) and a few other things. Now that I think of it, I need to do a house post.

2. Today I am thankful for some time off. I know recently I was complaining about my time away from work but I realized this morning I have time to spend with my dogs and continuing to unpack/organize my house. I do have an interview (hopefully more than one) this week so it may be short lived, but I'm happy to have the time that I do.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was...um, this one is hard. When you move, everything costs some money. But I guess watching the Olympics counts. ;) We don't even have cable, just an antenna, so I guess it really was free!

4. I will consider this week a success if I get all of the boxes out of the garage and into their appropriate rooms...and maybe get some more unpacked. ;)

5. I am trying to incorporate more water in my diet. Ok, right now I'm not trying that hard. I've been on a serious Diet Coke kick. But I really really really need to drink more water.

I'm linked up with weekly money check-up, a series hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies. Click on over and check it out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Goals

I am SO excited! I've been waiting for this month for...well, months! We are in Omaha, we will very soon be in our new house, and hopefully I will soon have a job! Unsurprisingly, I have lots of goals for our new house and our new life!

1. Move into our new house.
2. Unpack all boxes. (I traditionally have a problem with this)
3. Check out the bike path that's thisclose to the house.
4. Find a job.
5. Play with the dogs in their new yard.
6. Scope out where to put next years vegetable garden.
7. Bake in my new kitchen!
8. Wash clothes in my awesome new washer and dryer.
9. Watch the Olympics.
10. Take the dogs for a walk in the park by the house.

That's enough for now. ;) I'm sure once we get in there I'll have lots of other goals like hanging curtains and painting and decorating. But I'll save those for later. Right now, I just want to get into my new house and enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Goal Review

1. Finish packing the house.
2. Move to Omaha.


Done and done! Honestly, for a minute there I wasn't really sure we were going to get it all done. But as it always does with moving, it all comes together in the end!

Speaking of, my Big Giant Moving List is finally done. Which is good because, you know, we're in Omaha. :)

Up next....My Big Giant House List. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 30, 2012

we made it.

We are here. Exhausted. Anxious. Excited. Happy. I'm not even sure what else to say. I'm too tired to find more words. Maybe more tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

things keeping me busy right now

1. packing
2. getting ready to move
3. trying to say one last goodbye to friends
4. riding my bike (omg, I have to post about my shoes soon)
5. reading 50 Shades of Grey (yes, I gave in)

What's keeping you busy these days?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 Goal Progress

I know it's already July but I still wanted to do a little update on my 2012 goals! I feel like I've been working pretty diligently even though this has been another busy year!

1. Grow to 100 blog followers.
According to feedburner I'm at 63! I think I was in the 30s at the beginning of the year so that's definitely some good progress! I really need to work a little harder to get my blog out there though. More Twitter, more Facebook, more guest posting. Do y'all have any other ideas?

2. Read 25 books.
I'm 64% done! If you look over on the right sidebar you can see my little tracker. And if you're curious about what I've been reading, check out my 2012 Reading List!

3. Write 52 letters.
I've only written 15 so far but plan on writing a lot more when we get to Omaha! (This goal also has a tracker on the sidebar!)

4. Send on time birthday cards and/or presents to friends and family.
I don't like these kinds of goals because there are SO many variables. Even though I've been very late with several presents/cards this year, I think I've done way better than in the past!

5. Declutter blog post labels.
Seriously, where do I come up with these goals? How is this even trackable. No matter, I did spend some time on this a few months ago but I'm sure it could use a bit more tidying before the year is done.

6. Run a half marathon in under 2:30:01 (my time from last year).
Unfortunately, because of my stupid hip, I don't think this one will be happening this year.

7. Run 500 miles.
This goal too will not be attained because of my stupid hip. But I'm continuing to track it because I'm very interested to see just how many miles I will run this year! (This one also has a fun sidebar tracker)

8. Decide on a Master's program.
Well, I did decide...kind of. Maybe. More on that later. ;)

Did you set goals for 2012? How are they going?

Friday, July 20, 2012

life as a stay at home wife

Yep. That's me. Stay at home wife. One week ago today was my last day at my job here in Ohio. I've been kind of making a joke of being a stay at home wife, maybe because I don't intend for it to be permanent. All of my plans have me working full-time within a few weeks of arriving in Omaha. But what if that doesn't work out? I know quite a few ladies with the best of intentions but working full-time just doesn't seem to be in the cards for them.

I'm also a little ashamed because I realize recently that rather than making the most this (even if it's temporary), I seem to be just poking fun at it. Recently I was asked if I worked outside of the home and I was very quick to say "I did up until last Friday!" Even to my own ears it sounded like I was trying a little too hard to make sure she knew I had a career, I just wasn't working at the moment because we're moving so soon.

So what's the problem with being a stay at home wife? Nothing, really. I have some sort of guilt complex about staying home since I don't have any kids to take care of, just a husband and two dogs. Maybe I feel guilty now because I may have uttered something like "but what does she do all day?" in the past. It really doesn't matter. Stay home, go to work. Each person's situation is different and it's really not up to me to worry about anyone's situation but my own. And for now, my situation is my life as a stay at home wife, and I'm going to try and embrace it. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

damsel in distress

Monday I went in for my hip arthrogram (they inject dye into the joint and then do an MRI) and cortisone injection. I was not excited about these because of my ser-i-ous fear of needles. I've been nervous about the test for weeks but by Monday morning I mostly just wanted to get it over with.

Manny took the afternoon off to come with me since I was so nervous. I also figured my hip would be pretty sore after the injections and that I wouldn't feel much like driving. So off we went, me fidgeting and chewing on my newly manicured nails the whole way to the medical center because I was so nervous. Manny tried calming me down telling me it was going to be fine. I told him he wasn't the one getting giant needles stuck into his hip. :)

After I changed into the gown, I sat in the fluoroscopy room for a while waiting for the doctor. (The use an X-ray type machine for these injections since the hip joint is so deep to make sure they're getting in exactly the right spot.) When the doctor came in he told me not to worry because he had the most experience of anyone in the hospital doing this type of injection. Everyone was so nice and very compassionate about the fact that I had a lot of anxiety about this procedure. So up onto the table I go, getting draped and prepped and ready for the injection. I started to cry before the first needle even touched me. Oops. But one of the super sweet techs came over and held an ice pack on my head to try and help me calm down and to remind me to breathe. After getting the numbing agent in (which hurt a lot), the other two injections went really smoothly. At least I assume they did because I couldn't feel anything at all.

So after all the anxiety and tears, the injections themselves were over in just a couple minutes. They handed me some scrub pants and told me to put those on instead of the gown (I still had my shirt on under the gown). They sat me up slowly to make sure I wasn't light-headed and stepped outside of the room so I could get the pants on. After getting the scrub pants on I called them back in the room to let them know I was ready to go down to MRI. The helped me off the table and into a wheelchair which I thought was really silly because while my hip was very sore, I was certainly capable of walking 25 yards down to MRI. But that's procedure so into the chair I went.

I couldn't have been in the chair for more than 5 seconds and we were just turning to head to MRI when I remember saying "wait, I feel really light headed" and felt like I was going to throw up. No vomit, but apparently I was out cold for a good 30 seconds. When I woke up, I was still in the chair but there were all these people, and I'm pretty sure they were talking to me but I had no idea what they were saying. Eventually I regained enough sense to realize they were trying to get me out of the chair and onto the floor so they could put my feet up. So there I am, laying on the floor, just barely out of the hallway, sweaty, pale, shaky, still a little confused and surrounded by military men. I'm thinking there are worse things to wake up to. ;) Apparently fainting is a fairly common side effect to the dye injection. Who knew (well, they did).

I think I laid on the floor for a good 10 minutes before I felt normal enough to try sitting. At this point I was mostly just embarrassed and I really had to pee. We wheeled down to the bathroom in the MRI area and we sat outside the bathroom forever and I thought we were waiting for someone to come out but then I realized they didn't want me getting up and fainting in the bathroom. I made Manny come in with me anyway, just in case.

Everything after that went pretty smoothly I mostly just felt a little weak for the rest of the day. Oh, and my hip was super sore from all the junk they had pumped in it. I've never really passed out like that before and I have to say, it's not an experience I'd care to repeat. I just remember being so confused when I woke up. It's like I was seeing all these images but my brain could not process them. Oh well, at least I fainted into the very capable hands of my husband and the guys at the medical center.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We've Packed the Books, but We Keep Buying More...

This is something I haven't delved into much here. I very rarely write about books I read (though you can find my 2012 Reading List here), what products I use/like/hate/feel indifferent about. I feel like this is weird. I have lots of opinions. In real life, I share them all the time, so why not on my blog? Not sure. Just haven't...yet. :)

I figured I'd start with some mini-book reviews. I've actually been doing a good bit of reading lately which makes me very happy. :) Since this is the extent to which I've written about the books I've been reading, I'm just going to highlight a few of my favorites. :)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Genre: biography, science
I loved this book. It was a tough/serious read and there was some pretty technical language. There were a times where it read a little like a textbook but the story is so amazing that it really doesn't matter. If you are human you need to read this book. Just sayin'.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Genre: young adult fiction, adventure, science fiction
OMG. I loved all of them. And I hate when books are fads and people only read them because they're turning into movies. But for these, I don't care. I don't even care that they're techically YA. I found each one to be exciting and engaging and omgicantgetenough. And, no. I don't have a favorite. I guess I'll have to re-read them to decide. ;)

The Witness by Nora Roberts
Genre: romance
I love romance novels. If that's not ok,...well you don't have to read them. :) This was a single title that came out this year that my sister gave me for my birthday. I finished it in about 2 days. It was kind of a mystery/adventure/awesome. It's hard for me to find a Nora Roberts book I don't like but this one quickly became one of my favorites.

Right now I'm reading two books at once, which I've never done before except when I get bored with one and put it down, usually never to pick it up again. So that doesn't really count. But this time I went to Half Price Books, bought three books and was just so excited I couldn't read just one. But now it takes me twice as long to get to sleep because I have two books to read. ;) I guess I'd better go get started....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Random Thoughts for the Day

You may have noticed I was 8 days late posting my July goals and that they weren't that exciting anyway. I actually wrote that post several days ago but lots of things have happened and I never did make it to the computer to post it. Manny was home for a week between a couple stints of training, so of course that didn't leave much time for blogging. In addition to packing and going to the pool and packing some more, we went to the Dayton Air Show on Saturday. Somehow we ended up with these really awesome tickets that allowed us access to a "chalet" with "air-conditioning", chairs, food, drink, and a non-porta-potty bathroom! We would have gone and had fun regardless but having someplace to cool off and a real bathroom to use was really clutch since it was 103 outside.

I'm starting to feel a little ovewhelmed by the fact that we're moving really soon. I mean, it's not like this is breaking news or anything. It's just the fact that when you're moving across the country (or at least halfway) there are so many things that need to happen in tandem. I've forgotten how nerve wracking it can be to try and coordinate everything. I guess all I can do is try and have all my little ducks in a row and deal with whatever comes our way. :)

In unrelated news, I dumped coffee on my computer a couple weeks ago. Not intentionally, of course. I tried using denatured alcohol to clean it today, but it is still quite sticky. It runs ok, but if I didn't have it hooked up to a separate monitor and keyboard I don't think I'd be typing this because several keys and the spacebar still stick. I guess for now I'll just keep it hooked up here until I decide whether or not to file a claim and replace it. :/ I do love my old school MacBook though. Sigh.

That's all for now. I'm off to prepare for my last week of work! (yikes!)

July Goals

1. Finish packing the house.
2. Move to Nebraska.

Ok. I think that's enough for now. ;) Especially since it's 8 days late....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

June Goal Review

So I'm a little late. What's new?...


1. Have an awesome time when my dad and brother visit. Check! and CHECK! We had a great time! You can read about it here!
2. Create and get started on my Big Giant Moving List. Kind of waited a little longer than I anticipated on this one. But it's done now and you can read about it here!
3. Find a way to exercise that doesn't hurt my hip. Ok, so I didn't really find anything that doesn't hurt my hip. Even too much walking hurts these days. BUT, I did go to the doctor and get the OK to exercise (within reason) until my next appointment/scan. You can also read about that here.


The good news is, I've actually been doing some blogging this month! I really miss it when I'm gone and realized I have to make time to sit down and do it. Gone are the days when I veg out on the sofa while writing a post. I just can't seem to get my mind to focus like that. I'm sure I'll get more sporadic as we get closer to the move, but until then, I'll try to keep up! :)




Did you set goals for the month? How did you do?!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Big Giant Moving List

Truth be told my Big Giant Moving List isn't all that big right now, and I haven't blogged about it because I wanted to make an all-inclusive list before doing it. Then I realized that's not really possible. So I have created a separate page so that I can add and check off stuff at random. I may have even created a little sidebar to see how far along I am. ;)

In case you missed the other links, click here to see the Big Giant Moving List. ;)

Just wait, after we move I plan on creating a Big Giant House List. I do love lists. Mostly because I feel totally accomplished when I check things off. ;)

Some updates...

Wow. Things have been incredibly busy around here lately. I feel like every time I turn around there's another To Do list a mile long waiting for me. Remember my Big Giant Moving List I mentioned? Yeah, still need to blog about that...maybe tomorrow? So now for the updates...

1. As I mentioned here, the sellers finally decided to put a new roof on the house. But now we're in a mad rush to get our loan closed on time. *fingers crossed*
2. Still waiting on the next appointment for my hip. But in the meantime I've started exercising again. Yay!
3. I've packed a lot but still have a ton left. The first part of packing is easy, it's when you get to all the random little stuff that really doesn't fit anywhere that gets really tedious.
4. I still need to finish painting.
5. Manny is home from training!!! This makes all the other stuff a lot easier. :)


I guess I should get off the computer and go do some real work now... :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Home Buying Isn't for Sissies

So there was this time. And I was having this phone conversation with my step-mom. And I was all "I don't know why people think buying a house is so stressful, this is so fun. I've heard so many people complaining but, seriously, it's not that bad."

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I want to go back in time and say "Just wait, honey. This is going to bring you nearly to tears."

You can read a little about where it started here, but that is so just the tip of the iceberg. We have been going back and forth and back again regarding the results of the home inspection for over a week now. As to be expected from a house that was built in the seventies, there was a little wear and tear. It was the kind of stuff that *probably* should have been taken care of over the years. However, the sellers were less than enthused when we requested they address the majority of problems that were found by the home inspector.

The big one was the roof. The inspector said it needed to be looked at by a roofing contractor. Roofing contractor said we need new roof. Sellers' insurance company won't pay for said roof replacement. Sellers don't want to pay for it. Don't care. The roofer said it needs to be replaced, that's what needs to happen. That's one of the things they had already agreed to take care of.

What you see about is 8-10 days worth of conversation. I don't care if I never hear the word roof again in my life. I was about ready to let the house go completely when we made a decision to send one final email that essentially said, replace the roof or we're done. Fortunately the sellers realized we were serious about getting that taken care of and have agreed to replace it.

Honestly, I'm not nearly as excited as I should be about the news that we're getting a new roof. Rather than excitement, I felt relief when I got the email saying they would replace it. I'm over talking about it. I'm over negotiating and nitpicking over every detail. I'm exhausted. Manny, however, was still very excited which is good. (He's been in training and hasn't been dealing with the day to day negotiations.) He told me to go look at the pictures of the house online again, that maybe it would raise my spirits. It did, somewhat. I'm still recovering from the emotional roller coaster.

But today yesterday as I packed more boxes and the reality of moving comes ever closer, I started to get more excited about the house. I keep going back and looking at the online listing of the house that will soon be ours and that definitely is helping. I'm sure once we actually get there and get in the house I will be just as excited as when we first went through it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I ran...

...one whole mile today. And it hurt (but not my hip, I'm sure that will come later). Doing nothing for almost two months has really taken it's toll on me. If you're confused, you can read here about my stupid hip problem. I'm still calling it this because we're still not 100% sure what's wrong with it. I did, however, finally get my MRI reviewed and saw the orthopedist last week. Of course, my hip felt fine that day and did not pop or crack as it usually does during the exam. Not. Once. He also said my MRI didn't show anything alarming. Sigh. So we decided to do several things....

1. Resume activity. Hoping that this will irritate my hip a bit and help us get a better idea of where the pain is coming from during my next appointment/scan.
2. Have MRI-arthrogram. (It's basically an MRI where they inject dye into your hip first to look for other things.)
3. Get cortisone injection at same time as they're injecting dye for arthrogram.

Yes. You saw the word injecting twice. Like into my hip. Not the surrounding areas, into the joint. I do not like needles. Forget the fact that I have 7 holes in my ears and a tattoo, I hate needles. Just thinking about these injections give me anxiety. I've heard they hurt, a lot. And I'm really not looking forward to that. :/ Fortunately, Manny will be home from training so he can come with me. I've already forewarned him that I will probably cry.

For now I'm trying not to think about it and being happy that I can start exercising again. :)

Sorry for the (probably) boring post, but hey, it's what's going on. :) Stay tuned, an update on the house drama soon...

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Still Waiting...and Still Annoyed

Remember a couple weeks ago when I ranted about my stupid hip problem? Well I finally had my MRI last week. Then after calling the doctor's office incessantly (I know that doesn't make it go faster, but it makes me feel better, k?) I finally got an answer today. There's nothing on my MRI to explain my pain. Make another appointment, with another doctor, who will hopefully have more insight. Oh. Great. Thanks. Totally the answer I was looking for.

So here I am, still waiting to hear what's wrong. And being a medical professional with lots of experience in orthopedics I have lots of ideas about what could be wrong but it turns out it's a lot harder to diagnose yourself than other people. :/

Add to it that I'm waiting on lots of other stuff too. And patience is not my strong suit. Like, at all. When I want something done I want it done quick, fast, and in-a-hurry. Just ask my mother, it's why I'm sometimes mistaken as "demanding." ;) So I'm going to make a list of all the things I'm waiting on. The most annoying bit of all these things is that I've done all I can from my end on all of them and am resigned to waiting around for other people to do their thing. Not cool.

1. Waiting for an answer on my stupid hip. (see above)
2. Waiting for the "official" response from the sellers regarding our addendum. (too long and annoying to detail, sorry to friends/family who have had to endure me complaining about this ad nauseum)
3. Waiting for someone to call back about a job I applied for. (they seemed really interested but I haven't heard from them in a while)
4. Waiting to find out what's wrong with my car. (more on that later)
5. Waiting to move.

Ok Ohio friends, don't be too mad at me for #5. I'm going to miss you all terribly it's just that I feel like we're in that weird phase now where we're close to moving but not gone yet. It's kind of like right before hubby leaves for a deployment/training. There comes a point where you just want him to leave already! There's all this anticipation and anxiety and I just wish it would get a move on. That's how I feel about the impending move. Except that I'm really excited about the move and am never excited when Manny has to leave. Right.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me rant. Again. It seems that I'm annoyed a lot these days. I'm not so much in real life, but these are the only things going on that make for good blog fodder. Or did you actually want to read about how I've watched almost 4 seasons of Gossip Girl in 2 weeks?...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Don't Visit, We Conquer

Fair warning: This post contains lots and lots of pictures. Not saying they're good, there's just a lot. ;)

When my family visits a place, the don't just visit. They want to see and do as much as possible. This last visit from my dad and brother was no exception. The first day they were in town we had breakfast, visited the base, went to the Commissary (more on that later), and drove to Cincinnati to go to a Reds game. Our seats were wayyyy up there but we had an awesome time! :) I even got to eat some cotton candy. I love cotton candy.


On Saturday we started early(ish) and headed to the Air Force Museum. Our town happens to be home to the National Museum of the US Air Force, and it's pretty spectacular. Both of the boys loved it but my dad was especially enamored. He loved the WWII section more than anything. I got brave and brought the camera along because I decided I'm never going to get better at using the thing if I don't start making some mistakes with it. ;)

Dad and Middle Brother at the Museum


A father-son moment.

Being the typical 14 year old he is, Middle Brother decided he was interested in anything and everything explosive.


Oh look, more explosives.


I'm not 100% sure whether they're saluting, or shielding their eyes from the sun. :)

We actually spent the whole morning at the museum, took a lunch break, and then went back for another couple hours. It was awesome! I love the museum and find something new to ogle at every time I go.

When we finally called it quits on the museum, we headed out for a little shopping and sushi. I took Dad and Middle Brother to our favorite sushi restaurant. After dinner we were pretty exhausted and decided to call it a night. The three of us decided that getting more than 5 hours of sleep was really necessary.

On Sunday, the dogs and I picked up the boys and headed to the dog park. We learned that Ella likes to play fetch with a frisbee and that Louis is more interested in barking at other dogs and rolling in smells than playing fetch. We then headed back to the house for a final round of doggie good-byes and headed out for lunch before going to the airport. Dad even snuck some more shopping in there. He knows I'm a sucker for office supplies.

Oh? I forgot to tell you about the Commissary. Ok, so my dad has this thing, he loves grocery stores. I'm really not sure how this came to be but, seriously, the man loves nothing more than a new grocery to explore. He actually told me on Sunday at lunch that his favorite part of the trip was visiting the Commissary. Whatever makes you happy, Dad. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 6/11/12

As always, linked up with the lovely Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.


1. The most I've spent this last week was on some vitamins. I really don't "drink the Kool-aid" when it comes to vitamins and supplements but given my recent joint problems I thought it might be a good idea to start taking a little better care of myself.

2. Today I am thankful for my amazing puppy dogs. They are such wonderful company when I am lonely.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was take the dogs to the dog park with my dad and brother. I'm not sure who had more fun, us or the dogs.

4. I will consider this week a success if I start packing and blog about my Big Giant Moving List, and also blog about my dad and brother's visit.

5. I am currently reading No Turning Back by Tiffany Snow. It had 4.5 stars and I could "borrow" it from Amazon free on my Kindle. Enough said.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

It's the same pattern each time. It doesn't matter whether it's a short bout of training or a nice long (to us) 6 month deployment. For the first few days I just mope around, continually surprised by the quiet that fills the house. I watch a lot of trashy television (Gossip Girl anyone?), eat junk food (does a whole bag of Everything Bagel Chips count?), and basically try to ignore the fact that he's gone.

Eventually I find my groove. I clean, a lot. (Which is good since I have family coming in town this week.) I put everything back where it belongs. (We tend to destroy the house while packing right before he leaves.) Then I settle in to wait. I find a routine. It's usually quiet and involves me spending a lot of time with my dogs. I don't cook real meals and only do laundry once per week.

I'm still watching trashy television, but have moved out of the moping phase. I'm setting into the routine of it being just me. :) Tonight I'm having dinner and doing some shopping with a friend and then my dad and brother are coming to town! But I did eat Cheezits for breakfast...

It Hurts, and I'm Annoyed

My stupid hip. I can't do anything. Running hurts. Biking hurts. Sitting at my desk hurts. Walking, surprisingly, doesn't usually hurt.

I even took about 3 weeks off after seeing the doctor for the first time. Then I tried to go on a short bike ride. And my hip was really sore the next day. I haven't even tried jogging since going to the doctor because I know it's going to hurt. Yesterday I didn't even do anything and it was sore all day.

I know I need to be patient (my MRI is next week) until we find out what's wrong with it, but it really bothers me that I can't do anything! The weather has been so nice and I would really like to be out on my bike. Or have the option of going for a jog in the morning. I have been trying to take the dogs for more walks to at least get a little exercise. Because I guess walking is better than sitting.

Basically, my hip hurts and I'm annoyed at how limiting it is. Cross your fingers that we'll find out what it is soon. And thanks for listening to the rant. :)