February Faves in the form of a Friday Five

I see all around the place people doing the things they couldn’t have lived without. Since February was a no-spend month for me, I was able to really look at what we had and what I couldn’t get through the month without. The one exception: I did fulfill my monthly order with Young Living, and one of those things is on my fave list.

So here goes my February Faves in the form of a Friday Five.

  • Makita Cordless Vacuum. This is a lifesaver. It stores easily in our small pantry, is light weight and ultra powerful. If you’re looking for a cordless vac for quick pickups, look no further than this.
  • Young Living* USB oil diffuser with lavender and spearmint. You guys, this mixture is the perfect combination of calming and energizing (I know- how can that happen at the same time? It gives me energy but not the all over the place type). And the little diffuser is awesome. It’s around $22 at the member rate and the oils vary on which ones you get. There are a few settings to either have constant, every 30 sec or every 60 sec bursts. I do the later and I don’t feel like I want for more. I’ve also diffused a blend designed for mental focus, but I prefer the lavender/spearmint blend so much that I just put those in my monthly order to keep at the office at all times.IMG_1841
  • My new BuJo. I mean, where else can I go a day, skip a couple, go some more and not feel like I wasted paper? In this guy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little I do it, I feel like it’s the best solution and I’m not wasteful. I have a great gratitude log in there, monthly spreads, memory pages, monthly trackers – the list goes on and on. IMG_18422
  • Lego Hobbit for PS4. I’m way behind on the console gaming thing. S and I played Diablo III while I was pregnant with E, but when we beat it, I wasn’t too interested in anything else. Until I picked up the game on a whim. I still have a long way to go, but it’s nice because it’s more of a puzzle game vs. a everything can kill you game. It’s made for kids anyway, right? T even loves watching me play it, and I know she’ll be able to play it soon if I let her.
  • Peanut butter and sandwich thins. When I was pregnant with E and had gestational diabetes, my nutritionist suggested natural peanut butter on sandwich thins. The natural peanut butter has no added sugar and the sandwich thins are one serving of carbs. I felt fuller longer and didn’t get the nasty sugar crash that I get with most other quick breakfasts. I jumped back on that breakfast bit this month and I feel better through lunchtime. Then, let’s be honest here, it generally goes to crap because I CANNOT kick that sweet tooth. Oh well – maybe I need to make that my April thing? One serving of sweets a day?

February was a great month for us overall. We had lots of fun with friends and as our little family. Our baby girl continues to sleep through the night (THANK YOU MOM!) and I feel like I’m getting more and more adjusted to being a mother of two. I still am struggling with the daily cleaning routine, mostly because when the girls are in bed I just want to relax and not clean, but one of these days I’ll get there.

 

*in effort of full disclosure, following that link will take you directly to the signup page to grab a YL starter kit. I do not, however, get a kickback from linking the vacuum.

Friday Five: 29 October

It’s been a whirlwind of an October (as I’ve alluded to, and as you can see in my number of posts for the month).  We’ve got one more weekend of visitors coming up (S’s dad is coming to visit the first weekend of November) and other than that, we just have Thanksgiving.  I’m really excited to have some time to relax a little and clean our house – it’s really amazing how dirty things can get in such a short amount of time when you have two little kitties running around.

1. This past weekend was our trip to Baltimore for S’s mom’s surprise birthday party.  She thought we were in town for our Alma Matter’s homecoming weekend, but really it was all for her. It was a “Sexy at 60” party (oops – probably shouldn’t have put her age out there, oh well ;)) And so we had to dress in animal print.

My parents drove up for the party
With the birthday girl
One of the best pictures of the two of us


2. When we got back, we set to work getting our house finished up and ready for Halloween.  I way overspent my $100 budget (but hey, next year will be cheap!!) but our house looks great.  The last purchase was the spider web stuff on the porch.  We even had some neighborhood kids checking it out the other night.  We’re looking forward to having our first trick-or-treaters this weekend!!!

The two pumpkins by the door are our soon-to-be Jack-o-lanterns (we’re carving them tonight!). 

3. I’ve also been working on doing some blog things for a couple of people, and trying to juggle that, school and work has been much more challenging than I thought it would be.  Look for links to those blogs coming up once the blog authors and I have finished things up!  It’s been so fun though!

4. My first class is finished, and I’m anxiously awaiting my project grade to know the final grade in the class.  I’ve been doing really well, even with the new style of citing and formatting.  I even got a 120/120 on my mini-project earlier in the term.  My second class started this week, and I’ve been kinda slacking on it.  After this I’ll take a couple week break and start back up after the holidays.

5. I finally have a 101/1001 update!  I feel like I’ve been the biggest slacker ever on it!  I was on such a good roll in the beginning.  Anyway, I finished our Christmas stockings last night (sorry – no pics yet – they’ll be coming soon!).  They aren’t nearly as intricate as the pattern showed them to be (I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to put the piping on them… treeskirt, no problem… stockings… no.  And I skipped out on the little toe part) and they have some imperfections, but for our first stockings, I’m pretty excited about them.  They match our tree skirt, which alternates between red and green of this adorable shabby chic fabric I found last year.  I can’t wait to put everything up!!!

I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween – be safe and have fun!!! 

Friday Five: 10/8

What a crazy month October is turning out to be!  Not only have we had S’s mom and her best friend in town, but we have S’s best friend and his wife coming next weekend, a trip back east the following weekend, plus my first class ends on the 24th!

1. Life in September was just as stressful, especially since things with my job took a downturn again (no threat of losing it – just unhappy with some of the things around here). I’ve been trying really hard to put on a happy face while I’m here, and I’m brainstorming new ways to enjoy being here (if someone wants to donate a beanbag chair to the cause, let me know!).

S and I were emailing yesterday, and it got me to thinking – I really need to find some sort of mantra to get me going.  And then I remembered part of my sorority’s creed.  I jumped on publisher and quickly typed up a banner to hang in my cube above my desk:

For a quick throw together, I think it serves its purpose (font style is Susie’s Hand – a free font I downloaded from here).  And sorry for the picture quality, if you click on it, it gets better. But maybe I can use this to work into a nice piece of art for either here or the house (hello other list item!!).

In other news:

2. I’m actually doing really well in my class, and I ordered my book today for the second one!  This going to school while working while owning a new house thing is stressful, but I’m proving that I can do it!

3. So, what did I get for S for his birthday?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  I got him a custom made cornhole set from a seller on etsy.  We haven’t put it to use yet, but hopefully will Sunday morning when people come over to watch the Raven’s – Broncos game.  What does it look like?  Here’s a picture the seller sent me (and I haven’t had a chance to take a picture since it was delivered)

4. I’ve decided to start scheduling my work days.  It may spill over into scheduling my entire day, but I really enjoy the evenings to do whatever we want, when we want, so for now, the hours of 8-5 are scheduled.  I have a hard time switching between tasks (going from programming this to programming that, or reading this journal article, etc) so I figure this may help.  So far it’s good, but we’ll see if I can keep it up!

5. S and I decided last week that we’re going to pick about 5-6 places in the country to travel to next year.  We’re hoping that, if all works out, 2011 will be the last child-free year we have, and instead of going to Europe, we’re going to take trips to various cities around the country (or maybe Canada).  So far the on place we know we’re headed to at some point is Chicago.  My other thoughts: Seattle (or Vancouver, or both), Charleston, Savannah, Boston (as much as it pains me to say it), Napa Valley, Redwood National Forest, NYC… and S has some other ideas as well.  Any other suggestions that I didn’t list that you think are a must see?

Hope you have a great weekend!!!

Friday Five: 24 September

Welcome to the first fall edition of Friday Five, and the last one for the month of September.  I can’t believe October is almost here!  That means S’s birthday is right around the corner, as well as other fun fall festivities!  So what’s been going on in my world this week?

1. My poor little Haley has a bad tooth.  She likes to chew on my toothbrush sometimes (when I’m brushing my teeth… she’s a weirdo) and I noticed it Tuesday.  I took her to the vet on Wednesday morning and they wanted me to leave her, but I just wasn’t mentally prepared to leave her.  Plus, we were supposed to do a Boulder breweries bike tour that night, and I would not be able to leave her.  So I take her back on Tuesday to have it taken out (or maybe it’s just an infection in her gum and it’ll all be ok).  Send prayers and good thoughts for strength for me… she’s my little girl, and I don’t want to do this to her, but I know I have to.

2. Last night, we went up to Ft Collins to hang out with a friend of mine from college who was celebrating her birthday.  She ordered in Maryland Blue Crabs to share with her friends, and she invited S and I up!  We had a blast, and enjoyed what is usually a once-a-year (and never in CO) affair on an amazing first night of fall!  Good conversation and good food and drink – no better way to celebrate!

Yummy yummy!
With her birthday cheesecake – complete with candles!

3. This week turned around pretty well after Tuesday’s falling apart.  I’ve been able to make headway with results for our paper at work, and get a good grade on my second case study assignment for school.

4. This weekend looks to be pretty relaxing, even though we have dinner plans for Saturday night and I have a shopping trip with my college friends from Ft Collins.  It’s nice to get a little break in, before the craziness that is October starts.  Besides, who doesn’t like a nice shopping trip with the girls at the beginning of a new season!

5. S and I are beginning to think about our Halloween costumes, now that we have some concrete plans for that weekend.  But, we’re kinda clueless.  Last year, we went as Bill and Sookie from True Blood.  We threw it together completely last minute.  But this year we have some time.  So… any suggestions?  I’d like to do a couple costume, but doesn’t have to be.

Our costumes last year (from a cell phone – so sorry bad quality!)

Friday Five: 17 September

Oy vey!  What a week it’s been at my house.  Where to start?

1. I’m in a major nesting mode – with no baby in sight (and yes, I can 100% say that).  I want to change things there, add little decorative things here… It’s getting out of control!  Last night, S and I went to Walmart to get a cooler for our party tomorrow night, and ended up spending $110.  On what?!  Some of it was necessity… other was, I want our house to smell like fall… and this candle is cheap, and that reed diffuser is even cheaper.  ::sigh::  But it’s all coming together, and I’ve spent about 60% of my fall decorating budget already, and I haven’t touched the outside yet (other than a wreath).

And on a completely different, but nesting note, I also want to decorate the bathroom I featured in the well read wreath post in vintage birds.  Isn’t this shower curtain too adorable (and, it’ll brighten up the bathroom and coordinate well with the wreath – and it’s on clearance for $19.99!!!!!)

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2. The never-ending saga of new appliances continues.  We ended up cancelling the order of appliances I showed because LG kept pushing the delivery date back (we ordered these things back in July for goodness sakes.. and we would be looking at an October delivery).  So we bought GEs.  Quick turnaround and they were delivered this week… but none of them could be fully installed due to either the cabinets being crooked (ok, it’s just a trim piece, but still) or a tile backsplash or the wrong adapter for the gasline into the stove.  After we sanded the cabinet down, the dishwasher now shuts.  The microwave is supposedly being installed today, and the stove doesn’t fit.  But we’re hoping the installers today can do some miracle work and get it in there.

3. I got my first assignment back in school, and I did pretty well.  A 56/60.  I wasn’t happy with it though, and I’m sure many will yell at me for being upset about it.  I’ve got a lot to learn with this new formatting (I’ve been using the same citation and writing style for the last 10 years!  It’s so hard to just switch), but once I get it down, I think I’ll do better.  School is much harder and more stressful than I thought it was going to be.  I don’t envy the people who work a full time job, take more than one class *and* have children.  No way.

4. S has been sick all week.  Whenever we travel back east and come back, he always gets a cold or a sinus infection or whatever it is.  Since I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cutoff for the last two weeks, I only got it slightly.  I’m thinking he’s gonna have to push the vitamin c before we head east at the end of October.

5. Tomorrow is a big day.  Not only is it housewarming party day, but it’s also get my hair done day!  I’m so ready for it, because it’s been about two months  now (we were out of town then my stylist was out of town… yuck).  I’m thinking of getting all over color and going dark.  Here’s me now (most recent one I could find without booting up my other computer):

 From our engagement session back a year and a half ago:

And from the same session, but the picture is edited and darkened, but I like the look, so this is what I’m thinking:


Ok, maybe it’s not that much darker than my original hair color, but I like it.  I know my mom would love it.  Anyone have an opinion? 

Hope you all have a great weekend, and hopefully I’ll have some pictures to post on Monday of our housewarming party as well as some of the fall decorations I’ve been working on!

Friday Five: 3 September

Where did August go?  Not that I’m really complaining, as I’m so ready for fall.  Here’s this past week’s highlights:

1. School is officially in full swing, and I think I’m taking it way too seriously.  I mean, come on… look at this highlighting and note-taking job:

I know it’s a good thing to be this detailed and meticulous.  But my hand doesn’t appreciate my brain’s hard work.  Only one and a half sections left to read in my chapter reading assignments, then it’s on to my first reflection assignment.

2. In home improvement news, we had our tv mounted above our fireplace, bought ceiling fans and received art for our living room.  We’re waiting on our install for the fans, but hung the art up last night

It’s a nice addition, and really brings all the colors in the room together.  I also got the planters I mentioned, but they’re going to have to wait until I get a free minute to breathe (which may not happen before the end of the month!)

3. I’ve become obsessed with figuring out how to decorate our front porch.  I’ve been inspired by a few things I’ve found:

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I’m bound and determined to decorate the porch and door, our dining room table and the little table beside the door we bought the other night all for right around $100.  I may be grossly underestimating what I can do with that amount of money.  But we’ll see!

4. I’m really really looking forward to this weekend.  Why?  Well, I can’t quite say yet, but I’ll definitely update as soon as I’m able. Besides, there should be some sort of anticipation to keep bringing people back, right! 🙂

5. I received a compliment this week from a coworker:  

I’m getting this idea that you have some kind of surreal organizational skills which in the midst of 10,000 other things going on in your life allow you the forethought to orchestrate and take a picture such as this.  

She was commenting on one of the pictures I posted from our housewarming shoot.  It meant a ton, because I want to convey those types of skills – I want to show that in the midst of “chaos”, I still can get the little details done.  That’s why I’m going back to school, to get the educational background that will allow me to do that stuff. 

Happy Labor Day weekend!!

Friday Five: 17 August

Happy Friday to everyone!  What a week it’s been here for me… and I’m sure for a lot of others out there, since most schools that I know started back up (not only colleges, but high schools all over the country too).

1. S and I bought a new car last Friday.  I was hesitant to say anything, because we just bought the house, but I’ve been such a nervous wreck driving my old car (and had a panic attack at 70 mph on the highway last week while driving said car) that S had had enough, and off to the dealorship we went.  I got a great value for my Mazda, and drove off with a 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid (clearance priced too – YES!).  Here she is, sitting in the parking lot at work:

I’ve had a blast driving her, and so far I’m up to 450 miles on this tank.  Yay for 48 mpg!!!  

2. Early Tuesday morning, I was woken up by severe lower abdominal pain – that actually made me whimper.  I figured it was just gas pain, so I went back to sleep and went to work like normal, although I had this lingering ache in my girly region that felt just like menstrual cramps.  No biggie – I’ve been dealing with that for about 16 years now.  So Wednesday morning, as I’m getting lunch and everything together, the pain comes back – but so bad I’m doubled over.  Happens three more times that morning, and I decide I’m going to the doctor.  After some not fun tests, I was diagnosed with kidney stones.  So the rest of the week has been pushing fluid (and I love water… but I’ve had about ENOUGH!) and visiting our new bathrooms as frequently as I can.  I think I’m towards the end of it, based on where the pains were this morning.  
3. I got it in my head on Tuesday to make deck planters to put on our front porch.  So I searched online for awhile to find the perfect pattern – and when I didn’t, I got to work on drawing my own plans.  My first attempt ended up being wrong, but I finally got the second ones right.  After speccing it out, pricing lumber at Home Depot and Lowes, I realized I wouldn’t REALLY be saving much money, other than shipping, to make them myself.  Thanks to my mom’s suggestion, I went to overstock.com and found planters there. 

I’m going to get some white paint and sealant to make sure they’re good for the outdoors.  Not to mention it only cost $2.95 to ship two of them (plus a cool tree collage and a flower collage to try for our living room). 

4. Our appliances are still on backorder.  They’re now saying September 10 for delivery.  It’s a good thing we hadn’t put our appliances on Craigslist yet.  But it’s ok – good things come to those who wait!

5. School officially starts on Monday!!!  I can actually log into my class today, so I’m going to check out the syllabus and see what assignments there are and such.  I also got my school email set up and my tuition reimbursement from work.  This is so exciting, and a bit nerve-wracking because it’s a completely new format of education for me.  Wish me luck!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!  S and I are taking our bikes out on our first real trail ride tomorrow morning.  I hope to get some pictures from that!

Friday Five: August 20

Finally a Friday that’s not crazy busy and that I’m actually here!  I don’t know what to do with myself 🙂

1. As you got from my post yesterday, I ordered my Tom’s Shoes this week, and they’ll be here today!  I cannot wait… they’re the perfect fall shoe… closed toe, yet breathable.  Plus, they won’t give me blisters, since they stretch to fit your foot.  I can’t wait to wear a long sleeve shirt, my rolled up jeans and my Toms on a Saturday morning walking around town or the Boulder farmer’s market.  That equals pure bliss.

2. We’ve gotten most of our stuff completely unpacked!  Since we don’t have office furniture other than our desk, we can’t really unpack that.  We were looking at buying a few pieces from Ikea, but since a lot of it is mix and match, we weren’t sure we were getting exactly what we thought we were (lateral file on the bottom for my paper organization, bookshelf on top for the 20 books or so we have).  We’ll call and make sure we get everything we need, and then once the office is unpacked, all we’ll have to do is hang our art!

3. School starts for me in a week from this upcoming Monday.  I’m getting really excited, but a little nervous at the same time, since this course work is something completely new to me.  I know I’m a good student and I can do whatever I set my mind to.  But doesn’t keep those nerves from creeping up!

4. Speaking of school… most of you don’t know that I’m an advisor for my sorority at one of the chapters here in CO.  I got to see them again this week for the first time since May, and it was so amazing!  These girls have become so important to me, and I love every minute I get to spend with them.  I’m really beginning to understand what teachers go through with their students each year… you watch them grow and mature, turn into leaders and develop their skills which will get them so far in life.  But unlike teachers (unless you’re the lucky breed that’s a coach or electives course), I get them for usually 3-4 years.  I’ve already had one class of seniors go, and that was hard enough.  I know it’s going to get harder.  But it’s still so worth it.

5. Our friend, C, who was S’s roommate in Alabama and a fellow grad student with me, moved to CO this week.  S and I are so excited to have him here… it’s like that little security blanket can be pulled up a little more, because C has been such a good friend to both of us.  We’re looking forward to many nights of hanging out and talking about life and work.  Welcome to CO, C!!!  We hope you enjoy it as much as we have so far!

Friday Five: 6 August

So I wrote this Thursday, so that when Friday rolls around, all I have to do is log-in and post.  Hooray for another weekend away!!

1. On Tuesday night, S and I ate at restaurant number 5: HBurger Co.  It’s on the 16th Street Mall and opened within the last 6 months or so.  It’s usually busy when we walk by, and figured that we’d give it a shot.  The summary of our visit: great food, less than great service.  As the hostess sat us, she said that she’d be right back with some waters for us, and 10 minutes later our waiter came by and asked us what we wanted for drinks.  Fine, whatever.  We ordered their zucchini fries (mmmMmmm) and we each had a quarter pound burger with fries… mine with guac and pepperjack cheese, S’s with bacon and american.  The buns were nice and lightly toasted, and were airy, and the burgers were nice and juicy, even though we ordered them medium-well.  My biggest complaint was this:  I want my drink tended to.  I don’t want to have to slurp my drink 4 or 5 times to get someone’s attention.  The manager even came by, asked how our food was, then walked away.  A good manager would’ve noticed our drinks were low.  I spent most of the meal on empty, and that’s just not pleasant to me.  And, S ended up getting a headache because it was pretty smoky inside.  After it was all said and done, we decided we would go back again, but ask to sit outside and not expect good, fast service.  Or, maybe we just got a dud.

2. *WARNING – RANT* I don’t know what the deal with this week has been, but man traffic has been the absolute PITS!!!!!!  I know I’ve been getting really excited to move next week, but knowing that I won’t have to drive THAT ROAD makes me so incredibly happy I can barely contain myself.  Let me just explain this week to you:


Monday it took 30 minutes to go one half mile because someone didn’t put their trailer on the back of their truck correctly.  And it fell off.  In the middle of rush hour.  Thank goodness I was on the bus and not driving it.
Tuesday it took me an hour and a half to get home.  On a good day, it’s 25-30 minutes.  Usually, it’s about 45.  The only other time my commutes are longer than an hour are when there’s a really bad accident or snow.  I don’t know what was going on Tuesday… but it was bumper to bumper from the second I got on the highway to the second I pulled into my apartment’s garage.
Wednesday there was an accident in the morning, and an accident in the evening.  Both resulting in hour commutes.
Thursday morning, while there was still traffic, it was the normal volume and it was back to the 45 minute commute.  I’m almost to the point of sleeping on an air mattress in the new house so I can avoid that darn commute. *RANT OVER*

3. In happier news, I ordered my book for class!!  I’m so excited to start this new journey!  Only 25 days til classes start! It’s going to be a new experience anyway, because I’ve never done the online thing before.  But I’m really excited about it!

4. We have had storms every day here this week, and it’s been kind of refreshing.  There’s just something about the heavy rains that wash everything off and make things clean and green again.  Too bad it can’t rain inside our garage and wash off the vomit that was waiting for me this morning as I walked out.  But at least my car gets a nice bath, since she’s sitting on the street until we take possession of the house.

5. My sister is out to visit this weekend!!  S, J and I are meeting up with P (for who they are, see About Me) for a weekend visiting my father-in-law in Vegas.  It’ll be a really fun trip, and I’m excited to see everyone!  Plus, it means I won’t have to pack this weekend 😉

Friday Five: 23 July

It’s time for another edition of Friday Five!

1. This week was S’s last week of work at his job.  So he’s been super busy packing up boxes, wrapping up research and catching people up to speed on the status of his projects.  He’s so excited for his new opportunity to start on Monday (although I’m pretty jealous because he’ll get to work from home for a week and a half, and I don’t get that luxury)!!

2. On Saturday night, I talked S into walking to the closest ice cream shop… about a 15-20 minute walk over the Platte and across I-25 to “Little Man Ice Cream”.  It was a little ice cream stand, that was in the shape of a milk jug.  And the ice cream was fabulous!!! Picture Source

3. It was on this day, a year ago, that S and I were in single digits to our wedding.  I was scrambling to get programs printed, table numbers cut out and in frames and everything packed for the week before as well as our honeymoon.  I can’t believe a year has passed since this point.  Soon, we won’t be newlyweds, but a regular married couple, with two cats and a new house.  I love my life!!!

4. Yesterday was a really frustrating day at work.  I’ve made some sort of mistake that I can’t find.  I’m sure it’s a small typo in my program, but I can’t find it, and my boss really wants to see results.  I told him I had them, they’re just wrong.  So by about 4 pm yesterday, I had been looking through code and comparing it with similar codes for about 4 hours with no luck.  I walked away and met up with S and his colleagues for happy hour.  Here’s hoping I find the error today.

5. Wednesday was our friend’s baby shower.  I had really really wanted to do a diaper cake, but someone else did it, so I made little wagons of baby things instead.  I think they turned out cute, and a few people at the shower commented on how nice they were.  The party was nice… mostly people from her work (since the family is out of town) and we sat around and talked and ate.  Not to mention it was a great get out of work early excuse!