Thursday, April 24, 2014

We could go bigger...

So I may be slightly behind on printing my wedding pictures, considering that we got married almost 4 years ago. I promised my mom and mother-in-law to make them wedding Albums, but that never happened...

So with blank living room walls and Kyla's suggestion to do a big frame rather than lots of little frames, and not being able to decide what pictures I wanted up (how could I choose? Rebekah and Kevin take amazing photos), I decided to try a mosaic photo. And I am so pleased with how it turned out!!I used Easy Moza and it was amazing and easy (like it says)! Then I got the photo printed at Sams Club in a 20x30! Did you know they did that?

Here is how I did it:

Full Mosaic

Zoomed in area of mosaic

Take an old photo/frame and a ruler and a pencil
and the new poster!
Take the old photo and frame apart and flip the old photo
Measure and center the new poster in the old one
Realize that the border not being the same all the way around is really going
 to bother you and go downstairs and get more tools to make it even...

Return with double sided tape, an Xacto knife, clippers and a cutting board
Cut everything down by 2 inches

Put the new photo back in the frame now that it is evenly centered
 and Windex the plastic/glass because it is covered with dust and all your fingerprints
Snip the 2" off the black frame
Realize that you should have cut 1" off each side of the backer board
 because now the hanger is no longer in the middle of the board (oops)

Also, realize that you can't hang the photo yet because you did this project
 while your 8 month old was sleeping because she would have tried to put
every scrap in her mouth and probably have tried to eat the Xacto knife...
Finally hang the photo and realize that I could have "gone bigger" and that I need to fill in all that blank space... another project for another day :)
And I'll leave you with the awesome commercial that I got the title of this blog post from
 for a company that no longer exists...

Monday, April 21, 2014

The State of the Union (or just our living room floor)

I like keeping a pretty clean house. I really can't stand clutter on surfaces (especially my kitchen counters and my dining room tables) and I like to keep the Living room clean because that is the room I spend most of my time in at the moment. But now that Olivia is mobile, it is nearly impossible to keep the living room clean. 

See below:

And this is not just a couple days worth of clutter, this is one morning (from 6:30 to 8am). Olivia managed to pull out her entire container of toys and drink coasters, got fussy so I put some Cherrios on the floor for her to eat (is that bad? I was trying to get some eggs made for us and when I feed her off the floor, I can see her better than in her high chair), and then got distracted from the Cherrios and decided to play with the laundry.

The thing is, I don't even know why I keep putting them back! Maybe because I think that she probably enjoys pulling everything out as much as playing with just 1 thing, maybe because I'm trying to encourage her to crawl more, maybe just because I'm insane (doing something over and over and expecting a different result). Either way, it is currently tidied up until Olivia wakes up from her nap and the whole cycle starts again.

Really I'm enjoying her exploring and don't mind when she gets into things that won't kill her (not like outlets, power cords, hot ovens, why do they like things that are most likely to hurt them? Do they instinctively know?) Now I just need to teach her that putting things back is just as fun as pulling it all out :)

Having fun playing with Laundry

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Key to Happiness

This post is not about the key to my happiness, but truly the "keys" that make Olivia happy. See what I did there :) I know it is lame, I need more adult social interaction in my life...

So Olivia loves my keys. Whenever I have them in my hand and am trying to buckle her up in the car, she grabs my keys. It is actually helpful to have her hold them while I'm trying to get everything in the car, but when I take them away from her to start the car or unlock the front door (you know the thing you need keys for) she is furious! It might be because we just went on a shopping trip and she is tired, it might be that she doesn't like sitting by herself in the back of the car without toys that she will eventually drop, but she usually is very mad when I take them. She also tends to drop my keys while at the grocery store and as much as I love Kroger, I do eventually want to make it home.

So I was considering buying some toy keys like my friend Vickie has ($14.99 on Amazon)
but I'm cheap so I figured I could make a set of my own for Olivia.

So I went to my local friendly Ace Hardware and got a couple of blank keys without pokey edges and a stretchy band with a whistle (because Olivia might eventually figure out how to use it and doesn't make enough noise as is...) and got some of my own key chain accessories and made Olivia her own. Apparently I'm not the first person who has done this because the guy helping me with the keys asked me what happened to the other set I made for my daughter. And they only cost $7! And here is how they turned out:
Lego Darth Vader, a little light, a couple old
rewards cards, 4 keys, a whistle and a stretchy band
To those who haven't been to an Ace Hardware in a while, I have to say I love going into them. Everyone at the one nearest my house is so nice and helpful and have lots of random things you might need (mine currently has a decorative candle section, I'm not sure why) and always know what you mean when you are looking for something ("you know those things to keep your baby from sticking their fingers in the outlets"). (Ace Hardware is not paying me to say this or has any idea that I'm saying this, I just love their stores)

So that is the current "key" to Olivia's happiness during car trips and grocery errands. Come back soon for more horrible-pun-filled projects!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Being Bored

So yesterday was a pretty lame day for me. I spent most of the day on the couch, didn't get any chores completed (started one load of laundry and just washed a couple dishes) and didn't even get my 10,000 steps (I'm still trying to get a full month of 10,000 steps a day so I can get something like this to use for extra storage in my bedroom).

I have a little girl who is crawling quite a bit these days but can't get very far off the carpet because she doesn't have enough friction to get very far in winter clothes (where did this cold weather come from?!). She is even pulling up on the couch which means I need to be around to be sure she doesn't fall and bump her head (again) because she hasn't learned that she needs to hold on yet. She somehow managed to bruise her ear when she fell, who has ever heard of that happening before? What age do they learn cause and effect...?

I've been getting up every morning with Isaac (first alarm goes off at 4:45, but we always snooze it for 10 minutes) to make his lunch and coffee and have been staying up because trying to go back to sleep just makes me more exhausted. For the past week, I have actually been getting lots of things done in preparation for the Young Marrieds party we hosted this past weekend, but yesterday morning all I had were "boomerang projects" which I really just didn't want to do. I couldn't even get myself motivated to read more of "The Happiness Project" which I have been reading nearly every day.

And this morning I finally realized what it was. I am bored!! I have been doing my 4 hours of work each day, then any chores that needed doing (cleaning up after Olivia, dishes, laundry) but no projects! Last week, I finished several major projects: I re-muded and painted the kitchen wall where we had a leak several months ago, I cleaned the basement so that we could set up a playroom area for Olivia, finished part of a side project that took me a couple days to figure out, patched a hole in the living room and painted.You would think that I would never get bored with a baby girl to play with, but she is rather independent and wants to explore everything, which means I usually can't keep her attention for long.

I know this can sound kinda lame, but I did one of those career/hobbies quiz the other morning to figure out what I might be able to do in my spare time to increase my happiness (I'm happy but I could always be happier). I found out I'm a "seer":
As a Seer, you are always on the lookout for new things to ignite your passion. You can get fired up about a lot of things and do best to when you have a number of projects going. Reorganizing your home, gardening, solving a jigsaw puzzle, knitting or beading are all interesting to you. You need projects where you can envision the end product. Don’t beat yourself up for not finishing things because the passion for you comes with seeing what something will be and trying to make it. If you can’t get there fast enough, you will likely start something different. It’s a given. Courses in psychology, astrology or other subjects that fuel your passion for seeing why people do what they do are also compelling.
That is completely me! It explains my hobbies and projects and jobs and why I never finish things! And I have a long list of projects to do and finish, so I need to just get on them! First project, hang some mirrors in my bedroom!

Ok and here is a cute picture of Olivia, because really that is all anyone wants to see anyway :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Next walking Challenge: Walk-tober!

Ok, I know the name of the challenge is super cheesy and for some reason reminds you of something that Barney would invent on "How I Met Your Mother", but I am badly in need of getting back to walking everyday!

The challenge is 10,000 steps each day for each day of October, adding up to 310,000 steps for the month! Who is with me?! Let me know and I can add you to our Google Doc to keep track!

Smug after pulling out her tube
Today Olivia is 8 weeks old and with the ability to feed her when she is hungry and not on a specific schedule, I now am more flexible in being able to walk each day. I had a great walk with my Lamaze friend Vickie at Stone Mountain last week and now I'm craving more! Also had a very frustrating clothes shopping trip where I wore the wrong bra and still am trying to figure out what to wear with my shape (stomach still squishy, my boobs are much bigger these days and I don't know what to do with them). With the 4 weeks in the hospital where I didn't leave the room often enough, and the 4 weeks at home where we were on a strict schedule and I watched her closely to make sure she wouldn't pull out her NG tube (I hate putting it back in, she cries like we are killing her), I am ready to get out walking again. Now if she takes it out we can leave it out all day or if she hits her minimum (500 cc), we won't even have to put it back in! She is definitely getting better, she took 260 of 500 Saturday, 360 of 500 yesterday, and even woke up and took the bottle immediately this morning. She normally just grins at me with the bottle in her mouth like "Good try, Mommy, I'm too happy for this".

So with the weather being so wonderful and Olivia eating better and feeling out of sorts with my body, I'm going to be walking! Will you be joining me?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nerdy Weekly Baby Size: Week 23

So one of my favorite things about being pregnant is finding out what is happening with the baby each week (how they are growing, what they are developing, etc). But what I don't care for is how they measure the size of the baby, which tends to be the size of fruit and vegetables.
So based on, this week she is the size of a grapefruit. I don't know about you, but when I'm at the grocery store, vegetables and fruits tend to come in lots of different sizes. My favorite was last week's, which said she was the size of a papaya! I don't know if you've ever bought one, but they tend to come in lots of various sizes. Why can't they just pick something that does not vary in size like a ping pong ball and such? I know every baby isn't the same size, but this is rather ridiculous...
So I've decided to figure out my baby's length in nerdy items and determine her size every week based on that. So without further ado:

Nerdy Weekly Baby size!

Week 23:
Length: Height of Green Lantern lantern (11.5 inches)

Weight: 1136 1x1 legos (1.10 pound)
Me at 23 weeks going to Mary Poppins!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Steps challenge and keeping myself motivated!

So as I explained a couple weeks ago, I'm continuing to try to keep myself motivated to walk each week. Though it's not as hard now that I've lowered my daily goal to 8000 steps (pretty simple to make with my normal walking around the office and my 40 minute walk during lunch) and I really look forward to walking each day too!

I was inspired by images of jars like this, very visual ways to see your goal and to keep up motivation!

Mine is only one jar because I decided to use semisweet chocolate chips as additional motivation!

61 chips left!
My final goal is to work towards a prenatal massage, which tends to average at about $85. I started with 85 chocolate chips in the jar and and slowly eating them until they are all gone based on my steps each week. I am already starting to feel some back strain so I'm sure it will be useful in several weeks. So how I earn money is this:

  • If I walk 56,000 or more steps in a week, I get $10 towards the massage/10 chocolate chips.
  • If I walk 49,000 to 55,999 steps in a week, I get $7 towards the massage/7 chocolate chips.
  • If I walk 42,000 to 48,999 steps in a week, I get $5 towards the massage/5 chocolate chips.
  • Anything below that means no money towards the massage.

I've been doing this for 3 weeks now and continuing to track it on Google Docs. As you can see, I only made $7 the first and third week, but made $10 the second week. So already $24 down! If I make $10 each week, I'll be able to get a massage in 7 weeks. If only $7 each week, I'll be able to get a massage in 9 weeks. 

Hopefully this will keep me motivated! Checking my progress on Mondays has been fun too and I get chocolate (not that I'm depriving myself, it's just bonus chocolate!) Since I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant, I really am looking forward to a massage when it's warm and I'm bigger and probably in more need of the relief.

Anyone else have some interesting way of keeping themselves motivated?

Monday, April 1, 2013

I really don't care about brand names

So as most normal 27 year old women, I tend to care about my appearance. I like wearing clothes that looks flattering and fit well and show off a bit of my personality. What I don't care about is brand names...

While at the Dollar Tree buying cards, the cashier mentioned how much she loved my watch and asked if it was Michael Kors. I must have looked at her like she was crazy (because in my mind, who recognizes a specific watch by a specific designer?) and said no it was Target and it was $15 (I assumed his watches were expensive and they are...). 

My awesome $15 watch

The $276 Michael Kors Watch

Mind you, my watch is awesome. Purchased after our 30 days of Pinspiration, I had decided I need to accessorize more and that I had been considering watches and that I should just buy one. And $15 felt worth trying whether I would like watches or not. I loved the rose gold because it was pretty and different and didn't match any of my current daily jewelry (2 white gold rings and 1 yellow gold, plus lots of varying necklace and earring metals, what could I match anyway?) I have worn it nearly every day since, except when wearing the watch Isaac gave me for Christmas (also awesome, just more casual).

So while I will happily respond when asked that my watch is Target and most of my clothes are from Goodwill/Consignment/Target/Sam's Club (they have 3 packs of long tank tops, great for big bellies), I know I'm not normal. So when you tell me that you got the cute dress/top/pants you are wearing from some store and I don't seem impressed, understand that it's not you, it really is me. I'm just not normal :)

Target watch, Sam's Tank, Goodwill Skirt
Also I know I wear my watch on the wrong hand

Thursday, March 28, 2013

On being too cheap...

I had these thoughts on my mind last night and decided I need to get them out into the world and see what others thought and express myself better.

I would definitely call myself frugal. I know that my friends and most of my family know I'm an avid Goodwill/Consignment shopper. I love DIY projects and finding the cheapest way to get anything done. But sometimes I'm so cheap that I don't even consider how my actions can affect others.

For example, the beginning of February was my best friend's birthday. She now lives out of town and we don't get calls in as often as I want and I know that I'm generally bad at keeping in touch. For her birthday, I messaged her on Facebook. The person I trusted to get me through everything in my wedding (as maid of honor), the person who made sure that my problems were fixed with chocolate and/or alcohol in college, someone I know I could call at anytime, and all I did was message her on Facebook. And she has always been so thoughtful about sending me gifts and things she think I would love for my Birthday (I am still using the amazing Candy Corn bath soap she gave me). So why was saving $$ to not even send a card ok??

The reason I thought of this was because of two cards I sent yesterday and the many wonderful cards I've received to congratulate Isaac and I.  A friend from church kindly let us use/gave us a stroller, baby bath, and lounger for our little girl. Such a blessing! I was determined to get a Thank you card out to her before the week was out. Also, my great-uncle's 90th birthday is on Friday and my mom had suggested that the family send him cards or call him as his wife recently passed away and he would probably enjoy getting some birthday wishes. I went to the Dollar Store (still being cheap, and just recently reading a blog that you should always buy your cards there) and picked out two cards. $1 per card wasn't that bad and better than the $4 cards at most places. But when I checked out, I found out they were 50¢ a piece!! So plus the price of a stamp, I was spending about $1 to show someone how much I appreciated them and how much I cared.

I know that for my wedding, I was horrible about getting my thank you's out. It took me almost 8 months! I really did appreciate all the presents, I just didn't realize how much waiting seemed to show otherwise. I was really embarrassed too when my cousin-in-law got her thank you's out before I did and was married 3 months after me!

So here are my plans for change:

  1. Be sure to send thank yous, and quickly!
  2. If can't send a thank you, give them a call at least (I don't like talking on the phone much, but it is worth it for the amazing support I've been receiving)
  3. At least send a birthday card! (I know how much I love getting them, why don't I send them?)
  4. Remember that even small gifts/messages can mean a lot

So sorry to all those with late or no thank yous, missed birthday cards/presents, unmentioned thank yous for birthday cards and congrats cards. I'm so glad to be surrounded by wonderful people in my life and I love you all!!

So while I may still try to be frugal (don't expect the $4 cards very often), I know that I need to do better at expressing my appreciation and love.

Anyone else have epiphanies on a random Wednesday night?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Final day of the Million Step Challenge!

Its the last day and I'm on track to make my million (only 8000 steps left)! There were definitely ups and downs, weekends were harder than I thought to get steps in, being pregnant made me more exhausted in the evenings, and the weather did not always cooperate!

All that said, I'm so proud of myself. I have been so lucky to have a very easy pregnancy so far and no morning sickness which worked for me toward the challenge! I even think that the exercise has really helped in making me more alert and less exhausted so far.

17 weeks
So does this mean I'll stop exercising? No way! Not after realizing how great I feel and how lucky I am to be so active during my pregnancy. My plan is to start creating weekly goals to earn money to pamper myself as the pregnancy goes along. For example:

My goal will be to make 56,000 steps a week (8,000 a day) starting next Monday. If I make that goal I'll put $10 towards my pampering fund. If I only get 49,000 steps in, I'll put $7 towards the fun. If 42,000, then $5. Any less than that will earn nothing.

I'm hoping to work towards a prenatal massage and some pedicures :) Especially as I get bigger, I think those will really help!

I hope that everyone enjoyed participating, thanks so much for keeping me motivated! Especially Mommy and Mom, I know you both worried for a time that I wouldn't make it and you'd have to go to Mary Poppins without me. And thanks to Isaac, who went on countless walks with me although I know he would rather be playing video games or relaxing or really anything else in the world sometimes.

Keep walking everyone!