Monday, July 29, 2013

Workin' Girl

Friday, I accepted an employment offer....eeeeeeep!
I am SO excited to start working for a new organization, meet new people, and hopefully influence some kids in a good way.

I'll be working in Career Services at a residential program for urban youth. It is a great match with my skills and experience, as well as something I think I am truly happy to be doing.

When I started my job seeking last month, I was thinking just part time, no pressure kinds of jobs. This is definitely not what I had in mind, but it is perfect. 

I am already envisioning my inevitable crash from working regular hours, I've got crockpot dinners lined up, my house is sparking, laundry caught up--I'm prepped and ready to go.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recent Reads

My reading has slllllllllllowed down.
I want to say that is probably because it is summer time and I am doing a bunch of other fun things. But--I'm pretty sure it is because I am lazy. Very lazy.
Anyway!
I have four books to share:
First up, my Katrina Kittle obsession continues. Homegirl cannot write a bad novel. 
Two Truths and a Lie, Katrina Kittle
From Goodreads:
Dair Canard has made up tales since she was a child. Now, as an adult, she finds herself lying at the slightest provocation. She has established herself as an actress and bonded with her husband, Peyton, on the premise of her greatest lie ever -- a fictitious twin sister who died at the age of 10. But Dair now finds herself at a point in her life where her lies threaten to avalanche. The mysterious death of a dear friend, the divorce of her parents, her own drinking problem, and the strain of deceiving Peyton all finally collide. As she struggles to get her life back on track, Dair learns the truth about her friend's death...and all her lies come tumbling down to unveil a few basic truths, one of which is that each of us has something to hide.

I really loved this one! It wasn't my favorite (Traveling Light is my fav of her work, check it out!), but it is a great story. She keeps me up until the wee hours of the morning reading, and I love that.
Another Katrina Kittle
The Blessings of the Animals, Katrina Kittle
From Goodreads:
Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Her brother and his partner find their marriage dreams legally blocked. Her former sister-in-law—still her best friend—is newly engaged. The youthfully exuberant romance of her teenage daughter is developing complications. And three separate men—including her ex-husband—are becoming entangled in Cami's messy post-marital love life.
But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage's great mysteries—and its disconnects.
I was awake until 4am finishing this. 4AM! I couldn't stop, I HAD to know what happened! I love the different perspectives, it really helped progress the story.

Another writer I've been loving is Linwood Barclay

Too Close to Home, Linwood Barclay

From Goodreads:
In a quiet suburban neighborhood, in a house only one door away, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. And you think to yourself: It could have been us. And you start to wonder: What if we’re next?

I've yet to find a Barclay novel I do not tear through in a day. This did NOT disappoint. Great story, keeps you on the edge of your seat for sure.
Lastly, I picked up this because it was on a list of good summer reads
From Goodreads:
As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

I kind of felt ehhhh about this one.
I love that it bounces between perspectives, which I like. It made it nice to get to know each of the characters. It was a way to form your own opinion of them. I, however, kept waiting for something to happen. There wasn't enough, you know? It was a quick read, that I was completely into, I just wish there was more.

Any good book recommendations!?
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Rainy days + Mondays

I hate the combo of rain and Monday! It makes the beginning of the week a little extra "blah". Definitely crossing my fingers for some sunshine!
This weekend I:
Knocked out 3 pillows for our living room
I am OBSESSED! I am making 2 more today. We have a sectional, so I like to fill it with pillows. I am also going to be refinishing a rocking chair from my Mom and I think I might make a pillow to place on that. It is all wood, and I think the little cushion would be nice.
Hit the mother load on fabric! 
I picked up a few of these before on sale, this time they were final markdown so I was geeking out!

I skipped down to Jo-Ann's after I left Hobby Lobby, and I found these upholstery fabric samples 50%, so $1 each! They are great for the makeup bags I do, the fabric is perfect for it.

The next thing I did, might cause you to question my sanity.
I started planning Thanksgiving dinner.
Nuts, I know!
I started browsing for invites to order and nothing has really jumped out at me yet.

Then I went to Cardstore to see what they had to offer and found some SUPER cute options! (and I may have gotten Thanksgiving sidetracked and spent 30 minutes looking at baby shower invite options for my sister!)

I've also just discovered the Cardstore blog, Cardstyle! They have just placed a guide to the perfect "Christmas In July" party--you must check it out! 

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Source--check it out!

They have some amazing tips--and I may just have to make that mulled ice wine ASAP!

Have a GREAT week!!!
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekly Obsessions

This has been a pretty chill week. I had a few job interviews, my niece stayed over, and I watched an insane amount of tv.

A few things I am loving:
Wen Hair Care
This summer my hair has been a bitch. I have tried everything. Conditioning masks, leave in treatments, oils, EVERYTHING. 
I have been hearing good things about this lately and when Meg (one of my favorite bloggers, check her out!) said she has been loving it, I decided to try. I got pretty lucky, my Mom bought some on QVC (she is retired now, I guess that is how she is passing the time.) She told me she loved it, but her hair is so short, she thought I'd get better use out of it. So sweet. She had the Spring Gardenia and I love it. I have used it just twice now and I cannot believe the difference in my hair.


Hobby Lobby Logo
Hobby Lobby...no shocker there! 
I typically only shop HL for craft supplies, or if there is a sale. In the last month, I have gotten KILLER deals on home decor. I found 4 MUST have items for under $5 each. 90% aisle treated me well.
In addition to that, I was like an addict needing a fix in the fabric aisle. I came home with over 6 yards of beautiful fabric for less than $17.


I am OBSESSED with the town Farmer's Market! It is no doubt the highlight of my week lately and I am so beyond stoked to go tonight.

Annnnnnnnnnnd my other obsession?
My killer boudoir photograher. I keep creeping on pictures of myself. Vain? Nah.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Check that off the list

About a month ago, I posted about being nervous about doing a boudoir photo shoot.
Last week, I had my shoot. 
It wasn't ANYTHING like I thought it would be. And truthfully, I pretty much forgot I was walking around in my undies. 
Yesterday, I was able to meet with the photographer and see the pictures. They are AMAZING!! She picked a few that she will be using in her look books and ads. eeeeep! She asked if it was ok to post online, and I surprised myself and said YES! I truthfully do not care WHO sees them. They are very tasteful. And honestly, I wish I had seen some better plus size shots when I was looking at pictures for inspiration. 
Since I was modeling for her, I have a photo credit (I want to buy them all!) and was given a digital image of my choice. I went with this one:

You can check out the AMAZING photographer's beautiful work here!
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Playing Catch Up

It has been an interesting week or so.

I can finally say that my little sister is pregnant with her 2nd baby! To help announce the pregnancy (she and her husband are in Colorado until Dec.) I made this great shirt for my nephew:

"This Superhero is getting a sidekick"


(I think I am going to list the design in my Etsy store! I have had 3 calls so far from people that saw it on Facebook!)

He definitely wasn't pleased at first. It was traumatic for all of us. He ended up just wanting to sit in his room with Justin reading books. Eventually, he came around. He is going to be an excellent big brother!

video

I filmed my Mom finding out. I wish I had been able to do that for everyone, but it wasn't possible.

This week has mostly been spent crafting and cleaning. Tons of fun, right ;)



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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Living Room Decor

Our living room is getting closer and closer to finished! 
We decided to say F painting for the moment. I hate painting! Our walls are a taupe color right now, and I can live with that. I do eventually want to paint, but I feel like our entire house is in various stages of completed. It makes not sense to tape off another room.
A few weeks ago we picked up these curtains
I am obsessed with them! The great thing? They are ombre. We hung them upside down so the go from Orange (Target calls them coral...I disagree) to White. They can be hung either way!

We have a sofa table (I think that is what they are called?) that we put along the wall because the layout of our room doesn't allow it behind the sofa. 
It is full of wedding pictures and is a great focal point.

In this photo, the table isn't centered. It is now, I promise!!
And excuse my mass amounts of cat toys. Our cats are like toddlers and have toy piles everywhere.
The gold "G" was formerly in our dining room but it no longer works.
The green little statue things on the table are from Hobby Lobby--MAJOR sale! The were originally $30 each and I got them for $4.70!
I made all of the canvas and wood blocks myself. 
The only close up I have of the big canvas is before the final paint color. Originally, it was teal. But I decided it was too much blue. So it was switched to gold, but this gives a great close up of the bird design.

I am OBSESSED! The bird was cut out of shelf liner from Dollar Tree! Isn't that so thrifty fun!?


The blocks are just left over wood blocks from a custom order I had. I cut different orange fleur de lis designs. I thought the silhouette was just fun. I wanted the wall to be a hodge podge of different things. The other canvas (not pictured) says, "So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you" It is a quote from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is one of our favorites and we used it in our wedding programs.

On the wall where the tv sits, we hung these:

I've only had them for THREE years sitting in a closet. They were purchased at Lowe's for $20 each.


 My Mom called me a few weeks ago and told me a great story. Back in 1985, she wanted this rocking chair so badly. Looked at it constantly. When she found out she was pregnant she went to buy it, and it had been sold.
That night my Dad came home with the rocking chair.
She told me that she wanted me to have it, and I am so excited to add it to our living room! She and I are going to strip it and stain it ebony to match the room.


I am SO happy to have this room nearly finished! Once the chair is here,  I only need to make throw pillows and finish one wall.
wooohoo!!




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Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up!

Goodness! This has been a crazy 4 days or so!
Thursday I spent HOURS cleaning our house. Mop, vacuum, dust, hang pictures in the living room...yuck.
I am not a neat freak--at all. I am a total slob. So it sucked.
Friday, Justin took a 1/2 day and we spent 4 hours and a bunch of money on food and decor for the party.
That night, my college roommate came down to spend the weekend!
We were up until 1am making rice. It was a long night!
Saturday--PARTY DAY!
Justin and I woke up and went to pick up the group gift at Kohl's and I grabbed a new dress for the party. A solid black maxi--and yet, no pictures. Lame.
Here is the cake:
How cute, right?! The sand is the BEST thing! It is like a mix of brown sugar and graham crackers. Obsessed!
When we got the cake, I needed a cupcake, of course
Here is the pineapple palm tree I made
I didn't want to waste pineapple, so I also added the little shrubs--and made everyone promise to eat the pineapple on Sunday.
Here are a few more party shots:
My Step dad having a great time
Opening the group gift--a Margaritaville Margarita Machine!
The other part of the group gift was a gift bag full of tequila and mixers!
It was definitely a great weekend. Yesterday we had brunch and said goodbye to Marissa. And then laid around all day. We had Chinese take out for dinner and watched a ton of movies. It was lovely!
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