3.31.2011

THOUGHTS I'M THINKING

Here's a random post with thoughts of late:


- We've been married over 9 months.  In a way it seems like much longer (not in a bad way, just in a seems-like-we've-been-together-forever kind of way) and in a way it's crazy that it has already been that long.  After all the planning, a year-and-a-half long engagement and everything that took place in the last six months before the wedding (moving, job transfer, Ryan's graduation, Ryan's new job), it's amazing to look at all we did and know that we're coming up on our 1 year anniversary pretty soon.


- I just canceled my gym membership.  Considering that I went, oh, maybe every two months at best, I was paying $60 for each workout.  I put it off for a little while with the idea that I would take up classes or start using it since I'm paying for it, but that didn't work.  I did love spinning and will miss that though.  But even that didn't happen regularly, especially when I was working 50+ hours a week.  When I called, they first offered to take it down to $20 a month and then even $7 for a six month period, which I thought about for a second, but then resolved that I still wouldn't use it and that money can go elsewhere.  It officially ends May 4th since you pay for your last month up front.  I'll let you know how many times I go between now and then.  I'm really more of an outside exerciser.  Today, I am going to do the incline to make up for canceling the gym.  That makes sense, right?


- There are babies EVERYWHERE.  It is oh-so-exciting and I cannot wait to meet the little ones.


- This week, I tried the whole menu-planning for a week thing, and it's actually worked out pretty well.  Considering Ryan and I, one of our biggest expenses is groceries and food out, so this was helpful for the old budget too.  I borrowed one of my mom's cookbooks and picked out three dinner recipes and a bunch of sides.  Made a list, went to the grocery store and won't go back until next week.  We'll see if it keeps up.


- We still need to do our taxes!  Usually I have them done in January, but this year it's gotten away from us.  We were planning on it last night until I got a text that read "Pizza and a movie sounds so much better than taxes," to which I responded "OK!"  There you go, we did pizza and a movie.  We justified it by saying that we'll do it this weekend when we can sit down and do it all at once instead of getting halfway done and having to come back to it.


- I love being close to friends and family.  In Fort Collins, we had friends, but all of our best friends are down here.  It is so good spending time with them and rekindling old friendships.  It is also such a blessing being able to head up to the parent's house for dinner at an hours notice.  It's also amazing to be able to drive home whenever we want instead of having to drive two-and-a-half hours north after Christmas dinner!  We got overwhelmed at first, but have been learning to say "no" when we need to.  I told my mom that she shouldn't ever feel bad for asking us to do anything, just don't feel bad if we are having our own time.  She's been so good about knowing how important that is and we appreciate it so much.  Thanks for that mom!  We love you :)  Overall, it is definitely a blessing to be near friends and family.


- Last, but certainly not least, I cannot wait for the summer and our upcoming vacations!  I have a daily countdown going here people.


So there you go, thoughts on my mind this morning as I'm hyped up on coffee and have some motivation to get things done!  Thanks for listening and putting up with the plethora of dashes, quotes and exclamations points.  Have a good one!

3.29.2011

DIY: FURNITURE CLOTHING

Almost all of the furniture Ryan and I have in our condo we either had before or scored from family members.  We're holding off on buying new stuff until we buy a house.  One particularly cheap piece of "furniture" is this TV stand/DVD holder I had from college.  I think I got it for around $30.


Since our TV is on the wall, we've just been using it for DVD storage and haven't really thought twice about it.  Plus, it fits into this strange little cubby area in the wall perfectly.  Once we move I'm sure we'll toss it, but for now it does what it's supposed to.

And despite the fact that my Friends DVD collection is in fact arranged in rainbow order, this little mess was starting to bug me.  So, I came up with the idea of creating something to cover it all up and decided that a nice little piece of fabric would do the trick.  So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some fabric and some no sew hem tape and was ready to go.



All it took was measuring the fabric, "hemming" it with the tape and pinning it in place for easy removal.




And you know Cira helped... or maybe she just wanted to make an appearance.


After that was done, I just pinned it up with some thumb tacks so it could be taken off easily and ta-da!  Not super exciting, but it cleans it up a little bit and looks nicer than the mess of DVDs behind it.



Just a fun little before and after... hope your week is off to a good start.  I'm off to organize coupons and type up our budget, bet you're jealous!

3.23.2011

WE'RE STILL CELEBRATING THE HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY

Well, kind of.  For Ryan's birthday, my parents got us tickets to "The Screwtape Letters" by C. S. Lewis, along with the book.  The play was this past weekend at The Pikes Peak Center and it was incredible!  I am about halfway through the book right now and I don't think I've ever read a book so thought-provoking.

We decided to make a night out of it and got all dressed up, went to dinner and then to the play.  It was a nice evening, so we drove downtown with the sunroof open...


 
... and I took pictures the whole way down there.

Then we dined at a new place called Nosh that we had been wanting to try.  We'd heard mixed reviews but figured we would give it a go.  It has a unique menu and they encourage you to try the "Experience" if you're dining there.  So we did, and it was awesome.  You get five plates, chef's choice.  It could be anything off the menu and even some things not on the menu.  This was definitely the way to go.  We were about to just order our own meals off the menu because Ryan desperately wanted to try their chicken 'n waffles, but we decided to go for the recommended route, hand ourselves over and see what the chef had to offer that night.  Here are some of our favorites...
 

This dish above wasn't on the menu yet.  They are planning on adding it soon and asked for our feedback, but there wasn't much to improve.  It was an egg on top grilled polenta with chili sauce, hollandaise sauce, a basil spread and fresh herbs.


This next one was roasted scallops with a dashi broth, scallions, cauliflower and lemon.  You eat the scallops with a bit of sauce and then when they're gone, you pour the rest of the sauce into the bowl and enjoy the soup.

And last but not least, Ryan got his chicken and waffles... and I've been craving them ever since.  We have never had them before and this set the standard pretty high.  Lightly battered chicken with whipped honey butter, basil and smoked serrano maple syrup.  These were to die for people.


We also had one of the most unique cocktails I've had - it was made with cucumber vodka, orange liqueur and spices.  We're going to try to recreate it since it would make a great summer drink.  Hopefully it isn't too hard to replicate, otherwise who knows what we'll end up with and how many trial ones it'll take.

Well the food was delicious and such a fun way to eat dinner together.  But on to the play!  The pictures aren't the best quality, but oh well.  The play, as I mentioned, was great.  It was a one-man act the entire time and that guy had the entire book memorized!  He stayed after the play to answer some questions for the audience also.  Quite a character, no pun intended.



So, I think that pretty much wraps up Ryan's drawn-out birthday celebration.  Must be one special guy...

3.18.2011

LOVING: VASES

I'm so proud, I made it back for a second post in one day.  With spring around the corner (well, kind of if you live in Colorado) I cannot wait for warm weather, margaritas, eating outside, fresh produce and flowers.  A side effect of this is all kinds of cute little vases catching my eye.  And while some of them are kind of pricey for a vase, they're just fun to look at.  I'm sure you could find some great ones a thrift shops and the like and these could just be a starting point for some spring inspiration!  Oh and by the way, the name of each object is a link to where it can be found online.  Enjoy!

Hive from West Elm.

Mixed Hammered from West Elm.

Pear Sculpture from Chiasso.

Jacquard from Z Gallerie.

Pure White Ceramic from West Elm.

5 Bottle Bud from CB2.
Dove from Crate and Barrel.

3 Ball Hanging from CB2.

I really love some of these, kind of makes me want to go buy flowers and put them all over the house just so I can get some fun things to put them in!  Anyway, have a splendid weekend and we will do the same!  Off to dinner with a certain adorable pregnant lady and her husband!

ECO-FRIENDLY DESSERT

We enjoyed a wonderful St. Patty's day dinner at my parent's house last night, complete with the whole Irish shebang (is that a word)?  We had corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, and my dad took it upon himself to put about twelve drops of green food coloring in my red ale.  After my mom and I explained that even for an entire cake you only need two or three drops, I switched beers with him and he was left with green teeth.

Anyway, I was planning on bringing over a green dessert to complete everything and when I asked Ryan for ideas, he suggested something eco-friendly... so clever, my husband is.  After that witty comment, he said he wanted carrot cake, which also happens to be my number one favorite dessert, so I decided to make the first one I ever have.  And Ryan said it was the best he's ever had!  Plus, it counts as green since the little carrots I made (out of real carrot shavings, by the way... everyone thought it was sugar or something) had little green leafs.  So it totally counts as something green.




I hope everyone had a good week, although for a lot of people, myself included, it has been a looong week.  We have a wonderful weekend planned and hopefully I'll be back before than with a "what I'm loving" post.  We shall see...

3.11.2011

LOVING: THROW PILLOWS

Warning: if you don't have an interest whatsoever in this kind of thing, this is not the post for you.  And yes, this is a post on throw pillows.

So since I'm often browsing home decor-related websites, I thought it would be fun to have a sort of "what I'm loving" list of things and feature a different category every so often.  Today, we're going with throw pillows - and if you know anything about me, or if you have recently heard the rantings of my husband - you know I love me a good throw pillow.  I think a lot of them would look fun mixed together.  It would create much more interest and you would be avoiding the trap of everything looking too matchy-matchy.  Anyway, here are some of favs right now... and apparently I went with a springy blues, greens and yellows theme.  Hooray for temperatures in the 60s for the next week!
Bella Blossom from Chiasso.
Omaruru from Anthropologie.
Bee from Pottery Barn.
Maypop from Anthropologie.
Bukhara from Z Gallerie.
Circle Frame from Pottery Barn.
Paint Palette from CB2.
Dandelion from west elm.
Block from Pottery Barn.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  Here's to hoping this crazy wind leaves but the wonderful temperatures stay... for a long time.  I am so ready for spring!

3.08.2011

THE BEST

Last week, when I was having my bad day and decided that writing a post about it would make me feel better, which it did, I received several comments and text messages that made me feel even better.  Thank you to those of you who did, it's nice to be reassured that this is a common occurrence at this stage in life when you're trying to figure out what you want to do with yourself as far as a career goes.

One of these said comments came from my mother-in-law.  After posting such sweet comments on the blog and Facebook, she also texted me.  After having a brief conversation over text messages about the life choices Ryan and I are making and how they are ours to make, she gave me the best compliment a daughter-in-law can receive from her in-laws.  

It was so simple, so real and I'll never forget it:


3.02.2011

BLAH

via
Today is a blah kind of day.  I don't feel well, am discouraged about several different things and feel exhausted.  I think that when people start blogging (myself included), they tend to only write about the good things in life.  You put posts up about exciting news and things you enjoy.  You put up posts that when looked at collectively, say everything is exactly as I want it and only good things happen to us.  I mean, why would you write about stuff that is the opposite?

However, while I am extremely blessed in life and I can honestly say that I wouldn't change any of the big stuff, I do get down sometimes and tend to get frustrated easily.  And I think it's important to be honest about those things.  No one wants to read about people who have their lives completely together because first, no one really does and you're lying if you say you do and second, there's no connection to those types of people.

I didn't get anything done today for the reasons I stated above, but felt that maybe I would feel better if I put this post out there and that writing this would alleviate some of the frustrations.

Although I am 100% confident in my decision to leave my previous job, I am more than ready for a new job and I knew it would be hard, but not this hard.  I am looking into some programs that I'm very excited about (more on that soon) and have come across some great leads through my parents and Ryan's parents, but still no job.  Over the past couple of months, I have begun to figure out what I want to do in life and how I want to do it.  However, since these things don't happen overnight, I need a job in the meantime while I am taking steps towards what I am passionate about.  I so thankful that Ryan is so supportive as I am figuring all this out and am thankful that because of his job, I have been able to take the time to do so.

I do have hope that something will come along and know that God's will is infinitely better than mine and I am trying to keep that in mind as I keep searching.  I am also proud that I've had the courage to look into what I really want to do instead of staying complacent for as long as I could.  I feel frustrated that as a woman, there is always some degree of choice between raising your children and putting everything into a career.  Family will always come first for us and I know I would be completely happy staying at home with our (future) children.  However, over the past couple months, I have discovered interests of mine that could lead to a career that could compliment being a stay-at-home mom.  Originally I was just going to find another job for the time between now and when we start a family and then quit.  But the amount of time I've had to think about different options and led me to at least discover how I can take my interests and what I love doing and turn that into a job that I could do from home and actually enjoy.  Of course, I will take life as it goes and make decisions as they come and try not to plan everything out right now.  We will do what is right for our family when it is right, whether this means working or not.

I must admit that I do feel better just having typed this out and although I'm slightly reluctant to hit the "publish post" button and show all of you that life isn't always good food and happy family events, I think honestly is important and so is admitting that you don't have everything together and never will.  That being said, I have to say again that I am so incredibly blessed that Ryan is so supportive of me - he pushes me towards the right thing when I am hesitating or feeling hopeless, he only wants the best for me and for us, and he has been so much more positive about the job situation than I would have been had it been the other way around.  I missed him desperately today and when he walked through the front door, I immediately felt calm.  I know that no matter what life brings us, with him by my side, life is good - even though at times I may not feel well, may feel discouraged, and may feel exhausted.  He is my rock.

Romans 8:28 - 31: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose... if God is for us, who can be against us?"