Monday, January 31, 2011

I could be a stay at home... person.

I've known a lot of stay at home moms who feel like they have to justify the fact that their job is taking care of their husbands, kids and homes. Well, they don't... especially not with me. I don't have any kids, but I can certainly fill a day at home with all the chores, projects and activities it can handle. I could totally be a stay at home... person.

As evidence for this claim... let's look at today. Today was my first Monday without school or work. Even with no outside commitments, here's how I kept busy all day:

-7:40am. Went to the gym.
-Walked home. Finished an episode of House I started on the elliptical and ate breakfast.
-Took a shower.
-Cleaned off our dresser/make up space. Noticed the hair/make up drawer was a mess.

-Cleaned out the hair/make up drawer.

-Checked my email and blog list.
-Cleaned out the closet. Finally sorted out the suitcase from the wedding and all the clothes that had gathered on top of it.

-Straightened up the bathroom shelves. Refolded the towels.

-Checked my email and blog list.
-Had a snack while watching a few minutes of "The Money Pit".
-Called the IRS. They were not very helpful.
-Dusted the whole apartment.
-Organized the desk area.

-Cleaned the grossest part of any house... the ceiling fan.

-Did the dishes.
-Mailed our rent check.
-Ooops! I stopped for just one second, sat down on the couch and fell asleep for a couple hours. Totally ruins my "stay at home person" productivity experiment. I'm blaming it on Jake because he actually came home for lunch to pick something up and distracted me from my productivity. Shoot.
-Made chocolate chip banana bread.
-Started homework.
-Checked messages for work.
-Made dinner (Ok, it was a Dream Dinner).
-Wrote this blog post.

You see? I can easily fill a day without any work or school. In fact, I still have plenty of things on my list for the rest of my week: Make a meal plan and shopping list. Finalize a bridal shower menu. Decorate for Valentine's Day. Start my fundraising for the Walk Now for Autism.

Guess thats what the rest of the week is for!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things I'm Thinking About Today

School started off quite unusually this week. For the first time, every single one of my professors used the full first day of class. You might not think that's weird, but trust me, it is. Usually, professors just go over the syllabus and let you go after fifteen minutes. This week, they finished up with the syllabus and went right into their lectures. I do not believe that bodes well for the rest of the semester.

I think I might regret my decision to stack all my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sure, it means that every weekend is a four day weekend and I can use Monday, Wednesday and Friday to work, but those Tu/Ths are tough. Real tough.

There are some bright spots. I know at least one person in every class and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love my Bible History class. I already learned why we have bunnies and eggs on Easter. Let me give you a hint... it has nothing to do with Jesus.

On the flip side, work is going in the complete opposite direction. I have two jobs. One is working remotely for my father in law. I do that one from home and Jake helps out a lot of the time. The other one is working for the University in the Transfer Orientation Office. It's a pretty sweet gig. I can walk to work and I have a great boss. The only problem is, the work is seasonal. I only work when the University has sessions and there aren't going to be any for a while. I got hired on for the next season, but it doesn't start until March. Yup, that's right... I don't have to go to work until March.

At first I was freaking out a little bit. I was worried about missing out on paychecks... especially since we're saving up for our big trip. Then my wonderful husband turned the whole situation around by reminding me that God always provides and that I can use my month off work to get a good head start on school and projects. I'm going to try and spend some of that time coming up with fresh stuff to share with you here on the blog. It's weird not to be working... but I think I can get used to it.

I'm pretty proud that I've been keeping up with my gym routine and diet. I am not a morning person, but I finally feel motivated enough to push through. Now I'm just working on keeping that motivation even when the results don't come at light speed.

There's something new to work towards though, since me and my best friend Megan have decided we are going to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. It means walking 60 miles and raising at least $2,300, but it is something very near and dear to our hearts and we can't wait for the experience. The walk starts on September 9th so we have quite a bit of training to do between now and then.

Besides that, we're getting more involved with our church. We're on the "Discovery Team" now, which means we'll help facilitate the classes and discussions people come to when they are new to the church. It's a process we just went through recently and we're excited to welcome others.

I think those are about all the updates and musings that have been swimming around in my head lately. Oh, one last thing. A super cute video we stumbled across today. Did you know that Jake and I spent a good part of the beginning of our relationship getting to know each other over instant message, emails, texts and calls? Well, we did. Ah, the good old days. Sometimes, it felt a little bit like this...

(If it is too small to read, just click through to YouTube!)

{Friday Favorites}

Creative Portraits at Ohdeedoh
10 Tiny Kitchens at Re-Nest
Celebrity Closets at Apartment Therapy

Visitor's Survival Kit at Apartment Therapy

Cookies & Creme Cupcakes at Craftiness is Not Optional
Artist's Palette Cookies at Sweetapolita

Balloon First Birthday at Hostess with the Mostess

Solar Shingles at Re-Nest

{Valentine's Day}
Heart Wreath at Moms of All Trades
Tissue Paper Topiary at The Sweet Survival

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A First and A Last

Today is my last first day of school. After 18 years of school (not counting pre-school), this will be my last semester as a student. Honestly, I couldn't be more relieved. This fifth year of college has driven me a little bit batty. I'm ready to move on, and at the same time, I know I will miss this place very much. Thats why this semester, I'll try to get through the tough times with grace and not take anything for granted. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Wedding Weekend

This weekend, our good friends Darren & Emily got married in Newport Beach. It was the first wedding I've been to as an adult that 1) wasn't ours and 2) I was a bridesmaid in. We had a FANTASTIC time. The wedding was classic and beautiful, just like the couple. Not only that, but the whole weekend was a big, gorgeous reunion of a bunch of my high school girlfriends. It was so great to see everyone so happy and successful. Plus, our group is growing into a big family as we add boyfriends and husbands to the mix. It was heaven.

The Beautiful Bride & Groom

The Bride & Her Father (Mr. Rad)


Me & the Bride

We did a lot of this...

The Girls

New rule for a happy life: Do whatever it takes to go to every wedding you are invited to.

Monday, January 17, 2011

{Friday Favorites}

Hey There! We're out enjoying Darren & Emily's wedding this weekend. Today's post is something new we're trying out for Fridays... a collection of our favorite links of the week from across the web. Enjoy!

Pale & Beautiful at Solid Frog
Organized Spaces at Re-Nest

Pantry Makeover at Decor Chick

Tricycle Baby Shower at Hostess with the Mostess

Key USBs at Design*Sponge

Net-Zero Cottage at Re-Nest
Find Farmers' Markets at Simplifried

{Valentine's Day}
Cookie Crossword at Sweet Designs
Dainty Fabric Heart Garland at How About Orange
Gumball Necklaces at One Charming Party
Valentine's Scratchers at Bloesem Kids
Heart Pizza at One Charming Party

Taking Back the Closet: Spring Fashion Forecast

Recently, I mentioned that I'm working on amping up my wardrobe. It is easy to fall behind on what's current or let our closets fill up with unflattering pieces, but at some point we have to bite the bullet and take back the closet.

The first step is a good clean sweep. Donate any clothing that is too small, severely outdated or unflattering to your body.

Next, make a shopping list like I did here. Your list should have basic items that your wardrobe is lacking. Try to brainstorm versatile items that will extend your closet by making the items you already own more wearable. Do your research about what type of item and possible pricing before you go hunting. Don't buy anything you don't LOVE and NEED!

After you restock you closet with some essentials, you can have a blast putting together new outfits and combinations. The most important thing is having classic, flattering pieces that work for you, but playing with fun new trends and wearing your clothes in brand new ways can be invigorating!

My best friend Megan is about as stylish as they come. If you've ever met her, you probably wanted to borrow something she was wearing. I know I've stolen quite a few things from her closet!

Megan works for Nordstrom, but she takes her inspiration from everywhere. She's fantastic! So, after I cleansed my closet and bought a few lively new items, I asked her to come over and do some styling. Megan put together a few different looks to illustrate some of the fun trends that are coming up for the Spring.

I hope you'll have as much fun reading this little fashion feature as we did putting it together! Enjoy!

{Pinkies Out}

Megan Says: The most prominent trend for the spring is proper, refined, and feminine. Think British Prep School. A striped cardigan can add a fun and flirty touch to a patterned dress. The heritage scarf and pearls add a vintage touch that makes it all very girly.

The Breakdown: Patterned Dress (Forever 21), Striped Cardigan (Forever 21), Brown Braided Leather Belt (Target), Black Cross Body Satchel (H&M), Silk Scarf, Long Strand Glass Pearls, Green Glass Cocktail Ring, Cognac Boots

{Places to Go, People to See}

Megan Says: This look is perfect for any girl on the go. A blazer cut right at the hip is flattering and classic, but the pink lining keeps it fresh and fun. An "Alli" or boxy top is a great look for the spring because you can wear it so many different ways; tucked into a skirt, with skinny jeans and boots, or loose with cuffed pants. It is comfortable and easy to wear, but still an upgrade from any t-shirt. Cocktail rings are a fun and flashy way to accessorize any outfit.

The Breakdown: Dark Wash Classic Rider Jeans (Lucky), Bird Patterned Boxy Top (Nordstrom Rack), Black Blazer with Hot Pink Lining, Silk Scarf, White & Gold Cocktail Ring (Forever 21), White Studded Bag (Steve Madden via Marshall's), Black Suede Pumps (Wild Diva)

{The Model Militia}

Megan Says: This outfit gets a great military inspired touch with the green cargo twill pant. It's a good pair to match with a vintage patterned scarf. The skinny cognac belt gives your body shape in any outfit. Lastly, layering necklaces is a good way to add a little shine to any outfit.

The Breakdown: Green Cargo Twill Pant (Nordstrom), Bark Patterned Boxy Top (Nordstrom Rack), Floral Print Scarf, Skinny Studded Belt (Target), Black Flats (Payless), Black Bow Clutch (Forever 21)

{We hope you're inspired! Now go get dressed!}
Styling: Megan Smith
Photography: Jake Curtis (Isn't hubby talented?) & Tobi Curtis

Side Note: Please excuse my shortie-short modeling, but we wanted to show real clothes that we really own on a real person. For reference, I'm 5'2" and there is no way I'm going to tell you how much I weigh. Let's just say I come from sturdy German stock. When we were reviewing the photos, Megan said something to the effect of, "Look how cute you are... like a mini horse!". Neigh.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nothing Says "Long Weekend" Like a Trip to Ikea

It takes a lot for me to convince Jake that we should go to Ikea. It's not that he doesn't like Ikea... it's just that it's a pretty overwhelming place, I always wind up wanting so many things, and I just walk so slow when we're there (I don't want to miss anything).

In fact, to ensure an Ikea trip, I have to start laying the ground work pretty early. Mentioning at least a couple weeks in advance that we could use this or that from Ikea. And oh, I bet we could find the perfect thing for that project at Ikea. You get the picture.

This time, the project in question was the dining room. And by dining room I mean the 5'x5' section of room designated for a table and chairs (we live in a studio remember?). Somehow, that 5'x5' section had become a catch all for everything extra we had accumulated over the past few months... holiday decorations, party supplies, glassware and Christmas presents without homes. It started out innocently enough. I could cover the table with a tablecloth and count it as extra storage. But then, it grew out of control...


Then, by the grace of God, a storage problem collided with a holiday weekend and there it was... a trip to Ikea. We walked through every display, we marveled over every storage solution and we even ate in their cafeteria. It was a beautiful thing.

In the end, we decided on the narrow Billy Bookcase with a Billy Olsbo Panel/Glass Door. The unit is very standard, but it's all we really need. Every dining room needs some basic storage for the dining items that you don't use on a regular basis... extra plates, pitchers, place mats and glassware. We wanted an affordable solution that we could use in a different room or way once we move. We also wanted to get a couple of good-looking boxes or a small drawer unit for things that still needed to be kept under the table. We decided on a couple of these stacking Prant Magazine Boxes, but they ended up being sold out... so we'll have to go back for them later... oh, shoot.

Once we got home, we set to putting our new cabinet together right away. By "we" I mean mostly Jake. Since we've lived in this tiny place, he's pretty much earned a PhD in assembling furniture in a small space.

While Jake was working, I opened a bottle of wine to celebrate a successful Ikea trip. Drinking wine while assembling furniture is probably not THE BEST idea. In fact, it's probably the reason a couple of panels got put in backwards the first time around.

We're pretty happy with our new unit. It has definitely done it's job clearing up the dining room. We like that the glass/panel door allows us to display some stuff and hide the rest away. It's not perfect, but we're working with what we have as renters and it's a whole lot better than the floor storage we had going on before.


Whew, that feels good. I'm pretty excited about some things that are coming up soon on the blog... I'll be doing a follow up on the "Taking Back the Closet" post that features some great outfits assembled by my best friend and stylist, Megan and I'm hoping to get a house tour up for those of you who are wondering what it is like to live in a shoe box! Get stoked!

I'll leave you with this quote from my dear husband, Jake:

"Ikea is like the grown-up form of Legos... except Legos are way cooler."