Thursday, October 31, 2013

Excuse the Mess....

I'm sure you've all seen these signs for the home about excusing the mess because the children are making memories or because we actually live in our home.... Well, I would definitely need the latter of the two.... but wouldn't it be a great idea if you could put one on your front door (or maybe even in the front yard! haha) that says:


I'm not the graphic designer in the family... my sister is, so please don't look too closely at my design. I didn't measure anything ;)
I've really been thinking about this more and more as the trick-or-treat time got closer and closer and my not-at-all-completed-but-too-far-into-it-to-quit board and batten wall in my front room still stands as a jumbled mess, right where trick or treaters will look when we open the just stares me down every day, taunting and whispering, "you've not finished me... and I'm the first thing people see at your house...." I just want to print one of my new creations up there and hang on the wall like caution tape, warning of the mess and excusing my tardiness in completion...
 Restaurants and stores can do it when they are remodeling, why can't I???  
I think your Pinterest membership should come with some stickers or wall hangings (as if we PAY for membership! ha) that can be placed throughout your property and belongings because chances are..... you ARE going to (at some point) say or think... "Well, I saw on Pinterest where someone took a (insert any item) and made a (insert the name of something that you are just going to have to try to make)." And then you're going to pick up said items and attempt said project.... and chances are, it's not going to go well and you're going to ditch the project halfway through, unsure of how to fix it.... 
OR.... you're going to buy lumber to make/hang/fix/create/enhance said project and it's going to sit against a wall in your living room for weeks while you try to decide whether to continue with the project....
I am not speaking from experience at all ;) haha
So... don't be surprised if you see this sign at my house sometime! I really wish this was socially acceptable as an excuse for the disaster that I call home :) I still have four rooms that have unfinished projects!

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When did Black Friday become Black Thursday??

As the Black Friday ads start popping up here and there, I cannot help but be angry at some of these companies... Kohl's, Macy's and JCPenney are three leading companies that are now opening on Thanksgiving Day.... I just think that's awful. 

Thanksgiving is to be a day for reflecting on what we are thankful for... not for elbowing others in the face to save some money on a TV or laptop.... on top of that--- those poor workers that are being taken away from their families on Thanksgiving to help those crazies... I just think this bologna has gotten out of hand. I would respect these large companies tremendously if they stepped in and admitted that were being greedy and will no longer be opening until FRIDAY....  I'm not a big Black Friday shopper.. I already explained it HERE.... and I think these whole idea of BLACK FRIDAY has been blown out of proportion. The media is glamorizing the chaos and now the huge companies are taking advantage of the situation and cashing in on the greed... and sadly, so many greedy shoppers that have lost sight of the true meaning of the holidays won't be the ones to stand up and make a point, boycotting the early sales that take away from the true meaning of being thankful.... It's sad to think what another 5-10 years will do to the holiday.

*Stepping Down*

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 days until Black Friday?!?!?!

Seriously... where has the year gone?!?!? We are T-30 days from one of my favorite days of the year.... No, I'm not a big Black Friday shopper.... but I  guess you could say that I am a Black Friday eater and talker... Let me explain. For 35+ years the women in my family have gotten together on Black Friday to do some shopping...... but really to do a lot of visiting, sitting, and eating. We meet at around 9AM at our first for a couple of hours.... go to lunch for a couple of hours... shop for a while longer... go to dinner for a couple of hours... finish our shopping and then grab a late night snack somewhere.... We do get some shopping done, but we aren't crazy about the sales or anything... It's more of a girl's day. I love me a good deal, but I'm not waiting in line for it fighting all the crazies. (No offense if you're one of those crazies!)  I'm not one of these people:

 and I'm not going to cause a scene:

I actually think the Black Friday bologna is a little extreme and some shoppers should be ashamed of themselves. The holidays aren't about saving money at the cost of injuring or insulting others...  Some need to get their priorities in line....*Stepping down from my soap box.*

I just like to grab some good deals if there's any left when everyone else is heading home to sleep after their craziness when I'm just strolling in after a good night's rest. I love to grab some cheap movies (the husband is a movie buff!) and stuff for around the house, as well as some Christmas gifts for others. I do check the ads as they come out, but if it's all gone when I get there, so what.

I always go prepared with my money in order and lists made, but I'm usually well into my Christmas shopping by the time Black Friday rolls around that I'm not too stressed. OK, let's be honest... I start in August!

Happy BF Countdown!
Until Next Time....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh, so many scarves!

Scarves. Scarves. Scarves! I'm almost to the 30 mark (many not shown in this picture) and I love them!! I would say that I wear a scarf at least 3 days a week and I love switching up my style with a simple addition (that keeps my neck warm and tension headaches away during the fall/winter). So... when my collection started growing and growing, I wanted to find a way to organize them.... and guess what... I went to Pinterest..... BUT.... (and a HUGE but).... she let me down. (Yes, Pinterest is a girl. Only a female would be as brilliant as Pinterest, right?)

How did she let me down, you ask? This picture proves that they are all organized so neatly.....

but guess what...

when there is a shift in  power weight when removing a scarf.. this happens:

On top of this teeny tiny huge problem, I chose to use vintage hangers that were in our house when we bought it instead of tacky plastic ones, but the wood is just a bit rough and can try to snag my thinner scarves, so I have to be very careful.

For now, I can deal with these problems, but I'm looking for another solution...

I bypassed these options...

Because of the size and quantity of my collection and specific scarves, I found several ways of organizing not practical. I started with a shoe organizer but many were too thick and spilled out the top, making it look tacky and sloppy. Plus, I like being able to see the colors of the scarf when picking my outfit, and you just can't if it's tucked away in a pocket. The curtain rod wouldn't hold enough--- I would need two and three, and that takes a lot of wall space. And... the mess of rings looks like a hassle to get scarves in and out.... too time consuming for me :/  I'm a bit lazy..

Then, I found this:

Seems logical. I have space on the back of a door for this.... and as long as the metal is coated without any snag spots, I think it would keep them looking nice.... Anyone used this method?

How do YOU organize your scarves???
Until Next Time...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For the love of burlap!

I have this odd, strange obsession with burlap.... I don't have much of it in my home, but I'm always checking it out in the stores/flea markets/craft booths/etc.... The smell reminds of of summers at the fair and riding the giant slide non-stop (when you had to ride down on the burlap sack).... Anyway, I posted last week about this new product at Wal-Mart. You can read about it HERE. I've also seen where they are selling burlap covered canvas for artwork... How stinkin' cool is that!  I don't know why I love it so much but it's just so pretty.... simple and kinda ugly plain...but still pretty. Weird, I know. I can't explain why I like it to much....but I don't think I'm the only one... Here are a ton of pins that I have for burlap:

Now... some of these I wouldn't care for in my own home.... The smell of burlap brings back memories, but that doesn't mean that I want to cuddle with it on my bed or couch.... I would probably switch for a muslin if I were to make curtain or pillowcases for inside...

With that being said, aren't some of those ideas genious!  And when you're done reading, you should check out all these amazing Burlap things at Hobby Lobby....Ok... I'll stop now so you can go check it out........ Here's a suggestion-- if it's not currently on sale, then print off one of their 40% off coupons!!! Isn't Hobby Lobby the best!!! (I have no connection with the store... I just love it and want to share my findings!)

Until Next Time...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

One Week Until the Marathon

By this time next week, I hope to be marathon runner..... Today, I basically completed my training.... we just have two teeny tiny runs left.... and after a week off from running due to pleurisy and touch of pneumonia followed by a sinus infection, these two runs 'post-sickness' wore me out and I'm starting to get nervous for the race.... On top of my illness, we had a huge temperature change in our part of the state this week and the race day forecast is looking to be chilly as well. That makes me nervous after being sick.... I went into this training with the mind-set that I don't care if I walk, crawl, run, skip, hop, gallop or slither across the finish line.... I just want to finish. Now after being sick, that is even more of a realistic goal.... I  just want to finish, and not do any permanent damage to my foot/ankle.

As I'm coming into the last week before the race, I've reflected a lot on the last six months.... First--- I'm not sure where the six months have gone. They flew by so quickly! I cannot believe training is over.... Overall, I've really enjoyed the process...I have had a GREAT group to run with. They are always there to push mentally and physically.... There were some days that I wasn't sure I would survive (OR--- TMI--- get to a bathroom fast enough! haha), but I pushed forward and I've made it. My feet are callused and my body is tired, but brain has been shown who is BOSS!  I've spent more money on shoes, the chiropractor and running gear than I ever thought I would.... and I'm about to spend more money on a hotel and race than I even dreamed of....  but I don't regret it one bit. Actually, in my mind, I've made it..... I have already accomplished more than I ever thought possible... I ran 20 miles as part of my training! 18 months ago, I could barely run TWO... and now I've done TWENTY! AND now......I'm about to complete a MARATHON at age 25..Not many people can say they've done that!!!  I want to scream it from the mountain tops... I want to tattoo it across my forehead and honestly....... I want to tell every person that I converse with for the rest of my life (friends and family beware :) haha) I feel so accomplished to even be this far.... I want to let everyone know what I've done......

I'm pretty sure I'm not meant to do another full marathon, but I'm glad that I'm doing this..... (Side note--- someone needs to organize a 20 mile race--- like a 3/4 marathon in my area... THAT would be a good idea! I would enjoy that!) If you have any extra time and extra prayers to throw out this week, please say a few for myself and the gals that I run with--- not only for a safe race, but for safe travels there and back. Thank you!

Until Next Time...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun Finds Friday

 It's Friday yet again....where has the week gone?!?!  Here are some Fun Finds.....

They've done the work for you! It's cut to size, edges won't fray 
and it's just screaming, "Use me for your Pinterest projects!!!"

I loved this!

Do I need these?? No. But could I see a kid loving these. Yes!

Hello scarves! So, in case you don't know... I love scarves. I'm up to about 30, but it's an addiction. They dress an outfit up so easily! Wal-Mart is one of my favorite places to get them, so when I saw their new display, I was giddy! (I don't spend much on my scarves... they can get picked so easily!)

Shoe Carnival
Hello adorable! If money grew on trees at my house, my niece would be getting these ridiculously expensive (but absolutely adorable) shoes for Christmas....but I've yet to find the seeds to that magical tree, so I just took a picture instead :)

Any good finds that I should know about???
Until Next Time....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Think Pink...

October usually means oranges, golds, brown, reds and yellows.....but it also means PINK!

As a niece and friend of several breast cancer survivors, I encourage you to not only do a self-exam monthly, but help spread the word of breast cancer and its awareness. One of my favorite ways is to wear a breast cancer T-shirt, scarf, or necklace. I often get asked if I have known someone with breast cancer and I explain my connection and usually, a discussion starts.

I think it's SO important for young women to realize that breast cancer isn't just something that our moms, aunts and grandmas get.... Both friends were diagnosed around the age of 30! It's important for us to attend our yearly exams and to get mammograms if we have a family history!

Think Pink!
Until Next Time...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Favorite Foods...

Since training for a marathon and sticking to "eating clean in 2013" I've really had to find new foods that I like and can snack on during the day or pack for my lunch.

These are not all perfectly clean or organic, but they are definitely better choices than a lot of things..

Wheat Thins--- I eat these with cottage cheese a lot for lunch.
Pretzel Crisps--- addicting and delicious!
String or Colby Cheese Sticks
Simply Balanced Fruit Strips-- No Preservatives, No Artificial Colors, No Artificial Flavors
Nut-rition--- almonds, cashews, macademias
Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bar--- SO much better than any other brand
Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastry--- tastes like how I remember Pop-Tarts tasting as a kid
Oikos Greek Yogurt--- the only Greek I've tried, but I think it's delicious!

What are your favorite snacks? I'm always looking for something new!

Until Next Time...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fun Friday Finds....

 Here are some fun finds that have been patiently waiting (in my phone) to be shared....

Crazy 8
How retro and adorable is this?!

Patterned burlap?!? Ugh, Yes please!

These dandies were at JCPenney.... and there were a lot of them in stock....
The texture alone was straight out of the 1960s and they looked terrible!

This reminds me of a TV my grandparents had.

Big Lots
Really??? A Scrunchie? This reminded me of the episode of SATC when Carrie and Burger argue about him writing that a NY woman is parading around in a scrunchie in his book.

Babies R Us
A swimcap! How stinkin adorable!

Big Lots
Is this color not to die for!

Ummm cute!! Baby-sized elastic ankle sweat pants!

I'm really going to have to hunt out my purse like this... It wasn't quite so cute, but it was pretty similar... Can't believe this style is being relived already.... it wasn't good the first time around. :/

And Big Lots....

What kind of fun finds have you come across??? Please share if it's something that I cannot live without!

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Running. Running. and more Running. 26.2 miles

19 months ago.....running wasn't even a thought.
18 months ago.....running was a struggle.
12 months ago......I was three weeks away from my first half marathon and a nervous wreck.
6 months ago.... I was just getting back into running from taking the winter off (bad idea!!)

About seventeen+ weeks ago, running a marathon was a distant (VERY distant) thought..... I had been running with three women from my town, two of which had decided to train for a marathon in November. (One of them was my high school band director and is training for her 13th marathon.... the other has been running for 15 years but just decided to do her first full.) When they asked if I was going to train for it too, my initial thought was to chuckle and make a million excuses why I couldn't or shouldn't do it...

I don't have the time.
I don't have the money.
I have bad feet.
I don't think my fallen arch could do that many miles.
I don't know if I can commit to that.
I don't know if I'm made to do that many miles...

(Can you hear the fear in all of those thoughts?)

They kept asking and suggesting it and then about sixteen weeks ago, something clicked.... I was on Pinterest (what else do I do?!?!) and started pinning 26.2 and marathon inspiration.... and then it was like WHY THE HECK WOULD I NOT DO THIS?!??!!? I was going to be training for a half in September and that fit perfectly with the full training....... Why wouldn't I keep going?? I don't have kiddos at home yet to focus on and I have the group to train with. I would be stupid to not at least TRY! (Remember my post a year ago about why running a half marathon was such a big deal... well, nothing big has happened year in 2013, so a full marathon fit right into my plans.... 26 miles before age 26 became my mantra.)

So.... the training began...
We are running four days a week and have hit mileage as high as 35 miles in a week. Some days have been great and I felt that I could have gone longer and others were awful. Heat, food, hydration, stress--- they all affect your run, and can sometimes ruin it.....but I have survived and kept going. I wasn't about to give up!

Now we are LESS THAN three weeks from Marathon Day and in taper. I did 20 miles on Friday with the other newbie in the group and we survived. Twenty miles in heat, with hills and little motivation due to exhaustion (mentally and physically)......and we still completed and survived! What wasn't even a possibility five months ago is a reality now...

Here are some of my favorite marathon pins from that night....

Now it's time to rest, hydrate, eat right and get my head back in the game. I'm so ready for this to be over but I know it's going to be an amazing experience to remember for a lifetime. I'm just ready to sleep in on Saturdays, not plan my week around my runs and to see my husband a little more often in the evenings :)

You never know what idea tomorrow will bring and how your mind will change. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be in marathon taper now, I would have laughed in your face..... 

A goal without a plan is just a wish....
Until Next Time...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Update! Update! Update!

Well hello again......... I feel as if I've fallen off the face of the blogging world..... Here's a quick recap of the last six months (YIKES! That may be --sadly-- a new record for time before posts)

In April....

We spent a weekend in Louisville for their big festival.
The fireworks are simply amazing and vibrate your insides!!!
We did the festival, fireworks and then Fourth Street in the freezing cold!

In May...

 We spent Mother's Day at our momma's favorite--- Texas Roadhouse.
Karter ate on our side of the giant booth,
so of course we had to get a picture with him :)
This was the first tough holiday to deal with since losing Grandma.
That "Grandma" section of the cards really got me.

I was to start a maternity leave with only three weeks of school left,
but I unexpectedly got a phone call (in mid-March) to start six weeks prior to that.
I jumped into a classroom that I had only spent three hours in that year
for a teacher that I hadn't yet had the chance to meet with about her routines and expectations...
So it was a bit crazy!

On the last day of school, my family took off after everyone got home from work to get a hotel room 
before our early morning flight to Colorado to see my brother. 
(Talk about a stressful last week of school--- 
assessments, report cards, field trips, packing for vacation,
cleaning and packing up a classroom AND I lost my voice completely!)

Cam nor Kart had ever flown before, 
so it was exciting to get to watch their excitement and nervousness!

When we landed in CO, we met up with  my brother, 
got our rental car and headed to the Royal Gorge.
My mom had read about it and got us all interested in it too.
It was once the highest suspension bridge in the world!!

The place was amazing!!!

Cam was kind enough to carry my purse, but had to joke around about it.
*Hand on the hip

 We are SO thankful that we went because two weeks later, most of the park burned to the ground.
The bridge is still standing but pretty much everything else was a total loss.

We also went through most of the places that were destroyed by the flood last month. 
So sad.

My brother took us to some amazing restaurants...
Everything we ate on the trip was AMAZING.

 This is The Sink-- a restaurant where Robert Redford once worked.
 The ceilings are a bit low.

 Outdoor breakfast.

Chad took some of us for a trail ride.
The mommas and Karter didn't join.

I was very nervous about this adventure because Cam and I were both in a wedding just days after getting back home. I was scared to death about cuts, scrapes, broken bones, bruises, etc.
But we survived!

Speaking of the wedding--- I made some fashion faux pas for the sake of tan lines on this trip!

The boys got haircuts at Floyd's Barbershop.
What a neat place!

We watched the Bolder Boulder. 
I had wanted to run it, but wasn't trained for it--- especially not in high altitude .

During the run, my dad went walking up the sidewalk, which isn't unlike him.
He saw a gap in the runners and started walking down the route holding his drink and waving!
It was hilarious!!

We spent time playing around with Kart.

We went up into Rocky Mountain National Park again.
What a beautiful place!

 This was at the highest elevation that we could go!

We also stopped at the Stanley Hotel (The Shining and Dumb and Dumber) for Cam.
It was really neat.

In June....

Cam and I had the pleasure of being in a wedding for two dear friends...

In July....

My sister sent a text one morning that she was in labor more than a week early. 
I started getting ready for the day and packing up my things that I would want. 
Shortly after, she sent another text that they were headed to the hospital already. 
Within thirty minutes of walking through the front door, Kenna was born.
 The teeny tiny thing weighed only 6lb 1oz and was jaundice
so she spent a week and a half in the hospital.

 Uncle Cam came down the flu the day she was born (I ended up sleeping at my parents' for a few days!) so it was almost two weeks before we felt it was safe for him to see her.

She's now a chunky little thing with a great big brother!

In August....
My brother came home.
We sealed our parents' deck.
 Took a family photo.
First one without Grandma :(

Cam and I met up with friends for dinner.
 We attend some festivals...

And we spent time with family

In September....
 I ran a second half marathon...

 And attended some more festivals....
spent more time with family and friends...
 and started a bunch of home projects...

I've painted doors and trim
Stained our bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet
Attempted board and batten
Spray painted our door handles....

And in the middle of all of that--- 
I got a call on a Sunday evening to start a medical leave the next morning.
I was going to be in a classroom and school that I had never stepped foot it.
I was very nervous but everyone was so great and accommodating.
I soon felt right at home.
But speaking of home--- I let our home projects take the back burner 
and now I have so many unfinished projects to complete.

In addition to everything else in the last six months,
 I have fully trained for a full marathon..
Yes. You read that correctly.
Full marathon. 

I just finished that medical leave and also my tough weeks of marathon training, 
so I'm in taper and back to working day-to-day....
 Which means that it's time to find the door knob screws that I lost,
hunt for the door jam plates that have to be here somewhere,
put the poly coat on our vanity,
finish the paint job on our doors,
figure out what to do with the board and batten that I hate because my boards are too thick 
(anyone able to plane my boards to half their thickness?)
and put away all of the clutter that has accumulated in the last month or two.

I cannot believe how tired and lazy marathon training has made me. 
Ok....let's be honest--- I've never been a good house keeper, but this is to its extreme.
It's even embarrassing ME! haha 
There have been days that it's all I can do it to get a shower in after a full work day
followed by an eight mile run. 
I am exhausted but amazed that this is really happening.

I'm three weeks away from Marathon Day
and ready to have some time back to finish this never ending to-do list.

Until Next Time...