Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm on Organization Over Drive!

January always brings on New Year goals of organization. Add that with the tips I'm seeing on all over the blogosphere and you'll see why I'm feeling the pressure to hop on the ball!

Last year I posted my desire DIY project-the laundry nook. Well, I've avoided it like the plague because it was something I knew needed to get done but wasn't a priority in the grand scheme of things (ceiling repairs, fireplace removal, etc.). However, it's one space that always gets cluttered up since it's hidden behind a curtain (see previous blog post).

I'm not going to settle for that anymore. This time, I'm making steps to make that space suitable for all to see. But most importantly, for me to see! I need a little glam when I do the laundry. :)

So here's before photos of that laundry nook...

And here's my first purchase to help make that space prettier.

I shopped all over the place for baskets, to help make it look like these organized areas but they are just SOO expensive. Plus, with the limited space I have in my laundry area, most baskets wouldn't fit. With the space in between the shelves, I needed something that was 9 inches high and around 11 inches deep that didn't cost an arm and a leg! So I looked at  The Container Store, Target and Walmart. In the end, Walmart had a package of 6 baskets for $35. That's a STEAL! So I ordered two and will have 12 baskets for the space. Plenty for growth!

Additionally, I'm going to put another shelf at the top for those appliances that we don't use very frequently (step ladder will be nearby). All of the articles I've read said to go UP if you don't have space-that's the perfect tip for my laundry nook! Stay tuned for the next update...thinking paint will help spruce that area up! ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

February Photo Challenge

I've seen a couple blogs that I follow, such as House of Smiths and Fat Mum Slim, post this challenge and it really seems like fun. But it requires a commitment to post everyday in the month of February. But, I think it might just be the kick in the pants I need to do something fun on my blog and make that commitment to myself and my New Year's resolutions!

So here it is, take a look:

and these are the details of what this challenge entails...

How to take part in February photo-a-day:

1. Using the list as inspiration, take a photo each day.
2. Share it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #FEBphotoaday. You can also share on your blog or on Facebook ... or even keep the photos privately for yourself.
3. Check out other people's photos and like them or comment on them.

Note: The list is purely for inspiration, however you interpret the daily prompt is up to you. There are no hard and fast rules. For instance for day 22, if you don't officially 'work' and are a mum or looking for work - then show something that you consider to be work (or a chore perhaps). It doesn't have to be office stuff ... it's as loose as you want or need it to be. Just have fun and enjoy!

I'm excited about it and have confidence that I can see it through. What do you think?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Hunger Games

I apologize for my MIA status over the past week. Work has been unbelievably busy and to add to the mix a sick husband is spreading the "love". I think I'm coming down with something as well....EEK!

Anywho, while resting with a box of kleenex, some hot apple cider and under some covers I FINALLY finished the book I was reading. I'm pretty sure you've heard of it....The Hunger Games! If you've not heard of it, I think you've been living underneath a rock because this book is talked about EVERYWHERE! And for good reason; it's a wonderful book.

I don't want to ruin any details for those who haven't read it, but the basis for the storyline is that the nation of Panem has a Capitol which is surrounded by twelve districts. As a punishment for a rebellion, each district has to send one boy and one girl to participate in the annual Hunger Games-a fight to the death on TV. It goes into the story of one participant, Katniss, from District 12 and her fight to stay alive against the other competitors.

Once you get into the book, you don't want to put it down. I want to run out and get the next book, Catching Fire, immediately to begin reading. I have to know what happens to Katniss and from what I've been told the next book continues her story (SPOILER ALERT: obviously that statement just signals that Katniss survives the first book....oh well)! Luckily I'll be able to see the movie very soon, it comes out in March.

Alright, well I'm going to go back to my "spot" on the couch and cozy up a bit to watch some Bones (my new latest obsession). Hopefully I'll kick this thing like a bad habit (corny phrase but applicable to the situation). See yah! ;)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taste of Wine

Reading this title and seeing my previous post about a Night with My Bestie and you might think I partake in the wine beverage too much. Well, that's not the case. I do enjoy wine, very much so in fact. But what is the biggest gift giving holiday that just passed? Christmas!! That's right, this girl got TONS of wine for Christmas which leads to drinking it afterwards. Not a bad gig, I know. But just felt the need to explain.

So anywho, another Christmas gift I got was a little taste sampling box of various wines. I have to give a big KUDOS to my girlfriend Missy for locating this awesome present. Basically it's a box of little samples of wine. You rate the wines and you can send off (with a 20% coupon included) for your favorite bottle! Take a look:

The pretty details on the box

The cute little box they all came in!

All of the amazing stuff that comes in. A rate card, the samples & details on the
wine and winery.

All the various samples...going to enjoy this!

The sample I selected for the evening.
So as you can see I tried one sample and it was awesome. I felt so sophisticated picking out my selection, smelling the wine once open, swirling around in the glass once poured and trying the first sip. (Yes, I was a bit of a snob while drinking this. But the classy box dictated that behavior! LOL) And here's me enjoying my nice sample (picture taken by reluctant hubby):

Thursday, January 12, 2012

HELP! I need wardrope advice!

I don't know about you but when I go home after a hard day at work I like to hop into my comfy outfit. Typically this includes a pair of pjs or sweat pants and a sweat shirt. The hair goes up in a ponytail and my face is washed. I am fully exposed if you will.

Well, a couple weeks ago my darling husband made a joke about how I don't dress up for him. Clearly he doesn't see me for the 8-10 hours during the day while I'm at work. He sees me in the morning before I leave, when he's just waking up, and right when I get home, right before the beeline to my dresser to change. Not to toot my own horn, but during the day I dress to impress. So in the evenings I'd like to dress for comfort. Anywho, I can't get that comment out of my mind (of course, I'm a chick and remember everything), so I have started to look for items that would serve both purposes. Something that's comfortable and something that's nice looking (and dare I say it figure flattering).

So I made my first purchase right after Christmas. I was at the Loft, one of my FAVORITE stores, and bought a house cardigan. I paid about $30, which I think is a lot for a house sweater but hey, I'm trying to look nice for the hubs. Here's that sweater:

It's like this but light tan
I think that's a pretty nice sweater. It's also very comfortable; however, I have to say I'm glad it just a house sweater because that thing has started to have all sorts of fuzz from the material. Not attractive if I were wearing it to work, but for the house (and hubs) acceptable.

My next purchase also came from the Loft (again <3 this store). It's an adorable pair of slippers! Check them out....

Aren't they adorable?!

The top embellisment

My sassy self wearing them around the house
So I have two portions of my home outfit complete, but I need HELP with the rest! So I ask you, what do you think? I need a comfy top and pants. I was thinking some, gulp, spandex type pants. They would be comfortable and fit my figure (for the hubs). But what color? Same with the, not a spandex top (LORD help us on that one) but what color should I do for a top? Remember, the cardigan is a light tan and the slippers are a light grey and dark grey stripe. I'm at a loss and apparently my  husband is monitoring my apparel so I need to locate items ASAP! ;) LOL. Oh and not to add to the difficulty, I prefer not to spend $50 on those two items. Just saying...I found a couple at Dillards that weren't bad, but that's a bit much for a house outfit. I think at least.

Okay, let the advice giving begin!! :) The hubs and I thank you in advanced....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Night with My Bestie

Last night I had a date night. Nope, not with my hunny but rather with my bestie! Not sure about you, but sometimes a bestie date night is an excellent way to end the day. What did we do in our exclusive night just for the girls? We cooked and drank wine...again, a perfect ending to the day!

My friend Megan told me about this seafood lasagna that she made in the past. She absolutely loved it. I happen to LOVE lasagna (I'm like Garfield in that way) so when she mentioned the combination of seafood and lasagna I had to get me some of that. So that's what we made. It takes a bit longer than traditional lasagna but well worth the wait! I don't remember the cook book that she got the recipe from, but this Taste of Home Seafood Lasagna recipe is pretty close. YUMMMMM! Here's a pic of ours cooking (yes, I helped!). :)

Look at all that yummy cheese!!

And the greatest thing to add to bestie and lasagna! For our Christmas gifts Megan and I decided to give each other a $30 limit to buy wine for one another. This was actually quite fun, picking out wine for someone else. I really read the labels and tried to factor in what her tastes are. For example, she is a white wine drinker and I am a red wine drinker. But buying for each other allows us to try different wines that we wouldn't usually purchase. Case in point, she bought me a French Rose. Not something I would traditionally purchase for myself but it was AMAZING! See the pretty bottle (which was the deciding factor in her purchasing it for me) below:

So pretty!!

So there you  have it, a great combination of best friend, lasagna and wine to make it a fabulous evening! I highly recommend it to all the ladies out there. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bailey Painting

Continuing my posts about favorite Christmas gifts, I have to include one of the most thoughtful and specific gifts I received. If you know anything about me, it's that I LOVE my Chihuahua Bailey. I don't have any human babies, but Bailey is my child and has been for 6 years (GULP!).

So this year when my bestie Amanda McCrowell, from Walk a Day in My Flip Flops, and I exchanged gifts, I knew it would be good but I was really thrown for a loop when I saw what it was....

That's right, a painting of my amazingly handsome Bailey!! Here's what he really looks like for a comparison:

Now, Amanda herself didn't actually paint it. Another colleague of ours did. But she orchestrated the painting and was VERY specific that the illustration include Baileys unique trait which is his chocolate brown color. (If you're familiar with Chihuahuas you know that chocolate brown isn't a traditional color of theirs which is one of the reasons I HAD to have him!) So yeah, that was this year's most specific, unique and cherished gifts. It currently sits in my foyer so as soon as guests arrive and leave, they will see my precious little boy's face (again, he's my child so this behavior is normal...right? lol). Eventually I think it'll make its way to a nursery when it comes time to decorate for one. I think that would be cute, in a little baby Luce nursery have a photo of our first "child". ;)

Anywho, I totally love it. I mean who couldn't love that face! Amanda's really up the ante for next Christmas....I'll be prepared!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Yup, that's right...this girl asked Santa for a NEW camera and he delivered!!! Well, at least in the form of my in-laws that is. (I have awesome in-laws, what can I say.) :)

So guess who's in the mood to take more photos with her handy dandy new camera? Just call me the next Peter Lindbergh except without all the mad skills and celebrity clients. So I bet you want me to dish all about my nifty new piece of equipment, well it's a Nikon Coolpix S1100pj 14 MP Digital Camera. It has 5x Wide Angle Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3-Inch LCD and Built-in Projector...that's right a projector built in!! Pretty badass if you ask me. What camera has a PROJECTOR in it! May seem excessive, and in a way it is, but I LOVE it.

Since I can't very well take pictures of my new camera, I've decided to let the Amazon listing showcase its splendor...

It's pretty light weight, weighing less than 2 pounds. But let's get back to the badass accessory it comes with...the projector. This camera allows for instant sharing of both photos and movies! Photos can be projected up to 7 feet 10 inches at an image size of up to 47 inches diagonally. It also has business functionality as you can use the remote to flip through the images or movies. Not sure I'll need that in a presentation anytime soon...but who know, might spice up a meeting here or there! ;)

Again, it's not a necessity for a camera (and certainly one I didn't think I'd love so much) but  I'd like to share a personal story. On Christmas Day while opening up my gift, I immediately began taking pictures. My lovely sister-in-law decided to hold up a finger of hers in my direction disguised as picking her nose.... I was a good 5 ft or so away from her, so an original camera would be able to zoom in on it but then I'd have to pass it around the family for the evidence to be seen. However, with my Nikon that was not the case. A simple click of a button allowed me to project the photo on the wall for all to see. And with simple zoom, everyone could see exactly what finger she was holding up...clear as day!! Not going to lie, it was pretty awesome to catch her in that and we all had a huge laugh at her expense.

I really love this Christmas gift and can't wait to show off all the pictures I've been taking. Watch out Peter Lindbergh, there's a new photographer in town!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year. New Me. New Blog

I read this really great post the other day from Melissa at the Inspired Room titled 'What I learned About Blogging' and it really got me motivated to start blogging again. Truthfully, I'm not really sure why I stopped. I know I got crazy busy at work but you can always find time to jot a little something. I also had issues with my camera....the fact that I didn't have one! I know that doesn't seem like an issue, but I'm a very visual person. So no photos, no blog. lol.

Anywho, no more excuses. I'm back blogging again and I'm excited about it. It's a New Year, a new me and a new look to my blog! Do you like it?? I have lots to share given my hiatus. The first on the docket will be Christmas! Doesn't seem all that long ago (not last year for sure). ;) I had a terrific Christmas making memories with family and friends. How about you??

In the upcoming posts I will be detailing out my most awesomest gifts! They really do deserve their own individual posts...that's how awesome they are. I'm not materialistic (at all) but I really made out this year & would like to shout-it from the rooftops! So here's my promise to be back tomorrow with the first in my present series...see you soon!