Thursday, March 26, 2015

101 in 1001, Round 2 - Update 3

I'm exited to share that I've crossed two more tasks off my 101 in 1001 list!

Earlier this month I completed the 1000-piece puzzle I started at the end of January.  It's interesting how the whole puzzle process worked; some days finding pieces that fit together took very little effort, if any, while other days it took a good half hour before I found a match.  Some days the puzzle was a relaxing activity and others it was a little annoying and I'd only get that one match before quitting.  While it was an enjoyable activity overall, I'm not sure it's a hobby I'll be taking up any time soon.  I have too many other things I want to do and, let's be honest, naps I want to take!  And an observation on the below picture: how adorable is Crickett's little photo bomb?!



Yesterday I finished the audio book I started a couple weeks ago.  I had heard that Bossypants was a great book and when I learned the audio version was read by Tina Fey herself, I thought it would be the perfect choice for this task.  I wanted something light and easy to follow, a novel that didn't require a lot of concentration on my part because I was planning on listening to it in my car on the drive to and from work.  Tina Fey - who has a great narrating voice, in my opinion - shared some wonderful observations and hilarious anecdotes.  I wonder how crazy I looked driving along by myself laughing hysterically?  If you haven't read (or listened) to this book, I highly recommend it.

Here are three of my favorite quotes from the book:

Contrary to what I believed as a little girl, being the boss almost never involves marching around, waving your arms, and chanting "I am the boss, I am the boss!"

"Defective" was a big word in our house.  Many things were labeled "defective" only to miraculously turn functional once the directions had been read more thoroughly.

When people say, "You really, really must" do something, it means you don't really have to.  No one ever says "You really, really must deliver the baby during labor."  When it's true, it doesn't need to be said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2015 Catching Up: February Tidbits

Welcome back to the second installment of "2015 Catching Up."  I will now share with you some of the random tidbits from the second month of this year.

In addition to Mitch having a birthday on the first of February, it was also some important day in football.  I was probably one of the only people who did not watch the Super Bowl (no, not even for the commercials); instead I watched the Puppy Bowl.  I laughed until my stomach hurt and tears ran out of my eyes; it was certainly one of the cutest things I've ever watched.  I'm sure it comes as no surprise to hear that I will be watching that program in the future while Mitch is watching "the big game."


On the second Sunday in February, I joined two girlfriends and my dad for an afternoon of ice skating.  I hadn't ice skated in ages and not since I'd grown accustom to the roller skates I'd had on my feet the past couple of years in roller derby.  I was definitely not as steady on ice skates or as comfortable with a sheet of ice under me as I was with roller skates on polished concrete but it was fun.  And while I was certainly awkward enough, I did not fall (which I'm thankful for mostly because I'm not sure how I'd get myself standing again)!  I'm hoping we make more outings next winter to the ice rinks.


Through one of my random searches on Instagram, I stumbled upon a photo of a cereal I had never heard of and definitely had to try: Cap'n Crunch's Sprinkled Donut Crunch!  It was everything I hoped it would be and I think it's safe to safe I'm addicted to the stuff.  I'm not sure our household will ever be without this cereal in our cupboard again.


On the third Friday of the month at an hour way past my bedtime, a group of girlfriends and I got together and bowled the night away.  Seriously, the "fun" bowling (black lights, hip music - you know, all that crazy awesome junior high/high school stuff) didn't start until 9:30pm!  At the end of the week I'm usually asleep by then!  Anyhoo, I had a blast despite the fact that my bowling ball and the gutter struck up a very close relationship the second frame of the first game and continued through our third and final game.  My scores (the lowest of all ten women) were as follows: 71, 62, and 55.  Looks like I won't be joining a league any time soon.


Mitch and I began our basement furniture shopping adventures.  We have now found almost everything we need but since the furniture was technically purchased in March, I can't say much more here in February tidbits.  Rules are rules. ;)  I will share photos of everything once our basement is complete.  I do want a photo to go with this tidbit, however, so here is one I took simply to show my dad.  I had to laugh when I saw this room display because the store had used a very similar brown paint color to the one Mitch and I used in our guest room, a color my dad can't say he likes very much.


And speaking of paint, I talked Mitch into re-painting the top half of my scrapbooking room to a color one shade lighter than what I had originally chosen.  The contrast is much more visible now and I'm much happier with the look; it's exactly what I wanted!
 

So there you have some of my random tidbits from February!  Stay tuned for the March installment!

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Catching Up: January Tidbits

I realize I didn't write much about January (or February . . . or March) so I thought I'd do a little catching up series now while it's still the current year of the tidbit.  I have enough posts I want to write about events that happened years ago and didn't feel I needed to add more to that list!

So, onto (random, semi-insignificant, super-ridiculous) tidbits from the first month of the year!

I had New Year's Day off from work and the weather was somewhat decent (about 20 degrees with little wind) so Crickett and I went for a walk.  It's so hard to get walks in during the winter; even if it's not bitterly cold or snowing there is very little daylight left by the time we get home from work.

In November I turned over my existing Instagram account to Crickett and at the beginning of this year I decided to start a "personal" account.  It's not nearly as popular as Crickett's - seriously, she has 950 followers and I have like 75! - but it's a fun little space for me to post snapshots (of things like gorgeous sunsets!) and tidbits and find other people who do the same.  Instagram is like mini-blogging to me and I think that's why I enjoy it so much; documentation is taking place but in a super short and sweet manner.  Speaking of blogging and Instagram, I hope to revamp my blog in the near future (I'm not really sure what my definition of "near" is!) and get one of those fancy widget-thingys that allows you direct access to my Instagram account.  Don't hold your breath; it's going to be a while.  I'm not tech savvy.


On January 8th, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend, and Mitch and I celebrated Christmas.  It's kind of fun having one late celebration because it spreads out the magic of the season just a little bit longer.  Plus, you have the opportunity to find some great after-Christmas deals!  (I may give this Christmas celebration it's own recap post in December when I want to do Christmasy posts!)


I work within about two blocks of two different thrift stores.  It's quite wonderful and I've spent many lunch hours perusing the items these places have to offer.  In January, I learned that the Christmas store in the lower level of my favorite thrift store has a massive "purging" sale at the end of every Christmas season.  I got a whole grocery bag of Christmas and winter knick-knacks for $1.00!  You can bet this event is going to be added to my calendar every year like the used book sale.  (Again, I will share my $1.00 bag of finds in December when I feel like doing Christmasy posts!)  The lovely guy below was just a random item I saw during one of my visits; I did not buy him but he made me laugh and wonder why on earth anyone had owned him in the first place.


While putting away my manger scene, I dropped one of the cute little sheep and his leg broke off; Mitch glued it back on but the little guy will never be the same.  I'm trying to embrace my word of the year and accept the fact that these things happen and that the scar will give the sheep some character!  That or I can always put him towards the back of the scene with his bum leg facing away from viewers. ;)


I had my annual gynecological visit and had to laugh when I saw the covers the clinic had put on the stirrups; I guess they were excited about Valentine's Day coming up! I then had a series of thoughts:  Do they decorate for other holidays?  Do other clinics have festive stirrup covers?  Where do you buy stirrup covers - is there a company that specializes in them?  Who picks the stirrup covers out?  Okay, I think that's about all I can say about this topic. ;)


One night at dinner I asked Mitch what I thought was a simple question about football; my suspicions were confirmed and there is absolutely nothing simple about football.  Mitch grabbed a pen and paper (that's when you know you're really in trouble) and started writing and pointing at locations and names.  I lost interest after about five seconds but took this photo because it gave me something to do while he was talking.


There you have it: some of my completely random, semi-insignificant, and super-ridiculous tidbits from January!  Stay tuned for the February installment!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Smile

I saw this comic on Facebook on Friday and it made me giggle.  No matter how much we'd like her to follow our "rules," Mother Nature cannot be told what to do (for the record, I am definitely not complaining about the mild winter she gave us here in North Dakota!).  Happy first Sunday of the spring season!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday 13: Spring 2015 on Etsy



As we approach the official first day of spring tomorrow, I obviously had to do one of my favorite kind of Thursday 13: Etsy finds!  So, without further ado, here are the items I found and loved on Etsy when I typed in the keyword "spring."  (All photos from the Etsy shops.  Click on description to visit the shop.)




2.  Tree watercolor. (LOTS of great work in this shop!)



3.  Seed packet bunting.  So charming!



4.  Spring Field oil painting.  Can I grab a book and go sit out there? *Sigh*



5.  Glass floral earrings.



6.  Floral tote.



7.  Wreath.



8.  Daffodil spoon ring.



9.  Little spring crate!  How adorable is this?!



10.  Pretty pillow.  So many bright, cheerful items in this shop!



11.  Hand-painted teapot.  I'm smitten!



12.  Floral and cherry print wedges.



13.  Ridiculously awesome "flower power" dress!  I absolutely adore the bright, cheerful colors and patterns!  *Squeal!!!*



Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Book Sale 2015

The library's spring book sale started yesterday and I headed over on my lunch break to see what treasures I could find.



Here are the 22 books I came home with for only $17.50 (79.5 cents per book!):


The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.  The cover of this book caught my attention so I had to stop and read the synopsis.  I thought it sounded like a good read; I hope I'm right!

Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.  Apparently this book is very well known (where have I been?) and was even made into a movie (again, where have I been?).  Anyhoo, it sounds like this book has quite the cast of characters and a unique story that reads like a novel rather than a work of nonfiction.  Looking forward to diving into this story.

Incendiary by Chris Cleave.  I read Little Bee by Chris Cleave and thought it was a great book so I thought I'd check out another one of his works.

While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg.  I loved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe and really enjoyed Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! so I had to grab this book by Fannie Flagg.  I don't think I'll be disappointed.

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Saints in Limbo by River Jordan

The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle

The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard.  I've never read anything by this author but thought this book sounded good; I also have Labor Day on my to-read list.

Someone by Alice McDermott.  I bought McDermott's Charming Billy at the spring book sale in 2012 but haven't yet read it!  So many books, not enough time!

Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris


The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve.  I have several of Shreve's novels that I've grabbed over the last couple of book sales but I haven't read any of them yet.  Perhaps I should read one or two to see if I even like this author before grabbing more of her books!

The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith.  After researching this novel when I got home, I discovered it's the first in a series with the same name.  I'm not too thrilled about this; I generally don't read series because they don't hold my interest for the entirety but I want to know how things wrap up so I feel I need to keep reading to find out what happens.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.  This is probably my favorite book of all-time and though I didn't want a paperback version or the particular cover I found, I decided those things don't matter as much as actually having a copy of this beautiful novel.  If you've never read this, do it!

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.  I think this has the potential to be a very interesting read.

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White


Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Crayon Box Exploded Again

I've said it before and now the statement is even more true: Our house looks like a crayon box exploded!  I think I'm even more in love with the colors we chose for our basement than what we chose for our upper level!

The guest room in a chocolaty brown.  My dad really hates this color but I think it's going to be a very cozy room; it will probably become my second bedroom when Mitch is snoring.  ;)  Can't wait to start the decorating process (of which I have no ideas right now)!


The bathroom in bright orange.  I really like this color and while I think it's currently a little "POW! IN YOUR FACE!" strong, I think once everything is installed and the bathroom is decorated, things will get toned down.


My scrapbooking room in pretty aquas!  I think this color scheme may be my most favorite of the entire house!  My only gripe (which I hope my wonderful husband will fix) is that the contrast between the lighter top and darker bottom isn't very distinct.  I'm hoping to convince Mitch to re-paint the upper portion a shade or two lighter so you can see more of a difference.  I can't wait to spend time creating in that cheerful little room!


The family room in gorgeous purples!  I think this color scheme comes in at an extremely close second as my favorite in the house!  This room is going to be so cozy when it's complete; I can't wait to spend time with Mitch and Crickett down there, watching TV and movies by the fireplace.


The other room in our basement is going to become my library and I chose to leave that white; I hope to incorporate a lot of colors with the decorating and books themselves.  It will definitely not be a boring room!  (How could it be with shelves and shelves of books?!)

Hopefully I'll have more pictures soon of the next phases of the basement completion: finish work, flooring, furnishing, and decorating!  It's so exciting to have our house finally coming together!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cutest Member of the Family

Six years ago today, this little girl joined our family.  I'm sure she knew from that very first night that we'd be wrapped around her little paws and she'd run the show.

02.12.09

And honestly?  I wouldn't have it any other way.

02.12.15

Saturday, February 7, 2015

November Happenings: Purchases

Remember when I was going to write about November in installments before the month ended?  Yeah, I'm laughing about that attempt, too.  Anyhoo, I'm rolling with the cliche "It's better late than never" and doing some major catching up on this little ol' blog of mine.  So here we have another November Happenings.

Mitch bought a 65-inch television on Black Friday to put in our basement when it's finished; it's definitely going to look nice mounted above a fireplace.  I think our family room is going to be a very cozy place to hang out and watch TV or movies  Mitch is already envisioning falling asleep with Crickett while watching football.

More importantly and much more fun, our other big purchase of the month was a new camera!  Behold, the beauty that is the Sony a5000!


I really didn't like the last point-and-shoot we bought (only about a year prior to this camera - oops!) and did some whining about it.  Long story short, Mitch told me to do my research and this is the camera I found.  The Sony a5000 is approximately the size of a point and shoot - a little larger because of the lens (interchangeable!) but will still fit in a larger purse - and has all the functionality of a DSLR.  Plus, it has wi-fi capabilities which I'm pretty excited about!  I've used this camera for several occasions already without knowing anything about it and my photos turned out wonderfully; I can only imagine what I'll be able to do once I've read the manual and played around more!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thursday 13: Doors


I love doors and Pinterest has made it very easy to collect photos of doors.  Here are thirteen of the beauties you'll find on my Pinterest "Doors" board.

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More Thursday 13!