The Move

It’s crazy how quickly the past few weeks have flown for us. We’ve moved almost everything from our fairly cramped 1300 square foot home to our new house with a lot more wiggle room. :-)

After the closing date was set, I remember telling myself to do 2 boxes a day. Totally feasible, right? Well, the procrastinator in me didn’t really get into packing boxes until a couple of weeks prior to closing. Last minute, much?

It was so weird sorting through everything, filling up boxes for moving and boxes for the garage sale. There were so many things that I forgot I owned, so the garage sale stack is a pretty good size. Note to self…don’t buy crap. Seriously, stop buying crap.

I also found a few things that brought back memories.

Were any of y’all a girl scout back in the day?

Before we knew it, we closed on the house. The keys were in our hands and our cars were filled to the brim with boxes and cleaning items. It was time to make this house feel like a home.

We took a good week to clean, bring some of the packed items to the house, and paint the master bedroom. The next weekend, we hired movers to bring the bulk of our belongings to the new house.

I HIGHLY recommend hiring  movers. For the Baton Rouge people who read my blog, we used Two Men and a Truck. Again, HIGHLY recommend them.

Why did we hire movers? Well, the furniture we would have had to move on our own was just insane, not to mention padding it all, and making sure it stays in place on a truck. The peace of mind was well worth the $600 we spent. It made moving day much less stressful for us, and not to mention, much more efficient. Nothing got scratched or broken during the move and everything was unloaded in the new house in less than 5 hours! :-)

Lately, we’re still unpacking our house a little at a time, because as crazy as it was to pack, unpacking is a different animal. Unpacking means finding a whole new place for everything. While we have much more space in the new house, it’s taking us a while to find just the right place for everything. :-) Thankfully, we’re almost done with the house..just a few more boxes and bags to unpack!

I’m sure you’re wondering how Millie is doing with all of this. As you might know, our dog is pretty easy to scare or make nervous, sadly. Since we adopted her, we really don’t know what caused her to be so scared and nervous, but I will say that this was hard on her.

When I let her walk around the old, empty house, you could just see that she was very nervous and scared. She basically walked around the room, would sniff and softly whine. It was really sad to watch her act unfamiliar with the place that was once our home.

When I brought her to the new house, she whined anytime we put her in her crate. (We had to crate her at some points, because she will put everything in her mouth, and well, with tools and tiny screws all over the floor, it just wasn’t worth taking a chance.)

After about a week, though, she relaxed a good bit and got back to her favorite spot: lying on the floor next to the sofa. :-)

 

 It has been quite an adjustment for us, but I love our new neighborhood. We’ve already met quite a few of our neighbors and Millie is already making new puppy friends. :-) Stay tuned…I promise I will be posting more house pictures very soon!

The start of something new…

I’ve been really vague in my tweets lately. I tweeted last week about how tired I’ve been, how anxious I’ve been and now, how happy I am. I also disclosed that I’m not pregnant, so we can throw that out the window as to what’s been going on.

Well….let’s go through the emotions, shall we?

I was tired, because we spent a couple of late evenings in an office. A realtor’s office.

I was anxious, because we put in an offer on a home. A home that had at least one other offer that we knew of.

And now, I’m HAPPY. HAPPY, because the owner accepted our offer! YAY!

Thursday is the big inspection, though, so fingers crossed for us. We’re very excited about having a real backyard (current house has a strip of grass), and a garage!

 

 

Bullying

I remember my first bully. She lived a few doors down, and for some reason, just hated me the second I moved in the neighborhood. It created some really awkward moments in the neighborhood. Most afternoons, a bunch of neighborhood kids would come to my house to play basketball or wall-ball (does ANYONE remember wall-ball??), but sometimes this bully would tell some kids not to come to my house or else they won’t be “cool” anymore. This bully was considered a “cool” kid back in the day, so no one wanted to get on her bad side. Honestly, it really hurt that I was being isolated when I never did anything to her.

Well, it started to escalate in middle school. In middle school, they combined the bus stop to where it was at her house, and at some points, I’d watch from my house until the bus was in sight and I’d RUN to the stop to make sure I got on the bus. I just figured not being at the stop was the best thing I could do to avoid being hurt. Well, one year, I had a huge project to bring to school (yay science fair), so I had to take my time to get to the stop. When I got there, I dropped my backpack full of books on the sidewalk and sort of stared at the ground. Next thing you know, a neighborhood kid ran up to me, took my backpack and plopped it in the bully’s yard. I didn’t think it was a big deal  until I picked up my backpack. He put my backpack in a pile of dog surprises. The bully then told me that this would teach me that I don’t belong at HER bus stop. I’ll never forget how much the kids made fun of me on the bus ride to school. I can’t say I don’t blame them. I smelled like crap to them. The usual 5 minute ride from the bus stop to the school felt like an eternity, and the 20 minutes I spent in the bathroom cleaning and drying my backpack was a much larger pill to swallow. I ended up with a ::fun:: nickname after that day that didn’t really go away until high school.

I also remember another bully in high school. He hated how fat I was, so he made it a point to tell me how fat I was everytime he saw me. I was able to try to ignore this guy, because I had my friends in school to hang out with and they would cheer me up afterwards. However, after school during the usual rush to the bus, he screamed “Hey Fat (insert last name)…I got something for you!” So, stupid me. I walked towards him. He then decided that the “something” would be a huge wad of spit on my jacket. Well, actually it was my Dad’s jacket that I accidentally took that morning in a rush. I got spit on for no reason. So, I ended up sneaking the jacket in the washing machine before my Dad knew about it. My thoughts leaned towards worrying that my Dad would be mad that I got his jacket spit on. I don’t think I ever told my Dad about that day, but in hindsight, if I told my Dad, I know the jacket wouldn’t have been on his mind at all.

Bullying sucks. I know it first hand. I never was a popular kid in school. Sure, I had a few friends, but most of the popular girls and almost all boys weren’t very nice to me. I was a class A dork: frizzy hair, glasses, fat, band dork, smart. I guess I was a moving target for the bullies, and boy oh boy, did they strike!

It’s been about 10 years since I graduated from high school. Since I left the bullies. The bullies never followed me to college. I guess bullies didn’t belong in college, and I was thankful for that. I actually sort of forgot about the bullies until last week. Last week, one of those bullies tried to add me on Facebook.

Of course, a good chunk of those bad memories came back. The taunting…the jokes…the pranks. It’s amazing how much I remember, and how much I tear up just thinking about it. I’m just relieved that those bullies aren’t a part of my life anymore, and I’m surrounded by amazing people who really make me happy. :-) Oh, and no…that bully is NOT my friend on Facebook. I guess I hold a grudge…

As much as bullying sucks though, I think I have to thank those bullies. Those bullies made me a nicer person. They made me realize just how much words and actions can really hurt. Now, I’m not perfect…I do get snarky, but overall, I’d like to think that I’m a nice person. Bullies also made me realize how amazing friendships and family are. Whenever a bully pushed me down (verbally, physically, however), my friends and family were there. I could hide in my group of friends and have a good cry over it. I know they would always be there for me when things got tough, and for that, I’m so thankful for them. I was never a depressed person, but I know that without my friends, I probably wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am today. So, my friends/family (you know who you are), thank you so much. Thanks for the hugs, the kleenex and the after-school bike rides to the Icee store. :-)

Did you have bullies in school? Do you think you’re a different person because of them?

Twenty Eleven…Two Thousand Eleven..

…however you name it, it’s another New Year. It’s also another new decade. Does that mean that my resolutions need to be 10x more awesome? I guess so!

Since I have my 101 in 1001 list almost done in May, I’m focusing my 2011 on those. As of 1/4/11, here’s my stats:

43 done
23 in progress
31.5 not done
3.5 can’t be done

So, I do have a good bit to go here, and the categories that need the most attention are:

Health/Fitness
Cooking/Baking

I mentioned yesterday that I’m redoing my priorities. Etsy isn’t my priority right now, so that got nixed. Obviously, I need to devote my energy mainly to my health. Cooking/baking will probably get done as well, but in my mind, I need to really ensure that I check some of those things off on the health/fitness category.

Stereotypical, I know. We ALL want to get healthier and better ourselves. I’ve made this a resolution for years, and the only time I got some success was pre-wedding. I showed myself that I can do it, so I need to just do it.

I rejoined Weight Watchers before Christmas. I’m hopeful that this will be my last time I’ll ever join again!  (I am the person who joins W/W for a month, then quits…then rejoins again.)

How many of you are on healthier resolution bandwagon this year? What are you doing to make it happen?

A bunch of randoms..

  • Yesterday, I learned (from y’all and ironically, the John Tesh show during the drive home from work) that the X in “x-mas” is actually OK to use. I still don’t really like it, and I’m sure that 80% of my friends on Facebook who use it on a regular basis don’t really know the history of the use of X for Christ. So, I still really no likey “x-mas”. However, thanks to you guys for (politely) educating me on the subject. :)

 

  • That tree skirt that I was planning still hasn’t happened. I blame my cute dog for being extra cuddly lately. No progress has been made, but I do want to finish it for next year.

 

  • I am learning how to crochet slowly, but surely. I can make a chain like it’s nobody’s business, and I’m trying to work on the single crochet. How is it that I can catch onto knitting super quickly, but this crochet thing just blows my mind? Of course, this motivates me more to show those crochet hooks that I can make this work. :)

 

  • Christmas is in 3 days…what?! I still have cheesecake, sugar cookies, macarons (hopefully), oreo truffles and biscotti to make. Eep…not to mention, a few more sewing projects for gifts. :

 

  • I just looked at my 101 in 1001 list. I doubt that it will all be done by May 2011 (dang 1001 days flew by!), but I have my mind focused especially on goals 43-50. I know it won’t happen in 5 months, but I’d love to be well on track! I’d also like to work on making goal 75 happen. :-)

 

  • Remember this desk? Yeah, it’s not done. After fighting a few times with trying to sand the little nooks and crannies down and watching the wood lose its shape in some of the detailing (I’m assuming this desk is a VERY soft wood, unfortunately), I decided that the staining just isn’t in the cards for this piece. :( Since it’s for the craft room, after all, I decided it’s getting painted. Stay tuned for that.

A New Outlook on Christmas

I really can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. The tree is decorated, stockings are hung, (most of) the gifts are wrapped and food gift boxes are finished.

It’s sort of a routine now….a different routine than it was for me 15 years ago. I tend to miss being a kid during the Christmas season.

I remember when I was younger, my siblings and I would glance over every page in the Sears Toy book. We’d carefully write our lists in our best handwriting, give the lists to our parents, and they made sure that it got in the mail for Santa. Even after the lists were done, we still looked over the book, dreaming about what toy might be ours on Christmas. It was such a happy time, full of anticipation and excitement.

When the holidays were approaching, school was out. I remember lounging around, watching cartoons, adding sprinkles to freshly baked cookies and drooling over the smell of fudge and pralines cooking on the stove.

On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would talk non-stop about the next day. We shared a room, so this led to a fairly sleepless night. We’d wake up at the crack of dawn, tip-toe downstairs, wake up our brother and sister and watch Christmas cartoons, waiting for Mom and Dad to come out with the video camera. It was a rule that presents could NOT be opened until Dad got the camera. :)

Once Dad would get the camera, I remember ripping open our toys from Santa, amped up on Hershey’s Kisses and Mom’s Mickey Mouse pancakes. We’d all scream, “OMG THANK YOU SANTA!” (I’m pretty sure Christmas Day with kids is the reason Advil stays in business..haha!) This happened again at my aunt’s house, where we all met up for Christmas. By the end of the day, we’d come home with way too many presents and a sinking feeling of “it’s over…no more Christmas”. :-

As an adult, things are a little different. I mean, of course, I look forward to the gift giving and receiving mumbo jumbo, but, as an adult, I will say, that I now understand that consumerism does not hold the true value of Christmas. As a Christian, I know that we are rejoicing Christ’s birth and HE is the reason for the season. To this day, I cringe when I see “X-mas”. I think most people don’t think the way I think, but I think it’s such a disregard for the reason of Christmas. Not to get all religious on y’all, but seriously, Christmas is a celebration for CHRIST…why “X” Him out?! Lame…

I like to look at Christmas with a different perspective now. It’s not the gifts that get me excited about Christmas (and I’m being completely serious…completely..). It’s really about seeing family and friends. Christmas just SCREAMS gathering to me, and I love that I get to see so much family at once. It’s wonderful to catch up and reflect on the past year with them. :) While I can say, I completely miss that level of anticipation over Santa’s surprises, I have to say, I can appreciate this new outlook on the holiday season that I have as an adult. Not only does it make me feel a little bit more fulfilled, but even after Christmas is over, it’s not a sinking low feeling that I had as a child anymore.

What do you think of the Christmas season, now that you’re an adult?

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things. If I’m not in the holiday spirit before then, I’m definitely full of spirit right afterwards! Over the past 3 Christmases, we’ve slowly added to our decor.

The new additions to our mantle is Millie’s stocking and holder, the knit Christmas tree and the fabric bowl full of leftover ornaments that I purchased to make our wreath last year. I love it!

The Mantle

Since we don’t have much space for a Christmas tree, we definitely LOVE our skinny tree. The hubs bought this at Kohls on major sale. The majority of the ornaments are from Sam’s Club. They sell mega packs of ornaments in different color themes, and I fell in love with the brown/bronze pack, since it’s neutral.

Christmas Tree

And, as you may know, this is Millie’s first Christmas with us. I was pretty worried about how her curious little self would react, but she ignores it, for the most part. :) I think she has some Christmas spirit too (gotta love puppy smiles).

Christmas Smiles

How is your home decorated this year? Feel free to share some blog posts. :) I love seeing holiday decor!!!

The month of November…

It’s been a pretty crazy month on this blog. After deciding to do NaBloPoMo, I realized that I needed to really dig for some topics. I’m not that interesting, but I didn’t want to just write 30 posts with one picture and a sentence in there. Although I did end up doing just that on November 9th,  November 25th and November 28th. I’m just glad that 27 out of the 30 days had (what I consider) real content.

The funny thing is, I still have a list of topics I want to blog about. This month made me realize that the reason for my lack of blogging hasn’t been lack of topics, it’s been laziness. This month forced me to take out my camera more, scribble topics in my planner and of course, share more with the 5 (or maybe 6) readers that I do have. :-)

Thank you, November.

This month forced me to be a little more productive. I can’t blog about sitting on the couch and watching TV with the dog. (Although, she is a cutie!) I had to get up, be productive and share it with y’all. I was afraid y’all would find me boring. (You might still find me boring, but at least I tried!)

I hope you didn’t find my blog to be too boring this month. In case you’re new to the blog and don’t feel like reading through 30 posts, I’m going to try to sum it up for you with some of my favorite posts from this month.

I hate shopping cart covers.
I sent off the quilt blocks for the swap.
I really stocked up This Seams Nifty.
I nixed a quilt (with good reason).
I started gardening again.
I purchased clothes for the first time in a LONG time.

I hope y’all enjoy reading this blog. I realize this blog has a smaller readership than my food blog, but I really love the comments and emails that I get from y’all. You’re awesome! 

On to December! Wahoo!

Where does the time go?

Do you ever get ready for bed thinking where did the time go? I especially have this problem after work.

Here’s my timeline. On a normal work-day, I get home around 4pm. I usually don’t head to bed until 10:30pm or so. So, there are 6 hours and 30 minutes that I have to make things happen.

I don’t make much happen.

I usually lounge around watching TV, surfing the Internet and playing with my dog. Before I know it, it’s time for dinner, and THEN it’s time to wind down before bed.

SERIOUSLY?

I have 6 hours and 30 minutes. I’m sort of mad that I let that time just fly away. I could have a clean house, projects done, feel accomplished…but instead, I feel lazy.

A while back, I read this post on Claremont Road. She was experiencing the same exact thing, and the Pomodoro Technique she mentioned just stuck with me. While I’m not willing to work 25 minutes, then just have a 5 minute break (you know, since I’m home from work by now and don’t want this to be too daunting), I figured I could make a goal of 6 tomatoes a day. (6 25-minute sessions of being productive at home)

So, here’s my new idea. 6 tomatoes a day. That’s 6 tasks getting taken care of each day! What I might do is try to bust these out before dinner so I can be a lazy bum after and enjoy some time with my husband and the pup. :)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? What do you think?

Crafting…

When I was very young, I used to watch my mother in admiration. She would go through spurts of different crafts, and did such magnificent work. My motor skills at the time were limited to coloring outside of the lines and combining colors of play-doh until it turned an ugly brown color. I never thought that I could do half of what my mother did.

I remember her spurts…she made bread dough ornaments, homemade wreaths, acrylic painting and of course, sewed. My mother, to me, is my crafting inspiration.

I found that I’m a lot like my mother. I craft in spurts too, and actually share some hobbies that my mom has. :-)

When I was in 5th grade, I got HOOKED on making friendship bracelets and hair wraps. Anyone remember hair wraps??

In middle school, I saw my friend making cross-stitch and got into that. I remember spending WEEKS making a huge magnolia flower for a contest for my school’s BETA club. I was so upset when my BETA club sponsor didn’t load it on the bus. UGH..it never got in the contest. My mom still has it hanging in her house, though. :-)

In high school, I dabbled into scrapbooking. I absolutely LOVED scrapbooking…glitter glue, stickers, fun bright papers and PICTURES?! Yes please!

When college hit, I started knitting. I had a mad addiction to knitting with fun fur. I’m pretty sure every girl in my family got a scarf made with fun fur at one time or another. I was ::way:: cool, right?

After graduation, I suddenly wanted to sew. I wanted to make my own clothes, sew a t-shirt quilt and make other fun knick-knacks. My grandmother gifted me with a Singer a year later, and I was SO intimidated. I’m still learning about sewing, but I can say this craft is one of my favorites. I find myself attracted to making things with bright, fun fabrics, and I don’t see this hobby ending anytime soon, since sewing is so practical! I make my own PJ pants, for example, since I’m 5’10” and stores don’t make PJ pants for the tall (at least from what I’ve seen).

Heh. Like I said…spurts. It sort of makes me wonder what craft is next for me. I’m pretty sure it’s crochet, since I want to learn that before I have a kid. (No worries…won’t be anytime soon!)

What crafts are you into? What got you into it?