Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome Gift Idea!

One of my friends made a life-altering decision in the matter of a few weeks. She packed up her whole life and moved it across the country to work in Telluride, Colorado. I'm so proud of her, so excited for her, and a little bit jealous! Before she left, we had a small going-away/birthday gathering with some of her close friends at a restaurant I never would have chosen for myself - H. Harper Station in Reynoldstown.

If there is one thing I am guilty of, it is not exploring the small, unique neighborhoods that are blossoming in and around Atlanta. This was no exception. Without this party, I never would have ventured to Reynoldstown to check out H. Harper Station, and what a pity that would be! It's a converted railroad station with awesome ambience. We ordered a punch bowl, and the drinks were served in unique, small glass cups that looked like they belonged in an antique shop, and they were held on a shelf for everyone to see. I wish I had snapped a picture!

delicious food & drinks!

blurry picture of the girls, but the best one i have of the rest of the restaurant.

The reason I'm writing this is not to brag on the restaurant as much as it is to tell you guys about the AWESOME going away/birthday gift my friend received.

One of my friends brought all the supplies: a scrapbook filled with colorful scrapbook paper, a Polaroid camera, Polaroid film, a gluestick, a few colorful markers, and a handful of cutesy scrapbooking supplies, all in a cute little gift bag.

We took turns taking pictures and being in pictures, and for every picture, you had to write a special note to the guest of honor and glue it along with the picture onto your page in the scrapbook.

This present turned out fabulously. It wasn't too big for my friend to tote along on her cross-country move, and it captured wonderful memories between the notes & the pictures. We referenced memories that ran the course of the last 5 years of friendship and made new ones.

So if you are so motivated, snap up a Polaroid camera, order some Polaroid film, and get creating. It'll be a present your friends will never forget!

Monday, August 29, 2011

House Re-Decorating

Yes, that's right, I straight up disappeared into the depths of painting, moving, and organizing. Newsflash: it sucks. I only moved across the hall in my current house but let me just tell you... what a debacle that was! But, the process is pretty much done. See for yourselves!

excellent tape job, until the tape pulled off the ceiling paint...

yeah, see all those doors? pain. in. my. ass.

the colors i was deciding between. 

end result: bed



closet #1

closet #2 (shoes on each side of the door)

fireplace mantle
k: hobby lobby
ball: hobby lobby
photo: easycanvasprints.com

just bought these over the weekend - love them!

best friends

shelves in living room

glasses, harry potter books
candleholder: cost plus
plate: cost plus
painting: italian original
wine: trader joe's
scrapbooks: homemade

books: dirty girls social club, high heels to tractor wheels, and a cocktail encyclopedia
picture: senior year of hs
teapot: cost plus
picture: family photo in italy circa 2001

dining room shelves
mirror: ikea
emily giffin books

living room shelves above TV
glass vase: not mine
ceramic vase: iowa art fair
painting: iowa art fair

pasta, wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, choclate covered pom seeds

my side of the pantry. i love organization.

don't mind this mess though... cleaning out is a long process!

So now that you've been given a quasi-tour of my house, you know what I've been up to. Re-purposing chotchkies I've collected over the last 10 years and organizing my pantry and storage closet. This whole house decorating/moving/redesign project has been a month in the making and hopefully will be complete in the next few weeks. I'm ready to stop living pile to pile! Now to tackle that laundry pile that I put on my bed immediately after taking these pictures...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Wednesday, I talk a lot.

It's Wednesday, which means that the dreaded Tuesday is over, and because I'm feeling uninspired and lazy and I'm really, really freaking busy at work, I'm leaving you with a list because it's really all my brain can put together right now without sounding incoherent. I might already sound incoherent, but humor me, mmk?

1. My trip to Argentina is stressing me out but I am SO EXCITED at the same time. South American airfare is no joke.
2. My mom & dad are coming to visit today and I can't wait. They're staying for 10 days!!
3. I'm getting my hair highlighted today. This is long, long overdue. My original appointment was 5 weeks ago. No one has called me a brunette yet, so I'll take it as a sign that my beloved hairdresser is worth every dime I pay her.
4. I have way too many things going on starting in September. Wedding, work trip to Texas, Argentina, weekend in Miami, another potential work trip to Texas, trying to squeeze a trip to DC in there somewhere...I don't have enough weekends. Or vacation days. Or, and this is the kicker...money!
5. I went to Two Urban Licks for the Sunday Splurge -- ya'll, it was awesome. I highly recommend going! Ask for Janeen to be your server, because she's the bomb. Plus, who doesn't like all you can eat and all you can drink?
6. I had an epiphany the other day when I realized that when it comes to work, I finally "get it." Nothing specific happened, but I walked out of my office, and I just kind of thought, "OK. I got this." Best. Feeling. Ever.
7. Sometimes I forget that I share bits and pieces of my personal life in this little forum, and then people talk to me about things, like my watch, or my sofa, and I'm like...how did you know I got a sofa? You live across the country. And then I remember, I blogged about it for a month. Oops.

That's about all I wanted to tell you today. Maybe I'll be back later with something more interesting. In the meantime I need to, you know, go do what they pay me to do while I'm here. Peace!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Issues with Spotify

Have ya'll joined Spotify yet?

I just did, and now I feel overwhelmed. I think I'm a little confused about how it works, exactly. Everyone keeps telling me it works just like iTunes but I must not be listening or something, because in my head I think that it works more like Pandora except I get to choose. I am feeling intense pressure about the first song I choose to listen to. A) I shared my profile on Facebook so whatever I choose, everyone will know, so I probably shouldn't choose something lame. B) Back to thinking it's like Pandora, the first song I choose will definte my Spotify membership forever, so I better choose wisely.

All this pressure leads me to do nothing but share my ridiculous anxieties on the internet via my blog and never actually get around to listening to music. I have issues, and I guess by the name of this blog you thought I'd keep them a secret. Surprise!

I was talking to a coworker about Spotify, and he then introduced me to Turntable. Great - just when I thought I finally had a grasp on one...another "social music site." What does that even mean?

Now we're in a "group music room" and everybody gets to contribute songs to play and they alternate. I created a list of ~10 songs, but all this pressure of music choices might be too much for me. So far I have played "Take It On the Run," "Edge of Glory," and "Wanna Take You Home." Diverse music tastes, much?

What would be your first song picks? Hopefully you have an easier time choosing than I did.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camera Equipment

Look what I got! Remember what I said about teaching my dad something new?
Add 'DSLR photography' to the list.
He's letting me 'borrow' his new lens while he learns how to actually operate a camera.

To go with this :)
My Canon RebelXS...broke. They didn't sell the old one in the store anymore. I was forced to upgrade.

I'll probably use this to help me learn if my dad doesn't steal it from me. If you are looking to learn photograpy tricks, I highly recommend this book.

Talk about a couple of ballin' upgrades! That lens is so dang heavy though.

Now can someone please tell me how to use it, other than to zoom in on my dad's nose hairs?

Thanks for the lens, pops!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July Top 10

1. Starting acupuncture
2. Dinner/drinks with sweet Claire

3. Sunday evening dinner with some good friends
4. One of my best friends passing through Atlanta on her way to Argentina
5. A whirlwind trip to Chicago
6. Spending a day at the lake with my dad (and seeing the progress on our house!)

7. Watching the Peachtree Road Race runners

8. Moving into my own office at work (or rather, my officemate moving out)
9. Seeing HP7.2 with my Italian buddy
10. Helping a friend put together her wedding invitations

July was a mix of big things and little things that just made me happy.
August will be another good mix of big and little events. My calendar is already filling up.

How was your July? What are you looking forward to in August?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

It's no secret that for the better part of my life I have been a Daddy's Girl. Not only do we share so many of the same physical characteristics, we share a similar personality. I guess it should come as no surprise then that in my adult life, we are beginning to share many of the same hobbies. The thing that is funny to me is that for so long I have emulated what my dad does, starting with how he tied his shoes (yep, I tie my shoes as if I were a lefty!) all the way up to how he would send a thank you letter to a potential employer. My dad has taught me and shown me so many things in my life and now it seems that it is my turn to teach and show him.

Just like I didn't really want to own up to online dating, I'm not sure I'm ready to own up to having joined WeightWatchers. I guess blogging about it is one way to tell the world! I mentioned last week that I joined WeightWatchers...it's true! And I've been telling my dad all about the process and how it works. He is in the market to lose quite a bit of weight, and this seems like a program that would really fit him and his current lifestyle.
Although it's been a whopping 14 days since I joined WW, I've already found things that I really like about the program and I thought I would share them here, just like I shared them with my dad last night.

1. They never make you feel bad! You get an allotted number of points per day, plus bonus points that you can distribute through the week, plus if you add exercise, you get those points too. I'd have to eat 24 cupcakes to go through all those points!

2. You learn about what foods are "good" for you and what foods to avoid. And not only that, but you have to document when you eat the bad foods. It makes eating 3 slices of pizza and no salad a lot less appealing when you know you are going to have to go back to WW and document those 3 slices of pizza...and then see that you can eat celery for the rest of the day. After lunch last week I showed my dad how many WW points his lunch would have been, and the thing was, he knew he wasn't making awesome dietary choices, but there was no evidence of that (other than his slowly expanding waistline).

3. You can add commonly-eaten foods to your WW online ahead of time, so when it comes time to log something, you don't skip it because you don't have the nutrition stats. I spent 30 minutes today adding about 6 Willy's menu items to my WW queue. Guess what? None of them were under 10 points. Cool. But I also dug through the contents of my freezer and added all my pre-packaged items - frozen Amy's pizzas, Trader Joe's tortillas, and ice cream sandwiches. Now I hardly even have to think when I enter these items in. It makes for such easy tracking!

The most important thing for me has been to stay motivated, and I've done that by telling my dad about it. For the last week he's asked me how it's going, and then told me all the things he ate that day and how many points he thinks they were. It's interesting - my dad often eats fast food for breakfast and McDonald's recently started offering an oatmeal option. Turns out that oatmeal option is 7 points, and an Egg McMuffin is 8. Not such a healthy alternative afterall. Who knows - maybe it keeps you full longer, I'm not sure, but it definitely puts things into perspective!

All I know is I want to see this smiling face for another 30 years, and getting healthy is the only way for that to happen. I am so proud of my dad, so excited to share every little detail of my life with him as I grow up, and I know he is so proud of me and looks forward to hearing about everything I do.

If you are interested in eating healthier and/or losing weight, I definitely encourage joining WW!