Dec 30, 2013

Thankful

As 2013 winds down, I'm taking a moment to appreciate all of the great things that have happened this past year. 


Currently, I'm most thankful for my job - for the long hours, for the nitty gritty details, and for the relationships I have with my co-workers. Traveling the past two months has given me a HUGE look at what I actually have at work, and I'm so thankful for it. ***2014 Goal - do NOT whine about work***

                                                          
And that my friends, is as much as I will reveal about my job.



I am also very thankful for my family. Since my Grandma passed away in October, I have come to appreciate my mom a whole lot more. Don't get me wrong - my mom and I have always been close, and now that I'm grown up, she is my best friend. It just really puts things into perspective when you lose a loved one. Thankfully, I have only lost my Aunt (mom's sister) in February 2012, and my Grandma (mom's mom) this past October. So losing loved ones is still pretty new to me. I would be fine if I never had to lose someone I loved again (as I'm sure everyone would), but in the meantime, I'm going to cherish the time I have with them, appreciate them more, and make as many memories as we can. 

Last family picture taken before my Aunt and Grandma passed - Christmas 2011


Those are the major things I'm thankful for - and I'm going to spend a good amount of time in 2014 to appreciate my family and my job more. Then of course there are about 241 little things I'm thankful for. . . . 

My super irritating sister, that has become one of my best friends this past year.
My animals for keeping me sane and providing unconditional love.
My dad for checking everything on my car every time I go home.
My nephew for reminding me how crappy being a teenager was, and helping me realize how poorly I treated my mother during those years.
My co-worker for fixing everything on my car when something's wrong.
My neighbors for being so friendly and willing to let the dog out.
My health - although crappy because of what I put into me, it could always be worse.
My neighborhood bar where everyone feels like family.
An ice cold beer after a long day at work.

I could continue on and on and on, but I'm sure you don't want to read that long! In the next few days I'm going to focus on 2014 and making some realistic goals for myself. I'm also going to work on planning out specific projects to accomplish throughout the year. And my big new year's eve celebration will be the same as always - stop at the neighborhood bar after work for a few drinks, pick up some terrible for me food, and be home by 7 to avoid all the cuckoo's out there! What are your plans? Whatever they are - enjoy it and be safe!!

Dec 23, 2013

I'm Back!! (for good)

Hey to any followers I may have left . . . . 

November and December were super travel months for me. I don't travel well - in fact I would rather not travel at all (especially for work). Luckily, I survived, and have a two week reprieve while the holidays are around. All I'm hoping is that my house isn't full of 204921 germs from across the country and that I can stay healthy enough to enjoy the holidays (I'm always a wreck during flu season, worrying myself sick that I'm going to catch the bug).

So, while I'm back to normal (kind of) for the next two weeks, I will be filling you all in on the world that is Stephanie. As I type right now, I should be loading the car, and heading off to my parents for Christmas. But, I hate packing, and I'm really sick of traveling, so I'm welcoming this delay :]

I got back to my house Thursday evening, and I've spent the past 3 days doing my holiday baking, and wrapping presents. This really isn't anything compared to what awaits me at my parents house - I do all of the wrapping for them too (I actually enjoy it), and cook Christmas dinner. But mostly I'm excited to see all of my family - especially my mom. 

I leave you with a few pictures of the past 3 days at home. And expect to hear more from me, because I really am back to blogging! Merry early Christmas everyone!!

Cooper trying to get to presents. Table was promptly moved further from the couch after this.


Cooper's favorite part of Christmas - empty wrapping paper rolls.


My kitchen while on the baking marathon. I LOVE my house, but some additional counter space in the kitchen would be nice.


Merry early Christmas everyone!!

Nov 12, 2013

Random Survey

I will be back in the swing of things this week . . . to start the week off, I'm borrowing this survey idea from Angela. Obviously I know you guys want to know some random things about me!

1. What's the first thing that you do when you wake up?
     Turn off the alarm! 

2. What's the third picture on your phone? Share it!
     As I went to get the third picture off my phone, I quickly realized - what is the third picture? Is it the actual third picture you took on your phone (which for me was about one year and 1069 pictures ago), or is it the third picture in when you are looking at all of your pictures? So I leave you with both:
Cooper my dog, 3rd picture I ever took on my phone. This is also my home screen picture. Luthor my fluffy cat last night on my lap - the flash bugged him so he hopped off right after this picture and I couldn't get another one.


3. What TV shows are you most excited about returning this Fall?
     I'm a sucker for 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly - half hour shows that I can shut down my mind and just laugh. 

4. What is something really popular that you secretly (or not so secretly) loathe?
     Reality TV - these shows generally annoy and bother me. I do, however, like to watch The Biggest Loser.

5. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them. Bonus points for pictures!

     I'm sure if you have read one of my other posts, you would guess that I had a dog. He is my life - Cooper the Cocker Spaniel will be 13 in January. I also have 2 cats, and 2 turtles. 
     The turtles were a gift 9 years ago and they were soooo tiny and cute. Fast forward to 2013 and they are a giant pain in my butt. They each have to have their own HUGE tank (because they fight), and require expensive light bulbs that pop every other week, and require an extensive tank cleaning once a month. I would love to get rid of them, but being the animal lover that I am, I'm afraid they will go somewhere and be neglected. So until I can find somewhere awesome for them to go, I will continue to shell out the money for all of their needs. 
     The two cats started as one. I was lonely in Allentown, PA and dogs weren't allowed in my apartment - not that I would have time for a dog - I was working my first job and almost always working 12 hour days. So, as being a dog person my whole life, I ventured out and got a cat. Best thing I ever did. His name is Kal-El (Superman's Kryptonian name) and he is 7 years old.
One of my co-worker's cats had kittens. She was going to take them to the Humane Society. I snagged him before he went.

     Luthor is my second kitty, and is a super snuggly fluff ball. I got him because once I moved back home, I was never home and I felt bad for Kal-El. So I got Luthor to be his friend. I was told not to get him, because having 2 male cats wouldn't work, but I haven't had any issues. I saw a picture of Luthor on a shelter flyer, and immediately knew he was meant to be mine. 



6. If you could put together one outfit that represents you perfectly, what would it be?
     Jeans, T-shirt, hoodie, and tennis shoes. I'm low maintenance and like to be comfy. 

7. What's you favorite adult beverage?

     An ice cold Bud Select. If I'm at home that would be a Busch Light.

8. What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

     A manicure and pedicure. I LOVE having my nails look nicely done - but just can't justify spending the money. So I do them myself and they look like crap.

9. What are three positive words that describe you?

     Honest, organized, unique (yes unique could be a negative word, but for me it's positive - I like how I'm my own person).

10. What's your favorite Friday afternoon/evening activity?
     Grab a few beers after work at my local bar, grab some kind of terrible food and head home to eat it while sitting on my couch watching some DVR shows.

11. A day in the life: What does your typical day look like?
    Wake-up, work, come home and do some sort of chore, cook dinner, lay on the couch and watch TV, go to bed. Pretty awesome huh?!

12. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

     I would love to live way up in Michigan (I know - blasphemy from a Buckeye) on the lake. I'm talking like WAY up in the UP. And I wouldn't necessarily need to be on Lake Michigan, but some kind of lake. I would want it to be secluded and peaceful.  

13. You've got a whole day to yourself... what will you do?
     I'm always by myself. . . . but if I could do anything I wanted, I would wear sweats, start a fire, curl up on the couch with my animals and read all day. Unless it's summer - then I would sit out on my patio with my book. But this hardly ever happens - I have too much crap to do all the time.

14. Dream job?
     A stay at home mom with no kids - that exists right?! 
     Honestly, I would like to write and illustrate children's books. 

15. Least favorite chore?
     Folding and putting away the laundry. No problem doing it - big problem getting it back to where it belongs.
Typical Sunday evening laundry baskets that lurk around until next Sunday.


16. When do you feel most like a rock star?
     After I get my hair colored and cut. I always make sure I put in my contacts, and put on makeup and look cute before going, because I know my hair will NEVER look like that again. 

17. What is something you are currently trying to improve within yourself?

     My eating habits - I'm a super picky eater, and once I find something I like, I want to eat that forever. I'm trying hard to branch out and eat healthier and more balanced meals. This will be a fun challenge while traveling for work for the next month.  

Have a good week everyone!!

Nov 5, 2013

Halloween Recap

I'm only a few days late for my Halloween recap. . . . 

SIDE NOTE: For whatever reason, I have a heck of a time uploading pictures and getting them formatted to look like I want them to. I need to look into some kind of program that I can use, but I only have a work computer so I don't have the freedom to download anything I want. I do have a personal computer - it's a Mac from 2006 and it's still running . . . v e r y  s l o w l y. And after the HVAC this summer, this girl has no plans for a new one anytime soon (unless I hit the lotto!) So any advice on a picture program is much appreciated.


OK enough ranting, now onto Halloween - pretty close to my favorite holiday. 


It started on Wednesday night with pumpkin carving.

This is a re-post from Instagram.( Follow me at @srjones03) 


I LOVE carving pumpkins - and being creative about it. I read some articles on different tools to use for different types of carving. The second I read Power Drill I knew I was in! And you always have to drink a beer while pumpkin carving. And Cooper had to sneak in on the picture. 

Pumpkin carving was always a "dad" thing. And my dad was super busy starting a company and supporting the family - he didn't do a lot of things with us. So pumpkin carving has a special place in my heart. The rule was that we couldn't carve them until the night before Halloween (we didn't want them to rot). And you had to draw out any designs you wanted to do on the newspaper first, then dad must approve. And living on the Ohio/Michigan line meant you had to bring the pumpkin in the house for one full day before carving or you risked carving a frozen pumpkin. So of course, I followed all of those rules to a T. I guess I broke the rules by drinking beer - def didn't do that as a child!

And they turned out great!
Pay no attention to my messy garage - heavy rain and strong winds had me hibernating in the garage for the duration of Trick-Or-Treat. And put Christmas lights around tall drinking glasses to keep them lit up in the wind, and give them lots of light. Pinterest for the WIN!

I'm not 100% happy with the "Power Drill" pumpkin, but it's something different. I need to remember the drill for my planning next year.

And me being the fur-mommy that I am, I dress up all of the animals for the occasion. But, mother nature mixed things up, and the city decided to move up Trick-Or-Treat time by a half hour. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but when I had approximately 20 mins to get everything set up once I got off work, it was. (Pumpkins, music, lanterns, candy, chair, drink . . ) And then after sitting the garage with wind blowing cold rain in and a few beers I didn't have the energy to try and get the cats dressed. 

But, Cooper always has himself made up. The Mohawk just lends itself to a great biker dude costume.

That red hair spiky stuff is no joke. His hair stands in the position until I wash it out with lots of baby shampoo. But he's a ham and he loves the attention (doesn't like the jacket much, but will do anything for a treat). And I love how he looks like a cute little puppy in these pictures (as opposed to the almost 13 year old man that he is).

So Halloween wasn't the greatest this year, but as always I enjoyed it. Normally the neighbors and I have a bonfire, make spiked hot cider, and hang out until way after Trick-Or-Treat is over. Not this year - the poor kids were soaked to the bone. But there is always next year, and more pumpkins to design and carve! 

Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween! 

Oct 30, 2013

Fall Swap and Thank Yous

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's been a long week, but we will get through this as a family. My mom and her mom were very close - I can't even imagine how she is feeling (and I really don't want to). But, we all realize Grandma is in a better place and she will be waiting for us. 

I'm back in the swing of things now, so expect to see some regular blog posts from me again!

Onto the Fall Swap . . . 



This swap was hosted by JodiBritney, and Alicia and was a lot of fun. I was paired up with Angela and really enjoyed getting to know her, and I love her idea to do something like a Secret Santa for the quickly approaching holidays. You should go check out her blog, she is an awesome couponer and a super sweet person - I'm so happy we were paired! I will for sure be participating in future swaps, because it's a great way to meet new bloggers, and who doesn't love getting surprises in the mail?! 




I shrieked with joy when I opened the box to find those caramel apple suckers. I LOVE those, but never buy them because no one else likes them and I'm not going to eat a whole bag before they go bad. And coincidentally I was JUST looking at the EOS chap stick at Target thinking I really wanted to try it, but wasn't willing to spend the money when I can get all the free chap stick from my dentist I want. So that was another perfect surprise. And the candle holder is perfect for fall, along with some great smelling candles.



This scarf is much more blue than this picture portrays. It's perfect because I tend to buy a lot of blue clothes, but have no blue scarves. And I've only recently started wearing scarves, so this is a welcome addition to my collection. 

Like I said, this was so much fun, and it was great to meet Angela.

Halloween is tomorrow, and I'm all over it. Goodie bags are ready for the neighbor kids, and pumpkins are being carved tonight. Oh and I've watched Hocus Pocus about 3 times just this week. I LOVE Halloween!

Oct 22, 2013

Grief and Joy at the Same Time

Sorry for the absence this week. At 87 years old, just 15 days shy of her 88th birthday, my beautiful Grandma passed away on Saturday afternoon. I've been visiting my parents, and will remain here the rest of the week. 

We are all sad, but thankful at the same time. Grandma was in pain, and was not happy the last few months of her life. She has now joined the love of her life (who passed in 1987) and her beautiful daughter who passed last year. I keep picturing my Great Uncles, my Aunt, and my Grandpa playing poker, and my Grandma making sure they have lots of food. 

Her and I at her 80th Birthday Party. This is how I will always remember her.

Thank you for all of the kind words. I hope to be back to blogging next week.

Oct 18, 2013

5 on Friday

It's Friday - so that can only mean one thing . . . 


{ONE}
My dad is visiting this weekend. I have a compulsive urge to clean the whole house - which I always do before my parents arrive. But my mom isn't coming down - just dad. And I wonder - will he even notice? And more importantly, the man never takes his shoes off, so I'm going to need to sweep the whole house after he leaves, so what's the point?

{TWO}
My two tomato plants only gave me 3 tomatoes the entire summer. But I decided to leave them planted because the actual plant looked so good. Now I have about 8 very green tomatoes. What can you do with green tomatoes other than fry them up? I'm pretty sure it will get frosty tonight, so I need to pull them and bring them in or I will lose them.

                                                    


{THREE}
The weather is (finally) perfectly amazing. Wear a jacket if there is a breeze, but I'm all over the short sleeves and 60 degrees outside. I could live like this year round and be one super happy gal!


{FOUR}
A good friend's birthday is on Sunday. We are all meeting at a local bar to watch football and drink and celebrate. Should be great, since I'm going to the homecoming Ohio State game on Saturday, I will just be drunk all weekend :] 


{FIVE}
My Grandma has been in a nursing home since March after a heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately she has been unable to move since, but she has still been there mentally. This past week she has declined significantly, and is in serious pain. She is 87 and has lived a fantastic life. Please say a prayer that God may take her painlessly and let her go see Grandpa. 

Last good picture of Grandma from Christmas 2012. She had the heart attack and stroke on February 7th.



Go linkup with Darci for some 5 on Friday fun!

Have a great weekend!!



Oct 16, 2013

So What! Wednesday. . . .



This week I'm linking up for So What! Wednesday . . . 

So what if . . . 


  • I'm trying my hardest not to listen to any news. I just can take how childish this shutdown has gotten.
  • I got a "happy light." This light is supposed to emit whatever is in the sun that makes you feel good. I get a serious "I don't want to do anything" attitude when it's gray for a few days. Hoping this will change that!
  • I have a strong desire to cook every cold weather recipe I know of. One fall day and I'm ready to bust out the flannels and hunker down for the winter.
  • I'm really nervous to leave my dog and cats while I'm traveling for work. Normally they stay with my parents when I'm gone, but they are going to be in Florida. I still don't 100% know where they will go. . . 
  • I haven't checked one thing off my fall bucket list. I still have a whole month right?
  • I'm excited for Thanksgiving at my parents this year. As much as I love entertaining, I love their HUGE kitchen and awesome appliances more (I always cook no matter where it is).
  • I have 13 things on my list this week, it's already Wednesday, and I've only accomplished 2. 

What are you saying So What! to this week?


Oct 15, 2013

Furniture Transformation (Finally!)

I am finally getting this posted - sorry for the delay! 

Unfortunately, we had to move my grandma into a nursing home in April. We thought she might be able to recover and return home, but by June we realized that wasn't going to happen. So I went home and helped my mom and family move everything, sell stuff, and clean up. She had this awesome little desk that was too cute not to take home.

The before picture. Cute little desk with the perfect amount of storage and table top space, but still small enough to include in my main living area.

I did a LOT of research before tackling this transformation. I looked at 30+ blogs reading tutorial after tutorial on how to "antique" furniture. How to "distress" it. How to make it look "designer." How to make it look "shabby chic." 

But in all honesty, I didn't know what I wanted. My first floor is one great room that morphs into the kitchen. Couches are off white, other furniture is black, and appliances are stainless. Would an antique/distressed/shabby chic go with that? After all of the research I decided to just wing it. 

It had a strange finish to it . . . almost looked like a laminate finish, but was clearly made of wood. And it had some sort of clear coat on top of everything. This thing was definitely going to need some sanding. 

I started off with the hand held sander, but that wasn't going anywhere quickly. I then got the coarsest sandpaper I could find and wrapped it around a piece of wood (a little trick I learned long ago that really helps reduce the soreness in your hand). 
Not the desk I was sanding - just a shot of how I use a piece of wood to wrap the sandpaper around.

After sanding for about 2 hours, everything was thoroughly scuffed up and dusty. It's always important to wipe everything down with a damp rag or tack cloth after sanding - don't want any dust particles under your paint or finish.

Then came the actual "transformation" process. I decided to use ceiling paint, because I didn't want this piece to be shiny. And I had been researching the "shabby chic" and "antique" look so I was pretty convinced I wanted it to be white. I did this with the thought that if it was horrible I could always go back and change it.

I don't have any pictures of me actually doing the painting - I'm new at this and it didn't even occur to me until I started writing this post that I would need pictures of the process. I will let you know what I did though. . . . I took a wide brush in my left hand (dominate hand) and dipped that LIGHTLY in the paint. I then brushed it across the wood WITH the grain. Then I took another wide brush in my right hand and kept it dry. Again, going with the grain of the wood, I used that to brush over the damp paint and make the paint spread around more, and making the layer of paint lighter. 

I used the old "chip brush" on the right to create paint lines and texture.

Let me tell you how much there was to paint on that thing! I had to do inside a little bit of all of the openings, and the chair with all off the little brace pieces of wood was a pain, but well worth it. After I got everything covered with one coat, I took a break and went inside the AC and enjoyed a cold beer. I had to let it dry right?!

About an hour later I took a look and I was in LOVE
This is the final result - not just after one coat, because (again) I didn't take pictures of the whole process.

So, after one coat I was happy with how that natural brown came through in a muted way. But, if I scratched it with my fingernail, the paint came off. And seeing as how this was going to be a work desk and would get some use, I needed to protect it. So back to the computer I went, and I discovered this: 
It worked perfectly, and I only used a little, so as long as I store this correctly I will have a lifetime supply. 

I didn't use much - just put a thin layer of this clear coat over everything. It didn't shine it up too much, and it really didn't take away from the effect i was going for. 

Then, as I was staring at the chair for another LONG time covering every square inch, I was wondering if I should make some of the areas look more "worn." I was specifically thinking the back of the chair where you would grab it to pull it out and push it in should look more worn. Along came some more experimentation.

I grabbed anything that might take some of the paint and shine away, but not destroy what I had done. I knew even superfine sand paper would destroy it too much. I started with a piece of raw wood - rubbing it along everything. And then as I was digging through my pile of stuff, I found the perfect tool - steel wool. You MUST wear gloves when using steel wool - you can get some serious metal splinters with that stuff! But, it did exactly what I wanted it to do. And after I did the back of the chair, I did it to all of the edges of the desk and chair - to make it look worn. 
In my opinion this is perfectly randomly worn.

I spray painted the knobs silver and let that dry. Then I gave them a coat of the white ceiling paint and let that dry. Used the steel wool to bring out some of the sliver below the white. Then I gave it a clear coat. Worked much better than I anticipated. 


I tried for over an hour to create a cute collage with 4 pictures, but I couldn't get anything to work. I'll add that to the list of things to figure out. 

So in the end, it turned out fantastic. And this past weekend my mom and I did some shopping and I found some cute accessories to add to it. Once I get everything put where I want it, I will take some more pictures. 

My advice? Try new things - experiment - think outside of the box. I seriously did this without any hard core plan (very unlike me) and this is one of my favorite things I've transformed so far! 

Oct 14, 2013

Life as of Lately/Monday May I . . .

Sorry I have been MIA - things got crazy at the end of last week, and I was visiting so many people back home this weekend, I didn't even look at Facebook  instragram, or blogs (and certainly no work emails!) ONCE while I was visiting my parents. So, I'm going to fill you in, list my weekly goals, and see how I did on last weeks goals. . . 


Monday May I...

I had big plans for Thursday evening - I was finally going to tackle that lawn and get everything nice and cleaned up. Plans disappeared when we had some unexpected visitors at work, and I had to go out to dinner - for 3.5 hours! Now that it's dark out so early, the lawn mowing didn't happen. And more importantly, my post about my furniture transformation didn't get finished (got to have those priorities straight!)

Friday morning I decided I had to take a half vacation day, and mow my lawn before heading to my parents for the weekend. I bolted out of work at 12:03 and changed into lawn mowing clothes as soon as I got home. iPod charged, sunglasses and gross lawn mowing shoes on - I'm ready to go. And, the lawn mower won't work. Starts up, then dies. Starts up, then dies (did this about 5 times before I got pissed and called my dad). Guess the carburetor needs cleaned out? I really don't care what is wrong, I just want it to work and not have to spend a lot of money on it. Luckily I have a FANTASTIC co-worker (the one I carpool with) who is going to come over after work today and pull it apart and clean it out. Keeping my fingers crossed!!

This beauty is circa 1991, and has run like a CHAMP for the past 5 years I have owned it. 

Then I loaded the zoo into the car and headed 2.5 hours north to my parents house for the weekend. I literally did not stop the entire time I was home. I was always visiting someone, or cooking something, or sorting through stuff, or drinking with the family. By the time I left Sunday evening I was soooo ready for my couch! 

Goals from last week - FAIL. Did not get one single thing done. I know that is super terrible. I'm not going to let anything be an excuse for me this week.

{ONE} - Get the lawn mowed. If I have to borrow someone's mower, or pay the kid down the road to use his parents and do it I will. This MUST get done.

{TWO} - Send my Grandma a card and something fun in the mail. I know she does not like being in the nursing home, and hopefully this will cheer her up.

{THREE} - Get to know my Fall Swap partner. This is my first swap, and I'm VERY excited. And my partner Ang emailed me first thing this morning. Can't wait to get to know her better!



{FOUR} - DO EVERYTHING I DIDN'T DO LAST WEEK!



And finally I have to share my version of Holly's cheeseball in a pumpkin costume. 
Funny story with this little guy - I asked my mom to pick up a green pepper at the grocery store. I didn't specify it needed to have a stem on it . . . I have a moment of panic - I just made this cheeseball for nothing! I quickly regrouped and decide I will just stick some green pepper in the top and maybe it will resemble a pumpkin stem. Gotta give credit to my sister for the face - she suggested it, and I love it! Oh, and this thing was gone quickly at the party - had a GREAT flavor.

Oct 9, 2013

A Typical Day

I'm a sucker for a link up - so today you get to hear all about my typical day as I link up with Royal and Crystal (only a day late).

Alan & Crystal and Royal Proclaims

I opted not to log one day in particular, but rather give a run down of my typical day. My week days are almost 100% the same - as I like routine!

5:25 AM - Alarm goes off, and promptly get's shut off.

5:45 AM - Alarm goes off again and I hit snooze - sometimes usually more than once. 

6:05-6:15 AM - Crawl out of bed and immediately shower. 

6:30 AM - Head downstairs, turn on the morning news and feed the pup. Shove a pill down his throat if he spits it out of his food dish. This takes approximately 45 seconds, so at 6:30:45 AM he gets let out for the first time.

6:32 AM to 7 AM - Feed kitties, make water bottles, prep breakfast, pack lunch, watch the news.

7 AM - Back upstairs to get ready/dressed in work clothes, and feed the turtles (every 3rd day)

7:15 AM - Cook breakfast sandwiches, pack them up, let Cooper out again. 

7:30 AM - Co-worker arrives to drive me to work.
***This is an awesome deal we have worked out. He drives me to and from work, and I provide breakfast sandwiches, as well as lunch. I LOVE to cook, but hate leftovers, so this works out VERY well for me. And I have a newer car that I want to keep low on miles and in good repair, so I don't get the wear and tear on my car driving 45 miles a day.***

8:00 AM to 9:00 AM - catch up on anything that happened overnight, talk to co-workers, eat breakfast at my desk, think about how I wished I went to bed earlier. 

9 AM to 9:15/9:30/9:45/10 AM - Morning meeting for all of the managers. Sometimes this takes 10 mins, sometimes it takes an hour. Depends on what happened the night before, and what personnel issues we are dealing with. 

9:15/9:30/9:45/10 AM to 12:45 PM - Work. Sitting at my desk. I miss the days when I was in the warehouse all day, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I have a snack in this time - usually around 10:30 or 11. I also will join the smokers outside for some sunshine (even though I have never even put a cigarette in my mouth). I do have windows in my office, but I love going out and having the sun warm me up - that being said, if it is hot out, I won't go outside. I have no problem going outside in the cold.

Notes, notes, notes - as every hour goes on, the list of things to fix gets longer and longer.

12:45 PM to 1 PM - Eat lunch. I usually do go to the break room, as it's easier to clean everything up, and most of the time I need to warm something up. I eat with my co-worker that I provide lunch for, and we prefer to eat late - makes the afternoon go more quickly.

1 PM to 4 PM - More work. I try to leave by 4 because the odds of me opening the laptop and working after hours are about 75% each evening.

4:45 PM - Arrive home and let the pup out. He usually has to go potty NOW.
He really wasn't happy I waited to let him out to take a picture. And yes, he is 12 (almost 13) but he is crated when I'm not home. He can NOT keep himself out of trouble!

4:47 PM - Change into comfy clothes!!

4:50 PM to 5:30 PM - Feed Cooper, play with him, play with kitties, and crack a beer if the day was rough.

5:30 PM - Call my mom - this conversation usually lasts about an hour, and I try and start some dinner while talking to her.

6:30 PM - Finish cooking/eat dinner.

7:00 PM to 9:30 PM - Clean up. Do whatever random chores need done (i.e. mow the lawn - although now it's too dark out by 7:15 to do that!) Pack the leftover dinner for lunch tomorrow. Talk to the neighbors, play with the pup, do something creative in my shed (converted into an art studio), maybe watch some TV and chill, or unfortunately, do some work. 

9:30 PM - Head upstairs and get ready for bed. I LOVE to read and don't like that I don't read as often as I would like. I do try to read for at least a half hour every night before bed. My goal is to be asleep by 10:45 PM.

And then it starts all over again!!

Oct 7, 2013

Monday, May I . . .

Today I am linking up with the fabulous blooming belles (or Taylor and Kristen's great idea) for Monday, May I. . . 



Monday May I...


The point of Monday, May I is to jot down 3 of your big weekly goals. I really need some accountability - I'm great at jotting down my goals, and to-do lists, and just about anything else that is on my mind, but lately I haven't been following through very well. So here we go!

{ONE} FINISH painting my desk organizer. I have primed, and painted a first coat, but then let it sit for 2 weeks! Needs another coat and the details painted. I WILL get this finished this week.

{TWO} Get up and do some sort of physical activity at least 3 times this week. It has cooled off, so no excuses. Plus the lawn needs mowed - and it's LONG, so that will be quite the effort for one day this week!

{THREE} Cross some things off my list - schedule my car for detailing. I got a Groupon awhile go, so it's already paid for, and it's driving me NUTS how dirty it is inside. Cancel my gym membership since I will be traveling the rest of the year for work. Buy new steel toes for this work travel.  


I think I'm changing up the plan a little, and am going to do a linkup with Royal and Crystal tomorrow to talk about my day! I mean who doesn't want to hear about my day to day life right? 

Then Wednesday I will be doing the furniture transformation! 

Have a great week everyone!!


Oct 5, 2013

Friday's Post - a Day Late. . .

I had planned to write a Five on Friday post yesterday . . . but that just didn't happen. 

Work had some crazy twists thrown into it yesterday, and I worked from 1PM Friday until 7:30PM Saturday. The worst part is while I type this, we still have 5 or 6 people there working - for well over 24 hours. 

We've done this before - we do it every other year, but no one has ever seen anything this bad. New system = not configured correctly. 

But that's OK - life goes on - we sure did learn a lot!! 

So I slept in my bed for about 4 hours and then moved to the couch. My poor pup has some pent-up energy!! I threw the ball about 50 times from the couch - and his is 12 - no spring chicken! Guess that's what happens when you have about 20 hours of sleep. 

That bunny is now destroyed!

Don't know where I would have been without my super neighbor - she came over (WITH her two kids) to let him out and feed him at 9PM. I quickly realized I wasn't going to have a chance to drive back the 40 mins, let him out, feed him, and drive back 40 mins. Typically we have lulls and this is no big deal - not last night!


Anyway, I will continue to lay on the couch all evening, watch my Buckeyes and hopefully get a good nights rest. I have about 26 chores on the list for tomorrow. 

I plan on linking up with Blooming Bells on Monday for Monday May I and then my first furniture transformation on Tuesday - be sure to stop back!

Until then, I need your opinion - we all take a guess of when we will be done. From the picture below you can see we were all clearly WAY off. But, by Price is Right rules, I win right?! Closest to the answer without going over? We are having some conflicting opinions at work - saying this instance should be thrown out. But since it's the first time I've won I'm fighting for it!!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Oct 3, 2013

Homemade Carrot Cupcakes

I decided to clean out my garden last week - pull all of the dead stuff, prune the veggies that still had some life left and pull all veggies that were ready to be eaten. This means I was left with a TON of carrots. I've been pulling carrots all season - eating them when I needed them, but I didn't even put a dent in them. 

That one carrot on the far right was bigger around than some of the cucumbers I grew!


So naturally, I needed something to do with all of these carrots. Since my dad was going to be visiting, and both of my parents LOVE carrot cake, I decided to make some carrot cupcakes - from scratch - with home grown carrots.


I've done this once before - shredded the carrots by hand - NOT FUN. But I got a food processor for my birthday last year, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some use out of it!
Took 4 minutes to complete this shred - about 1.5 hours faster than the manual way.


I used a recipe I found from a google search - you can find it HERE. The thing I love about this recipe is the fact that it only makes 12 cupcakes. So if you don't want to have a ton of cupcakes, this is perfect. It also calls for plain yogurt which adds a bunch of moisture. 

All of the ingredients needed for the cupcake - not including the carrots. 


On a side note - do NOT buy this kind of baking soda if you are planning to use it for baking. When I saw it at the store I was super excited because it actually closed back up and SEALED. Well, as you can see it's not exactly easy to pour the soda into the measuring spoon. Most importantly, you can't get the lid off at all! So I end up having to pour it out over the sink and I have a lot of waste - time to go back to the good old box variety. 




So, you mix together your dry ingredients and set them aside. Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and once they are combined stir in your shredded carrots. Then gradually add the dry ingredients making sure they are completely combined before adding more. 



Once everything is mixed together, divide the batter evenly in a 12 cupcake pan (make sure to line the pan first!) 


Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. Insert a toothpick to determine if they are done. Once it comes out clean you're good to go (I check everything at about 20 mins, and pull them out when the toothpick isn't COMPLETELY clean, because I like a moister cupcake)


Transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool 100% before frosting. The frosting recipe is on the link I posted above. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of me making the frosting - my dad showed up in town around that time, and I was completely distracted. I do have a picture of the final product - very delicious! 


I used a super large frosting tip, and just put the frosting in a ziplock that I cut the corner out of. This way, when I was done I pulled out the frosting tip, and throw the bag away. There is nothing worse than cleaning out those reusable frosting bags - yuck!

Let me know if you try out this recipe and if you like it!!