Monday, September 6, 2010

Are you there, blog? It's me, Tiffany.

Sorry for my severe absence.  I really have SO many things that I want to post about, but it has been utter madness around here. First off, my computer crashed so I'm using Ryan's.  I hate his computer. The keyboard is way too big or spaced out, or whatever.  And you have to literally PUNCH the keys to make them type.  So here I am, typing away at a sentence and it is taking me FOR.... EV... ERRRRRR. Ugh.  Secondly, I started my new job on the 23rd.... we are so insanely busy at work that I've worked way beyond my shift hours to get stuff done.  I will certainly enjoy the paycheck, but my days are going by so quickly because I'm spending so much time at work.  Oh, and not to mention, I sort of got a semi-promotion of sorts about a week and a half into the job.  So now, I'm supervising/training people to do what I did for about a week and a half.  I'm about 90% positive that the promotion is not temporary (meaning, that when all the new people are done starting ((we get about 100ish people starting at my place of work every couple of days)), I do not think they will place me back in what I was originally doing),  but I guess there is always the possibility.  I really enjoy what I do though.... both the first position that I was hired to do, and now the increased responsibility.... so even if the "promotion" is just a temporary one, what I'm doing under those responsibilities is a huge resume builder, so I'm good all around!

I gave up on the Couch to 5K program.  The program taught me that I am not a runner... and that the only running I will likely ever do is when I'm running from something trying to attack me.  So it's back to the ho-hum elliptical until SportsQuest (the new sports complex around here) opens.  I'm hoping that they will have better equipment than the gym I currently work out at, or that they will have a greater variety of classes and times.  Right now, I'm trying my hardest to get up and go to the gym at 5 am every morning, Monday through Friday, since the time I get home from work is typically so varied... but it's a tough go.  I'm working so hard at work that I have found that I need sleep SO much more than when I did when I was teaching!  Here's to trying though.... it has to burn some calories, right?!

So I'm hoping that in the coming week, I'll be on the road to getting my computer back.  Once I do, I have loads of pics to upload.  And, I want to follow in the footsteps of some of my fellow blog buddies and clear out my closet by selling some gently used clothing here.  I have some stuff that is pre-Campbell that I just don't have the faith I'll fit back into ever again (thank you hips, for permanently moving approximately 2 inches wider).  That being said, if you are a size 6(ish) and like Diane Von Furstenburg (spelling?) dresses and Citizens of Humanity jeans, be on the lookout hopefully in the next 2 weeks.... I'll be cleaning out my closet!

xoxo :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

A world of changes....

Phew.... it's been a whirlwind couple of weeks (or almost month?).  We went on vacation in the Outer Banks, I've been interviewing for jobs, blah blah blah.  I want to post some pics of our OBX trip.... so I'll try to just do a post with pictures in a bit.  I went on 2 job interviews.... got an offer for the first job, which was at a daycare.  I was somewhat excited about the position (just teaching), but the pay was not going to make life or my wallet very happy.  I took it as a back up and kept looking.  Went on an interview the Friday before we left for vacay, and really wanted the job.  Less than 2 weeks after the interview, I got an offer and accepted (and of course, then called to "quit" the daycare job, though is it technically quitting if you haven't started yet?).  So now, I am officially a claim reviewer for a law firm in town that specializes in big claim settlements between companies and claimaints.  I think it will be a lot of desk work, but I'm excited to be around adults, and to get experience in a job that is outside of the classroom.  I start 8/19!  Oh-- the best part?  It is CASUAL dress 24/7!  Yes, casual!  I am so stoked about that part.... jeans every day?  Yes please!

Let's see, what else?  I can't remember if I mentioned way back when that we had our front porch and door painted.  It turned out very nice, and I think it adds a little flair to the house (though I guess we'll see what the HOA says about it, since our door isn't technically the same as everyone else's.... oh well.).  We've had some monster storms here in Richmond, and my front porch is covered in dead flower petals and leaves.  So, let me get that cleaned up and I'll post some pics.  We also have been working on dolling up the patio.  I know I haven't posted on that either, so I'll work on catching up with some pics on that as well. 
I've been keeping up with the Cto5K running program.... though, sadly, I'm only on week 3.  I probably should be somewhere on week 5 I think, but I ended up doing 2 weeks of week 2 because of vacation (running on the beach is a B*!).  Week 3 isn't too bad.... I did it 3 days in a row to catch up, so I finished it today and I can definitely tell a difference in my stamina.  We'll see if I'm singing that same tune next week though!

It is shaping up to be a lovely weekend.... what will you be doing?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Welcome to the world of technology!

I've always felt that I'm quite welcoming, heck even excited about technology and all the its advancements.  But I will admit that I often skimp on technology for myself... meaning that I won't spend the extra $$ to have all the bells and whistles if I can find something a little less expensive (I prefer to spend my cash on clothes and shoes and Campbell).

Well, in the course of 2 weeks we had our digital camera die, along with my cell phone take a dive in the swimming pool, and Ryan's cell phone take a running leap off the roof of our car at 35 mph (which resulted in it being totally smashed on the side of the road).  It was time for us to make some major purchases. 

First, to replace the camera, I finally decided it was time to get something decent and go for the Nikon.  I was sort of inching towards an SLR style camera, but decided that I needed something a little more sleek to fit in my purse or diaper bag.  In the end, we decided on the Nikon CoolPix S8000 .  I'm really excited about this camera!  It has 14.2 megapixels, and a 10x zoom, all in a sleek little package.  I haven't had anything to take pictures of lately, but that's my project this upcoming week, so I'll post some up here so you all can see how she works!

Next, we needed to do something about our cell phones.  Mine had dried out and was functioning (sort of), but Ryan had no communication capabilities outside of a landline.  Since we were out of contract with our current provider, we shopped around to see what we liked.  Long story short, AT&T ended up having a great deal for us because of a discount through Ryan's employer.  We are now the owners of the... iPhone!  I never really thought I'd see the day when I'd sit in awe of my cell phone and play with it for hours... but that day has come, sweetie.  It really is a fun phone!  And, even cooler-- I finally got Ryan to sign up for a Facebook account (he said that since he has the iPhone, he supposes he could update his page through there if he wanted)!

It is as if we stepped out from under a rock and entered 2010.  Amazing!

Side note:  I've done 2 days of the running program I mentioned below.  Still loving it!  Had to take the weekend off, because frankly- I had no time to get to the gym!  So tomorrow will be day 3 of week 1, and then I'll take Tuesday off, and start week 2 on Wednesday.  Anyone else trying it?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Run, baby, run!

I have never been much of a runner, but I have often wished that I was.  Runners always seem so at peace when they are running.  Plus, most runners have a pretty nice physique. Unfortunately, the whole running thing has been lost on me.  I am often in pain when I run (I apparently don't breathe well when I run.... I think I hold my breath or something), and my mental monologue typically makes me cash out way before I'm ready.  Additionally, my mind never calms down enough for me to find that "peace" that so many runners claim to get.

I need to run, however.  I'm not pushing myself much in the cardio department at the gym, and I need a change.  Unfortunately, I'm too embarassed of my lack of drive to join a running group, and I refuse to pay $50+ for someone to stand next to me at the treadmill encouraging me to run.

Great news!  I stumbled upon a running podcast that was totally free!  I've never paid much attention to podcasts, but I found this one and I really like it!  It is a 9 week podcast called "Couch to 5K".  Now, don't let the name fool you... I have no intentions of actually running a 5K or any other type of marathon.  I just want to break past the mental block that I have when it comes to running.  This program seems to do just that by slowly easing you into running through interval training.  I started with week 1 today (despite my best efforts, today was my first day of week 1... baaaaah), and I truly enjoyed it. 

The gist of the podcast is this.... a man (named Robert Ullrey) coaches you along... tells you when to run, when to walk, and encourages you along the way.  There is some really cool house/techno music in the background that I actually enjoyed (surprise!).  Week 1's workout is about 30 minutes long, and I was honestly shocked that it went by as quickly as it did.  I plan on doing all 9 weeks and seeing what happens to my running mentality (and perhaps weight loss goal??).  I'll post updates each week.

If you want to try it out, or even try it along with me, you can go here to download the podcasts to you iPod or MP3 player (or whatever else plays podcasts). 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adults only - Myrtle 2010

Well, our summer got started with a frenzy! School ended on June 18th, and with that being my very last day at my school and being a teacher, it was a bit hectic... plus, Ryan and I had an adults only vacay scheduled to start the next day, so I had to have everything done so I could leave and never look back!

Our adults only vacay was for four days in Myrtle Beach, SC, with three other couples. We went with our best friend couple, Brandon and PJ; one other couple was more of an aquaintance, and the last couple were new to us! By the end of the trip, we were all getting on like we'd known each other for years! It was seriously a blast....

We left super early on Saturday morning so that we could avoid traffic (since our trip inadvertently coincided with High School Beach Week.... joy of joys!).... we arrived in Myrtle around noon, but since check in wasn't till 4, we decided to hit up an ABC store and beach it for a few hours! After we were able to check in, we decided to all shower and get ready for a night out at Broadway at the Beach, the big tourist spot in Myrtle. We had a great time, but apparently our age was showing since we were all pooped out by 11 pm and headed home.

Outfit for night 1:

PJ and I at Fat Tuesday

Ryan and I at Broadway at the Beach (before we all decided we were too old to be out that so late)

The next day, we spent a lot of time down on the beach, and then decided to gorge ourselves at Captain George's seafood buffet.  I'm not much of a seafood buffet girl, but I do love food, so I found more than enough stuff to eat and enjoy!  We walked around Broadway for a little while after dinner to walk off the enormous amount of food we ate, but again decided we were way too old to be out so late... so we came home and played cards and Taboo for a few hours!

Outfit for night 2: Jersey Halter dress from H&M (Summer 2010)

For our third and final night, we decided that we were going to put our big kid pants on and party hard at Broadway!  There is a dueling piano bar called Crocodile Rock, and we were all super amped to go and enjoy the music and drinks!  We reserved a table right up front, and the piano players did not disappoint!  We had a great time and the musicians gave us hell the entire night.....

Outfit for night 3:
Top: Watercolor shell from JCrew
Jeans: Gap Bootcut Jeans (in long)
Shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target

Unfortunately, my camera stopped working in the middle of the third night out, so I didn't get anymore pictures :(  But we had a total blast, and the fourth day in Myrtle was a recovery day for everyone.  We beached it for a while, and then Ryan, Brandon, PJ and I all packed up to head home. 

I loved every second of being on an adults only vacation.... of course, I missed Campbell, but Ryan and I needed some time away to be with friends and have fun!  We are so lucky that Ryan's mom was able to keep Campbell for us while we were gone, so that made it that much easier for us to be gone for a few days!

So, that was the start of summer vacation for us!  Since being back from Myrtle, I've spent the days at home with Campbell, going to the gym and playing at the pool.  And job searching....  I do have an interview next week, though, so fingers crossed something comes my way! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Did I mention....

that I will not be returning to teach after this school year ends (in 11 days, including the weekend)? Well, if that is news to you, then surprise!

Yes, it was not a long, hard decision for me. But it was the best decision I could make. I have no idea what I will do for a full time job come the fall, but that's ok.... something great will come along. And if something great doesn't come along, well then I'll just settle for something that pays (some of) the bills while I'm still searching for greatness.

The closer I get to June 18th, the more I feel like a little kid on the last day of school. I'm so very much looking forward to getting rid of this jaded, constantly irritated parent of everyone else's child that I've become. I'm ready to be back to the old Tiffany-- fun loving, more relaxed, cool and collected under pressure, and know that I'm a valued and successful part of a team! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Be still my heart.....

As if I'm not already about to die every time I see a preview for "Eclipse".... out comes a little "novella" to provide some extra story details to Eclipse. Release date for the book is June 5th... I think I feel a pre-order coming.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tried and true

Last night as I was getting dressed for bed, I had a random realization that the pajama pants I was wearing are almost *10* years old! Crazy, right?! They are a pair of random Old Navy cropped cotton pj pants, with a red, white and blue pattern (so either from Memorial Day or July 4th). I remember purchasing them on a super clearance for something like $4. They are some of my favorite pj pants (just ask my hubbs... I wear them constantly). They are buttery soft, and have fit me through my variety of body sizes. I even wore them for a while when I was pregnant! :)

At any rate, it got me thinking.... what else do I have or use that is tried and true for me? I can be a creature of habit and use the same thing over and over again. A few of the things that came to mind were:

1) Benefit's Boi-ing concealer in medium. -- I was introduced to this concealer sometime after 2003 by my sister, Celia. It has been the ONLY concealer I have used since! No matter my skin tone or the season, this concealer works. It covers the hereditary dark circles under my eyes, as well as the occassional blemish. Plus, it lasts forever! I'm about 25% through my current container, and I think I purchased it sometime last summer.

2) Bath and Body Works Tahiti Sweetie body lotion -- I started using this sometime in 2004, and the only vacation I took from it was after Campbell was born (I was told to use unscented lotion to help with breastfeeding... something about staying true to my natural "scent"...). I just love how light and crisp the scent is.... it is like a little tropical escape! Plus, it moisturizes like no one's business, and gives your skin a little glow. The hubbs is a big fan of the scent, too! :) The downside is that whenever I put it on, I have this insatiable urge to grab a margarita and sit in the sun.

3) Dr. Scholls Zodiac Sandals in black-- I purchased these in 2006, and they are still going strong. I don't know that you can purchase the original ones I own (the textured leather with the buckle on the top), but I see at DSW that you can buy a newer style with the buckle on the side. As soon as I saw the Zodiacs, I wanted them! I rarely have to have a pair of shoes, and rarely will I purchase them right away at full price (momma needs a sale or a coupon, or they have to be todiefor). They are super comfy, and they are just the right bit of dress to wear to work or with a nice dress or skirt, but casual enough to wear with shorts. I love that they have held up for four years (I wear them starting in the spring, through the summer, and into the fall), without any need for repair!

4) Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice -- I started making Key Lime pies sometime in the summer of 2007, and this is the only stuff I use to make them. Sure, I can juice a bunch of key limes, but have you seen how tiny those things are?! Who has the time for that? Plus, you only use a teeny bit of the bottle to make a pie.... so I like to have it on hand to add to my summertime adult beverages. ;-) I always have a bottle of this stuff in the fridge so I can make a pie at a moments notice.... they are quite a hit, if I do say so myself. :)

I'm sure there are others.... but what about you? Are there some products that when you stop and think about it, you realize that you've been using for years? What about clothing?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review of the belted bow bikini

It is that time... dreaded bathing suit season. Well, actually I don't dread the season, just the whole "trying to look good in a bathing suit, but I still have about 5-10 pounds to lose" part of the season. At any rate, we all know it's coming.... days spent soaking up the sun at the pool, vacations at the beach..... so bathing suit time it is.
I decided to give a quick review of the JCrew swimsuit I just purchased (thank you JCrew for the fabulous 20% off AND free shipping last weekend!). I was fairly terrified since I look nothing like the models on the website/in the catalog.... but a discount and free shipping sweetened the deal since I could return it if I didn't like it. I chose the Solid Belted Bow Bikini bottoms in dark charcoal, and the Solid Wide Band halter top to match. I particularly liked the look of these, as they have a little something going on at the top, which I felt would help to minimize any lingering hip fat that I am still rocking.

And what would a review be without some IRL pictures? Hold on to your hats... it's Tiffany in a bathing suit....

Phew... that wasn't TOO terrible, was it? Thank goodness my airbrush tan is still looking nice and golden-- doesn't a tan make trying on a swimsuit that much better?

I am actually very pleasantly surprised at how happy I am with this swimsuit. I feel like it does make my hips look a little more slim, and it doesn't emphasize the tummy that is still present (though it is slowly making an exit). Additionally, the full coverage in the rear (which isn't full coverage on my wider-than-average bottom) is flattering but not too revealing. The top is nice, but I'm wondering if I would have a little more lift with the underwire halter top? I like that it is nice and secure, though, which is key when lifting a toddler around.

My only concern is pickage. I have the twist front bikini from last season, and from sitting on the side of the pool with Campbell, it did snag a teensy bit. Best way to avoid that would be to sit on a towel, I suppose.

I do wish that this swimsuit came in some prints or floral patterns. The brighter colors, like the neon rose or neon purple, might be a good substitute.

I like it so much, that I'm planning on purchasing the same bottoms and a slightly different top! What colors do you think would be best? I'm leaning towards something bright since I have the dark charcoal (like the neon purple), but should I go with something darker like the brown or navy?

This of course means that I need to return the swimsuit I purchased from Lands End (that I was never entirely happy about anyways).... and wouldn't you know that I tossed the packing slip from the purchase this past weekend. I'm such a dummy. Hopefully I can get my $$ back though, so I can make a purchase with JCrew (and maybe there will be a coupon code or at least some free shipping in the meantime????).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Miss Campbell is 2!

I can't believe our little girl is 2 years old. Some days, the time has seemed to drag (is she JUST now turning 2? I feel like she's been sassing me for years already)... but then to hear her tell me an entire story or talk to me while she's eating her dinner, and I realize that I remember the days before she was born like they were literally this morning. The time has flown!

And, a polyvore for the outfit I wore.... yes, I noticed that the only 2 polyvores I've ever done both feature the same top. Ugh.... I swear I wear clothes! haha!

In love....

Is it wrong to love a cleaning product? If so, then I truly do not want to be right! :) I am madly in love with the Woolite Rug Stick!

Before purchasing our home almost a year and a half ago, we came from rental properties that only had hard wood floors. As much as we love the hard wood, with a toddler we needed carpet. In a year and a half, the carpet in the living room is looking a bit downtrodden. I tend to be a bit skeptical when it comes to cleaning products, so I have ignored the Woolite Rug Stick commericals for a while. The hubbs and I have been complaining about the dark, matted down spots on the carpet for a while though, and we decided to give this a shot.

Let me tell you-- it is worth the hype! The carpet looked VERY refreshed, the stains and dirt were GONE, and the entire room just smelled incredibly fresh. I will say, however, that it took a lot of scrubbing, and I used the entire 22 oz. can for just half of my living room. I think that with more regular use, however, I won't need to a) scrub like the Queen is coming to visit, and b) use the entire can for one spot on the rug!

The kit is about $15, and the full size spray is $5 (I think). For that price, it's great maintanence for carpet and area rugs (and personally, I liked the results better than when we've had the carpets professionally cleaned!).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Convo with a toddler...

The joys of toddlerhood.... actual conversation:

Campbell: "Mommy, I want snack. Milk milk milk.... MILK!"

Me: "Ok, you want milk? Where are your manners?"

Campbell: "MILK!.... Pweeze."

(leaves to prepare sippy of milk, return, and hand sippy to Campbell)

Me: "Manners please."

Campbell: "Tank yooooooouuuuuuuu!"

Me: "You are welcome!"

Campbell: "Teddy Bear want drink. Teddy Bear want juicemilkwater."

Me: "Which one? Juice, milk or water?"

Campbell: "Juice. Milk."

Me: "Hmmm... how about juice?" (come back with prepared juice sippy)

Campbell: "No! Milk!"

Me: "Teddy Bear said he wants juice."

(a bit of time to process this....)

Campbell: "Teddy Bear wants drink."

Me: "Teddy Bear has a drink."

Campbell: "Teddy Bear wants snack. Butter!"

Me: "Teddy Bear wants butter?! That's silly!"

Campbell: "Teddy Bear wants pancake! Cookie! Chips!"

And I sit in utter confusion. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

What I wore....

yesterday! I tried styling my new CV for Target wedges for a UL party I did yesterday afternoon. It was a windy, humid day here in central VA, and this outfit was so comfy that I wish I had more places than just the party to go to!

Two things:
1) this is my FIRST polyvore, so it's somewhat bland and I probably didn't do it right, but oh well.
2) I don't have an IRL photo of the outfit.... Campbell was sick with a fever and Ryan was running on about 1 hour of sleep (as was I) from being up literally all night with her. So no photos.... maybe another time?

Sunday party day
Sunday party day by tnorwood featuring Cynthia Vincent shoes

Everything listed in the polyvore is right, except for the pants. I actually wore a pair of Gap 1969 cropped jeans from about 3 years ago... but they look just like the ones in the polyvore.

I liked the outfit, and the tunic is so comfy! I wish that it came in more colors or designs though!

I'm really wanting to style the CV's more, but I'm coming up with a lot of "not appropriate for work" outfits, such as fun (shorter) skirts and shorts.... any ideas?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shoe love

Look what I got my hands on....

Oh yes.... Cynthia Vincent for Target's highly sought after wedges! :) I actually wasn't even looking for them. I noticed them on the website a few days ago, and during a trip to Target to buy diapers, I happened upon the shoe department. What before my wondering eyes should appear? The only pair of Cynthia Vincent wedges in the entire store in a size 9 (my size!). They looked so teeny that I didn't even think they were sized correctly, but *happy sigh* such is the wonderfulness of a super high wedge-- big feet look little!
At $29.99, these are beyond a steal. They are GORGE in person, and super comfy to boot. I haven't had a moment to style these (as wearing them to Romp N Roll this morning seemed out of the question), but I'm so excited. I can see these putting a little edge when paired with a sweet ruffled summer dress, with shorts to lengthen your legs, and with cropped pants and a tunic style top (going to try this look on Sunday). I also loved them with my jeans when I tried them on.... they gave just a hint of hippy chic!
Note: these are NOT available online. I don't know if there is even any intention of them being sold on Target's website since these designer lines don't tend to stay for long. I also saw online that there is supposed to be a woven looking wedge in stores right now, as well, but didn't see a glimmer of them in stores.
Anyone else score these lovelies?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I'm keeping with my goal of losing weight and getting in shape; therefore I'm trying to watch what I eat. But I am absolutely ADDICTED to the Kettle Brand Potato Chips. Ugh... so delish. The nice thing is that they are all natural, so I feel a *teensy* bit better about consuming mass quantities of them.

My fave flav? The Spicy Thai. Oh. My. God. Sweet and Spicy and Salty all in one. It doesn't help at all that Kroger had Buy 1 get 1 Free on these yesterday. Yes, I do have two bags in my pantry, thankyouverymuch.

Excuse me while I sit in my darkened classroom and enjoy a little bliss.... yes, I did bring a little zip bag of a perfectly measured out single serving portion. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm alive....

yes yes, I'm alive. Just super busy, and without my life-line (aka my laptop). My laptop went kaput just before spring break- apparently the LCD went out? We are lucky enough to have another functioning computer, but you know... it just isn't MINE, so I just haven't been doing my computer stuff. But, once it makes a glorious return, I plan on posting some wonderful pictures of what we've been up to....
such as:
- gardening!
- gardening! (yes, more.)
- decorating the patio with fabulous furniture!

and who knows.... maybe other fun stuff too! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

LL Bean Signature

Mom showed me the new LLBean Signature collection catalog yesterday.... um, I might be in love... or perhaps in lust. It is very JCrew inspired. Here are a few of the items I'm slightly lusting after.

I like the look of this sweater, especially in the grey. I can see this working nicely with a pair of chino shorts for cooler summer evenings. I also think it would look super cute with a pair of cropped jeans (or for you skinnier gals, boyfriend jeans) and some heels, paired with a some layered necklaces.

Poplin Skirt... $65.00 (also in prints of red and blue here for $69)

I am favoring the navy option of this skirt. The catalog makes it look much prettier than the website photo (and of course, the catalog photo is not on the website). It seems very flowy and forgiving, perfect for those warm, humid days we get down here in VA. I don't really like the wrap up espadrilles in the pic above, but I think some caged heels or some open toe wedges would be perf with it. Pair it with the Crinkled Cotton Shirt (below) for a classy Nantucket feel.

Crinkled Cotton Shirt (in celestial blue)... $49.00

My only concern about this top is that it looks a little short. I have a long torso, so my fear is that this might come untucked as I move around all day. The description says it falls at the high hip..... might be worth a try.

Lightweight cotton plaid tunic... $65.00

My mom is gaga over this. I'm not much of a tunic girl myself, but I can see the appeal. Perhaps with a pair of skinny jeans and some wedge sandals?

Rebecca Cork Wedge... $99.00

Ugh, I reeeaaaallly wish these came in black. I really need a nice, reasonably priced pair of wedge sandals in black for the season. The neutral tone is pretty, and these also come in red, so it may be on option if they go on sale.

So those are the things that I'm pondering upon from the new Signature collection. Between LLBean Signature and Lands End Canvas collection, it looks like there are a few new options for the JCrew/Banana/Gap crowd. LLBean is offering a $10 gift card for every $50 you spend, so it might be worthwhile to try out some of the new offerings. There is a note both on the website and in the catalog to definitely do take your measurements for the Signature pieces, as they have a more tailored "close to the body" fit than the typical LLBean stuff.

Thoughts? Anyone thinking of checking into the LLBean Signature collection?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another thought....

I've been thinking of doing outfits of the day.... or something to that effect. A couple of the blogs I follow do them, and I get so much inspiration from their pairings. I am feeling really good about my wardrobe lately-- I think it must be the spring weather. I'm much more a spring/summer clothing girl. For example, I'm feeling very good about my outfit today.... coral pink pencil skirt (Jcrew), cream jeweled neck tshirt (Loft), with a black cropped leather jacket (F21). I'd love to get more feedback on my outfits, etc, than the typical response from the husband ("Yeah, that looks good."). The problem? No full length mirror at home! I know- gasp! I really don't know how I get dressed without a full length mirror.

So, I'm thinking about it. I need to get a full length mirror anyways, so this may be my motivation. Of course, the blog will still focus on my family, but I think we can find a way to fit fashion in on the blog, too!

Thoughts? Is anyone even interested in seeing what I wear on a day to day basis?

Long time, no blog.... blessing or not?

Sorry folks.... it's been a while. Life has been crazy, but when is it not? We've been busy with work, weekends all over Richmond, and baseball has started up for Ryan (he's coaching). I've also been having great success with Uppercase Living and have been having quite a few parties. I'm really proud of the dedication I have put into building my company.... I know I can do more, but right now with working full time, I'm doing the best I can :) We've also been staying really focused on working out and *trying* to be healthy. I'm really excited to say that I've lost 9 pounds since making my resolutions to work out at the beginning of the year.... hopefully I can stay on course with that as we head into shorts-and-bathing suit-season. Ryan is sticking to working out as well, and is looking mighty fine. ;-)

In addition to the five million and one things going on, I've been observing and thinking. For Lent, I really tried hard to give up judging others or forming opinions of others based upon their outward behaviors. Sadly, I haven't been very successful. I think it might just be my personality... and sure, it warrants change, but at the same time in fighting my observant nature, I've come to see that some of the things I observe are just plain ridiculous.

For example.... everyone and their mother uses the phrase "I'm/We're so blessed to be (insert mundane situation here)". Sure, it is wonderful that people can identify even the smallest blessings in their lives, but tell me this..... what is so "blessed" about a child's poopy diaper? Or what is so "blessed" about a child who doesn't sleep at night? Perhaps people can see the blessing behind what I might find to be less than a blessing.

I also have noticed that the same people are constantly claiming their blessedness over the same things.... such as their husband, their child, their job, etc. To me, say it once to the world, and then privately acknowledge your blessing. Don't blather on to me (or Facebook, or your blog, or where ever else) about how blessed you are because your husband put the toilet seat down.

No, I'm not bitter. And no, I don't feel as if I'm less blessed than anyone else. I have a lot of wonderful in my life, and for those things I'm thankful. And in noticing others broadcasting their blesssings, I came to this question.... Are those individuals who feel so obliged to go on and on about their blessings really feeling blessed? Or are they trying to convince themselves that they ARE blessed by finding the slightest of a silver lining and then broadcasting it to everyone else 24 hours a day? To me, I think that if you are blessed, you don't have to yell it from the roof tops. Anyone who is around you would notice how blessed you are because you are happy, living your life to the fullest, and loving those around you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quite the performer

We were able to get some of Campbell's dance moves on video last week.... it's been quite a hit on Facebook!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blizzard of January 2010

Richmond got blasted with anywhere between 10-14 inches of snow this weekend.  Here are a few shots of us enjoying the snowy weekend!
Campbell and I enjoying our feathery coozies while the snow falls outside.

Campbell all bundled up and ready to head outside!

Ryan working hard at shoveling our sidewalk.  Yes, it was still snowing at this point.

Campbell wasn't too sure if she wanted to play in the snow....

She eventually warmed up to the idea and went for a face plant in the snow!

Day 2 in the snow.... Campbell decided it was time to start making snowballs!

Campbell throwing a snowball at me!

Look at how much snow we got!

Caddy wanted to play in the snow, too!

Campbell throwing a snowball at Cadillac!

Little snow bunny.

Cutie pie!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UL blog up and running!

Campbell is sick with a nasty stomach bug, which means I'm home today.  There can be nothing worse than a toddler with a stomach bug, who is also running a fever and refuses to take meds ( sidebar: should I even try to give Motrin on an empty tummy?).  Lucky for me, we have about 20 Max and Ruby episodes DVR'd, so she is happy.... and I can work on some Uppercase Living stuff!

I set up my UL blog, so please head over there.... I don't have too much on there yet, but as the days go by and I get my hands on more supplies, I will!  You might also want to follow me... I'll be doing giveaways and contests in the coming months!  So clicky-click here !

I also decided to add the online shopping feature to my UL website !  Happy shopping! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Opportunity knocked... and I answered

As of today, I am officially an Uppercase Living Independent Demonstrator!  I am SO excited about this really great opportunity and think that wonderful things will come from this decision. 

So you might have a TON of questions... let's see if I can answer a few....

1) WHAT is Uppercase Living?
  • Uppercase Living is a direct sales company that provides vinyl lettering and embellishments for your home, office, school, car... and just about anywhere else you want! 
2) How did you find out about Uppercase Living?
  • Honestly, I stumbled across UL by doing a Google search a few months back for home decor.  I was tired of all the same ol' stuff in all the big-box retailers.  I couldn't commit to a random painting or piece of art that really had no bearing on my personal style... and at price tags of $50 and up, I just had a really hard time finding anything I liked.  Well, if you see the post below, I came into contact with vinyl wall lettering through a purchase at Target.  I liked it enough, but I could tell that the quality wasn't really what I wanted... and I wanted more selection than just the 3 or 4 phrases available at Target.  I found an item I liked through UL, ordered it, and was then invited to a catalog launch party for the new spring/summer catalog.  I fell in love with the items, and as I kept looking through the catalog, all I could think was of all the people in my lives who were looking for the SAME things.  Of course, I could just host parties every once in a while... but becoming a demonstrator would allow me to be in people's homes and help them realize their decor dreams.... so I made the decision to become an independent demonstrator!
3) Awesome- where can I see the products/learn more?
  • So glad you asked! ;-)  I do have a website through the company, and you can view products on the website.  I will say, however, that the physical catalog is so much more expansive than the online catalog.  There were designs and ideas that I hadn't even thought of!  But the website gives you enough to wet your whistle until you want to host a party (which provides lots of great rewards and freebies!).  Check out my website here .  (I am considering upping the ante on my website and putting in an online shopping cart... it isn't there yet, but if you find that you see something you are absolutely dying to have, let me know and I will make your order happen!)

So that's that!  I will be starting another blog for just Uppercase Living stuff.  It will highlight new design ideas, promotions, hostess/party rewards, and just all things Uppercase! I'll keep this blog going, too, but just need a place to keep the Uppercase Living stuff separate.  Once that blog is up and running, I'll let everyone know through here so you can follow me there too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The writing is on the walls....

We have an ENORMOUS wall in our kitchen that has been sitting all bare bones since we painted it back in May.  We really had not been able to decide on any one thing to go on the wall, and Ryan isn't a fan of visual clutter, so multiple things for the wall that we could both agree on just were not happening. 

I had seen these Wall Quotes in Target, and after much thought, finally decided to give it a try....

Ryan pretty much told me this was "my project", but I asked him for his help anyways.  The first step was to tape the scroll provided in the container to the wall (well, after finding just the right spot, of course).

We used painters tape because Ryan was worried anything stronger would pull the paint off the wall.  It worked nicely.

The next part was to rub the lettering with the little credit card applicator provided in the container, which doesn't sound too difficult, but it is was a bit boring.

After rubbing all over the lettering, you are supposed to peel off the white backing (or fronting?) very slowly and carefully.  As you can see in the picture below, we had some difficulty with that.

No biggie though!  After a  bunch of  "STOP! WAIT!!" were yelled, we started over and this time Mr. Muscles got in on the rubbing action.

Ryan put more elbow grease in the rubbing and together we carefully peeled back the backing again.  This was the most tedious part of the process because every few letters, there would be some "non-stickage" going on.  We would just go back, rub REALLY hard on the letter, and then peel back again slowly.  In the end, we had a beautiful, almost custom-looking addition to our kitchen!

We are thinking of getting some simple trim from Lowe's and framing around it, just to offset the words from the wall a litle more, and of course, to jazz it up! :)

As for why it was so difficult to get the letters off the first few times, despite us meticulously following the directions, you got me.  Here are a my theories:
1. We have latex paint (or something like that) in the kitchen.  Perhaps because it is a little more glossy, the letters needed more coaxing to stick?
2. This item was $16.99 at Target.  Not cheap, but not expensive either.  Perhaps the more costly models are more reliable when first installing them?

I'll find out soon enough as we were so inspired by this project and how it really jazzed up the kitchen that I ordered a piece for the living room from Uppercase Living.  I'm actually headed out to an Uppercase Living catalog party, so who knows- I might get REALLY inspired and have more stuff to jazz up around the house soon!