We're Back!

on Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!  J and I are back from our vacation and getting back into the swing of things.  Now for a very quick recap in between checking dozens of emails and running to meetings...
  • We had a fabulous, albeit extremely busy, Christmas.  We spent time with our wonderful families and had a great time exchanging gifts and catching up.  My favorite gifts this year are definitely my new camera (duh!) and my awesome flip video recorder.  I also got a photo printer, so now I can print off all the photos I've been taking.  I can't wait for my first photography class to start next month (yes, folks, I am taking more than one!). 
  • We left at 10:30 PM on Christmas night for Florida (driving) and arrived in Sarasota at 10:30 PM Saturday night.  Whew...what a long drive!  We spent 4 days in Sarasota and 2 days in Key West before flying home this past Saturday.  It was a wonderful trip and a crazy trip home, but I will fill you in on all the details in another post with pictures (whenever I get around to uploading them).
  • We also wrapped up the bathroom reno last night.  We worked non-stop since getting home Saturday afternoon and finished it up around 6:00 PM last night.  It looks sooooo good.  I will be sure to share pics of this as well.
So, now that all of the craziness of the holidays/vacation/renovation is behind us, J and I are now focused on this new year, new decade before us.  We are both very excited for this new year and are relishing in the feeling of renewal that the new year brings.  I always try to enter the new year with a sense of optimism and positivity, but I need to this year more than ever.  As I've alluded to in previous posts, 2009 was a particularly challenging year for me, and I know that it was very challenging for many others as well.  It is time for us all to let go of the negativity from the past and pour our energy into creating a positive 2010, so that's exactly what I am doing!  I am wishing for myself, my family, my friends and everyone else out there to have a fantastic 2010.  May this year bring us everything we are hoping for! 

Now I Remember

on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why we haven't renovated the bathroom before now.  Because renovations suck.  Our bathroom is completely ripped apart...no sink, huge holes in the wall, no shower curtain (made for a really fun shower this morning), plastic completely covering the newly tiled shower walls. 
But, I really shouldn't complain.  This was my idea after all, and poor J is getting stuck with the brunt of the work.  He demoed and tiled his tail off yesterday and managed to finish all of the tiling (of course, grouting still remains to be done, but that's the easy part...at least easier than putting the tile up).  The tile looks fabulous and I can just tell that our bathroom is going to look A-W-E-S-O-M-E when it is done (which feels like a million years away right now, especially considering that we've opted to renovate right in the thick of holiday season and right before our trip to Sarasota/Key West).  But, I digress.  I begged and pleaded with J to get the shower curtain rod put back up today so that showering does not equal (1) total exposure to the bathroom, and (2) a small flood.  J hopes to do that and get the grouting done today, but I think that might be a bit on the optimistic side, especially considering that these things always take longer than anticipated (case in point, he thought tiling would take a few hours at most and we weren't in bed until almost 1:00 this morning).  Slowly but surely we'll get there.  I just need to be patient.
One other totally awesome thing about this...when I got home last night (after taking my life into my own hands by going to Walmart 3 days before Christmas) our friend and electrician, Salty (anyone that went to our Jack and Jill will fondly remember him as the belligerent raffle announcer), was roughing in an outlet for our gorgeous bathroom-to-be.  That's right, folks, we have not had a bathroom outlet in nearly 4 years.  Truly an inconvenience...one we've learned to live with, but an inconvenience nonetheless.  SO. TOTALLY. COMPLETELY. EXCITED!!!

Dreams Really Do Come True

on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last night after getting home from a long day (OK, OK...so I was getting a pedicure), enjoying dinner with my hubby and catching up on our day, I went about my normal evening routine.  See, every night before I settle in to watch TV or read a book, I always wash my face, moisturize (got to prevent those wrinkles!) and brush my teeth.  Last night was no different than any other until I went it to wash my face.  That's when I discovered that there was a clog in the bathroom sink and it wasn't draining properly.  Naturally, I called in my handyman hubby to fix the situation.  Well, that didn't go exactly as planned.  Instead of fixing the clog (or rather in an effort to fix the clog), my hubby completely removed the sink from the wall.  And half of the ugly yellow tile is down.  You may be asking yourself "how do you go from a clogged sink to a complete bathroom remodel?"  Let me explain...
I've been longing for a bathroom remodel since the day we moved into our house.  I despise our bathroom, specifically the heinous yellow tile that covers half the walls and the entire shower surround.  Just awful.  We've tried to work with it, and the bathroom did look better thanks to our efforts, but there is just only so much one can do with ugly yellow tile.  For the past 3.5 years, I've been begging my hubby to take the tile down and his excuse for not doing it was that he didn't want to disconnect the sink (something about old plumbing and hard to hook it up).  Last night's escapades threw that excuse right out the window.  In a moment of weakness, I convinced him that this is the perfect time to reno the bathroom.  Before he could say no, we were ripping down the tile thus committing ourselves to a beautiful new bathroom.  And, the renovation is in full swing!  We were at the Home Depot at 7 AM this morning to pick out new tile for the shower surround (yay!), a new sink and vanity (goodbye pedestal sink!) and wainscoting for the walls (love!).  I still haven't decided on a color scheme, but I am so excited about the fact that I can actually have any color scheme I want versus having it dictated to us by the gawd awful yellow that was the bathroom.  I am sure there will be lots of browsing the internet today to get inspired and the sky is the limit!  The only color I KNOW it won't be?  Yellow.
My dreams of a non-ugly bathroom is finally coming true!

No More Trouble Zones

on Monday, December 21, 2009

Equals no more walking without excruciating pain.  Holy moly! 
I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred...I found it to be a very challenging yet quick workout (love) but I also thought that each individual exercise went on too long and that 20 minutes a day just wasn't enough time to get real results on a long-term basis (hate).  So, while browsing my newest obsession on Saturday morning, Exercise TV On Demand, I noticed that Jillian had some other workouts available besides 30DS.  My interest was peaked. 
So, into my workout clothes I got and settled on trying her No More Trouble Zones "Express" workout.  It's a 40 minute workout similar in nature to 30DS, but it fixes all of the elements about 30DS that I did not like.  First off, it's 40 minutes.  I think this is a great length for a workout...not so short that you don't get benefits/results, but not so long that it takes up half your day.  Second, while you repeat moves in NMTZ like you do in 30DS, the length of each set is shorter, which makes this workout much more bearable.  Instead of repeating 2 exercises twice in each circuit (30DS), you repeat 5 exercises twice in each circuit, with each of the 5 exercises lasting just long enough that you really feel the burn, but not so long that you want to die or rip your limbs off so you don't have to do anymore reps.
The results?  I am 2 days post-NMTZ and moving is a four letter word.  Plain and simple, I hurt.  I am thrilled, however, that I found such a great workout and as soon as I can move better than an 85 year-old, I will be doing it again.  Hey, I may even try the real NMTZ workout (i.e., not "Express"), but, I think I'd better save that adventure for a time when movement won't be require for, oh I don't know...a week? afterward :-) 

Friday Ramblings

on Friday, December 18, 2009

This week has seriously gone by so slowly.  I am ready for the weekend, people!!!  So, in my effort to avoid doing anymore work and make the weekend come quicker, I thought I'd blog about whatever comes to mind.
  • Remember my rant about 2009 being the worst year ever?  Well, I have even more proof that this is a true statement.  Including my boss, there are 7 people on my team at work.  3 of my teammates had a death in the family this week.  Yes, 3 of them.  Tonight I am going to a wake for one of them :-(  In addition, I've heard of 3 other people in my department at work that have experienced the death of an immediate family member within the past 2 weeks.  Is this seriously not the worst thing you've heard in a long time?  2009 needs to get it's behind out of here!
  • On a much lighter note, our trip south is going to be quite an extravaganza!  In addition to spending quality time in our beloved city-away-from-home, Sarasota, we have booked our tickets to spend 2 days in Key West.  In case my constant talking about my trip didn't give it away, I just want y'all to know that I absolutely cannot wait to go!
  • I totally snagged the deal of the century on the last Christmas gift I had to buy.  I've been stalking the Internet since the day after Thanksgiving for a good deal on a pair of Chippewa Boots for my little brother.  Leave it up to him to pick a pair of $180 boots as his one and only item on his Christmas gift list.  Anyway, after weeks of coming up empty (best deal I found was $145 before taxes), I found a coupon yesterday that got me those babies for $79!!!  In case you aren't good at math, that's a $100 savings!  So, in addition to getting an awesome deal, I can now say that absolutely all of my Christmas shopping is done!
  • Christmas is in full swing this weekend...a party tonight and a party tomorrow night.  In addition, we have to pay a visit to my father this weekend for a slightly belated birthday celebration.  BTW, Happy Birthday Daddy-O!
  • I had a slight freak out the other week because I found a small lump on Bailey's side.  Naturally, as any devoted dog mom would do, I rushed her to the vet to have it checked out.  We found out that she has a Lypoma, a harmless fat deposit that Labs are known for.  Thank goodness nothing is wrong with my chocolate baby!
  • There is nothing better in this world than heated seats in the winter.  Every day when I drive to and from work I wonder how I ever lived without them.

Well, I think that's enough rambling for one afternoon.  Have a great weekend!

Product Rave!

on Monday, December 14, 2009

Normally I don't get sucked into buying products that are pushed on TV shows that I watch, but I recently made an exception that I just had to share.  The makeup artist Carmindy on the show "What Not To Wear" came out with her own makeup line a year or two ago.  I saw it in CVS but never thought twice about it.  That was until recently when I was in the market for a new foundation. 
Over the past year or so, I've started to wear foundation on a regular basis but haven't really been able to find one that I love.  My experiments in foundation wearing have ranged from the pricey stuff at Sephora to the cheapie stuff at the drugstore, but I just couldn't find one that I really liked.  Well, the combination of some CVS extra bucks and a recent viewing of WNTW gave me the push to go ahead and give the Carmindy line a try.  And boy am I glad I did!
In addition to her awesome foundation, which is light, glides on so smoothly, covers evenly, looks natural and feels fantastic, I am also the proud owner/user of her luminizing primer (which feels greasy at first application, but within seconds dries to a silky, skin-glowing finish), eyeshadow primer (keeps my eyeshadow put all day long), translucent loose powder (keeps my skin looking fresh and oil at bay), bronzer (I got the "Spring" shade and it works perfect on my fair skin) and lipstick (so creamy and not drying)!  And I am itching to go back and purchase her concealer, eyeshadow, mascara and blush (which just might happen tonight!).  I honestly love every product I've used.  And, as if all this isn't enough, in addition to being super affordable, they are also super good for your skin.  They are filled with all sort of skin enhancing goodies and all her products are paraben free! 
I've never used a line of makeup where I've loved every product I've tried...until now!  I'm sure the products wouldn't work on every one's skin tone, type or texture, but they've done wonders for me and I'm a total and complete convert.  If my CVS stops selling them, I would most certainly cry :-)  Carmindy -- Girl, you rock!

Keeps Getting Better

on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I am happy to report that my mood/general outlook on life is on the upswing!  I guess we all get down and out sometimes and feel like life is "handing us lemons".  Although I am generally a very positive and upbeat person, I get frustrated with the universe sometimes -- just like every other person out there.  But, in true yin and yang fashion, just when I am feeling bummed out, I am reminded of all of the awesome things in my life I have to be thankful for.  Right now I am totally pumped about:
  • Our trip to Sarasota is ON!  Our tickets are booked and in just a few short weeks, I will be back in paradise with my wonderful husband soaking up all the good things life has to offer (like sun and non-freezing temperatures).
  • We spent the weekend getting in the Christmas spirit and I am happy to report that our house is beautifully decorated (J describes it as "extra festive"), our Christmas shopping is DONE, and after laboring for nearly 4 hours on Sunday, all of our Christmas gifts are wrapped and under the tree (that we actually cut down ourselves!).
  • We've also designed and ordered our Christmas cards...and got 50 of them for free!  We only had to pay for 25, so it ended up costing us a whopping $13!  We've also prepared address labels for everyone we are sending them to, so once the cards arrive, all we have to do is stick the labes and stamps on and they're out the door.  Another Bailey picture is gracing the G family card this year because, let's face it, who wants to see a pic of J and I when they can see Ms. B?!?
  • On a whim, we called Comcast this weekend to inquire about activating Showtime and wouldn't you know it...there was a special running!  Needless to say, it has been activated and my Dexter addiction is in high gear.  I loves me some Dex, baby!
  • My new camera rocks my photo-loving world.  I still don't have any clue how to use it but the pictures that I have already taken with it put my point and shoot pictures to shame.  I can't wait to use that baby in Sarasota...it's gonna be awesome!
See...sometimes focusing on the little joys of life makes all the difference.