Monday, May 30, 2011

Bright blue, sewing and fireworks

Jimmy and I were originally planning on going to Great Bend for the Calcara family come back of Fat Hog to meet Vanessa and Chris who were there for the holiday weekend.  And at the last minute...we decided not to go, which I felt horrible about pretty much all weekend.  But after about 45 minutes straight of me telling Jimmy that, he pretty much threatened that he wasn't going to talk to me the rest of the weekend if I didn't stop.  So I did, continued to get sad when cute facebook pictures were going up, but since I wanted to talk to Jimmy - I manned up to the decision we made and went with the weekend to get as much accomplished that I possibly could in one weekend.  And boy, I did.  We both did.  Here's a little bit about what I did.  

I made a HUGE mess in the guest room.  With that little sewing machine.  I re-taught myself how to sew.  Which was...well interesting, but luckily successful.  On Monday morning, I woke up early because I couldn't sleep, as I was thinking about how exactly I was going to finish my project.

But let me start at the beginning.  Remember this picture for this post??

See the differences?? (It's like nudie photo hunt...but not nude women and not that many differences!)

Well (1) the bench and shelf are no more.  That's not true - really just "relocated and revamped".  More on that later...and...(2) is yep, the BLUE hallway.  I finished painting it this weekend.  Wahoo!  The blue is completely out of my comfort zone.  Like completely.  I live for neutrals, beige, browns, blacks, white.  Just ask my co-workers.  I own hardly any colored clothing.  Which completely translates to our house colors.  So I forced myself to do it.  From the blue pillow colors on our couch and the rug color....I went with it.  And I love the results.

I did it.  Painted it.  Loved it.  Finished.  Eh, not so much.  Then I was like "now what do I do with this blue hallway and huge red beam in my family room?".  So I started the hunt for some fabric that I loved to tie it all together.  And guess what?  I found it, but it was EXPENSIVE.  Like $44/yard expensive.  So I waited (patience is not my other strength) until this weekend for JoAnns 50% off home decor fabrics AND a 15% off total purchase coupon.  So BOOM - about $19/yard makes it still expensive, but more affordable.  So I bit the bullet and bought it.  There was only a little over 3 yards, so I wanted to make the best of that yardage.

To maximize the expensive main print to get the most use, I bought some supplemental fabrics that were cheap, cheap, cheap but gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous and went perfect with the main print.  The red fabric and green fabric with a little checkers on it.  My plans were:

(1) Recover the bench that was in the family room (and just white) and put it in the hallway.
(2) Make some pillows
(3) Make a valance to go in the family room and keep the red panels underneath with the main print
(4) With my other creation, the console table, use it with the baskets I put in there

Honestly, I thought it was going to be a lot easier to jump right back in to sewing.  I had some high hopes.  And honestly, it was a lot harder than I thought.  I started on Sunday morning...and it started off well with measuring and cutting.  But then I couldn't figure out how to reserve on the sewing machine.  Strike one!!  I had to wait until my mom came over to help me figure it out.  Then it was "intermission" while we had a little BBQ with some delicious smoked meat courtesy of Jimmy and Bobby!

So Monday morning, as I mentioned, I woke up bright and early, determined to finish it that day.  I wasn't about ready to miss out on a fun weekend to get nothing accomplished.  And it didn't start off good.  I messed up and had to take out the stitching TWICE because I sewed the wrong sides together STRIKE TWO.  So I got up, went to Starbucks and Einstein Brothers for some caffeine and get Jimmy some breakfast as he was fast asleep.  I brought it home, sat on the patio to enjoy the beautiful KS weather and finished my book.  Then I was at it again.  Got almost done...and then we had to go to my grandmother's for lunch.  Got home and realized I was going to use buttons, but had no idea how to make a button hole and not have the sides fringe.  I watched you tube videos, googled my sewing machine...and I'm sure there is a way, but I went with what I knew after no luck and a grocery store trip and making dinner in between.  I just cut small holes with a carpet cutter.  Sewed the buttons and and DONE.  Couldn't be happier.  At least one of the projects is done:

(1) Recover the bench that was in the family room (and just white) and put it in the hallway
(2) Make some pillows
(3) Make a valance to go in the family room and keep the red panels underneath with the main print
(4) With my other creation, the console table, use it with the baskets I put in there

What do you think?

Tried to get a picture of the buttons, but they are red.  They look fine.  Just don't take a close look.  Oh, and there is the tile that Jimmy as going to put down this weekend - but my dad was very upset because apparently he wants to put it down after his finger "heals" (did I mention he drilled a hole through his finger with a drill bit last week helping my sister with something??) because he has great ideas.  Haha.  He was out of town this weekend and when I told him Jimmy was just going to do it, he got really sad.  So Jimmy took one for the team and didn't tile this weekend.  Hmmm....not sure how that worked out?!

The other projects I worked on?  Using Ana White's amazing blog and built some furniture!  AHHH!!!  It was amazing.  I am already planning my next projects.  More to come on the projects I did this weekend and just how easy and wonderful they were :)  So excited about this!!

OH - and I learned to use a saw and cut some WOOD.  With the safety glasses.  It was awesome!

But in the mean time, I will leave you with this gorgeous picture of Kansas City last night on top of the Liberty Lofts.  So pretty and what a perfect night it was!!!  The weather was gorgeous!  We tried to go to Pat Green, but didn't make it in time.  So sad.

But we did get to see some fireworks!!  And listen to some wonderful music by the KC Symphony honoring those that have gone before us in many different ways, but in particular those that serve our country and died protecting our freedom.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and took some time to relax and rejuvenate :)  Here's to a 4 day work week!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hallway: a work in progress

Remember this post and project #2 listed on it?? The hallway that my dad and Jimmy built to connect our family room to the basement (hallway goes into the garage)...that is now slowly becoming a "mud room".  Well I never posted the progress...and it's coming along.  Hoping to get more on this done soon and finished up before June 25 when we are having Katie's bridal shower at my house!!

Here are some pictures of the new hallway/mud room that is fully functioning.  It hadn't been painted when I took these pictures...but that's done now, so pictures to come on that!!
Here is the view of the room from the family room.  The first door way was where the door to the garage was before - we just literally moved the door out about 7 ft.

Close up picture of the above, as you can see the hand rail on the stairs going into the basement now!

View from the garage into the family room.  There were lots of vents that needed to be covered up, which is why the ceiling is a bit shorter.  But the good news was my dad cut a hole in the vent, so now the mud room is heated/cooled. 

On the left is the view coming up the basement stairs!  So nice to not have to walk in the garage anymore and open 2 doors to get to the basement.  Trust me, the walls look better painted!

And on the right is a basement stairs view - the carpet is ruined from the dust from sanding, so we're replacing that carpet and then tiling the floor in the mud room!

Now what happened to the garage (here's the before)??  Well - good news because my car is a perfect fit even with the hallway taking up some more garage space.  That was a pretty important measurement because one of the key reasons we bought our house was the 2 car garage that is lacking other neighboring we didn't want that to go away!  Yeah for little cars.  We'll have to keep that in mind once my car eventually dies.

Here is view when you come into the garage.  We actually hired someone to come and mud the inside sheet rock, but Jimmy took a stab at the outer walls.  Hmm...we'll see :)  But if you notice, there is a little square in the sheet rock...well that is where they had to cut it out and get the wire out that was hit when they were screwing on the sheetrock.  Oops.  I thought my dad was going to lose it because he worked so hard to get all the electrical moved and set up to how he wanted it and then when that wire was hit with a messed everything up!  But of course - with his perserverance, he figured out what the problem was and got it fixed ASAP. 

So...what color am I painting the room? This will give you a hint.  And let me tell you - it's TOTALLY out of my comfort zone.  Like not just a little bit, but a lot.  The good news is, I have already painted it and I do like, it will just take a bit to get used to. 

Why a teal-y blue?  Well - I knew it was important to make sure the colors between the mud room and family room linked and "made sense" together so I was searching for colors and ideas on how to tie them together.  We have teal pillows on the beige couches there, so that will go well.  However, I was a little concerned about the bold red beam I painted and how I could find something to really link those 2 bold paint colors together.  Enter fabric.  Love it.  I went on a search for a fabric that I liked that incorporated those 2 colors and hopefully others and found it at JoAnns.  It's on sale this weekend and I have a coupon, so it shouldn't be too much. 

The plan?  Recover the beige cushion on the bench that is housed in the family room right now...and make some pillows.  That way the fabric will have a place in both the mud room and the family room so it will "make sense" to anyone to the common theme.  I'm also thinking of making a valance to hang in front of the red panel curtains.  I need to brush up on my sewing, so here's my chance :)

This is what the rugs look like in our family room, so hopefully this acts as the piece that ties it all together.  If I can find a runner like this, I think it will have the perfect home in the mud room :)

Finally - what happens to the space in the family room now where the bench and shelf is?  Hmm...I have some creative ideas up my sleeve - which include building some furniture.  Check this blog/website out for pretty much amazingness.  Here is what I'm going to build!!

Happy decorating :)  This is the fun part...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Implementation of the chore chart

Remember this post asking everyone about adult chore charts? Well, I just kind of sat on it for awhile fully thinking that since I made myself aware of the fact I need to stay on top of keeping the house clean....and thought that miraculously all the time in the world would be mine and I would just be dying to clean and keep it up.

EH - well that didn't happen. As you can tell from my lack of posting, life always seems to get in the way, right?

So here is it. Again, posted towards the world. I've tried to make it easy for myself to remember with the attempted use of acronyms (slightly modified due to scheduling purposes).

Sunday - Sweep and Vacuum (found the "S" correlation, plus I realized I love waking up to squeaky clean floors on Monday morning)

Monday - I have class this summer on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6 until 8:30, so nothing will be taking place these evenings....

Tuesday - Mop the floors (this was my Monday acronym...but had to modify days...)

Wednesday - Class = no chores!

Thursday - Windex aka clean the mirrors (Wednesday acronym, but let's just add 1 day for these)

Friday - Dust! Get rid off all that grossness from the week before and get ready for the weekend!!

Saturday - Bathrooms and kitchen. Hm, no clever acronym here. Usually I have the most time on Saturdays for this stuff, which is why I picked Saturday. Also, in case people happen to come over during the weekend - this is a necessary chore. Especially the toilets. Mainly because I am a girl and don't lift the seat when I pee and my husband does...and we seem to have a different interpretation of "clean" toilets. His being he cannot even see the yucky yellow stains around the rim from his pee...and when I lift it up to clean and see what other men have been seeing, I want to vomit. Hence, this will become a regular thing so some other male doesn't come over and have to use the restroom and I yell "WAIT - use the one upstairs" and then have to explain why.

There you have it. Will I stick to it? I can only hope. One thing I do know about myself is that I love lists and writing things down. That's how I remember stuff. That's why I have like 17 different I will print this off and hang up somewhere. Maybe in the bathroom. Because then it will remind me and hound me every time I skip out on doing one of them.

If only I had something to hound me about working out..........

Friday, May 20, 2011

My little sister graduates...from college!!

Early on a Saturday morning, my dad, mom, Jimmy and I headed to Manhattan, KS for the last time to visit my sister there.  Because she graduated!  Oh my gosh!  After 8 years, my parents no longer have a kid at K-State.  So crazy!

Our first stop: Mr. Goodcents for some yummy subs.  This is a must!

My dad - ready to EAT!

We headed next to my sister's apartment to meet her there along with my aunt and two of my cousins from Colorado Springs that made the cross-Kansas drive to be here to celebrate her accomplishment with her!  So fun because we had not seen them for a while.  Here is a pic of the graduate getting some pre-ceremony food!

Everyone hanging out in my sister's empty apartment; my dad and her boyfriend moved all the furniture out the day before!

I had pictures of the cake, but apparently they didn't load! Oops - it was pretty and delicious :)

Here is my sister and I - very excited to graduate!

the girls!

The whole family (minus Jimmy the picture taker)

We then all got in the car and headed over to Bramlage Coliseum for the ceremony.  We got to watch the tail end of the College of Education too and waited patiently for the Business folks to get started!

FINALLY - (Marketing was the last ones to graduate out of all the Business majors) my sister walked across the stage and accepted her diploma!  I was stalking her to grab these 2 pictures!  How cute!

Next up we went outside for a few family pictures - here is a good one of the whole bunch that was there from our family supporting her.  My cousin Brett and Ryan, aunt Susan, mom and dad, grandparents and me and Jimmy!  GO Lyndsay!

Trust me there were lots of pictures taken, but I like this one of Lyndsay and Andrew in front of the power cat!  So cute!  The next day they were headed on a road trip to Ohio to move Andrew there for the summer for a great internship.  I'm sure they will miss each other, but as everyone knows...absence makes the heart grow fonder :)  He will graduate in the fall with his Masters in Engineering!  Wahoo!

After we left the stadium, it was just our family in the car and my sister and I demanded to make 2 stops:

1) Dara's for a fountain drink and laffy taffy  - which is so funny because the minute my sister walked into Dara's she went to the stand with lots of laffy taffy containers and started grabbing a bunch and Jimmy goes, "Oh my gosh, you are exactly like your sister - that is what she did every time we came here in college".  And yes, that is true...guess the love of laffy taffy runs in the family!!

2) Call Hall - I actually hadn't been to the actual Call Hall (this is an ice cream place on campus that K-State students make the ice cream and it's delicious!) since probably my own freshman year of college...eek...8 years ago!!  Makes me feel old!  But we made sure we made the stop and made my dad get some ice cream.  My dad and I got purple pride and Lyndsay got chocolate.

Then it was back to her apartment and the troops dispersed for awhile.  My grandparents went home, my aunt went to pick up her car with one of my cousins, my parents went to the hotel and Jimmy and I and Brett went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Aggieville to watch the Royal's game.  I also stopped by a new clothing store in Aggieville called Envy and got suckered into buying a new dress!!  After we had some drinks and played some trivia - we met everyone else at Los Tacos across town for some Mexican food and $1.99 Margaritas.  I'll just put it this way - my mom really like the $1.99 margaritas :)

Then we headed out to Aggieville and started at Salty Rim where we introduced my cousins to nudie photo hunt (where have they been!!?) and of course dominated - first, second and third place!!

Sister's picture!

My dad and his girls!!

Dad, Ryan, Aunt Susan, Mom and Jimmy

This was funny - with my mom's "margarita" overload, she was pretty slap happy and insisted we take this picture with a random guy.  Oh Barb.  You make me smile :)

Last but not least, before Jimmy and I had to head back to KC for the night, we had to stop at Bomb Bar (yes it's a bar for shooting "bombs", oh college...) to get a drink for the boys to all toast to the graduate!!

And here we all are - toasting to her for all her HARD work, dedication, leadership, friends, etc. that she has put forth and gained the last 4 years at K-State!  Can't wait to see for all the wonderful things to come for my little sister in her life and I'm so lucky to have such a great sister!!!!!  I'm excited to have her in KC for a while and make her come over to my house to watch TV and play with our dogs!!

And then Jimmy and I headed back to sleep with 6 dogs.  AH!  More to come on that :)

Cheers and congrats to ALL the 2011 graduates!  Molly and Chesney from law school, Courtney and Brian from med school, Van from dental hygenist school!!!!!!!  Ah - did I forget anyone?? So so so proud of you all and I love you!  Can't wait to continue to celebrate your successes with you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Have another beer in Mexico....the wedding version

As a warning - this post is long and has lots of pictures, but filled with lot of fun! 

Our trip to Mexico for the Seacat's wedding was nothing short of fabulous!  Wonderful (aka perfect) weather, great times with new friends and old and so much love surrounding such an amazing couple!  We are so blessed we were able to go celebrate with them and have so much FUN!

I feel like the best way for me to do this and capture all I want to by day top 5 list.  So without further ado...

Day 1: Up early, to the pool and the SWING bar

5. 6AM flight = way too early!  However, we did see lots of other wedding attendees on our flight down, which was great!!  We were SO lucky and got through customs very fast...and tried not to ditch Vanessa and Chris at the airport but with no phones...after 20 minutes, Jimmy got ancy to get to the resort!

4. Putting on a swimsuit, a pool that isn't freezing and volleyball on the beach with friends.  So fun - until Chris slammed a spike into my face.  Haha.  But our friend Rachel sure did have fun...and that's what matters, right? :)  I wonder how her volleyball skills are holding up!?

3. Seeing the bride and groom as we were being escorted to our hotel room!  What a nice surprise!!!   Then we got to greet lots of people in the lobby and FINALLY - eat some lunch!!  Speaking of food - we had some pretty delicious sushi on a rooftop with some good friends.  Talk about a fun meal and some fun girls that I haven't seen in awhile!!!

2.  The gorgeous resort, grounds and of course, the ocean :)

1. The fun times with friends began at the swing much fun and a great way to kick off a fun Mexican celebration

Day 2: Some spa fun, rehearsal dinner and discoteca!

5. Requesting my personal made bowl of chips and guacamole at breakfast...getting it...and eating the whole thing.  I was in heaven.   You make think it's gross, but I could eat chips and guac at every meal!

4. Getting a massage...felt so good!  Oh and I can't forget this - even though I didn't see it - during Jimmy's "pre-spa" session (which really meant sit in a sauna, move to the steam room, take a cold shower and get in a hot tub) there was a guy sitting next to him in the hot tub naked.  Jimmy said he was mortified and all I could do was laugh!  How awkward!

3. Finding some time with just the 2 of us to read, relax and lay out at the pool.   Plus, this view wasn't too bad...

...and then meeting up with friends at another pool!!! So fun!!

2. The discoteca at night.  So fun because we dominated and got up on the upper stage and danced all night long.  LeighAnne showed us some amazing dance moves :)  So fun to hang out with my college friends and Jimmy's high school friends all at one!!!

And I can't forget the fire show that Jimmy and Sarah really thought they were going to get to be in!  But luckily Sarah did get on stage!!

AND Sarah and Josh dancing to the requested Selena song from the singer in the lobby.  In Josh's words, "Sarah and I love this" (referring to Selena).  Haha I love them!!

1. Rehearsal dinner overlooking the ocean!  What a great spot and dinner that Brian's parents were so wonderful to host for all the guests that came in town.  We each went around and introduced ourselves, which was fun!  With Courtney and Brian's family, med school friends, high school friends and college friends --- it was quite a crowd!!

the bride and groom!!! 

Day 3: Wedding day!!

5. Getting up and working out aka feeling semi-productive.  But don't worry that only lasted about 30 min.  After that it was off to eat more food!!

4. Finding the amazing infinity pool and spending some time reading in the shade with Jimmy!  It turned out this was where Courtney and Brian's reception was too.  It was amazing and so quiet over there!!

The shade was necessary - obviously from the sweet sun burn Jimmy had :)  

3. So many pictures, SO much fun with all our friends.  We have an amazing group of girls - I just wish everyone could have come!!!  And the come back of 12 man....loved that game in Jimmy's first college apartment.  Oh the good old days!!

I cannot decide if the reception or wedding is first or second - so they are both's a tie!!

1. The wedding - it was a beautiful Catholic mass right in the middle of the resort overlooking the ocean.  It was so gorgeous!  While the priest seemed to stumble when attempting on the spot translation from Spanish to English...he had a great message about love and what marriage is.  Brian and Courtney just looked so happy and so in love!  And in the middle of the wedding - Brian's brother who had quite the time trying to get leave from the Marines and make it to the wedding arrived!!  It was like from a movie because we saw him running towards the chapel with tennis shoes on!  What a wonderful surprise and right in time to see the bride and groom say "I do" and promise forever to each other!!

Pre-wedding pictures taken by old Jimmy.... Love the camera bag :)

Pi Phi girls!

Cute cute cute flower girls!

Gorgeous altar over looking the ocean

Bridesmaids and one groomsman (the other one showed up mid-wedding as a surprise!!)

Her brother Chris, walking the beautiful bride down the aisle!!

Saying their vows!

1. The reception -  I cannot believe the way it turned out!  Courtney was a very laid back bride and just said that she suggested the colors and kind of told them what she wanted - well, it was beautiful!  It was in the perfect location and very secluded - you forgot you were at a huge resort - and SO pretty!  All the simple decorations were just perfect and the party had no problem getting started with drinks flowing, amazing speeches that honored Courtney & Ashley's dad that was watching from heaven. and LOTs and LOTS of dancing!  Followed by more dancing at the discoteca...amazing day for an amazing couple!!

Couples at our table!!  (with a stupid one of Jimmy and I)

Bride and groom - they are married!!

These next pictures were us being sneaky....aka Vanessa and Emily wanted to get close to Connor to give him a kiss on the a picture was our ploy...

And then it happened.  Priceless!!

Day 4: Relaxing fun for all!

5. Having to go to bed semi-early for our early Sunday morning flight :(  What a bummer when there are so many fun people in one beautiful place!!

4. Fun at the pool - everyone headed to the pool together and it was so fun to relax and admire the beautiful scenery.  And then we all went to lunch and drank :)  Ah - the Mexcio lifestyle!

3. Fun on the beach!  We also took full advantage of the beach the last day.  I can still almost feel the sand between my toes!

Andrew was buried in the sand....

Cartwheels from the twin's niece!

Girls in the ocean...

Boy's baseball on the beach..

Even Alejandro made it on the beach...

2. Shots and sushi with friends.  This might be one of my favorite memories from the day!  Now I normally hate shots, but these were pretty watered down, so I could handle them.  To top it off, the bar we were at had sushi...yum!

1. Dinner with everyone!  It was so fun to go to dinner on the golf course with everyone on our last night!  We had some great stories the whole trip and I loved hearing from everyone!!!  And the last night was filled with lots of laughs as well.  No story was not told....we covered topics such as: pooping your pants, recording studio fun, "giz-rag" story...oh the list could go on and on.  So fun and I wish I could treasure those moments of laughs forever!!!

Jimmy and I before dinner - attempted self portrait!

Some of the girls at dinner - someone else has one of all of us!!

Golf cart shots on the ride back..

On Sunday, Day 5, it was up early (super early - 4AM airport shuttle) and back home to Kansas City.  It was mother's day and we were so tired so we didn't make it over to the Carter family mother's day we were bummed...but we went to bed at like 7:30 because it was back to work the next day.

Some other trip highlights include:

Chris and Jimmy's creative photography methods:

A few side angles and up side downs :)

I took this one!

And the Chris montage...all these pictures were on my camera taken by Jimmy!  I think they are in love :)

The iguanas:

Overall, it was such a fun trip!  I miss everyone already and going back to work was brutal after so much fun!!!  This picture that I found pretty much sums up our time there :)

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Seacat and we are so happy and lucky we got to help you celebrate the beginning of your marriage!  Next up - big move to start your residencies!!!  Wishing you nothing but love and happiness!!!