Saturday, April 9, 2011

Looking for Inspiration

I like the idea of blogging because it's something to look back on in the future to see what was going on in my life at certain times. The trouble is, I simply have not felt inspired to write. I admire those who can romanticize every day happenings and turn them into exciting stories. I have a feeling that I will have more of an urge to write once spring is in full bloom. For now, I will get by with a fun survey... because... why not?

1. Age: 27
2. Blog Title Inspiration: Embracing that I am not a perfect person, but loving the challenge to do my best.
3. Chore you hate: Constantly trying to keep my white bathroom floor clean (not an easy task with two super furry kitties).
4. Day at the Beach or Cozy, Rainy Day?: Depends on the day and my mood. I could really use a beach day since I am feeling homesick.
5. Essential Start Your Day Item: Eli & Opi (my cats). They like to cuddle and help me start my day off with a smile.
6. Favorite Color: Most shades of blue. Recent favorites are gray and yellow.
7. Gold or Silver: White Gold
8. Height: 5'7"
9. Instruments You Play: I tried piano and guitar as a child, but neither took.
10. Job Title: Nanny turned Stay at Home Wife, hopefully promoted to Stay at Home Mom soon!
11. Kids?: Fingers crossed...
12. Live: Cali girl turned Mid-Westerner for the next 2 years and 2 months (not that I am counting or anything...)
13. Mom's Name: Kirsten
14. Book Currently on Your Nightstand: "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave & "What to Expect Before You're Expecting".
15. Nicknames: Chan, Channy, Chammers, Mouse
16. Overnight Hospital Stays: None overnight (knock on wood).
17. Pet Peeve: Dirty bathrooms or Kitchens, rudeness, negligent parents
18. Quote from a Movie: Any line from Doc Holliday in Tombstone
19. Righty or Lefty: Right
20. Siblings?: 1 older brother
21. Time You Wake Up: Depends on the day... lately it's been 7 or 7:30.
22. Underwear: Yes, I have many pairs.
23. Vegetable You Dislike: This is tough because I LOVE my veggies... raw onions are gross, though.
24. What Makes You Late?: Making sure the cats have enough food/water and giving them attention (if I'll be gone for a while), making sure the stove is turned off and small appliances are unplugged (a little paranoid/ocd, I know), and of course, deciding what to wear.
25. Yummy Food You Make: Soups and salads, veggie pot pie, cauliflower mash, warm Dijon potato salad, guacamole, & baked treats.
26. Favorite Zoo Animal: Meerkats

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011


I've heard of women nesting when they become pregnant, but I think I may need to coin the term "pre-nesting" if it hasn't already been coined. My husband and I have recently made the decision to start our family and I have gone on a home improvement rampage. I've always enjoyed updating small details in rooms from time to time, but now that I know we could have a baby in the very near future, I have this (almost) uncontrollable urge to truly turn our house into a home.

My latest conquest was our full bathroom. I wish I would have taken a true "before" picture (before I put up pictures or added decorations). The best I can do is paint a mental picture: an aqua blue shower curtain that shrunk in the dryer and became too short, grimy looking towel hooks/paper towel holder, a patch the size of a dinner plate on the wall by the towel paper holder, and a padded toilet seat that had definitely seen better days (something about using a padded toilet seat that had previous owners creeps me out). The picture I took before I painted still shows a major improvement. I tried to be practical since A) we're renting & B) we've got a little more than 2 years left here.

I tried to ignore the annoying buttery yellow color on the walls, the ugly patch, and the less than attractive towels hooks/toilet paper holder. I tried, and succeeded, for 8 months... until one day I just snapped. On a whim, I picked out a new shower curtain. This led to a new bathmat, coordinating hand towels, two pictures to hang, two candle holders + candles, and a matching soap pump/covered to go with the trash can I already had.

Once I got my new little pretties up, I could not bare the thought of that horrible buttery yellow on the walls any longer. Then I thought of the color my husband suggested when I talked about wanting to paint the bathroom long ago... gray. I had not given his suggestion much thought at the time, but it suddenly just clicked. I dragged Mike to Home Depot a couple of days later, stared at various shades of gray for about ten minutes, and settled on Behr's "Graceful Gray". Once I got it on the walls, I knew it was absolutely the perfect choice... I've got the pictures to prove it...

Before: better with the new decorations, but the butter yellow is still not cutting it

After: Ahhh, much better with the Graceful Gray

After: I call the bathroom's look "Beach Chic"

I wish I could wow everyone with an incredible budget, but the makeover kind of just happened. For future home improvements, I hope to make planning & budgeting a bigger part of the mission. Anyway, here is a rough rundown of what I got and what I spent...

Behr paint in Graceful Gray: $32

Towel bar/toilet paper holder set from Home Depot: about $47

Shower Curtain from Kohl's: on sale @ $32.99

Seahorse Pillar Candle Holders from Kohl's: on sale @ $9.00 & $6.75 (if I am remembering correctly, they were 55% off at the time).

Short Pillar Candle & Tall Pillar Candle from Kohl's: on sale @ $4.95 & $4.50 (I think these were also 55% off at the time of purchase. Normally, I would not include such a small detail... but these candles smell absolutely heavenly. Even when they are unlit, my bathroom smells a-maz-ing!

Bathmat similar to this one (from the same brand) from Kohl's: on sale @ $8.99

Hand Towels both from Kohl's: on sale @ $5.99 each

Framed Art both from Kohl's: on sale @ $24.99 each (I can't find a link, but the artist is Cynthia Coulter)

Soap pump & covered dish on the sink both from Home Goods: $9.99 & $7.99 (they are beautiful & made from 100% recycled glass).

Grand Total = about $226.12. I didn't realize I'd spent that much, but it's not so bad when you consider that the price includes paint, hardware, some linens, wall art, & quite a few accessories. Oops, I forgot about the toilet seat, so tack on another $15 or so to that total.

Items already owned: small green vase (purchased @ Ross for $3.99 years ago), coordinating trash can to the soap pump & covered dish (purchased @ Home Goods a few months ago for $19.99), shower curtain hooks (purchased on sale @ Kmart months ago for $8.99).

I know I could have worked harder to complete a similar look under a better budget, but I am completely happy with the bathroom (as in: I inhale deeply and let out a 100% content sigh every time I walk into the bathroom). I was feeling a bit superficial for swooning over a room because of material items, but then I considered something else. While it is basically just a room with stuff in it, now it reflects my (and my hubby's too) personality and it brings me a feeling of comfort. So, all this "pre-nesting" business is an effort to create spaces in the rooms throughout our house that make it a HOME. What better gift can we give to ourselves and our baby-to-be than a peaceful home that brings all of us both comfort and joy?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sooooooooooooo...'s been a while. My trip to CA was fantastic! I should write a post to recap before I forget all the details. Long story short... family*friends*disneyland*beach*sunshine*warmth*shopping*good food*HOME

Not much has happened since I've returned to IL. Just snow... lots and lots of snow. We had a blizzard last week that brought ridiculous amounts of snow and it's snowed a couple more times after. Enough.snow.already. Pleeeeeeeeeeaseeeeeeeeee!

On a happy note, I am very pleased to be home with Mike and the kitties. I did miss them quite a bit... it's saying a lot if I came back to IL for them ;D As much as I complain, I know it could be worse. Life goes on. It's not as if the snow stops us from having a life. We actually had a completely full weekend, which has not really happened since leaving CA. I was invited to a brunch on Saturday. I wasn't looking forward to it since I did not know anyone there really well, but I ended up having a really good time. Saturday night was game night. It had been on hold since I had gone on vacation, so it was nice to get back into it. Of course the girls beat the boys... that's nothing new ;) We were invited to a Super Bowl party on Sunday. Again, I was kind of dreading it, but that turned out to be fun as well.

I'll leave you with some pictures I've taken over the last week and a half. No captions needed, really... just pictures of my driveway & yard covered in LOTS of snow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I guess posting every day in November caused a burn out in blogging for me. I would think about writing a new post from time to time, but felt there wasn't much to talk about in December. I was missing home even more than usual due to the holidays and my birthday. I did manage to have moments of Christmas joy... even if I was 2,000 miles away from home!

I cannot get over how cute these guys are. I've been keeping them fat with peanuts!

Our Christmas Self Portrait ;)

On the outside, looking in

I made lots and lots of sugar cookies for a Christmas party

Mike and I were twinsies for Christmas dinner @ a family friend's house

My Grinch of a hubby even made a snowman that waves to people as they drive by our house!

I am used to driving in the snow now. Technically, I don't drive in the snow since I wait it out until the snow plow comes to clear it and salt the roads ;p It was snowing on the way home from Christmas dinner and our car slid 3 times! It was scary, but I am glad Mike was driving because he handled it very well and managed to keep us safe.

We're looking forward to going to Chicago to celebrate NYE. I'm not sure what the exact plans are, but it should be fun if Mike is planning it. I am also counting down the days until my trip to California (10 more days)! I've been trying to plan how I am going to be able to see everyone in 3 different cities in just 2 weeks. There will be lots of running around, but it will be worth it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SNOW: Pros & Cons

It started to snow just a tiny bit last night (apparently, that is called a flurry... you learn something new every day). This morning, it really picked up. It was a nice way to bring in December my first year in Illinois. Although, I had two very opposite reactions...

Reaction 1: Happiness. I cranked up the Christmas music, turned on my lit wreath, lit an apple cinnamon candle, and got to work putting up Christmas decorations. It really felt like the holiday season seeing the snow from my window as I decorated.

Reaction 2: Sadness/Panic. The cold weather slowly crept up on me, so I got used to it. Seeing snow made the fact that I am 2,000 miles away from California abundantly clear. Somehow the snow made it real. Then visions of putting on 10 layers of clothing, scraping my windshield, and constantly scanning for black ice every time I drive popped into my head. I had a few errands to run today, but I decided to stay in to make Christmas cards and decorate the house. There was barely any snow (just a light dusting)... it was the idea of it that bothered me. I just need a little time to get familiar with driving in snow (I really am not a fan of change... it freaks me out) and I will be fine.

I think I'll enjoy the snow from inside for now. I'm going to have Mike give me a lesson in Driving in Snow 101 and I know I will feel much more confident!