Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the 1st Day of Christmas...

Okay, I admit it, I missed Christmas with these guys.  But, my tree is still up and who could pass up the sweet, sweet deals at Michael's the weekend after Christmas?  Not me.

So Christmas crap... I mean crafts... are 70% off.  This is spectacular news for me, because I LOVE Christmas and I'm not ready to let it go yet.  And, I need something to do since I'm all gimped up from a clumsy car packing moment on Christmas Day.  Dang broken foot... it's sent me in a downward shame spiral of post holiday crafting. 



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pie Ride

New Guy and his friends go on an annual pie ride... Pie, Christmas lights, and bicycles.  I'm sure there is also guy talk and beer, but who am I to speculate?  So, I made a cherry pie and some banana toffee concoction. Both tasty. Only one pretty. 

Home Improvement Stores

Man, I love home improvement stores, but they seriously lose their luster when you find yourself in one repetedly for an unplanned issue.  Once in a while, sure... I'm having a good time, looking at light fixtures, dreaming of a fully sodded backyard.  But as often as we've been going, bleh.

Misleading blog title though.  This has very little to do with home improvement stores and a lot to do with relationship advice. Some of you may be thinking I'm not the best person to be giving it... but you don't get to 32 without being married to the wrong person by accident.  It takes self control and planning.

New Guy and I are in the throws of a bathroom remodel.  An unexpected bathroom remodel to be more specific. Anyone who has ever played the DIY game can tell you that with each increased degree of difficulty in the project, the likelihood of an argument increases tenfold... and ladies and gentlemen... New Guy and I are down to the studs with exposed plumbing.

So, on Sunday, we found ourselves... yet again... at Lowe's.  I love lists, so I made one.  It was neatly written on six sheets of paper.  That was not a mistype. Six. Sheets. Of. Paper. I blame the meth, but that's another story.

With a photo of just the portion of the list I needed on this particular visit, I headed off to flooring while New Guy looked at Christmas gift tool sets.  About fifteen minutes later, I couldn't push the cart without bracing my foot against the lower rack and kicking off.  I'm telling on myself just a smidge if you take a close look at the list... you will realize just how nice New Guy is that he didn't comment on the last few items of section 1.  But for the sake of the story.. the list...

Sixty five 6x24 tiles and four hundred and thirteen 3x6 tiles later, we were ready to leave... the tile aisle to look at bathtubs. One bathtub on top of the massive pile-o-stuff and we were finally off to the checkout.

(The advice is coming... get ready.)

New Guy and I are what I like to refer to a middle America power couple. Engineering degree, MBA, both with great jobs with benefits, two Subarus in the driveway, solid income, NO KIDS.  Does this make the sting of an impromptu pre-Christmas bathroom remodel lessen?  Yes.  Does it make it go away?  Not a chance. Close your eyes and imagine the beeping of the cash register and envision the total creeping up, up, up...

"Your total is..."  Seriously, no one needs to know this.  I'll give you the full run down when we are done.

So we split the bill.  Yes, it's advice time. New Guy and I are both more than capable of paying for the trip to Lowe's alone.  But this is OUR bathroom in OUR home.  So, we split the cost.  We will both end up spending more as we pull together the remaining pieces.  But, no one had to take a massive hit on Sunday. Did we have a discussion at the register? Nope.  Because we OPENLY DISCUSS OUR FINANCES already.  There wasn't a need to add to the stress of the day with a conversation, because in our home, it's an ongoing conversation.  Where are we financially?  Where are we going?  How are we going to get there... together?

So there it is.  Be open about money.  Simple enough, but so many couples fail in this area.  We talk about kids and where we want to live, what season a wedding should be in and whether we will buy a cat.  But, so many couples skip the dollars and cents. You can't live on love alone.  Not in America.  You need groceries, water, shelter, etc. That takes money, so plan openly with the person you want to spend you life sharing expenses with.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Cabinet Door

I am determined to get the most use possible out of the bathroom demo. We still have nothing but bare floors and studs in the bathroom. We are learning to share a bathroom for the first time in our relationship. It's a learning curve for sure.

Anyhow, I've been trying to decide what to get my grandpa for Christmas. (My Nana already made it abundantly clear that we weren't to get her anything.  So I haven't decided how to work around that yet.)  Grandpa on the other hand, he seems pretty pleased with whatever happens, so cabinet door it is.


The project took a while, but came out pretty well for a girl with nothing but codeine, antibiotics, steroids and toast in her stomach... But that is another story altogether. The project, while high on time,was super low in cost.

  • Cabinet door from bathroom demo - free
  • White primer - on hand from cornhole set
  • Wood filler - on hand from cornhole set
  • Paint pen - on hand from jingle all the way project
  • Modge podge - always in hand :)
  • Green craft paint - leftover from jingle all the way project
  • Paper for center art - Better Homes and Gardens magazine laying in the trash pile
Yes, you heard it here first.  This project cost zero dollars and zero cents. Boom! 

So, I thought about my favorite Christian Christmas songs... As opposed to Santa Christmas songs. There is totally a difference. After deciding on a song, I had to decide on the image and layout. My writing is pretty crap, so I generally go with the doesn't have to match look. For the nativity scene in the center, I laid out the design in pencil then went to work cutting out gradient blues, yellows, and brown. For the faces I used a giant face, thanks makeup ad.

I'm sure you can sort out for yourself how to modge podge and write on a board. Simple simple.

Hope my grandpa likes it :)




Saturday, December 08, 2012

Merry Christmas! Cards!

New Guy and I made Christmas cards this year! So many people like the cards that look super done up, but I'm a fan of cards that look legit homemade.  New Guy was super sweet and cut out circles for the snowmen bodies and heads then got to stamping for the first time in his entire life.  I love this man (and clearly he loves me since he spent an evening crafting). 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Goodbye working bathroom, hello scrap wood.

Given the events of the last few days and our plumbing woes, I needed a crafty break from life.  During the demo of the guest bath, we ended up with some old school cabinet doors, door facings, a hideous mirror, and more basic tile than I know what to do with.  But, I saved these items with some hope for crafting time.  (On a side note... If anyone wants to craft with broken wood paneling, linoleum, a shell sink/counter combo, or a toilet... Let me know before the trash guys come... Haha, I took all the good stuff.).

I painted a quick coat of white on the some of the cabinet doors with a complete lack of direction.  While I needed todo something fun, I also needed to actually get some of my Christmas decorates up. Two birds, one stone.

Tissue paper, paint, modge podge... Go!



The final product looks great with a tree I bought a few years ago with my mom and an angel I picked up last year at Pier One.  Kitchen window decorations? Don't mind if I do.






Sunday, December 02, 2012

Must. Survive. Christmas. Season.

I love Christmas.  Really, I freaking love Christmas.  When I was growing up, my mom made Christmas pure greatness.  We would cook meals together, bake more than anyone should, shop for hours, wrap presents and stack them just so, look at Christmas lights, decorate the house with hundreds of lights and Christmas kitch... Amazing.  Spending all that time together made the holiday season my favorite time of year.

When my mom passed away two years ago, I didn't think I could face another family holiday... Ever. I struggled through thanksgiving that year, but left shortly before Christmas to head to London to hide out with an old friend, then on to India for more hiding.  On a side note, if you ever really wanted to hide and hide successfully, India is pretty prime. Last year, New Guy, knowing my need to escape ran away with me to Paris, Amsterdam, and Bruge.  More hiding, only this time with waffles and mulled wine. This year, I decided to finally stay home.  I love New Guy and I want to start new traditions with him that don't always involve running away.

So the Saturday after thanksgiving, I planned to unleash Christmas magic on the home that New Guy and I share.  After my afternoon of decorating, we had plans to to the symphony for the Christmas concert! It was shaping up to be a wonderful weekend... In theory.

So, now I'll tell you how things really played out.

I started to decorate, but made next to no progress because we were more focused on the plumbing issue that was rearing its ugly head. Then, out of hunger, or fatigue, or residual stress from thanksgiving at New Guy's parent's house... We barely spoke through dinner... And not in a content with the silence sort of way, but more like "ugh, I need some space from real life" silence.  Good times. But, I'm not to the fun part yet.

First, no sexy time because we have a plumbing issue.  Who wants to have sexy time when they are dirty (literally not figuratively). What a super fun way to end date night.

Then, Sunday.  The decorating was attempted by me while the plumbing was attended to by New Guy. I suggested that we call someone.  He insisted he could fix it...

Then... New Guy put his foot through the ceiling.


Fine.  This is fixable... but where are you going with my vanity? And why are you sawing holes in the wall?
And what is that stuff falling out of the ceiling?
And, holy crud... is there water under the flooring?

So, yep.  Umm... Well.

We are down to the studs in the guest bathroom.  Because we only have two bathrooms, the guest bathroom is actually my bathroom.  So we are reaching a new level of intimacy... and sharing a bathroom for the first time in our relationship.  And New Guy is a guy... so he's gross. 

But it will all work out.  I'm sure of it.  At the very least, I'm getting a new bathroom for Christmas. 




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smells So Good!

Okay, everyone and their dog is pinning these cinnamon ornaments.  Seems pretty simple.  Mix cinnamon and applesauce, cut, and bake or air dry.  Got it.  Christmas cars for dummies here I come. 

I looked through quite a few recipes before I settled on this one.  Let me tell you, this recipe leaves out some pretty important info.  First, its sticks... To your hands... And the counter... And everything else it touches.  
  • Don't try wax paper... This recipe needs plastic wrap.  One sheet on each side.  
  • Refrigerate it for a bit before you use it.
  • Put the applesauce in the bowl before the cinnamon. It makes less of a cinnamon cloud.  We had a layer of cinnamon on everything. 
  • Every recipe says not to eat the dough, which of course tempted me to eat some... I didn't, if someone does, let me know the outcome. 
  • After you roll  out the dough, flip the dough and pull on the plastic wrap or you ll have ridges ignore side.
  • Rather than the straw hole, I went ahead and used a smaller cookie cutter. 
  • I swapped out the ribbon for scrap cloth.  It added to the rustic look.
  • Last tip... Super important... If you decide to open the oven to take a peek, don't inhale at the same time.  It burns... Man does it burn. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Kickoff 2012!

Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh...

Christmas is coming!!! Who's ready? Yep, me neither.  But, I did make my first Christmas craft to hang up before we leave for thanksgiving.  For the sake of photos, I took these on the back of the front door.  It's actually hanging at the back door which is 15 glass panels, and it's the wrong time of day for a pick there.  It's red ribbon, ivory and green paint, precut letters, and hot glue.  Super simple, but it looks great!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cornhole!

First things first, who wants to tailgate next football season?  New Guy and I plan to grab a tailgate space in FW next season because who really wants to always be at the mercy of someone else's tailgate plans? Not us.  

I am on a mission to stop pinning and start doing.  The first project here was a fail followed by a win. It's okay.  I learned something on the fail...  Know your limits.  Not all things are worth doing yourself.  If you aren't great with wood, building your own cornhole set does not save you money.


I honor of our tailgate plans, I decided to FINALLY finish the cornhole set that I started... So long ago, I can't remember when I started it... Literally.  It's possible Chelsea could identify a date... Or year, but who knows. 

So, in the beginning, I started to build a set.  You can find the directions here. I bought the duck cloth for the bags, all the wood, bolts etc and got to work.  The realized I had I seriously misjudged my ability to make things using cheap wood.  Not great. So, if you realize you also have poor carpentry skills as well, don't try to make one... Buy one here instead. 

Where you will likely want to stick to your plan to DIY this bad boy is in the paint job.  Choosing your own paint job makes this a project for team divided homes, special occasions (weddings, parties, holidays), or families who just want a personalized set for the backyard.  New Guy and I went with stripes and dots in TCU purple and white and some sort of dirty orange for some school in central Texas somewhere.


Longhorns Sign... Sigh.

I made a cheesy Longhorns sign for the house.  I guess it's part of my desire to nest, but I will definitely have to talk to my cousin, Krista, before I attempt to make something like this again. The writing was pretty uneven and the lines could use some cleaner work for sure.  These are areas where Krista kills it.  You can check our her stuff here.

Anyhow, simple project.  We bought a 1x6 and cut it into even pieces with the power mitre saw which took all of a minute.  Then painted 4 of the pieces using the burnt orange house paint that we used on the cornhole set.  We watered down some white paint for the rough plaid look. I did actually space our the lettering and it looked totally even... Why it looked all jacked up after the paint, I'm really not sure. Again, I probably need some help. Anywho, added a simple outline, threw some wire on it to hold it together, and called it a day.  Don't judge me on this.  They aren't all winners.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Banana Bread

I always have ideas of grandeur when I go to the grocery store.  I suddenly believe what the food network has been telling... I CAN BE A GOURMET CHEF!

So, I buy fresh fruits and veggies, wander over to the seafood and meat section, and leave the store with oh so much food that will end up in the freezer or the trashcan.  Yep, it happens almost immediately.  It's like stepping over the threshold and into the house reminds me, "Hey, Lacey. You can't even manage to keep the floor free of dog toys.  You, my friend are no domestic goddess."  So, feeling defeated, I always head to the drawer, grab some cling wrap, and get to work freezing those fresh items in an attempt to salvage some food.  But the fresh fruits?  Those... those I set out on the counter.  Everyone likes fruit and it's so easy!  Just pick it up, possibly peel it, and put it in your mouth...

Or, let your bananas turn a sketchy color as they age on the granite. That is what I actually do.

So, months ago, Chelsea (who is clearly way more domestic than I am) chastises me about the waste and how even a monkey could make banana bread.  I reminded her that a monkey has more kitchen prowess than me and we leave it at that.

But, alas!  I am as talented as a bread making monkey... Brace yourself...


Tadaaaa!

It was tasty.  I am the master. Woo.

I used this recipe but added a teaspoon of vanilla, per someone's comments below.  Vanilla makes everything better.  Maybe not cheddar cheese, but almost everything.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Same Blog, New Title

This weekend while I was posting the outdoor chandelier, New Guy leaned over and said "Kissing Frogs!?!"

"Kissing Frogs Would Be an Upgrade from my Current Situation" has been the title of my blog as long as I can remember.  It made sense until I met New Guy... even through the dating extravaganza of 2009.  So today a close friend shot me an instant message:

Friend  you need to change your header lol
unless you dislike New Guy suddenly

Lacey: I know... he saw it this weekend and was like "wtf?"
hahaha...

Friend: oops

Lacey: I don't know what to change it to

Friend: Something loving?
gumpy cat
happy dancing flowers

So here we are.  Welcome to the same blog with the new title, "New Title Should Be Something Loving... Happy Dancing Flowers?"



Monday, November 05, 2012

Tom's Salvage Job

Over miles of love, I managed to rub tiny holes into my Tom's.  It seems to be the standard for reason for most Tom's to end up in the garbage.  But these particular shoes are formed perfectly to my foot and I'm not ready to break up just yet.

I hit the fabric store with my man in tow... He's so sweet.  I would see him grimace out of the corner of my eye,  but when I would look his way, he'd force a smile and offer his opinion on fabrics.  We ended up with a patch and some polka dotted fabric.

After a quick run through the sewing machine to give the fabric some added flare, I got to work.  I patched the toe, we some additional spread to reinforce the entire toe end of the shoe.  It was a little tough to get the patch to stay on the shoe.  I ended up throwing a few stitches in it and adding som fabric glue.  Then... The cheat... I spread flexible no sew fabric glue over the end of the shoe and applied the fabric.

Yep... I'm that lazy.  But now these super cute shoes have a custom look that should last quite a while and all for less than $5 in glue, patches, and fabric.  Boom!


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Outdoor Chandelier

Quick DIY project that came out just how I imagined it would! This is simple one that took a couple hours while simultaneously watching my Horned Frogs break their losing streak.  I only mention this so you know how easy it was because football overtime can be super distracting... Also during the project, I had to take a moment to clean up Scentsy wax, but that is another story.

We found an old light fixture this morning at Goodwill.  Not sure if it would have worked, but the electrical looked a little sketch and was frayed.  We picked it up for $10 and since the plan was to strip its guts anyhow, the shifty electrical was okay. We also grabbed a bag of beads for $2 at Thrift Town.  I used about half the beads, a glue gun, and some spray paint.  This is it a project for the OCD.  The beads come out a bit uneven as does the spray paint.  But, for my taste, it looks so cute!  Such a great Saturday project and I can't wait to add the solar lights to the frame and hang it from a tree.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Oklahoma! Okay, Yo!

Okay, Oklahoma was better than okay.  More specifically Oklahoma State University... Cowboys' football... 
They shamed my Horned Frogs.  Shamed. My. Horned. Frogs.

In other news, I'm choosing only to remember the good times - purple sangria swirl at Mexico Joe's, couponing with my friend Jodi, our great seats in T. Boone Pickens Stadium of Awesome, the perfect weather, and the first half of the game. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baking Mix Jar Gifts

No more pinning random things until I actually do something with what I have pinned.  That is the new rule.  I am crossing my fingers that this doesnt ruin pinterest for me.  After a successful loaf of banana bread, I moved on to something else pretty simple... But it wasn't.

I started with a cookie mix layered in a jar. It's like edible sand art.  Toddlers make sand art... I can do this.

First note - find a recipe that was meant to fit in the size jar that you have.  Otherwise, you will be making cookies so you don't waste the first botched attempt.  Side note, David will be enjoying cookies tomorrow.  I found some great recipes here.  In fact that is the best site I have found after a lot of searching.  You're welcome.

Next note, chocolate chips or candy do not make a good layer between flour layers.  The flour does wht any logical, not crazy pinner would have suspected... It filters in between the larger pieces and looks very sad.  Whoever keeps posting pictures online with the candy pieces in the middle needs to tell me their secret.

Last note, there are a lot of sites that suggest printing a sticky label for the jar.  I went with a tie on tag so that the jar can be reused... Or filled with another tasty treat and passed along to another lucky friend.

So, the final product...




Saturday, August 25, 2012

October 24, 2005

That is the post where I introduced everyone to the PT Cruiser. Funny to think back that far now.  Especially since today is the day you meet Carlo.  He is sexy... sexy sexy sexy.  He, unlike the PT Cruiser, cannot haul large items or have a kayak strapped to him to go camping.  Carlo was not even meant to have three people in him... unless the the third person has no legs...

So, world, meet Carlo.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

References

I don't normally blab about job candidates and their errors in judgement beyond the confines of my office and a few close friends, but frankly, errors in judgement are becoming epidemic.

Today's issue: References.

In this age of instant gratification through social media and the like, it's difficult to look at a reference for what it truly is.  So, to get everyone on the right page, here is the first tried and true rule:

If you would not ask someone for a reference in person (two actual people sitting in the same room, looking at each other, having a dialogue), don't ask that person for one... at all.... ever. The impersonal nature of many modern forms of networking and communication has lead job seekers down a path of equally impersonal relationships.  A reference is someone you respect who is willing to put their professional neck on the line to tell an employer that you are great.  Not good... great.  The job market is tight and good won't get you the job you are looking for. The bonus to this advice?  If you are having an open dialogue, you can tell your reference what you are looking for, what you really hope to accomplish, and why you are a great fit.  You are simply having a conversation with someone you trust, but a strong reference will regurgitate every positive thing you've pointed out when asked.

A great reference knows that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.  But all references aren't gems...

If you aren't sure what a person will say about you, don't use them as a reference. This seems intuitive.  Having looked at over 2500 job candidates this year alone, I can tell you, it's not. What would someone say are your weaknesses?  Do they think you take initiative?  What about the quality of your work?  Are you efficient?  Do you dress professionally?  At the Christmas party last year, did they see you throw up in the ficus?  Choose people who when asked to rate you should give you a ten.  If you believe, 100%, that they will give you a ten out of ten, they may give as low as a seven.  If you think they will give you a seven, anticipate a five and find a new reference.

The difference between a standard reference and an inside man can spell disaster for candidates if they don't consider the unique nuances of the relationships at play, which leads us to:

If a reference works for the company where you have applied, enjoys his job, and respects his coworkers, he will be far more honest about you. Good and bad.  If my friend Bill applies to work for a large athletic apparel company in Oregon where I don't live or work, I would probably tell the hiring manager who calls all about Bill's strengths and what he brings to the team.  If Bill applies to work in my office, I will tell my boss that Bill brings a lot of strengths to the table, but he also has difficulty completing tasks on time and he loves jazz flute... a little too much.  A common question for references is, "would you hire this person if you had the opportunity?"  That answer may be "yes" only if the chance of actually having to hire that person is zero.

Worried you don't have enough references who think you are glowing?  Is the phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" running through your mind?  Stop right there.

Don't use references that you have not stayed in touch with and take time to maintain relationships with references that matter. A reference letter, no matter how glowing, dated October 2010 makes me wonder why you stopped doing great work in November 2010. Have you not been able to gain new references?  Have you stopped making a positive impact on your surroundings? It is the same concept with references you provide for personal contact from the hiring manager.  Six months is the maximum amount of time you should pass without connecting in some form.  When asked when they knew you, 2007 to 2009 is not good... unless you have maintained meaningful contact. Meaningful contact changes that "2007 to 2009" to "since 2007, we are still in contact."

Don't wait until you need a reference to update someone you knew in 2004.  Your two kids, the move to Nashville, and the subsequent layoff and industry change will likely be too much to take in.  Besides, people really like to talk about themselves. So my last advice:

Yes, you are special, but meaningful contact is not all about you.  Keep in mind, your reference thinks they are special too.  Meaningful contact with an educator includes updating them on your employment status, additional education, and projects since graduation.  It means doing things that continue to make you stand out and reminding them on a constant basis that you are an excellent reflection of the university.  Now give back... congratulate a professor on tenure or her journal article, ask how his research is going, offer your time to help grow his programs. For employers, meaningful contact is staying in the same industry, working with them on side projects (think volunteer work or non-profit boards), and keeping them up to date on how you have excelled since working for them.  It's maintaining a personal connection in addition to a professional connection. 

It's a lot to take in, but it can make the difference between an offer letter and a rejection letter.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lubbock Funeral

My grandpa is a dog lover.  Koda knew it the first time they met.  I think dogs have a crazy sense at to who they can extra good love from and who wouldn't know how to scratch behind their ears with a 100 page manual. So, when my dad called this weekend to say my grandmother had passed away, I knew Koda was coming to Lubbock.  Because dogs love to be pet, and petting dogs makes people feel loved.  So Koda and Grandpa loved on each other and it was good... 
But the rest of the story...

My dad called Sunday morning to tell me that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night. I knew I needed to go to be there for my dad and grandpa.  My grandmother had forgotten me years ago due to Alzheimer's  so I took most of it in a stride.  I called my Nana and told her I was going... mostly so she would say, "yes, you need to."  New Guy said he would come along reminding me of another reason I love him.

We arrived in Lubbock quite late and headed straight to bed.  The following morning was the viewing and I needed some rest.  Viewings are not my thing... at all. My dad and grandpa both looked tired. New Guy had never met my dad's side of the family (strange since he and Nana are pretty much besties), but...

At the viewing my grandpa came up to New Guy and...

Grandpa: I guess you know you're in the family now.

New Guy: Sure.

Lacey: (in my head) *because he came to grandma's funeral?*

Grandpa: Jerry talked to you about the service, right?

New Guy: Uhhh...

Grandpa: He said you would be a pallbearer. Thank you for doing that.

Lacey: (in my head) *oh my God, please don't break up with me... I had NO idea*

New Guy: No problem.

What... seriously dad!?  How is that something you forget.

So New Guy met my grandmother... sort of... and my brothers (who hadn't shown up yet) got an earful... and New Guy, with his easy going attitude and few words, reminded me again why I love him so much. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Patio Part 1 - Complete!

After what seemed like an eternity, New Guy and I finally finished the upper level of the patio.  No, we are not crazy rich people with a multi level deck system.  We are people who live in a house with a crazy slope in the backyard.  There are steps that lead down to a flattened portion of the yard just below what you see here.  We are still working on that... but I swear, only two months after the original self imposed deadline, we are getting there. 
Back to what is clearly more important...

New Guy let me pick out furniture and I hit the home improvement store to grab some inexpensive pots and plants.  As usual, I underestimated the amount of potting soil I would need.  (If anyone has a magical trick to determine How much to buy, please let me know.)  So here it is.  It is so relaxing because New Guy picked a house with a ton of trees.  So it's shady and feels more enclosed.  And, as is evidenced below, he let me hang up my mom's wind chimes and he surprised me with hummingbird feeder. I'm such a lucky girl!
P.S. My calves are still amazing... it's the perspective that makes them look less than stellar.  No judgement!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Office Decorating

In my quest to feel more at home living with New Guy, I have to constantly remind myself... it was his house first... But more importantly, HE STILL LIVES HERE.

It seems like a strange thing to need to be reminded of... but for anyone about to live with another adult, it's some rock solid advice. 

So here is the blank slate.  I won't post pictures of the storage boxes that were literally stacked floor to ceiling... or the piles of random what nots that I can only assume have been this room since New Guy bought the house five years ago.  I'm moving past that.

White walls, old blinds, no furniture
We started by painting the walls a kind of light slate gray.  This was not our first choice, but rather a mixture of color mistakes that eventually lead to owning this color.  I tried to make color choices that were enough change for me, without choosing a color that New Guy wouldn't like.  Masculine, but pretty.  It's a fine line. We replaced the old metal blinds with  "wood" slat blinds in white and hung up a simple sheer.  To brag on myself, those two purple clad degrees... mine!  New Guy apparently has no idea where his is, which is fine.  We wouldn't want to taint the new room with burnt orange.

New blinds and a cameo by Koda the super dog.
New Guy and I tested the strength of our relationship by building IKEA furniture together... brave move, I know.  I chose two book shelves, two horizontal shelves and a desk.  We added doors only to the lower portion of the book shelves to hide some of the work mess.  The blue canvas boxes store power cords and and other miscellaneous items above.  He has space to work from home and display bobble heads .. I was able to find a place for the gumball machine made by my papa in the early 80s.  And in case you are wondering, that is totally a picture of cats by Steve from iwanttodrawacatforyou.com.  You should definitely invest of one of these if you haven't already. 
Desk/wall unit from IKEA.
Opposite the desk wall, I put up the bicycle storage rack that I bought New Guy at Christmas.  As he was cleaning, I asked him to choose two cycling jerseys that he really liked, but did not wear.  I framed those using foam core and straight pins.  This wall is nice way to display two of our bikes and New Guy's jerseys.  Storage and art in one wall - a perfect solution to our need for space and my need for a finished look. 
Wall to make New Guy feel like it is still his space.
There is still some work to be done in this space.  We will likely add more shelving and something that can double as seating and sleeping for future house guests.  More to come as we get things completed!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ms. Congeniality

I met this lovely woman when I was in Reading on business at the beginning of the month. She was so lovely in fact that at lunch I told my boss that I would need to get used to people in the northeast because I took things personally that I shouldn't. He chimed in that I probably should... because he did.

Okay, so it wasn't just me. She was a beast of a lady. No big deal. I don't do much business in that area anyway and I would keep my positive attitude down here and she could keep here unpleasant attitude up there. Deal.

No deal?

Today she sends an email to someone else on my team asking for an update on something that I do. Now, I understand that sometimes people get confused as to who does what. But she basically asked for information on ice cream in a world where my title would be Director of Ice Cream Information. Okay. Fine. Ask the Director of Peanut Sauces. Whatever.

But she copied another person on it. Someone who's not even in the business of soft foods like sauces and ice creams.

And the email? "Please provide the update."

Umm... sure robot lady. Is this a rude email? Not as a stand alone. Short? Perhaps.

The last email form her included... "I will be going there tomorrow and wanted to know if there was any follow through."

Really?

No, I just sit at my desk for 10+ hours a day playing Words with Friends with the 2 people left in the state who haven't moved onto another game already.

All this from woman who told me (the Director of Ice Cream Information) that the best way to get new ice cream flavors is to steal it from someone else. The woman who told me I needed to give her an update on the mouse ice cream when we were working on mango... one letter on the front end does not yield the same result. The woman who asked me if I knew anything about ice cream even though a very reputable food company gave me the ice cream job with a director title. The woman who told me she could do it better even though the closest thing to ice cream she's ever worked with are the frigid bits of frozen blood that course through her cold, mean heart. Oh, how I wish she would read this and agree with me while not realizing it is her.

She's horrid.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

379.22.12

I just stumbled across the counter I made ages ago for New Guy. As of now, we're on 379 days, 22 hours, and 12 minutes. Makes me feel like I should stop calling him New Guy... Or not.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Better Bring It!

Oh, it's already been broughten... or something...

I am a lucky girl! Chelsea had an extra ticket to Bring It On! The Musical. Who was I to say no? But, I would not be telling New Guy where I was going. Honestly, he doesn't need to know.

So I sneak away into the night like a woman on the brink of an illicit affair... with campy cheerleading musicals.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Anniversary Weekend

New Guy outdid himself. I'm a lucky lady...

He used some of his travel points (goodness knows he has a ton) to get a room at the Embassy Suites in downtown Fort Worth.  True, it's basically in our backyard, but sometimes you just need to get out of the house.

He made reservations at Melting Pot which is far cry from our normal local restaurants and independent joints.  But, melted cheese?  He totally loves me. The waiter was concerned at our cheese course selection.  Apparently most people who order it find it too pungent or some nonsense. If I wanted everyday cheese dip, we would have picked up a Velveeta brick at Kroger. Dinner was great and we enjoyed some time to just decompress together. Work and travel have been in full effect for both of us, so having some down time is exciting.

After the debacle that was my Europe vacation photos, New guy bought me an amazing digital camera as my gift.  This will definitely get a ton of use! Perhaps even more so that my wish necklace from my birthday. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

NEW JOB!

I started a new job today.  Awkward.

New jobs seem wackadoodle when you are coming straight out of an MBA program where you are surrounded by friends and everything is so organized - go here at this time, there at that time, bring these supplies, read these books, complete those tasks, take this exam... 

You have this thought in the car, "Dingo-dango! I'm so freaking pumped!  I'm going to crush this job with my MBA awesomeness!"

Then you get to the new building and think, "What floor do I even work on... I wonder if TCU will take me back... I miss the study rooms."

So up to the top floor to check in at reception and wait for my boss... Ugh... the nausea is creeping in. But, lordy, this office is nice. My VP snags my from the lobby and it's back into the elevator.  Metal note, Lacey - you do not work on this floor. Got it.  We get to my new home away from home just a few floors down.  I have my bag on my shoulder.  My boss tells the SVP, "she's here!"  A few introductions are made to other directors and my VP heads back to work.

I'm standing in the hallway.

Just standing there.

Feeling like an idiot.

"Ummm... Blake..."
"Yes."

"Where do I sit?"