Sunday, January 31, 2010

My little (getting big) bb.....

Me snuggling with my little bb...wish I had taken a shower or put on some makeup before I decided to step in front of the camera though :-) I can't get enough of her! She was so sweet and wanted to cuddle on my lap after pictures.
Is it just me or does she look a lot older than 2 yrs, 4 months?? Look at all that hair (maybe that is why)!! I feel like she looks 5 in this picture....sigh.....

I have some other cute ones of her touching Alyson's belly (her brother) and kissing it....unfortunately I am going out of town tomorrow so I will not get to those until next week.....We can always get her to cooperate when we offer "candy". I put it in quotes because it was actually fruit snacks :-) HA!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


That is what I feel like the last two days have been...just drama. I can't wait to be done with work tomorrow, hang out with Drena, finish up my photography clients on Saturday and go home to cuddle by the fire with Craig and my kitties!

So, yesterday I had Craig drive me to the airport because we were supposed to get snow and ice last night and his card doesn't really drive in that. Glad I did because we did get an inch last night and had a lot of ice this morning. But, I forgot my condo key on the car key chain again. Oops. And Drena doesn't have one because I took it the last time I was here. Luckily I had made her another copy (since I also lost hers) and a copy for my desk and they were in my purse. It was still a LONG 20mins between the time we landed and I realized I might not have a key and when we got to the gate so I could get my purse out of the overhead.

Then, I get home to check my mail to get all my tax documents out so I can file my taxes...I am ready since I will get a refund (thanks rental properties). I go to the box and there is a form in there that says vacant. Um, no. So I wrote all over it "NOT VACANT, I still live here, I just travel, deliver my mail!" The only real reason I care is the tax stuff and the fact that I refinanced my condo in August and it was refinanced as my primary residence...doesn't look too good when my mail gets returned to them because I don't live here. I was able to call the post office today and they said that they do that after 10 days if your mailbox is full...which they have never done before because I was gone for over a month before xmas and I had mail then. So she said I could come and pick it up...hmm, when? They are open 9-5 M-F. ...when I WORK!! I had to explain this to her 3 times with the last time having me say "I work 8:30-5:30....when not during those times are you open?" to which she said that I could have it delivered to my door...I am not holding my breath on that one. I guess I will be collecting my info online or by phone.

Then tonight I am sitting here relaxing when I get an email from Chase saying that a charge for $170.54 at Meijer was declined (this is a grocery store in the Midwest) and is it valid or not. The email looked a little fishy so instead of clicking the "valid charge" vs "non-valid charge" buttons, I just called Chase. By the time I talked to the lady there were 4 more charges totaling over $800. Awesome. They were really nice and she canceled it right away and I barely use that card anyway so I should be ok but it was just one more thing to deal with.

On top of all of that I sat in A LOT of meetings today and felt like I spent the whole day behind...tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same so I hope I can stay awake long enough to watch a movie with Drena tomorrow. Definitely an early night for me tonight!!

I realize that none of this has to really do with Atlanta (other than the USPS) but I just think that when I come here I always have all these other things that happen. Maybe it is because at home I basically wake up, make my latte and go sit in my office to work til lunch, eat lunch and back to work until it is time to go to the gym, then come home, cook dinner and chill. Here I spent the entire day running all over the place doing this that and the other and in meetings answering 1,000 questions about some work my group has done, was going to go to the gym at 1:10 for a kickboxing class but got pulled into another meeting and had to order food to be delivered. Tomorrow I meet with my new boss to see how he envisions our department and to pitch some ideas I have. I am a little nervous but I am sure it will be fine.....

Ok, I feel a little better now that it is all off my chest.....

Oh, and I forgot to bring Ollie Bear's birthday present...AWESOME....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fish Fry

My new FRIEND Ali and I went to a fish fry last night. I had no idea what to expect but Ali had prepared me pretty well. Apparently these are really popular here and there are 'good' ones and 'bad' ones that you can go to. Last night we went to the low end one but had a lot of fun. You pay a cover at the door ($8 in advance, $10 at the door for this one) and you get all you can eat fried fish (think fish and chips) french fries, brats, and baked beans, and bread. You also get all you can drink beer!! Sweet. Then they set up all these tables of gambling around. You can play hold'em or some spinning wheel thing where you pick a number or blackjack at some of them and then the game that we played. It was called Showdown and basically it was 6-10 people at a time, you paid $1 and then they dealt the cards and until everyone had 5 (face up) and whoever had the best hand won half the pot. It was a good hour and a half of entertainment there! I won 2-3 times and Ali won 3 times (and the beer flowed cause they kept topping us off). After that we left and went out in the Oregon district where Ali lives. It is pretty much like a downtown Athens type place (only one road and much less bars) and it is sort of located where Midtown would be in respect to downtown. We went to about 3 bars and I couldn't tell you what any of them were but Ali knew a lot of the bartenders. It was a lot of fun and ended by me having to call Craig to come and pick me up :-) He didn't seem to mind too much. Good to know that if anyone else visits me I will have something for them to do. Ali has been here a while and is very outgoing (unlike a certain girl that lives here and is not nice to me) and she seems to know a lot of people. I went out with her and two of her friends on Thursday and they seemed cool too. They even asked me to come out with them Friday (but I do early morning spin on Saturday). I am definitely a little over the going out phase and had a little pit in my stomach all day thanks to the 7 beers I consumed last night but it is really fun to have people to hang out with again! I think that Craig will like it too because I had become a little clingy and haven't been traveling so he probably feels like he would like some alone time :-) So, I guess all you guys were right and it takes about a year.....and in two months I will have been here for 1 year. I can't believe it. It still seems so new!!

Volunteering was pretty fun. The girl running it is a bit of a valley girl so that will take some getting used to and I think that I would be a lot more motivated if it wasn't the night of my favorite gym classes. The kids seemed to pick up on the material pretty fast and all seemed like they could use a little nutritional information. They took a pre-quiz so it will be fun to see how they improve.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Tonight I start my first night as a volunteer with a program called Food Folks. For those of you that have read my other blog, you know that I have become a little obsessed with healthy eating and knowing where my food comes from. I ordered 1/4 of a cow for goodness sake! Well, the DG here that I have met up with a couple of times is a dietician at an old people's home (no disrespect intended) and she was a volunteer with this program while in college. I might have explained it before but I am too lazy to look back and see. Basically it is an hour program that parents sign their children up for (assuming it is free and I know not in the best area, though not dangerous or anything) and they go every Thursday for an hour. During that hour we teach them about proper nutrition, do some sort of project with them about what they learned (think coloring or word find or something) and then we prepare a healthy snack with them. I am pretty excited about getting involved because childhood obesity is a huge problem in our country and it is mostly in poor families where the parents are not properly educated about food choices and therefore, the children aren't either. I know that 10 year olds can't grocery shop but chances are they will be contributing to that as soon as they are physically able to get to the stores and hopefully we will be able to help just a couple kids. I also feel like it will be a good way to meet people maybe....we will see. win-win.

The other night I posted on FB that I was not having a good night (and I wasn't) and it was amazing how many people emailed me or contacted me to see if I was ok. I didn't mean to scare people, it really wasn't a big deal just one of those things that you post in the moment. I did feel really loved though :-)

Organizing is still going well. I have to tackle 'my' room this weekend. It is really the guest room but it is also where all the mail of mine piles up and stuff so I need to clean it out. I am happy to report that everything I have organized/cleaned has stayed that way. Go me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Resolutions and Cookbooks

My resolutions have been going pretty well so far. Everything that I have organized has stayed that way, I am back to eating healthier (you can read more about that on my other blog), have been planning out my menus (tried a new homemade calzone recipe tonight that we are going to add into the rotation :-)) Been drinking the water (that is what the picture is for this week for the theme "resolution" for my photo challenge) and have been couponing away!

I worked on my first quilt today (the one I took the class for) and quilted quite a bit of it today. I can't wait to get it all the way finished but it is tiring to move a blanket around a little sewing machine. I can sort of see the appeal of doing it by hand (though that would take FOREVER).

It warmed up to 40 and I actually went out without a jacket is nuts how fast 40 can feel warm. It was warm enough to melt all the snow except the huge piles and I think we have about a week until we are going to get anymore. I am out of town starting next week and into the next week so hopefully when it gets cold again I will miss some of it. It has been really cold here but I think that I would gladly take this weather to have the beautiful summer we had last year. Of course, I mostly work from home so there are days where I don't go out or if I do it is just to go to the gym so that might have something to do with it.

I also FINALLY made a friend here. Someone I can call for whatever. I think I told you guys about her...she also plays soccer with Craig but is normal (well, nutty but fun). She is our age and recently divorced so she definitely parties more than I can handle but she is also someone I can call to do "girl" stuff because she is always up for whatever. It is nice!

So, the cookbook. I have been wanting to make a photo book for a while with pictures from our trips but just haven't gotten around to it (it is on the list and with a chore day and everything so organized I am finding more time for the projects). Well, I think that first I am going to do a personal cookbook. I want one place to put all the recipes that I use all the time with notes that are just mine (like the changes I make to recipes on the internet) or recipes that I grew up with. I am not exactly sure how I want to design it yet....whether I want pictures of the dishes in there or just cute pages with the ingredients and instructions. Do you guys have any suggestions/ideas?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Still going.....

I think that I am FINALLY getting over the cold..this one was yucky with all the coughing and stuff. Craig and I are both still coughing but I am hoping that this will be the last of it and I can finally return to a normal schedule of working out next week.

Still cold here, still snowing..some of the time anyway. We ended up with 6-8 inches total and our neighborhood roads are awful. I have been driving around to run errands and such but I have slid twice...once in our neighborhood and once in a parking lot. Both were really quick and I didn't panic but it does make me nervous about driving when it is really bad. We are supposed to get snow again tomorrow and the temps aren't supposed to get out of the 20s (for highs) until the end of the week when we will get to a whopping 34! Yikes. It is cold. This morning I went to run errands though and the trees had somehow gotten this beautiful white coat on their branches. It was gorgeous! I wish that I could have taken a picture because it really did look like a winter wonderland but unfortunately I didn't have my camera and there really was nowhere to pull over (cliff literally on both sides) so you will just have to imagine. The trees in our yard are not as gorgeous because the sun shines on them and they have melted. Oh well, hopefully one day I will find a place I can pull over and will snag a picture for you.

New Year's resolutions are going well. I have kept everything that I organized that I had already organized before I got sick and today was the first weekend with "chore day". I have to say that I had done a lot of them last week so it wasn't so bad to touch them up this week. We just have a bad habit of waiting until things really need it to do it. I am going to try not to do that anymore. The thing that is still a little hard for me is the grocery store. I am sure that I will get the hang of it. I have saved a ton with coupons and I make a list but sometimes it still feels like I am going back for one or two more things (this week I thought we had bread for sandwiches so I got the meat and cheese, only to come home and find out we didn't and then since we were having sandwiches, Craig requested chips which were not on the list). It is much better though and the dinner side of things has gone beautifully. I think that I am getting into a groove of what our favs are and what other ones we like and it seems to fill up the dinner calendar pretty fast! I am pretty excited about that because I am thinking that if I can have a good bank of meals to choose from then it will make my life even easier.

Still couponing, though I am really disappointed in the paper here (yea, the one Craig works for!). There is always a list online of what coupons are supposed to be in the paper and they hardly ever match up with what I get. This week there were supposed to be two inserts but my paper only had one (and I checked the others and they all only had one). It wouldn't be such a big deal except the coupons we are missing are always the ones I need and for the products I annoying. I am not sure what the deal is but we are going to get a subscription with Craig's employee discount and I am hoping that when we get it delivered it will have all that I need and want. We will see. In the meantime I went to an online coupong service. Paying $.08 for a coupon that saves me $2 (and sometimes gets me free stuff) is worth it to me. Especially when it is on stuff that I don't want to switch brands on.

Finally, here is my picture for week 2 of the Photo Challenge I am doing. The theme is resolution. Week 1 was the picture of my newly cleaned craft room.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Too tired for a title

Sorry, Erin that I didn't post yesterday but you got all the pics right...I have no idea what happened to the 10th picture but you did get the rest right. The 10th one was also the hardest one but oh well. I will take a picture and send you your prize, but I have to warn you....we are pretty snowed in so it might be a few days.

I feel like crap. Last week I had a sinus infection type thing...not sure what it was really but I just had a ton of pressure in my sinuses...that finally went away and at about the same time Craig got sick but with a cold. He was coughing a lot and near me coughing a lot. I kept reminding him to cover his mouth to which he told me that I had already been sick and I wouldn't get sick again. Yeah, so 4 days later, here I am DYING. Now I have a cold. I knew it was coming. I sucked in my spin class on Monday, then I had a sore throat the last two days and now I have a nose that won't stop running.....good times. I hope I am able to take cold medicine with my new asthma medicine...I never asked the doc but nothing has happened yet so seems okk.

Not only do I feel like crap today but today might have been the single most pressure filled day in my career in a long time. My two employees and I had to review three full accounts (with multiple parts) for 85 locations between 9-5 (for each time zone) today. I started at 8:30 getting ready and didn't get done until 8:40 tonight....yay 12 hours when you feel like crap. Oh well. It is over now and I am laying on the couch, enjoying the fire and deciding if I am going to make hot chocolate.

We got a TON of snow today...literally about 6 inches. I am going to shoot some pics for you guys tomorrow, I just didn't have time today with all the work. Definitely getting a taste of real winter up here....not too bad though. Working from home helps!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

500th POST!!!!

Names on the wall
Banff Main Drag
Glacier National Park
Crooked Road
Athens, Greece
Galatia Villas
Ok, welcome to the 500th post (finally)!!! Here is the contest. I have put 10 pictures up here and cut little pieces out of each of them. The little bits I cut out are all on one sheet and are numbered 1-12 (well, the last one should say twelve). Be the first one to correctly match up all 10 of the pictures with the number of their little piece and you will win a prize :-) There are a couple extras in there to throw you off but most of them are really easy and I thought that this was a good way to show off some of my pictures from my vacations (remember that project of going through those photos). Enjoy!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow, Snow, Go AWAY!!

I am definitely missing my Southern weather right now. I know that you guys are chilly too but at least it isn't normal for it to be that cold there so you have hope of it leaving sometime soon. Everyone here just says we are just getting started and there are no HIGHs higher than 22 this week....before windchill.

I never knew, before I moved, that there were so many kinds of snow (sorry for those of you that have always lived with snow and think I am nuts). Last night Craig said that he thought if it snowed today it would be a dry snow. I just sort of looked and him with my 'confused' look as he calls it. Snow is water, right? How can water be dry? Well, today I learned. Apparently when you get dry snow it is the kind that is good to ski on and the kind that likes to blow around. It is also very slick. Good times. On the days when we have 'wet snow' it apparently just rolls right up into a snowman and you feel more like you are walking on chunks of ice rather than a ski slope or ice skating rink. It is weird to drive on dry snow because you can hear your tires making noises and stuff. Wet snow seems more like hard slush.

Luckily, with my new organized self, I have managed to not have to go out in the snow that much. The exception I made today was to go to my spin class at the gym. I was proud of myself for going because it could have been really easy to just stay at home and snuggle with my kitties or Craig. Yay me. Of course tonight I found out that they are going to start charging $1 per class in Feb for us to take the classes...what a ripoff. I don't think that it is fair that they can just change stuff like that on us. When I signed up it included all classes....I am sure there is small print to protect them...damn lawyers (kidding Morgan). I am sort of interested to see how it is going to work and how long it will last. I will stick with my spin classes but I will have to rethink some other because I like classes but I guess I will just have to learn how to work out on my own because 4-5 classes a week is an extra $20 a month! Needless to say..when my contract is up (next year :-() I will be switching to a gym that has everything included (and one my one friend here goes to so we could at least work out together). I would cancel now but I have to pay the rest of the membership in order to cancel so it isn't really worth it.

Other steps I took to stay organized:
--made a menu for the next 10-14 days and really only need to get a few items to have everything that I need. Hopefully this will help us to clean out the fridge and freezer and use up some of the food that might have gone bad if I didn't do this. I am going to try to do a rolling one, so now that I have cooked two of my meals, I need to add two to the end.
--made a list of projects that I have been wanting to complete...I did this awhile ago but then it got away from me again. They include but are not limited to: completing Ariyana's first year book (yes, she is 2), finish my new website and launch it, get the blog part of the photography website going, finish my fan page on FB for my photography biz (started it months ago but never finished it), finish my first quilt, actually go through all of my vacation pictures for the last 3 vacations (3!!!), and take more pictures per week that are not business related (am going to participate in a website that does them once a week (thanks Zane).
--clipped coupons and organized it all in a binder, made a list for each store I need to attend and am going to wait until a day in the week where I can hit all the stores for their sales (our Kroger resets on Tues, everyone else on Sun).
--downloaded a spreadsheet to track all my savings on groceries
--made a budget that we are going to stick to!!
--set up weekly tasks for certain days so they would become routine :-)

It has only been a few days but I already feel a lot less stressed out. I know what I am making every night for dinner, have leftovers for lunch, my room is clean, and I don't have to run a million little errands. I find that I have a lot more time already. I hope that I can apply that to some of my projects. I will try to get together a complete list of all of my projects and list them one day here so I can tick them off as I go.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I spent my morning doing today.....

I feel much better today...apparently that neti pot thing really works! I did it twice yesterday, took some meds and had a good night's sleep. I feel almost 100%! Unfortunately Craig now has the funk and boys are so needy when they are sick so just trying to do what I can.

So far (and only day 2, I know), I feel like the NY resolutions are going well. I started yesterday with the organizing and continued this morning when I got up. Here are some pictures. My craft room had become the room where things just got thrown that were mine but Craig wasn't sure what to do with or when I would come home from shopping and it is where we store all our xmas stuff...just all in all a mess. I know some of you will have a heart attack when you see the before pictures so please, let's focus on the afters :-)
I also wrote up some menus for the next 10-14 days for dinner (breakfast we have the same pretty much every weekday and lunch is just me) and I was surprised in that I don't really need to buy anything until about 10 days from now. That should help with cutting down on the trips to the grocery store (4-5 times a week before) because it will help me to be more efficient :-)

In other news, it is cold as shi+ here. I read posts about it being 12 in Atlanta and wish it was that warm here. Sadly the other day I said it felt warmer out and the temp was 30! It snowed again last night (never a lot but still) which I think is the 4th or 5th time now and we aren't even supposed to get cold weather until Jan-Feb. Good times. Funny how hats, scarves and gloves are no longer a fashion statement but a necessity to stay warm! We can start using our fireplace soon so I am pumped about that!! YAY!!

Hope everyone else is enjoying these last few days of the holidays...all day I thought it was Sunday :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010


Last night was one of my laziest New Year's ever and I don't even have kids yet. I have felt like poo for the last three days. I am pretty sure it is a sinus infection (though I have never had one before but my sinuses are literally tender to the touch). I am hoping I am on the tail end of it now. I did buy one of those sinus cleanse/neti pot things today. I was really hesitant about it but people swear by them and after looking up a video on YouTube it didn't look too gross. I have to say that it wasn't gross at all (feels strange for the first second but if you breathe through your mouth it is ok) but it did make me feel a little better. There is so much pressure in my head and it said you could do it every 2 hours so I might do it once more before bed until I start feeling better. Today I have tried to relax (ran some errands that I HAD to do this morning). Football has been on TV all day and I am working on my New Year's resolutions. Speaking of which, here they are:

1. Continue to eat healthy and reduce the amount of processed food I eat even more than I already have.
2. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day (I know that is a bit untraditional).
3. Become more organized and keep it that way. (this will also allow me to work on a few projects that I have wanted to complete and just haven't had time to because I am always running around).

I started on 2 and 3 today (and I guess sort of 1 since I went grocery shopping). I know that #2 will not be that hard if I can just remember to do it. #3 however...whew. I started off pretty good. I love the suggestions that I got from you guys and I started by reorganizing our Christmas stuff after we took it all down. We had several containers and a couple bags and then a couple lose items. I am proud to report that I didn't buy anything in the after xmas sales this year. I already have 5 rolls of paper, xmas cards to last through 2014, and enough lights to make our house rival the National Lampoon house. I didn't NEED anything else so I refrained. I also got rid of a couple things that we will never use. All it all it was pretty easy and we were able to put all our xmas stuff together and away. Next I tackled the tupperware cabinet. That thing literally drove me nuts. I could never find a lid for the bowls and half the time when you opened it a million little tupperwares fell out. UGH. I went through it all and matched everything up and then anything that didn't have a partner got throw away. On to the next thing on the list. I followed the advice of the organizing website that I read and broken all the things I need to do up into 15-20 minute projects. This makes for a really long list but it also allows you to cross things off easily(and all you list people know how joyous that is). I am feeling pretty good about it and hope to really purge a lot of stuff in the next few days/weeks and to not let it get so messy and unorganized again.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's! Welcome to 2010!