Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bridal Shower Info Request

Alright ladies....I need your help!

I am planning a bridal shower for my best friend and I do not know where to begin. We just picked a date and now I am trying to get all the bridesmaids on the same page so that we can start the planning process.

What are your tips, ideas, etc.?

The bride's only request is that we do not play any games, so other than that I am open to anything.

I also am looking for bridal shower invitations, so if you have seen any that you absolutely love please let me know!

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

Thank you all for your sweet comments! It sounds like a lot of people were having crappy days as well. I hope everyone is feeling refreshed this morning and ready for a new day.
I have another rough day ahead of me, but I am just trying to remember this motto:

Image via Amazon

I also try to remember that there is a glass of wine, a snuggly puppy, and an adoring husband (who brought home Red Velvet cupcakes yesterday) waiting for me at home. Thank God that they always make me feel better!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Call Me Alexander

Today has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Image via Amazon

I am overwhelmed and very stressed.

I am going to head home tonight, make dinner, take a bath, and just relax so that I can get up with a better attitude tomorrow.

I just have to remember that things may not be all that bad and I am lucky to have a job. Right, Alexander??

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Outfits for the Week!

Is it really Sunday night already?

This past week was a big success and I wore the exact outfits I had planned for each day. It was so nice waking up knowing that I would not have to venture into my closet to find something to wear. I will admit that there were two days where I thought "I really don't want to wear this" as I was getting dressed, but those moments were fleeting and did not creep back into my thoughts for the rest of the day. I actually really liked all the outfits I put together and felt great about what I was wearing every day.

I just finished putting together my outfits for this week and I must say it was a tad harder than last week. I tried to incorporate color and mix things up, but I am not sure how successful I was. Let me know if you have any suggestions for how to make the outfits better!

Monday (no school for the kids; training for me):

Black Bottom Ruffles Tee, Always Skinny Jeans: Gap
Beige Cardigan: J Crew
Black Pumps: Cole Haan
Pearl/Chain necklace: American Eagle circa 2004 maybe?

Tuesday (test*ing observation):

Ivory turtleneck sweater: Loft
Ruffle Dress: J Crew
Ivory tights: drug store?
Brown leather boots: Stein Mart circa 2006

Wedensday (meeting day):

Blue Ruffle top: Gap
Fushia cardigan: J Crew
Khaki Martin pants: Banana Republic
Rose bow belt: Old Navy
Brown Mary Janes: Payless circa 2007

Thursday (lots of time with kids):

Pattern Dress: TJ Maxx circa 2008
Teal tights: Gap
Black Cardigan: Loft
Ruffle flats: BC Footwear

Friday (lots of time with kids):

Silvery tank top: Loft
Purple Cardigan: J Crew
Polka dot belt: J Crew
Joe's Jeans
Silver Revas

As I just typed everything I see that I like cardigans and ruffles this week. It's funny how I didn't realize that I was picking similar things until now. Oh well. I'll try to add more variety next week! I also want to try and wear different shoes next week. Clearly I wear the same ones over and over. I didn't pick jewelry for the last couple of days because I want to see what will go best with the outfits once I have them on. Again, let me know if you have any suggestions!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Classics

Last week after dinner at Hook for Restaurant Week, AJ and I decided to stop at Barnes & Noble to use a gift card I received from my Secret Snowflake (we're very PC at my school). I really hate shelling out money for books unless there is something specific I need, so I browsed the Home & Gift section for stationary, desk accessories, and organization stuff. There were a bunch of things I wanted, including all of the red crocodile items, but I couldn't decide on just one thing so I gave up and went to find AJ to see if there was anything he wanted.

As we continued to browse we stumbled upon the Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics. Have you seen these? If there is one kind of book I will buy brand new, it is a classic. These are beautiful books and are a steal at $20 a pop. I really want to collect them all so that we have the books available for our future children. For now we settled on one for each of us, which should hold us over for a while.


The Complete Sherlock Holmes for him and Jane Austen's Seven Novels for me.

I have only read one of Jane Austen's books, but it was back in high school so I don't really remember what it was about. I also haven't seen any of the movies. I am hoping to read all seven novels by the end of the summer. I am in two book clubs so I will be reading other books between now and then as well. I think I can do it, right?

I also plan to read Sherlock Holmes at some point. AJ already finished the first story, and he said he will never be able to enjoyably read another author's mystery novels because these books are so well written.

Have you read any of these books? Which is your favorite?

ETA: Barnes & Noble did not ask me to write this and I was not paid for this post. Do I really have to write this every time I talk about a product? Lame!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honk

As you all know I live in DC and commute just outside the city for work. This is a genuis plan because I do a reverse commute, making traffic bareable in a metro area where driving can be torture. Given that my commute is pretty short (15-20 minutes) and usually without hassle, I rarely have any stories to share. However, there is this one lady that I see (well, hear) driving most mornings and she is RIDICULOUS. I have been wanting to post about this lady for months, but every morning I get to work and get busy and every night I get home and forget. Today, I actually got a look at her so I can finally share this story with you!

I drive mostly on city streets (as opposed to highways), so my commute is full of traffic lights. The lights are not timed so that you can drive down the road without stopping, so I get stuck sitting at red lights every few blocks. Normally this would drive me crazy (and it did at the beginning of the year), but I know which intersections I have to sit at and the predictability soothes me. (Yes, I know I am crazy).

So anyway, this lady (who apparently commutes at the same time I do) honks her horn when a light turns green. That doesn't sound that strange right? I certainly honk my horn if someone sits at a green light. However, she honks her horn the SECOND the light turns green. EVERY SINGLE. TIME. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Over the past 5 months I have figured out what car she drives and that she is a woman, but I have never seen her actually "in action". Today I heard her honk at a red light about 1/2 way through my commute, so I knew she was around. At the next red light we ended up sitting in adjacent lanes, so I watched her. Just as predicted, the second the light turned green, even though the people in front of her were off their brakes and slowly accelerating, she honked.

The interesting thing is that she didn't look stressed. No angry face, no flailing of the arms, nothing. Her face was calm and relaxed. She doesn't lay on the horn...it is just a quick honk, like an alert. Is this how she learned to drive? Is she late every single day? What is her motivation? Are there other people commuting at the same time that also notice her? How did I get stuck with the crazy honking lady? So many questions!

Bottom line: It is so weird.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Outfits for the Week!

Today has been a super productive day! We went grocery shopping, hit up the Museum of Natural History, had lunch at Elephant & Castle, took Kona to the dog park, baked cupcakes, picked out my outfits for the week, and made homemade spaghetti. The spaghetti is currently in the drying process, so that gives me a chance to post my outfits.

Today (something comfy and practical for the million things we did):


Ruffled Plaid Shirt, Always Skinny Jeans: Gap
Grey Cardigan: Loft
Black Boots: Steve Madden

Tuesday (test*ing and coun*seling...AKA lots of face time with kids):
Sweater: Banana Republic
Grey Wool Pants: Loft
Silver Revas

Wednesday (meeting day):
Tweed Skirt (back view): Loft
Black Turtleneck Sweater: Express
Black Hose: Drug Store?
Cole Haan Nike Air Karma Pumps

Thursday (evaluation meeting with supervisor and another meeting day...boo):

Pink 3/4 length Turtleneck, Grey Sweater Coat, Black Martin Pants: Banana Republic
Ruffle flats: BC Footwear

Friday (professional development and staff meeting at my office):

Cable Knit Sweater: Ralph Lauren
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Revas

Saturday (Capitals game and out with my BFFs from high school):
Striped Sweater Dress, Black Leggings: INC via Macy's
Black Boots: Steve Madden

I will be carrying the new bag I bought with a Macy's gift card I got for Christmas:
This was actually a lot of fun to do! Also, thanks to a few people's ideas in the comments from my idea post, I steamed, ironed, and lint rolled everything so that I will be all ready to go in the mornings. I know I wasn't that adventurous this week, but since this was my first time planning a week's worth of outfits I tried to keep it simple. Please let me know if you are also posting your outfits for the week so I can check them out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Did you get the memo?

Last week our school hosted spelling bees for the primary, intermediate, and middle school grades. I was asked to be an announcer for the kindergarten through 2nd grade spelling bee. I was so excited to take part in a fun, educational activity! Of course, it wasn't without a few snafus so I am here to share them with you...and yes, you'll get a few laughs on my behalf.

First a little background....

Prior to the spelling bee we had the Great American Spellcheck, where students basically took a spelling test on a list of 25 words appropriate for their grade. Any student that received a perfect score got to participate in the spelling bee. A couple weeks ago I read the 5th grade spelling words for the Spellcheck, which was broadcast from the "tv studio" in our school to the 5th grade classrooms. A few days before the spellcheck, the spelling bee committee gave me the list of words for 5th grade and told me I needed to make up sentences for the words. Sounds easy, right? It actually was a lot harder than I expected so I made AJ do it for me. When I showed up in the tv studio the day of the spellcheck, there was a binder filled with sentences for each word. I was kind of annoyed that I (okay, AJ) didn't need to create sentences, but I just let it slide.

When I was asked to announce the words for the spelling bee the coordinator told me I didn't need to make sentences because I would have the binder with me on stage. Perfect! So I show up to the spelling bee empty handed, and of course when I get to the podium....the only thing up there is the list of words. NO SENTENCES. I tried not to panic and kept telling myself these are kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade words....it will be easy! This was only partially true. Making a sentence for cat or boy or red is not too difficult, but beyond that it gets real hard, real fast. Those kids ran up to the microphone when it was their turn and I barely had two seconds to take a breath, let alone think of a good sentence.

I had plenty of fine sentences, but of course those don't stick out in anyone's mind. First, I tried changing the tense of a word by adding "ing"....in the middle of a sentence. Here is what I sounded like: Fly. I do not like flying in... oh wait....Sorry, let me start over. Fly. I do not like to fly in airplanes. Fly. Here are my golden sentences that the staff is still laughing at this week.

1st: GIVE - We should all give blood.
2nd: GET - Did you get the memo?

I mean really? I was facing a crowd of little kids! I am pretty sure they have no idea what giving blood means. Or it could have scared them because my school is in a rough neighborhood and who knows what giving blood means there. Same for the memo sentence....apparently I transported myself to an office environment for a brief second. Luckily both of the kids spelled those words correctly so I didn't feel bad...but still! I don't know what I was thinking. Both times the staff cracked up. And I couldn't help but laugh at myself too. I also skipped over the word Itself because all I could think of was The toilet cleans itself. Cue uncontrollable little kid laughter.

So please, if you are ever organizing a spelling bee, make sure your announcers have sentences in front of them. Otherwise you never know what you're going to get!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Outfit Planning

While planning my menu yesterday, I got thinking about how productive I would be if I planned everything out in advance. Obviously that isn't entirely possible, but surely there are some things I could plan....

One of the first things that came to mind was planning my outfits for the week. My alarm goes off at 6 AM and I usually leave my house by 7 AM (with my curlers still in my hair) so that does not leave me a lot of time to plan my outfit in the morning.

I pretty much always lay out an outfit for Monday on Sunday night, but that is the extent of my planning. The rest of the week I pick out my outfit in the morning, and some days I do well, but there are many days when I am too tired to find something fab. Instead I usually just throw on a cable knit sweater and khakis. I blogged about "my uniform" once before and since I still get stuck in that rut every now and then, outfit planning just might help me wear all those clothes I never wear and to be more creative with my wardrobe.

I didn't plan a week's worth of outfits yesterday because this idea was still coming to fruition in my head, but next week I am definitely going to try it. It will be a good week to begin outfit planning because I have Monday off....yay for a short week.

Does anyone already do this? Anyone want to join me in this new venture?

Here is what I put together last night for today:


Black sweater dress: 2008 Christmas gift (not sure where it is from)
Pink tights: Target
Ruffle flats: Piperlime
Bow Headband: Forever 21 (which was a gift from Ms. Mindless!)

Here's hoping I can look this fun everyday!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Challenge Updates

It felt so nice to take a brief break from the digital world. And now an update about my "Digital Cleanse"....

Although I cheated a few times and visited Facebook, I stayed away for 4 whole days and it was so nice not worrying about what other people were doing. I still like Facebook and will be active on the website, but I certainly don't need to be checking it 10 times a day.

The same goes for Twitter. I finally logged into Twitter last night for the first time in over a week and I have to be honest, I didn't really miss it. I would rather have a few good conversations through email or gchat with the people I actually like to keep in contact with. There are so many people I follow that annoy me and I don't know why I subject myself to them. It is a very strange phenomenon. I am sure I will pop up again in your Twitter feeds, but I am guessing it will only be sporadically.

As for texting...I cheated a couple days after beginning the cleanse because one of my college roommates texted me a picture of her engagement ring while on a trip to Hawaii. I just had to reply! She and her now fiance have been together for 10 years (!) and we all were just waiting for the day when they would finally get engaged. After that I was more lax with abstaining from texting, but I still took time to call my mom in my car on the way home from work most days, so that was nice. I just can't deny how easy it is to communicate through texting. Our family plan includes unlimited texting and it fits in with most people's lifestyles much easier. So although I will continue to be a texting machine, I am still going to try and make and active effort to talk on the phone with those who mean the most to me.

Not emailing from my phone was the easiest. I don't have my work email on my phone so I mostly get junk or stuff from friends, so it was easy to wait and reply when I got to a computer.

As for Improve Yourself! 2010, I am going strong with my goal to save money and put it in our house fund. Granted it has only been a week, but I menu planned last Monday and we actually stuck to it! Such a big feat for us. I have created another menu plan for this week, and after church this morning I hit up the grocery store. I saved $45 (and spent $58) by only buying stuff on sale and using coupons. Here is our menu for the week:

Sun: Spaghetti and homemade meatballs with side salads
Mon: My grandma's homemade chicken soup with crescent rolls
Tue: NY Strip Steaks with sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes, and side salads
Wed: Tilapia over steamed spinach with a side of fettuccine alfredo
Thu: Quick Beef Soup with the leftover crescent rolls
Fri: Dinner out
Sat: Pizza (Maybe chicken, spinach, and tomato pizza, Landlocked Mermaid style)

Does anyone else have any other recommendations for how to stick with our financial goals? I am open to hearing anything!