Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why I've Been MIA for the Past Billion Days

Well, at least it's felt like a billion days. Maybe not quite that many.

I realize I have been extremely negligent lately with this poor excuse for a blog, and I intend to do much better starting next week. This weekend is the annual Plumgrove Boutique - 32nd annual, in fact - and I've been in ultra-Martha-Stewart-crazy-obsessive-crafting mode for the past several weeks getting ready for it. 

****Shameless Plug Alert****

Come check out some of my stuff!

The 32nd Annual Plumgrove Boutique is this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18th & 19th. Check out more of the details including times and address at facebook.com/Plumgrove!

Here are a few sneak peeks...

Hope to see you there!

...and if you can't make it this weekend, you WILL see more of my blog after this weekend. I promise.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frugal Fright-day: Tip #13

In this week's Halloween edition of 
A Cheapskate's Guide to Frugal Living...

Tip #13: To save money on Halloween costumes, work with what you've got.

This tip is brought to you by Nora... just look at the great, original, creative, one-of-a-kind costumes you can whip up just by gathering things from around the house and tying them onto your body. Who cares that no one will have any idea what you're supposed to actually be... or that to most people, you will probably just appear to be homeless and less than sane... Just think of all those times you've shown up to a Halloween party wearing a sexy cat costume that you went out and spent thirty bucks on just to run into five other people wearing the same thing - you will never again have that problem (and you'll also save a good chunk of change) by adopting one of these soon-to-be classics:

Nora Socky-Hands (this, by the way, is "Beach" version - sunglasses and shirt are optional.)


Superwoman: Kitchen Edition
(...gestures are important with this one  - be sure to point and keep a serious face...
"I want YOU to do the dishes. I'll dry.")

Clothespin Monster - what could be scarier than clothespins?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glorious Pens

So I realize I haven't mentioned much about my new job since I've started nearly two months ago. All I will say is that it's government-related. Partly because I don't actually know how much I should say on a blog like this, and partly because I like the suspicion and intrigue that will ensue after vague comments like that. (...and partly because, well frankly, there's not much to mention.)

However, I will tell you that every so often I'm reminded of some specific TV representations of government offices...

Like one day this week, when I overheard one person barter with another co-worker to exchange a much-needed highlighter for a pen refill... all I could think of was the 30 Rock episode where Jack takes a position with Homeland Security and spends some time in DC with guest star Matthew Broderick:

Jack Donaghy: Cooter, look at this place. This can't be what you want in life. Haven't you ever thought about leaving?

Cooter: Of course. Every day. Every day for two years. Look at these resignation letters...they're written in ketchup, dirty rock, leak water... But now you're here. You're here and everything's gonna be better. Now we've got pens. Glorious pens! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manic Monday

Today I woke up at 6:25.

I usually wake up around 5:45 and leave my house by 6:35. It was a very Manic Monday kind of morning. (And no, I wasn't in the middle of a dream, kissing Valentino near a crystal-blue Italian stream.)

So around mid-day when I finally started to wake up and started thinking about what I didn't feel like making for dinner tonight, I made the executive decision that we'd use our 'free steak dinner' coupon we recently got in the mail and go to Outback for dinner. After several months of  severely trimming down our budget, we had kind of forgotten how nice it was to dine out once in a while (don't read that wrong... I don't by any means consider Outback Steakhouse 'fine dining', but at the rate we've been going we pretty much consider Taco Bell a fun and fancy treat). It was a relaxing and mess-free finish (well, maybe not for the waitress and busboy at Outback) to an otherwise crazy start to the week.

And now, here's what Nora's been up to lately:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Frugal Friday: Tip #61

In this week's edition of A Cheapskate's Guide to Frugal Living...

Tip #61: Cut your own (or better yet, your spouse's) hair.

A trip to the hairdresser can cost you a pretty penny these days. Why not grab some scissors and try your own hand at barber-shoppery? Well I did, and while I myself wasn't willing to be the guinea pig for my first haircut, my adventurous (or apathetic) husband was.

Here's how it went:

Nick: I really need a haircut.
Me: I'll do it for you.
Nick: Ok.
(the next morning... Saturday morning, aka College Football day, mind you...)
Nick (as I begin cutting): You have no idea what you're doing, do you.....?
Me: No, not really, I've never done this before.
(snip snip snip)
Nick: Are you done yet? This is taking forever.
Me: It's been like 5 minutes. I said I've never done this before. Chill out.
(snip snip snip)
Nick: This is taking forever.
Are you done yet?
Are you cutting all my hair off?
You'll never make any money doing this.
Me: I said chill out... is this how you talk to the hairdresser when you go out to get your hair cut?

...and after only 1 hour (3, if you ask Nick, but he's known to be a liar about these things), voila! A beautiful haircut with only a few little patchy spots that you could easily argue are *stylistic choices* or *artistic flair* or my personal reasoning, *one of those neat haircuts when people get designs shaved into the sides of their head.*
It's only been a couple weeks, and it's filled in quite nicely and could almost pass as a real haircut. Another skill to add to the resume.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Introducing... Frugal Friday: A Cheapskate's Guide to Frugal Living

So guess what? I've decided to make a new addition to my blog. Every Friday (and maybe a few days in between), I will be posting new tips as part of a series I'm calling "Frugal Friday: A Cheapskate's Guide to Frugal Living."
I will include this disclaimer only once: this is not to be taken seriously. If you've ever read this blog before, you'll realize that my musings are at most (or all) times sarcastic, ill-informed, cynical, and/or ridiculous (or all of the above). However, although these tips are not intended to be taken seriously, you have every right to implement them at your discretion. I won't tell. Or judge. After all, I'm the one who writes this nonsense.
I will also, on occasion, share some useful information with you mentioning any great deals I may find, so you, too, may share in the glory of living like a cheapskate. 
And one more disclaimer, or rather, an addendum to the first disclaimer: these tips are gathered from ideas that pop into my head throughout the day under various circumstances, therefore they are brought to you in no particular order and without much filtering.
So now, without further ado:
Tip #104: Save money on bathroom supplies by saving your dirty business for the workplace.
Tired of buying ginormous packages of toilet paper and literally flushing your hard-earned money down the drain? Cut your toilet paper budget in half (or more!) by only going #2 at work. Think of how much more toilet paper is used by #2 versus #1... why not secretly shift that expense to your office supply budget? And who will know? And even if they were to somehow find out, who would approach you or discipline you for such an act? Don't worry - the awkwardness or embarrassment of that situation on their end will totally outweigh the awkardness and embarassment on your end as you stink up the employee restroom each morning. What about weekends, you may ask? Well I come back with, how important is saving money to you? Surely you can endure a couple of short days of discomfort if it means only having to buy that small 4-roll package of toilet paper at the 99 Cent Store  rather than the 36-roll mega pack at Costco on your next shopping trip. And another budget bonus: you'll save money on air fresheners as well.

...aren't you just so excited to find out what other awesome penny-pinching tips may be in store for you?

You're welcome.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Football & Funerals

That's what our week and upcoming weekend hold for us.

Last week we lost a very dear family friend of ours, Shari Delgado. It was sudden and mostly unexpected, and it hit our close-knit group of family friends pretty hard. Shari battled both diabetes and Multiple Schlerosis for many years, and also experienced several seizures in the recent past - she definitely did not have an easy life, and missed out on a lot of things that a healthy 36-year-old would normally be blessed with. But, you would never know it by talking to her. Shari undoubtedly will always be one of the most inspirational people I have ever known - she had every reason to feel sorry for herself, yet she never, EVER did. Many people in her situation would have grown bitter, angry, resentful, or depressed at best... but not Shari. Shari was probably the most cheerful person I've ever met in my life, always smiling, always thinking about everyone else before herself. And that's how we'll always remember her.

Tomorrow Shari's family and friends are celebrating her life with a reception honoring her memory. I was asked to sing as part of the celebration, and was hesitant at first, for fear that it would be too emotional and too difficult. But that feeling only lasted a brief moment until I realized how much Shari would have enjoyed it and appreciated it... and if she lived day in and day out and dealt with everything life threw at her, I could handle singing one song in her honor.

This week has also been a busy one for Nick's football schedule, as he'll be a referee for games three days this week (pretty much the most you can do in a week... another good sign that he's doing pretty well with it). After each game, he comes home and tells me that it's hands-down the most fun he's ever had making money. I'm really happy that he's found a side-job that he really loves, and so far I really haven't minded the nights that he's away, since most nights I'm able to see my Oma after work since she watches Nora for us on those days anyway. The loss of Shari has again reminded me that we all only have so much time in our lives to spend with those that we love, and I remind myself of this each time I go to Oma's house. We have dinner together, talk, and laugh at Nora as she runs around the house with tupperware and fresh-picked cherry tomatoes from the garden while she dances to polka music. Tonight will be the third night this week that I'll be over there, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Lesson in Gardening

For those of you wanting to try your hand at gardening, specifically growing a vegetable garden, here's a brief lesson.

Grow stuff like this:

that's a cucumber.

Not like this:

that's a pepper. supposedly.

For a more in-depth lesson, you should probably ask my Oma. I'm clearly not an expert.

I do have a vegetable garden... it's just not what you would call 'productive.' If you're looking for beautiful, huge, delicious cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and an assortment of other fresh home-grown vegetables, you should go see Oma. However, if you're in the market for miniature jalapeno peppers, you've come to the right place. But you better hurry, we sell out quick here. Probably because there is only 1 pepper.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mmmmmm Autumn...

Autumn, or Fall, is my favorite season. There are several reasons for this, but I think they all boil down to the same reason: it is the prelude to the Christmas season. I L-O-V-E Christmas-time. Like... really. I'm a little nuts. I've always been that way, and so has my sister - anytime we catch a hint of wood-burning-fireplace-smoke-scent in the air: "It's Christmas-time... start a fire, open presents." If there is an unseasonally cool day: "It's Christmas-time... start a fire, open presents." I can't even count how many inappropriate times I recite this phrase throughout the year.
But, of course, before the Christmas season, we have Fall - and I think this anticipation building up to the beginning of winter and the holiday season is what makes Fall so much fun. The leaves changing color, the days gradually getting shorter, the weather getting a little cooler and a little crisper... it all adds to the fun. And now that I've returned to work, it feels as if I've been on summer vacation these past few months and am now returning for a new school year, and in my mind, that equates to Fall. Forget the fact that it's still nearing 100 degree in Sacramento this week, or that we're still swimming and using the air conditioner, or that it's still August (at least for today). No: it's Fall.
Which means gathering ideas and starting craft projects for the annual Plumgrove Boutique (don't worry, there will be MANY more plugs for this before November 18th), pulling out the harvest-themed placemats and table runner, and plugging in the 'Harvest Apple' wallflowers air freshener refill. Mmmmm.... I can already taste the apple cider at Apple Hill, feel the warmth of the fireplace, and hear the Christmas music (...or is that last one coming from my iPod right now?). Tis the season.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bring it, Kohl's.

Today I went to Kohl's.

Yes, that's right... look again. I spent 43 cents. Have I mentioned before that I love a good deal?

Nick has recently begun referee-ing (that's a thing, right?) for youth football - pop warner leagues all the way up to high school varsity football. It's something he's been wanting to do for a few years now because he is a football fan beyond obsessed with the sport, and had always thought that if he had the time he'd like to try it. He's enjoying it so far and it's also looking like it will be a nice little side job for some extra cash. And he's apparently pretty good, since he told me yesterday that he's already so highly rated that he's the only first-year official assigned to a varsity game (which is how you know if you're good or not... the crappy refs apparently get stuck with the 7 year-olds that don't have any idea what's going on). 

So, he needed a few black t-shirts to wear under his uniform, and he had gotten $10 in 'Kohl's cash' recently when he bought a pair of shoes for the uniform... I then stopped into Kohl's after work today armed with the afore-mentioned Kohl's cash (which is basically a free $10 to spend on anything in the store) and promptly found three black t-shirts on clearance. I paid 43 cents for three t-shirts and thoroughly impressed the snaggle-toothed cashier (who looked like she could've been 17 or 58). I totally see the logic behind this 'Kohl's cash' - they clearly want it to entice you to go into the store and spend more than $10 so they are still bringing in revenue, possibly from customers that wouldn't normally shop there, and creating a loyal returning customer out of you. Na-ah, Kohl's - not me. I will take all of your free coupons and Kohl's cash and whatever other promotional free stuff you want to give me and leave with a bag full of stuff without paying much more than a few pennies. You may still be taking my money, but I promise it will only be 43 cents at a time. Game on.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't you wish you were married to me?

I don't think I've mentioned recently that I love my husband. So: I love my husband. 

I am incredibly grateful that Nick has the kind of job where he has the option of working from home so he's able to be home with Nora a few days a week. I don't think he always feels the same way, however... especially since Nora's favorite hobbies now include diving headfirst off the couch into the coffee table, kicking the dog square in the face without any provocation whatsoever, and hiding her pacifier in her diaper pail with the poopy diapers.
Nick also puts up with a lot of my craziness. Like last night, for example, we took a quick trip to Target, mainly for milk since we were almost out, and for a few other items we needed. The whole reason, mind you, for even going to Target in the first place (for the second trip in less than 5 days), was for the great "sale" on milk. I say "sale" because it wasn't really... in my mind, it was - because as Nick told me, I'm apparently selectively dyslexic. I swore up and down that milk was on sale for $2.39 this week... that's $1 off the regular price, mind you, which is pretty unbeatable for a gallon of whole milk (note this is Nora's milk... we don't drink milk regularly enough to mind whole milk in coffee, etc.... we're not big milk fatties that just drink whole milk all the time - no offense to any of you who drink whole milk all the time, but really, you should probably switch to at least 2%).
So when we got to the refrigerated case and Nick pointed out it was $3.29, NOT $2.39, I was up in arms and promptly ran back to the front of the store to check the price printed in the weekly ad. I was very disappointed in myself when I saw he was right. SO not a great deal. After begrudgingly putting the milk in the cart, grumbling that had I known the real price I wouldn't have passed it up at Costco to make a special trip to Target for this "great sale", Nick was already heading toward the checkout stand. So upset by my failure to save $1 on milk (yes, these things upset me), I *kind of* blew up at him a little, explaining how I wasn't even done yet and why are you in such a hurry and can you stay at least a little close by so I can put things in the cart you're pushing and this is why I can't bring you grocery shopping. Yeah.... he puts up with the crazy.
I love you, Nick. Maybe I'll make you a watermelon margerita tonight.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alas, A Weekend at Home

This past weekend was the first weekend we've actually been able to wake up in our own bed in over a month - literally. Since the second weekend in July, we've been camping...

or vacationing at Russian River...

or in San Diego for Morgan and Cory's wedding...

or in Reno celebrating Corey's 21st birthday.

This past weekend, however, we had no major trips planned, and it was wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I am, by no means, complaining that we HAD to go on vacations and be part of an awesome wedding for two of our favorite people in the world and spend a weekend gambling and drinking in the biggest little city in the world. We had a blast each and every weekend with all of our favorite family and friends. But I think everyone can agree that after a while, you just can't wait to be sitting on your couch in your own living room, or using your own shower, or waking up in your own bed (even if there is a hairy, dog-version of Rosemary's baby at the end of that bed). A couple of things I really didn't miss: cleaning, laundry, making my own bed, and oh, that's right, the roosters. Yes, we have neighborhood roosters that have recently decided to take up residence in our park, directly behind our backyard. And every morning around 5:30am, they make sure to remind us that they're still alive and well.
Although we were at home most of the past weekend, we did take a drive to the bay area to attend a totally spectacular party, hosted by our favorite party-hosting friends, Mia and Kevan. The party was 80s-themed, in high demand after the first tubular soiree a few years back. Nora stayed home with Nick's mom, and Nick offered to drive home, so needless to say, I made sure I made the most of this opportunity and was in a fine state by the end of the night. Did not feel too hot the following morning. But totally worth it, as I am, of course, a phenomenal dancer after throwing back a couple of poorly-mixed rum-and-something-fizzy-and-something-juicy drinks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Brief Stint at Stay-at-Home-Mommyhood & what lies ahead...


Well, needless to say, it's been much, much, MUCH too long since my last blog post. And there's really been no excuse for it. In my last post (...way back in April...) I was just about to become a stay-at-home mom and we were getting ready to leave for Budapest with the family - both were extremely exciting, fun, and times which I will never forget. The trip to Budapest was beyond amazing... I can't even believe I didn't post after coming back (although it was already so long ago, I honestly kind of thought that I had!), it just doesn't seem to do it justice to mention it now, four months later, but here are some highlights: did lots of sightseeing, saw lots of distant family that fed us lots of delicious Hungarian food, drank A LOT of wine, and even survived a halfway-around-the-world-and-back flight with a 10-month old. Nora did amazingly well and was surprisingly extremely easy to travel with - unfortunately she will not have any recollection of the trip, but we came back with well over a thousand pictures collectively and hopefully we'll be able to make the trip again someday when she's older.
The beginning of one long plane ride... I've never been more thankful for Nora's excellent sleeping habits.
N-n-n-n-n-Nora the explorer.
Nick and Nora enjoying the leisurely walk across the Szechenyi Bridge toward Buda.
The quaint and windy streets of the castle district in Buda.
Breakfast of champions.
View from the Citadel, the highest point in Budapest.
Happily looking like tourists on the very-touristy Vaci Utca, making our way to the market.
I definitely recalled some very fond memories of my four months abroad while I was lucky enough to live in this beautiful city. I retraced the steps I took nearly five years ago (how has it really been that long?) around the city, down Andrassy Ut, around City Park and the fabulous Szecheny Baths, remembering without hesitation the correct stops on the metro lines and which streets to turn down in order to conveniently pass by my favorite places to eat and drink. Since we've gotten back from this trip, Nick and I have said countless times... I want to go back. But the real reason this trip was so special was because of the company we shared while there, in particular, my grandmother - Oma - to those of you who know our family. I can't describe how amazing it was to travel to her and my grandfather's hometown, to stay with family that she hasn't seen in decades and watch them reminisce and joke and sing like they had never been apart all these years... to see the small rural town which has been modernized (and by modernized, I mean some people now have running water and electricity, and some even have internet and satellite TV - ironically, however, many of those with satellite TV do not also have running water...) but still seems, in so many ways, frozen in a much simpler time where most people make homemade wine and many have not even been to the capital city of Budapest, 2 hours away. Oma was the very best tourguide we could have asked for, and when back in Budapest, I took over and happily helped my family to discover this beautiful and unique city on the Danube.
My grandfather's family's old street in the middle of Duschau/Duzs.
Our Duschau family... halfway around the world, yet so much like being at home.
My great-great grandmother's house, where Oma spent many happy days as a child. 
My mom, aunt Maria and uncle Norman taking in the view from my grandfather's family's former vineyard.

The best little traveler you know.
It was also very exciting and relieving knowing that once I returned from the trip, I would officially be a stay-at-home mom. While it was short-lived, I enjoyed each and every second that I was able to spend with Nora and wish it could have lasted a little longer before returning to work, but alas, I've learned since I've entered adulthood that unfortunately there's this silly thing called money and these other annoying things called bills and apparently, you need the former in order to get rid of the latter. I don't really like being an adult sometimes.

So, I am now once again a working employed-outside-the-home-and-getting-paid-for-it mom... and so far, even though it is not easy leaving Nora every morning, I'm actually really enjoying my new job. I'm extremely grateful for the fact that everyone I've met is genuinely nice and welcoming, making for an easy transition back into office-life. AND, everyone tells me there's a good chunk of downtime most days, which will hopefully allow me to get back to my blog on a much more regular basis. I figured that it was a good sign when on my second day, I looked in my file drawer and found this:

It was clearly left by the girl that used to sit at my cubicle. But the question was, did she accidentally leave it behind? Or, did she very purposefully leave it behind, because maybe she received it as a gift in a secret santa yankee swap gift exchange, when really what she wanted was the iPod? (...unfortunately it was the first assumption, and yes, I had to give it back.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I’m so excited… and I just can’t hide it…

Excitement is in the air. It has once again been much too long since my last post, and for that I do apologize…I'll be making up for it with a super long post this time. 

It’s been a very busy last few weeks and this week has been no exception. We spent this past weekend with my sister and her boyfriend at his family’s cabin, along with my brother and his girlfriend. The trip was mine and Nick’s birthday present from my sister, and we had a great weekend – and Nora seemed to enjoy her first snow trip, although she didn’t really come in contact too much with the actual snow… I think she was much more excited about the toy boats in the bathtub and her new-found crush in my sister’s boyfriend. I’ve never seen a 9-month old so smitten with an ‘older’ man.

The snow trip was a nice and relaxing finish to a busy and hectic week. On Monday of last week, I officially put in my two weeks notice for my job and have since been working non-stop to tie up any loose ends before my last day. This was both extremely exciting (if you know me then you know that this is a day I’ve been looking forward to for a while) and very nerve-wracking as I’ve been doing my best to assure myself that it’s the right move to make right now. I’ve been wanting a change for a while now, and this decision would have been made a year ago had it not been for a little bundle of joy surprising us and entering our lives (of course, an immense blessing which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, but a bit of a surprise, nonetheless). So, the time has now come to officially cut my ties with the job I was never really thrilled to have in the first place, but was very fortunate to have at a time when thousands of people were (are) still out of work. After this week, I will officially be a full-time momma (who is still looking for a part-time job… so if you know of anything, let me know!).

Part of the reason I chose to put in notice at this particular time was because of the other reason this last week and the current week have been so busy – we’re headed to Budapest in only 5 DAYS!!! We began planning this trip two years ago and for the longest time it seemed so far away, and was looking like only a few of us would be able to go. The group has now grown to include me, Nick and Nora, my brother and sister, aunt Kathy and uncle Norman (these were the original travelers), as well as my mom, my Oma, and my aunt Maria and uncle Paul. I don’t think I ever imagined we’d ever have the opportunity for a trip like this, and I’m so amazingly grateful and excited at the idea that we’re all actually going, especially when I think about how amazing it will be to be able to travel with my grandmother to the town where she and my grandfather grew up, in a little town in Southern Hungary. I know that there will also be some sad and bittersweet times on this trip, as we will all constantly be reminded of my grandfather and the fact that we’re making this trip without him, as we remember his memories and stories that we all grew up hearing. It will be the trip of a lifetime, and I plan to have lots of stories of my own and pictures to share when we return.

I’m hoping that no more than one or two of those stories will involve Nora being a pain in the butt during a ten hour flight, or of us missing our connecting flight in London during a 90-minute layover due to a diaper catastrophe. One can hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

And the rain rain rain came down down down…

Holy guacamole. It’s raining not only dogs and cats, but I think lions and tigers and bears, too. And that ferocious rain is accompanied by such lovely up-to-60mph-winds.

And thank you, CalTrans, for informing me of this with your roadside signs saying ‘Caution: High Wind’. Because that didn’t occur to me while I was struggling to keep my car on the freeway this morning and running my windshield wipers at ludicrous speed in an attempt to see through the sheets of rain being thrown against my windshield. I’m so grateful that sign was there to give me the news.

I would have felt much more informed had I seen this sign instead. At least it would have been news.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Am I The Biggest Loser?

Every season we I seem to get addicted to a new reality show. A couple of years ago it wasJersey Shore (…which we’re still addicted to, I’m sad to say… we love celebrating T-shirt time on Thursday nights), at one point it was More to Love (the fat girls’ version of The Bachelor, for those millions of you who did not watch it – I don’t really feel bad calling it that either, since that was literally the entire premise of the show and the point they constantly drilled into you), last year it was Ocho Cinco’s Ultimate Catch (I still can’t get over how big of a b**** Tara was – how did she manage to make it so far?!?).

This season, it’s The Biggest Loser. And it’s pretty pathetic how excited I get every Tuesday knowing that a new episode will be on that night – and tonight’s the night, and oh my god, they might bring Arthur back! How exciting… he sooo needs this, everyone knows it… how did they kick him off in the first place?

Yes, I’m really that excited. Not so much about Arthur, which they keep hyping up on the previews without actually saying that’s who’s coming back but still making it really obvious to the point that it’s not even a question, but about a new episode. Nick was actually the one that suggested we start watching it, and I thought, ‘hmm, this might be good – maybe watching this will encourage us to eat healthier and exercise more, and maybe consider getting a gym membership again or at least go on walks in the park which is literally in our backyard.’ Alas, no. Instead, we usually end up opening up a package of oreos about ten minutes into the show and drinking an entire bottle of wine… which is totally reasonable when you think about the fact that we’re eating oreos during the show which is TWO HOURS every week (is that really necessary? I’m really not complaining though…) and that’s quite a long time to be eating cookies without having something to wash them down with. And if we’ve learned anything fromThe Biggest Loser, it’s that milk is fattening and packs a lot of calories, ergo, wine is clearly the healthier choice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Morning in the Seevers House

A morning of relaxing before I start getting ready for church... watching some cartoons (Nora couldn't care less... so pretty much just me watching Spongebob), checking email... as well as:

Nora taking bites out of magazines - 

...and the dog drinking an entire cup of coffee while I change a diaper... my fault for leaving it sitting on the coffee table (what kind of dummie leaves a coffee cup on the coffee table?). 

At least it's a better start to the day than yesterday, when we woke up and realized we had no power and hadn't had power since the middle of the night... and wouldn't be getting power back until 2:00 in the afternoon. Not having power kind of sucks. I reminded myself every so often as I eagerly awaited the electricity to return that there are thousands and thousands of people in other parts of the world right now - Japan, New Zealand - that are in MUCH worse shape and would be thrilled to only have to worry about not having power for 12 hours. I, however, could only think about the fact that my head would be killing me by about 11am if I didn't find a way to make coffee. And that I had a 3lb tri tip in the refrigerator marinating for dinner that night with Nick's family, with a death sentence as it got less and less cold in there and I wondered about a plan B for Nana's birthday dinner. And that I really needed to vacuum the rugs and run the washing machine to wash the bathroom rugs and towels before they came over at 6pm. Obviously, these were very trivial concerns in the grand scheme of things, but when the power's out and you can't watch TV or use the internet, you have time to dwell on silly thoughts like this.  Of course, everything turned out fine - the power came back on suddenly a little after 2pm, and we had plenty of time to finish cleaning and get the food ready before everyone came over (...early, of course... I'm so used to my family that shows up about a half hour late to everything, so arriving early is quite a foreign idea). We had a great time visiting with Nick's mom, uncle, Nana, and Nana's best friend Bertha. Enjoyed some champagne, ate a good dinner, shared in some birthday cake. Happy 85th Birthday, Nana!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling a little old… but not minding it so much.

I’m officially another year older, and I have to say, I’m okay with it. (How do you feel about it, Jon Hamm? Don’t worry, you’ll always be a young and dapper dreamboat in my eyes…) I know that I’m still by no means old… some of my older more distinguished friends and family members would not be very pleased with me if I said that 26 was old.

I think it’s the fact that 25 was such a nice round number… only a quarter of a century, still only halfway to 50, old enough to rent a car (…who really cares, right?), and by definition, in the “mid” twenties. Even though it’s only a year’s difference, 26 just seems like a big jump… it could even be argued that I’ve now entered “late” twenties. Arguably.

But to be honest, I don’t really care what my age is; I just really appreciate the fact that I have so many great friends and family to be incredibly grateful for – there’s nothing like a million 'Happy Birthdays!' on facebook to remind you how much you’re loved. Or at least to remind you how many people are on facebook often enough to see that it’s your birthday. Either way, it makes me happy.

Here’s to an even more fantastic year ahead - Cheers!

p.s.: that's my way of saying that I'm drinking a bottle of wine at my desk right now... just kidding. 

p.p.s.: am I kidding? I wish I wasn't. It would make the afternoon go by so much faster.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Birthday Feast

Today is my husband's birthday... Happy Birthday, my dear - I do love you soooo much, and wish you many many happy birthday wishes. 

We went to Mehran with a discount gift certificate from restaurant.com (check this site out if you haven't... really great deals for only a few bucks...) for a delicious and extremely filling dinner of Indian food. The gift certificate we had was $25 off a bill of $35 or more, so we went a little overboard to ensure we got to the $35 minimum. We clearly weren't keeping track of the dollar amounts as we were ordering, and ended up just pretty much ordering everything that sounded good. We were still able to keep it under $30 out of pocket including the tip (which was happily handed over since the waiter/manager/possible owner let us use the gift certificate even though they apparently aren't valid there anymore, which we didn't know). For the three of us, we ordered vegetable samosas, a mixed grill special (with shrimp, lamb, and two different kinds of chicken), chicken tikka masala, rice, aloo palak, plain naan and garlic naan, and a mango lassi. And really all that was just for the two of us, since Nora had about two bird-sized bites of naan. She clearly needs to step up her game.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Business Time: Success!

Wow, I just realized how long it has actually been since my last post... much too long. Aside from my brief praising of Jon Hamm (Happy Almost-Birthday, by the way, Mr. Hamm... we have the same birthday, you know... I'm pretty sure that means we're soul-mates. I know you read my blog.)... my last real post was about re-designing our office/guest room to convert it into a more usable office. Well, we've done it, and it's been feeling quite successful lately. 

We've spent time every single day in our new office space, whether Nick is working, I'm crafting, checking email, paying bills, or feeding my new obsession of entering online logo design contests into the wee hours of the morning (...I've been having some vivid flashbacks of studio lately...), and we've been enjoying nearly every square inch of it. We can fit everything we need - I, all of my indoor craft supplies (the saws, tools, and messy stuff will stay in the garage...), and Nick, all of his files and paperwork, plus all of our miscellaneous computer/electronic/digital what-have-you and a good portion of our books. 

The only piece we can't fit now is the 'guest room' portion of the room... my hope was to have enough room to include a small futon in place of one or two of the smaller pieces of furniture we were first considering to remove and put somewhere else in the house. I wanted to have a futon so 90% of the time it would serve as a couch/seating, and then fold out into a bed when we occasionally needed it. Now..... everything just seems to fit so well the way that it is, that we don't know if we want to take anything out to make room for a futon. Which means when my sister comes to visit next weekend, she may be sleeping on a desk. Or sharing Nora's crib.