Thursday, November 14, 2013

Countdown to Jamaica

It's officially one month until our romantic trip to Jamaica!  Me and the fiance had talked about taking a winter trip this past spring, BEFORE we were engaged.  After he popped the question, I was still on board to taking a little R&R from work/weddingplanning/winter/life.  Some people think we are nuts for taking a trip right in the middle of our year engagement and only 6 months from our wedding, but let me give you and idea of why it should be a good idea to take a vacation in this scenario:

  1. Because it's a trip to Jamaica!
  2. A break from wedding planning.  It'll be impossible to plan in another  country with no contact with our vendors, so this is a great way to catch a break!
  3. A break from work.  We both work full time and we both work hard.  Last vacation we had together alone was 1.5 years ago, though we've taken time to visit with my family and vacation with his.  We need this for 'us'.
  4. A break from cold weather.  We are active, outdoorsy people.  We like to hike, run, be outside.  Winter gives us both seasonal depression.  So this is a great way to make it through the winter.
  5.  Time alone with my fiance.  Wedding planning is time consuming and isn't necessarily just including me and the fiance- constant talking with vendors, hearing everyone's constant opinions, etc.  Also, he's in school so he spends a lot of time working on school work.  He'll be done with work for the semester so this will be a great opportunity for a break for him.
Some downers about our trip:
  1. I love the Christmas season.  We will be away from all the seasonal excitement for over a week.
  2. I'm losing precious days to Christmas shop!
  3. Missing Christmas Parties.
  4. Guaranteed sunburn(for me-not him)
Needless to say, the positives still outweigh any negatives.  It's not like we will be missing Christmas! I'm planning on decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's our engagement-moon. Holla!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November to-do List

I've been slacking.  Slacking hard.  Time to get serious and get some stuff off the ever growing to-do list.  (I don't want this to be a wedding blog, but we are getting behind, so I threw a few on there as well.  Forgive me?) And nothing like writing a to-do list on day 6 of the month?  AHH!
  1. Book a videographer - because fiance wants to remember our reception; maybe he's planning on drinking?
  2. Book a DJ - because I wanna dance at my wedding *\o/* cha-cha!
  3. CLEAN the house - Ugh because it's gross and I want to get a handle on things so it will be more about mainanence instead of CONTANTLY trying to pu things away.  I wish everything would have a home and get put back there, -sigh- wishful thinking?
  4. PARTAY at our friendsgiving/MY BIRTHDAY party - Self explanatiory, but last year we had one at my aparmtent for my birthday/gradaution/friends givng.  Maybe this will be an annual thing?
  5. Decorate for Christmas - we are vacationing in early december so decorating for the Holidays should get done at the end of November, hopefully
  6. Put up Christmas Lights  - see above and before it gets too chilly! HAH let's see if the fiance helps with THIS! :)
  7. Maybe design christmas cards/gift for our family - Can't get into too much detail, don't want to give it away!
  8. Hardcore Black-Friday/Cyber-Monday shopping. BRING IT.
  9. Finish installing/making curtains for the bay window, hem the kitchen curtains, and do something about the closet in our room(no doors is getting to be an eye sore)
These are all things I could try to manage by myself(minus hanging outside Christmas Lights) without annoying the fiance to death while he finishes up this semesters work for his grad program.  I think it could be achievable! ~Positive Vibes~ ~Ommm~

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, or is it?

FACT: I do not like Halloween.  There, I said it.  To be honest, it's probably the number one holiday of the year I could do without.  Bring on the Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas time with the carols, even Memorial Day and Labor Day get my love, but it just is not happening with Halloween.  Maybe it's the fact that I absolutely HATE scary movies and I hate when people jump out to scare me.  I think it is so rude and just mean!

It might have started in college, where everyone got into comedic, sexy, ironic costumes when I probably wanted to join them on the festivities, however, I always ended up with an exam, midterm, some project due the day or coming days after Halloween.  Just a dedicated Math nerd. And honestly who wants to go out with limited clothes on when it's pretty cold out??  I'd rather be nice in warm in a sweater and jeans thankyouverymuch.

Still after graduation the dislike continues.  I don't feel the urge to dress up tonight, but me and the fiance DID go to a Halloween party this weekend where we were VERY decked out.  However it was more a beer tasting good food party, much more my speed, and I wore my regular clothes, just dresss up with some facepaint!  Hello not being cold!!

boo!
 
I'll be at home tonight handing out candy to the kiddos in my jeans and sweater NOT scaring the babies.  Fiance will be helping out with his sister and brother in laws haunted house(apparently it's optional, you can still do the traditional route of knocking at the door and get candy that way)

I found this video on breaking the stigma of women(and their costumes) but it stops before slut-shaming(which I'm typically very guilty of).


I sound like a brat, but just bring on my birthday and Turkey day! YUM!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm Baaaack

Or at least I hope I am.

Lots have happened in the past few months that maybe I'll hit on in the coming posts.  I'd like to acknowledge that when i signed into blogger that I had over 2500 blog hits and with only 10 posts, I'd say thats a WTF moment.  So thanks to the mom and fiance who keeps checking in I guess.  A little about what I've been doing since the big engagement:
  1. As expected I've been planning a wedding(ugh).  It's not all pintrest-y funn-ess.  Talk about major first time compromises, opening major can-of-worms with weird extended family dynamics that one needs to deal with, and expenses, and color schemes, and questions, and yadda yadda, I DON'T CARE.  At this point, we don't have colors, we are just doing what we want and hoping it comes together at the end and hopefully not everyone hates us.  And if they do, well, we will at least be married.  Everyone should just be happy I didn't just get eloped, it would have been a lot cheaper ;)
  2. Moving in the the fiance. Amazing and a lot of work at the same time.
  3. Fiance needs a shorter nickname.
  4. I'm thinking about redirecting this blog.  I've done a little work around the house but I'm a lot more restricted on the DIY things because see (1), compromise and wedding planning.  And I'd like to make sure we can get through a wedding before we want to kill each other with changing too much about his house.  Ah well.  So I guess this is going to turn into more of a live journal thig.  I've been reading more and more comedy blogs, so maybe I'll be inspired!  Hopefully this won't turn into a complaining about wedding planning post because honestly, I'm expecting it to get better once all the vendors are booked.  It can't get any worse, right??
  5. I've been reading and crocheting.
  6. I instantly feel older by saying I've been reading, crocheting, and planning a wedding.
  7. Sadly, Rosie died :'(
And now I'll leave you with a lovely engagement picture that wedding industry has convinced us that we now need in order to have a successful marriage.  Until next time!




Friday, July 26, 2013

I've been away awhile...

But I've been a little busy because this happened in May:
And couldn't be happier!  Details to come :)

Xoxo,
Katie

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

State Pride

Hi all!  I've been a bad blogger!  I've been gone over a month! EEKS!  And I have so much to share!  Easter stuff(is it even worth sharing?)  Some trips(I've been out of town the 3 weekends out of the past 4!) So a lot of catching up to do Man-friend and my mom have let me know-the ball that I was carrying, I completely dropped! UGH!  But I can do it! :)  I have a pretty cool project to share today that I am doing in honor of the Spring Pinterest Challenge dreamed up by Sherry and Katie!  Nothing like this challenge getting me moving!

A long time ago I originally pinned this beaut:
 
Isn't she nice?  I thought i could totally manage it.  So I headed over to the local Home Depot got a chunk of wood, had them cut it down to approx the size I wanted.  I printed out my home state and cut along the borders.  I was careful to do it perfectly, but next I'll know it doesn't really how carefully it is cut out.

In my inspiration, I think they used a foam board covered in cloth with pushpins.  Looking back, this probably would have taken significantly less time.  But I wanted the gritty details of the wood.  Because I wanted a little bit of the grain to show, I spray painted my wood(after a light sand on the edges to get them smoothed a bit).  I centered and taped the state down and then I got to work:

 
Manfriend made me work in the kitchen while I was hammering along the borders.  It was a bit of a work out.  And some of my nails got a little wonky:


 I think it adds a little character: 

 And it was actually really hard to  get them perfectly straight.  I started on the top thinking the straight part would be the easiest, but I think that was a misstep.  Oh well, live and learn.

Then I got to work with my stringing.  I used embroidery thread.  I've seen this done with yarn and I've seen this done with thread.  I thought this was a nice middle of the road material.  And it came in a nice warm color that will work well with colors I have in my bedroom.

It only took me about 30 minutes to finish this part of the pojects.  And I did it while talking with my mom on the phone and talking with manfriend about an upcoming vacation.  The majority of the time went into hammering in the nails.  I'd say if you want a similar project to go faster, I'd go for a fabric on foam or cork board with push pins.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

St Paddy's Day Treats!

Man friend and I got an invitation to a festive St Paddy's Day party the weekend before St Paddy's day, which yes was sooo long ago, and like a great little blogger that I am, I am blogging about what we brought to the party the day before the next holiday! Holla!
So what did we make?  Leprechaun Balls(keeping it super classy people) and Mint Chocolate Fudge.  First up, the fudge:

I decided to follow the recipe from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  I melted the chocolate chips with the condensed milk in the microwave and pressed it in a casserole dish lined with wax paper.

 I melted the white chocolate chips in the microwave with the condensed milk:

 and when it was evenly melted, I tossed in two Duncan Hines frosting creations mint chocolate and mixed thoroughly.

 
Smooshed those bad boys on top:
 
We stuck it in the freezer to get it to harden.  I would NOT recommend this.  They were a bear to cut and I ended up getting a blister on my finger, but we soldiered through bagged em' up and off they went.  Badda' bing' badda' BOOM.
 
 

Next up, Leprechaun Balls.  I used the full recipe from Mom Foodie.  I let Man Friend take the lead here.  He wanted to participate, so what the hell. But ladies, DO NOT LET YOUR MAN HELP WITH THIS RECIPE.  Also, this recipe is for adults only.  If you follow the recipe 4 to 5 would equal a shot.  He went into it with the good intention that more alcohol is best, and I'd say 2 of ours made a shot :) But here's what we did.  

We crushed a box of Nilla wafers and split into two bowls, one bowl got 1/3 of the crushed cookies, the other 2/3s.. did you know you'd be practicing fractions? ;)


In the smaller section, throw in about 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and mix in  the whiskey:


He poured more then the recipe called for(to be honest, neither of us are much of liquor drinkers and were trying to burn through the alcohol as best as we could).

The other larger bowl, we mixed in the Baileys.  We melted more white chocolate chips and mixed in some food coloring and that left us to this set up:

The goal is to begin with the whiskey mix make a small ball then with the Baileys mix, make a flatter circle and wrap the whiskey mix THEN dip/roll in the white chocolate.  Ultimately, this was a fail.  Our mixes were too damp and it was just a big mess.  I got frustrated and basically gave up.  But man friend finished out:
He ultimately just grabbed a little of each and make it into sort of ball and then poured a bit of chocolate on it.  He also renamed these balls as "Shot cookies"
He's just a better person then I am and saw the project through.  I think at the party, the people brave enough to try them liked them, but I'm not sure they were the hit I was going for.  Maybe you all can try them and let me know if you make them any better?
Here he is working his magic :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Crazy Cat Lady

You guys, all two or three of you.  I feel like before I go ahead and do my house tour (I really really wanna I do, my place is just a MESS and I just have to keep it real and do it, so this weekend or next, or next year, get ready!) I feel like I gotta be honest with you.  I may or may not be a closeted crazy cat lady.  Oh yes, it's true.  And her is the lovely lady that is currently the affliction of my addiction:

Ready for my close-up
Oh yeah, she's a doll.  Here's another, just for good measure after she was professionally groomed.  You do NOT want to know why a 6lb cat needed professional grooming:
+
So fresh and so clean.
A little background.  I was living alone after college just starting out at a new job and literally had NO friends in the area.  I'm grateful I had a cousin nearby who took pity on me and came to visit and invited me out but that was basically it for 6 months.  I eventually started grad school, made friends there and made friends at work and became a relatively more sociable person.  But still, going home to a completely empty place was super depressing.  I wanted a pet, specifically a kitten, but my Mom suggested an adult cat may be 'lower maintenance' and honestly, a shorter time commitment.

Thus, along came Rosie.  I casually go to a shelter.  Interested in a completely different cat, who just happened to be fluffy and calico, but also had an upper respiratory infection and was unable to be handled.  The shelter volunteer, thinking I was only interested in said cat characteristics introduced me to Rosie.  And you know, it would be impossible to not fall for her charm.  The cage opened and she put her little paw on my shoulder and looked at me like 'save me'.  I melted. It was over before I knew the other few little details. Like:
  •  She was 12(uh I know that's old but I've had estimates saying she was even older, try more like 16),
  • completely deaf(I didn't know until I was home)
  • had a raging UTI(discovering THAT was fun)
  • crystals in her urine
  • and a whole mess of other ailments(bladder diseasse, joint issues, possible site issues, the list goes on and on). 
After two years together, we are making it work.  I have her on a food regime that limits her vomiting episodes(she has to be on solely canned food because of the bladder infections and grain free to prevent vomiting).  She is very very high maintenance.   She can't hear herself, so when she meows, it sounds like a small infant is crying(ignore my messy bedroom). 


It's quite alarming the first time you hear it.  She has age spots and an old lady saggy belly that drags on the floor.  She's had joint injections and has the worst time putting on weight(she probably needs another 3 lbs on her). Needless to say, she's a huge financial commitment and at 14-18 years old, with bladder issues, if it doesn't work out with me, there is no way to rehome her.  Hopefully the new food an constant fresh water will keep her healthy and limit her accidents because I don't want to give up on her just yet!  Let me just say, our relationship has our highs and lows.

At least she is a decent, free, uncomplaining subject to my photography practicing! :)

Let me leave you with this amazing video, probably one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed.  You can thank me later:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Learning to Sew...Finally

So the lovely ladies, Sherry at Young House Love and Katie at Bower Power have put on another Pinterest Challenge!  This time the challenge was kicked off with a video starring their kiddos!  I'd highly recommend checking out their pages for your daily dose of cuteness... now onto what I did:

Now that I'm officially out of grad school, I figured it was high time to dive in and finally learn how to sew.  I contacted Sherry on one of her blog posts to see if she recommended her Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine for a beginner, and she said she definitely did.  I bit the bullet and spent to 80 buck last month.  Then the machine sat, and sat and satsatsat around my apartment until the challenge. 

There are a bunch of pins out on pinterest specializing in beginners sewing projects or how-to's, but I just ended up doing a separate project to get a handle on my machine.

The man-friend's mother is a genius sewer.  She graciously offered up her expertise to finally give me the confidence to take the damn thing out of the box and get it ready to roll.  I still wasn't sure what to make(I'm still a beginner!) so she gave me some ideas and some scrap fabric.  I went with the beach bag option!  And here is the process:

Luckily, the Brother came with pretty clear guidelines how to set all your thread and needles up so after practicing going straight on some scrap fabrics, we wrote a rough outline for what was required for the bag. 

I maintained a 5/8 inch hem for all the sewing(and went over all my seems to give it double strength.)  I'm a visual person so here are the steps:

I began by collecting all my supplies and cutting my white liner and main fabric to size.  I made it so that when they would be sewed into a bag shape they would be a perfect match:
 
Then, working with the liner first I sewed around the edges, making a 5/8inch hem:
 
For strength I went around twice, leaving me with this beauty!
 
The same steps were repeated for the main bag material,
 
but since I was working with a stripe I tried a little harder to make sure the lines matched up.  A look I think I achieved:
 
 This part was a little tricky to figure out.  I put the liner inside the main bag.  Wrong side of the liner facing out(and the wrong side of the main bag).  I ironed down the the hem and pinned around the bag.
 
Somewhere along the way I miss calculated and the liner was a bit larger then the rest of the bag so I just folded over and sewed the seam down.  I did this by the end seem so it wouldn't be as noticeable.
 
Before I sewed the two together, I added the strap which was just leftover nylon material.  Make sure that you measure so that they are placed evenly and are even lengths.

 
I ended up switched the thread to yellow so that it wouldn't be as noticeable on the outside of the bag.  And I made sure to go back and forth over the straps 5 times to add durability to them.
 
I hemmed around the whole bag, maintaining the 5/8inch seam. But since this seam was a bit too far from the edge, ater some use the tight crease would eventually loosen up and become less crisp.
 
So, to make the bag look a bit more finished I went around once more just a smidge on the linerto keep the crisp edge!
 This bag was a greagreagreat beginner project.  All straight lines.  Next up, and Apron!  That will give me more practice with ruffles, making tube strapes and whatveer else I want to do with it.  One thing I wish I had done with this is create a pocket.  Though I can't wait to break out this bad boy at the beach or by the pool in 3 months, I think I'm planning on using it mainly to transport my crochet materials.  I love it and am glad I finally was brave enough to get it done!


 
If you have any questions about this project please ask!

Also, happy birthday to my brother, who I can always count on to match my funny face making in pictures!  Love ya bro!  
 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Love

I read all sorts of blogs.  One thing that is very consistent is that every blog I read(except one) is that they are written by someone with two X chromosomes (That's females for those of you not nearly as nerdy as me).  But that's about all that unites them.  There are ladies that are rocking the single kick-ass female DIY-building-my-house-from-scratch blogs(here and here) there are married ladies(who have kiddos but don't center their blogs around their families but are still pretty kick ass DIYers) and then there are the occasional mommy blogs that are hil-ar-rious(here and here); Please read Leslie's gem.

But I do make note of one thing.  There really isn't anyone I read like me.  I'm not married, and I'm not single.  I've got, who I've been calling, my 'Man-friend' and Valentine's Day is as good as any to give him his proper introduction.

Hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go ;)
 Why should he be getting an introduction you may ask?  'Man-friend' seems more like a glorified 'boy-friend' and I'd say you would be semi correct.  He gets an introduction because he is important to my everyday life.  And instead of refering to him as someone I went to customer service with(a few posts back), I guess I feel like my 3 readers should get a face to his non-name(still working through the whole what he's letting me put on my blog :P) and yes man-friend if a glorified boyfriend, because lets be honest, I'm not a 12 year old crushing on Justin Beiber.  I'm an adult and so is he.  He isn't a boy, he's a man. And the boyfriend terminology always kinda irked me.  So Man-friend he is.

Reppin' the fav band!
 But what makes him so special.  One, he puts up with me.  Sometimes, I'm crazy. I get super excited over the dumbest things but then I can be awkward and quiet sometimes.  He not only doesn't make fun of my nerdy-ness, but appreciates and embraces it. And not only that, he compliments me.  Not tells me I'm pretty(which he does, often) but him being around makes me feel like a better person and makes me want to be a better, kinder person.

Ah, the crazy captured by amazing photographer and friend Sarah Murray

With all the valentines days stuff going around today I read an article by a 40 something woman which was a list of things she wished her 20 something self knew.  One that stood out to me was this:  If a relationship isn't confusing, it's healthy.  And that's a good way to describe us.  I've been in some wacky relationships with all sorts of juvenile drama.  But there was none of that with us, no games.  And that is one of the best things about us.  No drama.  I know him, he knows me.  And that's that.  No games.  People need to give this a try, it's amazing!
burgundy&gold and black&purple!

So what am I doing for this amazing guy to make him feel special today while he makes me feel special everyday?  Well one, I'm ignoring his flaws(I mean its ok he's not a Redskins fan and he's not #1 fan of Downton Abbey... TODAY).  Really, months ago I saw this pretty bomb card.  I knew it was perfect because, it was cute showed the love but still funny!  I love supporting a small business and graphic designer.  When I had trouble with the online purchase forms, Amanda responded right away and helped me with the process.  The card was beautiful and I would recommend looking into Amanda at wit&whistle and her whitty and beautifully crafted cards.  This is the one I settled on:

here
It was so popular, my brother even considered buying it for his GF.  I'd say that was a success.
Remember how one of Man-friend's flaws was his lack of Redskins fanage, well, he is a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, a huge fan.  And though I'm typically not one to go buy a gift for V-day, he would never treat himself to some Superbowl winning gear(because remember, they won!) So I went scrounging around the Baltimore metro area looking for an acceptable gift and found something like this at none other then a girls best friend, Target!:

Image from NFL shop

I would have gotten one from Groupon, or a sports store but 1.)  Groupon's shipping is free, yay, but ridiculously delayed.  There was no way it was making it by V-day.  and 2.)  Looked at sports stores and talk about inflated prices on Ravens gear after a Superbowl win, no thank you.  And some throws were even miss colored and kind of brown instead of a bright purple.  A little snooping around and I think I made out ok.   I wrapped er' up in a paper bag adorned with a purple bow (go ravens) and orange tissue paper(Manfriends fav color).  But in all honesty, the themed bags at Target were too girly and I didn't have red tissue paper and they jacked up the cost of the paper bags with red bows by 2 bucks, are-you-kidding me?? I think it's more sentimental this way, no?  Hopefully he likies!

Moral of the story.  Get yourself a good man.  Be happy.  Feel butterflies every day.  And be a redskins fan.  :)

<3 us.
Happy Valentines Day all!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Year, New Goals

Did you all have as great a weekend as I did?   I totally meant to post this yesterday, but you know how that jerk life can be, he totally can get in the way and be all cool and say 'Hey, Katie, step away from the computer and do something fun' like go out to some sweet bar's with your man-friend in the snow, watch the Ravens win the Super Bowl (YAY!), and make some awesome quesadilla's which is exactly what I did this weekend and last night instead of blogging :)

I dove into the blogging thing in January, so I guess this could be considered a New years Resolution, but I'm not one for the typical "lose 20 lbs"(the perpetual goal) "Quit smoking"(don't do that) "Quit Drinking"(not happening) etc. But I have a problem.A big big problem.


Oh, I'm sorry did you not see that clear enough, let me zoom in for you:


Yeah that's right, 6,550 emails.  For someone as relatively neat as me, I have a big hoarding problem.  An email hoarding problem.  I wish I was exaggerating.  Momma done me wrong.  She taught me how to clean, to organize, to throw away, purge, but she did NOT teach me how to maintain a resonable working email inbox.  In my personal email inbox, I have over 6000 emails, and that's after a month of deleting emails as they come in and unsubscribing from catalog emails. It's disgusting.  But the problem doesn't stop there, oh no....


In my secondary account, 11,800.  Yea, that might be a lost cause.  Work email? 5,000. 

That's right.  Over 20,000 emails in total. It's completely ridiculous and completely overwhelming.  So welcome to my 2013 goal.  Maintaining an email inbox in ALL email accounts of less than 25.  Can I do it?  I have a year(well, 11 months) and 20,000 emails. that's basically 60 emails/day I need to organize or delete. I can do this!