Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DIY Wall Art

Recently I've seen some pretty cool DIY wall art projects -- notably from Lis Loves and Kelly's Korner. So I thought I'd share one of my own DIY wall art projects from our guest bathroom.

Our guest bathroom is "under the sea" themed (I'm sure you already know, I love the ocean!) -- it's all sea-glass blues and chocolate brown with chic starfish and sand dollars:

To get the starfish on the wall I first hammerd a nail into the wall to make a hole. Then I pulled the nail out and hot glued it to the back on an 8" starfish like this:

Then I let it dry and gently pushed the nail on the back on the starfish into the pre-hammered hole:

I did that a few times and "tah-dah", a wall of starfish!

It was inexpensive, simple, and easily changable!

What fun DIY wall art have you done?

Post about it on your blog and leave a link in the "comments" of this post!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sew What?

You mat remember my earlier post about wanting a sewing machine for Christmas and then the next post about getting one, but not having used the sewing machine yet.

Well friends, today I finally used my new sewing machine! I watched the instructional DVD that came with it and learned all about how to thread the needle and do the stitches! I did break one needle in the process (oops!), but overall it was awesome!

Here are some of my practice stitches:

Ugly, I know. But hey, I'm learning!

The machine I ended up getting is the Singer Tradition Sewing Machine. I had debated about getting an expensive one to start with or starting on a simple one and then upgrading. I went for the cheapy option and will upgrade later. Here's my little guy:

So far it does all I want it to!

So my next question is: how do I get better at sewing? I don't have anyone to teach me. Should I take a class? Does anyone know of any good instructional DVDs I could pick up?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sitting at O'Hare Airport

I'm waiting for plane to board here at O'Hare to take me back to LA. Right now the Blue Oyster Cult song "Don't Fear the Reaper" is playing, which I think is highly inappropriate to play as people are boarding planes. Agree? Anyway...

I had a great week at training! Learned some good stuff and met lots of cool people. Here is me with my table group at training:

Countries represented in this photo: United States, Belgium, France, and Malaysia. That's one thing that I love about our corporate training -- they send people to training from all of our global offices, so I really get to hear what the company and life is like around the world.

I saw my wonderful Grandma who fed me all kinds of delicious food. We got in several rounds of our favorite game, Upwords (like Scrabble, but vertical as well). So fun!

Now I'm heading back to LA for another crazy week at work. To be honest with you, I'm getting a bit burnt out from my job. But I guess working hard beats the alternative (not working at all)!

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sneaking in a Post from Illinois to Pray

Hi everyone!

I know I said I wasn't going to post while at training, and I should be sleeping now, but I had a chance to catch up a few of my favorite blogs tonight...

And my heart is so heavy from reading about the struggles that some of my favorite bloggers are going through, all involving babies or pregnancy.

I'm not a Mom, nor am I yet trying to become one, but my soul just aches for these amazing women. Sometimes I wonder if could ever be as strong as them? Could I deal with heartbreak, loss, and trauma like they are?

The amazing Kelly (mom of miracle baby Harper) started a prayer blog and a special side-bar just for women trying to concieve or families in need of prayer here. I'm not going to do that, but I am going to share the stories of three of my favorite bloggers who are in need of your prayer.

Trying to conceive:
- Mrs. Newlywed. I adore her. She's so honest and fun. And she is a fantastic writer (she doesn't skip words in posts like I do because I type/edit too fast). She recently found out that her chances of conceiving are very low. Please read her story and pray for her.

- Meagan. If I was half as pretty and had half as much style this fellow LA blogger, I'd be a very very happy girl. She also is trying to have a baby. Please check her out and send some love/prayers her way.

Infant Illness:

- I know many of you know the story of MckMama's baby Stellan. He is truly a miracle on earth. He is now in the hospital, sick with a heart problem. Please pray for sweet Stellan. MckMama has recently penned some awesome posts about God and prayer. Not only do I pray for her and her many small childen, but I pray that I can have her same posture when faced with life's hardships.

Prayers for Stellan

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Off to the Windy City!

Sorry again for the lack of posts this week. I've been working 13 hours days! Crazy!

On Saturday I'm heading to out Chicago for a week!

Why? I have my annual corporate training outside of Chicago all week next week. The training is usually a bit dry, but the networking is a blast and it's good to learn how to improve job skills.

But the best part is that on both ends of my training I'm going to see my amazing Grandmother who lives in Chicago:

This is her on her 90th Birthday last year at her house before her big party!

My grandma is seriously one of the coolest people I know...

  • She's 90 and lives on her own
  • She lives in a historic home (built in 1880)
  • She's super smart and always learning (she seriously knows more words than anyone I know)
  • She's a total sweetheart
  • She knows more about current events and politics than I do
  • She's Swedish and still speaks Swedish
  • She has great stories -- think of how much change she has seen in 90 years?!
  • And she drinks 5+ cups of coffee a day (like me... which is why I know coffee is good for me)

Between hanging with Grandma (who does not have internet) and being busy with training and training events, I won't be posting for over a week!

I promise to catch up with you all then and bring great pics of my adventures in Chicago.

Until then, here's a pic of me and Grandma at my wedding:


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is your "Stainless Steel" not so "Stainless"?

The Mr. I just did some Spring cleaning this morning. And I just have to tell you all that I LOVE Bar Keepers Friend.

No, they didn't pay me to write this. I just love the product!

I got it a few months ago as a sample with my pots and pans set and now I use it for EVERYTHING. I don't know how we could deal with cleaning all of the modern stainless steel appliances in our condo without it.

Price: About $3

Where to buy it: Grocery Store, BedBath&Beyond, or online

Where we use it: On stainless steel faucets/ sinks to get out water spots, on pots and pans to remove burn marks, on shower doors to remove residue, and (BEST of all) on our stainless steel fridge that always seems to get water marks and finger prints on it.

Why it's awesome: I even showed my MIL (who's been a homemaker for 30 years) how to clean her stainless steel refrigerator with it. She was FLOORED at how clean it was -- she kept saying the fridge looked like new!

Don't believe me? Check out the review on Apartment Therapy.

How to use it: Use a damp cloth and make a paste with the powder. Rub the paste over the object that you want cleaned. Wipe the paste off with a wet cloth and dry the object. Repeat for stubborn stains.

What are your "must have" Spring Cleaing products?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Which Side is my Gas Tank on? Travel Tip Thursday Answers

This week’s travel tip has to do something that you will often encounter while traveling if you rent a car or borrow a car from a friend. But if you’re blonde like me, this may help you even in your own car at home....

It’s the question you always ask yourself when pull into the gas station. Which side is my gas tank on?

Well this little tip should help you…

I most recent cars there is a little arrow next to the little gas symbol on your dashboard like this:

(I say “most” because not ALL cars have this, but most rental cars I’ve had do, and I’ve had a lot of rental cars)

Here is the trick... when you look at this symbol, if the tip of the arrow is pointing to the left that means that the gas tank is on the left side of the car. If the arrow is pointing to the right, it means that the gas tank is on the right.


Thise car’s gas tank is on the left side of the car:
So is this one's:

This car’s gas tank is on the right side of the car.

How cool is that? I didn’t know this trick for years!

Happy driving!

For more fun Travel Tips, click here:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bad Blogger

Sorry that I've been a really bad blogger lately -- but I've been so stressed out and busy. Between work being really crazy and working on our nightmare taxes, I've had a giant stress headache for days.

I've been trying escape mentally to go to my "happy place"... like Santa Barbara Wine Tasting...

(This is me and my 9 closest friends at my Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party last summer)

Where is your "happy place"?

PS- Last weekend the Mr. and I saw "Watchmen". It was a good movie but sooo dark and kind of disturbing. Did anyone else see it? Did you like it?

I promise to catch up with you all later this week or this weekend!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy Daylight Savings and Some Fun Awards!

Happy first day of Daylight Savings! Don't you just love when it gets dark later? It reminds me that summer is just around the corner! Plus, it's so much less depressing to leave work when it's still light outside. The only bad part was having to wake up an hour earlier this morning for Church.

I was super busy last week, so I'm sorry if I was MIA. Thanks for all of your comments about my new blog design and my Trash the Dress inquiry.

Also, some sweet girls gave me some fun awards awards!

Stylish Surburban and Lucky in Love gave me the Kreativ blogger award. Thanks ladies!

Here are the award rules:
List 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love!
Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sideboard letting the whole world know...you are Kreativ!

Here are 7 things that I love...(besides the obvious= husband, family, God, friends, blogging...):
  1. A good cup of coffee (morning, noon, or night)
  2. Snuggling in bed with lots of covers and pillows
  3. A fun dinner on the town
  4. Lounging around in the warm summer sun
  5. Reading a great book
  6. Organizing a room, closet, or drawer (pretty much anything)
  7. Sunrise or a sunset over a body of water

I pass this along to:

  1. French Kiss
  2. Ruby Red Slippers
  3. Chic Runner
  4. Downtown Southern
  5. Living our Own Fairy Tale
  6. Newlywed Stilettos
  7. First comes love, then comes marriage
(I tried to pick people who have not gotten this, so sorry if you have and I didn't realize)

Also NYC HIT tagged me with another award:

This one comes with a catch though…I have to write five not so cute things about myself. Let’s see how cute you still find me after reading these:

  1. I’m super "Type A"
  2. I will hit the snooze bar 2-3 times a morning
  3. I correct people when they misuse “good” vs “well”
  4. I’m always leaving cabinets and doors open around the house – this drives my husband bonkers
  5. I sing in my car a lot, which sometimes other drivers looks at me like I’m crazy

Hope you all have a great start to your week!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Travel Tip Thursday: How to Score Free Stuff

Before I start on this post, I wanted to thank beautiful Kelly Hamilton at Hamilton Happenings for this adorable “Travel Tip Thursday” button. I love it!!!

How to Score Free Stuff While Traveling

1. Join a frequent flier program (or two) and every time you fly be sure to provide your Frequent Flier Number. Then fly the same one or two airlines when you fly to build up miles. Ex: I always fly Southwest, United, or Jet Blue because I already have miles on all of those. I’ve earned LOTS of free tickets from these three airlines.

2. Join a Hotel’s Frequent Guest Program. It’s free to become a Hilton Honors Member, Marriott Rewards Member or a Starwood Preferred Guest. Be sure to always provide your number when checking in. You can earn free nights and upgrade pretty quickly. The BEST frequent guest program is Starwood (Sheraton, W, Westin, etc). You earn free nights the fastest with Starwood. However, Hilton has the most locations and cheaper properties (Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, and Hilton all fall under the Hilton brand). As long as you stay one time a year your account stays active and your points don’t expire. Also as frequent guest at a hotel chain you often get free breakfast, free upgrades, free internet, etc.

3. Get a credit card that give you travel rewards. I’ve had a Hilton American Express, a United Airlines Visa, and a Starwood American Express. Using these for your travel expenses will earn you lots of points/miles and many of them give you a free night/ free ticket just for joining. I personally prefer the hotel cards over the airline cards because some airlines have been bit less financially stable in recent years. (Note: Credit cards are great for earning rewards… just remember to be a responsible spender with them!)

4. Ask for upgrades. It never hurts to ask when you check into your hotel if they have any bigger rooms, view rooms, etc. available. Especially if it’s a special occasion and you let the front desk person know that, and they will often upgrade you.

5. At a hotel if something is not to your liking, don’t be afraid to speak up. Hotels are all about Customer Service. The key is voice your complaint and ask them what they can do to compensate you (don't demand a free anything). Some personal examples: I had no hot water in my room once, they gave me a free night. I had a super noisy room and told the front desk, they changed my room and gave me a free breakfast. Just be really polite and don’t be ridiculous and the hotel will usually take care of you.

Does anyone else have any advice for how to earn free stuff traveling? I’m sure there are some other good ideas out there.

Oh Make Me Over!

Check it out! The Newlyweds Next Door got a MAKEOVER! (The Newlyweds Next Door blog, that is)

What do you think of our new look?!

I love it! It's so much more "us" and so beachy!

I had the wonderful Krystyn of Krizzy Designs do the design makeover. She is fantastic!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Trash the Dress Decision

Thanks for all of your comments on "To Trash or Not to Trash" !

So, you're probably wondering... did I decide to trash the dress?

You have to go here to find out!

Follow Me On SheJustGotMarried.com

Also in response to my post, "Halfway to Housewife" posted her Trash the Dress pictures. Amazing! You have to check it out!

PS - Mrs. Mojito is also joining the "She Just Got Married" Crew! So exciting!

Monday, March 02, 2009

To Trash or Not to Trash?

I have a few teeny tiny regrets from our wedding... one of them is that I didn't get enough pictures of me in my wedding dress. In fact, I have almost zero pictures with me showing off my dress.

I know it sounds superficial, but I really wish I had some fun bridal portraits. I emailed my photographer about this a few months ago and she agreed that we didn't get many pictures of me in my dress and offered to do a "Trash the Dress" session for me for free.

So I have to ask, should I do a "Trash the Dress"?

- I get some great pictures of me in my dress... really cool, artistic stuff
- It would be really fun to do
- Why not immortalize being young and happy?
- It's free!

- I'd have to get my dress re-cleaned (I would only get my dress dirty/wet and not actually destroy it)
- I've been married 6 months, does it seem lame to get back into my wedding dress?
- It's a bit self-indulgent

Here is one of my only pictures of just me showing off my dress (one of the "industrial" shots I did before the wedding):

So be honest with me, should I do a "Trash the Dress" photography session or not?
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