Friday, February 26, 2010

Gorgeous Day

We've gotten a few bouts of snow over the past week. Yesterday afternoon it started snowing again, the beautiful kind - big flakes swirling down. I tried to capture it on video but it didn't come out well. Here's some pictures from this morning (though the first photo was taken last week).

Not much has been going on with me. I'm still job hunting, applying to positions, and I signed up for a couple of virtual career fairs. It's been really frustrating. I've gotten 3 of these type emails in the past couple of weeks:
"You recently applied for the ______ position with _____. This job has been cancelled and no applicants have been hired for the position."
I'm trying to take advantage of this time off. I'm still looking for things to get involved in during the day. It seems like most everything I'm interested in doesn't really kick into gear until spring. Apparently everything stops in the winter for skiing!

To update you on that project I'm working on... well... I realized that it is too cold here to stain/finish the wood, so it kinda took the steam out of the project. I got my finisher nail gun last week, but I was silly and forgot to order nails for it! So now I'm on a hunt. To be honest I haven't really gone out of my way to get them. I stopped by a hardware store yesterday since it was right next door to where I was going anyway... but they didn't have the right ones. Boo. Anyway, I'm anxious to show you what I'm doing so I think I'm going to finish building this weekend and just wait and stain it when it warms up.

My SIL (1 of 3) is coming to visit this weekend! I love visitors! K is so much fun to be around, so full of energy that she never stops going. Makes me tired thinking about it :).

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Craft: Thinking of You Card

I made this today for a family member that's going through a rough time...

Easy. Fun. Simple. I'm working up to making fancy schmancy cards with ribbons, accents and whatnot. But that requires purchasing such items. Bah.  I'll stick with what I got for now (which is plenty!). For this one I stamped the flowers, then used watercolor pencils to make the picture - a little coloring, a little painting. I think it turned out sweet!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Exercise TV

I signed up for the 2010 SELF Challenge again this year, which started today. For the month 1 strength workout they have you download the video clip of all the moves from Exercise TV. What a find! They have free online workout videos, it's like FitTV but online! I looked them up on Hulu and they have episodes on there as well. WOOT! I used to record shows off of FitTV but since we moved and gave up cable/satellite TV I havn't found anything to replace them. It's actually one of the only things I missed about paying for cable/satellite (thanks to over the air HD, Netflix, and Hulu). Well not anymore!

Anyone else doing the SELF Challenge this year? It's not too late to start!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My first "real" tool...

OK, this is a first for me... I just selected and ordered my first "real" tool beyond the hammer, screw driver, etc. for ME. I ordered the Hitachi NT65MA2 15 Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2 1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer, and it should be here on Friday - WOOT!

John usually selects and buys all the tools, that's his thing. He already has a brad gun, but I need 2" nails... he was going to get the larger Porter-Cable FR350A Round Head 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer which would have made sense except it's 8 lbs! I'm glad I asked how much it weighed because I knew the Hitachi Finish Nail Gun was only 4.2 lbs. So I decided to go ahead and order this for myself... and John can get the framing nailer when he's ready to do framing. Hopefully soon, as he plans to build a wall in our garage to separate the wood shop (third garage) from the rest of the bays. Maybe then the space heater will have a chance to heat the shop beyond 49 degrees!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak of what I've been up to lately. I'm hoping to finish this project this week... but it's supposed to snow again... which means temperatures aren't conducive to staining/finishing wood. Boo.

I've set up shop in the garage and basement. The wood shop (not set up yet since the move) is in the garage, but it's too cold in there to glue anything (the glue will not set at temps under 55 degrees). We used a space heater and were able to eventually get up to 49 degrees, so I'm assembling in our unfinished basement. 

my stock pile
Unattractive picture of me bundled up and using my hubby's Miter Saw
Don't worry, John taught me how to use the Miter Saw so I didn't hurt it, or myself.
Other tools...

I can't wait to show off the final product! I've insisted on doing this "all by myself" with John as my adviser (he's only allowed to answer questions, and show me how to use his tools). Hopefully it will turn out well (meaning I won't screw it up).

Baked Fudge = Chocolate Heaven

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate... fudge. Baked fudge. Topped with vanilla ice cream. OMG. Thank you Pioneer Woman for this recipe!

These pictures do not do it justice because a) I'm not a very good photographer, b) I didn't pour the fudge in the ramekins cleanly (though I TRIED), and c) these pictures are of the day after leftovers! I wish I had thought to wipe the condensation off the ramekins before taking these snapshots, but oh well.

This dessert was heavenly. It is a keeper, and I will be making it again... for a special occasion... because each serving has a 1/4 stick of butter and 1/4 cup of sugar! I did alter the recipe slightly... I used Sucanat instead of processed sugar, and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (white) flour.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine...

I pulled out all my art supplies - stamps, card stock, inks, watercolor pencils, markers, embellishments, what-have-you - and considering all the crap stuff that is strewn across the floor of my office, I ended up with a very simple Valentine's Day card.

It's kinda a little all over the place. I used stamps from 4 different sets... and now that I look at the picture, I'd change the words on the front... Oh well. It's not perfect, but it was made with love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Note: I drafted this post Friday, but waited to post it until after I gave it to my hubby on Vday. Such a manly card don't you think? Muwahahaha.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I love...

I thought it would be fun to make a list of things I love, inspired by this post by PW.  Besides the obvious (my family and close friends), I love many things.

I love...

Thunder Storms
Fall leaves
Wild flowers
Bodies of water
Baby animals

SCUBA diving
soft squishy beach sand in my toes

The smell of my pupdog's paws

hot chocolate
chocolate caramels
Skor bars

My iPhone
iTunes Genius Playlists! (they are genius)
HD TiVo with Netflix

Dirty Dancing (the movie)


human space flight

Lounge wear

the Grand Tetons


driving home and seeing the mountains every time

walking right out my front door to some great paths that lead to great views!

organized spaces

I'll add more as they come to me...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Power of H2O2

Great helpful video about household uses for Hydrogen Peroxide. My favorite use I discovered from watching this is #1, cleaning mold. It WORKS, I tried it yesterday and was amazed! I also like the idea of using it to clean cutting boards and disinfecting other surfaces (I'm thinking doorknobs, light switches, etc.).

I love finding safe (for my family and the planet), effective, and CHEAP alternatives to toxic household cleaners. Like err... Tilex - do you know how toxic the ingredients are? No? Do some research, you'll be shocked.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Food, Inc.

Last night, my husband and I watched Food, Inc. and I'm still reeling.  I may never look at food the same way again. I was surprised by how much power the food industry has, and how only a few companies produce the majority of our food in this country. It was really interesting. 

Watch the trailer below...

Update: The trailer box doesn't fit within the blog template. Click here to watch it from the official website.

I definitely recommend watching this movie, if only for the sole reason of gaining a better understanding of where your food comes from. For those that have Netflix, it's available on Instant Play (I heart Netflix).

For me, this movie changed the way I will approach shopping. I have been checking labels, buying organic (dairy, eggs, and choice fruits and vegetables), and selecting "all natural" meat for some time.  But now I will be even more conscientious of what meat I'm buying, how much I'm buying, and where it comes from. My husband was worried that I was going to become vegetarian again... but I don't think that will happen. Have 1-2 days a week without meat? Absolutely.

5 Things You Can Do Now (from
  1. Buy organic or sustainable food.
  2. Go without meat once a week.
  3. Read labels - know where your food comes from.
  4. Drink more water, fewer sugary beverages.
  5. Support companies that treat workers, animals, and the environment with respect.
If you'd like to take action, here are some links:
Take Part - Food, Inc.
Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
Eat Well Guide

If you've seen the movie, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Pay me to eat my fav food? Yes, please!

    There's this healthy, fresh Mediterranean fast food place here in Colorado called Garbanzo's Mediterranean Grill (sorry for those of you that live out of state, but think Chipotle but with falafels, pitas, and hummus). I LOVE their food. I could probably eat there every day and not get sick of it...

    Well, I just got a call from them telling me I was selected to be on their... wait for it....

    Garbanzo Advisory Committee!

    They are going to pay me $50, and give me a free dinner (of current and new menu items) for 2 hours of my time to eat and tell them what I think about their food and brand. Sounds like a sweet deal to me! Oh, I guess I should explain that I didn't just get a random call from them, a while back I signed up on their website to be a VIB (Very Important Bean) to get coupons and whatnot. Last week they sent an email requesting people to volunteer to be on the committee, and that the first 30 people to respond would be registered to participate.


    If you're in Colorado, I highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already. They give free samples and hand out falafels when you're in line. : )

    Sunday, February 07, 2010

    Snow, posing, and grilled cheese!

    I rolled out of bed first this morning, and went downstairs to let Koda outside. I was pulling back the curtain of the sliding glass doors when I noticed the yard was dusted with snow, and good size snowflakes were coming down. Before I could catch myself I squealed "it's SNOWING"!  John couldn't stay sleeping after that exclamation. Here is a picture taken around lunch time...

    Here's one of Koda... she's a little confused with me because she associates me opening the door with letting her inside, but I just pushed her back and made her sit and pose. She humored me this time.


    We enjoyed watching the snow fall most of the day. Then we watched the Super Bowl (yay for the underdogs, the Saints!), well OK, John watched the Super Bowl. I made dinner - homemade Italian wheat bread for grilled cheeses with Tomato Chunk Bisque - and phoned my Granny to catch up.

    Great lazy snow day!

    Saturday, February 06, 2010

    International Space Station, Indexed

    I was blog browsing and found this funny on Indexed, titled "Astronomical Costs":

    This index card gave me a laugh, I had to share. This is the only thing space related that has made me smile in a while (see my Save Constellation post). To be clear, I think the Space Station and human space flight in general are worth the "astronomical cost".

    UPDATE: Endeavour, Flight STS-130/20A launches tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:39 AM EST. Shuttle launches to ISS make me smile! I *almost* forgot.

    Help on the way!

    I'm excited. I'm a little nervous. I'm a lot impatient!

    Last week I ordered Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio for the Mac (for a much reduced price!), and it shipped yesterday. Can not wait to get my hands on this software. It got mixed reviews, but the negatives seem to be written by people who wanted a quick and easy software that didn't require learning how to use it. This software got positive reviews from just as many people... mainly from peeps that were willing to spend some time learning the software. It also sounds like if you have any CAD experience it's a whole lot easier, and you are up and running immediately.

    We have been considering purchasing design software for a while. Now that we're in our new house - and our list of projects grows daily - we decided to pull the trigger. Though, we LOVE our house... there's not much that we want to keep the same :). This will be put to good use... between wanting to redesign an entire wall in our living room around the fireplace, remodeling our kitchen, and finishing our 1200 sq ft basement (among other things on our long long list).  I tend to be gun shy with making decisions and purchases for our house, mainly because I worry that it will not look right... this should solve that problem!

    I will let you know how it goes. I will be posting ideas, and before/after pictures! Though I will be using the software to play with ideas, we'll be executing them as our budget allows...

    Friday, February 05, 2010

    Entry Way Decor - Help!

    I need your help. Now that we're pretty much unpacked and settled, it's time to decorate and plunge into some home improvement projects! Right now the house looks a little... sterile. We hung a few pictures in the dining room, but we still need to decide on where to hang our other pictures. That will help, but there are a few areas that need something more, and I'm struggling to figure out what to do. The two main areas I'm talking about is our entry way, and the the built-in TV cave in our living room. I'll post about the cave another day... today, I'm hoping you can help me with ideas on how to spruce up this area.

    I want to decorate above the door - the wall space and the window transom. Oh, and also that niche between the dining room and foyer.

    Nice model, aye? Koda decided to be in the picture all on her own. I'm not sure if she wanted to model, or was just trying to get my attention to ask to go outside for the umpteenth time today. I'm guessing the later.

    My only criteria is:
    1. No artificial plants (real probably wouldn't work either because I doubt I'll drag out a ladder to water them on the transom).
    2. No plastic or MDF
    Any help is appreciated!

    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    Basket Case

    Last week I discovered the HomeGoods store... which could be dangerous. It's owned by TJ Maxx and is a discount store for house goods. I spent 2.5 hours in that store and felt rushed because I had to leave at a certain time so I could meet friends for dinner. I loaded up a cart and bought I don't know how many items for under $150. Unfortunately I'm taking about half of it back because I wasn't prepared... I got the wrong size rugs, the wrong color towels, etc.. Never fear, I will correct this when I make the returns.

    Can you guess what my favorite find was? No, not wall art... or a rug for our powder room I want to completely re-do.

    My favorite purchase was a basket. Yes, a basket. It's been in my possession for a week and I'm STILL excited... it makes me smile every time I look at it. Who'd a thunk I could get so excited over a basket that I'd want to blog about it? Well, maybe it's because it's a great improvement over the basket it's replacing that held all of Koda's toys.

    Check out the basket it replaced and notice the broken handle and overflow of toys.

    Mmkay... so we can't bare to throw away any of her toys. These are all the toys she's ever owned, except the few ones she absolutely destroyed when we made the mistake of getting her soft toys as a puppy. Honestly, I don't think she has that many for being 4 years old. She's more of a lover than a player.

    Here's the new basket! Just ignore that sneaky pesky pine needle that has somehow avoided being vacuumed since Christmas.

    I heart the paw stamped metal plate. It's paw-fect! I know, what cheese... I couldn't resist.

    Oh, and did I mention the price? It cost $7.99 - not bad!

    Save Constellation

    This week, the Obama administration published the 2011 budget which cancels NASA's Constellation program. Constellation is/was the human spaceflight program intended to replace the Space Shuttle when it retires this October. So what will replace this canceled program? Nothing. No more goals for human space flight! As a girl that grew up wanting to be an astronaut, I really have a hard time wrapping my head around this...

    I am writing my congress representatives... if you want the U.S. to remain a leader in space please write to yours! You can find their contact information here.