Thursday Thought post

Just a quick bullet point type post today of a few thoughts for Thursday.

~Can someone tell me why they sell my exact model of vaccum cleaner at Wal-Mart but they don't sell the replacement filters? They used to. Now I have to order one online. Big pain in butt if you ask me!

~Some of you might fall over and I assure you the world is not coming to an end, but guess what? I ate lettuce on a sandwich last night. GASP! Yes, it's true I love salad, but I just can't put lettuce on things. It's been a challenge of mine for a long time. But last night was the first baby steps towards being able to do it. And I survived. Look at me growing up. Ha ha ha.

~We went on a fantastic run this morning. Best one we've been on since getting back into it after I was sick. Reminded me of why I like doing this and why I want to keep going!

~Anxiously awaiting some numbers being crunched that might allow us to refinance the house. God if we could lower our monthly payments even a small amount I would do a happy dance of joy. Seriously, I'd do the Snoopy happy dance. Maybe I'll even video it and bring it here and you can all laugh at what a nerd I am. Then again, anyone who reads this blog probably already does that on a regular basis. Guess what? That's ok because I fully admit I am a Nerd!!

That is it for today!


Thrifty Tuesday

I had a fun new idea for some different kinds of posts. Since I talk here all the time about the deals I find at consignment and thrift shops, I thought maybe I'd share some of my finds here in pictures! So, Thrifty Tuesday/Thursday has been born! It might not be every Tuesday or Thursday, but if I think of it, I'll try to do it when I can. Today I realized every single thing I am wearing I got secondhand, but it all looks pretty darn nice and I bring it here to you in pictures. I will also share where I found each thing and if I can remember, the prices on each.

Ok so we all know I LOVE purses. I found this guy at a place I just discovered near my house (it's actually in New Brighton) called "Nancy's Nifty Thrifty Consignment Shop and Boutique". This purse only cost my $20. I'm pretty sure it came from Fun Sisters or something along those lines, but even one of those shops it was likely $40 or $50 new.

These sandals actually cost me nothing. My mom picked them up at a thrift store in Austin, MN called "Twice as Nice". They only cost her $7.00. Unfortunately, she wore them a couple of times and felt they were not all that comfortable and we have similar sized feet, mine are just a tid bit smaller. Small enough that these fit me. Her loss is my gain. They are Issac Mizrahi brand from Target, which translates to these probably being around $20-$30 when new.

And finally, my entire outfit today (the pictures will get better next time, this was a very fast decision on my part today!) came from Clothes Mentor. The shirt is by Nine and Co (usually found at Herbergers) and was around $5.00. My mom and I added the lace you see because it was a bit too low cut. The capris are gray and pink plaid from New York and Company and I got them for about $12.00. New York and Company is pretty affordable when new, but these still would've run closer to $30.00 new most likely.

So there you have it! Who knows, I may get into posting all sorts of deals I find on other things too, such as things for Nate, things for the house, you just never know!


Best weekend of summer?

Just came off of one of the truly good weekends we've had this summer. Not that all of our weekends have been bad - but they've been busy or I was sick or it's been raining or something.

This weekend the weather was nice, we did do alot of things, but they were more on our own timetable and obviously we were both healthy, ha ha.

Saw some friends I do not get to see as often as I'd like, finally met my friend's beautiful new baby, saw a very strange and somewhat heavy movie in the theatre (we never go to movies in the theatre anymore!), ate some good food, and got some good work done around the house. All in all a successful and nice weekend. There was even a little bit of time for relaxing!

It seems life is finally slowing down just a little bit and I'm thankful. It's funny, I had been writing a post about how I was longing for fall because I haven't been liking the weather lately and because of how busy summer has seemed, but after this weekend I'm feeling differently about summer at the moment! We even had the air conditioner off for a large chunk of time yesterday and it was so nice to air out the house. Of course, it's going to be sticky and warm again this week, but this weekend was so, so lovely.

So, I'm feeling good about the upcoming week thanks to my wonderful weekend. It was much needed.


Good and bad, up and down

Well the good news is despite the one wall problem we have, the painting is going really well at home. We have finished most of the wall space minus the bad wall. Now I will go back and do all the trim while we figure out what we're doing with the bad wall. I SO love the color my walls are becoming. The lack of white space makes the house feel so much more homey. It's warm and happy feeling. I like it.

The bad news is Nate discovered on his way home yesterday that his breaks were failing, he's pretty sure it's the break line, he's had to replace it on just about every car he's owned so he knows the warning signs pretty well at this point. If that is what the problem is, it's a cheap, though time consuming fix. If it's worse, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The good news is that while I wish we had already gotten rid of it, we still have the Taurus. So, he's putting insurance back on it for the month and can drive that in the meantime. So I guess it's good we've been dragging our feet on getting that thing out of our yard. And at least for right now the Taurus does still drive. So hey, it could be worse.

In more bad news, I think our bed is starting to kill my back. Or maybe it's the way I've been sleeping the last couple of days, but if this doesn't go away soon, well, we might have to look into options. Not something I want to do. But, I also want to feel good when I get up! The good news is that I have a gift card for a massage, so I think I'll be using that sooner rather than later.

And to end on a positive note, in more good news, thanks to a friend's resources, we are looking into refinancing options for our house which means saving money which would be a very nice thing. We didn't think we'd be able to afford it with closing costs and such, but there may be some options around some of that kind of thing that still lowers our rates. It's worth having the conversations I say! It can't hurt and who knows, it could actually help!

Up and down, up and down, we just keep going on our roller coaster of life!


Things I've learned about running so far

We're back in the running groove. It feels good to be back. I hated being sick for a whole week and getting out of it for awhile.

I have learned some things since we have been doing this. They are things that help me. Might not work for everyone, but this is what I feel like I've learned from my experiences so far.

1. I am at my best for it early in the morning. Might seem odd, but I prefer going way early before work. Partially because I'm not awake enough yet to feel hungry (otherwise running on an empty stomach = not fun) and partially because with the hot humid days we experience here, it's still pretty cool outside at 5:45 am. And there is very little traffic on the road. It's peaceful. I like it.

2. Sometimes it helps to think in distance and not time. I know my neighborhood and how long it takes to get from A to B. So, I know so many blocks equals 10 minutes, etc. If I think in terms of the blocks I need to cover, it's easier to finish.

3. Good shoes make all the difference in the world. It is worth the money. I resisted for awhile thinking the tennis shoes I had were good enough. I had no idea until I got my current shoes. No idea at all.

4. Along the same lines - clothes that breathe are super important. I started out doing cotton shirts and I would feel like I was drowning towards the end of a run. I found a couple of cheap shirts made out of material specifically made to wick away moisture and let me tell you - helped a ton.

5. It's better to leave the iPod at home. Again, this is just me personally, but unless I have an outstanding mix of running music going, some songs slow me down or even discourage me. I had it on random one day and Tori Amos's "Crucify Yourself" came on and it was all over at that point! Plus, I don't have anything to clip the iPod to my body with so I have to carry it in my hand. I found as soon as I gave up on it I actually really, truly found my running groove.

I am amazed at how quickly we've bounced back after missing the entire week I was sick. We're not to where we were about a month ago quite yet, but I'm confident we'll get back there very soon, which considering it took us several months to originally get to that point, a couple of weeks is not too bad!

We'll keep at it!


Random thoughts for a Monday

Not enough to make a full post out of something today so it's time once again for Random Thoughts from me! Well, ok, not all random, but simply the latest and greatest updates I guess!

~Nate and I totally missed the storms this weekend. We were safe in our basement, watching a movie and kind of heard the thunder, but never heard sirens or were aware of tornadoes, hail and straight line winds! We did end up with a downed tree way in the very back of our backyard field, but it was a boxelder that was dying and needing to come down anyway, so Mother Nature saved us some work actually! Nate can cut it up later this year for our fall bonfire.

~My summer "bucket" list has changed direction a little bit. Less work outside the house, more going on inside - we started that painting project as I've discussed here and it is looking like it might become more involved than originally thought due to the mold issue. We'll see how things go. Slowly working our way through the fun things too though. Hard to believe the summer is half over already.

~I got my car washed on Friday and I think it was the first time I had washed it in about a year. I don't even care that it rained already and dirtied the outside again - the inside was starting to really gross me out and after I was no longer sick I decided it was just time to get that taken care of. I love the car wash I go to, it's a little spendy, but they do an awesome job. So worth the money sometimes.

~I had a busy weekend, but managed to hit up one of my favorite stores, Clothes Mentor, who was having a sale - 70% off summer stuff. I bought five new things for work and I only spent $16.00. Crazy. I should teach a class on how to find deals!

~And that's it. That's all I have today. Not too much going on this week which is nice, I would love for life to slow down just a wee bit for a few days anyway!


It starts as one project and then....

Well we're in the midst of a huge project at home - but one I am pretty excited about and therefore am motivated to get it done as soon as possible. As I mentioned we started painting the living room finally. Well, the interior designer in me just couldn't hold back any longer and now I have a grand plan for some simple redecorating ideas as well, while still maintaining things we like about the room.

All of our wall hangings will be redone/placed differently once the paint is done. I'm also finally getting an AWESOME piece of Muppet art framed I bought from a friend of mine who is extremely talented. It's going to hang over our piano and I think it's going to look awesome. We'll use some of our existing artwork and hopefully frame a couple of other things to hang as well.

Then we're going to get new curtains. The curtains we have were Aunt Helen's and while they are not terrible or anything, little Miss Taylor kind of snagged them quite a bit in our early days before she was declawed and I'm also just ready for a new look. These curtains just don't reflect our style. So we're going to try to go with the existing rod, and then get new sheers and new curtains and I think we've compromised on a concept.

The next part Nate's not terribly sure on, but I'm hoping to convince him - I want to rearrange our furniture a bit. We have one couch that was free to us but I don't like it. It's cushions are flat and never stay in place. The other couch was free to us too - it was Helen's as well, but I like that one. I'd like to keep that couch, but move it from the windows to the big wall. By the windows, I want to put these red chairs we have - with new covers on them that I'm hoping to purchase at Ikea, no sewing required! Then get rid of the couch I don't like and instead get a loveseat to put on the smaller wall.

I'm trying to do as much as this as I can for cheap. I'm going to scour some places that I know have good deals like Tuesday Morning and even thrift shops and I think I can turn the room into something quite lovely!

One minor set back - we discovered mold under one of our windows. We'd pulled back the curtains when working on another piece of wall and I saw the crack in the plaster and pulling it back a bit exposed a nasty little mess. We must have had some water damage at some point that we didn't know about (old windows, old house, bad seal). But, it sounds like Nate and my dad will be able to cut out the wall, spray bleach on the mold, put up new drywall, we'll paint some Killz over the area and then paint. Just a little more work than we'd like, but that's the last wall to paint anyway.

Here's the kicker - I want this all (redecorating included) done by late September when we plan to have our Oktoberfest this year. Nate's also in the midst of building his bar and we hope that will be done too.

So, we may not do as much outdoor work as I had planned this year - though there may be time for some of that this fall. I would rather paint the outside of the house when it's cooler anyway. Actually I'd love to just pay someone to do that, but it might be kind of spendy.

Anyway, one step at a time! I'm working on my patience with all of this and I'm pleased with where it's going.



Do you ever read something that just stops you in your tracks and makes you think?

I look back on my post yesterday - celebrating my return to health yes, but also whining and complaining a bit too. I have no reason to whine and complain. When I look at things that several people who are close to me are going through, I realize, I have no right to complain about dumb piddly stupid things.

My house isn't painted yet (and many other unfinished projects) - but I have a house to live in.
Sometimes we're so busy I feel like I could pull my hair out - but life is never boring.
I feel stretched and want to make time for everyone - but I am loved.
Things have changed and continue to at work - but I still have a job.

I don't have it so bad. Not at all. I read a post from a friend of mine this morning and she linked to another blog that just spoke to me and I had to share it here. It's all about letting go and I think it's important to hear sometimes. Here is the link :http://www.susannahconway.com/2010/06/life-is-letting-go-2/

Food for thought yes. And for me, I'm letting go of all the dumb piddly things bugging me. Life is too short. Spreading good vibes to all.


Back to normal

So after the post I wrote last week, I ended up sick for the next four, almost five days. FOUR DAYS! And I hate that! I feel like I missed out on a ton of stuff over the last several days I'm not even kidding. I got super behind in our painting project at home. Nate hasn't even touched his bar project so the basement continues to be a mess. We didn't walk or run at all last week so we're going to be super behind on that program as well. It looks like the maid more or less took a vacation at my house with the stacks of laundry and other cleaning things that need to be done (side note - yes Nate does pull his own weight, but he was busy taking care of me and ended up working on other things like cleaning the gutters - equally important). I missed out on chances to hang out with friends and family and even made a friend feel like I was a one way friend because I hadn't returned a call over the days I was sick.

I feel like I ended up letting some people down and almost like I just failed at life. And I was angry at my body for betraying me in this way. Who gets sick in the summer? And for so many days? I also missed some really nice weather too. I wanted to wave a magic wand and poof, be back to normal.

I know I sound like I'm whining here, but in truth, I was a bit worried for awhile too. I just couldn't seem to shake it and was beginning to wonder if something was seriously wrong with me (and I will admit to being somewhat of a hypochondriac at times).

Yesterday I finally started the turn around. I had enough energy to do my two Praise Project masses, I was able to go to the grocery store with Nate, watch him try out our new Looj tool in the gutters and celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday in the evening.

Today is even better. I'm more or less back to normal. Normal feels so good. As for the things that we're behind on, well, they'll get done. We'll dive back into our painting hopefully as time allows this week. Starting tomorrow we're going to walk and hopefully by the end of the week be back to running. And starting today I'll get caught up on the laundry and the cleaning. I will hopefully get in touch with that friend and make things right there.

And for the rest of the summer I need to remember my motto, one day at a time. I get so focused on the end goal of different things, but there are many steps to get there sometimes and it's important to take them as they come. There are still so many fun things I want to do as well and we will get to them, but we have to just go a little at a time. No overdoing, enjoying as it comes. And then things will hopefully stay normal for some time to come.


Slow. Down.

You know, sometimes our physical selves know more about our well being then our mental selves. If that makes any sense at all - it might not.

We've been having an awesome summer. It's been loads of fun and there have been great activities with family and friends and I don't regret a single second of any of it. But, we've been kind of go, go, go. And it's catching up to me.

Last night I got home from work and it had been a trying day. I just wasn't up to cooking and low and behold, I was missing pieces that I needed to make my dinner anyway. So I texted Nate and asked him what he wanted. We settled on rotisserie chicken from Cub, so I ran over and picked that up with mashed potatoes and gravy. Nate was home when I got there and we had a nice dinner. Then we went downstairs and watched the show "Breaking Bad" which even without commericals is around 45 minutes. In the span of that 45 minutes I started feeling really, really lousy. Tired and cold and feverish.

After the show was over I told Nate how I was feeling and he got me an extra blanket and some water. I didn't want to go to bed quite yet so we just watched some more TV, finally getting around to the Next Food Network Star shows that we're way behind on. I shivered the rest of the night, then took some Advil, took a nice warm bath and went to bed. I never actually checked to see what my temp was, I'd almost rather not know sometimes!

I slept from 9:30 to 6:30 without waking up. We chose to skip our running or even walking this morning, which I hate to do, but I know I needed the rest more than anything. Today I woke up feeling slightly better, but still a bit rundown.

I believe my body is sending me a clear message here - SLOW DOWN!! I want to do so much and I don't want to miss out on anything but it's taking a toll if I don't get a day here or there to not do much. So, that's my mantra for the rest of the summer - try and get out and do some things, but maybe not do everything. I want to keep painting, so maybe I have to skip out on some fun things until that is finished. I also told Nate as we're more or less to the "end" of our running training we can probably take our time hitting that coveted 30 minute mark. I'd rather not overdo it making myself sick again.

Cause you know what? It is not fun to be sick in the summer!


My personal Everest

I kind of feel like I just climbed Mt. Everest. It's a weird thing. It's something that alot of people would never understand. But to me, it's a big dang deal.

I was as close as I've ever been in my life to fireworks last night. And I hate loud noises. I have an intense fear of them. I have since I was a little kid, about three years old or so.

See one time I was hanging out in the garage with my dad while he was working on his old car the Ford. And I was playing around up in his attic when the air hose popped off of his compressor. It made a loud bang and then made a hissing noise. Dad immediately comforted me. Now I don't remember this incident actually, but I remember that after that time, just the risk of loud noises was enough to send me into hysterics. It didn't help that the neighbor boys knew about this and would torture me by popping balloons practically in my face. That just added to the problem.

One year for Girl Scouts we were in the Heights parade. Guess what we got stuck behind? A sheriff shooting off an air gun every 20 or so feet. I still have family members reminding me about how when we walked by there I was with my fingers in my ears crying.

It got easier to just avoid it anytime there would be a potential for noises to bother me. So, we never went to fireworks. On our many trips to Disney World, we'd be out of the park before they started. I never wanted balloons for my birthdays. I started bringing ear plugs to events like the circus or even plays where gunshots were a possibilty. I feel bad that it was a bit of a burden on my parents over the years as there were plenty of times they either missed out or had to deal with me getting upset.

As I got older it got a little better. The ear plugs made a huge difference. And sometimes the psychological feelings were worse than the actual noises. Still, I continued avoidance practices if at all possible. We had fireworks at homecoming almost every year I was in school and every year I'd go inside before the end of the game just to avoid them. Soon the burden was Nate's - he has always been extremely understanding, but he's had to deal with me now instead of mom and dad!

So, last night, we were at an event where we could see a number of shows from quite far away. And then we noticed we could see them from another side of the building and they were with in a couple of miles. And while we were inside, the windows were open and it was loud. But, I remembered to bring ear plugs and I sat there just mesmerized. I realized what I had been missing out on all these years. And, I felt proud. I never got the hyperventilation I tend to experience when I know that loud noises are imminent. I even found that after awhile, I got used to the booms and was instead just appreciating the beauty of the whole thing.

It gave me hope that after all these years I just might finally have outgrown my worst childhood anxiety. I'm not going to go shooting guns or anything, but I feel like I have acheived something. And it's a nice feeling to start my week with. My own little Everest.


Flashback Friday: The Mix Tape

So a combination of things have been leading me to nostalgia lately, mainly the fact that it's my ten year high school reunion this summer and things like that. Nostalgia can really bug me sometimes, but right now I'm actually having a little fun with it.

After my rant the other day about not knowing who Justin Bieber was, I started thinking back on the music I listened to as a pre-teen/teenager and I realized, it probably wasn't much better. And then I remembered how I used to make mixed tapes of all the songs I liked - some off of CD's and some I taped even right off the radio as my boom box (does anyone even make these anymore?) had that capability.

Then I realized - while it was made in 2001, my car has a tape deck. Not a CD player. A tape deck. So for the mere fun of it I dug out all the mixed tapes I could find that I made from about ages 12-15 or so. And I have been listening to them while I've been driving around town. And laughing alot.

Here is a sample of the gems I have found so far:

"I Can't Help Myself" by Joey Lawrence. At the time he was most famous for his role on the sitcom "Blossom" and went through a bit of a teen idol phase. Now he's bald and best known for having been on Dancing with the Stars and apparently has a new show coming out this fall.

"MmmBop" by Hanson. I will admit, when this song first came out I loved it. I couldn't get enough of it...and then it was played and played and played and pretty soon I wanted to pull my hair out.

"One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. I have to laugh, my first "boyfriend" (I put this in quotes because we were in 8th grade at the time, how could you really actually date then?) and I had this as "our song". But it makes no sense for that purpose - it's a song about losing a loved one to the AIDS virus. Makes no sense to me!

"Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. Yep I went through a "girl power" phase. Enough said here.

"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio and several other songs from the movie "Dangerous Minds". I really liked the movie and it seemed like everyone my age had to have the soundtrack. I knew almost all of the words to this and also the parody by Weird Al "Amish Paradise."

There were others, so many others, that surprised me and made me laugh. But others made me smile, I still like some of that music and actually enjoyed hearing some of it again! I'm working to find some of the songs I don't have in MP3 format (wow from cassette tapes to MP3's) so I can continue to enjoy them if I ever replace my tape deck in my car with something else!