Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let the Holidays Begin!

Today, me, Shane, Beau and Brother begin our three-day family Christmas road show! We are going to my dad’s tonight, my mom’s tomorrow night and Shane’s moms on Friday night. To make the experience a little easier, we found travel crates for B&B. Yes - that's right, travel crates! They are made out of a tent material and collapse to a small 1' circle (if rolled up correctly, but we couldn't figure it out). Once expanded, they are almost as big as their metal crates, which are 46". Here is a pic (sorry it's dark...turned the flash off on my camera and couldn't get it to come back on. Yes, LCD still broken.):
And on the gift front, we are ALMOST done shopping! Shane is exchanging some stuff and picking up the last of our gifts today. And I haven’t shown any pics of my tree for this year! Take a look at our black, red and white tree…(it has nothing to do with us being Georgia fans, swear.)
And here is me trying to take some artsy fartsy pics of my presents. I was able to keep all of my wrapping paper black and red as well.
I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope that I blog before New Year’s, but you NEVER know!

Oh, and you wanna see a hystiocytoma?
Merry Christmas! Compliments of Brother

Friday, December 18, 2009

Olay For You

Olay For You -- have you heard of it? I'm pretty sure that it's been around for a while, so I'm a little late to the party, but it's fantastic!

Basically, you answer a series of questions about your skin type, age, routines, goals, etc. and it develops a skin care regiment for you. Granted, all the products are Oil of Olay products, but those are the best, right? Anything I can get at the grocery store is A-okay in my book. (I also buy all of my hair products and tools at the grocery store...and I usually find them in the bread or produce aisle. It's like they are just sitting there...waiting for me!)

So, here is my regiment (click to make larger):



Looks like I'm on a cleanser, moisturizer, wrinkle-reducer, eye transformer and mini-peeler...can't wait to break the bank buying skin cream and watch my face transform!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busy Week, Puppy Tumors, Award Banquet…and Have I Started My Christmas Shopping? Barely.

Last week was nuts, and this week has proved to be almost as busy! Last weekend, we went out with our friends Danielle and Mandy on Friday night in Smyrna. We got home pretty late, but surprisingly didn’t stop for our normal Taco Bell/Steak ‘n Shake/McDonald’s fare – thank god as I’ve put on the holiday 10 (pounds, that is). Saturday we got up and ran a few errands and then came home and crashed for the whole day. It was super relaxing…just laying on my couch watching TV, movies, sleeping, eating – ahhhhh. On Sunday, we went to the outlets in Dawsonville to get started on our Christmas shopping. It was successful, but we haven’t even scratched the surface on it really…we shall brave the crowds this weekend, I suppose!

To backtrack to last week, on Thursday night (at book club) I realized that Brother had this awful looking sore on his back left foot. It was a bump, the size of a small grape, between his toes and he had licked it completely raw – gross. We gave it until Monday (after keeping a sock on it all weekend so that he would stop licking it) but it still wasn’t better. Shane took him to the vet that morning, while I go to work to start doing research to make my own diagnosis. Oh, you didn’t know that I’m a general practicioner/ dermatologist/ veterinarian/ dietician/ nutritionist/genius? Hmmm…I thought I mentioned that. Anyway, I was convinced that he had an interdigital cyst which are usually lanced or aspirated pretty easily (those non-doctor types reading (right, like I have readers!) may have to google those words for reference). However, when I talked to the vet she informed me of her ‘opinion’ – a hystiocytoma, a tumor from the round cell tumor family that usually occurs in young dogs. How do I cure it? You usually don’t, they just go away on their own in three to four weeks. In the meantime, we have to apply a drop to help with the irritation, keep him from licking it and if it doesn’t go away in a month we have to take him back to have it removed. So, Shane and I have rigged up a little sock/Scotch tape deal that is effective and funny. Here is a little video of his bootie (beware - my LCD screen is still broken on my camera so this video is a little crazy shaky – sorry!):


video



Poor guy. Meanwhile, Beau is super jealous of Brother and is probably at home right now trying to claw his eyes out so that he can get some additional attention…maybe for an eye patch made of an old bra?

Back to this week, yesterday my department had an award ceremony (the Marketing Choice Awards – our version of the Academy Awards) to recognize our work for the year. Projects are nominated in different categories and are voted on by the department, our Research team compiles the information and then the winners are named at this event. I actually took home two awards and my friend Kelly was our team’s MVP! That means that she is fabulous and gets a stack of cash! Congrats girlie!

Who can believe that it is already Thursday? Almost a week until Christmas! This weekend, we clearly have shopping to do, Shane wants to go to Marietta Square and check out the shops and then we have a friend’s 30th birthday party on Saturday night at Leopard Lounge! I can already tell that I’m going to need to clear my Sunday. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Toph's 21st Birthday...Craziness, Order in the Bathroom

So...Tuesday was my younger brother, Christopher's (who refers to himself as Topher), 21st birthday! My parents were generous enough to take the family and a few of Chris' friends out for dinner at Maggiano's. Their family style menu always gets ugly - as in I eat two portions of everything served...it's a sickness.

Afterwards, me, Shane, Toph and a few of his buddies went to Stout in Buckhead for some additional drinking. 'We won't stay out late - midnight at the latest.' Fat chance. After at least 4 shots each, three liquor drinks, some beers - we were home at 2 a.m. A sober friend came to pick my brother up from our house to take him home but not before we gave EVERYONE the house tour. Let's keep in mind that I haven't cleaned my house in a minute, my bed isn't made, I still have Christmas projects laying around, there are dishes in my sink and an unplugged iron on my counter...yes, Better Homes & Gardens - where you at? Here are a few pics:
On Wednesday, I work from home so the hangover wasn't as bad since I could work whilst laying on the couch. Shane, however, was down for the count. He didn't work at all and laid in bed until after noon. His body just can't take it anymore - you know, with him being 31 and all!

Last night, me and Jennie went to Polished in Smyrna to get our toes done and for dinner and drinks. It was good to catch up and we are definitely going to make that a once a month occassion, right Jennie?

Tonight is book club meeting at my house! This has been a very busy week. And I have been preparing for this event by having a laundry list of things that I want to do (paint doors, paint bathroom, paint trim in hallway, paint front door, hang outside wreaths, etc., etc.) of which two or three were accomplished. I am anything if not a dreamer.

On to organizing the bathroom...as you can see from the pics it is an extremely small space. My only storage is the white cabinet that is on the wall (which I don't really like, but have to learn to love it because I NEED the storage). I want to get some things out of the way while still having things look put together - so here are some of my thoughts:
To get hair stuff out of the way:
A shelf to put right above the sink, under the medicine cabinet, for an extra place to sit stuff (rings, hair clips, etc.) It sucks having to always put things in the sink:

I'll have my existing cabinet for makeup, brushes, perfumes, deodorants, etc. I don't know - small spaces are frustrating...why can't I just win the lottery? Anybody have any ideas? Would love to hear your thoughts!

And here is a pic of Brother that makes me laugh...he hates my guts.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Freshly Painted Master Bathroom

I painted the master (I use that word VERY loosely) bathroom this weekend and think that it turned out great! Here is a before pic:
Here is an after without anything moved back in:
The color is a very light bluish/greenish color. Since it is so light - I went ahead and painted the ceiling the same color.
What do you think??

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Whole Lotta’ Backtracking…

Wow, it’s been a long time! It seems as though whenever I come back from vacation I always get lazy with the blog…sorry.

Let’s start with mine and Shane’s trip to the Dominican Republic. It was fantastic. Eight days, seven nights of paradise. But to be honest, by the last day I was ready to come home…I wasn’t ready to go back to work but I was ready to see the boys and sleep in my own bed. One highlight from the trip was Shane turned 31! Can you believe it?!? Old man. And he isn’t even married!!! (hint, hint, hint, hint, hint) Also, when we arrived in the DR, I turned on my camera to find out that my LCD screen had broken so I am now on the prowl for a new camera. Ugh. Here are a few more pics from our trip:

WILLLLSONNNN! Ha Ha - Get it?

Coming back to work during Thanksgiving week was pretty sweet. It was quiet so I was able to catch up and it was a short week which was even better! For Thanksgiving, Shane and I, my mom and brothers went to my aunt’s house in South Carolina. It’s pretty much a tradition and it was good to see the fam! The remainder of Thanksgiving weekend was pretty uneventful. I. Absolutely. Hate. Black. Friday – so I wasn’t shopping, fo sho. We went to our friend, Lindsay’s, to watch Georgia kick Georgia Tech’s dorky asses on Saturday night and then stopped by Monica and Andy’s (NEW SMYRNA NEIGHBORS – YAY!) on our way home. Stayed up way too late but had a great time!

This week hasn’t been too bad. I took Monday off (I love PTO time) and decorated for Christmas! I did a few things differently with my inside decorations and Shane and I rigged up some outside lighting that I think will remain up all year round. Take a look:The Christmas lights won’t be staying up all year round, but the spotlights probably will. I think they make the house look so dramatic. What do you think? And timers…those are the best things ever. We’ve never put our Christmas lights on timers, but in an effort to be environmentally-conscious this year we opted for automatic timers. Just kidding, this was more like an effort to allow Shane and me to be more lazy and thoughtless with our Christmas decorations. Score.

I am also working on a Christmas decoration project that I found on my new favorite blog. I hope to wrap that up soon and I’ll definitely share pics.

This weekend is the annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, so Shane and I are on the lookout for the ugliest Christmas sweaters/vests/turtlenecks/dickies…again, will share those pics.

AND – I have finally purchased the paint for my bathroom! I actually got two gallons of it – not intentionally, but because the guy made two gallons on accident and sold me the extra gallon for $5. I’ll buy anything for $5!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're Back!

We're back and trying to get caught up on work and home stuff...don't really have much to say right now, but I'll share a few pics from our trip. Enjoy!

I'll share more later...Adios!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Freshly Painted Doors

I have finally painted the interior of our new side and back doors!

Before:

After:

Dramatic difference, I know. And sorry again for the bad pic...I still don't have my camera back.

A few things to keep in mind when painting aluminum doors:

  • Don't tape anything. This is more of my golden rule for painting anything as it makes a bigger mess than it's worth!
  • Do the third coat, just to be safe.
  • Use a paint that is a primer/paint combination...it definitely saves time!
  • Give the paint a couple of days to dry and then apply an even coat of polyurethane. I haven't done this yet, but it will keep the paint from scratching off the surface.

I still need to paint the exterior, but as I mentioned yesterday, Ida has made her way through and left everything soaking wet. I cannot bear the thought of painting and then watching it peel due to moisture in the air, so I'll wait until we are home from vacation.

Speaking of vacation...3 DAYS!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bad Weather = Crock Pot

Hurricane Ida is making her way through Atlanta, and doing it very slowly since it has been steadily raining ALL day. At about 4:30 p.m., I was kicking myself for not watching the weather channel to know that rain was coming so that I could plan a Crock Pot meal. I'm obsessed with that godly little machine this fall. Since I had to miss out, I thought I would share my favorite Crock Pot chili recipe with you...enjoy!




Classic Beef Chili - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 28 ounces pinto beans, canned, drained
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes, canned
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced

Directions

  1. Brown the meat in a skillet.
  2. Add meat and remaining ingredients to slow cooker.
  3. Cover; cook on Low 10-12 hours or High 5-6 hours.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Manic Monday

What a weekend! Here's the abridged version...
Friday: Shane got back from being out of town the whole entire week and we hung out with our friend, Kirn (who had only been to our house once - by the way :)), at a local place. It was fun, from what I remember.

Saturday: Recovery. TV watching. Napping. Then got ready for our friends Austin and Kelly to come over. We hung out for a while and then headed out for a night on the town. Lots of fun and so nice to show them our neck of the woods!

Sunday: Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. Got lots of good stuff for projects and activities...more to come.

And Monday, blah. However, my team at work volunteered with the Atlanta Children's Shelter this afternoon. I was really NOT excited about it, but once I got there and saw the faces of those little children...it was totally worth it and I actually had fun!

P.S. We have only six short days until we depart for the Dominican Republic. I.Can't.Wait.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seems Broken...Most Likely

I was in training, again, today in downtown Atlanta. During my lunch break, I grabbed my PB&J and headed down to the Ballard Backroom off of Howell Mill Road. This is the outlet version of the popular Ballard Designs and I had heard rave reviews. so I had to check it out for myself.

I walk in and veer to the right but then notice signs that say 'FULL PRICE ITEMS' and then quickly veer to the left where I see the randomly arranged and broken stuff. That's more in my price range. I am mosey-ing through and notice a lamp with a burlap lamp shade...beeline...so cute, but you are $200- outrageous! No thanks. I continue mosey-ing and see the same lamp in green but the shade is a little crooked. I walk over to straighten it up, naturally, and see that it is broken. And only $20! I then have a flash of DIY confidence and pick that puppy up, while holding the top of the lamp so that it doesn't fall completely off, as it is only attached with Scotch tape.

Here is the little beauty that I plan on nursing back to health (sorry for bad pics, had to use my phone):

The base is a little off center...looks like it was repaired with hot glue at one point.

Check that price! Original Price: $199.99; Sale Price $19.99. Holla!

What a steal! I have no idea where it will go, but I had to have it...don't you just love getting stuff like this?!?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Librarian Yelled at Me

I was in a training class today and got out a little early, so on my way home I decided to stop by the library and drop off a book I had checked out and pick up the next in the series (yes, it's still the Karin Slaughter series and I'm obsessed). I find my book, as well as this month's book club book (yes, I'm just now getting started and our meeting is next week), and proceed to the checkout counter.

I'm greeted by a mousy little guy. I hand him my library card, he scans it and then lets out a really heavy sigh. 'Uh, you have several late fees here that will need to be paid before you can check out another book. It looks like the book you just returned was 43 days late and the two that you returned a few weeks ago were 23 days late...AND, you put an audio book in the night drop.' I am a little taken back by this TOTALLY RANDOM attack so I respond with 'Okay, well how much are the fees, and where should I return audio books in the future?' He informs me that my late fees total a whopping $9.70 and the audio books go in the drop box at the front of the building - DUH!


I get out my check card and go to ask some more questions about the deadlines on my new books, but before I can get my question out he tells me they only accept cash or check. Okkkkaaaayyyyy.....I had cash, but didn't want to break a $20 (yeah, I'm not sure why either...they are sacred, I guess) so I write him a check.


He finally lets me ask about the deadlines and the process around checking books out, since I wasn't properly informed during my last visit, and I swear he was talking so loud as he explained it! Almost like he was showing off in front of the other librarians! I have no problem copping an attitude in a situation like this, but I honestly had no idea what to do...so I thanked him (for the embarassing verbal lashing), tucked my tail between my legs and left the building. The walk from the desk to the exit felt like a mile long.


I have thus learned my lesson and swear to never be late ever again. I put my book due dates on my Outlook calendar at work and on my Google calendar.

I'm sorry....so sorry...I'll never do it again. Swear.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chill Weekend, Getting Things Done, Movie Review

I hope that everyone had a great Halloween weekend! Shane and I took it easy this weekend...

Friday: Had dinner with the family...lots of wine and good conversation! We didn't quite make it to the movie though. Instead, we headed home and crashed around midnight.

Saturday: Hung out with friend's all day for Halloween and the Ga. v. Florida game...eating, drinking, chatting... It was good to catch up with Dave and Jennie and to see their little boy, Asher, in his very first Halloween costume - so cute! Unfortunately, Georgia lost...but that's not hard to do when you play a bunch of cheating thugs. :) Right, Shane?

Sunday: Cleaned the house and got a lot of housework done! I cleaned out my closet and went through all my clothes and got rid of a huge trash bag full of clothes and shoes. We also cleaned out the hallway closet as well. Now that all of the landscaping is complete, Shane sprayed off the driveway where the fill dirt was and we now have a clean place to park! Afterwards, we finally made it to see 'Paranormal Activity.' The movie was pretty scary and reminded me a lot of 'The Blair Witch Project.' My only complaint is that the ending was a little 'off.' They could have made a small change and it would have kept me up at night. I think that Shane was a little more terrified, seeing that he wanted to sleep with the lights and TV on all night.

This week has been pretty busy so far - I'm in training all day tomorrow and Thursday and Shane is out of town for work. However, I promise to post pics of the landscaping clean up sometime this week. Adios!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Weekend and Getting Back on Track

Octobers are always very busy months with events, birthdays, Halloween, etc., etc., etc. This weekend will conclude the glorious month of my birth and I am planning to seriously get back on track with house projects and organization. Here is the pl-zan:

House Projects:

  • First and foremost, get the remnants of fill dirt off the driveway. My brother has finished the landscape clean up (pictures to come) and now we just need to spray the driveway off.
    Finish my house-related goals that have rolled over for three or more months…so, all of them. Notice how I never recapped September? Totally intentional.
  • Rethink the sitting room and guest bedroom but do NOT add this to the goal list or it will never get done.
  • Get rugs for the master and guest bedroom. I have a special project that I’m working on for this…thanks to Kel’s sis, Devon!

Get Organized:

  • I’ve contacted Closets by Design to come out for an in-home consultation on reorganizing and maximizing space in my closet. Based on price, we can look at doing Shane’s closets as well, but he actually has two closets so I don’t feel so bad. (I have the closet in our bedroom and Shane has the closet in the office and guest room.)
  • Clean out the remainder of the closets in the house that have been packed with crap since we had our first party. (Rushing to get the place cleaned up and had crap stuck in EVERY closet and crevice.)
  • Clean out the kitchen cabinets and get rid of non-matching or non-used dishes. Why do I need 13 flower vases?
  • Go through clothes and donate what I won’t wear.
  • Make Shane do the same thing.

While it isn’t a completely fleshed out plan, it is at least a starting point. We’ll see how it goes…

As far as this weekend, tonight Shane and I are having dinner with the fam and then going to see ‘Paranormal Activity.’ I’m not really sure about this movie as I’ve heard really mixed reviews…some said that it was overrated and others said they couldn’t sleep for days. I’ll let you know my thoughts.
Saturday is the big Georgia v. Florida football game, and Halloween!, and we are heading to a friends’ house to hang out and watch the game. And Sunday is housework day – fun.

Does anyone have any big Halloween plans? Have a great weekend!