Thursday, March 31, 2011

Highs and Lows

Wow, what a whirlwind of a week. I've had some highs and some lows. First off, a quick note about my new job. (As I mentioned in my first blog post, this is not a blog about PR or my career, so I won't talk much about it.) The new job is great. Everyone has been super-welcoming/friendly and I'm excited to be there! It's more digital/interactive heavy and less traditional PR, but that's TOTALLY fine with me.

I will say, though, that after being at the same agency for nearly four years, starting a new job definitely has me out of my comfort zone. Like pretty much every company, there are lots of acronyms and since I'll be working much more in-depth on website management, I find myself learning new lingo. Google has been my best friend.

A few requests from my supervisor had me feeling like this...

But I've realized I'm more capable than I thought. And I'm all like this...

"I'm right on top of that, Rose!" (Editor's Note: If you don't get the "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead" reference there, we should seriously re-think our Facebook friendship. Really though.)

OK, my other high point of the week? Busy season is officially O-V-E-R, which means I have my hubby back!

The brings me to my low point, and really there's only one. So remember when I talked about giving the homeowner's association a piece of my mind at the annual meeting? I MISSED IT. I know! I was so upset. I had it in my head that it was on 3/31 and with all the changes (new job, new phone, not up-to-date calendars), I didn't realize it was on 3/30. So disappointing, I know.

I was so ready to make my case for opening the pool early so people can lay out. (OK, probably just me. And maybe the cougar with the hot bod down the street. She likes to bake, too.) I also wanted to complain about the lack of welcome baskets for new neighbors. {sigh}

I guess it will have to wait until next year...

Happy April!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Occupation: Housewife

I've been totally soaking in role as housewife the past four days while I am in-between jobs. I've SO loved having the days off, but I can't imagine doing nothing for longer than about 4-5 days. (I'm definitely NOT knocking on stay-at-home MOMS, just stay-at-home WIVES. I don't have kids so I only had to look after myself!) Since I did have several days, I figured I might as well take some time to relax and pamper myself. I went and got my hair done, I spent time looking at paint samples for my guest bedroom, hung out at home while we had our bathrooms tiled (Yay!), but by the far the most excitement happened during a trip to get a pedicure on Thursday.

So, I decided to get a pedicure in the middle of the day on Thursday. I also happened to run into what I'm quite sure could easily be the cast of the The Real Housewives of Frisco. When I first walked in, I was totally blinded. Not by beauty, not by sunlight, not by nail polish fumes, but by the high quantity of bedazzled designer track suits. My ensemble - skinny jeans, a top from Target and black sandals - did not fit in. Em-bar-ass-ing.

After I made my way to the spa pedicure chair, they asked if I'd like a beverage. Why, yes. Thank you. I'll have a Dr Pepper. (Holler!) After my eyes adjusted, I looked around and realized that I made my first mistake. I suddenly looked around at all my highly tanned, track suit-sporting housewife pals (I use the term "pal" very loosely) and realized Chardonnay is the drink of choice. Woops.

So I sat quietly and watched as women made light conversation to one-up each other. I heard several women urging their manicurists to move a little faster as they have to be in line to pick up their children "BY 2:45!!!" Whoa, lady. Why are you sippin' wine and getting a mani/pedi at 2:20, then? Another fun fact: apparently, "Words With Friends" has just hit the 'burbs because I heard two ladies excitedly exchanging user names.

So, here's the main difference between me and all of them (besides the obvious lack of bejeweled track suit), this isn't a weekly trip for me and while they all dropped $65 for "the works", I brought in my $5 off coupon for a simple "Classic pedicure." (Such a faux pas, I'm surrrrrre, as one housewife's judging eyes told me.)

So, shockingly enough, I don't fit in with that crowd. (This is nothing new, though. Bottom of the food chain, you know.)Lucky for me, I'll be starting me new job tomorrow. It's much like a first day of school. But instead of my Mom, I have my husband reassuring me, "Of COURSE your new co-workers will love you. How COULDN'T they? You'll do great!" [[Thumbs up!]]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big News = Pregnancy? Not so fast.

So, it's really no secret anymore that I'm moving to a new job next week. I'm definitely sad to leave my current job that I've been with for nearly four years, but I'm also SO SO excited about the new opportunity. As cliche as it sounds, the only word that really comes to mind is bittersweet. Bitter because I'm leaving an amazing company with awesome people and fun clients. Sweet because I get to work for one of the largest, most well-known brands in the country, doing what really interests me, with a commute time of about 15 minutes (compared to 50-60 before)! The fact that I'm basically getting about 1.5 hours added back on my day every day is what my old roomie Peebles and I used to refer to as "Life Upgrades." (Though I'm pretty sure when we lived together back in '07-'08, purchasing an Ikea coffee table was a "Life Upgrade.")

What I didn't realize (and in hindsight, I really should have seen this coming...) is that a baby-lovin' lady who has been married for 2 1/2 years shouldn't just go to their boss/team members and announced they need to talk because they have "news." Every single person was like "You're pregnant?!" as they looked toward my general tummy area. It sort of made me re-think those two boxes of Tagalongs Girl Scout Cookies, the loose-fit cardigans I've been rocking and the lack of running over the past few weeks. Part of me wanted to say, "Oh, yes. Bun in the oven. TOTALLY explains that little pooch I've got working." But unfortunately, I'm afraid that little lie might get back to my husband, which may or may not cause heart failure.

Oh well, lesson learned. I'm excited to start the next chapter in my new fully suburban life. (Although I'll still be back in uptown quite a bit to visit friends, for happy hours, etc.) Cheers!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crafty Bitch: Round Four

So, I keep mentioning finishing my master bathroom re-do, but it’s been on-hold for a little while. You know, life. :-) But this weekend, I’ve finally made some progress.

Over the past several months, we’ve already texturized and painted the walls, removed the ghetto mirrors and replaced with framed mirrors, replaced the lighting, added all new hardware and wall décor.

But there are still three pieces left: first, I’ve got our contractor coming out at the end of the week to tile the floor (the major part of the re-do!). We had some issues at first, but we’ve finally got someone on-board to do the installation within our budget. Second, I’m going to buy a shelves for our towels, etc. and lastly, the curtains. I’ll post photos once the re-do is done (next weekend, fingers crossed), BUT I was able to tackle the curtains this weekend. (With busy season wrapping up, Greg is working 75-80 hour work weeks, so I have pleeeennnnttttyyyy of time for nesting/decorating the home!)

I’m not the sewin’ type, so I went the no-sew route as inspired by my fave home décor blog, Young House Love. I already have the fabric, so got down to it yesterday. I’ve included some simple instructions, but as always, you can probably Google for better instructions…

My supplies:

So, I started out by measuring the window so I knew how to cut the fabric. I added on several inches on each side because of the hems. I cut the fabric into two pieces for each panel. Then, I worked the sewing magic. There’s this stuff called hem tape that’s definitely God’s gift to the “fake it ‘til you make it” crafters. I measured an inch in (on each side) and ironed on the hem tape.

Then, I folded the material over and ironed the hem into place. See? (If this is too vague, there are pretty good instructions on the back of the box of the hem tape.)

I did that on all four sides for each panel. It did take some time. I’m not sure if it took so long because I was watching an all-day marathon of “Breaking Down the Bars” on the Oprah Winfrey Network channel or if it’s simply because I feel I have to try a bit harder than most…

Next came trying to figure out how to hang them. Since they were hemmed on all four sides, the easiest thing to do (and what I feel looks the best) is to use rod clips. It’s in a window nook so a traditional rod wouldn’t work. I went to Lowes and picked out a bronze tension rod and window clips, which cost about $16. Finally, it was simply time to hang it up.

A few key learnings: I need a stronger tension rod (so I’ll be replacing the cheap-o $6 rod with something a little stronger). Also, curtains look best when they have a wave to them. I should have built in an extra 5 inches on each panel to get more of that “wavy look.” So, a few missteps here and there, but I’m pretty happy with the overall look. The whole project cost approximately $54. Not too bad considering I couldn’t find any store-bought window panels that I liked or that were the right size. Excited to see this room finally come together! Would you believe I’m already planning the decorating for my “gray and yellow” guest bedroom?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rumble in the 'Hood

Guess what little gem came in the mail today? It’s an invitation to our homeowner’s association annual meeting. Do you think a young couple with no kids, who is bottom of the food chain, mind you, in this neighborhood will be attending? You bet your ass I am. To be honest, I have a few bones to pick with the association. It. Is. On.

First point: The “Welcome to the Neighborhood… Not.” Incident
Was that a “not” joke? Yes. Yes, it was, but it’s the only way I can explain it. So, when we bought our first home, I actually expected to meet my neighbors right away – they would all bring fresh baked goods the day after we moved in, right? I mean, that’s what happens on Desperate Housewives. I also thought that we might receive some kind of a welcome into the neighborhood from the homeowner’s association. I mean we do send them hundreds of dollars a year. I’ll be honest. Call me presumptuous, but I fully expected some kind of welcome basket. We got nothing. In fact, the first correspondence we had from the HOA leads me to my second point.

Second point: The “Shrub” Incident
We hadn’t been in our new home more than two weeks when we finally received word from the HOA in the form of a postcard. A postcard from those bishes to notify us that we had a stray branch on a shrub and that we’d be fined if it wasn’t taken care. Seriously? We had JUST bought our first lawn mower, so we didn’t even have hedge clippers. Poor hubby had to go out there with scissors to snip the stray branch. Welcome, indeed.

Third point: The “Pool Code” Incident

So, you’re probably wondering why we moved into a neighborhood with a HOA. One word: pool. Greg didn’t want any home with a pool so the neighborhood pool was my option, which comes with a HOA. With my welcome basket, I thought they’d send a cute card with the pool gate code on it, but nothing. In fact, the first time I went, I head to make a little kid let me in. On another occasion, I actually tried to reach through the gate to unlock it to let myself. I totally got caught red-handed by a neighbor (a suburban low point for me), but he totally believed me when I nervously explained I lived in the ‘hood, but had forgot the code. He gave the code to me and I totally branded it on my arm (and by that, I mean saved it in my phone).

Flash-forward to the HOA meeting: I can already picture myself walking into that elementary school gymnasium, guns a-blazing (um, not real guns), with maybe a light breeze that will kick up as I swing the door open, with the Rocky theme song playing on a stereo that my crazy neighbor Linda is holding above her head. I would give that HOA board a piece of my mind. Pretty amazing daydream, right? Well, I’ll be sure to report back!

Monday, March 14, 2011

More craftiness is on the way

So, I know I’ve been talking about these elusive no-sew curtains for a while and I’m going to be honest, I just haven’t got there yet. I’ve had A LOT happening in my life the past couple of weeks (that’s a blog post for another day), but I’m almost ready to get started on what will be one of the final pieces to my cute, remodeled master bathroom.

After a fabric store fail, my Mom suggested I order the fabric online from… and that’s exactly what I did. While it wasn’t exactly what I envisioned, I totally fell in love with this fabric from Ty Pennington (Impressions Lace in Espresso, if you’re curious) and can’t wait to get started on the project. I know what you’re thinking. Why the eff did you order fabric from one of the most annoying TV hosts on the planet?

Well, he actually has a great fabric line, so I’m very excited to get started. See for yourself!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's a Plastic Jungle Out There...

So, I’ve recently found out about this really cool web site and thought I’d share. Did I trick some of you with the blog post title? Did you think it was a post about… leopard print condoms? Nope. Blog post about… new slang term for Dallas cougars’ breast enhancements? Nah. I will explain, but I’m afraid I might have lost a few readers.

For those of you that know me, you know that I love a good deal. It’s not as though I’m cheap (or maybe I am?), I just really don’t like to spend more money than I have to.

So, when I found out about, I had to test it out to see if it was fo’ real. Or too good to be true. Well, I will tell you it is MUCH MORE real than some of the local cougars I’ve seen. Basically, the web site allows you to buy and sell gift cards at discounted prices. So, let’s say your grandma gives you a gift card to Coldwater Creek or Chico’s and the “mom jeans chic” look isn’t your thing, you can actually sell it to Plastic Jungle and they’ll buy it back for up to 92% of its value. You can exchange it for cash, Paypal deposit or Amazon e-card. Even better, you can buy gift cards. At a discounted price. Um, yes please.

I didn’t have any gift cards to sell, but still wanted to test it out. So, I bought several Southwest Airlines gift cards. Greg and I are flying to KC for a wedding this spring and needed to buy tickets. While the discount for SWA gift cards is only 6%, when you spend $350-400 on tickets, it puts 25 bucks back in your pocket. (Editor’s Note: They actually messed up and sent a United Airlines gift card for one of them, but it was pretty easy to send back and got the refund fairly quick.)

Other retailers that might be of interest include Best Buy (6% discount), Bed Bath & Beyond (8% discount), Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy (11% discount), Urban Outfitters (10% discount), Pier One (15% discount) and tons others. It’s a great way to save a small discount on whatever you buy (before you even walk in the store) or allow you to save more (or buy more) when buying a gift card as a wedding gift, baby shower gift, etc.

And no, I wasn’t paid or given anything to share this site. Are you kidding? My blog only has 24 official followers! :-)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet, Delicious Fried Goodness

While I try very hard to eat healthy most of the time (and I think I do!), I’m also a sucker for fast food, fried food and anything with a high calorie count and low self-esteem count. When I say low self-esteem count, I mean ya know when you eat something and you finish and you’re like “Wow, I’m really not proud of that.” Well, I really happen to like food like that.

I’m also a devout Catholic, so of course I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to give up for Lent for several weeks now. Last year, my hubby gave up fried foods and I thought he was crazy. I was totally shoveling tortilla chips down my throat when we went out for Mexican while he sat patiently waiting for his non-fried meal. So, when we were talking about what we’d give up, he told me he was definitely giving up fried food and suggested I do the same. Holy Chick-fil-a Meal #5 (8 count, mind you) with a sweet tea, Greg, is this a joke?! But then I thought about it and realized this is the PURPOSE of giving something up for Lent. It’s not supposed to be easy or convenient. So, Greg and I will both be giving up fried food for the next 40 days. Here’s what I’m going to miss the most:

First and foremost, my every other Friday lunch:

And a few other faves:

So keep me honest, y’all. If you catch me hunched in a corner somewhere woofing down french fries, call a sister out.

Happy Lent!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Little Piece of Home in Frisco

While I was born in Louisiana, I spent much of my life growing up in Tulsa. Since I left (first to go to college in Stillwater, then to Dallas to start my career/”big girl” life), I still have such a fond place in my heart for that city. Restaurants I used to enjoy while I lived there are suddenly elevated to five-star. We are often back in Tulsa as we still have friends that live there and every time we get to town, I always think, “Uh. I love Tulsa.”

One other thing I love about Tulsa. QuikTrip. Ummm, yes, it’s a gas station. But they always have the nicest employees, the cheapest gas and the BEST cola icees. And it makes me feel like I’m back in T-Town!

They are sporadically around Dallas, but never anywhere CLOSE to where I lived before. So you can imagine my excitement when a “QuikTrip Coming Soon” sign popped up a few months ago just right down the street from our house. Well, it opened this past week and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.

Of course, I went by as soon as it opened to fill up my gas tank and enjoy a nice hot beverage from their beverage station. I met a nice older couple who was totally blown away by all of their drink options. I know, amazing, right?!

Pretty soon, they’ll be blasting the "Cheers" theme song every time I come in.

Now, all I need is a McAlister’s Deli and a Hideaway Pizza to open in Frisco and I’ll be totally at home!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Girl's Got Mantel Issues

That's mantel, not mental.

So, one of the things I loved about my house from the second I saw it was the beautiful chocolate painted fireplace. I also thought that the way the former owners (whose names do not pass our lips in this house – we don’t like them. That’s probably another post, though) did the mantel actually looked really good.

Yes, I’m creepy and took photos of the house during the inspection. Whatever. Judge me.

But now that I look back, I’m not as in love with it. (Though I obviously blatantly copied the metal art in the nook.)

It’s been pretty bare for the past seven months simply because I’m sort of at a loss for what I want to do with it. I have googled “cute fireplace mantels” more times than I can count, but am having a tough time getting some inspiration.

So I bought a picture frame and put a photo of Greg and I from vacay in Ft. Lauderdale last year. We also have this golden “B” that his sweet Grammy gave us as one of our engagement gifts. The final item I ordered from Etsy last month and just arrived today. It’s a family sign that I had customized for our mantle. I ordered it from the amazing “Our Hobby To Your Home” shop. Super cute.

It’s actually more of a sage green, but doesn’t look like it in this picture. Now, I just need to pick up a plaque holder and figure out where exactly I want to place it. But I’m sort of at a loss for what else to place on the mantel.

I’m probably going to shuffle these items around and I know I need something with height, but as my husband pointed out, I’m pretty sure we’ve hit the maximum candle allotment for our living room so candle pillars are out. I’ve thought about doing a vase (or set of vases) with flowers or branches.

So, here’s the mantel now. Wah, wah, wah. I just put these items up there randomly so totally know I need to rework where these are. I’ll call this the “before” photo.

Any ideas? Please?