spring cleaning

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Since it is that time of year, and since I'm being perfectly honest, I have never spring cleaned my house and have no clue what to do first. I remember growing up and watching my Grandma pull all her curtains down, strip all the bedding, and just wash for days. Wash china, baseboards, inside/outside windows, light fixtures...on and on and on. And the house always smelled so good.

I found a couple resources with tips on spring cleaning - Real Simple & Martha Stewart. Go with what you know, right?

Real Simple has a pretty comprehensive room-by-room article of what to clean, which can be found here.

And not to forget the Queen of Clean, Martha Stewart has a printable Spring-Cleaning Checklist, which I also plan on referring to. You can find the PDF version here.

Time to roll those sleeves up, girls!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well, I wish I had better pictures for you, but I really didn't take many and truthfully, the best ones I took were with my cell phone! What a shame...

Here's a few for ya [and FYI, I spent way too long in Picnik editing these things...]!

My bro-in-law, Joe, my girlfriend, Bobbie, and myself...startin' out the long, 25 hr drive

This was our sanity-saver, having the back open. We put the seats down and were able to stretch out and sleep.

Finally made it! Justus, Bobbie and Joe on the beach. Justus was super proud of those white sunglasses...he got a lot of teasin' :)

One night we ate out at a seafood restaurant on the water, Waltz Fish Shack. Very small menu w/ all local seafood. Here's me and Brad...

Pretty much all I love about vacation in one picture - the beach, wine and good food!

My lifesaver on the trip! I would've been drowning in testosterone had she not come!

It is nice to be home, although I have felt somewhat overwhelmed with everything. I am not going to lie - my suitcase? Still sitting in the front door, wide open. And I may or may not have dug clothes out of it and not moved it. I think part of the problem is that I worked right up until we left, didn't do much to clean or get my house in order, and so when I came back it was all still staring at me. My solution has been to take the week off from working out - running, step class and yoga - and just recover. Recover, meaning clean my house, start gearing up for spring cleaning and spring projects, cause let me assure you, I have lots to do. I bought "easy" food at the grocery store (frozen stir fry, frozen pizzas, spaghetti) cause I refuse to slave in the kitchen this first week back.

There you have - a few pictures, a confession, and a plan. I'll let you know at the end of the week how it all turns out!

Beach --> Snow

Monday, March 28, 2011

Well, friends....we're back from our glorious week at the beach. That sentence gets no exclamation point because there is nothing to EXCLAIM about that - we came back to snow and a frigid, 1-degree temp this morning. Really - side note - 1 degree? What a joke. At least be 0, or 5 or something. But 1 is just ridiculous.

So anyway, we're back and I have a few pictures from our time at the beach, but I'm still in the process of uploading/editing. Overall, it was an amazing, amazing trip with perfect weather (sunny + 80 degrees all week), incredibly fun friends, and lots and lots of relaxing on the beach. We literally didn't do anything, and it was perfect. I got in a couple runs, which was a feat considering beach running is a beyotch. But we basically slept in, went to the beach, then went to the pool, and then went out or stayed in at night.

Apart from vacation, I have lots of other things to talk about soon, like....

line dancing
my new favorite lotion
house decor
cheap finds on eBay
good books

As (another) side note, we came home only to deal with our dog's broken foot. He jumped up on a dumpster while playing fetch with my father-in-law. Yes, the dog is that dumb. But we love him so much.

Hope whoever is reading this is getting much better weather than I am!

The long road

Monday, March 21, 2011

We made it to Florida! I'm currently sitting on the lanai [golden girls, anyone??] drinking my coffee and looking out at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. It's downright amazing, and even though I had to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the car, it's well worth it now!

The trip down wasn't so bad. We left home on Friday night with 5 - FIVE - people packed into our Mountaineer. We made the wise decision to put our luggage on a tow rack on the back of the car, and open up the very back for people to lay. Around 10pm my girlfriend, Bobbie, and I, laid down our side of the backseat, stretched out, and slept til we got to Tennessee. We made it to Nashville in great time and then spent the morning/afternoon out shopping. Later that night we got all gussied up and took ourselves downtown, where we spent the night going from bar to bar and listening to amazing country bands. A shot of celebratory tequila may or may not have been involved!

However, the drive to Florida took.an.eternity. Seriously, it felt like we were in the car for days. It was about 13 hours, and that is definitely a long time, but holy smokes, I felt like my butt was glued to the seat!

But we're here, and I'm enjoying coffee outside and watching the beach walkers. Thinking I might go join them for a morning run!

workout must-have

Friday, March 18, 2011

If you know me, you know I'm a music freak...if I get in the car for five minutes, I have to have good music on. If I go to the gym and forget my phone (which plays my music), or the battery's dead, then I can pretty much forget the workout. I'm obsessive about having good music to listen to.

Which is why Rhapsody has saved my life. I know I've talked about it before on here, but seriously, it's amazing! I pay $9.99 a month and have unlimited access to whatever song in the whole world that I want to listen to. I've got different playlists, like my workout playlist, plus a "beach" one, and a "rock" playlist. I can spend a long time on that website picking out the perfect songs!

Here's my current Workout playlist:

This week I also bought a Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone, mainly because now I can listen to Rhapsody in my car! Perfect for a 28 hour roadtrip!


Back when I lived in Sweden I randomly picked up some Nivea chapstick - Nivea Pearl & Shine, to be exact.

For the record, I'm the girl that buys lip stuff and either hates it immediately or loses it a week later. Miraculously, I've kept this tube for 2 years and am just now wearing it down to the last little nub. As for the color, it's the perfect, nude-pink sheer color and it's not sticky at all.

Problem? It's only sold in Europe.

So.....if anyone's taking a trip over there soon, please see me!

the haircut

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So....I took the advice of the snarky stylist who told me I needed to cut my hair and did just that. I shouldn't say she was so snarky, though, cause when I sat down in the chair for the cut my stylist, David, asked what I wanted to do with it. I started, "Well, I think I'm going to cut some -" and at this point he started clapping. See, my hair was very long, yes. And not really that healthy on the ends. But the poor man had to comb my hair for at least 10 minutes every time he would do anything to it. That's how snarly and un-healthy it was at the ends.

For reference sake, here's a picture of (un-styled, humidity-laden-from-Charleston) my hair this past May. So, almost a year ago:

See? Long, slightly stringy. In my defense, it is a lot cuter when it's styled. Which I probably tried to style it that day, but it fell the second my foot hit the pavement.

And after my hair cut...(please note, this picture is at 7:30am, no makeup, no hairstyle and the lighting is awful):

Yes, I'm happy it's healthier, and I'll be the first to admit, it looks a lot better. However....I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of this length. For me, I either want a short, cute, styled haircut, or long, long hair. While this is probably really long for some people, this is that awkward, medium-length hair that is not long enough to style (curl) well, but too long to be cute straight. It's just kind of blah to me.

But it's healthy!

the weekend

Monday, March 14, 2011

.....was close to being depressing, thanks to the dismal Northern Wisconsin weather. I swear. 23 degrees in the (almost) middle of March? Ugh.

Apart from the weather, here's the bullet-point list of my weekend:

  • Did my longest treadmill run ever! I did 4 miles, which, for me, is a really long way, haha! I was determined to stay on the darn thing for at least 4 miles, and I prepared for it by eating rice for dinner the night before, and running a slower pace for the first 2 miles. Felt good to do it!
  • Went to a baby shower for a girlfriend in town, and it was the best kind you can go to - no silly "guess the diameter of the belly with toilet paper" or "smell the poop in the diaper" games. Just a nice, sit-down lunch, baby trivia games, and conversation with friends. And I will not lie, being at a baby shower made me want to have a baby. Just for the afternoon, though.
  • I bought a wax warmer and hard wax and am using it to do my own waxing of different varieties. Nothing extreme (you know...legs/brows/bikini/etc), but I tried it this weekend for the first time, and oh.my.heavens. Painful. PAINFUL. So the next time I took a warm shower first, drank a glass of wine and then attempted to finish what I started, and it turned out great! Well worth the investment.
  • My husband went fly fishing this weekend. In 23 degree weather. Sometimes I laugh when I think of the fact that I married a man like him.
  • Last thing? BEACH BEACH BEACH BEACH BEACH BEACH. We're leaving Friday after work and driving for a looooong time to get down to Tampa. Yes!
Happy Monday!

thrifty finds

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Every now and then I like to swing into the Salvation Army (we don't have a Goodwill in town) and check out what they've got. You definitely have to go in with an open mind because it's not your typical "cute" thrift store where you walk in and don't know where to look first. It's kind of a gross shop with lots and lots of junk. But there's usually some good finds in there.

Remember the octagon table I was telling you about? Here was my inspiration (the white table in the center)...

and here's the table I found at the thrift shop:

So, not completely identical, but it's the same shape. I'll take it! I started painting it white and it's already looking so much better. I'll tell ya what, though...those little legs take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to paint!

And here's my other finds:

Nothing amazingly remarkable, but some cute little finds! I loved the little green creamer (been searching for one for a long time), and those green glass....things (I think they're railroad or nautical lights?) are just good for random display pieces. The little stacked cups are a pretty pink-gold color, and I've been reading over at Fly Though Our Window about making your own candles. I figured these would be a great candle jar. And then I had to buy the turquoise jar!

I've got big plans for re-decorating parts of my house - mainly my living room - with a new area rug, maybe curtains, and some new pillows...but for now I'm way more focused on my trip to Tampa next week! Yay beach!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

I know I've been on a "favorites/randoms" the last few days, but I've come across some fabulous little nuggets out on the interweb this week! So I have to share:
  • Who remembers Domino magazine? I do, and I miss it dearly...it was the best magazine to read for design/style/fashion/decor etc. It may not be in print anymore, but I discovered a Flickr group called The Domino Magazine Files. It's a photo group where people have posted old articles and photos from the magazine. And in case you're not familiar, here's some of the covers -

  • I found a little online shop called Antiquaria that specializes in "Curated Vintage Housewares" - yes, I'm sold! A little eye-candy of their sweet finds...
[photos taken from Antiquaria website]

  • I've been seeing these little videos in different blog circles, but I always see the Paris video. I watched them all this week, and maybe it's my own personal memories, but I'm partial to the Barcelona video. Although Paris is a close second...these were my two favorite European cities!
  • I don't remember how I came across this website, but I immediately fell in love with velvet raptor. What is there not to love about these lush photo albums? I'll be honest, at first I thought they could print your wedding photos within them, but I'm not too sure, it may be one where you attach them inside? Either way, their delicious velvet covers could sell any bride...
[photos taken from velvet raptor website]

That's all I got for this gloomy Saturday...and for the millionth time, I am SO READY for Spring! I think it's even snowing out right now. Ew...wishing warm weather to someone out there!

oh, side note: I am on Twitter, but I made my account private. However, I would love more Twitter friends, so if you're on there, request to follow @seannagirl and I'll follow you back!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Right now, I'm totally loving fishtail braids. Funny thing is, I remember doing them as a little girl, and now they're making their comeback. I love the messy, unique look of them, not to mention they're super easy to do!

This girl on the left makes me want to buy a Bump-it...love that volume!

I've also really been digging velvet upholstered furniture lately. Here was my most recent "OMG, I LOVE THAT" photo:

[note - if you love reading about design, HouseBeautiful is THE magazine to check out. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos and a great source of inspiration!]

Okay, see that pink chair in that photo? One word for that: swooooooon. Speaking of this photo, I had bought the magazine and thinking about how much I liked that octagon-shaped table. And what do ya know, I found one very similar to it at Goodwill that weekend! I need to sand/paint it, but I'll definitely get pictures and show everyone afterwards.

Anyway - here's some velvet upholstered chairs I'm loving...

[love the nailhead trim on the chair base]

[perfect chair to put in a cozy place - bedroom, living room]

[this chair is a little modernist for me, but I love the black velvet & nailhead trim]

[this chair reminds me of a Parisian apartment...lots of off-white walls & trim, overstuffed furniture, black-and-cream stripe accents, and BAM, pink chair]

[these colors/patterns are totally me - not a huge fan of sharp angles in design, but looove the contrast stitching. that stitching almost has a butcher's twine look to it, no?]

Needless to say [and I'm sure everyone else agrees w/me], TGIF! No big plans for the weekend, short of maybe trying to paint my new table??

Happy Friday!

Thursday Randoms

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm currently in a "hair crisis." I've been growing out my hair for the last...um, 8 years (I got a BUTCHED haircut in 2003 and have never, ever gone back) and it's just gotten too long. I would say it's about to my upper-lower back? Or lower-middle back? Anyway, I went to get a bang trim a couple weeks ago (which I hated, FYI) and the stylist informed me that I needed to cut my hair, that it's "just too much." I don't disagree with her....not at all, really. [side note - I think she doesn't like me very much (remember = small town, everyone knows each other and you're judged even if they don't really know you) so who knows if she just felt like making me feel bad.] So lately I've been looking at hairstyles, and I don't have a clue what I want, but I DO KNOW that I love Erin Andrew's hair:

I love the length+layers, but she's got the advantage in that her hair looks somewhat wavy. I could use my hair as a dang ruler, it's so straight.

In other news, since I am the Workout Queen lately, I thought I would share pictures of Carrie Underwood's legs. They are enough to motivate me to sink just a little lower the next time I'm doing squats...

[I love, love, love her style in this picture below, I feel like it's something me and my girlfriends would wear! Small town mixed with a little style :) ]

Speaking of being the Workout Queen, you know how I was all "Low Carbs!" recently? Yeah, I had to give that up. Here was my mindset with it:

"Okay...I cut out bread and pasta, but I can still eat sugar, beans, corn, bananas, and AS MUCH cheese, fat, heavy creamy stuff as I want. Oh, and on the weekends I can eat whatever I want."

I feel like an idiot even writing that! Needless to say, it has not been effective, and my silly self didn't realize the way I was eating until just recently! So I do plan to stick with cutting back on the breads/heavy carbs cause I swear those go straight to my belly.

Alright, my short lunch is up and I need to get back on it. I laughed to myself today as I was placing orders for race car parts while dreaming about pretty weddings and Martha Stewart. Quite the contrast :)

giving it a shot

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm blogging over my lunch (half) hour. Maybe this will help me get back on track??? I miss blogging!

I'm currently looking for swimsuits for our trip to FL. It's so frustrating picking out swimsuits off the Victoria Secret website - I mean...come on! Who looks like that?? But then I go to other websites and get annoyed by the pale, un-evenly proportioned swimsuit models who don't make me want to buy ANY of their suits. Here's the ones I'm into:


I was looking at suits on the couch the other day and Brad was sitting next to me. He saw one, pointed at it and said, "I would not go to the lake with you if you wore that."

I told him he would never need to worry about me wearing a strapless, cut-out anything.

And for the record, this is exactly what I was referring to when I said some swim models do nothing to make the suit look appealing:

Problem #1 - she's not the ideal candidate for a strapless bandeau top
Problem #2 - those swimsuit bottoms somehow look too small and too big at the same time

Hopefully all my working out can get me in some better shape, eh?? Although I will say, yoga has done more for my body in a short time than anything else, no joke. I definitely recommend it!

Well, I need to truck through the rest of my day...it's cold up in WI today, hope it's warm in your neck of the woods!

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