Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Met the Most Beautiful Baby in the World Last Weekend

I was honored to become the godmother of the most precious little girl in the whole wide world. Her name is gorgeous and melodic and can be abbreviated in a great nickname. On this blog, I’m going to call her Bee. She’s so gorgeous that I really almost took her home. Really.

Bella's Baptism DSLR (89)

See? I’m not lying. She’s precious.

I had a wonderful time in Denver for the quick weekend. We saw Bee and her mom, S, my first cousin.

Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (26)

Frontier Airlines gave me a cookie before we landed in Denver. It was even hot!

Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (2)

The sunset when I landed


My lovely goddaughter, doing what she did for most of the weekend, sleeping.

Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (11)

My silly first-cousin-once-removed



After the Baptism, we took a drive on Sunday up to Boulder to visit the Celestial Seasonings factory and got a tour.

And no, there are no pictures of me in that awful hair net. Because I will delete them from my mother’s camera as soon as I can.

 Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (14)

We got our “tea-kit” – a packet of honey vanilla chamomile tea. When they called that flavor, that would be our cue to get in line for the tour!

Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (16)

We had such an amazing time in Denver visiting my cousin and the new baby, Bee. Oh I wish I could live out here! Maybe Husband could get a job in Denver? I could stand the cold for views like this!

Bella's Baptism iPhone photos (13)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Technology Sometimes Is Smarter than I Am

I have an iPhone, a Canon point and shoot camera and a DSLR. I love taking pictures, even if I’m not the best at it. It’s fun to look back and see what was going on at a particular moment in time. It’s very hard, though, since Husband is a bit camera shy.

I was writing up my post on my goddaughter’s baptism that I attended in Denver over the weekend when it occurred to me I have a bunch of photos on the iPhone since the DSLR died halfway through the weekend.

That made me wonder – for those of you with an iPhone, how do you back up your images, or even organize them on the phone? Is there an easy way to pull them off the phone and get them on my blog, for example?

I need some help in this whole technology thing. Seriously.

Monday, June 20, 2011

“The Ruin of Most Men Dates From Some Idle Moment*”


It’s a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, I love how I feel after I complete a project. I even add things to my to do list so I can cross them off and get that sense of accomplishment. Cleaning out my closet on a random Wednesday night? Awesome. I went to bed with a smile because I loved the idea that I would wake up and be able to see all my clothes at a glance.

On the other hand, I despise productivity. No matter WHAT I accomplish, there is always something more to do. So I can be as productive as possible but I will always want to be more productive.

So it’s good and yet not so good. I am determined to clean up the entire townhouse this summer. Every Saturday, I’ve assigned ourselves one room to declutter. This weekend doesn’t count because I have to head to Denver to be a godmother to my cousin’s second daughter – which is going to be awesome, by the way. I love little babies and I’ll get to hold this one all weekend! Can’t wait. :) But after that little jaunt, we spend one day each weekend cleaning out one room.

But then there’s the whole thing of KEEPING the room clean. I guess I’ll worry about that after the room is decluttered and clean? Hmm.

*title quote by Hillard

Friday, June 17, 2011

Organizing is a Tricky Thing to Do on a Week Night

The next time that I suggest on Twitter that I want to clean out a particularly big area in my house (ie – anything bigger than one singular drawer in a singular room), please refer me to this post.

I have got it in my head that the entire townhouse must be decluttered. I believe it’s called nesting – I have the most urgent need to throw things away, gather like with like and reorganize every single space in the house. And it must be done RIGHT NOW. I have no idea why it has suddenly started but it has but boy, it’s insistent.

I was so proud of my work on the pantry and the fridge that I organized over the weekend that I thought I should tackle my guest bedroom closet one work night when Husband was at class. Because that was a good idea.

Right in the middle of the whole thing, I tweeted out this picture -

Closet cleaning

And this is why one should undertake such a large decluttering project when really one should be watching the SYTYCD performance show. Because who does this on a work night? Seriously.

So here are the before pictures of the great closet decluttering adventure. It’s a large closet that takes up most of one wall – I love having this much space for all my clothes! Hubs has all of his clothes in the smaller closet in our master bedroom so I get this one all to myself.

Left side:




Right side:


After removing almost everything from the closet, purging and reorganizing, here is what I was left with at the end of the night:

Left side:


To the left are my dresses, which are nice to hang here because they can hang beyond the second shelf. Below is my stepladder so I can reach those things on the top shelf. Plus pillows and a box of blankets for those in the guest bedroom.



Here’s where I’m very proud of myself. I rolled all of my tshirts and stood them up in the buckets on the top shelf. I hardly ever wear them but still need access to them. I actually donated a bunch of old shirts that didn’t fit to Goodwill – because why do I need to store them if I’m not going to wear them?

In addition to the buckets purchased at the Dollar Store, I also got those red fabric boxes. They’re holding tank tops and other light long-sleeved shirts that don’t need to be hung up. It’s a great place for them.

Next to the drawers of undergarments are my shoes. You can sort of see more buckets on the floor with additional shoes. There’s another shoe holder at the foot of the guest bed, but I definitely needed more shoe storage. I thought the buckets would do the trick!

Right side: 


Here we have all my love suit jackets and skirts below. Up above is our traveling stuff – pillows and packing cubes. There’s also a mirror in there that needs to find a home but I don’t know when that will happen.

Although I’m very happy with the space that I have now, I still need to do more purging and cleaning. But baby steps are good steps, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Love Flowers


I came home from a long day of work yesterday, plus an hour and a half long baptism preparation class so I can be a godmother to my cousin’s second daughter next weekend. It was exhausting because of a major meeting at work I had to set up, exhausting because of the meeting we had with SLU regarding the donation in Dad’s name plus a mass said for the repose of his soul. I was on the verge of tears for most of the day.

So I got home and saw those lovely flowers sitting on my kitchen table and couldn’t imagine who they were from!

My mom’s cousin, Helen, had sent us red roses – one for each of us in the family plus my Grandma. Wasn’t that the sweetest thing? She wanted us to have a smile on the anniversary of Dad’s passing. Well, it definitely happened. We smiled the rest of the evening and again this morning when we walked downstairs to see them.

This totally counts for my 101 in 1001 list!

Thank you, cousin Helen!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Year Ago Today…

One year ago today, my world was irrevocably changed with a call I received while making coffee for a mid-morning meeting. I always knew that I would have to deal with my parents’ mortality, but I honestly thought I thought it would be many more years before I was faced with the situation of one year ago.

I still find it hard to believe that my father is gone.  On the way home from an important meeting or a particularly fun night out with friends, I still find myself reaching for the phone to call him and let him know how things went.

My first post after the blogging break due to his death really says it all. It’s very raw, and it hurts me to read it.

Needless to say, I’m still hurt. I miss him terribly. I know that those feelings will never go away. They are a bit softer now, one year later.

I spent the day busy at work, while mom and brother were at my apartment, puttering around and waiting for me to get home.

The afternoon had a nice symmetry to it – we met at SLU and my mother passed along a donation in Dad’s name to the Service Leadership Certificate program. It aims to get business students involved in service leadership to the community in order to really make a difference in those communities.  It’s the perfect way to commemorate his life. He even gets a conference room named after him! It was very exciting.

Then we gathered in the chapel and had mass said for the repose of his soul. That also was full of symmetry. Coming back to our faith time after time during this past year has helped keep me center.

We believe that he is not gone, but has simply passed on to his Eternal Reward. It’s what we strive for all our lives – to die and be reunited with our Heavenly Father. So it’s very hard to be sad for him because he has what he has always wanted. We grieve for ourselves, because we are left behind.

But I know that with each passing year, he is with me. And someday, we will be reunited in Heaven, when it is our time to leave this earth. It’s important to remember that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh yeah, I meant to do those.

So I totally ignored my 101 in 1001 list for months and then picked up a few of them in a short span of time. I decided to blog about them together.

When I go through my whole DVR recorded shows, I’m forced to turn to Netflix. It’s really quite addicted how many shows are available to stream straight to Husband’s XBox or the Wii in my craft room.

99. Watch 26 movies, each one starting with a different letter

I decided to focus my next few movie watching experiences on those classics that I just never saw for some reason. This time, it was Royal Wedding, starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell. Oh how I love Fred. They don’t make dancers like that anymore. [sigh]

10. Send 10 cards to friends just because (0/10)

So I think I may have cheated on this one. I came home from the $ store with some great greeting cards that I had to have. And then I saw my mother’s mother had sent me a card, just because. I had some cute cards so I sat down to reply to her. Now that I have some stationery, I’m planning on doing this more often. I love getting mail, and I know others do too!

I only have a little over one year to complete my 101 list. And I’m not so sure I’ll complete everything. But there’s always the next list, right?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tush! Tush! Fear Boys with Bugs*

There is something so wonderful, so fun and so perfect about experiencing Shakespeare for free in a public park, outside under the stars. I really think it adds an element of magic to the thing that is live theatre.

Here in St. Louis, we are very lucky to have an amazing company that produces that free Shakespeare show each year in Forest Park. Last night, a group of our friends went down to the park early with a picnic basket, cooler and our lawn chairs to see the show.

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (8)

We got there around 6 pm and were surprised to find so many people already there. It was starting to get cool and there wasn’t rain in the forecast so I think everyone else had the same idea as us that night! In any case, we were able to set up our lawn chairs a bit up the hill where it was relatively flat and wouldn’t cause it to come tumbling down the hill when we sat down to watch the show.

We were treated to Juggling Jeff and Josh the Clown’s antics before the show. I even asked them to redo their bit so I could catch them in a picture!

 Shakesperare Festival 2011 (16)

I am always impressed by their acts – they’re also the nicest guys in the world. Hence, the redo of their act so I could get a picture!

We nibbled and chatted for a bit before the show started.

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (9) Shakesperare Festival 2011 (10)

And then there was a drunk in the crowd, followed by a policeman. And no, it wasn’t one of our group for once!

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (2) 

Definitely part of the show. I knew the play (it was the first Shakespearean show I was in during high school) and remembered that the play-within-a-play plot that Taming of the Shrew employs actually starts with a drunkard. Hence, the wandering thru the audience. It was really funny.

Right before the show started, we settled in, refilled our beers and margaritas, and then I was faced with this:

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (21)


We had been sitting there since 6 pm and a lady came in a few minutes before the show started and squeezed herself and her lawn chair right in front of me.

Oh well. I was still able to see if I tilted my head to the left and she did end up leaving during intermission. It got too cold for her, I overheard.

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (101)  

It wasn’t blazing hot during the day, but I didn’t realize that it was going to get so cool when the sun went down! Husband’s good friend D gave me his sweatshirt because I was so cold [such a nice guy, that one!] but then he ended up getting chilly too. So being the inventive one that he is, he grabbed the covers for the chairs and put one on each leg. That sure kept him warm! I was much better when Husband found a t-shirt in the trunk of our car and I was able to cover my cold toes with that.

But all in all, it was a wonderful night with friends and comedy onstage. If you’re in St. Louis, you still have until Father’s Day to see Taming of the Shrew in the Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. It’s a hoot!

Shakesperare Festival 2011 (11)  

*Post title is one of my favorite quotes from The Taming of the Shrew, Act i. Scene 2.

Part of my 101 in 1001 list - Go out with friends at least once a month. One more down!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Inspired to Declutter

After reading about Sonya’s awesome summer o’ decluttering over at A Day in the Life, I was inspired.  I wanted to spend the weekend cleaning. This afternoon after the Costco run, I set down to business.

I meant to attack the master bedroom – I hate that room right now because it’s so messy. They say to eat your frog first, or do the thing that bugs you most or that you don’t want to do. Then, you’ve completed something and it makes the rest of the projects seem easier.

But as I was putting away groceries, I decided the pantry wasn’t going to fit all the new food we got. Plus, I was pretty sure that a bunch of food was expired. Since, well, um, I don’t even want to say. Let’s just say it’s been a little while since I’ve cleaned out the pantry or fridge.


Ok, so it doesn’t look horrible, but there was a lot of wasted space. The reason there are jackets hanging on the back of the door? Well, this is the pantry and the coat closet and the vacuum storage and the home of the trash can and reusable bags, plus our food. Not fun.

Many trash bags and a trip to the dumpster later, we now have a more organized pantry full of food that I know is actually ok for us to eat.


I now have containers for cereal and baskets to corral things like rice packets and snacks of various types. The white trash can is recycling and the step can is for regular trash.  The recycling can is sitting on top of two containers that have hats and scarves and such for the wintertime. This way they’re by the door but still hidden. I’ll switch all the coats out when it starts getting colder again.

IMG_2166  IMG_2165

I’m so excited about my newly organized pantry!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting Mail is So Much Fun!

After all the traveling that Husband and I have been doing over the past few weeks, I finally decided that the small roll-aboard suitcase we have wasn’t cutting it. I feel like such a dork walking into a hotel for a one night stay with a rolled bag rather than a duffel bag. Husband has a duffel that he’s been using and it’s so much easier for him to grab it and run.

I had just decided to find a duffel bag when I saw someone on one plane had a matching duffel and tote – well, of course, I needed one like THAT!

Plus, on the last wedding weekend, one of the wheels of our roll-aboard fell off in the parking lot. I hope that Husband can fix it, but either way, another small bag for my things would be nice to have around.

That’s where Etsy comes in. I love Etsy. I spend way too many hours looking at the shops there and drooling over the gorgeous things that much more creative people than me have created.

I did some searching and came across Vicki’s shop – Deerpath Designs. She had some really cute bags with customized monograms embroidered on them – I fell in love with the damask pattern. But she only had the tote bag so I asked if she could get the large duffel in the same patterns. Turns out she can!

My order arrived today and I am officially in love. I can’t wait for our next trip where I can use them!


There’s even pink bows with white accents on each bag!


Plus, my monogram is embroidered on both bags in the matching pink thread.

I LOVE IT. The big duffel is going to be plenty big for a long weekend’s worth of clothes and the tote bag is HUGE. I can carry my nook, a smaller purse for the trip, magazines, my toiletries and even snacks if I wanted to! It’s going to be so perfect.

Thanks, Vicki!

This is just one more thing I’ve bought from an Etsy store that counts towards my 101 in 1001 list.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Ran Away to the Circus!

Last night, I went to our local circus, Circus Flora. The big top gets set up on a parking lot in the arts district in town and they play for about a month. It’s a European-style circus and conducted in one ring instead of the American three rings like Barnum and Bailey’s.

Circus Flora 4

We had such an amazing time. I went with my in-laws and a cousin-in-law. It was great!

There was one act was made up of all kids – some younger than my cousins! They had little kids that were tossed all over the place and even used as a jump rope at one point! So funny.

But my favorite act was the Flying Wallendas. Oh. My. Goodness. Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe them.

This video was only a portion of their act, taped a few years ago.

After they did this trick, they did a four person pyramid. On a bicycle. It was crazy.

If you’re in St. Louis, please go see this Circus. You will not regret it. The story is great, costumes are fun, there are even horses and dogs to get in on the act.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday – Inexpensive Greeting Cards

I’m sure you love the local $ store as much as I do. Inexpensive decorations, baskets, doo dads – all for one dollar?! I’m so there.

But recently, I checked into my favorite store for something else – a greeting card. I am determined to become a card sender, but in order for me to do that, I decided I had to find a cheaper source of greeting cards. At $3 a pop at Hallmark, those suckers can add up.

Someone mentioned that my $ store had some nice cards for, get this, $1. I had to check it out.

Sure enough, they had a whole aisle dedicated to the cards. Birthdays, holidays, just because cards, anything you might need.

Buying greeting cards for only $1 and staying in touch with friends via the old-fashioned mail – totally works for me.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

You’ll Never Know…

Last night, while I was at a local theatre, judging a show, Hubs and friends went out to have some fun.

Just as I was sitting down in my seat, waiting for the curtain, I received three texts in quick succession.

Never know 1

Never know 2

Never know 3

When I asked what exactly is going on, I was told “you’ll never know.” There was even a cake that told me so.

Never know 4

They kept it up the whole night, after I got back to the house and asked what was going on. They kept the secret up the whole night.

When we got home, Hubs finally let me in on the secret – our friend M’s car broke down on their way to dinner. They had to get her parents’ car to finish the trip to the restaurant. M and her husband, and our friends D and K were just very amused by the whole thing. They love keeping secrets from me because I hate secrets – I can’t keep them and I really just like knowing everyone else’s secrets too.

Ugh. I hate secrets.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My New Favorite Toy – My Rebel!

I’ve been taking some beautiful pictures with the Christmas present from my in-laws. The Canon Rebel XS. She’s my new baby.

She was with us in Spain…


She went to Hong Kong with husband on his study abroad trip…


She has accompanied us on many trips this winter and spring, including yesterday’s wedding in Cincinnati…

Tom and Laura's Wedding (7)

So after six months of having this lovely camera in our lives, we have decided that she needs a name. Yet, I am horrible in naming things [I don’t even want to think about naming a pet or when it happens, a child. I’ll worried the name I pick will scar him/her for the rest of their lives!] – so I need help.

Husband has picked the name Francesca. I have no idea why.

With such beautiful pictures under her belt, what name should I give to her? And why is she a she? Some things in life are simply a mystery.