Wednesday, September 28, 2011

waves to wine and some flat tires.

Thanks to y'all, Ryan was able to raise $1,085 for MS research! We couldn't believe everyone's generosity!  (Donations are still being accepted here.)

Beyond getting to help out a great cause, my husband kicked some major butt by completing 150 miles, in just two measly days!  Him finishing made all the husband-less Saturdays well worth it! (Although, I'm happy that the training rides are over, especially since every time he was gone some house catastrophe occurred- washer broke, house pipes clogged, etc.)

So for an overview of the weekend, we carbo loaded on Friday night.  This was the best for me, because I got to eat a ton, and didn't have to bike the next day! Then Ryan packed up his stuff.

The worst part, having to wake up super duper early on Saturday.  Once we got to SF, it was cool to see the whole production. Most people that ride, park their car and then give their baggage to volunteers, who drive it up, and you pick it up at the end.  I was happy to see this, cause that means next year I can sleep in : )

Ryan got his bike checked out, ate some breakfast and did other bike related things. Then his team lined up, the band started playing, and he hit the road.  Did I mention it was freezing?  It was.

Getting ready, although it looks like for a basketball game...

I went back home, feel asleep, and woke up around 11 to a call from Ryan, saying he'd be done in just a few hours.  I couldn't believe it!  So i packed up my things, grabbed Elliot, and we hit the road!  That's right, Elliot got to come with us- what a lucky dog!

There was terrible traffic, and I kept thinking it'd be faster to bike!

I got to the end just in time, with a few minutes to spare, and saw Ryan fly by.  I screamed and shouted, and he didn't even turn his head!  When I met up with him I said, "did you hear me call your name?" he said, "yeah, just didn't know if it was you."  Right, it was for some other Ryan...

After you bike 75 miles, you get a cupcake!

His team had a tent, so we sat down and ate some dinner.  Then we went to the hotel, and Ryan feel asleep.   I on the other hand watched Dateline, about a double murder.  Which turned out to be a bad choice of programming being in a shady hotel.  So, since Ryan was fast asleep, I put Elliot up on our bed to protect me- yes that scary Golden Retriever that she is!

The next morning went about the same.  Elliot and I found fun dog things to do. Such as walking around the campus and sitting at Starbucks.  She had a lovely weekend because everyone at the bike event wanted to pet her.

In the early afternoon we got a text from Ryan saying he'd be there in about an hour.  So Elliot and I packed up our coffee picnic and headed to the finish. After a short wait, he texted again, and then again, to say he was delayed.

Why?  Because he had 4 flat tires after 1:00 PM.  Yikes!  But, he was determined to ride through the finish, and that's what he did!

And for the finish!

So yay for Ryan on completing the ride- your girls are proud of you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

there's always money in the banana stand.

One of my favorite TV shows of all time (that I miss dearly) is Arrested Development.  Ryan and I reference the show frequently.  Mainly when I need his assistance zipping me up- he likes to say he is my Buster.  It's so true.


So, when I had the opportunity to go to Balboa Island while I was in Newport Beach for one of the best-ever bachelorette parties, I was so there.

Because that meant I could try my first-ever frozen chocolate covered banana.  While it didn't come from a banana shaped stand, it was a-mazing!

I opted for a rainbow sprinkles topping- which turned out to be a marvelous choice. 

The only problem was I immediately had a craving for chocolate frozen bananas.  So I turned to our trusty source for food, Trader Joe's, and have found my newest obsession, Gone Bananas!


Not only are they delicious, but they are cut up in bit sized pieces too. This allows for a maximum chocolate to banana ratio, as well as for better portions (otherwise I'd eat the whole banana).  I just need to find a way to throw some sprinkles on theses guys and I'll be set.

And for all you Arrested Development fans, check out these Lego's, and paper dolls!

Friday, September 23, 2011

cat's meow.

Sometimes during the day, I'll send links to funny pictures to Ryan.  I think it's fun and endearing. He says it is bothersome- but we all know he loves the few minute break.

What do these pictures usually consist of?  Cats of course! So I thought I'd share this weeks photos, courtesy of Pintrest. [PS, follow me here.]






This was Ryan's favorite. Probably because it looks like him.

Sorry, only photo I had on me with his beanie and glasses. Pardon the cut finger!

He also liked this one, 

because he has the same jacket.

Clearly he is taking fashion advice from Riley.

Who is quite the dresser, I might add.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

suck it up.

We inherited a super cool Oreck vacuum from Ryan's grandpa when we moved into our apartment. He had spent a small fortune on it, and wasn't using it.  We didn't have a vacuum, so it worked out well!

I never thought I'd own an Oreck at such a young age, but it was a great vacuum.  Made of quality parts and super, super light.  Seriously people, the 8lbs is crazy!  And so it went, until we moved into our new place.

Our house had new carpet put in before we purchased the place.  It's probably a carpet one wouldn't pick, but by not having a choice, we really like it.  When I explain it to people, it sounds gross.  But I swear it isn't.  It has a longer pile, and is neutral, but has flecks of tan and browns.  Told ya it sounded disgusting. The carpeting is nice though, because it is super soft, and hides dirt well.

The downside?  With the carpet being longer, our poor little Oreck just couldn't take it.  We did ok with the vacuum for awhile, but when Elliot and her hair entered our lives, it was time to bid our Oreck adieu. The tipping point was when I borrowed Ryan's parents Dyson, and saw all the yucky stuff our Oreck left behind.

So it was time to research vacuums.  And I was super excited to do so.  Oddly enough, I love vacuuming. Out of any household chore, it is my absolute favorite thing to do. Ryan always says I'm a lot like Monica from Friends- and I think what solidified that for him was the episode where she is vacuuming, and then wanted to vacuum her vacuum. I get it.

I digress. My research began with borrowing the Dyson. I've heard mixed reviews from a lot of people about the Dyson. People either love them, or think they are a piece of junk. Funny how it is so mixed. What I liked about their Dyson was how cool it looked, and it seemed to pick up well.  I didn't like how it shut off when the handle was up past 45 degrees, didn't like how the hose is the handle, and I didn't like the price. Yowza.

Paying for a Dyson would be ok if we felt it was worth it, but Ryan and I just didn't quite see it that way.  Also, after a thorough research online, I found a few other alternatives, priced much lower, that seemed to fit the bill.

So we settled on the Hoover WindTunnel Max Multi Cyclonic. It was rated the top vacuum by Consumer Reports this year for a bagless upright.  It also had great reviews at all the major websites (Amazon, Sears, Home Depot, etc). So I went to Target to check it out.

It was great.  It had the tools on board, a cord keeper, a very clean way to empty the canister, it could adjust for carpet length, and the plastic around the brushes was clear- which is a plus when you have a golden retriever (to be able to monitor hair clogs). Playing around with it and the Dyson's and Eureka's- I knew it was the one.

But of course I shop around, and scored at Costco. Same vacuum for about $50 cheaper. Nice!

So we bought her, took her home, and she seems to be doing well.  It's so much easier than our old vacuum, and nice to see the pet hair getting all sucked up.

The icing on the cake?  I decided to give it a shot and sell our Oreck on Craigslist. It worked great, and was still a good item. I always figure start high, and negotiate down.  So I put it up for $100 (since it was purchased for $700 about 5 years ago) and I got a bite within 30 minutes! Done!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

master bedroom lighting.

When we first bought our house- I was dreading our small room.  I was having nightmares about how our bed wouldn't fit- it seriously kept me up all night.  Now that we are here, and more settle (yes, the bed fit!) I am really loving our smaller sized room.

I'm a true believer that your bedroom should be just that- not a home office, not a project zone- your bed room.  This is a reason why we don't have a TV in there either.  We want our room to be calm, relaxing and tranquil.  So the small sized room, after some creative storage solutions, really makes for a great space.  It can't become a war zone- because there is no room.  And, it has really allowed us to cut out the clutter, because we have no place to put it. It's also been fun to turn our odd mis-mash of bedroom items into a grown up room.  We've got big plans people!

We've purchased our nightstands, but had the smallest lamps known to man on them. Not good.

pardon the messy bed. And note, this was taken while building the night stands!

Our nightstands are bulky, and I wanted chunky lamps to top them off.  So I spent a lot of time scouring websites and shopping my favorite go-to stores.  I found a few that were ok, but not 100% percent what I was looking for.

I then went to World Market, and left a happy girl.  They had the Green Adora Table Lamp marked down for clearance.  So originally priced at $49.99, they were marked at $30, and I had a %10 off coupon! Beyond being a great price (which included a shade and light bulb) they were exactly what I was looking for.

 The color worked, but I am not married to it- and may take a can of spray paint to them once we have the whole room figured out.  And the bases looked great with the nightstand. We also planned on that same color for a curtain rod- so it all worked together.

Beyond getting these great lamps, it was fun going to World Market.  They really have some great stuff there.

I really love this table, priced at only $199!

These would be great for throws in the living room.

And who doesn't love a good elephant product! So Cute!

It's always fun to revisit places.  If you haven't already, sign up for their rewards program- that's how I scored my coupon.

So now that the night stands and lamps are done, on to the next item!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

dear sally.

As of Wednesday I have officially begun to re-watch Felicity.  In a last-minute need to watch something while Ryan was working, I scoured Netflix on-demand and came up empty handed.  But then I saw the Felicity show, and that they had seasons 1-3.  Perfect!

It's been long enough since I watched the show originally to forget most everything that happened.  I'll have to admit, with the show starting in the fall, and based on the start of school, it aligns quite nicely with my other "put me in an autumn spirit" list.

The only annoying thing about the show? Ryan's constant need to remark about her hair cut.  (Even though I'm not at season 2 yet). Although, I always thought her short hair was cute.  And I am sure it was much more manageable!

I was always on Team Ben. But it is fun to watch the Ben-Noel-Felicity love triangle.

I'm also excited to get to season 4, because if I do recall, there was some whacky it's-the-future-I died-going-back-in-time hoopla.  Fun!

How about ya'll?  Did you watch Felicity?  Any shows you are re-watching?  I think next I might get back into Gilmore Girls.  Always loved that show.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


My sister sent this yesterday.

Ah yes, fall is officially here. (Well technically not till September 21st). But if Starbuck's says it's fall.  It is. Pumpkin Spice Latte's sure do put me in the autumn spirit, but so do a few other things.  To share.

Nothing says fall to me like some music.  Particularly The Fray,

John Mayer Continuum,

and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Also Friends.  I love watching reruns during fall.

I also love pumpkin treats including Trader Joe's Pumpkin pancakes,

and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

I can't wait to pull out the hoodies and sweat pants and cannot wait for my first rained-in weekend.  What's your favorite thing about fall?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

how we organize our small bathroom.

Summer is winding down, so that means it is time to get back in gear. We've done a lot of projects over the past few weeks and I will slowly be sharing. So first things first.

Our master bath is small.  But, our whole house is small- so it makes sense. We came from the mecca of bathroom storage at our old place.  My oh my how we took all those drawers and the counter space for granted!

Our current set up is a sink, that doubles as a counter, and one cabinet. To say that I was a health&beauty product junkie is an understatement.  I had so many different types of shampoo, face wash, lotions- it was nuts.  We could run a CVS out of our home. So first I had to pair it down to the essentials, then I had to get creative.

My first thought of how to conquer the organization challenge was along the lines of a Martha Stewart tip I had seen.

I loved how it looked clean- but was smart too.  I loved the hooks for the dryer and flat iron.  So I went out in search of re-creating this in our home.

But it wasn't going to work. Our vanity isn't that deep, and a few of the shelves and pull out wire bins I found were too deep.  I also had pipes in the way.  And, when reality set it, my hairdryer, while small, just wasn't going to hang there without falling, or worse, messing up the door.

So I moved to plan B. It's called reality.  I went to Target and picked up every plastic container, bathroom organizer, kitchen contraption I could find.  And I took them all home, and played with my options. I tried containers with drawers, and containers that stacked.  I tried dish shelves and bins with lids.

When I found a solution that I thought would work, I kept all the tags on, and let the system work for a few days.  I'm happy to report that after a few months of our new small bathroom organizational rehaul

So here's what we got:

Yep that's everything we need.  And the plus side, the whole organizational system was well below $30.  Much more affordable then some of the wire slider options.

To the right we have two medium sized Sterilite stacking containers from Target.

These are great because they stack, but hold a ton.  The bottom container holds my hair dryer, brush, flat iron and curling iron.

The top container holds all of our bathroom/health products. So in the morning we pull out the top bin (which allows easy access to my hair care items) and then when we are done getting ready, back in it goes.

We were having a problem losing some of the smaller items, so I purchased a utensil holder for a dryer rack, attached it to the side, and now it helps to organize everything.  It's really nice to have an aerial view and easy access to these items.

To the left of the piping we have two Sterilite medium plastic containers from Target the hold things like our razors and hair clips.  They make a great base for my makeup station.  I don't have a ton of makeup, thanks to the awesome Kirkland line at Costco.

But I wanted something that would hold the brushes, hold the makeup, and fit nicely on top of the other plastic containers.  So I found the best solution at Target.

It's supposed to be hair dryer holder, but I thought it would be the perfect solution. And for $9 I was sold!

The sugar on top, after getting all of our health and beauty items under the sink, we were still able to fit in the garbage.  So there you have it- how we organize our small bathroom!
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