Monday, August 31, 2009

September Slim Down

It's almost officially my birthday month, just mere hours away. Time to ring in another year on the healthy side. I have a wedding to go to the first week in October and I'd love to fit into my rehearsal dinner dress, the hubs really liked that one. I have a couple lbs to lose, but it can be done. So I need motivation. I'm very motivated by money, but if it's my money, I already have it, so what's the point? There are wonderful things on Etsy that I would LOVE to get my hands on. So here's my personal challenge: For every pound lost, one Etsy prize. If I gain that pound back I lose that prize. If I lose it again, the prize is already gone, can't earn it back. This will get me to keep up the good work. No splurging on the weekends!!!! Now for the pretties that I am working towards:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shacking Up

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I suspect this is because there is such a learning curve to living with someone for the first time. New roommates are always tough to adjust to, but you remain polite and learn their habits and quirks quietly and learn to live harmoniously over time. But there is something different about moving in with a spouse I think. This is your roommate FOREVER. Might as well get things hammered out right away, no need to be polite, you are legally bound to that person. Fights about cleanliness and tidiness will ensue and feelings will get hurt. I can picture fights about chores starting and leading to a fight about something completely different and much deeper. Do couples that co habitat before marriage have an advantage?

Co habitating for us happened out of convenience. I had the nicer place and better parking, so we spent all of our time at my house. It only made sense after a while for us to get rid of his place and save some money by only paying for one house. When he moved in it wasn't as stressful to learn each other's nuances. We were only dating, no pressure of forever yet. He was moving into my house, so he respected the way I kept and did things. Over the years, chores naturally split themselves up. He sorts the laundry, but I take it from there. He does that bathroom because he knows I hate it. We both do the dishes. We split most chores or just do what needs to be done. Dust when there's dust, vacuum when it's time. We're a good team.

During our first 5 months of marriage, it has all been newly wedded bliss. Our daily lives didn't change too much post wedding and we just kept doing what worked for us pre-wedding. We had even combined bank accounts when we got engaged, so even money discussions and spending habits had already gone through the ugly hashing out. Now it's really "our" money as opposed to his and hers, so money has come back up for discussion, but we are talking about long term goals now and not just who is paying for dinner. I hope that the next 7 months continue on this path and that dreaded, awful, tough first year will be over and we'll just continue on into our forever.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good Progress, Not Finished

Whew, got a lot of work done this weekend. It felt GOOD to get rid of so much! Unfortunately our place is so small, that it is still packed to the brim. I have to do this more often and really reduce what we have and need to keep up with at the house. I only completed the bedroom closet and linen closet in the bathroom. Those both took ALL day Saturday and by Sunday I was burnt out. Tony is out of town this weekend, so I'll be able to get more done!!! Now I'll leave you with some pictures, all by me.

Bedroom closet befores...

Bedroom closet after...I can see the floor!!!! We share the smallest closet and even after getting rid of two boxes, one shopping bag, and two duffel bags, still packed in there.

Linen closet befores....

Linen closet after...again, still packed to the brim, but a lot of unnecessary stuff is GONE.

Next weekend it's back to work on the rest of the house. The dressers are a work in progress, can't wait until I can see those and maybe even decorate a bit!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Very Exciting (For ME) Weekend Plans

I am so very excited about this weekend. Why, you ask? Well I have a very busy weekend planned. It is going to start in my kitchen, move to the bathroom, through our bedroom, and into the living/dining room.

What is going on in each of these rooms? Cleaning. Well, really purging. I'm so freakin' stoked about bringing home empty boxes and filling them up and taking out all of that crap we have accumulated over the years.

I want to get rid of AT LEAST 10% of my clothes. Anything that I'm absolutely determined that I'll fit into again is getting boxed up and kept for one year. Just one year. If in one year I have not made any progress towards these clothes, they get sold or donated. Everything else is getting stored until the spring when my mom, sister, and I will do a joint yard sale.

Why am I doing this now and not waiting until spring? My house is exploding on every surface, in every corner, in every room. I can't wait. This is all a result of reading and all the design blogs I've found my way to. Their rooms and spaces just seem so much nicer when you can SEE them.

Did I mention I can't wait?

I'm kicking the hubbie out and getting to work. There might be wine involved. Who knows where this will take me.

Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BBC Top 100 Books

I saw this list on That Wife earlier this week. The BBC believes that most people have only read 6 of the 100 books listed. I feel like I'm pretty well read and through high school and college would have read many of the Classics, lets see where I stack up...

I've put an x by all of the titles that I've read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X (read this in high school and college, LOVE THIS BOOK)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X

27 books read. I would say at least half of these were through schooling, I would actually be surprised that most people coming up in todays schools wouldn't be reading at least 10 of these before they graduate high school. Maybe books read in school don't count? There are several books on here that I would like to read, nothing like lists to set goals!!!

How many books have you read from the list?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Put on a Happy Face

So being married means having to deal with someone else day in and day out who may have a thing or two about them that isn't exactly like you. Between my husband and I, we have a lot in common, but perhaps one of our biggest differences is our outlook on life in general.

I am a generally positive person. I look for the good in situations, I'm pretty laid back, not too much actually ruffles my feathers. There are a few things that really irk me and get me wound up, but for the most part, I'm optimistic about situations and generally easy going. My husband on the other hand, he is Mr. Pessimist. He believes that if he has a good day today, tomorrow will be terrible. That if his team is behind in the first quarter, they've already lost the game. Little things get him worked up (he gets mad at red lights and seriously blames them on me sometimes, like I have any control). He expects things to go wrong in anything he's doing and decides from the outset of any activity that it will end horribly.

While I am not of the mindset that if you believe in something it will happen or wish for something hard enough, you'll get it, I do believe is Self Fulfilling Prophecies. From my psych days, this was usually used in reference to teaching and teaching methods. If teachers are told "Boys are better at math" they will unconsciously help and assist the boys in the class more during math lessons and due to this extra guidance, the boys end up doing better than girls in math. In Tony's case I see it happening as, he expects to have a bad day, starts off in a bad mood, looks for things to go wrong and declares the whole day bad due to the things he finds. The same things could be nothing on days where he's in a good mood and whistling a happy song, but on the wrong day, they are monumental, horrific events.

It is my wish that one day my optimistic, sunny disposition will rub off on him. I know I shouldn't want to change anything, but his bad moods really get me down sometimes too! My seemingly logical explanations of why he is so angry don't really change anything with him, I think I just have to wait for him to chill out and just be.

Are there any personality traits that your significant other has that really rub you the wrong way or are completely opposite of yours? How do you deal with those?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Le Sigh

I've really been hoping and wishing for a new house much more frequently these days. Today on decor8 she posted a palette of blues/aqua/white and sand. It made me dream of having a kitchen and/or guest room in these colors. There were even fabrics that I immediately imagined into a quilt for our guest room in the house that doesn't exist yet. It gives me motivation to really save every penny to get that down payment!! Dream away with me.....

Source Here

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One Month Down

So the first month of the challenge is done. I've completed three tasks and started 9 others. By creating the list it gave me the motivation to get to some of those things I've been putting off.

The three things I completed are:
1. Starting a blog, as seen here
2. Get an iPhone, got that 2 weeks ago and love every single minute of it. I even bought a case off of from SeaSide Sew that I love.
3. Drink red wine from our fancy decantor. We accomplished that last Monday while we were also starting the list of Top 100 movies.

Items I've started:
I've run 36 of my 1001 miles. I bought a new pair of sneakers and running is completely different when I'm not getting shin splints after one mile.
We started the list of Top 100 movies, Citizen Kane was very good, The Godfather is waiting to be watched this week.
Tony and I went out to a fancy pants dinner while in vacation in Barbados.
I took my mom out to lunch today (cutting it close on the once a month deadline)
Read four books while on vacation.
Put in a hefty chunk of change into our downpayment fund.
Visited the dentist and scheduled my next 6 month cleaning.
Did all of the laundry (even folding and putting away) in one month.
and finally took the dogs out for 2 long walks during my lunch break.

Having items on the list that I want to accomplish several times really motivated me to get out an get started. Like taking my mom out, I love spending time with her and having girl time, but as a newlywed, I tend to pack my weekends with couple activities. It was nice to get out for a bit this afternoon to see her. The dogs benefitted when I got off my butt and take them out instead of watching Bonnie Hunt.

I think this month I'll try to get my closet cleaned up and donate some clothes. I'd like to knock out at least another 40 miles. Our weekend schedules are slowing down, so I can pick out a recipe to try for Tony. I definitely need to get our wedding album approved, I want that beauty at my house already!!!

I'll leave you with some pics of Tony and I at The Cliff in Barbados, amazing dinner.