Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letting the creative juices flow

Some days I just feel like I need a creative outlet for my energy.  My job is a desk job which is boring and monotonous and when I get home I like to do something artistic, which may be the reason I started this blog.  Even though I am not traditionally artsy in the drawing and painting sort of way, I like to think I am a pretty creative person, most of it centered around organization.  Although it may not seem like it, it takes a lot of creativity to find the perfect spot for everything and put things in their place.  You can't take me into a store without me eying the plastic storage containers.  Have you ever been to the Container Store?  For me that it like heaven in a store!  But organization is not fulfilling as a hobby.

In the past I have enjoyed scrapbooking.  However, I haven't done this in a while.  I have been having a hard time to stay motivated and inspired.  I feel like I resort to the same layouts, and it just seems boring to me.  Not to mention my supplies are not easy to access, so every time I want to scrapbook it is a mess getting everything out.  It seems to be I need to apply those organization skills to my scrapbooking stuff, but without the space it seems pointless right now.

So, what has been my creative outlet been since I stopped scrapbooking?  Well, I put all my efforts into wedding planning.  I made all the save-the-dates, invitations, programs, seating cards, table numbers, etc.  Not to mention DIY-ed flowers and planned all the decor myself.  But now it's been about 9 months since the wedding, and nothing has really filled that void.

Lately I have been pining over two major investments.  They have been put on my wish list for a while, even making an appearance on my wedding registry and my Christmas list.  Yet, they have yet to appear on my doorstep.

The first is .....

A sewing machine!  Yeah, I know - completely random, but I so want one.  I have seen so many cute projects around that it think I could totally handle.  Some are easy, some more complicated, but it would be fun to learn how to do this -plus you can always use a sewing machine to fix hems and buttons.  Luckily for me I have a great sister who got me a sewing kit for Christmas!  So I have been using that to fix minor problems!  Still, I want the whole thing!

The first project I plan on doing is an emergency survival clutch.  I am guilty of carrying a "mom purse" with tons of stuff in it, but would love to put it all together so I can actually find it.
Check out the tutorial on TidyMom.  She made these out of potholders!

Then eventually I would love to try my hand at quilting.  I have a bunch of t-shirts I have saved from my childhood and college with the intention of making a t-shirt quilt, which I think might still be at my parents house, maybe?

Recently I saw this quilt and fell in love. I must have this!

The second big item I have been dying for is a Digital SLR camera!

I have been using a basic point and shoot camera forever now! Mine has even crapped out a bit (I got it for my 16th birthday) so I have taken it upon me to claim the hubby's as mine own.  It is a nice camera but I feel so one dimensional. 

I have always been drawn to photography.  It just seems so real and easier to appreciate and understand.  For a while in high school, I experimented with photography and Photoshop.  I even helped start the photography club at my school.  Since then I let it fall to the wayside, along with other things.  I would love to get back into it, and really explore it more.  Understand the basics of focusing, lenses, and lighting to make my pictures better.  Yes, I understand they are not exactly cheap, but everyone has their splurges!

So, if you are willing to donate to the Sarah needs a sewing machine and SLR camera cause, please message me for my address!  I will gladly give it to you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Single Lady ... for two days

The past two days I have gotten a little glimpse of what life would be like if I was single.  I have never lived by myself.  Either I lived at home, in the college dorms, with friends, or with the hubby, so when I get the house all to myself for a few days it is a little weird for me.

The hubby is on his spring break and since he deals directly with students (and they are all on spring break) he didn't even need to go into work.  He went home for a few days to hang with his family and some friends.  Unfortunately I have to work and could not take off since things are getting busy in the office.

So, for the past two days I have been living by myself.  It is a lot more scary than I thought and I am glad I have never done it before!  Sometimes I get a little paranoid.  One time in high school I was home all alone in my parents house for a week, and I was so freaked out I slept with the lights on and the land line phone in my hand. Seriously, true story.  Although I wasn't that bad this time, I still scare myself a bit.  I check the locks a million times -even locking my bedroom door, I turn on as many lights as I can, take super quick showers because I feel very vulnerable in the shower, and I stay up really late because I can't fall asleep.  Also, I can't watch scary movie trailers on TV - those suckers get switched as soon as they come on.  Yeah, I am kind of crazy.

There is that crazy side of me that is scared to be alone, but then there is the liberating side that I can do whatever I want.  It doesn't matter what time I get home because no one is waiting.  I can make whatever I want for dinner, and can watch whatever TV shows I want.  I can even watch marathons of SVU with no one judging me!

What did I do these past two days by myself?
Well, I woke up and went to work.  Then hit up the gym for class.  Grocery shopped.  Ate dinner.  Watched TV while playing mass games of bejeweled.  Talked on the phone to my sister.  Showered and slept.  What can I say, I lead an exciting life!  In my defense work takes up most of  my days and these were weekdays we are talking about.

So my verdict on this single lady business - Overrated! 

I can't wait for the hubby to come home today.  Things are so much better when he is here!  For sure!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ohio State Fair Engagement Session

One of my favorite wedding blogs to follow is Green Wedding Shoes.  I love the style of weddings and photography they feature there.  It is just so vintage and romantic.  When I look at the photographs I just get tingly inside!  Seriously!

On Thursday they featured an engagement shoot at the Ohio State Fair and I couldn't resist showing.  I love engagement shoots that have personality and are more informal.  This is just precious.  The photographer is Christa Kimble who seems to be based out of central Ohio.  I interned with a wedding planner in Columbus, Ohio for about 6 months so I am surprised I haven't heard of her before.  I love her photos and they work she does!

Anyways on to the photos!

This shoot is just precious! Love it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Living it up in LBK Part 4

If you didn't catch the beginning of the honeymoon:
We relaxed on a private beach and shopped: Part I
Visited with Harry Potter: Part II
Jet Skiing and Sunburns: Part III

On our last day of the honeymoon we got lazy - very lazy.  My fair skin couldn't take the strong Florida sun in July - and that was with already have a base tan and wearing lots of sunscreen.  I was so uncomfortable that I didn't want to put on any clothes that would touch my sunburn, which was on my hands, my arms and shoulders, my thighs, and a little on my stomach.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

The original plan had been to go kayaking in one of the many nature reserves in the area.  I think we might have already made a reservation, but upon waking up I knew that I did not want to be in the sun and did not want to move much.  So, we cancelled and decided to escape the sun and heat by seeing a movie.

It may seem lame that we were in Florida and had so many options of things to do, but the air conditioning and dark theater were awesome!  We even ate at Subway for lunch!  I just was not in mood to be adventurous at all.  That morning I don't think I even woke up until noon, which was the first time I had gotten any kind of sleep since like a week before the wedding, so we got a late start to begin with.  But since it is my honeymoon I can be as lazy as I want!

After the movie I was feeling better and it since the theater was a bit north up the coast we got to drive through the rest of Longboat Key and some of the neighboring towns.  There were some more beautiful beaches and views, and lots of large vacation homes.  We explored a bit of the area.

Another reason we didn't mind going to the movie, was the restaurant we wanted to go to for dinner was really close to it.  It was called Starfish, and if we hadn't been clued in to its greatness I am not sure we would have ever found it.

First, it was set back in a residential neighborhood.  I thought we were lost, but the sign on the main road pointed in this direction.
When we finally got there, we parked in the gravel parking lot and saw this tiny building that was a fish market.

We slowly walked up to it and saw a sign that pointed to the back for the restaurant. It was surprising to get back there and see a dock, a few wooden picnic tables, and a counter to order at.  This was not what we had expected to find, especially since the hubby family was raving about this place.

But we grabbed our picnic table, looked over the menu, and hubby went up to the counter to order our food. While we waited we took in the sights of boats coming in and dogs running around begging for food.  I even considered trying to get on one of the tours that was leaving right from our restaurant, but it is already getting late.

 The food came in to-go cardboard boxes, and the soda was out of the can.  It was so good.  Simple but good.  Nothing like eating fresh seafood right on a dock!

Afterwards we headed back to the private beach to play around for a little bit and try to be there for the entire sunset.

The sunset was not as clear as the night before - some clouds got in the way.  But it was still beautiful.

We sat out there on the dock for a bit looking at the sunset and just thinking about how much fun our honeymoon had been.  It was our first real vacation together with no one else tagging along.  The evening ended with a quick run to Ben and Jerry's.

Then back to the house to clean up a bit and get ready for our flight out of Tampa in the morning.

I loved Longboat Key and the time we spent there.  It was so peaceful and relaxing, but there was so much to do!  We are pretty active people who like to explore so it was a perfect location for us.  I am glad we decided to go there instead of some grand trip somewhere out of the country.  There was less pressure, and we were able to afford to do more since we didn't have to pay for housing or airfare! It was the perfect honeymoon and could not have asked for a better time with my new hubby!

Well, that was honeymoon #1.  Yes, we had a second honeymoon!  I can't wait to tell this story so make sure you check back for that later!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Music Friday:Comfort Music

It is such a blah couple of days.  The weather is rainy/snowy, it is getting colder again, bored at work, busy at night.  Times like those call for comfort food or today - Comfort Music.

These are some of the songs I listen to when I just feel down.

Yeah, they can verge on being depressing, but honestly sometimes I don't want to listen to happy music, just something chill.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stress and Life Style Changes

I have been in a funk the past few days so please excuse my absence yesterday in posting.  Work went from doing literally nothing (like one day last week I answered a few phone calls and that was it!), to getting into one of my busiest times with fall registration.  I like dealing with the students but when you bring instructors in the mix, it makes things very frustrating to say the least.  Very much looking forward to the future, which I hope to share with you later on once we start moving in that direction.

Today I would love to ramble on and tell you how much I am disliking my job, but I am not sure if anyone really cares to read all that.  So, I will just say I am bored, underpaid, surrounded by incompetent colleagues, and conflicting values that I feel like is a disadvantage to the students we are serving.  Although this might not be a very stressful job all the time, I feel stressed out.  I take pride in doing a job well done, and sometimes I feel like I can't fully do that and I am so limited.  I know I am lucky to have a job in this economic climate and others will say every place you work has people/policies you don't like, but I know this is a place that is not for me.  For now I will leave it at that.

Now for some positives in my life:

Today it has been over a week that the only liquid I consumed is water.  This is a major accomplishment for me since I was having either a Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper every morning.  One of the reasons I have been successful in this is I have made the effort to stop grabbing breakfast on the road in the morning.  Instead I have been having my favorite Kashi cereal - Berry Blossoms, whole wheat english muffins with nutella, or scrambled eggs.  Although today I had to stop, I was running super late, I only got the Sonic Breakfast Burrito and no soda!  We have even gone out to eat a couple times and I just ordered water.  This past weekend I even treated myself to a new water bottle that has a counter to keep track of how much water you consume.
(can you see the numbers on the bottom of the cap)

I do have a specific weight loss goal but right now I am not actively losing weight.  I am trying to get a strong grasp on how to live and eat healthy one step at a time.  Maybe I will start losing weight slowly as I try to enact these changes, but I really want this to be a life-style change.  Just doing a diet to lose a bunch of weight all at once but then craving back all the food I deprived myself of is not what I am aiming for.  

So as of now these are some of the ways I am trying to live healthier:
1. No soda.  Mainly water and trying to get the recommended 8 glasses a day.

2. Taking vitamins.  I recently got these gummi vitamins for adults to help me supplement for vitamins and minerals I can not fully consume.

3. Minimize portions.  This is mostly focused on dinner.  I am trying to understand that I don't need as much food as the hubby.  So I have begun eating off our salads plates which are much smaller

4. Incorporating more vegetables into our meals.

5. Limit the amount of times I grab a quick meal through a window

6. Stopping myself before I get too full.  This is especially hard at restaurants, but I have heard that asking for a to-go box right away helps with the urge to eat everything on your plate.

7. Going to the gym 4 times a week for aerobics classes (that I get both cardio for BodyCombat and strength training in Tone It Up).  Or doing the 30 Day Shred at home when I told have time for class.

8. Keep a food and exercise diary of everything I eat and the amount of time I workout.  Also periodically recording my weight and measurements.

I know that there are other changes I need to make but I think for me it is important to slowly ease into things so that these things become long-term habits.  Hopefully later on I can challenge myself more in making new objectives.

On a different note, I have my first follower! Thanks Mal for following me!  Others feel free to follow me as well!  It is nice to know who is reading.

Sorry for the lack of pictures and all the text today.  It just a boring day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Living it up in LBK Part 3

In case you missed Part I and Part II of our honeymoon, check out the links.

Day 4 of our Honeymoon in Longboat Key was spent recuperating from the trip to Orlando.  Yes, it was fun but man were we worn out.  We were ready for some more beach time!  This time instead of chilling out at the private beach we did the first time, we wanted a beach with a little more life and fun activities.  Boy, did we get it!

All along the coast there were numerous beaches to choose from, but I wanted to take the advice of one of my favorite television channel (hey who can resist the Travel Channel and Ultimate Beaches!) and head down south to Siesta Key.  It was supposed to have beautiful white sandy beaches, and it sure did live up to the hype.

The sand was so fine, like sugar!  It was definitely more crowded.  We had a fun time people watching.  You find some weird people on the beaches.

The water was so clear and so warm.  Although a little freaked out at feeling tiny fish brushing against my leg, I had a blast playing in the water.

But for most of the afternoon I looked like this.

One of the things we really wanted to do while we were down in Siesta Key was go jet skiing.  From the beginning that was on the top of our list to do since neither one of us had ever jet skied before.  We did our research and found a place pretty close to the beach.  I was sad that I was unable to take my camera, but did not want to risk it getting ruined.  It was just amazing!  We didn't go in the ocean but in a waterway next to the ocean.  Along our route we saw all kinds of gorgeous houses and even saw a dolphin.  It took us a while to get used to the controls which resulted in a lot quick stopping because we got scared when it started going too quickly! By the end we had a nice coating of salt all over our body.  We both got a chance to drive it and I have to say it was one of the coolest things I have ever done.  Once we got the hang of it we really went flying.

The jet skiing really took a lot out of us.  It didn't help that we were already kind of sunburnt and being on the water for another hour only made it worse.  I have never been burnt like that on the top of my hands and let me tell you it was not comfortable!  I did manage to clean up and put on some nice clothes for our fancy dinner for the trip.  Most of the places we ate at were pretty reasonable but we indulged a bit just this one time.

The Restaurant was called the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill and was set back off the road so that you could barely find it.

 It was right on the water and we had some great seats right by the window!
In the midwest I do not like to eat seafood.  It always smells to fishy and frozen.  But out of the coast I took every opportunity to try new seafood.  I had the Blackened Chilean Sea Bass (catch of the day) and it was AMAZING!  Seriously it was the best seafood I have ever had.  Also, I had a delicious lobster bisque.  Honestly, I forgot what the hubs got because mine was that delicious!

Afterwards we walked outside the restaurant by the docks for some cool sunset pictures.

But then we realized - the sun was going down on the other side of the Key.  So we jumped into the car and rushed to the private beach we went to the first day.  We were practically running out of the car to get to the beach and we made it just in time to see the sun go down.

It was just beautiful.  Then we played around in the sand for a bit - taking pictures of our initials and other cutesy stuff people on their honeymoon do.

By the end of the day we were tired and sunburned, so we just crashed back at the house.

Only one more day left in Longboat Key, so come back to see what we did on our last day and to see why we jumped on a plane only one week after getting back from our honeymoon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Celebrating a Special Day!

Today I want to wish everyone a Happy Monday, especially to someone very special and his day - My Hubby! Happy Birthday Baby!
(Chris Aram Photography)

I hope you don't mind if I brag about this guy, but since it is his day I feel like he deserves all the attention.

This wonderful man came into my life over 3 1/2 years ago and it has been the most amazing 3 1/2 years ever!  Sound corny?  Maybe a little, but I just can't help it.

He has been such a blessing in my life, I am just continually wondering how I got so lucky.  I can't believe that he chose me to be his wife, and everyday makes me want to be a better person.
(Chris Aram Photography)

His heart is so big and he is one of the most genuine people you will meet in your life.  He knows who he is, and is not afraid to show it - whether it is his goofy sense of humor or his relationship with God.

His constant support and love help get me through the tough times and help me go on when I feel like I want to give up.

I love his sense of humor and how he can make any bad day seem like the best.  He can not only lift my spirits, but everyone around him!

He is so driven and such a hard worker.  I am inspired by his dedication to his job and his education.

And he continues to compliment my cooking even when I bake him a birthday cake that looks like this.
(See this post for my inspiration that it looks nothing like!)

He truly makes my heart melt day after day! I love him so much!

(DSW Photography)

Happy Birthday to the best hubby that God could ever bless me with!  My life just isn't the same with him in it!