Every girl needs a drill

For Christmas, my mom got me and Marissa matching clocks. They say “Kensington Station” on them, so it’s a little reminder of a trip we took to London last fall.

So last weekend I finally got mine placed on the wall in my kitchen.

January 23 2010

I had a friend helping me out, and we got tools from my cute little pink toolset that I’ve been relying on for the past ten years. I got it for $5 at a local hardware store in Boulder (McGuckins for those in the know). I love the thing, but it’s limited of course! As he was talking me through what to do, I realized that a drill would make my life a little easier and I’d be much more willing to do projects and repairs around the house.

And when I think of drills, I think of  my old roommate in college. She had a sweet drill set, because her father owns a construction supply company. She had the very best Dewalt set money could buy. And man, she was great at stuff around the house. (Today she’s remodeling a house with her husband, so she’s using her skills well).

Anyway, it has occurred to me that if I want to be a big girl…I should have a drill.

I’ve got a birthday coming up….hint hint.

January 23 2010

100 Things De-Clutter Challenge

I’ve heard of this challenge in two different flavors…

1. Clean out your house, so that you only own 100 things.

…and (the much easier)

2. Clean out your house and get rid of 100 things.

I feel fairly certain that I could never do the first challenge. More like, I don’t think I’d ever really want to. But I am interested in trying the second challenge, get rid of 100 things.

I was talking to my mom today about clutter. She’s a self-proclaimed clutter queen. I mentioned this challenge that I had read on other blogs and told her I’m thinking about doing it. She thought it sounded like a fun challenge for us both to do. So we challenged each other!

So we’re going to come up with 100 things in each of our house holds to get rid of, and then we’re going to take pictures of result.

I’m trying to decide what’s the best thing to do with said stuff. Give it away? Try to sell some of it? I know that some stuff will just be thrown away or recycled.

To sum things up:

  • Come up with 100 things to get rid of.
  • Take pictures and share!
  • Actually remove items from the house.
  • All by February 28!

Who’s in?

If you are in, leave a comment with a link to your blog. If you don’t have a blog, we’ll feature your 100 things story on ours.

Happy Birthday Marissa!

As you can tell from Marissa’s last post, today she turns 22!

Being that I’m nine years older than her, I remember the day of her birth quite well.

And true story, the first time I ever held her, she farted on me….. my how nothing has changed.

Happy Birthday Marissa!!

I made this for her last year, but the update works 🙂

The big 2-2

I am tagging this one in relationships, because it is about my relationship with myself.  I turn 22 tomorrow!

Everyone knows that 22nd birthdays are kind of no big. No big party, no big milestone, no big anything. For me, my 22nd birthday actually means a lot. It means growing up, it mean transitions, it means opening a new chapter. Remember being little and how you’d always have an age you like couldn’t wait to be? Well, usually my favorite age was 23- but sometimes it was 22! I’d imagine myself as a big girl and it- or rather I- was awesome.

As a child, I would be this beautiful actress dating Leonardo DiCaprio, internationally famous, living in Del Mar, California and  winning academy awards right and left. Little did I know, Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn’t age well at all.

As a 14 year old, I’d be a musician, and the little bit of guitar practice I did then would pay off as I toured with Bright Eyes and headlines Coachella. I’d have a cute boyfriend with whom I’d have an extremely dramatic relationship. Little did I know, I’d pretty much never pick up a guitar again after 15.

As a highschool student, I would be a college graduate working for some awesome publication writing music reviews. Maybe I’d live in New York, maybe still Denver. I’d be thin, have an awesome wardrobe, be financially okay and have a cute boyfriend. Most importantly, I’d be happy.  Obviously, expectations get lower the older you get. Little did I know, journalism would be a dying profession and the freshmen 10 isn’t a joke.

However, I think high school me would be okay with me now, some of those things did happen by the end of college.

For instance:

  • I have a cute, handsome, wonderful long-term boyfriend.

Mr. Escobedo and I

  • I did indeed graduate from college

    I actually made it through the Journalism School like a good little journalist.

  • I write for a well circulated publication, covering local music. See?
  • I have no picture for my wardrobe, but I think it’s great. I am addicted to shopping so it will never be all I want it to be but I have pieces I love, a variety of dresses, heals and boots, leather accessories, nice jeans, and coats I adore.
  • Most importantly, I am truly happy. I have people in my life I love. I think I’ve become a much better, more stand-able person since then, I’m not pretentious or trying to fit into any stereotype like I did then. I’m not wallowing in eemness (code for being emo) for the sake of being dramatic. I like what I like, am who I am- and I’m happy as this person.
  • Oh, and I quit smoking! Which as mentioned in a previous post was a goal of mine.

So, point is, I may not be the thinnest or coolest person in the world (in fact, I’ve gained weight and gotten more lame since high school), but I think high school me would be pretty proud of done with college, adult, 22-year-old me.

As for current goals, I think here are some attainable ways to see myself as a 23-year old:

  • Employed- leaving this open-ended
  • Living in a different apartment- this is a given, as my lease expires in in July.
  • About ten pounds lighter- most likely the goal that will be the hardest to actually attain.
  • A big girl- as in everything on this blog!! Specifically, good with finances, neat, cook a lot, not procrastinate, etc.
  • A better person- Obviously, everyone wants to be a better person. I specifically mean to not get upset over stupid things, like jealousy and to appreciate my relationships more.

I think it is also appropriate to write out a few of my larger goals to hit before 30 so that way when I do turn 30 I can be disappointed in myself for not reaching them.

  • Travel to Europe again. Perhaps spend a month there.
  • Live in a nice apartment or home with a big kitchen and at least two sinks, a patio and a spare room for the cats
  • Have a job I am okay with that pays decently.
  • Regularly have adult cocktails like mojitos and mai tais made out of expensive liquor because I’m an adult so I don’t buy PBR anymore.
  • Dress super classy and profesh.

Well anyway, hello new chapter, I’m excited for you! You and I are going to be great friends!

The De-Clutterer-er-er

As I mentioned last week, after I went on a pretty big cleaning stint, there were a few areas that needed to be de-cluttered on my first floor.

This weekend, I took care of business and got those three spaces clutter free.

Here’s the before and after…..

BEFORE

MLK Weekend 2010

AFTER

January 23 2010

BEFORE

MLK Weekend 2010

AFTER

January 23 2010

BEFORE

MLK Weekend 2010

AFTER

January 23 2010

Overall these tasks aren’t incredibly impressive. What I’m so pleased about though is that I actually addressed it when I said I would. I am particularly pleased with the above the fridge results. When I looked in the cabinets behind that clutter I found Margarita glasses! Now that those are easily accessible, I’m thinking I might have to make one!

My menu for the week

I’ve been reading Jane Maynard’s blog “This Week For Dinner,” for a couple of months now. A dear friend linked me to it, and I’ve been grateful ever since. It’s great inspiration to do meal planning. I’ve been successful at it here and there, and the times that I do it, I am very happy.

I have a couple of challenges that deter me. Sometimes I’m feeding people, sometimes I’m not. It’s not always clear when I’m going to have people here to feed. On weekends, it tends to be a little more clear, but during the week it’s up in the air. Sometimes there’s kids here, sometimes it’s Marissa, who is vegetarian.

Another challenge, assuming I’m on my own is meal planning for one and still making it seem worth it. I could easily eat a bowl of cereal and call it good. But the benefit of cooking at home spreads far. It means I have YUMMY leftovers for lunch at work, and that’s important. I’m just not a sandwich gal. I try to be that person, but I am not enthused and then I am easily convinced to eat out with friendly co-workers that eat out every day.

That being said, I’m going to try and commit to meal planning and just deal with the challenges as they come. If I have to cook for more, or if these special people are  here on a night when I plan leftovers or breakfast, I’ll just have to readjust on the fly.

So without further ado, here’s my menu for January 24 – January 30.

Sunday: Chicken Marsala
Monday: Calzones
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner
Wednesday: Bean Burritos
Thursday: Mac ‘N Cheese (like Noodles & CO. I found a recipe that is much like it.)
Friday: Out
Saturday: Leftovers

My shopping list is pretty light for the menu:

-Half and half
-Monterey Jack cheese
-Parmesan cheese
-1 lb. Chicken, tender cut
-Elbow noodles

The pants brought me closer to you

I found the perfect pair of jeans and it was glorious. Not magical like bringing people together magical but magical like went to Savers and found a pair of designer jeans that fit me perfectly, even if they are a bit loose in the waist, which happens to be the waist size I had in high school but haven’t fit into in years magical. And maybe they are magical enough to be Sisterhood of the Traveling pants, little girl talking about the pants on her deathbed, magical- they are THAT good.

Bailey of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, makes me and ro cry everytime

So here’s the story, I really wanted a cigarette. I called our mom to make me feel better, she started smoking when she was 15 and quit at the age of 22, sound familiar? So anyway, she was super sweet and told me to go shopping. I decided to go to Savers, as I’m unemployed so money is tight. There I found the PERFECT pants. First of all, they were Sevens, normally about $180.00. Back in the day, I bought a pair of Sevens for full price- unfortunately, the idea of buying designer pants went out the door a long time ago when stuff like putting gas in my car and buying groceries became priorities.

Second of all, they were my size. In fact, they were a size smaller than my normal waist size. So trying them on and finding them to be a bit loose in the waist was a great feeling! Third, all Sevens are hemmed to be a 34-36 inch leg and then expected to be tailored. I am super short, I only have about a 30 inch leg- which is very hard to find. Anyway, they were the exact right length- no need to be hemmed! The fourth and best part of the story was the price- $14.00! It was a pants miracle!

So here are the lovely pants, as well as a great new pair of shoes I bought. The shoes are Steve Madden- originally $90.00, I bought them at Ross on clearance for $10.00. I am so surprised by my great deal finding ability.

January 18 2010

January 18 2010

Wise gift card choice and a delicious first meal

For Christmas, my dad gave me a Williams-Sonoma gift card. He know how much I love that place, and he loves it too. We sort of exchange gifts from there all the time.

Well I had been racking my brain trying to figure out what to use it on, and even looked over at Pottery Barn. Truth is, I’m pretty much set. I have all the kitchen appliances and tools that I need, and I don’t need more in the way of decor. So instead of forcing myself to get something like that I opted for….FOOD.

Sure, it feels like my dad bought me groceries, but Williams-Sonoma food isn’t your typical Walmart canned goods and dry mixes, so it still feels special. Plus, my recipe repitoire is a bit on the stale side. I’ve been recycling dishes for awhile now, and what better way to try something new.

So here’s what I got….

January 18 2010

It's definitely not the economical choice to buy this stuff on my own. Each item averaged about $12.

I wanted to try it immediately, and so Marissa came over for dinner. We decided to use Maya Kaimal’s Tikka Masala Indian Simmering sauce (the small jar). She’s vegetarian, so it seemed like a good option. We split the simmering sauce between her tofu, my chicken, and some potatoes. We also picked up some Jasmine rice at Walmart (Uncle Ben’s 90-second microwave stuff), and some fresh baked naan from the Walmart bakery (good find!).

It turned out so delicious! The flavor was amazing.

January 18 2010

Please excuse the messy plating. I was starving!

And there was enough for the two of us last night, and enough for her to take home her tofu leftovers, and for me to bring the chicken leftovers to split between two people for lunch!

Easy as can be and simply delicious.

More about Maya Kaimal:

The Clean Up: In Pictures

As I talked about in my last post, I spent a good chunk of my three day weekend cleaning the house.

Some things were highly overdue…

Like cleaning the down stairs cat box. It had gotten so bad, that my best bet was to just buy a new cat box. That’s a great example of how not having a cleaning routine can cost money.

MLK Weekend 2010

Marissa photographs me before going in to the cat box zone.

And some things I had never even considering cleaning…

Like my spice rack.

MLK Weekend 2010

Who'd have guessed? Oh that's right, probably lots of people.

And I did some good deep cleaning on things like…

My microwave.

MLK Weekend 2010

Before.

MLK Weekend 2010

After.

And the effect is wonderful….

MLK Weekend 2010

The kitchen!

I’m so excited to cook!

MLK Weekend 2010

A clean sink. The soul of the kitchen.

MLK Weekend 2010

Actually deep cleaned the stove top last weekend, but shined it up. It gets messy in a week!

MLK Weekend 2010

Living room, with Persephone.

And so excited to lounge.

MLK Weekend 2010

De-furred couches.

There are still some cluttered spots down stairs that I need to take care of. Maybe next weekend or on one of the week nights!

MLK Weekend 2010

Above the fridge. Lots of random stuff. And I have no idea what's in those cabinets.

MLK Weekend 2010

Knitting station.

MLK Weekend 2010

Baskets o'books and mail. Callie the cat models.

Three Day Weekend Clean Up Overview

First, and foremost…today is Martin Luther King Jr. day and it’s definitely a day to celebrate and remember his contributions and principles. I happened to read an MLK quotation today that I thought was quite good, particularly in this time of tragic circumstances in Haiti,“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

Giving back to others is obviously a very important thing to think about and do, andI feel funny pivoting from that sentiment, but this is a  post about doing things for myself. I’m learning that taking good care of yourself, frees you to do good things for others. And boy am I no where near being able to truly help others because there’s so much work to do here.

And if turning away from that sentiment wasn’t bad enough,  I’m about to quote the movie “New Moon,” in the same post as quoting the great Martin Luther King Jr. This part of the movie really stuck out at me. Charlie, Bella’s dad, is encouraging her to see Jacob and he says You know, sometimes, you gotta learn to love what’s good for you.

Rather wise I must admit. And something that I need learn. Having a clean and organized home is not only good for me, it’s good for others. I need to learn to love it and strive toward it.

I’m not a terribly messy person, and I’m not terribly cluttered or disorganized. But I’m not solid in the other direction. My house gets messy, I neglect it and just go through the motions. I vacuum every now and again, and do the dishes when there’s no more counter space by the sink. I cook here and there, and have a decent pantry. And I do laundry when my underwear runs out. I could obviously be better about taking care of my environment and my things.

I tend to use the excuse that it’s because I’m on my own and I work full time. But what I’ve found is that I don’t really enjoy my off time because I’m constantly thinking about how I should be cleaning. And if it’s not clean, and my kitchen is not accessible, I tend to pick up fast food. My health suffers because I don’t have a clean kitchen, and the like.

So I decided that I would use this three day weekend to clean up a little bit and that’s what I’ve done. It also helped that I had a little pressure on me. I knew all week that I was going to have house guests on Sunday night to watch the Golden Globes. What an excellent source of pressure.

With all that in mind, and the great start I made this weekend, I want to work toward making it a habit, and be a big girl with a nice clean apartment.