Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moving On

Hey everyone! This blog has gotten quite dusty and boring, hasn't it? A couple weeks ago I watched Julie & Julia on a quiet Thursday night. It is a wonderful movie and if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it!

The movie got me thinking... The main plot focuses on a writer who decides to blog her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This is a huge challenge to her, but she sets her mind to it and accomplishes her goal, and learns a lot along the way, not only about cooking, but about herself. And isn't the purpose of blogging to educate and enlighten your readers with experiences and knowledge that you're passionate about? This requires focus and dedication.

I thought about my own blog and how unfocused it is. It has really just become an online journal. While to some it may be interesting, maybe my life stories are entertaining or relatable....But if it's not keeping me excited enough to post regularly, I know there's a problem! So I decided to move on and start a new blog.

The number one rule I think all bloggers should follow is "write about what you know". So what do I know? After thinking for quite some time, the answer became quite clear. I know gluten-free living. We live it every day! It's not something that very many people know about unless they follow the diet or live with someone who follows it.

So I hope you will keep following me at my new blog, The Gluten Free Wife. It's a very exciting new project that I am really passionate about. I will be sharing recipes, travel and dining tips, product recommendations, and anecdotes about living a gluten free life!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Back in the Swing of Things

Hello? Anyone there?

I am crawling out from hiding and dusting this blog off, after a whirlwind of a couple weeks. I feel like I have barely had time to breath, let alone muster up the energy to post anything worth reading!

I won't dwell on the fact that the past two weeks of work have been miserable. It is officially the time of year when I long for warm days, cargo shorts and flip flops, and sitting out back until the sun sets around 8:30. Soon, my friends, very soon.

Sean and I have been all but "settling" in to married life. It feels like we've barely seen each other! Work has been nuts for both of us. It has been a relief to walk in the door and be able to have time together (when he's not working a night shift, of course). We had a lovely date night over the weekend that involved a delicious dinner at a new place in town, and buying a new couch! The joys of Bob's, making affordable furniture for us newlywed types. We had a lovely saleslady though. She was quite adorable and told us that we made her day by being happy people. How awesome is that?

I have been working on an invitation suite for a 50th anniversary party, and it's shaping up quite nicely, although I was pushed back a day from not having heat last night. Sean found that our pilot light was out and it wasn't until 10:30 last night that our landlord and his "heating guy" got a broken part replaced and warmth trickled back into the house. Until then we snuggled up on the couch under a pile of blankets and watched Up, which is probably the worst movie to watch when you've had a tumultuous week and are incredibly hormonal. But it is such a good movie, we tortured our souls with it anyways.

Tonight, as Sean is working, I settled in with the determination to finish the invitations (almost there), enjoy a glass of red wine (well deserved, if I do say so myself), and watch Julie & Julia, a film I have been dying to see since I saw the first trailer for it. Well, it was worth the wait. MY only grievance is that I have to return it to the Big Red Box tomorrow. I might have to go out and buy it so I can watch it again. And again. And again.

I loved so many things about the movie, but one thing that is in my mind is the whole idea of blogging. There are certainly blogs out there that post on certain topics regularly, with well written thought and images. And there are blogs for everything. I don't even think of this as worthy of being called a blog half the time. It's more of an online journal. I suppose that ok, as long as I have fun things to say from time to time. I am going to work on developing a blog that is more focused on something that I think is just wonderful, so stay tuned! I need some good content first. But it'll be very exciting, indeed!

So back into the "real world" we've been flung. I eagerly await the delivery of new, comfy brown couch and must go give old, smushy green couch a proper last evening of sitting, wine drinking, and Grey's viewing. It was a good couch (in my family over 15 years!), and it will be missed.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back and married!

It's very hard to put into words the experience of our wedding day, or the whole weekend, for that matter, so I will tell you through pictures collected from my friends on Facebook...

All I can say is that the sun shone on us, literally, with a beautiful day full of love, warmth and laughter. Cheers!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Packing & Prep

I ended up getting 3 books to take on the honeymoon, and before anyone says "Hey Shannon, aren't you supposed to do other stuff on your honeymoon? Romantic stuff?" Well, of course, but we have to get there first, and since Sean is a terrible flier and will probably sleep the whole plane ride whether it's 3 hours or 10 hours (or more, we don't know!), I would like to be prepared to keep myself occupied!

I purchased Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts, and Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin. I felt they are all going to be light enough reads to keep me entertained from start to finish.

So today it really started to sink in. Like, siiiiink innnnnnn. I think it was because we packed today. We packed for the honeymoon, packed as much as we could for Thursday, Friday, and Sunday when we'll be hanging around doing stuff, and packed the various boxes for the church stuff, the reception stuff...Seeing the sheer amount of stuff taking over our living's quite amazing how fast this week has come up. And all I can think is how happy I am. Beneath the fatigue, the headache that's creeping into my head right now, and my poor dry, sad hands from folding 150 programs....I am so freaking happy. So is Sean, although fatigue is taking over, I think...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1 Week

I am so organized it's freaking me out. I know exactly what I have to do, in what order, and I am calmer than I ever thought possible.

Perhaps it's because I have been planning from another state, but I have forced myself to be completely organized so as to not miss anything, keep everyone apprised of the information they need. I have never done anything of this scale before, and I never plan on it again.

With that said, holy cow, I am getting married in a week. At this time next week I will be getting to the Inn, all done up from the salon, and getting ready to get dressed. The photographer will be there, the flowers will be arriving, and everything will be happening all at once!

Sean and I went out last night to a bar about 30 minutes north of here. My coworker's band was playing, and it was really fun to go out! But as a testament to how wiped we've both been, it was 9:30 and we were both yawning. But we stayed for a while, had a couple drinks, enjoyed the tunes, and made our way home and to sleep.

I am super excited because of all things I have to do today, I am making a trip to the bookstore to get a couple beach reads for the honeymoon. I got some great recommendations from girls on the Knot, so I figured I would post them here, in case anyone's looking for something new to read, or if you have any recommendations you'd like to offer up!

Warning: This is a lot of Chick Lit to follow.

Love the One You're With - Emily Griffin
Good in Bed - Jennifer Weiner
The Other Woman - Jennifer Weiner
Bitter is the New Black - Jen Lancaster
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
The Year of Living Biblically - AJ Jacobs
Bed of Roses - Nora Roberts (A follow-up to Vision in White, which I've read and loved!)
Can You Keep a Secret - Sophie Kinsella
Remember Me - Sophie Kinsella
Anything by Jane Green
Dear John - Nicholas Sparks
Trail of Crumbs - Kim Sunee
A Woman of Substance - Barbara Taylor Bradford

So there's the list, I'm sure I'll get a couple great reads out of it forthe honeymoon, and reading more is on my list of things to do this year. I better stop blogging though and get to work, if I am to continue to be proud of my mad organizational skillz.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Counting Down...

In an attempt to not let the next 9 days just fly by, I'm hoping to chronicle my feelings as best I can, if anything as a stress reliever and something to hopefully look back on someday and have a chuckle. I'm sure in retrospect what I'll experience in the next 8 days is nothing compared to poopy diapers, sleepless nights and other life experiences yet to come.

But as it is...I am excited. I have been feeling a strange mix this week of excitement and detachment. Excitement because, well, I am getting married next weekend. Detachment because I have so much to accomplish in the next week that if I lose focus of my work and projects, I could be scrambling next week.

I knew over a year ago when we picked the date that it would be in the midst of my busy season at work, and although it's been busy, it's been nice to be pre-occupied during work hours. If I had a nickle for every time someone asked if I was excited, or posted on my Facebook wall wondering the status of my excitement....well, I would have a shitload of nickles, to be frank. I hope no one is put off by my strained smile when they ask me for the billionth time. I want to be the jumping up and down giddy girl, but again, there is so much to do.

Tonight, however, I had a break from everything and had a girly evening with a good friend of mine. We drank beer, ate chili, gossiped about weddings, work and everything under the sun, and it was fantastic. I didn't think about how many programs I have left to print (*glances at printer where programs are currently printing now that friend has left*), or how many more lists I can make in regards to the wedding (*glances at a list of recommended beach reads in front of me*). We just hung out. I have been drinking water all week in an attempt to de-bloat (thank you, holiday weight), and I got to a point where I said screw it - I'm having a beer. So I had 3 beers.

It seems surreal and absolutely real that in a week's time, we'll be home, with our families, in the final preparations of the big day. When I look at Sean and think that I will be referring to him as my husband...I just melt. Beneath the seemingly workhouse attitude I have taken on this week, I guess I am that gleeful, grinning, girly type that really can't wait to put on my pretty dress, drag my dad down the aisle and say "I do!!!"

Oh, and the weather stalking. So far we're looking at mostly cloudy and 33. I am cool with that. Clouds are good for photography. *smirk*

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New Goals

I always feel kind of silly posting my goals for the year, because I always seem to make the same goals, and in turn, not reach them.

I must say, for 2009, I did ok. I read more, I cooked more, I loved more, and I did lose weight. I will focus on the positives there instead of the "I didn't lose enough weight"s and "I didn't read enough"s. Is it ever really enough, anyways?

With many exciting things to look forward to this year, I am setting goals that I believe to be attainable and beneficial to my future beyond 2010, and the life I want with my soon-to-be-husband and future family.

1. Get married. It sounds silly, of course I am going to get married, but I have a lot to do in the next 2 weeks in order to leave and fully enjoy the wedding day and honeymoon without worrying about something I forgot to finish at work. So really, the goal is to get through the next 2 weeks.

2. Pay off credit cards and make good financial decisions. It's no secret that many people our age live beyond their means, by their own fault or just lack of knowloedge transitioning from college student with little financial burden to a functioning adult who has bills and rent and loans to pay. I know I'm not the only person who made the mistake of opening credit cards to get through the first couple months of being out of school, and I know I'm not the last. But making better financial decisions going forward will help fix what's damaged and keep me firmly on my feet.

3. Save up for and purchase a really good camera. What constitutes "really good". Ideally, a dslr that is advanced enough that I will not desire to replace it in 2 years with something bigger and better. One with versatility for shooting people, places and events.

4. To be healthy in mind, body and spirit. To rid my life of toxic behaviors, thoughts and people. To expand my cooking and eating palate and try new things. Go on adventures. Make new friends. And enjoy every minute.

Cheers to 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hamster in a Wok

Just in case your 2010 hasn't been to exciting yet...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here's to 2010

"Do what you love. And do it well. And with those you love. Here's to 2010."

-As seen on Twitter this evening.

Amen to that. Have a glorious New Year's, all!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Target Women

Sean gave me this link to watch these videos by the glorious Sarah Haskins of Target Women. I wish I could sum it all up as eloquently as Miss Haskins, just have to watch.


Broadview Security!

Disney Princesses!

Birth Control!

I will post more later, but here's a final one, dedicated to my soon to be husband (by his request):


"So what are you going to do...

...after the wedding?"

Yeah, I get that a lot. Well, first, I'm going to continue to be awesome. Next, I'm going to keep working 40 hours a week and doing pretty much everything I have been doing! In short, that's what I'm going to do after the wedding. I would love to stay home and drink cocktails and wear pearls, but that's what the weekends are for! Seriously though, there are some things that we have been holding off on until "after the wedding", and once they happen, I'll be pretty stoked.

We have talked about adopting a dog. We got very close at certain points. We saw a little cutie pie face or visited a shelter and our hearts just yearn to take a little pup home to love and feed and play with. This requires time and money and a lot of work, though, which meant "after the wedding". So hopefully sometime in the near future I'll have a little bundle of joy to share with you!

Also, I have been researching and fawning over DSLR cameras and will be rewarding myself for all my hard work to get where I am today by taking my glorious United States tax return to put towards a shiny, beautiful piece of joy. There are quite a few events coming up in the next year, including a trip to Greece, that I yearn to capture and learn and share with you! But again, "after the wedding".

I will probably go through a bit of wedding planning withdrawal, like many brides do, depending on their level of immersion in the planning process. But I have a 12-Step Recovery Manual ready for the day I come back from the honeymoon. Just kidding.....kind of....

There are more weddings to attend, time to spend with family and friends, and of course, enjoying time with my new hubby (once I can call him "hubby", of course). So in case you're wondering, that's what I'm going to do after the wedding.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Header!

So, I find that as a designer, I am never happy with my own header designs. I think I love something, and a few days, weeks, or months later, I look at it and think, "Really? That's the best I can come up with? Let's try this again..."

Combine that with the fact that my entire life, I have redecorated and rearranged various rooms every 6 months or so, and since we have moved in a year and a half ago, I haven't moved anything around (with the exception of the temporary living room adjustments to fit our Christmas tree). So I guess this is the place that I can redecorate and rearrange without Sean coming home and going "What did you do?!"

Which leads me to this afternoon, posting my previous post, and really looking at my blog for what felt like the first time in the past few months....It was so boring. So plain. So....blech. So here's a new look. And be prepared to see some new stuff in the coming months because Santa Sean gifted me with a pen tablet, so I will be mastering that in the next few months. I can't wait to draw all over the interwebs!

Also, tomorrow we're in the teens in our wedding countdown and I just might puke with excitement!

DIY - Pearl & Ribbon Necklaces

I haven't posted much in the way of wedding details and projects because I know some readers are coming to the wedding, and I want some overall "look" things to be a surprise. I do want to post this project however, for any bride or awesome lady looking for an easy gift to make for bridesmaids, friends, or herself! The picture to the left is the inspiration of what I wanted to create...

Some details of note...My bridesmaids range in age by nearly 10 years, so I wanted something classic-looking and elegant, but not your typical wedding jewelry; something they could hopefully wear again with an LBD; and something that I could make especially for them by myself.

Beadalon Satin Silver .012 in jewelry string
10mm white pearls - 18 pearls per necklace
Accent finishing beads
18mm ribbon clamp (gold)
Champagne ribbon - 2 1ft. pieces per necklace

Tools: Scissors and pliers

Step 1. Cut an 12-14 inch piece of thread. Tie off one end of the thread to one ribbon clamp. I used a simple square knot, leaving about 2 inches of thread loose with the knot to tuck into the beads. String on a seed bead and a finishing bead, if you choose to use them.

Step 2. Feed the shorter, loose end of thread through the beads, and string pearls on, feeding thread through each pearl until it's completely hidden. Once done stringing pearls and finishing beads, tie the other ribbon clamp as closely to the beads as possible.

Step 3. Fold the edge of the ribbon so the unfinished edge is tucked into the clamp. The clamps have little "teeth" so you don't have to worry about the ribbon sliding out. Give the clamps a good squeeze with the pliers until they can't clamp anymore.

Step 4. You're done!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I wish you and your loved ones, wherever you may be, a very merry Christmas! This has been quite a year. Some wonderful new friends, some oldies but goodies, some who I have never met but I keep close in my heart....You make my life rich in treasures that can't be measured here on earth. You bring me such joy, such laughter, and am blessed to know you, even if it's just glimpses through the interwebs. You all make me want to better myself with each day. Keep on writing, blogging, tweeting, sharing, and loving. I love you all and wish you a joyous holiday season and a peace-filled new year!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hear Me Roar

I feel like I am conquering the world.

After a surprisingly pleasant week at work that involved some good things, I was ready to tackle this weekend with projects. And tackle it, I did! I managed to get a lot done yesterday before the snowpocalypse, including a Christmas shopping trip, and like most years, ended up buying myself a few new things. Nothing too exciting, but I love hitting Kohl's and Old Navy this time of year and refreshing my sweater collection. I wear sweaters every day in the winter, and I wear them to pieces, so I'm always happy to get some new ones.

My friend Jenn came over yesterday and we cut menu cards together and had a bit of an estrogenfest. She is such a good person and I love her dearly. I'm so happy that she came into my life. I know I don't always love my job, but at the core, it has connected me with some really amazing people. I also gave my unity candle a makeover (the one I originally did looked like an 8th grader art project), and made necklaces for my bridesmaids. That was a fun project, I haven't made jewelry in a long time. The hardest part was finding all the materials!

I am excited for so many things. I finished Sean's Christmas present and can't wait to give it to him. I hope he loves it! I have also been working on restoring my grandparents' and my parents wedding photos, and they look wonderful!

Besides being crazy busy, I've just been trying to pause and take everything in around me. I am a very lucky person, lucky to have the friends and family in my life that I do. Everyone is so supportive and loving, and I'm so grateful to know them. I don't know how I would have gotten through this year without everyone in my life.

This Christmas will be very different. It's my first year not going home. It makes me sad, but also hopeful for the future. Now is the time for Sean and I to begin our life together and make our own traditions. It means letting go of some of our traditions we grew up with, which is hard, but we have very fond memories. We're entering a new phase of our lives, as a new family. He is my person. It's so exciting!