Friday, December 31, 2010

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

We're back from spending Christmas in New York and slowly getting back into the swing of things. We're happy to have this guy back with us every day!
We brought with us a gift for Charlie from Grandma and Grandpa, which he has has been thoroughly enjoying.
I actually woke up to him squeaking it this morning. We had such a great time in New York and I miss spending time with my family already.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Walking the Talk

If you know anything about my working life, you most likely know that a good portion of my time is spent working on the advertising needs of a large utility client (said client will not be named in an effort to avoid Google alerting many of the people I work with on a regular basis). Regardless, a lot of our messaging revolves around the efficiency products and programs that this utility offers to their customers and the benefits that people can reap by investing in efficiency efforts. 

If you know anything about my personal life, which you do if you are reading this blog, you know that I live in a 106 year old home, with it's original octopus arm gravity-fed furnace, original (and completely beautiful) wooden windows, old appliances and many other idiosyncrasies that make this house one of the least energy efficient homes around.Suffice it to say our utility bills each winter can be astronomical.

So, when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to take advantage of a 2010 tax credit for adding insulation to your home and had blown in insulation added to the eaves in my house early this week!

Charlie was very involved in this process, so it's a very good thing that the guys who were doing it liked dogs. Here he is on the sidewalk outside my house right next to their truck. He took an opportunity when I wasn't watching to go through the open gate and help out.
So after a little bit of work to get the process started on our end, we are now looking at glowing R-values in our attic crawl spaces. Our actual attic is another story though. We need to have some old wiring removed before we can have insulation added there. However, in the short term I am giving myself a big pat on the back for actually doing something that I tell others to do every day! I think my own local utility will thank me, and hopefully in the long term my wallet will too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I was pretty ambitious this Turkey day! Not only did I participate in a Turkey Trot that morning, but we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year. Our friends that Bivens came over and we held up our yearly tradition of feasting together. This was actually our 4th Thanksgiving together and the first one held at my house.

The food was great! But all in all, it was a really chaotic experience for me. I think I ended up taking on way to much of the cooking myself.
Don't mind Eric, he's trying to be creepy here!
Here's my plate! Filled with sweet potato casserole, a cranberry glazed turkey, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy and a bread role!  Oh, and stuffing, which I almost forgot to make entirely!

Next year, I will seriously consider having Whole Foods make most of the meal for us so I can focus more on wine and socializing and less on recipes and ingredient lists!Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The 5K That Wasn't

On Thanksgiving morning I participated in my first Turkey Trot. It was a 5K to benefit one of the local YMCAs in town and my first 5K! My friend Randi and I both participated and Randi's husband Ryan cheered us on and even better, held our stuff :)
The race started at 9a and the temp was 12 degrees so I decided that layering was extremely necessary. I think I ended up with 2 bottom layers and 6 layers on top along with gloves and one of those hat bands. I actually think I over did it with the top layers and could have stuck with 4-5 and been fine. Plus, by the end of the race I fully hated the gloves I was wearing and thought about throwing them off. They were just $1 target gloves and not fancy running gloves so that might be why.

Here's Randi and I at the start (I'm pretty sure the better picture is on her camera). We decided to line up with the 10 minute mile pace group. 
We started out strong and spent the first few minutes winding around and passing people. I thought we were going to do awesome, but then Randi started to have some breathing issues (most likely because she didn't train outside). I hung out with her for the first mile or so  and then decided to just go at my own pace in an effort to get a sub 30 minute time. After that I was pretty touch and go. The only mile marker I was able to see was the 3rd one, so for most of the race I had no idea how I was pacing myself. My best bet is that I started out way too fast because during the 2nd mile (or what I think the 2nd mile was) I kept on having to stop to walk.

I'm glad I was able to see the 3rd mile marker though because I totally picked it up after that in an effort to make up for some of the walking. I ended up crossing the finish under the 30 minute mark, so I was really excited!

Here I am walking through the shoot to drop off my time tag.
After that I walked back to the finish to see Randi cross. I managed to see her but wasn't able to get a finish line photo.

After a while of waiting around the results posted and I came in at 29:24! I was really excited that I actually met goal and came in under 30 minutes. 

That was until I checked the official race results online the next day and saw the following:

Briargate YMCA/Kaiser Permanente Turkey Trot 2.8M

2.82 Miles

November 25, 2010 in Colorado Springs, CO
As you may already be aware, the course was inadvertently cut short during the race which made the course 2.8 instead of 3.1 miles (the outlined course is marked off as a 5K). The YMCA and Colorado Springs Police Department apologize for this error and will be sure to correct it for next year.

2.82 miles!!! What a rip off! So basically what I thought was a really awesome time actually wasn't that great after all. My overall pace was 10:26, so I was pretty bummed. However, looking at the bright side, I came in 60th in my age group of 25-29 out of 121 women. 1,744 people participated and I was 931 overall and 391 out of the 919 females that participated. Plus my time beat the average pace of 31:28.

All in all I am still a bit bummed out about it though and am thinking about finding another true 5K to run in the next few weeks. It was a really fun experience though and gave me a good taste of what races are like. I think in the future, pacing myself and not letting the race pace me is going to be my biggest challenge. And, even though the race didn't really end up being the 5K that was promoted, I still want to participate again next year :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Am I the Tortoise or the Hare?

Since I've started running recently, I've been feeling like I need something bigger to work towards than just a time on a treadmill. So, I've signed up to participate in two different races.

The first is a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.

The second is a half marathon in May of next year!
I've managed to get a few people to sign up to run both of these races with me which is great! Dan's still holding out, but I think I'll be able to at least get him to run the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Running sounds a whole lot better to him than making a motivational poster and cheering from the sidelines ;-)

I haven't really gotten to a point where I have actual time goals for these races yet, but yesterday I sent a personal distance record and ran 4 miles in just over 44 minutes. Yes, I know that's not very fast, but I'm getting better, which is what matters to me.

Hopefully, these races will keep me motivated to maintain a regular running schedule. I'll be using this blog to track my progress so that I'm being held somewhat accountable :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's a Bird... It's a Plane...


I woke up on Halloween and decided that Charlie needed a costume. So I spent the better part of the day making him a cape.
And a mask... which didn't work out very well.
His special power was extreme guarding, which he proudly displayed by looking out the front window for the better part of the night and appearing ferocious to all neighborhood children.
His friend Jake stopped by dressed as a bumble bee. This was of course the best photo I could get of the two of them.
I dressed up as an 80s Prom Queen for passing out candy, which was a big hit with the tweens that came to the door.
It was a much nicer look than the Zombie Audrey Hepburn get up I had to wear at work on Friday.
Yes, that's a mimosa in my hand. And yes, it was 10 in the morning. You'd drink too if you had to act like a zombie in front of your clients and colleagues :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sister Sister

Okay, so I promise I am not going to reflect on the ridiculous TV show from the 90s. However, do you see the hats in the picture above? I may have sported a few a la Blossom around that time of my life. Thankfully it was a time before digital photography took over the world!!

I actually came across this article from the NY Times today named, "Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier". It makes me miss my sister who I won't get to see until the end of December! 

See, don't we look happy? Miss you Melis.

Monday, October 25, 2010


It is feeling really busy right now. I'm not really sure why, but I've been pretty motivated for the past month and have started about a million projects and set a ton of goals for myself that are taking up a ton of my time. It's a really good thing, but when I think about all of the things that I want to get done with in a day it can be overwhelming.

I have to admit that I am not loving my tumblr snapshot blog as much as I thought I would. In the past week I've kind of fallen of the wagon with it, because I feel like it is too disconnected from this blog and I'm feeling like I'm neglecting both. I am currently toying with the idea of merging that blog into this one and just using this from now on.

Besides my blog dilemma, I have also gotten into a pretty good fitness routine and started running.. which, if you know me (which you probably do if you are reading this blog), is a really strange thing for me to be into. Before this month I could barely run a mile and now I'm running over 10 miles a week!

We've also been doing a ton of Fall maintenance at the house and getting in over our heads on to many do it yourself home improvement projects. My house is kind of a disaster right now, but I think all of it will pay off in the next few weeks.

I have big plans to do a bunch of posts on everything that has been going on. I just need to find those additional hours in my day.. they've got to be hiding out somewhere.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Because I can't help myself...

Found this site... Love of Goldens ...which pretty much puts my gratuitous photos of Charlie on this blog to shame. If you need puppy time I suggest just heading over there. It makes me want another one...
And of course I can't send you to a site all about goldens without featuring my own...

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rumor Has It...

I recently turned 29. I won't confirm or deny this rumor, but I will let you know that I've made a plan to document this next year of my life through a Tumblr blog... which is somewhat of an addendum to this blog. It mostly just allows me a place to put a ton of pictures that I take each day, but I also think it will be a fun project... if I can keep up with it. Anyway, if you're interested, you can follow me here:

The only parameters that I have for it is that I place at least one photo up each day. Some days, there will be more, some days there will be less. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One Season Down, Two To Go

Dan coached his last football game of the season today... a rough loss to Mann. But overall the season was really successful and he is sad that it's over.

Here's a video of him rallying the troops at his game... I thought my camera would pick up what he was saying, but I guess not. Anyway, the footage was shot so I figure I should use it.

Now we just have both the girls and the boys' basketball seasons to get through and it's another coaching year complete!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Teachers No Nothing

Dan's back to teaching, which means a healthy amount of paper and projects are beginning to filter in and out of the house. He just got through a short story unit with his 6th graders where the kids also had to make their own movie posters. My personal favorite is below.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home Design Style...

Do you know what yours is? Mine is:

55% Rustic Revival
36% Nantucket Chic
9% Cottage Chic

I discovered this by taking the style quiz at Sproost. It was really quick and easy and I think that my results cover off on my design aesthetic pretty well. If you're interested in finding out more about your style, you should head over there.

My percentage allocation means a whole bunch of things that I'm going to document here along with images so that I can refer back to this when various pretty things on the Internet strike my fancy. I've also included some of the images that they show to detail out each style. All of this comes from the Sproost site.

Rustic Revival

  • Urban Country
  • A mix of modern and country. 
  • Clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix
  • Appeals to young and old alike. 


  • Material palette  runs the gamut because of the two extremes being mixed. 
  • Countryside: lots of wood, woven rope, canvas and linen, rustic metals and wrought iron, cowhide and vintage leather. 
  • Modern side: acrylic, satin and polished nickel and chrome, glass, faux fur, refined leather, fiberglass and sleek woods. 
  • Floor Coverings: Seagrass and natural woven materials, Concrete and natural wood floors are very popular, and work really well together.
  • Think light, casual and airy. 
  • Colors that make nice, subtle backdrops: White, pale gray or beige, khaki and sage
  • Reference colors from: natural linen, concrete, iron, rust
  • Key: keep the spaces feeling open and yet warm  
  • Go light on walls and major pieces 
  • Use color on accents and accessories

Nantucket Style

  • Think Beach
  • The feeling of the seaside is both abstract and literal in the design of your space. 


  • Art and accessories: Things that remind you of the coast. Pieces of driftwood, pictures or paintings of views
  • Fabrics: Natural, cottons and linens and are light in color and touch.
  • Furniture: Wood or wood framed (the lighter the better) and wicker, when done right, is a must.


  • White, light beiges and grays of the sand and driftwood
  • Variety of blues for the ocean and sky
  • Greens and vibrant blues of the sea glass
  • Key is white! Your space should feel light and airy and have a laid back mood

 Space Planning

  • Furniture: Comfortable 
  • Layout: Cozy 
  • Space: Both durable and casual

Cottage Chic

  • Love the carefree spirit of cottage interiors, but also appreciate modern art & hip treasures
  • Love old and new alike, and love to highlight them to expose the uniqueness of each
  • Light Background


  • Accessories: Bring humor into space
  • Fabrics:Natural (cottons and linens) and light in touch. 
  • Furniture: Wood or wood framed (the lighter the better) and used sparingly or with modern lines, wicker here and there.


  • Colors are similar to colors in Nantucket Chic section.
  • Key is balance of old and new

Space Planning

  • Encourages intimate gatherings 
  • The color throughout is light and airy
  • The main color seen and felt throughout the house is white or very light versions of colors that feel almost white. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Color Test

Happened upon this test online, which tells you aspects of your personality based on color selection. A snapshot of my results are below... I think it's kind of cool that it comes up with all of this over just a few clicks of the mouse. If you have 5 minutes to spare, check it out :)

You are 45 % extrovert and 55 % introvert.

Independently of any order of importance :
You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action.
You are also creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside.
Finally you are strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you settled for yourself, and by your need to act and to move forward.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

But Will It Make You Happy?

Did you see this article in Sunday's New York Times? If you missed it, you can luckily still read it right here. It talks about how spending money in different ways impacts happiness. If you have 5 minutes, you should read it. It made me think a little bit more about what is really important to spend my money on and what might just be something that will just suit my fancy for a short period of time.

While the article may not entirely agree, one of the things that I've been spending my money on lately is my new favorite drink:
The XXX flavor is the best! And for a little thing, it has definitely been putting a smile on my face!

Monday, August 9, 2010


So this morning I looked outside of our bedroom window to see this...
Let's take a closer look. What was once up here...
...was now on our dog run fence.
My first thought... when did that happen?! No big deal that we sleep with the window open, right by where this giant tree branch fell and had no clue. Looks like we can sleep through anything, and I'm not sure that's a good thing!

My second thought... who's supposed to pay for that? As you can tell, it's from a tree in our neighbor's yard. Dan said she stopped by this afternoon and told him that a tree guy was going to be coming who could also work on fences, but we're still slightly fuzzy on what exactly that means to us from a cost perspective. Time will tell.

I'm just glad that this guy wasn't out there when it happened.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Fun!

July was a really busy month for us. We had two weddings to attend and spent a few weeks in Michigan with family and friends. It was so much fun being back in the mitten. We are really lucky to have such a great network of people out there to hang out with. Since we drove out there, Charlie was able to tag along with us on all of our adventures. I'm pretty sure he had a better vacation then we did. Here he is at Dan's parents' lake house loving life by the water:

We had a great time too and can't wait to go back next year :)