Thursday, October 30, 2008


We got prepped for Halloween tonight. I bought massive amounts of candy to hand out to strange children, then we carved pumpkins.

Ringo supervised.

Guess who did which one...

Then we ate a bunch of candy corn and peanuts.

Now I'm drinking a Jack and Coke and relaxing, also possibly suffering from a brain aneurism because of the earth shaking sneeze I just let out. Stupid allergies...

We're going to go out tomorrow night, but I'm debating on whether or not to dress up. We're just going to see a couple bands at a neighborhood club, but I'm thinking people might be hallowed up. I have a little 60s dress that I might wear. It's not costumey, but it's vintagey and sweet. I actually wore it to prom in high school! Some people loved it, some told me it looked like I was wearing wallpaper. Either way, it's high time that it made an appearance again. And what better place for a 60s dress than at a Led Zepplin/Doors cover band show on Halloween?


Never, in my life have I been this excited about a video game. Mariokart for Wii is my favorite game (until now possibly) and it's still a distant second to this...

Beatles video game slated for 2009

In a conference call at 10am EST this morning, the Beatles' Apple Corps. Ltd., MTV Games, and Harmonix announced a new video game using the Fab Four's catalog. And little else.

The game, which will have music supervision by Giles Martin, son of longtime Beatles producer Sir George Martin and co-producer of The Beatles LOVE project with his dad, is slated for the 2009 holidays. It will not be a Rock Band game, however; it will be a wholly new, standalone title. Details will unfold in the coming months.

Keep reading...

With my in-law family comes a severe and undying devotion to all things Beatles. It's almost like a cult. You have no idea what kind of an effect this is going to have with my hubs and his brothers. I think they're all going to have Wii remotes permanently implanted in their palms.

Did I mention that we're going to Las Vegas to see love in less than three weeks? (A wedding present from the eldest McG.) I'm ridiculously excited about it. Its probably the closest I will ever get to a true religious experience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scarf #1 Done!

I finished putting together the first scarf for Elisabeth's co-op store thingy. I really like it. I really got down with those French knots. They took ages and ages to do. But, the effect is worth it. They look like little suckers...

Living Room Re-Deux

Our European dream vacation is going to cost us $5400 not including the cost of feeding and entertaining ourselves for twelve days. So, that's not going to happen next year. We'll save it for 2010. Or 2015. That means the living room rehab is back on. I searched again for some new stuff for the living room. I made a few changes and dropped the price on the makeover:

I love it! It's a lot more grownup and a lot less "burn your retinas" with all the yellow and red everywhere.

I swapped out the club chair ($359.99) for an identical chair from Ikea that is $99. It's fabric, not leather. But who cares? Leather furniture is kind of gross to sit on in the summer anyways. The ottoman ($699) got traded for a yellow one ($279), also from Ikea.

I'm going to pause here to say that Ikea is exactly the same as CB2 except much, much cheaper. Is this common knowledge? I've only been in each store once so maybe it's just me who didn't catch on.

The white credenza, from guess where, is $299 instead of the CB2 one that's $499. Again, it's the same freaking thing! How are they getting away with this? I changed my mind about the end tables because the other ones were sort of cheesy. This one is $79 instead of $119. I'm still obsessed with the yellow table so that stays. And as far as that couch goes, I really love it but spending $899 for something that the dog is going to end up sleeping on seems like a bad idea.

Obviously I never had any real intention of buying the $3200 photo print. I really want a large piece of art to hang in the living room above the couch though. I was looking on and came across their wallpaper section. I know! I didn't realize they sold wallpaper either! There is some great stuff on there. I really love a red and white patterned one and at $75 a roll it would make for a really cheap piece of art. Since framing something that large would be way pricey, I'm going to find (or stretch if I have to) a really long canvas and then paper that and hang it up.

The total price of the furniture is like $1200 less than before. I think it's actually affordable now! Couple that with the $3100 reduction on the wall art and the room is a bargain! Matt might actually go for it this time.

And if I'm not sick of painting yet...

After I master the mural, I'm going to do this in our bedroom:

Three of our walls are light blue and the forth is chocolate brown. I thought it would be cool to do brown stenciling on the blue walls. Or, I could use the turquoise from the living room on the lighter blue. They came off the same swatch card so they match tonally. I also don't have to buy paint that way.

I got that picture above from The Nest. I hated The Knot with a passion, but I really love The Nest. There are some really good ideas on there.

Murals and Templates

I spent last night drawing on Cat's walls and trying repeatedly to print on some stickers.

First, the walls. I'm doing a mural in her nursery for the new baby. I'm a little terrified of this task. I've never done anything like this before and I'm afraid it's going to look like crap. Also, there is a LOT of space to cover. (It's cool though, Cat. No worries.) I'm obviously on a deadline since she can't stay pregnant for the rest of eternity, so I gotta get cracking on this. The theme is trains. The mural is going to be about 18 inches high and wrap around all four walls at the top. One wall is a city, one is a countryside, one is mountains and the last is a lake or something. There will be trains running through every scene. Sounds easy enough, right? No, I don't think so either.

Then, the stickers. I got some ink jet labels to cover up the crazy printer's logo on the cards I got. I figured I'd whip up a little sticker design, print off a sheet and bam. Done. Didn't work like that though. The template I downloaded for the labels doesn't print correctly. Everything is off. I tried six different times and never got the designs and the paper to line up. What's up with that? I thought the template was a... well, a template? I can screw things up on my own, I don't need a template to help me do that. I'm fairly confident in my home printing abilities though, so I'm not taking the blame for the jacked printing attempts. (Although it probably is my fault.)

Although, out of my failure to print a tiny sticker correctly, I got an idea. I'm thinking about forgetting the whole sticker idea and ordering a new batch of cards from a different printer. That's got to save me several hours of more frustration. Then, I can save the first batch for Christmas and give them out in little baskets of homemade goodies. Some cards, peanut brittle, an ornament. Cute idea or no? I think it's a pretty good one. I always struggle to think of good gifts to give to friends. Last year we gave out bottles of wine and tins of cookies. I'd like to come up with something new this year. Although who's going to complain about another year of wine and cookies?

Monday, October 27, 2008

My day of intense irritation continues...

I left work early to avoid quitting and came home to find my note cards that I had printed waiting for me in the mailbox. Yah! Horray! Oh wait... No. The cards look awesome, except they're printed on the back with the printer's website and logo. What??? My jaw dropped. I have printed lots and lots of things before with several different printers, and not once have I received a product marked with the printer's name without my notification and consent. I was furious. That is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever come across. Most of the time the printer will warn you that they will mark the product and you pay extra to have the mark left off. That's fine, I'll live with that. But this...

This is bullshit.

So, I called the company and made that sentiment very clear to them.

They told me that you have to be a member of their preferred business program to have the logos left off. But, they don't tell you that at any point in the ordering process. It's a nice little surprise when you get your cards in the mail and they say VISTAPRINT.COM across the back. I didn't yell, but I angrily explained to them that I'm a graphic designer and I do printing jobs on a regular basis, and not once in my career have I come across a printer who does such a thing without the client's consent. I payed for these cards. They were not free. They were not promotionals from the printer. Therefore, they should not have the printer's logo and website on them anywhere.

I didn't get a refund, because that's their policy. What else is new. But I got a full credit for my printing to use on a future job. Wow. So, I can use my credit from my fugly print job to get a different fugly print job in the future? Awesome! Thanks a million.

It's sort of like the TV show, but not funny or entertaining.

I try to avoid complaining on this thing... But Mondays. Oh dear lord. The horror of Mondays. The alarm/daily-reminder-that-I'm-wasting-my-life-in-an-office went off today and I wanted to just call in and say that I would not be in today. Or ever.

I should have followed through with that. Today has made me firmly believe that Sharepoint and CSS are the works of the devil, and that by actually attempting to accomplish something today, I've out-worked 85% of the other employees here.

I am going to leave this evening, run some errands, scoop the sweatpants up off the laundry pile and booze with wine. Then maybe, just maybe, I will either not loathe life tomorrow and manage another day at the office -or- I might lose my shit, grab Buddah and the pop-tarts off my desk, and peace out permanently.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Camera Goodies

Check out these goodies I got from work:

As far as I know, they all work. The 8mm Brownie is my favorite. I'm excited to find some film for it because it's already way too much fun to play with as is. It winds up and makes lots of whirring and whizzing noises. That second one though, I'm completely at a loss as to what to do with it. I bet it takes bad ass pictures though.

Weekend, I Barely Knew You

This weekend was once again a pretty lazy one. I got a little work done on the scarves. I also made a complete mess of my office.

There was also lots of baseball watching, a bit of thank you card addressing, lots of cooking, and this:

Ringo falling alseep, sitting up, in a sliver of sunlight on the kitchen floor.

Moses Prey opened for Satchel Grande last night at the Goofy Foot. Both bands sounded great. I'd never heard Satchel Grande before and I thought they were sweet. It was like watching the Beastie Boys' Sabotage video while listening to the Snatch soundtrack.

Bizarre. But awesome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday. Too bad you're not Friday.

Something cool happened today. Elisabeth of the Pink Owl Scarf asked me today if I wanted to make a bunch of scarves for a small retail space for handmade/rockin goods. Who's going to say no to that? Not this girl.

So that's on the agenda. Also, my 21 day process notecards have already shipped. Bastards. I knew the rush charges were a scam. I ordered some awesome bright yellow envelopes for them so hopefully I can put those in the store soon so I can become a millionaire, $1.99 at a time.

Moses Prey had a rehearsal at the house tonight. I'm thinking it might be worth the money to invest in some sound proofing for the basement. Lots of folks came over so I played Hostess for the night and provided lots of snack food - including the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made. Unfortunately, I'm now suffering post pig-out. I swear I will never break a bone even when I'm 90 because of all the Tums I consume. Horrible, awful acid problems? Yes. Broken hip? No.

Oh yeah, and our wedding photos are done and online but the login code they gave me doesn't work so I still can't see them.


Don't forget to see this on Saturday if you're not busy:

Europe 2009, Maybe?

I emailed a travel agent today for a rough price estimate for a trip to EUROPE! How exciting is that? She's probably going to tell me that it's twice our budget and that I'm out of my mind, but until that time comes I am going to be excited.

We want to spend two or three nights each in Berlin, Amsterdam, London and France. And if that doesn't break the bank we want to throw in a couple nights in Ireland. Why not, right? If we're going as far as London we might as well toss Ireland in there too. Matt has been to England and Ireland before, but he missed Liverpool (a sin for such a Beatles lover) so we have to make sure we go there as well.

We can do all that for $5K, can't we? I really have no idea how much these things cost.

We'd really like to take this trip in 2009, maybe as early as March. We're not afraid of a little cold and rain. Everyone around me is popping out babies and I'm starting to think about babies of my own... It's very strange. My plan was always to take a long trip to Europe with Matt prior to having kids, and I'm afraid that all this exposure to preggos is going to cause my baby center to override my efforts to prevent getting knocked up. And going to EU and not being able to drink Guinness and wine isn't exactly a trip I want to take.

Although, waiting a couple of years to travel overseas might not be a bad idea either since 99% of the world hates Americans right now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Owning a Home Is Great Until It Starts Leaking

We had some heavy rains last night and this morning, and as a result the heating duct thingamajig leaked water into our laundry room. Luckily a pile of dirty laundry was underneath it to collect the dirty roof water. Bonus for the fact that our new comforter and sheets were on top of the pile and absorbed the majority of it. Great.

But even more important than my dirty(er) laundry is the fact that there is water coming into the house in ways that it should not, and is therefore potentially rotting away the wood surrounding the duct work. I looked at the vents and they are covered in water stains so I'm sure this isn't the first time this has happened.

And that leads me to the assumption that there are other things wrong with our house that the previous owners kept to themselves.

The previous owner was a contractor of sorts and remodeled most of the house. We really appreciate that. Unfortunately, he was a teensy bit careless about certain things. For instance, he installed a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom but there was no outlet for it. Rather than create a new outlet in the bathroom, he plugged the tub into an extension cord and then put the extension cord through a hole in the floor and plugged it into an outlet in the laundry room. Nice and safe!

He also installed a new heater in the basement and then never had the gas company come out to inspect and approve it. There was also a missing fire guard on the 20 year old water heater. So, next to the unapproved gas heater was a semi-open flame. Fantastic! Luckily, the entire house didn't have the chance to blow up before the inspector caught it.

Obviously, the inspection is worth the money. But even then you're not guaranteed that your house won't start leaking at the seams once you move in. I'm hoping that if there was something really wrong with the house we would have found it out by now. But days like today make me really wonder.

Tam's Owl Scarf

I finished Tam's owl scarf last night. It turned out great. I've made six scarves now and each time they get a little better. There's a definite progression to it.

I also started on making some holiday gift tags. I was informed though that I need to stop what I'm doing and make my husband a scarf next. So, that's on the agenda for tonight. That and laundry. Project Runway is over so I have to find a new filler for Wednesday nights.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flight Price Went Down Again!

Geez! Gas prices drop and all of a sudden airlines follow suit. I checked in on our flight again and prices dropped another $36. I now have a $98 credit with Southwest. I plan on putting it to use when I go to Chicago in January. Matt's going to be in South Bend for a few weeks so we're going to rendezvous in Chicago for a couple of days. January isn't exactly an ideal time to visit a city situated on a Great Lake. (Chilly winds anybody?) But the post-Christmas shopping will probably keep me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Chicago is awesome and a lot of fun with tons of things to do. But my favorite thing to see every time I visit are the belugas. Yup. Whales. Unfortunately, Matt and I won't be able to see them when we're there. The habitat is being remodeled and the belugas are elsewhere. You can't imagine how incredible these things are. In the old exhibit, the top of their tank was accessible to visitors and completely open. There was a little plexiglass wall about chest high to keep people from falling in the water, but otherwise there's nothing between you and them. You can look them right in the eye. And they look at you right back. They're as interested in you as you are in them. They watch and stare and it makes me wonder what they're thinking about.

I found a good picture of it here on LilySea's Blog.

My second and third favorite things about Chicago are Portillos and Pot Belly's, respectively. Then there's the Art Institute. Actually, maybe the Art Institute ranks higher than Pot Belly's... Then that leaves "never having to drive anywhere" for the number five slot.

Owl Scarf Part Deux

I worked on Tam's owl scarf last night and I was so happy with it this morning I wanted to share it, even though it isn't done yet. Pardon the camera phone picture. I wanted a photo as I was running out the door and this was all I had time for.

I really like this one! I'm sad to see it go. The color combination she picked out is great. It looks so retro! I might have to consider making one of these for myself one day... I also have an idea for a woven fleece scarf, all sewn together with pretty stitches.

I went to the fabric store yesterday and discovered something incredible: remnant tables. Fleece remnants are $1.99 a yard! They're the perfect sizes for what I need. The lady at the store was so happy to see me cleaning the table off. Now I just have to find a cheap place to get grommets. Those things are kinda expensive but I really like using them. I did find someone on ebay who was selling 500 for $68 but that seems like a little more than I need at this point.

I'm loving working with felt. It's easy and adorable and if I mess up I'm out a whole 20 cents. Miss Violinjello said it best on her blog yesterday:

"As a medium, I adore felt. It's so versatile, kiddy and kitsch, but can be dressed up to look so beautiful too."

So very true.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crafty McCrafterson

I have a million ideas in my head right now. I've had a massive creative burst the last few days and I'm mentally trying to keep track of everything I want to make.

01. I ordered some little greeting cards with a really cute photo on them that I took in San Francisco. (The heart truck on the bridge.) I want to line the envelopes with heart paper and turn them into little love notes. I opted for cheapo shipping on my order so they should be here in 21 working days. (WHAT!?!) How can printing take that long? I cry foul! They're just trying to jack up rush costs to make more money since their printing fees are so low. I'm not biting.

02. I found my two boxes of yarn and knitting needles. There's lots of pretty colors and fluffy, soft yarns in there. Perhaps I shall put them to use? They've only been sitting around for the last 4-6 years. Bout time I did something with them. The last time I used any of it was to make a scarf for my ex-boyfriend's sister when she was a senior in high school. I believe she has since graduated from Creighton, it's been that long.

03. Gift tags! The holidays are coming up. I'm a big fan of pretty wrapping and tags. This year I'm going old school and using butcher paper to wrap everything. It's kind of charming in an understated sort of way. And it's cheap. You can buy a 1000 foot roll for $40. (But why would you? That's a lot of paper.) The best way to snazz up boring paper is with a nice tag. I want to sew some trees and various Christmas crap on paper tags. Super cute!

04. I had an idea for some cute little coin purses. I don't know if my sewing skills are up to par for it though. It involves sewing in a circle. Humm. Might take some practice.

05. I'm obsessed with screen printing right now. I might pick up a couple cheap little kits from Dick Blick.

06. At some point between now and January 15th I have to paint a mural in my soon-to-be nephew's nursery. That can't take more than 50 or 80 hours for me to finish so it shouldn't be a problem...

07. Make a couple more owl scarves because they appear to be kind of a hit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Broken Heart Scarf

I finished another scarf today.

It's for sale on etsy. My shop link is: Etsy is my new addiction. I've already had someone contact me on etsy about ordering an owl scarf, and I've been working today on making some note cards and greeting cards to sell.

I'm hooked.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Owl Scarf

A friend saw the groomsmen scarves that I made for the wedding and asked me to make her one. I was more than happy to do so! I finished it up and decided that now is as good of time as any to open an etsy store. So, I did. We'll see how it goes.

I thought it would be cute to give him a little button eye.

I embroidered her initial into the heart. It only took me... Oh... 25 minutes to do that.

In honor of my new tag...

Women who wear sweatpants that say "sinful" across the butt while they're having lunch with their elementary age daughters.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Knee High Lady Spats

I saw this in a banner ad on a site I visit regularly:

I want to know who thinks this is a good idea. I mean come on. Knee high lady spats? When is there ever an appropriate occasion to wear knee high lady spats?

Maybe if you're a member of Slutty Dickens Carolers?

I had to create a new tag for this one...

Easy Cheesy

I borrowed a cheesy potato soup recipe from the Duersken family for dinner last night. It was goooood. I recommend it to anyone who likes potatoes and cheese and soup.

I changed their recipe around a little to suit my tastes. I for one cannot stand American cheese unless its hidden on a burger, so I swapped it out for an 8oz block of cheddar. I get that American cheese is kid friendly so that's the way go to when you're feeding the youngens, but I'm only serving it to adults in my house. I also used a pouch of bacon bits instead of cooking bacon because it's much, much easier. And the pouch kind doesn't make my house smell like bacon for a week. I just went ahead and threw that right in. Also, I skipped the salt which was a good call because it was pretty salty without it. (Probably because of the bacon and cheddar.)

Easy. Cheesy. Yummy.

I also got most of a scarf done last night that I'm making for a friend. She really liked the groomsmen's scarves and asked me to make one for her. I'll post it tonight!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Live in Obamaha

Well, it's about time. I finally got my "free if you donate $12" Obama shirt from

I'm going to wear it to family functions and to work. Start some trouble.

I love that politics are finally cool. I gotta say though that I enjoy reading about politics and watching it on the news, but I hate talking about it. Everyone has their own opinion. Mine happens to be that Obama is stellar. Yours may not be. That's cool. Let's not get worked up over it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grandma's Sewing Machine

The height of my sewing skills came around the eighth grade when I learned how to sew make up bags in Home Ec. Still though, I like to sew little projects around the house. Make some curtains here, hem a pant leg there. My mom loaned me her sewing machine prior to the wedding when I was crafting my butt off. Then, when my mom's family came to Omaha for said wedding, my aunt brought me one of my grandma's sewing machines that she had at her house. I was really excited to get it, but ever since she gave it to me it's been sitting in the box in my office.

My grandma passed away almost two years ago. She was living with my aunt and uncle at the time because she was suffering from Alzheimer's and well... you know. She always thought that her sewing machine was broken, so she'd go out and buy a new one every so often to replace it. I think when she died she owned four perfectly functioning sewing machines, but she thought they were all broken. I don't think she ever took any of them out of the boxes. The one I ended up with was still in its original packaging.

It sat unopened until tonight because I couldn't bring myself to open it. It breaks my heart to think of my poor grandmother spending hundreds of dollars at a time on sewing machines that she'll never use, because she doesn't know any better. I opened it up tonight but didn't use it. Inside the box was a receipt for $229 and a warranty with her name on it. It's dated less than a year before she died.

I used the loaner machine from my mom tonight. I know that I should use grandma's machine and appreciate her unintentional gift to me, rather than never use it. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fight the Good Fight!

I'm fighting the urge right now to buy this jumper from Target. It's 30% off! And lots of Christmas parties are coming up! It's so easy to rationalize buying it!

I already ordered a digital photography tip book from amazon today so I should just cool it. I'm going to go clean the bathroom and distract myself from internet shopping.

Yesterday and Today Photos

I've become the unofficial photographer for all things family related. This, happens to be what my family does... I have the pleasure of getting to photograph it. The brothers performed their show, Yesterday and Today, last week in Des Moines. (My husband is in the middle.)

Fly the Friendly Skies

I'm in a surprisingly good mood at the moment! I bought tickets to Las Vegas for Matt and I back on October 1st. I checked back at Southwest today to see if the prices have dropped, and sure enough, they have! I was livid! The prices for the exact same flights went down $62 for the pair of tickets! They are super-saver fares so they aren't refundable. I called their customer service number anyways and kept my cool with the customer service lady. Guess what? They couldn't give me a refund, but I now have a $62 voucher for my next flight. Not bad! Southwest isn't the most luxurious airline to fly on, but boy is it cheap. And you still get free peanuts and don't have to pay to check bags.

We flew Northwest for our trip to California and I will never again fly with them. It's $15 to check your first bag, $25 for the second! God help you if your bag weighs over 50 pounds. That will be an extra $50. When we checked in for our flight home, we didn't get seats next to each other. The kiosk told me that we would have to pay an extra $25 to switch seats, even though there was an empty seat next to each of us. We checked in and then had to haggle with the lady at the terminal counter to switch. It was ridiculous. The airline switched our flights so many times in the weeks leading up to the trip that we had a five hour layover in Minneapolis. We ended up paying $25 each to switch our tickets to an earlier flight that was nearly empty. Why couldn't they have given us that flight in the first place since they'd already switched it four times? It didn't make sense. The service was terrible and they gouge passengers with crazy fees every time they ask for something.

Airlines need to learn that good customer service and reasonable policies are always appreciated, just like any other business. Also, people need to learn that some times all you have to do is call and ask politely.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh, the show was good too.

The older I get, the happier I am to return home to Omaha after time away. I breathed a literal sigh of relief when I passed over the Mormon Bridge back into Nebraska. Des Moines was alright. No offense to anyone who lives there, but it's kind of a strange place. They have a very nice cultural district with a great museum and a community playhouse. It's near a neighborhood of very fancy houses (owned by millionaires) that are tucked away in hills and thick trees. But when you leave that area, the city becomes pretty indescript. Parts of it look just like west Omaha. Other parts look just like Minneapolis. It's bizarre. And then there was the Machine Shed...

The Machine Shed is basically a better version of Cracker Barrel, where you get served giant meals by people in overalls and John Deere hats. It's very Iowa. We were told that Machine Shed had the best breakfast around, so we went and were surprisingly greeted by a gut-busting buffet. I love breakfast but I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate buffets. They're very odd and the food is never as good as if it had been made just for you. Buffets only belong at banquets and receptions out of sheer necessity. The only good buffet that I can recall was at a place called Bishop's, and even then it was more like a lunch line than a buffet. They had the most incredible French silk pie, but they closed years and years ago and that delicious pie is a thing of the past.

I got home and crashed into bed, where I watched Sex and the City and stayed until 7:00. The sight of our comfy, fluffy, polka dot covered bed after that awful hotel bed was one of complete and utter relief, and I couldn't get up once I plopped down in it. I eventually got up, did a little work, showered, made Matt a home cooked meal of... soup. There's nothing more comforting than soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I made bean and bratwurst soup, which was delicious despite the description on it. Another thing I've grown to love with age: black eyed peas. (The legume. Not the band.) They're good in just about anything. Black eyed peas and brats? Hell yes.

It's wonderful to have Matt home. As much as I loved cuddling in bed with Dingo in his absence, there's nothing like the Real Deal Holyfield.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Dude. It's snowing in Denver? You keep that shit to yourself, Colorado.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little Road Trip

I'm excited to get to go see Matt today! I haven't seen him since Wednesday morning. Not fun. I'm driving to Des Moines later this morning. There's a great site, that gives you a projected fuel cost based on the make/model of your car and the average gas prices in the cities you're leaving from and driving to.

Here's mine for today:

The only good thing about driving my old Saturn is the gas milage. In city I get 30 mpg, and on the highway I can get up to 40. I haven't driven it on a trip in a few years so I'm interested to see how it does. I got my car the summer after I graduated high school. It has 118,000 miles on it, but I'm reluctant to trade it in. First off, I haven't had a car payment in four years. That is definitely something I don't miss. And secondly, I haven't had a car payment in four years. That's really enough to make me want to delay buying a new one.

My dad talked my mom into letting him get a new car. Can you say "Hemi?"

I have to go finish getting ready to leave. Somehow, I'm not getting much done while sitting at the computer with my coffee and blogs. I did put away my camera to take it and realized that I left the battery charger for it in San Francisco. DOH!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A new me. A new me on paper anyways...

Well, it's official...

According to my social security status and driver's license, I'm now Mrs. McG.

Gone is the old me, in her place is this new lady who is the proud owner of a maiden name and a pile of paperwork. I still need to change my name with payroll, my utilities, the college, credit cards, mortgage.

I got my new social security card this week and I went this afternoon and got my new driver's license. My last license was issued right before my 21st birthday and I look like a child in it. A child that just rolled out of bed and went to the DMV. I got harassed big time with that ID. Not any more though. This ID adequately projects "adult." Bonus for it actually being a good picture! After ten years of bad IDs I think I deserve it. The girl working the camera booth is a real artist. I'm hiring her for family portraits.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Husband is Famous!

Okay, so maybe being featured in the Des Moines Register doesn't actually make him famous, but it makes me proud!

He performs in this show called, Yesterday and Today with two of his brothers. (Matt is the brother in the middle.) It's an audience-driven tribute to the Beatles. The audience picks what songs they want to hear and they make a set list out of the top picks. It's pretty incredible. Some of the songs they play are dead on. I Am the Walrus, for example, blew my mind the first time I heard them play it. My jaw literally dropped. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was like I was listening to the recording it was so accurate.

Check out the article here. I'm going to go see them this weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get there in time to go to the Des Moines Art Center. It's one of my favorite museums to visit. I took my very first solo road trip there in college. (Does a 2.5 hour drive count as a road trip?)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cheap Until I got to the Furniture...

I went back and priced everything, just out of curiosity. And, this way I know exactly how much money I have to convince Matt to let me spend out of his gig paychecks this month:

Waverly Damask Window Panel - $34.99
Indigo Flora Glasses Set of 4 - $12.99
DwellStudio™ Lattice Decorative Pillow - $24.99
Cynthia Rowley Stainless Steel Shaker - $7.49
Teardrop Table Lamp - $59.99
Bing Table Lamp - $59.95
Radinka Table in Red or Yellow - $119.99
Chirp Pillow - $29.95
Sol Console Table - $299
Halogen Credenza - $499
Chet Sofa - $899
Broadway Leather Ottoman - $699
Barrel Club Chair - $359.99

Living Room Inspiration

Matt and I are really excited to redo our living room after our inspirational trip to San Francisco. We want to do something that feels very 1960s mod inspired, but is still comfortable and fits us and our home. I would say that as people, we are of a very 1960s flair. Our home is not though. Our home is a culmination of hand me down furniture and mismatched stuff from my 400 square foot (yes, really) apartment. It's very colorful and comfy, but Matt and I want to pimp our house so it's time to mix it up a little.

Here's the wall colors that we're working with:

And here's what I've come up with:

It feels really good. Everything is sleek and clean and bright. The idea is to stay away from the Austin Powers "mod" cliche of cheesy egg chairs and purple velvet. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm a person who would probably kill for a piece of Eames furniture, after all. I just don't want it to go over the top.

Everything except for the wall art is from CB2, Crate and Barrel and Target. The San Francisco poster is something we bought after our last trip to SF and the couch sized tree photo is from Images Of Nature. That print is like $3200. Ya. Okay. I used to live above an Images Of Nature gallery, and while the stuff is nice, it's really overpriced.

What's in your kitchen?

A fellow Off Beat Bride member posted a fun little blog asking readers to list grocery items that are always found in their kitchen. Here's mine:

01. Onions
02. Big jar of garlic
03. Lots of cereal
04. Potatoes
05. Soy milk (his) & Skim milk (mine)
06. Pancake mix
07. Baby dill pickles
08. Frozen chicken
09. Coffee
10. Unbleached flour
11. Breadcrumbs
12. Olive oil

What's in yours?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Email Goggles

Well, it's about freaking time...

Google released a new gmail feature yesterday that helps prevent drunk emailing. "Mail Goggles" kicks in on weekend nights and forces users to answer math problems before sending out their email. You can change the settings so it turns on every night if you're one of those rare breeds who likes getting smashed during the work week, also commonly known as a "frat boy" or "alcoholic."

I used to be one of those people. Now all of my mid-week drinking is reserved for federal holidays.

Hooray for not waking up on a Sunday morning and realizing that you sent a cringe worthy email to one or more unmentionable people! Not that I've done that or anything...

Full story here on


I am freakishly addicted to Target. Their stuff is great and affordable... downright cheap sometimes. As a result, I suspect a lot of their products were probably made in Indonesia by eight year old children but hey, let's all look the other way, shall we?

I went to the new Target a few minutes from my house, which is in a less than awesome part of town and thus doesn't get a lot of traffic. They had clearance galore over there! I bought a couple throw pillows, a huge glass jar, a lamp, two Christmas presents, lots of picture frames, a clock, running clothes, and a few pieces of the Richard Chai, Go International collection. Grand total was like $100 for all of that.

Thank you Target.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Room to Work On My Double Axel

Sunday afternoon was spent doing some hardcore cleaning around the house. Matt even got in on it! We vacuumed everything, mopped everything, dusted everything. Matt also cleaned out his half of the closet and moved a lot of his stuff over to the closet in the spare bedroom. Now my dresses and shoes have room to breathe! I want to get one of those fancy California Closet systems. It can't cost that much since the closet is only about ten cubic feet...

We also did something completely unheard of and foreign to most people: We got rid of the TV in the living room! I know! GASP! What will we point all of our furniture at now?! It seemed kind of weird at first. I'd say that approximately 80% of my time at home is spent on the living room couch watching TV. But then I realized how pitiful that sort of is and I was more than happy to see it go.

So, we got rid of the entertainment cabinet and turned the living room around. I think one of Matt's favorite hobbies is rearranging furniture. He has a nice sense of flow. He should get a job as a feng shui master.



And FYI: I have some awesome curtains for that window, they just haven't make it up yet.

It opens the living room up into the dining room and makes the room look twice as big. Now, when we have people over, guests sitting on the couch can see and talk to guests sitting in the dining room! Great huh? Plus, now we can slide down the hall and into the living room in our socks with a much less chance of slamming into the couch. Yes, we do that. Sock skating in your own living room is one of the great things about being a home owner.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ringo the Dingo

Just because I love him and this picture perfectly captures his sweet little personality:

Halloween Spirit

Well, the most important thing on my list got done already this weekend, putting out some Halloween decorations.

It loses some of it's scariness with the perky little flag peaking out the back.

I want to go get some more decorations, but I want to get the cheap stuff in case it gets vandalized. And the best place for the cheap stuff is Wal-Mart. I have to bring myself to go there though. I hate Wal-Mart. However, I did one time have a old lady come up to me in a Wal-Mart and tell me that I was "cute as a button." That never happens at Target...

Now I'm definitely in the Halloween spirit. I got some stuff out, Matt and I went and saw Shelter Skelter at the Shelterbelt. Shelter Skelter is an annual Halloween themed production of one-acts. Our friend Chris E. was performing in two of them. It got me excited to watch scary movies and get dressed up. I have a great costume planned for this year. Maybe the best costume ever known to man. I'm willing to stand by that.

We also made plans with Chris to go to haunted houses in a couple of weeks. It's funny that I love haunted houses and scary movies so much, but I am terrified to watch Ghost Hunters and TAPS. Those shows genuinely scare me. We watched one a while ago, then in the middle of the night one of the frames we'd just hung fell off the wall in the office. I was terrified. I made Matt search the entire house. Ghosts are scary and I'm about 90% sure that they're real. When house buying, I viewed a house that I swear was haunted. The house just felt bad, ominous from the moment we walked in. The realtor felt it too. We went up to the second level (a converted attic) and it felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest. It was hard to breath and I had a bad feeling in my stomach. I kept thinking over and over, "Something bad happened up here." The realtor tried opening a door to a bedroom and there was a huge bang and the door wouldn't open. Then she says, "I here someone on the other side of the door," and she turns around to me and screams at me to run. And we both ran the fuck out of that house. I was so scared I was crying.

I listen to my gut and my gut was telling me something wasn't right in that house. That's the first time I've ever experienced something like that, but Matt has lived in a couple of houses that were haunted. The house he grew up in in Florida is haunted. Him and his brothers all saw things and people in the house. His uncle and his family live there now and they've all seen people in the house too, as recently as a few months ago.

We will not be staying there when we visit Florida.

Does anyone else have ghost stories?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weekend's To-Dos

Once again, a list of things to do this weekend that I neglect during the week:

01. Seriously, mop. Need to do this.
02. Finish 2 or 3 small design jobs that I'm sitting on.
03. Get out the Halloween stuff.
04. Go to an antique store on Leavenworth that I always used to drive by but never went into.
05. Oh yeah, call Cox.
06. Have honeymoon pics printed.
07. Finish cleaning out my office.
08. Perhaps clean out the inside of my car.
09. Put away everything in the backyard.

Office Inspiration Board

When we moved into the house, the room I claimed as "office" was painted some horrible beige color, including all the trim. Who would do that? So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to fix it. I repainted all the trim white and painted the walls a color that I have been dying to paint a room since I was sixteen but was never allowed to: dark gray. Ya. Better on paper than in life. Apparently, I thought my dad was lying when he told me that painting a room a dark color makes it look smaller. The room went from beige wasteland to industrial coat closet.

I love the color but the room needs some help. My desk is metal and glass, I have some wire storage racks, and my computer is a sleek white iMac. I'm kind of digging the accidental industrial look. I want to warm it up though. I bought some black and white curtains at Target that have a chandelier and damask pattern on them. (I can't find them on the site or I'd link to them.) I also hung up a couple French movie posters and now I have an idea for the room: Faux-French Pop Industrial. Is that anything? Can I do that? An interior decorator, I am not. I just make it up as I go along.

I made my very first inspiration board to illustrate:

Items from Target, Pier 1, CB2 and Office Depot.

I want to stick with gray, black, white and pink. I think it's kind of hip and graphic. Right now the room is full of junk and I'm a wee bit broke from vacation, so it might take a while to actually decorate the room. Everything in the picture maybe totals $1000 ($400 for a chair? Really Pier 1?) so obviously it's just inspiration. I want to hunt around for some thrift crap that I can fix up on the cheap. There's a possibility though that I need that mouse immediately. And the hot pink desk chair. My current desk chair is a $2 metal garage sale chair with no padding. Hurts the butt.

It really excites me to have an idea finally of what I want the office to look like. I'm kind of anal about my workspace and I find it hard to get work done at home when I'm distracted by my surroundings. Not having an office was rough. My last "office" was a kitchen table in Matt's and my bedroom at the Dundee house. So not conducive to my productivity.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Things I'm Excited About Today

01. Oscar Watch! - It's here! The time of year when all the good stuff comes out. The Oscar ceremony in itself is boring and anticlimactic for the most part. It's the tidal wave of great movies being released that I love. Critical reviews are also really strong this time of year, so it's usually pretty easy to narrow down the really great movies worth seeing in the theaters. There's nothing I hate more than paying $10 to see a bad movie. On my list so far:

Flash Of Genius
• Rachel Getting Married
• The Wrestler
• Appaloosa

And although they likely aren't going to be Oscar favorites, I also really want to see Religulous and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

02. Junking! - Junking is basically antiquing for crappy stuff. You go around looking for crap you can fix up, then you haggle on the price and tell everyone later on what a great deal you got. (After it's all fixed up and pretty of course.) Nebraska photographer, Becky Novacek, is a marvelous junker. Just look at her house! Check out all that great stuff she's got!

03. Project Runway! - It's down to the last four on Project Runway and it's getting intense. The preview for tonight's show featured everyone crying. I love it. People crying on reality TV is wildly entertaining. Jeff and I are going to gather tonight to watch it together just like the good old days. (FYI! Be careful if you go over to the shows page on Bravo's website. They have spoiler pics up of the runway show from fashion week. MY EYES! OH MY EYES! I saw something I should not have over there...)

04. Feta's! - Going there for lunch. I plan on gorging myself with hummus and pita bread.