I know we've talked about this before, but my relationship with cleaning is tenuous to say the least. As in, I hate to do it, but I absolutely love having a clean house. Both Zac and I grew up in really clean houses, but unfortunately, neither of us got bitten by the obsessive cleaning bug.
I've been reflecting lately on how much coming home to a messy house adds to my stress level. When I come home to a clean house, I can feel the stresses of my day evaporate. Needless to say, this is not the same experience I have when it isn't clean!
When it comes to keeping this house clean, we needed to set ourselves up for success. First criteria for success was that we needed a plan. Second, we needed that plan to be simple and easy to achieve. Finally, it needed to be presented to me in a way that I could check it off. I just love to check things off!
So we needed... a cleaning chart! We've tried to do this before, but we didn't keep it simple. We each had a few chores each day and it was overwhelming. So we never did it. Not even for one day.
I was reading this post from Clean Mama the other day and loved her idea of only having one real chore to do each day. Seriously? I mean, I can do one chore each day, no problem.
Here's our cleaning chart.
Do you love it?? Whoever is home more that day has to do the chore. No ifs, ands or buts - we'll both be contributing to keeping the house tidy, and doing so without it being it a huge inconvenience.
Right now, we're almost one week in, and successful!! If you want a copy of my cleaning chart, just let me know and I'm happy to send it to you. I made one that just has lines and boxes if you want to fill in your own chores.
I'm not very fashionable. I never have been... my younger sister Beth definitely got most of the fashion genes in the sibling pool. Every now and again I get inspired to do something to spice up my wardrobe. I most admire looks that are polished and put together. Case in point? Ms. Emma Pillsburry, from GLEE.
She is the epitome of adorable - those pictures don't even do her justice. Here's how I dissect her look:
Pencil skirts. Everyday.
Cardigans. Everyday. But in a slightly altered way each time.
Statement chunky necklaces.
You can buy most of Emma's cardigans from JCREW, but since I don't have $138 to spend on a cardigan, I'll have to get creative. I'll keep you posted during my Emma Pillsburry copy quest!
Four years ago, Zac and I had our first date. We went out to dinner, and when we said good night, I made sure to point out that I wasn't interested in a relationship so soon before graduation. He quickly agreed, saying he wasn't looking for anything serious, either. He convinced me to go on a second date, claiming that his parents had abandoned him on his birthday (which I later discovered was not true!) and fell off a bar stool trying to slip his arm around me.
Somewhere along the way, we fell for each other. Maybe it was a few weeks later when he called me from a bachelor party to ask if I would be his girlfriend (still puzzled about that one). Maybe it was when he stood by my side during my college graduation (all 3 of them!) with a huge smile on his face. Maybe it was when we moved to Cincinnati, and had to support each other as we found a new community. Maybe it was when we went to London, or Venice, or Munich or Paris. Maybe it was when I was so sick I lost my voice, and he had to call the doctor's office and pretend to be me.
We're not really anniversary people (as in, neither of us could remember the actual date of our first date, but we're pretty sure it was in the last week of October!), but 4 years seems like a pretty big accomplishment for two people who weren't looking for anything serious!
At a friend's wedding in December, 2006. It was on the way home from this wedding that I first pictured myself getting married... and heard the song on the radio I knew I wanted to dance to at my wedding.
Fun thing you don't know about Zac? His face looks like this more often than not!
Zac's birthday, November 2007.
Our first house.
If Zac read my blog, I'd tell him that it's been one heck of a ride. Who would have thought that 4 years later, we'd be almost dancing to that wedding song?
This is especially fitting because Melissa also happened to be my 100th follower!! Congratulations, Melissa - and send me your email address! Amanda will be contacting you about collecting your goodies. Thanks to everyone who participated... hopefully we'll have another giveaway again soon!
If you're bummed you didn't win, visit Amanda's shop and order one for yourself! You'll receive 10% off through November 15 if you mention this blog!
I know I've mentioned this before, but I just have to bring it up again, especially with the holidays looming just around the corner.
If you're already using them, ebates.com is a website that rewards you for making online purchases but giving you cash back. You just get to the website you were already going to by clicking the link, and then depending on the store, you get a % cash back.
You guys, I just checked my account, and this year I've gotten $48.00 back. As in checks in my mail for money. For purchases I was already going to buy anything.
I swear there's no catch - it's just awesome. If you haven't signed up yet, do it - just click HERE! Oh... and don't forget to use it when you buy things online!
Hi everyone! I have to say that I never thought I'd see the day when my blog had 100 followers - holy cow!!!
I promised you a great celebration, and here it is - my first giveaway! I found Amanda's etsy shop, Our Humble ABowed, a few months ago, and I've been hooked ever since. She makes the most beautiful custom prints that are so charming and modern and classic, all at the same time. You can check out her blog here.
Case in point?
Yeah, I know. You're drooling. I was too. They are even more beautiful in person!
Want a chance to win? Here’s how it works:
Prize: One 8 inch by 10 inch customized print of your choice.
To Enter: Leave a comment below saying something nice! That's it!
Contest Closes: Tuesday, October 26th at 9:00 pm, eastern time.
Number of Winners: One!
Ships: Anywhere in the U.S.
Other Info: Only one entry per e-mail address. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Wednesday, October 27th.
This is fun.... too bad I can't win! Good luck, everyone!
Sunny, who is one of my blogland BFFs, highlighted my blog today as one of her Top 10 Fresh New Blogs! She seriously rocks. Last week she bought a giant glittery skull at Homegoods. What else do you need to know about her to know that she's awesome??
I am looking forward to a great weekend! Tonight Zac is going to Lexington to see some friends, so I have a hot date with my sewing machine! Tomorrow, my little sister is coming home for a visit and we're headed to a Halloween party. So much fun!
AND - WE ARE ONLY 3 FOLLOWERS AWAY FROM 100 AND A REALLY GREAT GIVEAWAY! Tell your friends! =)
I want to tell you about my friend, Miss Pam. She works in the building next to me, and I'm not sure exactly what she does or who she works for. We started saying hello to each other earlier this year because we passed each other on the sidewalk so often.
We hadn't seen each other in a few months and I had started to wonder what had happened to her. Turns out our schedules were just off - I finally saw her the other day. She gave me a huge hug, and I was so glad to see her. I can't really explain it... we don't talk about much or for very long. I don't know her last name or anything about her. But every time I see her, I get the warmest, friendliest hug.
Zac's brother and sister-in-law have one of these swanky cameras, and the difference in picture quality between this and my little point and shoot is ridiculous. But - they are super pricey, and I'm not sure that we'd use it enough to make it worth the investment.
Anyone out there have a fancy camera like this? Do you use it more than you thought you would?
We have been busy wedding attendees this month! This weekend we were in Nashville for Laura's wedding. Laura's parents have been friends with Zac's parents forever, and Laura and Zac grew up together. Laura is, without a doubt, one of the most lovely people I have ever met, and Nathan is equally as wonderful. Together - they are simply darling!
Laura's brother Nathan, and her wonderful mom, Donna.
Waiting for Laura!
The beautiful bride!
You may now kiss the bride!
Could they be any happier??
Such a cool reception venue.
Zac holding Caleb, his cousin's son.
Another great weekend full love lots of love... and now we're off the attending weddings hook until the Spring. Only one more to go until it's our turn!!
I'm stretched pretty thin these days. Working full time, going to grad school and planning a wedding has me more than a little bit overwhelmed. In order to maintain some semblance of balance, I'm trying to stay way ahead of things so that nothing throws a kink in my obsessive and crazy carefully crafted schedule.
I also have a point to prove to my mother. She's been on my case for years every once in awhile about how I sometimes put off doing really important stuff until the last minute. Like not calling her on her birthday this year until 9:00 PM, which she's lovingly only mentioned like, two or a hundred times.
I love this post from Centsational Girl about preparing for the holidays. She has some great ideas - like creating an organized space to wrap and evaluating what holiday decorations you already have before buying new ones.
Well, everyone, I'm even one step ahead of that. Two days ago, I ordered my mother's Christmas present. (I'll hang on a second while you get back on your chair, Mom). I was browsing online and saw the most beautiful something, and thought, "Mom would love that." And then I thought, "So you should get it for her for Christmas. Like, today, like real grown-ups do." And I did.
Calm down! This isn't it! I just thought this was pretty too and that this post needed a picture. Source here.
And I feel great. Every time I think about it makes me happy, because she's going to get a gift she loves and I'm not going to have to stress about finding something that she'll like. Or pay extra to get it here in time for Christmas. Or settle for something that she'll like, instead of finding something that she'll love.
Well, not these exact ones. But... mine really did look just like this! I just didn't have cupcake holders that were this cute and all of my pictures of them made them look disgusting, so I borrowed this one from where I got the recipe.
They are cupcakes with unbaked cookie dough in the middle of them. They are literally heavy to pick-up. They are so delicious. And the icing tastes like cookie dough too!
They were super easy to make - I got the recipe here from KevinandAmanda.com, and I suggest you try it too! As Paula Dean always says, you just need "a little bit of butter..."
Sorry I left you stranded on the most important wedding details!
Fast forward to Saturday morning.... and some bridesmaids getting beautiful bright and early!
Ally, the MOH, getting lovely.
This is a "spray guard" so the hairspray didn't get in her face. It's also ridiculously funny looking!
Ella seems a little unsure about all of those curls!
Ali's dad gave her a special wedding day present
Final bride touches. Yes, those are my pants around her neck after we realized that make-up could get on her dress!
A close-up of the GORGEOUS dress detail.
And then... it was time to get the show on the road. We had the perfect amount of time - enough time that we weren't rushed but not too much time for the bride to get nervous!
Walking in with Matt. Again, we are so good at this.
I know. Could she be any more beautiful??
Mr. and Mrs. Chris & Ali Johnson!
In true Escanaba style, it was FREEZING when we went to take pictures. How cool is this picture, though?
I was trying to keep her warm!
The reception will have to be another post, because this is getting really long! I promise you won't have to wait as long for it this time, though, and then we'll be back to our regular blog programming!